Friday, March 16, 2018

March 17, save the date: Boston Socialist Unity Project Annual Conference 2018

*Boston Socialist Unity Project Annual Conference 2018 *

*Saturday, March 17, 9-5 pm, @ MIT Building 34-101
<https://whereis.mit.edu/?go=34>, 50 Vassar Street
<https://whereis.mit.edu/?go=34>*

* BostonSocialistUnity.org <http://bostonsocialistunity.org/> | Facebook:
search for BostonSocialists *

*We invite you to join our third annual conference on the theme "Building
Socialist Power: social movements and the Left in an election year." The
conference will feature speakers on important issues facing the Left and
socialists, as well as a full range of workshops.*

*ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROGRAM (in formation)*

*Saturday, March 17 **registration opens 9:00 a.m. / program begins 10:00
a.m.*

*Featured speakers*

*o Savina Martin, eastern Massachusetts coordinator of the new Poor
Peoples Campaign*

*o Monica Poole, associate professor at Bunker Hill Community College, on
a radical take on #MeToo and current women's issues*

*o Rebecca Vilkomerson, national executive director of Jewish Voice for
Peace, on Palestinian rights*

*o Jill Stein on the crisis in Korea and US imperialism*

*o member of Boston Teachers Union on labor issues and education*

*Our lunchtime plenary presents different perspectives on the 2018
elections and electoral politics, seeking common ground and strengthening
the movement: presentations will include the Socialist Party of Boston, a
member of Our Revolution, the Communist Party USA of Greater Boston, and
the Party for Socialism and Liberation*

*Two sessions of participatory workshops will showcase movement-building
work and issues. **Proposed topics so far include Puerto Rico, immigrant
rights and deportations, work of Our Revolution, Fair Trade Action, Jobs
not Jails, lessons from Gramsci, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of
Israel*

*Breakfast and lunch options available at the conference.*

*Everyone is welcome, $10 suggested donation
<http://www.bostonsocialistunity.org/>; nobody turned away for lack of
funds.*

*Write with your questions and more information:
bostonsocialistunity@gmail.com <bostonsocialistunity@gmail.com>*
_______________________________________________
Act-MA mailing list
Act-MA@act-ma.org
http://act-ma.org/mailman/listinfo/act-ma_act-ma.org
To set options or unsubscribe
http://act-ma.org/mailman/options/act-ma_act-ma.org

Vietnam At The End- The American End- An Insider’s Story- Frank Snepp’s “Decent Interval”- A Book Review

Click on the headline to link to a Wikipedia entry on the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

Book Review

Decent Interval: An Insider’s Account Of Saigon’s Indecent End Told By The CIA’s Chief Strategy Analyst In Vietnam, Frank Snepp, Random House, New York, 1977


Sometimes a picture is in fact better than one thousand words. In this case the famous, or infamous depending on one’s view, photograph of the last American “refugees” being evacuated from the American Embassy in Saigon (now, mercifully, Ho Chi Minh City) tells more about that episode of American imperial hubris that most books. Still, as is the case with this little gem of a book, ex- CIA man Frank Snepp’s insider account of that fall from the American side, it is nice to have some serious analytical companionship to that photo. Moreover, a book that gives numerous details about what happened to who in those last days in a little over five hundred pages and who the good guys and bad guys really were. Especially now, as two or three later generations only see Vietnam through the hoary eyes of old veterans (both military and radical anti-war) from that period like me to tell the tale.

Naturally, a longtime CIA man who in a fit of his own hubris decides, in effect, to blow the whistle on the American fiasco, has got his own axes to grind, and his own agenda for doing so. Bearing that in mind this is a fascinating look at that last period of American involvement in Vietnam from just after the 1973 cease-fire went into place until that last day of April in 1975 when the red flag flew over Saigon after a thirty plus year struggle for national liberation. For most Americans the period after the withdrawal of the last large contingents of U.S. troops from combat in 1972 kind of put paid to that failed experiment in “nation-building”-American-style.

For the rest of us who wished to see the national liberation struggle victorious we only had a slight glimmer that sometime was afoot until fairly late- say the beginning of 1975, although the rumor mill was running earlier. So Mr. Snepp’s book is invaluable to fill in the blanks for what the U.S., the South Vietnamese and the North Vietnamese were doing, or not doing.

Snepp’s lively account, naturally, centers on the American experience and within that experience the conduct of the last ambassador to Saigon, Graham Martin. Snepp spares no words to go after Martin’s perfidious and maniacal role, especially in the very, very last days when the North Vietnamese were sweeping almost unopposed into Saigon. But there is more, failures of intelligence, some expected, others just plain wrong, some missteps about intentions, some grand-standing and some pure-grade anti-communist that fueled much of the scene.

And, of course, no story of American military involvement anyplace is complete without plenty of material about, well the money. From Thieu’s military needs (and those of his extensive entourage) to the American military (and their insatiable need for military hardware), to various American administrations and their goals just follow the money trail and you won’t be far off the scent. And then that famous, or infamous, photograph of that helicopter exit from the roof of the American Embassy in just a nick of time makes much more sense. Nice work, Frank Snepp. The whistleblower’s art is not appreciated but always needed. Just ask Private (now Chelsea) Bradley Manning.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

In Honor Of Women's History Month- Lucy On The Edge Of The World

In Honor Of Women's History Month- Lucy On The Edge Of The World





From The Pen Of Frank Jackman   

Peopleordinary night owls, strung out on bennie or cousin coke and coming the hours until day break and sun, hung-over sotted refugees from the now closed bars and cabarets filled with cheap liquors and quaffed beers, average sainted vagabond Saint Francis of Assisi dream  wanderers of the Harvard Square night, the shiftless watch out for dark alleys when they stalk the benighted earth, the toothless homeless, coming into the all-night Hayes-Bickford seeking, like him,  relief from their collective woes with a cup of weak-kneed coffee from the giant spouted tureen all aglow from the cloudburst above trailing off to the chipped paint ceiling which only those looking to some misbegotten heaven paid attention, and steamed, steamed carrots, potatoes, broccoli, celery, steamed everything, did not bother Lucy (the first name Lucy was all anybody ever found out about her name as far as he knew) sitting alone at her “reserved” table in the back of the cafeteria toward the well-abused rest rooms. Lucy Lilac (nicknamed by some ancient want-to-be fellow bard perhaps but like her surname the genesis undisclosed to him by the other regular tenants of the night when he asked around and so he called her by that moniker as well) spent her youthful (she was perhaps twenty-two, maybe twenty-three, had just finished college, he had heard, so that age seemed about right) middle of the nights just then hunched over a yellow legal notepad filling up its pages with her writings and occasionally she would speak some tidbit she had written out loud, not harmful offensive so you prayed for shut ears, a well-placed handkerchief in mouth, a metaphorical gun, loud like some of the drunks at a few of the tables, or some homeless wailing banshee cry, but just sing-song out loud.

