Friday, October 31, 2014

PBS NewsHour: Judy Woodruff: Mark Shields & David Brooks On The Midterm Mood

Source:PBS NewsHour- political analysts David Brooks & Mark Shields.

"Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to preview the next week’s midterm elections and discuss the current mood and priorities of American voters." 

From the PBS NewsHour

"The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and non-commercial,[7][8][9] free-to-air television network[10][11][12][13] based in Arlington, Virginia. PBS is a publicly funded[14] nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational[citation needed] programming to public television stations in the United States, distributing shows such as Frontline, Nova, PBS NewsHour, Arthur, Sesame Street, and This Old House.[15]

PBS is funded by a combination of member station dues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, pledge drives, and donations from both private foundations and individual citizens. All proposed funding for programming is subject to a set of standards to ensure the program is free of influence from the funding source.[16] PBS has over 350 member television stations, many owned by educational institutions, nonprofit groups both independent or affiliated with one particular local public school district or collegiate educational institution, or entities owned by or related to state government.[6]

As of 2020, PBS has nearly 350 member stations around the United States." 

From Wikipedia

Most likely and for me that means the best guess and best educated guess, Senate Republicans win back the Senate on Tuesday and perhaps add five seats to their House majority as well. I don't see a wave for 2014 where Republicans win 8-10 seats in the Senate and twenty or more in the House. But things are so bad for Democrats right now that Republicans despite their own problems with voters, do not need a wave to do well in Congress on Tuesday.

Democrats still have hope even in the Senate. They win Georgia and Kansas where they are currently ahead with Michelle Nunn over David Perdue in Georgia and Greg Orman over Republican Senator Pat Roberts has been in Congress since 1981 and maybe Democrats hold Republican gains to four or five and barely hold the Senate having to rely on a couple of new Independents to hold their majority. But they would also need to hold North Carolina and New Hampshire with Kay Hagen respectfully to pull that off. Also may need to hold Arkansas or Louisiana as well.

What may be the only victories for Democrats on Tuesday night could at the state level and not in Congress. But governor's races and legislature races where Democrats have real pickup opportunities in both areas. Pennsylvania, Florida, perhaps even Georgia, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan. If they win those states or just a few of them and not lose any big states where they currently are in power, we could see better redistricting that could favor House Democrats in the future.

Salon: Magazize: Gabriel Arana: ‘Bill Maher’s Islam Silence: Why Canceling His Berkeley Speech is a Mistake’

Source:Salon Magazine- Real Time With Bill Maher.

“Talk-show host Bill Maher’s recent comments about Islam have set off a chorus of condemnations among activists and scholars on the left. Now they have students at liberal bastion University of California at Berkeley calling for an upcoming appearance by the comedian at the school to be canceled.

For those of you who usually tune out Maher like I do, here’s the back story: In an exchange a few weeks ago with Ben Affleck, who was on Maher’s show promoting his new movie, the discussion turned to Islam. “Islam is the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book,” Maher said. Affleck challenged the comedian, calling his comments “gross” and “racist.” “You’re saying that the idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic religion is just a few bad apples?” Maher replied.

In my personal view, Maher is kind of a jerk (he was even a jackass in his recent interview with Salon). As a fellow liberal, I agree with many of his views, but his shtick — loudmouthed, overgrown frat boy — starts to grate on my nerves if I have to listen to him for longer than a two-minute YouTube clip. He hacks at ideas like a blindfolded person wielding a meat cleaver — there’s little room for nuance.”

“I remember during the Bush years doing segment after segment on the way Republicans would support Bush no matter what he did. Whether it was sending troops to die in Iraq, or his plan to privatize Social Security, Republicans believed that it was their duty to agree with everything Bush did. They didn’t have the ability to disagree with him on a single issue. For Bush Republicans, it was all or nothing.

Sadly, Democrats today have fallen into the same mindset. To them, there are only two settings: Either someone is always right, or someone is always wrong. They can’t have an opinion that is different from someone without discounting everything that person has done for the entire Democratic movement.

Bill Maher is a great example. And the loudest criticism comes from UC Berkeley of all places as if they somehow have the high ground to criticize Bill Maher about controversial comments – while they are paying full professor salary to John Yoo, a vile murderous political Cheney thug who created the law that triggered the brutal murder and torture of Gitmo prisoners for a decade.”

Source:The Ring of Fire- Real Time With Bill Maher.

From Mike Papantonio 

I’m going to give you a prefect example of what right-wingers are talking about when they say what conservative writer Jonah Goldberg titled in his book back in I believe 2008, what he called Liberal Fascism. Even though the title Liberal Fascism is a bogus title. I mean you can’t be both a Liberal and a fascist, you know it is one or the other. Just like you can’t be both a Socialist and a corporatist. You can’t be anti-corporate, which is what Socialists are and be a pro-corporate, which is what corporatists are.

Berkeley University (which is what I call California University) has or a group of their left-wing ill-liberal students have decided that they not only do not agree with comedian, left-wing comedian, by the way Bill Maher’s views on Islam, but that they do not want him speaking at their university. So the school has canceled the Maher speech there. Now here’s a couple of reasons why that is a big mistake. One is practical, because Berkeley is a public university and part of the California State Government. So Maher’s free speech rights to me (at least as a non-lawyer) are being violated.

But the other issue gets to a philosophical one. Banning someone or canceling on someone because you not only disagree with your views, but you are offended by them: “Don’t allow that guy to speak because we disagree with him and he would be saying things that we don’t want our people to hear”. is Fascism 101. And why right-wingers call some on the Left “liberal fascists” even though again there’s nothing liberal about fascism, because the main value of liberalism is free speech and the right for one to speak freely regardless of what others may think about what they have to say.

I mean you are so offended or believe what someone is saying is no wrong and just utter garbage (or something else), let the person speak and then show people how wrong they are. That is what liberal democracy and free speech are about: the right to be heard and to be able to make your case. Knowing that you are not the only person in that country with that right. And that may include people you make disagree with. Which is something that people who are on the far-left in America (people who I call leftist fascists) who are addicted political correctness, do not understand. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lib Dem Voice: Barry Holliday- 'Electoral Reform, How To'

Source:Lib Dem Voice- the U.K. Parliament, in London, England.

