Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Film Archives: Jeff Guinn- Jim Jones: 'The Most Complete Picture To Date Of This Tragedy'

Source: The Film Archives- Reverend Jim Jones, the Father of Jonestown 
Source: The New Democrat

I think Jeff Guinn the author of this book about Reverend Jim Jones and Jonestown makes a good point about how the 1960s relates to Jim Jones's movement and what became Jonestown. I would just add that the 1960s was such a divisive era and you had this huge generation of Baby Boomers who hated the 1950s and wanted something different for themselves and their families, who were politically very radical who saw things in America that they hated. Like war, poverty, racism, materialism, and wanted to change the world ( to use a phrase from the 1960s ) and create a new society and America.

Source: The Film Archives- Reverend Jim Jones in Jonestown 
People who believe in these things and are active politically, tend to at least be very open to socialism and even communism and see those philosophies as the only ways to build the society that they want. Jim Jones, even though he grew up in rural Indiana in the 1930s and 40s, was a Socialist who hated the things that his followers hated and wanted to create a new society. Who was very charming and very intelligent both for good and bad, who became a reverend in Indiana and built his own church. Who moved his church from Indiana to San Francisco which might be the capital of American socialism, who are much more tolerant of minorities and alternative lifestyles like homosexuality and saw San Francisco as the home for his new movement.

Source: The Today Show- Reverend Jim Jones's Jonestown 
The main reason why Jim Jones, moved his People's Temple from San Francisco to Guyana in South America, is because there were accurate reports from the SF media that Reverend Jones was abusing his members and even kids that went to the church. Even things like sexual assault and had he not had moved out of San Francisco maybe his church and larger organization gets closed down in San Francisco by the city government and Reverend Jones ends up in jail. Reverend Jones, had already had experience in South America and decided to move his organization to Guyana where all of his followers followed him and his group down there.

The vision of Jonestown in Guyana, I believe was very solid and he wanted to create this communitarian society, a socialist state where everything was shared and no one ever had to go without the basics in life. The main problem with Jonestown in Guyana was Jim Jones himself. He took what might have ended up becoming a socialist utopian state under sober responsible management and he turns it into a communist state. A maximum security prison where everybody who lives there is now his prisoner. And if you try to leave Jonestown, you're putting your own ,life at risk. Very similar to how North Korea looks today. And when Jones loses complete control of Jonestown, that is where he decided to murder what's left of his followers by giving them poison and then he kills himself.
The Film Archives: Jeff Guinn- Jim Jones: 'The Most Complete Picture To Date of This Tragic Saga'

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Salon Magazine: Andrew O'Hehrir- Interviewing Rob Reiner: On Why Neither Party Works Today

Source: Salon Magazine- Rob Reiner, President of the Donald Trump Hater Club 
Source: The New Democrat

I disagree with Rob Reiner on one thing in this video that Donald Trump wasn't vetted at all. I would argue that he wasn't even vetted properly. We know all about how dangerous, undisciplined, unqualified, bigoted, lacked character, lacked the most basic personal credentials that no Republican pre-Trump would give any other Republican or Democrat a pass on as far as being their presidential candidate, during the Republican primaries and he still won.

Donald Trump, labeled Mexicans as rapists when he announced for President in June, 2015.

Donald Trump claimed that John McCain, wasn't a war hero because he got captured in Vietnam.

Donald Trump's sexist attacks on then Fox News's Megyn Kelly during the first Republican presidential debate was just a couple months after his attacks on Mexicans.

Donald Trump, came out for a Muslim ban in December 2015.

The Trump University stories and how he screwed people that went to that money pit of a so-called university started breaking in early 2016.

In early spring 2016 Trump tells his supporters at one of his reality shows, I mean campaign rallies to beat the hell out of people who protest against him and he'll pay their legal fees.

Donald Trump's attacks on a gold star military family that lost their son during the Iraq War and implying that the soldier's mother didn't speak out because they don't allow that in the Muslim faith.

The Access Hollywood tape in October 2016.

The three debates where Hillary Clinton clearly looked and sounded more ready to be President than Donald Trump.

