Category Archives: This humble little blog…

Steven E. Davis

Although it was several days until any of us knew, our friend and the founder of Pop Blog died a year ago today. The world has changed a great deal since then, changes that surely Steven would have had choice words to describe. Undoubtedly, our friend would have much to say about Donald Trump, the continuing Health Care debate and our new Representative in Congress, Mike Pompeo, among other topics.

One of the things I like best about Steven was his dry sense of humor, and his ability to display that sense of humor related to most any nonsense in the news of the world.

It doesn’t get any easier to accept Steven’s passing. He was gone far too soon. Each of us have a story or two to tell, a comment from Steven that we remember vividly or just a bit of his sense of humor that still makes us laugh.

I think of Steven often when I hear the music of Bob Dylan. Like me, Steven was a fan of Dylan and appreciated his lyrics and musicianship.


“May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation 
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful 
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.”

Bob Dylan – 1974

For so many of the people who’s lives were touched by him, Steven will remain for us, forever young.



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What Would Steven Think?

It has been nearly five months since Steven tragically left us. During these past few months, I have thought of our friend often, as I am sure that all of you have, also. I only had the privilege of meeting  Steven once, but we had a lively friendship on the blogs. There were times that we didn’t agree, but for the most part, we shared similar philosophies.

Steven Davis was quite the unique individual, a mixture of unapologetic liberal, dedicated professional and (semi) frustrated musician. Above all, Steven was a doting father and good friend. He also did not suffer fools gladly, particularly if they were spouting the latest GOP talking points or Limbaughesque rhetoric.

As I write and comment on Pop Blog, I frequently reflect on what Steven would be thinking. (Or is thinking, if that is your mindset.) Since he died, the prospects for progressives and liberals have dimmed considerably, to the point that it is likely that the House will flip to the GOP and the Senate will be narrowly divided in favor of the Democrats.

What would Steven think about the likes of Sharron Angle? Rand Paul? Christine O’Donnell? What about the Republican-owned Tea Party that refuses to go away, despite the dismal opinion that most moderates hold of them? I wonder what he would think of House Minority Leader John Boehner’s assertion that the GOP will cut taxes and reduce spending, all without running up a deficit.

Like many of you, it still seems so strange to me that Steven is gone. I miss his input and his wit, not to mention his plain-speaking manner of addressing an issue. I miss cussin’ and discussin’ music and various artists with him. I miss his self-depreciating  wit and quiet manner.

I miss Steven. I am sure that I am not the only one.

(Thread photo by the author.)

William Stephenson Clark


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The Beast Is Back!

(The thread photo is not an accurate likeness of the author.)

Well, my vacation was longer than I intended, but I am back, ready and willing to resume my nefarious career as a Pop Blog columnist. I enjoyed portions of my time away, enjoyed some of it not so much, but the sun rose every morning and I woke each morning breathing, so all was not lost.

I am looking forward to writing a new and improved column for your annoyance each weekday. My severely demented mind is churning with new and highly disturbed ideas for your perusal. My time away did nothing to change my warped view of the world we live in. It did, however, improve my outlook on life in general, so the desired effect was achieved.

By nature, despite a concerted effort to dissuade me, I remain an optomistic person, perhaps to a fault. The glass isn’t half full for me; it is overflowing. I felt that optimism slipping recently, hence my decision to step away for a bit to take a closer look at my motivations as I journey through this life. The failures that lead to my decreasing optimism were mine, and it required a new approach from me.

“I read the news today, oh boy…………………” (J. Lennon) Well, if you allow it, the “news today” can be rather depressing. You can watch the bee as he goes about his duties and be afraid of his stinger or you can smell the flowers that he pollinates. I choose the latter.

This past year has not been a good one for those of a progressive mindset. Part of that is due to a lack of optimism and belief in our cause. If you think that you are going to lose the game, you probably will see that thought realized. Truthfully, many of us worked hard to usher in a liberal Congress and President, then promptly proceeded as if the game was already won, when in fact, the coin toss was still in the air.

So, my fellow populists and progressives, your not so humble beast is back! I am recharged, motivated and filled with renewed optimism for the future.

And I am glad to be here.


(Thread photo by the author, Sedgwick County Zoo, September 6, 2010.)



William Stephenson Clark


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When Steven died, I volunteered, in the absence of any other offers, to write five columns per week for Pop Blog.  I have lived up to that commitment.

Now, I need a vacation.

I have written and scheduled all of my columns for next week, and will write and schedule my columns for the following week tomorrow. After that, I will be taking two weeks off. Beginning the weeks of August 23rd and August 30th, someone else needs to step up.

