Democratic Socialism in America

The economic fallacy of Socialism and redistribution
The economic fallacy of Socialism and redistribution

Recently there has been a surge in Democratic Socialism in America. Bernie Sanders may have run against Hillary Clinton as a Democrat but in reality he is a self-described Democratic Socialist. He campaigned hard and gained an impressive following but was sabotaged by Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The election is over. Bernie faded back somewhat but he is a loyal trooper and has done his job for the movement. Not a whimper of complaint about how the DNC through chicanery gave his campaign the boot.

Enter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary on June 26, 2018 in New York’s 14th congressional district. In doing so she defeated the incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley. This victory has been described by some as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm-election season. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has been endorsed by a number politically progressive organizations.

As of this writing she is the darling of the Democrat party in general. Coming up on mid-terms though, the old hands are realizing that she is a liability. They are torn though because she is energizing the base which to a large extent consists of low-information millennials who are suckers for the mantra, “free health care, free university, high pay for flipping burgers, more safe spaces.” Many of these individuals, although not all, are more likely to be members of Antifa rather than productive society which is supposed to pay for their freebies.

How Can They Make the Give-Away Nanny State Work?

In an interview on “The Daily Show,” with host Trevor Noah, Ocasio-Cortez basically trotted out the tired, boring, unrealistic party lines. “If they pay their fair share; if corporations and the ultra-wealthy, for example as Warren Buffet likes to say, if he pays as much as his secretary paid, a 15% tax rate…”

She then goes on to say, “raise the corporate tax rate to 28%.” I suppose to hell with all the job creation and repatriated corporate cash that the Trump tax cuts have created.

Next she goes after the military budget. She drones on, “Just last year we gave the military a $700 billion budget increase which they didn’t even ask for. They’re like ‘We don’t want another fighter jet; they’re, like, don’t give us another nuclear bomb’. They didn’t even ask for it. And we gave it to them.”

Tell that to the USAF jet mechanic on the flight line patching up jets with “gently used” replacement parts.

This is the very same Ocasio-Cortez that tweeted that the GOP is weak on national security. So come on Alexandria, which is it? We all feel better knowing that under your Socialist party you can achieve strong national security without funding the military. How will that policy ensure our national sovereignty? Sounds a bit like unicorns and rainbows.

History of Socialism in America

In the United States Socialism found its beginning with utopian communities in the early 19th century. A good example is the Shakers. Labor activists who were usually British, German, or Jewish immigrants founded the Socialist Labor Party in 1877.

The Socialist Party of America was established in 1901. It is interesting to note that anarchism also established itself around the nation. At this time socialists of different stripes were involved in early American labor organizations and struggles. One thing led to another resulting in the Haymarket affair in Chicago which started International Worker’s Day.

This evolved into the main worker’s holiday around the world except in the US, which observes Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

The Socialist Party of America presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs was opposed to World War I and his influence led to the governmental repression we know as the First Red Scare. The Socialist Party declined in the 1920s, but nonetheless often ran Norman Thomas for President. Fast forward to the 1950s; socialism was affected by McCarthyism and in the 1960s it was revived by the general radicalization brought by the New Left and other social struggles and revolts.

The socialist movement has always had its adherents on our soil but has never been able to sway the majority of the population. For one thing, many hard-working Americans are well informed enough to know that socialism does not work.

Democratic Socialism in America is also hampered by the freedom of citizens to participate in a capitalist system where hard work pays off.

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What You Need to Know About the Supreme Court

Supreme Court 2018
Supreme Court 2018

Judge Anthony McLeod Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan has announced his retirement from the Supreme Court which frees President Trump to appoint his successor.

The Supreme Court is a unique institution in all the world. If you live in this country (USA) this post will explain what you need to know about the Supreme Court, or as it is sometimes called, SCOTUS, (Suprememe Court of the United States.

Supreme Court Justice is a Lifetime Gig

Once seated, a supreme court justice can hang up his or her resume. There is no expiration term on this job unlike regular judges who must pander for your votes at each election cycle. The president appoints SCOTUS justices according to his or her political persuasion. For this reason some have argued that the ability to appoint supreme court justices is one of the most powerful tools that sitting presidents have. Presidential terms in office are fleeting but their policies embedded in their SCOTUS selection endure far beyond their years.

This is the reason why President Obama’s appointment of Sonia Maria Sotomayor was so disturbing to constitutionally-opinionated Americans and even foreign-born critics.  She indicated that she intended to pass rulings based on her personal sentiments (empathy, she said) rather than on the basics of the constitution which she is bound by oath to comply with and defend.

