Despite the nihilistic, no-nothing tactics of the radical right politicians and media who have hijacked Congress and the mainstream media, good things ARE happening in government, healthcare, infrastructure, civil rights, justice, environmental issues, education, energy policy, international relations, jobs, and even politics. Occasional Planet seeks out these hopeful developments–especially those that may be happening under the conventional-news radar–and reports them to our readers. We  give equal attention to  larger issues and trends, and we try to apply fresh thinking to them, too.

We’re based in St.Louis, Missouri. And while we don’t focus primarily on our home region, we do highlight some local issues and positive developments, particularly those that reflect national trends or are in the vanguard of change. We hope that readers outside the Midwest will see those connections; and we hope that local readers will find something of interest in our broader focus.

Our viewpoint is progressive and realistic: We think that good government can do good things; and  that working for the common good is central to making our country, and the world, a better place for everyone. But we’re not pollyannas: We see the problems, the obstacles and the challenges, and we’re not afraid to talk about them. The difference between Occasional Planet and many other [but not all] progressive blogs is that we try to avoid rants, choosing instead to emphasize solutions and progress toward progressive goals, both real and hoped for.

We rely on our contributing writers’ curiosity, instincts and interests to create the mix of stories that we post. Some of our articles refer to other blog postings that catch our eye. Others present our personal views on issues raised by news reports or articles on other websites or blogs. Still others are original “think-pieces” that spring from our heads, and articles that offer historical perspectives on current issues.  So, we’re not a single-issue blog. We’ve chosen, instead, to present an eclectic variety of stories that, we hope, add up to a place you’ll want to come back to.

But while the issues we cover are diverse, there is most definitely a unifying theme to our postings. We assume that Occasional Planet’s audience is one that reads a lot. But we know that everyone can’t read everything, and neither can we. So, as we plan our postings, we’re on the lookout for items that otherwise well-read people might look at and say, “Gee, I didn’t know that,” or, “Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of that issue in THAT way.” We hope that when you check in to Occasional Planet, you’ll find something new that will make you feel a bit more hopeful about the world we live in.

And one more thing. About our name: When we chose it, we liked that it had a global sense, and we thought it reflected a sense of humor [something that is important to us.] But don’t take us too literally: this blog is anything but “occasional.” We post new items every weekday, and some weekends as well. We’re delighted that you’ve checked in, and we hope you’ll be back more than just, well, occasionally.


Why the name “Occasional Planet”?

Superman fans will recognize our name as a takeoff on “The Daily Planet,” which was the newspaper for which Clark Kent/Superman worked.  Don’t take our name too literally: there’s nothing very “occasional” about this blog. We post at least one new article every weekday, and some weekend days as well.

Is the Occasional Planet affiliated with a political party, candidate, campaign, or other political organization?
NO! It’s just a blog where a group of writers can share their ideas concerning politics, education, health care, and whatever else tickles their fancy.

How do I email an article to a friend?
At the bottom of every posting, there’s a bar with all sorts of options for sharing. From there you can post it on Facebook, email it to a friend, Digg it!, and about 100 other things.

Is there an easy way to print out posts?
Yes there is! Underneath the image for each article is a little box that gives you the option to print out the post.

What’s the orange button on the upper right side of the page?
The orange but­ton is an rss feed. If you click it, you will be auto­mat­i­cally updated any­time some­thing new is posted. For a bet­ter expla­na­tion, click here to watch a short film.