Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Heartland Institute: Opinion: Richard Ebeling: The Free Market vs. The Interventionist State: The Different Economic Systems of the World

The Heartland Institute: Opinion: Richard Ebeling: The Free Market vs. The Interventionist State

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

There is no pure free market economy in the world today.  I use the term private market instead of free market and private enterprise instead of free enterprise.  Any type of economy that's subjected to taxes and regulations is not free.

Individuals in any civilized and lawful society are not free to do anything that they want.  Freedom in a civilized society is the freedom to live as we please not the freedom to hurt innocent people.  Even a hundred years ago, we didn't have a completely free market.  We had  labor laws and anti-monopoly laws.  In his article today, Richard Ebeling suggested that the U.S. had a free market economy back then. What we had was a private economy where most of the country's resources were out of Federal hands.  Roughly sixty-percent of the American economy was in private hands.

Scandinavia is a bit different.  All of these countries are social democracies.  Their national governments own about fifty-five to sixty-percent of the economy, the same as in Britain.  The rest of their economies are in private hands. The old capitalist vs. socialist debate is exactly that, old and, I would add, dead.  Because every developed and developing country in the world, Mexico for example,   has some type of a capitalist economic system.

Many European countries  have socialist-capitalist systems, private enterprise combined with a robust welfare state to provide insurance for people when they aren't able to take care of themselves.  They also provide services that socialists believe shouldn't be for-profit, basic human services that everyone needs.  The U.S. is a little different. We have perhaps the largest private sector in the world but with a large regulatory state and a modest safety net for people who are down on their luck.

The world is past the point of discussion of free market vs. state command and control economy.  In North America, Europe, South America, and Asia we are discussing the states role in the economy.  It's no longer almost everything vs. almost nothing. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Reason: Opinion: A. Barton Hinkle: Bipartisan Hypocrisy on Free Speech: Defining Free Speech and Censorship

Reason: Opinion: A. Barton Hinkle: Bipartisan Hypocrisy on Free Speech

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger   

I disagree with Barton Hinkle's column, at least in this sense.  The First Amendment protects against censorship by government. We don't have First Amendment rights to say what we please on the premises of our employer. That employer could have a rule that certain subjects cannot be discussed during office hours.  If they find one of their employees in violation of that rule, they would be well within their rights to sanction that employee.

Private businesses are allowed to operate under their own rules as long as they aren't violating the law.  The First Amendment is binding on government, not private, entities.  In Reason today, Hinkle used the example of the Dixie Chicks in 2003 when they spoke out against President Bush and the Iraq War. Country music stations pulled their songs and refused to play them.  These stations, as private enterprises, have the right to play whatever music they want and do not have to disclose the reasons for their choices.

This blog talks about free speech and censorship on a regular basis, including several posts this week.  It talks about laws or proposals from either the Left or the Right that propose to constrain American public expression. Government censorship of citizen expression is unconstitutional except for the release of classified information.  Some forms of verbal aggression agains others, such as libel, harassment, the incitement of violence or false public warnings such as yelling, "Fire," in a crowded public space, can expose the perpetrator to criminal or civil sanctions.   

A proposed law declaring homophobic language prohibited on the public airways or in print media because it is hateful would be in violation of the First Amendment as would a law prohibiting music or movies with certain forms of adult content.  Either would be government censorship that doesn't meet any of the exceptions that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The New York Times: Opinion: Nesnine Malik: Freedom to Offend Everyone

The New York Times: Opinion: Nesrine Malik: Freedom to Offend Everyone

A primary advantage of living in a liberal democracy is the ability to say what is on your mind without fear of government interference or sanction or suppression by private groups.  The Constitution constrains the government's reaction and requires the public safety departments of government to protect all from private aggression.  This freedom and protection are enjoyed even by those who say things that are offensive or ignorant.  The Anne Coulters of the world can say Latinos aren't real Americans, women shouldn't have the right to vote, or complain about "the browning of America" as she did at CPAC 2014.  The Bill Maher's of the Far-Left can take shots at Southern Anglo-Saxon Christians and Caucasian people in general.  Again, neither side need fear censorship, sanction, or violence.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution creates large difference betweens the domains of public discourse in America and Europe.  Europeans believe that they need government to protect them from things that they may find to be offensive, even if that means arresting or censoring people for saying hateful things in public.  America is obviously a completely different society and culture.  We are simply more individualistic and believe that  freedom trumps all as long as we aren't harassing or libeling people or committing or inciting violence.

