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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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

Monday, August 21, 2017

BBC: 1999 Jayne Mansfield Documentary

Source: BBC- Jayne Mansfield-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I guess in one way Jayne Mansfield was a great actress and not just a great comedic actress and comedian, but a real great actress at least in the sense that she had so many people fooled. She wanted to be seen as the dumb blonde who needed her hot adorable sexy image to pay her bills. But in actuality she always knew what she was doing. An intelligent woman who wanted to be viewed as a bimbo and was such a great actress that she pulled that off. She had people thinking she was exactly as she came off which was as a bimbo.

Marilyn Monroe had the famous quote that it takes a smart woman to play the dumb blonde. Well that was Jayne Mansfield, the smart woman who played the dumb blonde. She knew what Hollywood was and how she could be successful in it and played her talents to the hilt. A hot adorable woman with a great body, but who also had a great sense of humor and comedic timing, who was also an accomplished singer. But knew exactly what people in Hollywood and what the fans noticed first and what they wanted.

Which was to see hot this adorable woman with the great curve appeal and then you add to that which was she was a great entertainer. Someone who should exchange wisecracks with funny people like Tom Ewell, Edmond O'Brien, Merv Griffin, Jack Benny, Cary Grant, and many others. She was better than Marilyn Monroe at least in this sense that Jayne knew she was really good and had made it and deserved what she accomplished. Unlike Marilyn who was battling mental illness and depression and was heavily medicated for a lot of her adult life and had even attempted suicide and been committed at one point.

Jayne had a plan from day one and knew what she needed to do to make it in Hollywood. But unfortunately Jayne Mansfield falls in the class of what could've happened if only and ends up dying at 34 in 1967 because of a car crash where she wasn't even driving because her and her crew were in a big hurry to meet a big appointment that they had in New Orleans the next morning.

By the time Jayne died in 1967 she was woking the nightclub circuit as a singer because her Hollywood career at burned out because the major studios no longer wanted to work with her. Jayne mentally in many ways was just as adorable as she was physically. She came off a little girl both physically and personally. And was fairly immature and developed bad habits like drinking heavily and not able to take criticism very well and work to expand her image so she could get better and bigger parts. Which is why she fell out of Hollywood and down to the nightclub circuit just to pay the bills and keep working.
BBC: 1999 Jayne Mansfield Documentary

Friday, August 18, 2017

Foreign Policy: Opinion- Daren Acemoglu & Simon Johnson- It's Time To Found a New Republic

Source: Foreign Policy Magazine-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I read this article called It’s Time To Found a New Republic from Daren Acemoglu and Simon Johnson over at Foreign Policy Magazine. And it wasn’t just the title of the article that caught my attention. It’s Time To Found a New Republic, if they spent more time on the title maybe they would’ve called It’s Time For a New Republic, Time To Create a New Republic, The New American Republic. When something is found you don’t need to fine it, because it’s already there.

But getting pass the wording of the title of their piece most of their article was about American history and the progressive movement. Starting with the Progressive Era of the early 1900s and going up to the New Deal of the 1930s and the creation of the our national infrastructure system of the 1950s. And then towards the end they were had some policy proposals.

Ranging from a national basic income, which I disagree with, to ending partisan, racial, and ethnic gerrymandering which I’m in favor of. When I saw the title of their piece I’m, thinking maybe they were talking about creating a new form of American government. That the problem with American society (as they might see it) is the structure of our government all together. Perhaps they don’t like our Federal system based on limited government and would propose replacing that with a unitarian style of government that you see a lot of in Europe. Where most of the governmental power in the country is based with the national government. Instead of spread out between the national, state, and local government’s.

Just to comment on Daren Acemoglu’s and Simon Johnson’s economic proposals. I don’t believe the problem of income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with our government structure and how power and responsibility is spread out. Not that they were arguing that either necessarily. But it has to do with the skills gap and opportunity gaps in the American economy.

If you live in rural America and grow there, or you’re raised in a rough part of an inner city your chances of doing well in America are far lesser than if you come from a middle class neighborhood in a city or from the suburbs. Also if you have parents or even one parent who are doing well in life, not necessarily rich but doing well enough for you to be raised right and have you what you need to do well growing up, your chances of doing well in America are much better if you come from a low-income family in a low-income neighborhood, where your parent or parents are just struggling to survive.

So you want to reduce income inequality (again, if you want to call it that) you have to reduce the inequality that’s part of our education system and have an education system where more Americans can simply get a good education. Regardless of where they live and where they grow up and who their parents are. And of course regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Which should go without saying anyway.

As well as having an adult educational system in this country where low-income adults whether they’re currently working or not, can advance in the American economy by finishing and furthering their education and getting themselves a good job that leads them to economic independence.

As well as having that system available for workers who already have a solid education. High school diploma plus some vocational training and perhaps a college degree, but now find themselves working in a field where those jobs are disappearing or where they’re no longer able to make the money that allows for them to live comfortably. And allow for them to further their education perhaps even in a new field for them.

The problem with the American economy has nothing to do with our form of government. Or our Federal Government is too small, our state and local government’s, have too much responsibility, or middle class Americans are undertaxed and have to much personal and economic freedom and have to make too many decisions on their own.

The problem with the American economy and why we have income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with education and skills. We need to move pass the idea that schools should be funded based on the property values of the people who live in those communities . Which has to do with property taxes. And sending kids to school based on where they live, instead of what’s the best school for them.

And get pass the idea that if you start at a low-wage low-skilled job because you’re low-skilled, that you’re stuck working jobs like that indefinitely. Because you can’t afford to go back to school or simply don’t have the time for it, because you’re working multiple low-wage jobs just to try to survive.

You close the skills and education gaps in America, you reduce poverty, because you’ll not just have more Americans working as long as you have pro-growth economic policies in place that promote economic development and growth, but you’ll also have more Americans working good jobs. Which will also improve your long-term economic and financial outlook of the country. Because you’ll have fewer Americans on public assistance.
Source: RCO 64

RCO 64: The American Form of Government

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

Source: Alan Eichler- Bob & Lana-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to be a little personal when you're talking about cute Hollywood blondes, Lana Turner is at the top of the list. Even in her late forties and fifties she was still as cute as a little girl and not just because she was really short. Love Has Many Faces from 1964 I believe is Lana's best movie and one of the best soap operas of all-time (at least in my opinion) Lana worked with the gorgeous baby-face adorable Stefanie Powers in that movie. And Stefanie is maybe 20 at that point and as cute as can be and Lana is in her early forties and Lana is the cutest women in that movie. That movie also had a beautiful adorable brunette in Ruth Roman in it. Peyton Place from the 1950s, she's cuter than her daughter in that movie.

Lana Turner was always an adorable gorgeous baby blonde with a keen honest intelligence and quick wit. Which made her perfect for soap movies in the 50s and 60s like The Big Cube in 1969 which is more of a cult favorite than anything else, but still a very entertaining and funny movie. And made her perfect for TV soaps like Falcon Crest in the 1980s. The Bad and The Beautiful where she plays a brand new soon to be the next hot star in Hollywood and she works with Kirk Douglas, Barry Sullivan and Dick Powell in that movie. She was like a little girl in that movie as far as physical stature but that little baby face and how she spoke and came off in that movie. The Bad and The Beautiful is the prefect title for that movie. Because there were no angels in that movie. But ordinary people simply trying to survive working for a selfish producer who was  user of talent.

If you were going to put together a list of the top 5-10 Hollywood actresses of all-time I believe Lana Turner would have to be on it. Of course it would also have to have The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth on it. Slim Lauren Bacall would have to be on it. Elizabeth Taylor would have to be on it. Ava Gardner would have to be on it and if you left Ava off she might sue you for that. Susan Hayward would have to be on it. I believe Lauren Bacall is the best perhaps Liz Taylor is just right behind her.

