Ederik Schneider Online

Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reason Magazine: Robby Soave- Mel Brooks: 'We Have Become Stupidly Politically Correct & Its Killing Comedy

Source: Reason Magazine-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Mel Brooks is damn right here! Now, imagine if I said damn right in a movie or on TV back in lets say 1952, I probably would've been expelled from Hollywood back then for using the word damn, because it would have offended someone's religious and moral values. Which was a form of political correctness from a different time.

If comedians, writers, and other commentators, don't have the freedom to express themselves even if it offends someone who wears underwear that is way too tight for them, or is a coffee or Red Bull junky and is so wound up they couldn't fall asleep even if they watched a PBS telethon for 48 hours straight and simply does not know how to relax, who has a glass jaw for an ego and the slightest form of criticism like telling them they're 30 seconds late absolutely destroys their glass jaw, meaning to put it simply, that they can't take a joke. They can't even handle criticism that is fair and even accurate. If people with glass jaws become in charge of what is appropriate and inappropriate in comedy and other forms of communication, well yes we can then make the appropriate funeral arraignments for comedy in America.

Because it will die simply because comedians, writers, and other commentators won't want to take a risk and make fun of something or someone that can later sue them for it, put in jail, or risk losing their job because they're not politically correct. They'll simply find something better to do with their time and find another way to make a living. Perhaps instead of performing on stage, they'll perform in private clubs where you only get in by invitation. Perform at private homes. Perhaps write books and articles, but the only people who'll get to read them are people they approve of who won't turn them into the Political Correctness Police. Maybe they'll have and give private readings of their material.

You take away comedians ability to perform and express themselves, you're taking away comedy in America. And we'll be left with comedians making fun of the Christian-Right and what the Far-Left calls White people and White trash. Because anyone who understands political correctness in America knows that the Far-Left pretty much dominates it.

Which makes modern political correctness hypocritical and partisan , because jokes about fundamentalist Christians especially if they're also Protestant and of Southern English background, are considered acceptable, but you make a joke about fundamentalist Muslims especially people who believe in and practice Islamism, you're considered a racist by the New-Left in America. People who are Socialists and even what I would at least call Neo-Communists, because they believe in  a certain level of democracy, but where communication should only be limited to people who think and believe the way they do.

So if you make a white trash joke, you're considered progressive by this community. But you make fun of ghetto people, you're considered a racist. Political correctness from so-called social justice warriors on the Far-Left in America, is about as hypocritical as Donald Trump calling someone selfish, or accusing someone of being too self-centered, as consistent as one of Donald Trump's political positions.

Political correctness is kryptonite for comedy in America. One thing that you would think that could never die in America is comedy, because of our free speech rights that are guaranteed by our First Amendment and the fact that we have a lot of stupid people and dishonest people who tend to be our politicians that are elected by most of our stupid people. But the one thing that could kill comedy is political correctness.

And no, people will never be arrested for cracking a joke about someone that offends them, or perhaps not even sued for it because it would probably get thrown out, unless the Political Correctness Police takes over our judiciary. But what would happen instead is that people will be afraid to be funny and take risks, because they're worried about the aftermath from people who again wear underwear that is too tight, or drink too much Starbucks or Red Bull and simply can't handle criticism about themselves, or people they claim to care about.  The way you kill comedy even in America, is not just by having too many oversensitive tight asses in America, but actually having those people in charge and running things for everyone else.
Source: Watch Mochit- Mel Brooks- Political Correctness is "Death of Comedy"

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Roll Call: David Hawkings - Whiteboard: What is a Filibuster?

Source: Roll Call-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

David Hawkings is right about what an actual filibuster is. Its generally one Senator or a group of Senator's who take to the Senate floor and talk forever basically, or till they run out of breath, faint, have to use the bathroom, discover they have lives, perhaps miss their kids and wives, etc. Maybe the Senate Leader finds the 60 votes that he needs to cut off the Senator or Senator's that are speaking.

And generally but not always filibusters are performed (if you want to call filibustering a performance) by a member or members of the minority party. The Senate has a filibuster and the cloture rule, but its really the cloture rule is used by the Minority Leader who rounds up enough votes to stop the majority from moving ahead on legislation that is used by the minority to block legislation.

Instead of minority members speaking indefinitely about a particular bill, the Minority Leader will round up 41 or more votes to simply prevent the majority from moving to final passage on a bill that probably has no minority input on it and perhaps didn't even go through committee. And then the Minority Leader or his deputy who is generally the lead minority member on the committee that has jurisdiction of the bill, will argue that the Senate simply hasn't had enough time to consider the legislation and the minority simply can't support this and isn't ready to vote on the bill.

The minority party blocks legislation all the time with the cloture rule. The Minority Leader will announce that they intend to block the legislation. The Leader will then move to final passage, but to get to final passage of legislation which is the final vote, the majority party needs 60 votes to accomplish that. Which generally doesn't happen on partisan legislation because Congress tends to be very divided at least in the last 40 years or so. Even when on party controls both the House and Senate, their majorities tend to be fairly small, especially in the Senate. And the Senate minority party tends to have at least 45 members which is more than enough to block legislation on their own, if the Minority Leader keeps them unified against partisan legislation that the majority party wants to pass.

