Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bill Ayers: Notes On Violence

Source: Democracy Now-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

If you look at leftist social-democratic and counter-cultural movements from the 1960s and today, you have three different movements on the Left in America.

The Martin L. King civil rights and then later People’s Campaign from the 1960s. That I believe is now represented by the Bernie Sanders/Jill Stein Democratic Socialists of America.

The Hippie counter culture movement who were by enlarge peace loving people who were taking on the establishment culturally and looking for a new way of life in America and didn’t feel the need to live the way their parents and grandparents lived. But weren’t looking to destroy the American system and force every American to live their way of life.

And then you have the radicals who feel it was their duty to not just to try to take on the establishment, but to tear down by any means necessary. (To quote Minister Malcolm X) But the New-Left radicals of the 1960s and their kids and grandkids from today have a different meaning of by any means necessary. Malcolm X was talking about taking on racists even though violent means, but only in self-defense and not go looking for violent confrontations. The New-Left radicals meaning of by any means necessary is not only use violence to confront violence, but use violence to obtain their political objectives. Which means for them taking on right-wing racists and other bigots and taking on our capitalist system and the people who control it. Corporate America and others.

Dr. Martin King was not just a Socialist, but also a pacifist. The Weather Underground and other New-Left radical groups of the 1960s and 1970s were not just Socialists, but in many cases were Communists. One of the reasons why they opposed the Vietnam War was because America was not just involved in another country’s civil war, but was fighting communism in Vietnam.

And today The Weather Underground has become was is called ANTIFA which is short for anti-fascists. People who oppose what’s called white supremacy. Groups like the KKK and Neo-Nazis who want to America to separate and create a new Protestant European nation inside of America. And of course there are terrorists in this Far-Right movement who would murder non-European-Protestant Americans. Including Jews who racially are the same, but differ ethnically and religiously from English and German Protestants in America and Europe.

And ANTIFA sees it as their duty to not just take on these Far-Right fascist groups and protest against them and use their free speech rights to take them on, but to destroy them. Again by any means necessary. They call themselves antifascists, but they’re not, because they would use fascism to not just cut off, but destroy movements they disagree with like the Far-Right and others.
Democracy Now: ANTIFA- A Look At The Antifascist Movement

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Classic Film and TV Cafe: A Fever in The Blood 1961

Source: Classic Film & TV Cafe- Angie Dickinson & Efrem Zimbalist-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

A Fever in The Blood is a picture of courtroom drama and political cinema, intrigue, and ambition. You have three powerful influential ambitious men who want to be the next governor of their state, which is never named in the movie. A sitting city judge, (played by Efrem Zimbalist) a district attorney, (played by Jack Kelly) and a sitting U.S. Senator. (Played by Don Ameche) And while all of this is going on you have high profile murder case involving a successful local businessman and his separated dead wife. With the husband being accused of the crime.

And you also have the adorable, gorgeous, and sexy Angie Dickinson, who has a smaller but very important character in the movie as the wife of Senator Alex Simon (played by Don Ameche) who is more interested in Judge Leland Hoffman (played by Efrem Zimbalist) and sees her husband as too power hungry and ambitious, as well as somewhat shady. I mean the cast and characters alone should get you interested in this movie. Unless you just hate courtroom dramas and fictional political films.

You have this local murder case in an unknown city with the District Attorney Dan Callahan (played by Jack Kelly) deciding to prosecute the case himself instead of assigning the case to one his top deputies. Because again Callahan wants to be governor of this mysterious state that will go nameless simply because it is never announced what state this movie takes place in. You have Judge Leland Hoffman who only gets this case assigned to him because he does his own wheeling and dealing ( I hate that expression) And Senator Alex Simon who is probably the favorite going into to win his unknown party's nomination for governor, but knows this murder case could be the boost that his top two opponents need to win the nomination. And actually ends up bribing Judge Hoffman in the Judge's office to let the case go.