But Lana Turner is in that group as well because she was so convincing and a great dramatic comedic actress who combined great dramatic affect with quick wit as well. And self-deprecating humor as well and not afraid to make fun of herself. Maybe that had something to do with the alcohol or maybe just because she was so honest. But I believe the best actresses and actors are the most honest which allows for them to be the most convincing because they look like they're playing themselves. Which is why Lana Turner is so high up the Hollywood best ever list.
Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Retro Report: Prop 13- Mad as Hell: Howard Jarvis's Impact On California

Source: Retro Report-
Source: Retro Report: Prop 13- Mad as Hell

Just to comment on this video and I don't blame Retro Report that much for this, but this story took place in 1978 and most of the TV coverage was in black and white. You would think you were watching some newsreel or documentary from 1955 or something instead of something from the late 1970s when color TV and footage was dominant and the only way you could see something in black and white was with a black and white TV or watching a movie from the 1950s or early 1960s.

The video is right about where Howard Jarvis got his political inspiration for his political movement. It was from the movie Network 1976 and the Howard Beale character (played by the great Howard Finch) and to understand that movie you have to not only understand and be aware of the 1970s, but the mid 70s especially. America goes into recession in 1974 and that goes through 1975 and that is on top of the energy crisis and oil embargo of 1973 making energy in short supply and very expensive in America. Which goes on top of high interest rates and inflation of that period.

The Vietnam War is ending which was a great thing in many ways, but you end up with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of American military personal coming home from Vietnam and leaving the service, but having a weak economy and economic outlook to return to and having a hard time finding work. And add that to the rising unemployment of from the recession and you just have a weak economy. And that is not enough you have a shrinking middle class because of the recession and a shrinking blue-collar base in America who are paying a lot in taxes and seeing their taxes go up even as their income goes down and finding themselves working less then they're accustomed to.

So when the movie Network comes around in 1976 and the movie being made in 1975 at the heart of that recession, it was perfect timing. You have a Howard Beale character who gets his national talk show in the movie and uses that platform to talk about how pissed off he's at the state of affairs in America with so many middle class Americans now finding themselves working and making less and that is if they're working at all. And he's saying he's mad as hell about seeing big wealthy corporations continue to make millions if not billions as the little guy is struggling just to survive in America. And that it's time for America to step up and tell their politicians that they're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

And California just happening to be the largest most populated state in America perhaps feeling the brunt of the recession of the mid 1970s and poor recovery of the late 1970s the most and being one of the highest taxed states in America. California becomes the perfect proving ground for anti-tax economic Conservatives in America with Howard Jarvis being their spokesmen. You want to know what caused the start of the Regan Revolution of 1980, there isn't any one thing. But the movement for tax cuts and lower taxes really got going in the late 1970s. And Ronald Reagan who just happened be be Government of California right before Jerry Brown was one of the leaders of this movement. And they were successful in getting their tax cut in 1978.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Joan Collins Archives: Mark McMorrow- Film Flashback: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

Source: Joan Collins Archives-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Unlike Seven Thieves which I blogged about a couple weeks ago Joan Collins and Paul Newman, really are the only two reasons to watch Rally Round The Flag Boys. Joanne Woodward is pretty cute and funny in it, Jack Carson is great as the stumbling awkward U.S. Army Captain who tries to come off as a lot tougher than he actually is. Jack Carson is simply one of the top comedic actors of his generation.

But the first hour of this movie is pretty funny with Joan playing this beautiful (if not gorgeous) rich housewife in this small town about an hour outside of New York City who really only has one problem. Her wealthy business executive husband never sees her. The man is either working all the time at the office, out-of-town on business (or with his mistresses's) or going out with his mistresses. I added the mistress part myself to make it sound funny, but the point being the man is never around and never seen with his beautiful adorable wife Angela Hoffa (played by Joan Collins) in the entire movie. And Joan can get kinda prickly about little things like never seeing her husband. Even if he gives her an allowance that makes her a millionaire.

But Angela comes across Harry Bannerman (played by Paul Newman) early in the movie when he gets to the train station in their small town coming back from work and his wife is too busy to pick him up. Angela just happens to be there perhaps thinking this might be the night where she actually gets to spend some time with her husband, but of course he's still not there and still at work. And offers to drive Harry home. And that is where Angela and Harry who are neighbors get to know each other a little bit and find out that they have something in common. Which is they don't get to see their spouses very often.

Harry's wife Grace Bannerman (played by Joanne Woodward) is the busiest housewife in Putnam's Landing if not America as a whole. Except she's not very busy at home (if you get my drift) but instead is more like a First Lady and is involved in every civil activity known to man. At least in Putnam's Landing and isn't around much for her husband Harry, but he works a lot as well and doesn't see his wife a lot either. They have a townhall meeting in Putnam's and the Mayor there announces that the U.S. Army wants to open a base there, but won't tell them why they need the base there. And his wife is appointed to run a new committee to deal with the new Army base coming to town. And appoints her husband to be the liaison between the town and U.S. Army about the base coming to town. Harry just happens to work in public relations and is in the U.S. Naval Reserve so is very qualified for this job.

To get back to Joan Collins which is really the only reason why I'm writing about this. There are two very hysterical scenes in this movie where Joan is her usually adorably funny self. Perhaps three with her picking up Paul Newman early in the movie and driving him home. But the first one being where Paul drives Joan home from the meeting because his wife stays late at the meeting and Joan invites him in to her home. And they have a hilarious but innocent party where they get drunk and do a lot of dancing and fall back down the stairs together after trying to go upstairs.

The other scene being where Joan follows Paul to his hotel in Washington where he's there to talk to the Pentagon about his new role in Putnam's and gets to his hotel room and Joan is there waiting for him. Harry makes it real clear that he's happily married and doesn't want to get involved, but Angela doesn't take no at least not very easily and makes a big play for him. And Harry's wife arrives there and sees them together. After that the movies gets really silly and looks more like musical comedy than anything else.

I saw this movie a few months ago and have it on DVD and tweeted that and shared that on Google+ as well that the only reason I saw this movie was to see the adorably funny Joan Collins in it. Joan actually saw that and liked it. Saw this movie over the weekend to refresh my memory about it and to prepare for this piece. Take Joan Collins out of this movie and replace her with a much more ordinary woman who doesn't have Joan's comedic ability and talent like a Deborah Kerr or someone like that (no offense to Deborah Kerr) and I don't have much incentive to watch this movie, at least not a 2nd time. This movie is an example where a great actress and actor can pull the movie together by themselves. Especially if that actress is as beautiful, adorable, sexy, and funny as a Joan Collins.
Source: James Neff- Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward 

James Neff: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Baseline Scenario: Opinion- James Kwak- The Importance of Fairness: A New Economic Vision For The Democratic Party

Source: James Parks- Congressional Democrats-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Economic fairness and social justice even is a good debate in the Democratic Party and it seems to becoming from two wings in it.

From the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren social democratic wing that believes the problem with the American economy is that rich people have too much money and everyone else simply struggles just to survive and in many cases can’t survive on their own and in some cases don’t even have a job. And are complete dependent on public assistance for their survival. Well, they’re half right about too many Americans simply not having enough in society to live well. And argue that what we should be doing is taking from the rich in high taxes to support the middle class and poor with bigger current Federal social insurance programs and new social insurance programs for the middle class and poor.

