WAKE UP WHITE PEOPLE

There is a serious problem going on in America today.And if good white people do not realize the issues facing our country today and do not wake up, they will be dooming us to failure.

So what are the urgent problems that caused me to utilize a slogan typically used by white supremacist assholes? The problems are the issue of racism, the existence of multiple systems of justice in this country, ignoring your privilege, and those people who are not seeking to fix those three problems in a meaningful way.

In Charlotte last week another mass murder happened. It was another example of a white person going on a killing spree and getting arrested with no harm done to him. Tamir Rice, a black child waiving a toy gun in a park, was rolled up on and shot immediately without any warning. He had not killed anybody. But he died at the hands of police. John Crawford III was in a Walmart with a pellet gun. The police were called. In the middle of the first warning to drop the weapon, an officer raised his and killed another black man. Again, this was a black man who had killed nobody and had not shown himself to be a threat to anyone. Regardless, he is dead.

Yet the shooter in Charleston proved himself to be a danger to others. When apprehended no harm came to him. In fact, it is now being reported that the police brought Roof to Burger King to get a bit to eat on the way to prison. Granted, some might suggest that such a meal might amount to torture. But Freddie Grey died on his way to Jail in Baltimore. Why shouldn’t we view our system of justice as a fractured one?

Want more examples of multiple systems of justice in this country? Look at the black man who was submitting to arrest peacefully who got a kick in the head for his compliance. White men can openly carry and a police officer asks polite questions of them. Black men cannot. Jimmy Joe Berggren reached into a cop car in a police station and grabbed an AR 15 and was arrested and charged after being told three times to put the gun down. Do you believe a black man doing that would have also been arrested and called a “gentleman” by officers? Or do you believe he would have been shot on sight.

When black people do things that are wrong, we often hear that they need to be introspective on how the black community may have contributed to the actions of one bad actor. However, when white people do wrong, they are allowed to be the only one blamed. Nobody asks white communities to look inward at the harm their actions could cause. Nobody asks white Americans to take any sort of responsibility in how their actions (or inaction) leads to violence by other whites. And I think I have figured out why. Society views whiteness as “good”. And if whiteness is good then it must not be the fault of other whites if something goes wrong with one. It must be an exception. But society views blackness as bad. Black people are considered guilty until proven innocent. So if a black person does wrong, it must be because he is a product of his environment. This is one of the major problems in society that white people need to wake up to .

So what can good white people do to wake up? This is not an exhaustive list but it is a good start.

A) Listen. When someone says that something you, or someone else, said (or did) was hurtful and racist, don’t automatically get defensive. Take a moment and try to understand what the other person is feeling. Recognize that the life experiences of that other person and yours are not likely to match. As such that person may react differently to things that you may find tame. I am not saying you have to agree with the other person all the time. But if you take the time to listen and try to understand, you may find that you get along better. You might also learn something.

B) Accept your privilege and work to fight it. You should not, as a white person, feel guilty for being born white. It is not your fault that you have the privilege of being white (and as such you are less likely to be stopped and frisked because of your race by a police officer, you are less likely to be pulled over for driving while black, and you are less likely in general to be treated as guilty until proven innocent by the police). When someone says you have privilege, it is because other people do not. And while you are not to blame for having privilege or even benefiting from it, you are to blame if you sit back and do nothing. You are to blame if you do not work to fix the system that perpetuates that certain people will have road blocks placed in their way simply because of the nature of their birth.

And finally the last suggestion I have is to make their problem your problem. Our country will never fully be united as long as white people continue to look at problems that happen to minorities as problems that happen to those other people. If another person of color is shot and killed, take it personally. Say “one of my people was shot and killed today” and when people ask what you mean by “your people” say “a human being”. White people are the most capable of effecting this sort of change. Why? Because when persons of color try to move that boulder, they are downhill from that rock. They are pushing that rock uphill. White people who do not work to fix the problem are basically pushing the rock down hill, a much easier task (and one that will roll over all those trying to push). But if those entrenched white people also help pull from their dug in positions, the rock is more easily moved and it enables other people to reach the high ground. So this is why you, good white people, need to take the responsibility and fight for what your country should be, and that is a place where all people are treated equally and fairly.

Signed,

A white guy .

Liberal Dan Radio 4/23/2015: Libertarian Problems and also ACA subsidies

On the April 23, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Yesterday was Earth Day. To celebrate it I had shared a picture on my facebook wall saying “Happy Libertarian Earth Day” with a picture of a sunken ship and pollution everywhere. This caused a big debate that I will discuss here. On many issues I do believe Libertarians have it right (mostly because they agree with liberals on those issues). However, in some areas their line of reasoning is flawed and even damaging. Can the invisible hand effectively stop pollution? Does the non aggression principal allow for government regulation? I will be going into these issues in the first half of the hour.

