Author Archives: Guest Blogger

By: Rodney Ferguson Tuesday night I drove up to Concord, CA to participate in a Living Room Conversation http://www.lrsandbox.com/ hosted by Mental Health Consumer Concerns . Having participated in some rather livelypolitical Living Room Conversations, I didn’t know what to expect. This was not going to be a different kind of  Living Room Conversation. The groups would be larger; there would be people who were mental health clients, providers, and doctors as well as people who have been Read More...

by Claude E. Welch The following is the text of my regular monthly column in the Lufkin (Texas) Daily News that appeared last Friday. The goals of two political organizations, MoveOn.org on the left and the Tea Party on the right, are as divided as political goals can possibly get. They are “natural born” political rivals. However, recent news is their divide is narrowing and, if so, it is not encouraging for some politicians and their major financial backers. First, the news out of San Read More...

By Marty Sorensen Over the years I have learned that getting things done requires intelligent discussion and, probably, most important the art of listening.  As a retired civil engineer/meteorologist/project manager, I had to develop a better sense of communication.  And being a good listener is at the core of civil discourse.  I have had the luxury of having a very diverse group of friends and colleagues from the quite liberal to the very conservative.  Those friendships have endured many Read More...

By: Rodney Ferguson Before everyone gets too drunk, in most college dorms, lively political discussions erupt sometimes after dinner. This is bound to happen when you get a bunch of young people from all of the country and world crammed into a dorm. The problem is that even in this diverse group, there is an incredible amount of homogeneity in thinking. Everyone thinks like a college student. The problem with co-eds is that they are all in the process of becoming who they truly are. Now they don’t Read More...

By: Craig Paterson We all have a place and a role in the ‘public.’ This appreciation of an all-inclusive participation in a shared, human environment goes back at least to the Greeks as they pondered their common good and civic purpose. The Greeks had already recognized that an awareness of a ‘public’ as an entity in its own right…larger and more significant than just the accumulation of disparate individuals. Those of us who seek to hear the voice of the ‘public’ today are challenged Read More...

By Elisa Batista ~ I am a partisan progressive. I am 34 years old, vote in every mid-term and presidential election and have never voted for a Republican in my life. I am a social justice activist and am married to one of the most prominent progressive activists in the country, Markos Moulitsas, publisher of the Daily Kos. You can imagine his reaction when I decided to drive an hour away from our home in Berkeley, California on a Saturday afternoon to partake in a trans-partisan dialogue with Read More...

By: Elisa Batista BEDFORD, NH -- What's up? On Monday night, I co-hosted the second ever trans-partisan living room conversation, "Changing the Game", as part of a pilot program launched by Joan Blades of MoveOn.org and MomsRising.org. The first one took place in Colorado and the second one, this past Monday, took place near my parents' neck of the woods, Bedford, New Hampshire. I co-hosted with Kevin Smith, executive director of the conservative Cornerstone Institute here in New Hampshire, Read More...