Tag: blog

The First Annual Order of The Progressive Midwesterner Awards

For the first time ever, this blog will be awarding end-of-the-year awards to several individuals who I consider to be effective at advancing progressive causes during the year, regardless of whether or not one meets the typical criteria of being politically progressive or not. This is the first annual awarding of the Order of The Progressive Midwestern Awards, for the year 2015. All ProgMid Award winners for this year and years in the future are automatically inducted into the Order of The Progressive Midwesterner.

The award categories for the first ProgMid Awards are as follows:

  • Person of the Year
  • Man of the Year
  • Woman of the Year
  • American of the Year
  • International Person of the Year
  • Group of the Year
  • Athlete of the Year
  • Blogger of the Year
  • Activist of the Year
  • Elected Official of the Year
  • Entertainer of the Year
  • Young Person of the Year

There are two important notes regarding the awards:

  • Many award recipients will receive multiple awards. For example, if the Person of the Year in a given year is a female athlete from Canada, she would win Person of the Year, Woman of the Year, International Person of the Year, and Athlete of the Year.
  • Should multiple people or a group of people win award(s) other than Group of the Year, the plural form of the name(s) of the other award(s) will be used (People, Men, Women, Americans, International People, Athletes, Bloggers, Activists, Elected Officials, Entertainers, and/or Young People).

With that said, I hereby present the First Annual Order of The Progressive Midwestern Awards, for the year 2015!

Person of the Year – Bernie Sanders

Person of the Year is the only open ProgMid Award category.

No person has made a bigger impact on advancing progressive causes in the year 2015 than Bernie Sanders. Bernie, the junior U.S. Senator from Vermont, is currently seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the 2016 elections, and he has made improving America’s economy a key part of his campaign. Bernie has publicly championed raising the U.S. minimum wage to $15/hour, guaranteeing paid family leave, making college in America truly affordable, breaking up large financial institutions, and many other progressive ideals. Bernie is the ProgMid Person of the Year for 2015.

Man of the Year – Bernie Sanders

Men are eligible for the Man of the Year Award.

Since the Person of the Year, Bernie Sanders, is male, Bernie is also the ProgMid Man of the Year for 2015.

Woman of the Year – Rachel Notley

Women are eligible for the Woman of the Year Award.

In Alberta, Canada’s most conservative province, Rachel Notley led the Alberta New Democratic Party to a landslide victory in the Alberta legislative general election in May of 2015, and, as a result of the election, Notley became Premier of Alberta. Notley and her party ran on a progressive platform that championed good government, Alberta’s environment, economic justice, and common sense, and they won in a very conservative part of Canada. Notley is the ProgMid Woman of the Year for 2015.

American of the Year – Bernie Sanders

In order for one to be eligible for the American of the Year Award, one must be a United States citizen, United States national, resident of the United States, or some combination thereof.

Since the Person of the Year, Bernie Sanders, is an American, Bernie is also the ProgMid American of the Year for 2015.

International Person of the Year – Rachel Notley

Those who are not eligible for the American of the Year Award are eligible for the International Person of the Year Award.

Since the Woman of the Year, Rachel Notley, is a Canadian, Notley is also the ProgMid International Person of the Year for 2015.

Group of the Year – The Black Lives Matter Movement

The Group of the Year Award is the only ProgMid Award that is required to be awarded to a group of people.

In response to racism, police brutality, and police shootings of black people in America, the Black Lives Matter movement, a group of progressive activists seeking reform of the criminal justice system and increased accountability of law enforcement in America, has brought the issues of criminal justice reform and law enforcement accountability to the forefront of American politics. Black Lives Matter is the ProgMid Group of the Year for 2015.

Athlete of the Year – Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Professional athletes and individuals primarily known for being amateur athletes (including, but not limited to, collegiate athletes and amateur Olympic athletes) are eligible for the Athlete of the Year Award.

Although one would usually not think of a NASCAR driver as advancing a progressive cause, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. played an important role in building public support for taking down the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. When asked about his thoughts about the Confederate flag, Dale Jr. called the Confederate flag “offensive to an entire race” and said that the Confederate flag “belongs in the history books, and that’s about it”. For his condemnation of the Confederate flag, Dale Jr. is the ProgMid Athlete of the Year for 2015.

Blogger of the Year – Kelly Wilz

Those who are an administrator of, editor of, author of, and/or contributor to a blog are eligible for the Blogger of the Year Award.

