Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sam Harris: Waking Up With Sam Harris- Mark Lilla: What Happened To Leftism

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

It sort of pains me to say this (ha, ha) but this is an area where I agree with right-wing talk show host and writer Dennis Prager. He separates liberalism with what he calls leftism. Leftism to him is this fringe left-wing political movement in America that sees as its role to defend the under dog generally and almost always racial and sometimes ethnic minorities who are also of Caucasian background. Jews, Latinos, and other ethnic groups that have a history of being discriminated against in America. As well as religious minorities like Jews again, Catholics of all sorts of ethnic and racial backgrounds and Muslims who are of different ethnic and racial backgrounds today and aren't just Arab, but from other Middle Eastern backgrounds as well.

What Dennis Prager would call a Leftist and supporter of leftism, is someone who sees their job as to defend anyone who would be an underdog and someone who faces discrimination from the majority European Protestant majority in America. Especially English-Protestants in America. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, Progressives were the people defending Jews from ethnic genocide in Europe and took America to war in Europe to fight Nazi Germany and try to save European-Jews from the Nazis. The 1950s and 1960s, Progressives and Democratic Socialists in America, people like Dr. Martin Luther King, were campaigning and organizing for civil rights to protect African-Americans from racial discrimination. Which is what became the civil rights movement. From the 1970s and on Progressives and Democratic Socialists, have fought for equal protection for gays.

What we're seeing today is not much of a progressive movement on the left, certainly Far-Left. What we see now are Far-Leftists who in many cases aren't just illiberal, but also regressive. People who not only believe that underdogs (meaning minorities) deserve special protection in society, but have some special right to not be criticized and have to hear anything that is critical and negative about them. Even if the criticism and negativity is accurate about them. For example saying that Muslims believes women are inferior to men and that there are Muslim nations in the Middle East and other places where women are inferior under law to men, that pointing these facts out in public is somehow racist and bigoted towards Muslims.

Ben Affleck who is the perfect example of why entertainers shouldn't automatically be considered a credible source when it comes politics and current affairs. Said that criticizing Muslims is racist. Well, Ben gets a couple things wrong there. The obvious one being that Muslim is not a race, but people who follow Islam. The second problem that Ben has is that simply critiquing Islam is not bigoted. Especially if your critique is accurate.

What I'm talking about here is the so-called social justice warrior movement, which is really the political correctness movement on the Far-Left. People who believe that minorities have a special right not to be criticized. Unless those minorities are right-wingers then right-wing minorities like Professor Walter Williams who is African-American and a Libertarian, someone like that can be criticized by the Far-Left in America according to the Far-Left. Because someone like Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell, are considered sellouts and Uncle Toms and not considered what militants on the Far-Left and Far-Leftists in the African-American community, they would say that Williams and Sowell aren't black enough and are what they would called whiteys with black skin.

Dennis Prager separates Liberals, which is what I am and proud to be, with Leftists or what I would call Far-Leftists. People who are Socialists and in some cases who are mainstream Democratic Socialists who want to maintain private enterprise in America, but combine it with social democracy. But who are still small d democrats. The Bernie Sanders movement in America.

The Bernie Sanders movement in America are still Far-Left when it comes to their economic and political views in America, but who look mainstream compared with the fringe socialist political correctness Far-Left in America who have Communists and Anarchists in their movement. Who see it as their job to tear down the American system and American form of government. Who have violent tendencies and believe the Far-Right and other right-wingers don't have a right to even exist, let alone speak in America. That free speech in America only protects the Far-Left.

Dennis Prager separates Liberals from what he calls Leftists and what I call Far-Leftists. I only say that again to make this point. I separate Far-Leftists with Liberals and Progressives. Progressives are the people I mentioned in the first two paragraphs the people who fought to save the European-Jews from the German Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. Who fought for civil rights laws in the 1950s and 1960s to protect African-Americans, as well as other racial and ethnic minorities, as well as women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds from discrimination under law and in the private sector. Who fought for the creation of the American safety net for people who truly need it which is what gave us the New Deal in the 1930s and the Great Society in the 1960s.

Progressives are people who believe in progress and using government to build a better society where everyone can succeed. Using government from  revenue that was created from a large private sector to build a better society for everyone. When I think of Progressives I think of people like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, people of that ideological background.

Not people who believe that the America is the real and only evil empire in the world. That law enforcement is authoritarian and bigoted. That capitalism is racist and individualism is selfish. Progressives aren't anti-military, or anti-law enforcement, or anti-capitalist, or anti-individaulust, or even anti-establishment. They're true American Patriots who believe in American values and who love America, but like true American Patriots, but who believe America can always be better.