Some of it was beautiful, and some of it was, well, doggerel, about par  for the course with poets and other writers, But all of it, whatever he heard of it, was centered on her plight in the world as a woman torn, as a woman on the edge, the edge between two societies, between as one professor that he had asked about it later stated it, two cultural gradients if that term has any meaning, and maybe she had been, had been between those two cultural gradients,  but let him try to reconstruct what it was all about, all about for Lucy Lilac night owl.

See he became so fascinated by where she was going with her muse in 1962 summer nights, about how she was going to resolve that battle between “cultural gradients” and about the gist of what she had to say to a callow world in those days that he turned up many a two in morning weekend morning to try to figure her dream out. He had more than a passing interest in this battle since he was also spooked by those same demons that she spoke of.    

[Oh, by the way, Lucy Lilac, was drop-dead beautiful, with long black iron-pressed straight hair as was the style then after the folk singer Joan Baez, her sister Mimi and Judy Collins set the pace and the Square and college air was filled singed smells, alabaster white skin whether from her daylight hours of  sleep or by genetic design was not clear, big red lips, which he did not remember whether was the style then or not, the bluest eyes of blue, always wearing dangling earrings and usually wearing some long dress so it was never really possible to determine her figure or her legs important pieces of knowledge to him, and not just to him, in those sex-obsessed  days, but he would have said slender and probably nice legs too. Since neither her beauty, nor the idea of sex, at least pick-up sex, enter into this sketch that is all that needs to be pointed out. Except this, her beauty, along with that no-nonsense demeanor, was so apparent that it held him, and others too, off from anything other than an occasional distant forlorn smile. ]               

What Lucy Lilac would speak of, like a lot of the young in those days, was her alienation from parents, society, just everything to keep it simple, but not just that. On that she had kindred spirits in abundance.  She was also alienated from her race, her white race, her nine to five, go by the rules, we are in charge, trample on the rest of the world, especially the known black world, like lot of  the young, him included, were in those days as well.  Part of it was that you could not turn open a newspaper or turn on a radio or television without having the ugly stuff going down South in America (and sometimes stuff in the North too confronting you headlong). But part of it was an affinity with black culture (the gradient, okay), mainly through music and a certain style, a certain swagger in the face of a world filled with hostility. Cool, to use just one word. 

Now this race thing, this white race thing of Lucy’s had nothing to do, he did not think, at least when she spoke never came through, with some kind of guilt by association with the rednecks and crackers down in places like Alabama and Mississippi goddams. It was more that given the deal going down in the world, the injustices, the not having had any say in what was going on, or being asked either made her feel like she was some Negro in some shack some place. Some mad priestess fellaheena scratching the good earth to make her mark. And as she expanded her ideas (and began to get a little be-bop flow as she spoke, a flow that he secretly kept time to), each night he got a better sense of what she was trying to say. (He later learned that she was, as he had been, very influenced by Norman Mailer’s essay in The Partisan Review The White Negro, a screed on what he called the white hipster, those who had parted company with their own culture and moved to the sexier, sassy cultural gradient.) And while they both were comfortably ensconced in the cozy Cambridge Hayes (well maybe not cozy but safe anyway) and had some very white skin to not have Mister James Crow worry about he began to see what she meant.

And Lucy Lilac really hit home when she spoke of how she had, to his surprise since she gave every indication of being some cast-off Mayfair swell’s progeny, minus that important race thing, been brought up under some tough circumstances down in New Jersey. She spoke about being from poor, very poor white folks somewhere around Toms River, her father out of work a lot worrying about the next paycheck and keeping him and his under some roof, her mother harried by taking care of five kids on two kids money, about being ostracized by the other better off kids, about seeking solace in listening to Bessie Smith, Billie, and a ton of other blues names that he recognized. And he too recognized fellahin kindred since his own North Adamsville existence seemed so similar ….

Yes, those nights he knit a secret and unknown bond with Lucy Lilac, Lucy who a few months later vanished from the Hayes-Bickford night, Lucy from the edge of the world, and wherever she wound he knew just what she meant by the white Negro hipster-dom she was seeking, and that maybe he was too…

And hence this Women’s History Month contribution.

HONOR THE MEMORY OF THE PARIS COMMUNE!

HONOR THE MEMORY OF THE PARIS COMMUNE!





Click on title to link to online "Paris Commune Archives".


http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/ANARCHIST_ARCHIVES/pariscommune/Pariscommunearchive.html

COMMENTARY

March 18th is the Anniversary of the Paris Commune. All honor to the men and women who fought to the death to defend this first beacon of working class revolution.

I would like make a few comments in honor of the heroic Communards.


When one studies the history of the Paris Commune of 1871 one learns something new from it even though from the perspective of revolutionary strategy the Communards made virtually every mistake in the book. However, one can learn its lessons and measure it against the experience acquired by later revolutionary struggles and above all by later revolutions, not only the successful Russian Revolution of October 1917 but the failed German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Chinese and Spanish revolutions in the immediate aftermath of World War I. More contemporaneously we have the experiences of the partial victories of the later Chinese, Cuban and Vietnamese revolutions.

Notwithstanding the contradictory nature of these later experiences, as if to show that history is not always totally a history of horrors against the fate of the masses we honor the Paris Commune as a beacon of the coming world proletarian revolution. It is just for that reason that Karl Marx fought tooth and nail in the First International to defend it against the rage of capitalist Europe. It is one of our peaks. The Commune also presented in embryo the first post-1848 Revolution instance of what was later characterized by Lenin at the beginning of World War I as the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the international labor movement. So this question that after Lenin’s death preoccupied Trotsky for much of the later part of his life really has a much longer lineage that I had previously recognized. Unfortunately, as we are too painfully aware that question is still to be resolved. Therefore, even at this great remove, it is necessary to learn the lessons of that experience in facing today’s crisis of leadership in the international labor movement.

