Rik Schneider Online

Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Full War Movies: Video: Red Nightmare Full Movie 1962


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

There were a lot of anti-communist propaganda films during the Cold War that the U.S. Government made against the Soviet Union and their communist regime. America didn’t win the Cold War because they invaded Russia and knocked out their regime or anything like that. They won the war through economic and political means. And putting the message out there about the American liberal democratic form of government, vs. the Russian communistic form of government. And these films probably did stretch the truth a little and perhaps the Soviet system in Russia wasn’t as bad as it was presented. But these films also worked.

The Cold War wasn’t about military conflict for the most part. A lot of it was fought through political and economic means to show that Russia because of its Marxist economic system simply wasn’t strong enough to ever take on a liberal democratic society like America that is run through private enterprise. And also the fact that Americans tend to like America and our form of government and all the freedom that we are guaranteed as Americans. Whereas in Russia and other authoritarian states back then and today the people try to escape their countries like prisoners trying to escape from maximum security prisons.

America also won the Cold War because of our economic system that gave us the military that was strong enough that no other country would ever want to try to invade us and fight us in America. Which made it very difficult for Russia to compete with us because they never had a strong enough economy to support a military long-term especially by the 1980s when their economy started collapsing to compete with America. And were losing their own people their educated productive people to Europe and America to build good lives for themselves. And be able to live in freedom.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weirdo Video: Don't Be a Sucker, 1947


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

What you see in this film with the bigot in the beginning unfortunately has a long history in America. But I’m only going to go back to the 1890s or so and talk about bigotry toward non-English immigrants in America. The Irish, even though they are essentially brothers and sisters of the English, but tend to practice a different religion than the English in America and back in Britain. The Italians, the Jews, the Poles and other Slavic immigrants in America, the Chinese and Japanese and then move it a hundred plus years and you have xenophobic attitudes towards Latinos and Arabs and other Middle Easterners.

The guy early on in this video was repeating bigoted attitudes about people who looked different and talked different from he did. And because of that and especially if they were born in a different country, this guy considered them to be Un-American. Even though he was being Un-American with his hatred for ethnic and racial diversity in America. Something as a country that we celebrate by in large and have celebrated for a very long time. But with this guy all you get is bigoted attitudes and accusations about immigrants who look different and talk different from him. And he’s accusing them of taking American jobs and trying to force a different religion on the country.

The same xenophobia in America that we see today is nothing new. That if you’re not Caucasian and of European descent you must be some foreign invader that is trying to poison the flavor and character of the country. And imposed your foreign values on the rest of the country. That you are not here to contribute and produce for America, but to take advantage of our welfare system and take jobs from blue-collar Americans who have been in forever and whose families have been here forever. This attitude is small as far its supporter and people who actually believe it. But you hear it a lot from the Far-Right on talk radio. And is something as a country that we should be educating more Americans about so they don’t end up taking it seriously.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Zip Trivia: Video: Are You a Commie, or a Citizen?


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Just from the outset this looks like a Tea Party propaganda film about what it means to be a real American. And this is coming from someone who believe our form of government and economic system is the best in the world based on facts. But this guys does makes some good points about Europe which did move very Far-Left in the 1940s and 50s after World War II. Eastern Europe becoming a collection of Communist States under Soviet control. And the states west of the Slavic States were becoming or had already established social democracies in their country. Democratic Socialist States like Britain and France to use as examples.

For an anti-communist propaganda film, the guy in this film actually does a pretty good and puts some real facts on the table. And doesn’t try to go after Americans who are left of the center-left in America. People who are left of Liberals and say anyone who supported Franklin Roosevelt or Henry Wallace for president must not only be a Communist, but is Un-American and should either be locked up for that, or not allowed to live in America at all. Which is what you got in a lot of these anti-communist propaganda films from this period. Which led up to Congress launching the House Un-American Activities Committee and the Senate Investigative Committee that looked at Communists in the U.S. Government.