What we see now from the New-Left that was originally created in the 1960s and has always been around since because of fringe leftists from the Baby Boom Generation, as well as their children and grandchildren, are people who are just illiberal (which is the opposite of liberal) but people who are regressive. Which is sort of the opposite of progressive. They're regressive and even fascist because they are people who believe that people who don't think like them and look at the same world as they do, don't have a right to speak and even exist. They'll even use violence to accomplish their political goals.

What has happened to leftism as Dennis Prager and I would call it, is that the Far-Left has almost completely separated from the Center-Left, which is what we're seeing in the Democratic Party. Before the Center-Left and Far-Left could work together accomplish similar goals. Now they see each other as opponents. And true Liberals and Progressives, should separate from Socialists and especially Communists, because the Far-left is illiberal and regressive and don't represents our values.
Sam Harris: Waking Up With Sam Harris- Mark Lilla: What Happened To Leftism?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

TIME Magazine: Julia Zorthian- How To Recover From Failure

Source: TIME Magazine- 
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review Plus

I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend be one, but from what I know about the medical profession (which might only be enough to fill one paragraph) is that good doctors at least don’t try to fix the problems without first performing a diagnosis. They actually take the time to see what is the medical problem with the patient before they try to fix the problem. People get wrong prescriptions because their doctors given them the wrong diagnosis and recommend a prescription that might fix another problem, but not the problem that this patient is facing. People get even sicker or see their physical conditions worsen simply because their original problem wasn’t diagnosed properly and therefor not effectively treated.

Giving someone an aspirin to deal with a broken ankle might give the patient short-term pain relief, but still leaving the ankle broken and perhaps it even gets worst because the patient believes their ankle is recovering. That would be an example of an extreme misdiagnosis. Maybe the doctor was drunk when they looked at the patent’s ankle, or perhaps examined the head by accident, before recommending aspirin for the pain. But hopefully you get the idea.

Another way to look at failures and weaknesses lets say is from the perspective of an addict. Lets use alcoholic as an example. I’m not an alcoholic either, but from what I’ve read and even seem to some extent that the only way an alcoholic can recover is first acknowledging that they have a problem that they’re indeed an alcoholic. They drink too much alcohol, get drunk too much and perhaps to the point that being drunk is a normal condition for them. Which I guess would be an extreme form of alcoholism. So my only point here is to before you try to fix a problem or personal problems that you might have, you first have to diagnose the problem and know what the problem is. Once you’ve accomplished step a, you can work to addressing the problem with a recovery plan.

Right-wing author and radio talk show host Eric Metaxas who I agree with as often as Los Angeles sees snow in August, but who was on BookTV on C-SPAN in I believe September (some of us actually have hobbies outside of realty TV and social media and like to use our brains) made a good point about mistakes and even screw ups. And he essentially said that we’re all screw ups. Thats not the question or the issue. The question and issue is what do we do about them.

Do we ignore them and not learn from history and keep repeating the same mistakes and seeing our problems get worst? “Those who don’t learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” Or do we acknowledge them, take them in and even absorb them and memorize that feeling to the point that it feels so bad not that we don’t want to be consumed by it and let our failures run our lives, but that we know the feeling of failure so well that we don’t want to feel like that again. Not about being pessimist or overly optimistic, but being in touched with reality so we know exactly what’s going on so we know what to do about it.

John F. Kennedy is  a political hero of mine, but one of the biggest reasons why is that he always challenged Americans to think and try to improve and move forward. Challenge the status quo not necessarily because the status quo was bad itself, but that we wanted us to be as good as we possibly can be. Which is one of my broad points here is that we all make mistakes and maybe Eric Metaxas isn’t completely right here and that we’re not all screw ups. I mean, if we were we would be nation of very stupid weak people who can’t seem to get anything right.

But Metaxas is right about at least one thing that we all screw up. And then the question becomes what was the mistake exactly and then figuring out what can be done about it. Unless you killed someone, including yourself and you’re not permanently paralyzed or are hurt so badly that you’ve been given a death sentence and will die in the short-term, whatever mistake you made there is a recovery plan to fix it. Or at least learn from it and do better in the future.

I’ll just leave you with this. For almost every problem short of killing someone and permanently paralyzing yourself, there’s a solution to that problem. It then becomes once you acknowledge that you have a problem and know what the problem is. For every mistake there’s a correction. Including horrible mistakes like running your business into the ground and going bankrupt, or making horrible investments that also lead to high debt and perhaps bankruptcy.