I'm somewhat divided on the Senate filibuster myself. Even as a Democrat who sees his party both as the minority party in Congress, but as the opposition party and in the White House. Filibusters themselves I'm not a fan of. The idea that one Senator or even a group of them can command so much attention and power by themselves, which makes them as powerful as both the Minority Leader and Majority Leader, even if there're a freshman and perhaps have no other experience in Congress other than their first year or 2 in the Senate, seems counterproductive and makes the party leaderships seem very weak.

But on the other side as a Liberal who believes in both limited government and is against absolute power even if the Democratic Party is the party with complete control over the government, I don't want the Senate to become like the House of Representatives. I actually believe the House is too much like the House and not calling for the House minority party to be able to block legislation on their own that majority brings to the floor, but the House minority should at least be able to offer relevant amendments and alternatives to all legislation that majority brings to the floor and committee. And at the end of the day if the majority party has a simple majority or more to pass legislation, then they would be able to do that even if not one minority Representative votes for the bill.

What Congress needs to return to is regular order. Where if the majority parties in either the House or Senate, decide not to work with the minority on legislation, then their bills at least have to go through the relevant committee or committees where hearings are held, amendments and alternatives are offered, debated and voted on. And then if the final bill passes out of committee, then the bill goes to the floor where the same process is done all over again, but this time with everyone in the chamber able to debate and offer amendments to the bill.

If Congress both the Senate and House did this and you eliminated gerrymandering, you could see less obstruction and partisanship in Congress. Because the majority party in both chambers would then know they can't steamroll the minority and be able to pass partisan legislation with very little if any debate and probably no amendments. And the minority party in both chambers would then know that they have a stake in the game (so to speak) and know they'll be able to offer amendments and alternatives to all legislation that the majority brings up and be able to force the majority to take tough votes and have new issues to run on the during the next election.

I'm not a fan of the filibuster because it makes both the Minority Leader and Majority Leader weak. It makes back-benching Senator's seem as powerful as the two leaders. But I don't like absolute power especially when one party controls both the White House and Congress. So you need to strengthen the leadership's while protecting minority rights and our checks and balances.

So I would eliminate the filibuster and say for legislation to be blocked from final passage in the Senate, it can only be done by the two leader's. Have a motion to table that only the Leader and Minority Leader can propose and similar to the cloture rule when the Minority Leader moves to table the bill, the Leader can overcome that with 60 votes.

Along with the new amendment process where the members of both parties can offer relevant amendments to all legislation and the minority can offer alternative bills to all legislation. And then I believe you would see less partisanship because now both parties would be able to debate and even legislate and just need to the votes for the amendments to do that.

And I believe you would also see less obstruction from the minority party, because instead of the Minority Leader trying to block legislation by himself, he might just decide to let legislation go through once it has been fully debated with a real amendment process and use those votes as election issues.

The filibuster is outdated but checks and balances aren't and absolute power with the opposition having no ability to hold the party in power accountable is un-liberal democratic. This is not a one-party state or a parliamentary system where the party in power doesn't just have the power to govern, but the power to rule. We'll always need checks and balances especially when one party has complete control of the government.
Roll Call: David Hawkings- Whiteboard: What's a Filibuster?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Reason: John Stossel- Lilly Tang Williams: 100 Years of Communist Disaster

Source: Reason Magazine-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

China is a good example of a communist disaster as far as their economic system until they started their privatization program about 40 years ago and moved to a more capitalist private enterprise economic system. But China is still a communist unitarian one-party state that happens to have a private enterprise economic system, while still maintaining some state-owned enterprises. Their political system is still a one-party communist system and there's still no free press, free speech, right to privacy, fair trial, etc, things that liberal democracies like America have. And yet I don't think anyone at this point would argue that the People's Republic of China is a failed state. Just a little push back at John Stossel's broad point here that communism has failed in China.

I'm more interested in the somewhat rebirth if not of communism, but certainly socialism and what I call Neo-Communism. Which is a very illiberal (not liberal) form of socialist-collectivism which is somewhat undemocratic while still leaving in some democratic principles.

For example, non-socialist parties are still allowed to technically run for national office in Venezuela. The Center-Left Liberal Democrats did win control of the National Assembly there a few years ago. But then what the so-called Socialist (Neo-Communist) Maduro Government does there is say that those elections were not valid and the opposition is now a threat to the country (meaning the Maduro Government) and the Maduro Government starts their own brand new National Assembly where only members of the Socialist Party there are allowed to serve.

Which is a big reason why we're seeing so much chaos in Venezuela there because the economy is collapsing in a country that is energy independent and yet they can't produce enough affordable energy for most of the country. But rising inflation and interest rates, shortages of other basic necessities in life including food. Because Big Uncle Nick (meaning President Nicolas Maduro) believes his state is more capable of producing the goods and services that the Venezuelan people need better than the people themselves.

And that Venezuela is a country of 25 millions morons essentially who are too stupid to manage their own affairs. And they need Big Uncle Nick and his army of Neo-Communists (his government) to take care of them for them. Venezuela is the perfect example of a failed Neo-Communist state and disaster. Cuba would be another great example, add North Korea. Anyone seen or heard from the Soviet Union lately or seen any Soviets? Almost like they've disappeared from the face of the Earth.