In the second half of the hour I will be discussing King V Burwell. Arguments were made back in March and the Supreme Court will be making a decision. I will have on as a guest Todd Haley, an individual who was able to get affordable health coverage under the ACA and whose case was brought up by Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Public Policy. Mr. Haley would lose affordable coverage and would be adversely effected by a ruling against subsidies on exchanges that are federally run. I will also discuss the ridiculous nature of the arguments made against these subsidies.

Those topics, headlines, tweet of the week, and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right at 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

Remember, you can always support the show by contributing to the Liberal Dan Radio Go Fund Me page.

Why does Hillary need a challenger?

There is a common theme going around Democratic circles that the Democratic Party would be stronger in the 2016 general election if some other candidates enter the race. The Boston Globe even suggested that Elizabeth Warren should run despite her statements to the contrary.

But is this the case? Should Warren run? I could see myself at some point voting for a candidate Warren. She is a very strong advocate on income inequality and does not need a wordsmith in presenting her words to the American public. Would her candidacy help the Democratic Party gain momentum and become stronger for a general election. History does show us that the Democrats can win after a long primary. President Obama won after a long fought primary with Hillary Clinton.

However, President Obama also won reelection without any primary fight. That should be enough proof in and of itself that a primary challenger is not needed to help a party win an election.

In fact, sometimes a primary challenger can harm a party. Jimmy Carter was rather unpopular in 1980. Having Ted Kennedy in the election did nothing to help the Democratic Party win the 1980 election against Ronald Reagan.

The last two examples are incumbents running. So why do I bring them up? We won’t have an incumbent in 2016, this is true. However, Hillary Clinton comes with so much popularity that she almost gets to be treated as if she was an incumbent in spirit even if not in reality. The GOP will likely have to run against Hillary Clinton as if she was an incumbent and as such they will have to spend less time focusing on what makes them the (supposedly) better choice. This helps Hillary. If Hillary gets an opponent in the primary that spends time slinging barbs at her, it is possible that this could help the GOP in the general election as well.

So what does this mean? Should we just blindly follow Hillary without question? Absolutely not. If a good candidate comes along and can make a compelling argument as to why he or she is a better choice than Hillary Clinton I may very well vote for him or her (well, that is if Louisiana has enough money to actually hold a primary and if I choose to change from a no party registration). But we should also not blindly support having an opponent to Hillary Clinton if doing so harms the future nominee.

In short, be careful what you wish for. It could come back to bite you in the ass.

Liberal Dan Radio 02/26/2015: CPAC, Internet Neutrality, and Jigawhat?

On the November 26, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Kristi Capel, 2006 Miss Missouri USA and current Fox newscaster in Ohio, was commenting on Lady Gaga and her music in general after the Oscars and dropped a racial slur in the process. There has been a lot of coverage of this but it makes me ask the question of if sometimes you can get a pass if you are assumed to be stupid.

CPAC started this week, so I will go over a small review of what has happened so far.

Finally, the FCC made a decision about Net Neutrality. I will go over what this means for you and why many Conservatives are wrong when it comes to this regulation of the internet.

Those topics, headlines, tweet of the week and more at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Remember, I am currently running the Liberal Dan Radio Go Fund Me page to help expand the show. If you listen and want to chip in some money or if you want to advertise, please visit the page.

Liberal Dan Radio 2/19/2015: Mardi Gras the good, the bad, and the ugly

On the November 19, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Mardi Gras took place this past week in New Orleans and I will review some of my personal experiences as well as some of the other events that took place. Some have even sggested that this was one of the rudest Mardi Gras in recent history. Is it tourists? Locals? Students?

But before that I will discuss several other issues that have been going on in the news recently.

Marie Harf made a ruckus because of comments she made about terrorism and poverty. While I do not necessarilly agree with her assessment completely I also question the legitimacy of the arguments made by those who are attacking her for making what they call “stupid” arguments. Some point to the lack of criticism of President Bush when he pretty much said the same thing previously. However, there is another reason why we shouldn’t take such folks seriously.

Finally, the City of New Orleans passed a smoking ordinance that I feel goes way to far in some areas and completely misses the boat in other areas. I will go over why the ban should pretty much be flipped from what it currently is using my mardi gras experiences as an example.

Those stories, headlines, tweet of the week and more this week on Liberal Dan Radio, Talk From the Left That’s Right. Thursdays at 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

Remember, the Liberal Dan Go Fund Me page is still up and running. Please consider supporting the show.

Liberal Dan Radio 2/5/2015: Legalize It

On the February 5th, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio I will be discussing the topic of Marijuana legalization with Raeford Davis from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). As a six year veteran of the City of North Charlston Police Department Mr. Davis saw the problems with how we enforce drug policy and will come on the program to discuss the group and his personal feelings on why we need a change in our drug policies.

