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Monday, December 28, 2015

Drew David: Barbara Walters Interviews of a Lifetime- Raquel Welch in 1985

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Drew David: Barbara Walters Interviews of a Lifetime- Raquel Welch in 1985

Raquel Welch by 1985, was not the big star in Hollywood that she was in the early and mid 1970s, but she was still a big star. Who could find work easily and didn't have much if any trouble staying busy. She was 44-45 at this point and as you can see you still looked great. Even with the short hair, but take it up twenty-five years later to 2010 the year she turned 70, she was still red-hot and baby-faced adorable as a seventy-year old women who was collecting Medicare and Social Security. But that is Raquel Welch. She's said several times before that she sees part of her job to look great all the time. To take care of herself which is what she's been doing ever since she came to Hollywood in the 1960s.

Raquel, isn't a Hollywood goddess because she was born with a great face and body and hair. Those things are obviously part of it, but the real reason is because she's a true professional. She takes care of herself and does projects that makes her look great. And by the mid and late 1970s I believe we finally got to see Raquel as the actress and entertainer, doing roles that showcased her talents as a singer and as a comedian. Myra Breckinridge, whatever you think of the movie and I love the film, she was great and very funny in it, but go up to 1977 with Mother Jugs and Speed, where she uses all of the sexual talk about her and plays off of it and throws it back in those guys face. To show them how they sound, you see the great comedic timing, ability and improvisation of her as well.

Raquel Welch, is a true Hollywood goddess, because yes she's physically a goddess, but you need more than that otherwise you're going to burn out at a certain point when you're no longer considered fresh. The reason why Raquel stands up from lets say Hollywood playmates and even bimbos, because she has real talent as an actress and entertainer. She's a Golden Globe winner and has worked on Seinfeld and done other TV roles mostly in comedy. And has done more TV in her seventies as well. You don't last this long in Hollywood if you can't do the job. Play the parts that are given you, or even have the ability to create parts for yourself if you don't like what's coming your way. Raquel Welch, is built to last and when she turns 80, she'll probably still be seen as a Hollywood goddess.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Nation: Opinion: Rebecca Vallas & Melissa Boteach- Paul Ryan Just Accidentally Made a Great Case for Raising the Minimum Wage

The Nation: Opinion: Rebecca Vallas & Melissa Boteach- Paul Ryan Just Accidentally Made a Great Case for Raising the Minimum Wage

Am I missing something here, or has The Nation come back down to Planet Earth and finally just left Planet Utopia where there’s no such thing as war, poverty, bigotry, everything that most people see as bad? Because lately they’ve seemed to have grown up and moderated somewhat. While Salon and the others on the New-Left, are still fighting against the establishment, American capitalism, wealth, Caucasians and everything they seem to hate. Paul Ryan and The Nation, just made the conservative case for raising the minimum wage. You could argue that it is liberal and progressive as well. But here’s the conservative case.

You want fewer people on Welfare and Unemployment, then paychecks have to be worth more than Welfare and Unemployment checks. People need to know they can make more money working than not working and still getting the benefits if not more benefits working than not working. Including the work experience, job training, etc, their kids seeing their parents with a job and not needing Food Assistance. Welfare and Unemployment, should just be an insurance policy that people collect from when they’re out-of-work and don’t have the skills needed to get a good job. But while they’re on Welfare, they’re getting those skills, but also taking an entry-level job that pays more than not working.

And I know I’m going to here that government shouldn’t set wages and let the free market do that instead. What free market? Employers, big part of the private market, but without their customers and employees, they’re out of business. The people who make that the so-called free market argument, aren’t talking about a free market, for a couple of reasons. Because they believe in business subsidies and welfare coming from taxpayers. And they don’t want the other two-thirds of the so-called free market involved in how much they should compensate their employees. They want a business management market, where they’re in complete control. No regulators and where they get bailed out by taxpayers when they screw up.

Attach today’s minimum wage to people on Welfare, but still give them their other benefits and add education, job training and requiring people to take jobs that they’re qualified for even if they don’t pay a lot while they’re still getting their public benefits. Including the childcare and education, as well as livable minimum wage, more people will be working and fewer people not working. Include a credit for small employers so they don’t get burned by it. And people will see that working is a hell of a lot better than collecting public assistance checks with all the benefits that comes with it.

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Nick Gillespie- Why Hillary Clinton Should Thank God for Donald Trump

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Daily Beast: Opinion: Nick Gillespie- Why Hillary Clinton Should Thank God for Donald Trump

I'm not a fan of Hillary Clinton either and I don't come at that as either a Libertarian, or a Progressive, but just as a Democrat who is an American voter before I'm a Democrat, or even a Liberal. I don't like her because she gives political opportunism a bad name. There needs to be some new term to describe how Hillary has changed positions on critical issues over the years. Like con-women, career politician, politician junky, power-hungry, overly ambitious and these would just be the light terms that could apply with her.

Against same-sex marriage before she was for it, against allowing states to legalize marijuana, before she was for it, pro-Iraq War until it became too politically hard for her stand by it and came out against it. And when it comes to civil liberty issues where she does have a consistent record, she comes down on the wrong side at least from a liberal, or libertarian perspective. Pro-Patriot Act and NSA spying, to use as examples. I hate to say this as a Democrat, but in many way she's the Democratic version of Mitt Romney. And could marry Flip Flopper and become Mrs. Flip Flopper, instead of Bill Clinton. At least Flip, wouldn't cheat on Hillary every time she's out-of-town.

Why is Hillary the frontrunner not only for the Democratic nomination for president, but most likely the 45th President of the United States in January, 2017? Because her main opposition, (if you want t call it that) is the Republican Party. Who is literally running a one-man reality show in Donald Trump for president. And when the mainstream Republican presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, goes after The Donald, it hurts them in the GOP polls. But when they don't, they're devastating their own chances in the general election, if they get that far by not going after the reality TV con-man and fascist.

In a normal presidential election, Hillary is probably still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination at least with an edge going into the general election. But she wouldn't be looking at a landslide and would have a Center-Right Republican as her competition and instead of scaring Latinos, Muslims and women, would instead be reaching out to those groups and making inroads with those communities. She would most likely be facing a Jeb Bush, or John Kasich and perhaps a Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz emerges instead. But The Donald, would still be back at home hiring illegal immigrants, instead of bashing them. And perhaps preparing to file bankruptcy on another one of his companies. Because the GOP would never be dumb enough to give The Donald any credibility.

Similar to President Barack Obama in 2011-12, if 2016 was about Hillary's record as a politician and public servant and not about her lack of competition from the other side, she's not walking away with the Democratic nomination right now. Governor Martin O'Malley, my preferred choice, would be giving her a hell of a run for her money. Because he was a successful Center-Left Governor. A true Center-Left Progressive with results as Governor. Bernie Sanders, would be the Dennis Kucinich of 2016, but not as wild and fringe and having at least one foot on Earth. Unlike Kucinich, who lives on Planet Utopia mentally, where there's no need to even have a military. And Hillary, would have to take on Governor O'Malley, like she took on then Senator Barack Obama in 2008. And either earn the Democratic nomination, or lose it. But there's nothing normal about 2015-16.

