Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, December 13, 2018

AEI: What is Pluralism?

Source:AEI- From The American Enterprise Institute 
Source:The New Democrat

From Merriam Webster:

"4a : a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization. b : a concept, doctrine, or policy advocating this state."

The question has been asked over and over and has been debated over and over what kind of country is America and what type of government that we have. Are we a republic, are we a democracy, are we a liberal democracy, are we a pluralist society, etc when the fact is there's no wrong answer here.

Source:Slide Share- A pluralist society 

America, is a republic, but we're a certain type of republic. Egypt and China are republics, but we're certainly not Egypt or China. They have authoritarian societies and government's, we obviously don't.  Republic by itself doesn't equal democracy or freedom, it just means that the country is governed by civilians and not the military or a monarchy or some theocracy. America, is a democracy at least in the sense that we elect our political leaders and our political leaders are held accountable by the voters in free and fair elections.

The fact is America is a pluralist society and federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy. The largest most diverse melting pot in the world, the largest and oldest liberal democracy in the world where power is very decentralized unlike Egypt, China or Russia. Governmental power is decentralized through three levels of government. Federal, state, and local, but also with the people because we live in a  free society where the people have the freedom to manage their own personal affairs without having government trying to monitor their activities simply because they see them as enemies of the government or disapprove of their personal activities.

In a pluralist society like America, you don't have one dominant ethnic group. Roughly 7-10 Americans today are still of European background, but we don't have one dominant ethnic group in America unlike Britain, where roughly 8-10 Brits are ethnic English or Germany where roughly 9-10 Germans are ethnic German or go to Asia where most of Japan is ethnic Japanese. But 3-10 Americans aren't of European background. We have large African-American population, a major Asian-American population, a significant Middle Eastern population and I could go on. America is both multi-racial and multi-ethnic which is still one of the great and exceptional things about America.

My personal politics here: I'm not colorblind, anyone who actually says that they're  colorblind and can't even tell what the color of their clothes are, or is simply just blind. I'm not race or ethnic blind, back to my point about color, because anyone who has even decent vision or can see with glasses can see someone's race or ethnicity. What I am is what I could call at least pluralist and individualist. I look at and judge people as individuals, not as members of a particular racial or ethnic group. That old but still great Dr. Martin King quote, where he has a dream that one day his children would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, I actually believe that and just wished more Americans both on the Right and Left believed that as well. Instead of looking at people as members of groups who should be judged that way.
AEI: What is Pluralism?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

FOX: Beverly Hills 90210- Shannen Doherty: As Brenda Walsh

Source:Ashley Rayshon Scott - Shannen Doherty, in 1992 
Source:Action

There were only a handful of shows I that watched religiously ( not including sports ) growing up especially once I started high school in the 1990s. Dukes of Hazzard, in the 1980s, The Fall Guy in the 1980s, Knight Rider, A-Team, Married With Children, and then when I was in high school in the early and mid 1990s shows like the original Law & Order. And when I mean religiously, I'm talking about every week including the reruns in the summer. There was really only one show that I watched that much during the summer when I was in high school and that the original Beverly Hills 90210 from Fox. Because it was about Generation X and what life was like growing up for a lot of us, it was a funny show like great soap operas are and all the beautiful, sexy women on it including one and particular.


Source:Image Ozone - Shannen Doherty, in 1992 
I loved the Brenda Walsh character ( played by Shannen Doherty ) for multiple reasons. She was so real for both good and bad and seemed to always know what she want, except when it came to guys, she just didn't always know how to get there and how to get what she wanted. Which is typical for teenagers of any generation and perhaps Generation X in particular. When we're growing up we think we know what we want, but a lot of times don't know how to get it and most teenagers have short attention spans and something else comes along and we're impressed by that. I wanted to be a sportscaster when I was in high school up until my early 20s or so and realized that perhaps was no longer that important to me and didn't want to get a degree in broadcasting in order to become a sportscaster. Brenda Walsh was similar, but I think she knew what she wanted, but didn't know how to get it.