There's a lot of backroom inside politics in this movie. That any great high profile drama has. The movie is also over two-hours but more than worth the time to watch it. Especially if you just like seeing Angie Dickinson in a great movie and she's had several. Not a movie for people simply looking for romantic comedies and softball humor. There's a good deal of humor in this movie, but a lot of that involves Don Ameche, as well as how Jack Kelly and Efrem Zimbalist in the courtroom. With the District Attorney accusing the Judge of ruling against him for political reasons. Great movie for political junkies such as myself but also for people who like courtroom dramas and even soap operas.
Source: Classic Film & TV Cafe- Angie Dickinson 

Classic Film & TV Cafe: A Fever In The Blood 1961- Angie Dickinson & Efrem Zimbalist

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TruthDig: Opinion- Chris Hedges: How ANTIFA Mirrors The Alt-Right

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

Dr. Martin L. King has a lot of beautiful and famous quotes as most of us know. And he has this one quote on violence that goes like this. "Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets greater toughness. Returning violence for for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."

Dr. King's point on this is that if you fight violence with violence even if you're doing for a good cause like trying to stamp out bigots from a community, you're only going to get more violence in return. That violence will come back at you. Especially if you're fighting back with violence against violent terrorists like Neo-Nazis on the so-called Alt-Right.

I'm not a pacifist myself unlike Dr. King and believe there are times when violence is the only credible and workable option. Like when you're under physical attack yourself. Sure, you could wait until someone comes to rescue you and argue that if you physically fight back yourself you'l just receive more physical punishment from your attacker. Or you could take a stand physically and defend yourself to prevent future damage against yourself and end the attack on yourself altogether. I believe most Americans would choose the latter on that question.

But what the so-called anti-fascist radically socialist and even anarchist group known as ANTIFA is doing is not physically defending themselves. What they're doing is taking on these Neo-Nazis with violence even when they're not under physical assault themselves. In the name of drowning out hate speech and racism. Even if that means cutting off the free speech of other Americans, which is what the Alt-Right are. Un-American as far as their racist and fascist politics, but just as American as people who treat people as people and don't judge others by their race, ethnicity or gender. Because they share the same American citizenship as the non-haters.

When you're talking about ANTIFA, you're not talking about peace loving hippie Socialists from the 1960s. The political movement that Senator Bernie Sanders the only self-described Socialist in Congress represents today. ANTIFA represents the Che Guevara wing of the socialist movement in the country and around the world. The Marxist-Socialist wing that believes to achieve the Socialist Utopia that Socialists want you have to use revolutionary means and that includes violence. And destroying the people who are in power and keeping the liberal capitalist and liberal order in place.

The Communist Republic of Cuba wasn't established through democratic means. But through civil war. The authoritarian Batista Regime in Cuba, against the Fidel Castro-Guevara revolutionaries that wanted to throw the Batista's out-of-power and then establish a Marxist State in Cuba which is what they eventually did. Whatever you think of Occupy Wall Street from 2011-12, they represented the Bernie Sanders peace loving hippie Socialists. And weren't Marxist revolutionaries. Unlike ANTIFA today that feels the need to fight capitalism and Neo-Nazism with violence.
Jamarl Thomas: How ANTIFA Mirrors The Alt-Right

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Murmar: Larry King Live- Joan Collins: Talks Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe & Mae West

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

As far as Frank Sinatra. When you're worth hundreds of millions of dollars which is probably what Frank Sinatra was worth in today's money back in the 1950s and 1960s, you don't believe you live on top of the world. You believe you own the world and that anything you want you just get by asking or ordering it. You meet and work with a beautiful adorable brunette like Joan Collins with a great sense of humor and decide you want to have dinner with her that night. Why would the fact that you are currently in Hamburg Germany and Joan is probably 1000 miles or so away in England get in the way with you getting together with her that night?

You own your own plane and can just send it to her and pick her up and fly her back to Germany where you're currently working. You're not just perhaps the most popular singer in the world, but you're a Hollywood star in films. Why would the fact that Joan Collins has an early call the next morning affect whether you two can get together that night? You just call your friend at Joan's studio where she's working for and tell him that she will be late the next morning because she's having dinner with you in Germany.