Sean Hannity: Dr. Qanta Ahmed- Here's What Life Under Sharia Law Is Like For A Woman

Sean Hannity: Dr. Qanta Ahmed- Here's What Life Under Sharia Law Is Like For A Woman

For the life of me I don't understand why so-called Progressives today stand up for Sharia Law, or at the very least do not speak out against it and instead label Liberals when we speak out against it and even speak the truth about as bigots. How is Sharia Law any better than the Christian-Right in America. Where in the Bible Belt can women not vote, drive a car, not be able to travel without a male chaperone, have to cover their faces and completely cover their bodies when put in public, not even allowed to swim, risk death if they're caught committing adultery. Where in the Bible Belt can gays be put to death by their government simply for being gay? I'm not a fan of the Christian-Right obviously. At the very least they're stuck in a world that no longer exists and are authoritarian bigots as well.

As Richard Dawkins said on Bill Maher back in October, 'if Islamism and Sharia Law is part of the Islamists as today's so-called Progressives have claimed, then the hell with their culture.' What is progressive about treating women and gays like second-class citizens and even slaves. This is authoritarianism at its worst and to a certain extent even makes Marxism and Christian Conservatism, look moderate at best. At one point I didn't think that was ever possible with how authoritarian both of those ideologies are especially when it comes to individuality and expression. Anyone who calls them self a Liberal, Progressive, or Feminist, should hate Sharia Law. Because it goes against everything that you at least say you are in favor of. Being a Liberal, Progressive, or Feminist.

Everyone on the Left especially people who are either Atheists, or my case Agnostic, should not just hate Sharia Law, but speak out against it. And stand up for minority rights, gays and women in these countries that live under Sharia Law. Like the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, just to use as two examples. And not call people bigots simply speaking the truth against a non-Christian religion where the members of it are overwhelmingly non-Caucasian and especially non-Anglo Saxon. In the name of political correctness, because you have some Far-Left Utopian notion that minorities including religious minorities, have some right to never be criticized and offended about anything.


Paul Richards: The Free Speech Movement: Civil Disobedience in Berkeley 1964

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Paul Richards: The Free Speech Movement: Civil Disobedience in Berkeley 1964

I hate as a Liberal hearing California being called a liberal state and some bastion of liberalism. And just go back to the 1960s and how they came down on students who were simply looking to express their free speech rights on campus and get involved in politics. If you go to the last ten years or so and they were one of the first states to pass a same-sex marriage ban and I believe they had at one time a ban on homosexuality, at least as it relates to sex. Ronald Reagan, was Governor of California there and served two terms from 1967-75. They recalled a moderate Democratic Governor in Gray Davis in 2003 and replaced him with a modern Republican in Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California, even with their individualistic hippie movement in the 1960s that was based in Northern California and a certain extent Southern California, was at the heart in support of the political correctness movement, but coming from the right-wing in America. Especially at the state level in the California State Government. And trying to ban students from protesting and speaking out against the political issues of the day. Now they're reversed course and still support political correctness, but do it from the Far-Left instead of the Far-Right. And will deny right-wing speakers from speaking on their campus's and even left-wing speakers like Bill Maher, if they don't like what he has to say. His views on Islam in late 2014, is an excellent example of that.

What the free speech movement of the 1960s especially the mid 60s starting around 1963 and going through 64 and 65 and through the Vietnam War, was about was free speech. The right for American citizens who happen to be in college to express themselves on the issues. Protest in favor of equal and civil rights for all Americans and protest against the Vietnam War. The political correctness warriors back then, were on the Right. Who still believed it was 1956 or something and that all Americans looked at America and American culture and the world the same way and if there was anyone who didn't share those cultural and political views. they needed to be shut up. Which is how the New-Left in America reacts when people disagree with them on cultural issues today.

The free speech movement back then and I at least believe still does today when you look at Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins, to use as examples and you have Conservative Libertarians on the Right as well, but back then at least the free speech movement came from the Left. From people who loved being Americans and America, but especially loved the rights, freedom and responsibility that came with being an American. Like Freedom of Speech and choice, the right for Americans to be themselves. And not have to either by legal, or cultural force to live life the way that the so-called establishment believes that they should. Which is what the hippie movement and the free speech movement, gay right and so-forth. The right for Americans to be Americans which are individuals. And not clones of the establishment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

When I first saw new Speaker of The House Paul Ryan and his new beard I guess a week ago, I thought, ‘great, here’s another political faker wannabe. Someone who wants to fit in with the Millennial hipsters, or whoever else. And will follow whatever the current cool fad is.’ To be honest with you, I doubt he’s still wearing that beard a month from now. Sure! It will keep his face warm when he goes back to freezing Wisconsin and perhaps help him get through another disappointing Green Bay Packers playoff loss.

But he’s got to deal with both Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and to a certain extent House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when she needs to him to bail him out on things like getting votes on things that the House Tea Party doesn’t believe in. Like paying for government, to use as an example. And paying our debts, which is really what the debt ceiling is about. Officially acknowledging that you have a government debt. He’s got to deal with people who are never afraid to crack a joke. Especially when they know that person can’t hurt them or fire them.

All of these leader’s all have quick-wits and sense of humors and he’s friendly with all of them. which could kill him with the Tea Party. The next handshake with President Obama, could cost Speaker Ryan his speakership. Senator Robert Bennet, who at the time at least was one of the most conservative members of Congress, lost his Senate seat in a Republican primary in 2010. Because he was caught shaking hands with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. They’re all going to take shots at his beard, at least in private. And with Mitch McConnell, those shots might actually come from a gun. He’s from Guntucky after all.

I believe one of the things that Paul Ryan has going for him is that he comes off as real and as someone who Joe and Mary Average can relate to. He comes from an Midwestern Irish-Catholic background, who needed student loans to get through college. Whose had a government job most of his working life. This is not someone who comes off as being better than everyone else who feels he has something to prove. He’s someone who has worked very hard to get where he is, because he’s had to.

Unlike, gee I don’t know, just throwing out a name here, but try George W. Bush. Just to use as an example. And the Speaker’s beard to me as it does for a lot of guys who aren’t lumberjacks, or rednecks, or bikers, or cowboys, headbangers, football players, it just looks phony to me. And someone who looks like they want to be someone else. Paul Ryan, should be Paul Ryan. A very bright Irish-Catholic guy from Wisconsin whose gotten to the highest point in Congress by being Paul Ryan. Not by trying to convince people he’s someone other than Paul Ryan.

Free Association: Stephen M. Walt- How the U.S. Inspires Anti-American Terrorism

Free Association: Stephen M. Walt- How the U.S. Inspires Anti-American Terrorism

Watching the GOP presidential debate last night, I paid close attention to Senator Ted Cruz. For no other reasons to see how he would try to differ from the realty TV character The Donald, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Rand Paul, on foreign policy and national security issues. As well as the War on Terror and cvil liberties. Senator Rubio, Generation X's version of Dick Cheney on these issues, but at least he's consistent. Senator Paul, Generation X's version of Barry Goldwater. Fiscally conservative across the board, even as it relates to national security. Again his consistency is something to respect whether you agree with Rand or not.

Senator Cruz, the most interesting person up there and not because he's got an Anglo-Saxon Texas accent, to go with a Spanish face. But because he knows he can't beat Donald Trump by trying to more like The Donald. He probably can't win the GOP presidential nomination by being another Barry Goldwater. With the Christian-Right and Neoconservatives still calling the plays. So he's trying to carve out this new patch of space when it comes to foreign affairs in the GOP. That says, 'America, should not just worry about America first, but only worry about America. And when it comes to foreign affairs oversees, we should fund the lesser of all evils which are the monarchs and military dictators. To keep peace and stability in the Middle East.'

