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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Full War Movies: Video: Red Nightmare Full Movie 1962

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

There were a lot of anti-communist propaganda films during the Cold War that the U.S. Government made against the Soviet Union and their communist regime. America didn’t win the Cold War because they invaded Russia and knocked out their regime or anything like that. They won the war through economic and political means. And putting the message out there about the American liberal democratic form of government, vs. the Russian communistic form of government. And these films probably did stretch the truth a little and perhaps the Soviet system in Russia wasn’t as bad as it was presented. But these films also worked.

The Cold War wasn’t about military conflict for the most part. A lot of it was fought through political and economic means to show that Russia because of its Marxist economic system simply wasn’t strong enough to ever take on a liberal democratic society like America that is run through private enterprise. And also the fact that Americans tend to like America and our form of government and all the freedom that we are guaranteed as Americans. Whereas in Russia and other authoritarian states back then and today the people try to escape their countries like prisoners trying to escape from maximum security prisons.

America also won the Cold War because of our economic system that gave us the military that was strong enough that no other country would ever want to try to invade us and fight us in America. Which made it very difficult for Russia to compete with us because they never had a strong enough economy to support a military long-term especially by the 1980s when their economy started collapsing to compete with America. And were losing their own people their educated productive people to Europe and America to build good lives for themselves. And be able to live in freedom.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hoover Institution: Video: Uncommon Knowledge: Peter Robinson Interviewing Dennis Prager: The New Left in America

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m going to actually explain why I actually not just respect, but like Dennis Prager and if I actually met him I would shake his hand enthusiastically even if we spent an hour talking and disagree with ninety-percent of the points that we just made. Because he gets it unlike a lot of people on the Right. He understands the difference between Liberals who defend liberty like Jack Kennedy to use as an example and people on the New Left in America who are interested in equality at all costs through a collectivist state.

Liberals vs. Illiberal’s in America at least and perhaps the rest of the world. Liberals who believe in liberty and the individual. Socialists or collectivists who believe in equality and that the job of the central state is to provide equality for all of its people. The Liberal wants to see that everyone has the opportunity to live as free as they allow for themselves to base on their skills and production, character and everything else. The Socialist lets say says, “liberty is risky and if we allow individual freedom, some people will do very well and others won’t. So why don’t we just move forward together to see that everyone does well, even if that means subtracting freedom.”

Liberals built and created America and built liberal democracy the liberal free state that we all live in as Americans. And created things like Equal Justice Under Law, our Bill of Rights which all of its individual rights, Equal Opportunity Under Law. Created things like the 1964 Civil Rights Act that says no American can be discriminated against based on race, ethnicity or gender. That is the state that Socialists and other collectivists want to tear down or at the very least transform and create their collectivist state and perhaps a social democracy that looks like Scandinavia.

This is not just a battle between the Center-Left and the Far-Left. But a battle between Americans who believe in individual liberty in general and those who see individualism as dangerous and risky. I don’t say this to be insulting or to put people down. But to actually layout what a lot of our American political battles are. People who believe in freedom, between people who don’t essentially other than basic human rights relating to torture, cruel and unusual punishment, voting and anti-discrimination laws. What the New-Left believes in is what Rick Perlstein and others call welfare rights. The right for people to live well and be taken care. And is by the central government even if that means subtracting freedom.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The National Interest: Jack Matlock: The House That Stalin Built

The National Interest: Jack Matlock: The House That Stalin Built

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I saw a show on Book TV on C-SPAN last weekend with Stephen Kotkin who just wrote a book about Joe Stalin perhaps the most evil and worst dictator that at least Russia has ever produced if not in the history of the world. And it was a good show and Kotkin goes into how Stalin built the Soviet State essentially on his own and how he built Russian authoritarianism. He he was able to centralize so much power inside of not just Moscow and the Russian central government, but in how own presidency. And someone who was stupid at some people see Joe Stalin would’ve never had been that successful and been able to stay in power in Russia as long as he did.

Russia was a peasant third if not fourth world society like that of China fifty-years ago when Stalin became President of the Soviet Union in the mid 1920s. And he knew enough about economics and his own as well as Russia’s future that for them to accomplish what he wanted that they needed to develop their economy and move to the industrial age. Probably the only good thing that Stalin did for Russia was to create and industrial society and economy even under Marxist state-control. But he did that by creating state-owned industries and companies and then he would nationalize the Russian people. And make prisoners and slaves out of them in Soviet work camps. Sounds like North Korea, right.

Joe Stalin served as an inspiration for future evil dictators. Including Adolph Hitler, but then later Saddam Hussein in Iraq and I’m sure many others. You were either on Stalin’s side or he killed you. And even if you weren’t against him, he might still kill you anyway because of the horrible working conditions you were put under in his forced work camps. As far as the amount of innocent people who Stalin murdered including Russian-Jews and other non-ethnic-Russians in Russia, as well as ethnic-Russians, Joe Stalin is the worst dictator in world history. And should only be remembered as such.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The American Mind: Video: Charles Kesler Interviewing Francis Fukuyama: The Final Form of Human Government

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

At risk of sounding insulting, wasn’t Frank Fukuyama a Neoconservative 10-15 years ago and one of the big backers of the Iraq War? I liked his first line about “democracy will only survive if the people want democracy.” I just wish he believed and wrote about that during and before the Iraq War. And now I’ll get off that because we’ve all taken positions before that we now disagree with and even regret. And saw new evidence and perhaps old evidence that we didn’t see before and saw that we were wrong and changed course appropriately.

If the Communists can have their own vision of government and governmental system and call it communism, than so can Liberals especially Liberal Democrats and we can call our vision of government and governmental system liberalism. Because that is what this is about which is liberal democracy and not just the right to vote and the majority generally rules. And generally rules is key because unlike social democracy the majority in liberal democracies don’t always get their way. Just ask U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell when it comes to appropriations bills that Congress has to pass.