The alcoholism example is perfect here. Once you realize you are indeed an alcoholic and have a real problem there, you then can get treatment for it and recover. People have screwed up so badly in one profession that they can’t find any more work in that profession, but recover from that and prosper working in a different field. Take former White House Counsel John Dean who was part of President Nixon’s Watergate coverup who is now a successful author and columnist. A very successful writer now even though he was disbarred as a lawyer.

Step a, is acknowledging that you have a problem.

Step b, is knowing exactly what your problem is.

Step c, is putting together a recovery plan to fix the problem.

Step d, learning from your mistakes not to get overwhelmed by them, but so you know what went wrong and not to repeat the same mistakes. And then improving yourself so you do better in the future. Not about making mistakes in life. Of course we all do and perhaps have all made a lot of mistakes. The question is what do we do about them. Do we learn from them so we can do better in the future. Or ignore them and continue to repeat our negative history.
TIME Magazine: This Is The Best Way To Recover From Failure

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

CEPR: Opinion- Dean Baker: Can We Pay For Single Payer?

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

Even Progressive Economist Dean Baker is acknowledging in his column on the CEPR (Center For Economic Policy Research) blog that moving from a private health insurance market and private health insurance companies, to completely controlled Medicare For All Federal Government system, is not realistic. Senator Bernie Sanders (from the Socialist Republic of Vermont) acknowledged that when he announced his Medicare For All plan a couple weeks ago that we won't be able to move to a private health insurance, to a Federal Government dominant completely controlled by the Federal Government Medicare For All system, at least right away.

The private health insurance system is about two-trillion-dollars in an economy of about twenty-trillion-dollars. Trying to transfer about two-trillion from the private economy into the Federal Government and then having the Feds responsible for all that money to provide three-hundred and twenty-million people in a country of fifty states overnight, is not realistic. This is simply a case of Senator Sanders overselling which is common with politicians and not preparing his supporters for the possible and what is actually realistic. Which is common with Socialists and idealists.

So what could we do instead of Medicare For All and offer an alternative to complete government-control of our health insurance and leaving 320 million Americans with absolutely no choice and control over their own health insurance and perhaps even health care, as well as an alternative to the current system, as well as doing something real and constructive about reforming the current Medicare system and bring those costs down and make it more affordable for the future?

One thing I agree with Dean Baker on is the public option which I've been in favor of since the 2009-10 health care reform debate. But I would do it differently than Mr. Baker and many others. Actually, my plan is not that different from what Senator Sanders and Representative Jim McDermott Democrat from Washington State offered in Congress in 2011-12. Except that the Sanders-McDermott plan was a Medicare For All but run by the states instead of the Feds trying to run the whole program for everyone in the country.

I like both the public option approach to health care reform, as well as using a federalist approach to it. Allow the states to set up their own Medicare systems where every American citizen at least in their state would be eligible for it, but would have to pay into it just like they would pay for their private health insurance. Americans would no longer have to wait until their 65-67 years old to collect from a health insurance system that they've been paying into since they've been working and for most Americans now most of us start working in our teens. Which means we could literally be paying into a Medicare system for over fifty years before we get any benefits at all from those payroll taxes.

Making Americans eligible for Medicare from cradle to grave would mean we would no longer even need payroll taxes to fun Medicare at least down the road when the current beneficiaries who are all senior citizens have passed on. Which would end up being a huge tax cut for millions of middle class Americans especially lower middle class Americans who are paying 10% in Federal income taxes, as well as 6% in Federal payroll taxes. And they could use those savings to pay for their health insurance with Medicare being one of those options and choices for them.

A Medicare public option would go along way in reforming the Medicare system buy bringing its costs down and making it more affordable for when the Baby Boom Generation is fully retired and when my Generation X starts retiring during the next decade. Because instead of just having Medicare eligible for our oldest and weakest population which are our senior citizens, it would be eligible for our youngest and strongest populations. Minors and young adults who don't need health care or health insurance as much, but would have it there for them when they actually do need it.

You would accomplish to huge things with a Medicare public option. One, you would be reforming the Medicare system and making sure it will be available for Americans for generations to come, because we would no longer be relying on current workers to pay for the health insurance of current retirees. But you would be giving the current health insurance system much needed competition for all fifty states. Without having to expand the Federal bureaucracy or the Federal budget to pay for it and to manage it. Reforming Medicare like this would also be a big step in addressing our national debt and budget deficit, because Medicare would be on a solid financial footing and we would no longer be in a debate about how much we should cut benefits or raise taxes to fund Medicare in the future.

