John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

TED Talks: Mara Pavula- ' If You Think Politics is a Circus, Think Again'

Source:TED- Mara Pavula, speaking to TED.
"Would you say that sometimes political processes can become… a circus? Consider this the next time you want to use this metaphor — in reality, the circus is a tight-knit community of hardworking individuals with a deep trust in one another.

"The circus’ diverse history can teach us a lot about cultivating a diverse and inclusive society — Māra Pāvula, a facilitator of contemporary circus in Europe — shows us how. Mara is an enthusiast of a very unique and special culture - that of contemporary circus. She had been studying Intercultural Relations between Latvia and France when in 2012 Mara headed to Paris to fulfill her dream of entering the circus world, as France had always played an important role in the evolution of contemporary circus culture.

"While studying her Masters in University 8 of Paris, she established “Next Door Circus”, a platform dedicated to contemporary circus in the Baltics. Since 2013 she has been co-organizing the contemporary circus festival Re Riga! In 2016 Mara returned to Latvia, established the artist residency program "Sansusī", and continued her research and production activities. As of  September 2017, Mara has been running the Riga Circus School, a platform that provides amateur and professional educational activities as well as audience development strategy under the Riga Circus."

From TED Talks

According to Google a circus is: "a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and other entertainers which gives performances, typically in a large tent, in a series of different places."

Now think about the U.S. Congress for a moment and then I suggest to you return to your real world where you can maintain your sanity: you're talking about 535 members of Congress that work in two chambers, that travel to Washington and around the rest of country giving performances, ( that they call speeches ) what members of Congress from both the House and Senate do for a living at taxpayers expense, doesn't look much different from a professional circus. You're talking about people who come to Washington from all over the country to work and then go home 1-2 times a month sometimes less than that, depending on where they actually live and how important in Congress that they are. Plus whatever other responsibilities that they have to their party.

Trust me: ( even it's just for a second ) I actually don't get pleasure from making fun of members of Congress or any other group of politicians that American taxpayers are forced to pay for the lack of services that they receive from these people. There are at least 100 other things that I rather do. But sometimes you have to call a dog, a dog and a cat, a cat. You need to cut through the bullshit ( pardon my language ) and call things what they are.

Calling American politicians by enlarge and there are some good people who are paid at taxpayer expense who are actually good, intelligent, productive people, including politicians, but politicians as a profession look like not much more than a large group of performers. Except that every taxpayer in America is required to pay these performers salaries. 

Carlos Esnaola: Thunderball 1965- 'Official Trailer': Starring James Bond and Claudine Auger

Source:Carlos Esnaola- French Goddess Claudine Auger, as Domino in Thunderball.
"Thunderball (1965) is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, which in turn was based on an original screenplay by Jack Whittingham. It was directed by Terence Young with screenplay by Richard Maibaum and John Hopkins."

"The film follows Bond's mission to find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE, which holds the world ransom for £100 million in diamonds, in exchange for not destroying an unspecified major city in either England or the United States (later revealed to be Miami). The search leads Bond to the Bahamas, where he encounters Emilio Largo, the card-playing, eye-patch wearing SPECTRE Number Two. Backed by CIA agent Felix Leiter and Largo's mistress, Domino, Bond's search culminates in an underwater battle with Largo's henchmen. The film had a complex production, with four different units and about a quarter of the film consisting of underwater scenes.[1]Thunderball was the first Bond film shot in widescreen Panavision and the first to have over a two hour running time."

"Thunderball was associated with a legal dispute in 1961 when former Ian Fleming collaborators Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham sued him shortly after the 1961 publication of the novel, claiming he based it upon the screenplay the trio had earlier written in a failed cinematic translation of James Bond. The lawsuit was settled out of court and Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, fearing a rival McClory film, allowed him to retain certain screen rights to the novel's story, plot and characters.[2]"

"The film was a success, earning a total of $141.2 million worldwide, exceeding the earnings of the three previous Bond films. In 1966, John Stears won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects[3] and production designer Ken Adam was also nominated for a BAFTA award.[4] Thunderball is, to date, the most financially successful movie of the series after adjusting for inflation. Some critics and viewers showered praise on the film and branded it a welcome addition to the series, while others complained of the repetitively monotonous aquatic action and prolonged length. In 1983, Warner Brothers released a second film adaptation of the novel under the title Never Say Never Again."

From Carlos Esnaola

Source:Keith Loves Movies- "Countdown to Spectre: Thunderball 1965"
In the off chance there's anyone who is interested in watching anything other than talking heads screaming at each other on cable news, or reality TV, and other celebrity news programming, Roger Goodell's NFL which is at this point doesn't look anything more than a Hollywood movie as well, Turner Classic Movies ( or TCM ) has made Thursday night James Bond night all September. Just a little programing note for you and there will probably be more posts on this blog about James Bond this month and perhaps into October as well.

