Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Kennedy Institute of Politics: Professor Brandon Terry- Interviewing Professor Noam Chomsky: The Future of Leftist Politics in America'

Source:Kennedy School of Politics- Professor Brandon Terry, interviewing Professor Noam Chomsky at Harvard
Source:The New Democrat

"A discussion with:

Noam Chomsky

Institute Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Political Theorist and Activist

Brandon Terry (moderator)

Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies, Harvard University."

Source:Kennedy School of Politics: Professor Brandon Terry- Interviewing Professor Noam Chomsky: The Future of Leftist Politics in America

 As someone who is not a psychic or a leftist, I would say the future of The Left ( as it's called ) and I would argue Far-Left ( at least in an American sense ) will be about identity politics, the welfare state, big government in general, and I guess self-honesty. ( For lack of a better term ) Where you'll have millions of young Americans especially who are proud to be Leftists ( let's call them Socialists ) who no longer feel the need to hide who they are politically and even hide their own political labels.

This event was in late 2015 about 3 1/2 years ago but just go up three years later to November, 2018 and we now have a class of Democrats or at least prominent Democratic freshman in the House who are not just proud to be Leftists, but proud to be Socialists. Who just a few years ago would've felt the need to run in the Green Party to run for reelection and to have any shot at winning the nomination for the office they're seeking, who today can run as Democrats and not just run as Democrats, but run as Socialists and Democratic Socialists.

The Democratic Party today thanks to Bernie Sanders in 2015-16 now has a significant Socialist faction in it. Whether that's 20% or 30%, the Democratic Party today now has a significant, hard core Socialist base who believe that government can solve any problem that has ever been known to man, if it just has the money to do so. Which is very different from where the Democratic Party was just 10 years when they were basically just a Center-Left progressive party with a Far-Left fringe in it. 10 years later the Socialists in the party now look more mainstream with Democrats who just 10 years ago would be viewed as solid Progressive Democrats ( like Barack Obama ) , now are viewed as centrists or even Conservative Democrats. ( At least by the Socialists in the party )

What I just laid out looks very mainstream at least when you're talking about the left-wing ( to say the least ) about the Democratic Party today. People who believe in social democracy or democratic socialism, who want a large centralized national government and welfare state there to meet the economic needs of all the people.

If the left-wing of the Democratic Party was just Henry Wallace or George McGovern wing of the Democratic Party and if that's all the left-wing of the Democratic Party represented today and represented people of all races and ethnicities, male and female and they weren't about racial or identity politics, but a pluralist political faction that was about social democracy or democratic socialism, they wouldn't look that radical today especially with young Americans, especially with the more militant faction of this movement that wants to make race, ethnicity, and gender issues about everything not just in politics and government, but in American life in general.

But the left-wing ( or Far-Left ) in and outside of the Democratic Party today are not all pluralists and don't care for liberal democracy. It's not just social democracy that they want, but believe that men aren't necessary, ( at least Caucasian men ) that women aren't just superior to men, but should be running everything, and generally view Caucasians especially men as ignorant and bigots, unless they come from the West Coast or Northeast and were educated there.

And that's the growing faction in the Democratic Party that you have to worry about if you're a mainstream Democrat who is part of the Democratic leadership, because as the Far-Left grows in the party, the less Far-Left they'll look and more mainstream that they'll look in the party. But they'll still look very radical outside of the party and mainstream Democrats will have to figure out how to get elected and reelected with this faction on their back that they'll need to win elections, but still be able to appeal to mainstream Democrats and Independents.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Bitchy Pundit: ‘Bernie Sanders is Rich’

Source:U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders- Maybe Senator Sanders had himself in mind when he made this statement.
Source:The New Democrat Plus

From The Bitchy Pundit

“I’m going to veer off course for a minute to say that I don’t believe that any society should allow billionaires to happen. Billionaires are toxic to a society because they can’t spend a big enough percentage of their money to actually help an economy. Millionaires on the other hand, are great for societies and I’m all for creating more of them. Millionaires are in that sweet spot of having enough money to spend on significant amounts of consumer goods and investing just the right amount to help seed businesses. But millionaires aren’t rich enough to play fast and loose with their investments, since it can all disappear overnight. They are not (for example) rich enough to create mortgage backed securities or naked credit default swaps. I believe that our tax code should be designed to stop anyone from becoming a billionaire, just like it was for nearly forty years. We need a top tax rate of 90% not only to prevent billionaires from happening, but also to force reinvestment in American companies. There’s no point in looting a company if you’re going to have to pay 90% of what you loot back to the government.”