Source:People Magazine- Shannen Doherty, on People in 1992 
The Walsh Family, moves from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Beverly Hills, California ( just outside of Los Angeles ) and get a cultural shock right away because they comes from a mid-size community in Minneapolis to not just the second largest city and metro area in the country in Los Angeles, but to the heart of Hollywood and the entertainment industry in this country at least if not the world. Brenda, ( played by Shannen Doherty ) quickly adjusts to that new lifestyle and meets people and friends who are just as real as she is and don't fit the stereotypes that a lot of Hollywood teenagers have and they discover that they have a lot in common.

This show worked real well, because you had real people living in a fictional community ( known as Hollywood ) where most of the people there are allways trying to be someone else and put on a facade. A lot of the characters on that show could've easily been from St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, or Minneapolis as far as who they were and they went through as teenagers growing up. And that is why the Brenda character was so great because she was a real person growing up in a Hollywood community where realness can be looked down upon by people who want to always be fabulous, perfect, and be popular. People who want to be better than real people and never seem vulnerable to anyone or anything.

The other reason why I loved this show was because of Shannen Doherty. I had a crush on her, I don't think she was the prettiest girl from the entire series. Jennie Garth was more beautiful during the high school years and I believe Tiffany Thiessen was the best looking woman on the show for the entire series. But Shannen, was the cutest girl on the show and sexiest girl as well at least during the high school years. She wasn't just a denim diva on that show, ( before that term was even invented ) but she was a Levi's denim diva who was a Goddess in those skin-tight Levi's jeans and always wore beautiful western boots with them with tight tops or blouses. I couldn't wait to watch the show especially just to check her out especially during the first 3 seasons. This show and Shannen Doherty, certainly made high school more interesting for me and I have her to thank for that.
Source:Girly Charmed Segxo: Merry Christmas! Love Beverly Hills 90210 - The 90210 Season 3 Christmas episode 



Thursday, November 29, 2018

National Review: Opinion- Victor Davis Hanson: 'Did 1968 Win The Cultural War?'

Source:National Review- Grant Park in Chicago in 1968 
Source:The Daily Review

Not sure if 1968 won the Cultural War, simply because I don't see how a year could win a war. Wars are won by groups of individuals generally countries through their militaries and their people that back them. I'm being a little coy here, but Victor Hanson's basic point being that did the people from the 1960s especially the late 60s, the young people who were a big part of that era with all of those young Baby Boomers coming of age in the 1960s and graduating high school, starting college and even graduating college in that decade, did those people and the cultural and lifestyles, political views that they represented especially the Hippies, did they win the Cultural War? I believe the obvious answer to that question is yes.

Source:Townhall Magazine- 1968 demonstrators 
As a Gen-Xer who was born in the mid 1970s and just one generation up from the Baby Boomers, I obviously don't remember 1968, but that's only because I wasn't even born yet. If I were born even in the early 1960s perhaps I would have some memories of that time. So what I have to do to familiar myself with that decade is to listen to, read, and watch the people who were not only alive through that period, not only lived through that period, but were major part of it. The new cultural and lifestyle changes from that decade, all the personal freedom and individualism that came from that decade, the anti-warmovement, the women's movement, the gay movement, civil rights movement, etc. One of the advantages of history is that you can't forget it because people are always reporting on it as it happens, but then later on with books and documentaries.


Source:American Greatness- 1968 demonstrators 
There two main factions in the 1960s cultural movement. One being perhaps the most famous the New-Left socialist revolutionary movement that not only wanted to get America out of the Vietnam War, wanted to fundamentally change how the American economy and government worked. Even in that movement you had at least two factions. The Socialist Revolutionaries lead by groups like The Weather Underground, Students For a Democratic Society and then later in the early and mid 1970s the Symbionese Liberation Army that's famous for kidnapping San Francisco area heiress Patricia Hearst, who wanted to rob banks to take care of the poor. And then you had the peaceful demonstrators who were part of the anti-warmovement and were simply interested in getting America out of the Vietnam War, but not trying to overthrow the U.S. Government through violence.

