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Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: Plato Shrugs: The Suspension of Disbelief: Bernie Sanders as President

I disagree with the blogger who wrote this piece over at Plato Shrugs on two key points. And I think we probably agree on the rest. But Bernie Sanders, is not the ‘liberal Ron Paul’. Bernie, is the Democratic version of Rick Santorum. Rick, being the Far-Right Big Government Neoconservative Republican, who even flirted with the idea of outlawing gambling from the Federal level. To go along with outlawing pornography and same-sex marriage in 2012. Bernie, might be liberal compared with Rick, but who isn’t. That would be like saying a politician is consistent compared with Mitt Romney. Or someone is short compared Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Yao Ming. You know, who isn’t. You might have to send out a search party to find anyone who isn’t consistent, or short compared with these people.

Rick Santorum, represents the Far-Right fringe of the Republican Party. The Christian-Right and Neoconservative wing of that party. Bernie Sanders, represents the Far-Left Socialist wing of the Democratic Party. That wants to transform this Center-Left party that I’m proud to be a member of, into the Democratic Socialist Party. Where what’s mine and what’s yours, is no longer mine and yours, but now subjected to our nightmare of an Uncle Sam. To decide for everyone what we should have and be forced to give up. And I’m talking about money here and not physical property. Because Bernie is not a Communist but a Democratic Socialist who wants a big centralized national government. To go along with a highly taxed and regulated private sector.

I also disagree with Plato about Bernie Sanders having no shot and even being a long shot to win the Democratic nomination. Bernie, has been an underdog his whole life starting with being the son of poor Jewish-European immigrants in 1940s New York. And then making it all the way through college in the 1960s and being part of the civil rights movement. To becoming Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the 1980s as an Independent Socialist. To being elected to the U.S. House in 1990 and being reelected there seven times. To being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, again as an Independent Socialist. To being reelected there in 2012. The longest-serving Independent in Congress in his 26th year in Congress. To underestimate Bernie and root for his defeat. Is like sticking your hand in a full shark tank with your eyes close. Not worth the risk.

The Democratic Party has had a socialist wing in it and mostly democratic socialist, since the late 1960s with the emergence of the New-Left. And you could go back to the 1940s with Henry Wallace and others and people who worked for the Roosevelt Administration. The Democrats have always had a wing that believes American capitalism is immoral, that wealth and success are selfish. That the only such thing as the people’s money is money that belongs to Uncle Sam to give out to his nieces and nephews in allowances. That believes masculinity is somehow bad and that men are inferior to women. That there’s no such thing as racism towards Caucasians and perhaps even the wrong country won the Cold War. And now this movement is big enough starting with Occupy Wall Street in 2011 to have a major presidential candidate who represents them.

And I’m not putting Bernie down, because I actually personally like the man and respect him for his honesty and actually believing in what he says and his politics. And fighting all of those losing battles in Congress for over twenty-years as a result. There’s something to respect about a person whose willing to fight the lost causes, because he believes they’re right and everyone else is stupid. Sort of like the Chicago Cubs fan who refuses to root another club, because they can’t move on from the Cubs even after 50-100 years of praying for another World Series championship. Or watching games at some place other than Wrigley Field. But not only that, Bernie is a moderate compared with most of his supporters. He’s the liberal in the movement who believes in free speech and even Freedom of Choice when it comes to social issues. And not down with fascist political correctness movement on the New-Left.

So when you think of Bernie Sanders for president think of Uncle Sam, but change the name to Bernie. Our new Uncle Bernie who our parents sent us to, because they were tired of dealing with us and all of our demands that they simply couldn’t afford and we didn’t deserve anyway. So they send us to our father’s brother lets say to take care of us and we think that is going to be horrible until we get there. But then we’re there and Uncle Bernie has all of these goodies for us that he says are free. Until we find out that we’re doing all sorts of chores around the house (meaning taxes) to pay for all of these supposed goodies. That is Bernie Sanders for president. A Democratic Socialist who’ll promise you everything that you’ll pay for. As well as more stuff that you don’t want or need. And leave you with a tax bill for that as well.