Source:The Bitchy Pundit: 'Bernie Sanders is Rich'

Just to respond to The Bitchy Pundit: saying that she is OK with millionaires, but thinks billionaires should be outlawed, in other words being rich is OK, it’s superrich that’s the problem: that’s like calling someone a little fat, or saying they have a slight drinking problem: “Tom and Susan, only get drunk twice a week, three times during a holiday. Bob, is only 20 pounds overweight, but that doesn’t make him obese. Jane, is a little pregnant, but it’s not like she’s going to have the baby tomorrow.” I mean do the really have to wait for the extreme to happen before we call a problem a problem and say if we act now, it won’t become a major issue later on?

I mean, if you really think that wealth is a problem and people being independently wealthy is a problem, than why attack billionaires, but leave the millionaires alone? You don’t think people who are worth 20, 50, 100 million dollars aren’t investing their money oversees and doing what they can to avoid high taxation in America? If you do, you’re not that familiar with our tax code and our economic system and economy.

This is not about Bernie Sanders being rich in the sense that being rich and wealthy is a bad thing, simply because  I don’t believe wealth and being rich are bad things. Otherwise I would be a Socialist myself. This is about a Socialist from Vermont who before 2019 was the only self-described Socialist in Congress ( but not the only Socialist ) who is only famous in America because he’s spent his entire Congressional career ( House and Senate ) demonizing what he is which is rich and wealthy. We’re talking about a man who is a multi-millionaire who’ll never have to work again ( thanks to his personal wealth and taxpayer funded Congressional pension ) who attacks the wealthy in America simply because they’re wealthy and use their money and connections to avoid paying high taxes.

Bernie Sanders attacking someone for being wealthy, is like an alcoholic speaking out about the dangers of heroin and cocaine. And perhaps doing that while they’re drunk. Perhaps when they’re sober, they’re not as hypocritical. And if we ever see that person sober, maybe we’ll know for sure how hypocritical they are. A smoker who bashes people for eating junk food. Or the radical hippie vegan, who calls someone an animal killer because they eat cheeseburgers and calls people animal killers for eating meat while wearing a leather jacket. If there’s any one thing that American voters hate the most about politicians other than they are politicians to begin with and just hate their profession, it’s hypocrisy.

Socialists, like to say that America has socialism for the rich and capitalism for everyone else. Meaning that we subsidize wealth in this country and don’t do much as a society at least the government for people who are poor. They have a point there, but the problem that they have is that they might have had one of their icons in mind in Bernie Sanders, when they argue that.

If Bernie Sanders really was as Socialist and believed in socialism as much as he claims he does, he wouldn’t be a millionaire to begin with. He would just live off of his Congressional salary, while donating his wealth to his favorite charities like Uncle Sam. Because Socialists don’t believe in material wealth and believe that people should just have enough money to live a quality life and not have to be poor of course, but not be rich either, while Big Government takes care of the rest of what we need to live well. At our expense, of course.

When it comes to politicians, Bernie Sanders is about honest as they come. Which I know sounds like saying Joe is the best hockey player to ever come out of El Paso, Texas. Or Mary is the best ballet dancer to ever come out of Mobile, Alabama. But generally speaking I get the impression when Senator Sanders says something and proposes something, he actually believes what he’s saying. But when it comes to wealth in America and being rich, Bernie now sounds like Michael Moore, Bill Maher, Jane Fonda, or any other so-called Hollywood Leftists who attacks people simply for being what they are, which is rich and financially successful in America thanks to American capitalism, while they attack our capitalist economic system. It’s more than a little much and more like enough to make people vomit when they hear that hypocrisy.

“Jimmy Fallon’s monologue from Wednesday, April 10, plus Hodor from Game of Thrones remixes pop hits, like Lady Gaga’s “Shallow.”
Source:The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon: 'Bernie Sanders is a Millionaire'- Jimmy Fallon: not a fan of Senator Bernie Sanders hypocrisy on wealth. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Chomsky's Philosophy: Professor Noam Chomsky- Free Speech on Campus

Source:Chomsky's Philosophy Professor Noam Chomsky: talking about free speech on campus 
Source:The New Democrat

"If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views that you don't like. Goebbeles was in favor of freedom of speech for views that he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favor of freedom of speech that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views that you don't like."

