This is my personal blog where I share the opinions I have. I hope you will join in the conversation, and share with me the opinions YOU have. Follow PPTS here, participate in some civil discourse here, matter here.
I look forward to learning, growing and sharing with you here.
The Tennessee Progressive
This is not because I have not seen the worst of humanity: I have. Nor is it because I refuse to live in the realities of life: I have.
But I have also lived in places and times where I have witnessed the unparalleled goodness of humankind. Given the option of which side of humanity to believe is the greater in number, I choose to believe on the side of the goodness of mankind.
In my lifetime, I have seen the goodness of even one person, one citizen do selfless and amazingly good things which would defy description. Sometimes, such goodness can change a moment, or one individual's difficult or impossible journey into unspeakable goodness.
I am alive today because of such a person, so I do have some expertise in the ultimate humility toward my fellow humans. I wrote about this person in my personal blog. You are invited to become acquainted with her personally. She also happens, quite by purposeful intent, to be the Executive Producer of "Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style"(PPTS). She is known to us here are "Progressive Patty". If you are ever in our lively chat room, you will speak with her. If you call in to our live show, she will welcome you.
I am not, by any means the only person who can say that Sara has positively change a life. In fact, thousands of Tennessee citizens can, and do say such things about her and her work, one life at a time.
Do I know that one citizen can change the world? YES!
Examples are all around us, if we would but look.
In a recent article, I offered another example of one citizen changing the world. I offer it to you in the hopes that you might understand some of the qualities of such heroes as one person changing the world.
In preparation for today's show episode, I'd like to offer you one more example of how one person, one citizen has changed the world. Again, consider the circumstances this human faced, and decided he had no choice but to do all he could to change the world for good.
Also please notice in the final two minutes, that a cell phone or two is illuminated by all those who this man inspired to become a force for good in their world. Snowflakes all.
On today's show, we'd love to have you call us and share with us someone you know who has changed the world for good. It doesn't take a monumental task; it just takes one person with one moment of determination. Perhaps you would even be willing to share with us something YOU are doing about it.
To my reckoning, there are basically two types of people in our nation, and in our world today as they relate to Trump's first 100 days in office as President of the United States of America. Generally, they are either:
A. Trump fans, 96% of whom are ecstatic with the performance of "their" President, and
I have hesitated all week long before writing this companion piece in preparation for this coming Sunday's show. The research has been to be honest, nothing less than disheartening. It has been a time of concern, disillusionment, sleeplessness, concern, angst and not a little anger.
In all these things, what I have found more than not is that I am absolutely NOT alone in these experiences. It is to all of those sharing my experience that this report is written. It has taken me all this week to get to the last item on that list: determination. I knew in my soul I would reach this point, but I simply had to experience every item on the list above before determination would arrive. This point in this particular journey is usual for me. The entire experience is, however, unique in our current American History. It has happened before, but never in my lifetime, and certainly not in myself.
I am a self-identified "hope addict". Some call me an idealogue. I say that "My feet are firmly rooted in the clouds." By that, I mean that while I maintain optimism and hope in citizen, I am also very much attached to the reality around me. A major part of my citizen activism these days is in the preparation, presentation, and follow up to this show. While I am gratified with the current 2017 show statistics (66,100 listens), and know the info is getting out around the globe via downloads, links, and rebroadcasts around the globe to countless others, I am wondering sometimes if the message we wish to present is actually "getting out" to the hearts of those listeners.
Sometimes, things happen at the speed of life. For instance, yesterday I learned that one of our previous Special Guests on PPTS just recorded a major victory. You will no doubt remember our two-show special series on the passage attempts on the ERA Amendment to the Constitution with Sandy Oestreich, President and Founder of (among other things) 2passera.org.
On March 23, 2017 the State of Nevada's legislature passed a resolution calling for the Amendment's passage.
"They ratified the ERA 45 years to the day since Congress originally passed it."
What does this mean in the reality of things? It means that only TWO more states need follow the lead of Nevada, and the Amendment becomes a reality.
What else does this mean?