Keep in mind that the freedom to offend also comes with the possibility that you, yourself, may be offended without legal recourse other than publicly justifying and defending yourself.  You will not be entitled to any official legal sanction against the person who offended you.

The First Amendment protection of offensive language must be equally defended for all, regardless of political affiliation, especially in a country that is as politically as divided as we are.  Partisan media have equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to offending either side.  Neither side is entitled to special treatment under the law. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Salon: Opinion: Alex Pareene: "Leftist Fascism is Everywhere: Behold its Shocking Rise": Why Liberal and Fascist do Not go Together

Salon: Opinion: Alex Pareene: Leftist Fascism is Everywhere: Behold its Shocking Rise

A Liberal isn't a fascist.  Liberals believe in the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech and assembly.  They wrote it, for crying out loud, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments as well.  Tolerance of views with which they disagree is fundamental to liberal philosophy. 

I'm not saying there aren't fascists on the Left.  The Communist parties are examples.  The Democratic Party,  of which I'm a proud member, has a Far-Left fringe that would like to outlaw not only hate speech but certain forms of pornography that they view as sexist, and some right-wing media,  A few months ago, Fred Jarome wrote a piece in the far-left magazine, Salon, arguing for nationalizing FOX News and news in general to make America a fairer and better place where the Federal Government controls the flow of information to the public. (Its hard to say that without laughing)

Every time I hear the words liberal and fascist put together, especially as "liberal fascists," I feel like throwing a baseball through a window. Thank God, marijuana has been decriminalized in Maryland so next time I see that I'll have that to calm me down or cool me out, whatever the phrase is, chillax.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reason: Opinion: Matt Welch: Progressive Puritans: When Did Progressivism Become Statism?

Reason: Opinion: Matt Welch: Progressive Puritans

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Progressivism, at least as it has been practiced in recent times, has been a political philosophy that is about using government to make society better at supporting people in need, not to run everything for everybody and eliminate economic and personal choices on the assumption that Americans are simply too dumb to manage their own affairs.  The Progressive era began with Teddy Roosevelt and was continued by his cousin Franklin through Harry Truman and up to Lyndon Johnson.

In the mid and late 1960s, the New Left appeared from within the Baby Boom Generation.  This big government movement  believed that the Federal Government needed to go much further, no longer playing its traditional supportive role but now directing people's lives, by force if necessary. It started as  a protest against the Vietnam War.  It evolved to believing that government should move towards the European welfare state to take care of people because capitalism is dangerous.

It presumed to know what is best for you and how you should live.  Parts of it believed that compliance with its recommendations should be required.  "If you don't live this way, Uncle Sam will punish you for your own good."

In 2012, Mayor Mike Bloomberg of NYC pushed a ban of extra large soft drinks through the NYC Council.  It was later overturned in court.  I respect Mayor Bloomberg very much for his honesty and business competence which transformed the NYC Government into a pretty efficient operation, able to respond quickly and effectively to problems facing the city.  When he made those proposals, I, among others,  called him a paternalist and a nanny statist.

This was a new manifestation of the motivation behind  alcohol prohibition in the 1930s and the War on Drugs, from the early 1970s, from which we still suffer. The whole notion that government knows best on drink and drugs and punishment is the best mechanism for ensuring compliance has been proven wrong time and again.

The New Left wants to replace government's supportive role with a guarantee of general welfare.  It would no longer be government's role to protect and support people in need but to direct how they should live. The  means-tested safety net and public assistance are no longer good enough.  We now need a welfare state to take care of everyone because government can do a better job of it than the private sector or individuals, themselves. 

It would be enough for me, as a Liberal, if the New Left were just big government, high tax, socialist welfare statists but it gets worse.  They want to interpret the general welfare clause of the constitution to  support their case that government's role should go beyond economic support to include lifestyle management because personal freedom can be dangerous.  They can't have people deciding for themselves what or how much to eat, drink, or smoke or what to  say in public or to each other.

