Roll Call: David Hawkings – Whiteboard: What is a Filibuster?

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Source: Roll Call

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

David Hawkings is right about what an actual filibuster is. Its generally one Senator or a group of Senator’s who take to the Senate floor and talk forever basically, or till they run out of breath, faint, have to use the bathroom, discover they have lives, perhaps miss their kids and wives, etc. Maybe the Senate Leader finds the 60 votes that he needs to cut off the Senator or Senator’s that are speaking.

And generally but not always filibusters are performed (if you want to call filibustering a performance) by a member or members of the minority party. The Senate has a filibuster and the cloture rule, but its really the cloture rule is used by the Minority Leader who rounds up enough votes to stop the majority from moving ahead on legislation that is used by the minority to block legislation.

Instead of minority members speaking indefinitely about a particular bill, the Minority Leader will round up 41 or more votes to simply prevent the majority from moving to final passage on a bill that probably has no minority input on it and perhaps didn’t even go through committee. And then the Minority Leader or his deputy who is generally the lead minority member on the committee that has jurisdiction of the bill, will argue that the Senate simply hasn’t had enough time to consider the legislation and the minority simply can’t support this and isn’t ready to vote on the bill.

The minority party blocks legislation all the time with the cloture rule. The Minority Leader will announce that they intend to block the legislation. The Leader will then move to final passage, but to get to final passage of legislation which is the final vote, the majority party needs 60 votes to accomplish that. Which generally doesn’t happen on partisan legislation because Congress tends to be very divided at least in the last 40 years or so. Even when on party controls both the House and Senate, their majorities tend to be fairly small, especially in the Senate. And the Senate minority party tends to have at least 45 members which is more than enough to block legislation on their own, if the Minority Leader keeps them unified against partisan legislation that the majority party wants to pass.

I’m somewhat divided on the Senate filibuster myself. Even as a Democrat who sees his party both as the minority party in Congress, but as the opposition party and in the White House. Filibusters themselves I’m not a fan of. The idea that one Senator or even a group of them can command so much attention and power by themselves, which makes them as powerful as both the Minority Leader and Majority Leader, even if there’re a freshman and perhaps have no other experience in Congress other than their first year or 2 in the Senate, seems counterproductive and makes the party leaderships seem very weak.

But on the other side as a Liberal who believes in both limited government and is against absolute power even if the Democratic Party is the party with complete control over the government, I don’t want the Senate to become like the House of Representatives. I actually believe the House is too much like the House and not calling for the House minority party to be able to block legislation on their own that majority brings to the floor, but the House minority should at least be able to offer relevant amendments and alternatives to all legislation that majority brings to the floor and committee. And at the end of the day if the majority party has a simple majority or more to pass legislation, then they would be able to do that even if not one minority Representative votes for the bill.

What Congress needs to return to is regular order. Where if the majority parties in either the House or Senate, decide not to work with the minority on legislation, then their bills at least have to go through the relevant committee or committees where hearings are held, amendments and alternatives are offered, debated and voted on. And then if the final bill passes out of committee, then the bill goes to the floor where the same process is done all over again, but this time with everyone in the chamber able to debate and offer amendments to the bill.

If Congress both the Senate and House did this and you eliminated gerrymandering, you could see less obstruction and partisanship in Congress. Because the majority party in both chambers would then know they can’t steamroll the minority and be able to pass partisan legislation with very little if any debate and probably no amendments. And the minority party in both chambers would then know that they have a stake in the game (so to speak) and know they’ll be able to offer amendments and alternatives to all legislation that the majority brings up and be able to force the majority to take tough votes and have new issues to run on the during the next election.

I’m not a fan of the filibuster because it makes both the Minority Leader and Majority Leader weak. It makes back-benching Senator’s seem as powerful as the two leaders. But I don’t like absolute power especially when one party controls both the White House and Congress. So you need to strengthen the leadership’s while protecting minority rights and our checks and balances.