Last Thursday night, I was watching the first part of the TCM James Bond marathon and they played Dr. No, ( with Sean Connery and Ursula Andress ) from Russia With Love, ( with Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi ) Goldfinger, ( with Sean Connery and Honor Blackman ) and Thunderball with Sean Connery and French Goddess, as well as Babydoll and actress Claudine Auger. I saw this movie back in February and was so impressed with Claudine Auger that I've been wanting to see this movie again, but it hasn't been shown against, or at least when I've been able to see it. Saw last Thursday night and decided to record it.

When I think of James Bond movies, I sort of look at them like Alfred Hitchcock movies: they're great in the sense that they're very entertaining, exciting, cleverly written, gorgeous, sexy, adorable women like let's say Claudine Auger, ( to use as an example ) but not great in the sense that they're trying to deliver any special social or political message and meant to be taken seriously like a Sidney Poitier movie. But more like they just want people to have a great time watching the film. A great night out ( if you will ) and there's nothing wrong with that and I'm a big James Bond as well as Sean Connery fan. People need their escapes and breaks from reality and Thunderball is that great escape and great time that all of us need in life to make life easier for us because of all the stress and nonsense that we all have to deal with. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Atlantic: Opinion- Olgan Khazan: ' Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s'

Source:The Atlantic- Jane Fonda's workout routine?
"There’s a meme aimed at Millennial catharsis called “Old Economy Steve.” It’s a series of pictures of a late-70s teenager, who presumably is now a middle-aged man, that mocks some of the messages Millennials say they hear from older generations—and shows why they’re deeply janky. Old Economy Steve graduates and gets a job right away. Old Economy Steve “worked his way through college” because tuition was $400. And so forth."

Read more of Olga Khazan's piece at The Atlantic

Source:Bony To Bombshell- "The Skinny on why you're so Skinny"
"More than a third of adults in the United States are obese. This statistic is often attributed to a confluence of unhealthy dietary practices, sedentary lifestyles, and genetics. But we may be missing the bigger picture.

A 2015 study revealed that people today are 10 percent heavier than they were in the 1980s—even with the same diets and exercise regimens. A new episode of The Idea File investigates the plethora of complex factors that may be contributing to our increasing BMI, including a changing microbiome and toxic chemicals in the environment." 

Also from The Atlantic

I guess what I'll be talking about here is not so much skinny vs. fat, but skinny vs. strong and big bone, skinny vs. curvy people, skinny vs. healthy. As opposed to skinny vs fat, which is what The Atlantic is talking about here.

When I was growing up ( in the 1980s and early 90s, for the most part ) if you were even curvy and big bone , a lot of young women let's say especially of a suburban, preppy background saw you as fat. Back then the most beautiful women were considered tall, blonde, of Anglo, Scandinavian, or Northern Slav ethnic background, and were rail-thin. In the 1980s valley girls were in and big bone strong women were out, regardless of their racial or ethnic backgrounds. Valley girls dominated American pop culture really up until the early 90s or so when we started learning about the dangers of self-starvation and being too skinny, as well as tobacco.

By the time I graduated high school in the 1990s, valley girls were still around, but you also had strong, curvy, big bone girls and women. You also had tall, athletic looking girls and women. Girls and women who looked like pro tennis players and other professional female athletes. Hip hop and R&B was becoming huge in the 1990s with young Americans of all races and ethnicities and you were seeing women who obviously weren't valley girls, but strong, healthy, athletic looking women instead.

Go up to the late 1990s with the return of skin-tight, dark wash, designer denim jeans and skin-tight denim jeans that were purposely designed for girls and women with curve appeal and rail-thin goes out and curve appeal comes in and has been with us for 20 years now. Even valley girls today who walk around staring at their smartphones with their favorite cup of coffee in their hands, who are addicted to celebrity culture, who talk and act like their favorite so-called celebrities, have curves and are even tall and curvy. Even if they also have Scandinavian blonde hair.

When  I was growing up, seeing a tall blonde woman with curve appeal, was as common as seeing whales flying over skyscrapers. Perhaps more common than that, but you get the idea. Today, tall, curvy, sexy blondes, who are also valley girls, the girls and women who are supposed to view curve appeal as fat, are common today. Because curve appeal is not just in, but becoming universal where skinny women are trying to get stronger and develop their own curve appeal. 

CBS News: 'President Trump Has Fired National Security Adviser John Bolton'

Source:CBS News- Former President Donald Trump NSA John Bolton.
"National Security Adviser John Bolton handed in his resignation Tuesday morning at President Trump's request, the president announced on Twitter. Bolton had clashed with other members of the administration, notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on foreign policy issues."

From CBS News

Source:CNBC- "President Trump says he's fired National Security Adviser John Bolton"
I'm not a dove obviously as a JFK Liberal, but John Bolton is way to the right of me on foreign policy and national security and yet I see President Trump's firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton as a bad thing.

Whatever you think of John Bolton's politics at least as it relates to foreign policy and national security, at least he's a professional. Unlike a lot of if not most of the people that Donald Trump trusts ( assuming he actually trusts anyone ) who are really just yes men and women to the President and at best right-wing political activists who look at public policy exclusively through cultural and partisan lens, instead of looking at issues and policy based on the evidence. Whatever you think of John Bolton, at least he was giving the President of the United States sound advice, based on evidence. And not just telling the President what he wants to hear just to stay in his good graces.