Gun control is an issue that is still pretty popular with Liberals and Progressives and Independents as well. But to give you an example of how the Left has changed and that now we have a center-left and a far-left some fifty years later give or take, gun control is not good enough doesn't go far enough today with today's so-called Progressives. Who are really the New Left in America and as leftist comedian and political pundit Bill Maher said on his show Real Time with Bill Maher. "Gun control is really a center-right position and the real alternative should be about gun prohibition instead in private hands.

What is the role of the media in this Brave New World?  How does the government employ the media to support and promote its new role?  Fred Jerome addressed this in Salon in January or February of this year.  There's a link to his article on this blog. He makes the case for "democratizing the news," using FOX News as an example.  He argues for  nationalizing FOX News and, perhaps, news in general.  He suggests that Americans should get their news from someone who'll decide what they need to know, which could be the U.S. Government.  This, of course, would violate the First Amendment and our generally accepted concept of freedom of press.  In addition, he envisions a world of a multitude of small circulation journals published by workers unions, community organizations, etc.  He seems oblivious of the possibility that, under a socialist regime, a "Commissar of Truth" could exert control over all such spontaneously occurring news sources.  Modern China is an example.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lew Rockwell Blog: Opinion: Christopher Cantwell: Top Ten Reasons Libertarians Aren't Nice to You: How Libertarians Are Easy to Make Fun of

Seriously The Real Alex Jones 

Lew Rockwell: Opinion: Christopher Cantwell: Top Ten Reasons Libertarians Aren't Nice to You

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

Contrary to popular belief (and yes I feel like a geek for saying that) I'm not a Libertarian.  Anyone who doesn't believe that will have all the evidence they need after they read this post.  I know this is shocking and for anyone who is feeling completely overwhelmed feel free to get loaded on their favorite alcoholic beverage or perhaps something illegal to help calm them down. I hear marijuana has now been decriminalized in Maryland. I'm not interested in eliminating the Federal Government, except for perhaps three departments.  Just don't ask Rick Perry which three those are.

There are several reasons that I'm not a Libertarian.

One:  Unlike Alex Jones  I'm sane, don't live in a mental hospital and am not an escaped mental patient.

Two:  I'm not a big enough asshole to be a Libertarian and view everyone who doesn't agree with me  one-hundred percent of the time as a statist or big government lover, as we saw in Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign.

Three:  Referring to number one, I don't believe 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by the United States Government.  We were actually attacked by foreign terrorists, as all of the hard evidence indicates.

Four:  Referring again to one, I don't believe Barack Obama is a foreigner, born in another country. I not only know where Hawaii is but I can find it on a map.  Like ninety-percent or more of the rest of the country I believe Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. His Hawaiian birth certificate is a hell of a big clue, the smoking gun, if you will.

The stereotype of Libertarians is that they are pot addicts who may have done time in prison for non-pot related activities.  They are like from another planet where government doesn't exist and have the idea that because they didn't vote for the administration in power they don't have to follow their laws or rules.

As long as Libertarians are viewed through this stereotype as people who want to destroy government, at least where they live, they'll always be viewed as anarchists or escaped mental patients who don't deserve the keys to a big wheel let alone the keys to the car that governs the nation. But Libertarians aren't interested in political power, right. Just the power to be left alone. So I guess they have no real incentive to change their ways. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

American Thinker: Blog: Rick Moran: Can Stephen Colbert be Funny Without Mocking Right-Wingers?

American Thinker: Blog: Rick Moran: Can Steve Colbert Be Funny Without Mocking Right-Wingers?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

There's been this latest complaint, well not really a late complaint, it goes back to at least the 1960s, from the American Right that the American media, especially the entertainment industry, don't like right-wingers and love to make fun of them. With the right not really having their own medium (Why not?  Do they not have enough money?) to take on the left, they feel naked and defenseless. They are correct that Hollywood and others like to make fun of right-wingers but it is a special section of the right-wing that they tend to go after.  I'll get into that later.  They are wrong when they say that the right doesn't have a way to make fun of the left.

