Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Sunday, December 29, 2013

MLB Classics: Video: ABC Sports: MLB 1986-ALCS-Game 5-Boston Red Sox @ Anaheim Angels: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Perhaps the best MLB playoff game at least in my lifetime. And the biggest choke in my lifetime at least in MLB with the Angels blowing a 3-1 series lead with the opportunity to win the American League Championship at home with their offense, defense and pitching. And they simply didn’t close the door to a team they probably should’ve beaten at least in six games if not five. Wally Joyner not in the Angels lineup certainly hurt them in-game 5. But you got to know that they had the Red Sox beat in the ninth inning with their closer Donnie Moore who was lights out most of the 1986 season on the mound. He makes a bad pitch to Dave Henderson and that forces the game to extra innings. But Joyner would’ve been a big force in the Angels lineup in-game 6 and 7, when the Red Sox blew out the Angels at Fenway Park.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Hampton Institute: Opinion- Josh Hatala: The Socialist Party of America- A Historiographical View

Source: The Hampton Institute- Socialist Party Presidential Candidate Eugene Debbs-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Where I disagree with Josh Hatala on this where I could probably make this whole post about, is that there are still two somewhat viable democratic socialist parties in America. Democratic Socialists USA and the Green Party, as well as many leftist Democrats who are mainly in the Democratic Party for political reasons in order to get elected and be active in a major leftist party even a center-left party. Socialism has failed as far as producing a major social democratic party that can compete and beat Democrats and Republicans on a regular basis.

But you got to know that U.S. Senator Bernie of Vermont the only self-described Socialist in Congress is a Socialist, as well as several members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Both in the House and Senate that Senator Sanders is a member of. But most of the members of the CPC prefer to be viewed as Progressives because of the negative stereotypes that come with being viewed as a Socialist or even a Social Democrat.
Socialism hasn’t failed in the sense that their ideas have failed or are considered too extreme. At least what would be viewed as mainstream both in America and in Europe that is democratic socialism. That combines both capitalism, a vibrant private sector, but that is heavily taxed and regulated to fund a very large welfare state to provide a lot of the services that people need to live well. From education to healthcare that is common in Scandinavia. A long with a safety net for people who are unemployed and so-forth.

That is basically Scandinavian or Nordic capitalism, which is the mainstream form of socialism in Europe. But even in America where capitalism was basically invented, we have a socialist component to our economic system as well in the form of our safety net for people who can’t take care of themselves. Who are out of work or can’t afford services that they need in order to survive like health insurance and food, even if they are working. It is just that our national social insurance system is a lot smaller in America than it is in Scandinavia.

It is not that so much that socialism has failed in America, because the Democratic form of it that I just explained is alive and well. Just look at the popularity of Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. All of which could and have been labeled specially by their opponents and proponents as well as socialist programs. It is Marxism or Marxist socialism, where the state essentially is responsible for running the entire economy and to large extent the people’s lives, that has failed everywhere that it has been tried. Which is why most of the world has moved away from it.
Austin Peterson: The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann- Does Democracy Inevitably Lead To Socialism?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Salon: Opinion: Hamna Zubair: Jon Stewart Defends Duck Dynasty Star's Right to Free Speech: The American Right to be Assholes

Salon: Opinion: Hamna Zubair: Jon Stewart Defends Duck Dynasty Star's Right to Free Speech

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I’ve gone out of my way not to comment on the so-called Duck Dynasty controversy. From either the way so-called Progressives have responded to what Phil Robertson has said, or of course how the right-wing media has defended not only what Mr. Robertson has said, but his constitutional right to say what he believes and thinks. For one I do not watch the show and yes I’ve seen a few moments of it from time to time to time. Flipping around the tube when I’m up too late or turning on A&E when I’m waiting to see the A&E shows I’m actually interested in. Longmire, American Hoggers and now Rodeo Girls.

So I’m not a regular viewer of Duck Dynasty to so say the least. But also I’m not surprised by what Mr. Robertson said. I mean let’s be real about this show. It is in a part of the country where these views are fairly common. This is where the anti-sodomy laws are still in existence and where the same-sex-marriage bans come from. Not saying that everyone from the Bible Belt and rural America are bigots. Just a lot of ignorant people there to put more faith into their religious views, than education and America. But lets face it this is where these views tend to come from. But also so what if some asshole on a TV show doesn’t like homosexuals and sees homosexuality as a sin.

How is some ignorant redneck’s views on homosexuality news. And besides Phil Robertson has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to say these things and any ignorant garbage he wants to express. And of course A&E under that same constitutional amendment has the right to run their network under few exceptions the way they want to. But to kick off or suspend one of their cast members because he doesn’t like gays and made that public on one of their shows, looks like nothing more than political correctness leftist fascism politics run amuck.

