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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Alan Eichler: Hour Magazine- Gary Collins Interviewing Lana Turner: 1982 TV Interview

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

There's a reason why America has a 50 percent divorce rate. That reason is called Hollywood and broader Los Angeles and the LA area where probably 7-8 out of 10 marriages don't last. Entertainers in Hollywood tend to look at marriage as business opportunities. "If I marry that person, I'll be seen with that person which will lead to other opportunities, plus it will help my image." Especially if they have a reputation as a playboy or playgirl who goes from romance to romance and not seeming very serious about anyone that they get involved with.

The best soap operas in Hollywood don't come from the studios, at least as far as the shows that come from there. They come from real-life in Hollywood and the personal lives that a lot of actresses and actors live. Some if not a lot or perhaps most great comedians in Hollywood, aren't actually standup comedians. But very funny people who are supposed to be serious actors and actresses, but who live very amusing personal lives. Who live crazy lives and do crazy things. Burt Reynolds is a great example of that, but only one example. Ava Gardner with her famous outbursts and temper tantrums, would be another great example of that.

Lana Turner's last big role in Hollywood was on the 1980s hit prime time soap opera Falcon Crest. She was perfect for soaps not just because of her ability as an actress and she's certainly one of the best ever, but also because she lived the life of a soap star and soap personality. She was married a total of nine times and married to one man (Steve Crane) twice. She was the girlfriend of Italian mobster Johnny Stompanato who her daughter Cheryl shot and killed at their home in self-defense. That would be a pretty good episode of General Hospital right there.

Lana Turner lived the real-life of a soap opera character which is why I at least believe she was perfect for soaps like Falcon Crest and could probably could have done other shows as well. Like Dynasty or Dallas, because she had the great dramatic appeal and comedic wit and timing that you need to be a great soap actress. But also because she lived the life of a great soap character. Lana Turner sort of lived the life of Jayne Mansfield, but lived well into seventies and manage to get her wildness and drinking under control to allow for her to live a long life. And Hollywood and the public are in debt to her for that.
Alan Eichler: Hour Magazine- Gary Collins Interviewing Lana Turner: 1982 TV Interview

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Philosophy Insights: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- Milton Friedman: What is Actually Wrong With Socialism?

Source: Philosophy Insights- Professor Milton Friedman-
Source: Philosophy Insights: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- Milton Friedman: What is Actually Wrong With Socialism?

What is wrong with socialism? Where should I start? First I guess I'll tell you what actually seems to work about socialism in other countries and to a certain extent in America even. Even though America has more of a pragmatic progressive approach to social welfare, instead of the welfare state approach that you see in Britain and Scandinavia where their social programs are universal instead of just for people who truly need extra financial assistance in order to pay their bills.

But there's a flip side to what actually works about socialism in lets say Scandinavia to use as an example. If Scandinavia were a country instead of a region that includes Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and even Iceland, if you include Iceland as part of this broader Nordic region of countries, Scandinavia would be one of the largest countries in the world, especially if you throw in Greenland, as far as territory. But with only twenty-five-million people which would make a fairly small country in population.

That is important because Sweden, Norway, and Finland, are all large countries as far as territory. Sweden is almost as big as Turkey as far as land and most people I believe don't realize that, but Sweden only has ten-million people and they're one of the wealthiest countries in the world as far as per-capita income and over living standards and there also one of the most socialist countries in the world as far as what their national government spend on their's people's behalf and the amount of money the Swedish Government spends on social welfare. Turkey on the other hand as over seventy million people making it a big country as far as land and population. Why is that?

Scandinavia is deep as far as natural resources including oil and gas. Norway and Sweden, are two of the largest oil and gas producers in the world and they both have very small populations, but with a lot of territory. Because of all the oil and gas revenue that Sweden and Norway bring in through taxation and interest their government's have in their energy sectors, they can afford to be very socialist with their people. Because even when they go through an economic downturn or slowdown they're still bringing in all of that energy revenue.