Source:Quote Master: Professor Noam Chomsky- On Free Speech

Professor Noam Chomsky, will never get mistaken for a Ronald Reagan, William Buckley, or Barry Goldwater Conservative, except for perhaps in one area: when it came to free speech, Professor Noam Chomsky is to the right of Reagan on free speech and believe that free speech is for everyone. Not just Hippies who oppose war, but for right-wing Nationalists who hate minorities. These hard-core Leftists on the Far-Left ( whether you want to call them Socialists or Communists ) might view Chomsky as a Conservative, simply because he believes in free speech. But disagreeing with these Leftists on anything, is like saying no to Joe Stalin: you put your life or career in jeopardy when you do that. You're either with these hard corse Leftists on everything, or they see you as part of the opposition.

Something else that these Far-Leftists should think about: if they're successful in censoring speech that they don't like, the right-wing at some point could come in and start outlawing music and other entertainment that they don't like, or political demonstrations that they disagree with. Which is what they tried to do in the 1960s with Vietnam War protests and pro-civil rights demonstrations. It's that old Martin Luther King line about every action having a reaction to it: when you take action against someone on the other side especially an action that they despise like trying to cut off their free speech rights, they'll do the same thing against you when they're in power.

If you're going to live in a free society like a liberal democracy, there are certain actions and views from others that you have to put up with. You don't have to accept them or agree with them and you're more than welcome to oppose them and demonstrate against them. You just can't use your freedom to deny someone else's their freedom, simply because you disagree with their personal choices and views. If you don't accept the concept of a free society and oppose liberal democracy, try living in a communist or nationalistic state where the government is there literally to hold onto power and they do that by severely limiting what their people can do so they can hold onto power.
Chomsky's Philosophy: Professor Noam Chomsky- Free Speech On Campus

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- Interviewing Nick Di Paolo: 'On Offensive Comedy and Political Correctness'

Source:The Rubin Report"Nick Di Paolo on offensive comedy and political correctness"
Source:The Daily Review

Nick Di Paolo (stand up comedian) joins Dave to discuss his comedy career, his problem with political correctness and so many stand up comics today, why he believes comedians should be at the forefront of speech and free expression, and more."

Source:The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- Interviewing Nick Di Paolo: Offensive Comedy and Political Correctness

 I think the great comedian Mel Brooks had the best comment about political correctness that I've ever heard when he said in 2017 that: "political correctness is killing comedy." We've become at least with the left-wing such an uptight country now where comedy has almost disappeared ( unless you're making fun of right-wingers ) that everything is taken seriously.

 Comedy: "Professional entertainment consisting of jokes and satirical sketches, intended to make an audience laugh."

Comedy is simply just making fun of people and situations that deserve to be made fun because they've done or said something stupid or embarrassed themselves. When someone tells someone that they're as dumb as a brick. because they're constantly speaking nonsense or can't find their own hand in front of their face, they're literally not saying that person is a brick. They're saying they're dumb as a brick and act like they don't have a brain.

When people do redneck or ghetto jokes and I do that all the time, we're not saying that call Caucasians are rednecks or that everyone with a rural background is a redneck. We're saying that people from those communities who are rednecks are rednecks and speak a certain language and have a certain accent that perhaps only people from that community can understand. Who see Yankees and everyone with a metropolitan  accent as foreigners and perhaps even invaders. ( Sort of how Trump voters who view anyone with black hair and brown skin )

When people do ghetto jokes and I do that myself as someone who went to an urban melting pot high school in the early 90s, we're not saying that everyone from the African-American community are ghetto. We're simply making fun of ghetto people and mimic the way they talk and act. But not labeling all African-Americans as ghetto.

There's real-life and then there's comedy. When your'e watching sitcoms or any other type of comedy, that is not actually happing, since they're pretending and acting out. Real life is real, comedy is just an expression about the stupidity of life and what comedians are seeing from their own personal experiences and not meant to be taken seriously.

People who take comedy seriously are people who weren't around and perhaps had an off day when whoever who has the job of passing sense of humors around was passing those around. And are the biggest tight asses in the history of the world and have redefined that term. When someone makes fun of you, the first thing you do is to see if that person has a point and self-examine yourself. If the joke is spot on, you have nothing to complain about and if anything should laugh at yourself and use the humor as a learning experience. If the joke really is off target, then you laugh it off or fire back or enjoy the rest of your life. But unless the person is calling you a racial or ethnic slur, you really have nothing to complain about.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dandelion Salad: Ellen Brown- ‘Funding A U.S. Green Deal Without Raising Taxes’

Source:Bart Everson- Via Flickr 
Source:The New Democrat Plus

From Ellen Brown:

“As alarm bells sound over the advancing destruction of the environment, a variety of Green New Deal proposals have appeared in the US and Europe, along with some interesting academic debates about how to fund them. Monetary policy, normally relegated to obscure academic tomes and bureaucratic meetings behind closed doors, has suddenly taken center stage.

