Ederik Schneider Online

Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Reason: John Stossel- Lilly Tang Williams: 100 Years of Communist Disaster

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

China is a good example of a communist disaster as far as their economic system until they started their privatization program about 40 years ago and moved to a more capitalist private enterprise economic system. But China is still a communist unitarian one-party state that happens to have a private enterprise economic system, while still maintaining some state-owned enterprises. Their political system is still a one-party communist system and there's still no free press, free speech, right to privacy, fair trial, etc, things that liberal democracies like America have. And yet I don't think anyone at this point would argue that the People's Republic of China is a failed state. Just a little push back at John Stossel's broad point here that communism has failed in China.

I'm more interested in the somewhat rebirth if not of communism, but certainly socialism and what I call Neo-Communism. Which is a very illiberal (not liberal) form of socialist-collectivism which is somewhat undemocratic while still leaving in some democratic principles.

For example, non-socialist parties are still allowed to technically run for national office in Venezuela. The Center-Left Liberal Democrats did win control of the National Assembly there a few years ago. But then what the so-called Socialist (Neo-Communist) Maduro Government does there is say that those elections were not valid and the opposition is now a threat to the country (meaning the Maduro Government) and the Maduro Government starts their own brand new National Assembly where only members of the Socialist Party there are allowed to serve.

Which is a big reason why we're seeing so much chaos in Venezuela there because the economy is collapsing in a country that is energy independent and yet they can't produce enough affordable energy for most of the country. But rising inflation and interest rates, shortages of other basic necessities in life including food. Because Big Uncle Nick (meaning President Nicolas Maduro) believes his state is more capable of producing the goods and services that the Venezuelan people need better than the people themselves.

And that Venezuela is a country of 25 millions morons essentially who are too stupid to manage their own affairs. And they need Big Uncle Nick and his army of Neo-Communists (his government) to take care of them for them. Venezuela is the perfect example of a failed Neo-Communist state and disaster. Cuba would be another great example, add North Korea. Anyone seen or heard from the Soviet Union lately or seen any Soviets? Almost like they've disappeared from the face of the Earth.

But to bring it back home back to America where no one who isn't an alcoholic or drug addict actually believes communism will ever takeover America and run this country. But there is a new socialist movement that has two wings of in it. One, is a democratic socialist wing led by Senator Bernie Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein, who by enlarge are both peace-loving Hippies from the 1960s who perhaps occasionally enjoy a joint every now and then who do live on cloud nine politically in the sense that they both have this warped fantasy that perhaps you could only get from smoking too much pot, that government services are free.

That if American taxpayers just gave up most of their income to Uncle Sam, or perhaps Uncle Bernie and his wife Aunt Jill, assuming that we wouldn't allow them to just take our money from us, that America would turn into some beautiful socialist utopia. With no one ever going without not enough or enjoying too much, because the U.S. Government would collect our wealth for us and then manage for us and decide for us what we need to live well.

Besides, in their view Americans tend to be stupid anyway and aren't capable of making our own complicated decisions anyway that you would probably need a masters degree from an Ivy League or some other great Northeastern or West Coast university to be able to manage properly. Like where we should get our health insurance, health care, how to invest for our retirement, where to get our childcare for our kids, who to take care of our kids when they get older, etc. Basic decisions that only New York, San Francisco, and Washington yuppie intellectuals are capable of making. And therefor according to Uncle Bernie and Aunt Jill and other Socialists, should have this decision-making power over everyone else and given the power to run our lives for us.

But wait, it gets a helluva a lot worse than that. Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, are the good Socialists for the most part. Other than having a hard time telling the truth about the costs and consequences of their economic policies. Its much worst than the Sanders-Stein factions of American socialism. Move over to the American Neo-Communists the people who hate free speech so much that they'll use their free speech rights to try to shut up people who disagree with them. Even use violent tactics and terrorism to try to shut people up. We saw this at Berkley during this winter.

The Neo-Communists are people who say they hate capitalism even though they own almost every form of new technology there is and claim they can't live without their smartphones and iPads and other devices. Who are always up to date on the latest fashion trends and own all of them. And yet they say they hate capitalism. They are people who claim to love animals and are for animal rights and put people down for the eating cheeseburgers and other meat and call that animal cruelty as they're wearing leather jackets. Again, who say they hate capitalism even though they spend most of their time when they're not protesting against free speech, at coffee houses on their laptops and iPhones. Who claim our Founding Fathers (the original Liberal Democrats) were evil racists who created this evil American empire. As they wear t-shirts of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and support those two men who are both responsible for the murders of thousands of people. In Fidel's case perhaps millions.

