Derik Schneider Online

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Nation: Blog: Alex Luhn: 50,000 March in Moscow After The Killing of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

The Nation: Blog: Alex Luhn: 50,000 March in Moscow After the Killing of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I don’t know enough about the Russian opposition or Russian opposition parties to say that there’s anything looking like a real democratic opposition there that looks liberal or social democratic or even center-right, but not as far to the right as Vladimir Putin. But the fact that the Putin Administration assuming their security forces took out Boris Nemstov one of the opposition leaders in Russia, tells me at least that there is a democratic opposition there at least of some sort. Otherwise why kills someone who isn’t that big of a threat to you. Who isn’t famous that won’t bring any attention to your administration.

As a Liberal Democrat myself I would love to see a real liberal democratic opposition in Russia. Something that looks like what Venezuela has that may at some point with the continued collapsing of the Venezuelan economy under anti-democratic socialist control be able to take over that country from the anti-democratic socialist Maduro Regime there. I would love to see Russians taking to the streets and demanding to not have their country back, but have it in the first place. That builds a free society where all Russian citizens regardless of ethnicity and gender can succeed there. It is a country with an incredible amount of potential in people and resources.

America and Europe can help Russia develop their democratic opposition where it is liberal, conservative, social democratic or where three movements develop that are strong enough to take on Vlad Putin’s neoconservative United Russia Party. The Putin Administration doesn’t believe in democracy certainly not liberal democracy and a free society where the Russian people would elect their own leaders and decide for themselves who represents them in Parliament and who is the President. Through federal elections that are free and open and where one party isn’t essentially guaranteed a large amount of power every time a so-called election is held.

Right now what America and Europe are doing to Russia as far as the Putin Administration is containing their military through economic sanctions. So Russia pays a heavy price for their invasion of Ukraine and any future invasion they may attempt. But these sanctions hurt the Russian people first who aren’t do very well under Putin because of his mis-management of the Russian economy. But things like communication and giving the Russian opposition a voice inside of their economy with things like Voice of America would empower the democratic opposition to take on their government through political means.


Monday, March 2, 2015

The Merv Griffin Show: Video: Jack Lemmon & Jane Fonda on China Syndrome in 1979


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Jack Lemmon to me at least and I bet a lot of other people who knew him and are familiar with him would say was that he was a professional comedian who didn’t do standup. At least on a regular basis, but his sense of humor, timing and spontaneity when it came to humor and his improvisation was great and gave him comedic abilities. That are about as good as we’ve ever seen in Hollywood. The man deserves to be in Comedy Hall of Fame if there is such a thing. And you see a lot of that in this interview without a script. Merv Griffin giving him questions that aren’t even intended to have humorous responses. And Jack answering the questions seriously, but using humor to make his points.

I covered China Syndrome last night, but they really did a great movie and made a great movie about a subject that by 1978 and early 1979 I’m not sure a lot of Americans were thinking about and were worried about. Which was nuclear power and what could happen when nuclear power plants aren’t managed well enough and where profits are put ahead of safety. Which is about as progressive or socialist even as you’ll ever hear me talk. But this was movie that had to be done and let people know about this issue. And again Three Mile Island happens just a month after this interview was conducted in early 79.

China Syndrome wasn’t saying that nuclear power was bad or that corporations were bad. What they were talking about was the dangers of nuclear when it is not managed properly and the potential consequences that can come when it is not managed properly. And in an area like Los Angeles with roughly fifteen-million people with four-million of the city and eight-millions in LA County that is a lot of people who could potentially be seriously injured with injuries that they’ll never recover from. If not killed if you have a major nuclear power accident. And that is what this movie was talking about.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stacey Anderson: Video: The China Syndrome 1979, A Movie That Became a True Story


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

If you are familiar with Three Mile Island and then you see The China Syndrome, I think you would leave the movie thinking, “wow that could actually happen”. Because the Three Mile explosion which happened at a nuclear power plant outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in March of 1979 happened about two months after The China Syndrome came out in January or February of 1979. China Syndrome is not about a nuclear power plant explosion, but about what could potentially happen at a plant like that if it is not run properly, lets say.

There is a bad vibration at a nuclear power plant in Southern California just outside of Los Angeles and the plant knows about it and decides to if not cover it up, play it down so they don’t get any bad publicity or have to deal with regulators about it. A news anchor and cameraman at a local TV knows something is going on and believes the power plant is not giving the whole story. But their boss’s don’t want to go any further in the story and risk a big lawsuit. Kimberly Wells played by Jane Fonda and Richard Adams played by Michael Douglas decided to look into the story anyway. And that is how this story gets going.

