Category Archives: Creativity

Joan Baez: We Shall Overcome…

Yes, we shall…

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Filed under Art, Diversity, Economics, Ethics, Uncategorized

Admitting Mistakes…

W000795[1]Why do people find it so difficult to admit mistakes?  The story of Joe Wilson provides a sharp focus for this very serious question.  Wilson did admit that he should not have interrupted Obama during his address to Congress last week, but insists his assertion that the president mis-stated facts about the medical treatment of illegal immigrants is true.  A non-admission admission, anyone?

Dale Carnegie knew the value of promptly admitting mistakes.  The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous from their beginnings knew about the power of “promptly admitting one’s mistakes”.  Has admitting wrong-doing become a lost social skill?

Does anyone not recognize that failing to admit mistakes is the pathway to looking foolish and dishonorable? 

This website summarizes the method of admitting mistakes – it should not be needed, but maybe it is…

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Filed under Ethics, Life Lessons

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

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

The Iggy Donnelly Disease: Socialistic Capitalism

Iggy Donnelly and Son practicing "Here comes the Sun" by Geo. Harrison

Iggy Donnelly and Son practicing "Here comes the Sun" by Geo. Harrison

On Monday morning, NPR broadcast a story about how the U.S. Economy is drifting toward European styled socialism.  NPR interviewed a German couple, the wife/mom from New York had married a German man and the couple now live in Germany.  The couple have a five month old child for whom the family receives from the German government two-thirds of the mom’s salary for one year after the child’s birth.  Like the U.S., Germany has an aging population, and thus they are interested in incentifizing the birth of babies.  The tax rate reflects the generous German program – the couple pay about half of their income in taxes. I had an email friend who lived in Germany who worked for a community college that offered all types of education absolutely free.  This program sounded like a for real “free university”.

Revealing my potential biases, I work in, and have for several years, a health care  field that is heavily subsidized by the U.S. Government.  Even though he had some distracters ( See: Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man), I believe that FDR was able to leverage the power of the U.S. Government to reverse a crushing economic depression in the 1930’s.  I think there were academic and artistic advances in the 1930’s that would have been impossible without the New Deal.

Regarding the points that he U.S. Economy may be moving toward European socialism, a bigger safety net sounds good to me.  So does greater regulation that protects the public from the reckless capitalism that hurt people who did not contribute to the problem, nor had any way of benefiting from the risks.  But as we have seen from the very end of the Bush administration, these same marginalized people had much to lose from the reckless speculating of the wealthy.

Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics, History, Populists, The Economy

Great Advice for President Obama

We’ve all wondered when this so-called Democratic advantage — majorities in the House, the Senate and the presidency was going to bring the changes and improvements we expected.  Well, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine has asked the questions we want answered and given the advice we all have wanted to give!

President Obama:

You have proven to be a great campaigner. You have yet to demonstrate your ability to govern. Who needs the Republicans? They don’t know what compromise is. They’re just out to derail your presidency. Bitch slap ’em at every opportunity and put them in their place. They lost; you didn’t.

As for disloyal Democrats, you need to yank the carpet out from under them. Remind them that their survival is dependent upon yours. Don’t pull punches, Mr. President. You need some gonads, and if you don’t have any, as Hillary would say, you’d better grow some.

You have failed to keep many campaign promises. You’ve ignored civil liberty violations such as warrantless wiretapping. You passed a stimulus package that is obviously full of pork for Democrats. You handed over billions more in taxpayer dollars to crooked bankers. You listened to the very people who created our economic meltdown, the Mutt and Jeff team of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. You’ve let the insurance lobbyists hijack healthcare reform to the detriment of every man, woman, and child in America.

You must say what you mean and mean what you say. Closing Guantanamo means just that. You could do it right now, Mr. President. You don’t have to wait until January. You can place terrorist suspects in the federal correctional system without creating any risk to our citizens.

You’re a nice guy. Everybody likes nice guys. Sometimes they finish last. You don’t want that, and neither do those of us who voted you in.

The American people have placed their future in your hands. For heaven’s sake don’t let them down. Don’t let yourself down.

Larry Flynt
Publisher, HUSTLER Magazine

fnord

10 Comments

Filed under Ethics, Obama, Political Reform

A reasonable change of perspective in an unreasonable situation.