But to bring it back home back to America where no one who isn't an alcoholic or drug addict actually believes communism will ever takeover America and run this country. But there is a new socialist movement that has two wings of in it. One, is a democratic socialist wing led by Senator Bernie Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein, who by enlarge are both peace-loving Hippies from the 1960s who perhaps occasionally enjoy a joint every now and then who do live on cloud nine politically in the sense that they both have this warped fantasy that perhaps you could only get from smoking too much pot, that government services are free.

That if American taxpayers just gave up most of their income to Uncle Sam, or perhaps Uncle Bernie and his wife Aunt Jill, assuming that we wouldn't allow them to just take our money from us, that America would turn into some beautiful socialist utopia. With no one ever going without not enough or enjoying too much, because the U.S. Government would collect our wealth for us and then manage for us and decide for us what we need to live well.

Besides, in their view Americans tend to be stupid anyway and aren't capable of making our own complicated decisions anyway that you would probably need a masters degree from an Ivy League or some other great Northeastern or West Coast university to be able to manage properly. Like where we should get our health insurance, health care, how to invest for our retirement, where to get our childcare for our kids, who to take care of our kids when they get older, etc. Basic decisions that only New York, San Francisco, and Washington yuppie intellectuals are capable of making. And therefor according to Uncle Bernie and Aunt Jill and other Socialists, should have this decision-making power over everyone else and given the power to run our lives for us.

But wait, it gets a helluva a lot worse than that. Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, are the good Socialists for the most part. Other than having a hard time telling the truth about the costs and consequences of their economic policies. Its much worst than the Sanders-Stein factions of American socialism. Move over to the American Neo-Communists the people who hate free speech so much that they'll use their free speech rights to try to shut up people who disagree with them. Even use violent tactics and terrorism to try to shut people up. We saw this at Berkley during this winter.

The Neo-Communists are people who say they hate capitalism even though they own almost every form of new technology there is and claim they can't live without their smartphones and iPads and other devices. Who are always up to date on the latest fashion trends and own all of them. And yet they say they hate capitalism. They are people who claim to love animals and are for animal rights and put people down for the eating cheeseburgers and other meat and call that animal cruelty as they're wearing leather jackets. Again, who say they hate capitalism even though they spend most of their time when they're not protesting against free speech, at coffee houses on their laptops and iPhones. Who claim our Founding Fathers (the original Liberal Democrats) were evil racists who created this evil American empire. As they wear t-shirts of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and support those two men who are both responsible for the murders of thousands of people. In Fidel's case perhaps millions.

Communism will never make it to America at least as a governing philosophy where we would see some communist regime installed and running the U.S. Government. Because Americans tend to be too individualist and once we are educated we tend to know what doesn't work and what does work and are able and want to make our own decisions in life both personally and economically. Besides, the examples of failed communism and failed communist states are widely known. At least outside of the Millennial Generation and once the Millennial's finally grow up I believe they'll come to realize that the pot fantasies that they had in their twenties and even thirties about how like totally awesome socialism and communism is, was nothing more than a social fad and an attempt to look cool with their generation.
Reason Video: John Stossel- Lilly Tang Williams: 100 Years of Communist Disaster

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Reason: Opinion- Nick Gillespie & Todd Krainin: Hey Libertarians For Donald Trump, How Much More Winning Can You Take?

Source: Reason Magazine-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I believe to understand why some so-called Libertarians support Donald Trump in 2016 and still do today, you have to understand libertarianism and libertarian society. You also have to understand the anti-Hillary Clinton movement which includes the Far-Left and Bernie Sanders socialist movement. The Far-Right nationalist and Christian-Conservative theocratic movement. But the Libertarian-Right and the fringe movement on the Libertarian-Right.

Not all and perhaps most Libertarians aren't fringe and I have a lot of respect for true Libertarians especially Conservative-Libertarians like Senator Rand Paul and Liberal-Libertarians like Governor Gary Johnson. But there is a fringe libertarian movement that is highly conspiratorial (just like Donald Trump) and sees any evidence and information that contradicts their beliefs as some type of either government conspiracy or leftist conspiracy.

By the way, the nationalist movement, the Britbart's and others who still back Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress, are also conspiratorial. You have a movement on the Far-Right and fringe Libertarian-Right that sees Hilary Clinton as nothing but the devil. As some radical feminist Marxist-Communist from the 1960s, who would ruin America by forcing her form of anti-male (especially Caucasian male) radical feminism, as well as Atheism on the country. And put radical feminists in charge of everything and try to completely outlaw all forms of individualism. Even if that individualism comes from women. And then add the fact that Hillary Clinton is hawk on a lot of foreign policy and national security issues, adds to why fringe so-called Libertarians absolutely hate the woman.

The Far-Left hates Hillary because she's a hawk, but she's also not a Socialist and has no issues with being successful and wealthy and everything else that Socialists hate about America and American capitalism. But the fringe so-called Libertarians are the same people who believe John Kennedy was murdered by the CIA. That 9/11 was an inside job. That President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, because Saddam Hussein ordered George W. father H.W. Bush to be murdered and to steal Iraq's oil.