I read the libertarian magazine, Reason, everyday.  I also look at their think tank, Reason Foundation, and their YouTube channel, everyday.  They make fun of leftists almost everyday with constant satires about big government leftists and dumb leftists. But a certain faction of the right doesn't like Reason because they go after big government dumbies on the right as well, making dumb people from both political wings look pretty silly.

This blog makes fun of big government dumbies, both left and right, because The New Democrat is simply anti-big government.  It doesn't want government trying to control American lives, personally or economically.  The New Democrat and Reason do not go after everyone on the left and right, only the ignorant people who believe that they know best how Americans should live their lives.  A certain faction on the right hates that. Which faction do you think that might be?

Could it be the American far-right, the christian right and neoconservatives in general, who really weren't born, politically, until the 1960s?  The far right sees themselves as the "Heartland of America,"  as a Chevrolet commercial (or is that "Heartbeat of America").  They still live in the Leave it to Beaver 1950s where dad went to work, mom stayed at home and took care of the kids and house,  and gays were locked in the closet.  African-Americans were, technically, not slaves anymore but they existed only to serve Caucasians, without full American citizenship.

All of early TV and everything else that came from Hollywood in this era represented this 1950s American way of life.  Since then, the country has aged sixty years, give or take a few, but the so-called moral majority coalition has not matured accordingly.  They are stuck in a Twilight Zone episode and are confused by how much the country has changed.  They want to go back in time.

The American national media, especially the entertainment industry, don't so much make fun of conservatives as they make fun of the so-called traditional values coalition that is trying put America into a time machine and take it back to the 1950s.  The christian right  looks down on Americans and calls them immoral if they are gay or live with their romantic partners before marriage.  They consider sex before marriage, watching pornography, smoking pot and, perhaps, tobacco, and drinking alcohol sins as well.  These people get made fun of because they are stuck in a Twilight Zone called Modern America and haven't figured out how to get back to real time. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reason: Video: Tax Day is Coming: Game of Thrones Edition: The Taxes Are Coming!!!

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming! Everybody grab your wallets and bank accounts and, if you have a lot of money, be prepared to send it to your Swiss bank account because this is the time of year that makes everyone excepts socialists cry. That's right, it's tax season, when we have to give Uncle Sam a big fat check so he spend our money, on our behalf (supposedly), and, if we are lucky, we get that some of it back in a refund.

While 85-90% of the country right now is crying about how much they are going to have to pay in taxes, there are big wine and cheese parties in New York, Boston, greater New England, and San Francisco where socialists are celebrating the payment of their taxes with smiles on their faces. The person who paid the most in taxes, with the biggest smile about paying them, gets to drink and eat free, during the party.  Government will hit them all again later with sales and income taxes but the winner is a socialist and that will just make them smile.

To be serious for a second, and then I'll get back to being an asshole, I'm really not anti-government or anti-tax.  I'm anti-big government and anti-bad government.  Millions of Americans have to pay for a government that they wouldn't wish on their worst enemies.  With all of the corruption, tax money funding pork barrel projects, political contributions coming God knows where because we don't have full-disclosure,  the vast majority of the electorate doesn't have a damn clue as far as where the money flowing into politicians' pockets comes from, leaving millions of Americans to ask a good question, "Why do I have to pay for this?"  If I wanted to pay for corruption I would hire a lawyer or buy a used car.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Liberty Pen: Video: FNC's Megyn Kelly: "The Fuzzy Math of ObamaCare": The Fuzzy Math of Fox News

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The FOX News specializes in fuzzy math. When they hear government reports that back up their argument, whatever it is at the time, they say, "Hey, see, we told you this is not working and we need to repeal it!"  But when government figures come out that contradict their arguments, they claim that government conspiracy exists. "See the government that we don't trust, that said ObamaCare is failing, is now saying that it is working!"

There are people, both in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and fringe independents, who only listen to news that backs up their political beliefs. I give you the FOX News audience on the Right and Far-Right. And MSNBC on the Far-Left.  The Right uses FOX News and the Far-Left uses MSNBC for the same reasons that other people use The Onion. To see what is not happening in the world and to make fun of it.

