Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
Source: Haiku Deck

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Prem Panicker: NBC's The West Wing- Why is Liberal a Bad Word?

Source: Prem Panicker- Jimmy Smits as Matt Santos-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Matthew Santos played by Jimmy Smits, a great actor, doing a solid job of defending liberalism against Arnold Vinick played by the great actor and comedian Alan Alda. This of course was part of the last season of The West Wing with a lot of focus on who was going to be next President after Jeb Bartlett played by the great Martin Sheen. And the Democratic nominee was Representative Matthew Santos played again by Jimmy Smits and the Republican nominee was Senator Arnold Vinick played by Alan Alda.

I wouldn't consider Matt Santos to be the liberal in this election, but the candidate who was furthest left at least amongst by major party presidential candidates on this show. He advocated for eliminating school tenure for public school teachers, which is something I support as a Liberal. Not the point of this post, but then he advocates for nationalizing public education in America and putting the Federal Government in charge of schools in America. That was from the early days of this campaign, which was on season 6.

No real Liberal would advocate for nationalizing public schools in this country. I'm not sure I can come up with a more anti-liberal position than nationalizing the school system. I mean talk about top-down over-bureaucratic government agencies, nationalize the school system where Washington tells Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta and everyone else in the country how to educate their kids and you'll see exactly what I mean. With a school system worth trillions of dollars and a huge part of the American economy.

I said Matt Santos did a solid job of defending liberalism. And I meant that and I just laid out where this fictional character came up short as a Liberal and looks more like a Socialist. But where he did a good job was talking about expanding rights and freedom in this country, which is the main point of liberalism and the main reason for being a Liberal. Not expanding governmental power, but expanding the power of individuals over their own lives. And he gave great examples including ending slavery, women's right to vote, Medicare and Social Security.
Prem Panicker: NBC's The West Wing- Why is Liberal a Bad Word?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Classic Canada Sports: NHL Expansion Documentary: Why The World Hockey Association Was Successful

The National Hockey League up until the late 1960s were a six team league, just six franchises in the whole league representing two huge countries physically Canada and America. Spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, until they expanded in the late 1960s in major markets like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington in the mid 1970s. The National Hockey League spent its first fifty- years or so trying to prove to North America, especially America that they were even a major sports league, they've passed that test since, but they had a hard time expanding anywhere.

The NHL was reluctant to expand which is good reasons for the World Hockey Association. Not sure why they called it that because they were only in two countries, but it's good for major league hockey in North America that they came into business in the early 1970s. Because they proved in just seven seasons that major league hockey could work in both Canada and America and went into markets like Hartford, Cleveland, Quebec, Winnipeg, Denver, Edmonton and others. Giving pro hockey players more of a choice in where they could play in what league and for what team. 

The WHA proved that major league hockey could work in North America that the NHL was trapping it's player in having to play for one team even after their contract expired. And that the NHL wasn't doing a very good job in attracting as many fans as they could. The WHA was able to do as well as they did in that brief seven-year window that they had because they were able to attract talent that should've been in the NHL. But that the NHL let slide away from them because again they were trying to keep them with one club not letting see for themselves what else was out there. 

But also players that should've been in the NHL, but there just wasn't enough room for them because again up until the late 1960s again the NHL only had six clubs. Which meant great players like forwards Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretsky who I guess the NHL thought was too small. But all Wayne Gretsky did was show the world that he might be the best hockey player who ever played. But you could also make a case for Gordie Howe as far as who's the greatest all around hockey player of all-time, but thats a different debate. 

And without the WHA maybe the NHL doesn't have thirty clubs today, because maybe they wouldn't of taken chances on markets like Nashville, Tampa, Miami, Raleigh, Denver, San Jose etc. And maybe they are still a small league just trying to survive like the Major Indoor Soccer League or something. The WHA was a success because a lot of their clubs were able to become part of the NHL. Like the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and others. And proved that major league hockey can succeed in North America. And without the WHA, the NHL is probably not as successful as it is today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Jimmy Stewart Delightfully Funny in 1989

Source: Johnny Carson- Jimmy Stewart-
.Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I can't do a Jimmy Stewart impression. I wish I could, because he's one of my favorite funny actors of all-time. Similar to Cary Grant or Robert De Niro of today. The best I can do with Stewart, is use what are today and have been for a while all of these cheesy expressions and words that he used all the time in his movies. Sounding like a small town country boy going to a big city for the first time in his life and saying things like gee wiz, dog gonnit, cheesy stuff like that. But sounds hysterical when it is in a movie that has a lot of cussing in it, but the movie is edited and replaced with words like this.

