Category Archives: Tributes

Proud to say I’m a “Liberal”

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

~ John F. Kennedy, 1960

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the traditional kick off for Summertime, even though the official first day of summer is not until later in June. For many, Memorial Day means picnics, trips to the lake,  baseball games, horseshoes, pool parties, kids out of school, barbecues and the Indy 500.

And, yes, it means all those things, but there is a greater meaning.

The loss of a loved one in war must be a horrible burden to bear, one that I have not personally felt, but one that I can empathize with completely.

Our great nation, however imperfect she may be, has stood the test of time and our brightest and best have stood up for her and defended her throughout history, some with the forfeiture of their lives.

The shot heard ’round the world. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg. The Hundred Day Offensive. Pearl Harbor, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima.  The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The Tet Offensive.  The Mother of All Battles. Kabul. Baghdad.

No matter your thoughts on these wars, you have to respect those that fought them for us, and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. They deserve no less.

Today, when you sit down with your family, friends or even alone, take a moment to reflect on those that stood tall to protect our freedom and liberty.

But I would also suggest that you remember those that lost their lives, but not in uniform, but for a cause greater than themselves.

Medgar Evers. Dr. King. Rachel Corrie. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Matthew Shepard. Harvey Milk. Rachel Corrie. Tom Hurndall. The Kennedy’s. And many, many more.

Today is the day we set aside to honor those that have come before us, blazing a trail so we all may have a better life. As you celebrate the day, stop to remember and honor those that have made this day possible.

It’s the least we can do.


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Celebration, History, President Barack Obama, Tributes, WAR

iggydonnelly

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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Health-care reform

On the eve of passing a national health-care reform bill, I’ve been thinking about Senator Edward Kennedy.  He would no doubt have helped make the argument that when you get this close, there are some things more important than reelection.  Speaker Pelosi, who often cites Senator Kennedy’s call for comprehensive health care, made that case recently on ABC’s This Week when she said “Why are we here? We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. We’re here to do the job for the American people.

Back in the good old days after the Senate passed its bill and before the Democrats lost their filibuster-resistant majority, negotiators had planned to name the legislation for Ted Kennedy and Michigan Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr., the senior House Democrat who had been advocating universal coverage since he arrived in 1955. That won’t happen; there are just too many other matters to worry about now.

Senator Kennedy’s son, Patrick Kennedy, when asked what his Dad would say: “This was never for him,” he said. “The greatest honor for him would be getting more people covered, any which way or how.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Healthcare, Progressive Ideals, Tributes

A tribute to Senator Kennedy

Here is a stirring tribute song to my good friend, Senator Ted Kennedy called ‘Headed Home.’ I wrote this song with the great Phil Springer. Take a moment to listen to the words. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s politics…none of us agree 100% of the time. But you have to admire a lifetime dedicated to public service and improving the lives of others — and that is just one of the many things that made Ted great. I think this song captures a small part of Ted’s legacy of service. Listen to it and see what you think.

Senator Orrin Hatch

Lyrics:

Through the darkness
We can find a pathway
That will take us half way
To the stars.

Through the rain and fog
We can find a clear day
Shoo the shadows and doubts away
And touch the legacy that is ours.

Yours and mine
And our children’s
For all time.

Just honor him
Honor him
And every fear
Will be a thing of the past.

America, America
We’re headed home
We’re headed home
At last.

Just honor him
Honor him
And on the reefs of despair
We shall not crash.

America
America
We’re sailing home
Sailing home
America
America
We’re headed home
Headed home
At last.

Written by: Orrin Hatch and Phil Springer

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The Senate’s great lion

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In a recent article written by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and published in Newsweek, he explains why he fought to make health care available for every mother or father who hears a sick child cry in the night.

In 1973, when I was first fighting in the Senate for universal coverage, we learned that my 12-year-old son Teddy had bone cancer. He had to have his right leg amputated above the knee. Even then, the pathology report showed that some of the cancer cells were very aggressive. There were only a few long-shot options to stop it from spreading further. I decided his best chance for survival was a clinical trial involving massive doses of chemotherapy. Every three weeks, at Children’s Hospital Boston, he had to lie still for six hours while the fluid dripped into his arm. I remember watching and praying for him, all the while knowing how sick he would be for days afterward.