"We all know that electoral reform to both houses is important to us a party, quite rightly so. The current system is appalling, First Past The Post for the Commons does not bring fair votes for the electorate and at best only around 40% of voters voted for any government of the day (meaning of course 60% didn’t). The House of Lords is even worse, un-democratic and reeking of an old boys’ network." 

From Lib Dem Voice

Things are already changing very fast in the United Kingdom thanks to the Scottish independence referendum in September, devolution and federalism is coming to Britain perhaps as early as next year. At least an agreement on what a federalist United Kingdom would look like. With the unitarian socialist state in Britain collapsing, with more power headed to the states (as Americans would call it) and the people of Britain over their own domestic affairs.

But devolution and federalism I believe will only work as an American outsider looking in on Britain, if they reform their Parliament as well. Because at the end of the day, for England, Scotland, Wales, and North Ireland to be able to function properly in the United Kingdom, they will need to be well represented in Parliament in London with a functioning bicameral Parliament so not all over the power and resources are not so centralized in London with the national or federal government and in England.

For a bicameral Parliament to work in Britain the House of Lords (or whatever they may call it) in the future (perhaps the U.K. Council or Lordship, perhaps even Senate) needs to function like the upper chamber of Parliament that it is supposed to be. Where they actually have a say in what laws are passed in Parliament and not just be a rubber stamp for the House of Commons. Where they can conduct real oversight of the U.K. Government and have at least the same power and authority as the House of Commons. And where members of this body can be part of Prime Ministers Questions.

The way I would reform the U.K. Parliament is similar to how the U.S. Congress looks. The lower chamber the House of Representatives where Representatives represent districts inside of states. And where the upper chamber the Senators represent the whole state in America. 

But since Britain is a lot smaller physically and in population to America, where they would represent districts as well inside of a state. But with each state lets say in the U.K. Senate getting an equal amount of Senators. But in the House the Commons would be proportioned based on population.

England would still have more Commons than anyone else because they are by far the biggest state in the United Kingdom. But this would be a real bicameral parliament and the Lordship or Council or even Senate, each state would be represented equally. So England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland would all have the representation in parliament needed to bring back the resources that their districts and states need from London to be able to function properly.

Salon: Britney Cooper- 'We Must Abandon Bill Cosby: A Broken Trust With Women, Black America'

Source:Salon Magazine- Cliff Huxtable (played by Bill Cosby) from The Cosby Show.
"Since the resurgence of conversation about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby, I have been thinking about what it means to honestly hold men in our society accountable for the varied forms of violence they do to women. On the heels of comedian Hannibal Burress’ skewering of Cosby over the allegations of 13 women who accuse him of drugging and raping them, we learned that Stephen Collins, who played the lovable dad Rev. Camden  to seven children on the show "Seventh Heaven," allegedly molested and exposed himself to several young girls many years ago."

From Salon

"The Archive of American Television celebrates The Cosby Show's 25th anniversary with these excerpts from our interviews with Phylicia Rashad, Jay Sandrich, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Larry Auerbach.
For more information please visit at Emmy TV Legends."

Source:Foundation Interviews- Claire Huxtable (played by Phylicia Rashad from The Cosby Show.
In 1984 when the Cosby Show came on the air on NBC, I was eight years old in September, 1984. Actually, I have more to say about this, but in the mid 1980s African-American families were stereotyped as poor, low-class, un-educated, single-parent with the mother trying to raise multiple kids on her own in some run down ghetto inner-city area. Dad completely out of the picture, perhaps in prison, or mom unaware of who the father of her kids are. The Cosby Show certainly not by itself, but they changed the way Americans looks at African-Americans and African-American families.

That alone makes the Cosby Show a success. Because even thirty-years ago not all African-American families were in that poor situation. Sure, a lot of them and more than the national average as still is the case today. But the Cosby Show did what few other shows and perhaps only the Jefferson's did in the 1970s which was to show successful African-Americans and their kids. And that they have made it in America and that the entire community is not poor, un-educated, low-class, not knowing who their father was or dad leaving them when they were young.

The Cosby Show was sort of a stereotypical American dream: Dad is a successful doctor, Mom is a successful lawyer. They live in a beautiful upper class neighborhood and house in New York City. They have great intelligent beautiful kids who are all doing well and are all successful. They were living the upper middle class dream and showing Americans another side of African-American life that probably far too many Americans perhaps of all races were not aware of.

And as funny as this show was and I don't know if there has ever been a funnier and better comedian on TV with their own sitcom than Bill Cosby, but as funny and as popular that show was, it had a very serious message. That African-Americans can make it in America and that Americans of all races can live, work, socialize with each other and not be bogged down by the fact that someone in the group or multiple people in the group has a different complexion or from a different race.

The Cosby Show was about a successful New York African-American family, but the show wasn't about race. It was about the lives of these people in this family and the show hardly focused on race at all and rarely if ever cracked racial or ethnic jokes on the show. Because that is not what the show was about, but it was about another side of the African-American story that hadn't been told up to that point. That not all African-Americans are poor and un-educated with criminal records etc. But that they are also successful and educated and doing very well in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Salon: Jeffrey Taylor- 'Reza Aslan's Atheism Problem: Fundamentalists Aren't the Issue, Apologists For Religions Are'

Source:Salon- Bill Maher, Reza Aslan & Richard Dawkins.
"ill Maher’s recent monologue on "Real Time" about the failure of liberals to speak out about the routine atrocities and violations of human rights carried out in the name of religion in the Muslim world has unleashed a torrent of commentary, much of it from progressives advocating more, not less, tolerance of Islam...

From Salon 

"Professor Reza Aslan is the author of the New York Times #1 Bestseller "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," and is a writer and scholar on religious studies. 

Is there a media bias against Islam? Reza Aslan points to certain media pundits and hosts who call all religion bad, but Islam "the worst." Is it bigoted when pundits like Sam Harris call any non-extremist Muslims "not real" Muslims? Are some media commentators denouncing and defining Christian and Muslim extremism themselves fundamentalist bigots? Where is the balance between when interpreting holy text? What is the difference between atheism and neo-atheism? Is there such a thing as the one "truth?"

Reza Aslan sits down with The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur to discuss and debate the state of religious commentary in media, religious ignorance, the removal of religion from society and neo-atheism, what it really means to be religious, picking-and-choosing attitudes across the board, and much more on fundamental misunderstandings of religion." 

