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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Monday, June 30, 2014

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Michael Barone: Why Government Isn't Working and How to Make it Work Better

Seat of Power
Seat of Power
To put it simply government doesn’t work very well when it tries to do too much, or doesn’t do things that it shouldn’t be doing. There I said it and have made that clear. So there’s no reason to go on with this post. Well not exactly because there’s good government which to me at least is limited to only doing the things that we need it to do. There’s bad government which to me at least is government that tries to do too much. Which is what big government is all about. But then there’s another form of bad government that I call small government which is government that doesn’t do enough. Like addressing the crumbling infrastructure in the country which would be a perfect example.
Good examples of bad government from a big government point of view is government doing too much. Like trying to manager our economic or personal lives for us. Like taxing us to the point that we aren’t able to make current or future economic decisions for ourselves. Like when it comes to retirement which is what I’ve seen from the far-left in America to nationalize the retirement system in the country and make Social Security the sole provider of retirement income. Or taxing us to the point to pay for so many public services that we aren’t able to make those decisions for us.
Or big government telling us what we can eat or drink, or what we can watch on TV or what music we can listen to. Or who we can sleep with or who can marry or what we can smoke. Government will never be perfect anywhere in the world, but it works best when it is confined to doing the things that we need it to do. Leaving the people with the freedom to manage their own economic and personal affairs for themselves and leaving them with the consequences and responsibilities of their own decisions. 

With government there to protect us from predators foreign or domestic, finance our infrastructure, see that everyone can get themselves a good education, help people in need get themselves on their feet. But not trying to manage the people for themselves and make decisions for them that they can make for themselves. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

WPXI News: Video: Legendary Steelers Coach Chuck Noll Dies: The Creator of the Steel Curtain Dynasty

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Chuck Noll the greatest NFL head coach of the 1970s and the creator of the Steel Curtain Dynasty. The man who built the Pittsburgh Steelers at least as far as it related to their football operations and football department. Art Rooney founded the Steelers and gave the City of Pittsburgh major league NFL football. The Steelers except for a handful of seasons under the great head coach Buddy Parkers were a losing franchise and for the most part never really in contention to be winners let alone contenders and champions. Chuck Noll made the Steelers franchise and what it is as one of the best franchises in professional sports not just the NFL that it is today.

Chuck Noll built the Steelers primarily through the draft as the Steelers head coach/general manager which meant who not only led the team on the field, but also was in charge of player personal for the club. And the Steelers under Noll invested heavily and well in scouting and the draft to see what the Steelers weren't getting the players that other NFL clubs were getting over the years that kept the Steelers at the bottom of the NFL. And went to schools to get players that not many other NFL clubs were looking at. Which is how he drafted DT Joe Greene from a small southern school. Same thing with WR John Stallworth and MLB Jack Lambert from a small school in Ohio.

If there is just one NFL Draft that built an NFL Dynasty it was the 1974 NFL Draft. That is where the 'Super Steelers', or Steel Curtain Steelers was created. Before 1974 the Steelers were a solid NFL contender in the AFC under Chuck Noll making the AFC Playoffs in 1972 and 73. But the 1974 Draft is where they drafted four NFL Hall of Famers who all played their entire careers in Pittsburgh under Chuck Noll. WR's John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, MLB Jack Lambert and center Mike Webster.

Chuck Noll was a great head coach because he knew how to draft, what kind of team he wanted and how to get the best out of the players he had and how to play them. And his basic message was very simple, "this is what I expect of you and what I need you to do and I wouldn't ask it of you if you weren't capable of it. And if you give me your best effort and execution, we'll be champions together". Or how Coach Noll called it Whatever it Takes. Which is "do whatever you can to win for the Steelers and we'll go a long way together". And it worked very well of the Steelers in the 1970s.
Steel Curtain Coach

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Townhall: Opinion-Jeff Jacoby- "Lift the Embargo, But Liberate Cuba First": How America Should Help Free Cuba

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

I'm in favor of lifting the American embargo on Cuba all together conditionally. And that means getting certain things from the Castro Regime in Cuba first.

That they allow their people to share the same benefits of trade that they allow their tourists and allow their people the same access to the country as they allow their tourists. And they allow their people to mingle with the tourists. Instead of trying to showcase Cuba as this beautiful paradise where people can live freely. As they are holding eleven-million Cubans prisoners and showing them the prison of a communist state.