The 14 page proposal for a Green New Deal submitted to the US House of Representatives by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez does not actually mention Modern Monetary Theory, but that is the approach currently capturing the attention of the media—and taking most of the heat. The concept is good: abundance can be ours without worrying about taxes or debt, at least until we hit full productive capacity. But the devil is in the details….

MMT advocates say the government does not need to collect taxes before it spends. It actually creates new money in the process of spending it; and there is plenty of room in the economy for public spending before demand outstrips supply, driving up prices.”

Source:Dandelion Salad: Ellen Brown- 'Funding A U.S. Green New Deal Without Raising Taxes'

Ellen Brown is right about one thing: the U.S. Government doesn’t have to actually collect the taxes that it’s owed before it spends money.

Back when Congress and the President actually passed budgets and appropriations bills ( when dinosaurs were still around, ha, ha, ) they would agree to what the U.S. Government would spend and how to collect the money that it spent. Then most of that money would be spent and the taxes would come in later.

If Congress and the President passed a budget, all the appropriations, and a tax bill today, the revenue to pay for that government spending that has already been spent wouldn’t actually come in until the following year, or at least not all of it. Similar to how individuals pay for things on credit: we purchase items on credit and then pay those bills to our credit card company at the end of the month. If we made those payments, we didn’t have any debt. But if we didn’t make those payments, we would now have a credit card debt.

When Congress appropriates money for the Executive to spend, that money gets spent before the taxes are actually collected. And if the Executive takes in more money than was actually spent, ( which happens about as often as the Cleveland Indians win the World Series ) then the U.S. Government has a budget surplus. But if the Executive spent more money than it collected in either taxes or tariffs or a combination of both, then it runs a deficit for that year and that deficit is added to the national debt. Which has happened every year in this country since 2002. ( That should give you an idea of how often that is )

What Ellen Brown is arguing for is that the U.S. Government could fund a Green New Deal ( as its called ) simply though monetary policy that would fund it by itself and you wouldn’t have to borrow more money or raise new taxes to pay for it. If that were true, government wouldn’t need a tax code, taxes, or an Internal Revenue Service, because it could just pay for all of its operations with Treasury printing all the money. The reason why we have a national debt of 22 trillion-dollars ( get your head all the way around that number ) is because Congress and the Executive has been borrowing money ever since the Federal Republic was created and has been running a budget deficit almost every year since the 1960s, because it almost always takes in less tax revenue than it spends. With the last four years of the Clinton Administration, the last year of the Johnson Administration, and one year during the 1950s under President Dwight Eisenhower.

“Democrats are introducing framework for what they call the Green New Deal. It addresses climate change and how the U.S. can make clean energy a priority over 10 years. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey have championed the measure. CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes joins CBSN to explain.”
Source:CBS News: U.S. Representative Alexandria O. Cortez- Proposing Green New Deal To Fight Climate Change - U.S. Representative Alexandria O. Cortez: at the 2019 State of The Union 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Knowledge Hub: History of Prohibition- Why It Failed?

Source:Knowledge Hub- Big Government, is coming for you 
Source:The New Democrat

"People like booze. Now. But there was a time alcohol was a matter of debate and was made illegal. Here is why it failed.

Music by No Sustain

Written and Edited by Tyler Franklin"

Source:Google Sites- Yes, end the War on Drugs 
Source:Knowledge Hub: History of Prohibition- Why It Failed

As someone who is a nondrinker ( when it comes to alcohol ) I believe I have a lot of credibility when it comes to alcohol and other prohibitions, simply because I'm not looking to keep products like alcohol, tobacco, sugar, salt, caffeine, and any other current drugs that Americans consumer that are currently legal simply so I can continue to consume them, but because I don't believe they should be illegal. I don't want to legalize marijuana and decriminalize harder narcotics because I want to consume them, but because I don't believe people should be put in prison or even jail simply for consuming or possessing these products.

I simply as a Liberal don't believe that people should be arrested and put in jail simply for doing or consuming things that are dangerous and come with negative side-effects. You need a better argument than, "this is bad for you and dangerous and if you do this or take this, you're going to be locked, because these products are bad for you." Or you need a better argument than these products violate some people's religious and moral values in order to outlaw something. You need a fact-based argument that lays out that the negative consequences of using let's say risky products or so great that if they're allowed to be consumed in society that not only will the people who consume them be negatively affected. but the people around then and the greater society will be harmed to the point that society couldn't afford those negative affects. An argument that has never been made to outlaw alcohol or any other product that comes with real risk in America.