We had a tone of information and more importantly real facts and not alternative facts ( to quote White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway )  that was public for why Donald Trump wasn't just not qualified, not intellectually prepared to be President, lacked the character, the temperament, to be President, but represented a real danger to our country and government, well before he became President of the United States and the man still won. The real question is not whether Donald Trump was vetted or not, because of course he was with all the media attention that each of these stories about him got, but the real question is why Donald Trump, not just became President of the United States, but how does a man with his background, lack of qualifications, intelligence, and character, win the Republican nomination for President in the first place and put the country through this.

To go to the point that Rob Reiner made about the two-party system not working and that we need a strong Democratic Party and Republican Party, that's how Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination in the first place, because we have a weak two-party system that's about destroying the other party and not advancing an agenda that can draw popular support among American voters that's positive and shows voters who don't belong to either party why they should give Democrats or Republicans enough power to govern the country.

If we had just one party that was considered responsible enough to govern and offered that positive agenda, that party would not only have complete control of Congress, but with enough political support to actually govern. Republicans, have one, but not the other right now. A better scenario would be two strong and popular political parties that actually competed against each other with both having popular agendas leaving Americans to think I like both parties, so I'm going to let them govern together. With one party in the White House and other party having control of at least one chamber of Congress.

I would argue that Donald Trump, first won the GOP nomination because he wasn't just anti-establishment, but he's anti-Conservative. He's not a Conservative, never has been and has only being a Republican officially since 2011 or so and has always been an Independent in actuality as far as how he looks at politics and has never fitted in well with either party. We essentially have an Independent in the White House right now. The Republican Party is no longer a conservative party. They're a reactionary in the moment party that pretty much only makes decisions based on what they believe will help them politically at the given moment. At least at their leadership level and that fits Donald Trump's empty all the bullets in the gun first, figure out what all that means later approach to politics. Where everything is about now and spontaneous and thinking, intelligence, preparation, homework, is for losers.

Donald Trump, didn't first win the GOP nomination ( which was impressive enough ) because he was a Goldwater Conservative Republican who was going to turn the Federal Government back to what Conservative-Libertarians believe is the 10th Amendment role of the Federal Government which is basically no safety net or regulatory state and let the states deal with those issues themselves. Most Trump voters not only like the Federal safety net, but depend on it for their daily survival. We're talking about lower income blue-collar, older voters, who are also veterans, for the most part.

Donald Trump, won the GOP nomination because he against what the Republican Party traditionally believes in including things like character and knowledge, temperament. Who brought bigotry out in the open and made to seem OK to a lot of Republicans and even Independents. Had Trump run as a traditional Conservative Republican, he not only doesn't become President, but he never wins the GOP nomination, because there were 17 other Republicans who were more qualified and better suited to being President of the United States, including several Republicans who are young enough to be is sons.
Source: MSNBC: Hardball With Chris Matthews- Rob Reiner: On Donald Trump - Rob Reiner, on President Donald Trump's SCOTUS choice 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- What is a Classical Liberal?

Source: The Rubin Report- There is a little liberal in every non-statist
Source: The New Democrat

I've been asked many times in the past what are my politics. I'm been accused ( if you want to put it that way ) of being a Libertarian or some other right-winger especially on social media, when I say I'm against government-run health health care and health insurance, especially when there would be no other options for health care and health insurance. Or when I come out against free speech over political correctness. My response has always been I'm a Liberal, Classical Liberal if that helps you sleep better at night.

Source: A Libertarian Future- Liberalism 
This blog is a Classical Liberal or JFK Liberal blog. This is not a social democratic or democratic socialist blog, progressive sure! In the sense that I believe in progress and through government action, but bot total government action. People who work in government God bless them all, but they're no smarter than people who work office jobs in the private sector and have to make payroll and profits every week and month.

Source: AZ Quotes- Friedrich August Von Hayek, on Liberals
So this socialist idea that if you just let government run things and create this new government program or put more money into a current government program even if that means less individual freedom, choice, and responsibility, that things would automatically get better reminds me of the saying that you have to be a narcissist to believe you're the center of the universe and are perfect, well you have to be a Socialist to believe that government at any level not just has all the answers, but always has all the answers. Especially when you're talking about a large organization whether that's run by imperfect people and in some cases mistake prone people because they're overworked and have too much responsibility.