BELOW IS A TRIBUTE TO THE PARIS COMMUNE WRITTEN BY THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTIONARY LEON TROTSKY IN RUSSIAN IN 1921 AND LATER TRANSLATED IN THE JOURNAL NEW INTERNATIONAL OF MARCH 1935, VOL. 2, NO.2

LESSONS OF THE PARIS COMMUNE

EACH TIME that we study the history of the Commune we see it from a new aspect, thanks to the experience acquired by the later revolutionary struggles and above all by the latest revolutions, not only the Russian but the German and Hungarian revolutions. The Franco-German war was a bloody explosion, harbinger of an immense world slaughter, the Commune of Paris a lightning harbinger of a world proletarian revolution.

The Commune shows us the heroism of the working masses, their capacity to unite into a single bloc, their talent to sacrifice themselves in the name of the future, but at the same time it shows us the incapacity of the masses to choose their path, their indecision in the leadership of the movement, their fatal penchant to come to a halt after the first successes, thus permitting the enemy to regain its breath, to reestablish its position.

The Commune came too late. It had all the possibilities of taking the power on September 4 and that would have permitted the proletariat of Paris to place itself at a single stroke at the head of the workers of the country in their struggle against all the forces of the past, against Bismarck as well as against Thiers. But the power fell into the hands of the democratic praters, the deputies of Paris. The Parisian proletariat had neither a party, nor leaders to whom it would have been closely bound by previous struggles. The petty bourgeois patriots who thought themselves socialists and sought the support of the workers did not really have any confidence in themselves. They shook the proletariat's faith in itself, they were continually in quest of celebrated lawyers, of journalists, of deputies, whose baggage consisted only of a dozen vaguely revolutionary phrases, in order to entrust them with the leadership of the movement.

The reason why Jules Favre, Picard, Gamier-Pages and Co. took power in Paris on September 4 is the same as that which permitted Pall-Boncour, A. Varenne, Renaudel and numerous others to be for a time the masters of the party of the proletariat. The Renaudels and the Boncours and even the Longuets and the Pressemanes are much closer, by virtue of their sympathies, their intellectual habits and their conduct, to the Jules Favres and the Jules Ferrys than to the revolutionary proletariat. Their socialist phraseology is nothing but an historic mask which permits them to impose themselves upon the masses. And it is just because Favre, Simon, Picard and the others used and abused a democratico-liberal phraseology that their sons and their grandsons are obliged to resort to a socialist phraseology. But the sons and the grandsons have remained worthy of their fathers and continue their work. And when it will be necessary to decide not the question of the composition of a ministerial clique but the much more important question of knowing what class in France must take power, Renaudel, Varenne, Longuet and their similars will be in the camp of Millerand-collaborator of Galliffet, the butcher of the Commune .... When the revolutionary babblers of the salons and of parliament find themselves face to face, in real life, with the revolution, they never recognize it.

The workers' party-the real one-is not a machine for parliamentary manoeuvres, it is the accumulated and organized experience of the proletariat. It is only with the aid of the party, which rests upon the whole history of its past, which foresees theoretically the paths of development, all its stages, and which extracts from it the necessary formula of action, that the proletariat frees itself from the need of always recommencing its history: its hesitations, its lack of decision, its mistakes.

The proletariat of Paris did not have such a party. The bourgeois socialists with whom the Commune swarmed, raised their eyes to heaven, waited for a miracle or else a prophetic word, hesitated, and during that time the masses groped about and lost their heads because of the indecision of some and the fantasy of others. The result was that the revolution broke out in their very midst, too late, and Paris was encircled. Six months elapsed before the proletariat had reestablished in its memory the lessons of past revolutions, of battles of yore, of the reiterated betrayals of democracy-and it seized power.

These six months proved to be an irreparable loss. If the centralized party of revolutionary action had been found at the head of the proletariat of France in September 1870, the whole history of France and with it the whole history of humanity would have taken another direction.If the power was found in the hands of the proletariat of Paris on March 18, it was not because it had been deliberately seized, but because its enemies had quitted Paris.

These latter were losing ground continuously, the workers despised and detested them, the petty bourgeoisie no longer had confidence in them and the big bourgeoisie feared that they were no longer capable of defending it. The soldiers were hostile to the officers. The government fled Paris in order to concentrate its forces elsewhere. And it was then that the proletariat became master of the situation.
But it understood this fact only on the morrow. The revolution fell upon it unexpectedly.

This first success was a new source of passivity. The enemy had fled to Versailles. Wasn't that a victory? At that moment the governmental band could have been crushed almost without the spilling of blood. In Paris, all the ministers, with Thiers at their head, could have been taken prisoner. Nobody would have raised a hand to defend them. It was not done. There was no organization of a centralized party, having a rounded view of things and special organs for realizing its decisions.

The debris of the infantry did not want to fall back to Versailles. The thread which tied the officers and the soldiers was pretty tenuous. And had there been a directing party center at Paris, it would have incorporated into the retreating armies-since there was the possibility of retreating-a few hundred or even a few dozen devoted workers, and given them the following instructions: enhance the discontent of the soldiers against the officers, profit by the first favorable psychological moment to free the soldiers from their officers and bring them back to Paris to unite with the people. This could easily have been realized, according to the admissions of Thiers' supporters themselves. Nobody even thought of it. Nor was there anybody to think of it. In the midst of great events, moreover, such decisions can be adopted only by a revolutionary party which looks forward to a revolution, prepares for it, does not lose its head, by a party which is accustomed to having a rounded view and is not afraid to act.

And a party of action is just what the French proletariat did not have.

The Central Committee of the National Guard is in effect a Council of Deputies of the armed workers and the petty bourgeoisie. Such a Council, elected directly by the masses who have taken the revolutionary road, represents an excellent apparatus of action. But at the same time, and just because of its immediate and elementary connection with the masses who are in the state in which the revolutionary has found them, it reflects not only all the strong sides but also the weak sides of the masses, and it reflects at first the weak sides still more than it does the strong: it manifests the spirit of indecision, of waiting, the tendency to be inactive after the first successes.

The Central Committee of the National Guard needed to be led. It was indispensable to have an organization incarnating the political experience of the proletariat and always present-not only in the Central Committee, but in the legions, in the battalion, in the deepest sectors of the French proletariat. By means of the Councils of Deputies-in the given case they were organs of the National Guard-the party could have been in continual contact with the masses, known their state of mind; its leading center con! I each day put forward a slogan which, through the medium of the party's militants, would have penetrated into the masses, uniting their thought and their will.

Hardly had the government fallen back to Versailles than the National Guard hastened to unload its responsibility, at the very moment when this responsibility was enormous. The Central Committee imagined "legal" elections to the Commune. It entered into negotiations with the mayors of Paris in order to cover itself, from the Right, with "legality".

