Singing with the Socialists

My wife is a nurse in a small rural hospital up here in northern Wisconsin. By her account most of her co-workers could be reasonably characterized as rednecked conservatives.

So she came home chuckling mightily the other night telling me that the high price of propane during this extended polar freeze had prompted a heated ( pardon the pun ) and angry conversation among them, punctuated with exclamations that the government should do something to lower the price. They were fully behind using government power to control the excesses of the free market. They had become socialists in an astonishingly short period of time.

So I told this story over the telephone to a friend from Hurley, and he interrupted me excitedly before I could even finish. Turns out  he and his wife had overheard almost the same conversation at a fish fry Friday night. A table of known conservative folks were vehemently exclaiming that the government should step in and control the price of propane. He and I had a good laugh about it.

Intrigued, I set out last night to see how far and wide this socialist uprising was spreading, and headed out to karaoke night at one of the local taverns.  After a couple of beers and my stunningly distinctive rendition of Charlie Daniels ” Long Haired Country Boy ” I got into multiple conversations with multiple singers and their friends. At an opportune moment I started griping about the weather and the high price of propane, and then angrily exclaimed that the government should do something to rein in these greedy, no-good corporations that rip us off when we’re at our most vulnerable. There was unanimous agreement with my views.  It seems the north woods is teeming with socialists right now. Keep in mind that a lot of these folks probably don’t vote, and it seems unlikely that any organization has ever attempted to reach out to them, to educate them about the value of government, or to take them to the polls. Hmmmmm.

In the wake of my recent post about the Solidarity Sing Along I got a slightly angry email from one of the occasional participants suggesting that I should travel down to Madison and join them over the lunch hour. He seems convinced that the Sing Along is crucial to resurrecting a new Wisconsin Uprising.

It’s a mighty gracious invitation, but at this point I think I’ll stick to karaoke night.


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22 thoughts on “Singing with the Socialists

  1. yes, when I wrote about the Solidarity Sing Along…I got multiple requests to come and see and sing for myself. I obviously wouldn’t/couldn’t understand otherwise.

  2. ICYMI from the Stella Report:

    2) Tar sands in northern Canada need distillates to process them so they can be transported through pipelines, like the XL Pipeline. As a result, a pipeline that brings propane down from Canada is being converted to a pipeline that brings distillates UP to Canada to process tar sand oils. That pipeline was shut down for several weeks so that it could be retrofitted to reverse flow direction. That pipeline supplies 40% of Minnesota’s propane, and much of ours. It will be back online for a while, but then will be permanently converted to ship distillates to the tar sand fields of Canada.

    About time to nationalize all energy resources in the US. Executive order, I believe last fall, Obomba approved permitting two east coast shipping facilities to put US natural gas on the world market.

  3. NQ,

    Obomba? Who is Obomba? You mean President N*GG*Rr?

    Incessant, race-baiting bigotry. Excellent strategy.

  4. PJ, I don’t think that calling our president by a last name altered to call attention to his war crimes is racist. I’m way to the left of liberal/ progressive. I dislike Obama, but it has nothing to do with racism. He is a corporate whore. Is that better? No? How about, he is a psychopath? Those appellations will have to do, lest I get in trouble.

    1. I agree with JRB’s statement regarding calling President Obama “Obomba.”

      That said, I’m obviously not a fan of folks referring to our duly elected president like that.

    2. James.

      By Nonquixote’s own admission, his evaluation of the president is a bigoted one, and he frequently expresses vicious condemnation for anyone who even remotely expresses support for the president. This isn’t new. It’s a pattern recognizable to anyone who’s been at the butt end of Nonquixote’s bigotry. He often conflates the two. I recommend you review the demographics of the last two presidential elections to gain some notion of who Nonquixote speaks to with his expressions of hate, and I recommend you consider the impact that his brand of viciousness has upon those demographics. For that matter, you may consider opening your mind to the impact his brand of viciousness has upon those who are critical of the president without resorting to utter hatred and without the incessant expression of hate. You might consider the notion of white privilege and the idea of bigotry depriving African Americans in this country one moment of joy or pride for America’s first black president – regardless of the level of support for every one of his policies. It is possible to be legitimately critical, fair minded and not hateful or irrational. Nonquixote is perfectly free to sling his epithets. I’ll be calling him out for his bigotry when he does. You may not consider Nonquixote’s unceasing hostility as a form of pointed provocation or bellicose goading. I disagree. You may not recognize belligerent antagonism. I do. His belligerent comments are designed to divisively rile and rankle. And they do. He’s aware that he provokes with his derogatory designations. Furthermore, he’s indicated that he’s unconcerned with how his expressions impact people. Nothing new on this score, James.