And then you have this Cory Booker/Martin O’Malley wing that believes there are too many Americans who struggle and there should be something done about it, but it becomes a question about what should be done. The Center-Left liberal wing of the party that’s still in existent today that John F. Kennedy and many other Democrats did a lot to build don’t take a class warfare approach. And blame rich people for everyone else’s struggles in life. And say the problem is not that there rich people in America but the problem is that there aren’t enough successful people in America. You have very few at the very top. And then you have a lot of Americans who struggle to get by but generally do. And then you have a lot of people at the bottom who simply live in poverty.

I come down with Center-Left of the Democratic Party. If we want to remain a major political party in America we’re going to need to connect to more blue-collar Americans particularly in the Midwest who believe and in many cases are accurate in this belief that they’re already taxed too high. And aren’t looking for more government welfare but instead for an opportunity for them to do well in America. For good jobs and more economic development to return to their communities. Government even the Federal Government can help in seeing that these things happen with more and better infrastructure investment in these communities. Including inner cities and underdeveloped rural communities. As well as tax credits to increase job training and education for adults who simply don’t have enough education to get a good job right now even if the new economic development happens in their communities.

But at the end of the day if you want more economic and job growth, you want wages to increase in America, an expanding workforce where most of the jobs that are created are good middle class full-time jobs instead of part-time jobs and you want less poverty in America, then Americans have to continue to be encouraged to do well in America. And that means not taxing everyone so high including the wealthy to the point that they’re wondering why are they working so hard and being so productive when Uncle Sam just takes most of their money from them in taxes and gives it people who aren’t doing well economically.

If you want a definition for economic fairness, I’ll give you one anyway but the same definition for economic fairness is the same definition I have for social justice. And it’s about equality of opportunity. That every American has a quality opportunity to do well in life no matter their race, ethnicity or gender, or where they’re born and how they start off in life. That every kid in America has an opportunity to go to a good school no matter where they live. And aren’t sent to school based on where they live, but instead sent to school based on what’s the best school for them.

And even for adults who didn’t take advantage of that opportunity to go to a good school as a kid and are now a low-skilled adult working multiple jobs and still living in poverty or perhaps not working at all and completely dependent on public assistance, that they are given the opportunity to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and do well in life as well.

The same economic debate in the Democratic Party about what our vision should be what type of party we should be on economic policy I believe gets down to one question. Do we as Democrats believe in equality of opportunity which is where the Democratic Leadership is where every American as an opportunity to do well in life, but what they make of that opportunity is completely up to them. Or are we going to become a party that believes in equality of results which is what Sweden essentially practices as a country. Where the national government essentially collects all the resources of the country and then gives them back equally to everyone in the country in the form of welfare state payments.

Again I come down with the Center-Left wing of the party and I’ll paraphrase Senator Cory Booker here and say we should be a country where we all rise. Where everyone has a quality opportunity to do well in America. But how they do will be based on those quality opportunities. The old cliche that you make the bed that you sleep in. And for people who take advantage of those opportunities those Americans will do very well in America. And get to live of their production and enjoy the fruits of their labor even if they’re very wealthy, but obtain that wealth by getting a good education and being very good at their job and with their investments.

And for the Americans who didn’t take advantage of those quality opportunities they had they won’t do very well. But not because of where they were born, or maybe they only had one parent, or because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or any other circumstances that they couldn’t control. But their lack of success in life will because they didn’t finish their education and perhaps made other mistakes early in life that has weaken their economic outlook.

You need government to see that everyone can do well in life, but not to babysit us and try to take care of us from cradle to grave. But to see that there’s an environment where everyone can do well.

Where everyone is treated equally under law and not denied opportunities in life, because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or religion. But to see that everyone can go to a good school.

Where the infrastructure system is modernize so everyone can get around and where economic development can be done and good jobs are created.

Where you have  tax system where people and business’s are encouraged to do well and aren’t taxed out of business.

A regulatory state to see that consumers and workers are protected from predators but not to try run business’s in a way that big government would run them.

And a safety net for people who truly need it but not to babysit them and instead tries to lift them up so they can rise in America as well.

That will be the debate going into next year when the Congressional mid-terms take place and Democrats fight to win back the House and perhaps the Senate as well. And into the 2020 presidential election and Democrats pick their next party leader. What kind of party are we going to be on economic policy. And it will be between people who want to see more Americans do well and be empowered to create their own freedom and life independently. And Democrats who believe our economic problem is that government is too small and Americans at all levels are undertaxed and that we have rich people at all.
James Parks: House and Senate Democrats on Economic Agenda

Friday, August 11, 2017

Suzy Reinhardt: Mysteries and Scandals- Susan Hayward

Source: E Entertainment- Susan Hayward-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

When I think of Susan Hayward I think of great dramatic comedy actresses who are real-life drama queens. Similar to Ava Gardner, women who had a tendency to play parts that were close to home. Susan Hayward had a habit of playing women who were going through really tough experiences and were even scorned and somehow make it through those experiences until they're hit so hard at the end which is what finally brings them down.

Susan Hayward played alcoholics, Susan was an alcoholic. Susan played women who were depressed and consumed a lot of sleeping pills and other medication just to try to get through life. Susan consumed a lot of sleeping pills and antidepressants. I believe what made Susan such a great actress and again very similar to Ava Gardner is she played women who were a lot like her. Very beautiful, really adorable, quick witted, very intelligent, and very honest.

As one of the men in this video said there was no bull or baloney with Susan Hayward. And I would have used much stronger language than that. You knew where you stood with her and how she was feeling all the tine. And again we're talking about one of the best actresses ever, so could have easily hided her feelings if she wanted to and played pretend and fooled a lot of people. But again what made her such a great actress was that she was so real. And you always knew what she was going though, how she felt, and how she felt about you.

If you're looking for good Susan Hayward movies to check out this weekend on in the future, I could give you several, but if you're really interested in Susan Hayward herself and what she went through in life, then I have a few movies that will give you a great idea of why she was a great actress.

I Want To Live, where she plays a death row inmate the true story of Barbara Graham. Barbara was also a women who went through horrible experiences in life and had some real bad men in her life and ended becoming a criminal herself. Whether she was actually guilty of the murder she was convicted of in the end is a different story.

Where Love Has Gone from 1964 which I believe was made based on the life of Lana Turner and how her boyfriend ends up dying in that relationship because her daughter ends up killing him. Susan plays a women in Where Love Has Gone who has an abusive boyfriend or at least a man with a bad temper and goes off one night and Susan's daughter comes in and shoots  the man.

I'll Cry Tomorrow where Susan plays a starlet who drinks too much and is overly medicated. Again very similar to the life that Susan lived herself.

Imagine how much more dramatic real-life would be if we had a lot more Susan Hayward's in and out of Hollywood. Imagine what life would be like if you always knew where you stood with people. You would really know if someone liked you or disliked you. You would really know if someone loved you or hated you. If you were doing a good job or about to get fired. But at least you would know where you stood in life and how you stood with other people and be able to make the necessary adjustments or continue to do what's working before something bad happened to you or you went off course.

That is the life that Susan played in the characters that she played and the life she lived. Which makes her very unique in Hollywood where everything is generally about appearances and make believe and where Hollywood imitates real-life too much and people outside of Hollywood are more interested in appearances instead of reality.
Suzy Reinhardt: Mysteries and Scandals- Susan Hayward

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Alex Jones: Donald Trump- Is The Heart Of The Nationalist Movement: Separating Nationalism & Tribalism From Patriotism

Source: Alex Jones- 
Source: Alex Jones: Donald Trump- Is The Heart Of The Nationalist Movement

I'm getting tired of hearing from the mainstream media that the Donald Trump movement is new, because it isn't. Donald Trump's base are made up of blue-collar Anglo-Saxon Protestant and other European ethnic nationalistic voters, who came on the scene in 2009 as part of the original Tea Party movement. They just didn't have one leader who could bring them all together in 2012 to win that presidential election.