But Johnny Carson was right when he said that he could play straight man to Jimmy's comedian and wiseass who is never serious. Johnny could feed him all of the material that Jimmy would need to comment on and Jimmy without a script could do standup off the top of his head without preparation and sound hysterical. As we saw in this video with Johnny asking Jimmy basic questions about what is going on in his life and Jimmy playing comedian in response. Like saying his New Years resolution was to talk faster. One reason he is famous is for talking slow.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorite movies of all-time. And even though I don't think it was supposed to be, it is also one of the funniest movies of all-time. The humor you see from Jeff Smith in the movie played by Jimmy Stewart is very similar to the real life Stewart. Observational, off the cuff, what are you thinking, no time to prepare, instant humorous analysis of what you are seeing. Which is Jimmy Stewart and what you see in this video on Carson.
Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Jimmy Stewart Delightfully Funny in 1989

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reason: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Jonah Goldberg- The Tyranny of Cliches

Source: Reason-Jonah Goldberg-
Source: Reason: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Jonah Goldberg- The Tyranny of Cliches

This is what I like about Jonah Goldberg and I'll admit as a Liberal I have a short list of what I like about him. And could lay that out in under a paragraph, but he seems to understand the differences between Liberals and Progressives at least to this extent. That he describes people who have been called "Modern Liberals", as Progressives not Liberal. Even though like a lot of right-wingers, still throws out those old stereotypes that make Liberals look more like Progressives or Socialists. 

Jonah even has described his own politics as classical liberal, at least to a certain extent and sounds like a real Conservative in the classical sense. Not someone in today's neoconservative Republican Party, but more with the Barry Goldwater line of thinking ideology. Not Rick Santorum to use as an example. That's what I like about Jonah Goldberg in under a paragraph. But says things that Liberals don't believe in ideology, even though we wrote the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, along with Libertarians. 

But Jonah says we don't believe in ideology. And that we get on and put people who do believe in ideology and we look down at people, who don't look at the world exactly the way we do. And to use Jonah Goldberg's line, "I call bullshit on that".  If Jonah used these stereotypes just to describe people who he sees as "Modern Liberals", people who are Progressives in the Democratic Socialist Progressive Caucus mode, then I wouldn't have a problem with that. Because of the way he describes the politics of a lot of these people. 

I agree with Jonah to a certain extent, but when he calls them Liberals and says that "Liberals believe in bloated big government" and our ideology is built around the welfare state. How we can empower the Federal Government to take care of people, again to use Jonah's line, I call bullshit on him. Because he's describing the politics of today's Progressives and not my politics. And when he focus's on big government, he only does it from one side of the aisle and doesn't go after big government supporters from his own side of the aisle. He doesn't go after the Neoconservatives in his own party. Unlike myself who has long enough arms to pat myself on the back. 

If Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about the big government leanings about the Progressive Caucus and other modern Progressive Democrats and then also wrote a book about the big Government leanings about the Religious-Right, then I would take him more seriously. But the current track right now seems to try to make Liberals look like people they aren't. And only goes after the big government fascist views of one side of the aisle and sound more like a partisan hack to me more than anyone else.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- Bill Maher Talks About Ron Paul

Source: HBO- Real Time With Bill Maher-
Source: HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- 2007 Ron Paul Interview

There was a time when Bill Maher considered himself a Libertarian, at least in the sense that he didn't want big government in his personal and economic affairs. But not what's called an Anarcho-Libertarian today who is someone who essentially believes that there's essentially no place for government at all. There Anarcho-Libertarians that believe that law enforcement arresting suspects for possible crimes is a form a kidnap. Bill Maher never believed that and I don't think Representative Paul ever believed that. But Bill Maher has always believed that government shouldn't try to tell people how they should live and should stay out of our business as long as what we're doing is our business and we're not hurting innocent people. Which is what I've always believed as a Liberal and what Classical Liberals believe. That government should regulate who people interact with each other , but not prohibit consensual behavior amongst adults.