Source:The Young Turks- Cenk Uygur interviewing Reza Aslan.

From The Young Turks

Jeffrey Taylor makes a good and I would argue real, an Atheist argument against religion. Even though he writes for Salon (ha, ha) he didn't use his article to bash Christianity. But to say that all religions have serious issues (more or less) and that is a big reason why he doesn't believe in religion. 

This has been my whole point and is my whole point about religion and a big reason why I'm Agnostic. That religion's are too restrictive for my liberal outlook on life as someone who wants to and lives openly. And religion's tend to be followed by people who don't understand their religion and do horrible things as a result.

There are good people of all faiths and I doubt anyone serious disagrees with that. And yes there are radicals probably in all religion's that give that religion a bad name. But the problem is there are enough radicals to not only give Christianity and Islam a bad name, but to do a lot of damage to society and other societies that hurt a lot of people. Including people who follow the same religion and follow that religion incorrectly and do horrible things in the name of their religion. Even though their religion does not sanction their horrible acts.

I'm not saying that religion is bad and that all religion's are bad and dangerous. That is where I would probably separate from Sam Harris and I've backed him several times on this blog the last few weeks. It is people who don't understand the religion that they follow, including religious leaders that don't follow the religion they follow. And lead that inspire people to do horrible things that is the problem. And something that is going to have to be addressed if the Middle East is ever to become a stable place where people can live in peace and live good lives.

Politico Magazine: Larry Sabato: How Goldwater Changed Campaign Forever

Source: Politico Magazine-
Source:Politico Magazine

Not many if any Republicans including Senator Barry Goldwater expected Goldwater to win the 1964 presidential election by defeating President Lyndon Johnson and for Congressional Republicans to do anything in Congress. They were expecting big defeats as it related to both the presidential election and Congress. But that wasn't what the 1964 general elections were about for Goldwater Republicans Goldwater Conservatives.

1964 to follow up about what I wrote yesterday, was to create a choice and give Americans a choice in who to vote for. Present a Republican Party that was completely different from the GOP from the 1950s and completely different from the FDR/LBJ progressive Democratic Party. A party that was a lot less government especially federal government oriented. A party that was lot more federalist and more individualistically oriented. That wanted to turn power over to the states and people over their own affairs.

They wanted to create a new party that Conservatives and other right-wingers would feel welcome in. And take power away from the Northeastern Progressives that had been running the GOP and perhaps even make Progressives feel unwanted in the GOP. 1964 wasn't about winning for Barry Goldwater and other Republicans, but building a winning coalition that could put Republicans back in power in the future. That they simply didn't have going into the 1964 general elections.

1966 was about Republicans winning right-wing seats in Congress in House districts and Senate seats. So they could become a factor in Congress again and no longer be buried in the minority in Congress. 1968 is when Richard Nixon figured out how Republicans can win back the White House and win more seats in Congress. And 1968 is where we really see the political flip in American politics. Where Southern states look Republican and Northern states look Democratic. But it all started in 1964 and Barry Goldwater deserves a lot of credit for it.
Cool Old Videos: Barry Goldwater-Speaks Out: 1964 Campaign Film

The New Republic: John B. Judis: Democrats Hope Battleground Texas Can Turn the State Blue

Source:The New Democrat

Do I think Wendy Davis will be elected Governor of Texas next Tuesday or anytime soon? Of course not because I haven't seen any polls that show that race between her and Greg Abbot is even within five points, perhaps not even ten points. Even though she did do well in the two debates against Greg Abbot and you could argue she won both debates. And she did pick up some big city paper endorsements in Texas as well. But when you are a big underdog going in, you simply can't afford to make the big campaign mistakes that she has, including some bad commercials.

2014 won't be the year for Texas Democrats, but 2018, 2020 we may see that state move in a different direction. And the racial and ethnic trends in that state will be a big factor. With the growing Latino population in that state and the shrinking Caucasian population as well. But that only matters if people vote and right now Republican voters in Texas are primarily Caucasian, but they are very reliable voters. Latinos aren't right now and only vote big in presidential elections.

So a growing Latino population in Texas won't be enough to make that state competitive in Texas for Democrats. If they have this idea that they'll just wait until Texas looks like California, especially Los Angeles and San Francisco, or look like Seattle, or Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington politically, culturally, racially and ethnically, Texas will remain red indefinitely. Because one thing that Texans of all backgrounds prides themselves on is that they are like those big blue cities and blue states.

For Texas Democrats to succeed, they have to succeed in Texas and win Texas voters. Instead of campaigning there like they are campaigning in Los Angeles, or San Francisco or New England. They have to win voters in Texas and when the other party outnumbers you, you have to win over voters who tend to vote Republican. But perhaps aren't as far to the right or as partisan as others Republicans and the leadership and looking for an alternative to the Republican Party in Texas.

Going into the 2014 Texas governors race, I thought Wendy Davis at least on paper before all of the campaign mistakes was that type of Democrat. That if she didn't win the election, she would at least make it a race and perhaps start moving the state in a Democratic direction. That hasn't happened because she hasn't run a very good campaign. But on paper she looks very Texan politically, but in a Democratic sense.

Liberal on social issues, pro-gun, pro-choice and not just as it relates to abortion, but other social issues as well, including as it relates to homosexuality. Fiscally responsible, big believer in education and opportunity so more Texans can succeed and not be dependent on public assistance. She looks like a New Democrat in the political and ideological sense, instead of someone from the Progressive Caucus or Green Party trying to convince Texans that they are wrong politically and need to be more progressive or even socialist on a whole wide range of issues.

That is how Texas Democrats can win in Texas in the future, but run effective campaigns without the big errors of the Wendy Davis campaign. Don't treat Texas like California or New England politically, but run in Texas as if you are in Texas speaking to Texan voters who aren't nearly as far to the Left as the big blue states. With a mainstream center-left message built around education and opportunity for all, with big government off everyone's back, where everyone can succeed. That would be a winning message for Texas Democrats in the future and Latinos could help them win with that.

Monday, October 27, 2014

National Journal: Norm Ornstein: What If Independents Keep Senate Majority Status in Flux?