So of course Trumpian cult followers are going to believe Donald Trump when he says that Russia didn't try to interfere with our elections in 2016, because they see that as some made up government conspiracy by our National Security State. Donald Trump represents to them the anti-establishment. People who hate Washington and the people who work there, especially for the Federal Government. That is why these so-called Libertarians (cult followers is more accurate) are backing Donald Trump so heavily. Because he's the leader of their anti-establishment political cult.

That is why you have Kristin Tate who up until just two years ago was an actual Libertarian, say she has to put aside her libertarian views to support Donald Trump. Why Wayne Allyn Root backs everything that Donald Trump does and always has a reason for it and that reason being that if Donald Trump believes its the right thing to do, than it must be true. Whether its bombing Syria in the same of protecting human life, trying to ban Muslims from coming into the country which violates freedom of religion. Labeling Mexicans as racists, or saying there are fine people in the racist Alt-Right Neo-Nazi movement.

These Trumpian cult followers and this is going to sound harsh, but I really believe this, but they remind me of the Manson Family from the late 1960s. Who when ordered to commit those murders essentially said this must be the right thing to do because their leader Charles Manson says it is. Which of course sounds crazy but there's not exactly a surplus of sanity around when you're talking about fringes whether they're on the Far-Right or Far-Left. "Donald Trump believes its the right thing to do, so it must be. Besides, he's not Hillary Clinton so it must be okay." Which to me sounds like the attitude of the Donald Trump cult followers and why these so-called Libertarians support Donald Trump.
Reason: Opinion- Nick Gillespie & Todd Krainin: Hey Libertarians, How Much More Winning Can You Take?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Atlantic: Opinion- Olga Khazan: The Social Benefits of Swearing

Source: The Atlantic-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I'm going to give you an answer to why Americans swear so much at least now in public but also in private as well that is a lot less scientific than what Olga Khazan gives you. But before that I'm just to go on the record and say I'm not a religious fundamentalist or very religious at all and don't even practice any religion and I'm not a prude. Of course I swear like most Americans do I just have a real purpose to it and don't feel the need to sound cool and lot of times today swearing is generally used simply to sound cool and hip. People will swear really for no other reasons other than that.

I swear to express anger and amazement and no other reasons. "Holy shit! That man is fat!" Would be an example of someone showing amazement and being caught off guard. "Why don't you watch where the fuck you're going, are you trying to fuckin kill me?" Would be an example of someone expressing anger because they think someone is moving too fast generally in a vehicle and moving recklessly. But most Americans swear today and cable TV especially HBO and company is a perfect example of that because that is simply their normal vehicle of communication. That is how they talk to their friends, that is how their friends talk and it seems perfectly normal to them. That is how cool people talk today.

If you want to sound cool today you swear a lot and even do it for no apparent reason. "Where the fuck is he? He was supposed to be here 2 minutes ago. Fuckin lazy ass!" Now was that really called for or could that person just so a little patience instead and say, "relax, he'll be here." Or not even say that and just enjoy that time waiting a few minutes. Maybe get a latte and stare at their iPhone and pretend to look hip and important for a few minutes.

The more you swear and sound cool doing it, the cooler you'll be in American pop culture. And if you're in entertainment the more you swear the more popular you'll be and the more roles you'll have in movies or on HBO or the other networks where hard-core swearing is not just allowed but encouraged. The bigger the asshole you are the more attention you'll bring to yourself as the reality genre as proven the last fifteen years or so. You don't have to do a scientific study to prove this but simply be aware of your own surroundings and what is going on in culture today.

The fact that we now see more cussing in American politics today whether its lets say moderate cussing with the use of the word damn and hell, screw, and other words like that not just on cable news, but network news where you would think the people there would be more moderate and cognitive with their approach to how they express themselves, is just an example of how pop culture hasn't just infiltrated our political system, but that our political system is a reflection of our pop culture in America.

And saying what the heck, or darn it all, gee wiz, just sounds too 1950s Leave it to Beaver for most Americans today. Especially when you can say I don't give a damn or what the hell, that is a helluva a lot, and not pay any price for it. You don't need to poll people or do any scientific research on this and ask people why they swear regardless of their profession. You just have to be aware of what's going on in front of you and see it for yourself.
Source: The Atlantic 

The Atlantic: Opinion- Olga Khazan: Does Swearing Make You Likable?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Learn Liberty: The Rubin Report- Dave Rubin Interviewing Dan Carlin: We're All Liberals and Radicals

Source: Learn Liberty-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I agree with Dave Rubin and Dan Carlin on at least one thing here about political labels having lost their meanings and I would argue true meanings. I'm a Liberal because I believe in liberal democracy and its that simple. Individual rights, rule of law, equal rights, equal justice, equality of opportunity, limited government, free, fair and open elections, fiscal responsibility, strong but limited national defense, property rights.

But someone who believes in the opposites of many if not all of those things and not even believing in free speech and perhaps even a free press that is in private hands, along with having a lot socialist if not communist views on economic policy, will also call themselves a Liberal. People like talk show host Thom Hartmann who really is a Democratic Socialist if you bother to look at his politics instead of just automatically taking his word when he calls himself a Liberal, but he at least in the past has called himself a Liberal, but has called for state-control of the press.

The so-called liberal magazine Salon had an article in 2014 written by Fred Jerome calling for the nationalization of Fox News and other right wing media outlets because he believed there was too much of a right wing slant on the news.