Listening to FOX News is like listening to kids trying to convince their parents that if they allow them to have cake for dinner, it won't spoil their appetites.  They'll say "Hey, I had cake before and it didn't spoil my appetite then. Why would it spoil it now?"  When you point out that the last time they had cake, they had an upset stomach and had to stay home from school the next day, they say, "I hate you! You're always saying no and won't let me do anything!"  Seriously, why would anyone interested in real news take FOX News seriously?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Liberty Pen: John Stossel- Naomi Schaffer Riley: War On Women By Feminists

Source: Liberty Pen- Naomi Schaffer Riley-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

As a man who doesn't consider himself a feminist but, perhaps, a masculinist (if there is such a thing) I believe in equal rights and legal protection for all.  People should not be denied things simply because of gender.  As a Liberal, I think that a true feminist should believe that women should be treated as well and fairly under law as men but not better.

The women's movement or feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s wasn't about world domination for women and subjugation of masculinity as the Far-Left seems to think today.  It was about women having the same rights and protections under the law as men and being judged for their personal qualifications and whatever they are seeking in life, without regard to their gender.

I don't want women being treated worse by society than men but I don't believe that they should enjoy a gender-based advantage either.  We each represent about half of America and need to live and work together for the betterment of our country.
Liberty Pen: John Stossel- Naomi Schaffer Riley: War On Women By Feminists

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Common Sense Capitalism; Video: Milton Freedom Limits to Freedom

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Ethical limits on freedom of personal action prohibit the hurting  of innocent people, intentionally or unintentionally.  I can't beat up an innocent person and vice-versa.  I can't get drunk and drive and hit someone on the road because I didn't see them or was too drunk to pay attention to what I was doing.  We also can't pass the costs of our own actions onto others.

That is liberalism, not libertarianism but real liberalism.  Our property rights give us the freedom to do as we wish with our own property, as long as we aren't hurting innocent people.  We are responsible for any actions we take involving our property.

The state is there to regulate how we, as individuals, interact with each other.  Joe can get drunk,  high on marijuana, eat too much, or not exercise.  He can't beat up on innocent people or hit someone with his car or steal their money, bomb their house or commit any other activity that hurts innocent people. Joe is also responsible for what happens to Joe, meaning what he did to himself. This is how freedom works.  We are responsible for our own lives and what we do to ourselves.  Our freedom does not include hurting innocent people.

Classic Movie Trailers: The Naked Gun 1988- How a Klutzy Cop Saves The Day

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

To get The Naked Gun and the two or three sequels that came after, you have to first get the humor of the Zucker brothers. They produced these movies, the Police Squad series and the Airplane movies from the early 1980s. I don’t have a single word for their humor. Perhaps, “Accidental humor,” would do. These movies tend to feature klutzes, who are accident prone, in major roles. They save the day, often, by making an unintended mistake.

I was looking for this word yesterday when I wrote a blog about Airplane and the best I came up with was “literal.” Practically everything that is said in these movies is taken literally by all the characters. They are very funny people and yet they take everything that is said completely literally. There’s a scene in Ricardo Montalban’s office with Lieutenant Drebin (Leslie Nielson). Montalbano holds a box of cigars up in front of the lieutenant and says, “Cuban”, offering a Cuban cigar. Drebin replies, “No, Scotch-Irish my father was from Wales,” apparently thinking that Montalban was asking him about his ancestry and not noticing the Cuban cigars that are right in front of his nose.

The Zucker brothers humor is also accidentally sarcastic, which is tough to explain. Sargent Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) gets shot early in the movie during an undercover operation and the Captain (George Kennedy) tells Drebin that Nordberg has a ninety percent chance of recovering from the gun shot wounds. Then he says there’s only a fifty percent shot at that. They are talking about boxers and one of the guys says “I know Kid Cleveland, he fights out of Minneapolis, and the Texas Tornado fights out of Chicago.”

The Naked Gun is about a corrupt Los Angeles businessman (Ricardo Montalban) who uses his legitimate business as a cover for his criminal organization. He has a big drug shipment coming into Los Angeles. Police Squad, a big shot division of LAPD is all over it. Sargent Nordberg is shot during their investigation. Drebin and his team are investigating the drug shipment while the Queen of England is visiting Los Angeles.