Source:National Journal

What if, what if, what if, what question is more fun to ask and even ask yourself than what if? But the reason why it is such a fun question to ask, is because it gives people that chance to imagine and throw out countless hypotheticals and imagine all sorts of interesting things. But to speak about Norm Ornstein's what if, he may be on to something right now because of how partisan and divided America is politically right now. With an unpopular President, but an unpopular Republican opposition that Americans aren't crazy about having complete control of Congress, both the House and Senate.

This is where the centrists, or as I prefer the more independently minded Senators and Senate candidates come into play. Because let's say we do have a 50-50 Senate in the next Congress with Democrats still in control of the Senate because of Vice President Joe Biden, or a 51-49 Senate in the next Congress that goes either way, without either party having enough of a partisan advantage to run the chamber by themselves, that is where the Independents come into play. Especially if they don't caucus with either party, or are not in lockstep with the political or governing agenda that their leadership wants to push.

In a divided Senate like that, that is where the Independents have the power, Assuming the Leader and Minority Leader are actually interested in governing and passing legislation in that Congress. And not simply looking for the next partisan advantage that will give them a clear majority in the next Congress. When the leadership's in both parties aren't interested in governing and simply looking for partisan advantage, as we've seen a lot in the Congress from both parties in both chambers, Independents do not mean a hell of a lot.

Whoever the next Senate Leader and Minority Leader is, they will still set the tone as far as what that Senate can pass in the next Congress. And if you are like me, you are looking for new leadership at the top in both parties without Harry Reid Mitch McConnell leading their respective caucus's. And hopefully new blood will come in and decide to work with the other party. Because whoever will holds the next Senate majority, it will be paper-thin, perhaps 52-48 at best for one side. And if they decide to govern, the Independents will come into power and a lot legislation could get passed.

Sam Harris: Interview With Cenk Uygur- From The Young Turks

Source: Sam Harris: The Young Turks Interview

What I respect about Sam Harris's Atheism is that he's the real thing. He doesn't say Christianity is horrible and should be put down, especially when radical fundamentalists are in the news doing horrible things. But then defends the right of fundamentalists Muslims when they do and say horrible things about people they do not like and defend their right to free speech and Freedom of Religion. Even when these leftist political correctness radicals probably are against Freedom of Religion.

My example of that would be Salon and their coverage of now famous Real Time With Bill Maher show  that Sam Harris and Ben Affleck were on. When Ben Affleck was defending political correctness when it comes to criticism of Muslims, but have no problem attacking Christians when they do and say things that probably most Americans not just disagree with, but even find disgusting. Salon is garbage by the way. (And that is putting it nicely ) They are not much more than a propaganda operation for the far-left in America.

If you a real Liberal and even a real Atheist, you are not going to defend the right of free speech for people you agree with as a Liberal, while trying to shut up the opposition. As we see with leftist fascists on campus that try to block right-wingers from speaking at their schools. And if you are a real Atheist, you are not going to bash one religion and say that it is evil or whatever, while you are saying another religion is perfectly normal and legitimate. One of the points of being an Atheist is that you don't believe in religion and are against religion period. Which I believe is two of the points that Sam Harris is making.
Source: The Young Turks: Cenk Uygur and Sam Harris- Clear The Air on Religious Violence & Islam

Eagle Forum: Phyllis Schlafly: A Choice Not An Echo Revisited

Eagle Forum: Blog: Phyllis Schlafly: A Choice Not An Echo Revisited

If you want to know why Tea Party Republicans, the non-Conservative Libertarians in that movement, have a tendency to sound like Ron Paul Libertarians on economic and fiscal policy and even to a certain extent of foreign policy as well, but sound like Rick Santorum and other leaders on the Religious-Right on social issues, Phyllis Schlafly and her book A Choice Not An Echo is a big part of that. This movement that became huge in the GOP by the late 1970s combined economic conservatism with religious conservatism as it came to social issues.

I think to understand Phyllis Schlafly and her let's say Traditional Values Coalition, you have to first understand the Republican Party of the 1950s up until lets say 1963 or so. Back then there were such things as Progressive Republicans. The Nelson Rockefeller's and Dwight Eisenhower's of the GOP. Not progressive in today's sense of always trying to expand the size of government and creating new government services for people. But that "government if limited can play a constructive role in society, even in the economy, just as long as individual freedom wasn't subtracted as a result".

The Democratic Party and the FDR New Deal Progressives ran the U.S. Government all by themselves with a little opposition from Southern right-wing Democrats from 1933 to 1947 when Republicans finally won back both chambers of Congress. Which they lost again in 1948 as Harry Truman was elected President. Dwight Eisenhower and his more progressive wing and again progressive in the classical sense, figured out how to counter Progressive Democrats and for Republicans to govern again.

The Eisenhower Progressives message was not to be another social democratic party just like the Democrats at the time. Or be an the anti-government, isolationist more conservative libertarian GOP of the 1940s. But find a governing middle and say yes, "we believe that America should have a safety net for people who truly need it. But we don't want a government so big that that individual freedom and initiative is subtracted. And that people who can physically and mentally work, should work and that government can help people, but shouldn't try to take care of them".

That was the point of the Phyllis Schlafly book A Choice Not An Echo. They saw the Eisenhower/Rockefeller wing of the GOP as Democratic or Progressive light and that might be putting it nicely. That the Republican Party needed to move in a direction that was completely the opposite of where the Democratic Leadership was back in the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s. And give Americans a real choice as they saw it in who to vote for. I believe the Phyllis Schlafly movement that eventually produced the Religious-Right and today's Neoconservatives was the Tea Party of the 20th Century.

Phyllis Schlafly created a movement that went against the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Eisenhower/Rockerfeller Progressive Republicanism of the 1950s, the Great Society of the 1960s, the women's movement, gay libertarian, counter culture, culture revolution, the civil rights movement even. And wanted to take America back to where it was pre-Great Depression even. And take America back to what they would call Traditional America and live under their traditional values.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

CBC Sports: NHL 1979- Game 5 Stanley Cup Finals- New York Rangers @ Montreal Canadians: Full Game

Source:NHL- game 5 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals.

"Check out this classic game between two original six teams - The Montreal Canadiens clash against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Final." 