So I would eliminate the filibuster and say for legislation to be blocked from final passage in the Senate, it can only be done by the two leader’s. Have a motion to table that only the Leader and Minority Leader can propose and similar to the cloture rule when the Minority Leader moves to table the bill, the Leader can overcome that with 60 votes.

Along with the new amendment process where the members of both parties can offer relevant amendments to all legislation and the minority can offer alternative bills to all legislation. And then I believe you would see less partisanship because now both parties would be able to debate and even legislate and just need to the votes for the amendments to do that.

And I believe you would also see less obstruction from the minority party, because instead of the Minority Leader trying to block legislation by himself, he might just decide to let legislation go through once it has been fully debated with a real amendment process and use those votes as election issues.

The filibuster is outdated but checks and balances aren’t and absolute power with the opposition having no ability to hold the party in power accountable is un-liberal democratic. This is not a one-party state or a parliamentary system where the party in power doesn’t just have the power to govern, but the power to rule. We’ll always need checks and balances especially when one party has complete control of the government.

Roll Call: David Hawkings- Whiteboard: What’s a Filibuster?

 

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TIME Magazine: Julia Zorthian- How To Recover From Failure

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Source: TIME Magazine 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review Plus

I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend be one, but from what I know about the medical profession (which might only be enough to fill one paragraph) is that good doctors at least don’t try to fix the problems without first performing a diagnosis. They actually take the time to see what is the medical problem with the patient before they try to fix the problem. People get wrong prescriptions because their doctors given them the wrong diagnosis and recommend a prescription that might fix another problem, but not the problem that this patient is facing. People get even sicker or see their physical conditions worsen simply because their original problem wasn’t diagnosed properly and therefor not effectively treated.

Giving someone an aspirin to deal with a broken ankle might give the patient short-term pain relief, but still leaving the ankle broken and perhaps it even gets worst because the patient believes their ankle is recovering. That would be an example of an extreme misdiagnosis. Maybe the doctor was drunk when they looked at the patent’s ankle, or perhaps examined the head by accident, before recommending aspirin for the pain. But hopefully you get the idea.

Another way to look at failures and weaknesses lets say is from the perspective of an addict. Lets use alcoholic as an example. I’m not an alcoholic either, but from what I’ve read and even seem to some extent that the only way an alcoholic can recover is first acknowledging that they have a problem that they’re indeed an alcoholic. They drink too much alcohol, get drunk too much and perhaps to the point that being drunk is a normal condition for them. Which I guess would be an extreme form of alcoholism. So my only point here is to before you try to fix a problem or personal problems that you might have, you first have to diagnose the problem and know what the problem is. Once you’ve accomplished step a, you can work to addressing the problem with a recovery plan.

Right-wing author and radio talk show host Eric Metaxas who I agree with as often as Los Angeles sees snow in August, but who was on BookTV on C-SPAN in I believe September (some of us actually have hobbies outside of realty TV and social media and like to use our brains) made a good point about mistakes and even screw ups. And he essentially said that we’re all screw ups. Thats not the question or the issue. The question and issue is what do we do about them.

Do we ignore them and not learn from history and keep repeating the same mistakes and seeing our problems get worst? “Those who don’t learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” Or do we acknowledge them, take them in and even absorb them and memorize that feeling to the point that it feels so bad not that we don’t want to be consumed by it and let our failures run our lives, but that we know the feeling of failure so well that we don’t want to feel like that again. Not about being pessimist or overly optimistic, but being in touched with reality so we know exactly what’s going on so we know what to do about it.

John F. Kennedy is a political hero of mine, but one of the biggest reasons why is that he always challenged Americans to think and try to improve and move forward. Challenge the status quo not necessarily because the status quo was bad itself, but that we wanted us to be as good as we possibly can be. Which is one of my broad points here is that we all make mistakes and maybe Eric Metaxas isn’t completely right here and that we’re not all screw ups. I mean, if we were we would be nation of very stupid weak people who can’t seem to get anything right.