We don't need to raise taxes or raise eligibility to reform Medicare or to reform our private health insurance system so more Americans can get affordable quality health care. Actually, the opposites are true. We should be reducing eligibility and lowering taxes which would be a big boost to our health insurance as well as health care system. But also our economy by bringing the costs of health care down, but also eliminating the payroll tax that funds the current Medicare system. Which is a regressive tax that hits about 70-80% of our workforce hard, including low-income workers with a big tax payroll tax that comes out of their paychecks every week. Just by making Medicare eligible for everyone and allowing them to pay into the system and use it as their health insurer.
Source: Dave Strickler- Sharmini Peries 

Dave Strickler: Sharmini Peries Interviewing Dean Baker- A Public Option is The Solution To The Unaffordable Premium Jumps

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Newsweek: Opinion- David Friend: Before Donald Trump Was President, Online Sex Videos, Bill Clinton & The Naughty 90s Changed America

Source: Newsweek-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Now that I think about it and this Newsweek article that was written by David Friend contributed to it and even though he didn't argue this himself, but the more I think about it the 1990s is the decade when Liberals won the Cultural War. Because there was one scandal after another both in politics and government, but in entertainment as well and yet America survived it and we prospered so much as a country in that decade with the end of the Cold War and the economic boom of that decade thanks to new trade, new technology, the deficit coming down and actually leading to a balanced budget by 1998. (Ask a Millennial what a balanced budget is and they'll tell you its a budget where everything is spent equally, because they've never seen one before) And a lot of Americans perhaps especially my Generation X, but Baby Boomers decided as a generation and country that its OK.

So what if a politician sleeps with women they're not married to and cheats on their wives. Thats bad for their wives and their children, but that doesn't affect me and its not my business anyway. Which I believe was the attitude about all of these scandals where it didn't involve people actually getting physically hurt or falsely accused. We go from the King of Tabloids who was Donald Trump (yes, the same man) in New York and all of his affairs with other women when he was married with kids at the time, to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas who just happened to be running for President in 1991-92 and one famous affair that he had in that time period of the late 1980s and early 1990s with Gennifer Flowers.

To entertainment celebrities like Tommy Lee (from Motley Crew) and actress Pam Anderson and they having their sexual affair literally in public and making a video about it. O.J. Simpson was a real true crime story with two real murders involved and in that sense at least was a real story with real significance. Ao in that extent at least it was a serious story. But it was a tabloid story because of the main character involved, the other serious characters involved and where the story took place which was Los Angeles.

But go from the mid 1990s to the late 1990s and again with Bill Clinton who in many ways was a Hollywood character the John F. Kennedy with the cameras always on him with reporters writing down everything they hear and find out about him, but  then reporting it, unlike with JFK. With the Jack Stanton character from the movie Primary Colors (played by John Travolta) almost seeming too real. To Bill Clinton's last sex scandal from the 1990s involving him and a White House intern in Monica Lewinsky who is only two years older than me and 27 years younger than Bill Clinton obviously young enough to be his daughter.

But if that doesn't seem to be a big enough Hollywood story for you, how about the Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich who made it a priority of his to remove President Bill Clinton from the White House (one way or another) and was President Clinton's biggest critic of the 1990s, as well as one of his best partners as far as the legislation they were able to pass together in that divided government and continually bashed the President as being immoral for his sex scandals especially the Lewinsky scandal, gets caught having an affair with his secretary while he was married to another women. Newt Gingrich winning the title of Hypocrite in-chief. He closest he would ever come to being President.

America goes through all these scandals, the Christian-Right in America which has had more of their own share of sex scandals and other scandals in America (Jim Bakker, Jim Swaggart, etc) and yet they reach their highest point in America as far as political power and having a veto voice inside the Republican Party as far as where they have to be politically and get to decide its presidential nominees. The Republican Party wins complete control of Congress of 1994 winning back the House for the first time since 1953 which they would hold onto until 2007 and win back the Senate in 1994 that they would hold onto until 2001. Plus the GOP would hold at least 30 governorships and a majority of state legislatures in the mid and late 1990s and would hold all of that power other than losing the Senate in 2001 and win back the presidency in 2001, until the late 2000s when Democrats finally won back the House and Senate in 2006.

