Derik Schneider Online

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lain Lucey: Video: Same Time Next Year, 1978 With Alan Alda & Ellen Burstyn: The Ultimate Weekend Getaway From Reality

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Same Time Next Year might be the best romantic comedy of all-time. And if it isn’t, it might be the smartest romantic comedy of all-time and definitely in the top one percent of both categories. Because I don’t believe it was trying to be funny, but the movie was just so natural. With the two main characters George and Dorris played by Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, who were just so real with both having noticeable flaws that came out often especially George. And the two both looking for something different in their relationships.

The only part of the movie I do not get is the opening scene. Why would two happily married people be out in the country by themselves having dinner by themselves? What were they doing there all alone when they are both happily married with kids. But that is how the movie and this love affair that is only one weekend a year, but for the next twenty-six years starts. And this would actually be a movie that should’ve had a second chapter. To see how this couple made out because both of their spouses die in the movie.
What I also love about this movie is when George and Helen weren’t making love in the movie, the rest of the movie was conversational between this couple. And you get to learn so much about them. About how vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence George was. And how unsure he was and easy to blame himself about things and how bad of a liar he was. To Helen wanting a stronger man in his life stronger than the man here husband was. These are two very good caring people, but two real people looking for something different in their lives.
Northern California Coast

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chris Early: Video: CBS's Dallas: The Best of J.R. Ewing: The Funniest Prick in the Southwest

This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger, November, 2012

The J.R. Ewing character played by Larry Hagman is one of my favorite characters of all time on TV. Because he was so real, didn't try to be the nicest guy in the World and wasn't the meanest. But he was one of the best, let's say dick's of all-time, not because he was the meanest, but because of how clever and funny he was. And the words he chose to at other peoples expense. J.R. Ewing was a dick, but he played by Larry Hagman was so good at it, that you almost had to respect him for it. "That asshole can really put you down". 

J.R. is one of those people that you always knew where you were with him. And if you weren't on the top of your game, he would be more than willing to let you know about it. Kinda of like that judge mental parent or perhaps uncle, where nothing is ever good enough for them. So what you always do is everything you can to try to please that person, to keep them from criticizing you. Which helps you in a way, because it gives you incentive to improve and be at your best. The constructive critic. 

I call J.R. Ewing who was played by Larry Hagman of course and I'm not sure anyone could've played J.R. better, because their sense of humors matched up so well, the funniest prick in the Southwest. Because he knew how to put someone down, or put them back in their place, especially when they were out of line. But he was accurate and direct. Someone who would tell you the way it is and make you laugh at the same time.  

Gary McGillvray: Video: NBC's Golden Girls: The Best of Sarcastic Dorothy

This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger, January, 2013 

I was never a huge fan NBC's Golden Girls, a sitcom about senior single women sharing a house together. But I did love the Dorothy character played by Bea Arthur because she reminded of my maternal grandmother. Who I believe is where I got my flip off the cuff sense of humor, a wiseass who has very little tolerance for stupid questions. My grandmother was very similar and when my grandfather would say something lets say not real bright, or ask a dumb question, she would nail him for it every time even with company.

So I tried to be more careful how I talked to her unless, I wanted a real good laugh because I new I could nailed for saying something dumb as well. Sarcasm when done right is the perfect tool to combat stupidity. And people who for whatever reason are having a brain camp at your expense and so what you get to do if you're up for to the task is show them how dumb they are being and how bad their lack of thinking is at that point.

I've been lucky to a certain extent. Because I've had jobs in the service industries where I have a lot of experience around people who for whatever reasons aren't thinking very well. And end up asking questions they should already know the answers to. Or are simply unaware that they know the answer to whatever question they are asking. So when I get a dumb question, I nail the person for it not to make them feel like an idiot. Just to let them know that they just asked a dumb question. And they should've put a little more thought into it before asking me that question again. 

And when I'm on, I can even get funny response out of the person who I just called out for not being very bright. 

For example lets say to make up a character, I tell Joe I'm flying to St. Louis from Washington. I've never actually landed in St. Louis, flown over it sure, but for the purpose of this example I've flown to St. Louis. And he says "so you are taking a plane?" And I say no Joe I've borrowed the wings of a bald eagle and going to fly myself. And Joe says something like "try not to run into any birds. I know how limited your flying experience is". Or something like that. 