It is not easy trying to develop, research, write and publish five columns a week, with an eye to maintaining and increasing participation and improving the viability and continued relevance of Pop Blog. Try it – it is humiliating when your “work” is virtually ignored – then do it five times a week.

I will be brutally honest. I have asked a number of times what the participants at Pop Blog want – column ideas, threads, suggestions, anything. I have solicited your input, but I have never received a reply. That is very frustrating for someone that is just trying to keep a good thing  going.

While I am “away” I will continue with my other duties as co-administrator such as monitoring posts, approving new posts, etc..  I just won’t be writing.

This is not MY blog – it is yours – you need to decide what you want and how you want to get there.

In the short time since I have been an administer at Pop Blog, I have endeavored to work within the framework that was established by Steven Davis. What I do here has been my feeble attempt to maintain his vision.

Now, I need a vacation.

William Stephenson Clark


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Damn, it’s hot! …………… July results.

Well, July is mercifully over and now we are officially in the “Dog Days” of August. Temperatures continue to soar, the humidity is stifling and normal people are seeking refuge in air conditioned spaces, while we wait for the blessed relief of Autumn.

July wasn’t a bad month for Pop Blog. While we came nowhere near the totals of June, we did okay. It is expected that traffic will be down during the Summer, as folks take vacations, spend more time with family and generally have other things to do than to post on on obscure blog for that rarest of creature – the progressive in Kansas.

July ’10 was our fourth best month ever at 17,776 views. That is quite a bit down from June’s over 25,000, but good nonetheless.

Spread the word! This is a viable, progressive and inclusive blog.

Thank you, Steven, from the bottom of our hearts!



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Okay, so we are just a “humble little blog,” but we just set a new record for the month of June with over 25,000 views.

Steven would be so proud. 25,139 total views for June

The numbers aren’t all that important, in all reality, but it does mean that we are a viable blog and there is a future for us dim-witted progressives, even in Kansas.

If you look at our charts, our numbers go up, and up and up.

This is our second straight month with record views and the third month over twenty thousand.

Be proud, Pop Bloggers!


(Corrected by WSC – 07/02/2010)


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Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

Well, I obviously do not have a clue what is of interest to those here at our humble little blog. My column entitled “When is it time?” received about 90 comments and over 3,000 views. My column two days later, a human interest story about a pro golfer playing with his second transplanted heart, entitled “It’s Tee Time!” received zero posts and zero views.

Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

After Steven died, I committed to writing five columns per week in an effort to keep his blog alive. I have and will continue to keep that commitment, but obviously I need some direction.

The month of June is shaping up to be our best month ever, driven by nearly 5,300 views this past Monday and Tuesday, which were our best and second best days ever.  To put that in perspective, however, on Wednesday we had less than 700 views.

Obviously, golf is not a good topic for a column.

But here is my dilemma – I thought Wednesday’s column was far superior to Monday’s piece.

Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

I know statistics well enough to know that you can’t look at them with a microscope – you need to see the big picture.  That having been said, our humble little blog here needs participation and continued interest to survive.

As a writer, I can cover virtually any story. My columns are researched and my style of writing is similar to classic opinion columns. I try to vary my topics weekly and to include news, human interest and humor within a week’s span.

But, obviously, I don’t have a clue.

So, help me and this humble little blog out a bit. What topics do you want to see covered? Which columns do you like and which columns would you just as soon do without?  What would you like to see as the topics for future columns. Give me a hand.

Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

(The thread photograph  is not actually the author.)

William Stephenson Clark


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A Celebration of Life for Steven

I am reposting this as a reminder for some of you, that like me, tend to be a little forgetful. Fnord will be off to the land of blue-bloods and yachts for a bit, but she assures me that the exposure to the upper-crust of society won’t change her and she will be ready for an invasion of Pop Bloggers. See you on the 12th!

Remember, attendance is mandatory!

Okay, it’s a bit more than a month, but Fnord has to attend some wedding thingie in Boston (lame excuse) and there are other commitments I have in the weeks proceeding.

So, mark your calendars:

June 12th – a Celebration of Life for Steven. Two PM.

Griffin and Fnord have graciously volunteered (?) to host this event at their home.  It is going to be a hella party to honor Steven.

Be prepared!

I will be bringing a couple of slabs of my world-famous ribs and a pot of my even more famous Smoked Scrapyard Baked Beans.

Attendance is mandatory – that means you, Roxie and Pondy! If you fail to show up, we will hunt you down and drag you to the celebration. You cannot hide from the “evil liberals!” Liberals are very violent, don’t cha’  know!

Please contact me at with questions, directions, comments or whatever.

Also, please note on this thread what you will be bringing. If you can’t bring anything, that’s cool, too. Everyone knows that liberals are socialists and we SHARE.

Be prepared to laugh, cry and sing.

And stuff your face!