One of the newest members of the progressive blogosphere is Kelly Wilz, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County. Wilz is also the author of the progressive political blog Dissent and Cookies, which launched in May of 2015. As a blogger, Wilz has primarily focused on ending rape culture in America and supporting tenure protections for college professors, both of which are very important causes. Wilz is the 2015 ProgMid Blogger of the Year.

Activists of the Year – The Black Lives Matter Movement

Those who are largely or primarily known for being a political activist are eligible for the Activist of the Year Award.

Since the Group of the Year, the Black Lives Matter movement, is a group of political activists, members of the Black Lives Matter movement are also the 2015 ProgMid Activists of the Year.

Elected Official of the Year – Bernie Sanders

Those who were a public official elected either directly by the people or elected by a body elected by the people (such as the U.S. Electoral College) at any point in the year in which the award is given are eligible for the Elected Official of the Year Award.

Since the Person of the Year, Bernie Sanders, is an incumbent elected official, Bernie is also the 2015 ProgMid Elected Official of the Year.

Entertainer of the Year – Jon Stewart

Those who are entertainers (actors/actresses, comedians/comediennes, musicians, sports announcers, radio show hosts, television show hosts, etc.) are eligible for the Entertainer of the Year Award.

While Jon Stewart left the anchor desk of the Comedy Central news satire program The Daily Show in August of this year, Stewart has not abandoned the first responders who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Stewart passionately advocated for, and won, renewal of federally-funded health care for 9/11 first responders. Stewart is the 2015 ProgMid Entertainer of the Year.

Young Person of the Year – Keanan Sargent

In order to be eligible for the Young Person of the Year Award, one must be less than 18 years of age on December 31 of the year in which the award is given.

At an August 2015 LGBT pride parade and rally in Madison, Wisconsin, Keanan Sargent, the then-nine-year-old son of Wisconsin State Representative Melissa Sargent, did something incredibly creative when confronted by homophobia. Keanan used balloons to obscure a sign that anti-LGBT protesters were displaying at the pride parade and rally. For his creativity and progressive values, Keanan Sargent is the 2015 ProgMid Young Person of the Year.

Advertisements

Open call for contributors to The Progressive Midwesterner

I’m now offering bloggers an opportunity to become contributors to The Progressive Midwesterner.

As a contributor to ProgMid, you’ll have the ability to write and edit blog posts until they are published. However, the administrator of the site (me) will reserve the final decision on whether or not to publish a blog post from a contributor, as well as the right to edit, proofread, modify, delete, and/or refuse to publish blog posts written by contributors, as the administrator sees fit.

Here’s guidelines that I’ll set for ProgMid contributors:

  • Contributors must either be a Democrat, a member of a left-of-center political party, or otherwise have left-leaning or left-wing political views on at least many political issues.
  • Even though the site is called The Progressive Midwesterner because of where I’m from, there are no geographical restrictions regarding where a contributor can be from.
  • Contributors may write about political and/or non-political topics.
  • Blog posts containing illegal activity (physical threats, defamation, etc.), adult content (pornography, etc.), glorification of violence, blatant lies, plagiarism (although quoting or blockquoting not more than a few paragraphs of another article is not considered plagiarism), and/or excessive grammar errors will not be published, unless the administrator decides to edit or modify the article prior to publishing and/or include a disclaimer and/or trigger warning with the article.
  • Contributors are not allowed to accept payment from anyone for their posts.
  • Criticism of the administrator and/or other contributors is allowed, but only if said criticism is constructive in nature.
  • There are no minimum post requirements or maximum post limits for contributors.

While all new contributors to ProgMid are initially given contributor status, those that earn the administrator’s trust can be elevated to author status, which will allow them more autonomy from the administrator by allowing them to write, edit, upload photos to, and publish their own posts on ProgMid.

If you’re interested in being a contributor to The Progressive Midwesterner, email me at aaronapollocamp@outlook.com and tell me why you want to be a ProgMid contributor. If you comply with both of those, and I think that you’d be a good contributor to this website (my standards aren’t excessively high for contributors), I’ll send you an email inviting you to become a ProgMid, and all you’ll have to do is follow the instructions to accept the invitation and become a ProgMid contributor!

Wisconsin Democrats and progressives, I’m proud of you all

Sadly, the Wisconsin wage theft (i.e., right-to-work) bill has passed both chambers of the Wisconsin State Legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

However, I’m proud of how Wisconsin Democrats and progressives spoke out and fought against the wage theft legislation.

