Happy Birthday (Belated)

I was writing and remembered that I should have posted something on 05May18……it was the birthday of Karl Marx.

Marx is an interesting individual….his thoughts with Engels had influenced so many activist and political tacticians that to ignore his contributions is just silly.  I know that there are many that do not like Marx because of his influence of Communist and to some Democrats…..but the truth is that NO self-respecting socialist/communist would every describe hi/her self as a Democrat…..and yet the mental midgets keep making the comparisons.  The funny thing I that Marx was right on many aspects of society and politics and yet the typical Rightie continues to ignore Marx’s contributions and blaming all liberal policies and ideas as somehow socialistic in nature+.

Like I said Saturday was the birthday of Karl Marx……

On May 5, 1818, in the southern German town of Trier, in the picturesque wine-growing region of the Moselle Valley, Karl Marx was born. At the time Trier was one-tenth the size it is today, with a population of around 12,000. According to one of Marx’s recent biographers, Jürgen Neffe, Trier is one of those towns where “although everyone doesn’t know everyone, many know a lot about many.”

Such provincial constraints were no match for Marx’s boundless intellectual enthusiasm. Rare were the radical thinkers of the major European capitals of his day that he either failed to meet or would fail to break with on theoretical grounds, including his German contemporaries Wilhelm Weitling and Bruno Bauer; the French “bourgeois socialist” Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, as Marx and Friedrich Engels would label him in their “Communist Manifesto”; and the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin

In an op-ed in the The Week magazine there is a call to “normalize” Marx and his teachings…..I cannot wait for the freak out……

Happy birthday to Karl Marx, who was born 200 years ago on May 5. He was the most astute and influential critic of capitalism in history — and also the most misunderstood.

It is long since time that Marx re-joined the community of ordinary intellectuals, considered as neither the terrifying harbinger of social upheaval, nor a secular pope with the eternally correct description of all human society. He was a genius, but in the end, only another human scholar with a brilliant but incomplete perspective.

http://theweek.com/articles/770718/time-normalize-karl-marx

I await the debate.

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Is There A Resurrection In Progress?

As Easter approached the term “resurrection” becomes more and more popular in our society and what better time to offer an political opinion than now?

The big news of the week is the election of a Dem in Western Pennsylvania a deep red district……..

It is still officially too close to call, but Conor Lamb has declared an against-the-odds Democratic victory in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. He was introduced as “Congressman-elect Lamb” at a Hilton Inn campaign party, even as officials were counting hundreds of absentee ballots, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it!” said Lamb, whose Republican opponent, Rick Saccone, has not conceded. Unofficial results put Lamb ahead by around 600 votes. The margin is narrow enough for supporters of either side to get a recount if they can find three voters in the same precinct who attest to error or fraud, the AP reports.

The district voted for President Trump by 20 points in 2016 and has been so reliably Republican in recent years that Democrats didn’t field a candidate in the 2014 and 2016 House races, meaning the result will be a major worry for the GOP heading into the midterms even if it ends up as a narrow Republican win, the New York Times notes. Trump campaigned in the district and Republican-aligned outside groups spent more than $10 million on the race, even though the winner will only hold the seat for eight months. “The real impact of this race has to do more with the symbolism of the outcome as a harbinger of things to come, and as a reflection of President Trump’s popularity,” pollster Chris Borick tells the Post-Gazette.

And of course the media is painting it as a “blue wave” year coming in the November mid-terms…..but to me the humorous story to come pout of this election is that Lamb is a Repub….(I know…say what?)…..

the RNC and its supporters reversed course and seized on a false talking point that Lamb’s victory was unusual because he was “pro-life” and basically ran as a Republican.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters that the result was not a “big surprise” because both candidates “ran as a pro-life anti-Nancy Pelosi conservative.”

(think progress)

Brings a smile to my face and as moronic as his statement sounded……. deep down Ryan may have a point…..

WTF, Professsor?

Lamb sounds like a “Blue Dog Democrat”….(I will pause here for all the people that have NO idea what I am saying to hit the Google button)…..(Times up!)

A Blue Dog Democrat is a member of Congress who is moderate or more conservative in their voting record and political philosophy than other, more liberal, Democrats in the House and Senate. The Blue Dog Democrat, however, has become an increasingly rare breed in American politics as voters and elected officials become more partisan and polarized in their beliefs.