From the NHL

"Game 5 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals"

Source:NHL- Game 5, of the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals 
Source:Swiss Habs

The Montreal Canadians accomplishing something in 1979 which may sound impossible today, which was to win their fourth straight Stanley Cup. Winning two in a row is a huge deal now and has been going back to the Pittsburgh Penguins of the early 1990s, 1991 and 1992 when they won back- --to-back cups. The Detroit Red Wings did in the late 1990s in 97 and 98, but no one else had done it since. Because of expansion and free agency with the parity, it is very hard to dominate the NHL for more than one season now.

The Canadians not only won four straight from 1976-79, but five overall in the 1970s. The team of that decade, which is what the Edmonton Oilers were in the NHL in the 1980s. And with the way the NHL is set up today, no other team has dominated an entire decade and been the team of the decade in the NHL since. Because there's so much parity and so much traveling and so many other things that players have to go through to get through a long 82 game NHL season. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on Blogger.

CBS: The Carol Burnet Show- Dinner and a Movie: Carol Burnett & Alan Alda Star

Source: CBS-
Source: CBS: Carol Burnett Show; Dinner and a Movie: Carol Burnett & Alan Alda Star

Alan Alda playing Captain Cliche on The Carol Burnett Show. The man who probably watches too much TV and too many movies and unable to think for himself. Doesn't sound that unfamiliar to the faddists who follow every trend just to be cool or awesome. We especially see that with technology today where so many Americans feel the need and must have the latest technology, computer, smart phones etc. Because they won't want to be the only one that doesn't have the latest phone or whatever. And be the only one with Iphone 5 instead of 6 or whatever.

I called Alan Alda Captain Cliche in this scene, but Cookie Cutter would've worked to. Someone not able to think for them self especially when they are talking to people they like and want to like them. So what they do to compensate is use material that they've heard from other sources. There's cookie cutter humor that I'm not a fan of that we see today with so many sitcoms and movies using other people's material and lines because it worked and sound cool there, so they use that with their project as well.

But if you know the real Alan Alda as opposed to this dope he played in this sketch, which he did very well, not that it takes a lot of effort to play a dope, but you know that Alda is anything, but cookie cutter or cliche when it came to his own humor. And that he is very spontaneous and off the cuff, flip and real quick with his wit. As we saw with MASH where he had a big role in the material that was used and as we've seen throughout his carer and with his personal appearances. 

Prem Panicker: The West Wing- Why is Liberal a Bad Word?

Source: Prem Panicker- Jimmy Smits as Matt Santos-
Source:Prem Panicker

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 by 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. 

Tony Baretta: The Driver (1978)

Source: Tony Baretta- Ryan O'Neal & Bruce Dern-
Source:Tony Baretta

The Driver is a great action/drama thriller with Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern and many others. About a hotshot getaway driver played by Ryan O'Neal who drives for bank robbers and other robbers and gets them out of the clear and gets paid for that. Apparently The Driver has race car experience, but that is never made real clear in the movie. The Driver has never been caught and this big shot police detective or sergeant and his crew gets assigned to track The Driver down and catch him.

One thing I love about this movie is the realness in it as it relates to life in general. There are no Saints or Devils in it. The Driver the supposed bad guy, is not evil, but certainly not the good guy in the movie. He drives for robbers, but doesn't enjoy hurting people or hurting innocent people. He just takes care of himself and does his job to survive. Not because he wants to hurt people. The lead cop in the movie played by Bruce Dern, is suppose to be the good guy. But lets his ego into his job and uses controversial and extra-legal tactics to try to catch The Driver.

Like a set up a operation involving known robbers to get The Driver to drive for them on the job. To rob a bank that the police know is going down ahead of time and then when the job is done, the police will move in and catch everyone. But release the robbers that were in on the operation because they helped the police out. One major flaw in that plan. The head bad guy in that operation decides to screw the detective and instead of taking the money to the place that he and the detective agreed on, they took the money to a different location so they can get away.

If you like fast paced, high action and dramatic movies that never slow down and are always moving, that are also realistic, The Driver is a great movie. Probably the only Ryan O'Neal movie that I like and one of several Bruce Dern movies that I do like. Because it is not really bad guys versus the good guys, but guys on both sides that have jobs to do and go about those jobs the best that they can. With no one really winning at the end, which you see the movie for yourself to find that out.

Striker 1909: Jeff Bridges With the Final Speech From The Contender

Source: Striker 1909-
Source Striker 1909 

Great speech from The Contender by Jeff Bridges who played the President in this movie. Not a very realistic scene as far as how they put the U.S. House chamber together for this joint session of Congress when the House and Senate come together to hear the President speak. With the Speaker of the House and the President or Pro Tempore sitting in big chairs just above the President as the President is speaking.

But still a good speech from the President saying that he won't let a very partisan faction from the opposition in the House of Representatives derail his Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Lane Evans who just happens to be one of their Congressional colleagues, be defeated because of what may or may not happened in Senator Evans private life before coming to Congress. That the President wasn't going to put up with this obstruction and he was going to fight for his nominee.

This was a very important scene and movie for this if only reason. Because it was about the Right to Privacy and that even public officials and even members of Congress and even members of Congress who appointed to the second highest office in the country, the Vice Presidency and it raised  two very important questions. Do public officials and even members of Congress and even members of Congress who are appointed to high office have a Right to Privacy. And should our public officials be judged based on how they live their private lives or not.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Politico Magazine: Richard Norton Smith: 'Nelson Rockefeller's Last Stand'

Source:POLITICO- Governor Nelson Rockefeller (Republican, New York) announcing his 1968 presidential campaign.
"Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York and future vice president under Gerald Ford, is not a patient man. For the most powerful member of the most powerful family in the most powerful nation on Earth, time is a commodity, like wealth, women, art and talent, to be experienced on his terms. “Nelson is like a polar bear,” says George Hinman, the governor’s courtly emissary to the Republican National Committee. “You shoot at him, and he just keeps coming on.”

Tonight, however, is different. On this second night of the 1964 Republican convention, a slot reserved for debate over the party platform, even Rockefeller is a clock-watcher. Although outnumbered and outmaneuvered by conservative forces supporting Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater for president, Rockefeller has come to San Francisco to register a very public protest of the direction his party is taking.