But Metaxas is right about at least one thing that we all screw up. And then the question becomes what was the mistake exactly and then figuring out what can be done about it. Unless you killed someone, including yourself and you’re not permanently paralyzed or are hurt so badly that you’ve been given a death sentence and will die in the short-term, whatever mistake you made there is a recovery plan to fix it. Or at least learn from it and do better in the future.

I’ll just leave you with this. For almost every problem short of killing someone and permanently paralyzing yourself, there’s a solution to that problem. It then becomes once you acknowledge that you have a problem and know what the problem is. For every mistake there’s a correction. Including horrible mistakes like running your business into the ground and going bankrupt, or making horrible investments that also lead to high debt and perhaps bankruptcy.

The alcoholism example is perfect here. Once you realize you are indeed an alcoholic and have a real problem there, you then can get treatment for it and recover. People have screwed up so badly in one profession that they can’t find any more work in that profession, but recover from that and prosper working in a different field. Take former White House Counsel John Dean who was part of President Nixon’s Watergate coverup who is now a successful author and columnist. A very successful writer now even though he was disbarred as a lawyer.

Step a, is acknowledging that you have a problem.

Step b, is knowing exactly what your problem is.

Step c, is putting together a recovery plan to fix the problem.

Step d, learning from your mistakes not to get overwhelmed by them, but so you know what went wrong and not to repeat the same mistakes. And then improving yourself so you do better in the future. Not about making mistakes in life. Of course we all do and perhaps have all made a lot of mistakes. The question is what do we do about them. Do we learn from them so we can do better in the future. Or ignore them and continue to repeat our negative history.

TIME Magazine: The Is The Best Way To Recover From Failure

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Brookings Institution: Fix-Gov- Vanessa Williamson: Back Without Popular Demand- Tax Cuts For The Wealthy & Tax Hikes For The Middle Class

U.S. 1040 Individual Income Tax forms are seen in New York

Source: Brookings Institution

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

If you’re going to talk about tax reform especially if you’re saying you’re proposing it which is what President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans are saying that they’re doing, you should at the very least know what tax reform is. When you’re talking about tax reform you’re at least implying that there’s something that is currently wrong with the current system. Otherwise why would you want to reform it? Why fix what ain’t broken, to use a cliche.

What the Congressional GOP Leadership led by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as President Trump are proposing, are tax cuts primarily if not exclusively for high-earners and business’s. While lower-end middle class tax payers would actually get a tax increase. If you’re lets say a teacher making 40 thousand-dollars a year, you’re paying the 10 percent tax rate right now. Under the Trump-Ryan-McConnell plan you would pay 12 percent instead. So instead of paying 4,000 dollars a year to Uncle Sam in Federal income taxes (before deductions) plus 2,400 dollars in payroll taxes where there are no deductions, under Trump-Ryan-McConnell, you pay an additional 800 dollars in Federal income taxes and still have to pay that 2,400 in payroll taxes.

Call me crazy and maybe this just sounds like commonsense here, but I’m thinking if you were going to cut taxes that it might be a smart thing to do to cut taxes for people who could actually use the extra money in their pay checks who would then spend that money to help them pay their bills better and enjoy life more. Instead of cutting taxes for people who already have more than enough money to live out the rest of their lives comfortably and don’t need an extra million-dollars in tax relief. But that is just me speaking off-the-cuff here.

What the Trump-Ryan-McConnell plan says to middle class taxpayers is essentially this. “Those hard-working middle class fools who’ve never made enough money to join our country clubs. Who have to worry about paying mortgages, who only own one home and perhaps not even a luxury car, let alone have their own driver. Who probably bowl during the week and drink beer and eat chicken wings. Can you believe these people voted for billionaire Donald Trump to be President? I know what we’ll do, we’ll raise their taxes so we can cut our own taxes and the people who keep us in office. They’ll never know anyway, at least until they start filling out their income taxes next spring. And when they see less money in their paychecks, we’ll just blame the Democrats. Those greedy working class Americans who struggle just to pay their bills and current tax bills, pay too little in taxes anyway. The only reason why the rich pay any taxes at all is because of our low rates on middle class workers. Why should the rich have to pay taxes when they’re already so successful?”

