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Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Film Archives: Video: Booknotes With Brian Lamb, Norman Mailer on Why Did Lee Harvey Oswald Kill JFK? From 1995


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think it is pretty clear why Lee Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy. JFK was a Liberal Democrat, a cold warrior, a strong believer in liberal democracy and freedom for the individual. And by the time his life ended, he was in favor for freedom and equal rights for everyone. Which included non-Caucasian-Americans. Which put the Far-Right at odds with President Kennedy, who perhaps didn’t see him a strong threat before. And the Far-Left in America, which included Communists, that didn’t like President Kennedy’s tough cold war anti-communist stance against Russia and Russian allies.

Lee Oswald represented what Jack Kennedy hated, which was communism and a strong belief in a strong centralized authority. Where this huge centralized superstate would assume responsibility and authority for people’s lives and their well-being. Lee Oswald originally wanted the Russian communist system and thought that was the best way to go. He figured out he didn’t like Russian communism and left Russia around 1960 or so. And then decided that he thought the Cuban Castro form of communism, with a strong socialist system with generous welfare state benefits was the way to go.

Jack Kennedy and Lee Oswald represented what the other was against and at least in JFK’s case, hated. Again JFK Liberal Democrat, who hated communism and huge centralized authorities over the people. And wanted the power with the people to be able to make their own decisions. Lee Oswald, as a Communist was the complete opposite and even spoke up for Fidel Castro and the Cuban Communist State in America and passed out propaganda about the Castro Regime. Oswald saw JFK as a threat that had to go and had the means and opportunity to bring that about.

The only question I believe left with the JFK assassination, was their anyone else involved in the assassination along with Lee Oswald. Because JFK had plenty of enemies on the fringes in America. The Far-Right because of his civil rights stances and they believed he wasn’t tough enough on communism. And the Far-Left Communists in America who saw JFK as a threat to their system and ideology that they wanted to bring to the whole world. And organized crime, the Italian Mafia who saw the Kennedy Administration as a threat to their way of life.




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Portland Basketball Classics-CBS Sports: NBA 1990-NBA Finals-Game 2-Potland Blazers @ Detroit Pistons: Highlights


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

The one game that the Blazers won in the 1990 NBA Finals and they won this game in overtime. So they certainly earned this victory, but they could’ve won at least one other game in the 90 NBA Finals. Had opportunities in both game 1 and game 5. But back then the Blazers were stereotyped as a young, immature, dumb team that would loose their cool and freak out. And when this series went back to Portland, they did everything they could live up to those stereotypes. Getting distracted by calls went against them and not focusing on the team they were playing, which just happened to be the defending NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. You needed to be focused and at your best when you played the Pistons back then. And the Blazers managed that only in-game 2.



Monday, December 29, 2014

Portland Basketball Classics: Video: NBC Sports: NBA 1991-Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Blazers: First Quarter


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The Lakers and Blazers, clearly the two best teams in the Western Conference in 1991. And the only real threats to deny the Chicago Bulls their first NBA Championship that year as well. The Lakers and Blazers were the only two complete all around teams in the Western Conference. Teams with a good offense and defense, could score in the half court, score in transition, defend in transition and could rebound both offensively and defensively. The Eastern Conference was weak in 1991, with really only the Bulls being a great team that year. SO the only question was really who would the Bulls play in the NBA Finals and would have home court advantage or not. The Lakers were out to prove that they still owned the West and were the team to beat. The Blazers obviously had other ideas.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The LIP TV: Byod With Ondi Timoner- Dimitri Logothetis on Sam Giacana


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Without Joe Kennedy’s Italian Mafia connections with people like Sam Giancana, would Jack Kennedy ever become President of the United States? I’m guessing not, at least not when he did and had he not of won the presidency in 1960, his life probably gets extended and maybe he becomes a solid U.S. Senator, breaks away from his father Joe and builds his own professional reputation as a smart, tough, effective politician and a good public servant, with a solid record in Congress. Maybe he becomes Governor of Massachusetts later on and wins the presidency in 1968 or perhaps 72 without the help of his father. Pure speculation of course on my part.
It wasn’t Jack Kennedy calling up the Italian Mafia and their leaders and saying, “hey can you help me out here, I don’t think I can beat Dick Nixon by myself in Illinois and perhaps not New York Either?” Joe SR. the Kennedy’s father was doing that and perhaps putting it in the same away. “Hey Sam, I don’t think my son Jack can beat Dick Nixon in Illinois by himself. Anything you could do for us in Chicago especially, would be very appreciative”. So what happened in 1960 is that Kennedy’s used Italian mobsters and friends of Italian mobsters like Frank Sinatra, to help out Jack and then they abandoned the mob when they came to office.
One of the reasons why the Italian Mafia hated the Kennedy’s, Joe, Jack and Bobby, was because without them, JFK probably doesn’t become President in 1960. They felt the Kennedy’s owed them and what the Kennedy Administration did instead was not just drop them like a sack of bricks, but went further than that and went after them. Attorney General Bob Kennedy launched a huge campaign against organized crime in America, including the Italian Mafia. And Sam Giacana was one of their big targets at the Justice Department. And as a result the Kennedy’s created a lot of new enemies for themselves.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bloodletters and Badmen: Video: Casino Boss Frank Lefty Rosenthal


