Liberals and Socialists

Liberals and Socialists

 

 

Philosophers of liberalism and socialism actually have very different visions for the world. They don’t disagree at all on the idea that spreading the wealth around is good for everybody. In fact, this idea finds one of its greatest expressions in the work of the philosopher of welfare liberalism, John Rawls. He proposed two principles of justice, one of which—the “Difference Principle”—claims that inequalities are permissible if and only if they benefit the worst-off person. Since many inequalities arising from the free market violate this principle, some wealth must be redistributed.

The difference between liberals and socialists, rather, is founded on their different answers to this question: Can the principles by which I vote differ from the principles by which I live?

Liberals say yes, they can. Rawls, for example, said that you must be guided by  principles of distributive justice, such as the Difference Principle, only when you think about the basic structure of society. Roughly, those times are when you self-consciously think of yourself as a citizen: when you vote, when you debate political ideals, when you think about those ideals in your time alone. Otherwise, you don’t need to heed principles of distributive justice.

So a liberal allows you to accept a salary that is four, ten, 100 times greater than that of the least well-off person in your society, so long as, when you step into the voting booth, you don a new hat and act so that all inequalities are arranged to benefit the least well-off.

 

 

Clearly America is not a socialist nation. That possibility is a long way away; and, the liberal might argue, there it will always remain. Inescapable human frailties make it impossible. Concern for others will not motivate enough people to work all the arduous though necessary jobs. Nor might the socialist ideal be desirable: the price of communal ties is individual liberty, and it might be better for each of us that we not have a close, and therefore demanding, relationship with each person who is to provide us with some good.

But the socialist can point to other nations, such as Sweden or Denmark, in which, supposedly, a true egalitarian ethos has taken hold, nations which have not only generous social welfare provisions, but also citizens who are shocked by accepting privileges for themselves which others do not have. And to address the desirability of such polities, we can point experience of the people who live in them. They tend to be happier.

 

College Basketball is Big Business- Look at the Last 24 Hours

College Basketball is Big Business- Look at the Last 24 Hours

 

So July is a busy month for Summer Basketball and to prove it, here are the offers that have been made in just a 24 hour period from 8PM Saturday to 8PM Sunday that we can find.

AMAZING.

 

2016 Harrah (OK) F Kellen Manek has received an offer from Texas State.

2017 Hinton (IA) G Jay Small has received an offer from South Dakota.

2017 Daniel (SC) G A.J. Oliver has received an offer from Old Dominion.

2016 Knightdale (NC) G Dondre Griffin has received an offer from Winthrop.

2017 Virginia Academy (VA) F Ejike Obinna has received an offer from Temple.

2017 Oak Hill (VA) G Matt Coleman has received an offer from Seton Hall.

2017 Hampton (VA) G Mastadi Pitt has received an offer from Cincinnati.

Miami (OH) and Texas Tech offered 2017 Cristo Rey (MN) F Jericho Sims.

2016 Wilbraham & Monson (MA) F Wenyen Gabriel received an offer from Villanova.

2017 Ripon (WI) F Bennett Vander Plas has received an offer from Milwaukee.

2017 Blair Academy (NJ) F Kodye Pugh has received an offer from Seton Hall.

2018 Park View (VA) G Keldon Johnson has received an offer from Virginia.

2017 St. Louis Christian (MO) G Nickeil Alexander-Walker received an offer from Baylor

2017 Robinson (NC) G Lavar Batts has received an offer from Tennessee.

2018 Desert Ridge (AZ) G Timmy Allen has received an offer from GCU.

2016 Glenbard West (IL) G Justin Pierce has received an offer from Elon.

2016 Los Alamitos (CA) G Eyassu Worku has received an offer from UC Santa Barbara.

2017 Blair Academy (NJ) F Kodye Pugh has received an offer from Auburn.

2016 Desoto (TX) G Leon Sneed has received an offer from Stephen F. Austin.

2018 Concord (NC) G Rechon Black has received an offer from Western Carolina.

2016 Lakeview (LA) F Adrio Bailey has received an offer from Stephen F. Austin.

2016 Frank Phillips College (TX) F Alize Johnson has received an offer from Towson.

2017 Watertown-Mayer (MN) F Trae Berhow has received an offer from South Dakota.

2017 Lone Peak (UT) G Christian PoPoola, Jr. has received an offer from Nevada.

2016 Harrah (OK) F Kellen Manek has received an offer from Oral Roberts.

2016 Lakeview (LA) F Adrio Bailey has received an offer from Arkansas.

2018 Life Christian (VA) G Rasir Bolton has received an offer from Old Dominion.

2016 Stevens Point (WI) G Trevor Anderson has received an offer from Elon.

2016 Fayette Ware (TN) G Mikkel Norment has received an offer from UT Martin.

Colorado State has offered 2016 Sunrise Mountain (AZ) F Elijah Thomas.

