Friday, February 5, 2016

GataBella: Ava Gardner's Private Moments

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: GataBella: Ava Gardner's Private Moments

I think what I love and respect most about Ava Gardner is not her beauty, (not many prettier) not her adorableness, (not many women cuter) not her sex appeal even though she was this gorgeous baby-faced brunette with a sweet body and great personality and sense of humor. What I love about her the most was her realness. The women you saw on stage and in her movies is the women you saw off camera. The people who worked for her and gave her roles knew her so well and set her up so beautifully.

It was like she was never acting in her movies, because she was so natural in the roles that she played. She always said that the only thing that she wanted was to be happy. Those are the characters that she played. She had the reputation of a somewhat immature wild child who went too far and had too much fun and then would pout when she wasn't happy. You see her first seen in the movie Earthquake that she did with Charlton Heston and they have an argument and she's in early fifties at this point and still very beautiful and adorable and she runs to the bathroom almost like a little girl and takes a lot of pills. Heston, her husband in the movie finds her and saves her.

She was always playing a bit of a wild child who loved to have a great time and took it too far. Because as she would tell you life to her was about being alive and living and not just being around. And enjoying life and being happy as much as you can. She died at 68, but she lived her life her way (to paraphrase Frank Sinatra) and was Ava Gardner her entire life. This gorgeous baby-faced adorable brunette with the personality and sense of humor to match. And I believe this is all part of why she's so likable then and still so popular now. Because she was this goddess who was so sweet, charming and funny, but so real and you always knew who she was and what she wanted. Not a lot of mystery with Ava Gardner.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The New York Times: Room For Debate: Andrew P. Kelly- The Problem Is That Free College Isn't Free

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The New York Times: Room For Debate: Andrew P. Kelly- The Problem Is That Free College Isn't Free

I believe the main problem with many of these political debates has to do with language and how things are described. Whether it’s called free health care, free health insurance, free education, free college, free anything else that could be viewed as a positive thing that people should at least want to have. When the fact is none of these things are free for everyone if they’re provided by government. Because who funds government? Of course the taxpayers and anyone who pays taxes. You even now have Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders saying tuition-free college when he talks about his college plan. Because he knows he’ll have to have new taxes in order to pay for his so-called free college plan.

Just replace the word free with affordable and apply affordable to every new service that you want government to provide for people and now you’ll be telling the truth when speaking to voters. Instead of giving voters impressions that you would be giving them all of this free government stuff, you’ll be treating them like adults and taxpayers. You tell them that you have a better deal for them with deal being the key word, because better of course would be debatable, because it would depend on the plan. And then tell them how you would pay for whatever you want to provide for them. Democratic Socialists like Bernie, Jill Stein and whoever else, would earn credibility with Joe and Jane Average taxpayer who are already paying a lot in taxes who know the government services that they’re currently receiving aren’t free.

So of course Bernie Sanders so-called tuition-free college funding plan, sure as hell won’t be free. At least not for anyone who pays taxes including payroll taxes. Bernie will say he’ll tax corporations and rich people to pay for his plan. But then those business’s will raise the costs of their customers, because they don’t want to see their cost of business to go up. Rich individuals will take their business and investments somewhere else where taxes aren’t as high. And Bernie might come back with passing some new law that outlaws business’s from raising their prices to cover their tuition-free college costs. But again those business’s will just take their business somewhere else where their cost of business isn’t as high. Every service anywhere that comes with a cost in creating that service also comes with a cost in providing that service to their customers. Why would government be any different?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters in 2006

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters in 2006

At risk of sounding exactly as I wrote with what I put on my Google+, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook accounts, (do I have enough social network accounts?) I love the realness of Jane Fonda. There’s nothing phony about her, at least in real-life. Keep in mind she’s an actress and a damn good one and as I said in my last piece about her, the best actress of the Silent Generation not including Liz Taylor. So she can play real as well as it can be done, at least onstage. And since I’m not the purely cynical asshole that I tend to get seen as, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. And say she’s truly a real person in real-life. What you see for good and I believe at least the majority is good and for bad and I have my own political and judgment issues with her, what you see is what you get.

