WELCOME - this site is dedicated to organizing the effort to TAKE MUSKEGON BACK in 2010.

To do that we have to start now. Here is my plan. Don't like it ? let's change it.

Impossible??? Only if we don't try.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Give 2 --- Great New Activist Site

As you know I try to get involved with my community, not so much by joining things because I’m not a joiner by nature.

I prefer the one on one approach. My conservative principles tell me that the one on one approach is good too, as it cuts out the middle man. In the realm of helping others it is the cheapest, quickest way to do it that way. In the realm of politics as well; they say all politics is personal. It wouldn't hurt politicians either to take a more direct and personal approach to helping their constituents whenever possible.

On my other blog Bottom Up Politics I try to ask myself what can I do today? What one small thing can I do today in my neighborhood to help things out? It might be just shoveling my own sidewalk so kids can walk someplace other than the street. At least give them the option. Lol. We all do something well, share it with your neighbors.

What I’ve found is that doing one little thing tends to suggest other little things and pretty soon you may be organizing a few of your neighbors into seeing that your side of the block is shoveled from corner to corner or some other bizarre type of nearly socially unacceptable old fashioned behavior. Lol.

What I’m trying to get to is that I found a great site which is about how to be an activist in the cause of limiting government intervention in our lives, by doing it ourselves. Below is the link. This is not complicated stuff; simple direct and easy, just a few ways to help our neighbors. Simple common sense rules are involved here; not a six volume set of Community Health regs.


The name says Just Give 2 (hours a week). This is not about joining some gov. charity or volunteering for the peace corp. or any other type of nonprofit so they can organize the “volunteers” and make their wages.

This site simply reminds us how easy it really is to help our neighbors. It really doesn’t for example take the County Health Dept and a special state grant to help your neighbor plant a garden or maybe start a few neighbors on a common piece of land or vacant lot to start a community garden.

How long does it take to watch a neighbor’s kid for an hour so they can run to the store? I know, sorry it’s a trick question. But then again it could take the rest of your life being friends with your neighbors.

That list of things is a great starting point. Every political party should post it for its members to see, but that’s another story. Our parties are the ones who need the real help. First we have to help ourselves then our neighbors and then later we can deal with the parties by getting involved at the local level and demand that they listen to their neighbors.

If you have any quick things to do to help, leave a comment or better yet go to the site. Then go do it and let us know what happens.

Gee just when you thought I was done, another page on the Just Give 2 site is how to be an activist and take the country back. (Sound familiar? – “Take Muskegon Back”) They say to do this so we can put the We back in “we the people”. I like that. This they say only takes 1 hour a week. See link below.


I might add to this, go online and find your local, city, village or county web site. The first week spend some time searching out when they hold meetings, some will have agendas on line, if not they have phone #s listed just call and find out how to get the agenda for a meeting ahead of time. Then go, just sit in the audience and learn. See how your government works. The next week or two pick a subject close to your heart and research it. Teach yourself to be an expert. Then when you’re confident speak up then speak out.

The list that Just Give 2 gives us is a great start but the list is really infinite. Whatever you can think of to do is a good thing. Anything is better that sitting home doing nothing. If you have an idea, let us know, add a comment on the blog.

By the way, once started it feels so empowering that you probably will get addicted. Just ask Mel Gibson, FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Sat. Tea Party Convention.

I had been really excited all during the April 15th “Tea Party” thing, and all the stuff leading up to it.

The whole affair nationwide was a smashing success. Finally; here was something where the average American could stand up and be heard, directly. This was a chance for the 4,000 who were in Lansing to be a part of the news. For those who were there, they saw and heard the different reasons why people took time off and showed up. We the people knew without the filtered news commentary why we took that time off to go to Lansing or one of the 25 other “Tea Party” protests across the State or any other of the some odd thousand Parties across the Nation.

For once the million or so people across this, their Nation didn’t have to rely on the media to tell them what was happening. We had found the new media. We “not so few” felt good in that knowledge. We also felt confident with our knowledge, confident enough to see and understand at a deeper level how slanted and corrupted the media has become. For me and many others the smears and attacks and half-truths were hurtful, it was becoming personal.

Well since then, there has been a lot of activity on the Tea Party front. There has been a bunch of different conservative organizations trying to become identified with the “movement”. Some of the groups are trying to control the direction of the Tea Party thing. Local branches have formed in different areas throughout the state. Some are tax based, some are centered on family values, others gathering around constitutional purity.

I have been watching and a part of this great enthusiasm starting to fracture and divide and I’ve sadly sat by and watched. Again I felt powerless. Well along came an article on Right Michigan by Wendy Day about a “Tea Party Convention”.


Nick and others later on during a "break out" talking about "New Media" Nick's on the left.

Well I started digging by clicking on the link in the article which took me to the convention site. This site, this convention, seemed to be what I was looking for. This promised to be a way to gather again all the diverse groups and ideas that gave rise to the Tea Party in the first place. I talked it up and blogged about it. I registered but had a problem with Pay Pal, which turned into a blessing as I had to email Melanie (Wendy’s partner) and she emailed me back so that personal touch was what I needed.

For various reasons I put off getting hold of my blogger buddy to finalize our plans to drive to Lansing. Well I finally called and Thurs. we set it up. We also decided to become delegates to the convention. This involved getting 25 signatures of friends etc. Well it took me almost all day Friday to hunt up 25 people. As Jim picked me up in the old Circuit City parking lot Sat. morning at 6:15 for our trip to Lansing, he provided the 25th signature. That whole process of getting names was less about the people I contacted but seemed more about helping me define what I was up to with this. Again talking with other people usually teaches me a lot about myself.

Below Blogger friend Jim + Jack McHugh, Me + Jack, Jim on the prowl.