I don't know where Ted Cruz is getting his military and foreign policy advice, but it can't be from people who actually know what they're talking about. What the Senator doesn't seem to understand is that what fuels anti-American terrorism is the fact that America backs government's that these Jihadist's and just average people on the streets in these countries who aren't the bad people there, hate. The U.S. Government, is not popular in Egypt and the broader Middle East, because we've backed their dictators and authoritarian regimes over the years that have kept their people down and their countries in third-world status. That is how the Jihadist's have gotten their start and have kept going and have been attacking us at least since the late 1970s.

You don't defeat terrorism by backing authoritarian dictatorships that fuel terrorism by how they treat their people. What you do is cut off the dictator's legs and encourage people on the ground to stand up and demand change. As well as working with responsible government's like in Iraq and Turkey, to defeat the Jihadist's on the ground. And give the people in those countries the opportunity to create their own civilized societies. Create their own countries that are responsive to their people and there to serve their people and not crush the opposition, or simply look just to stay in power. How different would Egypt be today if we had never backed Hosni Mubarak. Or Iran had we never had backed the Shah.


The Concluding Chapters: Rita Hayworth in The Bastard 1968

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Concluding Chapters: Rita Hayworth in The Bastard 1968

A chance to see Rita Hayworth in color and when she was still very cute and beautiful. Not how she looked in the 1940s and 50s, but still looking very good and sounding great. Her voice always made her sound a lot younger than she actually was and her smile always made her seem younger as well. And she still had the body as well as we’re still talking about one of the top actress’s in Hollywood as well. She was truly special and I just wish we could have seen a lot more of her in color, before she was born for color TV and film.

As far as this film whether you want to call it the Sons of Satan, or The Bastard and I might add The Bastards, because we’re talking about two sons who are brothers who are professional criminals as thieves, it’s the same thing. Two guys who went real bad and one of them even worst by beating the hell out of his brother to keep all the money and jewels that they just stole together. These are guys that only their beautiful adorable mother could love, while their father goes out of their way to pretend he doesn’t even know them and perhaps wears disguises when he’s seen with his sons. So people don’t think he’s their father.




Constitution Daily: Staff- Happy Days Are Here Again: The 21st Amendment Repeals Prohibition

Constitution Daily: Staff- Happy Days Are Here Again: The 21st Amendment Repeals Prohibition

If you think the so-called War on Drugs in America goes back to 1971 which is way too long for a failed bogus war to go back to, you would think that at some point the boy genius’ in Washington would get the memo that something is not working and a change of course is needed, you would be wrong about the year the WOD started. The first American War on Drugs started in January, 1920, but back then it only took the genius’ in Washington thirteen-years to figure that something is rotten in Denmark and a change of course is now needed.

Imagine if the genius’ in Washington figured out by 1984 that the second War on Drugs known as the Controlled Substance Act, was a total failure (and I’m being nice) and decided to repeal it then, or even in 1985. How many lives would have been saved as a result in prison spaces, prison cells, new prisons all together if we were instead sending drug users and addicts to drug rehab at their expense instead of prison, or even jail. And getting them off of their addiction so they could move on with their lives. Halfway houses, night school, job training, vocational training, etc. How much in precious tax dollars would we have saved by then? As well as legalizing with taxation and regulation of marijuana.

Alcohol, by the way is a drug for anyone sober enough to understand that as well as remember what its like to be drunk. Which is a form of a high and when you prohibit alcohol like you’re prohibiting lets say marijuana, which has similar side-effects as alcohol, you’re adding to the War on Drugs. Because alcohol is a drug. Alcohol prohibition, didn’t work, because the overwhelming majority of Americans back then over eighty-years ago and today, like to drink alcohol. Even if that meant going to jail for it. And Americans tend to be smart enough to know what alcohol can do to them, so they’re not going to abuse it. Which can also be said about marijuana.

So this idea that just you make something illegal simply because you don’t like it and because it comes with dangerous consequences like people being stupid and deciding to drive and so-forth while intoxicated, doesn’t mean people will stop drinking what they enjoy drinking. Just means they may end up in jail for it. And for what, because they drank something that wasn’t god for them and nothing else. Good thing Americans don’t like heroin, cocaine and meth and even tobacco as much as alcohol. Or we would have to take out loans from China and Saudi Arabia to pay for all of our government expenses. Because most of the country would either be too high, or in jail, but not working and paying taxes for that work.

The War on Drugs, whether it was alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and 30s, or marijuana, cocaine, heroin and meth in the 1970s, all the way up till today, doesn’t work. Because again good people even who don’t normally hurt people and go out of their way not to hurt innocent people, will smoke a joint and get high if they really want to, especially if they think they can get away with it. Or don’t think they could be arrested simply for consuming a product that is not hurting anyone else and perhaps not even them as well.

Even big government, is too small and not smart enough to be the national parents of a country of three-hundred and twenty-million people who is three-thousand miles long and two-thousand miles wide. At some point government has to prioritize at all levels and layout exactly what it should do based on what it is capable of doing. What they have the resources to pay for based on what their taxpayers are willing to pay for. Instead of trying to micro-manage everyone’s life for them. And instead focus on how people interact with each other. Not to run our lives, but to prevent and punish people when we actually hurt others. But short of that just leave us the hell alone and let free adults be exactly that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Nation: Opinion: Suzanna Danuta-Walters- Why This Socialist Feminist Is for Hillary

The Nation: Opinion: Suzanna Danuta-Walters- Why This Socialist Feminist Is for Hillary

What I get from this piece from The Nation is that self-described Socialist Feminist Suzanna Danuta-Walters, who said she's to the left of Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, is voting for as she put it centrist Hillary Clinton, is because she believes Hillary would win. And has enough in common with her on the issues. And of course being a Feminist she wants the next president to be a Democratic women. And to be honest I believe that is the calculation that a lot of both Far-Left Democrats like Bernie and Center-Left Democrats such as myself are making as well. Not far enough to the left, not liberal enough for me on personal freedom and civil liberty issues, too much influence from Wall Street. And in Bernie's case, she's not a Socialist and not progressive enough on economic issues.

That is really the calculation all Democrats should be making assuming Hillary is our nominee. Not our first choice in many cases unless you're truly in this to see the next president be a Democrat who is at least center-left. She's not a dead-centrist and stuck in the middle, she just has a tendency to come off that way, because she had a tendency to wait until issues to become popular before she takes a tough stand on them, but generally comes down on the liberal, or progressive side. She's not in the dead-center, but not very far to the left even on the Center-Left for many Democrats. But compare her with anyone running for president for the Republican Party, there is no contest here.

And with the current shape of the GOP, Hillary is not only the likely Democratic nominee, but likely the next President of the United States. Because the GOP has nobody who can beat her, other than maybe John Kasich. Who is stuck somewhere around five-percent in GOP polls. And for the GOP to have any real shot at the White House next year, they not only have to win Latinos and women back in huge numbers, but stop their attacks on immigrants and Muslims as well. Because of the huge turnout of new voters who will be looking forward to voting for the first female President of the United States and making history. Good luck doing that with their Far-Right.

What Hillary Clinton has going for her, is that she's a Center-Left Democrat who comes off as strong and independent-minded, who looks very strong as a leader when she speaks, who is great on the center stage and in debates and now even speaking to voters and giving speeches. You can't call her radical about anything, unlike Bernie Sanders. You can't say she's inexperienced, or hasn't been tested, especially being married to Bill Clinton (ha, ha) and her own career in Congress and as Secretary of State. Going up against a Republican nominee who might be trying to prove to the Far-Right of the party that he hates Latinos and Muslims enough. No contest! Unless the GOP wakes up and nominates John Kasich, or maybe Marco Rubio, who could appeal to Latinos and perhaps younger voters.

