Category Archives: Community Organizing

Is the Tea Pot Cracking?

An article in NY Times is raising some interesting questions about the Tea Party Movement.  If the election of Scott Brown was such a win for all Tea Partiers, then why all the problems with the upcoming Tea Party convention ?

Lilac

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/us/politics/26teaparty.html

3 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Playing Politics, Political Reform, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

Move Your Money – Good Idea or Latest Fad?

This movement seems to be catching on.   There is a link in the article to check the banks in your zip code.  What are your thoughts about this movement’s chance of success?  Will it make a difference or are they just Don Quixote chasing those windmills?

Lilacluvr

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/07/move-your-money-movement_n_415326.html

7 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Economics

We’re Hunting Moderates…

Tea Party Leader: ‘We Are Turning Our Guns On’ Moderate Republicans

Dale Robertson doesn’t mince words. The tea party spokesperson and head of Teaparty.org in Houston issued a strong statement this week warning state GOP leaders that if they didn’t support strongly conservative candidates, their jobs were at risk.

“We are turning our guns on anyone who doesn’t support constitutional conservative candidates,” Robertson said. “If they don’t get that, and their party chairmen don’t get that, they are going to be ostracized.”

Jim Greer, Florida’s GOP Chairman, was forced to resign earlier this week under similar pressure from far-right activists following his endorsement of Charlie Crist, a “big-tent” Republican who has been criticized by some conservative factions for being too moderate. Tea Party activists have backed Crist’s opponent, Marco Rubio, in the upcoming Republican open primary.

Crist has notably broken from the Republican party on a few key issues. He’s supported green initiatives such as cap-and-trade legislation, and potential offshore drilling. Perhaps most markedly, Crist was a strong proponent of the stimulus bill, going as far as to hug President Obama while introducing him at a rally in Ft. Meyers.

“I think it’s just all-around frustration with some in our party who have a very pure philosophy of how you should govern,” Greer told the New York Times Magazine. “People want a common-sense approach to governing. And approaching it with purity won’t get anything done.”

Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, explains the Tea Party’s latest offensive. “People in America are very tired of the irresponsible taxing and spending that has happened in Washington. They want a return to fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets.”

30 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Elections, Political Reform, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans

Tea Parties Are So Last Year

Tea party protesters gathered on Capitol Hill in September 2009. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) – Some Tea Party activists from across the country are planning a ‘national strike’ on January 20, the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The idea of holding an economic protest sprung up during the holidays as the result of a conference call held by various Tea Party group leaders, according to Allen Hardage, a conservative grassroots organizer from Georgia.

“Tea Party activists are frustrated that despite a huge turnout over the last year Congress is ignoring them,” says Hardage, who is national operations director for the planned strike. “The question is that if the elected officials ignore you, what do you do to exercises your right to self-governance? So we decided to hold a National Day of Strike where we go after the large donors of the people pushing this radical agenda.”

Hardage says the idea of the one-day strike is to focus attention on the businesses that support the most liberal members of Congress as well as groups that advocate “big government” policies.

But Hardage says the move will not be a boycott: “Here we are exposing the agenda of some of the most widely known companies in America and letting the consumer decide. If a corporation decides to jump into politics to the tune of millions of dollars, then they need to expect that they will alienate some of their customers.”

The strike is being promoted online through the organizers’ Web site through Web sites of various Tea Party groups and on social networking sites.

CNN reached out to a number of national Tea Party organizations. While some were aware of the planned strike and some not informed, none said they were going to actively take part in the event.

Lilacluvr

60 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Playing Politics, Political Reform, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Let’s Make Plans

p_BKS058493We won’t be able to firm up everything until tomorrow since Iggy is at work today and 6176 won’t have computer access until tomorrow, but we can make most of the plans!

Let’s make sure we have the necessary supplies.  We can get free paint at the place David told us about, so let’s talk about that and see whether that is the route to go, at least for the primer.  Ladders?  Brushes?  Sprayer?  Drop cloths?  Caulk?  Sanding equipment?  What else?  Who will the crew consist of?

So much to discuss!  I’m getting excited!  Anytime I can get together with the bunch of you and help someone we all love is a good time!  Let’s do it!

paint2

52 Comments

Filed under Celebration, Community Organizing, Life Lessons, This humble little blog...

Janus Lives!

I’ve been thinking I should write something regarding the insane debate around health care reform. I’ve been reluctant to do so because I guess I’ve lost hope that any meaningful reform will happen. Surely no sane person believes that the health insurance industry will allow their puppets in congress, on both sides of the aisle, to pass anything that would help consumers and simultaneously reduce their profits. Given the powers and pocketbooks of big insurance and big pharma, anything that finally receives the blessing of both congress and the White House will be nothing more than the Health Insurance Relief and Protection Act of 2009.

But one thing I am willing to write about, at great personal peril, is that it is obvious to me Janus is alive and well and living in conservative western Kansas. Janus, you may remember from your last mythology class, is one of the Roman gods. According to Wikipedia “Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions.”