As far as who might replace John Bolton; what sane, sober, intelligent, national security and foreign policy professional person, which is exactly what the President of the United States needs from their NSA, would take this job and work for President Donald Trump, when you know you could get fired simply for doing your job. Donald Trump, has never been a man who makes decisions based on evidence and what's the right thing to do, especially if the evidence and facts contradicts what he should do.

The President could appoint another yes man like a Michael Flynn and see that person crash and burn within a few months, because we learn that person has business contacts and interests in countries that are at odds with us that this person failed to disclose in their background check. Or the President could appoint another professional like a Henry McMaster or John Bolton who'll get fired simply for doing their jobs. Donald Trump is not the king of reality TV for nothing: he's nothing if not unreliable and unpredictable. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Last Week Tonight: John Oliver- The Filibuster

Source:Last Week Tonight- A 19 minute John Oliver filibuster on the filibuster and not one Senator objected. LOL
"John Oliver explains why filibusters exist, why they shouldn't, and why it's stupid to drink coffee like a cat."

From Last Week Tonight

Source:The AV Club- "John Oliver filibusters the filibuster on Last Week Tonight"
I guess my question for John Oliver would be: does he want to end the filibuster today, or as soon as the next Democratic Congress is sworn in with a Democratic President, like let's say in January, 2021. Which would be the next possible opportunity for Democrats to have complete control of Congress and The White House at the same time.

The honest and unfortunately less popular view for ending the filibuster is that people who actually take this view is that they don't believe in the filibuster, period. They want complete democratic rule and for the majority to rule at all times. Which was the view that Tom Harkin who served in Congress for 40 years, including six terms in the Senate took. He hated the filibuster all together and wanted to completely eliminate it, regardless of who was in control of Congress and who the President was.

But unfortunately the more popular and common view when it comes to the filibuster in Congress whether they're in the House or Senate, Democrat or Republican is: "we're in favor of the filibuster, when the other party is in control of the Senate. Especially when they're also in control of the House. And even more important than that: when the other party is in control of Congress and the presidency. If we have a large minority in the Senate or just 41 seats, we want to able to use that power to stop the majority party at all times."

"But when we're in control of Congress, we want to eliminate the Senate filibuster, because we see at as undemocratic and an absolute abuse of power by the minority against the majority." At least that's what Democrats and Republicans would say if they were under oath or under truth serum, because even jail is worst for them, then admitting to their constituents that they're just a bunch of hyper-partisan, hypocritical, lying assholes.

It's one thing to be against the filibuster, but then the obvious would be why: do you see it as an obstructing Congress to do their jobs, especially the Senate. Or you just hate it when your party is in control of Senate, especially when your party has the House and White House as well. And you're nothing more than a hyper-partisan, hypocritical, lying asshole. You know, those people that Americans continually elect and reelect from both party's to Congress every single freakin year. 

Classic Film & TV Cafe: The Notorious Landlady 1962- 'Scene with Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak'

Source:Classic Film & TV Cafe- Hollywood Goddess Kim Novak, in The Notorious Landlady from 1962.
"Diplomat Jack Lemmon has just returned to England and doesn't know that everyone else suspects Kim Novak's character of murdering her husband!"

From Classic Film & TV Cafe

Source:Alamy Stock Photo- Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon, together in The Notorious Landlady from 1962.
Just on a personal note first: it was the early summer of 2009 June of that year when I was home on a Saturday and there was a an all day Alfred Hitchcock marathon and Vertigo was one of those movies. I heard the name Kim Novak before, but I didn't know who she was. Vertigo is a good movie, but it's really Kim Novak who caught my attention to the point for the rest of that summer at least and into the fall my goal was to see as many Kim Novak movies that I possibly could. I saw Boys Night Out, Strangers When We Meet and perhaps 2-3 other Kim Novak movies that year. Whenever they were available on TV and I had the time to see them. I literally grew a crush on her.

There's something about Kim's voice, eyes, face that all come together at the same time that makes it impossible at least for me to concentrate on anything or anyone else when the camera is on her. She's absolutely adorable and even childlike at times and yet is also drop-dead gorgeous, with incredible sweet, sexy voice. She's like the great talented athlete that has you begging for more every time you see him play, because he's such a great player and then one tragic day it's all over after he breaks his leg in a game and never plays again. And you keep think what if he didn't get hurt, how many more great plays and games, how great would his career had been, had it not been for that one tragic play. Except that Kim Novak was never tragically injured: she left Hollywood voluntarily in the 1960s.

So I think I know how the Jack Lemmon character feels in The Notorious Landlady, with the Kim Novak character knowing how much he likes her and just leaves him begging for more. The Notorious Landlady is not a great movie, which unfortunately can be said about most of Kim Novak's movies, but she and Jack were great together in it. And if they were the only two main characters in it, perhaps it's a great movie, because they had great chemistry in. And Jack Lemmon was always a master comedic actor and comedian.