An unabashed left-wing liberal radical, she also ruled against the Stolen Valor Act which prevents individuals from portraying themselves as armed forces heroes for false personal gain. This (from my perspective as a veteran) is a poor choice for this high office. Shame.

So there’s that.

History Behind the Supreme Court

The Constitution permitted Congress to decide on the make-up of the Supreme Court. The legislative branch first exercised this power with the Judiciary Act of 1789. The act, signed into law by President George Washington, specified that the court would be made up of six justices who would serve on the court until they died or retired.

Today there are nine sitting justices and together they hold more power than arguably anyone on the planet.  They serve and issue edicts until they retire or die.

Anthony Kennedy Retires

Notably, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy just announced his retirement setting the stage for President Trump to appoint a successor.

Why does this matter? Whoever Trump places on the bench will wield power for years, even decades, long after the presidential torch has passed. This is why the power of the president can last far longer than his term. It doesn’t always work out that way and there is no denial that some justices are flawed.

For example when Justice Roberts “interpreted” Obamacare non-compliance to be a “tax” rather than a “fine” he usurped Congressional authority. Specifically, the Supreme Court has no such authority but they have “assumed” it over time. Like, if I jaywalk enough times without getting busted, it becomes legal. Bullcrap, but there you go.

The Supreme Court Justice Nomination Process

There are nine Supreme Court justices. One is designated as the Chief Justice and the other eight are Associate Justices. When any one justice dies or retires it makes for a vacancy. Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that the president has the responsibility of nominating a replacement.

The reason for using nine, an odd number, is so when SCOTUS hears a case and rules on it there will not be a tie.

Next the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing to approve the nomination, or not. Following a lengthy question and answer, the committee votes on the prospective justice. If approved, all is good. If not, the process begins anew.

However, there is a fly in the ointment. Republicans usually appoint conservative judges and Democrats, liberal ones. It is very possible that one party will unanimously oppose. In fact, it is not inconceivable that outright chicanery will take place.

The Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

The current nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a good example. After other Democrat stalling techniques had failed, they brought Christine Blasey Ford out of the wings to accuse him of sexual misconduct (he allegedly unsuccessfully tried to force himself on her) some thirty five years ago at a high school party.

One problem is that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee had received a letter from Ford regarding the alleged misconduct. But rather than share the letter with the committee as one might expect would be part of the process, she deliberately withheld it, perhaps to use as ammunition when all other delaying tactics had failed.

Will his nomination be approved? Who knows, but his case is just one example of how the system can break down when shady tactics are employed by elected officials.

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Antifa, Obama’s Shadow Government, Resistance Against Trump

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Antifa activists

This article was last revised on 08/12/18.

While there have always been fringe political groups, they are much more obvious today due to the internet, and of course, 24/7 cable news coverage. The range and scope of the organization of these groups on an internal level varies widely. Many are grass-roots groups that are self-funded; others are bankrolled from external sources that set the agenda to some extent and even issue paychecks to demonstrators (George Soros comes to mind).

Antifa has been Garnering Attention Lately

The Antifa moniker is shorthand for Anti-Fascism. The original movement began in Europe in the 1920s. Notably, Benito Mussolini’s propaganda machine used the term anti-fascist to label their opponents.

Anti-fascist groups also rose up to counter the Nazis such as the Red Front Fighter’s League. As you might infer from the term “Red” they were organized by the Communist party.

The political takeaway from these early anti-fascist groups is that they were resisting truly repressive regimes.

The current incarnation of Antifa in the United States is a bit different. Resisting a diplomatically-elected president such as Trump (or Clinton if that had of transpired), neither fascist by the way, is a bit of a stretch from the original intent. explains it like this,  “Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.”

Antifa encouraging killing police officers.
Antifa encouraging killing police officers. So brave; why the masks?

Their current target is Trump although none of the above-mentioned terms actually fit him or his politics. Rather, it would seem that members of this organization (and others) are being used as dupes.

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Is Antifa Going off Message?

Despite all their claims, they talk the talk but fall short of walking the walk. Recently, on Aug. 4, 2018, Paul Welch took the American flag with him when he went to Portland to oppose a right-wing rally being held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Sounds patriotic as apple pie, right? Standing up for fundamentalist anti-stormtrooper government types. But not for the thugs as he said two people dressed in black and covering their faces (did we mention cowards covering their faces?) approached him and demanded he give them the “fascist symbol” he was carrying. When he refused, the Antifa duo tried to rip the flag from his hands.

Another masked counter-protester then approached Welch and began striking him from behind with an unidentified weapon concealed in black fabric.

“It strikes me as the worst sort of political theater,” Welch said of what happened to him. “It’s kind of like you’re playing into your opponent’s hand when you do that sort of thing. That’s not what I was there for.”