That the Castro Regime in Cuba doesn't tax away most of the benefits from trading with America and pockets to bankroll its regime. That the money from trading with America goes to the Cuban people themselves with the government still being able to tax those benefits. Just not being able to pocket most of them. Similar to how trade tariffs work where trading between two countries goes to the people in the economy. But the governments get some, but not most of that back in taxes.

That normal travel would resume between Cuba and America. Americans would be free to travel to Cuba and go through Cuban customs. And Cubans would be allowed to travel to America and go through American customs. Or be able to leave Cuba freely from any other country instead of being held prisoner in their own country.

Cuba releases all current political prisoners not terrorists that they are currently holding. They release people that are simply being held for protesting the Castro Regime and stop arresting political prisoners in the future.

Why I take these positions? Because Cuba is the only country in the Americas that we do not trade with and that costs Americans money. Because every other country in the Americas, as well as Europe, Arabia and Asia all trade with Cuba. Money that could go to American companies and American workers for things that we would otherwise sell to Cubans.

Also the hypocrisy in the Cuban Trade Embargo because they are an authoritarian state. Well guess what we still trade with China which is still a Communist Republic. We traded with Russia when they were a Communist Republic. The Soviet Union back in the day a country of four-hundred-million people. More people than what the United States has today by the way. The People's Republic of China a country of over a billion people. What makes Cuba so special a third-world country of eleven-million people that doesn't represent any military threat to America even just ninety miles way.

You trade with authoritarian states and what happens is that people in those states get to see what your country is about and what it has to offer. How your people live and what they are about and what they are missing which is freedom. What it is like to not be a prisoner in your own country. And I agree it is not the Cuban Trade Embargo that wrecked the Cuban economy. The Communist Regime did that, but the trade embargo does not help the Cuban people which should be our number one concern when it comes to helping this country. And we can do something to help the Cuban people and give them a taste of freedom.
Mango News: U.S. President Obama Urges Congress To Lift Cuba Embargo

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Washington Examiner: Opinion- Cal Thomas- The Difference Between Republicans and Democrats

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

The Republican Party and Democratic Party are so politically diverse inside their party and even to a certain extent are both culturally diverse. Both parties represent states and districts all over the country even though both parties are stronger in some areas and weaker in others. So it is hard to layout what are the differences a Republican and a Democrat since there are so many different Republicans and Democrats in both parties.

But if you want to say the Republican Party is the conservative party and the Democratic Party is the liberal party even though the Republican Party is made up of Conservatives, Libertarians, Neoconservatives religious Conservatives which are different from political Conservatives and Libertarians. And the Democratic Party is made up of Liberals, Progressives and Socialists. And both parties have centrists that are more conservative than liberal and vice-versa, but aren't that hard core and partisan as others in their party. Putting all of that aside and you might be able to explain and see the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

I believe the better way to tell the differences between Republicans and Democrats is to look at the differences between Conservatives and Liberals. Who both are supposed to represent the main reasons why we have a two-party system. Because one party gives you the conservative viewpoint and the other party gives you the liberal viewpoint. And at least in a classical sense it is not so much policies and goals that separate Conservatives from Liberals. Because both sides tend to believe in and want the same things. But the role of government as it relates to the private sector and how involved government should be.

Conservatives and Liberals at least in the classical sense both believe in individual freedom. Both believe in personal responsibility. Both believe in opportunity, believe in law enforcement and a strong defense and even limited government. But where we differ is where does government come into these areas and how they it should be limited and what should it do.

What is government's role when it comes to opportunity for Americans who need it?

What should government do when it comes to law enforcement and where should it stop?

How strong should our defense be and what role does foreign policy and diplomacy have in making sure our country is as secure as possible?

How limited should government should be and when does it become either too small and not having what it needs to serve the country? And when does to become too big and intrusive and stopping freedom for the individual?