What the guy in this film does instead is put real facts on the table about communism and the standards of living in Communist Russia and Communist China compared with the living standards in Liberal Democratic America (sorry Conservatives) and how our standard of living was better. And the benefits of things like capitalism, private enterprise and competition. Which is a lot of what the American economic system is about. And allowing for individuals to be able to be as successful as their skills allow for them to be. Instead of having a big superstate big enough to take care of everybody.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Crash Course: Video: John Green: George H.W. Bush and The End of The Cold War


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

George H.W. Bush is fascinating to me even if his personality comes off as more stale, which is surprising because he does have a very good sense of humor and is a very likable man. That people close to him are more than happy to let others know, but that was not the perception of him by 1992 when he ran for reelection. He was seen as stale and out of touch and someone perhaps not aware of what was going on in the country and around the world. And was seen as someone who was past his time and the country was ready for a change.

But even though I’m a Liberal Democrat I see George Bush as a successful and good president. I would give him an 8 or 8.5 as someone who was a transitional figure from a more hard-right president like Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War, to a liberal New Democrat in Bill Clinton prepared to take America to the 21st Century. President Bush was someone who took over when America was in pretty good shape at home and around the world. But because of the rising debt and deficit and interest rates and inflation and recession that was about to come in the early 1990s that he inherited, that is what defined his presidency.

In many ways the George H.W. Bush presidency is the presidency that his son George W. should have. That G.W. Bush should’ve learned about and studied his father except being a former government and businessman paid more attention to domestic policy. While going back to his father’s foreign policy of strong at home militarily and economically while engaged around the world so we don’t have to even try to govern the world ourselves. Something by this time we weren’t cable of doing anyway. Instead of having this neoconservative supply side economic policy and force at all costs unilateral foreign policy.

The economic boom that America went through in the 1990s that started in 1993-94 had part to do with President Bush starting in 1990 with his deficit reduction act. That he negotiated with a Democratic Congress and the trade deals that his administration negotiated with Canada and Mexico that became known as NAFTA and GAT in 1992. The technology boom that became famous by 1995 or so with the internet and the cell phone and other devices started under his administration. As far as those devices being available to everyone. The internet and email were already up by 1992 if not 1991 and cell phones were fairly common by 1992 as well.

If you at America’s foreign policy and how we were doing around the world. Again the end of the Cold War which meant America no longer needed such a large and costly military. Which freed up other resources for other priorities. Saddam Hussein was in a box in the Middle East. Russia became an ally of America. Central America was becoming democratic and so was Eastern Europe. President Bush didn’t try to govern the world, but to make sure we were ready to deal with all of these new allies and create new trade partners, which is what he did. His presidency was pretty successful, but not great and deserves more credit for being the president that he was.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tracy Thatcherite: Video: Margaret Thatcher The Downing Street Years


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Margaret Thatcher coming to power in Britain in 1979 is very similar to Ronald Reagan coming to power in America in 1981. Both countries economies were in very bad shape with high unemployment, inflation, interest rates. But in Britain’s case their economy was in worst shape with their taxes much higher, more people on public assistance and in poverty and a lot of their economy under control of the U.K. Government. Socialists had dominated Britain post-World War II with a few exceptions and that is the country that Maggie Thatcher inherited.

To understand Margaret Thatcher you have to understand the difference between a British Conservative and an American Conservative especially as it relates to economic policy. Thatcher didn’t run and want to end the British welfare state, but to reform it and create a society where not as many people would need it. Because more people would be working with good jobs and able to take care of themselves. And create a society with high economic and job growth with growing wages and more people paying into the welfare state and fewer taking out of it.

Maggie Thatcher wanted to create a Britain where people who could were expected to work and be able to take care of themselves. With the welfare state there just for the people who truly needed it. And for whatever reasons weren’t able to take care of themselves. And if you at Britain in 1990 when Prime Minister Thatcher left office and compare that with how the country was when she came into office in 1979, she was very successful. And also look at how she changed the Labour Party with Tony Blair. Changing them from less of a socialist party with the super welfare state and more of a new democratic liberal party that wanted to use government to empower people. Instead of trying to take care of everyone.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Modern Lonely TV: Video: BBC: Tories, The Course of Margaret Thatcher, 2001


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m not an expert on British politics obviously, but I do follow their politics and government similar to how British political junkies follow American politics. And what the British Labour Party went through from 1997 after they just lost the U.K. Government and were back in the opposition for the first time since 1979 and really didn’t start recovering until 2008 or 2009 when David Cameron became their leader in opposition, looks very similar to me how the American Republican Party looked in 1961. After they just lost the White House and were now not only the opposition party in America, but the minority party in both chambers of Congress with small minorities at that.

