Prem Panicker: Video: NBC’s The West Wing: Why is Liberal a Bad Word?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Matthew Santos played by Jimmy Smits, a great actor, doing a solid job of defending liberalism against Arnold Vinick played by the great actor and comedian Alan Alda. This of course was part of the last season of The West Wing with a lot of focus on who was going to be next President after Jeb Bartlett played by the great Martin Sheen. And the Democratic nominee was Representative Matthew Santos played again by Jimmy Smits and the Republican nominee was Senator Arnold Vinick played by Alan Alda.

I wouldn’t consider Matt Santos to be the liberal in this election, but the candidate who was furthest left at least amongst the major party presidential candidates on this show. He advocated for eliminating school tenure for public school teachers, which is something I support as a Liberal. Not the point of this post, but then he advocates for nationalizing public education in America and putting the Federal Government in charge of schools in America. That was from the early days of this campaign, which was on season 6.

No real Liberal would advocate for nationalizing public schools in this country. I’m not sure I can come up with a more anti-liberal position than nationalizing the school system. I mean talk about top-down over-bureaucratic government agencies, nationalize the school system where Washington tells Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta and everyone else in the country how to educate their kids and you’ll see exactly what I mean. With a school system worth trillions of dollars and a huge part of the American economy.

I said Matt Santos did a solid job of defending liberalism. And I meant that and I just laid out where this fictional character came up short as a Liberal and looks more like a Socialist. But where he did a good job was talking about expanding rights and freedom in this country, which is the main point of liberalism and the main reason for being a Liberal. Not expanding governmental power, but expanding the power of individuals over their own lives. And he gave great examples including ending slavery, women’s right to vote, Medicare and Social Security.

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Classic Canada Sports: NHL Expansion Documentary: Why The World Hockey Association Was Successful

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on Blogger

The National Hockey League up until the late 1960s were a six team league, just six franchises in the whole league representing two huge countries physically Canada and America. Spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, until they expanded in the late 1960s in major markets like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington in the mid 1970s. The National Hockey League spent its first fifty-years or so trying to prove to North America, especially America that they were even a major sports league, they’ve passed that test since, but they had a hard time expanding anywhere.

The NHL was reluctant to expand which is good reasons for the World Hockey Association. Not sure why they called it that because they were only in two countries, but its good for major league hockey in North America that they came into business in the early 1970s. Because they proved in just seven seasons that major league hockey could work in both Canada and America and went into markets like Hartford, Cleveland, Quebec, Winnipeg, Denver, Edmonton and others. Giving pro hockey players more of a choice in where they could play in what league and for what team.

The WHA proved that major league hockey could work in North America that the NHL was trapping it’s player in having to play for one team even after their contract expired. And that the NHL wasn’t doing a very good job in attracting as many fans as they could. The WHA was able to do as well as they did in that brief seven-year window that they had because they were able to attract talent that should’ve been in the NHL. But that the NHL let slide away from them because again they were trying to keep them with one club not letting see for themselves what else was out there.

But also players that should’ve been in the NHL, but there just wasn’t enough room for them because again up until the late 1960s again the NHL only had six clubs. Which meant great players like forwards Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretsky who I guess the NHL thought was too small. But all Wayne Gretsky did was show the world that he might be the best hockey player who ever played. But you could also make a case for Gordie Howe as far as who’s the greatest all around hockey player of all-time, but that’s a different debate.

And without the WHA maybe the NHL doesn’t have thirty clubs today, because maybe they wouldn’t of taken chances on markets like Nashville, Tampa, Miami, Raleigh, Denver, San Jose etc. And maybe they are still a small league just trying to survive like the Major Indoor Soccer League or something. The WHA was a success because a lot of their clubs were able to become part of the NHL. Like the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and others. And proved that major league hockey can succeed in North America. And without the WHA, the NHL is probably not as successful as it is today.
World Hockey Association

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Johnny Carson: Video: NBC’s The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson: Jimmy Stewart Delightfully Funny in 1989

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I can’t do a Jimmy Stewart impression. I wish I could, because he’s one of my favorite funny actors of all-time. Similar to Cary Grant or Robert De Niro of today. The best I can do with Stewart, is use what are today and have been for a while all of these cheesy expressions and words that he used all the time in his movies. Sounding like a small town country boy going to a big city for the first time in his life and saying things like gee wiz, dog gonnit, cheesy stuff like that. But sounds hysterical when it is in a movie that has a lot of cussing in it, but the movie is edited and replaced with words like this.