Liberal democracy is yes of course the right to vote and majority tends to win, but where there’s also minority rights. So strong majorities can’t vote away our individual rights and protections. Like the right to vote to use as an example, Freedom of Speech and Assembly, Right to Privacy, Right to Self-Defense, all our personal and economic freedoms that most Americans love having. Liberal democracy is not simply about the right to vote. It is really about the right to be free with a responsible limited government tasked to doing the basic services that we all need. And to protect our rights and freedoms.

Frank Fukuyama wasn’t talking about voting. He was talking about liberal democracy in general where yes of course we have the right to vote. But where we have broad set of individual rights with a responsive, but responsible government that is limited to doing the things that we need it to do. But not run our lives for us, but protect our ability to run our own lives under Rule of Law. Which is are things that Neoconservatives and Social Democrats simply don’t understand. That both put order and equality over individual freedom for people to manage their own lives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Commentary Magazine: Opinion: Ben Cohen: Venezuela on The Brink

Commentary Magazine: Opinion: Ben Cohen: Venezuela on The Brink

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I guess Venezuela at its best would be like Scandinavia where you would have a mid-size country or so of twenty-five million people who is not only energy independent, but a net-exporter of oil, gas, food and other resources that we all use. Social democracy is not my preferred system as a Liberal, but that type of government and economy could work very well in a country like Venezuela. Because of its natural resources and that with an educated society they would be able to afford a large welfare state for the country. Now I guess that would be Venezuela’s utopia as a developed country.

But the Venezuela of today is Hugo Chavez’s Neo-Communist Cuba inside of Venezuela. But not as bad, because Venezuela still has multi-party elections both for their National Assembly and presidency. And this is not 1959 Cuba where the central government nationalizes all sorts of different industries in the country. They’ve nationalized a few, but there is still a good deal of private enterprise in Venezuela. Which was essentially gone in Cuba by the early 1960s or so as the Marxists took over there. What you have in Venezuela is a country that is trying to develop socialist system through the welfare state financed by their energy sector, as well as private enterprise. But where political and personal freedom is very limited.

A country like that with that type of system that is heavily dependent on their energy sector and then treats its political opposition as the enemy even though they are peaceful and not armed rebels, doesn’t tend to succeed. Because the economy will only do well when the energy sector is doing well. When oil and gas prices are high and there’s a big need for that energy especially in other countries. And then add in economic sanctions coming from developed countries because of your bad human rights records just makes your economic problems even worst. What Venezuela should be doing is developing their entire country and not be so dependent on one sector. Regardless of type of political system and human rights record that they have.

Again I guess the dream for Venezuela would be Scandinavia. A social democracy with a social democratic economic system and political system. Where they use the energy sector not to power the entire economy, but resources from it to develop the rest of the country economically. Infrastructure, education, health care, the business sector, technology, things that all developed countries have. Not to try to just finance the current regime and eliminate the opposition so you can stay in power indefinitely even if the rest of the country suffers as a result.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Federalist: Opinion: John Daniel Davidson: How ISIS Spells The End Of Regime Change

The Federalist: Opinion: John Daniel Davidson: How ISIS Spells The End Of ‘Regime Change’

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Actually President George W. Bush’s preëmptive War in Iraq spelled the end of regime change in America. At least in the sense that America would unilaterally invade and occupy another country to knockout the authoritarian regime there and replace it with a new government. Some people might point to Libya to contradict that, but Libya was an international effort where the Europe played a large role in knocking out the regime there. After two or three years of trying to stabilize a country that wasn’t ready to be stabilized because it didn’t have a government that could govern and defend the country, Americans were fed up over Iraq. And as a result non-interventionist Democrats came to power in Congress in 2007 that were perhaps led by Barack Obama and Barack Obama becomes President in 2009.

The official ending of the Vietnam War ended in 1975 and the fortieth anniversary is this year. And there are so many lessons from that war that people especially Neoconservatives on the Right who think interfering in other countries affairs is a good idea, that they haven’t bothered to learn. The biggest lesson I believe is don’t try to fight for people who won’t fight for themselves. We’re not going to send in ground troops to a country to fight for people who won’t fight for themselves. At least since 2009 and even if the next president is a Republican, which is not likely they’re going to have a real hard time getting the country and Congress whoever controls it to back them. If the people in that country won’t fight for themselves.

You don’t see a lot of even Republicans adopting President Bush’s preëmptive war policy. Not even for North Korea which is a bigger problem even now than Iraq ever was and the same thing with Iran. Because at least Iran unlike North Korea has something that looks like a functioning economy where at least the people there can feed themselves for the most part. And this is all because Americans are tired of fighting and paying for other countries wars. For America to help other countries militarily deal with either their own government or a terrorist threat there, the people on the ground have to be willing and able and then do the fighting themselves. Before America will assist them which is why preëmptive war is dead as an American foreign policy.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weirdo Video: Don't Be a Sucker, 1947

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

What you see in this film with the bigot in the beginning unfortunately has a long history in America. But I’m only going to go back to the 1890s or so and talk about bigotry toward non-English immigrants in America. The Irish, even though they are essentially brothers and sisters of the English, but tend to practice a different religion than the English in America and back in Britain. The Italians, the Jews, the Poles and other Slavic immigrants in America, the Chinese and Japanese and then move it a hundred plus years and you have xenophobic attitudes towards Latinos and Arabs and other Middle Easterners.

The guy early on in this video was repeating bigoted attitudes about people who looked different and talked different from he did. And because of that and especially if they were born in a different country, this guy considered them to be Un-American. Even though he was being Un-American with his hatred for ethnic and racial diversity in America. Something as a country that we celebrate by in large and have celebrated for a very long time. But with this guy all you get is bigoted attitudes and accusations about immigrants who look different and talk different from him. And he’s accusing them of taking American jobs and trying to force a different religion on the country.