Now who is the Liberal here? The man who advocates for liberal values and policies, or the people who call themselves Liberals, but advocate for Far-Left politics and positions and view people like Communists Fidel Castro Che Guevara, and the Neo-Communist regime in Venezuela as really good but misunderstood people. Perhaps they were treated badly as kids which is why they turned out like this, or its societies fault that they became authoritarian dictators.

When I see an apple and an orange, I'm going to call the apple an apple even if the orange calls them self an apple as well. Sometimes you need to believe your own ears and eyes over someone else's mouth. Facts matter and we should always take facts over someone else's propaganda. I partially agree with Dan Carlin on his second point that we're all Liberals. A lot of us are in America in the sense that Americans tend to believe in liberal democracy and values I just laid out and believe in both personal and economic freedom.

But if you're familiar with the over-caffeinated Millennial Generation and aging Baby Boomers who are still living in the 1960s culturally and mentally and still trying to take down the man (as they would put it) and destroy our inhumane, corrupt, corporate controlled private system, (as they would put it) they're not liberal all all, really. They can't take a joke and believe anything that offends them or people they claim to care about, should be censored and outlawed.

To go back to my previous points about Fidel and Che, the illiberal-left believes Castro and Guevara are good men. They believe in the Venezuelan Neo-Communist regime is a good honorable government trying to serve their people and eliminate corporate control. Even though they're arrested people simply for protesting against their regime. They believe the wrong country won the Cold War. And yet they get called Liberals by the lame stream media (to quote Sarah Palin) as Liberals, simply because the so-called mainstream media doesn't know what Liberals are and equates everyone on the Left as Liberals even if their politics are illiberal.

But again who are the Liberals here? The people who believe in liberal values, or the people who simply call themselves Liberals and are called Liberals by others? To go back to my point about facts matter, we should always believe our own ears and eyes overs someone's else's propaganda. Just because someone else labels them self something or is labeled something by someone else, doesn't make that true. Instead what you should do is your own research and look at their politics and see if that matches up with what they're self-proclaiming.
Learn Liberty: The Rubin Report- Dave Rubin Interviewing Dan Carlin: We're All Liberals and Radicals

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Frank Furedi- College Students Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal

Source: Reason Magazine-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

As someone who didn't even graduate college I'm probably not the right spokesperson for this, (to say the least) but I've always believed that college is supposed to be a place to learn and and even learn news ideas. New ideas and things that people didn't hear much if anything about in high school or anywhere else and not to automatically take those new ideas and philosophies on face value and automatically, but to learn about them and then decide for themselves on the best available evidence possible on the worth of those ideas and philosophies.

That it's not the job of college to tell people how to think and what to think, but how to learn and then the students can figure out for themselves the worth of what they're learned and what it means on the best available evidence possible. Call me naive if you want, but that is what I believe. I think what we're seeing at college now is sort of the opposite of that. That you have professors who don't teach their students about ideas and philosophies as much as they try to teach their students what to think. That this is what you should believe because this is what is right and wrong. Instead of giving their students the freedom to learn and experience and figure out what works for them and in society for themselves. Again on the best available evidence possible.

Today what we're seeing at college with young students like millennial's and soon to be the so-called Z Generation, is that the opposites are being taught and learned as far as what makes America great and what makes our diverse vast liberal democracy work so well.

According to too many millennial's freedom and free speech are bad. They seem to believe that free speech is nothing more than the right to offend someone and because of that we should eliminate free speech because someone might be offended by what is heard and believed.

That personal freedom is nothing more than the right to make mistakes and screw up that the rest of society will have to pay for.

That capitalism and property rights are racist and selfish. Because African-Americans and Latino-Americans, haven't done as well as European and Asian-Americans economically in America and because of that capitalism is racist and unfair. That allowing people to keep what they own and have earned simply by purchasing it with money they've earned, that is somehow selfish for people to be able to keep property for themselves. And as a result some people will have to go without because you have these selfish people keeping their own property and not sharing it with people who have little.

That Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were great men because they took on the man (so to speak) and that Tomas Jefferson is evil because he owned African slaves. Even in a time when almost all European men in America with means owned slaves. Forgetting the facts that Fidel and Che were both Marxist-Communists who killed people simply because they disagreed with them politically and would lock people up simply for dissenting.

As I said the opposites are being taught to young people in and outside of college in America. And one can just say, "hey, look at those stupid young people. Don't worry, they'l grow up and be forced to go to work in order to support themselves and learn how the real world works, even if they end up bashing the American system that they've benefited from their whole lives." One could say that and perhaps these millennial's as they reach their forties and fifties at worst will end up being like these fake Hollywood Socialists like the Jane Fonda's and Mike Moore's of the world, who end up bashing capitalism and freedom in general, even as they collect their millions and continue to take advantage of a system as they should, that they've benefited so much from.

The thing with socialism is that it's much easier to practice as long as you don't have to live with it. It's a much better system hypothetically than in practice and having to live with it. Because at the end of the day whether you're an Ayn Rand Objectivist-Libertarian, or a Marxist-Socialist, we're all Americans. And we all tend to want to be successful in life and live comfortably. I believe that is the best hope that we can have for the Millennial Generation at this point.
Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Frank Fruedi- College Students Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Philosophy Insights: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- Milton Friedman: What is Actually Wrong With Socialism?