That issue, headlines, tweet of the week, and more will be discussed at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right!

And if you wish to support the show or buy advertising, please check out the Liberal Dan Go Fund Me page.

Joni Ernst, the GOP Response, and extreme disrespect

The Republican Party has shown a massive amount of disrespect towards this President. From members interrupting the President by saying “you lie” in the middle of another State of the Union address to holding him to different standards than they hold President Obama the sheer amount of disrespect shown by them is just disgusting.

Another example of this was Joni Ersnt and her official response to the State of the Union. In stating that she was not responding to the State of the Union but was instead giving a “GOP Address”, she basically confirmed what many of us have known for a while now. She, and the rest of the GOP, will not respect the office or even address the President in any meaningful way. It doesn’t matter to the GOP what he actually says. They are going to constantly push for their agenda despite the fact that he won two Presidential elections (showing that the country actually wants him to succeed).

One might say, but the GOP won in 2014 and they won big. That is true. Of course, they won gerrymandered districts built to retain the GOP control. They claim a mandate for winning but never accepted Obama and his mandate when he triumphed in 2008 and 2012. In fact, in another one of those older versions of GOP disrespect to this President they started from day one planning on how they could work to prevent anything he tries to pass to come to a fruition.

It is my opinion that President Obama deals with more disrespect than any other US President in history. I wonder why that is? It shouldn’t take more than two thoughts to figure it out.

Liberal Dan Radio 1/22/2015: A Wizard Did It

On the Thursday January 22nd, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Inflategate has caused a lot of discussion of the alleged repeated cheating by the New England Patriots. I will give my opinions on the matter and correct a lot of confusion there seems to be about it.

The State of the Union took place on Tuesday as well. I will review some of the highlights.

And in the bottom half of the hour I will have Wendy and Brock from A Wizard Did It to discuss their project and the impact that actions like those that took place in Paris can have on artists.

Those issues, headlines, tweet of the week, and more talk from the left that’s right at 8pm central on Blog Talk Radio.

Remember, you can support the show by contributing to my gofundme campaign.

Finally, if you are listening after the live broadcast you can leave your comments at the show thread on LiberalDan.com.

Shunning Hardees

Andy Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants. This company brings you Hardees, Carl’s Jr, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. He had an article published in the Wall Street Journal about how his employees “shunned Obamacare“. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Of my company’s 5,453 eligible employees, only 420 actually enrolled. The other 5,033 opted to pay a penalty.

That is how the article starts. He has 5,453 employees who could sign up for “Obamacare” (a ridiculous statement in and of itself) and only 420 actually did. So what does he mean. What is he trying to say with the meaningless statement that only 420 of his employees “signed up for Obamacare”? In reality he later goes on and states that they signed up for Obamacare compliant coverage, a better explanation, but potentially dishonest.

But first let’s talk about who these employees are. Puzder states:

Among the Affordable Care Act’s many economic and political disruptions, the law has unintentionally encouraged employers to convert full-time jobs into part-time jobs. ObamaCare mandates that employers offer health insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week, or pay a penalty up to $3,000 an employee. But employers have no such obligation for employees who work less than 30 hours a week, making part-time employment less costly.

Let’s get this perfectly clear. The law does not “encourage” employers to only hire part time employees. The employers make the decision themselves to only hire part time employees to avoid having to either pay a per employee penalty or to cover their insurance. An employer that could hire X employees at full time but instead chooses to employ 2 times the employees at half the hours is not doing so because the law encouraged them to do so. They are doing so because they are cheap bastards who base their business decisions on greed. They do not wish to provide for the persons helping them make their profit. They want to pay out as little as possible and are using government regulations as an excuse to do so. They could hire these employees at full time and give them quality health insurance to make sure they can remain productive employees. However, they choose to do otherwise. That is their choice and no responsibility rests on government otherwise.

The last open-enrollment date for our company, CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc., was Dec. 4, 2014. As of that date, our company had approximately 20,000 employees, 6,900 of whom worked 30 or more hours a week and were eligible for ObamaCare-compliant health insurance.

So 13,000 of their employees are part time who do not get a full time wage. Nice.

Of the 6,900 eligible employees, 1,447 already had ObamaCare-compliant insurance through our pre-existing company plans. That left 5,453 employees eligible to sign up. A grand total of 420 actually enrolled. That’s a mere 2% of total employees, or 6% of eligible employees.

