Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Friday, February 23, 2018

Politics & Prose: John Leland- 'Happiness Is A Choice You Make'

Source: Politics & Prose-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I believe in the cliche life is a highway and then add Tom Cochrane's line, I want to ride it all night long. On the highway of life ( to use a another cliche ) you make a lot of turns, stops, you accelerate, you stop for gas and just to get a bite to eat and get some rest.

Imagine driving from Washington to Los Angeles in a cross-country trip. Ordinary if you don't run into bad weather, car trouble, have any major accidents, decide to go for a joy ride after getting loaded one night on one of your stops in St. Louis let's say, and you're a good driver, this cross-country trip should take you about 7-10 days. Well, imagine your life being a a cross-country trip or a trip around the world but it takes you about 80 years ( give or take ) instead and not because of car trouble or any of the other factors that I just mentioned.

That is what life is which is a very long journey if you live a normal life in years. And on that journey you're going to have a lot of ups and downs. Richard Nixon once said that he wanted to die with at least one more victory than defeat. Well, hopefully life for you will be a lot better than that and the best thing about this is that you have complete control over your own life once you move out from your parents and start driving on your own highway of life with the ability and freedom to make your own decisions. But even before you move out from your parents as a young adult you still have a lot of freedom to make your own highway and ability to decide what that journey will be for you.

Do you finish high school, to use as an example. Do you do well in high school which allows for you do be able to go to college. If you go to college, do you do well in college. Do you stay out of trouble as a youth or get into trouble on a regular basis. These are all choices that we make as children, adolescents, young adults, full adults, and moving forward. It's up to us to make either good decisions or bad decisions with our own lives and then we have to live with the consequences of our own decisions for good and bad, or for in-between.

In a free society like a liberal democracy like America, we all have choices that we make in life. The question is what kind of choices do we make. If you have not just a habit of making good choices like you just happen to be very lucky and perhaps you should take that luck to Atlantic City or Las Vegas, but you tend to make good choices and decisions because you've decided to based on good information and facts instead of flipping a coin, drawing straws, you're going to be happy in life. At least compared with a screwup who acts on impulse, or doesn't care about anyone other than them self, perhaps lost their brain somewhere and never went back to look for it.

To achieve happiness in life you have to figure out what makes you happy. What you're good at and what you want out of life. And then make the right decisions to accomplish those things. Instead of sitting on your ass and expecting happiness to pick you up off your couch or getting lucky. The ultimate investment in life is your own life. The more you put into it, the more you'll get back and the happier you'll be. You only get out if your investments what you put in them.
Politics & Prose: John Leland- 'Happiness Is A Choice'

Friday, February 16, 2018

Politics & Prose: David Frum- Trumpocracy

Source: Politics & Prose-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

David Frum's Trumpocracy argues that thanks to President Donald Trump and perhaps other people and other things our liberal democracy and liberal democratic form of government is at risk. That Donald Trump represents a right-wing nationalist populist movement that puts their political and cultural values over everyone else and everything else. Including the U.S. Constitution. The one clue that you need to know about the Trump Nationalist Tea Party populist movement is not conservative, is that they're not traditionalists. They don't believe in conserving the status quo. They want to blow up the system and the Washington way of doing things and replace that system with their own political system which wouldn't be democratic.

Just as political and current affairs junkie, I hate it when political commentators and reporters, call people Conservatives when they're not conservative. The tax bill and budget that the Republican Congress passed in the last two months that will add trillions of dollars to the national debt and as a result we're looking at a deficit of over a trillion-dollars next year which would be our first trillion-dollar deficit since 2012. Conservatives don't borrow and spend and they don't blow up tradition  and the status quo. They protect and conserve the system that they're part of because it works and they helped design it. Donald Trump represents an anti-conservative movement that is nationalist, tribalist, and authoritarian, that believes their movement are the real Americans and everyone else are Un-American.