That is how Frank Sinatra was probably thinking back then and what Joan did according to this interview was turn him down. And as Joan put it Frank Sinatra didn't handle rejection real well because he wasn't accustomed to being rejected. I mean rejecting Frank Sinatra could cost you. Jack and Bobby Kennedy rejected Frank in the early 60s by not going out to his home in California and instead going to Bing Crosby's on a trip out there and Frank never forgave Bobby for that.

As far as Mae West. Joan Collins has this famous quote that age is just a number. If I had to guess I would say that quote is actually Mae West's quote. Myra Breckinridge which was originally written by Gore Vidal comes out as a film in 1970 with Raquel Welch playing Myra and Mae West is in that movie. She's already in her eighties at that point and could've actually been Frank Sinatra'a mother as far as years, perhaps Joan Collins grandmother and yet she's still performing and singing in that movie and playing a sex goddess who wants to bring young sexy men up to her penthouse. The woman has a bed in her office in that movie. A woman who is already in her eighties.

As far as Marilyn Monroe. Joan is obviously right that gorgeous blondes aren't taken seriously in Hollywood. Nothing new to report there. Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman would be exceptions to that because they both showed early on in their careers that they had to be taken seriously and it would cost the studios money if they weren't taken seriously, because those two women were both very intelligent and knew how to take care of themselves and how the business worked and what they were worth and meant to the movie industry. Marilyn Monroe wasn't a dumb blonde, but was certainly immature and overly adorable both in appearance and personality and was probably used and taken advantage of as a result. And treated like a little girl.
Murmar: Larry King Live: Joan Collins: Talks Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe & Mae West

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TruthOut: Richard Wolff- Varney & Company: Richard Wolff Debates Stuart Varney on Socialism

Source: Democracy At Work- Richard Wolff & Stuart Varney-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

If Richard Wolff was truly an Marxist he would be calling for the elimination of private wealth and ownership all together. Since Communists at least in the Marxist and Leninist sense don't believe in private property and wealth at all and believe in the state ownership of the means and production of society. That the central government owns and runs the economy and all business's that are part of the economy. Where private production and ownership are outlawed. Which was how the Chinese economy operated up until forty years ago until they started privatizing a lot of their economy. And how the Cuban economy was operated up until ten years ago until they started privatizing. Perhaps Professor Wolff calls himself a Marxist economist because he's studied and taught Marxism, but not someone who practices and believes in the philosophy himself.

So this wasn't a debate between capitalism and Marxism. The two socialist examples that Stuart Varney laid out were Denmark and France, both countries have large private sectors. France has the 6th or 7th largest economy in the world with only 65 million people. Not that they're a small country but that they have such a large economy even though their population is nowhere near the top ten in the world. What they were discussing was more like democratic socialism or social democracy, versus and free and uninhibited capitalism where you have a fairly small national government that taxes wealth at very low rates and doesn't regulate much if any.
Democracy at Work: Richard Wolff Debates Stuart Varney About Socialism


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Joan Collins Archives: Mark McMorrow- Film Flashback: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

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

Unlike Seven Thieves which I blogged about a couple weeks ago Joan Collins and Paul Newman, really are the only two reasons to watch Rally Round The Flag Boys. Joanne Woodward is pretty cute and funny in it, Jack Carson is great as the stumbling awkward U.S. Army Captain who tries to come off as a lot tougher than he actually is. Jack Carson is simply one of the top comedic actors of his generation.

But the first hour of this movie is pretty funny with Joan playing this beautiful (if not gorgeous) rich housewife in this small town about an hour outside of New York City who really only has one problem. Her wealthy business executive husband never sees her. The man is either working all the time at the office, out-of-town on business (or with his mistresses's) or going out with his mistresses. I added the mistress part myself to make it sound funny, but the point being the man is never around and never seen with his beautiful adorable wife Angela Hoffa (played by Joan Collins) in the entire movie. And Joan can get kinda prickly about little things like never seeing her husband. Even if he gives her an allowance that makes her a millionaire.

But Angela comes across Harry Bannerman (played by Paul Newman) early in the movie when he gets to the train station in their small town coming back from work and his wife is too busy to pick him up. Angela just happens to be there perhaps thinking this might be the night where she actually gets to spend some time with her husband, but of course he's still not there and still at work. And offers to drive Harry home. And that is where Angela and Harry who are neighbors get to know each other a little bit and find out that they have something in common. Which is they don't get to see their spouses very often.