Convention organizers are just as determined to smother dissent in tedium. By shoving tonight’s duel over the platform past the 11 p.m. prime-time window on the East Coast, the governor’s enemies can figuratively achieve what Goldwater had once proposed literally—to saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea. This was no mere figure of speech. In the closing days of the deadlocked 1960 campaign between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the Arizonan had offered GOP convention chairman and Kentucky Senator Thruston B. Morton some characteristically pungent advice. Forget the urban East, said Goldwater; Nixon should concentrate his remaining efforts in Illinois and Texas. “I’d like to win this goddamned election without New York,” Goldwater rasped. “Then we could tell New York to kiss our ass and we could really start a conservative party.”

Barely eight years have elapsed since Republicans assembled in this same city to re-nominate Dwight Eisenhower for a second term. Ike’s mantra of Modern Republicanism accepted much of the welfare state improvised by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, while casting off the isolationist dogma of hard-shell conservatives led by Sen. Robert Taft. To Goldwater, the Eisenhower years represent “a dime-store New Deal.” The senator has suggested making Social Security voluntary, repealing the graduated income tax and suspending American financial support of the United Nations should the world body admit Communist China. Goldwater frowns upon foreign aid, farm subsidies and federal assistance to education. He tells Newsweek that as president he won’t hesitate to drop a low-level atomic bomb on Chinese supply lines in North Vietnam or “maybe shell ’em with the Seventh Fleet.” With equal pugnacity, he would direct Fidel Castro to turn on the water supplying the American base at Guantánamo, “or we’re going to send a detachment of marines to turn it on and keep it on.”

His followers are populists in pinstripes, middle-class revolutionaries who mirror the migration of talent and industry from the moneyed East to the burgeoning Sun Belt. To Atlanta Constitution editor Eugene Patterson, the Goldwater legions are “a federation of the fed up,” as dismayed by the moral laxity of liberal America as the greed of the tax collector and the erosion of yesterday’s individualistic, aspirational culture by social engineers and legislators masquerading as judges. Outside the candidate’s suite at the Mark Hopkins, one proverbial little old lady in tennis shoes is gently turned away, but not before trilling, “I just wanted to tell Senator Goldwater to be sure and impeach [Chief Justice] Earl Warren.”

A decade after the Warren Court banned racial segregation in the nation’s schools, this is carrying coals to Newcastle. Two weeks ago, Republicans on Capitol Hill provided the margin of victory for the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawing discrimination in public accommodations. Goldwater cast one of six GOP votes against the landmark legislation. Anything but a racist, in the 1940s the senator had taken the lead in desegregating his family’s department store, as well as the Arizona National Guard. Yet his brand of rugged individualism recoils from anything that smacks of federal coercion at the expense of local sovereignty.

Rockefeller hails from a very different tradition. The struggle for racial equality is as much a part of his family lineage as oil wells and art museums. In the 19th century, his grandfather, otherwise stigmatized as the prototypical robber baron, had endowed Atlanta’s Spelman College to educate black women. Nelson’s father, John D. Rockefeller Jr., supported the Urban League and United Negro College Fund. As an adolescent, Nelson paid the tuition of a youngster attending Virginia’s historically black Hampton Institute. When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., hero of the Montgomery bus boycott, was stabbed by a crazed assailant during a 1958 visit to Harlem, the preacher’s medical bills were quietly paid by Nelson Rockefeller. More recently, Rockefeller has helped rebuild black churches burned to the ground by Southern bigots and furtively supplied bail money to sustain Dr. King and his Children’s Crusade against the rigidly segregated power structure of Birmingham, Alabama. Rockefeller’s New York state government has banned racial discrimination in the sale or rental of apartments, commercial space and private housing developments.

On hearing it said that Goldwater is in the mainstream of their party, Nelson replies acidly that it must be a meandering stream indeed. In any event, it flows to the right if the party platform is any indication. Written to Goldwater’s specifications, the document nods dutifully in the direction of “full implementation” of the new civil rights law, though avoiding the politically charged word “enforcement.” Instead, the party credo denounces what it calls “federally sponsored reverse discrimination,” language seen by Goldwater’s opponents as a crude appeal to resentful whites, whose existence in the millions is confirmed by a casual glance at the day’s newspapers. The  New York  Times reports that the owner of the Hotel Martha Scott in Opelika, Alabama, is closing his establishment rather than “bow to tyranny” by admitting blacks. A few days ago, three black youths attending a Fourth of July rally at the Atlanta fairgrounds were beaten with metal chairs.

At the White House, meanwhile, President Lyndon Johnson is assigning 50 FBI agents to lawless Mississippi, where Northern civil rights workers have been murdered and white-sheeted Klansmen roam at will. White backlash is by no means restricted to the South. Goldwater backers read into the recent strong showing of Alabama’s segregationist Gov. George Wallace in Northern Democratic primaries the stirrings of a political realignment that will dissolve at last the old New Deal coalition that for 30 years has dominated American politics. It is a prospect that holds little appeal for Rockefeller Republicans.

When convention chairman Morton repairs to a nearby trailer command post to quench his thirst, his place behind the podium is taken by Oregon Gov. Mark Hatfield. Less than 24 hours ago, Hatfield made history as the first keynote speaker ever to be booed by his own party’s delegates. His offense? Lumping the right-wing John Birch Society—whose leader Robert Welch Jr., had linked Dwight Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles to the international communist conspiracy—with the Ku Klux Klan and the Communist Party USA in a denunciation of political extremism.

It is on the extremist issue that Rockefeller has chosen to make his stand, just as soon as those dictating the convention schedule allow him five minutes to address the nation. Asked over the years why he hasn’t simply changed his party registration, something first urged on him by FDR, Rockefeller replies that he would much rather be pushing the GOP elephant forward than holding the Democratic donkey back. Until now, the governor’s need to woo conservatives in the hinterlands has acted as a brake on his free-spending instincts, producing a “pay as you go” liberalism that supplants racially charged talk of states’ rights with a muscular federalism grounded in states’ responsibilities. Fiscal prudence and social conscience: These are the building blocks of Rockefeller Republicanism. To many on the right, the term is an oxymoron. Already they detect in the governor’s creative use of state bonding authority the seed corn of future bankruptcy. They argue that there is no gauging the financial consequences of Rockefeller-style activism untethered to ideology.