      Nonquixote’s demeaning epithet here, by his own definition, hasn’t any connection to the point he makes regarding energy. It’s just bald bigotry.

      I’m not a supporter of Obama or NeoLiberalism either. To your own politics as you’ve described them – while it is notable to tout your Left cred, it isn’t credible if the Left simply mirrors the Right. Ted Nugent isn’t the only one who mirrors Nonquixote’s rhetoric. Consider Joshua Black as well – officially GOP but his stated views are very much those of the irrational Left. Strange times we’re living in. If we really want Left success, my suggestion is the Left end the incessant antagonism lest the Left alienate itself. Loved your last post by the way.

    3. James,

      With all due respect – and another thing…. Obama isn’t a Progressive. Get over it. I don’t say that snottily, but quite literally. Perhaps the Progressive thing to do would be to examine Obama by his own standards rather than your own. I’m not insisting you must agree with those standards, Yet, the effort to do so might be worth the effort.

    1. LOL per your sarcasm. Excellent mental images you painted of the bar scene, music and chat. I assume you were aware of the link I attached, others farther south in the state may not have been. Information for sharing with occasional or non-voters to possibly inspire them to some political action as the opportunities you describe might arise.

      Sorry for apparently dragging in some unclaimed baggage. Unsolicited opinions and amateur psychoanalysis with unsubstantiated claims about one’s personal statements are worth every penny of what one pays for them. Ten years of working with community domestic violence awareness programs, I actually get my very own stalker.

  5. We are exporting more propane than ever before and planning to enlarge the infrastructure so we can export more yet. The propane shortage is caused by the industry and their ability and desire to sell to the highest bidder across the globe. Put that into your thinking about the XL pipeline that is designed to get North American crude to a port that can export it worldwide.

    1. Dave G, (not criticizing just expanding on your comment)

      This is what our government defines as Homeland Security now? POTUS OK’s permits for two new large LNG shipping terminals on the east coast so we can pump the remainder of our potable water into fracking wells to export even more gas next year, you can heat you home with your lit kitchen faucet, don’tcha know? Militarize the local police, suck up phone records and keystrokes, heist you child’s “private,” school records as your school claims they protect your privacy (has your town gotten its very own donated war surplus armored intimidation vehicle yet?). ALEC, even with our present emergency in affordable energy, “security,” has been prepping legislation to fine you steeply for any truly patriotic acts such as installing solar cells on your home. Intrusion on profits by connecting to a grid the corps have built and maintained, (likely with government assistance or tax breaks historically. Topsy-turvey world for sure. Bringing it home to WI, wind farms awaiting permits or subsidies equivalent to oil/gas production which eventually might allow humans some carbon laden air to breathe.

      Food safety inspectors minimal and shrinking numbers or left to the food producers to monitor themselves. Our intrepid public service, state “newspaper,” is in sheer hysterics over GMO food labeling and GMO benefits to consumers, (notice you haven’t been referred to as a “citizen,” lately?) but not once in a longish article, mentions the POISON that gets into our ecosystems from the chemicals put on the crops nor mentions the gene patenting to monopolize all future seeds for planting, nor do they mention terminator seed varieties which require repurchasing of seed stocks annually by most of the nation’s farmers and many larger market gardeners. Labeling is part of the deliberate distraction from the greater harm being done by the real enviro-financial terrorists for profit. Labeling anathema to the damage already inflicted and recurring.

