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

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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?

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

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Source: TV Fanatic 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Source: Real Time With Bill Maher

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I’m not trying to excuse the GOP’s double standard for Donald Trump, because their hypocrisy is obvious and disgusting. And just trying to explain it in political terms and what they believe they can achieve with a Donald Trump in the White House and how bad a hand they have with him. And they’ve decided that sticking with him at all costs is the best decision they can make right now.

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

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

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Source: The Independent Institute 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Source: Crash Course

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Source: The Week

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung: Welfare State and Social Democracy

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

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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.

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Source: Lillis Lismauya

Lillis Lismauya: Seven Thieves 1960- Full Movie

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