With all of this political power moving to the Right and even Far-Right in the 1990s, Americans as a people and I believe with Generation X completely coming of age in the 1990s being a big factor of this, we essentially decided as a country, so what! So what if free adults have consensual affairs with people other than their spouses. Thats a matter between them and their families. Not something that should be decided by government certainly and shouldn't cost people their jobs even in public office simply because they're in loyal spouses.

I believe the 1990s gave rise to gay rights movement of the 2000s, and movements that opposed the War on Drugs, privacy thanks to the War on Terror in the 2000s, becoming a big issue and concern with the belief that government was becoming big government in our personal lives. The Culture War was ending in the 1990s because of everything that we went through as a country and people being able to see all of these individual scandals that in the 1950s would have ruined most Americans if those scandals were made public and in many cases people would have faced serious legal consequences for them even if they were private and consensual.

Americans saw these scandals and saw a lot of people behaving badly and irresponsibly, but deciding that those affairs aren't mind and people weren't getting hurt physically, financially, or being falsely libeled because of what someone did to them, this is not something that I should be personally concern with. And just let the people who were affected by this personal behavior decide for themselves what and if should be done about it. Instead of big government stepping in.
Source: Watch Mojo- OJ, WJC & CK

Watch Mojo: Top 10 Defining Moments in 1990s America

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?




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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

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

Just to be personal for a minute. I've been thinking about this movie a lot lately, because I really love Joan Collins the entertainer. The great actress, the great wit, etc. The beautiful baby-face, voice, keen intelligence, and honesty as well. She reminds me a lot of Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor who all had those qualities as well. I have 3-4 Joan Collins movies on DVD and got the urge to see one of her movies and was also thinking about Ocean's Eleven from 1960, (the original and best Ocean's) and decided to look at Seven Thieves again. Saw the movie about two weeks ago and saw this blog piece about it on Joan's blog and that is why I'm writing about it now.

I swear other than maybe Brigitte Bardot, Joan Collins must have been the cutest woman in France when this movie was made. She's her always beautiful, adorable, and witty self in this movie. And she relates very well with Rod Steiger. (The lead on the caper in the movie) If you're familiar with Ocean's Eleven 1960 and like that movie, you'll like Seven Thieves as well. Except this time in Seven Thieves the beautiful lead actress (Joan Collins) has a major role in the movie. Angie Dickinson had an important, but fairly small role in Ocean's. You only see Angie for maybe 10 minutes in Ocean's.

Joan is not just the lead actress in Seven Thieves, but she's in most of the movie. She's part of the planning of the caper and in on the caper, as well as escape later on in the movie. With Edward Robinson playing the mastermind of the caper and Rod Steiger as his director sort of like a head coach for a football team reporting to a general manager.

If you like a movie full of stars, a star-studded affair (so to speak) then you'll also like Seven Thieves. Ed Robinson as the mastermind of the caper. Rod Steiger playing the manager of it. Eli Wallach as the top lieutenant. And of course Joan Collins as the beautiful and adorable distraction and serving as the lookout so the men can get into the safe and get the money out of it before they're caught.

And again to get back to Ocean's Eleven where in Ocean's they crew there is in Las Vegas to rob several casinos all on the same night, which granted lets say takes a lot more balls and more ambitious (to be cleaner) Seven Thieves takes place on South France on the Mediterranean. Where all the members of the crew are from somewhere other than France. But the crew other than Rod Steiger has been there for a while specifically to case the joint (so to speak) and prepare for this job. And like in Ocean's where the whole crew is from somewhere other than Las Vegas and even Nevada, the crew in Seven Thieves are not even French.

I believe Seven Thieves is a great caper heist type movie. One of those movies where the brains of the operation (played by Ed Robinson) where the crew that is put together is working with each other for the very first time and you have the lead character as far as the man running the operation (played by Rod Steiger) who doesn't know anyone in the crew other than the man who hired him and is put in a tough situation. Doesn't know who he can trust and what each member brings to the operation. And keep in mind all the crew members are criminals. Which is never the most trust worthy bunch. (To say the least) Not even criminals tend to trust criminals.

And the manager of the crew is having to get to know all his members while the process of the caper is put in place. The preparation and then the execution of the caper. And also any movie that has Ed Robinson, Eli Wallach, Joan Collins, and Rod Steiger as well, you're going to get a lot of good humor in. (The nature of the characters) Which makes for a very entertaining movie.
Source: Lillis Lismauya

Lillis Lismauya: Seven Thieves 1960- Full Movie