The same xenophobia in America that we see today is nothing new. That if you’re not Caucasian and of European descent you must be some foreign invader that is trying to poison the flavor and character of the country. And imposed your foreign values on the rest of the country. That you are not here to contribute and produce for America, but to take advantage of our welfare system and take jobs from blue-collar Americans who have been in forever and whose families have been here forever. This attitude is small as far its supporter and people who actually believe it. But you hear it a lot from the Far-Right on talk radio. And is something as a country that we should be educating more Americans about so they don’t end up taking it seriously.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Zip Trivia: Video: Are You a Commie, or a Citizen?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Just from the outset this looks like a Tea Party propaganda film about what it means to be a real American. And this is coming from someone who believe our form of government and economic system is the best in the world based on facts. But this guys does makes some good points about Europe which did move very Far-Left in the 1940s and 50s after World War II. Eastern Europe becoming a collection of Communist States under Soviet control. And the states west of the Slavic States were becoming or had already established social democracies in their country. Democratic Socialist States like Britain and France to use as examples.

For an anti-communist propaganda film, the guy in this film actually does a pretty good and puts some real facts on the table. And doesn’t try to go after Americans who are left of the center-left in America. People who are left of Liberals and say anyone who supported Franklin Roosevelt or Henry Wallace for president must not only be a Communist, but is Un-American and should either be locked up for that, or not allowed to live in America at all. Which is what you got in a lot of these anti-communist propaganda films from this period. Which led up to Congress launching the House Un-American Activities Committee and the Senate Investigative Committee that looked at Communists in the U.S. Government.

What the guy in this film does instead is put real facts on the table about communism and the standards of living in Communist Russia and Communist China compared with the living standards in Liberal Democratic America (sorry Conservatives) and how our standard of living was better. And the benefits of things like capitalism, private enterprise and competition. Which is a lot of what the American economic system is about. And allowing for individuals to be able to be as successful as their skills allow for them to be. Instead of having a big superstate big enough to take care of everybody.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The National Interest: Opinion: Scott MacDonald: Could Greece and Russia Crush The European Union?

The National Interest: Opinion: Scott MacDonald: Could Greece and Russia Crush the European Union? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Anyone especially lets say on the social democratic Left in America who thinks that America should adopt the Scandinavian or Greek economic model and become more like Europe economically with a bigger more centralized federal state with higher taxes and less individual choice and freedom, I beg you assuming you’re capable of learning and can understand facts that even contradict your ideological arguments, look at Greece and look at France economically. And you’ll see that even socialism has its limits and perhaps socialism in particular. Because when economies tank and taxes are up real high, people get hit real hard and the government is limited to what they can do to help those people.

No one outside of the Far-Left and Socialist-Left in Greece even want to continue doing what they are doing economically. They know their economy is essentially in a depression right now. Six years of recession and losing twenty-percent of their gross domestic product. Fifty-percent unemployment and this is a country that is supposed to be a socialist utopia, at least according to Socialists and other Social Democrats. I saw a book event last weekend with George Friedman as the speaker and he just wrote a book about Europe and gave a talk about Europe. And was talking about why Europe outside of Germany and perhaps Scandinavia is struggling so much right now economically. And what he said is that one of the reasons for this has to do that there are so many small to mid-size countries in Western Europe all bunched in together. Europe is a very small continent physically.

One of the solutions I at least believe to fixing the long-term economic, financial and security issues of Europe and Western Europe east of the Slavic States, would be to have a Federal Europe. A Unified Europe that could defend itself, that would be world power economically, militarily and politically. The Federal Republic would be the way to go because it would mean that all of these states that are giving up their national sovereignty would still retain authority over their domestic affairs inside of their state. But they would share the same currency with very other state in the Federal Republic. And would all be under the same economic, foreign policy and national security umbrella as every other state in the union.

Not talking about creating a huge European superstate with an unitarian government with most if not all the governmental and political power being centralized in Brussels, assuming Brussels becomes the European capital. A United Europe like that would never be put together let alone last. But a Federal Europe where the Federal Government would primarily be responsible for national security, foreign policy, trade, the currency, interstate crime and commerce, regulations, terrorism, immigration, collecting taxes to pay for their operations. But where the states would deal with their own domestic affairs. Education, the safety net or even welfare state, health care, crime, commerce inside of the states and so-forth.

A Europe like this would stabilize financially and economically. Because you would have one superpower economically. A huge market of three-hundred plus million people where the Federal Government would represent a fairly small percentage of the overall economy that would rival America actually as far as size. No one would want to invade or attack a country this large and powerful with all of their resources and military power that would be able to replace NATO. People would want to emigrate to a Federal Democratic Republic like this. And certainly would want to trade with this country. And it would make it much harder for a country like China and Russia to want to mess around with the European economy and security situation. Because of what a Federal Europe would be able to do in response with all of their resources.

Not saying this will happen anytime soon, probably not. Things like giving up national sovereignty and perhaps their national language that would instead become the official language of their state and not country would be difficult. But a weak Europe economically and militarily is good for Russia and China as they both seek to become bigger world powers. And real bad for Europe as those other countries become stronger and bigger as Europe becomes weaker and smaller. Europe being democratic and free, while those other countries are authoritarian. And a Federal Europe would be a good way for Europe to step up and bounce back and emerge as a world power that other countries would have to notice.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hoover Institution: Defining Ideas: Karl W. Eikenberry: A Grand Strategy For Failed States

Hoover Institution: Defining Ideas: Karl W. Eikenberry: A Grand Strategy For Failed States

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Here’s my definition of a failed state. A state that can’t defend itself even against domestic threats whether the government is a good peaceful responsible government, or an authoritarian regime with a bad human rights record. That would be Libya right now and you could make a case for Syria as well, because without Russia, the Assad Regime might have failed by now. A state where the current government is in trouble and about to fall, where members of the government or administration are looking to escape their own country because the rebels are about to take over. Iran comes to mind in 1978-79 as a failed stated under the Shah.