Had a violent attack been prepared against Versailles at the same time, the negotiations with the mayors would have been a ruse fully justified from the military standpoint and in conformity with the goal. But in reality, these negotiations were being conducted only in order to avert the struggle by some miracle or other. The petty bourgeois radicals and the socialistic idealists, respecting "legality" and the men who embodied a portion of the "legal" state-the deputies, the mayors, etc.-hoped at the bottom of their souls that Thiers would halt respectfully before revolutionary Paris the minute the latter covered itself with the "legal" Commune.

Passivity and indecision were supported in this case by the sacred principle of federation and autonomy. Paris, you see, is only one commune among many other communes. Paris wants to impose nothing upon anyone; it does not struggle for the dictatorship, unless it be for the 'dictatorship of example".

In sum, it was nothing but an attempt to replace the proletarian revolution, which was developing, by a petty bourgeois reform: communal autonomy. The real revolutionary task consisted of assuring the proletariat the power all over the country. Paris had to serve as its base, its support, its stronghold. And to attain this goal, it was necessary to vanquish Versailles without the loss of time and to send agitators, organizers, and armed forces throughout France. It was necessary to enter into contact with sympathizers, to strengthen the hesitators and to shatter the opposition of the adversary. Instead of this policy of offensive and aggression which was the only thing that could save the situation, the leaders of Paris attempted to seclude themselves in their communal autonomy: they will not attack the others if the others do not attack them; each town has its sacred right of self-government. This idealistic chatter-of the same gender as mundane anarchism covered up in reality a cowardice in face of revolutionary action which should have been conducted incessantly up to the very end, for otherwise it should not have been begun.

The hostility to capitalist organization-a heritage of petty bourgeois localism and autonomism-is without a doubt the weak side of a certain section of the French proletariat. Autonomy for the districts, for the wards, for the battalions, for the towns, is the supreme guarantee of real activity and individual independence for certain revolutionists. But that is a great mistake which cost the French proletariat dearly.

Under the form of the "struggle against despotic centralism" and against "stifling" discipline, a fight takes place for the self preservation of various groups and sub-groupings of the working class, for their petty interests, with their petty ward leaders and their local oracles. The entire working class, while preserving its cultural originality and its political nuances, can act methodically and firmly, without remaining in the tow of events, and directing each time its mortal blows against the weak sectors of its enemies, on the condition that at its head, above the wards, the districts, the groups, there is an apparatus which is centralized and bound together by an iron discipline. The tendency towards particularism, whatever the form it may assume, is a heritage of the dead past. The sooner French communist-socialist communism and syndicalist communism-emancipates itself from it, the better it will be for the proletarian revolution.

The party does not create the revolution at will, it does not choose the moment for seizing power as it likes, but it intervenes actively in the events, penetrates at every moment the state of mind of the revolutionary masses and evaluates the power of resistance of the enemy, and thus determines the most favorable moment for decisive action. This is the most difficult side of its task. The party has no decision that is valid for every case. Needed are a correct theory, an intimate contact with the masses, the comprehension of the situation, a revolutionary perception, a great resoluteness. The more profoundly a revolutionary party penetrates into all the domains of the proletarian struggle, the more unified it is by the unity of goal and discipline, the speedier and better will it arrive at resolving its task.

The difficulty consists in having this organization of a centralized party, internally welded by an iron discipline, linked intimately with the movement of the masses, with its ebbs and flows. The conquest of power cannot be achieved save on the condition of a powerful revolutionary pressure of the toiling masses. But in this act the element of preparation is entirely inevitable. The better the party will understand the conjuncture and the moment, the better the bases of resistance will be prepared, the better the force and the roles will be distributed, the surer will be the success and the less victims will it cost. The correlation of a carefully prepared action and a mass movement is the politico-strategical task of the taking of power.

The comparison of March 18, 1871 with November 7, 1917 is very instructive from this point of view. In Paris, there is an absolute lack of initiative for action on the part of the leading revolutionary circles. The proletariat, armed by the bourgeois government, is in reality master of the town, has all the material means of power-cannon and rifles-at its disposal, but it is not aware of it. The bourgeoisie makes an attempt to retake the weapon of the giant: it wants to steal the cannon of the proletariat. The attempt fails. The government flees in panic from Paris to Versailles. The field is clear. But it is only on the morrow that the proletariat understands that it is the master of Paris. The "leaders" are in the wake of events, they record them when the latter are already accomplished, and they do everything in their power to blunt the revolutionary edge.

In Petrograd, the events developed differently. The party moved firmly, resolutely, to the seizure of power, having its men everywhere, consolidating each position, extending every fissure between the workers and the garrison on the one side and the government on the other.

The armed demonstration of the July days is a vast reconnoitering conducted by the party to sound the degree of close contact between the masses and the power of resistance of the enemy. The reconnoitering is transformed into a struggle of outposts. We are thrown back, but at the same time the action establishes a connection between the party and the depths of the masses. The months of August, September and October see a powerful revolutionary flux. The party profits by it and augments considerably its points of support in the working class and the garrison. Later, the harmony between the conspirative preparations and the mass action takes place almost automatically. The Second Congress of the Soviets is fixed for November. All our preceding agitation was to lead to the seizure of power by the Congress. Thus, the overturn was adapted in advance to November 7. This fact was well known and understood by the enemy. Kerensky and his councillors could not fail to make efforts to consolidate themselves, to however small an extent, in Petrograd for the decisive moment. Also, they stood in need of shipping out of the capital the most revolutionary sections of the garrison. We on our part profited by this attempt by Kerensky in order to make it the source of a new conflict which had a decisive importance. We openly accused the Kerensky government-our accusation subsequently found a written confirmation in an official document-of having planned the removal of a third of the Petrograd garrison not out of military considerations but for the purpose of counter-revolutionary combinations. This conflict bound us still more closely to the garrison and put before the latter a well-defined task, to support the Soviet Congress fixed for November 7. And since the government insisted-even if in a feeble enough manner-that the garrison be sent off, we created in the Petrograd Soviet, already in our hands, a Revolutionary War Committee, on the pretext of verifying the military reasons for the governmental plan.

Thus we had a purely military organ, standing at the head of the Petrograd garrison, which was in reality a legal organ of armed insurrection. At the same time we designated (communist) commissars in all the military units, in the military stores, etc. The clandestine military organization accomplished specific technical tasks and furnished the Revolutionary War Committee with fully trustworthy militants for important military tasks. The essential work concerning the preparation, the realization and the armed insurrection took place openly, and so methodically and naturally that the bourgeoisie, led by Kerensky, did not clearly understand what was taking place under their very eyes. (In Paris, the proletariat understood only on the following day that it had been really victorious-a victory which it had not, moreover, deliberately sought-that it was master of the situation. In Petrograd, it was the contrary. Our party, basing itself on the workers and the garrison, had already seized the power, the bourgeoisie passed a fairly tranquil night and learned only on the following morning that the helm of the country was in the hands of its gravedigger.)