So why bas prohibition failed?

I'll give you a hypothetical: think about a father who doesn't want his daughter ( let's say ) seeing her boyfriend anymore simply because the father doesn't like him and doesn't want him around his daughter and he tells his daughter that and perhaps even tells her boyfriend that he doesn't' want him seeing his daughter anymore and if does, there will be real consequences for that: you think the daughter is going to stop seeing her boyfriend simply because her father no longer wants her to see him, especially if her father can't explain why he doesn't' like him, or why he's bad for her? Well, if you're familiar with teenage girls in America and perhaps outside of this country, you know that they won't stop seeing people simply because their parent or parents tell them not to.

The so-called War on Drugs whether it was alcohol prohibition in the 1920s or the war on harder narcotics today like marijuana ( and there's still a question of whether marijuana is actually a harder narcotic than marijuana ) has failed for the same reasons. Just because you tell someone they can't do something especially if the person is an addict or they know what they're doing is not so dangerous than they can die from, especially if they don't abuse alcohol or marijuana, doesn't mean they'll stop doing it or taking whatever they're into. It just means that what they're currently doing is illegal and that they may end up in jail or prison if they're caught in possession or consuming what they're into.

What you get with the so-called War on Drugs is an overcrowded, unaffordable, and unsustainable criminal justice and prison incarceration system where maybe 1-10 American prison inmates don't represent any actual threat to society. If they represent any threat whatsoever to anyone, it's to themselves, but because they're addicts. If your'e a true fiscal Conservative, you hate the so-called War on Drugs and criminal justice system in America, because it's so expensive, because we lock up people for what they do to themselves. You're cool with locking up predators who hurt innocent people especially if the punishment is just, but locking up people for what they do to themselves is a waste of tax dollars and you hate that as a fiscal Conservative.

So the War on Alcohol and the broader so-called War on Drugs has failed for several reasons: One, almost 50 years later after President Richard Nixon launched this so-called war we're still fighting it. That should be a pretty good clue there. But now thanks to this so-called war we have an overcrowded, unaffordable, unsustainable criminal justice system in a time when we're running trillion-dollar deficits and have a national debt of over 20 trillion-dollars.

Just because you outlaw something doesn't mean it goes away, it just means that it's now illegal and will go underground. And the people who get caught will end up in prison simply because they were caught in possession or caught using a product that Big Government says is dangerous and should be illegal.

Just like the father who tells his daughter to stop seeing her boyfriend for no apparent reason: they'll continue to see each other, but behind her parents backs and no longer be upfront and honest about their relationship.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Real News Network: Paul Jay- 'Is Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialism, Socialism?'

Source:The Real News Network- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Republic of Vermont 
Source:The New Democrat

"Sanders says that medicare for all, a living wage, and other reforms is the socialism that’s possible, but is he too reserved on strengthening public ownership? - with Jacqueline Luqman, Eugene Puryear, Norman Solomon and host Paul Jay"

Source:Fortune Magazine- U.S Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Republic of Vermont: speaking at Georgetown 
Apparently we need and the people from the so-called Real News Network need a refresher course on Socialists and socialism, because there are Socialists and then there are Socialists and none of these factions are the same as the other except when it comes to Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats. Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats, are the same faction.

Source:C-SPAN- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Republic of Vermont: speaking at Georgetown in 2015
Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats both believe in a democratic form of socialism or socialist form of democracy and neither wants to eliminate the private enterprise or even capitalism. They just want the national government to provide the people's workers benefits. Things like health care, health insurance, pension, child care, education, etc. Services that a country like America you would get those services from the private sector, or at the very least would have the option in getting those services from the private sector.

Senator Bernie Sanders, believes in democratic socialism/social democracy. He's not looking to government to come in and close down private business's ( except for perhaps health insurers and hospitals ) or have government come into people's homes and other properties and kick people out and have the properties taken over by the government.

Under a Bernie Sanders Administration if a President Sanders had his way let's say, the private sector in America would remain in place, but the public sector at least at the Federal level would be a lot larger. Trillions of dollars would be added to the Federal public sector every year in new social programs and in expansions in current Federal social programs, but the private sector would remain in place.