Sarcasm when done right is a tool to combat stupidity. I prefer to use the term flip or off the cuff. Because sarcasm can be very mean, when you have someone whose overly cynical and whose always looking for the weakness in anything just to put someone down. Sarcasm at its best is a tool to let someone know. "You know what, thats' a real dumb question. You should know better and perhaps do and just aren't thinking very well right now". By showing that person how dumb they sound at that point.

My definitions of dumb questions are any question asked by someone who already knows the answer to the question they are asking, but not aware of it or someone who should know the answer to the question they are asking. But lacks basic fundamental knowledge and whose just being lazy. And my other definition of a dumb question is a question that has the answer in the question, but who's simply not aware of that. And I'll explain what I mean. My example of a dumb question where the person who asking the question should know better, but asks the question anyway.

Lets say you are driving to someone's friends house for a visit or dinner or whatever. And they call you while you are driving to get an idea when you'll be over and you say I'm on the road now. And I should be there in that about twenty minutes. And your friend says "you are driving now?" Of course you are driving now you just said you are on the road you told the person last night you are coming over. They know you drive and so-forth.

My other example of a dumb question, the question with the answer in it. I use to work at a movie theater and worked concessions a lot and someone would ask me. 

"What size is small"? Well its small obviously or we wouldn't call it small. And every time I was asked that question I would say well small and I never got in trouble for it. To go to my first example of a dumb question, when I worked at that theater I was always asked do I work there. What else would I be doing there wearing that cheesy maroon shirt and name tag if I didn't work there.

Again Sarcasm when used effectively is a tool to combat stupidity, "you sure you don't know the answer to that question". To let the person know they should've put a little more thought into that question. And when sarcasm is misused, it's the ultimate mental weapon to put people down and to try to make them feel worthless or stupid. So if you do have a quick off the cuff sense of humor, have a conscience as well because you'll make a lot of people laugh without sounding like an asshole. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Salon: Opinion: Michael Burstein: "We Need a New Constitution": What American Liberal Democracy Really Needs

Salon: Opinion: Michael Burstein: We Need a New Constitution

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Michael Burstein's amendments, or even new United States Constitution was not as radical or social democratic as I was expecting. I perhaps was expecting to see proposals that would move America away from it's federalist tradition and system and try to move to more of a unitarian form of government. Where the states aren't nearly as powerful with as much responsibility, because that responsibility would now be in the hands of the Federal Government. Michael Lind who also writes at Salon has proposed doing things like that.

But to get the Burstein proposals and what I would do differently.

Congressional Term Limits

I'm against them for both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and I'll tell you why. I don't like the idea of government telling me or any other American who we can vote for. And this is what I would do differently. Guarantee the Right to Vote, so there's one amendment I would like to see to the U.S. Constitution. And end gerrymandering for both Democrats and Republicans. How you do that? The states would still write their U.S. House districts under the condition that each district would have to represent the state. So you a state 55-45 one way or the other or even closer than that, say like Texas or California.

California is more like 70-30 for Democrats. The state couldn't put all of the Democrats or Republicans in one district or a few districts. They would have to spread them out. And if the state is 55-45 for one party or the other or closer than that, than that is how the districts would look. So the majority would get a majority of the districts, but it would have to be represented of their overall state majority. And the state would no longer look like that only Republicans or Democrats would live there. Because the other party would have several districts that favor their party as well.

Term Limits for the U.S. Supreme Court

I'm against that because now we are not talking about limiting voters choice in who they can vote for. But limiting the President's choice in who they could appoint or reappoint, which is my next point. The U.S. Supreme Court is simply under represents a country of 310 million people with fifty states. Not proposing to turn the U.S. Supreme Court into a democratic institution. Just saying that nine members is simply too small, especially in a country this huge and this divided politically. I would go to fifty justices not including the Chief Justice and their deputy, as well as a Minority Leader to try to organize the minority on the court. One U.S. Justice for each state. and have each Justice serve six-year terms and then have to be reappointed to stay on the Court.