Isn’t the Republican Party supposed to be the party that never votes for tax increases on anyone? They’re supposed to be the anti-tax party, at least when it comes to tax increases. Maybe the only reason why you still have any Conservative-Libertarians at all still in the Republican Party is because they’re supposed to be the anti-tax and anti-regulation of business party. Senator Rand Paul who is a Conservative-Libertarian Republican, has come out against the GOP tax plan because its a middle class tax increase.

I don’t see this plan passing at all even if Congressional Republican are somehow able to pass a Federal budget and be able to pass a tax plan with just 50 Senators and Vice President Mike Pence voting in favor of it. Again because you have a middle class tax increase in it with all 48 Democrats including Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders voting against it and probably 5-10 Senate Republicans. Especially if they’re up for reelection next year, or not running for office again, or are true to their conservative economic principles of never being in favor of tax increases. Senator’s like Rand Paul, John McCain, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, plus the so-called moderates like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, name a few. And they would have to pass this plan in the House as well with 190 plus House Democrats all voting against and perhaps 25-30 House Republicans or more, who are all up for reelection next year voting against the plan as well.

If you want to talk about tax cuts and tax reform as well even if the GOP plan fails, Congressional Democrats would be smart both in the House and Senate to have their alternative led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. That instead of raising the bottom 10 percent tax rate, you cut it to 7 or even 5 percent. The 15 percent tax rate take that down to 12 or 10. That would be a huge middle class tax cut that would benefit most of the country who tend to pay those first two rates in the tax code. And we would see a new demand in consumer spending as well.

And Democrats would have another issue next year to go along with ObamaCare repeal. Which is to say Democrats are the party of middle class tax cuts. The Republican Party is the party of middle class tax increases and believe that the rich shouldn’t have to pay any taxes at all and the middle class are undertaxed. But then Congressional Democrats should also offer their hands to Congressional Republicans and President Trump on real tax reform. That says our business tax rates are too high, so lets cut them. But do it in a smart and fiscally responsible manner. And say you want lower business taxes, get rid of corporate welfare in exchange.

Democrats could say that everyone and every business that invests in America will pay a low tax rate, but get no subsidy to go along with their lower taxes. Democrats could say we don’t think businesses should be overtaxed in America, but we’re also against corporate welfare and pro-middle class.

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Source: Associated Press 

Associated Press: Josh Boak- GOP Tax Plan Would Cut Tax Rates For Many

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Christian Science Monitor: Jessica Mendoza- What is ANTIFA and Does Its Rise Mean?

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Source: CSM

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Jessica Mendoza at CMS, pretty sums up exactly what ANTIFA is. (Anti-Fascists Action) They’re essentially a collection of far-leftists, Communists even, of course Socialists, and Anarchists. They’re not the sons and daughters of the peace-loving hippies of the 1960s who were simply looking for their own way of life and tired of being told by their parents and others that this is how you should live and what it means to be a real American. Who finally decided to break away from the 1950s suburban dad works, mom stays home and raises the kids lifestyle. But instead wanted the freedom to be whoever they were and wanted to be even if that offended the cultural values of the older generations.

ANTIFA are more like the sons and daughters, grandchildren even of Tom Hayden, Bill Ayers, Jayne Fonda (when she wasn’t acting professionally) Mario Savio, Abbie Hoffman, and many others. People who hated our capitalist private enterprise economic system, because they believed it was racist and left too many people in poverty. As well as our liberal democratic traditions that allowed people they disagreed with to speak out and allowed for right-wingers to organize. Who hated the American system so much that they felt the need to try to destroy it and even use violence to do it.