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I don’t feel sorry for Frank Rosenthal at all. He knew the risks and consequences that could come from being a professional gambler who associates with mobsters. But I don’t see him as a big time criminal who is really dangerous and needs to be in prison for long periods of time. I see him as someone who was dumb enough to work for and go into business with casinos that were run by the Las Vegas mob. His job wasn’t illegal and what he probably did on the job running the casino he ran, probably wasn’t illegal.

But he still chose to associate with criminals and work for their business’s, which is what got him kicked out of Las Vegas. When what he should’ve been doing, was just be a professional gambler and make a lot of money from that. And run his own business. Stay way from Tony Splilotro and other mobsters. And run his own business and make millions from that. And he probably ends up retiring in Las Vegas or never gets to Las Vegas, because of the successful business he had in Miami.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Classic MLB 11: Video: Yankees TV: MLB 1990-7-17-Kansas City Royals @ New York Yankees: Full Game


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

What was once a great American League inter-divisional rivalry between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees in the 1970s and into the 1980s, was all but gone by the early 1990s. Why, because both clubs were barely winners, let alone contenders anymore and no longer had those great players that hated the other team and played their best against the other team. The only player that was still with the Royals in 1990, that played in their glory years of the 1970s and 80s, was George Brett who was in late thirties at this point and wrapping up a brilliant career for the Royals. The Yankees were down to Don Mattingly, who wasn’t a member of even the 1981 Yankees World Series team, or the 1980 AL East champion Yankees. So both of these great franchises were in transition. And having to rebuild to get back to where they were when they two of the best clubs in the American League.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Falcon Crest Blog: Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous, Lana Turner in 1994


Source: Falcon Crest Blog-Lana Turner-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Robin Leach had the best line and pretty much goes to my point about Lana Turner and her lifestyle. Which is that she lived the life of a lot of the characters that she played. Or as Leach put it, she lived the life that couldn’t have been dreamed up by Hollywood. I’m paraphrasing, but that is pretty close. Because that is exactly the way she lived and she lived her own life and set her own course for better or worst for all seventy-five years of it. And you consider the way she did live with all sorts of different men the heavy drinking and everything else, she lived a long life and perhaps a great life ads well. Having accomplished a lot and going down as one of the best actress’s and Hollywood stars as well as goddess’ of all-time. Lana Turner, what a life.
Ultimate TV Shows: Lifestyle of The Rich and Famous- Lana Turner in 1994


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Falcon Crest Blog: The Phil Donahue Show- Lana Turner in 1982


Falcon Crest Blog Lana Turner-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Lana Turner, I believe 61-62 at this point and still looking and sounding great. Perhaps she sobered up in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Perhaps started dating men who weren’t criminals threatening to beat the hell out of her, or even kill her and that is what got her off the sauce. I don’t really want to make fun of her, but she literally lived the life of a Hollywood character, more than the life of the great Hollywood actress and goddess that she actually was. When she wasn’t drinking and not playing the role of one of the characters she played in her movies. Like the women she played in The Bad and The Beautiful, to use as an example.

This Lana Turner seemed was a graceful, intelligent, charming, intentionally funny women. Who seemed very happy with things and happy to be back in the spotlight, which is what CBS and Falcon Crest did for her in the 1980s. A prime time soap opera, that I wish I was old enough to watch, that I’ll look up and check out on demand or dvd. If for no other reason than to watch Lana Turner on it. I doubt it was as good as Dallas, but Dallas is still king of the soap operas, afternoon or in prime time. But again for no other reason, seeing Lana in that show, would be enough motivation for me to watch it.
Ultimate TV Shows: Lana Turner Interview 1982- Falcon Crest


Sunday, December 21, 2014

John Fun: The Tyrone Power and Lana Turner Love Affair- The Man That Got Away


Source: John Fun-Ty & Lana-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I don’t know much about Tyrone Power at all and I’m just starting to learn about Lana Turner from her movies and a little documentary footage I’ve seen from her. But from what I’ve seen in this video and what the documentary footage I’ve seen of her so far, this doesn’t seem that surprising to me. Because Lana lived the life of a lot of the characters that she played. A very talented person professionally, but someone with serious issues at home. Some who lived a wild life, with not a lot of discipline and someone prone to controversy and getting into trouble.