Public Financing of U.S. Elections

Another bad idea. Why? Because now you're taking more power away from American voters. And you may argue that the current system does that. True, but this would be another way of doing that by saying that the only roles that voters have is to vote and perhaps volunteer. But not be able to endorse the candidate or incumbent of their choice. The person that may represent them in the House or Senate or as President. And what would make that worst that now all us as taxpayers would be forced to subsidize candidates and incumbents that we simply do not like and perhaps are even doing a bad job. Public financing is another way of saying taxpayer financing of public elections.

But here's what I would do instead. Full-disclosure of all campaign contributions to call campaigns. Everyone and every group that raises money for political campaigns would have to report those contributions and contributors to the Federal Election Commission that would be publicly reported. So no more dark money or dark packs because all of these groups Left and Right will now be public and so would their contributors. And if they are controversial, candidates and incumbents would think twice about taking money from them if they believe those public contributions could hurt them politically. And we would probably see less negative and false advertising as a result.

Right to a Quality Education

Finally Michael Burstein and I agree on something! Now the only question is how we bring that about. The Federal Government of course in a country this size and diverse should not be running the education system. Or create one education system, because the fact is we have hundreds or more education systems in this country. Which simply comes from being this big, this diverse, this spread out and frankly this liberal with all of the decentralization of power in the country. At least at the governmental level.

But with all of the poverty and impoverished areas of the country and with education being a national priority because of how it affects the economy, there has to be a real federal role for education in America. Which is mostly about funding and research and to a certain extent seeing that basic needs are met. Are all students getting an education or regardless of income, race, ethnicity, or not and that includes special needs students. We obviously can't guarantee equal outcomes as much as Socialists may believe they can. But what we can guarantee is that every student has a quality opportunity to be successful in America regardless of where they go to school.

So what the Federal Government should do is give the underserved school districts and states the resources, financially mostly that it needs to see that all of their students have the tools that they need to do well.

Encourage financially people who are well-educated to teach in underserved areas.

Encourage things like public school choice so no student is forced to go to a low-performing school.

Lets pay teachers like lawyers and doctors and the Feds could help with the financing to pay those salaries.

Make college free for all qualified high school graduates who serve in public service for at least two years after graduating college. The Feds could finance that. And for qualified high school graduates who decide not to serve in public service after graduating college, make their college affordable with a college financing program that they, their parents, their employers and their parents employers would all pay into until the student is ready for college.

Michael Burstein proposed a lot of things I disagree with as far as what he would do. But did put some goals and ideas on the table that if were amended the way I did, or something close to that, I could go along with that would improve our liberal, not social democracy in America. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TruthDig: Opinion: Sonali Kolhatkar: "The Rise of the New Liberal Islamaphobia": The Differences Between Muslims and Islamists

TruthDig: Opinion: Sonali Kolhatkar: The Rise of the New Islamaphobia

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Sonali Kolhatkar column in TruthDig just illustrates my point about the political correctness movement on the far-left in America when it comes to Islam. In their little world its acceptable to bash the Christian-Right. But when you bash lets say the Islamists who ideologically in a  lot of ways do not look much different from the Christian-Right at least on culture issues, like women's place in society, you get put down as a racist. Why? Because Muslims tend not to be Anglo and Western-European ethnically and racially. Which is really what this is about. Protecting non-Caucasians against people they see as bigots.

Liberals aren't putting down Muslims as a people and perhaps even Islam. Even though Islam is probably way too restrictive for the average Liberal. We are putting down and critiquing Islamists, which is different. Islamists are terrorists and people who support terrorism in the name of Islam. The same way the Christian-Right when they bash gays and other people claim to be doing that in the name of Christianity and Christ.

ISIS/ISIl in Iraq and Syria are not Muslims in the sense that they do much of a job of living up to Islamic principles and values. They are terrorists and murderers and do those horrible deeds in the name is Islam. Which makes them Islamists and they want to control the Levantine area of the Middle East and murder as many Americans as they can to achieve that. And these are the people that Liberals and others on the Left are critiquing and putting down, because they deserve that. Even if the far-left calls us racists as we are doing so.