ANTIFA are not the Bernie Sanders-Jill Stein peace-loving Socialists of today who simply want to bring social democracy to America and combine it with our private enterprise system. But instead are people who again like the New-Left of the 1960s, who hate our capitalist private enterprise system, as well as our liberal democratic form of government, but hate racism and bigotry towards non-European-Americans, non-Christians, gays, women, so much that they’ll literally by force even attempt to shut up right-wing groups.

Even right-wing speakers and thinkers who aren’t necessarily bigots and don’t hate non-European-Americans. People like Ben Shapiro who is a Jewish-American and proud of his heritage, but who does have homophobic views, but who isn’t a racist. ANTIFA are people who claim to hate fascism and yet will use their free speech rights to try to physically prevent people they disagree with from using their free speech rights simply because they’re offended by what right-wingers have to say.

I label ANTIFA as a collection of far-leftist and Far-Left groups, because that it what they are. They’re a movement of illiberal (not liberal) political factions including Communists. People who are so diehard and hard-core with their political and cultural views and believe in them so strongly, that everyone else is not just wrong, but dangerous and offensive and therefor according to them don’t have a right to speak and perhaps even live peacefully.

You could be a Center-Left Liberal or Progressive, or perhaps even a Far-Left Democratic Socialist, who doesn’t believe in using violence to accomplish your political objectives and believe in free speech even for people you disagree with and you could get labeled by ANTIFA as a traitor and sellout to right-wing corporatists. To compare ANTIFA with Occupy Wall Street of 2011-12, would be inaccurate and perhaps even insulting. Because OWS of earlier this decade is the Bernie Sanders-Jill Stein social democratic movement od today. Who don’t believe in using violence to accomplish their political objectives. ANTIFA instead are the violent anarchist wing of the Far-Left in America.

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Source: CNN

CNN: The Lead With Jake Tapper- Inside Violent Anarchist Group ANTIFA

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Bob Daugherty: Mysteries & Scandals- The Blacklist & The Hollywood 10

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Source: Bob Daugherty 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Looking back at it The Hollywood Blacklist and The Hollywood 10 and the so-called House Un-American Activities Committee which was as Un-American as anything they were investigating and perhaps the most Un-American committee we’ve ever seen in Congress, looking back at The Hollywood Blacklist and The Hollywood 10 and the investigations that they were under simply for their ideological beliefs.

Because they were not just Socialists and some of them were simply Socialists and not Communists, but there were also Communists in this community. But they weren’t being investigated for being American traitors working for Communist Russia. They were investigated for being Communists, for having communist beliefs. This was the most extreme form of political correctness that we’ve seen in this country, at least in the 20th Century, because this wasn’t just people getting shouted down because they have what might be extreme political views, or just having political views that offend some political activist community that actually might not be extreme.

Which is today’s version of political correctness that the Far-Left (talk about Communists and Socialists) uses to try to shut up and censor right-wingers who they disagree with. But this is government-sponsored state-run political correctness. That says your (meaning Communists and Socialists) First Amendment rights aren’t as strong as people on the Right and Far-Right, simply because you’re Communists and Socialists.

If they were the KKK, Neo-Nazis, fundamentalist theocratic Christians who believe women’s place is in the home and it should even be illegal for them to work, or gays should be in jail and prison simply for being homosexual, well the argument from the fascist Far-Right would be there that they’re just expressing their First Amendment rights to free speech.

But if you’re a Socialist or Communist who believes in state-run health care and health insurance, having a state-run banking and even energy, but aren’t active politically in the sense that you’re running for office, or even campaigning for any Far-Left political candidates or politicians, or have any affiliations with Communists states, well you’re Un-American according to the fascist Far-Right. Who had this Leave it to Beaver 1940s and 1950s view of what it means to be a real American. Sort of the like 1940s version of the modern Tea Party today.