I'm not explaining this because I'm a fan of Senator Sanders, because I'm not even though I respect his candor and honesty, but to explain his own politics so people know what they're getting when they hear about Socialist Bernie Sanders. He doesn't represent the Communist or Marxist wing of socialism and looking to turn America into a gigantic Cuba, but instead if he had his way America would become like a gigantic Sweden or gigantic Scandinavia. Where the national government would be a lot larger and more expensive, taxes on everyone would be a lot higher, but the national government would provide a lot more social services and individuals would still own their own properties.
The Real News Network: Paul Jay- 'Is Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialism, Socialism?'

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Globalist: Richard Phillips- 'Enter Alexandria O. Cortez, Socialist'

Source:The Globalist- U.S. Congress: good luck finding a more unpopular institution 
Source:The New Democrat

Socialism, similar to libertarianism and perhaps conservatism and when I think of conservatism I think of Conservative-Libertarians, but that's a different discussion, but socialism similar to these other political ideologies have different factions. I get that, I was one of the first people to acknowledge that when I first started blogging ten years ago. So when I think of Socialists, I don't automatically think of Communists and the Fidel Castro's of the world or Neo-Communists ( as I call them ) the Nicholas Maduro's of the world. But when I think of Socialists, I don't automatically think of Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats, like Swedish or French Socialists. I take each Socialist and socialist faction one by one and look at them individually.

Source:Salon Magazine- U.S. Representative Alexandria O. Cortez, self-described Democratic Socialist 
For me if you want to recognized as a Democratic Socialist, you can't just be in favor of government-run health care and health insurance, as well as a lot of welfare state programs, you also have to be in favor of democracy, free and fair elections that include non-socialist democratic parties and candidates, including conservative parties and candidates, you have to be in favor of a free, fair, and open press, check and balances, limits on executive power, and you have to be against bigotry regardless of where and who it comes from. Not just be against bigotry when it targets non-Europeans and non-Christian religious groups, but antisemitism as well.

In case there is anyone left who doesn't already know this, but Jews are both ethnic and religious minorities in every country in the world outside of Israel and in most countries their tiny minorities representing 1-2% of the population ( depending on what country you look at ) so when you when you attack Jews simply because they're Jewish, you're attacking not just a religious minority, but an ethnic minority as well when you're outside of Israel. Which is something the Far-Left and not just in America, but in Britain as well doesn't seem to understand or even care about. Who seem to believe that oppression and bigotry against Palestinians is somehow a horrible thing, but it's OK when it's against Jews in and outside of Israel. Why, because Palestinians are Arab and not Jewish, why would that make any difference.

Freshman Representative Alexandria O. Cortez and Representative Ilhan Omar can all themselves Democratic Socialists all they want, but until they come out against antisemitism and the state oppression and authoritarianism of the Socialist Maduro Regime in Venezuela, they're just Socialists to me. Perhaps even hippie Socialists or hipster Socialists, yuppie Socialists, which are common in both New York and San Francisco, but they're just Socialists who apparently don't have issues with bigotry just as long as it targets the rights groups ( according to them ) and don't have issues with authoritarianism, just as long as it's left-wing authoritarianism.

If you want to be a Democratic Socialist, you have to remember that Democratic Socialists starts with Democratic which applies at least that you believe in at least some level of democracy and appose authoritarianism regardless of where and who it comes from. And you oppose authoritarianism regardless of who and where it comes from. The same thing with Liberals and liberalism, anyone can call themselves a Liberal, but if you don't believe in liberal democracy and the individual rights that come from liberal democracy, you're not very liberal if at all. The same thing with Democratic Socialists and democratic socialism, if you don't believe in democracy and don't oppose bigotry in all forms, you're not much of a Democratic Socialist.
Source:USA Today: Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Socialism Explained - Democratic Socialist?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Brian Riedl: 'We're $16 Trillion in The Hole- Democrats Want To Burry Us $42 Trillion Deeper'

Source:The Daily Beast- Uncle Sam's, according to Socialists 
Source:The New Democrat

The Democratic Party is clearly not just moving Left, at least at the activist and grassroots level, but I would argue they're moving Far-Left. It would be one thing if Democrats were moving from let's say from St. Louis to Kansas City, because as a Center-Left Liberal I could probably live with that. But it's more like Democrats are moving from St. Louis to San Francisco, or at least Las Vegas or Phoenix.

Not ready to call Democrats Communists, yet ( because others have beat me to it ) but we're no longer talking about a Center-Left Progressive party when people like Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Martin O'Malley, and many others are viewed as moderates when they all have long histories inside of the Democratic Party pushing for and believing in Progressive Democratic causes. Everything from civil rights, to infrastructure, to labor rights, advocating for the middle class and empowering the poor.