So to see why someone as important and successful as Tyrone Power not wanting to marry someone as hot, adorable, sexy and talented as Lana Turner, is not that surprising to me. Especially if Power was a man of discipline and self-worth and someone who knew what was best for him and rational. But again other than knowing that Tyrone Power was a successful person in Hollywood, I don’t know much about how he lived his life and what he did for Hollywood.
John Fun: Tyrone Power & Lana Turner's Love Affair- The Man That Got Away


Saturday, December 20, 2014

BFI Trailers: The Bad and The Beautiful 1952- A Look at Hollywood Life


Source: BFI Trailers
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I’ve seen The Bad and The Beautiful I guess five times now and it is a very good look inside the lives of Hollywood workers. The life of the star actress Lana Turner, who has a very complicated life and is a very complicated person in general. Just like in real life and you have the up incoming producer played by Kirk Douglas. The up incoming director played by Barry Sullivan and the studio boss played by Walter Pidgeon. As well as a successful author played by Dick Powell, who is brought in to write for movies and becomes a screenwriter.

What all of these characters have in common, including Kirk Douglas, character Jonathan Shields is that they all get screwed by Jon Shields. Or used to put it in a lighter way, but they are all taken advantage of to the point that it puts Shields out of business and he has to start over. Shields jacks Fred’s movie script played by Barry Sullivan, which obviously breaks up their partnership. Shields makes a big star out of the Lana Turner character and makes her believe he’s in love with her. When he’s actually involved with another women, who I guess is next on his list for stardom.

The Jon Shields character played by Kirk Douglas, is basically a charming prick who is talented, but is lacking character, experience and perhaps even judgement to be a big star. At least he’s not ready yet and ends up using talented people to further advance his career. And you see that the people he use are able to bounce back and do better without Shields, while Shields at the end is just struggling to work his way back to where he was before. It is a very good movie about how movies are made in Hollywood.
BFI Trailers: The Bad and The Beautiful 1952 Trailer


Friday, December 19, 2014

NYC Austin: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: "Bill Maher as a Tea Bagger"


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Bill Maher had me almost all the way, until he put the entire focus on the defense budget, which represents about twenty-percent of the budget. Gutting defense and corporate welfare alone won’t eliminate the debt and deficit. We are not going to eliminate the debt anyway at any point and don’t need to. What we need to do is get it down to a point where it isn’t draining so much out of the economy and is at an affordable level. Good thing Bill Maher is not a member of the National Security Council or has no background in foreign policy or national security policy. Because cutting the defense budget in half would be a horrible idea.

Maher makes a good point about the Tea Party and perhaps American voters in general when it comes to the debt and deficit. That Americans have a tendency to say that the debt and deficit are problems and that Congress and the President should address those issues. “Oh by the way, don’t cut spending, at least something I want and need. And don’t raise my taxes either, or I’ll fire your ass!”. The ultimate case of the person trying to lose weight by eating nothing but junk food and never exercising. And then wondering why they just put on ten pounds.

But here’s where I agree with Maher on the defense budget, but perhaps would phrase it differently. Europe! Time to tell those pacifist Socialists that it is time for them to defend themselves, by paying for their own damn national defense. Instead of charging American taxpayers for their own defense. Same thing goes to Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea! Bring our troops home and use that money to rebuild our own national infrastructure and deal with terrorists in this country and secure our borders the best we can. That is where the waste in the defense budget truly is.

The problem with American politics is not so much our politician’s, but the people who elect and reelect them. American voters have this wild idea, perhaps drunken or marijuana fantasy that these people can give them everything that they want at no cost to the taxpayers. When the fact is everyone who is familiar with government, knows that is well, bullshit! That of course we as taxpayers pay for all the government services that they give us. So if you want government to give you something, tell your politician what you’ll pay for it. And they’ll tell you what you can get in return for your investment.
Tea Party

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Freedom of Speech Fighter: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: Is Alabama The Stupidest State in America?


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I don’t know the answer to this question what is the stupidest state in America. There are plenty of candidates for that title, including at least one in the Northeast in New York, one in the Midwest in Illinois and one in the Mid-Atlantic in West Virginia and could go down to the Southwest to Texas as well. And if you want to talk about ignorant non-educated people, how you not look at Michigan. I mean is there is another big city with worst public schools than Detroit and has a higher dropout rate than Detroit and with more ignorant and poor people than Detroit. And keep in mind, about half of the State of Michigan lives in the Detroit area.

But I would say this about Alabama and other Southern rural states that do not have a big city and big metro area in them, like Mississippi, South Carolina and Arkansas, to use as examples. Any state like that with a high concentration of poverty that is so underdeveloped as far as its infrastructure, perhaps especially as it relates to education, where you have so many people who do not finish school or even if they did finish school, didn’t get the education they needed to do well in life and puts so much faith, well into their faith, even over things like education and progress, you’re going to have a high concentration of ignorant people in it.