Unlike America which is third largest country in the world in territory, only behind Russia and Canada and with the fourth largest population in the world, we're still importing both oil and gas. We have to be more conservative with our tax revenue and expect our people to do more for themselves. Especially mentally and physically able people. That was my more positive take on socialism.

Again, what's wrong with socialism? Where should I start? How about with the presumptions that Socialists especially in America who want America to look more like Europe tend to make.

Socialists tend to look at the world as a big complicated place and that if you let all of the people enter the world with the freedom to make their own decisions, some people might make some really good decisions and do really well, but others and perhaps a lot of other people will make some really bad choices and do badly. Leaving the society having to pick up the slack for the people who haven't done well in the economy. So according to the Socialist you need to have a big centralized government with all of these progressive minded (as they see it) intellectuals in their central- planning offices, with the power to decide for everyone else most of those people they've never even met let alone know, what the people need to live well in their Socialist Utopia.

In other words a big welfare state there to take care of everyone so the people don't have to make impossible decisions like where to send their kids to school. Where to get their health care. Where to get their health insurance. Who should take cake of their kids when the parents are working. How people should fund their retirements. Pay for their family and medical leave. And these are just examples. Perhaps even where to live and where to work.

And then Socialists will say that, "hey, it works in Scandinavia and Europe, that means it will work in America as well." Socialists also tend to see the world as one place where there aren't many differences economically between one country or another and that if something seems to work in country, that means it will work everywhere else. Forgetting about cultural and economic factors from one country to another.

Like the fact that some countries have deeper natural resources than others. Or that Americans tend to be a lot more individualistic and freethinking than most other countries regardless of race and ethnicity and tend to want to do more for ourselves and expect more from ourselves than Canadians and Europeans tend to.

But I already explained why the democratic form of socialism seems to work in Scandinavia. Because you're talking about small countries as far as population, but large countries as far as territory and natural resources. Including natural resources to power their countries that so-called Progressives in America (Socialists in actuality) tend to hate and want to see outlawed in America. Like oil and gas.

The reasons why socialism wouldn't work in America, again has to do with cultural more than anything else. Americans by enlarge (except for Bernie Sanders and his supporters and others) like being able to take care of themselves and making their own decisions and then being rewarded for those decisions when they do well. You start taxing income and production at high levels and you'll get less of it. Because Americans will say why should they work so hard and be so productive when Uncle Sammy is going to take so much of my money from me to give to his nieces and nephews.

So what will happen is a lot fewer of Uncle Sam's nieces and nephews will work hard and be less productive, because their annoying greedy uncle is taking away from them so much of what they produce. Which will be a drag on economic and job growth because our economy won't be as productive. Also it would hurt our education because Americans will decide why should they work hard in school and get a good education when their Uncle Sam will pay them well not to work when they're out-of-school with generous Unemployment Insurance checks. Which is also what you get in Sweden.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Murmar: Larry King Live- Joan Collins: Talks Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe & Mae West

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

As far as Frank Sinatra. When you're worth hundreds of millions of dollars which is probably what Frank Sinatra was worth in today's money back in the 1950s and 1960s, you don't believe you live on top of the world. You believe you own the world and that anything you want you just get by asking or ordering it. You meet and work with a beautiful adorable brunette like Joan Collins with a great sense of humor and decide you want to have dinner with her that night. Why would the fact that you are currently in Hamburg Germany and Joan is probably 1000 miles or so away in England get in the way with you getting together with her that night?

You own your own plane and can just send it to her and pick her up and fly her back to Germany where you're currently working. You're not just perhaps the most popular singer in the world, but you're a Hollywood star in films. Why would the fact that Joan Collins has an early call the next morning affect whether you two can get together that night? You just call your friend at Joan's studio where she's working for and tell him that she will be late the next morning because she's having dinner with you in Germany.

That is how Frank Sinatra was probably thinking back then and what Joan did according to this interview was turn him down. And as Joan put it Frank Sinatra didn't handle rejection real well because he wasn't accustomed to being rejected. I mean rejecting Frank Sinatra could cost you. Jack and Bobby Kennedy rejected Frank in the early 60s by not going out to his home in California and instead going to Bing Crosby's on a trip out there and Frank never forgave Bobby for that.