      Dave G, I appreciate your comment to use as a basis for this rant. Many of the readers here are with you about your concerns. Thanks.

  6. Remember all those natural gas commercials that played all most constantly, talking about cheap, clean, energy from within US borders? Where are they now?

    1. Actually Laura, natural gas continues to be remarkably inexpensive. Perhaps you are confusing the two products? Propane and natural gas are NOT at all the same, though both are common heating fuels. Natural gas is mostly methane, a naturally occuring product, much of which is now “harvested” by fracking. Propane is not found in nature. It is must be manufactured, typically as a by-product of oil and gasoline refining. In addition, the two products are often delivered differently. Low cost natural gas is typically delivered in its gas form via pipelines directly to businesses and homes, though it can be delivered as a liquid. I’ve never heard of residential propane delived via pipes as a gas. Tank delivery is one of the costs of rural living, just like maintaining a well.

      1. Jennae,

        The problem is fracking, not the method of fracking. Wells have extremely short-lived capacity obtained at extremely high costs, while destroying through use or through permanent disruption and poisoning of aquifers, our finite water resources. Let’s not get distracted as to the real problem presented.

        The next factor to consider is that our natural environment, destroyed through fracking, produces a product that will be shipped to China or wherever, to the highest bidder, while we face the environmental degradation, the multinational corporation takes profits from exporting the product and we sit forever bereft of possibilities with an area. Go and live somewhere without usable surface or groundwater. Then get back to me about how that works out.

      2. also, my folks have had a well for more than forty years (40) the cost has NEVER been $5 per gallon…..

  7. Steve Carlson if you are interested in organizing those people, or just introducing them to some people who would like to help them oganize themselves, please contact me.

    In Solidarity,
    Chris McDonough
    Wisconsin Grassroots Network

    1. Christine,

      Asking questions here because I cannot at WGN, sorry if going off topic a bit.

      Thanks for linking to WGN. Nice site and enthusiasm, great information. Suggestion: FaceBook, many progressives I know, refuses to join for political reasons. In order to post or comment there, requiring FB membership is short-sighted and IMHO the group is severely limiting itself in potential membership.

      Second, how does WGN vet “Issue,” blogs being considered for inclusion on the site. From experience here recently at BB, “Civil Discourse,” turned out to be NO discourse and deletion of comments questioning the author’s take, done by the author.

      Third: From your excellent interactive maps it appears that more densely populated areas are easier to organize physically than they are up north. Lower incomes tighter household budgets, farther driving distances inhibit physical meetups in the more sparsely populated regions of the state. This is not an insurmountable problem, but is a hindrance.

      Thanks for listening.

    2. Chris,

      I spent much of 2012 and 2013 organizing people in this demographic on a professional basis trying to expand Badgercare and raise the minimum wage, and I’m in touch regularly with Nate Timm about my observations and thoughts. Maybe I’ll see you in March. Thanks for the input and your offer.


  8. I suggest people research ‘Waterless Fracking’ which involves the process of using liquid propane instead of water, in both Tar Sands and also US Fracking Wells. Two companies involved are N-Solv and Gasfrac. Instead of water, they are using millions of gallons of LP to accomplish this. I would venture to say, LP for home use is a dinosaur, extinct. In addition, LP lends itself to use in the vast waterless areas of China, which up to this point, it’s been impossible to frack. No idea what the environmental sequelae will be.

    1. I hope I am not misreading your comment, but which petro-chemical company do you work for. All combustion fuels should be on the way out except for minimal use as our atmosphere has exceeded levels of CO2 which threatens the existence of all human life on the planet.

      Have you figured out an immunity to the inevitable results of the combustion economies that have brought us to the environmental brink we now face? Ocean floods, crop-land droughts, ever more extreme weather events, unfortunately combined with more Fukushima type failures (the corium left the building two years ago, they admitted it last week) and other similar disasters of failing infrastructure through government neglect.

      Back to fracking, we still don’t get to use the product of the process, it is shipped out of the coountry and we are still left impoverished as a people. I attempted to describe the environmental sequelae, might want to do some further research, please.

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