To make it easier to understand…..A Blue Dog Democrat is one who views himself/herself as being in the middle of the partisan spectrum and as an advocate for fiscal restraint at the federal level

The preamble to the Blue Dog Caucus in the House describes its members as being “dedicated to the financial stability and national security of the country, notwithstanding partisan political positions and personal fortune.” (sounds like a Repub to me)

Members of the Blue Dog Democrat coalition listed among their legislative priorities a “Pay-As-You-Go Act,” which require that any legislation that requires an outlay of taxpayer money cannot increase the deficit. (still smells like a Repub)

They also supported balancing the federal budget, closing tax loopholes, and cutting spending through the elimination of programs they feel don’t work.

For further information on Blue Dogs…..

http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1913057,00.html

I give all this information to my readers for I see a return of the Blue Dog Democrats……Dems finding  a way to win elections in an ever expanding conservative base….Clinton-esque crap of the Democratic Leadership Council……

Where Have You Gone, George McGovern?

It is no secret that I am no war hawk…..I am a staunch anti-war supporter and for decades I have watched the Dems go from opposing war to blindly authorizing one after another……I recall the year that George McGovern won the Dem support for the presidential run…..that was a time when we Vets that opposed the war and wars and hoped that there could be a change in the way the country moved forward….we were  disappointed and very wrong…..

Where have those Dems gone since the days of McGovern?

He knew war well—well enough to know he hated it.

George McGovern was a senator from South Dakota, and he was a Democrat true liberals could admire. Though remembered as a staunch liberal and foreign policy dove, McGovern was no stranger to combat. He flew 35 missions as a B-24 pilot in Italy during World War II. He even earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for executing a heroic emergency crash landing after his bomber was damaged by German anti-aircraft fire.

Still, George McGovern was a humble man who carried the burden, and honor, of his military service with grace. Though proud of his service, he was never constrained by it. When he saw a foolish war, an immoral war—like Vietnam—he stood ready to dissent. He was an unapologetic liberal and unwavering in his antiwar stance. These days, his kind is an endangered species on Capitol Hill and in the Democratic National Committee. McGovern died in 2012. His party, and the United States, are lesser for his absence.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/03/28/where-have-you-gone-george-mcgovern-2/

Americans need to find that voice that hates war and only wants what is best for the country……sadly those days are long gone replaced with the hordes of lobbyists that stand in line to own our politicians.

The result will be endless worthless wars that pervert everything in our society.

Conservatism–Long Lost Theory

For years I fought against anything conservative….I thought that their policies were harming a large portion of the society…..but starting in 2010 I became afraid of what conservatives had become….a political tribe that had no real policies that benefited society and the conservs of old were not so bad after all……

It is no secret that I am not a fan of our current president…..I find is approach to politics as uncouth as it can get…..

Analysts of all stripes have been peering through the political dust of 2017 to figure out what the hell happened. The academic monographs and bombshell memoirs stand side by side on the already groaning bookshelf devoted to explaining the Trump phenomenon. In all likelihood it will take decades to get a proper perspective on the year in American history that has irrevocably transformed the political landscape.

That transformation is deep-seated. It has not only created a schism separating competing ideas; it has pried apart the very conceptual frameworks that shapes those ideas, a gestalt change that signals we have reached a turning point in history. What we are witnessing is a watershed shift in philosophical first principles. The first irony to be observed is that this sweeping philosophical transformation was occasioned by perhaps the least philosophically minded president in United States history.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/heres-trump-ushered-new-form-juvenile-angry-unsophisticated-punk-conservativism/

Before, years gone by, there was an intellectual component to conservatism….a component that had substantive debates with the Left….but those days are gone….now it is boiled down to slogans and insults…..the conservatism of old is dead….

Had conservatism a Cassandra, she might, amidst the current mood of triumph, point out that whereas 50 years ago the American Right boasted several political theorists destined to exert a lasting influence, today it has not one to its credit. In the 1950s and ’60s, James Burnham, Richard Weaver, Leo Strauss, Harry Jaffa, Russell Kirk, Friedrich Hayek, and Willmoore Kendall (among others) were all at the apex of their powers. No figure of similar stature remains.

To be sure, this does not mean that conservatism has gone into intellectual decline. We may, on the contrary, be living through the high summer of conservative ideas in America. If in 1950 all the right-wing intellectuals in America could fit into a single living room, today they could fill Madison Square Garden; if in 1950 one could read their combined monthly output in a single sitting, today one could not possibly keep abreast of the voluminous popular and scholarly literature that they produce. From journalism, politics, and law to religion, economics, and international relations, self-identified right-wingers abound.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/defining-conservatism-down/

I long for the days of the intellectual conservative and I think conservatives are also longing for those days gone by.