The reason why Alabama is seen as a joke, to even people who are from that state and even in that region of the country, like Georgia and Florida, is because of their high concentration of poverty and ignorance. And then thrown in their redneck country lifestyle with the high-pitch accent, with all the country sayings and how they pronounce certain American-English words, you’re going to look, well less than bright and educated to put it nice, to the rest of the country, which just happens to be most of the country. That is why Alabama gets made fun of so much. “Hey, we might be last in almost everything that’s positive. But at least we’re first in Jesus, guns and football”. Which is sort of another Alabama joke.
Alabama

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Matthew Ives: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: The Hypocrisy of Evangelical Christians


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m going to be careful here, because there some actual Christians who I actually respect, including Protestants and Evangelicals and who are also still living. And when I think of Christianity and Christians as someone who isn’t, I think of these people and I think of their groups. And all of those charities that they run. That house the homeless, feed the hungry, some groups even go as far as educating the ignorant so they can get themselves a good job. All things that the so-called Christian-Right and a certain segment of the Tea Party views as socialism or communism.

When I think of Christians, I don’t think of Michelle Bachmann, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, all these so-called leaders of the Christian-Right. Who go out of their of putting people down and hating and saying so many horrible things about people who don’t live exactly the way they do, or look at the world exactly as they do. You know, I’m happy to look at those people as fascists, statists, theocrats, hypocrites, especially when they are preaching against big government. Liars, crooks, assholes, bullshit artists, con-people, all of those labels would fit them perfectly. But calling them Christians would be an insult to Christians.

There are people who are truly religious and actually believe in the religion that they say they follow. Those people I respect, even if I disagree with their religion. Christianity especially as it relates to lifestyle, is simply too conservative for me, but so is Islam. But I can respect people who truly believe in and follow the values of those religions. But what I can’t respect are people who use a great religion like Christianity to put down other people simply because they disagree with them. Those people are assholes and make Americans look as stupid as we get stereotyped as.
Christian Right

Monday, December 15, 2014

Atheist Blog: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: If Jesus Ran The Republican Nomination For President


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

If Jesus ran the Republican nomination for President, every single presidential candidate the GOP had back in 2011-12 would’ve been disqualified. Except for maybe Ron Paul, who is a good-natured doctor, who doesn’t go out of his way to put people down and actually believes in live and let live and treat others as you would want to be treated. You know, real Christian values that the other candidates up there, the Tea Party and Christian Right views as socialism or communism. Which is my point about Christianity, there’s Christianity that comes from the Bible. And there’s Christianity that so-called Christians like to make up to suit their own political needs.

I’m starting to think the term Christian-Right is offensive to actual Christians and I’m serious about that, because I use that term all the time. And there are Christians who are good people and truly live up to Christian values and the Ten Commandants. And then there are Christians who use Christianity to appeal to Christians to gain their political support on one hand. But on the other hand go out of their way to put people down who don’t live exactly the way they do and don’t look at America and the world the exact way that they do. I’m not sure even Religious-Right is an accurate term for people who use Christianity to suit their political goals, but don’t actually believe in what they claim they preach.

I love terms like Neoconservative, right-wing fascist to describe people who wouldn’t know what Christianity and conservatism really is if it kicked them in balls. Or in a women’s case, punched them in the nose. Because a lot of what is supposed to be conservatism today, looks nothing like it did in the 1960s and perhaps even 1970s, that looks more like conservative libertarianism or even libertarianism today. I mean Jesus Christ and Barry Goldwater today sure as hell couldn’t get nominated by the Republican Party today, at least at the national level. Why, because they believe in very different things than the far-right of that party that now has so much influence.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the far-right in the GOP was looked down upon like mental patients that were on the loose and needed to be brought back to their mental hospital. Today Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum are treated like mainstream serious presidential candidates. That is how much the GOP has changed in just forty-years where freakin Barry Goldwater would look like a freakin liberal or libertarian today. Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater looking like a liberal, how times have changed in the Republican Party.
Jesus Christ

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Robert Niro: Heat 1995- Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro: The Diner Scene


Source: Robert Niro-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

This is my favorite scene from Heat and this is one of my favorite movies of all-time and a movie that is roughly three-hours long. But think about it for a moment, a three-hour movie that doesn’t seem like three-hours. The same thing with Casino, because it was one major scene after another with either great dialogue like in this scene, or with a great action scene. Like the first major robbery of the movie which is in the first scenes of the movie, or the diner scene that’s towards the end of the movie.

You don’t feel like you’re watching a three-hour movie when it is a great movie with one great scene after the other. Just like when you spend three-hours watching a great football or baseball game. Because you want to be there the whole time taking in everything. It’s the mediocre or bad movies that feel like they’re taking forever and feel like they’ll never end and perhaps you even walk out on that seem to go on forever. Heat doesn’t allow you to do that, because there’s always something very interesting going on in the movie.