Communism will never make it to America at least as a governing philosophy where we would see some communist regime installed and running the U.S. Government. Because Americans tend to be too individualist and once we are educated we tend to know what doesn't work and what does work and are able and want to make our own decisions in life both personally and economically. Besides, the examples of failed communism and failed communist states are widely known. At least outside of the Millennial Generation and once the Millennial's finally grow up I believe they'll come to realize that the pot fantasies that they had in their twenties and even thirties about how like totally awesome socialism and communism is, was nothing more than a social fad and an attempt to look cool with their generation.
Reason Video: John Stossel- Lilly Tang Williams: 100 Years of Communist Disaster

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Atlantic: Opinion- Olga Khazan: The Social Benefits of Swearing

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I'm going to give you an answer to why Americans swear so much at least now in public but also in private as well that is a lot less scientific than what Olga Khazan gives you. But before that I'm just to go on the record and say I'm not a religious fundamentalist or very religious at all and don't even practice any religion and I'm not a prude. Of course I swear like most Americans do I just have a real purpose to it and don't feel the need to sound cool and lot of times today swearing is generally used simply to sound cool and hip. People will swear really for no other reasons other than that.

I swear to express anger and amazement and no other reasons. "Holy shit! That man is fat!" Would be an example of someone showing amazement and being caught off guard. "Why don't you watch where the fuck you're going, are you trying to fuckin kill me?" Would be an example of someone expressing anger because they think someone is moving too fast generally in a vehicle and moving recklessly. But most Americans swear today and cable TV especially HBO and company is a perfect example of that because that is simply their normal vehicle of communication. That is how they talk to their friends, that is how their friends talk and it seems perfectly normal to them. That is how cool people talk today.

If you want to sound cool today you swear a lot and even do it for no apparent reason. "Where the fuck is he? He was supposed to be here 2 minutes ago. Fuckin lazy ass!" Now was that really called for or could that person just so a little patience instead and say, "relax, he'll be here." Or not even say that and just enjoy that time waiting a few minutes. Maybe get a latte and stare at their iPhone and pretend to look hip and important for a few minutes.

The more you swear and sound cool doing it, the cooler you'll be in American pop culture. And if you're in entertainment the more you swear the more popular you'll be and the more roles you'll have in movies or on HBO or the other networks where hard-core swearing is not just allowed but encouraged. The bigger the asshole you are the more attention you'll bring to yourself as the reality genre as proven the last fifteen years or so. You don't have to do a scientific study to prove this but simply be aware of your own surroundings and what is going on in culture today.

The fact that we now see more cussing in American politics today whether its lets say moderate cussing with the use of the word damn and hell, screw, and other words like that not just on cable news, but network news where you would think the people there would be more moderate and cognitive with their approach to how they express themselves, is just an example of how pop culture hasn't just infiltrated our political system, but that our political system is a reflection of our pop culture in America.

And saying what the heck, or darn it all, gee wiz, just sounds too 1950s Leave it to Beaver for most Americans today. Especially when you can say I don't give a damn or what the hell, that is a helluva a lot, and not pay any price for it. You don't need to poll people or do any scientific research on this and ask people why they swear regardless of their profession. You just have to be aware of what's going on in front of you and see it for yourself.


The Atlantic: Opinion- Olga Khazan: Does Swearing Make You Likable?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Frank Furedi- College Students Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

As someone who didn't even graduate college I'm probably not the right spokesperson for this, (to say the least) but I've always believed that college is supposed to be a place to learn and and even learn news ideas. New ideas and things that people didn't hear much if anything about in high school or anywhere else and not to automatically take those new ideas and philosophies on face value and automatically, but to learn about them and then decide for themselves on the best available evidence possible on the worth of those ideas and philosophies.

That it's not the job of college to tell people how to think and what to think, but how to learn and then the students can figure out for themselves the worth of what they're learned and what it means on the best available evidence possible. Call me naive if you want, but that is what I believe. I think what we're seeing at college now is sort of the opposite of that. That you have professors who don't teach their students about ideas and philosophies as much as they try to teach their students what to think. That this is what you should believe because this is what is right and wrong. Instead of giving their students the freedom to learn and experience and figure out what works for them and in society for themselves. Again on the best available evidence possible.

Today what we're seeing at college with young students like millennial's and soon to be the so-called Z Generation, is that the opposites are being taught and learned as far as what makes America great and what makes our diverse vast liberal democracy work so well.

According to too many millennial's freedom and free speech are bad. They seem to believe that free speech is nothing more than the right to offend someone and because of that we should eliminate free speech because someone might be offended by what is heard and believed.