Then, I found an article that really spoke to my heart. I think it will speak to the hearts of all those "everyone else's" hearts, too. It is an excellent piece of writing, from the heart of a writing colleague of mine. I strongly recommend it to you, especially if you feel the same as so many of your fellow citizens are feeling these days.
Last night, I had a rather long and detail-oriented conversation with another colleague, Geoffrey S. Jade Barrett while I was completing research for this show. This is relevant to the show on Sunday for two reasons:
1. Jade and I, while from different political backgrounds and affiliations, are symbiotic it seems. We agree on so many things, it is difficult to tell where my Democratic background ends and his Republican-esque background begins. We find ourselves in agreement on so many things that we have had some trouble actually identifying (at least I have) where we disagree. Jade is a superb writer, and is a leading writer (Pundit) over at Yabberz. He is (depending on the time of any particular day) the leading (most influential and most prolific) writer on the site. He has a lot to say about many things, from political awareness to personal (individual) activism. As you might rightly expect, his words (along with many others) have impact, value, and credibility. He is well worth reading, and listening to. His time spent with me is a great gift to me personally, any person who identifies themselves as "citizen", and the world. He is an activist leader who describes his leadership as "Creating, participating in, and supporting, endorsing, and encouraging activism."
2. After a few conversations with Jade, I felt it imperative to offer him time on PPTS to talk about, and talk with activism and activists--citizen. No newcomer to talk radio, Jade has been a broadcaster for many years who has hosted shows on various and sundry topics of particular interest to him. He has agreed to spend time with us this coming Sunday as our 2 hour Special Guest. He will be live to take your calls. He will be observing and responding in our chat room. He and I will be talking about specific things every one of us can do, right now, to become the change we seek as citizen activists. Yes, every one of us, including you, dear reader.
You see, the simple matter is that YOU are the difference. YOU are the reason this PPTS show exists. What you do, from clicking on a survey, to writing an email to your electeds or even your friends, to marching in protest, or holding a sign (or a town hall meeting with your neighbors in your home) can make a REAL difference. Citizen IS standing up, stepping out, showing up and showing off.
I hope you will join us this Sunday, April 30th, 2017. As you know, I have told you on previous occasions that a particular show episode is one you will not want to miss. This is most definitely one of them, as this third episode in our new season. You will not want to miss this opportunity to share, learn and grow live with Jade Barrett, and the live callers--you will want to be one. Do yourself a huge favor, and get a load of hope. Get from despair to determination.
If you have not as yet had, or taken the time to listen to the first episode of the new season of the show, I do encourage you to do so.
In classes I teach, we always have a "Zero" Week. In that week, we try to lay out the land, so to speak of how the classes will operate, what students or participants should expect, what will be expected of them, a Syllabus, the Ground Rules and other administrivia.
But we also have something to learn. And so it is with the first episode of this new season as well. If you look at the episode title, and then listen to it, you will find some really good examples of what civil discourse between either agreeing or disagreeing parties to an issue sounds like. It's a "How To" episode that was intentionally so. It also featured a few really interesting callers with cogent thoughts and discussion to share with our audience.
In this episode, we will begin the journey through what I hope will be for the entirety of this season continually additive content both in the show and this blog, as well as other places. Which is the first of many answers to the question this episode asks: One piece at a time. Different listeners will have different issues of first importance. Please remember this.
And, that is perfectly alright! Some will "let 'er rip" in our chat room. Some will seek communication with other listeners here as replies and/or comments to these posts. Some will feel the need or desire to speak with me, or perhaps with a special guest during our live show. Some will be invisible and unheard. Some will take notes while listening to the archived show later.
