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Individual Freedom For Everyone

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: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

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


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 Ness- Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward
James Ness: Rally Round The Flag Boys

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

Source: Activism Munich-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

"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?




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lillis Lismauya: Seven Thieves 1960- Full Movie