That personal freedom is nothing more than the right to make mistakes and screw up that the rest of society will have to pay for.

That capitalism and property rights are racist and selfish. Because African-Americans and Latino-Americans, haven't done as well as European and Asian-Americans economically in America and because of that capitalism is racist and unfair. That allowing people to keep what they own and have earned simply by purchasing it with money they've earned, that is somehow selfish for people to be able to keep property for themselves. And as a result some people will have to go without because you have these selfish people keeping their own property and not sharing it with people who have little.

That Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were great men because they took on the man (so to speak) and that Tomas Jefferson is evil because he owned African slaves. Even in a time when almost all European men in America with means owned slaves. Forgetting the facts that Fidel and Che were both Marxist-Communists who killed people simply because they disagreed with them politically and would lock people up simply for dissenting.

As I said the opposites are being taught to young people in and outside of college in America. And one can just say, "hey, look at those stupid young people. Don't worry, they'l grow up and be forced to go to work in order to support themselves and learn how the real world works, even if they end up bashing the American system that they've benefited from their whole lives." One could say that and perhaps these millennial's as they reach their forties and fifties at worst will end up being like these fake Hollywood Socialists like the Jane Fonda's and Mike Moore's of the world, who end up bashing capitalism and freedom in general, even as they collect their millions and continue to take advantage of a system as they should, that they've benefited so much from.

The thing with socialism is that it's much easier to practice as long as you don't have to live with it. It's a much better system hypothetically than in practice and having to live with it. Because at the end of the day whether you're an Ayn Rand Objectivist-Libertarian, or a Marxist-Socialist, we're all Americans. And we all tend to want to be successful in life and live comfortably. I believe that is the best hope that we can have for the Millennial Generation at this point.
Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Frank Fruedi- College Students Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- The Cultural Factors Driving America's Departure From Reality

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I don't want to make this whole piece about Donald Trump and even not most of it and perhaps just a lot of it, but the way I look at America's Departure From Reality (to paraphrase Kurt Anderson) is way I describe Donald Trump's approach to politics and broader approach to salesmanship. Which is that it's not what's true that's important to him, but what's believable. And not what's believable to most people or intelligent people. But what's believable to enough people for him to accomplish what he wants.

In 2016 that was the presidency and perhaps now it's just about what's believable to his base so his presidency doesn't completely go under water. Right now President Trump's approval rating is somewhere between 33-37% depending on what non-Fox News and Rasmussen poll you look at. Even Fox News has him in the low to mid forties right now. And you take President Trump's base away from him he's probably in the teens right now and perhaps low teens. Not the Republican Party but just his base in the Republican Party. Which is about 4-10 Republicans.

President Trump believes for him to stay alive and not risk being kicked out of office or asked to resign even with a Republican Congress, he has to have his base with him. And to for hat he has to tell them things that are believable to them even if the rest of the country knows what he's saying his complete garbage. (To be kind) Millions of Americans perhaps have escaped the real world to break from reality and perhaps live in so-called reality TV because their real world is too scary for them. But so does their own President.

America's break from reality of course didn't start with Donald Trump. Right now he's just the overwhelming benefactor of it. Where he now represents people who believe that Russia had nothing to do with the 2016 elections and didn't try to interfere in them. Even though President's own intelligent agencies have told him that Russia tried to hack our elections. Climate change is a hoax, 9/11 was an inside job, Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and I could go on. But America's break from reality has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Again he's just the biggest benefactor of it.

We now live in a country where Americans believe reality TV is actually real and the people on these shows are like that in real-life. When in fact we now now (or at least some of us) that the cast members on those shows are encouraged by the producers of those shows to act out and be the biggest jerks they can and get into arguments with other cast members about nothing to draw the biggest ratings. Because conflict is what sells on TV.

Life in America can be tough and stressful and Americans sometimes need a break from that and be able to escape their own reality. Which is why we take vacations and a lot of us watch the tube and get online when we get home from work especially after we've completed everything we need to do that day. That's fine and I do these things myself. But it's when alternative reality takes over our lives and we start to live in those worlds and start seeing and hearing things that simply don't exist is where virtual reality becomes a problem and we look stupid as a result. Americans are only as powerful and free as we are educated and intelligent.