Donald Trump by himself I don't believe is as scary as people want to believe. As much as a wannabe nationalist dictator that he wants to be the problem is he operates in a system with checks and balances and still is part of a liberal democratic form of government and there real limits to what he can do by himself and he like no other President in American history is above the law. If he's guilty of anything illegal or impeachable we'll know about it and Congress will have an opportunity to act on that.

What people should really worry about are the people and voters that Donald Trump represents and the prospects for those people coming to power in America. Not just at the Federal level but the state and local levels which is more important, since a lot of members of Congress come from state and local government. And establish regimes that pass laws that make it close to impossible for members of the opposition to even vote. That is what we should worry about as people who believe in checks and balances and liberal democracy.
Politics & Prose: David Frum- Trumpocracy

Friday, February 9, 2018

Movie Clips Trailer Vault: Groundhog Day 1993- Starring Bill Murray & Andie McDowell

Source: Movie Clips Trailer Vault-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Groundhog is one of my favorite comedies from the 1990s as well as all time. Because the movie which obviously is not believable that a basically normal even narcissistic man like Phil Connors ( played by Bill Murray ) could literally live the same exact day over and over with only Phil making any changes for how his day goes, unless he's literally dreaming and just having the Hollywood dream of a lifetime. The movie is only about 1:45 minutes give or take, so why couldn't a man be sleeping have this dream going on his head while he's asleep.

The movie starts off with Phil who is a selfish unhappy narcissistic weatherman for a local TV station in Pittsburgh, which is a midsize city in a small market, with hopes of landing a job for a big station in a big market like New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, wherever it might be. But instead of getting a job like that he gets another assignment from his Pittsburgh station to cover another small-town event in rural Pennsylvania small-town Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Doing exactly what he doesn't want to do which is to cover small-town events with small-town people with Pittsburgh perhaps being the biggest city they've ever seen in their lives.

And narcissistic Phil sees himself as much bigger than that is unhappy and cynical the whole time he's there, until he realizes he's living the same day over and over again. Groundhog Day which is a one day event for everyone else in this town becomes a daily event for him. With no one else realizing what's going on with him. Because everything else is normal for them. But in Phil's case the same day starts over and over again every time he goes to sleep and wakes up in his hotel room.

Groundhog Day for me is the opportunity for one guy to live the same day over and over and learn from those experience and try not to make the same mistakes. Phil becomes a less sarcastic, cynical, narcissistic, selfish man as the movie moves along. Once he realizes he's in the same day over and over with no tomorrows. He also becomes adventurous knowing that there's basically no consequences for anything that he does. He can literally do whatever the hell he wants because he knows he'll start the same day over and over once midnight comes.

There's a scene in the diner where he drinks an entire pot of coffee and eats all of the pastries in the diner while he's smoking. He robs an armor truck. He jumps off a building. He drives a truck over a cliff intentionally. He drives a car on the train tracks and gets into a police chase and spends a night in jail. Of course, only one night because the same day just starts over for him once midnight comes. He also starts to get involved with his producer Rita ( played by the adorable Andie McDowell ) who doesn't like him and sees him as an egocentric selfish jerk. And spends each Groundhog Day learning about her and what she likes and is interested in and changes his behavior and interests just to get her to like him.

I prefer movies that are realistic, with great actors, great plot, cover original great writing, with clever wit with a cast that is also witty but can act as well. Groundhog Day has all of that except for the realism. Unless again we're talking about one man with a really strange dream while he's asleep that no one else could possibly know about. Groundhog Day is that 100 minute escape from reality when people simply just need an entertaining break and time to escape and is a very entertaining and very funny movie.
Movie Clips Trailer Vault: Groundhog Day 1993- Trailer

Friday, February 2, 2018

Politics and Prose: David Cay Johnston- 'It's Even Worse Than You Think'

Source: Politics and Prose-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I agree with David C. Johnston that Donald Trump is not the disease in American politics, but a symptom. His presidency is an example of what can happen when Americans are literally so pissed off about American politics, American politicians, the lobbyists that they actually represent instead of the everyday American voters who work very hard for their living and proud of that.