It is not so much that Conservatives and Liberals are different because again we tend to have similar goals and believe in similar things. The War on Drugs and criminal justice and sentencing reform, privacy and another War in Iraq are perfect examples of that. Where both sides are coming and working together to get the same outcomes on these issues. But where we differ is what is government's role in these areas and what should it be doing and how much should be invested in it.
Steven Ross: Cal Thomas- Press Different Expectations For GOP, Democrats

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Gene Healy: The War in Iraq Was a Bipartisan Disaster

Preemptive War
Preemptive War
I actually agree with Gene Healy on this even though I put most of the responsibility for the War in Iraq on President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and their supporters. But the fact is the War in Iraq never happens without Democratic support in Congress. Because President Bush wanted a bipartisan vote for the Congressional resolution that gave the authorization for the War in Iraq  that passed both the House and Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. And Democrats under Leader Tom Daschle controlled the Senate for President Bush’s first two years. And then of course all of those appropriations bills and the mountain of debt that was created to fund the War in Iraq and the occupation following the 2003 invasion.
Democrats in the Senate could’ve said one word that would’ve prevented the War in Iraq from ever happening. The word is no and said no “we are not going to support this because we do not believe the case has been made for the War in Iraq and do not support this rush to war. Especially in an election year 2002 with both the House and Senate in play”. Now of course Democratic loyalists are going to say that “President Bush had a very high popularity rating and going up against him in an election year would’ve been bad politics”. Fine that is the political argument for supporting the war a political argument that has played a big part in millions of Iraqi’s being dead and thousands of Americans being dead.
Of course war has consequences, but so does politics especially when political decisions are made that affects human lives. Like whether or not to send American soldiers to a country we certainly weren’t very familiar with pre-2003, but I’m not sure we’ve are very familiar with now. Especially since a country that looked fairly stable just a few months ago now looks like they are in the early stage of a civil war. With the argument being that “we must do this to prevent Iraq from arming terrorists who would kill Americans”. And argument that still have never materialized with any credible evidence. Especially since the Hussein Regime in Iraq at the time didn’t even have weapons of mass destruction.
American Neoconservatives deserve most of the blame for the War in  Iraq and I’m not trying to take any of that deserved blame away from them. But the fact is we are not there today had Congressional Democrats not of backed that war. And they had the opportunity to prevent this war from happening in the first place. And instead decided to back a popular Republican President. And we’ve paid a heavy price for the decision ever since. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Michael Barone: Why Ronald Reagan Couldn't be Ronald Reagan Today

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Michael Barone: Why Reagan Couldn't be Reagan Today 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

To put it simply the Republican Party has moved away from Ronald Reagan. When President Reagan was in office in the 1980s he was that unifying force that could keep a large and very politically diverse political party together because they all lived Reagan.
The real Conservatives the Barry Goldwater faction that still makes up the conservative libertarian wing of the party. The emerging Religious-Right, or as I call them the big government wing of the party. And the business Conservatives who are really not interested in social issues and only foreign policy as it relates to the economy. And of course the Neoconservatives defense hawks that were inline with the Religious-Right on social issues. But perhaps further to the right of them on foreign policy. President Reagan was able to keep all the different GOP factions together and not going off in directions and focused at beating Democrats.
That type of leader that Reagan was for the GOP have never been replaced. And they haven’t that one person that can keep the party together. So you are left with a Republican Party with all of these different tribes accusing each other of not being real Republicans and on many cases mad at each other. But the other issue that would be there for Reagan is that as much as Republicans like to call themselves Reagan Republicans, they really aren’t. He wasn’t inline with them on the social issues in many cases. He just spoke to those groups because he wanted their support. And he wasn’t as big a unilateralist defense hawk for today’s Neocons.
The closest Republicans to Ronald Reagan and his vision of conservatism or conservative libertarianism would be the Rand Paul conservative libertarian wing of the party. People who are viewed by the Religious-Right and Neoconservatives as not real Republicans and far enough to the right for them. And because of these things Ron Reagan would have a hell of a time running for president as a Republican today.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Federalist: Opinion: Scott Lincicome: A Free Market Guide to Assessing Reform Conservative Policies

Americans For Reform 

The Federalist: Opinion: Scott Lincicome: A Free Market Guide To Assessing Reform Conservative Policies

Hum 'reform conservative', that almost sounds like an Oxymoron if you take the official definition of conservative seriously which I do. Because reform means to change and generally improve something whatever something is. A conservative is supposed to be someone who believes in the status-quo. That is keep as is. To put it simply and risk stating the obvious a conservative believes in conserving. Its the progressive who is supposed to believe in changing and moving forward, adapting with the times.