The same people who love Donald Trump are the same people who love Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. People who were against the Iraq War in 2003, the bank bailouts in 2008, ObamaCare in 2010. People who are loyal Republican voters going all the way back to the late 1960s, but believe the business class free market Republicans like the Bush's of the world and Conservative-Libertarians have let them down. And is why they're losing jobs and seen a lot of their small towns disappear.

Donald Trump might be an idiot when it comes to public policy and I believe might be is giving him too much credit, but he's a very smart politician in the sense that he knows where his support is and how to speak to those people. The Tea Party of today is now Donald Trump and his nationalistic blue caller wing of the Republican Party. Roughly 30-35% of the Republican Party and perhaps 20-25% of the country.

Who believe their 1950s America when European-Americans were dominant and had most of the power in the country and were ethnic and racial minorities lived behind the scenes, were women weren't expected to do anything other than raise their kids and run their homes, was considered mainstream American life. Where even rock music was considered out-of-bounds and fringe. That America is obviously no longer a big part of America and we now live in a country where diversity is everywhere and just racial and ethnic diversity, but all sorts of lifestyles and cultures are now a big part of American life. And these Nationalist voters want their old America back.

These Nationalist Donald Trump voters call themselves American Patriots. But really they're American tribalist's who believe their part and section of America are the true Americans and the real American Patriots. Which is different from true Patriots who love their country meaning the whole country and love their nationality all together. And not just people who live where they live and look the way they do and think like them.

I'm all for patriotism if it's justified and you don't just believe your country and people are great because it's your country and your people, but because your people (meaning your nationality) are great and you live in a great country. Its tribalism and tribalist's that I have a problem with. People who look down on other people in the country because they have different racial, ethnic backgrounds, different religion, different culture and lifestyle. There are Donald Trump voters who even look down on Americans who are well-educated and come from big cities and metropolitan areas. Perhaps have spent time oversees and have even lived oversees.

Again, I'm all in favor of patriotism and consider myself an American Patriot, but I love America and Americans period. I even love the celebrity culture and new-tech geeks who know what shoes Lindsay Lohan was wearing with her new bag when she went out shopping in Beverly Hills and what she had for lunch that day and camp out the night before to be assured they are one of the first 100 people to buy the latest smartphone. But couldn't even name the mayor of their city even if you spotted them the last name of their mayor. I love Americans who are experts on the superficial and morons when it comes to important issues and things in life. I don't love them because of that, but the fact that they're Americans and they are taking advantage of what's great about being American which is the freedom to be yourself.

I love rednecks, especially country girls not so much because I love that lifestyle, but vacationing in that part of the country would be a lot of fun. But again because I love people who feel free and the freedom to be Americans which is being yourself. Regardless if big city yuppie Yankees look down on you. And call them small time and everything else.

What's great about America is being American. The fact that no matter where you're personally from even from another country, or where your family originally came from, or what God you believe in or no God at all, or what gender you're attracted to, or where you grew up in America, or where you went to school or what you do for a living (short of being a criminal) you're just as American as everyone else in the country. The person from rural America or a big city ghetto who makes it out of that environment by busting their ass growing up and working the whole time while they're growing up and going to school and gets a scholarship to go to college and does well there and makes it in life, is just as American as someone like Donald Trump. Who started off as an adult already having a millions dollars from his father.

Being American is about being yourself and having the freedom to live your own life and to be yourself. Not about your ethnic or racial background, or what God you believe in, or were you born rich. But the fact that all Americans are just as American as everyone else. That is what makes America exceptional. But that is not the movement that Donald Trump represents. He represents nationalistic tribalist's which is different from American Patriots.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Source: The Atlantic-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

What makes things cool? A very good question especially since America is such a trendy what's hot now and cool society where everyone who wants to be cool seems to follow whatever the latest trend is even if they look ridiculous, (like wearing cowboy boots and running shorts with a mink coat)  talking or looking like that, or could feel like they're dying when they try to drink the latest drink or eat the latest dish.

Americans by enlarge and there some exceptions of people who have a healthy degree of self-confidence and are very comfortable being themselves even if their best friends are following their favorite celebrities like cult followers follow their leaders. And even with some Americans who are simply cool, because they are themselves even if that makes them different, but by enlarge feel the need to be like everyone else who is considered cool at the time.

With Jim Morrison of The Doors from the late 1960s being a perfect example of an exception to this rule. Marilyn Monroe from the 1950s would be another great example of that. Sean Connery at any point of his career has always been Mr. Cool, or is that Steve McQueen, but both of these men were always themselves. With the personal attributes, looks, intelligence, charm, humor. These two men were always themselves and if anything drove other men to be like them. Instead of these two guys trying to be like some other hot celebrity of that time.

Pop culture and what's seen as cool drives Americans more than just about anything else. We have a lot of Americans especially young Americans who rather be seen as stupid, instead of intelligent and willing to step out on the ledge (in pop culture, not in actuality) and risk not looking and sounding cool. And young adults and even teenagers if they're into something, than people who are just older than them and even much older than them try to get into the same things. And what drives young people today in pop culture is new technology, because it makes their lives much easier and the ability to communicate so much easier than it was even more my Generation X when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the other thing being celebrity culture including talentless celebrities whose only ability has to do with cursing people out and expressing deep anger in public.

Derek Thompson in his video gives you the more scientific explanation of why things are cool and things become trends. But when it comes to Americans it's about trends and faddism. What are the cool people doing meaning the popular people in pop culture and that is who people who are not famous, but perhaps want to be or just want to be part of the cool and party scene in their local community and where they work and so-forth.

And most pop culture today has to do with new technology and people feeling this need that they may die if they don't get the latest iPhone the day that it comes out, watch the last episode of their favorite reality show or drama on cable, or what have you. And keeping up with the pop culture tends and having this feeling of coolness and being in is what drives the happiness of a lot of Americans. Way too many from my point of view.
The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

TruthDig: Natasha Hakimi Zapata- Economist Richard Wolff's Take on Conservative, Liberal, Socialists, & Communists

Source: Activism Munich-
Source: TruthDig: Natasha Hakimi Zapata- Economist Richard Wolff's Take on Conservative, Liberal, Socialists, & Communist :

"The renowned Marxist professor offers his understanding of the meanings of words commonly used to describe “ways of organizing political life in a community.”
- 2017/07/12"

I agree and disagree with Richard Wolff on these political labels. I agree with him that Liberals and Socialists are similar in that they both tend to believe in a democratic form of government and believe in things like private enterprise and property rights, but where they differ has to do with what government's especially the national government's involvement in the private sector. Should there be rules or not in the economy and even if both sides believe there should be rules in the economy and both Liberals and Conservatives tend to believe in some forms of regulations of the economy, what should those rules be.

Where I disagree with Richard Wolff has to do with Socialist and Communist. I tend to separate those two groups of Socialists from being Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats and Marxists who are Communists. Even Democratic Socialists believe in some form of private enterprise and ownership, even property rights and even the right to privacy. And not just believe in a democratic form of government, but a very democratic form of government. Where they believe that one party should have all the power in the government through a parliamentary system, but then with the democratic process be held accountable to the voters if the people want to go in a different direction in 2-4 years, sometimes five years.

Which is how most European states tend to operate. Socialists don't believe in checks and balances as much as Liberals and Conservatives in far as the major political parties interact with each other. They believe that one party should be in control and if the people don't like the job that they're doing, that they should be able to replace that party and give control of the Parliament and executive to the opposition.