As far as Mae West. Joan Collins has this famous quote that age is just a number. If I had to guess I would say that quote is actually Mae West's quote. Myra Breckinridge which was originally written by Gore Vidal comes out as a film in 1970 with Raquel Welch playing Myra and Mae West is in that movie. She's already in her eighties at that point and could've actually been Frank Sinatra'a mother as far as years, perhaps Joan Collins grandmother and yet she's still performing and singing in that movie and playing a sex goddess who wants to bring young sexy men up to her penthouse. The woman has a bed in her office in that movie. A woman who is already in her eighties.

As far as Marilyn Monroe. Joan is obviously right that gorgeous blondes aren't taken seriously in Hollywood. Nothing new to report there. Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman would be exceptions to that because they both showed early on in their careers that they had to be taken seriously and it would cost the studios money if they weren't taken seriously, because those two women were both very intelligent and knew how to take care of themselves and how the business worked and what they were worth and meant to the movie industry. Marilyn Monroe wasn't a dumb blonde, but was certainly immature and overly adorable both in appearance and personality and was probably used and taken advantage of as a result. And treated like a little girl.
Murmar: Larry King Live- Joan Collins: Talks Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe & Mae West

Monday, August 28, 2017

Brookings Institution: Governance Studies- Molly Reynolds: Limitations of The Senate Filibuster

Source: Brookings Institution-
Source: Brookings Institution: Governance Studies- Molly Reynolds: Limitations of The Filibuster

Warning! This article is only for truly hard-core political and Congressional junkies and people who haven't slept in days and need to fall asleep real quick. Great bedtime reading for your hard-core insomniacs. Because this is not just about Congress, but the Senate in particular and not just the Senate, but Senate rules and not just Senate rules, but a rule called the filibuster. One of those inside Washington words that people from outside of the beltway might think is from a different language. Let alone able to explain what that word is and what it means.

For people who need to fall asleep real quick I'll give you a little background and history about the Senate filibuster to explain the current limitations of it today and for those people who see this they might be able to sleep for weeks after reading this.

Before then Senate Leader Harry Read and about 52 or so of his Senate Democratic colleagues nuked the filibuster as it has to do with executive nominations and judicial nominations in the fall of 2013 in the 113th Congress. The Senate Minority Leader (the person who leads the minority party in the Senate) and his party colleagues in the Senate could block almost every piece of legislation on their own. If they had at least 41 seats and votes in the Senate.

The only exceptions having to with the budget and what's called reconciliation. Which is a Congressional term that has to do with the budget. Meaning that any bill that has to do with spending tax dollars like tax cuts and reforms and expansions of entitlement programs like Medicare, would only need 51 votes including the Vice President to break a tie to pass the Senate.  Now for someone who is a Congressional junky like myself and loves studying and reading about Congress especially the history of it, the Senate filibuster and Senate rules in general are fascinating to me and learning any information about it like that would make me so charge up it might keep me awake until the next solar eclipse. But for your average insomniac this kind of material might send them into a coma.

Thanks to former Senate Leader Harry Reid and his Senate Democratic colleagues in the Senate, the majority party only needs 51 votes to not only move to voting on presidential nominations for both the executive and judiciary, but for final passage on those nominations. During the spring this year Senate Democrats lead by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, blocked President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch with the filibuster rule. I think Senate Joe Manchin, Senate Joe Donnelly, and Senate Heidi Heitkamp, were the only three Senate Democrats who voted to cut off any filibuster of then Judge Gorsuch.

And when Senate Democrats blocked Gorsuch, current Senate Leader Mitch McConnell moved to eliminate all filibusters of Supreme Court nominees which passed on a party-line vote. Which means almost everyone in one party votes one way and almost everyone in the other party votes the other way. Not people standing in line to go to some party.

So under current Senate rules the majority party can only eliminate filibusters on legislation if they have 60 votes. Meaning they either have 60 seats in the Senate (which rarely happens) or they get a compromise with the minority party generally the Minority Leader or the minority manager of the bill that is on the floor. And that compromise leads to at least enough minority members of the Senate to cut off any potential filibuster of the current bill.

