In the Battlefield of Big Ideas, It's Not All Downhill

On the border where I live, there are two sides. When it comes to politics, there are many sides to the issue. My friends On The Border Line have their ideas and agenda and, in America, it’s your right to push for your ideas and agenda. Whether or not I agree with them is another story. Over the past few weeks, I have submitted a series of letters to the editor in the Hudson Star-Observer that discussed the OTBL’ers agenda and tactics.

I have tried to stay away from personal attacks and tried to focus on their agenda. I might have made some unflattering analogies and expressed observations they didn’t like, but hey, it’s all part of the political debate process. If I personally attacked any individuals OTBL, I apologize. If I pissed them off because I pulled up the shades on their agenda and provided the community a glimpse of what’s going on in their clubhouse, then I did what I what I set out to do. If they got more publicity than some people think they deserve, that’s all right with me. I believe in the freedom of information and I certainly don’t want those people keeping their light under a basket.

I haven’t noticed any letters from them in the Star-Observer challenging my observations. Believe me, Mr. Bill Danielson would have been responding with his own letters, if what I was saying weren’t true. Sure Danielson and friends took some cheap shots at me on their website, but it was expected. Some on that site stood up for me and said I provided useful observations and have a legitimate bone to pick with the site administration. I first went on their site, because I thought they actually wanted to discuss and debate the issues. That wasn’t the case. Their approach is to dictate and to bully their opponents.

They have mentioned that I was booted off their site because I used profanity, hate speech and/or pornography. Concerning profanity, I would never use any words I my comment that Vice President Dick Cheney wouldn’t use on the Senate floor. I didn’t use profanity. I submitted a request to the admin for evidence of this a few weeks ago and he has yet to reply. They are probably too busy measuring the mileage from the North Hudson School to the Houlton School. Concerning hate speech, I really like to know their definition of “hate speech.” Maybe they meant they kicked me off because I wasn’t using enough hate speech in my comments. They might have some minimum standard of hate speech they require participants to use or else they give them the boot. As close as I got to pornography was when commented that they had a political circle jerk going and may have had they heads stuck up Ayn Rand’s philosophical skirt. I hope that these people aren’t listening to the KQ Morning Show…

If they think I’m a sore loser because I was kicked off their website or I have an ax to grind with them, they are wrong. This is a battle of the big ideas and my set of big ideas is different then theirs. I like this comment that OTBL’er Bill Danielson used to explain his agenda: “I know for myself, and I can only speak for myself, that I engage in this battlefield of ideas for one and only one reason – to further my own, and my family’s, self interest.”

I respect Danielson’s agenda, but it is very different from mine. He’s concerned about only his piece of the pie and I concerned about the whole pie. He wants the piece he can get and I want to make sure everybody is getting his or her fair share of the pie. It’s not important to me that everybody get the same piece of the pie. However, life has taught me there are people born at the table with a fork in hand and pie already on their plate and there are others with no way of making it to the table and others being pushed farther away from the table through no fault of their own. In order to share the pie fairly, some intervention is required. It’s not a market of perfect competition where Adam Smith’s guiding hand guides the supply and demand lines to the point where society reaches nirvana. If this was the case, they could have left out the story in the Bible about Jesus and the loaves and fishes.

I doubt Mr. Danielson could pick me out in a police line and I’m sure I couldn’t pick him out. However, our paths may have literally crossed in a pursuit of another passion we hold in common – downhill skiing. If what I read on OTBL is correct, Mr. Bill participates in the racing leagues at Afton Alps. Although I’m a big fan of ski racing and have been asked to join teams at Afton, I prefer the moguls and freestyle skiing. Downhill racers – or “stick chasers” – live in a well- defined, pre-set course that would compare to someone who might argue political and social issue from a strict ideological perspective where it’s black and white: you are on course or disqualified and the timing is competitive. Mogul skiing provides more freedom and openness that allows the skier to experience a greater variety of challenges and terrain. It compares to politics in a less-defined and more pragmatic sense where there is much more gray area: there’s no time clock and you can fall down and get back up and continue on.