So, that's why I'm not a Socialist democratic or otherwise because I don't believe government has all the answers and therefor you need an educated free society to be able to manage their personal and economic affairs. Which is sort of the definition of the freedom which is the freedom of self-determination and for people to chart their own course in life and be able to make out of it what they put into to. Enjoy the fruits of their labor and productivity and deal with the consequences of their mistakes and hopefully learn from them so they don't make the same mistakes in the future. And if you're wondering why I'm a Liberal, I just explained that I believe the best society is an educated free society. Not a statist society where you have a government big enough to try to manage people's lives for them.

I'm not a Libertarian, because the modern Libertarian ( let's call them ) sound like they're if not more antigovernment than anti-big government, they're at least as antigovernment as they're anti-big government. And especially believe that every form of government tax or rule is somehow some form of slavery or something and they tend to be very conspiratorial and sound like they operating off of a whole bottle of whisky or were released from some mental institution without their medicine, they tend to sound like they've lost touch of reality and live in a different universe or only only on Planet Earth as visitors, but mentally not really here. I'm not antigovernment and I don't bash government programs and government daily. I'm anti-big government, because I don't want government running our lives for us. I want want free educated people to manage their own lives for themselves.

Liberalism, ( or classical liberalism if you prefer ) is not about small government or big government , but a political philosophy that advocates civil liberties and individual rights, liberal democracy with free and fair elections along with all the individual rights both civil and economic that come from a liberal democratic society. And even a safety net for people who truly need it and for whatever reasons aren't living in freedom with the means and tools to pay their own way, but not to manage their lives for them, but to help them back up so they can live in freedom. Liberals, don't believe they're smart enough to not only manage their own lives, but to manage other people's lives as well, so why would government be even smarter and should have any more power over others lives than just themselves.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- What is a Classical Liberal?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Nadine Strossen- Free Speech & Personal Liberty

Source: The Rubin Report- Former ACLU President Nadine Strossen-
Source: The New Democrat

This debate about liberty versus equality as if that is a real choice which it isn't and I'll get into that later, reminds me of a speech that longtime Chicago University Economics Professor Milton Friedman, who described his own politics as liberal ( or classical liberal if you prefer ) gave a speech in 1978 and he talked about liberty in equality in the same speech and made the point to put it simply that you can't have one without the other.

Source: The Rubin Report- Former ACLU President Nadine Strossen 
That without liberty and the ability for people make their own decisions and go as far as they can go on their own and make as good a life that they can for themselves, you can't have equality at least in the sense that most if not all people want equality which is that everyone living and doing well in society and not being denied access in life simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Sure! You could essentially outlaw wealth and have the central government collect most of the wealth in society and then try to spread that wealth back to the people based on what they believe people need to do well.

Source: Conservative Video News- Dave Rubin & Nadine Strossen
But when you discourage people to do well and be successful you get a lot less of it, because people will expect the government to take care of them, or they'll believe it's not worth it to be free and successful in life because government will just punish then for that by taking most of their wealth from them. Or you could have government just outlaw individual initiative and creativity and just have government try to run the economy for everyone like you would see in a Marxist-Communist state and have a country where everyone is poor like in North Korea and a society where only people with government jobs and connections are able to live well.

But when people talk about equality, they tend to talk about it in a sense where everyone is able to live well. Not where everyone is equally poor, but where people are able to succeed in life and live well. And for true equality to occur you have to have good deal of personal liberty and the freedom for people to do well and be able to make their own decisions in life and then be able to collect the rewards from their success. Which comes with investments, risk taking, and even failures.

As far as the main point of Nadine Strossen's book ( former President of the ACLU ) a woman that I have a lot of respect for and who I love politically for her liberal politics, she's just damn right about this. You way to counter hate speech is not trying to shut it up through force, but by counteracting it through intelligent free speech. Make the case for why some hateful asshole is exactly that and why what they believe is hateful.

But when the First Amendment was written, our Founding Fathers ( the Founding Liberals ) didn't have in mind protecting the rights for intelligent Ivy Leaguers to say whatever they want and have the freedom to say as many intelligent things as possible. Even though the First Amendment protects intelligent speech and love as much as hate speech.

The First Amendment was written for people who think outside of the box and say controversial things. Even to the point that they're not just criticizing people, but saying things that can be hurtful. And even saying things that are hateful, but just plain wrong like labeling an entire ethnic or racial group as criminals, invaders, rapists, etc. And perhaps you're familiar with a certain national politician who has done those things in the last few years.