I think it is the two-faced nature of Janus that reminds me most of the western Kansas version of the health care debate, which, at its core, is really a debate about government spending and government programs. We are a particularly conflicted people when it comes to deciding if government money is good or bad. We can’t seem to make up our minds if government intervention is something we desire, or something we loathe. It’s confusing to me.

On one hand, western Kansas votes consistently to send conservative Republicans to Washington. The people who win the overwhelming majority of our votes say they are against bigger government, they believe with a religious fervor that government spending is bad and should be reduced, and they almost all scream like wounded banshees whenever the dreaded “R” word (regulation) is mentioned. In our neck of the woods, we like guys who have a particular distaste for anything Fox News might label as “socialism,” or “big government.”

And yet, our Senators and Congressmen support bigger cash payments from the federal treasury for farm subsidies. They support the expansion of Medicare even though it’s the original socialized medicine. And while other conservative True Believers decry Social Security as Roosevelt’s Folly, our guys support the Social Security program at every opportunity. And clearly, voters out here agree with these stands even though they are in direct opposition to the philosophy of limited government and reduced federal spending.

Hello? Janus called, and he wants his two faces back….

Just for the record, I personally think Social Security, Medicare, and some farm subsidies are good things. But I also don’t see the boogey man under my bed every time someone mentions single payer and a public health insurance option during the health care debate.  I think that out here in the hinterlands, we may find out the hard way that it’s not possible to have our government cake and eat it too.

It seems the overriding idea in Kansas is that MY government payments are good things. Expanding MY government programs to make them bigger is a good thing. But still, we vote for people who agree with our opposing thought that bigger government is bad, and real health-care reform will raise Marx from the dead.

The piper will have to be paid in Kansas if federal spending is truly reduced. Kansas receives far more federal dollars than we pay into Washington’s coffers. That’s been true for over 25 years. And in rural states, especially those with aging voters and declining populations, we don’t have the votes to swim upstream against programs that benefit urban communities. If we raise too much of a fuss about spending on their programs, we might feel the backlash against “our” programs.

You see, we are not one America anymore. We’ve allowed ourselves to be polarized into “your” and “mine” camps. We no longer care what is good for the country, but instead, we focus only on what we perceive is good for “us” and we shrug our shoulders and let the devil take the hindmost where the welfare of others is concerned.

The day of reckoning is near. Kansans will have to resolve our collective schizophrenia about whether or not federal spending is good or bad. We will be forced to look at the contradiction in believing Medicare is good but other government health care programs are bad. And we have to know that voters in other states see our farm subsidies as just another welfare program while we believe they are good investments of taxpayer dollars. We can’t sustain this duality any longer and expect to be relevant in the national debate.

Like I said, two-faced Janus lives in western Kansas, but not likely for long. We will soon have to choose which of our faces is real, and which one is fake. I only hope we choose wisely.

PrairiePond

22 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Economics, Healthcare, History, Kansas, Political Reform

Hardware, peanuts and friends

I’ve got a sad task in this column today. I scrapped what I was writing yesterday when we received word this morning that a much-loved WaKeeney icon has left us. Mike Dreiling, our own “Mr. WaKeeney” passed away Monday night. It was a day we always knew would come, but somehow, I just wasn’t prepared, and I kept hearing the Beatles sing “I heard the news today, oh, boy”. And when I heard the news, a whole bunch of thoughts and memories came flooding back, along with a few tears.

When I was little, on our weekly visits into town, there was no place I was more excited about visiting than the hardware store. One reason was because I never failed to convince my Dad that I NEEDED some peanuts from the red and chrome 5-cent machine located on the counter. They were always the good kind of Spanish peanuts, slightly oily and very salty, with the red skins that slipped off and fell to the bottom of those little, tiny, brown paper sacks Mike would always give me. I’m not sure if it was the nuts or the cute little sacks that made me insist on peanuts at every visit.

When I was really small and scrawny (yes, there was such a time) Mike would have to help me up to reach the machine, where I carefully deposited my nickel and turned the handle. I had to hold that mini-sack exactly under the spout so as not to lose any of the precious peanuts it dispensed, and sometimes, I just wasn’t tall enough, but I could always count on Mike to help me out. Then, and only then, could I walk around the store, peanuts in hand, and look at all the stuff on the shelves.

I was never impatient to leave when we visited Mike’s store. Oh, I liked Mr. Jeffries when he was the proprietor, but it was really Mike I wanted to see. He always talked to me like I was an adult, never, ever like I was a pesky kid, which was most likely the case.

I liked to look at the pocket knives on display, always wishing and hoping that one of them would go home with me, but that never happened. Knives were not for girls, my Dad would scoff, but Mike never treated me like just a girl. He would patiently answer all of my questions about the various tools and gadgets to be found on the shelves. I especially loved the ropes of all sizes and materials that magically sprouted from a hole in the floor. Some of those ropes became leads for my 4-H steers, and some became leads for my horse, and some were just used by Dad for unknown but always interesting farm things. I knew that we could always count on Mike to give us just what we needed. He always knew things that fascinated me and he showed me how to tie knots and which rope was used for every task. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Ethics, Kansas History, Life Lessons