Or to get back to that crazy arcane word of reconciliation and the Senate majority party brings up some legislation that has to do with the budget. Something that they want as part of the budget that has to be passed that year. And if they're able to do that they pass tax dollar related legislation with just 51 votes including the Vice President of the United States.

But even reconciliation has it's limits because that rule has to be passed first and the time for that is limited if a budget is not passed during that year in Congress, then bills can only be passed through reconciliation through September. And then if a budget is still not passed every piece of legislation that is considered in the Senate is subjected to the cloture rule (meaning the filibuster) and needs 60 votes to pass for the rest of that year. Which means again unless the Senate majority party has 60 seats (which rarely happens) the majority party needs cooperation and votes from the minority party to move legislation in the Senate.

I hope these explanations of the Senate filibuster and it's usage and limitations help people who are interested in learning about Congress, especially the upper chamber which is the Senate. Or at the very least helps people who are in badly need of sleep finally get the sleep that they deserve.

I realize reading about Congressional rules or perhaps reading about anything outside of new technology and celeb culture especially in today's world reality TV world and overdose of celebrity culture and smartphones which of course is far more important (to too many people) can seem intrusive and time consuming. And reading about how legislation that affects over three-hundred-million Americans as far as what laws we have to do live under and will our civil liberties, property rights, civil rights, will be protected or expanded. Will any of our relatives be sent to war, how much we're going to have to pay in taxes, or in interest on the national debt and budget deficit. Just to show some examples of how Congress and the Federal Government in general can and does affect our lives.

But it's worth learning and knowing about any institution in America that can have that much power  over how any of us live in America. Because we all pay for the government that we get whether we think that government is interesting and worth our time knowing about it or not. Whether we like it or not.
Source: Discerning History 

Discerning History: History of The Filibuster

Friday, August 25, 2017

Lloyd Laney: Susan Hayward 1998 Biography

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

I believe what made Susan Hayward such a great actress was how real she was which allowed to her seem like she wasn't acting. She almost had this "I have nothing to lose attitude so I might as well do things my way." Which I guess is understandable because of how she grew up and was raised. Coming from an immigrant community in a very poor part of New York. And was taught very young or perhaps just learned herself that if she's going to accomplish anything in life because of how she's starting out she's going to have to earn everything and work very hard. Because nothing will be given to her.

Sort of reminds me of how Richard Nixon started out in life coming from a very poor part of Southern California and yet he is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in his early thirties and the U.S. Senate just two years later, Vice President of the United States by 39 and never had to worry about money the rest of his life. People appreciate things more in life when they earn them because they know what it's like not to have much and don't want to go back there. Which I believe is what kept Susan going for as long as she was able to and literally becoming not just one of the best actresses of her generation, but ever.

Not to get too political especially in piece about Classic Hollywood but Susan Hayward represents exactly what American exceptionalism is. That no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, how you were raised and the income level of your parents, if you have real talent, skills, and a strong work-ethic, you'll make it in America. Susan Hayward's lack of a start in life and having nothing to start of with and her father never making enough money for his family to live well and they always being in poverty, only made Susan work harder and be able to accomplish more on her own. Because she hated poverty so much that we was going to work as hard and be as successful as she possibly can.

Susan was finally able to finally enjoy life instead of worrying about will she have enough food to eat that day or will she homeless and other things that most Americans who don't live in poverty take for granted everyday. I believe Susan's upbringing and how real and honest she was contributed to her being the great actress that she was. Because she knew too well what poverty and going without was like and when she was acting it was like she wasn't acting or pretending at all, because of how real she was.

I believe Susan Hayward was one of the first great dramatic comedic actresses. And what I mean by that is not someone who can do both drama and comedy well someone like a Sally Field today who is still one of the funniest people in Hollywood and has still has great comedic timing, but who is also a very good if not great dramatic actress. But Susan was someone who brought comedy to her dramatic roles and could combine both genres into one role and be dramatic and funny at the same time. The movie I'll Cry Tomorrow where she plays a great but alcoholic actress, is an excellent example of that. Where she was cracking wisecracks with the perfect timing as she was playing a drunk with a really bad case of alcoholism.