The socialist revolutionary nonsense ( tis the season to be generous ) I don't have much if any respect for as someone who believes in the rule of law and only believe in using violence in self-defense and to protect the innocent. But the Hippies who were growing up in the 1950s and remember that era well who wanted a new life that was different from their parents and grandparents, who wanted to make their own decisions, who loved their families, but didn't want to be dominated by them and be able to live their own lives even if their parents disapprove of their lifestyles, as a Liberal myself who believes in individualism and free choice, personal freedom I have a lot of respect for that movement.

By not even 1968 but really 1965-66 and perhaps even 63-64, America was changing drastically culturally, racially, and ethnically. The Anglo-Saxon Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle from the 1950s was becoming a thing of the past at least in Real America even if Hollywood was still producing shows that looked like they were from 1955. Instead of the husband walking in the door every night and saying, "honey, I'm home!" with his devoted wife staying, "hi dear, how was your day?" having his paper and favorite drink ready for him, the woman in many cases was just getting home from work herself. Because you had these Baby Boom Hippies and lot of them women who didn't want't to be housewives and in some cases didn't want to get married or even have kids. Who instead wanted to go to college, get a degree and start their own lives and be independent with the same freedom that the men have.

The so-called Cultural War from back then and today are fought by two factions. The Christian-Right, who believe the 1950s was the golden age for America and who've been trying to get every single American into some national time machine and take us all back to that 1950s Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle. And the New Americans ( let's call them ) who believe that Americans should be free to be Americans, who are a very diverse people racially, ethnically, religiously, and culturally who believe Americans should be free to be Americans and make their own lifestyle and cultural decisions. Even if that offends people who are a lot more conservative religiously. And the New Americans having been winning this Cultural War really since the 1970s at least with all the personal freedom that Americans have today.
Source:Black Pigeon Speaks: 'The Left Won The Culture War: Here's Why'- The Blaze's Tomi Lahren 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ronald Reagan: Talking About One America and American Pluralism

Source:AZ Quotes- President Ronald Reagan, talking about one America
Source:The New Democrat

From President Ronald Reagan

“Let me speak plainly: The United States of America is and must remain a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. Our very unity has been strengthened by this pluralism. That's how we began; this is how we must always be. The ideals of our country leave no room whatsoever for intolerance, anti-Semitism, or bigotry of any kind -- none. The unique thing about America is a wall in our Constitution separating church and state. It guarantees there will never be a state religion in this land, but at the same time it makes sure that every single American is free to choose and practice his or her religious beliefs or to choose no religion at all. Their rights shall not be questioned or violated by the state.

-- Remarks at the International Convention of B'nai B'rith, 6 September 1984”

At risk of stating the obvious, does this sound different from any other Republican today who has major power and popularity inside the Republican Party today and not just within his or her own state? You can talk about Senator Jeff Flake and Governor John Kasich, ( to name a couple Reagan like Republicans ) but all due respect do either Senator Flake who is leaving office at the end of this Congress and Governor Kasich who is term limited and will be out of office in January, what power and popularity inside of today's Republican party does Senator Flake and Governor Kasich have outside of either Arizona or Ohio.

The modern Republican Party is the Donald Trump-Steve Bannon Nationalist party that picks winners and losers and decides for themselves at least who are the real Americans and who are the Un-Americans. And it's really this simply: you're either pro-Donald Trump and his America First nationalism and are a real American ( according to them ) or you hate America and the so-called real Americans. The Joe McCarthyite-Trumpains versus the rest of the country. What President Reagan was talking about here which was part of his speech to the International Convention of B'nai B'rith in 1984 was one America where we're all Americans who love America and what we stand for as a country and our values. Regardless of our race, ethnicity, religion, and any other irrelevant factors about us.

This Reagan speech and quote could've easily been delivered by Dr. Martin L. King in the 1960s when he was talking about an America where his children are judged by the content of their character and not by the color or their skin. Pre-1990 or so African-Americans were a major part of the Republican Party and a group that Center-Right Republicans could compete with for votes. The civil rights laws from the 1960s don't get passed in Congress without Congressional Republicans voting for them in the House and Senate.