Not just Independents but Democrats voted for Donald Trump. Far-Left-Wing Democrats and third-party voters who voted for Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries for President, voted for Nationalist Republican Donald Trump for President. Who came out in favor of banning Muslims from entering America and a huge border wall that is supposed to be about two-thousand miles along and cover the entire American-Mexican border, even though no one actually believes that is even possible to accomplish let alone will ever happen, except for Donald Trump's Far-Right Breitbart Fox News voters. Even Donald Trump knows enough about immigration to know his wall won't ever happen, but he's also smart enough to know that his base doesn't know that.

Think about that for a second. Socialists voting for a right-wing Nationalist for President, even though they had Green Party Socialist candidate Jill Stein, as an option to vote for President. Donald Trump for all of his weaknesses and lack of knowledge about everything other than how to make money for himself and entertainment, understands the American political system very well. Not the governmental system where he's not even a student of American government at this point, but instead barely knows it exist and sees the U.S. Justice Department and White House Legal Counsel Office, as his personal law firms that are supposed to be in the business to only represent him.

But Trump is smart enough about American politics to know where American voters are at least on the right-wing side of it and not the Center-Right of the Republican Party, but the hardcore Right if not Far-Right. And he knows what he can do and has to do to get those voters to vote for him and support him. He also knows that there is this so-called Reagan Democrat wing in the Democratic Party who generally vote for Democrats for President and who voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama for President twice, but that these voters haven't been part of the economic recovery that we've been living though since 2009. And hate our American political system and the politicians that get elected for obvious reasons. And that Donald Trump completely represents the anti-political as well as government establishment in America.

Donald Trump represents what can happen when you have a Congress with a 15% approval rating. Where you have a large percentage of middle class workers who haven't gotten a raise in twenty years, where corruption in politics and government looks like the norm instead of a surprise and for the Far-Right in America Trump represents what can happen when you have an America that looks like America which is the world ethnically and racially, instead of just looking like Europe.

All Donald Trump did in 2015-16 was to be smart enough to understand these things and be smart enough to take advantage of them. You want to get the Donald Trump's of the world out of the American political system and more importantly out of the American government, you need better government and better people working in government especially at the top. And even more importantly you need better and smarter voters who vote for good people to represent them. Even if they tell them things and take positions that they don't want to see and here from time to time.
Politics and Prose: David Cay Johnston- 'It's Even Worst Than You Think'

Friday, January 26, 2018

Forrest Palmer: George Wallace 1968 Presidential Campaign- Precursor To Donald Trump

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

When I watched and listened to Donald Trump's 2016 GOP Convention nomination speech, I thought about George C. Wallace and his 1968 presidential campaign. The theme that it's other people's fault for why certain Americans mainly blue-collar Caucasian-Americans and men especially are struggling in America. Donald Trump's point was mostly about immigration and to a certain extent Islam's fault for why his Caucasian blue-collar male base was struggling.

In the 1960s there was this sense among Southern Caucasians especially English-Protestants and blue-collar workers in this community there and in even in rural parts of the Midwest, that they were losing their America. Because of multiculturalism, ethnic and racial minorities now staking their claim in America and not just defending their constitutional rights but using their to express themselves and be able to obtain their American dream without being denied their rights simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Governor George Wallace spoke to this community in Alabama in the 1960s and then later the broader South when he ran for President in 1968. Speaking out against integration and other issues.

George Wallace became the spokesperson for the segregationists and Neo-Confederates in Alabama and the broader South in the 1960s. The Dixiecrats in the Democratic Party that basically ran that party in Congress and the broader Democratic Party in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Wallace became the Strom Thurmond of the 1960s and became the candidate for blue-collar English-Protestants in America who believed their America was disappearing with all sorts not just non-European-Americans, but non-Anglo-Saxons becoming prominent in America. Italian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Irish-Catholics, Latinos, and other Americans. Along with African-Americans of course who gave us the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

