Karen McKim

Karen McKim
August 30
I have conservative values: I want to conserve things like our traditions of self-government, liberty, justice, religious freedom, voting rights, Medicare and Social Security, good public schools, clean air and water, sustainable management of our national resources, and safe communities. Because I do not want to sacrifice those things to increase the profits and power of international banks and oil companies, most would call me a liberal. Also blogging at karenmckim.wordpress.com

Karen McKim's Links



News coverage of Eric Cantor’s defeat in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District primary provides one of the most dramatic displays of mass ignorance and psychological denial you are ever likely to witness.  

After breathlessly declaring the 56%-44% results to be “… Read full post »

Imagine a little town that has two barbers, two dentists, two doctors, etc. The red providers promise economical service at a low price. The blue stores advertise: “We won’t do what the red providers are doing.” 

As this campaign year heats up, I am every day more appalled by… Read full post »

A few hundred people filled the large sanctuary at the Bethel Lutheran Church in downtown Madison, Wisconsin last night for the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement. But this message needs to be shared with thousands, so I’m writing down wh… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2014 10:10AM

What is a "human right," anyway?

I've received some offline feedback that I was wrong in an earlier post when I wrote that “progressives have no more belief than (the Tea Partiers) do in any ‘inalienable right to freedom from want,’ which (their speaker) defined as the “right to have everything we/

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One of my favorite grassroots citizens’ groups is creating a “Progressive Freedom Values Dictionary”, which members will use to “speak consistently to others…about what’s at stake in 2014.” The dictionary will be a set of phrases that present specific politi… Read full post »

I'm getting to work on building my website on interpersonal political conversation, with an eye to selling some freelance magazine pieces. I'll keep cross-posting here until Open Salon goes away, but I thought it wise to establish a presence elsewhere, too.

I've added three pages:

Over at my blog on political conversation skills, I've posted my thoughts on how to win at political conversation. Hint: The key is in deciding what exactly it is that you are trying to win.


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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 27, 2013 10:56AM

We can't avoid talking about wealth redistribution

Help me think this through? My congressman, Mark Pocan, hosted a forum yesterday on a package of legislation he and others have introduced in Congress to "enable women to achieve greater economic security, raise wages, and allow working parents to support and care for their families." The forum did a… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 12:43PM

The Gettysburg Address: A message for 2013

The enduring wisdom of Abraham Lincoln's November 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address is evident when his explanation of the American mission is updated with reference to the challenges facing us 150 years later.

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new

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I’ve never seen thousands greet an arriving plane, but this morning’s newspaper told me that happens every few months at our local airport, when people “line the terminal’s 400-foot-long ticket lobby to applaud, whistle, wave patriotic signs and shed an occasional tear as elde… Read full post »

(August 20, 2013) I spent about 45 minutes earlier tonight listening to Rev. Nic Gibson, the politically right-wing senior pastor of  a local evangelical mega-church,  speak to a community group about gun violence.

Somewhere in his mid 30s I would guess, he was reasonably good looking,… Read full post »

I won’t be joining the fight for stronger gun control laws. Gun enthusiasts are correct: watch Bowling for Columbine all the way to the end, when Michael Moore provides his answer to the question of why Canada, with approximately the same gun-loving culture as the US, does not have anything app… Read full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2012 4:13PM

Get your vote counted!

You already know that many people with great wealth and power are willing to break the law to get more wealth and power. You also know that our voting machines count the votes in whatever way the manufacturer or hacker tells them to count. But do you know who… Read full post »

OCTOBER 17, 2012 4:51PM

Talking across political divides

Last night at a meeting, I had a microphone put in front of me. This morning, I was on Wisconsin's statewide public radio, talking up my favorite thing: Democracy. Take a listen; it's less than two minutes. 

I did not realize how much I talk in italics. I need to work on… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 4:29PM

On being Unitarian Universalist

On another Open Salon blog that linked to a website of Unitarian Universalist jokes, one commenter piped up with humor of his own: "I'm an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church... $17.95 on line and you get listed in the database and a nice certificate!! I'd fit right in with… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 2:46AM

Wishful thinking with Photoshop

I used to get so tired of it when people used to say, "You know, George Bush is just someone you'd like to have a beer with."

Well, no, I never thought having a beer with the Shrub would have been anything but excruciating. However, can you imagine having the chance… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 8:49PM

My message for Romney

MoveOn was sharing pictures like this on Facebook from people who said they are part of the 47%, but I figured it was okay for one of the 53 percenters to join in the fun.

 Message for Romney


(I Photoshopped one of  my profile pics, which for me is easier and… Read full post »

AUGUST 23, 2012 1:35PM

We're not just 'right' or 'left'

Here's some lazy blogging. I just wrote an email to my niece and realized it would probably make a decent blog entry. Maybe I'll come back later and edit it, but right now I'll just copy-and-paste to save time.

* * *

Thanks! I'm glad you… Read full post »

The members of my local grassroots club have better-than-average political conversation skills. That's not surprising: Anyone who willingly attends  weekly political meetings gets more practice than the random person. Last week’s meeting, however, was derailed by an all-too-common pitfall.Read full post »

Two small discussion groups at the Wisconsin Grassroots Network conference yesterday blossomed in different ways during the breakout period. All the groups had the same assignment: In 30 minutes, come up with a list of four priority goals for the grassroots movement in the next year. Both t… Read full post »

JUNE 20, 2012 6:42PM

The poison of partisanship

Perhaps I should feel at least slightly guilty. Last night, I successfully impersonated an irate right-wing taxpayer--without uttering one word I did not believe. In doing so, I demonstrated to myself how strongly partisan affiliation, whether real or imagined, colors what we perceive--and what we do… Read full post »

My friend Denise, a dedicated Democratic Party official in Ohio, wrote to me Friday to say:

I've been thinking of you and your hardworking friends in Wisconsin all week. How are you all? I imagine you're feeling like we did in 2004 after the Kerry campaign.

My friends have been askingRead full post »

Today’s Wisconsin State Journal commented on a proposed 5.5% tuition hike for the University of Wisconsin System, sharing these useful facts about an important policy choice facing our state's citizens:   

  • This is the sixth year in a row the UW has proposed a tuition hike.
  • Tuition cu
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I have to admit it will be nice to wake up in the morning and immediately think something more normal than “What should I do to save democracy today?” I'm too raw and tired to have read the news this morning, so I don’t know how the media are spinning the… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2012 1:45AM

A new game in less than 24 hours

This will not be my best-researched post, and I'll apologize in advance for typos. I'm sitting here at my keyboard the night before Wisconsin's recall election, distracted and nervous, knowing that the effort that has shaped my life for the past 16 months will be over tomorrow and there's no telling… Read full post »