But Johnny Carson was right when he said that he could play straight man to Jimmy’s comedian and wiseass who is never serious. Johnny could feed him all the material that Jimmy would need to comment on and Jimmy without a script could do standup off the top of his head without preparation and sound hysterical. As we saw in this video with Johnny asking Jimmy basic questions about what is going on in his life and Jimmy playing comedian in response. Like saying his New Years resolution was to talk faster. One reason he is famous is for talking slow.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorite movies of all-time. And even though I don’t think it was supposed to be, it is also one of the funniest movies of all-time. The humor you see from Jeff Smith in the movie played by Jimmy Stewart is very similar to the real life Stewart. Observational, off the cuff, what are you thinking, no time to prepare, instant humorous analysis of what you are seeing. Which is Jimmy Stewart and what you see in this video on Carson.

Jimmy Gets Hitch

Jimmy Gets Hitch

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Reason: Video: Nick Gillespie Interviews Jonah Goldberg on The Tyranny of Cliches and Political Discourse

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on Blogger, June, 2012

This is what I like about Jonah Goldberg and I’ll admit as a Liberal I have a short list of what I like about him. And could lay that out in under a paragraph, but he seems to understand the differences between Liberals and Progressives at least to this extent. That he describes people who have been called “Modern Liberals”, as Progressives not Liberal. Even though like a lot of right-wingers, still throws out those old stereotypes that make Liberals look more like Progressives or Socialists.

Jonah even has described his own politics as classical liberal, at least to a certain extent and sounds like a real Conservative in the classical sense. Not someone in today’s neoconservative Republican Party, but more with the Barry Goldwater line of thinking ideology. Not Rick Santorum to use as an example. That’s what I like about Jonah Goldberg in under a paragraph. But says things that Liberals don’t believe in ideology, even though we wrote the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, along with Libertarians.

But Jonah says we don’t believe in ideology. And that we get on and put people who do believe in ideology and we look down at people, who don’t look at the world exactly the way we do. And to use Jonah Goldberg’s line, “I call bullshit on that”. If Jonah used these stereotypes just to describe people who he sees as “Modern Liberals”, people who are Progressives in the Democratic Socialist Progressive Caucus mode, then I wouldn’t have a problem with that. Because of the way he describes the politics of a lot of these people.

I agree with Jonah to a certain extent, but when he calls them Liberals and says that “Liberals believe in bloated big government” and our ideology is built around the welfare state. How we can empower the Federal Government to take care of people, again to use Jonah’s line, I call bullshit on him. Because he’s describing the politics of today’s Progressives and not my politics. And when he focus’s on big government, he only does it from one side of the aisle and doesn’t go after big government supporters from his own side of the aisle. He doesn’t go after the Neoconservatives in his own party. Unlike myself who has long enough arms to pat myself on the back.

If Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about the big government leanings about the Progressive Caucus and other modern Progressive Democrats and then also wrote a book about the big Government leanings about the Religious-Right, then I would take him more seriously. But the current track right now seems to try to make Liberals look like people they aren’t. And only goes after the big government fascist views of one side of the aisle and sound more like a partisan hack to me more than anyone else.

Right-Wing Spinster

Right-Wing Spinster

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Azuldas: Video: HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher: Bill Maher Talks About Ron Paul

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on Blogger, December, 2011

Bill Maher just four years ago who supported Ron Paul for President in the Republican primaries, who I’m guessing would’ve voted for Ron Paul for President had Paul won the Republican nomination (and we all moved to Mars tomorrow because of course that will never happen) and now seems to be in love with the welfare state and big government. And probably prays to it every night before going to bed. Because after all Socialists actually do have a God its called Welfare State. I’m not sure how you go from an anti-big government Libertarian to a pro-big government Socialist. But I guess only Bill Maher can answer that.

I’m not sure how you go from wanting government off your back to believing government should sit on your back protecting you from making bad decisions. Should do even more than it’s doing now, especially the Federal Government. But only Bill Maher can answer that question, because he might be the one who’s made that transition. Maher probably would’ve liked Ron Paul’s position on health care four years ago which was basically the decision in whether to buy health insurance or not should be left up to individuals. To now where Maher believes that the Federal Government should make that decision for the people.

And we should all have to pay for government health insurance better known as Single Payer Medicare For All. Bill Maher or someone like him with his politics, could’ve been Ron Paul’s running mate in 2008 (had their been an August blizzard in South Florida to make that possible). Because ideologically they were very similar, to now he’s calling Paul out of touch and making fun of his age. If it’s popularity and ratings that Bill Maher is interested in and attracting young viewers, then he should’ve stuck with his libertarian message and I would argue liberal message of maximize freedom and responsibility for the individual.