Communists- show me a democratic form of government in the world where the Communists are in charge and have been in charge for a while and I'll sell you beachfront property in Minnesota with an ocean view. Where Communists and Democratic Socialists tend to come together is the role of the national government in seeing that everyone is taken care and can live well. They both believe in welfare rights that everyone is entitled to a home, a good education, a good job, quality health care and health insurance, pension, child care, etc, but that all of these things should be provided by the national government and given to the people.

But where Communists tend to differ from Liberals, Conservatives, and even Democratic Socialists has to do with individual rights, the right to oppose the government, the ability for the people to get independent information and news that is not coming from the government. Communists tend not to believe in individual rights, individualism, individual choice, and tend to see those things as dangerous, selfish, threats especially to their own control. And that the people might decide that government is trying to do too much for them and not succeeding and that they may want more personal control over their own affairs and lives. Which is what we're currently seeing in Venezuela which officially doesn't call themselves a Communist State, but in all practicality operates as one as far as how they try to physically destroy all forms of political opposition.

Conservatives- I don't want to do a Bill Clinton it depends on what you mean by the word is here, but Conservative it gets to what type of Conservative are you talking about. Similar to Liberal not all forms of Conservatives to the Nationalists and even authoritarians on the Far-Right and ethno-Natioanlists who believe there culture should be dominant in society like the Ku Klux Klan to use as an example, to the Christian-Right and Muslim-Right who believe there idea of religion and religious beliefs should govern society, to Conservative-Libertarians like the Barry Goldwater's and even Progressive-Conservatives (that is not an Oxymoron) like the Newt Gingrich's who are also on the Center-Right, all these labels are not the same thing. Just like not everyone on the Left are Liberals, not everyone on the Right are Conservatives.

When I think of Conservative I think of political conservatives and not Religious-Conservatives, because those two groups are very different. They share similar values in a big belief in economic freedom, personal responsibility, strong national defense, but differ when it comes to culture. When I think of Conservatives I think of Conservative Libertarians who puts strict limits on what government's role especially the national government and what role government should have when it comes to culture and the personal affairs of the people.

Conservative Libertarians don't believe in every form of lifestyle choice and how people should live individually. But they believe in individualism and put strict limits on what government should be doing and how involved they should be in personal affairs of the individual. Whereas the Religious-Conservatives believe so much in their own faith that their faith should rule over everyone else and that it should be part of government and that government should rule based on their religious beliefs. Even if that means putting strict limits on the individuals when it comes to personal freedom.

Liberals- my favorite political label and perhaps that has something to do with me being a Liberal myself. (Anyone's guess) But like not everyone on the Right are Conservatives, not everyone on the Left are Liberals. Communists if anything are illiberal in far as how much they constrict individual choice and would even outlaw religion if they could. No right to privacy and free speech obviously in a communist state. Liberals are liberal! They believe in liberal democracy and the defense of liberty. The word liberal comes from the word liberty because a Liberal is someone who believes in the defense of liberty. Protecting the individual rights and liberty of the people, while expanding liberty for people who don't have it.

Sounds similar to Conservative-Libertarian, but Liberals and Conservatives differ when it comes to the role of government in society and economy. We don't differ so much about whether there should be liberty or not either economic or personal, but differ in government's role to see that the economy is as strong as possible for everyone involved. Liberals tend to emphasize public infrastructure, public education, a safety net for people who truly need it and use that to help people who are struggling to get on their feet and become independent. Conservatives tend to believe these roles should only the functions of the private sector. And if government should have any role here it should be from the state and local levels.

Watching almost anyone in the so-called mainstream media today other than maybe C-SPAN that tends to cover panels discussions with people who actually understand these labels because they tend to represent them and some publications like Reason Magazine and even TruthDig, you would think everyone on the Left are Liberals and everyone on the Right are Conservatives. Because they tend to believe the further left someone is as Far-Left as Communists, are Liberals. And that the further right you are the more conservative you are. Even Theocrats in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

When the fact is the political spectrum even if it divided by a Left and Right, it's not just between Liberals and Conservatives. Liberals operate the Center-Left. Conservatives operate the Center-Right. With all sorts of political factions that surround the Center-Left and Center-Right looking for their own political power and ability to insert their political agendas even if they represent political fringes on the spectrum.
Activism Munich: Richard D. Wolff- What is Politics? What Are Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, & Communists?




Monday, August 7, 2017

TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield Story 1980- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

Source: TV Fanatic-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

At risk of sounding old here, when I was growing up in the 1980s and even when I was in high school in the early 1990s. network original movies that were made and produced by the networks, were actually worth watching. CBS, NBC, and ABC, all had their own movie companies that were part of their entertainment divisions and had one night a week and sometimes multiple nights if they were showing a mini-series where they should show two-hour movie and sometimes longer than that. The networks would produce their own movies and of course would show movies that were from Hollywood and perhaps had been out for a year or so, or longer.

Very similar to what HBO, Showtime and others do on cable. Probably watched 5-6 of  James Bond series of movies  in the summer of 1992 alone on ABC. The networks did this because they were good at it and knew what movies to pick and how to promote them and what kind of cast they could put together and so-forth. But also because cable wasn't as dominant in the 1980s as it became in the 1990s. CBS, NBC, and ABC, were worried about each other. And not so much what HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TNT, USA, etc, were doing on cable. Because the cable networks simply didn't have the resources that the broadcast networks had back then. And to certain extent today as well, but cable networks are much powerful and influential today than they were back then.

I only mention all of this because I'm trying to bore you into a coma. Especially if you weren't even born yet in the 1980s. Actually, because the Jayne Mansfield Story was a TV network movie that CBS put together with the producers, directors, creators, and writers of the movie. And The Jayne Mansfield Story and I'm only 4 years old when it came out in October, 1980 so I didn't see it and only finally heard about it a year or so ago and saw a video for it on YouTube and the finally got to see the whole movie on cable (of course) on Get-TV last February and saw it again a few months after that.

And this was a network movie where you have Loni Anderson as the lead actress playing Jayne Mansfield and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing her husband and long time lover Mickey Hargitay.  (The father of Mariska Hargitay) Loni was already a star at this point with her guest appearances on Threes Company in the late 1970s playing Jack Tripper's love interest. And then she lands WKRP in Cincinnati in 1978. (One of the best sitcoms of all-time) Arnold wasn't a star as an actor yet, but he was a superstar professional bodybuilder and already well-known at this point. Mickey Hargitay ws a superstar bodybuilder before become an actor as well.

This is a very good and funny movie and a lot of that has to do with Loni Anderson. Who has great comedic ability and one of the top comedic actresses of her generation at least. And she happens to playing a very funny woman in Jayne Mansfield who was very funny in real-life both intentionally and unintentionally, because she was so adorable and very immature and then add her comedic timing and you had a very funny woman who might still be working today had it not had been for her tragic car accident in 1967.

The movie covers Jayne's life from when she became star in the early 1950s looking for work and basically forcing herself on her future agent Bob Garrett (played by Ray Buktenica) and he tells her if he's going to represent Jayne that she's going to have to change her hair and a few other things. But sees potential in her as a comedian. And the movie goes from Jayne being discovered in the early 1950s where Hollywood wasn't ready for her alway up to her fall and struggling to find work in the early and mid 1960s, to her tragic death in 1967.

Loni Anderson is just plain hot, sexy, adorable and funny as Jayne Mansfield. She's as cute as a little girl with personality to match, but with body of a goddess with those legs, curves, chest and everything else, as well as the face. Arnold playing Jayne's wife is also great as a very loving and caring husband of Jayne who tries to look out for her best interests and tries to manage her immatureness and irresponsible behavior, but fails at both and they split up in the movie.