This was Bill Maher up until 2009 or so. I believed except for private firearms that Maher has always believed that government should stay out of the private affairs of individuals.  But where's he changed has to do with economic policy where he's become a Democratic Socialist. And has just as much in common with Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont on economic policy, as he has in common with Representative Paul on social issues. Maher has moved big government from our bedroom and personal lives and has stuck it into our wallets and bank accounts. He's said that government should be running schools, health care, health insurance, pensions and not have the private sector involved here. Senator Sanders is a strong supporter of personal freedom even in the area of firearms and being a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Bill Maher would outlaw private ownership of firearms. But the rest of Maher's socially liberal stances are intact. Including free speech and being one of the strongest opponents of political correctness.

Terms like Socialist-Liberal and Libertarian-Socialist, sort of get thrown out there especially on social media. And are terms I've used myself, but what do they actually mean. I define Socialist-Liberal as someone who is socialist on economic policy and a big believer in the welfare state and that private enterprise needs to be heavily taxed and regulated and private income needs to be heavily taxed, but that private property and ownership should exist. But who is very liberal in the classical and real sense on social issues and a big believer in personal freedom. Someone who is a collectivist on economic policy, but an individualist on personal issues and doesn't want big government interfering and prohibiting the private behavior of consenting adults. But back in 2007 Bill Maher was with Ron Paul on a lot of issues and wanted him to be the next President of the United States. I believe it was really the Great Recession and the Tea Party, that moved Maher way to the left on economic policy. While maintaining his very liberal views on social issues.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Beware Cults: Video: History Channel: Dangerous Devotion, Decoding the Past

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on Blogger, August, 2012 and then reposted 

I believe its the common wisdom that for people to be member of cult groups, that there's clearly something wrong with them. They have some mental disease, that no one else has picked up on or thought it was a big enough problem that it needed to be addressed. That all cultists lets call them are ex-convicts or have spent time in mental institutions, thats clearly not the case. All you have to do to know that, is to look at the Manson Family from the late 1960s. 

Most if not all the members of the Manson Family, were all educated, headed for college if they wanted it. And all came from middle to upper middle class families, all with loving parents. Except for their leader Charlie Manson, who had a at least borderline nightmarish childhood, never knowing his father. A mother who didn't want him and wasn't prepared to raise him, who got passed around from house to house, who I believe never even attended high school, at least on the outside. Jonestown is another example of that where either their leader in Jonestown was well educated and very intelligent. 

But Jim Jones was also borderline evil and became a very dangerous man responsible for the murders of hundreds of people. Jonestown again was made up of young middle class people who were somewhat lost in life and not sure where they were going. Who hated the injustices they saw in life and were looking for an escape. They were essentially a collection of Socialists who were looking for an opportunity to build a Socialist Utopia. This was the vision of Jonestown that was to be set up in the jungles of Guyana. A communitarian lifestyle where the cultists would live off of each other and live off the land. 

Its not so much the mentally ill that are targets of these cult groups, but people who have talents, intelligence, abilities, but are not sure where they are going in life. These are the people that get picked up by these groups, because these cult leaders see potential in these people, that they want to exploit and take advantage of in all sorts of ways. The Manson Family and Jonestown are perfect examples of this. 

People who tend to fall in these cult groups, tend to be looked down from people on the outside, who don't understand cult groups as stupid or crazy. "Look at those nuts or morons they deserved what they got". That sort of thing when people who fall into these groups could be the next door neighbor in a middle class or wealthy community. These groups tend to be made up of people who are somewhat lost in life and looking for a break from reality. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Slave Obey's: Blind Faith- Expose on the Potter's House Family of Churches

Source: Slave Obey's: Bond Faith- Expose on The Potter's House of Churches

The Religious-Right in America are people who are theocratic Christians and would like to see an official religion in the United States, who would completely rewrite the United States Constitution and make it look like a fundamentalist religious document. This is why I call this political faction in America thats on the far-right a religious-cult. 