As to strategy, there were many differences of opinion in our party.

A part of the Central Committee declared itself, as is known, against the taking of power, believing that the moment had not yet arrived, that Petrograd was detached from the rest of the country, the proletariat from the peasantry, etc.

Other comrades believed that we were not attributing sufficient importance to the elements of military complot. One of the members of the Central Committee demanded in October the surrounding of the Alexandrine Theater where the Democratic Conference was in session, and the proclamation of the dictatorship of the Central Committee of the party. He said: in concentrating our agitation as well as our preparatory military work for the moment of the Second Congress, we are showing our plan to the adversary, we are giving him the possibility of preparing himself and even of dealing us a preventive blow. But there is no doubt that the attempt at a military complot and the surrounding of the Alexandrine Theater would have been a fact too alien to the development of the events, that it would have been an event disconcerting to the masses. Even in the Petrograd Soviet, where our faction dominated, such an enterprise, anticipating the logical development of the struggle, would have provoked great disorder at that moment, above all among the garrison where there were hesitant and not very trustful regiments, primarily the cavalry regiments. It would have been much easier for Kerensky to crush a complot unexpected by the masses than to attack the garrison consolidating itself more and more on its positions: the defense of its inviolability in the name of the future Congress of the Soviets. Therefore the majority of the Central Committee rejected the plan to surround the Democratic Conference and it was right. The conjuncture was very well judged: the armed insurrection, almost without bloodshed, triumphed exactly on the date, fixed in advance and openly, for the convening of the Second Soviet Congress.

This strategy cannot, however, become a general rule, it requires specific conditions. Nobody believed any longer in the war with the Germans, and the less revolutionary soldiers did not want to quit Petrograd for the front. And even if the garrison as a whole was on the side of the workers for this single reason, it became stronger in its point of view to the extent that Kerensky's machinations were revealed. But this mood of the Petrograd garrison had a still deeper cause in the situation of the peasant class and in the development of the imperialist war. Had there been a split in the garrison and had Kerensky obtained the possibility of support from a few regiments, our plan would have failed. The elements of purely military complot (conspiracy and great speed of action) would have prevailed. It would have been necessary, of course, to choose another moment for the insurrection.

The Commune also had the complete possibility of winning even the peasant regiments, for the latter had lost all confidence and all respect for the power and the command. Yet it undertook nothing towards this end. The fault here is not in the relationships of the peasant and the working classes, but in the revolutionary strategy.

What will be the situation in this regard in the European countries in the present epoch? It is not easy to foretell anything on this score. Yet, with the events developing slowly and the bourgeois governments exerting all their efforts to utilize past experiences, it may be foreseen that the proletariat, in order to attract the sympathies of the soldiers, will have to overcome a great and well organized resistance at a given moment. A skillful and well~ timed attack on the part of the revolution will then be necessary. The duty of the party is to prepare itself for it. That is just why it must maintain and develop its character of a centralized organization, which openly guides the revolutionary movement of the masses and is at the same time a clandestine apparatus of the armed insurrection.

The question of the electibility of the command was one of the reasons of the conflict between the National Guard and Thiers. Paris refused to accept the command designated by Thiers. Varlin subsequently formulated the demand that the command of the National Guard, from top to bottom, ought to be elected by the National Guardsmen themselves. That is where the Central Committee of the National Guard found its support.

This question must he envisaged from two sides: from the political and the military sides, which are interlinked but which should be distinguished. The political task consisted in purging the National Guard of the counter¬revolutionary command. Complete electibility was the only means for it, the majority of the National Guard being composed of workers and revolutionary petty bourgeois. And in addition, the motto "electibility of the command", being extended also to the infantry, Thiers would have been deprived at a single stroke of his essential weapon, the counterrevolutionary officers. In order to realize this plan, a party organization, having its men in all the military units, was required. In a word, electibility in this ease had as its immediate task not to give good commanders to the batallions, but to liberate them from commanders devoted to the bourgeoisie. Electibility served as a wedge for splitting the army into two parts, along class lines. Thus did matters occur with its in the period of Kerensky, above all on the eve of October.

But the liberation of the army from the old commanding apparatus inevitably involves the weakening of organizational cohesion and the diminution of combative power. As a rule, the elected command is pretty weak from the technico-military standpoint and with regard to the maintenance of order and of discipline. Thus, at the moment when the army frees itself from the old counterrevolutionary command which oppressed it, the question arises of giving it a revolutionary command capable of fulfilling its mission. And this question can by no means be resolved by simple elections. Before wide masses of soldiers acquire the experience of well choosing and selecting commanders, the revolution will be beaten by the enemy which is guided in the choice of its command by the experience of centuries. The methods of shapeless democracy (simple electibility) must be supplemented and to a certain extent replaced by measures of selection from above. The revolution must create an organ composed of experienced, reliable organizers, in which one can have absolute confidence, give it full powers to choose, designate and educate the command. If particularism and democratic autonomism are extremely dangerous to the proletarian revolution in general, they are ten times more dangerous to the army. We saw that in the tragic example of the Commune.

The Central Committee of the National Guard drew its authority from democratic electibility. At the moment when the Central Committee needed to develop to the maximum its initiative in the offensive, deprived of the leadership of a proletarian party, it lost its head, hastened to transmit its powers to the representatives of the Commune which required a broader democratic basis. And it was a great mistake in that period to play with elections. But once the elections had been held and the Commune brought together, ft was necessary to concentrate everything in the Commune at a single blow and to have it create an organ possessing real power to reorganize the National Guard. This was not the case. By the side of the elected Commune there remained the Central Committee; the elected character of the latter gave it a political authority thanks to which it was able to compete with the Commune. But at the same time that deprived it of the energy and the firmness necessary in the purely military questions which, after the organization of the Commune, justified its existence. Electibility, democratic methods, are but one of the instruments in the hands of the proletariat and its party. Electibility can in no wise be a fetish, a remedy for all evils. The methods of electibility must be combined with those of appointments. The power of the Commune came from the elected National Guard. But once created, the Commune should have reorganized with a strong hand the National Guard, from top to bottom, given it reliable leaders and established a regime of very strict discipline. The Commune did not do this, being itself deprived of a powerful revolutionary directing center. It too was crushed.