And what you see in this scene are two men who are both in charge of what they do and who lead the crews they work for and at the top of their game. And what they are doing here is looking at each other as human beings and getting to the feel for each other and perhaps even liking each other, because they are both being real and who they are. And not trying to come off as anyone else. Neil McCauley the bank robber who has one big score left in him. Vincent Hanna the police lieutenant whose job is to stop McCauley and his crew.
Robert Niro: Heat 1995- Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro: The Diner Scene


Saturday, December 13, 2014

RYY: Heat 1995- A Movie About Chasing the Bad Guys


Source: RYY-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Heat is definitely one of my favorite movies, top 5-10 of all-time and perhaps the best movie of 1995 and even the 1990s as a whole. Which was a great decade for movies and 1995 was also the year Casino came out as well. Both Heat and Casino came out in October or November of 95 and were simply two movies that I couldn’t wait to see. Saw them both on a Friday night when they both came out and knowing I was going to see both movies, sure as hell made going to work those two days easier and this was before I was a blogger-writer.
What I love about Heat, similar to Jackie Brown is the realness to both them. This movie doesn’t try to fool you and show you a world that doesn’t exist for the most part and people who don’t exist for the most part. I love this movie because of the humanity of it. It is not a movie about Devils vs. Saints, but cops against criminals. And the criminals do bad things in this movie and hurt people. But they are professional criminals who in most cases in this movie are only hurting other criminals. And I hate this term, because all people are real and it sounds cliché, but they are real people. With real lives, families to take care of. Who happen to make their living stealing.
The cops are the good guys in this movie like in most action movies that involve good and bad. But the cops led by their lieutenant Vincent Hanna played by the great Al Pacino, is not a Saint. He’s a workaholic, because he spends so much time going after bad people and as a result does not spend enough time with his wife who loves him and his stepdaughter. And tends to only see both of them very early in the morning and very late at night. Why, because he spends so much time trying to track down and catch criminals like Neil McCauley, played by the great Robert De Niro. An ethnic-Italian playing an Irishman, is interesting to me, but perhaps that is a different subject.
Neil McCauley leads a crew or robbers and thieves who are very professional and very good. Why, because they are simply in it for the money and are very calculating in how they approach their work, so to speak and don’t take jobs just to hurt someone or for the thrill ride, because they hate prison and don’t want to go back. So they are very careful in what jobs they take to the point that McCauley has sort of an agent, an adviser who finds jobs and targets for him played by Jon Voight. Who gives him the pros and cons, the price tags of these jobs and the chances of doing the jobs successfully and then getting away with it.
Vincent Hanna played by Al Pacino, is an LAPD Robbery and Homicide lieutenant whose job along with his team is to track down the McCauley crew and put them away. Again Hanna is a workaholic, so putting in the time to put this crew away is nothing new to him and he has the manpower to get it done. The difference being that McCauley crew might be the most skillful and professional crew he has ever seen and it will be difficult for him and his team to put this crew away. Again they are professional criminals who are in it simply for the money. They don’t rape or murder for the hell or thrill of it. But rob banks and other business’s simply for the money.
Heat is a great movie if you cops and robbers movies that are realistic and aren’t cookie-cutter. That are different and clever and even funny, especially with Al Pacino who makes serious characters look like comedians simply because of how he delivers lines and with his ability to add flavor and character to his lines and work. Heat is not a cookie-cutter movie that looks and sounds like a lot of other serious cop movies before and after. That is solely based on style and special effects to look cool. Is has those things to, but with a lot of substance in the movie that the movie is based on.
RYY: Heat 1995 Trailer

Friday, December 12, 2014

Meso Steros: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher; Monarchy and State: Absolute Power Equals Big Government


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

For all of you lets say Social Democrats on the Left in America who prefer to be called Progressives, or insult liberalism by calling yourselves Liberals, who want America to be more like Britain with their form of government, imagine a George W. Bush, or here's a worst nightmarish thought, imagine a Ted Cruz as President of the United States without having to legally report to Congress and be accountable to Congress. Why? Because he's now a king at least with the power of one, because now America has a monarchy or unitary executive, where most of the power in the U.S. Government is centralized with the White House.

Now of course Britain is a functioning social democracy where executive power resides with a Prime Minister and their government and they at least to a certain extent are accountable to the U.K. Parliament. And the Prime Minister is not king and even though they are more powerful inside of the U.K. Government than the President is inside of the U.S. Government, Britain no longer has absolute power in the national government. Their monarchy instead of now presiding over the country and the government, now is part of the government with ceremonial power. And no longer running the country.

But back in the day the King of Britain or the United Kingdom, was exactly that. The King of that country, a dictator with absolute power that could pretty do however they please without having to report to anyone or get permission. Can you imagine some loony Neoconservative in America with that much power over Americans, a much wealthier and much larger and more powerful country than Britain. Could you imagine Rick Santorum as King of America with the Christian-Right in his back pocket. You could forget about the Federal Republic and Separation of Church and State that Sarah Palin and all of her wisdom sees as a myth if that were to happen.