Ava Gardner

Source: 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.

Jane Fonda

Source: 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.

Dr. MLK

Source: 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.

Jane Fonda

Source: 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.

DET

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Elizabeth Taylor Quotes: How to Live Life

I think one of the reasons why Elizabeth Taylor was such a great survivor, was because she had a great sense of humor. I would have paid anything to hear her private conversations with Richard Burton. Who could be a Little Dick (ha, ha) when talking to Liz. I think listening to them talk to each other would be like being at a great two-person comedy show. Like watching the Rat Pack, Abbott and Costello, only funnier. If you’re familiar with the movie Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (That is not a question, but a movie) It is one of the most dramatic movies you’ll ever see. But Liz and Richard turn it into a comedy, because a lot as far as how the couple communicates with each other in that movie, is how Burton and Liz, communicated in real-life.

Without her sense of humor, I don’t think Liz makes it to 79. I mean think about all the bullshit she went through in real-life and that is not talking about her movies, but her own life. I mean boredom alone could have killed her when she was married to Senator John Warner when they were married in the late 1970s and early 80s. She loses husband Michael Todd, to a plane crash. She survives what seven divorces, but manages to hang on to all her wealth that she earned after each divorce. She survives cancer and again makes a better life for herself afterwords. She is sort of the Bill Clinton Hollywood. She shoots one of her toes off, but grows a bigger healthier toe after losing the original toe. You don’t live the life that she did without being able to make fun of people effectively. Especially yourself and all of your screw ups.

As far as Liz’s advice on life, that is the roadmap she lived by to get through her 79 years. What choice do you have when you’re consistently knocked down. Especially from walking into doors, because you’re not paying attention. You either first realize how stupid you were, or how badly someone screwed you and either learn from your mistakes and get back up, or you lay down and claim life is not fair and wait to die. It is not a question of whether someone gets knocked down in life, or not. And getting knocked down in life by itself is not a bad thing. Getting knocked down in life is a reminder that you’re not perfect and you’re only human which is all you should want to be anyway. It’s the aftermath that is key. Do you learn from experience and adjust appropriately and get back up as a better person. Or do you just stay on the ground and rot away.

Liz Taylor’s message on life, was one foot forward after another. Figure out where you’re going and then ultimately get there. You’re going to take wrong turns at some point as we all do, but the key is to recognize them and then correct your course as a better person. Not lie on the floor and bitch about how unfair life is, or yell at your GPS for giving you wrong directions. But instead figure out what is not working especially your own mistakes and fix the issues and move forward. Get to wherever which is the best place for you. Knowing you’re going to screw up again, but the more you learn about yourself and where you come up short, the better you’ll be able correct your own shortcomings. And make fewer mistakes in the future.

HST

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Izzy Santino: Hunter S. Thompson’s Famous 9/11 Interview

I don’t quite see George W. Bush as the devil that a lot on the lets say further Left, if not New-Left, or even Far-Left do. I see President Bush 43, more as an average guy who was way over his head and had he stayed in Texas, probably would have been fairly successful there. But I don’t disagree with much if anything that Hunter Thompson said in this video. The Bush Administration, at least the National Security Council, wanted Iraq and 9/11 and the so-called weapons of mass destruction, became the original reason. For invading a country that was simply not capable of even defending itself. I mean how long was the 2003 invasion, a week, maybe a month. It looked like a state high school football championship team taking on a winless freshman team in a football game.

By the anniversary of 9/11 in and even before that in the summer of 2002, the Bush National Security Council, had already decided it was going to invade Iraq and knock out the Saddam Hussein Regime. It was just a matter of finding enough evidence to get a divided Congress with a Republican House and Democratic Senate and the American people to back them. Hunter, the smart guy he was, knew this and that is what he’s talking about here. ‘What comes after Afghanistan?’ In the so-called War on Terror. And they decided that since the terrorists hit us from Afghanistan, we should attack a country and a dictator who had nothing to do with that. Which is what you call Neoconservative thinking. Which is an insult to real thinking everywhere in the world.

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