We can thus thumb the whole history of the Commune, page by page, and we will find in it one single lesson: a strong party leadership is needed. More than any other proletariat has the French made sacrifices for the revolution. But also more than any other has it been duped. Many times has the bourgeoisie dazzled it with all the colors of republicanism, of radicalism, of socialism, so as always to fasten upon it the fetters of capitalism. By means of its agents, its lawyers and its journalists, the bourgeoisie has put forward a whole mass of democratic, parliamentary, autonomist formulae which are nothing but impediments on the feet of the proletariat, hampering its forward movement.

The temperament of the French proletariat is a revolutionary lava. But this lava is now covered with the ashes of skepticism result of numerous deceptions and disenchantments. Also, the revolutionary proletarians of France must be severer towards their party and unmask more pitilessly any non-conformity between word and action. The French workers have need of an organization, strong as steel, with leaders controlled by the masses at every new stage of the revolutionary movement.

How much time will history afford us to prepare ourselves? We do not know. For fifty years the French bourgeoisie has retained the power in its hands after having elected the Third Republic on the bones of the Communards. Those fighters of '71 were not lacking in heroism. What they lacked was clarity in method and a centralized leading organization. That is why they were vanquished. Half a century elapsed before the proletariat of France could pose the question of avenging the death of the Communards. But this time, the action will be firmer, more concentrated. The heirs of Thiers will have to pay the historic debt in full.

Leon TROTSKY

In Honor Of Women’s History Month- In Nana Kamkov’s Time- For All The Red Emmas Of The Bolshevik Revolution


In Honor Of  Women’s History Month- In Nana Kamkov’s Time- For All The Red Emmas Of The Bolshevik Revolution

From The Pen Of Sam Lowell  

Frank Jackman was not sure where or when he first heard the term “Red Emma” applied to the old- time revolutionary women who came of age around the turn of the 20th century and who blossomed in the time of the Russian revolution, particularly its Bolshevik phase and of the time of the defense of the revolution in the few year period of the civil war against the national and international White Guards which only ended in 1921. He did know that Emma Goldman the old bomb-throwing (at least in her mind) firebrand anarchist and early defender (and early non-defender) of the Bolshevik experiment bore that sobriquet and so that might have been the genesis of the term but in any case here is the story, or really sketch of a story since a lot was unknown about her exploits, of one such Red Emma, Nana Kamkov, who held her own in the dark days of the Russian revolution of the eve of the decisive battle for Kazan… 

Nana Kamkov’s name first became known to revolutionary history indirectly through her membership in the remnants of a red peasant brigade fighting the Whites in the Russian Civil War around 1919 , a bare platoon at that point whose core were five peasant soldiers from Omsk who had been conscripted and fought together for the Czar in the disastrous World War I battles, gone home at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, farmed their newly Soviet-provided land, were subsequently dispossessed of that land by Orlov the previous owner when the White Guards came through Omsk , and in reaction they had joined the Reds in 1919 to get that land back. After several engagements crisscrossing Central Russia they, the remnant anyhow, found themselves in soon to be besieged Kazan. Nana had been assigned to their unit in the crush of organizational tangles preparing for the defense of Kazan. Nana had also been caught inside Kazan at a time when that locale was being besieged by White Guard forces, particularly the feared Czech Legion that was running amok from Siberia to the Urals in their attempts to get home. Previously Nana’s story, the story of a mere slip of girl of sixteen, had been submerged as part of  the story of this unit, a unit now led by one of the peasant soldiers, Vladimir Suslov, but further research found that she deserved, more than deserved,  additional recognition in her own right        

Yes, Nana Kamkov, deserved  a better fate that to written off as some play thing for some loutish peasant boy, Grunsha  Zanoff by name, no matter how Red Army brave he was just that moment and no matter how peasant handsome he was, and he was, to Nana’s eyes. Nana had come off the land as a child, land in Omsk and as fate would have it also Orlov’s land, when after the last revolution, the one in 1905, the government encouraged capitalist exploitation of the land in order to break down the backward-looking peasant communes. Her parents had abandoned the land and had travelled to live in Kazan and her father had set up shop as a locksmith, a good one. Nana had gone school and had been an outstanding student if somewhat socially backward, she had not been like the other girls boy-crazy, although she confessed in one girlish moment to a classmate that she thought some Prince Charming would see her on the Kazan streets, be immediately smitten by her purposeful carriage and carry her off to some golden palace but that was just a moment’s thought.  Nana though desperately wanted to become an engineer although the family resources precluded such a fate.  

One day in the summer of 1917 at the height of the revolutionary fervor she ran across a Bolshevik agitator in the central square of Kazan (later killed in Kiev fighting off some White Guards in that location) who told her, young impressionable her, aged fourteen, no more, that if the Soviets survived she would be able to pursue her engineering career, hell, the Bolsheviks would encourage it.

From that time Nana had been a single-minded Red Guard soldier performing many dangerous tasks (involving setting off explosives, some espionage work and so on, the specifics unfortunately have been lost despite further inquiry) until the Whites threatened Kazan and she was trapped in the city and had joined Vladimir’s remnants as a result of various organizational tangles. And there she spied Grunsha among his soldiers, loutish, foolish Grunsha, although handsome she admitted. Perhaps it was the time of her time, perhaps she still had a little foolish schoolgirl notion to be with a man, to be a woman, just in case things didn’t work out and she was killed, or worse, executed but one cold night she snuggled up to the sleeping Grunsha and that was that. And she was not sorry although she blushed, blushed profusely when Grunsha’s comrades from home would see them together and knowingly laugh they knew had happened. She had thereafter taken him under her wing and was teaching him to read and to think about things, big idea things, how to work that land back in Omsk better, more scientifically, just in case they weren’t killed, or worse executed. Practical young woman, very practical. And so young Nana entered the red pantheon, and maybe she would drag young Grunsha along too.

Just as she was instructing Grunsha in some Gogol short story a messenger came to their line, a messenger from the river in front of Kazan, from the wind- swept Volga. The message said that Trotsky himself , Trotsky of the phantom armored train rushing to this and that front, seemingly everywhere at the same time, a man that put fear in the hearts of whites and reds alike, had decided to fight and die before Kazan if necessary to save the revolution, to save their precious land. Vladimir and his comrades, including our Red Emma, Red Emma who if the truth be told despite her tender years of sweet sixteen was the best soldier of the lot, and should have been the commissar except those lumpish peasants would not have listened to her, reaffirmed their blood oath. They were not sure of Lenin, thinking him a little too smart, and maybe he had something up his sleeve, maybe he was just another Jew, he looked the part with that bald head of his, but stout-hearted Trotsky, if he was willing to die then what else could they do but stand. If they must die they would die in defense of Kazan, and maybe just maybe somebody would hear of their story, the story of five peasant boys and a pretty red-hearted city girl as brave as they, and lift their heads and roar back too.     