Populism–What’s It Good For

The election of 2016 brought about the use of the term populism….it has been around for many many years but not used so much by the media when reporting on an election…..and the 2016 arrived and not knowing exactly what to do about the whole popularity of Trump and Sanders….viola the term “populism” found a new home……

Populists abhor restraints on the political executive. Since they claim to represent “the people” writ large, they regard limits on their exercise of power as necessarily undermining the popular will. Such constraints can only serve the “enemies of the people” – minorities and foreigners (for right-wing populists) or financial elites (in the case of left-wing populists).

This is a dangerous approach to politics, because it allows a majority to ride roughshod over the rights of minorities. Without separation of powers, an independent judiciary, or free media – which all populist autocrats, from Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump detest – democracy degenerates into the tyranny of whoever happens to be in power.

Periodic elections under populist rule become a smokescreen. In the absence of the rule of law and basic civil liberties, populist regimes can prolong their rule by manipulating the media and the judiciary at will.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/defense-of-economic-populism-by-dani-rodrik-2018-01

Populism is a dangerous thing….the whole “voice of the people” is good cover but a dangerous trend in a democratic country.

What Fate The Republic?

How many times have you heard some political wannabe tell you that the US is not a democracy but rather a republic?  Most times it some well meaning Rightie that wants to point that out when others write about the things that is going wrong with this country.

I will admit that they are right (you do not know how hard that is for me to admit for I dislike most Right wing dullards)…..and since they are right and this is nothing more than a republic …..is there an expiration date?

Whither the American republic? It is worth remembering that no one founds a republic believing the republic will last forever. To believe such a thing automatically negates one’s conservatism. Like all living things, a republic must experience a birth, a middle age, and a death. The question is never if a republic will die, but when. The stronger its soul, the healthier its body. Conversely, the less a people have a purpose, the faster will they decline. A republic, American or not, is a res publica—a common good, a good thing, a public thing. Whether our government still resembles the republic of the American founders is yet another question, and one for another post.

It is also worth remembering that in the long history of western civilization, no political arrangement—with only the rarest exceptions—has lasted more than a few centuries. Political bodies come and go. The two longest lived institutions in the West are not political, but, ethnic and religious. The oldest sustained cohesive people in the world are the Jews, and the oldest institution in the West is the Latin church. We can conservatively date the first at 4,000 years old and, the second, at roughly 2,000 years old. Not a single political body that existed during the time of the Pentecost still exists today. Indeed, even the very form of government that so predominates in the world—the roughly 200 nation states of the world—did not exist until the fifteenth century.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/birzer/the-republic-was-never-supposed-to-be-forever/

When is our expiration date?  Are we living that day now?

On The Road To Authoritarianism

There is a trend going on here in the US that is not something to be proud of…..I know we are according to the slogan “Making America Great Again”…..but the only thing that we are doing to our country is making it more authoritarian….

What does it feel like when a liberal democratic country turns the corner into authoritarianism?

America is changing. It isn’t always obvious and flagrant — like Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announcing that some opposition parties will not be allowed to take part in the country’s 2018 elections, or the Polish government changing the way the courts oversee the nation’s laws in order to advance the agenda of those currently in power. And neither are these changes necessarily all things that have happened only since President Trump’s election last year. Even if the authoritarian drift accelerated with Trump’s rise, it didn’t begin with him. He is its expression. We need to do everything we can to ensure he doesn’t end up being its culmination.

Doing that requires keeping our eyes open for and taking note of longer-term trends and signs of authoritarian drift that are sometimes difficult to detect.

http://theweek.com/articles/742632/americas-dawning-authoritarianism

What started off as a positive thing….the generals in the Trump cabinet would keep Trump on an even keel…..that has yet to materialize….if anything they are traveling the authoritarian road…..

An article yesterday at NBC focusing on Trump and “his” generals got me to thinking on this subject again.  Its author, Suzanne Garment, suggests that Trump likes generals as obedient alpha males.  They lend him credibility without directly threatening his delicate ego.  And there’s truth in this.

But I want to focus on other reasons for Trump’s preference for generals in high positions.  A year ago, I wrote an article for TomDispatch.com on “All the President’s Generals.”  That article focused mainly on the potential impact of these generals on America’s foreign policy and domestic culture.  As I wrote last December:

https://www.laprogressive.com/trump-authoritarianism/

It is not looking good for the country…..the American people need to stay informed and stay alert……we have a country to lose.