Effie Baum, a spokesperson with Popular Mobilization, a group that helped organize the counter-protest at City Hall, declined to comment.

Of course Effie, because you are covering for a bunch of cowards with political Napoleonic complexes. Who live in their parent’s basements. And stuff their gobs with Cheetos. When they are not chasing Pokemon with their establishment iPhones. Please.

At least three people were hospitalized after clashes between right-wing demonstrators and Antifa protesters. Anger after the fact was largely directed at Portland police, who used “less-lethal” riot-control weapons.

Is there an Antifa Connection with Obama’s Shadow Government?

What is a shadow government? In general, it consists of groups and individuals who exert some degree of control over the official government. The groups may include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Tri- lateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund. The liberal mainstream media is certainly involved.

The individuals involved are the un-elected Obama era bureaucrats littered throughout the federal government. The judiciary and certain levels of state government are also involved. Undoubtedly many of these individuals (who wield quite a bit of power) are still loyal to Obama and his liberal policies.

Does Obama give them direct marching orders? That is unclear but to think so might be a bit too conspiracy theory-ish. However it’s no secret that he has remained very active politically since he left the White House and he is certainly sending out signals.

Is the failed Obama legacy the reason he just can’t accept the fact that he is not in charge anymore? It seems that this might be at least part of the reason. He is still trying to make his mark.

Now for the Antifa connection. It is extremely doubtful that the shadow government is directly pulling their strings. But the bottom line is that some of their goals coincide. In particular, foiling and if possible deposing President Trump. One way or another, they are marching in lockstep.

Democrats Fueling the Fire

Many Democrat Congress members seem to have abandoned doing the nation’s business in order to focus almost full-time on taking Trump down. For example, Elizabeth “Pocahantas” Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

The shadow government takes their cues from these folks. In a loose way the end result is a very real coordinated resistance effort against Trump and his administration.

The bottom line is that all this is very bad for the American people. Their interests are not being served. The Trump election was a mandate for the changes he ran on. The problem is that the Democrats are resisting all these changes because it threatens their lofty positions in society.

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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Yvette Felarca – Antifa Schoolmarm

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Crazy Yvette Felarca alt-left activist
Crazy Yvette Felarca alt-left activist

This article was updated on 08/29/18.

I just happened to see an interview with this alt-left looney toon this morning. It is simply impossible to get any more left-coast than this. Yvette Felarca is a public middle-school teacher in California and self-avowed antifascist activist.

She is the leader and spokesperson for the anti-fascist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) and a middle school teacher in Berkeley and has been accused of inciting and participating in a riot in 2016 between white nationalist groups and counter-protesters.

The assault charge was filed after a video captured her hitting Nigel Walker, a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and calling a man a Nazi before repeatedly punching him in the stomach while shouting “get the f— off our streets.”

Why on earth is this woman/person allowed to teach middle-school children? Oh right, California.

Her Activist Mission

It seems that her mission in life is to take on the mantle of police for humanity. Anyone she deems a “fascist,” she said, must be silenced by “any means necessary.” So when someone near her says something that she doesn’t personally agree with, hey, that’s license to just beat the crap out of them on the spot. First amendment be damned.

She particularly focuses her laser beam of violence on Milo Yiannopoulos, surprisingly. She is cool with the fact that he is openly gay but how dare he expose the ugly hypocrisy of her and the non-inclusive alt-left.

Felarca’s Hypocrisy is Overwhelming and Utterly Transparent

She justifies her hypocrisy by defining a target fascist this way, “It is someone who is committing violence and someone who is trying to organize other people to commit violence.” Teacher Felarca said, “And Milo Yiannopoulos is a fascist.”

Oh, but it is OK when she whips her students up into a California style Bezerkley leftist frenzy and and physically assaults peaceful demonstrators that don’t agree with her very narrow view of reality. Oh, that’s what an  antifascist activist is. Good to know. Kind of reminds me of those Islamic police that wander around the Iranian streets measuring beards and inspecting burkas.

What a world we live in when a woman like this is allowed to teach the youth of a country that used to honor the First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Only when she approves of it I suppose. Everyone else is a fascist and deserves the business end of a baseball bat. Because she says so. Harrumpf!

So When is the Anti-Fascist the Fascist?

Her definition, from a FOX news interview is, “A fascist is someone who is organizing a mass movement that’s attacking women, immigrants, black people, other minority groups, and a movement of genocide. That’s what a fascist is. It’s someone who’s committing violence or organizing other people to commit violence.”

So, let’s interject a bit of reality here. Her organization BAMN, with Felarca as the spearhead, incites riots and attacks non-violent protesters who are exercising their first amendment rights and then she and her followers destroy property. Now tell me again, who is the brown-shirt fascist here?

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