It was quite a treat to come home last week and find I’d been offered the chance to write something for this website. It is certainly one I read and admire. As the week went on, I struggled though; most of what I write isn’t all that political. What could I possibly contribute? Then came the encounter between Professor Gates, the Cambridge Police Department, and the subsequent reaction by President Obama.

In short, I see the President’s handling of this as a great positive, a leap forward over what we endured over the past eight years. But first, a little personal revelation so you’ll know where I am coming from.

I’m a cop. I’m starting my 25th year of service at one of the largest police departments in the country. I’ve worked in our local school system; I’ve been a detective. I started our department’s domestic violence unit. I currently work on the street as a sergeant in an inner city neighborhood. I’m also the senior member of our Hostage Negotiation Team. I teach a mental health intervention class. I’ve been busy. The thought of my oncoming retirement makes me smile.

The facts of the encounter between Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley have come out in dribs and drabs. Few, and certainly none of us, know the entire circumstance. There have been no shortage of opinions floated by folks who don’t have any perspective on the situation. Sadly, one of them was the President.

On the one hand, I can’t blame him. He stood behind a person he considers a friend, whose background he knows and respects. If one of my friends ended up in hot water, my first instinct would be to rise to their defense.

On the other, I know that folks in my profession are painted with a broad brush. If Crowley and his department are painted as bumbling and racist, the reality is that that assessment and situation will color how people approach me and the officers I supervise hundreds of miles from Cambridge. Bumbling and racism are things I do not tolerate. So, I was a little frustrated with the President’s reaction. I voted for him, how could he do this to me? Continue reading

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Filed under Diplomacy, Diversity, Ethics, Obama

Speaking of Ethics: Palin’s woes…

Despite Palin’s claims of frivolous ethics complaints, this Politico note suggests this one may be more of a problem.

The above source indicates:

“An independent investigator has found evidence that Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated ethics laws by accepting private donations to pay her legal debts.”

Say it isn’t so…

iggy donnelly

9 Comments

Filed under Elections, Ethics, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Sarah Palin

The Moral Philosophy of Conservatives and Progressives

When I was in grade school, my maternal grandmother gave me a set of hard cover American Heritage books.  My favorite one was the historical treatment of the 1920’s.  In that book there were citations of  some jokes from the Harvard Lampoon of the 20’s (maybe the precursor to the National Lampoon?).  The joke follows:

A linebacker, who was having a hard time passing his philosophy class, made a deal with his professor that if he could answer only one question in class, he could receive a passing grade and play in the Championship game on the following Saturday.

The exchange went:

Professor:  “Name one German philospher.”

Linebacker: “Can’t sir.”

Professor: “Congratulations, Kowalski, you have passed.”

Emanuel Kant is our pictured guest above.  And, also a German Philospher.

Moral Philosophy was the precursor to the study of ethics.  Kant has very interested in deontological ethical frameworks.  Simply put, deontology posits that there is a morally correct resolution of all ethical problems and those should be sought, regardless of the outcome.  An example:  “People get hurt, so be it.  Executing God’s will is more important. “

Contrast the deontological framework with the Utilitarian perspective;  the major tenet of this latter approach was that the action that produces the greatest amount of good, for the greatest number of people, is the ethical solution that should be sought.

Guess which of the above approaches matches best with the two major U.S. political Parties. 

Most ethical codes try to resolve and use both of these approaches.  Sometimes including both can work and sometimes not.

The value of both approaches is what makes it important to me that the Republican party does not cease to exist.

Your thoughts?  I am taking a home study ethics course; so I apologize for this digression.

iggy donnelly

 

17 Comments

Filed under Elections, Ethics, Republicans, Secularism

Hemispheric Asymmetries and Political Positions

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard brain scientist writes of her stroke that she had when she was 37 years of age.  Her stroke resulted from a brain hemorrhage that damaged the left side of her brain.  She’s a neuroanatomist by training.  Prior to describing her stroke and recovery she provides a chapter on brain “hemispheric asymmetries”.

Just as a cautionary note, we all use both sides of our brains.  The right and left hemisheres should be thought of as complimentary halves of a whole and not as seperate brains.  They do have differing specializations, however.

The right side of the brain allows us to:  remember isolated moments with uncanny clarity; recognize faces; the present moment is the only time period that is recognized; there is no defined rules about the correct way of doing things; intuition and empathy are processed on the right side of the brain. From the book: “The present moment is a time when everything and everyone are connected together as one.  As a result, our right mind perceives each of us as equal members of the human family” (p. 30).

