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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Fringeville #194: Happy Thanksgiving, 2018

It’s been the kind of year when it has been far too easy for me to think about all the people and bits of my life that are no longer here and to be distracted by the often-unpleasant aspects of getting a wee bit older.

I find myself thinking more and more of moments from my life that make sense only now. Some of these bring comfort. Some don’t.

I understand better now decisions, good and bad, that I made long ago. While I am not comfortable with some of them, I’ve made my peace with them. One can’t live in the past when facing the mystery of each day that lies ahead.

I have learned when one must lie. Yes, there is a time, but that is for each of us alone to know, and that type of lie must be coupled with mercy and compassion.

I have learned when to be unvarnished when speaking the truth, even if it risks everything.

I have learned to say no. That’s a big one. When I was younger, I assumed I could tackle anything. Now I know what I can and can’t do. I know where I am strong and where I am weak, what I do well and what I best not even tackle.

Today, be thankful for the blessings you have. Steel yourselves for the challenges you will surely face and celebrate the wispy bits of joy that find their way into your life. Treat each day as a blessing, do your best with it, then close the door on it firmly and prepare for the next.

And one more thing, perhaps the most important…

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…Be good to each other.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fringeville #193: 11.11.11

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War One raged from September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918. It ended after 47 days with an Armistice. The war to end all wars was over on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of that year.

American casualties in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive were 26,277 killed, more than the 2018 population of the Pennsylvania cities of Lebanon (25,806) or Hazleton (24,349).

This remains the deadliest battle in United States history.

Today is a day to honor our veterans, past and present, for their service and sacrifices. Our freedom was ensured, protected and has endured because of them.

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 Be good to each other.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Fringeville #192: The Blue Team Wins One…and a Double Shot

...your Election Analysts hard at work...

The 2018 midterms are in the books. All in all, not the huge victory or disaster (depending on whether you are on the Blue or Red team) that was predicted a while back.  The Federal candidates for NEPA pretty much did as predicted. On the state level for NEPA, not a hell of a lot changed.

One thing that may likely be dead is property tax repeal. And you know what kids, we’re still going to see a sales tax increase because that door has been kicked open.

Way back in 2010 when I ran for State Representative, I remember all the GOP candidates being plopped into an auditorium. Someone asked about repealing property taxes. They were immediately shut down. “There’s all kinds of ways to go at this, but none of them have a chance until Republicans control Harrisburg."

Which Republicans went on to do.

And nothing happened. Looking back, that was a watershed moment for me. That's where the seeds of skepticism were planted within me.

As to my run at state office, I didn’t mind the ass-kicking I got in the race. I still look back at that as the most rewarding thing I ever did in politics. I knocked on a huge number of doors and met some amazing people. My favorite door-knocking memory was at the end of a brutally hot day when I walked up to an elderly gentleman on his porch. The sun was setting, and he asked his wife to bring me lemonade. He gave me one piece of advice I never got to use, but never forgot, either: “If you win, as soon as you know the combination to the safe, get the hell out of there.”

Last note on politics:  America needs gerrymandering reform. Badly. We are tribalized and on the road to Balkanization. We can do better than that.

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I am 100% confident that Penn State will beat Rutgers. That's as far as I'll go on the rest of the season.

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Double Shot!

First a little Beatles for you. I find this version of Revolution a bit curious. They include the ‘shoo-be-do-wah” background chant, and yet never show Billy Preston doing brilliant keyboard work. That would have been a bit of a revolution right there: showing the 5th Beatle.

…and I’ll wrap up with some live Sheryl Crow. I love this song. And despite everything, I still believe…

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...Be good to each other.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fringeville #191: Do what ya gotta do… that I have your undivided attention...

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I will not dismiss you or berate you because of who you vote for.

Neither will I do so because of who you vote against.

I do not do these things because you showed up. You voted. You made your voice heard.

If you do not vote, I will only be saddened. You have disenfranchised yourself.

I have a very diverse group of friends. Probably half of them don't agree politically with the other half. Yet I seem to get along with everyone, even when we differ on opinion.

I think it is because of the first two lines I wrote.

My only other thoughts today on politics:  I am writing in John Lombardo for State Representative in PA 118. And I wish Sue Henry the best in the 121st. I can't vote for her, but she will make an excellent state representative.

Every other vote is between me, the touchscreen, and God.

Go to that booth today and make a difference.

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...Be good to each other.

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