And so young Nana entered the red pantheon, and maybe she would drag young Grunsha along too...


And hence this Women’s History Month contribution.          

Free Russian Interference In 2016 Elections Whitsle-Blower Reality Leigh Winner Now!

Free Russian Interference In 2016 Elections Whistle-Blower Reality Leigh Winner Now! 


















The Art Of The Defeated-“Inventur-Art In Germany-1943-1955 At The Harvard Art Museums-A Comment


The Art Of The Defeated-“Inventur-Art In Germany-1943-1955 At The Harvard Art Museums-A Comment





By Lenny Lynch

Of course I am way too young at thirty-five to have been affected by even the tremors of the post-World War II happenings in Western culture like a number of my older writer co-workers were in what in America was the “golden age” of lots of things. In talking to Sam Lowell, now a retired by still feisty former film editor here and Frank Jackman who still writes little sketches here as well about this art exhibit at the Harvard Art Museums which features the work of many German artists in various media they were quite surprised about how many of those artists dealt with struggling as a defeated nation. Strangely this included artists who were well-known anti-Nazi and anti-fascist who either had been in exile (those who could get out before the curtain came down and they were stuck), had been Jewish and yet had survived the camps somehow or had been stuck in Germany and worked their creative skills as best they could. Included too a catalogue of artists who showed up in the infamous “Degenerate Art” exhibits of the late 1930s in Germany.

Two things stuck out that I carried with me from the exhibit. In the art world, the serious part, sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. A defeated nation, heavily bombed by Allied warplanes, huge destruction of infrastructure, hobbling along on American rations and black markets nevertheless provided room for artists to come up with new ways of creating art from other than traditional material like oils and canvass. Shingles, scrape metal, house paints and the like let these folks create some new ways of making art. The other thing that stuff out was that even in defeat and isolation many of these artists were aware of, took part in, and expanded the new theories in art in their work from expressionism to abstraction and colorism. Minimalism in sculpture. Interesting exhibit if you are in Cambridge sometime soon.     


The Clarinet Is Not The Only Instrument That Goes Rooty-Toot-Toot-With Myna Loy And William Powell’s “The Song Of The Thin Man” Based On The Dashiell Hammett Characters In Mind

The Clarinet Is Not The Only Instrument That Goes Rooty-Toot-Toot-With Myna Loy And William Powell’s “The Song Of The Thin Man” Based On The Dashiell Hammett Characters In Mind



DVD Review

By Bruce Conan

The Song Of The Thin Man, starring Myrna Loy, William Powell, Keenan Wynn, based on the characters Nick and Nora Charles created by Dashiell Hammett in the crime novel The Thin Man,

The general reader is probably not familiar with the name of the reviewer, Bruce Conan, in this publication because unfortunately it is an alias as has been a previous one used by the same person, Danny Moriarty. The reason that I have had to use these pseudonyms is to protect myself and my family, mostly my family as it turns out, against the wrath and vengeance of a nefarious criminal enterprise based out of London but apparently with tentacles internationally called the Baker Street Irregulars. This nasty band of cutthroats, pimps, con men, whores, bandits, petty thieves and murderers was formed in the distant past to venerate one Lanny Lamont, real name Lanny Lamont after exhaustive investigation, aka Basil Rathbone, aka Sherlock Holmes and who knows how many other names. They are said to practice blood rituals, have serious drug addiction problems just like their so-called deductive reasoning guru Lanny, and to be responsible for half the robberies and unsolved murders in London town over the last few decades.   

One might wonder why a notorious gang of dangerous felons and there hangers-on and wannbes would be harassing and threatening murder and mayhem toward a placid film reviewer and his precious family across a big ocean in America. Fair question. And the fair answer is that I have been on a steady, unswerving recent campaign to unmask their idol, their homeboy Lanny as a fraud and a two bit amateur parlor pink fairy tale detective. (I refuse to call him their preferred name of Sherlock and that has even further inflamed them although they know as well as I do that is his real name and that he was brought up in the slums of West London despite all that fake highbrow pronunciation and blather talk he carried on with when he was alive.) Worse, worse in their collective books I “outed” him and his paramour Doc Watson as a pair of diddling agents of the Homintern, closet homosexuals in a day when detectives with that predilection were not allowed into the profession under penalty of expulsion (now they can be same-sex married for all anybody cares including me) and longtime devotees of the utterly corrupt and venal Kit Kat Club where all those with frankly weird sexual proclivities ply their wares.

With that burdensome background in mind I begged our current site manager Greg Green to let me do a review of the epitome of a real detective from that same cinematic time period who did not have Lanny’s nasty and counter-productive habits (really perverted habits but I am being kind). A guy who could figure two and two makes four while lapping up some high shelf booze and running his eyes suggestively up and down every stray dame he saw, and some not so stray. Of course that is our beloved Nick Charles and his lovely wife Nora along with that irrepressible mutt Asta in one of the series of films that William Powell and Myra Loy did together to light up the private detection firmament back in the day. Wrap up a case so it stays wrapped without help from incompetent coppers who would rather sit around with coffee and crullers. Not as Lanny always did hand the messy details over to the “on the take” boys at Scotland Yard.             

Take the Tommy Drake case as featured in the film under review The Song of the Thin Man. Nick was smooth as silk on that one, a be-bop daddy who took down the tooting town in the edge of the cool jazz age when the Duke and Count roamed the cities bopping the bop. Yeah, no question half the world, the male world, the gambling world had reason to do Tommy boy in no matter that he was the cat’s meow fronting for the band in the cream of big band era time. He was going to blow the gambling boat scene run by Phil Brant, you remember him the famous jazz aficionado who showcased a lot of new talent like Fran Page, Peggy Davis, Cindy Lowe and a host of other young torch-singers, the customers drank up his overpriced liquor and lost their shirts at the gaming tables when he had his latest gig for the big time provided by a big band jazz promoter, Mitchell Talbin. Yes, that Talbin who had all of New York cafĂ© society crying jeepers-creeper for Charlie, Dizzy, the Monk and who saw in Tommy some of that glitter and gold-solid, man, solid.        