It is a few minutes after nine o’clock, midnight in the east, when Rockefeller bounds up to the platform. “They were throwing paper at him,” Joe Boyd, a loyal Rockefeller aide, remembers. An angry Boyd hands Rockefeller’s speech to the governor’s one-man security detail and charges off into the stands. Grabbing one of the ringleaders, the diminutive Boyd lifts him out of his seat. “OK, who’s next?” he shouts. An uneasy quiet is restored.

On the platform, an even nastier confrontation is only narrowly averted as convention Chairman Thruston B. Morton, professing concern for Rockefeller’s safety, urges him to postpone his remarks. To drive his point home, Morton resorts to a little body language.

“You try to push me again,” snaps Rockefeller, “and I’ll deck you right in front of this whole audience.”

His introduction elicits a thin chorus of cheers from the New York delegation, quickly lost in a swelling chant of “We Want Barry.” A tight smile, not extending to his slitted eyes, creases Rockefeller’s handsome face. Impassively, he scans the seething hall until his glance comes to rest upon his wife, occupying a box high above the delegates. Less than six weeks after giving birth to their first child, Happy Rockefeller wears a stricken look.

The new Republican majority is in no mood to be lectured by Nelson Rockefeller. Having cooked his own goose, conservatives reason, Rockefeller is now serving it up stuffed with sour grapes. “Remember he was waging war on a platform they had written,” explains Doug Bailey, then a Rockefeller policy researcher. “They were absolutely convinced that the only reason he was doing what he was doing was to hurt Barry Goldwater in the general election. They knew that. They knew that to the marrow of their bones.”

Taking advantage of a lull in the derisive chorus, Rockefeller begins speaking. “During this past year I have crisscrossed this nation fighting to keep the Republican Party the party of all the people and warning of the extremist threat—” Outraged voices interrupt him. Below and to the left of the podium, Californians in bright orange Mae West jackets jeer their nemesis. Their catcalls are taken up by red-faced Republicans from Texas, Ohio and Washington State. As the decibel count rises, Morton spreads his hands helplessly. The governor should be allowed to speak his piece, the chairman says. “It’s only fair and right.”

The hall begs to differ. Rockefeller’s mention of a speech he’d planned to give at Loyola and its “cancellation by coercion” days before the crucial California primary—a blatant public condemnation of the divorced and remarried governor by the Catholic hierarchy—drives a tall blonde woman on the floor over the edge. “You lousy lover,” she shrieks, “You lousy lover.” A youthful Goldwater runner chimes in “You goddamned Socialist,” before adding, less than eight months since John Kennedy’s assassination, “I wish somebody would get that fink. Maybe it would save this country.”

Rockefeller isn’t going anywhere. He doesn’t control the audience, he reminds Morton. It’s up to the chair to impose order. Only then, he mutters into the live microphone, can he finish what he came here to say. A Louisiana alternate delegate points to the explosive galleries and directs his neighbor, “Look at that. It’s America up there.” Glancing around him, Bailey, the policy researcher, observes a deputy of the San Mateo County Police booing Rockefeller. “I looked down at his arm, he has a pistol in an unsheathed holster, and I decided from that point I couldn’t dare take my eyes off that guy, because I had no idea what he was going to do,” recalls Bailey. His colleague John Deardourff is reminded of a German Bund meeting in the 1930s.

Strangely subdued in the pitching sea of noise is Alabama’s solid-for-Goldwater delegation. Their eyes are all on a tall, athletic black man standing in a nearby aisle and shouting, “That’s right, Rocky. Hit ‘em where they live.” Jackie Robinson is a Rockefeller Republican, a baseball legend and a hero to millions of Americans. At one point a ’bama delegate, enraged by Robinson’s chant, leaps to his feet. He is about to commit physical assault on the star athlete until he is restrained by his wife.

“Turn him loose, lady, turn him loose,” bellows Robinson.

At the podium Rockefeller is openly taunting the crowd. “This is still a free country, ladies and gentlemen,” he declares. Here is the incident that Goldwater’s opponents have tried all week to provoke. It comes far too late to prevent the senator’s nomination. But it pins the extremist label on Goldwater and his movement more effectively than Lyndon Johnson ever could. As the minutes crawl by the Cow Palace becomes a political slaughterhouse, wherein any prospects for Republican victory in November are rapidly expiring before a stunned television audience.

Behind the lectern Rockefeller nervously taps his foot like a bull pawing the ground.  You don’t have to nominate me is the unspoken message delivered to the bull-baiters.  But you’re going to have to listen to me. It is one of those rare moments in history when a page is visibly being turned, a past noisily discarded. The drama of personal confrontation obscures much of what Barry Goldwater’s party is rejecting: the polarizing governor of New York, to be sure, and with him the presumption of regional superiority, the stranglehold of eastern money and the liberal consensus which, for most of the 20th century, has offended fundamentalists of various schools. In politics as in art, it is Rockefeller’s fate to be surrounded by primitives.

The booing escalates as he decries “anonymous midnight and early morning phone calls. That’s right.” A fresh wave of anger swamps the podium, as Rockefeller lashes out at “smear and hate literature, strong-arm tactics, bomb threats and bombings. Infiltration and takeover of established political organizations by Communist and Nazi methods!” His Aldrich jaw protruding like a ship’s prow, Rockefeller half shouts into the din, “Some of you don’t like to hear it, ladies and gentlemen, but it’s the truth.” More boos. Renewed cries of “We Want Barry.” At the lectern a glowering Morton wields his gavel as a weapon. “I’m going to finish this last line,” Rockefeller insists. “I move the adoption of this resolution.”

At last, with a flippant wave, Rockefeller turns to go, appearing “for all the world like he had been given a standing ovation,” marvels Governor Hatfield. “He couldn’t have had a happier look on his face.”

The next morning, hours after all three moderate motions went down in flames, Rockefeller ran into his communications director Hugh Morrow. “You look like the wrath of God,” he told Morrow, who blamed his appearance on the previous night’s fiasco, described by the  New York Times as “Bastille Day in Reverse,” and his subsequent quest for alcoholic oblivion.

“I had the time of my life,” said Rockefeller.