Harry's wife Grace Bannerman (played by Joanne Woodward) is the busiest housewife in Putnam's Landing if not America as a whole. Except she's not very busy at home (if you get my drift) but instead is more like a First Lady and is involved in every civil activity known to man. At least in Putnam's Landing and isn't around much for her husband Harry, but he works a lot as well and doesn't see his wife a lot either. They have a townhall meeting in Putnam's and the Mayor there announces that the U.S. Army wants to open a base there, but won't tell them why they need the base there. And his wife is appointed to run a new committee to deal with the new Army base coming to town. And appoints her husband to be the liaison between the town and U.S. Army about the base coming to town. Harry just happens to work in public relations and is in the U.S. Naval Reserve so is very qualified for this job.

To get back to Joan Collins which is really the only reason why I'm writing about this. There are two very hysterical scenes in this movie where Joan is her usually adorably funny self. Perhaps three with her picking up Paul Newman early in the movie and driving him home. But the first one being where Paul drives Joan home from the meeting because his wife stays late at the meeting and Joan invites him in to her home. And they have a hilarious but innocent party where they get drunk and do a lot of dancing and fall back down the stairs together after trying to go upstairs.

The other scene being where Joan follows Paul to his hotel in Washington where he's there to talk to the Pentagon about his new role in Putnam's and gets to his hotel room and Joan is there waiting for him. Harry makes it real clear that he's happily married and doesn't want to get involved, but Angela doesn't take no at least not very easily and makes a big play for him. And Harry's wife arrives there and sees them together. After that the movies gets really silly and looks more like musical comedy than anything else.

I saw this movie a few months ago and have it on DVD and tweeted that and shared that on Google+ as well that the only reason I saw this movie was to see the adorably funny Joan Collins in it. Joan actually saw that and liked it. Saw this movie over the weekend to refresh my memory about it and to prepare for this piece. Take Joan Collins out of this movie and replace her with a much more ordinary woman who doesn't have Joan's comedic ability and talent like a Deborah Kerr or someone like that (no offense to Deborah Kerr) and I don't have much incentive to watch this movie, at least not a 2nd time. This movie is an example where a great actress and actor can pull the movie together by themselves. Especially if that actress is as beautiful, adorable, sexy, and funny as a Joan Collins.
Source: James Ness- Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward
James Ness: Rally Round The Flag Boys

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

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

"The renowned Marxist professor offers his understanding of the meanings of words commonly used to describe “ways of organizing political life in a community.”

- 2017/07/12"

I agree and disagree with Richard Wolff on these political labels. I agree with him that Liberals and Socialists are similar in that they both tend to believe in a democratic form of government and believe in things like private enterprise and property rights, but where they differ has to do with what government's especially the national government's involvement in the private sector. Should there be rules or not in the economy and even if both sides believe there should be rules in the economy and both Liberals and Conservatives tend to believe in some forms of regulations of the economy, what should those rules be.

Where I disagree with Richard Wolff has to do with Socialist and Communist. I tend to separate those two groups of Socialists from being Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats and Marxists who are Communists. Even Democratic Socialists believe in some form of private enterprise and ownership, even property rights and even the right to privacy. And not just believe in a democratic form of government, but a very democratic form of government. Where they believe that one party should have all the power in the government through a parliamentary system, but then with the democratic process be held accountable to the voters if the people want to go in a different direction in 2-4 years, sometimes five years.

Which is how most European states tend to operate. Socialists don't believe in checks and balances as much as Liberals and Conservatives in far as the major political parties interact with each other. They believe that one party should be in control and if the people don't like the job that they're doing, that they should be able to replace that party and give control of the Parliament and executive to the opposition.

Communists- show me a democratic form of government in the world where the Communists are in charge and have been in charge for a while and I'll sell you beachfront property in Minnesota with an ocean view. Where Communists and Democratic Socialists tend to come together is the role of the national government in seeing that everyone is taken care and can live well. They both believe in welfare rights that everyone is entitled to a home, a good education, a good job, quality health care and health insurance, pension, child care, etc, but that all of these things should be provided by the national government and given to the people.