Monday, October 13, 2014

History Channel: Video: Jim Jones: Paradise Lost, the Mass Murders in Jonestown

This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger, October, 2013

I've blogged about this before, but the People's Temple in the most positive sense and what its legacy is, is a collection of lost souls. Who for whatever reason or reasons weren't making it in mainstream America and were lost. And looking for a direction and a leader to lead them to lets say the promise land and end their pain and suffering. And to a certain extent and the good side of Jim Jones was that leader that could show people what meaningful life is. 

The people of Jonestown thought Jim Jones was the person to show them how to create a world where there wouldn't be anymore suffering and where all people would live a positive life. Without suffering and where people would live off of each other and live off of the land and literally take care of each other which is socialism at its best. But the problem with the People's Temple or later Jonestown, is that it was led by Jim Jones. 

Jim Jones had a dictatorial evil side to him that was about making people completely dependent on him for their survival. And wanted people to only do his will and serve him. Which is a common theme of dictators, because they are people who believe in absolute power. Which is all about what being a dictator is. Someone who wants to centralize all of the power with them self. And not delegating power to their deputies and people they are supposed to serve. Which is a big reason why Jonestown ended in such tragedy. 

Jas Bains: Video: Catherine Bach: The Real and Only Daisy Duke From the Dukes of Hazzard

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

When I was growing up my favorite TV show was probably The Dukes of Hazzard. A CBS action comedy where everyone on the show met about every single stereotype both good and bad of what life and the people were like living in the country. It took place in a small county called Hazzard. Naturally with a police department that had two sometimes three cops including the sheriff who was named Roscoe. It had people with names like Daisy, Roscoe, Cletus, Enos, Cooter. 

Guest stars with people with names like Billy Bob, Billy Joe, Marly Lu. It had every two name, name you can think of. It had dirt roads, country music, car races and car chases. Great country food, with the fried chicken, mash potatoes, biscuits and gravy. Fast cars being chased by big police cars. A town where everyone knew each other and where the whole town knew when someone from out of town was in Hazzard.  

It had Pickup Trucks, farms, crooked politicians and cops, ignorant people who didn’t seem to know what they were doing. It had moonshine whisky, a county next door called Chickasaw that only had one cop, the Sheriff on the Police Force. And it had a lot of beautiful sexy women on it. Including Catherine Bach who played Daisy Duke. Forget about Jessica Simpson who played Daisy Duke in the movie Dukes of Hazard. She’s more qualified to play Sally Smith head cheerleader at Valley High, then to play a country girl. 

The hot, sexy baby-faced country girl was the perfect role for Catherine Bach on Dukes of Hazard. Because she was and actually still is gorgeous, baby-face adorable with a great body. Two of the best legs this country has ever seen, just like Tina Turner or Raquel Welch. She was very funny and even though she was (actually still is) baby-face adorable, could probably kick ass as well as he her cousins Bo and Luke Duke. Played by John Schneider. (Great last name by the way) And Tom Wopat the brains of the operation. And as adorable and sexy as Daisy was, you didn’t want to mess with here, because she could kick your ass and look hot doing it. In her famous tight denim jeans and shorts. 

And her tight denim jeans and cowgirl boots, Catherine Bach now has her own Denim Line. She was no Sally from the Valley, but a tough but adorable sexy country girl. Who could be sweet as candy until you messed with her. Catherine Bach will always be Daisy Duke and since she played that role perfectly. Unfortunately will always be typed cast, because its so hard to to think of anything else other than Daisy Duke when it comes to Catherine Bach.  But she has done other things and has actually has been very active and successful pre and after. Dukes of Hazzard and is someone who’s career should be looked at. To give her the type of respect she actually deserves. 

The original Dukes of Hazzard tv show, was and still is the Dukes of Hazzard, at least as far as I'm concern and as far as a lot other Dukes fans are concern as well. The recent movies and everything else are for a younger generation where everything that was around before they were even born or old enough to remember is considered, "like so yesterday and so over and needs to be changed for the new century. But there are reasons why sequels to great shows and movies tend not to be as good as the original. Because the original was done so well, that any new version of it looks like pretend or a copy.