Our left hemisphere  is organized around language Language is understood and produced in the left hemisphere. The left side of our brain thrives on facts and details.  There is a constant flow of brain chatter that comes from the left mind.  The left side defines our sense of self.  Time is organized and sequential.  Academic skills are processed on the left side our brains.

After reading the book, and I highly recommend it, I had thoughts that perhaps conservatives have some degree of right hemispheric dysfunction.  Not having empathy, not seeing interinconnections amongst us all, etc. would be clues to this possiblity.

What do you bloggers think of this latter “insight”?  Is it delusion or possibility?

iggy donnelly

12 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Creativity, Diversity, Political Reform, Populists, Republicans, Thinking/Considering

Shawn’s Famous Friends — THE BEATLES

Okay, I know. This is really becoming annoying, huh? Addictive personality, WHO ME? Yes me. I admit it, freely. So instead of working on that defect of charcter here at PrariePops for all to see, maybe I can try to twist it into something positive.

Those of you who know me here know that I’ve been shamelessly promoting my favorite artist Shawn Phillips http://www.shawnphillips.com/. That can’t be all bad, The Friggin Loon has started listening to Shawn. So instead of doing a disservice to him, (by making you all bitter through my own obsessive behavior) I’ll take a different approach. A series of videos featuring Shawn’s more well known friends. Gauranteed to blow your mind!  ~sekanblogger

 “I was invited a couple of times to Paul McCartney’s and George Harrison’s house. We were on a very friendly basis. Paul invited me to a session, and I ended up singing background vocals on “Lovely Rita Meter Maid”, and we saw each other socially many times after that, at the Moody Blues house, and various clubs around London. I gave George some basic lessons on sitar, before he ever actually met Ravi Shankar. It was basically the same with John and Ritchie (Ringo). Although, I never went to their houses.” 

“Very nice guys, every single one of them. John Lennon and I got along very very well. George was really the quietest one. He was quite an introvert. He didn’t really finger pick, but he was a much better guitarist than a lot of people give him credit for. When we sat around jamming, he would play things that just absolutely amazed me! It wasn’t what he played; it was the speed at which he’d play them. He never really showed off that side on any of the Beatles’ records. That guy could jam and he’d play these amazing runs.”  – Shawn Phillips

LYRICS HERE Continue reading

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Filed under Creativity, Diversity, History, Lyrics, Media, Music, Tributes

BLACK MESSIAH by The Kinks

Since it’s Juneteenth, and the Senate formally apologizes for slavery, well…. all us crackers may as well admit it. The picture in the hall at your local church is all wrong. THE MESSIAH IS BLACK! Read lyrics, listen to song, comment. ~sekanblogger

 Everybody got the right to speak their mind
So don’t shoot me for saying mine
Everybody talking about racial equality
‘Cos everybody’s equal in the good Lord’s eyes
But if I told you that God was black
What would you think of that
I bet you wouldn’t believe it

There’s a self made prophet living right next to me
He said the Black Messiah’s gonna come and set the whole world free
He looked at me with his evil eye and prophesied
And he really believed it

He said a Black Messiah is gonna set the world on fire
And he no liar, ‘cos he has truly heard the word
Everybody talk about racial equality
But I’m the only honky living on an all black street
They knock me down ‘cos they brown and I white
Like you wouldn’t believe it

They say a Black Messiah is gonna set the world on fire
A Black Messiah is gonna come and rule the world
Everybody talk about racial equality
Everybody talk about equal rights
But white’s white, black’s black and that’s that
Everybody got the right to speak their mind
So don’t shoot me for saying mine

Everybody talking about racial equality
You hear everybody talking about equal rights
But white’s white, black’s black and that’s that
And that’s the way you should leave it

Don’t want no Black Messiah to come and set the world on fire
A Black Messiah is gonna come and rule the world
Everybody got to show a little give and take
Everybody got to live with a little less hate
Everybody gotta work it out, we gotta sort it out
Everybody got the right to speak their mind
So don’t shoot me for saying mine

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Filed under Creativity, Diversity, Humor, Lyrics, Music, Religion

Hie Away

“I like to write songs that make you feel different from the way you felt before you started listening,”- Shawn Phillips

  I have actually heard of critic’s reviews about Shawn where they complained that he used “The entire English language.” WHAT? How shallow have we become as consumers? The remarks about using the entire language reminded me of the scene in ‘Amadeus’ where some aristocrat is complaining that Mozart’s new composition was awful because “there were just too many notes!” Boy would he ever hate this cut, Hie Away. I was at one of his shows (in Tulsa I think?), where Shawn said something like: “Show me an artist who plays for the art of it, he’ll be the next guy without a major label.”