Jack Godell played by Jack Lemmon is a shift supervisor at the power plant and knows something seriously went wrong at the power plant. And he also knows his company is not giving the whole story, but is reluctant at first to say what he knows and believes to the media. Jane Wells finds Jack at the bar and they get to know each other and she gets to open up a little bit about what he knows about what happened at the power plant.

So this is what this movie is about where a nuclear power plant had it been any worst would’ve caused serious destruction of Southern California, at least like getting hit by a nuclear missile. A company knowing that if this story breaks, they would not only lose millions and probably a let more, but get sanctioned by the U.S. Government and other authorities. Two somewhat inexperienced media people looking for a big break and a big story all coming together in one story.

Jane Wells is at best a soft news personal story reporter who covers personalities and the goings ons at supermarkets and amusement parks and other things. Who doesn’t want to do that forever and wants to become a hard news reporter and anchor. This is the story that if she gets it and does a good job will get her off of soft news. And she and Jack are the main two characters who break this story and shed light on what really happened at the power plant. And this is a great movie about how deadly nuclear power plant leaks and explosions can be. And very realistic especially if you are familiar with Three Mile Island.


AlterNet: Opinion: David Masciotra: "You're Not The Boss of Me! Why Libertarianism Is a Childish Sham": Why Collectivism Doesn't Work Either

Founding Liberals
AlterNet: Opinion: David Mascirota: You're Not the Boss of Me! Why Libertarianism Is a Childish Sham

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I actually believe that our Founding Fathers our Founding Liberals (sorry Right-Wingers) got it right when they wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights with all of our individual rights and freedom and built our liberal democratic state that is America.

Yeah, they didn’t mean of all of those rights and for all Americans to be treated equally under the law. And only intended those rights for Caucasian males who owned property. And for Anglo-Saxon property males at that. But if you’re a true constructionist when it comes to the U.S. Constitution you don’t go by what you believe someone meant to say. Right, you go by the actual text of what they wrote. And based on what the Founding Liberals wrote they created a liberal society where everyone has individual freedom and rights under law. And where all of those rights are supposed to be enforced equally under law.

If I had a choice to being a Libertarian or a Socialist, I would pick Libertarian. Because of the notion of individual liberty over collective equality. But then I would search for a new label or just call myself what ever I wanted based on what I believe. Which is individual liberty for everyone and that everyone should have quality opportunity to do well in life. That no one is guaranteed success and the ability to live well and be taken care of by government. But that we all have the opportunity to build a successful life for ourselves. Based on the right to a quality education and real infrastructure system so that everyone is living in first world America. Instead of having to live in areas that look like third world cities or third world rural areas.

The main difference between the Liberal, Libertarian and Socialist comes down to role of government especially the national government. The Liberal believes in opportunity to all to achieve individual freedom in life. That the job of government is to protect and expand freedom. Not get out-of-the-way or run people’s lives for them. The Libertarian believes in individual freedom as well, but that should come from the parents and the private sector with government getting out-of-the-way. The Socialist believes in equality and individual welfare at all costs even at the expense of individual freedom. And the idea of freedom is about the freedom not to go without the basic necessities of life. That the job of government is to take care of people.

The choice can’t be between a do-nothing government or an American superstate that tries to do everything for everybody at the same time. For one, neither one works in America. And we are much better and smarter than that and with our people and resources have the ability to build a society where everyone can live in freedom. It is just a matter of doing that and you do that with an infrastructure and education system that works for all Americans. So you’re chances of success don’t depend on the economic status of your parents and where you grew up. But instead based on what you did growing up and as an adult with the good opportunities that were in front of you. Most of us would do well in that type of society. Those who don’t would pay themselves for not making responsible decisions with their lives.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Peter Robison Interviewing Harvey Mansfield: The New Left on Campus


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Damn! Some of my Far-Left followers and I do have some aren’t going to like this piece, but sometimes the truth hurts. I actually agree with Peter Robinson and Harvey Mansfield here and both of them are way to the Right of me. But the New Left took over a lot of great major universities in the Northeast and West Coast especially in California in the late 1960s. With Baby Boomers coming to age and graduating college a lot of them were way to the Left of Center-Left Liberals like Jack Kennedy and Center-Left Progressives like Lyndon Johnson.

Here are some of the things that the New-Left which is the Far-Left in America believes.

“With the New-Left of today if you don’t believe women should rule the world instead of being judged equally as men, you are either ignorant or sexist.

Anyone who criticizes people who are of non-European and Christian background are racists. Unless the people they are criticizing are on the Right like Tom Sowell, Walter Williams or Clarence Thomas. Two prominent college professors and of course a U.S. Justice.