Susan was so real as an actress and had a knack for playing women who were struggling and did that so well, because she wasn't playing. She knew exactly what it was like to struggle in life and would take those parts and literally turn into the women she was playing, because she knew exactly what it was like to struggle in life. Which is what I believe made her a great actress. Which I believe is also what lead to Susan's downfall and why she dies in 1975 in her late fifties because everything in life was such a struggle for her and she didn't take enough time to actually enjoy what she accomplished in life.
Lloyd Laney: Susan Hayward 1998 Biography

Thursday, August 24, 2017

AEI: Ramesh Ponnuru- Up From Illiberalism

Source: Bloomberg News-
Source: AEI: Ramesh Ponnuru- Up From Illiberalism

I'm not going to argue here that anyone who is not a Liberal and is on the Right like Conservatives and Libertarians, but who are lets say small d democrats and people who believe in at least some democracy and believe in things like limited government, rule of law, individual rights, free press, property rights, etc, are illiberal. Because small d center-right democrats if anything believe in liberal values. Free speech, freedom of choice, right to privacy, property rights, checks and balances at least in government, free press, rule of law, etc.

My argument is that there illiberal's on the Right and on the Left. Far-Right and Far-Left, people who are so hard-core in their own political beliefs and believe they have all the right answers and that any form of opposition is not only a threat to them and to the people they claim they want to serve. People on the Far-Right who view a free press and open democracy as a threat to their political power. People on the Left who see free speech and individual choice as dangerous things because to means people may be offended and may make bad decisions with their choices. But if you look at Venezuela which is supposed to be a democracy and yet you have a socialist government there that also sees free democracy and a free press as threats to their regime and have clamped down on democracy and free press.

Illiberal means someone who is opposed to liberal principles. Like restricting free thought which is free speech or free behavior. The ability for people to live in freedom and make their own decisions. Someone who is intolerant, narrow-minded, unenlightened. Again, that covers people on the Far-Right like Nationalists in Russia and in other Slavic countries., theocrats and monarchs in the Middle East. But also Socialists in Venezuela, as well as Communists in Cuba, China, and North Korea.

Conservatives and Libertarians on the right, believe in free thought, free assembly, free choice, individual rights, free press, checks and balances, rule of law, limited government, democracy. Democratic Socialists believe in democracy at least, but also in a free press, but also at least some individual rights like privacy and even property rights in the sense they don't want government running the entire economy, unlike Marxists.

Where Democratic Socialists would differ from Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians, is that they tend to value what they would call welfare rights over individual rights. They believe everyone is entitled to well-being and see the government as having the main responsibility in seeing that everyone is able to live well. Even if individual freedom and free choice is restricted to see that everyone can live well.

This discussion about illiberalism which generally gets to around what's going on in Turkey and Russia right now which both are at best illiberal democracies where free press and democracy at are best heavily restricted there and where people in both countries have been arrested there simply for opposing the current government's in both countries, is not about Liberals versus everyone else.

But people who believe in liberal values like free speech, free assembly, free choice, privacy, free and fair and elections, free press, rule of law, limited government, versus people who don't. And people on the Center-Left like Liberals and Progressives (at least in the classical sense) and people on Center-Right like Conservatives and Libertarians, share these liberal values. Whereas people both on the Far-Left and Far-Right, Nationalists, Communists, and now Neo-Communists like in Venezuela, are the people in the world who are illiberal and practice illiberalism as a tool to accomplish their political objectives. And see their job as crushing the opposition by all means in order to accomplish their political objectives.
Source: Audio Pedia 

Audio Pedia: Illiberal Democracy


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- The Cultural Factors Driving America's Departure From Reality

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

I don't want to make this whole piece about Donald Trump and even not most of it and perhaps just a lot of it, but the way I look at America's Departure From Reality (to paraphrase Kurt Anderson) is way I describe Donald Trump's approach to politics and broader approach to salesmanship. Which is that it's not what's true that's important to him, but what's believable. And not what's believable to most people or intelligent people. But what's believable to enough people for him to accomplish what he wants.