This same bleak Wednesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Bill Scranton telephones former President Eisenhower, still a powerful party figure, to inform him of plans to withdraw from the race (something Ike has been urging on him for days). Out of the question, says Rockefeller, when he hears about the call. If Scranton gets out, then Rockefeller will get back in. Someone has to carry the moderate banner. Too much is at stake to allow their actions to be governed by bruised feelings, bogus appeals to party unity or the specter of public humiliation. His pep talk convinces the patrician governor of Pennsylvania, mocked by detractors as the Hamlet of Harrisburg, to let the drama play itself out. And it illustrates the central paradox of Nelson Rockefeller, who is never more appealing than when fighting for his life, even if it is his own conduct that places him in that precarious condition.

Though denounced as a party wrecker, he refused to switch political allegiances, even for the presidency. An emotionally guarded extrovert happiest in the world of artistic contemplation; a scion of the American Establishment who was most comfortable playing the renegade: All his life Rockefeller went against the grain.

"Governor Nelson Rockefeller's 1964 Republican Convention Speech. Grandson of billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Nelson Rockefeller's 1964 Republican Convention Speech." 

Source:Enemy Nation- Governor Nelson Rockefeller (Republican, New York)

From Enemy Nation

To understand Nelson Rockefeller's politics, you have to first understand the 1964 Republican National Convention, in hippie, left-wing San Francisco (of all places) and where the Republican was pre-Barry Goldwater under Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Because the pre-Goldwater Republican Party, was Nelson Rockefeller's party. The post Rockefeller/Eisenhower Republican Party, is a classical conservative (if you don't like libertarian) political party. Both center-right parties, but fairly different. 

I know this going to sound like an Oxymoron to anyone whose not a political history junkie, such as myself or Richard Norton Smith, but the Republican Party really up till the 1990s, had a strong, center-right Progressive Republican faction in it. And, no, I'm not talking about left-wing, antiestablishment, hipster, revolutionaries, who want to take over the American Government and replace it with some type of socialist state, which is how Progressives tend to get stereotyped today. 

During the Eisenhower/Rockefeller and even Richard Nixon era, in late the 1960s and early 1970s, there were center-right, Progressive Republicans. People who tended to agree with Conservatives on foreign policy and national security, law enforcement, the U.S. Constitution, individual freedom and personal responsibility. 

But these Progressive Republicans also believed in civil rights, a commonsense regulatory state, equal rights, equal justice, and a public safety net for people who truly needed it, and infrastructure investment. Newt Gingrich up until the time he dropped out of the presidential race in 2012, was a Progressive Republican and perhaps still is. 

So, in 1964, when then Governor Nelson Rockefeller, knew that he didn't have the votes at the Republican National Convention to be their nominee for President, took a stand at that convention and laid into that party about where they were going and where thought the Republican Party should still be at that point. And the Goldwater delegates booed the hell out of him, but they didn't stop him from getting his point across. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on Blogger.

What About Larry: Video: Bravo's Inside The Actors Studio: Kevin Spacey's Impressions: Smart Answers to Stupid Questions

This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

People have asked me what's my style of humor, my sense of humor and how I come up with lines and so-forth. I'm not saying I'm a professional comedian or anything (at least I haven't gotten paid for being funny, yet) . But I have been able to make people laugh hysterically, intentionally and unintentionally in the past. And I've told them simply my sense of humor is off the cuff, I say what's on my mind when I'm thinking it. Rather than "that sounds funny and use it two weeks later". To me humor has to be fast and relevant. Example of a bad joke. Cracking jokes about Priests at a football game, is probably not a smart play.

First of all you're likely to offend a lot of people there and not seem funny, but insulting. Which to me are two different things, but you're going to get strange looks (or end up wearing someone else's lunch) like making a Catholic joke at a football game when some half-naked moron runs on to the field during the game and people will look at you like "what does a drunk Priest in Church have to do with the guy who ran on the field". You're humor needs to be relevant and needs to make sense. And what I do is, I see myself as an analyst of life, we all are and I make judgements and comment on things that I see whatever is that interests me. If you watch the sitcom MASH or Seinfeld, that's exactly what they do. Here's the situation, what you think about it and they would look for the funny side of it.

Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Pierce, my favorite sitcom character of all time. If not in TV in general would be performing surgery and cracking jokes as he's doing it while saving the patients life. One to relax the people he was working with in that stressful environment, but also to relax himself. "This is the situation and this is what's funny about it was their approach to comedy". To give you a personal example, I use to work in customer service, have about twelve years experience of that. And we were surrounded by people, customers mostly for whatever reason, they were nervous or whatever. But would go brain dead when they would approach you and ask the dumbest questions possible.

No joke when I worked at a movie theater, we had to wear these loud maroon colored red polo shirts. With the name of the movie theater on them, with these corny name tags on them. I'm Joe or Sally or whatever, with your name on them obviously, (what was the first clue). We just got a lot of customers that were either, drunk, high or both or perhaps just had brain surgery, but their doctor actually removed their brain by accident.

Smart answers to dumb questions

Customers would constantly walk up to me and ask, do I work here. And seriously this is no joke, I would always reply with a smart ass answer and I never got in trouble for it. And I would say no, I stole this shirt or I'm a member of the theater fan club.

"Do you sell popcorn?" No we are the only movie theater in America that doesn't sell popcorn. We sell Chinese food instead, but sorry no chopsticks you have to eat with your hands.

Again true story, one day I'm in a ticket booth, selling tickets, naturally. (If you would guessed I was selling sporting equipment, you would be wrong). And someone asked, me where do you buy tickets, I told them three blocks down the street at the gas station, but if you want your oil changed or need gas, you have to buy it here.

Another person asked what size is the small popcorn. I said small we aren't trying to fool you with false advertising even though that would be very tempting because of the quality of our customers. "Well what does it look like"? It looks small. Again no joke someone asked how much are free refills, I told them five bucks, but we only take travelers checks. Again this is the situation in front of me and that's what I was thinking right at that moment.

That's the style of humor that you get from Kevin Spacey the actor/director/writer, but I would throw in comedian as well. The guy could've been a full-time professional comedian if he wanted to. Watch the movies Swimming with The Sharks and Hurley Burley, The Big Kahuna and you'll see what I mean. I would add Chris Walken and Tom Hanks to that list because their humor is so spontaneous, off the top of their heads, they don't need scripts or writers. They do that for themselves which is what all great comedians do and is a style of humor I've patterned mine behind.

Classic Canada Sports: NHL Expansion Documentary

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 it's 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 thats 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.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960