Dobie and Maynard were Key Role Models for Sixties Counterculture

Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman) was an average teen living in America between 1959 and 1963.  This was right before so much started to change in 1964.  Like other red-blooded American teenage boys of his time, Dobie thought about money, cars and girls.   He wished he had more of all three which led to funny schemes that never seemed to work right.  Dobie’s best friend was Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), a beatnik who shuttered at the word “work.”   They both questioned the authority of adults – particularly parents and teachers.  They were also quite likeable and never meant to cause any real harm.

Like millions of others, I watched it every week between the ages of 8 to 12.  In fact, my earliest role model was Maynard – played so well by the late Bob Denver who next starred on Gilligan’s Island.   Their views on life shaped the attitudes and behaviors of many kids who grew to be hippies a few years later.  This article includes just about everything there is to know about this wonderful comedy series.  Included are show summaries and tributes – along with insights directly from Dobie (Dwayne) and Maynard (Bob).   I have also located and crafted some cool pix for your enjoyment.  CLICK to “Get Hip” to the Legacy and Lessons of Dobie and Maynard!

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Categories: Hippie Legacy, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Bruce Springsteen and UNC Law School Shine Light on Serious Poverty Problems

Two recent events warn us about the serious social problems associated with poverty in the US.  First, Bruce Springsteen sent a letter to the editor of his local paper warning about the impacts of Republican budget cuts on the poor.  Also last week, I attended a great conference sponsored by the UNC School of Law.  You can read a summary of the conference and download some helpful publications.  Some common themes emerge from the Boss’s letter and the UNC conference.  Right-wing conservatives in many states (including New Jersey and North Carolina) are aggressively pushing pro-corporate economic policies.  Their give-aways to big business will be paid for on the backs of the poor and less fortunate who can least afford such cuts.

This is a symptom of the massive wealth gap between the richest families and the rest of us.  In fact, just one percent of Americans now control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.  Just 25 years ago, the top 12 percent only controlled one-third of the wealth.   These articles also point to the importance of educating the public about how the problems of poverty affect us all.  Clearly, these issues will be important during the 2012 political campaigns.  It should be an area for the Democrats to win the debate– particularly with stronger White House leadership.  However, these stories also stress the important role that state-level politics and budgetary problems have in making the problems of poverty even worse.
Click below to learn why poverty problems are more serious and important now than ever.

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Categories: Economy, Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Marijuana: President Obama Must Lead or Get Out of the Way!!

Progressives are disappointed with a number of the policies and practices of the Obama administration.  However, I and many others are most concerned about the fact that President Obama is backing off his earlier promises to end the unfair, wasteful, and ineffective war against medical marijuana patients.  Given our severe budget crisis it is unethical and unwise to keep wasting scarce federal, state and local resources waging war against American citizens.  We already imprison more of our own people than any other country – with the vast majority being non-violent “drug offenders.”  Opinion polls show that most Americans oppose the war on medical marijuana.

President Obama has just called upon the political establishment in Arab countries to “Lead or get out of the way.”   He needs to take his own advice with regards to Medical Marijuana which is legal in a growing number of states (at least until his administration got in the way!!)  In this article I have collected the latest news about the growing protest against the Obama administration’s medical marijuana policies and practices.  President Obama needs to recognize that this is a large and popular social movement that includes all demographic groups.   Medical marijuana advocates and activists have spent over three decades to make the progress we have so far in a third of our states.  As a true progressive and community organizer, Barack Obama needs to either get in step with our movement – or get out of the way.  In fact, true conservatives and libertarians (like Ron Paul) have opposed the drug war for decades.  Click Below for more about the Obama administration’s failures, fumbles, and fallacies in the losing war on weed!!
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More Play and Less Work Will Make Us Much More Hip, Happy, and Wise

Americans tend to not be as happy as we should be – especially considering our disproportionate share of the world’s wealth and resources.   Having been one for almost 60 years, I can personally and professionally attest to the fact Americans tend to be among the most up-tight and least content of all cultures.  We have been conditioned to expect more, better, and cheaper – a real sense of entitlement and ego-driven arrogance. One of the problems is that most Americans equate having fun (i.e., play) as something they need to pay for (e.g., new gadgets and games; tickets to sporting events; fast cars and more.)  As a culture, we need to rediscover our willingness and ability to have fun (play) that does not cost so much.  We need to play our own music and dance our own dances.

In this article I focus on the important role that play has in keeping us happy and healthy – as well as hip and high.  In particular, I review a wonderful book entitled “Play” by Dr Stuart Brown.  You can also read interviews with the author He is also the founder of what must be a great place to work:   The National Institute for Play which uses science to discover all that play has to teach us about transforming our world.   Then I have collected a “Top 40” awesome quotes about play – why, how and when to do it.  Then I present a series of articles about how  and why we need to play moreBTW – when reading about how play affects children recognize that the information generally applies to adults and children of any generation.  Click below to read how to play more now – and Why it OK to do it!!