Forget about the Republican Party no longer being a conservative party, just look at the big bloated spending bills that this Republican Congress passed in the last two years and the trillions they will be borrowing in their increases in spending and not just in defense, but President Trump's support for authoritarian regimes with Saudi Arabia being the latest today with his America First foreign policy, but they're no longer the party of Ronald Reagan either, with a few exceptions.
Source:Daily Quotes: Top 21 Ronald Reagan Quotes- The best of Ronald Reagan 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Top American News: Jennifer Aniston- Launching Designer Denim Line:' It'll Make Her a Billionaire'

Source:Top American News- Hollywood Goddess and denim diva Jennifer Aniston 
Source:Action

Sometimes when I think of actress as well as very sharp comedian Jennifer Aniston, one of the best comedic actresses of her generation at least, I think of an adorable little girl. She was a baby face sweetheart when she got her big break with the NBC sitcom Friends back in 1994 and 24 years later she still is. Baby faces don't age, they just preserve or get cuter and Jennifer is a perfect example of that. She's more than a baby cutie and gorgeous as well, very funny, and a terrific actress, but one thing that might be quite as well known as J.A. is her sex appeal. She's just not just a little cutie and hasn't been just a little cutie for a while and perhaps ever, she also has great sex appeal.

Source:Inside Out Style- Hollywood Goddess Jennifer Aniston, in leather n denim 
The reason why skin-tight or skinny denim jeans are so popular with American women, but women outside of America as well, especially with beautiful, sexy women is because of beautiful, sexy, famous, popular women like Jennifer Aniston, Megyn Fox, Sofia Vergara, or Katherine Heigl, just to name a few examples love denim especially skin-tight denim and love boots as well and love wearing those two things together either when they're acting and on their shows or movies or just out in public running errands, going out to each and just being out publicly. Skinny jeans and boots are popular in America and outside of America because they're popular with female celebrities like Jennifer Anniston and many other women.

Source:Zimbio- Hollywood Goddess Jennifer Aniston, in leather n denim 
Jennifer Anniston, is a baby cutie who can still come off as a little girl or a kid even in her late 40s, but she's also gorgeous and has a beautiful body as well and is also one of the top denim divas at least of this era. And people ( especially guys ) love seeing her in skin-tight jeans and from my perspective love seeing her in skin-tight jeans and boots. Denim jeans especially skin-tight denim jeans are meant for women with curve appeal, women with beautiful legs who are proud of their figures and don't starve themselves or eat themselves into a oblivion. But women who are proud of their sex appeal to the point that they take care of themselves and want to take care of themselves. For their physical health of course, but also for their careers where sex appeal is very important in Hollywood. And Jennifer Aniston is still one of the top denim divas not just in Hollywood, but everywhere else in America.
Top American News: Jennifer Aniston- Launching Designer Denim Line: 'It'll Make Her a Billionaire'

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Brandon Behle: KMIR-TV- Inside a Hollywood Scandal: The Cheryl Crane-Lana Turner Story

Source:Brandon Behle- Cheryl Crane, testifying?
Source:The Daily Review

If you're familiar with the movie Where Love Has Gone with Susan Hayward and Mike Connors and many other great actors and actresses, you're probably familiar with the Cheryl Crane-Johnny Stompanato story as well. Because Where Love Has Gone is based off the Crane-Stompanato story ( at least unofficially ) and is about a rough relationship between the Hayward character and her boyfriend with her daughter being present with it getting violent and the daughter believing she needs to step in to save her mother and herself and sees a gun and shoots and kills the boyfriend. The difference being in the Hollywood movie that case goes to trial and the girl ends up in a home for juveniles. The Crane-Stompanato case, never even goes to trial.

Source:Los Angeles Times- Lana Turner, testifying? 
Lana Turner, as adorable as she was with always looking like she could still be a little girl in and outside of her movies, wasn't as sweet and innocent in real-life as she appeared on screen. She lived the life not only of a wild child, but a soap opera character who always needed danger and drama in her life for her life to seem exciting enough for her. Which certainly explains why she was married seven times. Which might be more marriages than your typical soap character and would rival all of the marriages at least in numbers that another Hollywood Goddess and Babydoll Elizabeth Taylor had. Lana, was not only a Hollywood actress, but a real-life soap opera character no naturally she would be physically and personally involved with a Italian gangster like Johnny Stompanato or any other gangster.