I believe Jayne Mansfield in real-life would have been proud for how Loni played her and at least give her credit for doing such a great and accurate job. Because I think knew herself real well and didn't try to be anyone other than herself even if she seemed overly adorable and even childish to even the people who loved and cared about her like Mickey Hargitay and her business people. This is a very entertaining movie that covers the struggles as Jayne making it as a great comedic actress, but someone who also wanted to be taken seriously in Hollywood and get serious parts with more meaning.
TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield Story 1980- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

Saturday, August 5, 2017

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- New Rule: What if Barack Obama Said It?

Source: Real Time With Bill Maher-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to at least sound serious for a minute. The reasons why the Republican Party are holding Donald Trump to a lower standard and perhaps low standard is not the right term and no standard at all would be more accurate, is because they weren't expecting Donald Trump to be President.

And having to deal with President Trump's narcissism, inexperience, immaturity, irresponsibility, lack of intelligence (at least when it comes to public affairs) , etc, and I could go on but it's Saturday and I don't want to spend my whole day on this. But having to deal with all of Donald Trump's personal weaknesses like they were producers of a so-called reality TV show having to deal with an inexperienced, irresponsible cast that believes the whole world revolves around them and they are now the latest hot pop culture celebrity.

The GOP was expecting to Hillary Clinton to not only be the next President right now, but for her to defeat Donald Trump going away not just in the popular vote, but in the Electoral College as well. And that the GOP would hold the House, but perhaps Democrats would win back the Senate. And that the GOP would be spending the next two years trying to obstruct and investigate the Clinton Administration, but not having to actually govern themselves.

The other reason except for the Russia investigation where there's a consensus both in the House and Senate with both parties, that this is a real investigation and that Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be investigating this and that President Trump shouldn't be able to fire Bob Mueller simply simply because he might be investigating not just the 2016 Trump Campaign but the White House as well, is because they're now in bed with Donald Trump and his administration politically. I realize the Washington GOP and Donald Trump are not natural bedmates. Sort of like a top model trying to sleep with a serial killer with hair all over his back and chest who belches as a form of communication.

But for the Republican Party to accomplish anything politically and on policy in 2017-18 before the Congressional mid-terms, they're going to need a functioning Trump White House and administration to accomplish those things. That is at least popular enough for them pass their agenda. Both the GOP Congress and the Trump Administration, have similar policy agendas and are close enough to work together. For the GOP to at least hold the House and have no real risk of losing the Senate next year, they're going to have to govern and govern successfully. And they're going to have to work with the Trump White House to do that.

I mean if the House GOP and the Senate GOP abandons President Donald Trump and says they can't work with the White House for laundry's list worth of reasons and I've already mentioned several of them and being a potential puppet that was bought by President Vladimir Putin and Russia, would be another one and instead tries to work with House Democrats and Senate Democrats on issues like health care, infrastructure, tax reform, and tells the White House if President Donald Trump that if he vetoes their legislation they'll just override his vetoes with help of House Democrats and Senate Democrats, because now the House and Senate have these huge majorities on their legislation, because everything they're doing now has bipartisan support, what incentive would Trump voters and the Tea Party have to vote for Congressional Republican and candidates next year? Republicans would be labeled as RINOS. (Republicans in name only)

The Republican Party is now in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation. They're damned if they stick with Trump (sounds like a campaign sticker) because if he goes down and has no popularity that he can use to govern and Americans aren't listening to him, Republicans won't be able to pass anything meaningful out of Congress, at least on their own. And as a result will depress their base and ignite the Democratic base and at the very least lose the House next year and might lose north of 40 seats as well. And perhaps lose the Senate as well.

If the GOP sticks with Trump and his popularity continues to slides or even holds between 33-38%, but because of his bad behavior and what comes out of the Russian investigation, that the Republican Congress is also divided and can't work with each other and Congressional Democrats have no political incentive to work with Republicans, because they want to at least win back the House in 2018, the Congressional GOP will go down and we'll have a new Congress in 2019 with Democrats controlling at least the House.

I agree with Bill Maher about the Republican hypocrisy when it comes to Donald Trump.

Had Barack Obama said that John McCain a Vietnam POW wasn't a war hero, they would've called him an agent of the Communist Party of Vietnam. And perhaps the Birthers would then say that Barack Obama is from Vietnam instead of Kenya.

Had Barack said that he openly grabbed women's pussies in public, Sean Hannity and many others on the Tea Party right would have said that Barack belongs in prison and called him a serial rapist from the ghetto or someplace.

If President Obama had taken as much time off for vacation at this point in his administration, the Tea Party and others would have labeled President Obama as a lazy bum from the hood who wasn't raised right. And I could go on but I'll spare you.

And I'm not trying to excuse the GOP's double standard for Donald Trump, because their hypocrisy is obvious and disgusting. And just trying to explain it in political terms and what they believe they can achieve with a Donald Trump in the White House and how bad a hand they have with him. And they've decided that sticking with him at all costs is the best decision they can make right now.
HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- New Rule: What If Barack Obama Said It?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition

Source: The Independent Institute-
Source: Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition

According to Wikipedia the definition of social justice is, "justice in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society."

People let's say on the farther left (Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists) take the definition to mean that there should be distribution of wealth in society. That wealth should be distributed based on what people need to live well. Not based on what people earn. And of course the central government usually a unitarian government in most social democracies (one large government for the entire country) will collect most of the wealth in the country and dish it back out in the form of welfare state payments to the people based on what the government believes people need to live well in society.

So the people not just living above poverty, but living somewhat comfortably, but short of being wealthy and perhaps even upper middle class. Socialists (democratic and otherwise) don't believe in rich or poor. They want equality of outcomes where no one is wealthy or poor, but able to live well. This type of economic system is how Scandinavia operates and the states there and to a certain extent even in Britain. (Even when the Conservatives are in charge)

The libertarian notion of social justice is to put it in plain terms is that what's mine is mine and what's yours, is yours. To paraphrase Libertarian Economist Walter Williams. Meaning what the people make for themselves is exactly that. And shouldn't be subjected to taxation especially to help pay for the people who don't have much to live on and are in living in poverty as a result.

To go back to the Wikipedia definition of social justice. Liberals (in the real and classical sense) concentrate on the opportunities portion of social justice. Liberals believe in an opportunity society. Where everyone has the ability to make a good life for themselves. Where everyone has access to a quality education even if they live in poverty. And if they live in poverty that their parents or parent, has the ability to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and make a good living.

Get off of public assistance, buy a nice home and live in a nice community where they don't have to worry about being physically harmed when they go to the grocery store, or are coming back or going to school. Where they have a basic fundamental sense and reality when it comes to their own economic and physical security. And then what the people make for themselves financially, they're able to keep most of that and pay back in taxes what it takes for the government to function effectively and to do only what we need for government to do well for us, that is also consistent with strong economic and job growth so people are encouraged to be productive and make a good living for themselves and their families.

And yes you need an effective government to invest in what makes economies strong so as many people can benefit from capitalism and private enterprise as possible. Not to run the economy or to run business's, or tax and regulate private business so much that the government essentially owns and runs those companies.

But to see that everyone can get a good education. Where kids aren't sent to school simply because of where they live, but what's the best school for them even if that might mean a charter school or private school all together.

Where economic development is encouraged so you don't have ghost towns essentially where the only people who live there are people who can't afford to live anywhere else. Where gangs and organize criminals run the communities.

Where you have an modern infrastructure system so companies can get their products to market (to use an old phrase) and also to encourage more private economic development.

A responsible regulatory state to protect consumers from predators and worker from abusive employers.

And a limited effective safety net (not welfare state) that serves an economic insurance system for people who are out-of-work, or lack basic skills to get themselves a good job. But also empowers low-skilled individuals to get themselves on their feet by finishing and furthering their education and learning a trade so they can get themselves a good job.