The Democratic Party today, is what the Green Party was 20 years ago and still is today and is vastly becoming a social democratic at least, ( if not democratic socialist party ) that may seem mainstream in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, or New York City, but look like flaming Socialists to a lot of the rest of the country. And when a political party moves left, they tend to believe in new government spending more, including more social programs and expanding the welfare state, have more belief in what central government planning can do for the people and less concern with the costs of their new programs.

Social Democrats or Democratic Socialists, ( let's calls them )  that the national debt and budget deficits aren't important, because their new investments will payoff anyway. And even if our fiscal situation is a problem like a trillion-dollar deficit and 20 trillion-dollar debt, they could just tax rich ( as if that's never been tried before ) or gut the defense budget. Of course having no idea where to gut the defense budget anyway, since Democratic Socialists tend not to believe in national defense and have this hippie or Nordic way of looking at national defense anyway.

And as a result we now have a Democratic presidential field where every leftist candidate at least is trying to become the next Bernie Sanders Socialist and win the nomination by trying to out promise ( or out pander ) or I at least would argue out socialist everyone else including Bernie Sanders. By trying to play Santa Clause to every young Democrat they can find in every college town that they can find and promise them all this new so-called free stuff in order to win the nomination and the hell with the deficit and national debt.

Which is what can happen when you have no many young idealistic voters who believe that government can do all these things for the people and aren't mature and responsible enough to ask basic questions ( that might sound insulting to Socialists ) like, "how much will this cost me?" Or, "how will you pay for all these new programs?" Which is the state of the Democratic presidential race right now, the more government spending, the merrier and we'll worry about the costs later on after we're all out of politics and government.
Source:Now This News: 'How Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren Plan To Raise Trillions in New Tax Revenue'- Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Politico Magazine: Derek Robertson- 'How Howard Schultz Created a Personality Cult at Starbucks'

Source:POLITICO Magazine- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz 
Source:The Daily Review

I'm not interested in Howard Schultz's so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it's a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.

Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they're not actually speaking to anyone or don't have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven't seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.

Coffee house coffee whether it's Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it's not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it's not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.

Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they're ways of living. It's a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. "Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they're in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are." Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we've been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I'll let you be the judge.
Source:60 Minutes: Scott Pelley- Howard Schultz: When He Was Starbucks Star - Howard Schultz, before he was a  narcissistic wannabe politician 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CBS: CSI Las Vegas- Behind The Scenes: Willows in The Wind- Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows

Source:TV- Marg Helgenberger's, last episode on CSI Las Vegas 
Source:Action

I'm glad that Elizabeth Shue, is on CSI Las Vegas now and has been for the last eight seasons now, but they lost a lot when both William Peterson left during the 2009 season and when Marg Helgenberger left three years later. It's still a great show and I would hate to see either Elizabeth Shue or Ted Danson leave at this point, but it would nice to see all four together. Maybe Bill Peterson, gets appointed as Chief of Police or something and Marg gets his old job as the director of the crime lab. Liz Shue, comes in as her deputy. Maybe Ten Danson comes in as a big shot Las Vegas District Attorney and not just one of the prosecutors in that office, but the actual DA.

Source:Rabbia Groxa- Marg Helgenberger's, last episode on CSI Las Vegas 
Losing Bill Peterson and Marg and bringing in Ted Danson and Liz Shue, is like treading two great basketball players for two other great basketball players, where neither team gets nay additional value. It's like trading one great center for another great center. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for Moses Malone, ( for any of you old school NBA fans that might still be alive today, or at least willing to admit that there was an NBA before 2000 ) if anything losing Marg Helgenberger on that show is a real loss, regardless of who you replace her with. Great to see Liz Shue on Las Vegas, I just think the show would be better with her as an addition, instead of replacing one great lead actress with another.