I can't end this piece without talking about personal liberty here as well since that it part of the title of the piece. There is so such thing as freedom without personal liberty. Not just talking about economic freedom which is also critical in any liberal democratic free society, but also the freedom for people to think and say what they want short of inciting violence and falsely accusing people, or harassing people. But the freedom for people to make their own personal and private decisions and live their own lives and do what they want to do, short of hurting innocent people with what they're doing. Freedom of choice and the right to privacy which I believe as a non-lawyer protects freedom of choice in America and engage in activities that some religious folks might see as immoral, is just as important as our economic freedom and right to free speech.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Nadine Strossen- Free Speech & Personal Liberty

Monday, July 2, 2018

Storm: Dallas- J.R. Ewing's Best Quotes: Featuring Larry Hagman

Source: Storm- The great Larry Hagman, as J.R. Ewing on Dallas-
Source: The New Democrat

Have you ever met a wiseass, perhaps asshole even in the jerk sense and not someone who consistently speaks, out of their rear let's say, but who just isn't a nice person who has a real rough streak and perhaps temper, but is so good at putting people and things down, perhaps even yourself that you almost have to give him credit for it? Similar to sports teams that are playing against anther team who has this incredibly great players who makes all of these incredible plays to hurt and beat you, that you almost feel like cheering and celebrating when he makes one of those great plays against you. Well, that is what J.R. Ewing ( played by the great Larry Hagman ) represents to me.

Source: Taigan McCauley- Larry Hagman, as J.R. Ewing on Dallas 
J.R. Ewing, wasn't a good guy and perhaps even a bad guy, perhaps not a criminal, but someone who at the very least would stretch the laws and rules to benefit. ( Similar to how a current President acts now and has during his entire career ) J.R. wasn't an evil man and he did generally love his family, including his kids, younger bother Bobby ( played by Patrick Duffy ) his parents and perhaps even some of his wives. J.R. had more wives than a lot of Mormons or Saudi men and probably didn't marry any of them including Sue Ellen ( played by the great Linda Gray ) because he loved those women. But similar to a Hollywood marriage to advance his career and saw marriage as a business opportunity.But was someone who would do just about anything to advance his career, including blackmail or hitting someone to rough up one of his competitors.

Source: Melissa Owens- Larry Hagman, as J.R. Ewing on Dallas 
That great line that Sue Ellen had about her husband J.R., where they were talking about horses and J.R sarcastically saying that a guy who is about to run a horsing stable knows which end of the horse is which, the front and back let's say and Sue Ellen with the great line saying, "we all know which end of the horse you are." Sue Ellen calling her husband a horses ass in public without out using those two words. J.R. was a horses ass, but he was so damn good at it that you had to respect, if not admire him for it.Because he had such a quick and sharp wit and would use humor to communicate how he felt about people and situations, to put people and situations in their places.

The J.R. Ewing line about the truth is in the eye of the beholder, obviously not something that J.R. coined or came up with himself, but an intelligent way of saying that the truth is relative. ( Again, does that remind you of any POTUS? ) If you're someone with the business background of a J.R. Ewing who was born a rich man with his own store of silver spoons with most of those being stuck in his mouth to the point that they were falling out, you don't learn unless you have great parents what's it's like to earn a living and earn a great living, because so much was given to you early on in life and you probably believe that life is easy. J.R. Ewing, was interested in expanding the wealth that he was born with, knowing he would never have to create something for himself and would step on anyone who got in his way. The truth was never his concern, but what was believable that could help him, whether it's truthful or not.

Bobby Ewing, was supposed to be the rich businessman with morals, who wouldn't screw people over just to advance his career, out screw women to do that ( ha, ha ) unlike his older brother J.R., but Bobby could be very tough when it came to protecting himself and his family, including his wife and kids. With J.R. sort of being the devil in this family and the anti-Bobby who saw business as a zero sum game with nothing but winners and losers. "You either destroy your competitors, or they'll destroy you," which is sort of the J.R. Ewing business handbook. Which is why I believe this relationship and brotherly love even worked so well on Dallas, because they counteracted each other and held each other in check.
Storm: Dallas- J.R. Ewing's Best Quotes