Source: Philosophy Insights- Professor Milton Friedman-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

What is wrong with socialism? Where should I start? First I guess I'll tell you what actually seems to work about socialism in other countries and to a certain extent in America even. Even though America has more of a pragmatic progressive approach to social welfare, instead of the welfare state approach that you see in Britain and Scandinavia where their social programs are universal instead of just for people who truly need extra financial assistance in order to pay their bills.

But there's a flip side to what actually works about socialism in lets say Scandinavia to use as an example. If Scandinavia were a country instead of a region that includes Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and even Iceland, if you include Iceland as part of this broader Nordic region of countries, Scandinavia would be one of the largest countries in the world, especially if you throw in Greenland, as far as territory. But with only twenty-five-million people which would make a fairly small country in population.

That is important because Sweden, Norway, and Finland, are all large countries as far as territory. Sweden is almost as big as Turkey as far as land and most people I believe don't realize that, but Sweden only has ten-million people and they're one of the wealthiest countries in the world as far as per-capita income and over living standards and there also one of the most socialist countries in the world as far as what their national government spend on their's people's behalf and the amount of money the Swedish Government spends on social welfare. Turkey on the other hand as over seventy million people making it a big country as far as land and population. Why is that?

Scandinavia is deep as far as natural resources including oil and gas. Norway and Sweden, are two of the largest oil and gas producers in the world and they both have very small populations, but with a lot of territory. Because of all the oil and gas revenue that Sweden and Norway bring in through taxation and interest their government's have in their energy sectors, they can afford to be very socialist with their people. Because even when they go through an economic downturn or slowdown they're still bringing in all of that energy revenue.

Unlike America which is third largest country in the world in territory, only behind Russia and Canada and with the fourth largest population in the world, we're still importing both oil and gas. We have to be more conservative with our tax revenue and expect our people to do more for themselves. Especially mentally and physically able people. That was my more positive take on socialism.

Again, what's wrong with socialism? Where should I start? How about with the presumptions that Socialists especially in America who want America to look more like Europe tend to make.

Socialists tend to look at the world as a big complicated place and that if you let all of the people enter the world with the freedom to make their own decisions, some people might make some really good decisions and do really well, but others and perhaps a lot of other people will make some really bad choices and do badly. Leaving the society having to pick up the slack for the people who haven't done well in the economy. So according to the Socialist you need to have a big centralized government with all of these progressive minded (as they see it) intellectuals in their central- planning offices, with the power to decide for everyone else most of those people they've never even met let alone know, what the people need to live well in their Socialist Utopia.

In other words a big welfare state there to take care of everyone so the people don't have to make impossible decisions like where to send their kids to school. Where to get their health care. Where to get their health insurance. Who should take cake of their kids when the parents are working. How people should fund their retirements. Pay for their family and medical leave. And these are just examples. Perhaps even where to live and where to work.

And then Socialists will say that, "hey, it works in Scandinavia and Europe, that means it will work in America as well." Socialists also tend to see the world as one place where there aren't many differences economically between one country or another and that if something seems to work in country, that means it will work everywhere else. Forgetting about cultural and economic factors from one country to another.

Like the fact that some countries have deeper natural resources than others. Or that Americans tend to be a lot more individualistic and freethinking than most other countries regardless of race and ethnicity and tend to want to do more for ourselves and expect more from ourselves than Canadians and Europeans tend to.

But I already explained why the democratic form of socialism seems to work in Scandinavia. Because you're talking about small countries as far as population, but large countries as far as territory and natural resources. Including natural resources to power their countries that so-called Progressives in America (Socialists in actuality) tend to hate and want to see outlawed in America. Like oil and gas.

The reasons why socialism wouldn't work in America, again has to do with cultural more than anything else. Americans by enlarge (except for Bernie Sanders and his supporters and others) like being able to take care of themselves and making their own decisions and then being rewarded for those decisions when they do well. You start taxing income and production at high levels and you'll get less of it. Because Americans will say why should they work so hard and be so productive when Uncle Sammy is going to take so much of my money from me to give to his nieces and nephews.

So what will happen is a lot fewer of Uncle Sam's nieces and nephews will work hard and be less productive, because their annoying greedy uncle is taking away from them so much of what they produce. Which will be a drag on economic and job growth because our economy won't be as productive. Also it would hurt our education because Americans will decide why should they work hard in school and get a good education when their Uncle Sam will pay them well not to work when they're out-of-school with generous Unemployment Insurance checks. Which is also what you get in Sweden.
Philosophy Insights: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- Milton Friedman: What's Wrong With Socialism?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- The Cultural Factors Driving America's Departure From Reality

Source: The Atlantic- Kurt Anderson-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I don't want to make this whole piece about Donald Trump and even not most of it and perhaps just a lot of it, but the way I look at America's Departure From Reality (to paraphrase Kurt Anderson) is way I describe Donald Trump's approach to politics and broader approach to salesmanship. Which is that it's not what's true that's important to him, but what's believable. And not what's believable to most people or intelligent people. But what's believable to enough people for him to accomplish what he wants.