Where Liberals separate from Socialists has to do with government's involvement in the economy. Socialists want government to take most of the national income and dish it back out based on what they believe people need to do well. Where Liberals differ with Libertarians is that Liberals believe that the people should be able to to keep most of what they earn. But that Liberals believe there is a real role for government even in a free society and that being part of a free society is like being part of a club. Where you end up paying for the services that you consume and even some of the services that don't personally benefit you.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Crash Course: Craig Benzine- The Golden Age of Hollywood: Film History

Source: Crash Course-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Damn, if Craig Benzine could only talk faster and not have to take breaths in-between words, he could get a lot done. But seriously, this guy must have a year supply of free Red Bull or Starbucks coffee, because he makes speed freaks sound like comatose patients. I'm not saying I've never heard someone else talk faster and for a longer period of time, I just can't name anyone right now. I would have to go through all of my memory banks and cash all them out and I might not be able to come up with another time where I heard a faster longer talker.

I'm not going to cover much of what Craig Benzine said there, because I don't have slow-mo on my computer and he just went through all of these areas really fast. But the Golden Age of Hollywood really for me goes from the 1940s up until the 1970s or so. It was an era where movies were about writing, plot, directing, and acting. Not who swears the most and loudest and who is the biggest asshole in the movie. Catch phrases that make rookie no names actors stars overnight where everyone in country is using that catch phrase to describe whatever current situation they're facing.

To succeed in the Golden Age of Hollywood, you really had to be able to write to make it as a writer. Unlike today where phrases and words are borrowed from other shows and movies and used for their shows and movies. The Golden Age of Hollywood wasn't cookie-cutter, but originalist.

Movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington from 1939 with Jimmy Stewart and many others. You can't really say there was a move like that before and there have been many attempts to make another great political movie and movie about Congress since, but most of them have come up weigh short. Mr. Smith came out in 1939 and almost either years later it's still one of the best and most popular movies in Hollywood history.

North by Northwest- still my all-time favorite movie and I would argue at least is Alfred Hitchcock's best movie, even though many others would argue for Notorious instead. There really isn't another movie like North by Northwest. Yes it's a Cold War movie involving the CIA trying to catch a traitor they believe is selling U.S. Government secrets to Russia and perhaps other communist states. So that by itself doesn't make it original. But you have a movie where ordinary people become heroes. Again that doesn't make it original, but it's how it was done.

The closing action scene where the good guys defeat the bad guys takes place on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Can't believe someone other than Alfred Hitchcock would come up with that. And then you have Cary Grant as the lead actor who arguably is the most handsome actor of all-time, but he also happens to be the best actor and also one of the funniest actors with incredible comedic timing. James Mason very similar to Cary Grant as far as what he brought to his parts, as the lead bad guy. Martin Landau playing a supporting role. The beautiful and adorable Eva Marie Saint who was also a great actress, as the lead actress.

 It wasn't a suspense movie. It wasn't a thriller. It wasn't an action movie. It wasn't a mystery. It wasn't a comedy. North by Northwest was all of those things in an action-packed movie with a lot of humor in it. That again was sell well-written, directed and delivered. Where the actors and crew knew they were part of something really special and wanted to be there and do their best work.

Today where in an era of Hollywood where TV and movies are about style and appearance. Who is up and who is down, who looks and sounds the hippest and has the most pop culture and reality TV appeal. Instead of who can actually act, who can improvise and be themselves and come off as likable and as someone who not only knows what they're doing, but can bring something different in value that perhaps hasn't been seen before. Where the biggest jerk (to put it mildly) who not only swears the most and puts people down as the most tends to be the most popular. Even if they're no better than your average reality TV star as far as their ability to act.

Today if the public likes the performer and they're so-called viral on social media and the internet, they'll continue to work and make a good living in Hollywood. Even if all their shows and movies are garbage as far as the material. Their shows and movies will continue to sell even if the critics are beating the hell out of their performances and not taking those performers seriously, let alone respecting their work.

The Classic Hollywood era was anti-reality TV. Of course they loved their beautiful, sexy, and adorable actresses. Women like Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, and many others were all big stars back then. And Hollywood loved their big handsome studs. Actors like Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Sydney Poitier, and many others. But the difference being that the Hollywood goddess's and gods, were more than their beautiful faces and bodies.

If you couldn't act back then, if you didn't show up for work, then you didn't work. It wasn't an era where Hollywood was trying to sell personality and popularity when it came to their characters, over substance. Classic Hollywood was a professional era where the professionals were in charge which is what makes it so great and classic. As long as reality TV is dominating TV and movies, we won't see another great era in Hollywood again.
Crash Course: The Golden Age of Hollywood: Film History

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Week: Opinion- Ryan Cooper- "Democrats Should Embrace The Freedom Not To Choose"

Source: The Week-
Source: The Week: Opinion- Ryan Cooper- Democrats Should Embrace The Freedom Not To Choose

I'm not trying to sound insulting here (but don't mind if I do) but what Ryan Cooper wrote in The Week this week (ha, ha get it) could've been written over at The American Prospect, Salon, The Nation, AlterNet, or even over at In These Times and Common Dreams. Where the writers there are not just Socialists, but proudly so and proud to be Socialists. One of those New-Left (to be kind) publications that have argued that problem with America is economic freedom and capitalism in itself. That we expect Americans to make their own decisions with their own lives, at least once they're grown up and are out-of-school and then hold them personally accountable for their own decision-making.

Their argument being that Americans simply have too many decisions to make and as a result make too many bad decisions that the rest of society has to deal with. And that you need that big centralized welfare state big enough to manage the economic affairs of everyone and in some cases even personal affairs financed through high taxes. That Americans supposedly would get back in those so-called generous welfare benefits. That individuals are somehow too stupid to make their own decisions. But big government has all the right answers for them.

The Democratic Party led by their Congressional Leadership led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, did release an economic agenda that Democrats will be pushing for the 2018 mid-terms in hopes of winning back the House or Senate and perhaps even the entire Congress next year. And it was about economic development that included infrastructure investment, tax credits to incentivize more economic expansion, and anti-trust laws to break up current corporate monopolies so Americans would have more consumer choice, because there would be more competition and Americans would actually have to make more personal decisions on their own. (What a terrifying thought!)

But this is the Democratic Party and not the Green Party. Because if they were the Green Party or Democratic Socialists USA, they wouldn't be the opposition party in America and within reach of becoming the majority party in both the House and Senate. And instead would be in court simply trying to gain ballot access so they could be on the ballot in more elections. Let alone actually holding any seats in Congress.

If you want to be part of a party that is anti-individualism, thinks choice is a bad thing and that somehow economic freedom is not only dangerous, because leave millions of Americans to have to manage their own affairs and make their own decisions and that is also selfish, because a lot of people actually make very good decisions with their own lives and end up becoming very successful in life, the Green Party is for you. Just don't ever expect your party to ever hold any real power in America.

But the Democratic Party at it's best is the party that doesn't bash capitalism, economic freedom, and wealth. But instead says that those things are good, but the problem with it is not enough people benefit from capitalism and not enough people have economic freedom and have achieved economic independence. Because quality education is not available to enough people and our infrastructure system is underdeveloped and because of that there isn't enough economic development in the country. Which is why Congressional Democrats are pushing for infrastructure investment in America.

As a JFK Liberal Democrat (a real Liberal Democrat) I believe once people have the skills and education to make their own decisions that they'll end up doing that. And be able to get good jobs and be very successful at them and in life in general. Which is a much better economic plan and better financial outlook for the country, because not only more people will be working, but with good jobs and paying income taxes. Which would also make government cheaper in America lessen the need for taxation, because you'll have all of these educated Americans with the ability to pay their own way in life.