During those many hours at the hospital, I came to know other parents whose children had been stricken with the same deadly disease. We all hoped that our child’s life would be saved by this experimental treatment. Because we were part of a clinical trial, none of us paid for it. Then the trial was declared a success and terminated before some patients had completed their treatments. That meant families had to have insurance to cover the rest or pay for them out of pocket. Our family had the necessary resources as well as excellent insurance coverage. But other heartbroken parents pleaded with the doctors: What chance does my child have if I can only afford half of the prescribed treatments? Or two thirds? I’ve sold everything. I’ve mortgaged as much as possible. No parent should suffer that torment. Not in this country. Not in the richest country in the world.

fnord

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Joan-one of my favorite people of all time.

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Hilberta Elizabeth (Joan) Dahlin, forever 49, of Marina del Rey, California died peacefully on August 9, 2009, with her family gathered by her side.

She was born September 26, 1924 in Tarkio, Missouri to Gertrude Leoline Kaufman and Lyman Henry Sommer.

Hilberta and her younger sister, MaryAnn, traveled the world with their parents. The Sommer girls attended boarding school in Wichita, Kansas and graduated from Holy Family High School in Glendale, California.

After graduation, with the news of Pearl Harbor, Hilberta joined the Women’s Ambulance and Defense Corps of America. She was one of the first women to become a fulltime State Guard member. Hilberta subsequently received her bachelor and her master degrees from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Hilberta met her future husband, Carl Roy Dahlin, a US Marine, at a USO dance in Santa Barbara. They married in February 1945, and settled in Santa Monica, California until they took up residence on Harding Avenue in Venice, which the family occupied for the next 50 years. Here they raised their ever-expanding family, a great source of her pride and joy.

Mrs. D, as she was known by her students, was a beloved teacher. When the youngest of her eight children entered kindergarten, Mrs. D began her long and storied career in the classroom. She touched generations of families as a 6th grade teacher at St. Mark’s Catholic School in Venice and then as a teacher and librarian at St. Monica Elementary School in Santa Monica where she remained until her retirement. Mrs. D received numerous awards and accolades for her achievements, including Outstanding Elementary School Teacher and Teacher of the Year as well as being honored for serving 54 years in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Joan will be remembered for her strong Catholic faith, her adventurous spirit, her love of traveling (both home and abroad), her sharp sense of humor and sense of fun, her selflessness and generosity of spirit, her preservation (insistence) of correct grammatical use in the English language and the positive impact she had on the lives of countless people. She will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all who knew and loved her.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Roy Dahlin, her sister, Mary Ann Sommer and her granddaughter, Jennifer Dahlin.

Joan is survived by her children Roy Anthony, Karl Hilbert (Janet), Jon Kristin (Theresa), George Kurtis (Irma), Erick Joseph, Mary Leolyn Carl (Bradford), Mark Thomas (Kerry), Karin Marie Dahlin, Lisa Ann Reid (Steve), David Dahlin Glover (Vanessa), Bob Fuhrmann, 24 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

Joan visited my mom ,when I was taking care of her in Joplin, Mo, twice.  Both times were outrageous fun. I would take them both for rides to various parts of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I had to make both ride in the back seat because of the noise generated as both talked at the same time. How they ever understood each other is still a mystery to me, and one science would do well to investigate.

Joan, my mom, and two nuns toured Europe decades ago for two months. They bought a mini-van and drove it all over. I should get with my sister and write down some of their adventures, as there were many. For instance, while in Holland, they got lost, drove down the wrong road, which happened to be an exclusive bike road. They got stopped by the local gendarme, who politely escorted them to the correct road, called ahead and had the local hotel ready for them when they arrived there. Try having that done over here.

I will seriously miss her charm and sense of humor. May you rest in peace, Joan, and say hi to mom.

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