2017 Belleville East (IL) F Javon Pickett has received an offer from Drake.

2016 Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa (OK) F Jarrid Rhodes has received an offer from Buffalo.

2016 Neuqua Valley (IL) F Jacob Cushing has received an offer from Cal Poly.

2016 Kenwood Academy (IL) G Zion Morgan has received an offer from Western Michigan.

2016 Santa Monica (CA) C Jayce Johnson has received an offer from Tennessee.

2019 Rancho Christian (CA) F Isaiah Mobley received an offer from USC.

2018 St. Frances (MD) G Terrell Davis has received an offer from Howard.

2016 Word of God (NC) G Jaylen Fornes has received an offer from Buffalo.

2015 Shadow Mountain (AZ) G Craig Randall II has committed to Memphis.

2017 Kentucky Country Day (KY) G JR Mathis has received an offer from IUPUI.

 

Do We Really Want Illinois to be a Plutocracy?

Do We Really Want Illinois to be a Plutocracy?

 

 

The New York Times reported  that Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s chief political backer, Ken Griffin, made $1.3 billion last year as manager of the hedge fund Citadel Capital. Griffin made as much personally as 26,000 average Americans making the median wage. He made as much as 16,000 civil engineers.

Griffin made $625,000 per hour. By the way, for a portion of this income, he might have benefited from the federal tax law that allows hedge fund managers to pay a maximum of 20 percent tax rate, though his press spokesman claims that he he paid the full rate on all of his 2014 income.

Not only did Griffin donate $2.5 million to Rauner’s campaign for governor. He also contributed millions to right-wing Super-PACs — including one controlled by the notorious Charles and David Koch.

And he contributed $10 million — half of a $20 million campaign war chest — that Rauner plans to use to run opponents against members of the legislature who dare to oppose his policies that are aimed at destroying unions and cutting worker wages and pensions.

But one thing Bruce Rauner forgets in this is Illinois and not Wisconsin which he wants to emulate.

 

Unfortunately for Rauner and Griffin, ordinary Illinois voters are not so stupid. A recent poll published by Public Policy Polling found that:

  • Only 33 percent of voters in the state agree with Governor Rauner’s agenda on “right to work”, compared to 55 percent who think everyone represented by a union should have to pay something toward negotiating and administering its contracts.
  • By 81 percent to 15 percent, voters oppose Rauner’s attempts to gut the state’s Workers’ Compensation system.
  • 68 percent of voters in the state think that the wage standard should continue to be set locally with a prevailing wage, while only 23 percent think the state should be able to pay below the local prevailing wage.
  • Voters just generally disagree with Governor Rauner’s philosophy toward unions.
  • Only 42 percent think unions have too much power, compared to 56 percent who think they’re necessary to fight for the middle class.

 

It’s not so easy for people who make as much every minute and a half as a minimum wage worker takes home all year long to convince voters that it’s a good idea to cut the pay of working people. It’s not so easy for people like Rauner and Griffin to literally propose taking food from the mouths of hungry children by cutting the Illinois nutrition program in order to allow the state to cut taxes for the wealthy.

Appearances are not so good. And to top it off, Griffin has a massive personal interest in eliminating the rights of workers — particularly public employees. Griffin’s firm owns Service Master, a company that makes part of its money by privatizing public services.

But Rauner’s monomaniacal obsession with eliminating the rights of ordinary people to engage in collective bargaining over their wages and working conditions comes from something deeper than simple desire to put even more money into the pockets of people like himself and his friend Griffin.

They believe that the rich should have the right to call the shots in society — it’s as simple as that.

Griffin and Rauner believe that America should be a plutocracy.

What is a plutocracy?

A plutocracy is a government that is ruled by the wealthy or controlled by wealthy individuals. The term usually is used pejoratively, because it implies a lack of democratic freedom and social mobility. Many historical governments were plutocracies, controlled by an elite class of wealthy people, and some modern governments have been accused of being plutocracies, including the government of the United States.

The term “plutocracy” comes from the Greek words ploutos, or “wealth,” and kratia, or “ruler.” Many nations have experienced a state of plutocracy at some point, because wealth often comes with immense power, especially during the formative stages of a new country. Some countries that have valuable natural resources, such as oil and precious metals, have also experienced this type of government because the entities that control these resources generally want to maintain conditions that are favorable to them.

An outright plutocracy governed by a handful of wealthy individuals is relatively rare in the modern era. The governments of many nations, however, are heavily influenced by wealth. Wealth can buy political power through lobbying, campaign contributions, bribing and other forms of legal or illegal financial pressure. Many nations have tried to limit the influence of the wealthy through laws controlling things such as campaign finances and lobbying, but these laws can be difficult to define and enforce.

 

 

 

Fortunately ordinary people in America disagree. Most Americans believe that we are the point of the economy — not just some “input of production.” The goal of the economy is not to make a few people fabulously wealthy, it is to produce widely-shared prosperity for everyone who is willing to work hard.

Now they have the audacity to demand that ordinary people who work in public employment and make modest middle class incomes shouldn’t be allowed to combine their political contributions to influence the outcome of elections. But they are happy to allow the super-rich like themselves to control politics with more and more $10 million contributions.

 

 

In 2016 we will have a chance to stop the plutocrats like Rauner and Griffin from snatching away that future and returning us to the plutocracy of the Gilded Age. Time for Progressives to saddle up. Failure is simply not an option.

 

Can You Come over and Play?

Can You Come over and Play?

 

Kids love to play. We know that it is good for relaxation and will fuel the imagination along with other things taht are good for them.

Well, adults are no different. Playing is great for problem solving, creativity, imagination and mental health. Playing with your kids or grandkids helps them become less stressed, makes them smarter and better adjusted.

But adults should not stop playing even when there are no kids around. We focus on work, family commitments and other things to much and have very little pure fun. We have stopped playing. Our free time is not to be more TV or computer time and engaging in fun. We need to rejuvenate play like we did as a child. 
I am not advocating that we forget the work and/or other commitments in our life. I am saying we need to find some creative things to do that is not fun and is not a structured goal in any way. Play could be simply goofing off with friends, sharing jokes with a coworker, throwing a Frisbee on the beach, dressing up at Halloween with your kids, building a snowman in the yard, playing fetch with a dog, a game of charades at a party, or going for a bike ride with your spouse with no destination in mind. By giving yourself permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, you can reap the benefits.

Some of the reasons we play:

  • to learn
  • to create
  • to feel challenged
  • to lose ourselves in a pleasurable activity
  • to calm and focus ourselves
  • competitively to win
  • cooperatively
  • for the fun and joy of it

 

WHY?

  • Play helps develop and improve social skills. Social skills are learned in the give and take of play. During childhood play, kids learn about verbal communication, body language, boundaries, cooperation, and teamwork. As adults, you continue to refine these skills through play and playful communication.
  • Play teaches cooperation with others. Play is a powerful catalyst for positive socialization. Through play, children learn how to “play nicely” with others—to work together, follow mutually agreed upon rules, and socialize in groups. As adults, you can continue to use play to break down barriers and improve your relationships with others.
  • Play can heal emotional wounds. As adults, when you play together, you are engaging in exactly the same patterns of behavior that positively shapes the brains of children. These same playful behaviors that predict emotional health in children can also lead to positive changes in adults. If an emotionally-insecure individual plays with a secure partner, for example, it can help replace negative beliefs and behaviors with positive assumptions and actions.

 

“Slow Down, You Move Too Fast…..”

“Slow Down, You Move Too Fast…..”

The lines from Simon and Garfunkel’s song 59th Street Bridge:

Slow down, you move too fast
You’ve got to make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da-da-da da da, feelin’ groovy

Hello lamppost, what’cha knowin’?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’
Ain’tcha got no rhymes for me?
Do-in do do, feelin’ groovy
Ba da-da-da da da, feelin’ groovy

I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning-time drop all its petals on me
Life I love you, all is groovy
Ba da da da da da da da
Ba da da da da da da da
Ba da da da da da da da

 

Slowing down in this society is usually met with chagrin. This is a fast-paced, career-driven world and things are moving by quickly. Sometime go back and read the lyrics to “Cats in the Cradle” and realize it does work that way.

We get comfortable with a routine and a schedule. Sometimes we need that to get motivated at the beginning but soon we become a slave to it. Take time to breathe and reflect on your life and experiences that you have been fortunate to have in your daily life.

 

Society tells us we must know every decision that we are going to make in this life and always have the next three steps planned out. Yes, I will admit, this mindset has been great. I didn’t really have to think about what I was doing next, it was already planned out for me; school, work, school, kids, practices, church, and more of the same steps. . But as each day passes and I inevitably grow closer to “the next chapter” in my life, I find myself taking a step back and wondering why I have to know what I’m doing tomorrow. For heavens sake I am retired and still find myself worrying about what I am going to do today.

I am aware that everyone is a different personality type, and there are people who enjoy being busy. I commend those people. I am not campaigning that everyone stop being productive and twiddle their thumbs for the rest of the life. I am merely suggesting we take a second to look back on experiences and ponder the possibilities of tomorrow.

So, sleep in an hour later, drink an extra cup of tea, read a book, meditate or do whatever it is that you haven’t had time to do because your every move has been planned out. Take that time to remember why it is that you have been working so hard, and then decide what your next move is going to be.

 

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

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