Bill Maher is correct that Founding Fathers the Founding Liberals of America broke away from Britain, because they wanted to escape authoritarian dictatorial rule from the United Kingdom. And no longer have to live in a country where they had to get permission from the King to blow their nose, use the bathroom, bang their wife or mistress, or even another man. That they wanted to create a free society, a liberal Democracy where the people could make their own decisions themselves. Which is why they created the Federal Republic with the Checks and Balances that they did. So we wouldn't live under a dictatorship and be free to live our own lives.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Greg Hengler: Video: MSNBC's Newsroom: Contessa Brewer Interview Catherine Moleski on Britain's "Free Healthcare"


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Social Democrats and single payer health insurance and health care supporters would do themselves a huge favor and perhaps even risk building their support for their movement if they were simply accurate if not honest about how the say their system would be paid for and stop calling it free. There's no such thing as free anything that government provides. Even if they borrow the money to pay for some service they are giving their people, their people still pays for that in interest on the national debt. When you are spending other's people's money even for them, they are paying for the services that you give them.

Contessa Brewer who is not exactly a genius and generally does realty TV and technology related reporting and so-called human interest stories and not hard news, figured out pretty quickly that the U.K. NHS or National Health Service in Britain is not free and neither is their public health insurer that NHS also runs. It is paid for by British taxpayers and they pay for their own health care, just like Americans pay for there's. But Americans generally pay for their health care out of pocket or through their private health insurer. The British pays for their health care in taxes.

Show me free government services and I'll show you a beach house with an ocean view located in Minnesota. I would prefer however that you go first though, because producing a beach house with an ocean view in Minnesota would at the very least be a tall order. I would probably have better luck trying to swim from New York City to London, England. The whole Milton Friedman line about spending other people's money is perfectly appropriate here. Because money that government spends of behalf of it's people or even at their expense, does not come from some Monopoly game.

Money that government spends for their people doesn't magically appear from thin-air or some genie wiggles their finger and it suddenly appears. Or they print counterfeit money, well I hope about the counterfeit part, because government does so many things in secret, who knows what they are doing. But we do know that we pay for whatever they're doing supposedly on our behalf through either taxes, fees or interest on the debt. Government services are as free as cable bills or smart phone bills. Meaning not at all and people who want a government that is big enough to manage our lives for us, need to acknowledge that, if they actually want to have the big government they talk about.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Matthew Ives: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: Bill Maher on U.K. Conservatives


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The main difference between a British Conservative and an American lets's classical Conservative, for any of you on the Right who is offended by the word real, is that the British Conservative looks like an FDR Progressive. They are conservative really only in the sense that they are to the Right of the British Socialists in the Labour Party and other social democratic parties in the United Kingdom. The classical Conservative in America, is exactly that and what I would call a yes a real Conservative. Not someone who wants big government out of the economy so they can stick it into Americans personal lives and have government tell us how to live what they would call a moral life.

I think a better comparison or debate would be the differences between a classical Conservative and an Neoconservative or in America Christian-Conservative. The Conservative Libertarian vs. the Neoconservative who questions personal freedom and should Americans have personal freedom in a free society or not. Which is a dumb question, I mean seriously what good is a free society and freedom in general without personal freedom. Things like the Right to Free Assembly, Free Speech, Right to Privacy, property rights, the ability for people to make their own financial and personal decisions.

So here are some of the differences between a classical Conservative, people who I respect, but certainly don't agree with on everything and Neoconservatives who, well, lets just say they have a constitutional right to their beliefs and values as well.

The classical Conservative wants big government out of our wallets and bedrooms. As I suggested earlier, the Neoconservative wants big government out of our wallets at least to a certain extent, but as long as we are spending our money the way they approve of. Once we start spending money on things they disapprove of, like movies and music they see as immoral, than they stick big government into our wallets and pockets and try to punish us for what we do with our personal lives.

The classical Conservative believes in Freedom of Religion. The Neoconservative believes in Freedom of Religion for Protestants and perhaps other Christians. But that "Islam is not a real religion, but a political philosophy and therefore doesn't deserve the same constitutional rights. And that Muslims if they are from another country, should be sent home or locked up, because they are Un-American".

The classical Conservative believes in the Right to Privacy. Again goes to getting big government out of our wallets and homes. The Neoconservative doesn't and sees the Right to Privacy as a threat to our national security and preaches security and morality over liberty.

I could go on, but hopefully you have better things to do. I know I sure do and besides would like to save the rest of my material for future posts. But Conservatives in America, again real or classical depending on your sensitivity, are Conservatives, or Conservative Libertarians. Conservatives in Britain are really only conservative in comparison with Socialists over there. The real debate is not between the Tea Party and British Conservatives. The real debate is between Conservatives or Conservative Libertarians in America, vs. Neoconservatives and the Christian-Right.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Daily Caller: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher- Senator Bernie Sanders Sneers at Americans For Not Demanding European Style Social Benefits


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat 

What is lost in this whole America vs. Europe socialism vs. what I call real liberalism and others call classical liberalism debate, is the economics and economies of both. Well in America's case at least a country, Europe together and united and I'm talking about the European Union west of the slavic states, especially Russia would be a monster economy and superstate. But take Germany out of the picture, and we are talking about mid-size to fairly big economies in developed countries. Compared with America which is a superstate and super sized economy and the only superpower in the world.