Because young people tend to be liberal to libertarian (at least now) and want to be left alone to live our own lives. I’m a perfect example of this, government should be there to protect, defend, negotiate and regulate. Do for the society what individuals can’t do for ourselves or better. Not tell us what health insurance we should buy, school we should send our kids to. Who we can sleep, with, who we can marry, what we can do with our own money. Basically as long as we are not hurting anyone else with what we are doing.

Not tax us till we are working two jobs. One job to survive the other job to pay the taxes. On the first and second jobs and if you tax business’s to death they might not be able to afford workers who are looking for second jobs to pay their taxes. Maybe they’ll start another business to go with their first business, so they can pay their taxes. Young voters don’t tend to be progressive to socialist, but they have some voters as well. Too many in the Democratic Party for my taste, but I’m not President of the Club or Chairman of the DNC Membership Committee (yet) so I can’t kick them out.

Maybe Bill Maher has concluded that he was wrong about libertarianism the first time and has decided that people are generally stupid. And that “we need government to look after us and protect us from ourselves”. And if it cost him libertarian viewers, screw them! (To put it mildly) This is what he believes or maybe after President Obama is reelected he will have another vision of the world. And decide that eight years of a Democratic President is enough we need to bring neoconservatism back to the White House. Or maybe Maher will find a religious God and decide we need a theocracy. I guess it may depend on the highest bidder. And that’s show business for you in the 21st Century.

Libertarian & Socialist?

Libertarian & Socialist?

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CBC: Video: CBC Archives: Malcolm X on Front Page Challenge in 1965: The Black Power Movement

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Malcolm X’s message was about self-reliance and self-defense for the African-American community. He was not interested in trying to destroy an entire community. Which is something the right-wing in America especially the far-right doesn’t seem to understand. That prefer to view and label Malcolm X as a racist or a criminal or a thug or all of those things. Malcolm X’s message instead was about empowering an entire community to be able to live in freedom. So they could take care of themselves wherever they decided to live.

Malcolm X’s Black Power movement was exactly that. Power for the African-American community to be able to manage their own affairs. Not have to be dependent on government or Caucasian-Americans for their economic survival in having to serve them in order to put food on their tables for their families. But by being able to build their own communities and business’s and being able to live self-sustainable lives on their own.
Malcolm X

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Beware Cults: Video: History Channel: Dangerous Devotion, Decoding the Past

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on Blogger, August, 2012

I believe it’s the common wisdom that for people to be member of cult groups, that there’s clearly something wrong with them. They have some mental disease, that no one else has picked up on or thought it was a big enough problem that it needed to be addressed. That all cultist’s lets call them are ex-convicts or have spent time in mental institutions, that’s clearly not the case. All you have to do to know that, is to look at the Manson Family from the late 1960s.

Most if not all the members of the Manson Family, were all educated, headed for college if they wanted it. And all came from middle to upper middle class families, all with loving parents. Except for their leader Charlie Manson, who had a at least borderline nightmarish childhood, never knowing his father. A mother who didn’t want him and wasn’t prepared to raise him, who got passed around from house to house, who I believe never even attended high school, at least on the outside. Jonestown is another example of that where either their leader in Jonestown was well-educated and very intelligent.

But Jim Jones was also borderline evil and became a very dangerous man responsible for the murders of hundreds of people. Jonestown again was made up of young middle class people who were somewhat lost in life and not sure where they were going. Who hated the injustices they saw in life and were looking for an escape. They were essentially a collection of Socialists who were looking for an opportunity to build a Socialist Utopia. This was the vision of Jonestown that was to be set up in the jungles of Guyana. A communitarian lifestyle where the cultist’s would live off of each other and live off the land.

It’s not so much the mentally ill that are targets of these cult groups, but people who have talents, intelligence, abilities, but are not sure where they are going in life. These are the people who get picked up by these groups, because these cult leaders see potential in these people, that they want to exploit and take advantage of in all sorts of ways. The Manson Family and Jonestown are perfect examples of this.

People who tend to fall in these cult groups, tend to be looked down from people on the outside, who don’t understand cult groups as stupid or crazy. “Look at those nuts or morons they deserved what they got”. That sort of thing when people who fall into these groups could be the next door neighbor in a middle class or wealthy community. These groups tend to be made up of people who are somewhat lost in life and looking for a break from reality.

Jonestown Mass Murder

Jonestown Mass Murder

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