Despite Jane’s Far-Left collectivist politics there’s a real individualistic side to Jane Fonda. That says people should be who they are and then own that. Instead of feeling the need to fit in and be other people. Which is exactly how I look at life as a Liberal. Personal freedom can never be real if individuals are not only free to be themselves, but then accept that and take advantage of that. But to paraphrase Jane, then you have to own who you are. ‘This is who I am as a person for good and bad. This is where I do well and perhaps could do better. This is where I come up short and need to work on to be a complete person.’ Not that you try to be perfect, but that you’re as good of a person that you can be. Because you know who you are and where you’re strong. While you’re improving at your flaws.

Without Jane Fonda’s activism against the Vietnam War and how big she was with the anti-war movement and the broader New-Left, I don’t there’s a whole lot to criticize her about. I don’t think there would be much that is controversial about her. The Christian-Right would still get on her about sexual movies in the 1960s like Barbarella, but that was in the 1960s at the heart of the Counter Culture and Cultural Revolution. And today if anything she’s still very popular, because she did movies like that and others like The Chapman Report. That looks at sex between married couples as well as adultery. Which was still very controversial in 1962. Jane Fonda, is someone who you really have to look at the whole picture before you make up her mind about her. Because she’s truly a complete and real person who can’t be looked at as good, or bad, or in black and white. Because like life in general she’s complicated.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paul Krugman: 'New Deal Created the Middle Class': Not So Fast

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Paul Krugman: 'New Deal Created the Middle Class': Not So Fast

Government, doesn't create economic classes. They can assist people to do better. Which is where things like education, infrastructure, a modern working regulatory state, a tax code that encourages expansion and economic growth, a safety net for people who are struggling, etc. Government can also encourage people not to do well. We have ghettos, because of public housing being concentrated in low-income communities that have low education and high crime rates. Families with mothers who don't have the skills to take care of their kids and where their father of their kids are out of the picture, etc.

The New Deal was not an economic policy, or ideology. But the creation of the American safety net that is today even with the Great Society is still much smaller than European welfare states. I and others left and right would argue that is a good thing. But that our safety net need to be better, not bigger and designed to empower people to take control over their own lives. And not leave them in poverty. Which is really a different discussion. It wasn't the New Deal that created the American middle class. We already had one before the Great Depression. Just like the New Deal didn't get us out of the Great Depression. Since we were still dealing with the Depression at the start of World War II.

The role of government at least in a free society with a private economy is not to manage the economy. But to see that there is an environment where the most people possible can succeed. Which is what I mentioned in the first paragraph. Quality education for all, a national modern infrastructure system, a tax code that encourages economic growth, a modern regulatory state that does the same thing, while at the same time protects consumers and workers. You want government to promote your trade and your products and a safety net that empowers people to get up on their own feet. Doesn't hold them down with a few extra bucks. And then let the people make the most of the economy that they put into it and collect the results from it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

What Thomas Jackson was writing in his DSA piece about Martin King was the next stage of Dr. King’s civil rights and really people’s right campaign. His Poor People’s Campaign and his campaign for economic justice. Dr. King, was the Henry Wallace or Norman Thomas of his time. The 1950s and 60s version of Bernie Sanders. A hard-core self-described Democratic Socialist. Who saw racial bigotry and poverty, especially poverty that overwhelmingly affects one race of Americans over everyone else, as a horrible tragedy. As a national man-made disaster that had to be dealt with right away. Not just for people who suffer in deep poverty, but for the country as a whole. The fewer people you have in poverty the stronger economy you’ll have. More people working and consuming quality products.

Dr. King’s, vision of economic justice not just for African-Americans, but Americans in general was a welfare state that was big enough so no one had to live in poverty. Where all American workers could organize and become members of labor unions. Where the Federal Government guaranteed a national basic income for all of it’s citizens. Where no American was so wealthy that any other American had to live in poverty. Where quality education and housing would be available to all Americans. His agenda, would be even radical even today. Senator Bernie Sanders, is a self-described Democratic Socialist today. But a lot of his followers who are even to the left of Bernie are still afraid of that label and as a result won’t own their own politics. So you could imagine how Dr. King’s economic vision was viewed as back then.