In 2016 that was the presidency and perhaps now it's just about what's believable to his base so his presidency doesn't completely go under water. Right now President Trump's approval rating is somewhere between 33-37% depending on what non-Fox News and Rasmussen poll you look at. Even Fox News has him in the low to mid forties right now. And you take President Trump's base away from him he's probably in the teens right now and perhaps low teens. Not the Republican Party but just his base in the Republican Party. Which is about 4-10 Republicans.

President Trump believes for him to stay alive and not risk being kicked out of office or asked to resign even with a Republican Congress, he has to have his base with him. And to for hat he has to tell them things that are believable to them even if the rest of the country knows what he's saying his complete garbage. (To be kind) Millions of Americans perhaps have escaped the real world to break from reality and perhaps live in so-called reality TV because their real world is too scary for them. But so does their own President.

America's break from reality of course didn't start with Donald Trump. Right now he's just the overwhelming benefactor of it. Where he now represents people who believe that Russia had nothing to do with the 2016 elections and didn't try to interfere in them. Even though President's own intelligent agencies have told him that Russia tried to hack our elections. Climate change is a hoax, 9/11 was an inside job, Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and I could go on. But America's break from reality has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Again he's just the biggest benefactor of it.

We now live in a country where Americans believe reality TV is actually real and the people on these shows are like that in real-life. When in fact we now now (or at least some of us) that the cast members on those shows are encouraged by the producers of those shows to act out and be the biggest jerks they can and get into arguments with other cast members about nothing to draw the biggest ratings. Because conflict is what sells on TV.

Life in America can be tough and stressful and Americans sometimes need a break from that and be able to escape their own reality. Which is why we take vacations and a lot of us watch the tube and get online when we get home from work especially after we've completed everything we need to do that day. That's fine and I do these things myself. But it's when alternative reality takes over our lives and we start to live in those worlds and start seeing and hearing things that simply don't exist is where virtual reality becomes a problem and we look stupid as a result. Americans are only as powerful and free as we are educated and intelligent.

The smarter we are the freer and powerful we are because we'll make the right decisions for ourselves and people who depend on us. But the more virtual reality and so-called reality TV takes over our lives and we actually take those things seriously instead of the mindless entertainment that it is (like pro wrestling) the dumber we become and the less free that we are as a people and country.
The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- Cultural Factors Driving America's Departure From Reality

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Retro Report: Prop 13- Mad as Hell: Howard Jarvis's Impact On California

Source: Retro Report-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Just to comment on this video and I don't blame Retro Report that much for this, but this story took place in 1978 and most of the TV coverage was in black and white. You would think you were watching some newsreel or documentary from 1955 or something instead of something from the late 1970s when color TV and footage was dominant and the only way you could see something in black and white was with a black and white TV or watching a movie from the 1950s or early 1960s.

The video is right about where Howard Jarvis got his political inspiration for his political movement. It was from the movie Network 1976 and the Howard Beale character (played by the great Howard Finch) and to understand that movie you have to not only understand and be aware of the 1970s, but the mid 70s especially. America goes into recession in 1974 and that goes through 1975 and that is on top of the energy crisis and oil embargo of 1973 making energy in short supply and very expensive in America. Which goes on top of high interest rates and inflation of that period.

The Vietnam War is ending which was a great thing in many ways, but you end up with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of American military personal coming home from Vietnam and leaving the service, but having a weak economy and economic outlook to return to and having a hard time finding work. And add that to the rising unemployment of from the recession and you just have a weak economy. And that is not enough you have a shrinking middle class because of the recession and a shrinking blue-collar base in America who are paying a lot in taxes and seeing their taxes go up even as their income goes down and finding themselves working less then they're accustomed to.

So when the movie Network comes around in 1976 and the movie being made in 1975 at the heart of that recession, it was perfect timing. You have a Howard Beale character who gets his national talk show in the movie and uses that platform to talk about how pissed off he's at the state of affairs in America with so many middle class Americans now finding themselves working and making less and that is if they're working at all. And he's saying he's mad as hell about seeing big wealthy corporations continue to make millions if not billions as the little guy is struggling just to survive in America. And that it's time for America to step up and tell their politicians that they're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

And California just happening to be the largest most populated state in America perhaps feeling the brunt of the recession of the mid 1970s and poor recovery of the late 1970s the most and being one of the highest taxed states in America. California becomes the perfect proving ground for anti-tax economic Conservatives in America with Howard Jarvis being their spokesmen. You want to know what caused the start of the Regan Revolution of 1980, there isn't any one thing. But the movement for tax cuts and lower taxes really got going in the late 1970s. And Ronald Reagan who just happened be be Government of California right before Jerry Brown was one of the leaders of this movement. And they were successful in getting their tax cut in 1978.
Retro Report: Prop 13- Mad as Hell

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Source: The Atlantic-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

What makes things cool? A very good question especially since America is such a trendy what's hot now and cool society where everyone who wants to be cool seems to follow whatever the latest trend is even if they look ridiculous, (like wearing cowboy boots and running shorts with a mink coat)  talking or looking like that, or could feel like they're dying when they try to drink the latest drink or eat the latest dish.