So what does this mean to America and how can America prevent future failed states and why should it if it should at all.

The last thing the civilized world needs are armed terrorist groups with their own territory and land about the size of a large country that wants to occupy further territory and even take over Western allies. So the West doesn’t want ISIS or someone else being able to occupy Somalia or Libya, Yemen to use as examples, or Syria or Iraq. But at the same time we shouldn’t be subsidizing and arming authoritarian regimes in countries either. One, because of the bad human rights records of those countries. But the practical reasons being that the behavior of those countries towards their own people just feeds extremism and gives it birth. And rebels who might be just as bad as their government reason to want to overthrow the current regime.

What America should do is when one of these authoritarian states falls like in Libya, Tunisia and Yemen and the rebels aren’t as bad or as the people they are replacing and want a responsible government instead, which is what we saw in Afghanistan even with all the problems that, that country has and still has, is work with the people there to build a responsible government and modern country. That can defend itself and create an environment where their people can thrive and succeed. Where foreign countries would want to invest and everything else that developing countries have to have.

If anything the last 15-20 years have taught us is that America can’t police the world by itself. That we are limited in what we can do and have to be smart with our resources and smarter with our resources than we have in the past. That we have to work with our allies and have to be smart with rebels that want to overthrow their regimes. That you can’t work with people simply because they are against the current government that you want to see out of office. Because the rebels might be as bad if not worst than the people before them. That we shouldn’t be subsidizing authoritarian states, but we shouldn’t be subsidizing terrorists and other authoritarians either.

America should be about promoting democracy and freedom liberal or otherwise in countries that actually want it especially if they don’t already have that. Not trying to force it on people who didn’t ask for it especially if they don’t have any history of it. When you don’t subsidize and arm authoritarian states and terrorists the people in those countries don’t have reason to want to hurt you. And as a result terrorists groups are going to have fewer people that they can recruit against you. Because people they would target don’t see you as the enemy and perhaps even as a potential ally.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The American Mind: Video: Charles Kesler Interviewing William Voegeli: Ending The Welfare State

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This blog has already laid out why it is against the negative income tax. Handing people who up to this point at least haven’t been responsible with their lives in too many cases to the point not they are jobless and on public assistance is not a good idea and a bad taxpayer investment. So I think that would be the bad libertarian alternative to the safety net in America. The bad progressive or even socialist alternative to the safety net in America would be to give everyone a check of lets forty-thousand-dollars a year to pay all of their bills so no one lives in poverty. Which is what is called the minimum income or national basic income.

The problem with monopolies private or public is that they don’t work. Oh you want more than that. Fine I’ll give you more since you asked. But with a monopoly you give an organization private or public the complete market in whatever they are involved in. Which means they are no longer incentivized to improve and give the best service that they can. Why should they unless they are saints or angels, because their customers have no other options to turn to. And why not charge as much as you can get away with, because again what alternatives do your customers have to turn to. And that I think is an issue with the safety net in America, that it is not a total monopoly, but it does take resources that could be used in non-profit private sector.

I don’t like the term welfare state because that implies that the state meaning the government is now responsible for their citizens welfare. No longer just their safety and protecting their freedom, but their welfare as well and responsible in seeing that everyone is taken care of and has enough food, health care, housing and everything else. I like terms like safety net and social insurance. Because these are things that people can turn to when they are in need. When they are out of work or do not make enough money to support themselves, but they are working. And that you can collect from this social insurance to help you survive in the short-term. But you are also getting assistance to get on your feet and become economically independent.

The safety net in America shouldn’t be about government running it or not having government involved at all. We as a country public and private sectors should be involved in it. Government programs helping people in need run at the state and local levels with the Feds serving as a regulator and no longer as a director. While at the same time empowering non-profits and even for-profits who want to get involved in empowering people in poverty live better lives and be able to escape poverty. That we as a country help people in need not just get by, but help them get themselves on their feet. We should look at social insurance the way we look at homeowners insurance. That when you are in trouble you have money in the short-term. But also assistance to help you get back on your feet.

The American safety net should almost be designed the opposite way it was put together in the 1930s. As close to home as possible, the public and private sectors both involved and designed to help people in the short-term, but long-term help people get on their feet. Because we are such vast country with so many people and resources government shouldn’t be so centralized and instead about empowering people an utilizing all of our people from all around the country to help people in need. So they can get by and not longer have to live in need and finally be able to live in freedom.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Crash Course: John Green- George H.W. Bush and The End of The Cold War

Source: Crash Course-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

George H.W. Bush is fascinating to me even if his personality comes off as more stale, which is surprising because he does have a very good sense of humor and is a very likable man. That people close to him are more than happy to let others know, but that was not the perception of him by 1992 when he ran for reelection. He was seen as stale and out of touch and someone perhaps not aware of what was going on in the country and around the world. And was seen as someone who was past his time and the country was ready for a change.

But even though I’m a Liberal Democrat I see George Bush as a successful and good president. I would give him an 8 or 8.5 as someone who was a transitional figure from a more hard-right president like Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War, to a liberal New Democrat in Bill Clinton prepared to take America to the 21st Century. President Bush was someone who took over when America was in pretty good shape at home and around the world. But because of the rising debt and deficit and interest rates and inflation and recession that was about to come in the early 1990s that he inherited, that is what defined his presidency.

In many ways the George H.W. Bush presidency is the presidency that his son George W. should have. That G.W. Bush should’ve learned about and studied his father except being a former government and businessman paid more attention to domestic policy. While going back to his father’s foreign policy of strong at home militarily and economically while engaged around the world so we don’t have to even try to govern the world ourselves. Something by this time we weren’t cable of doing anyway. Instead of having this neoconservative supply side economic policy and force at all costs unilateral foreign policy.