To put it plainly, political correctness really sucks. The only thing that was Un-American during these supposed investigations of Socialists and Communists in Hollywood, was the House Un-American Activities Committee itself. We have guaranteed free speech rights in America which means you can be on the Far-Left and believe in democratic socialism or even communism and believe that right-wing and perhaps even Center-Left political parties shouldn’t even have the right to exist.

Or you can be on the Far-Right and be a Far-Right Nationalist-Tribalist who believes your culture and faction in the country including ethnicity and race are the true Americans and the only people who will standup for America. And see everyone else as threats to your state and therefor aren’t deserving of the same constitutional rights as your culture and political faction. Or you can be religious theocrat who puts your religious beliefs over everything else including the U.S. Constitution and are so fundamentalist and have so much faith in your religious beliefs that you believe everything else should not only live under your cultural values, but be forced to live under them in some religious theocracy.

Just as long as the Far-Left and Far-Right aren’t violently acting on their beliefs even in an attempt to defeat or eliminate the opposition in order to accomplish their political beliefs. We have a right to free speech and belief, but not a constitutional right to violence short of self-defense. Americans have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to be stupid and even be assholes. Just as long as we’re not violent assholes and physically trying to hurt people simply because we disagree with them or even hate them. Our guaranteed right to free speech and beliefs the ability for every American to think for themselves is as American as anything we’ve ever had in this country and still have.

What’s Un-American are not political beliefs whatever they are, but trying to censor those views simply because you disapprove of them or are even offended by them. If Socialists and Communists want to hold political rallies attacking America with their rhetoric and call America the real evil empire in the world and argue that we’re some materialistic racist corporate state, because we allow wealth and don’t expect government to manage our daily lives for us, they have the guaranteed right to make those arguments and even publish articles, book, produce documentaries. Even if their nothing but great fiction, at best.

If the KKK, Neo-Nazis, want to argue that America is going to hell because of our non-European immigration in the country and that non-European-Americans are Un-American, they have can hold peaceful political rallies, publish articles and books, produce documentaries, making those arguments. And be treated by the public with the public’s free speech rights as the complete assholes that they are.

There’s nothing dangerous about free speech short of people telling others that certain people should be physically harmed, or have their property attacked, be falsely libeled and accused. What’s dangerous is trying to eliminate speech and thought in America simply because you disapprove of what the speaker is thinking and saying. Because the same thing can happen to you by the opposition when they don’t like your politics. The American way to confront speech and politics that you disagree with is to peacefully speak out and organize against it. Make the case as far as why the opposition is wrong. Publish articles, books, produce videos, documentaries, with the best available information that you can get about why the opposition is wrong. Which is as American our great diversity and melting pot that represents the entire world that we all call America.

Bob Daugherty: Mysteries & Scandals- The Blacklist & The Hollywood 10

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Patrick J. Buchanan: Judge Roy Moore & God’s Law

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Source: Patrick J. Buchanan 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

As much as so-called Conservatives like to claim that they believe in the rule of law, this is where the term so-called comes in when talking about some people who call themselves Conservatives. Former Judge Roy Moore now U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore from Alabama, has said that he doesn’t believe he has to follow laws that violate what he calls God’s Law. To put it simply, if a law is passed or has been on the books for years that violates his fundamentalist religious beliefs like same-sex marriage, the right to privacy which even covers pornography and homosexuality, that Judge Moore believes he has the right under his religious beliefs to violate those laws.

Judge Moore is not a strict-constructionist when it comes to the U.S. Constitution or a Constitutional Conservative. He’s Christian-Theocrat who believes separation of church and state violates the U.S. Constitution, even though its in the Constitution. Which is like one of these radical New-Left ANTIFA Neo-Communist activists saying that Americans don’t have a right to free speech, even though we have this little annoying document that annoys the hell out of the Far-Left and Far-Right that guarantees our free speech rights in America.