I’m proud of Scott Wittkopf, Julie Wells, and the rest of the team at the Forward Institute, Wisconsin’s progressive think tank, for encouraging progressives to use better messaging against horrible wage theft legislation. You have been wonderful advisers of the Wisconsin progressive movement, and I hope that more progressives take your group’s advice.

I’m proud of Lori Compas of the Wisconsin Business Alliance, Wisconsin’s progressive business group, for exposing the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the main right-wing business group in Wisconsin that supported the wage theft legislation, as an organization that represents very few of its own members. You are truly the heart, soul, and brains of the progressive movement in Wisconsin, I wish there were more people on the face of this Earth that are as cool as you are.

I’m proud of Rebecca Kemble of The Progressive magazine for filming testimony and state legislative speeches in opposition to the wage theft legislation. You have truly been the eyes and ears of the progressive movement in Wisconsin, and I hope you win your election to the Madison Common Council next month.

I’m proud of those who protested, testified, blogged, posted on social media, and/or otherwise spoke out against the wage theft legislation in Wisconsin. Those who spoke out against wage theft include Heather DuBois Bourenane, Lisa Mux, Cheri Goetz, Jeff Smith, Randy Bryce, Jennifer Epps-Addison, Phil Neuenfeldt, John “Sly” Sylvester, John Nichols, Jenni Dye, Zach Wisniewski, Chris “Capper” Liebenthal, Meg Gorski, and countless others. Thank you all!

Last, but certainly not least, I’m proud of Wisconsin State Legislative Democrats for strongly opposing wage theft legislation from the moment Republicans signaled their intent to enact the legislation until the final vote was cast in the state assembly. Your opposition to the wage theft bill in Wisconsin is some of the strongest opposition to anything I’ve seen from Democrats in a long time.

I’ve never been prouder of a group of people than I am of Wisconsin Democrats and progressives who strongly opposed the wage theft legislation. To use a phrase that the odious Joe McCarthy turned into an epithet many decades ago, I’ve been a fellow traveler of the Wisconsin progressive movement despite being a lifelong Illinoisan who has never been to Wisconsin. I would love nothing more than to be able to visit Wisconsin someday in order to meet those wonderful Wisconsinites who stand for progressive values.

My computer’s hard drive may be failing

As I turned my laptop computer on a little while ago, I received an error message saying that my computer detected that a failure of the computer’s hard drive may be imminent. I use an HP Pavilion g6 laptop, and the HP model number for the hard drive is A6Y43UA#ABA. If one can find out whether or not a replacement hard drive from HP with that model number is available, please leave a comment on this blog post.

If my hard drive does fail, that will mean that I will be unable to use my computer to write this blog, use social media, and other tasks, my upcoming book will have to be postponed for an indefinite period of time, and my parents are probably not going to be able to afford a new computer or hard drive. If I’m forced to be offline for a while and this blog and my social media pages are not updated for weeks or even months, you’ll know why.

SITE UPDATE: New blog to launch later today

The Progressive Midwesterner will be launching later this afternoon, a few months earlier than expected.

Starting today, my coverage of national, international, state-level, and local-level politics outside of Illinois and Wisconsin will be on here, and The Progressive Idealist and The Apollo Diary, two of my blogs, will no longer be updated, although I’ll keep them online for archival purposes.

My blog posts about Illinois and Wisconsin politics will still be available at Blue Downstate and The Prairie Badger for the next few months, but, starting December 1st, my coverage of Illinois and Wisconsin politics will move to this blog as well.

New blog launching January 1, 2015

I’m Aaron Camp, and, coming January 1, 2015, The Progressive Midwesterner will be my new home for all of my political blogging activities, with the exception of a few articles that I’ll write for DailyKos and Prairie State Blue.

The four blogs that I currently use, Blue Downstate, The Prairie Badger, The Progressive Idealist, and The Apollo Diary, will no longer be updated after December 31, 2014, although I’ll keep them online for archival purposes only. If you have one or more of these blogs on your blogroll, please update your blogrolls to include The Progressive Midwesterner, although please do not remove any of my other four blogs from your blogroll until January 1, 2015.

Starting next year, I’ll write primarily about Illinois, Wisconsin, and national politics on The Progressive Midwesterner, and I’ll also write about other political subjects, as well non-political subjects, from time to time.