The economic boom that America went through in the 1990s that started in 1993-94 had part to do with President Bush starting in 1990 with his deficit reduction act. That he negotiated with a Democratic Congress and the trade deals that his administration negotiated with Canada and Mexico that became known as NAFTA and GAT in 1992. The technology boom that became famous by 1995 or so with the internet and the cell phone and other devices started under his administration. As far as those devices being available to everyone. The internet and email were already up by 1992 if not 1991 and cell phones were fairly common by 1992 as well.

If you at America’s foreign policy and how we were doing around the world. Again the end of the Cold War which meant America no longer needed such a large and costly military. Which freed up other resources for other priorities. Saddam Hussein was in a box in the Middle East. Russia became an ally of America. Central America was becoming democratic and so was Eastern Europe. President Bush didn’t try to govern the world, but to make sure we were ready to deal with all of these new allies and create new trade partners, which is what he did. His presidency was pretty successful, but not great and deserves more credit for being the president that he was.
Crash Course: John Green- George H.W. Bush and The End of The Cold War

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tracy Thatcherite: Margaret Thatcher- The Downing Street Years

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Margaret Thatcher coming to power in Britain in 1979 is very similar to Ronald Reagan coming to power in America in 1981. Both countries economies were in very bad shape with high unemployment, inflation, interest rates. But in Britain’s case their economy was in worst shape with their taxes much higher, more people on public assistance and in poverty and a lot of their economy under control of the U.K. Government. Socialists had dominated Britain post-World War II with a few exceptions and that is the country that Maggie Thatcher inherited.

To understand Margaret Thatcher you have to understand the difference between a British Conservative and an American Conservative especially as it relates to economic policy. Thatcher didn’t run and want to end the British welfare state, but to reform it and create a society where not as many people would need it. Because more people would be working with good jobs and able to take care of themselves. And create a society with high economic and job growth with growing wages and more people paying into the welfare state and fewer taking out of it.

Maggie Thatcher wanted to create a Britain where people who could were expected to work and be able to take care of themselves. With the welfare state there just for the people who truly needed it. And for whatever reasons weren’t able to take care of themselves. And if you at Britain in 1990 when Prime Minister Thatcher left office and compare that with how the country was when she came into office in 1979, she was very successful. And also look at how she changed the Labour Party with Tony Blair. Changing them from less of a socialist party with the super welfare state and more of a new democratic liberal party that wanted to use government to empower people. Instead of trying to take care of everyone.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Modern Lonely TV- BBC: Tories- The Course of Margaret Thatcher, 2001

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I’m not an expert on British politics obviously, but I do follow their politics and government similar to how British political junkies follow American politics. And what the British Labour Party went through from 1997 after they just lost the U.K. Government and were back in the opposition for the first time since 1979 and really didn’t start recovering until 2008 or 2009 when David Cameron became their leader in opposition, looks very similar to me how the American Republican Party looked in 1961. After they just lost the White House and were now not only the opposition party in America, but the minority party in both chambers of Congress with small minorities at that.

It took the Republican Party in the 1960s really 6-8 years before they started recovering from the 1960 presidential loss with Richard Nixon. They didn’t have that one voice that could unite the whole party together. The Conservatives with the Northeastern Progressives and their growing religious conservative base in the South. The British Conservatives in the late 1990s and 2000s were much worst off actually than the 1960s Republicans. The American and British systems of government are obviously very different. Where in America you can still be in power even without the White House. By controlling either the Senate or House in Congress and having a say in the national agenda.

In Britain winner takes all. The majority party in the House of Commons in Parliament decides who the Prime Minister is and can form the U.K. Government. And because the Conservatives lost in 2001 and 2005 and the fact that Britain doesn’t have what America has in mid-term elections, they were out of power the whole time from 1997 until May of 2010. Thirteen-years and were stuck in the minority in Parliament and as the opposition party as well. And they pre-David Cameron never had that one leader that could bring the whole party together and convince their country that the Conservatives should be back in charge in London and back in government.

The Conservatives were in charge in Britain for eighteen-years from 1979-97. That is a long time to have all the power in one country, especially a country of sixty-million or so. And always having to be responsible for governing the country and having to deal with all the bad and good on your own. And I think they just burned out and the British people wanted a different voice and a different vision in how to lead their country. Which is what Tony Blair represented as New Labour as someone who would use government to try to empower people. And not try to run everything in the country through government. And Tony Blair was able to lead Britain for ten-years with that message.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Front Page: Opinion: Ben Shapiro: Why Jews Vote Leftist

Front Page: Opinion: Ben Shapiro: Why Jews Vote Leftist

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The two things that I agree with Ben Shapiro on is that American-Jews tend to more identify with their Jewish blood meaning ethnicity than their Jewish religion. And that a lot of Americans-Jews aren’t Jewish in a religious sense. A lot of Jews are either secular or practice another religion. I have a friend who is half Jewish and half Irish and raised Catholic like a lot of Irish-Americans.

And the other thing being that Jews like a lot of other Americans ethnics at least of European descent tend to identify more with their ethnicity than their religion. Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, German-Americans, Greek-Americans, Polish-Americans to use as example all fall into this category and all have their own American holiday celebrating their ethnicity and culture.

Now why do American Jews tend to vote Democratic and part of that huge Democratic melting pot that Democrats have to have to win the White House every four years? Part of it I believe has to do with history. A Democratic President FDR saved the Europeans-Jews in World War II after a lot of them were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Another one being that the Republican Party is still tied very tightly with the Far-Right that tends to be Southern and rural based that tends to be Anglo-Saxon and anti-Semitic. The Far-Left in the Democratic Party also tends to be anti-Semitic. The difference being that Democrats don’t need the Far-Left as much in order to win.