What this requires of the show team is that our advice be universally applicable to each of these and other opportunities. That is sometimes a tough nut to crack when you have listeners in virtually every time zone on the planet! Chat is not archived, so links or references, etc. cannot be saved (a value to and for our chat friends!) For instance:
This week will mark, among several things:
April 26th, 2017 is Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day around the world. From the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to villages, towns, communities, major urban centers, to entire nations, people will be engaged in a very difficult day. Inevitably, however, programs provide release, and end with not only hopeful vision, but something each one of us can actually DO about it. We'll talk about that on today's show. Here is a little moment I found compelling, from a few of the most incredible musical (and other) artists you are likely ever to find in one collaborative moment:
This coming week will see a few Special Elections in America. Are you prepared where you live? France will have national elections. The UK has announced a "Snap" General Election on June 8th, 2017. April 29th, 2017 will mark the 100th day of the Trump "administration". What are the accomplishments thus far of the 45th President of the United States of America? What are a few of the accomplishments of those who oppose him, his administration, and his policies? What do we know now that we (for whatever reasons) did not know before the election results and Electoral College results were known? What are the concerns of citizen, of the world in these days? Russia? North Korea? China? Shutdown of the US Government? Congressional concerns and Committee hearings? Taxes?
The Republican party is in free fall. The Democratic party is on a goodwill tour. Are we still a democracy? A nation? Does citizen still have a voice now, today?
These are but a few of the myriad changes occurring around us, moment by moment. A Tsunami of chaos, mayhem, and change assails our every sense. Climate change? Earth Day? Fukushima? Nuclear Armageddon? Living on the nuclear brink?
Scientists taking to the streets? Education, the Environment, our Supreme Court, our Military, our Justice Department? These and many more direct citizen concerns are on the table for our show today.
Regardless of the one or several of these (or others not mentioned...yet) which seem to be most important to you this week, I want each of us to know that there IS something YOU can do about it.
Over the next few episodes, we'll have some special guests that will try to help us dig down to bedrock, avoid the tempestuous weather on the surface, and make real decisions that could well change the forecasts for both the short and long term in the life of citizen, and for the better.
I hope you will join us on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 2-4 PM (Central US) and become not just an aware citizen, but an empowered citizen.
We're on the air! I'll see YOU there! For the entire team,
The Tennessee Progressive
I was looking for a clip I saw on YouTube yesterday, but instead found the complete presentation by Rev. Dr. William Barber. It's just over one hour, and I know that can be a long time to dedicate to what is essentially a blog post. BUT!
If you will watch for 15 minutes, the hour will just FLY by! Watch, listen and find something YOU can do about it when Dr. Barber tells a community gathering at Riverside Church in New York City what to do
After taking a necessary hiatus from the show, we are back with our questions, your questions, and maybe a few questions neither we nor you have even considered...yet.
We have seen citizen activism across America, and across the world of late. while some in the new "administration" have denounced such activism with dread pronouncements against citizen activists in ways I find mostly hilarious, the truth is that citizen activism has been spotted in small and large "hot zones" recently. We, and the show strongly support, endorse and encourage such behavior. (What Healthcare plan, Mr. Trump?)
It is imperative that citizen understands, appreciates--and has the tools to exploit--this new and mostly foreign landscape before us in America. In 2017, everything about our country seems to be changing. For many citizens, this is NOT a good thing. It is happening at lightening speed for most citizens as if war were being declared upon democracy itself. Lightening War? Where have I heard that before? Does it matter?
Well to me it matters a great deal. I want to believe that, for the listeners of our show and followers of this irregular blog, it matters a great deal as well. I know that some listeners and followers of this blog will agree with many of the changes we are seeing, while others will strongly disagree with them. That is just terrific: it means we can have a show of not only substance, but merit and value and worth.
This Easter Sunday, sometimes known as "Resurrection Sunday" to many faithful followers of Christianity (and other religions), seems like (while perhaps a terrible inconvenience) the perfect time to have this dialogue.
We want you to join us during the inaugural show of the new season. You can join us in our always lively chat room, or you can even call in to the show, share your views, highlight topics of interest to you, or listen to the archived show later. But I do encourage you, as Citizen, to engage with us this Sunday, beginning at 2:00 PM Central time. To reach the show, just click on the link in the show episode's title. You will find instructions at the episode page to connect with us via phone, or by joining our chat room.
The mantra is the same, as it has always been. It is our vision, mission and purpose:
"So, what are YOU going to do about it?"
Our rules haven't changed, and are only two:
1. Play nice.
2. Come prepared.
For the entire team, we look forward to being with you for our next episode.