Saturday Night Live: Will Ferrell- George W. Bush SNL-Cold Open

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Saturday Night Live: Will Ferrell- George W. Bush SNL-Cold Open

Watching the Republican debates tonight, just as a blogger and not a fan of really anyone up there, it does get me thinking about how great George W. Bush looks in comparison. The real G.W. could ask the question, 'do you miss me yet?' And Barack Obama would have nothing to do that question. The Republican Party today looks like someone's home when the parents go out-of-town and forget to get anyone to babysit their kids. Peanut butter, all over the walls. The dog, eating half of the furniture, because no one has fed him in weeks. The kids, being expelled from school, because they haven't been there in weeks, etc.

The Republican Party today looks looks like chaos in America. No real leadership from anyone other than Governor John Kasich and Senator Lindsay Graham. Who both during a good week maybe hit ten-percent each. And then they both throw a big bash celebrating that they're finally in double-figures. Money they should've spent on advertising and their ground campaign. I don't miss the days of G.W. Bush, except as a Democrat it was more fun and real talking to and about Republicans back then, because at least they had a real agenda that most of the party could get behind. But that GOP has been abandoned by a new crew that debates each other about who hates Latinos and Muslims more.

The Republican Party under Dick Nixon, Gerry Ford, Ron Reagan, George H.W. Bush and yes even G.W. Bush, who negotiated with their enemies, (including Democrats) who said they, 'rather have most of the loaf now and come back for the rest later.' ( Which is Washington speak for compromise) now says, 'surrender now and I won't destroy you and shut down the government.' The Republican Party that supposedly believes in the republic which is a form of government, now doesn't believe in government. And will shut down the government if Democrats and Republicans vote to fund portions of the government they disagree with.

Whatever you think of the Bush years and for me personally as bad as they were, they were eight great years of disastrous comedy, at least it wasn't chaos. You had a Republican Party, that knew what it believed and what polices they would fight for and push. And a Democratic Party that didn't, at least until they won Congress back in 2006, but knew what they were against. Which looks like the glory days of American politics compared with where we are now. G.W. Bush, was like the single-father of a family who just had too much and was overwhelmed and left his kids with no supervision for vacation and came back and saw nothing but chaos when he came back from vacation.

The National Interest: Opinion: Scott MacDonald- Venezuela Votes For Change After 16 Years of Chavismo

The National Interest: Opinion: Scott MacDonald- Venezuela Votes For Change After 16 Years of Chavismo

The Neo-Communists and Neo-Marxists, (as I at least call them in Venezuela) finally not only have some competition, but a liberal democratic opposition to their authoritarian rule. And shows that there’s even a limit to the mount of socialism that Venezuelans will put up with in their country. Especially when it comes with a high cost of the lost of personal freedom and a strong economy. Just as the Cuban economy is improving and the economy starting to move again in Columbia, the Socialist Maduro Administration in Venezuela has seen their economy collapse.

Because of falling oil prices in their country and the Venezuelan government’s Marxist miss-management of their economy, a country that is energy independent and yet not able to pay for their bare essentials like toilet paper and even food. The people in Venezuela stood up and demanded change and chose the liberal democratic opposition the Democratic Party there, which in Venezuela would be considered right-wing, which tells you how Far-Left the current government in Venezuela is. And now The Maduro Administration will have an opposition Assembly that it will have to deal with. With real limits on their power.

It’s not so much socialism that is the problem here, but how far you go with it and are you democratic or not and allow for real personal and even economic freedom, including a free press, free speech and a true opposition. Or do you concentrate so much power in the central government, the executive and head of state. To look after and take care of everyone else for them. Which is what happened in Cuba fifty-five years ago and perhaps would happen in Venezuela if the Neo-Communists there were allowed to hold on power indefinitely.

What the Venezuelan people did with their Assembly elections is to say that there’s a limit to what they expect one government and one political party to do for them and what they’ll allow to do to them. That you can’t blame America and Venezuela’s allies for all the problems that are going on in Venezuela. That at some point a political party, the Neo-Marxist Socialist Party in Venezuela that has had all the power in Caracas for the last 16 years has to take responsibility for the condition of the country.





Associated Press: Lynne Hollander-Savio- Berkley's Campus Free Speech Movement at 50

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Associated Press: Lynne Hollander-Savio- Berkley's Campus Free Speech Movement at 50

The Millennial's today who are still in college, the so-called Social Justice Warriors who want to establish their form of political correctness on the entire country who believe that minority Americans, are entitled to never having to hear anything that offends them, could learn so much from the Baby Boomers of the 1960s. The Hippies, who weren't fighting for collectivism and censorship, political correctness, but instead were fighting for individual freedom and Freedom of Speech. The right for Free Americans to express exactly how they feel about issues. On and off campus.

The Hippies, the long beards of the 1960s, the Baby Boomers, were fighting against the right-wing establishment who believe America was still in the 1950s. When individualism and individuality, were still not common and if anything looked down upon. Where people were told how to think, instead of taught how to learn and then base their own views on what they just learned. Where individual freedom and free speech were only tolerated if people were doing, saying and believing what the establishment approved of.

Again, free speech is exactly that. Take it for what its worth, because it by itself is not designed to make you feel good or bad, but to express how someone feels and when done right inform people as well. 'This is where you're doing well and this is where you need improvement. This is what you should do less of if not stop all together. This is what you should be doing more of.' And these are just some examples of what free speech is. Which is something the long beards of today, the Millennial's who are in college simply don't understand and approve of.

It means that you have the constitutional right to express how you feel about someone, or some group, or something, but that person next to you and everyone else not only have the constitutional right to not only tell you what they think about what you have to say, but express their own views on the same subject, or any other subject that they want to talk about. And you have the same constitutional right to express how you feel about what they have to say about whatever they're talking about as well.

Just because America has a history of racial and ethnic discrimination, which is the worst part of our national history, doesn't protect ethnic, racial and religious minorities from having to hear anything critical about themselves or their group in the future. Especially when the criticism is accurate. There's nothing bigoted about the truth and even when someone delivers half-truths about people perhaps to make partisan points and even racial or ethnic points to make a group seem worst than they actually are, you can always present the rest of the story and point out whatever hypocrisy the commentator is making.

There's nothing bigoted about saying that women and gays are treated like second-class citizens and slaves, or risk death if they try to convert from Islam in the Arab and broader Muslim World, since those things are actually true. Just like gays and women are treated like second-class citizens in the Bible Belt in America. Free speech, is free and facts don't lie and when someone is actually offended by the truth, then they have a real problem with dealing with reality. And have real self-improvement issues to deal with beyond whatever negative facts that have already come out about them. But that is no reason from censoring the truth and free speech. Especially in a liberal democracy like America.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet- Ann Coulter: Donald Trump’s Muslim Plan Is ‘Best Birthday Gift’

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet- Ann Coulter: Donald Trump’s Muslim Plan Is ‘Best Birthday Gift’

I don’t know who is a bigger birthday gift for bloggers and comedians, Donald Trump, or Ann Coulter. I guess The Donald would be at least physically, but that might only be because Ann Coulter has the body that only a stick-figure could want and is tall as a giraffe at the same time. Maybe they could run on a ticket for birthday gift of the year and run as a duo. Perhaps arm-wrestle to see who should run for president and who should run for vice president. I gotta admit even with her scrawny frame, with all of that masculinity that Ann carries inside, that might be enough for her to beat the 220 pound or more Donald Trump in an arm-wrestling contest.

