Category Archives: Populists

The midwest origin of this term and deja vu all over again…

The Outer Limits……. and Bears…….

cartoonbears.jpg beers image by bluepineowl_photos

“For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Outer Limits.”

“The Outer Limits” was a respected, but short-lived, science fiction television program from the early Sixties.  Most episodes featured a “bear,” a monster of some sort, that provided the focal point for the show.

Our current political/social landscape has it’s own elements of “the Outer Limits.” Both sides, Right and Left, create their own “bears” to drive their ideological agendas. For the GOP, Tea Baggers and Libertarians the “bear” is the Federal Government. For Democrats and progressives, the “bear” is largely Corporations and Christian-driven social agendas.

Granted, the previous statement is a gross over-simplification, but the point is made.  There are elements on all sides that push the limits by demonizing the institution or ideology that fuels their ire.

Currently, their is a war within the Republican Party that threatens to purge even slightly moderate members and to be seen even in the least bit willing to work with Democrats is a virtual death warrant.

To their credit, Democrats are much less ideologically driven, but we have our own “lunatic fringe” that can’t support any semblance of compromise. To be sure, some issues, Gay Rights for example, have no room for compromise, but not all issues are quite so clearly defined.

“Politics is a process by which groups of people make  collective decisions.”

The above is the definition of politics from Wiki.

Well, do you see room for compromise on some issues, if so, what are they? Do you have your own personal “bear” or “bears” and what are they?


William Stephenson Clark

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22 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, libertarians, Populists, Tea Party Movement, Uncategorized

Jim Hightower ~ A REAL Populist

I say Jim is a real populist, because right now, the right wingers have attempted to hijack the populist image. Beck, Palin and the Tea Party in particular. Let’s be clear. A populist is in this game to improve the lot of the average person. Beck, Palin, and the Tea Party are in this to FATTEN THEIR WALLETS!

5 Comments

Filed under Economics, Jobs, Populists

OPEN THREAD DAAA DA! Saturday 01-23 and the first day of the rest of your life!

Went on a job interview yesterday, looks like I maybe getting back into security.

Law enforcement seems to think I am older then I think I am.

And no one else seems interested in a 52 y.o. who piddle his younger year away and had not decided what he wanted to be when he grew up….. I really need to decided that one of these days!

25 Comments

Filed under Celebration, Populists, You know you're getting old when . . .

Wendell Berry and the “Inverting of the Economic Order”

wendell-berry[2]Wendell Berry has written one very powerful message for the The Progressive (Sept., 2009)  magazine. This article by Berry ( a farmer and writer in Kentucky)  is one that provides unusual clarity into the practical, but also the moral, problems with our economy.  I usually have an aversion to copying material like this, but the message so deserves to be disseminated, I will do it, just this one time…

Read more here.

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Filed under Populists, The Economy, The Environment

Which side are you on: What labor day is all about.

7 Comments

Filed under Celebration, History, Populists, Thinking/Considering

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.

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27 Comments

Filed under Ethics, History, Populists, The Economy

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet SENATOR Al Franken!

What a great day for liberals and progressives everywhere. The man the GOP couldn’t stop, and the man they swore would never be seated, SENATOR Al Franken was sworn into office today as the 100th member of the U.S. Senate.

He’s also the man Fux News was sure would turn the good ol’ boys club into a strip club, the man they said would defile the dignity of the senate with his very presence, and the man who never gave up on Minnesota or the democratic process.   SENATOR Al Franken, finally made it all the way to the big house today.

And he was sworn in using Paul Wellstone’s family bible.

Like everything Franken has done since November, that gesture alone reeks of class and respect. It was understated and subtle. Something many people never thought they’d see from Stuart, er, SENATOR Al Franken.

And Paul Krugman wrote this weekend that Franken’s dirty little secret isnt diapers. a wide stance, or financial impropriety. SENATOR Al Franken’s dirty little secret is that he is a true policy wonk in the tradition of Hillary Clinton. A guy who loves the detail of policy and the nuances of the legislative process. Imagine. He’s a serious public servant.

I think the thing I love about SENATOR Al Franken is how he’s conducted himself throughout this process. You know he could have unsheathed that rapier wit at many points. He could have eviscerated the opposition with only a smirk, a few words and a raised eyebrow. He could have gone for the laughs, mugged for the cameras, brought the house down with laughter, and made a mockery of the serious problems facing our nation.

But he didn’t.

Instead, he set an example of how grown ups act when presented with the awesome responsibilty of leadership. He’s shown dignity and grace under fire, and he’s shown compassion to his bozo of an opponent.

I’m reminded of what Vince Lombardi said. “When you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.”  SENATOR Al Franken acts as though he’s not only “been there before”, but he also acts like he intends to stay a long time. And that has got to be good for America.

He’s made me proud, and I’ve never even visited Minnesota. Good on ya Al. I mean SENATOR Al Franken.

Paul Wellstone will finally rest in peace tonight. For once, the good guy won.

prairiepond

9 Comments

Filed under Elections, Political Reform, Populists