We all will.

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Enhanced Interrogations, Psychological Disorders, This humble little blog..., Weird news

Of Lunatics and Progressives

We have set a new record for views at Prairie Populists and Progressives. The previous record, set this past January was 20,200. For the month of May, we had 20,742 views.

I would like to personally thank all of you for helping to keep Steven’s pet project alive.

Periodically, Steven would ask the assembled masses here at Pop Blog for comments and suggestions to improve our humble little blog, as he frequently referred to it. I am going to do the same.

What say ye? Do you have some thoughts about Pop Blog?

By the way, the lunatics in the title refers to me and quite possibly Fnord, although I am not absolutely sure about that!

William Stephenson Clark


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The Pop Blog………………………

Free Stock photo: Closeup of a pencil writing on paper.

It is important to me to keep the Pop Blog alive and growing in Steven’s memory.

I am trying to recruit some new posters, moderates, liberals and those in between. I certainly won’t invite anyone to join us that would represent a serious affront to anyone here.

I am also planning to provide a thread per day, Monday through Friday, that is of a vague interest to the motley crew that hangs around this joint.

I won’t be adding anything on the weekends, unless something hit’s the news that gets my blood boiling and I can’t keep my mouth shut.

Speaking only for myself, I would like some of you to consider adding a thread now and again, as did Indy and Too Smart. I would also like you to consider asking some of your semi-like minded friends to join this party as well.

At Steven’s graveside, it was mention that this blog and his friends meant the world to him. In his honor, we should strive to keep it alive.

William Stephenson Clark


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3/16/1954 — 5/2/2010

He was a dedicated father, son, brother, and friend.  He loved music and relaxed with his guitar.  He loved people, he fought for the common man, and he will be sorely missed.  When the Prairie Pops blog began it was both because Steven wanted a civil place to hold discussions and because there were rumors the local newspaper might be facing financial problems and shut down.  He made sure there was a place he could find his friends if that happened.  His friends were important to him.  And we all know we’re better people because he called us friends.

This is the description Steven wrote of himself when he began this blog in March of 2009 —

iggydonnelly borrowed his nickname from Ignatius Donnelly, a prairie populist who started the People’s Party in 1892.  The original Donnelly was a senator from Minnesota.  The people in the Populist party were against the rich and for the common man.  In 1892, Ignatius Donnelly said… “The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes, unprecedented in the history of the world, while their possessors despise the republic and endanger liberty.”

The blogger donnelly has worked in various Kansas Community Mental Health Centers since February 1st, 1982.  The blogger has worked at his current place of employment since 1992.  Donnelly is a student and sometimes adjunct instructor of psychology.  The blogger donnelly is an advocate of progressive politics and free thought.  Donnelly has never raised any corn, but he has raised hell if there was no one around to watch, that is.  This author believes that same sex marriage is a civil rights issue and is a supporter of this cause.  In his spare time donnelly conducts psychological research that combine his interests in “positive psychology” and treatment planning for persons with severe and persistent mental illness.  He has one teenage son and one teenage daughter, who both with the aid of many heavy sighs, have learned to tolerate their father.


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Happy New Year, and New Decade, to All!!!

I am shutting down the computer for the night.  Happy New Year to All!  I will be listening to Jimmy Buffet and Nanci Griffith to welcome in the new year.  I have some champagne to help with that too.  God bless you all.  I look forward to blogging with you all in 2010!  Good night.



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BuddyPress – an Enhancement of WordPress?

Lias Sabin-Wilson, the author of WordPress for Dummies has written a new dummies book on BuddyPress.  As I am understanding it, BuddyPress adds a social networking dimension to WordPress blogging.  Please join me in reading this material.  I will probably get the book.  I am wondering if BuddyPress would enhance our experience here?


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Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night…

I personally wanted to say thank you to all who have blogged here this year.  I hope you have a fine holiday and hope you can be around family and friends during this holiday weather.  When traveling, please be careful out there.

This has been a growth-inducing year for me, and I have appreciated your friendship and talents that are on display here every day.  In regard to our blogging, I think I can say for us collectively, we have grown and we have endured.  Couldn’t have done it without all of you wonderful people.

I have appreciated you all, but I’d be remiss to not give a special thanks to Fnord for her tireless work.  In three short months this humble little blog (that is of such great interest to some people [sic]) will turn one year old.  Not in a bad way, but it seems like it has been longer than that to me.  I’m not sure why…

Any way… Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night.



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New Daily View Record!

I’m not sure why, but we have hit a record for daily views today!  Many of the views were of our old, and very old posts. 

If it was due to our WE Blog viewers, we thank you.  Some day you may even contribute to the coffers of our socialist causes.  Thank you very much. And, I might also add, f*ck you very much…



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