Or better yet, The Donald and Flat Ann, could run for President and Vice President of the United States together for the Fascist Party and bring that back. As they’re working to develop their national time machine to take America back to 1955 and celebrate like its 1955 on New Years Eve and Day. They could appoint Rick Santorum as their foreign policy adviser and Mike Huckabee as their social policy adviser. Donald Rumsfeld, (an even less impressive Donald) could be their national security adviser.

A couple major things that The Donald and Flat Ann have in common is that neither one of them are politicians, because neither one of them are electable outside of the Bible Belt. And in The Donald’s case, he’s not electable anywhere outside of a Hollywood movie, or one of his own so-called reality TV shows, because he doesn’t know what he believes. Which gets to my second point about The Donald and Flat Ann, that since neither one of them are politicians they both can say whatever nonsense comes into their head at anytime.

Because they both know they’re not going to get elected to anything anyway. The Donald. wants to sell himself for his current venture which is, ‘Who Wants Donald Trump For President?’ Which will be available at your nearest TV set, or movie theater by the spring of 2017. And Flat Ann wants to sell her latest book and columns which will be available at your nearest garbage cans sometime in 2016. With pieces of three-weeks old baloney stuck in each page. With even homeless people turning down as food and reading material at the same time.

The only time I’m surprised by anything that either Donald Trump or Ann Coulter says, is when they say something intelligent. And I gotta tell you I have a hell of a memory and I can’t remember the last time either one of them ever said anything that got me thinking, ‘hum, we agree on something. They have a point there and I wish I had thought of that.’ They are both sharp businesspeople even accidentally in the sense that they know how to sell themselves. Sell their business ventures and in Flat Ann’s case her writings. Trash to be accurate that she sells that gets thrown out, or made fun, or a combination of both.

No, Ann Coulter, is not a prostitute, because lifelong prison inmates who have a better chance of seeing snow in San Diego than getting out of prison, have turned her down and have chosen men instead. What I mean by that is they sell themselves as far as what they’re personally selling. With The Donald, its his personality and reality TV career. With Flat Ann, its her books and columns. That keeps garbagemen in business forever with all the trash she writes. I personally for the life of me can’t believe why any intelligent person could even take either of them seriously, let alone believe what they say could actually be true.

Free Association: Sheldon Richman- The Phony Mystery of Why They Hate Us

Free Association: Sheldon Richman- The Phony Mystery of Why "They" Hate Us

I don't tend to use the phrase of 'why they hate us', because it is a Far-Left way of almost justifying the 9-11 attacks without actually saying that. As if the 9-11 attacks are justifiable revenge for American Middle-Eastern policy. And then you have to go into who is they and do they really hate us or not. Its clear the Jihadist's not only hate American foreign policy and national security policy, America values and are liberal democratic values, American individualism and everything else. But that doesn't mean the average person in the Arab World hates us.

But the average person in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other countries in the Arab World if anything likes those things about Americans. They don't like everything about American culture, but they tend to like us. And a reason why a lot of them have emigrated over here to make a better life for themselves and to escape the authoritarianism from their own country. They want to build a quality life for themselves and live in freedom while they stay true to their own Arab and religious values that they brought from home.

I can give you excellent reasons why Arabs hate American foreign policy and our national security policy as it relates to the Middle-East and perhaps in general. Its the hypocrisy of it. We claim to be big champions of liberal democracy in individual freedom on one hand, as we back big government statist  authoritarian regimes who are the complete opposite of what we preach and practice at home. We claim to support individual freedom at home and even abroad while we back Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and his authoritarian regime. The same thing with the Shah in Iran in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. President Jimmy Carter even called the Shah a model of stability and leadership in the Middle East in 1977. And the Shah is thrown out of power by his own people just more than a year later.

America, at one point during the Cold War, were allies with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, because he invaded the Islamic Republic of Iran. America has a seventy-year history of backing authoritarian dictators and regimes while we claim to be champions of liberal democracy and freedom. And Arabs on the ground who hate their authoritarian regimes, see through the American hypocrisy of it and stand up and even risk their lives as a result. And fall victims to Islamic theocratic radicals who if anything are even worst than the authoritarians that they want to replace. Which is what happened to Iran in the late 1970s as they became the Islamic Republic of Iran. And what happened to Afghanistan in the 1990s after they defeated Russia with American help and Islamic theocratic Taliban comes to power there.

The justification for American backing of Middle-Eastern dictators and their regimes has always been, "that if we don't do this, those regimes will fall, because they don't have the backing of their people and something worst will come in and replace it. Who would be anti-American." Well, what do you call the Islamic Republic in Iran? They came to power by overthrowing the Iranian Monarchy that was backed by America and Britain. What do you call ISIS in Iraq and Syria? They came to power in Iraq, because Iraq couldn't or wouldn't defend itself and had their own corrupt government led by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. We're still backing the Islamic Kingdom in Saudi Arabia, who still treats their women like slaves and second-class women. Who put people to death for being gay. Who finances schools and groups that put out this anti-Western and American propaganda.

Not saying that if America stopped backing Middle-Eastern dictators, or that he we never did that in the first place, that those countries would back Western liberal democratic values and individual freedom. Maybe they would replace those military and Marxist dictatorships with Far-Right Islamic theocratic states. The Arab World has no history of liberal democracy, liberal democratic values and individual freedom. But if you want to promote liberal democracy and freedom, you do that by encouraging people to get behind it and backing people who support it and would bring it to their country. Not by backing regimes that are anti-freedom and completely Un-democratic. What America has done is to back authoritarianism and statism in the name of American foreign policy interests. And the people in those countries see right through that propaganda.

Newsmax: Newsmax Prime- J.T. Hayworth Interviewing Allan Ryskind About Dalton Trumbo

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Newsmax: Newsmax Prime- J.T. Hayworth Interviewing Allan Ryskind About Dalton Trumbo

I haven't seen the Dalton Trumbo movie yet so I can't really comment on it at least in a credible sense and I'm not going to take the word of J.T. Hayworth and Allan Ryskind on it as well. Who both come from a very heavy right-wing partisan slant on it to say the least. Whatever you think of Dalton Trumbo's politics and I'm not a Socialist, democratic or otherwise, we're still talking about his politics here. The only reason why he was brought up in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 was because of his politics.

The so-called Red Scare at the start of the Cold War that drove a lot of Americans crazy in believing that communism was so dangerous that a great liberal democracy like America, which is the opposite of communism, couldn't survive in the same world as communism. That it wasn't just communist policies and communist states that had to be defeated and destroyed, but communist beliefs as well. That you needed a fascist state coming from the Far-Right, where everyone looked at politics and the world from the same point of view and all shared the exact same values. That is not freedom and free speech, but a form of fascism.

Dalton Trumbo, wasn't brought in front of HUAC because he was a communist agent for the Soviet Union or a spy or something like the Rosenberg's. He was brought in front of HUAC because he was  a Socialist in Hollywood and had a big mic and stage to get out his political beliefs. As much as the right-wing anti-Communist Warriors said they were defending freedom and liberty in the 1940s and 1950s, it would have been nice if only those things were true. Because instead they were defending what they claimed they were against. Which was fascism and statism.