Americans by enlarge and there some exceptions of people who have a healthy degree of self-confidence and are very comfortable being themselves even if their best friends are following their favorite celebrities like cult followers follow their leaders. And even with some Americans who are simply cool, because they are themselves even if that makes them different, but by enlarge feel the need to be like everyone else who is considered cool at the time.

With Jim Morrison of The Doors from the late 1960s being a perfect example of an exception to this rule. Marilyn Monroe from the 1950s would be another great example of that. Sean Connery at any point of his career has always been Mr. Cool, or is that Steve McQueen, but both of these men were always themselves. With the personal attributes, looks, intelligence, charm, humor. These two men were always themselves and if anything drove other men to be like them. Instead of these two guys trying to be like some other hot celebrity of that time.

Pop culture and what's seen as cool drives Americans more than just about anything else. We have a lot of Americans especially young Americans who rather be seen as stupid, instead of intelligent and willing to step out on the ledge (in pop culture, not in actuality) and risk not looking and sounding cool. And young adults and even teenagers if they're into something, than people who are just older than them and even much older than them try to get into the same things. And what drives young people today in pop culture is new technology, because it makes their lives much easier and the ability to communicate so much easier than it was even more my Generation X when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the other thing being celebrity culture including talentless celebrities whose only ability has to do with cursing people out and expressing deep anger in public.

Derek Thompson in his video gives you the more scientific explanation of why things are cool and things become trends. But when it comes to Americans it's about trends and faddism. What are the cool people doing meaning the popular people in pop culture and that is who people who are not famous, but perhaps want to be or just want to be part of the cool and party scene in their local community and where they work and so-forth.

And most pop culture today has to do with new technology and people feeling this need that they may die if they don't get the latest iPhone the day that it comes out, watch the last episode of their favorite reality show or drama on cable, or what have you. And keeping up with the pop culture tends and having this feeling of coolness and being in is what drives the happiness of a lot of Americans. Way too many from my point of view.
The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Week: Opinion- Ryan Cooper- 'Democrats Should Embrace The Freedom Not To Choose'

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

I'm not trying to sound insulting here (but don't mind if I do) but what Ryan Cooper wrote in The Week this week (ha, ha get it) could've been written over at The American Prospect, Salon, The Nation, AlterNet, or even over at In These Times and Common Dreams. Where the writers there are not just Socialists, but proudly so and proud to be Socialists. One of those New-Left (to be kind) publications that have argued that problem with America is economic freedom and capitalism in itself. That we expect Americans to make their own decisions with their own lives, at least once they're grown up and are out-of-school and then hold them personally accountable for their own decision-making.

Their argument being that Americans simply have too many decisions to make and as a result make too many bad decisions that the rest of society has to deal with. And that you need that big centralized welfare state big enough to manage the economic affairs of everyone and in some cases even personal affairs financed through high taxes. That Americans supposedly would get back in those so-called generous welfare benefits. That individuals are somehow too stupid to make their own decisions. But big government has all the right answers for them.

The Democratic Party led by their Congressional Leadership led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, did release an economic agenda that Democrats will be pushing for the 2018 mid-terms in hopes of winning back the House or Senate and perhaps even the entire Congress next year. And it was about economic development that included infrastructure investment, tax credits to incentivize more economic expansion, and anti-trust laws to break up current corporate monopolies so Americans would have more consumer choice, because there would be more competition and Americans would actually have to make more personal decisions on their own. (What a terrifying thought!)

But this is the Democratic Party and not the Green Party. Because if they were the Green Party or Democratic Socialists USA, they wouldn't be the opposition party in America and within reach of becoming the majority party in both the House and Senate. And instead would be in court simply trying to gain ballot access so they could be on the ballot in more elections. Let alone actually holding any seats in Congress.

If you want to be part of a party that is anti-individualism, thinks choice is a bad thing and that somehow economic freedom is not only dangerous, because leave millions of Americans to have to manage their own affairs and make their own decisions and that is also selfish, because a lot of people actually make very good decisions with their own lives and end up becoming very successful in life, the Green Party is for you. Just don't ever expect your party to ever hold any real power in America.

But the Democratic Party at it's best is the party that doesn't bash capitalism, economic freedom, and wealth. But instead says that those things are good, but the problem with it is not enough people benefit from capitalism and not enough people have economic freedom and have achieved economic independence. Because quality education is not available to enough people and our infrastructure system is underdeveloped and because of that there isn't enough economic development in the country. Which is why Congressional Democrats are pushing for infrastructure investment in America.

As a JFK Liberal Democrat (a real Liberal Democrat) I believe once people have the skills and education to make their own decisions that they'll end up doing that. And be able to get good jobs and be very successful at them and in life in general. Which is a much better economic plan and better financial outlook for the country, because not only more people will be working, but with good jobs and paying income taxes. Which would also make government cheaper in America lessen the need for taxation, because you'll have all of these educated Americans with the ability to pay their own way in life.

And as a result government will end up collecting more in taxes that they can use to see that as many Americans as possible can get the skills that they need to do well in life. As well as to see that as much incentive as possible is there to incentivize the most economic development as possible. An educated society is an opportunity society that produces a free society. People with the ability to make their own decisions and then be held personally accountable for them. For better or for worse. Enjoy the fruits of their own labor and pay for their own mistakes.
Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung: Welfare State and Social Democracy