This is where it all falls apart for dear Tommy though. He is in hock up to his ears to a gambler for 12 K, big money then. Tommy puts the bite on that Talbin for an advance to pay off the debt and leave for greener pastures. No soap (no soap for a reason though not the one given by Talbin about chancy band acts and maybe it will snow in July). In any case Tommy winds up dead, very dead trying to jimmy the safe of his current boss Brant. Brant and his society bride married on the fly down in nowhere Atlantic show up at Nick and Nora’s the next morning looking for help.  Tommy death had Brant’s frame all over it. He is going down, going down for the big step off, the juice if the truth be known if Nick can’t save the day.

After a few drinks, couple of dances with Nora and a swift few look sat the belles on the side just to keep thinks interesting he cracks the case wide open one night when Brant’s gambling ship reopens for business. (In one of the great cinematic private eye moves ever recorded Nick by sleight of hand is able to get a key clue, a piece of music with exonerating information for Brant right over in front of the town coppers who also are happy with coffee and crullers just like their Scotland Yard brethren. Sherlock would still be sitting in that rundown rooming house apartment he and Doc shared sucking on the old opium pipe wondering what to do next. Brant and his lovely bride that high society dame, the guy who Tommy owed the gambling debt to and his wife decked out in diamonds and that Talmin and his wife all prance in for the turkey shoot.

You know Brant and his bride are off the hook since they went looking for Nick and Nora’s help. So it settles on the gambling guru and the jazz promoter. What if I tell you that dear sweet Tommy beside that gambling jones was sex-addled, was a skirt-chaser without limits on who he might get his claws into. Yeah Tommy would be too bright a boy to fool with a mobster’s wife, no percentage there. But a holy goof jazz aficionado no problem. So jealous jazz man Talmin bonked the now departed jazz band leader after his wife and Tommy’s lover covered Tommy’s gambling debt. In response after the jazz agent man confessed in open dance hall that he did the deed out of jealousy his dear wife plugged him rooty-toot-toot. Nice clean job for Nick and time for booze and bedtime. Touche Lanny.        

Yet Again On Bond, James Bond-Will The Real 007 Please Stand Up- Daniel Craig’s “Spectre” (2015)-A Film Review

Yet Again On Bond, James Bond-Will The Real 007 Please Stand Up- Daniel Craig’s “Spectre” (2015)-A Film Review




By Seth Garth

Spectre, starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, 2015    

Sometimes you just can’t win, just can make a simple statement without starting a civil war, a verbal civil war any way. Even in a seemingly placid profession like film criticism, hell, maybe this profession is worse than the academy when it comes to “turf wars.” The average reader is probably not aware of the cutthroat nature of the business, the dog eat dog aspect as each film critic tries to outdo the other either with superlatives or catcalls. It was better in the old days believe me when everybody just took whatever copy, press releases they called them, what a joke, the studios sent out and you just rewrote the thing with maybe a few asides. Jesus you didn’t even have to watch the damn things which from reading the press releases half the time you didn’t want to do anyway.

Then Pauline Kael, no, well her and her highbrow pieces and the notion in the film schools that film criticism, cinematic studies is the usual ploy, was the way to fill classrooms for those who were clueless about what to do in the industry but were hungry to learn something about film. You wouldn’t want any one of these kids to get within fifty miles of a camera much less a movie studio but a few witty comments wouldn’t hurt anything since nobody read that stuff anyway-film attendance was all word of mouth among neighbors. Then somehow people started taking them seriously since they were from the academy just like they started taking weathermen seriously once they had Doctor or something behind their name.    

Sorry for going off but I had to get that off my chest because frankly I didn’t really want to review this film, this can you believe it 24th Jimmy Bond film starring Danny Craig in the 007 role in Spectre. This is where two bad situations occurred, converged, a couple of fellow film critics and a drummed up from fluff “controversy” over who is the real Bond, James Bond. Like my old friend and mentor Sam Lowell, who has probably written about a billion film reviews, said every time something came up from nowhere and hit him in the face-WTF. This one started out innocently enough when I reviewed Timmy Dalton’s The Living Daylights a film I did want to review and mentioned in passing the “controversy” between older film critic Phil Larkin and younger critic Will Bradley.

The controversy was over whether the original 007 ruggedly handsome Sean Connery or pretty boy Pierce Brosnan represented the real James. They have scourged each other in several reviews going back and forth like two wombats some of the stuff thrown pretty funny. My mistake? I happened in one doomed sentence to mention that while I took no sides in the “controversy” between them that those two contestants were the only real contenders.

That simple unembellished declarative sentence set off a fire-storm if you can believe that. Phil used that first part about Sean Connery being ruggedly handsome to mean that he had been entirely correct when championing Sean as the epitome of 1950s and 1960s manhood when eye candy was for loving and leaving after a little bout in the silky sheets (implied then not shown), when brute force was as likely to defeat the bad guys as some techno-gadget dreamed by Q’s crew and when craft and guile were at a premium. Will took the later part of the sentence about the “pretty boy” to mean that Pierce used his charm and good clean looks to do in the bad guys and that part of that was to take full advantage of the techno-world possibilities afforded by Q’s brain works to foil the bad guys. Worse of all both parties, seeking their respective real goals to tarnish my reputation and tout their own, taunted me for being wishy-washy when I took a hands-off approach to their silly dispute. Yeah, WTF. In any case I had to take this foolish assignment just to have a place where I could expose these holy goofs for what they are-holy goofs.                   

So to the film. I won’t even dream of trying to place Danny Craig in whatever position he deserves in the Bond-ian pantheon and just give a summary. Although except for the names of the bad guys and who plays the eye candy all of which could have been photocopied from a film review of the first cinematic Bond film Doctor No. (I will say that the role of eye candy had gotten better with time giving the young women a more professional role as here with Lea Seydoux as a psychiatrist and more decisive part in doing in the bad guys). This time Spectre is back in the total coverage intelligence racket with a front guy who is a high ranking member of MI6  called “C” by Bond looking for the main chance to use the new technology to gain power and profit. The go round this time involves the leader of Spectre Blofeld, played by Christoph Waltz who turned out to have been the kid whose father raised Bond after he had been orphaned. So a scorched earth quasi-sibling rivalry. 

Going through a million escapades Jimmy and that talented shrink fold the bad guys’ plans without much difficulty even though their fire-power was vastly greater than Jimmy’s. Nice cars, nice gal, nice finish where Jimmy walks away rather than waste the bad guy Blofeld although “C” got blasted to kingdom come when Jimmy decided to blow the joint up. Ho-hum this one is for the holy goofs in the film critic business to dissect.