What Puzder fails to do is give us is information on those other employees who were eligible. How many of the 5,033 employees who chose to not sign up have a spouse with coverage through his/her company? How many of them live in states where the medicaid expansion was accepted and because of their low wages qualify them for Medicaid which has no premium requirements. How many of them simply qualify for Medicaid without the expansion. How many of them are under 28 and have parental insurance? He ignores such possibilities and suggests that it all must be because they are “rejecting Obamacare”. If an employee obtained a Medicaid policy that would mean the employee accepted a policy that is Obamacare compliant and as such would not have rejected Obamacare at all.

But look at the numbers. His company hires 65.5% of its employees at the part time level and as such avoids the decision to provide health insurance or to pay the $3,000 per head penalty for them. He likely knows that by making that decision those employees will likely be obtaining some sort of needs based health coverage like Medicaid. So in reality, it is likely that at least 75% of his company has some form of Obamacare compliant coverage and the rest of them may very well have that coverage as well via Medicaid, spousal, or parental coverage. But he wont give us that information. So not only is he a cheapskate (for running his company in such a way that almost 2/3 of his company are part time employees) but he is misleading at best and a liar at worse for leaving out the other vital information that would give us a clearer picture of how many actual employees of his are not covered by an Obamacare compliant plan.

So no, I will no longer be dining at Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. I encourage you to refrain from their establishments as well. Don’t try and pass off your behavior on Obama and the Affordable Care Act. It wont fly with this consumer.

 

 

Why SCOTUS is wrong on HEIEN V. North Carolina

The Supreme Court ruled on Heien V North Carolina on Monday and the ruling to me is ridiculous by itself and also goes against stare decisis.

You can read the details of the case in the link. Basically a police officer stopped a car for having a broken brake light. However, had that police officer understood the law he was pulling the individual over on, he would have known that North Carolina only requires a car to have a singular working tail light. The only legal way for that officer to pull the car over would have been for both brake lights to be out. After the officer illegally pulled over the vehicle he determined that something was fishy and decided to conduct a search on the car. A passenger of the car had cocaine yet Heien was charged with attempted drug trafficking. Heien tried to suppress items found in the search because the search was not a legal search. A later court agreed but the Supreme Court reversed that decision and said that the search was reasonable.

So why is this ridiculous on its face? Well, clearly had the officer followed the law the vehicle would not have been pulled over and as such no search would have been conducted on the vehicle. The law should act as if no search was conducted since officer took actions that were not in compliance with the law. But the Supreme Court stated otherwise and in that decision stated:

And neither the Fourth Amendment’s text nor this Court’s precedents offer any reason why that result should not be acceptable when reached by a reasonable
mistake of law

SCOTUS, meet Arizona v Gant, a ruling  you made in 2009. Rodney Gant was detained and handcuffed in the back of a squad car. Police then searched his vehicle and found cocaine in the back seat in a jacket pocket. Now, the law allows for a search of a vehicle if an individual is not detained for reasons of officer safety and to protect the scene of any evidence they feel someone might try to discard. However, since Gant was already detained, there was no threat to the officers or any potential evidence and as such a warrant should have been required to search the car. So why did the officers search the car anyway? Well, according to one of the officers at the scene (Officer Griffith) “Because the law says we can do it.”

Under the ruling in Heier, it would seem to be such an argument would be valid because they are not supposed to be perfect, right? He believed the law allows for such searches and as such anything found by such a search should be admissible. But that was not the case in Gant. The Gant ruling talks about stare decisis and privacy rights. The Gant ruling talks about the dangers of how a law could be too broad and be harmful to the public good. Yet SCOTUS could find no precedent why the search in Heier was not acceptable? Really? Do they have short-term memory loss?

So what is the problem here? Some have said to me that if you don’t want the police to search your car and find drugs, don’t have drugs in your car. That may very well be a smart practice but it doesn’t deal with the main problem here and that is individuals dealing with a police force that is given more and more powers by government and by courts to take actions that should be considered unconstitutional against persons in this country.

What has this ruling done? Well, at its worst this ruling has basically said that as long as the officer is reasonable in his misunderstanding of the law that his searches can be considered reasonable. But since this search was actually an unreasonable search because it never should have happened, who is to say at what level is an officers understanding of the law is reasonable or not? In 2008 there were just under 800,000 police officers in this country. This ruling basically means that people living in the united states are subject to 800,000 interpretations of the law, regardless of how correct those interpretations are, as long as those interpretations are deemed “reasonable”. Instead of persons living here having to deal with 1 set of laws and their actual meaning, we have to deal with the 800,000 interpretations of them. And even if their actions are taken outside of the law, that doesn’t matter to SCOTUS. To them, the ends justify the means. And if a search that should not have been done was done, so be it. This is a horrible ruling and another slicing away at our freedoms and liberties. Or as SCOTUS put it in Heier:

Whether an officer is reasonably mistaken about the one or the other, the result is the same: the facts are outside the scope of the law.

Indeed. We should all be terrified.