If the Republican Party were ever able to dump their Far-Right which includes part of the Tea Party, they could appeal to American-Jews. Because Jews in America tend to like or are at least opened to things like economic freedom, lower taxes and regulations, strong national defense, at least outside of the Northeast. The Northeast is somewhat dominated by the Far-Left at least when it comes to Jewish voters. But the rest of the country could be decent territory for the GOP in appealing to American-Jews as long as they aren’t seen as anti-Semitic and inline with the Far-Right of the GOP on social issues.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The National Interest: Blog: Dave Mujumdar: Europe's Four Deadliest Military Powers

The National Interest: Opinion: Dave Mujumdar: Europe's Four Deadliest Military Powers 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Europe gets stereotyped as socialist, pacifist and isolationist. And for very good reason and those labels tend to go very well together. Democratic Socialists tend to be pacifist and isolationist and at the very least suspicious of military force. And Europe is full of social democracies from Britain in the West, Scandinavia in the North and Greece in the South. But two of the most socialist countries in Europe Britain and France have two of the largest and best militaries in the World. Britain and France and if anything France is perhaps stronger militarily than Britain even if they are more socialist. With currently having a socialist President and administration in power.

My point being that Europe is more than capable of defending themselves. They don’t need a superpower three-thousand miles away that they like to take shots at and make fun of and criticize the size of its military budget and military overall, that being America of course defending them. When Europe is more than capable of defending themselves either as an independent state or as one European defense unit. The main reason why Europe spends of much money on their welfare states and infrastructure as part of their gross domestic product compared with America and spends so little on their own militaries, is because they America defending them for them at American taxpayer expense.

Not because Europe has so many pacifists and isolationists and America is full of warmongers. It is because America has Europe’s back when it comes to national security at American taxpayer expense. When Europe is more than capable of defending themselves if they just invested their own resources in their militaries. Or unified their militaries into one European defense unit and then we would probably be talking about the next superpower only trailing America. That Russia would have to pay attention and at least think twice before trying to require their former Slavic republics and satellites in the East. They wouldn’t do that with Europe there that if anything would be a stronger and definitely wealthier force to have to deal with.

Hoover Institution: Video: Uncommon Knowledge: P.J. O'Rourke Reflects on Life in The Sixties to Today

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The Baby Boom is sort of tough for me to blog about as someone who was born in the mid-1970s the tail end of Generation X. And also as someone whose parents were born in the 1930s and are part of he Silent Generation. So I don’t really have much to go on other than my two of my uncles who were both born in 1944 who I didn’t see very often growing up and who I’m not close with today. Other than Boomers that I’ve talked to, but mostly as an adult. So what I have to go on for the most part is history. Which is generally a great reference to go on even if that is all you have.

Boomer stereotypes are people who were Hippies and looking to escape the 1950s and when that finally happened in college in the 1960s they just sort of exploded and freaked out on marijuana trips. Wait, that’s not so much a stereotype, but is actually true. But there’s more to that because this is a generation that is one of the most productive that America has ever produced whether they are on the Far-Left or Far-Right or somewhere in between. If you looked at what they produced for this country in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and even today. They are a healthy generation and they are living working longer than any generation we’ve ever produced. Because they want to and are still very good at what they do.

There’s an old American saying that when you are young you are more open to alternative views and lifestyles that they establishment sees as immoral and weird. But as you get older and mature you get more educated and realize that you have responsibilities for yourself and your family and people you work with or for and people who work for you. And there’s a limit to how much of a rebel that you can be. The Boomers were Hippies in the 1960s and 70s, but they also grew up and have become perhaps the most educated, productive, tolerant and open-minded generation that we’ve ever produced. And I give them a lot of credit for that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The American Mind: Video: Compassionate Conservatism: Charles Kesler Interviewing William Voegeli

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Before I almost sound like I’m speaking in favor of George W. Bush a man I was proud to vote against twice for president, I just want to say that if I was a Conservative and if I was a Conservative it would have to be the real thing and more Rand Paul/Barry Goldwater and not a Neoconservative or someone on the Religious-Right, but if I was actually a Conservative I would be insulted by the term compassionate conservative. Why, well think about it. What does that imply? That Conservatives aren’t compassionate, they could care less about people who suffer. “But I’m a compassionate conservative and I’m different. I care about people who suffer, I just want to spend a lot less money helping people who suffer.”

Now to President Bush’s credit what he wanted to do was in sense move the Republican Party past Reagan/Gingrich. A party that was seen as mean and not caring at all for the suffering. Which is sort of ironic because when Newt Gingrich was in the U.S. House and even as Speaker, politically he would’ve been a labeled in the 1980s and 1990s had the term been around as a compassionate conservative. Back then he believed in federal funding for education and job training for the unemployed and low-skilled uneducated adults on Welfare. He was just a lot more fiscally conservative than G.W. Bush as President. And believe the Federal Government should pay for what it does. And that these services should be run by state and local governments.

What President Bush was trying to do but communicated it poorly was to say that government has a role in helping people in poverty and other forms of suffering. But that government especially the Federal Government can go it alone and do everything themselves. That the faith community and non-profits, charities and other private institutions also have a role in helping the less-fortunate in society. And that the Feds can help with financial grants to these private groups to help people meet their basic needs. But that they can also help with things like job training so people in these circumstances can finish their education and get out of poverty. Without 9/11 I think that is the President Bush we would’ve seen in the first term.