In 2016 that was the presidency and perhaps now it's just about what's believable to his base so his presidency doesn't completely go under water. Right now President Trump's approval rating is somewhere between 33-37% depending on what non-Fox News and Rasmussen poll you look at. Even Fox News has him in the low to mid forties right now. And you take President Trump's base away from him he's probably in the teens right now and perhaps low teens. Not the Republican Party but just his base in the Republican Party. Which is about 4-10 Republicans.

President Trump believes for him to stay alive and not risk being kicked out of office or asked to resign even with a Republican Congress, he has to have his base with him. And to for hat he has to tell them things that are believable to them even if the rest of the country knows what he's saying his complete garbage. (To be kind) Millions of Americans perhaps have escaped the real world to break from reality and perhaps live in so-called reality TV because their real world is too scary for them. But so does their own President.

America's break from reality of course didn't start with Donald Trump. Right now he's just the overwhelming benefactor of it. Where he now represents people who believe that Russia had nothing to do with the 2016 elections and didn't try to interfere in them. Even though President's own intelligent agencies have told him that Russia tried to hack our elections. Climate change is a hoax, 9/11 was an inside job, Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and I could go on. But America's break from reality has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Again he's just the biggest benefactor of it.

We now live in a country where Americans believe reality TV is actually real and the people on these shows are like that in real-life. When in fact we now now (or at least some of us) that the cast members on those shows are encouraged by the producers of those shows to act out and be the biggest jerks they can and get into arguments with other cast members about nothing to draw the biggest ratings. Because conflict is what sells on TV.

Life in America can be tough and stressful and Americans sometimes need a break from that and be able to escape their own reality. Which is why we take vacations and a lot of us watch the tube and get online when we get home from work especially after we've completed everything we need to do that day. That's fine and I do these things myself. But it's when alternative reality takes over our lives and we start to live in those worlds and start seeing and hearing things that simply don't exist is where virtual reality becomes a problem and we look stupid as a result. Americans are only as powerful and free as we are educated and intelligent.

The smarter we are the freer and powerful we are because we'll make the right decisions for ourselves and people who depend on us. But the more virtual reality and so-called reality TV takes over our lives and we actually take those things seriously instead of the mindless entertainment that it is (like pro wrestling) the dumber we become and the less free that we are as a people and country.
The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- Cultural Factors Driving America's Departure From Reality

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TruthOut: Richard Wolff- Varney & Company: Richard Wolff Debates Stuart Varney on Socialism

Source: Democracy At Work- Richard Wolff & Stuart Varney-
Source: TruthOut: Richard Wolff- Varney & Company: Richard Wolff Debates Stuart Varney on Socialism

If Richard Wolff was truly an Marxist he would be calling for the elimination of private wealth and ownership all together. Since Communists at least in the Marxist and Leninist sense don't believe in private property and wealth at all and believe in the state ownership of the means and production of society. That the central government owns and runs the economy and all business's that are part of the economy. Where private production and ownership are outlawed. Which was how the Chinese economy operated up until forty years ago until they started privatizing a lot of their economy. And how the Cuban economy was operated up until ten years ago until they started privatizing. Perhaps Professor Wolff calls himself a Marxist economist because he's studied and taught Marxism, but not someone who practices and believes in the philosophy himself.

So this wasn't a debate between capitalism and Marxism. The two socialist examples that Stuart Varney laid out were Denmark and France, both countries have large private sectors. France has the 6th or 7th largest economy in the world with only 65 million people. Not that they're a small country but that they have such a large economy even though their population is nowhere near the top ten in the world. What they were discussing was more like democratic socialism or social democracy, versus and free and uninhibited capitalism where you have a fairly small national government that taxes wealth at very low rates and doesn't regulate much if any.
Democracy at Work: Richard Wolff Debates Stuart Varney About Socialism

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?