No one on the far Christian-Right in America and far Christian-Right is about as Far-Right as you can get in America, Christian-Right is pretty far, but no one on the far Christian-Right who are Christian-Theocrats like Roy More, should ever complain about Middle Eastern and Muslim theocracy. Because Christian-Theocrats the Roy Moore’s, Pat Robertson’s of the world, believe in theocracy as well. Just replace fundamentalist Islam with fundamentalist Christianity. Replace Arabs and other Middle Easterners, with English-Protestant Americans.

Roy Moore believes homosexuality should be illegal because it violates his religious beliefs. The Far-Left believes that criticism of Islam should be illegal because it offends some Muslims. Or even hate speech from Neo-Nazis who express their hate towards African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities, should be illegal because it offends those groups as well as most good Americans.

The problem that these fringes have again is that little annoying document called the U.S. Constitution that big governmentalist’s on the Christian-Right and radical Socialist-Left, actually most if not all Socialists in America are radical at least in America, but you get the idea, seem to hate.

The Christian-Right doesn’t use the U.S. Constitution as their guiding document and principles. What they do is take advantage of those rights and principles to advance their political agendas. Their interpretation of the Bible is what guides their politics. The Socialist-Left doesn’t believe laws and rights that were given to us over two-hundred years ago should apply to us today. Like the First Amendment, 2nd Amendment, federalism which is part of the 10th Amendment, and that the will of the people at the time should be what guides and govern us. And not a Constitution with all of these amendments that are almost impossible to overturn.

The problem that the Christian-Right has in America and I’m talking about their radicals since a lot of religious fundamentalist have radical religious views, but don’t necessarily believe their religious and cultural values should be forced on the rest of the country or want to see America become a religious theocracy, but the Roy Moore Christian-Theocratic wing of this movement’s problem is that they don’t live in a Christian-Theocracy or any other type of theocracy. They live in a constitutional federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy.

And just because the Christian-Right believe some laws and rights, and protections, are immoral like the right to privacy and free speech that they find offensive like homosexuality and certain forms of entertainment, or athletes protesting during the national anthem, doesn’t mean they have the right to violate laws just because they believe those laws, rights, and protections violate their interpretation of God’s Law. We have rule of law in America and if you don’t like one law or certain laws, you have the constitutional right to peacefully protest those laws and work to overturn them. As well as the obligation to obey those laws as long as there’re on the books. Which is apparently is something that Roy Moore either didn’t learn in law school, or ignored.

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Source: Michael Jacques 

Michael Jacques: CNN New Day- Chris Cuomo Interviewing Roy Moore: Rights Come From God As A Matter of Organic Law

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Reason: John Stossel- Lilly Tang Williams: 100 Years of Communist Disaster

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Source: Reason Magazine 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

China is a good example of a communist disaster as far as their economic system until they started their privatization program about 40 years ago and moved to a more capitalist private enterprise economic system. But China is still a communist unitarian one-party state that happens to have a private enterprise economic system, while still maintaining some state-owned enterprises. Their political system is still a one-party communist system and there’s still no free press, free speech, right to privacy, fair trial, etc, things that liberal democracies like America have. And yet I don’t think anyone at this point would argue that the People’s Republic of China is a failed state. Just a little push back at John Stossel’s broad point here that communism has failed in China.

I’m more interested in the somewhat rebirth if not of communism, but certainly socialism and what I call Neo-Communism. Which is a very illiberal (not liberal) form of socialist-collectivism which is somewhat undemocratic while still leaving in some democratic principles.

For example, non-socialist parties are still allowed to technically run for national office in Venezuela. The Center-Left Liberal Democrats did win control of the National Assembly there a few years ago. But then what the so-called Socialist (Neo-Communist) Maduro Government does there is say that those elections were not valid and the opposition is now a threat to the country (meaning the Maduro Government) and the Maduro Government starts their own brand new National Assembly where only members of the Socialist Party there are allowed to serve.