But having gotten past that and lets say reform minded Republicans are only throwing out terms like 'reform conservative' because they grasp the obvious of the current state of the Republican Party. Which is a party that simply doesn't appeal to enough Americans to be a governing party. A party that can run more than just the lower chamber of Congress the House of Representatives with a tight divided majority. But could also run a united Congress that includes the upper chamber the Senate and win back the White House as well.

And for the Republican Party to be able to achieve these goals they are going to have to appeal to more than just their business lobby, libertarian anti-government right and the religious-right. As well as Americans besides their Anglo-Saxon Protestant base. And however they label an agenda that can do that 'reform conservative' or whatever it is going to have to bring in non-traditional (going back forty-five years) Republicans for them to be a true national governing party again.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Washington Times: Editorial-Sodas, Cigarettes and the Nanny State

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

I'm against the nanny state as well because it implies that government or elitists in government know best how to manage individuals lives for them. That the individuals themselves including people they do not know very well. That individuals are basically stupid and too dumb to decide for themselves what to eat, drink and manage their own personal affairs. And we have a long history of nanny state politics going to the Great Depression with alcohol prohibition and perhaps even further than that.

But what separates me from some on the Right who claim to be against big government and the nanny state until they are in favor of it, but then say "this is not big government, but good responsible government looking after the welfare of everyone" is that I'm against big government and the nanny state, period. I do not say I'm against it except when I'm in favor of it. I don't defend Americans right to drink or smoke, eat junk food why I'm telling Americans who they can sleep with. Or what music they can listen to, or what TV and movies they can watch.

To be against the nanny state you have to be against the nanny state. And that night sound like an obvious statement, but there are people both on the Right when it comes to alcohol, tobacco and junk food to use as examples who claim to be against the nanny state and looking after our individual freedom while at the same time are trying to ban homosexuality, or pornography or other forms of entertainment they personally do not approve of for the good of our general welfare.

There are three options when it comes to the nanny state.

1. You are in favor of it whether you are on the Right or Left.

2. You are against it whether you are on the Right or Left.

3. You are selectively in favor of it and against it whether you are on the Right or Left. You like the nanny state over here while you are against it over there.

But don't try to convince people of your opposition to big government and the nanny state on one hand while you are embracing it on the other hand.
The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian & Cenk Uygur- NYC Nanny State? Raising Cigarette Age To 21

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Commentary Magazine: Opinion: Jonathan S. Tobin: In Defense of the Vice Presidency

Oval Office 
Its rare that I agree with anything written from Commentary Magazine other than their takes on the state of the current Republican Party. But Jonathan S. Tobin makes great points in his article In Defense of the Vice Presidency. That the Vice Presidency is essentially insuring the idea of legitimate government when for whatever reasons the President can no longer full fill his responsibilities as President and must step down from the office.
That is really the main and perhaps only function of the Vice President. And whatever responsibilities is given by the President and how well the Vice President carries out those duties determines how well the function of being ready to be President is carried out. Which is critical for any presidential nominee to select someone who is not only qualified to be Vice President of the United States, but President of the United States as well. Just in case the Vice President has to step into the Presidency even in a short-term basis during the President’s term.
With a Vice President the American people know who they are getting if anything were to happen to the President. Because the Vice President is from the same party and in a lot of cases has similar political beliefs. And a good and active Vice President which is what we’ve had for the most part since Walter Mondale in the Carter Administration. And I would even add Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney to that list whatever you think of them personally and politically. Who both had major roles in their President’s administration and were ready to step into the Presidency if needed.
For me at least it is not a question if whether or not we should have a Vice President or not. But what exactly should be the Vice President’s duties besides representing the administration oversees and keeping a close eye on Congress to step in and be able to negotiate deals with them for the President. And because of the possibility that the Vice President may at some point become President before the President’s term is over you want the Vice President to have a major role in the administration.
For me that means having the Vice President as the 1st Officer of the Administration or Executive Branch. In on all and able to weigh in on all decisions that the President makes and having all of the access to information and reports that the President gets. And being in on all of the major presidential meetings. Being a member of all the key presidential councils so the Vice President has the intelligence, knowledge, and experience needed if and where they become President at some point during the President’s term.
Long are the days where the Vice President for the most part is a ceremonial role and just attending funerals and other functions outside of the Executive Branch. And presiding over the U.S. Senate even when a tie vote doesn’t occur as President of the U.S. Senate. Which is a good thing because for the Vice President to be useful to the country that person needs to know what is going on and able to help the President govern the country. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Federalist: Opinion: David Corbin & Matt Parks: Who Killed Federalism?