Source:Alchetron- Lana Turner and her daughter Cheryl Crane 
Just because of the life that Lana lived and who Johnny Stompanato was in real-life, that Lana's daughter Cheryl was just 14-15 at this point in 1958 and there is no evidence that the shooting was planned, I would have to assume that this was justifiable homicide and that Cheryl was simply trying to protect herself and her mother from an abusive gangster. The only detail that doesn't make a lot of sense and isn't very believable and looks more like a scene from a Hollywood soap opera or movie or soap movie like Where Love Has Gone is that you have a 14-15 year old girl who knows how to use a gun and acts immediately and uses it to shoot Stompantao who presumably at least was getting too physical with Lana. But every other detail about this case falls into place.
Brandon Behle: KMIR-TV- Inside a Ture Hollywood Scandal: The Lana Turner-Cheryl Crane Story

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Barry Goldwater: On Christian Conservatives

Source:Melissa Blight- Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater, on the Christian-Right 
Source:The New Democrat

When you look at Barry Goldwater and his politics, you have to look at Conservatives and conservatism and what Conservatives actually believe believe and what conservatism actually is and what it isn't. There are Conservatives and then there are Conservatives who are very different and don't sound like Barry Goldwater or William F. Buckley and other Conservatives who represent the Center-Right at least in America.

There are political Conservatives who are conservative in a constitutional sense and they believe in conserving the U.S. Constitution and our individual rights. If you want to use the term Conservative-Libertarian that would be fine, but that's what they're about meaning the job of government is to protect out individual rights and protect all of them for all of us and every America including our civil liberties. And not trample on them because our liberties and free choice violates one's religious beliefs like members of the Christian-Right in America.

And there are Religious Conservatives, or Cultural Conservatives, Christian Conservatives. I don't like using the term Social Conservative like the Family Research Council and other groups like that, because my definition of a Social Conservative is someone who believes in conserving our social or personal freedom, not trying to use big government to trample on our personal freedom and civil liberties. Political Conservatives are what's known as Constitutional Conservatives. People who believe in conserving our Constitution, not trampling on it because some of our rights protect what the Christian-Right would call immoral behavior. And not just abortion, but homosexuality, pornography, adultery, entertainment, and unfortunately I could go on.

The Ron Paul's of the world and to a certain extent his son Senator Rand Paul even though he goes to sleep every night with President Donald Trump politically, ( and I mean that figuratively ) represent what's left of the Constitutional-Conservative or Conservative-Libertarian movement. The Conservatives on CNN the so-called Never-Trumpers people like Tara Setmayer, Amanda Carpenter, S.E. Cupp, the faction of the Republican Party that use to dominate the GOP really until George H.W. Bush left The White House in 1993 and the Christian-Right essentially took over that party.

Conservatism, in a political sense is about conserving the U.S. Constitution. That's what conservative is about which is conserving what you believe in and value and in a political and governmental sense that means conserving the U.S. Constitution and our individual rights. Not trying to use big government to erase them, because our individual freedoms violates one's religious and moral beliefs. Christian-Conservatives, are different because they're not about the U.S. Constitution, but instead their interpretations of the Bible and conserving their Christian way of life. And believe that big government has a role to play in seeing that no one lives outside of their religious and moral values and outside of their cultural lifestyle. It's not individual freedom that they're interested in, but their religious and moral values.

When I think of Conservatives, I think of Barry Goldwater and the movement that he represented and still represents today. People who believe in individual freedom period and that it's not the job of big government to decide how free Americans should live in what they do in the privacy of their homes and free time, just as long as they're not hurting innocent people with what they're doing. I don't think of people who believe their religious and moral values should be forced on everyone else in America, including non-Christian or even non Protestants or non-fundamentalists. And I don't think of people who believe America is being going to hell since 1965 or so morally and are worried that modern America doesn't look like the America they grew up with culturally, or even ethnically and racially.
Source:ShinDo: Barry Goldwater- On God in Politics - Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater, on the Christian-Right