Which is a big reason why we’re seeing so much chaos in Venezuela there because the economy is collapsing in a country that is energy independent and yet they can’t produce enough affordable energy for most of the country. But rising inflation and interest rates, shortages of other basic necessities in life including food. Because Big Uncle Nick (meaning President Nicolas Maduro) believes his state is more capable of producing the goods and services that the Venezuelan people need better than the people themselves.

And that Venezuela is a country of 25 millions morons essentially who are too stupid to manage their own affairs. And they need Big Uncle Nick and his army of Neo-Communists (his government) to take care of them for them. Venezuela is the perfect example of a failed Neo-Communist state and disaster. Cuba would be another great example, add North Korea. Anyone seen or heard from the Soviet Union lately or seen any Soviets? Almost like they’ve disappeared from the face of the Earth.

But to bring it back home back to America where no one who isn’t an alcoholic or drug addict actually believes communism will ever takeover America and run this country. But there is a new socialist movement that has two wings of in it. One, is a democratic socialist wing led by Senator Bernie Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein, who by enlarge are both peace-loving Hippies from the 1960s who perhaps occasionally enjoy a joint every now and then who do live on cloud nine politically in the sense that they both have this warped fantasy that perhaps you could only get from smoking too much pot, that government services are free.

That if American taxpayers just gave up most of their income to Uncle Sam, or perhaps Uncle Bernie and his wife Aunt Jill, assuming that we wouldn’t allow them to just take our money from us, that America would turn into some beautiful socialist utopia. With no one ever going without not enough or enjoying too much, because the U.S. Government would collect our wealth for us and then manage for us and decide for us what we need to live well.

Besides, in their view Americans tend to be stupid anyway and aren’t capable of making our own complicated decisions anyway that you would probably need a masters degree from an Ivy League or some other great Northeastern or West Coast university to be able to manage properly. Like where we should get our health insurance, health care, how to invest for our retirement, where to get our childcare for our kids, who to take care of our kids when they get older, etc. Basic decisions that only New York, San Francisco, and Washington yuppie intellectuals are capable of making. And therefor according to Uncle Bernie and Aunt Jill and other Socialists, should have this decision-making power over everyone else and given the power to run our lives for us.

But wait, it gets a helluva a lot worse than that. Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, are the good Socialists for the most part. Other than having a hard time telling the truth about the costs and consequences of their economic policies. Its much worst than the Sanders-Stein factions of American socialism. Move over to the American Neo-Communists the people who hate free speech so much that they’ll use their free speech rights to try to shut up people who disagree with them. Even use violent tactics and terrorism to try to shut people up. We saw this at Berkley during this winter.

The Neo-Communists are people who say they hate capitalism even though they own almost every form of new technology there is and claim they can’t live without their smartphones and iPads and other devices. Who are always up to date on the latest fashion trends and own all of them. And yet they say they hate capitalism. They are people who claim to love animals and are for animal rights and put people down for the eating cheeseburgers and other meat and call that animal cruelty as they’re wearing leather jackets. Again, who say they hate capitalism even though they spend most of their time when they’re not protesting against free speech, at coffee houses on their laptops and iPhones. Who claim our Founding Fathers (the original Liberal Democrats) were evil racists who created this evil American empire. As they wear t-shirts of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and support those two men who are both responsible for the murders of thousands of people. In Fidel’s case perhaps millions.

Communism will never make it to America at least as a governing philosophy where we would see some communist regime installed and running the U.S. Government. Because Americans tend to be too individualist and once we are educated we tend to know what doesn’t work and what does work and are able and want to make our own decisions in life both personally and economically. Besides, the examples of failed communism and failed communist states are widely known. At least outside of the Millennial Generation and once the Millennial’s finally grow up I believe they’ll come to realize that the pot fantasies that they had in their twenties and even thirties about how like totally awesome socialism and communism is, was nothing more than a social fad and an attempt to look cool with their generation.

Reason Video: John Stossel- Lilly Tang Williams: 100 Years of Communist Disaster

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