Burns 1876: Video: Western Boot Fitting: Cowgirl Boots and Riding Boots

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The right cowgirl boots are essential for cowgirls. The most important part probably being coming from someone who doesn’t live out west or in rural America and never has, but that they have to be functional. Women need to be able to move and move well in them. They need to be comfortable enough to do that so their feet aren’t always sore and getting blisters. But they need to look good and be stylish at the same time. They need to go with the cowgirls jeans and other western wear that she would wear. And the style part is also important because guys cowboys and otherwise love the look of cowgirls. That is sexy cowgirls who look good and are well-built and look sexy in their cowgirl outfits. And I think this something that these cowgirls in this video more than understand.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Federalist : Opinion: David Corbin & Matt Parks: Liberty and The Bill of Rights

The Federalist: Opinion: David Parks & Matt Corbin: Liberty and The Bill of Rights

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

In that entire piece by David Corbin and Matt Parks I found one thing that I agree with them on. Having to do with two of our constitutional rights that have been weaken since the so-called War on Terror was declared by President Bush in 2001. The First Amendment dealing with Freedom of Press, which is critical in any liberal democracy. And the Fourth Amendment which protects our Right to Privacy and perhaps our Fifth Amendment which protects our property rights. All of these rights are critical in any liberal democracy. But since the declaration of the War on Terror and the Bush Administration and Obama Administration has been so intelligence hungry and believe they can at the very least stretch our constitutional rights to protect our security.

With the Bush Administration it was Judy Miller in 2002-03 and believe another reporter from The New York Times. And the Bush Administration believing these reporters had information about suspected terrorists that they weren’t releasing and threatened them with prison time if they didn’t give up their sources and information. The Obama Administration had similar stories involving Fox News and the AP in the last few years. The Neoconservatives have won the War on Terror at least the debate inside of the U.S. Government about what is more important in America. Our security or our liberty and security has been winning ever since 2001. And we had a neoconservative Republican Administration that enforced their neoconservative War on Terror from 2001-09. And now a progressive Democratic Administration conducting the same war with the same policies as the last.

As the great libertarian philosopher Milton Friedman who preferred to be viewed as a Liberal once said, you can’t have security without liberty. And I would add and vice-versa that you have to have both. If you’re not secure you don’t have freedom. But without liberty you might be protected from terrorists, foreign invaders and domestic criminals, but now you have to worry about your own government and what they might do to you. Because you don’t have liberty and a basic set of constitutional rights to protect you. Because now you live in a police state. You live in Soviet Russia and perhaps even Putin Russia, or Syria or some other hell hole on Earth like that. Which is not what America is about and perhaps what our last two president’s don’t understand.

Monday, February 9, 2015

American Enterprise: AEI Ideas: James Pethokoukis: Reward Work,

American Enterprise: AEI Ideas: James Pethokoukis: Reward Work, Not Just Make it More Miserable to be Unemployed

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I like James Pethokoukis ideas that he listed as far as not only the Earned Income Tax Credit which along with Welfare to Work are two of the best anti-poverty programs ever created, but also as far as expanding the EITC for low-income workers. I would do that and add things like health insurance, education, job training, savings, retirement and even housing to the EITC. So these workers could actually put some money away and finish their education so they can leave their low-income low-benefit job and get themselves a good job. And leave poverty for the middle class.

If you want fewer unemployed adults in America whether they are educated or not and at least since the Great Recession there’s a mixture of both types of unemployed worker, working simply has to pay more than not working. Which is the whole point of the EITC. Money that low-income workers get back so they don’t have to pay federal income taxes. So that means increasing the minimum wage to the point that a minimum wage worker makes more money and earns that money, than someone not working at all and collecting Welfare Insurance. Because they simply do not have enough skills to get a good job.

So minimum wage 10-12 buck and hour with a thirty-percent tax break for employers. And index the minimum wage for inflation so it keeps up with inflation. And apply today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to people on Welfare and index that for inflation as well. So the person on Welfare even if they have kids would get the message that they could get more money working than not working. As well as get assistance in order to finish their education and get themselves a good job. And be able to leave public assistance all together.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sensitive Skin TV: Video: Firing Line With William F. Buckley: The Hippie Generation, From 1968

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I find this whole show very interesting if for no other reason and there might not be any other reason why I find this episode of Firing Line interesting, but the contrast on it. You have Bill Buckley who was as Anglo-Saxon and preppie and perhaps even square as an American can get, interviewing hippies and an expert I guess on Hippies. Why Buckley would let Jack Kerouac go out on his show drunk, I have no idea other than maybe to make fun of the man and make him look like a joke.

The hippie movement was a reaction to the 1950s and every other conservative establishment decades before it. What the Hippies said was that there were multiple ways for Americans to live their lives and be productive people and good Americans. That they didn’t have to live the lives of the parents and grandparents. The Baby Boomers who probably made up most of the Hippies were giving this message and living their life differently. That they didn’t have to live the lives of their parents and could live the way that they wanted to and still be good productive people.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sony Pictures: Love Has Many Faces 1965- The Life of The American Gigolo

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I just love Lana Turner and Stefanie Powers. Two of the cutest hottest sexiest actress’s that Hollywood has ever produced. They both have the cutest facial expressions and mannerism’s you’ll ever see and put them together in a movie together and have them in the same scene and what else would you want to see. By the way, Ruth Roman is very beautiful and cute in this movie and I believe a very underrated actress and babe in Hollywood. And by the way, Love Has Many Faces is a very good movie. I saw it twice this week in preparation for this blog. And I’ll get into what I saw and nor just Lana, Stef and Ruth.

Love Has Many Faces is essentially about the American gigolo. Three men now working in Acapulco, Mexico which is absolutely gorgeous looking for their next meal tickets. Pete Jordan played by Cliff Robertson already has his meal ticket Kit Jordan his wife. Who should’ve been called Kitty or Kitten because she was so adorable in this movie. One of Pete’s old friends, a fellow gigolo washes up dead on an Acapulco beach. This guy also has a connection with Kit and was wearing a bracelet that she gave him. So now Pete and Kit are suspects for the Acapulco police in this murder investigation.