Thats exactly what the Religious-Right is, a lot of these people are either very ignorant or brainwashed or a combination of both. And view people that the country as a whole tends to tolerate and not look down on as immoral people. Such as homosexuals, adulterers, gamblers, people who watch adult entertainment to use as examples. All things that the Religious-Right would like to outlaw in America. 

Other Americans might not approve of these activities. But tend to look at it as "the individuals business and we do not need big government interfering with how individuals live their own lives". And so-fourth, but with the Religious-Right its another ball game. They just don't look down at these activities, but see them as immoral and Un-American and needs to be outlawed all together. This is why I call the Religious-Right in America a religious cult. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Andrea Bonezzi: 2Pac & Bruce Hornsby- Changes: The Way It Is

Source: Andrea Bonezzi- 2Pac & Bruce Hornsby-
Source: The New Democrat

I love this Bruce Hornsby song and the Malcolm X intro makes the video a classic. With Malcolm asking his audience and I’m paraphrasing here. "Who are you? Where are you from? Your names can’t be Smith or Jones or Johnson or Murphy". They don’t have names like that where we are from. Our identity was stolen from people who come from a different part of the world. Who look and talk a lot different from we do".

Then it goes to Bruce Hornsby and Tupac Shakur talking about the American civil rights movement. And the laws that were passed, but then asks the questions how much progress in this country has been made. When it comes to racial equality when we still have a lot of the same problems that we did fifty years ago, but the answer to that is that we’ve made a hell of a of progress in this area. But we still have a lot of work to do. That we haven’t completed our journey on the road to racial quality in America. That this isn’t about bashing a great country, but it is about acknowledging that one of the things that makes us great, is our ability to grow and become even greater.

This video represents to me the best of what can actually happen when you involve pop culture or in Tupac’s case hip hop culture into a subject. Not to try to convince people that serious subjects aren’t serious and do not deserve our attention. But to explain the subjects in a way that a vast audience can understand. Especially for people who do not follow these issues very closely because they do not seem cool to them.
Andrea Bonezzi: 2Pac & Bruce Hornsby- Changes: The Way It Is

Friday, October 10, 2014

Buddy TV: Anna Torv Talks About Fringe Season Five

Source: Buddy TV- Anna Torv-
Source: Buddy TV: Anna Torv Talks About Fringe Season 5

I've never seen the show Fringe, except for a few minutes of its reruns that was once on a channel that is now called SCI, that use to be called Discovery Science. But I would like to see a few shows of it in the future, if for no other reason that to see Anna Torv in it. Because I gotta be honest, reading the synopsis of it online, was not an attention grabber for me. You would have to be either an X Files junky or a sci-fi junky in general, which I'm not to be into fringe.

Fringe is about this made up division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that is run by the Department of Homeland Security. Well anyone in America familiar with the FBI and DHS, knows that the FBI is not part of DHS. So that is one problem for Fringe, but it gets worst for me. Because the Fringe unit so to speak on the show's job is to investigate the abnormal. Crimes that can't be explained, supernatural events. Which is just not my cup of tea.

I like cop shows and law enforcement show in general, especially if they involve detectives or other investigators, that are believable and based on realty. That is just who I am as both a Liberal and as a person that I'm into things that are believable and credible and go where the evidence takes me. And that is just not Fringe, but what Fringe looks like is another one of those trendy supernatural detective shows, part of that genre that the Sci-Fi Network and FOX made popular in the late 1990s and the last ten years.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Martina Schmidt: Sexy Women Walking Outside- Sexy Women With Curves

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

Beautiful sexy German women, tall and with curves, which is pretty common for German women in Germany, or in Austria, or in America. And I'm not just saying this because I'm German myself, a German-American that is. But if you look at Pennsylvania, or the upper Midwest especially, but Ohio as well, you'll see a lot of healthy looking women and a lot of healthy ethnic-German women as well. German-Americans are a large percentage of the American Midwest and roughly a quarter of the United States population as a whole. With all os the sausages, beef, potatoes, egg noodles that the German people eat, we would have to be pretty curvy. Because food like that fills you up and sticks to your bones and when made right, makes you strong. This women who I believe is from Germany, would fit in very well in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa to use as examples. Even with the German accent, because she wouldn't sound a whole lot different from the people who already live there.
Martina Schmidt: Sexy Jeans- Walking Outdoors