James Madison 
Federalism isn’t really dead at all even though there is a Far-Left faction in the Democratic Party and outside of the DP that would probably like to get rid of federalism all together and create a social democracy with unitarian form of government. And a faction in the Republican Party that would like to eliminate federalism as it relates to social issues like homosexuality and marijuana to use as examples. 
America is still a federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy with fifty states. As well as all of the localities with big cities and big counties and smaller communities inside of these counties and states. Having a lot it not most of the responsibility as it relates to domestic policy. With the Federal Government serving as  supporter for the states, locals and people. And providing national standards on things that we should be doing as an entire country. Like making sure that special education is available to everyone that needs it. And that social insurances are there for the less-fortunate in society. Not be there to run these services and in a lot of cases the Feds do not. But there really for the most part to see that everyone who’s eligible for them receives them. And to provide the needed financing for them. 
As much as today’s so-called Progressives like to point to Europe especially as Scandinavia as the economic and governing model for how America should function because of our unique setup with the fifty states and unique diversity in a whole range of areas still function best when decision-making is made closest to the people it is supposed to serve. The only countries that have are similar to our size or bigger that have centralized power with the central government have been authoritarian states for the most part. Russia and China come to mind and that is not the direction where we want to go. 
A country with all of the diversity that we have in so many areas that has three-hundred and ten-million people that lays between two large oceans with fifty states in it functions best when we take advantage of all of our resources especially our human capital. And not centralize so much power with just one authority. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Federalist: Opinion: Robert Kraniski: What the Left Gets Wrong About the Constitution

"What the Left Gets Wrong About Constitutionalism". Perhaps not the best title for this post because it implies that the Left meaning the whole Left doesn’t understand the U.S. Constitution, or doesn’t understand perhaps aspects of it. Even though it was actually Liberals who wrote the Constitution and as a Liberal myself the U.S. Constitution is a big reason why I’m a Liberal. Maybe the title of this piece should be what "parts of the Left get wrong about the U.S. Constitution". Or what today’s so-called Progressives who are actually Social Democrats, or what I like to call Eurocrats get wrong about the U.S. Constitution. 
But being that is it may to talk about the factions on the Left who do not like aspects of today’s Constitution, or agree with it which is where I agree with classical Conservatives and Libertarians on I’m going to focus on people who are called Progressives today but are really what is common in Europe and called Social Democrats. People who believe in social democracy as opposed to liberal democracy and constitutional federalism. Which is how America is governed to day with a lot of power and responsibility put on individuals over their own lives. And with the states and locals in a lot of cases playing the supportive role when it comes to people who can’t take care of themselves. As opposed to social democracy or unitarian government where a lot of power in the country is centralized with the federal or central government. Not just to support people who can’t fully support themselves. But to take care of and provide a lot of if not most of the basic services that people need to live well. 
Its social democracy and unitarian government that today’s so-called Progressives want to bring to America. And almost if not do away with the Constitution then to completely rewrite it only leaving in what they like about it. But where the Federal Government would be a hell of a lot bigger when it comes to supporting all Americans regardless of income level. And where there would be a lot less power for the private sector, states and locals, as well as individuals over their own lives. 
The problem that Social Democrats as I call them have when it comes to establishing a Scandinavian or Anglo style of government in America is the U.S. Constitution itself. Because it limits what government can do when it comes to the economy and into Americans lives for good or bad. And their idea of governmental power is again social democracy. That if a majority of the people want government to do something for them. Or outlaw or limit what government can do for themselves. That they believe majority rule is all that Congress and the President need to pass whatever the so-called “will of the people”. America is simply not governed that way for the most part. We have a Constitution that lays out what government can do. And it takes a huge consensus to reverse that. 
So what Social Democrats get wrong about the U.S. Constitution is their own governing philosophy. They believe if the people want government to do something than all they need is for Congress and the President to make that happen. They want majority rule all the time when it comes to government. And the American form of government is simply not set up that way.