Archive for July 13th, 2011

by lizard

I’m putting up this week’s LWPS a bit early because I’m on vacation this week and may not have time later to do it. Or the energy. Kansas City is a steaming hot mess, and traveling with two young kids is, at times, a living hell. I’m repeating the word “vacation” like a mantra trying to convince myself that is indeed what is happening, but throw in the in-laws, and the work-to-vacation ratio can seem dismal.

Anyway, I managed two hours today of gratuitous me-time, which I spent looking for books. I found a great eclectic used book store called Prosperos Bookstore, and combed through the poetry section, finding books by Adrienne Rich, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Lew Welch, and a strange memoir to his father by Charles Olson.

I brought my selections to the counter, and struck up a conversation with Jason Ryberg, one of several writers who has published work for sale at the store, through a press associated with Prosperos called Unholy Day Press. Jason was kind enough to add a copy of one of his books to my little stack.

Then I went to the Plaza, land of fountains, to check out Barnes and Noble (because I’m an addict and will go anywhere for a fix). And sure enough I found two selections: a piece of Montana with Jim Harrison’s book Saving Daylight, and a new book I can’t wait to read, by Wendell Berry, about one of my favorite poets, William Carlos Williams. The book is called The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford.

The poem I would like to feature this week is from Jim Harrison. I picked this poem specifically because of the largely ridiculed protest that went down recently with those damn environmentalists and the governor who, to his credit, met with them. Apparently they got the tone and style all wrong, and if those are the merits on which they ought to be judged, then their efforts were a failure.

But problems with tone and style don’t invalidate the legitimate concerns they have with a Governor who supports building more pipeline infrastructure when it’s clearly evident those who traffic in crude can’t maintain their existing lines, and systematically lie when disaster strikes.

That point, though, is being lost in all the subsequent noise. Hopefully those youngsters will realize tone and style are inescapable facets of trying to advocate for issues they care about, so don’t make it any easier for the critics and ridiculers to invalidate the reason you’re engaging in direct action in the first place.

Jim’s poem, I would argue, accomplishes more with his use of language than five arrested protestors accomplished grabbing a few headlines, mainly because it puts humans in their place, right alongside a whole cast of creatures we share this earth with. Enjoy. Continue Reading »

by jhwygirl

Polling done in March here in Montana tells us that 60% of Montanans did not approve of the legislature’s performance during this last 62nd legislative session. Both the House and the Senate were Republican controlled.

In Wisconsin, 59% do not approve of Governor Scott Walker’s performance, that polling on the heels of his and the Republican-controlled legislature having ramrodded their tea party agenda through despite public outcry.

22 recall elections, incidentally, are stacked up around the state, and Gov. Scott Walker looks to be next on the list.

by jhwygirl

Progressives delivered another take-down movement in Wisconsin yesterday with the first elections geared towards gaining a Democratic control of the Wisconsin legislature. The Democratic primary held yesterday saw 6 “fake” Democrats defeated in 6 senate primary recall elections.

An important factoid there is that Wisconsin has open primaries. Koch Industries funded Wisconsin Republicans didn’t even try to hide the fact they ran fake Democrats. The 6 REAL Democrats won – 5 of them quite decisively – which has to have 6 Republican state senators getting the boxes ready for moving day. Or should.

For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. Those crazy tea party people! Look what doo-doo they got themselves into over there.

Thank Goddess for those crazy radical storm-the-capital union-loving progressives! It sure as hell wasn’t a bunch of milquetoast leftys out there camping in the capital, or marching the streets or gathering signatures up within weeks of their legislative session’s sine die to recall the Republicans and regain control of their state.

Congratulations Wisconsin. Congratulations.

Democrats? Progressives? – pay attention, take notes and learn something. Raising Hell (and Hope) is how it’s done.


The PCCC released a poll that was conducted in several swing states in the last few months. I thought the results were pretty stark and clear, so I thought I’d give folks a chance to take a look at them.

I couldn’t find any graphs of this data, so I went ahead and abstracted out the Montana numbers and graphed them up. Not the best graph in the world, but good enough for discussion purposes. Raw numbers are at the link above.

Poll was taken April 27-30, 1,435 likely voters, 2.6% margin of error unless otherwise noted (for notes look at the raw numbers).

Consider this an open thread to discuss these numbers. If you click on the graph, you’ll get a larger version.

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