The real terrorists in the world is the U.S. National Security Council which includes all the U.S. national security agencies. And ISIS and Al-Qaeda and other extreme terrorists groups are either minor league or are misunderstood and deserved to be listened to.

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez President’s of Cuba and Venezuela respectfully are misunderstood and are actually great men just trying to serve their people. So they don’t become victims of a capitalist private enterprise system. Instead of being Un-Democratic far-leftist dictators who don’t believe in human and individual rights. And the bad guys are actually the United States.”

These are just some of the extreme fringe views from the Far-Left in America that would put the only in the mainstream in maybe Britain, France and Scandinavia and perhaps some authoritarian states. We are not talking about Liberals here and even Progressives, I would argue but people who have a soft heart for Marxism and communism. Who think the idea of a liberal free state based on individual freedom and rights is somehow corrupting and even immoral. And that we need a much more centralized collectivist state where women would be in charge for the most part and where the state would assume responsibility over the people.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Salon: Opinion: Bill Curry: We Can Stop The Neo-Cons: Here's What a Truly Progressive Foreign Policy Would Look Like

Salon: Opinion: Bill Curry: We Can Stop Neo-Cons: Here's What a Progressive Foreign Policy Would Look Like

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I hate to break it to anyone who calls them self a Progressive today, but the Progressives gave us the U.S. Department of Defense. They gave us the national security state. Which includes things like the CIA, FBI, the National Security Council, NATO and why we are today responsible for Europe’s defense as American taxpayers. They gave us the Vietnam War after they got us involved in the Korean War and won World War II at least far as leading that war. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman gave America the tools to fight and win the Cold War. That Lyndon Johnson used to put America in the Vietnam War. Can anyone who calls them self a Progressive today say they support any of those policies?

So when I read Bill Curry or anyone else who calls them self a Progressive say “its time for a progressive foreign policy”, is that what they mean with a big national security state that works with our foreign allies to police the world? Or are they calling for something much more passive and isolationist much further left where we step back as far as our traditional leadership role and let international organizations take the lead in dealing with these international crisis’? Bill Curry in his Salon piece seems to suggesting a little of both. That we be part of more international organizations like the International Criminal Court. But where we work with our foreign allies to address situations around the world. Instead of acting unilaterally to deal with foreign crisis’.

Progressive at least in the classical sense is not about being a dove. Not about being soft and passive to the point that you’re essentially a pacifist or isolationist or both. A true Progressive believes in at the very least self-defense when it comes to their own country. And that you have to be strong enough to protect what you value and cherish. Which is your own state and the people you represent. Now the debate would be about how strong you need to be and how much you need to invest and when you should act. But not about whether you should be strong or not. And that is something that today’s so-called Progressives need to understand if progressivism is really the ideology they want to back. Instead of being part of something that is more leftist.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Up and Open's Channel: Video: Christopher Hitchens on The Left's Hypocrisy


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I actually agree with every point that Chris Hitchens made in this short video except for one point. And that is probably the closest that I’ve ever come to completely agreeing with Chris Hitchens on anything. He was a Socialist on economic policy and social policy and in his last ten-years or so he became a Neoconservative on foreign policy and national security. But the one point that I disagree with him on and then I’ll tell you where I agree with him is his point about left liberalism. There is nothing center-left about people on the Left, Far-Left really and their critiques about people who legitimately criticize Islamists. That is pure fascist political correctness at its worst and illiberal because it goes against free speech.

Now here where I agree with Hitchens. The Far-Left has this attitude that if you criticize people from either a government or a private organization of lets say of a non-European background and you don’t go after bad things that the United States has done in the same critique that somehow that is racist or you’re a bigot in someway. Actually if you go after non-Europeans government or otherwise at all you could be branded as a racist even if you have the facts on your side. If you don’t believe me just look at Bill Maher and what he went through with the Far-Left back in September and October about his critique os Islam. You talk about ISIS and the evil acts that they’ve done, they’ll say what about the KKK in America or the Nazis in Germany. The simple answer being what about the KKK or Nazis.

The Far-Left in America at least is not adequate to debate and talk about ISIS or any other national security challenge that America faces for the simple reason that they have a politically correct strategy and attitude in response to those threats. Instead of just calling birds, birds and sheep, sheep. Meaning describing things as they are even if that offends some people. To take on a challenge and threat, you first have to know what that threat is and what they are about and capable of and what they have done. Even if those facts may tend to offend some people who perhaps are over-sensitive to begin with. Liberals and Conservatives and to a certain extent Libertarians in the conservative sense like Rand Paul understand this. The Far-Left hasn’t figured that out yet.