Source:WENY- The original cast of CSI Las Vegas 
The Catherine Willows character had this sort of shy and quiet disposition and yet she could be pretty witty and was was always tough and as Ted Danson said about her, "you knew she was a leader from her presence alone." The Fin character, ( played by Elizabeth Shue ) is a very open, witty , always has a smile on her face character, who like Catherine ( played by Marg Helgenberger ) is very dedicated, very smart, and is generally much tougher than her adorable disposition lets on. Liz Shue, is the perfect action/comedic or dramatic/comedy actress where she always finds herself  in very serious situations, but always finds the lighter side in them. As Marg said in this video, she's leaving the show, but it's possible that she'll be back doing guess appearances. And this video was done back in early 2012 when she left CSI Las Vegas and has already been back on the show. It would just be nice if she came back permanently in a new role like Chief of Police or something.
Source:CBS: CSI Las Vegas- Behind The Scenes: Willows in The Wind - Marg Helgenberger, on CSI Las Vegas 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Michael Tomasky: 'A 70% Percent Tax Rate Isn't Radical- Alexandria O. Cortez Has It Just Right'

Source:The Daily Beast- U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D, New York - self-described Democratic Socialist 
Source:The New Democrat

What Michael Tomasky failed to mention here ( and perhaps intentionally ) is that back in the 1950s and 70s when we had high tax rates of 70 and 91%, no one especially the rich were actually paying that much in taxes, because of all the loopholes, as well as the wealthy investing money oversees to avoid taxation. Hell, if I was making 10 million dollars or more a year or anywhere near that, I would be doing the same thing. Along with making large contributions to charity, to avoid the taxes, but also to help people who need it that I can afford to help. The reason why these people weren't paying such high tax rates, is because of all the loopholes that were in the tax code in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s..

In 1986 thanks to the tax reform act of that year that was passed out of a divided Congress with a Democratic House and Republican Senate that worked with President Ronald Reagan and his Administration to pass, taxes were lower across the board and loopholes were closed. So people were paying lower tax rates, but weren't getting as much money back in credits and loopholes. That's not what freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is talking about here and what Michael Tomasky is talking about here either. They would go in the opposite direction and raise the two top tax rates to 60 and 70% with no new loopholes.

So in theory the IRS would be getting a lot more money in new tax revenue from the wealthy, but that's assuming the very rich have brain freezes and forget that they can just invest a lot of more money oversees or just go north of the border to Canada and spend and invest their money there. The first 9 million or so of their earnings every year to get Uncle Sam out of their wallets and bank accounts. Which would leave Uncle Sam with a big hole, because of course none of this so-called new revenue that he would be charging his wealthy nephews and nieces would be used to pay down his huge debts and deficits, but instead invested in new Federal programs, or new investments in current programs. Leaving Uncle Sam and his nephews and nieces a bigger national debt and deficit to pay off. Which would be paid off in new interest payments on the debt, or in higher inflation.

The problem with Socialists and socialism in general ( even if Socialists want to call themselves democratic or not ) is that they always have the same old solution to every problem that they see and what they call income inequality is a perfect example of that. Their solution to every problem that they see is always what they call new revenue. ( Washington speak for tax increases ) They see that the wealthy which are probably 10% of the population at this point has all this money and then you have roughly 1-5 Americans who live in poverty and if you look at parts of rural America 2nd or 3rd world poverty, as well as in some inner cities. And then you 1-2 Americans or so that are technically middle class and aren't eligible for public assistance, but only make enough money to cover their current bills, if they're healthy and aren't able to save or invest any of their income and are a paycheck away from being on public assistance themselves. So their prescription to this economic disease to to tax the wealthy more and give that money to Uncle Sam to take care of this nephews and nieces that are struggling.

The problem with American capitalism has always been that we've always been a country where maybe 1-10 Americans are doing very well economically, who make a lot of money to the point that they can afford to invest and save a lot and then you have about 1-5 Americans who live in deep poverty, who are undereducated and even if they're working are dependent on public assistance and private charity just to survive in life. And you have this large middle class which generally is a good thing in any country to have a large middle class, but where maybe 1-2 of those Americans might only be middle class because they make too much money to be eligible for public assistance, but can't afford to invest and save and struggle just to pay their bills.

The problem with American capitalism has never been that we have too many rich people, but that we have too much poverty and too many working class people who struggle just to get by. The problem with American capitalism is that we've never had enough rich people, or economically successful people even if they're aren't millionaires as far as their annual income, but have a good deal of money in savings and even have investments. And if you're someone who believes that the income gap ( as I call it ) is a big problem in America as I do as a Liberal, you should be thinking about how to empower people on the low-end of the economical scale to make more money. To have better jobs so they're no longer struggling just to pay their bills or live in poverty, but instead are making a good income that comes with benefits and allows them to invest and save. Instead going to play 1 ( and perhaps the only play in the socialist playbook ) of always trying to take from the rich to take care of people who are struggling.
Source:Now This News: Jackson C. Davis- 'Why Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's 70% Tax Rate Isn't Radical'- According to Jackson C. Davis