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Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Which Countries Have the Happiest People?

Where we live has a clear and convincing impact on our overall well-being, including our ability to become and stay happy.  Each country has an individual culture and social order.  These influence how individuals perceived themselves and their role in the larger society.   Country of residents influences our opportunities for creative growth and interpersonal connections (both of which are vital for happiness.)

The Gallup polling organization has recently completed the most extensive survey research to learn which countries have the happiest people and why.  In this article I have collected the major news stories about this research, Gallup’s own analysis, and the original journal article.   Results are particularly troubling for the US since we do not fare very well in the rankings (related to our poor performance in education and health care.)  The top countries include several from Scandinavia and Central America.  Click below to read all about this important and innovative research.

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Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Slow Down You’re Moving Too Fast – Save Gas Now!!

The rapid rise in gas prices has caught the experts and consumers off-guard.  This reminds me of the same wake-up call that America received from the Arab Oil Crisis of the Seventies.  So stupid that we are not better prepared with the right types of cars and mass transportation – like they are in much of Europe.  So the only way to cope is to Change our Own Driving Habits.  I noticed how important this is as I drove my 1995 Jeep on the highway and around town.  The Instantaneous Mileage read-out showed how much difference I could make if I would slow down and quit moving so fast.  So I have found the best advice for my readers about how to save money, lives and the environment. Read on and Enjoy the Pix (Click to view larger!!)

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Categories: Economy | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

The Video “Chicago 10” is Great Way to Learn from 1968

The 1968 Democratic convention was the site of intense protests against the Vietnam war.  Held in Chicago, then Mayor Daley made sure that the police and national guard were in place and ready to confront and control any demonstrators.  Young people were drawn from all over the country in hopes of attending a music festival and making their voices heard.  The television networks filmed as the police over-reacted and beat demonstrators, who chanted “The Whole World is Watching.”

After the convention was over, the federal government launched a conspiracy trial against an unusual assortment of eight defendants.  The trial was a circus in many respects.  The film “Chicago 10” provides a very entertaining, educational and enlightening history of the Chicago convention riots in general – and the conspiracy trial in particular.  I have summarized quite a few reviews and also include a series of educational resources from the PBS companion website.  Click below to learn why you need to watch this important film!!

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Categories: Activism - Occupy, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ted Rall’s Anti-American Manifesto Speaks Compelling Truth to Power

Ted Rall is among the most competent and confident voices in the new progressive movement emerging in America.  As a noted author and editorial cartoonist he produces smart and strident sarcasm aimed at waking people up.  His most recent book – entitled The Anti-American Manifesto – contains the rationale and strategy for taking back control of our country from the corporate-government regime that threatens to destroy our country and the world.  As more people experience relative deprivation they will become angrier and ready for revolution.

Ted Rall outlines the challenges and opportunities that progressives face as they try to change the corrupt and decaying capitalist system.  This BLOG post contains reviews and excerpts from this excellent book – along with interviews Ted has recently conducted .  You will also find two his most relevant syndicated columns.  I also have included some of his cool and creative cartoons – many more of each can be found on his website.   Click below to be enlightened, entertained and enraged!!

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Categories: Activism - Occupy | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

After 10 Years Portugal’s Progressive Drug Policy is Proven Success

Most news from Portugal has been negative as their economy sinks faster than other nations.  One bright spot is the widely recognized success of their progressive policy on “illegal” drug use and abuse.  Portugal is one of the most beautiful and least developed countries in the European Union.  One of their chief attractions could become drug tourism and marijuana production – which would significantly bolster their troubled economy (just ask the Netherlands and California.)  Clearly, there are lessons for the failed US approach of criminalizing the use of recreational drugs.

By treating the use of hard drugs (heroin, cocaine) as public health problems, Portugal has reduced a number of major social costs (health, crime, and more.) Picture on right shows which drugs are socially acceptable (tight) and which are not. This article provides all the necessary background information needed to help reform the antiquated American drug policies and war practices.  Click below to get the facts – share these with your friends and our “leaders.”

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Categories: Legalize Ganjah | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Brian Jones Built Bridges Between Chicago Blues and Young Rock Fans

Brian Jones served as a bridge between southside Chicago Blues and the young, white audience for Rock and Roll. He founded the Rolling Stones, along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  Their original niche was to play fairly faithful covers of classic blues songs by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and other black blues masters from Chicago.  He was the most musically talented member of the Rolling Stones – being able to play many different instruments.

He also was the symbol of the “mod rebel rocker.”  He was fired from the Rolling Stones because he was no longer reliable and would not be able to get a work permit to tour America.  A month later he was found dead in his swimming pool.  His death at 27 was the first of the Sixties rock movement to die of excessive alcohol and drug consumption.   Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison also died at the age of 27  within two years.  Ironically, Jim Morrison died two years to the day after Jones.  The coincidence of ages has been described as the “27 Club.”  Click below for the most complete tribute on the Web!

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Categories: Musician Tributes | 11 Comments

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