 For those of us who lose at scrabble; Hie -Pronunciation:\ˈhī\ -Function: verb -Inflected Form(s):hied; hy·ing or hie·ing -Etymology:Middle English, from Old English hīgian to strive, hasten. Date:12th century -intransitive verb: to go quickly : hasten -transitive verb: to cause (oneself) to go quickly.

Hie Away

 Tongues are rattling and multiprattling, the thanatoid elite
That call the noisome, remorseless horsemen, we pray they into sleep
For when they’re riding there is no hiding your face

Instant ambrose for distant decades, the same must speed relief
For tolls too briefly the sounds of mercy
I shall not hie to grief
In fear we ponder the use of thunder for peace

Moving rages divide the phases converging toward belief
That’s being proven in all its union, there is no more retreat
And blind delusions maintain illusions too deep

Now flows the hour of cringe and cower, the strong become the weak
Negate your power and all to flower,
In pain we all are meek
In light beholden the ages golden we seek

~~~~~~~~~~

Just one reason I like Shawn is exactly that attitude of doing his own thing. Rebel hippie musicians just have a soft spot in my heart. I could carry on for a while with rebelious quotes from Shawn, but I risk the chance of carrying on so long you lose interst. So instead of quelling your interest, let me try to spike it by presenting something completely different than PrariePops is used to me posting by SP. 

 

  I’ve always shared Shawn’s more mellow/acoustic numbers in the past, if you enjoyed those, check out this short clip of him at home practicing acoustic guitar. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Diversity, Lyrics, Music

Puzzled about Jumps in Blog Traffic…

We tend to have increases in our traffic toward the middle of the week.  Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are our big days.

Anyone have an idea why this might be?  My dear and precious spouse says that people are bored at their j0bs on those days and check in as a result.

Myself:  I have no idea.

Your theories are welcome.  Let us know…

Iggy Donnelly

5 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Life Lessons, New Technology, Other blogs, Research, This humble little blog...

Wolfram is a Calculator and not a Search Engine

<i>Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input.</i>

This is in response to my question:  “how many white men are  in Washington, D.C.?”

Wolfram is supposed to be a calculator rather than a search engine.

I hate it when I am unable to stop the italics command.  This Wolfram thing may be way over-rated.

<b>Google is safe for now</b>.



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Filed under Creativity, Economics, Life Lessons, New Technology, Research

GOD Explains Things to Fred Phelps on Judgement Day

This is a scenario from the near future when Fred Phelps dies and meets his maker.  As in turns out, on that fateful day, St. Peter has some well deserved time off and it is up to GOD HIMSELF to mind the Heaven Shop when Fred arrives.

GOD:  WELL, GREETINGS REVEREND PHELPS, I’VE BEEN WAITING  FOR THIS FINE DAY. [As you will note, God talks loudly and in all capital letters.]

Phelps:  God, I am glad to be here after a long life of doing your work on earth…

GOD:  ACTUALLY, I’VE BEEN WANTING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT “YOUR WORK”.  YOU SEE, FRED, YOU AND I HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE OF OPINION ABOUT “YOUR WORK.”  I SEE “YOUR WORK” AS HARASSING MEMBERS OF MY FLOCK DUE TO YOUR EXCESSIVE HATE AND MISPLACED SENSE OF PURPOSE.

A REVIEW FOR YOU FRED:  I AM GOD.  I AM PERFECT.  I MADE ALL OF MAN & WOMANKIND IN MY IMAGE.  THIS WILL COME AS A SURPRISE FOR YOU, FRED, BUT I’VE HAD HOMOEROTIC FEELINGS AND BECAUSE OF THAT I DEDICATED PART OF MY CREATION TO EXPRESSING THESE FEELINGS IN THE RAINBOW PORTION OF MY WORK.  I KNOW YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY IN ADDITION TO BEING A MINISTER,  BUT, FRED,  YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO JUDGE MY PERFECT CREATIONS.

Continue reading

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Filed under Cheney, Creativity, Kansas, Kansas History, Life Lessons, Marriage Equality, Original writings