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kerry Lynn's Channel: Miranda Lambert- Baggage Claim in Concert

Source: Kerry Lynn-Miranda Lambert's Baggage Claim-
Source: Kerry Lynne's Channel: Miranda Lambert- Channel

Miranda Lambert I believe is from rural Texas and looking at her background and her personality she's about as country as a country girl can be. And I mean that in a good way, she's real and she knows who she is and where she comes from. And isn't ashamed of that and never afraid to be who she is. And I have a lot of respect for people like that. And I try to be the same way and hopefully I've succeeded. I know who I am and where I'm from and proud of it. And not or ever afraid to express it either because its real.

This is who Miranda is that she's basically telling the world to "deal with it the best you can and accept it or not". But she's not changing who she is because she knows who she is. And thats the only person she knows how to be. Miranda Lambert is a real person not a phony wannabe something else that she's not and she not changing who she is. I'm a what a call a blues rock fan, which is essentially classic rock mixed in with rhythm and blues. I'm a big fan of Eric Clapton and consider him the king of this style of music. I'm also a big fan of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for similar reasons.

I also like Tina Turner and Dave Matthews as well as Sheryl Crow. As well as Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix who I consider to be the best guitarist of all time. And Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana and Aaron Neville to a certain extent. Aerosmith is my favorite band and who I consider to be the best classic rock band in the world if not all-time. And they have a blues sound to they're music to a certain extent, but they're mostly a classic rock band with a great sound. And the best in the business as far as I'm concern. So when I here someone playing this style of music and they sound like they have a good idea what they're doing, especially if you wouldn't of guessed that they play this music, I take notice which brings me to Miranda Lambert.

Miranda Lambert is a country singer, or at least has thats in her background. But she has a hell of a voice for classic rock or even blues rock. And she mixes classic rock into her music and sometimes sings pure classic rock songs. She even has a version of Joan Jett's rock classic,  I love Rock and Roll. And if anything I think she sounds better singing it because I think she has a better singing voice than Joan Jett. Who I also have a lot of respect for who's also a excellent classic rock artist. And who's still going very strong now in her early 50's.

Miranda Lambert has a song called Gunpowder and Led, which is what I would call a country rock,  mixture of the two. For anyone who thinks they could never like a country singer or any other form of country music, listen to a few of them from time to time you might be positively surprised. Because a lot of them are not pure country singers and combine other sounds into their music. Miranda Lambert is an example of a country singer who has successfully made a transition from country to classic rock without forgetting who she is and where she came from.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MTV: Shakira MTV Unplugged- 1999

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

There is maybe two songs from Shakira that I like that I've heard in English. I speak maybe two-hundred words of Spanish, so if someone is singing in Spanish, good luck to me and trying figure out what the hell the person is singing. Because I'll pick up a few words here and there, not enough to give me a great grasp of the song. Unless it is an Americas song with the same music, but the person singing the song in Spanish. Then I'll not only know what song they are singing, but probably be able to follow along as well.

Shakira has a few songs that I like. Whenever from 2002 and a couple of others with the titles escaping me right now. But she has a great voice and a great sound as far as her music. She has a hell of a band that almost sounds like blues rock or Latin rock. She would do very well performing with American classic rockers and hard rockers. And also she's so damn baby-face adorable and gorgeous at the same time with a nice body. It is real hard for a straight guy anyway, not to check her out.

Shakira is a classic sexy baby. Baby-face adorable with real sex-appeal of a women and not a little girl. But she is also very talented as well and she has all of those things going for her at the same time. And then you put her on stage with that voice, that passion and body and then you put her in skin-tight leather jeans and boots, that is just the icing of a huge birthday cake. That makes you want to sit there and eat it the whole time and prey it never ends and goes away.
MTV: Shakira on MTV's Unplugged in 1999