You want America to spend more on social insurance and have that Scandinavian or Anglo socialist sized welfare state and that means spending a lot less on national defense, as far as the American military budget. And that means pulling troops and resources out of Europe and sending them home. And telling those socialist states that are supposed to be so rich while America is so poor, "hey buddy, get off your fat lazy asses and go defend yourselves! Because America is pulling out of you socialist utopias and going home to try to build their own".

Not! Wrong! Try, try, try again, not going to happen. We pull out of Europe and Europe will freak out over the nightmarish thought of, "of no! We'll actually have to defend ourselves and learn how to shoot guns and fly planes and drive tanks! Hell we might even have to defend ourselves and have real militaries! The cruelty of it all! Those Americans are meanies!" Or perhaps something stronger and in a different language or in several different languages. I would love for America to pull out of Europe and go home to rebuild America. Not create that King Kong size welfare state, but rebuild our collapsing infrastructure and public schools.

America can't defend the world, we no longer can afford to do that or have to do that since we are the only superpower in the world and you have other large developed countries like Europe as a single entity and Japan that can afford to defend themselves. Let alone create a socialist sized superstate where personal responsibility and initiative is essentially outlawed. Because big Uncle Sammy is now in charge of at least our economic lives if not personal lives as well. If you were to include the nanny state and what people on the New Left want to do about the media. What they call democratize, is really about nationalization and state control of the media.

America a liberal democracy full of initiative and individualism and creates new things and freedom for different people everyday. Europe a socialist collectivist society where those values are considered selfish and materialistic. And what Europe is now learning with their debt and deficit situations and with so many states either in recession or barely growing, like France is that they can't afford to be as socialist as they want to be as well. And they are scaling back what their central government's do for their people and perhaps scaring the hell out of them by having them actually, now get this, take responsibility for their own lives and welfare. A hellish thought for a lot of Europeans.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

RM: The Crowded Sky 1960- A Soap Opera Inside of a Disaster Movie


Source: RM- Holy scene from Airplane! Batman!
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

If you are familiar with the disasters movies of the 1970s, Airport, Airport 1975, Airport 1977, Airport 1979 with the concord and I would add Airplane! 1980 in with that because that is about what the 1970s was about, I think you'll find where the inspiration for all of those movies came from. Those movies all follow The Crowded Sky that came out in 1960. Like the rest of those movies, The Crowded Sky features a lot of talented, intelligent, imperfect people who are all going through personal issues that affect in their jobs in the movie that comes out and plays a big part in the movie.

Like the disaster movies that follow, The Crowded Sky is a pretty funny movie with a lot of funny people and characters in it. It also has a lot of soap opera in it with people going through relationship issues, feelings of insecurity, family issues with their kids, like the captain of the commercial plane not getting along with his son. People on the commercial plane not falling in love, but getting romantically involve with each other. The navigator of the commercial plane who is a motormouth and can't shut up about how bad his wife is. The captain and first officer hating each other's guts.

The Crowded Sky is essentially a very funny soap opera for about the first hour and twenty-minutes or so, before the two planes collide in the air. But they collide in the air because the people on the ground who are supposed to be doing air traffic control, are overworked and not paying attention to the two planes until it is too late. A Navy jet and the commercial airliner. This is a very funny and entertaining movie with a very skilled pilot having to make up for his big mistake, which was flying the plane too high. Which is why he collided with the Navy jet.
RM: Leonard Rosenman Music Score From The Crowded Sky 1960



Monday, December 1, 2014

Eagle Forum: Blog: Phyllis Schlafly: "The Mistake of Unilateral Divorce": Why Government Should Stay Out of The Home

Eagle Forum: Blog: Phyllis Schlafly: The Mistake of Unilateral Divorce

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Again what I call the Traditional Values Coalition like to talk about the dangers of big government when it comes to taxes and the economy in general. While at the same time on perhaps even on the same hand like to talk about benefits of big government by sticking into the personal lives of married couples and telling people when they can end their marriages or not. And then they say that so-called "no fault divorce is bad because it means that more women will enter the workforce. And as a result more people will be working and paying taxes". Perhaps funding their own big government policies.

You start down the road of big government telling people when they can get divorced or even married and then you build a new road and deciding when romantic couples who perhaps aren't married yet, can decide to move in with each other. Or when they can have kids, perhaps even make love. Forcing free Americans by law to live up to their marriage vows and making adultery illegal. Perhaps a national curfew law and telling Americans when they need to be home at night.

If you want to have a free society, you don't create that by telling people who you want to be free how to live their own lives. Either from an economic and yes personal perspective. Economic freedom without personal freedom is not freedom. It is half the pie and one without the other is like burger without cheese or bread, you would be missing big chunk by at least not having the bread. You need both for it to be whole and real and you don't create freedom by having government decide how adults should live their own lives.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chris Myers: FOX Sports CMI- Charles Barkley Interview


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

Now we are talking about Charles Barkley the basketball analyst, which I think he does a great job as and even one of the best NBA analysts in the business right now. And we are also seeing Charles Barkley the political and social commentator. We already saw Charles Barkley the great basketball player and again I see him as one of the top 5-10 players of all-time in the history of the NBA. But now at fifty-years old, but he's been what he is now since he's left the NBA as a player. He is now a professional commentator on things more than just basketball and the NBA.