The smarter we are the freer and powerful we are because we'll make the right decisions for ourselves and people who depend on us. But the more virtual reality and so-called reality TV takes over our lives and we actually take those things seriously instead of the mindless entertainment that it is (like pro wrestling) the dumber we become and the less free that we are as a people and country.
The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- Cultural Factors Driving America's Departure From Reality

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

What makes things cool? A very good question especially since America is such a trendy what's hot now and cool society where everyone who wants to be cool seems to follow whatever the latest trend is even if they look ridiculous, (like wearing cowboy boots and running shorts with a mink coat)  talking or looking like that, or could feel like they're dying when they try to drink the latest drink or eat the latest dish.

Americans by enlarge and there some exceptions of people who have a healthy degree of self-confidence and are very comfortable being themselves even if their best friends are following their favorite celebrities like cult followers follow their leaders. And even with some Americans who are simply cool, because they are themselves even if that makes them different, but by enlarge feel the need to be like everyone else who is considered cool at the time.

With Jim Morrison of The Doors from the late 1960s being a perfect example of an exception to this rule. Marilyn Monroe from the 1950s would be another great example of that. Sean Connery at any point of his career has always been Mr. Cool, or is that Steve McQueen, but both of these men were always themselves. With the personal attributes, looks, intelligence, charm, humor. These two men were always themselves and if anything drove other men to be like them. Instead of these two guys trying to be like some other hot celebrity of that time.

Pop culture and what's seen as cool drives Americans more than just about anything else. We have a lot of Americans especially young Americans who rather be seen as stupid, instead of intelligent and willing to step out on the ledge (in pop culture, not in actuality) and risk not looking and sounding cool. And young adults and even teenagers if they're into something, than people who are just older than them and even much older than them try to get into the same things. And what drives young people today in pop culture is new technology, because it makes their lives much easier and the ability to communicate so much easier than it was even more my Generation X when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the other thing being celebrity culture including talentless celebrities whose only ability has to do with cursing people out and expressing deep anger in public.

Derek Thompson in his video gives you the more scientific explanation of why things are cool and things become trends. But when it comes to Americans it's about trends and faddism. What are the cool people doing meaning the popular people in pop culture and that is who people who are not famous, but perhaps want to be or just want to be part of the cool and party scene in their local community and where they work and so-forth.

And most pop culture today has to do with new technology and people feeling this need that they may die if they don't get the latest iPhone the day that it comes out, watch the last episode of their favorite reality show or drama on cable, or what have you. And keeping up with the pop culture tends and having this feeling of coolness and being in is what drives the happiness of a lot of Americans. Way too many from my point of view.
The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Johnny Circus: Lisa Marie Presley- S.O.B. Live

Source: Johnny Circus- Lisa M Presley-
Source: Johnny Circus: Lisa Marie Presley- S.O.B. Live

She's not as good as her father, but most people aren't, but she can sing. Elvis Presley wasn't called the king for hell of it. I don't see him as the King off Rock & Roll and could probably name ten or more rock artists are better, both solo singers and bands. But he had a great voice and some good songs and was a hell of an entertainer. His music was also different  from his daughter Lisa Marie Presley. Elvis was a blues rock performer and at times played only rhythm and blues. He was sort of the Eric Clapton but a generation up from Clapton. His daughter Lisa Marie is more of a hard rocker, or even metal, perhaps a Goth performer (according to her outfits) and has a much harder edge to her music. She also has a great voice, but not being headbanger myself and fan of both classic rock R&B, for that alone I would give the edge to her father Elvis Presley when it comes to music. But to each his own and we are free to differ on that. But she's good in concert and looks great and for that alone is worth checking out.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rob Atsea: NBC News Update With Jessica Savitch- Easter 1979

Source: Rob Atsea- NBC News Anchor Jessica Savitch-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

 "Jessica Savitch, was NBC Nightly News's weekend anchor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before she tragically died in I believe 1983. Sh... "

Jessica Savitch, was NBC Nightly News's weekend anchor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before she tragically died in I believe 1983. She was like 36 at that point and well on her way to becoming a lead network news anchor, or perhaps having another network news show. She had great presence, she knew what she was talking about, had great delivery and a great voice. And yes like Diane Sawyer, she was gorgeous and very cute and easy to look at and listen to.

Easter 1979, an important time. There was a Polish Pope in John Paul, who is a hero of the Christian-Right in America on social issues. But also a hero with Liberals and Conservatives when it comes to human rights. And was a major inspiration for the way falling in Eastern Europe with Slavic bloc there.

Iran was under a new regime and government and a huge energy producer that America relied on still at that point. But was becoming less predictable and stable just when America was going through an energy and economic crisis. Which just made 1979 an even more chaotic year with the bad economy and lack of affordable energy in the country.
Rob Atsea: NBC News Update With Jessica Savitch- Easter 1979