You can say that Freedom of Speech is so important and that liberal democracy is so powerful that all views are welcomed to be expressed, because we're so strong as a country that we can tolerate extreme views from both the Far-Left and Far-Right and that Americans will be able to make up their own minds on these issues. But these things don't mean anything if you don't actually believe in them. What you do instead is say that freedom and free speech is so important that we have to stand up for the right for everyone to have their own views and be able to express them. Even if they're fringe and then hold them accountable for what they believe and say. But not try to shut them up and then we'll have true freedom and free speech.

Constitution Daily: Staff- Debating Affirmative Action: The Case Against Racial Preferences and For Equal Rights and Protection

Constition Daily: Staff- Debating Affirmative Action

As a Liberal, I’m against racial preferences regardless of who they’re tended to favor over any other race and in favor of equal rights and protection, civil rights and civil liberties and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not because I’m not a Liberal, but because I am. Because I got this wild Martin L. King notion that everyone all Americans should be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. Which really is about as liberal of a notion and value as liberalism gets. Liberals, truly believe in racial tolerance. Not just for minorities, but for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexuality.

The same reasons why I argue in favor of free speech whether I agree with the speech or not, because I’m a Liberal and not because I’m not. When you have racial preferences even if they’re designed to help minorities over the majority, you’re still approving a form of racial discrimination. You’re saying that certain races of people should get special treatment under law over another, because of their race and circumstances. Just because one race of Americans and in this case European-Americans or Caucasians, have benefited from special treatment in the past, doesn’t mean other Americans are now entitled to special treatment for themselves. It was wrong for Caucasians to benefit because of their race in the past and its wrong for anyone else to benefit because of their race today.

The problem with government in many cases and why it tends to be ineffective and not trusted, is because they like to live under their own laws while they enforce other laws for everyone else. They say we can’t practice racial, ethnic and gender discrimination against other Americans, when that is exactly what they do with racial preferences under so-called affirmative action. If government wants Americans to not judge people for good and bad because of race, ethnicity and gender, then they can’t do those things and expect to be trusted and respected.

Americans, might not be the sharpest tools in the shed as a people, but we know hypocrisy when we see it and we see it everyday. Racial preferences under so-called affirmative action, days are numbered, because we’re finally starting to become that MLK dream of a country. We’re becoming that country that doesn’t like it when Americans benefit from, or are denied access in this country because of our race and ethnicity. And that is because of the Millennial’s. The same generation that says minorities are entitled to never have to hear anything that they find offensive. Also believes in Equal Protection Under The Law and oppose racial and ethnic discrimination.

When the U.S. Supreme Court most likely kills racial preferences under so-called affirmative action in America perhaps as early as next year, it will give America a great opportunity to develop a real affirmative action policy in this country. That won’t be built off of racial discrimination and preferences, but on empowering Americans who have been left behind in this country including because of their race and ethnicity. But instead empowers Americans who come from underdeveloped communities to be able to make a quality life for themselves. And even be able to stay in their community that now has quality schools, infrastructure and new economic development.

What we should do instead as a country is build on the 1964 Civil Rights Act and expanding it to include gays and having a real education, infrastructure and economic system, that’s built off of economic development that says all Americans regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, and economic background, are entitled to a real shot at achieving their own American dream. Of living in economic and personal freedom based on what they’re created for themselves form their own skills and production. Not because of their race, or ethnicity, or father’s income level.

You don’t achieve a racial and color-blind society with big government saying, “it’s only okay when we do it.” You do that by saying it’s not okay at all and when you do it there are heavy economic prices to pay for it. To encourage you not to do it at all and to never do it again if you do it in the first place. That is what the 1964 CRA should be about. Not to expand the criminal justice system in America which is way over capacity to begin with. But to say racial and ethnic discrimination is wrong period and is illegal and have real strong enforcement. To encourage victims of racial discrimination to come out and report even if they think they can’t win their case, or can’t afford a good attorney.

Because good civil rights attorneys, would take their case anyway and their would be a criminal case to prosecute as well. And the victims would be entitled to financial compensation if the court finds that they’re victims of racial discrimination in the workplace, or in college, to use as examples. But we don’t create a society where Americans aren’t judged by their race and ethnicity with government not practicing what it preaches. That is what I mean by racial and color blindness, a society where Americans aren’t judged by their race, color, or ethnicity. Not a society that pretends its blind and can’t see race and ethnicity, but where we don’t judge people by those things.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Daily Review: The Week in Review- Life is a Highway, Move on, or Get Off

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Week in Review- Life is a Highway, Move on, or Get Off

A slow week on this blog as far as activity. This blog hasn’t posted anything since Wednesday night, because I had a crazy week. I had to get my bike to the bike shop, making plans for the holiday season including getting together with friends who are coming to town who I haven’t seen in a while, as well as friends who live in town that I haven’t seen in a while before I head out to the West Coast, Seattle to be precise on the 23rd. Returning calls yesterday that I missed, because my phone was dead and didn’t get it get back until Saturday afternoon.

Speaking of that, I have a friend from high school and we go back to early 1991 our freshmen year in high school. My birthday was last Tuesday and he finally called me, because he was finally able to get my phone number and manage to hang on to it. At least long enough to call me. He’s been messaging me on Facebook every time he’s wanted to talk to me, really since 2011, because he now lives on the West Coast where he’s been since he graduated from college in the early 2000s. He’s lost my cell number and I only have a cell number, every year at least since 2011. And I told him the last time he Facebook messaged me, “that if you want to talk to me, you’re going to have to get my number and call me.”

We only talk about once a year anyway, because we’ve drifted apart the last 10-15 years and don’t have much in common anymore. And talk and get together during the holiday season because he comes back in town every year to see his family for the holidays. And we generally get together for the holidays. Anyway he finally managed to get my number from a mutual friend and he called me on birthday last Tuesday night. We talked for about an hour, caught up, talked about what we might do together as well get together with mutual friends and all hanging out together in a big group. It was a good chat and the phone number issue never came up.

My I-Phone dies on Wednesday and I mean just died absolutely no life whatsoever in the phone. Didn’t even respond to my charger. I make a call with it on Wednesday afternoon and it’s probably at 80-90% power at that point. I go take a shower, come back about twenty-minutes later and the phone is simply dead and non-responsive. The call I made was to the bike shop, I was just returning their call, because they wanted to ask me questions about the bike. The call was maybe ten-minutes and the battery on my phone is pretty strong to begin with. Tried a couple different chargers on it as well as calling the I-Phone with a portable phone and the phone didn’t respond to any of that. So I knew I had a problem and I was going to have to get the phone looked at.

I called the Apple Store in Bethesda, Maryland to make an appointment. Great store and very customer friendly and responsive. You can see why they have sold out football stadium crowds of business everyday and why people have to camp out the night before outside of the store people trying to buy the latest, well I-Phone or computer, just to get service there while they’re still young. But that’s the problem, because they’re so popular and efficient, at least in Bethesda, its hard to get timely service there. I made an appointment on Thursday to get my phone looked at and was able to get the appointment yesterday. They’re not called bar genius’ for nothing and I’m not talking about making drinks.