If Charles Barkley doesn't have a column or blog, I wish he would start one. Which is what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has already one with Time. Because I don't agree with him on everything, but he makes a good intelligent case about everything that he says and believes. Which is all you ask from a commentator in life. You want them to make a good interesting case for why they believe about what they are talking about. You can't expect to agree with everything that they say. Just for them to make a good interesting case for why they believe what they believe about what they are talking about.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

NBA-TV: Video: Charles Barkley, Sir Charles at 50: Still Larger Than Life


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Charles Barkley can't be completely written about in just a few posts. The man is now fifty-years old and you spend weeks writing articles and spend years writing books and producing films and doing interviews about the man and still not cover everything. And all of this could be said when the man finished his playing career fifteen years ago. There's just so much about him and not just his playing career where he might be one of the top ten players of in NBA history. Certainly one of the top ten forwards and perhaps the greatest player who has ever played power forward in the NBA.

But is doesn't end there with Chuck just as a basketball player. Here's a man who stands 6'4-6'5 who on the street and any other profession would be a very tall man. If he played point guard in basketball he would be a tall basketball player. If he played shooting guard he would've had the right height. Chuck was short for a small forward, let alone power forward and he is the greatest height for height if not the greatest rebounder of all-time. A man who is 6'4 going up against guys who are 6'8-6'10 every night and yet no power forward in the NBA could box the man out. At least not on a regular basis.

And this is just about part of Chuck's career as a basketball player. I think he is the greatest player to ever play power forward. Not the greatest power forward, I would rather take Karl Malone and Tim Duncan over him. But no other full-time power forward has had the skills and great at so many different aspects of basketball than Charles Barkley who has played power forward. And that includes Larry Bird who played perhaps played as much power forward as the small forward position in the NBA.

But this again is just part of one of Charles Barkley's career as a basketball player and an aspect of his life. Other posts should and have been written about different aspects of his career. Like why the Philadelphia 76ers didn't win more with him, when they should've remained an NBA Finals contender for the rest of the 1980s and into the 1990s. But they weren't run very well post Julius Erving and Bill Cunningham and John Nash. And you can go into Chuck as the NBA analyst, the cultural analyst and the comedian. But those are for future posts.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Athlete Sport: Video: ESPN's SportsCentury: Karl Malone, The Mailman Delivered


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I'm stuck between Karl Malone and Tim Duncan as far as who is the best power forward of all-time. I think Duncan is the better all around player than The Mailman, but that is a little different than who is the better power forward. Players are exactly that and positions are that as well and besides Duncan is really a center/power forward or vice-versa, he's played a lot of both positions throughout his career. But The Mailman is certainly the best power forward of the 1990s and perhaps the 1980s as well.

When you think of the prototypical power forward, the classic power forward, the total package as a power forward and then some, Karl Malone is exactly that. When you are talking about a man who was 6'9 255-260 pounds, with the quickness and shooting ability of a power forward and the physical strength of a center. He would've dominated at either position, but not being much of a shot blocker, better suited at playing the big forward, than playing center, at least playing center full-time. He was The Mailman because he delivered basically all of the time for the, I still feel strange saying this, but the Utah Jazz.

Malone put the Jazz on his back and carried that team his entire career. He was the only great and big scorer on his team almost his entire career. The only great rebounder and perhaps even good rebounder on his team throughout his career and the only great big man for the Salt Lake Jazz as I prefer to call them that the Jazz have ever had. And yet they were a title contender throughout the 1990s. And John Stocton was a big part of that as far as quarterbacking the Jazz being the great point guard that he was. But if Karl has a bad night offensively and they are playing a good team, the Jazz probably lose.

To go back to my point about the prototypical power forward, The Mailman was exactly that. He and Elvin Hayes might be the top two pure power forwards of all-time. Charles Barkley was more of a hybrid forward, someone with great skills at both the power forward and small forward. And I believe a better all around player than Karl and perhaps the best height for height rebounder of all-time at around 6'5. But Karl was exactly what you want from your power forward and then some. Tall, big, strong, quick, great inside scorer, great rebounder and an excellent defender and passer in the post.

Karl Malone was called The Mailman, because he was exactly that. He delivered for the Jazz time and time again and took them as far as he could almost by himself in the 1980s and 1990s. And perhaps just a few plays away from winning at least one NBA Finals in the late 1990s against the Chicago Bulls. Had the Jazz had a great swingman, small forward or shooting guard or good if not all-star caliber center to go with Malone and Stocton, maybe they would've won two NBA Finals in the late 1990s, instead of none. But they got very far with The Mailman delivering as much as he could.