And as a result government will end up collecting more in taxes that they can use to see that as many Americans as possible can get the skills that they need to do well in life. As well as to see that as much incentive as possible is there to incentivize the most economic development as possible. An educated society is an opportunity society that produces a free society. People with the ability to make their own decisions and then be held personally accountable for them. For better or for worse. Enjoy the fruits of their own labor and pay for their own mistakes.
Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung: Welfare State and Social Democracy

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Joan Collins Archive: Mark McMorrow- Legendary Dame! Film Flashback: Seven Thieves 1960

Source: Joan Collins Archive-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to be personal for a minute. I've been thinking about this movie a lot lately, because I really love Joan Collins the entertainer. The great actress, the great wit, etc. The beautiful baby-face, voice, keen intelligence, and honesty as well. She reminds me a lot of Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor who all had those qualities as well. I have 3-4 Joan Collins movies on DVD and got the urge to see one of her movies and was also thinking about Ocean's Eleven from 1960, (the original and best Ocean's) and decided to look at Seven Thieves again. Saw the movie about two weeks ago and saw this blog piece about it on Joan's blog and that is why I'm writing about it now.

I swear other than maybe Brigitte Bardot, Joan Collins must have been the cutest woman in France when this movie was made. She's her always beautiful, adorable, and witty self in this movie. And she relates very well with Rod Steiger. (The lead on the caper in the movie) If you're familiar with Ocean's Eleven 1960 and like that movie, you'll like Seven Thieves as well. Except this time in Seven Thieves the beautiful lead actress (Joan Collins) has a major role in the movie. Angie Dickinson had an important, but fairly small role in Ocean's. You only see Angie for maybe 10 minutes in Ocean's.

Joan is not just the lead actress in Seven Thieves, but she's in most of the movie. She's part of the planning of the caper and in on the caper, as well as escape later on in the movie. With Edward Robinson playing the mastermind of the caper and Rod Steiger as his director sort of like a head coach for a football team reporting to a general manager.

If you like a movie full of stars, a star-studded affair (so to speak) then you'll also like Seven Thieves. Ed Robinson as the mastermind of the caper. Rod Steiger playing the manager of it. Eli Wallach as the top lieutenant. And of course Joan Collins as the beautiful and adorable distraction and serving as the lookout so the men can get into the safe and get the money out of it before they're caught.

And again to get back to Ocean's Eleven where in Ocean's they crew there is in Las Vegas to rob several casinos all on the same night, which granted lets say takes a lot more balls and more ambitious (to be cleaner) Seven Thieves takes place on South France on the Mediterranean. Where all the members of the crew are from somewhere other than France. But the crew other than Rod Steiger has been there for a while specifically to case the joint (so to speak) and prepare for this job. And like in Ocean's where the whole crew is from somewhere other than Las Vegas and even Nevada, the crew in Seven Thieves are not even French.

I believe Seven Thieves is a great caper heist type movie. One of those movies where the brains of the operation (played by Ed Robinson) where the crew that is put together is working with each other for the very first time and you have the lead character as far as the man running the operation (played by Rod Steiger) who doesn't know anyone in the crew other than the man who hired him and is put in a tough situation. Doesn't know who he can trust and what each member brings to the operation. And keep in mind all the crew members are criminals. Which is never the most trust worthy bunch. (To say the least) Not even criminals tend to trust criminals.

And the manager of the crew is having to get to know all his members while the process of the caper is put in place. The preparation and then the execution of the caper. And also any movie that has Ed Robinson, Eli Wallach, Joan Collins, and Rod Steiger as well, you're going to get a lot of good humor in. (The nature of the characters) Which makes for a very entertaining movie.
Source: Lillis Lismauya

Lillis Lismauya: Seven Thieves 1960- Full Movie


Monday, July 31, 2017

The Washington Post: Opinion- Sheri Berman- " Some Argue That The West Should Limit Democracy To Save Liberalism: Here's Why They're Wrong"

Source: The Washington Post-
Source: The Washington Post: Opinion- Sheri Berman- Some Argue That The West Should Limit Democracy To Save Liberalism: Here's Why They're Wrong

America and to a certain extent Europe, has a long history of subsidizing authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and Africa (specifically) for their own national interests. The thinking being that if they don't subsidize these authoritarians whether they're monarchs, theocrats, or Nationalists and let those regimes collapse with democracy taking over, that the opposition would be worst for Western interests than the current regime. The thinking being that the current regime is the best that they can do as far as the West. And at least the West would be able to work with these authoritarians on issues relating to terrorisms and combating other states where they share mutual enemies.

Well, anyone familiar with the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis and what led up to that Iranian authoritarian monarchy under the Shah of Iran knows that subsidizing dictators and authoritarians has it's limits. The 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Tehran was partially to the American and British subsidization of an unpopular authoritarian regime in Iran.

Democracy has it's limits and everyone familiar with democracy knows that. Which is why democracy in itself is not a strong form of government, because it would always be held hostage to the popular will of the time and people would have a very hard time governing and making tough decisions for fear of losing their jobs. Which is why I don't believe in majoritarian or social democracy, with no set constitutional rights that can be thrown out simply because one person no longer believes in them or supports one of them, more than the people who do support those constitutional rights.

Which is why I'm instead a Liberal Democrat who of course believes in free and fair democracy to choose our leaders, but that goes along with the rule of law and checks and balances that protects our liberal individual rights and liberty in general. Liberal democracy and social democracy, are not the same thing. Once you put basic constitutional and individual rights at the will of the current majority, is when those rights can be put in jeopardy. Especially when there's a rise of populism from either the Far-Left with Socialists who do don't believe in the rule of law and checks and balances, because it limits their big government agenda. Or Nationalists who don't believe in the rule of law either and oppose individuals rights and the ability for people to protest their politics and policies.

The rise of right-wing authoritarian nationalism whether it's the Donald Trump movement in America , or with Vladimir Putin in Russia and other nationalist government's in Eastern Europe like in Hungary and Poland, doesn't mean that liberal democracy and liberalism in general is failing. Or with the Neo-Communist rule in Venezuela and the liberal democratic opposition there just goes to show you that liberalism and liberal democracy is still strong and people still want it. Especially after watching the illiberal Socialists there destroy the economy in Venezuela. A country that is energy independent by the way.

What America should being doing instead is taking a stand against authoritarianism, whether it comes from the Far-Left or Far-Right and stand with the people in those countries that simply want their freedom, as well as check and balances and the rule of law. Instead of having a strongman and regime with most of the power in the country and be held accountable. With the nationalist Donald Trump Administration in Washington, don't expect America to do that anytime soon. But that is what America and Europe could be doing to expand liberal democracy and liberalism. And not watch leftist and rightist populist Nationalists, try to takeover once democratic Western countries.

Back to the old argument of who America should be backing with the choice being the devil that we know as far as authoritarian regimes that can work with us on national security issues and help us against terrorists and other authoritarian states, or the people on the ground who want the current regime out-of-power and a chance to form a democratic government.

America is supposed to be the beacon on the hill that stands up for individual rights and liberal democratic values. "The city on the shining hill', to paraphrase Ronald Reagan. And I'm not a Neoconservative looking to replace every authoritarian regime that I don't like. And again democracy has limits and you could literally end up replacing one authoritarian regime with another, which is what happened in Iran in 1979.

But once you go down the road of subsidizing authoritarians over the people that have to live under that form of authoritarianism, you put yourself at the mercy of those people there. And then they rise up and perhaps replace the authoritarian regime that you're backing.

Which is why America should be pushing for democracy, but pushing for liberal democracy that comes with rule of law, checks and balances, and individual rights. And backing oppositions and government's that believe in those liberal democratic values as well.
Savester: 11 Aspects of a Liberal Democracy