The guy who worked with me at the store, tried a couple a different chargers as well as scanning the phone with another device and opening the phone up to see what might be the problem. He finally got the phone to reboot and was able to get life back in the phone. And probably had the phone fixed about ten-minutes later after he saw me. And told me, “sometimes these phones just crash and shut off and perhaps just need a break and a chance to reboot and come back.” I’m paraphrasing, but that is pretty close and he told me what I can do to fix the phone myself the next time it simply dies on me and doesn’t respond to the charger.

There was plenty on my plate that I wanted to blog about last week, but I was borderline mentally exhausted by Wednesday. Really just dealing with my bike which is how I get around for the most part as far as running day-to-day errands, not having a phone for three days and getting word out that if you need to contact me, you’re going to have to email, or send me a private message on one of these social networks that I’m on. Dealing with what I might be doing the week of Christmas with hanging out with friends and then heading out-of-town a week from this coming Wednesday. This week should be pretty active on the blog and I’m looking forward to really my last active week on the blog before I go out-of-town and before the new year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Nation: Opinion: John Nichols- President Obama Is Right- This Unauthorized War Needs to Be Debated by Congress

The Nation: Opinion- John Nichols- President Obama Is Right- This Unauthorized War Needs to Be Debated by Congress

I believe the only impressive point that President Obama made in his ISIS speech on Sunday night, was saying that Congress should be debating this war and passing an authorization for it. If the House and Senate held a vote tomorrow on whether or not America should be involved in the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it would pass overwhelmingly in both chambers. With perhaps just the Progressive Caucus and few Libertarians in the House voting no and perhaps a handful of Senators voting against it as well. If that was the only question and then of course it would have to be worded right where you get clear majorities in Congress behind it.

The original Congressional authorization for the so-called War on Terror was in 2001 for Afghanistan in response to the 9-11 attacks and then they updated it to cover Iraq in 2003. Syria was never part of it, neither were outside terrorist organizations like ISIS. Congress, has to get off their asses frankly and start at least trying to earn their one-hundred and fifty-thousand-dollar a year salaries. Which might not be that much in Washington, but compared with the rest of the country they’re well-compensated, especially if you look at their compensation packages compared with the rest of the country. And the Senate and House need to start trying to earn those benefits.

Congress, is supposed to authorize and say no to wars. The President, can’t do this on their own. They need approval from Congress to go to war and need Congress to authorize the costs of the wars. And I understand with a Republican Congress not wanting to go on the record of even supporting the same weather reports and sports teams as President Obama, because of how their Tea Party would react. But public office is about governing. You run for office to get there and can play all the politics you want on the campaign, but once you’re in office you have a responsibility to govern. Even if that means working with a President from the other party and officially supporting a war that might not be popular.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Drew David: The Tonight Show Johnny Carson- Shelley Winters in 1987

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Drew David: The Tonight Show Johnny Carson- Shelley Winters in 1987

If Shelley Winters wasn't the great actress that she was, she probably would have been a standup comedian, or a variety show comedian doing skit-comedy, or a talk show host. She was an enormous talent and personality who had an incredible wit and intelligence. Literally not just one of the best actress's who has ever lived, but one of the greatest personalities and comedians as well. Great entertainer who reminds me a lot of the great Ginger Rogers. As far as an entertainer who combined such great talent for the dramatic, who also had a great personality and was very funny. Who was both very adorable and yet very bright and funny all in the same package.

Johnny Carson, was perfect for Shelley, because he was also very bright and had a very quick off the cuff humor and perhaps shared the exact same sense of humor as Shelley. So they related very well and could make fun of the same things and shared similar experiences. Like being married enough times to produce enough kids to fill up the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Or both having enough spouses combined (if not by themselves) to fill out an LAPD police lineup. They also knew each other very well. When Johnny was interviewing Shelley Winters, or someone like that, or a Burt Reynolds, Jimmy Stewart, he was interviewing actors who could match him joke for joke and even sound funnier.

Notes on Liberty: Brandon Christensen- From The Comments: A Libertarian Solution to DAESH (ISIS/ISIL) and The Civil War in Syria

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress: Notes on Liberty: Brandon Christensen- From The Comments: A Libertarian Solution to DAESH (ISIS/ISIL) and The Civil War in Syria

An interesting idea to dealing with ISIS and the Syrian Civil War. But I gotta tell you its a non-starter. The idea that Turkey would unilaterally give up Kurdistan whether it’s in Turkey, Syria, or even Iraq, where they’re now involved in taking on Iraqi forces there that they are claim are terrorists, it aint happening. America, Iraq and Europe, who are all now involved in trying to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria, need Turkey on our side here. And they are already there bombing ISIS in Syria and we could use their troops on the ground as well. They know the land and people, being neighbors and everything else.

America, can’t take out ISIS by ourselves, or take out Bashar Al-Assad by ourselves. Unless you want to occupy another country 20-25 million people who doesn’t like us. And then end up being bailed out ourselves financially, by the IMF or even China, because we’re already so heavy in debt. And American taxpayers simply won’t pay for this especially if we’re by ourselves again in another Arab-Muslim land and country that doesn’t like us. And our taxpayers aren’t going to pay for this in either new taxes or budget cuts to programs they care about.

Which leaves us to a non-libertarian non-dovish and isolationist solution here. Which is called liberal internationalism and putting together a broad coalition that includes America, as well as Europe, Turkey, Iraq, the Iraqi-Kurds, to not only destroy ISIS and knock them completely out of power like we did with the Taliban in Afghanistan, but knocks the Assad Regime out of power as well. America and Europe through the air in what is called a no fly zone, which is what we did in Libya four years ago. Turkey, the Syrian rebels, Iraq and hopefully Saudi Arabia and Jordan on the ground.

And tell that Russian bullish asshole Vlad Putin, that he can be part of the solution here and have a stake in the new Syria where millions of Syrians don’t want to overthrow their own government, because they’re no longer living under a Baathist psycho dictator, or they can be part of the problem. And risk having another one of their planes shot down in Syria this time. But from a first-world NATO jet, or firepower. America, can’t do this ourselves, certainly Iraq and Syria can’t do it either. We could take out Bashar Al-Assad and his regime by ourselves, but again that would leave us with another mid-size to big country that we would be stuck occupying. We have to do this through coalition.

Constitution Daily: Staff: The First Amendment Speech Debate on College Campuses

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Constitution Daily: Staff: The First Amendment Speech Debate on College Campuses

This point has been made several times before and I am one of those bloggers whose made this point over and over, but college is about learning new ideas, thoughts and expressions. If its censorship that you want, then perhaps you need to create time machine or something that will take you back to the 1950s when the words damn and hell were essentially forbidden in public. Well at least on TV and in the movies. And if it’s just a nice polite world that you’re looking for, well for minorities that is, leaving majorities subjected to whatever everyone else wants to say about them for good and bad, then perhaps you need to create your own country. Perhaps Paradise Island or someplace in the Pacific or Caribbean where there isn’t any hate or bigotry. At least towards minorities that is.

To paraphrase President Andrew Shepard from The American President. America, is not easy. You have to want it bad in order live and make it here. Because we’re a country where you can essentially whatever the hell you want to short of inciting violence, falsely accusing people, or harassing people. Americans, have the constitutional right to be enlightened, but we also have a constitutional right to be assholes. We also have the constitutional to be truth tellers even if what we have to say may tend to offend people who we’re talking about.

That is called America, that is called liberal democracy, that is called the land of the free. This is what a liberal society and free society is about. The right for people to be free and live freely even if what we’re doing and what we have to say may tend to offend people who are oversensitive, or have much more culturally conservative perspective on life. America is not a good place for tight asses and people who can’t take a joke and who always find the one cloud on a beautiful sunny day. America, is about freedom and individuality and free expression. Even if that may tend to offend people who can’t ether take a joke and even understand criticism, let alone take it.