But where Communists tend to differ from Liberals, Conservatives, and even Democratic Socialists has to do with individual rights, the right to oppose the government, the ability for the people to get independent information and news that is not coming from the government. Communists tend not to believe in individual rights, individualism, individual choice, and tend to see those things as dangerous, selfish, threats especially to their own control. And that the people might decide that government is trying to do too much for them and not succeeding and that they may want more personal control over their own affairs and lives. Which is what we're currently seeing in Venezuela which officially doesn't call themselves a Communist State, but in all practicality operates as one as far as how they try to physically destroy all forms of political opposition.

Conservatives- I don't want to do a Bill Clinton it depends on what you mean by the word is here, but Conservative it gets to what type of Conservative are you talking about. Similar to Liberal not all forms of Conservatives to the Nationalists and even authoritarians on the Far-Right and ethno-Natioanlists who believe there culture should be dominant in society like the Ku Klux Klan to use as an example, to the Christian-Right and Muslim-Right who believe there idea of religion and religious beliefs should govern society, to Conservative-Libertarians like the Barry Goldwater's and even Progressive-Conservatives (that is not an Oxymoron) like the Newt Gingrich's who are also on the Center-Right, all these labels are not the same thing. Just like not everyone on the Left are Liberals, not everyone on the Right are Conservatives.

When I think of Conservative I think of political conservatives and not Religious-Conservatives, because those two groups are very different. They share similar values in a big belief in economic freedom, personal responsibility, strong national defense, but differ when it comes to culture. When I think of Conservatives I think of Conservative Libertarians who puts strict limits on what government's role especially the national government and what role government should have when it comes to culture and the personal affairs of the people.

Conservative Libertarians don't believe in every form of lifestyle choice and how people should live individually. But they believe in individualism and put strict limits on what government should be doing and how involved they should be in personal affairs of the individual. Whereas the Religious-Conservatives believe so much in their own faith that their faith should rule over everyone else and that it should be part of government and that government should rule based on their religious beliefs. Even if that means putting strict limits on the individuals when it comes to personal freedom.

Liberals- my favorite political label and perhaps that has something to do with me being a Liberal myself. (Anyone's guess) But like not everyone on the Right are Conservatives, not everyone on the Left are Liberals. Communists if anything are illiberal in far as how much they constrict individual choice and would even outlaw religion if they could. No right to privacy and free speech obviously in a communist state. Liberals are liberal! They believe in liberal democracy and the defense of liberty. The word liberal comes from the word liberty because a Liberal is someone who believes in the defense of liberty. Protecting the individual rights and liberty of the people, while expanding liberty for people who don't have it.

Sounds similar to Conservative-Libertarian, but Liberals and Conservatives differ when it comes to the role of government in society and economy. We don't differ so much about whether there should be liberty or not either economic or personal, but differ in government's role to see that the economy is as strong as possible for everyone involved. Liberals tend to emphasize public infrastructure, public education, a safety net for people who truly need it and use that to help people who are struggling to get on their feet and become independent. Conservatives tend to believe these roles should only the functions of the private sector. And if government should have any role here it should be from the state and local levels.

Watching almost anyone in the so-called mainstream media today other than maybe C-SPAN that tends to cover panels discussions with people who actually understand these labels because they tend to represent them and some publications like Reason Magazine and even TruthDig, you would think everyone on the Left are Liberals and everyone on the Right are Conservatives. Because they tend to believe the further left someone is as Far-Left as Communists, are Liberals. And that the further right you are the more conservative you are. Even Theocrats in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

When the fact is the political spectrum even if it divided by a Left and Right, it's not just between Liberals and Conservatives. Liberals operate the Center-Left. Conservatives operate the Center-Right. With all sorts of political factions that surround the Center-Left and Center-Right looking for their own political power and ability to insert their political agendas even if they represent political fringes on the spectrum.
Activism Munich: Richard D. Wolff- What is Politics? What Are Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, & Communists?