OTBL’ers often include the familiar phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in their communications. They like to look back and sprinkle their ideas with patriotic quotes written by our founding fathers. I embrace the meaning of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as long as you tag it with phrases that include “regardless of race, color, and creed.” OTBL’ers want to retreat to 1776. I prefer to embrace the spirit of 1776, but work to advance our nation and the world with my sights on 2076 and beyond.

Your comments and participation in this effort are greatly appreciated. Although it is not always easy to do, I would prefer that participants try to excess their ideas with a minimum of cut-n-paste quotes from famous people. You can get that take from our the other border bloggers. Try saying it in your own words. A suggestion is to write your comments in a Word document and craft your response there. Then cut-n-paste it in a comment or post. That allows you to use spellchecker and you can save a diary of your own posts. This is all about the freedom of expression and open debate. I’m not going to play the role of Big Brother and slap down those comments I might find offensive.

If you got questions, need more info and/or have some off-line discussion for me, shoot me an e-mail: ohwilber@yahoo.com.


Catch the lastest edition of POWER NEWS on Hudson CATV Channel 15

Power News V will have its first showing on cable Channel 15 this weekend. Power News is always shown at 5 PM on Sundays. On Saturday, July 23 it will be shown at 7PM. Then on Sunday, July 24, it will be shown at 7AM and at 5PM.

Power News may also be shown at various other times during the week. Please check the paper for those times or check the schedule on www.accesstv15.com . In addition to the published scheduled there will be late night/early morning unscheduled reruns of Power News on Channel 15. Power News VI should be ready for showing about Sept 1. Until then Power News V will be shown each week.

Power News is also shown on Eau Claire Channel 11 which includes Menomonie. If you are a "Charter" cable subscriber you should be able to get beginning in August. Then too, it is on Baldwin and New Richmond public access TV.

Here is a summary of Power News V:

Education News/Views by Jeff Ryan. Jeff gives reasons why schools in Wisconsin need to be funded adequately by our State Assembly and State Senate. He champions our wonderful education system in the State of Wisconsin.

Legal News/Views by Jamie Johnson. Jamie interviews Keith Rodli of River Falls. They discuss "ADR", i.e. "Alternative Dispute Resolutions". Several avenues are mentioned including mediation. These are alternatives to full blown court case in our legal system to resolve disputes.

Labor News/Views by Bernie Hesse. Bernie discusses "Sweat Shops" and our need to be alert to their products and their abuses. He also discusses proposed legislation to help curb the sweat shops.

Morality News/Views by Randy Fredrikson. Randy interviews Dan Bruch about the history of the early Christians with respect to war and peace. They discuss the four principles of a just or unjust war as stated by St. Augustine. They apply these principles and others with respect to US Wars including the Iraq war.

The total show is about one hour and twenty minutes.

It is packed with information and will make you think.


Welcome Hudson Star-Observer Readers

Welcome to Above the borderline!

As someone who grew up on top of the hill in Hudson, I always have been use to an excellent view of the valley. Like everything in life, nothings perfect and completely faultless. Hudson and the surrounding valley is no exception.

I've been battling with my friends from ONTHEBORDERLINE. I respect their right to express their opinions and ideas, but I don't agree with many of their ideas and they way they go about promoting their agrenda. They want to go back to 1776 and I want to prepare for 2076 and beyond.

I am interested in the exchange of ideas and information to positive change. Feel free to join in the debate. If you are interested in posting your ideas and information on this site, shoot me an e-mail at ohwilber@yahoo.com and I will set you up with posting rights. This site isn't tilted to the political right or left. If there is any tilt, it is a forward lean towards to improving the community and life in the valley.

Posting comments is easy. Say what you want. Use wantever blog name you want. Unlike some site, you don't have to be a "Dr." to comment hear. Considering the mission of the site, being "Do-gooder" helps -- but it's not a requirement.

So pitch in and enjoy the view!