I don't believe Donald Trump personally designed his presidential campaign around George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign. Just because The Donald is not even a student of history let alone an amateur historian. He seems to have no interest in history whatsoever. But George Wallace was still alive and functioning in 2016 and he would've been 97 at that point, I believe he would've been proud of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. And then say that he was the first to run a campaign like this and perhaps claim that Big Don learned from him. The two presidential campaigns are more than strikingly similar.
Forrest Palmer: George Wallace 1968 Presidential Campaign- A Precursor To Donald Trump

Friday, January 19, 2018

Governor Wallace: Alabama Governor George Wallace- On Meet The Press: June 30th, 1968

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

Was Governor George Wallace a racist? Well, the same question can unfortunately be asked about our President of the United States Donald Trump. Or was George Wallace an racial opportunist and demagogue? Someone who used racial issues in Alabama to gain popularity with the actual racists there and members of the KKK and other racist European-American especially Anglo-Saxon groups in Alabama and in South in general.

The actual definition of a racist is, "a person who shows or feels discrimination against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race it superior to another." ( According to Wikipedia ) You could expand that to people who simply dislike or even hate, show violence to someone of another race, or other races simply because that person or people are from another race. I don't believe we know that George Wallace believed that European-Americans were superior to African-Americans and other racial groups in America. We also don't know that George Wallace hated of races of people.

George Wallace wasn't a career politician, he was an addicted politician. Someone who could only be happy if they held a public office and dealt with public policy on a daily basis as an elected official. He was also power hungry and was always seeking the most power for himself politically that he could politically could. Which is why he ran for President of the United States four times. He was also from Alabama which obviously had a lot of racists in his state and knew for him to be successful politically it was going to have to be in Alabama. Which leads into me believing that George Wallace was a racial demagogue and opportunist.

Governor Wallace was a man who used racial divisions and the hatred of racists in Alabama towards African-Americans as a way to further his own political career. I don't think we know if Governor Wallace was an actual segregationist in the sense he believed the Caucasians and African-Americans, should be forced to live separately. What we do know is Alabama back then at least was a deeply poor underdeveloped, undereducated, ignorant state even and that Governor Wallace wasn't going to be popular in Alabama because people there loved the economy so much and felt so great about their own lives. But Wallace knew that if he could communicate with the racists there that he was with them and that it was them against African-Americans and the Federal Government, he could get elected on that alone and be popular there.

George Wallace was a very complicated man who similar to Richard Nixon had a lot of flaws and even some pluses. Not as many pluses as Richard Nixon and Wallace was also an intelligent man especially politically and a good lawyer. To simply flat-out  call George Wallace a racist because he spoke in favor of segregation I believe is too simple. To call him a demagogue who used racial issues to scare people and who over blew them to gain political popularity I believe would be accurate. I believe George Wallace was a bad guy and a bad politician in the sense that he had a hard time telling the truth and even lied a lot to gain political popularity. But I think labeling him a racist would be going too far.
Governor Wallace: Alabama Governor George Wallace- On Meet The Press: June 30th, 1968

Friday, January 12, 2018

David Hoffman: Governor George Wallace Defends Segregation on TV in 1968

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

The video is not about segregation but poverty in Alabama instead. Why David Hoffman who put the video together called titled the video about segregation instead, you would have to ask him.

The man who questions Governor George Wallace in this video asked his about poverty including starvation in Alabama, with Governor Wallace essentially saying, "what about New Jersey and states up North that also have poverty in them? How come you aren't asking about them." Trying to change the subject and do a what about. "Things might be horrible here, but what about these other places where things are bad?"

Alabama is different today and no longer a big state geographically with poverty everywhere. Alabama has become a lot more urban and more educated. While still dealing with high levels of rural and even urban poverty, but back in the 1960s and before that Alabama was a big West Virginia or Arkansas. Deeply rural and undeveloped with a lot of ignorant people at least in the sense of people who simply didn't finish school and perhaps never even made it to high school. A lot of that having to do with their families needing them to work early so they could have food and a place to live.

Governor Wallace who had already served two terms as Governor of Alabama by the time 1968 came around, obviously knew all of this. But instead tried to distract and deny the obvious about high levels of poverty in Alabama.
David Hoffman: Governor George Wallace Defends Segregation on TV in 1968