Similar to Senator Sanders, I share many of Dr. King’s goals, but I don’t share the same vision for how to achieve them. But what I like and respect about both them is that they both put their visions and plans out there. And then let people let them know how they feel about them. Dr. King, didn’t want to assist people in poverty. He wanted to end poverty and have an economy where everyone could get educated and get good jobs. Including taxing the wealthy heavily to fund programs to help people achieve their own economic success. Which would be form of wealth redistribution. He put his whole agenda post-civil rights movement and the Fair Housing Law of 1968 out there. About what the next stage of his human rights campaign would have gone into the 1970s.

There was nothing mushy-middle about Dr. King. The civil rights movement of the 1960s was not considered mainstream. It almost destroyed the Democratic Party in the South. But as Dr. King said, ‘it’s always time to do the right thing.’ If something is right you do it whether it’s popular or not. Civil and equal rights are now the backbone of American liberal democracy. But they weren’t even in the 1960s and after that campaign was won. Dr. King didn’t decide to move to the center. But instead moved even farther forward. With his own democratic socialist vision for America that unfortunately, because of his assassination he didn’t have much of an opportunity to see it through. And his
movement didn’t really have anyone as strong as him that could pick up his mantle and move the ball forward for his campaign.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

Jane Fonda, I believe giving Barbara Walters an interesting interview in 1978. Whatever you think about her politics she’s very honest and open about them and her life as well. Like losing her mother at the age of 12, her somewhat distant relationship with her father Henry Fonda. Her political activism in and outside of the Democratic Party and I could go on. I believe that is what people like her whether they like her or not they at least respect her realness. And that there really isn’t anything fake about her. And as a result the characters that she plays in her movies come off as so real as well. California Suite, where she plays a somewhat cold and distant mother, is a perfect example of that.

Whatever you think of Jane’s politics I think even her strongest opponents will give her that she’s a great actress. Perhaps would prefer her to stick with acting and leave political activism to people who know more about the issues that she campaigns on. But she’s a great actress and I at least believe if there wasn’t an actress named Elizabeth Taylor, I believe we’re talking about the greatest actress at least of the Silent Generation. And that includes women like Sophia Loren, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Karen Black, to use as examples. When it coms to acting she’s in the same class as Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Susan Hayward and many other great actress’s. And that should never be misunderstood and forgotten about Jane Fonda. Regardless of what you think about her politics.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The New York Times: President Obama's 2016 State of The Union Speech

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The New York Times: President Obama's 2016 State of The Union Speech

I believe President Obama, gave one of his best speeches tonight. Because it wasn't a laundry list of issues that he wanted Congress to address and pass bills on. But instead he focused on issues where there's actually bipartisan support in Congress. Criminal justice reform, mental health improvement, addressing poverty, to use as examples. While at the same time laying out the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Like gun control, to use as an example. The Affordable Care Act would be another, defeating ISIS. And giving Americans an opportunity to decide for themselves who has the better approach on the issues where Democrats and Republican disagree in 2016 to decide who should be in power next year. Who the next president should be and who should control the House and Senate.

A lot of what President Obama wanted to accomplish he already has and did it in the first two years as president. Dealing with the Great Recession, Wall Street reform, small business tax relief. And the next two years which were about the reelection and foreign policy he was able to address those issues without having to get much input from a divided Congress that still had a Democratic Senate, but with a Republican House. Like Libya, taking out Osama Bin Laden, ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The last three years really have been all about foreign policy and an expanded War on Terror. That now includes Syria and Libya will be next as ISIS is taking a beating in Syria and will move to Libya. And America will need to respond to that as well.

In 2015 alone he got Congress to end sequestration when it comes to the Federal budget and get that paid for. Was able to get a major trade bill passed out of Congress. Middle class tax relief made permanent. The American economy continues to grow and jobs continue to be produced. Unlike in Europe and even Canada now. So this speech I believe he wanted to focus on a few areas where he might actually get some bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Like criminal justice reform, additional Welfare reform, job training opportunities for the underemployed, unemployed, and low-skilled employed. Mental health reform, so we see fewer shootings that involved mentally impaired people in the future. And even regulation reform. And we'll see what kind of success he has in these areas this year.