I’m almost to the point that I believe everyone who attends college in America should be required to pass a class on both the U.S. Constitution and First Amendment and Bill of Rights in general. Because apparently they didn’t bother to learn those things in high school. I had to take and pass a government course in high school in Maryland in the early nineties just to graduate from high school. When most of these students weren’t even born yet. Gives you a little idea how old I am. And I’m glad I did do that, because it’s a reason why I’m a political junky and blogger today.

But I guess today’s students were too busy texting the student who sits right next to them, or listening to their I-Pod in class, or googling what shoes Khloe Kardashian wore with her new bag when she went shopping in Beverly Hills last weekend. Or whatever else they might have done when they should have been paying attention to their teacher’s lecture on American history and social studies. You want to know why Americans get stereotyped as stupid? I’ll tell you anyway. Because we now have a generation of Americans who don’t understand their country’s history and form of government and their own constitutional rights. Like Freedom of Speech.

And when these kids finally get to college after finally completing summer school, it suddenly occurred to them that some Americans say some rough things about other Americans including minority Americans and some of those negative things are negative facts. And they’ve decided they’re going to try to force their sense of decency on the rest of the country. But America simply doesn’t work that way. America, again is that gigantic melting pot of a country. The largest, the most diverse, most beautiful, the freest melting pot in the world. Where all sorts of people have the right to express their own views. And they can’t be shut up for telling the truth. Or because people can’t take a joke, or simply don’t like what someone has to say.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Paramount Movies: Sunset Boulevard 1950- An Aging Silent Film Star Attempts a Comeback With a Hack Screenwriter

This post was originally posted at The Daily Review: Paramount Movies: Sunset Boulevard 1950- An Aging Silent Film Star Attempts a Comeback With a Hack Screenwriter

I don’t like using the word-perfect that often, because perfect is almost never seen and heard of, but Sunset Boulevard along with North by Northwest, is about as close to a perfect movie as anyone could ever see.

Great plot about a young almost wannabe screenwriter who at this point is desperate for work, so he can make his car payment. Whose on the run from repossessors and stops off at what he believes is an abandoned house only to discover that one of the top actress’s ever in Hollywood lives there. Which is how Joe Gillis (played by William Holden) meets Norma Desmond, (played by Gloria Swanson) otherwise they probably never meet each other. Joe Gillis, is considering giving up Hollywood and going back to Ohio and getting a blue-collar job. Norma Desmond, hasn’t worked in a while and the Hollywood studios no longer want her.

Norma Desmond, finds out that Joe Gillis is a Hollywood writer, struggling at that and owes three months back rent on his apartment, as well as a car he can’t afford. She knows he needs money, which is what she has plenty of and needs a job, which she has one for him. She’s not working now as an actress and doesn’t have any roles coming her way and decides to write her own script and get back into movies that way. And hires Joe to be his proofreader and to fix up her script so someone would take it and make a movie from it. Joe, is not impressed with the script so far, but believes he can work with it. Still has friends in Hollywood and has one his friends Betty Schaefer (played by Nancy Olson) help him rewrite the script and they work on it together.

Norma Desmond, is lonely and desperate to get back into movies and doesn’t want to live off her royalties and investments. She wants Joe to perhaps help her get back into the movies, but what I at least believe she’s looking for is male companionship and believes her script will get her back into movies. I don’t think it is ever clear that she thinks Joe Gillis, someone who she’s never heard of who can’t afford either his apartment or car and hasn’t worked in a while, is a talented writer and someone who has a future in Hollywood. Joe, needs a job obviously as well as money and I see them as basically using each other to meet their short-term interests. I don’t see them as a writing team that is going to write their own movie together.

Gloria Swanson, has just turned 50 at this point and so has her character in Sunset Boulevard. But Hollywood already sees her has washed up and way past her prime. Gives you an idea of how Hollywood sees the world different at least in the 1940s and 1950s than the rest of us. And in many ways this movie is pretty sad, because it shows how Hollywood treats its stars once they believe they no longer have any use for them and almost treat them like strangers and as people they don’t want to be seen with anymore. Gloria Swanson, is her beautiful and brilliant self now playing someone who s past her prime, but as an actress she still has everything going for her and is still the star of the movie. Bill Holden, is his usual charming and even funny self who mixes in clever humor in a very serious if not dark and depressing, but a great movie.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

News Receiver: President Obama's Oval Office Speech on Syria

President Barack Obama, United States-
I watched President Obama's speech on CNN and then saw the so-called experts talk about it. And one of them was Michael Weiss whose written a book about ISIS and is very familiar with that cult of death. I don't think the President's speech was as bad as Mr. Weiss said it was and I don't think the President is ignoring the treat of ISIS, or trying to give a much prettier picture of the situation than what is actually going on. But I do agree with him on one thing that the speech did fall flat. It was basically more of the same talking about what is currently going on in Syria and steps that the President's administration has taken against terrorism since he took office.

Which was not the task of his speech tonight. Tonight's speech should have not have been a status report. But instead, "this is the threat that we're facing and this is what we're doing to address it." As well as laying out what additional steps that need to be taken. And I agree that tightening gun control laws will help reduce gun violence in America, but will do almost nothing if anything at all to deal with ISIS in the Middle East and Europe. But would defeat ISIS and Syria, Iraq and wherever else they are stationed in the world.

And we're going to need an international coalition to do this. President Obama, didn't even mention that now Britain, Germany and France, as well as Turkey and Iraq, are all onboard to taking on ISIS in the Middle East. He didn't call on Saudi Arabia and Jordan to do more n defeating ISIS. It was instead really just a status report about what his administration has already done and what they'll continue to do. I think this speech is memorable only on what he didn't say and what the President left out. Instead of hearing, "this is what we're doing right now. These are the challenges and this is what we need to do in the future to go along with what we are already doing." Didn't hear that from President Obama, which is why this speech was flat and could have been better.


Friday, December 4, 2015

ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Elizabeth Taylor 1999 Interview

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Elizabeth Taylor 1999 Interview

I think survivor or perhaps the Silent Generation’s version of the drama queen as far as someone who really has lived the life of a Hollywood character. With all the ups and downs that she’s gone through in her life and gotten through all of that and perhaps came out stronger each time. All of the failed marriages, the alcoholism, the obesity, the tragic deaths of close people in her life. The life that she’s lived looks very similar to that of Ava Garner. Another Hollywood Goddess who lived her own life and lived her life her way, there was even a song made about that.

Liz Taylor, lived a life that you would think anyway could have only had been written by a very good Hollywood screenwriter. Perhaps writing the script that made them the star. Similar to Ava Gardner, I think what made Liz Taylor such a great actress is that she in many cases lived the life of a Hollywood star. She didn’t have to play roles and parts, because those parts in many cases were very similar to how she was in real-life. She was born to so soap operas and would have had a great career there has soaps not been too small of a stage for her.

Butterfield 8, which she did with Laurence Harvey in 1960, where she plays a model whose not really working, but goes from man to man and not sure who is the real man for her and not really committed to anyone. But relies on several different people to help her get through, is a pretty good example of what I’m talking about here. I believe she was such a great actress, arguably the best ever and the best of her generation, because she was a great actress, with a keen wit and intelligence, but she played women who were very similar to who she was in real-life.