Carol Lambert played by Stefanie Powers is the girlfriend of the dead gigolo and comes down to Acapulco from America to find out what happened to her boyfriend. Pete not only has to worry about he and his wife as murder suspects in this investigation, but also has a rival who wants his wife. Hank Walker and old friend of his wife. And during this whole investigation and scene you have a married couple Pete and Kit Jordan who’ve been married for about a year and yet they’ve argued like they’ve been married for thirty-years. And have two or three kids together who are all in or out of college. And thinking about divorcing each other.

During this whole movie I’m wondering if Pete actually loves his rich wife or not, or did her marry her because she’s rich. They are clearly attracted to each other and share a mutual respect. But they socialize with other people and have other potential love interests. Pete has his old friend’s girlfriend Carol and Kit has Hank. Or are Pete and Kit using each other and trying to make each other jealous to perhaps try to bring them closer to each other. All this going on during a murder investigation where they are both suspects in it. And then throw in the clever writing and humor and you have a very good movie.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Crash Course: Video: John Green: The Reagan Revolution

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The Reagan Revolution was all possible because of what Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon were able to build in the 1960s and 70s. Moving right-wing Democrats from the Midwest and South over to the Republican Party. It was sort of the final nail in the coffin to the FDR/LBJ Coalition that included Southern right-wing Democrats, to go along with Northeastern Progressives and organized labor being part of both groups. The Reagan Revolution dominated the South and Midwest, but also did well in the Northeast with people who are called Northeastern Republicans today. People who are economic Conservatives and socially moderate to classically conservative, but do not go along with the Religious-Right on social issues.

That is how a right-winger wins 40 and then forty-nine states in America. You convince the Northeast that you don’t want big government into the private lives of Americans. You convince everyone else that you truly believe in economic freedom. And that appoint people who your Far-Right loves and pretend you are with them on the issues, while actually not really doing anything for them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The American Mind: Video: Charles Kesler Interviewing William Voegeli on Liberal Bullshit

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

It took nine minutes into this interview to figure out exactly what these two guys were getting at. And I’m not sure I have, but this is the best idea that I have at what they are getting at. And after I explain that I’m going to call bullshit on Bill Voegeli. But they Bill and Chuck seem to be arguing that so-called Liberals believe that it doesn’t matter if problems are being solved through public assistance and wealth redistribution or not. What matters is that they care and come off as caring. And if what they are doing doesn’t work, just throw more money at poverty or whatever the problem is and that will make it seem that Liberals care even more.

To sort of paraphrase and take Chuck’s and Bill’s point that if anyone should care about whether public programs are working or not, it should be the Liberal. I would amend that and say the Progressive or Socialist should care even more because they are the people who believe in public social programs the most. And you might say, “well aren’t Liberals, Progressives and Socialists all the same people?” And if you are familiar with this blog, you I say no those three labels are all different, because they are three different groups of people.

The Socialist, the tax and spender from the 1960s and 70s and even till the 1980s to a certain extent even though Ronald Reagan was successful in ending a lot of that, was the person who would argue if a social program is not working, it must be because we aren’t spending enough on that. Not because conditions have changed to make the program seem no longer adequate to addressing the concerns it was designed for. Or it was simply not designed with very well to begin with. Remember, it was Liberal Democrats President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gores who established the reinventing government program of the 1990s. Actually it was Vice President Gore who presided over that effort. Not Conservative Republicans.

Now here it where I call bullshit on Bill and Chuck. That is how right-wingers especially hyper-partisan right-wingers want Liberals to be seen as. As people who don’t give a damn about people’s tax dollars and the money that they worked for and earn. Because supposedly Liberals believe that is the government’s especially the Federal Government’s money that they are allowing the people to have some of. That Liberals are more interested in looking like they are care about social problems and want to help people. But aren’t so much interested in actually solving the problems, but looking like they care and spending public money on them. That view of Liberals is bullshit.

One of the genius’ of President Bill Clinton is that he almost completely changed how the Democratic Party was received. When he came to office the Democratic Party was perceived as a big government tax and spend social democratic party. That was more interested in spending people’s money than actually solving problems. Thanks to little things like deficit reduction, reinventing government, Welfare to Work and the only two balanced federal budgets since 1969, millions of Americans moving out of poverty and the poverty rate actually coming down, Democrats and Liberals have almost completely shedded that stereotype. And only the Far-Left of the party still carries it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Henry Higgins: Video: BBC's Who Was Richard Nixon

This post was originally posted at The New New Democrat on WordPress

With all due respect to BBC, I don’t think you can explain who was Richard Nixon in under an hour. To explain someone as the narrator in this film said is one of if not the most fascinating American politicians whose ever lived, you probably need a mini-series. A three or four-hour film. If you try to cover Nixon and just focus on Watergate or the criminal conspiracies inside of the Nixon White House, or the checkers speech, the House Un-American Activities Committee, you’ll only get part of his life story and not even half of that. And to cover those things alone, you would probably need three hours to do that.

And for the admirers of Dick Nixon and people from the outside looking in who are simply interested in learning about the man, focusing on his rags to riches story and being born in the valley and rising to the top of the mountain, to paraphrase President Nixon, again you would need probably weeks of reading and watching films about the man. Nixon’s public service career goes from World War II in the early 1940s serving in that war, all the way up to leaving the White House in 1974. With Congress, the Vice Presidency, his role of the GOP comeback of 1966 and 68 and even winning the Presidency in 1968 in between.

You could read series of books and watch series of documentaries about the man’s foreign policy accomplishments including ending the Vietnam War alone. Or his push to move America off of foreign oil with a national energy policy in 1973. His push to reform Welfare in 1969 that became Welfare to Work in 1996. His push to reform American health care and health insurance in 1974, that became the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Even if you watch this entire film about Dick Nixon, again you may get part of his story, but ending it with so much more to learn about the man.