It took the Republican Party in the 1960s really 6-8 years before they started recovering from the 1960 presidential loss with Richard Nixon. They didn’t have that one voice that could unite the whole party together. The Conservatives with the Northeastern Progressives and their growing religious conservative base in the South. The British Conservatives in the late 1990s and 2000s were much worst off actually than the 1960s Republicans. The American and British systems of government are obviously very different. Where in America you can still be in power even without the White House. By controlling either the Senate or House in Congress and having a say in the national agenda.

In Britain winner takes all. The majority party in the House of Commons in Parliament decides who the Prime Minister is and can form the U.K. Government. And because the Conservatives lost in 2001 and 2005 and the fact that Britain doesn’t have what America has in mid-term elections, they were out of power the whole time from 1997 until May of 2010. Thirteen-years and were stuck in the minority in Parliament and as the opposition party as well. And they pre-David Cameron never had that one leader that could bring the whole party together and convince their country that the Conservatives should be back in charge in London and back in government.

The Conservatives were in charge in Britain for eighteen-years from 1979-97. That is a long time to have all the power in one country, especially a country of sixty-million or so. And always having to be responsible for governing the country and having to deal with all the bad and good on your own. And I think they just burned out and the British people wanted a different voice and a different vision in how to lead their country. Which is what Tony Blair represented as New Labour as someone who would use government to try to empower people. And not try to run everything in the country through government. And Tony Blair was able to lead Britain for ten-years with that message.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hoover Institution: Video: Uncommon Knowledge: P.J. O'Rourke Reflects on Life in The Sixties to Today


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The Baby Boom is sort of tough for me to blog about as someone who was born in the mid-1970s the tail end of Generation X. And also as someone whose parents were born in the 1930s and are part of he Silent Generation. So I don’t really have much to go on other than my two of my uncles who were both born in 1944 who I didn’t see very often growing up and who I’m not close with today. Other than Boomers that I’ve talked to, but mostly as an adult. So what I have to go on for the most part is history. Which is generally a great reference to go on even if that is all you have.

Boomer stereotypes are people who were Hippies and looking to escape the 1950s and when that finally happened in college in the 1960s they just sort of exploded and freaked out on marijuana trips. Wait, that’s not so much a stereotype, but is actually true. But there’s more to that because this is a generation that is one of the most productive that America has ever produced whether they are on the Far-Left or Far-Right or somewhere in between. If you looked at what they produced for this country in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and even today. They are a healthy generation and they are living working longer than any generation we’ve ever produced. Because they want to and are still very good at what they do.

There’s an old American saying that when you are young you are more open to alternative views and lifestyles that they establishment sees as immoral and weird. But as you get older and mature you get more educated and realize that you have responsibilities for yourself and your family and people you work with or for and people who work for you. And there’s a limit to how much of a rebel that you can be. The Boomers were Hippies in the 1960s and 70s, but they also grew up and have become perhaps the most educated, productive, tolerant and open-minded generation that we’ve ever produced. And I give them a lot of credit for that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Burns 1876: Western Boot Fitting- Cowgirl Boots and Riding Boots


Source: Burns 1876-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

The right cowgirl boots are essential for cowgirls. The most important part probably being coming from someone who doesn’t live out west or in rural America and never has, but that they have to be functional. Women need to be able to move and move well in them. They need to be comfortable enough to do that so their feet aren’t always sore and getting blisters. But they need to look good and be stylish at the same time. They need to go with the cowgirls jeans and other western wear that she would wear. And the style part is also important because guys cowboys and otherwise love the look of cowgirls. That is sexy cowgirls who look good and are well-built and look sexy in their cowgirl outfits. And I think this something that these cowgirls in this video more than understand.
Burns 1986: Western Boot Fitting- Mens Cowboy Boots, Cowgirl Boots



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sensitive Skin TV: Video: Firing Line With William F. Buckley: The Hippie Generation, From 1968


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I find this whole show very interesting if for no other reason and there might not be any other reason why I find this episode of Firing Line interesting, but the contrast on it. You have Bill Buckley who was as Anglo-Saxon and preppie and perhaps even square as an American can get, interviewing hippies and an expert I guess on Hippies. Why Buckley would let Jack Kerouac go out on his show drunk, I have no idea other than maybe to make fun of the man and make him look like a joke.