And doing it to avoid being sued out of business by so-called Progressives activists who want to outlaw any type of hate speech that may happen to offend minorities they care about. Phil Robertson is basically only famous because he happened to say on a TV show something negative about gays. And of course the national media and so-called Progressive media going out-of-their way to keep the story alive to bring attention to hate speech in America. And perhaps promote one of their lost causes of outlawing hate speech in America. Which of course is protected by the first amendment whether it comes from the Right or Left. That the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled time after time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The American Prospect: Opinion: Monica Potts: Paul Ryan's Misguided Poverty Plan: A Real Plan to Reduce Poverty in America

There are good Progressive policies in dealing with poverty in America. Like increasing the minimum wage or even creating a new living wage of around twelve dollars an hour. That I would be in favor of if it came with a thirty percent tax break for employers so their payroll costs do not go up too much especially for small employers. Another good Progressive policy would be to have employers who pay their workers poverty wages to the point that they need both public and private assistance to survive. 
To have these employers pay at least part of their low-income workers public assistance costs. Which would also make our debt and deficit outlook better as well. But going forward we need to think more liberally in how we try to reduce poverty in America. And get more pro-active and develop policies that empower these people to become economically independent so they can take care of themselves. And move off from public assistance. It is not like we need to develop some new grand strategy or plan to combat poverty in America. 
And we simply do not need to create some type of new War on Poverty or Great Society to do this. The information, evidence and facts are already in how you reduce poverty in America. First yes you need public cash assistance for low-skilled adults whether they are working or not so they can cover their short-term bills. But long-term to actually move these people out of poverty, you have to be more Liberal and less government centric and oriented. 
We need to be less socialist when it comes to poverty and more about individual empowerment even. And be less about government taking care of people and become about empowering this population to be able to take care of themselves. And that gets to things like education and job training for adults who need it to finish their high school education. But moving forward moving to higher education with junior college and vocational opportunities opening up for these adults.
When it comes to combating poverty in America you need to know what your goals and plans are, what are you trying to carry out. And for eighty years this country has mostly been about giving people in poverty more money so they can live more comfortably while still living in poverty. What I’m interested in doing is actually empowering this population so they can move out of poverty into the middle class and become economically independent.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The New York Times: Opinion: Thomas Edsall: Is The Safety Net Just Masking Tape?: Economic Power vs. The Welfare State

The New York Times: Opinion: Thomas Edsall: Is The Safety Net Just Masking Tape?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I’ve been looking for a new term or phrase that could describe an economic agenda as a New Democrat a Liberal whose moved past the progressive New Deal and Great Society ideologically. And not to the Left of these programs, but past it and in favor of a new approach to economics. And American capitalist and economic empowerment for all Americans especially those who haven’t found it. President Bill Clinton a fellow Liberal New Democrat in his first term had an agenda called the New Covenant.

The New Covenant was supposed to be what President Clinton would try to accomplish for the country in his first term. And then later when Republicans took back Congress, the alternative agenda to House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America. New Covenant is a weak term and has more religious than political meaning to it. The New Deal and Great Society were successful at least politically because Americans could see the goals of these two agendas and what they were trying to accomplish very clearly.

I haven’t found the key catch phrase that I’m looking for yet, but what I’m going to layout with this post is what I believe the role of government is when it comes to the economy. And seeing that everyone has access to economic freedom in America and not dependent on public assistance for their economic well-being. Simply as an American forget about ideology for a moment, I believe that all Americans have the right to make their own beds in life and live up to their own full-potential.

That all Americans have the right make the best out of life that they possibly can, but they also have the responsibility to live with the decisions that they’ve made with their own lives for good and bad. And that means keeping most of the rewards for their production, but also have the responsibility of paying off their own debts from making bad decisions. And paying their fair share in taxes that they owe as well as a cost for living in a civilized developed society. But also paying for the advantages that come with living in a liberal democracy with all the freedom that comes with that especially in the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world.

In other words I do not believe it is the job of government federal or otherwise to provide for us most if not all the things that we need to live well in life. Government just have the responsibility to see that we all have the opportunities to obtain the freedom and power to be able to take care of ourselves. And then hold us accountable for the decisions that we make for good and bad. So now you know I’m not a Social Democrat or a Democratic Socialist and at least by the popular definition, not a Progressive.

But I am a Liberal Democrat who believes in liberal democracy and that liberal democracy should work for everyone and that government including federal does have a role to play with that. Just not most of the responsibility and certainly not all of it either when it comes to economic policy. And I’m mostly about education and seeing to it that all Americans have access to a quality education from K-12, as well as college. And want to see universal higher education in America so we can all have access to it and government can play a role.

A role not the only role in seeing that all Americans can afford higher education in this country. But even with the best education system in the world, we would still need a public safety and a private safety net there for people who fall through the cracks of this liberal capitalist economic system. As well as for people who for whatever reasons do not have the skills that they need to do well in life, especially if they also have kids. And we also need to make sure their kids get what their parents or parent didn’t get which is a good education.

So no again I’m not a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist and do not put my economic philosophy around a welfare state and government, federal or otherwise. But my philosophy is built around the individual and ensuring that the individual has the tools that they need to do well in life. And yes government including federal has a big role, but not the only role here. Instead I believe in what I would call an economic empowerment system where the safety net would be part of that. So all Americans can have money to cover their short-term bills. But long-term this safety net would be there to empower people who need it to be able to take care of themselves. And again that is where education and job training play a big role there.