Montalban and his crew want the drug shipments to go through and to assassinate the Queen of England. Police Squad has inside information that someone is trying to kill her. Drebin and company have to investigate and stop that from happening. All of these accident prone people taking everything that is said literally make for an hysterical action comedy.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Video Detective: Airplane 1980- A Satire About 1970s American Culture Inside of a Disaster Movie

Source: Video Detective- 
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

When I think of the 1970s, I think of a depressing decade that got better as the culture, entertainment and fashion improved. We went from hippy culture and bell bottoms to flares in the early and mid 1970s to tight, designer, dark wash denim jeans and disco by the late 1970s, with all sorts of horrible things in between.

Airplane 1980 shows you a lot of this in a ninety minute film. It is a satire about a very strange decade and captures many of the cultural details. The movie itself has to do with food poisoning on an airliner that affects all three of the flight crew leaving no one to fly the plane except for a passenger who was a combat pilot in some made up war. It suggests never eating airplane food and thanking God (unless you’re and atheist) for food courts at airports.

The movie has references to Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller, early on. There’s a disco scene involving Robert Hayes and Julie Hagerty. Leisure suits, flare pants and bell bottoms are in evidence. A women suffering from food poisoning says that she’s hasn’t felt this bad since she saw that Ronald Reagan movie. A women in her seventies serves as a translator for two African-American men who apparently only speak jive (which would be called Ebonics today).

Of course there is the great Cohen brothers humor of people doing really dumb things because someone gets the wrong idea about something. Someone asks a ground crew member signaling the pilot of a plane to its gate with his light wands where the fork lift is. Without thinking, the crew says, “Over there,” and points to the side with his wands. The pilot of the taxiing plane follows the direction of the wands and crashes the plane into the gate.

The humor of the Cohen brothers, expressed in Airplane is spontaneous which is my style of humor. Part of it is based on taking everything that people say absolutely literally. Dr. Womack (Leslie Nielson) says to Ted Striker (Robert Hayes) that if they don’t land this plane soon several passengers will die from food poisoning. Striker says, “Surely, you can’t be serious.” Womack replies, “I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.”

Airplane 1980 is a, sort of, spinoff of more serious airplane disaster movies of the 1970s, starting in 1970 with Airport. Parts of each of these movies appear in Airplane 1980. The end result is hysterical.
Video Detective: Airplane 1980 Trailer

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flanagan: Video: Network 1976 Trailer: An Inside Look at Modern Contemporary News Media

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Anyone who’s interested in modern network news should watch the movie Network from 1976. It’s almost forty years old now and except for the modern technology, the new players and the new stories they’d be hard pressed to see any differences between the two eras. Shows in both address what people will watch and assume that hard news is boring and that most people get the news in which they are interested from their smart phones (today, anyway). They work long days, come home and are only interested in what some celebrity did at some party, what they wore or some other celebrity gossip.

Network is about a struggling TV network called United Broadcasting System (UBS) and its struggling news division, UBS News. Their lead news anchor, Howard Beale (the great Peter Finch) has a nervous breakdown live on his nightly newscast, perhaps because of his awful ratings (the movie does not make that clear). He starts swearing on national network TV back when cable TV was just getting going and not yet a major medium.

The news executives and other network executives conclude that Beale has to be taken off the air completely but give him one last newscast to say goodbye to his audience (the two people remaining outside of UBS) because of his long distinguished career in journalism and with UBS News. Beale takes this opportunity to continue his rant and tell his audience that the whole world is bullshit and that people should be mad as hell and not stand for it anymore.

Well, to get Network you have to first understand the times. This movie takes place in, I believe 1975, even though it came out in 1976. America was going through a rough recession combined with high unemployment, high inflation, high interest rates, high costs of living and everything else that makes life expensive. Beale, here, is presenting this to his audience and saying that they shouldn’t stand for it anymore.

Fay Dunaway’s character is a program executive at UBS who sees a big opening for herself and a way to profit from Beale and the malaise that the country is suffering. She gives him his own new show, a nightly rant about everything that sucks in the world. The show is a hit, at least at first, This is one of the first instances of network news becoming a money-making business first and public service second.

Network foretold CNN, MSNBC, FNC and all the so-called reality TV networks 30-35 years before their time. I’m not aware of a movie before or since that was so prescient. With its great writing, cast, and humor it is one of the best movies of all time and one of my personal favorites.