The hippie movement was a reaction to the 1950s and every other conservative establishment decades before it. What the Hippies said was that there were multiple ways for Americans to live their lives and be productive people and good Americans. That they didn’t have to live the lives of the parents and grandparents. The Baby Boomers who probably made up most of the Hippies were giving this message and living their life differently. That they didn’t have to live the lives of their parents and could live the way that they wanted to and still be good productive people.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sony Pictures: Love Has Many Faces 1965- The Life of The American Gigolo


Source: Sony Pictures-Lana Turner & Cliff Robertson-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I just love Lana Turner and Stefanie Powers. Two of the cutest hottest sexiest actress’s that Hollywood has ever produced. They both have the cutest facial expressions and mannerism’s you’ll ever see and put them together in a movie together and have them in the same scene and what else would you want to see. By the way, Ruth Roman is very beautiful and cute in this movie and I believe a very underrated actress and babe in Hollywood. And by the way, Love Has Many Faces is a very good movie. I saw it twice this week in preparation for this blog. And I’ll get into what I saw and nor just Lana, Stef and Ruth.

Love Has Many Faces is essentially about the American gigolo. Three men now working in Acapulco, Mexico which is absolutely gorgeous looking for their next meal tickets. Pete Jordan played by Cliff Robertson already has his meal ticket Kit Jordan his wife. Who should’ve been called Kitty or Kitten because she was so adorable in this movie. One of Pete’s old friends, a fellow gigolo washes up dead on an Acapulco beach. This guy also has a connection with Kit and was wearing a bracelet that she gave him. So now Pete and Kit are suspects for the Acapulco police in this murder investigation.

Carol Lambert played by Stefanie Powers is the girlfriend of the dead gigolo and comes down to Acapulco from America to find out what happened to her boyfriend. Pete not only has to worry about he and his wife as murder suspects in this investigation, but also has a rival who wants his wife. Hank Walker and old friend of his wife. And during this whole investigation and scene you have a married couple Pete and Kit Jordan who’ve been married for about a year and yet they’ve argued like they’ve been married for thirty-years. And have two or three kids together who are all in or out of college. And thinking about divorcing each other.

During this whole movie I’m wondering if Pete actually loves his rich wife or not, or did her marry her because she’s rich. They are clearly attracted to each other and share a mutual respect. But they socialize with other people and have other potential love interests. Pete has his old friend’s girlfriend Carol and Kit has Hank. Or are Pete and Kit using each other and trying to make each other jealous to perhaps try to bring them closer to each other. All this going on during a murder investigation where they are both suspects in it. And then throw in the clever writing and humor and you have a very good movie.
Sony Pictures: Love Has Many Faces Trailer


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Henry Higgins: Video: BBC's Who Was Richard Nixon


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

With all due respect to BBC, I don’t think you can explain who was Richard Nixon in under an hour. To explain someone as the narrator in this film said is one of if not the most fascinating American politicians whose ever lived, you probably need a mini-series. A three or four-hour film. If you try to cover Nixon and just focus on Watergate or the criminal conspiracies inside of the Nixon White House, or the checkers speech, the House Un-American Activities Committee, you’ll only get part of his life story and not even half of that. And to cover those things alone, you would probably need three hours to do that.

And for the admirers of Dick Nixon and people from the outside looking in who are simply interested in learning about the man, focusing on his rags to riches story and being born in the valley and rising to the top of the mountain, to paraphrase President Nixon, again you would need probably weeks of reading and watching films about the man. Nixon’s public service career goes from World War II in the early 1940s serving in that war, all the way up to leaving the White House in 1974. With Congress, the Vice Presidency, his role of the GOP comeback of 1966 and 68 and even winning the Presidency in 1968 in between.

You could read series of books and watch series of documentaries about the man’s foreign policy accomplishments including ending the Vietnam War alone. Or his push to move America off of foreign oil with a national energy policy in 1973. His push to reform Welfare in 1969 that became Welfare to Work in 1996. His push to reform American health care and health insurance in 1974, that became the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Even if you watch this entire film about Dick Nixon, again you may get part of his story, but ending it with so much more to learn about the man.