As we were nearing Lansing, I was hoping there were going to be enough people attending, to become meaningful. Well there were. I talked with Wendy at our lunch break and she said around 240. BTW, my friend and I had a great political and other discussions on our way there.

The event was at the Capital City Baptist Ministries, which is a complex of buildings; including a field house, auditorium and church proper among others; great space. I would like to preface the recap by saying how well run and professional the convention was.

It all started with a continental breakfast for the bleary eyed and registration etc from 8-9am. Then the action began.

The opening ceremony was well set up with a good group of speakers for the whole group. We then divided up into smaller “breakout” groups according to our tastes. After the work sessions we all came back together for lunch and listened to our keynote speaker Jen Gratz. WOW.

More on her later then we had a 5 min. presentation per ballot proposal which we were to vote on. There were 5.


After that we broke up again, this time by geographic area. (Northern Mi. Western Mi. Central Mi. and Southeastern Mi.) The biggest crowd by far was from Central Mi. Below is our group from West Mi.

After that we again all assembled and listened to Thayrone X a radio personality from WAAM 1600 out of Ann Arbor. We then heard the ballot results. The Fair Tax people won the day.

I did meet some friends from Livingston County. Arlene is pictured below.

I didn’t get home until nearly 5pm; a full day and my brain was full.
Now about Jen Gratz. As I alluded to earlier, I was starting to feel that the Tea movement was starting to die a slow death and that I was feeling helpless. Well up to the microphone stepped Jen Gratz.

I had researched her on You Tube and everything I had seen told me that she was an impressive person. What impressed me was her determination. She had the fire of youth. She was willing to take the platitudes we feed our youth as truth.

She applied to the UofM and was turned down while people she knew of color whom she felt had less ability than she were accepted. She single handedly fought the fight. Don’t get me wrong, she had people who supported her but she never gave up. As she said and from the You Tubes I’ve seen, the whole of government was against her. In Michigan both parties sided against her, only Mike Cox stood up for her. In an election year all other politicians and other government run or funded non profits ran for the PC cover. Even most churches.

This Tea Party thing is something too that is swimming against almost all of organized government and all its funded auxiliary groups. Jen Gratz showed how one person can still, with the constitution in hand, make change if it is backed by the people.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Jen Gratz was triumphant in the end on election day? Was she happy? Of course she was, was she proud, well that is obvious when you see her talk. How did she do this. Her leadership and personality was a big factor, but the idea she had was the key that made her quality apparent. The other factor that made it possible was the “initiative process”.

This process allows for law and constitutions to be rewritten or changed by “popular uprising”. Seems strange that conservatives are now using what the liberals brought forth. Liberals can use a little chagrin from time to time.

Times do change and Conservatives after all do know “Make Do, Make it Now, Make it Work”.

The politicians also were out and trying to just be seen but were not intrusive. I for one think that is a good thing. Politicians need to listen more to what’s going on with real people and less with what is going on in their political circle. The big names I saw were Pete Hoekstra, Mike Cox, Terri Lynn Land. No speech making just mingling.

I give credit for the effort of Wendy Day and her bunch for keeping a tone of unity throughout. With all the various “one issue” groups that were there in force, she fought a stunning battle by not fighting. For that I give thanks, and will volunteer what I can for her (US).

This group was as close to coalition of the various factions of the conservative spectrum that I have participated in. The meaning of Democracy and lessons in civil discourse were what I walked away with. There at the end as in the beginning; there was a unity of purpose. Though it seemed vague and wispy, Freedom I must remember is also a fragile thing that needs constant looking after. I think Wendy in her closing remarks pulled it together by saying something to the effect that as with the first revolution future generations may look at us and wonder how we could come together and make the necessary sacrifices to save our country, or look back and wishing we had.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Friday, June 12, 2009

Garden to Table,, Well not quite.

Well Thursday morning at our regular "Carmen Group" breakfast; guns, amo, the economy and politics were discussed. Jon D. from Hoekstra's group stopped in and we got to talk some serious politics.

click on pics to enlarge

We covered it all from picking asparagus to operating a loader at Marve’s farm. Well seriously Jon D. told us of the planned time that Pete was going to actually go out and pick asparagus on a farm, in conjunction with the Asparagus Festival. This is part of Pete’s plan to work up to 100 jobs around the state to help get in touch with Michiganders.

Dave W thought, as the rest of us did, that the “100 jobs” idea was great. He asked who had thought it up, and Jon D said that Pete did. I said I thought it dovetailed into the bike tour really well.

If you know anything about picking Asparagus you know the hard stoop kind of labor it is and that our previous President regarded as work Americans won't do. During the conversation I said something like, "so Pete'll be doing the work Americans won't do?" Jon D kinda grinned and said no more.

Jon D. has often stopped at our “Carmen Group” to grab a breakfast and to stay in touch with the local polls. It worked well today Marve who runs a leaf composting site at his farm suggested that maybe Pete could do some work for him too. Marve who is always looking for cheap labor, especially heavy equipment operators seemed really pleased with the idea. A good way to mix politics and the bottom line. I’ve always claimed Marve was a true fiscal conservative.

I too took advantage of the situation and asked Jon D if Pete would be interested in being interviewed by me at Bottom Up Politics. He said that he would. After some emails I’m hoping to get that interview. Jon also promised to email me info on Pete’s schedule so I can blog and investigate the goings on. I will post it as I get it.

On the Love Community Garden front, I picked my first crop of radishes, thinned my carrots and planted 4 tomato plants to my little bed. Also have been harvesting friendships with a couple of neighbors I never met before this garden thing.

Life goes on. Twenty some garden beds, twenty some neighbors, think about it.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative