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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Fringeville #202: Vacation is over…

I wanted to vote in the upcoming Pennsylvania Primary Election. I was unaffiliated. I only had three choices: Register as a Democrat, a Republican or stay home. I’ve done that last one, and don’t like it much.

I thought about it a long time, and re-registered with the Republican party. There wasn’t much chance of my registering Democrat. I’ve always leaned right and the D’s are hurtling as far to the left as they can. I’m going to cast my vote for the best R’s in the Primary, and the best candidates in the General. It will be between the good Lord and me who those folks will be each and every November.

Before my little vacation, I was an active Republican for a long time. I worked with some terrific people in NEPA and built friendships that survived politics. No one disowned me for becoming unaffiliated. I didn’t get one smidge of hostility anywhere, and I didn’t keep my unaffiliated status a secret. That said, I won’t be joining any party committees. I won’t be running for anything. I will be voting in every election again. That was my goal.

There won't be any yard signs cluttering my lawn (with one possible exception for a county office currently unopposed). This makes the missus very, very happy. Our yard was campaign central for many, many years. I promised her a sign-free lawn when I took my vacation from politics and that promise holds. (Never piss off the people who can sign your DNR order if you choke on a chicken wing.)

I won’t be pushing a political agenda. I will be voting for the best people I can in each election and encouraging others to do the same. Well, okay, one might argue that encouraging participation in the political process is an agenda. Guilty as charged. Just take the time to make informed decisions before casting that vote, friends.

If you don’t like how I registered, I offer no apologies. I’ve never based my personal relationships on party registrations (or lack of). If that's what you do, well, if it makes you happy…

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Be good to each other.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Fringeville #201: Remembering Will Rogers

One of the baked-in problems of political humor is that it’s quickly dated. A joke that brings the house down today might have folks scratching their heads a decade later. Another issue is that political humor these days divides. Half the audience laughs, and half the audience is offended. It seems to be a career track fraught with danger.

But consider the case of Will Rogers. He was born on November 4, 1879 in the Cherokee nation. He had a quite a slate of careers. He wrote. He acted. He did Vaudeville. He was a cowboy. Frankly, he didn’t sit still much. He is best remembered these days for his political humor. He died in 1935, yet his political humor is as spot-on today as it was when he was entertaining America early in the last century.

Here is a sampling of gems from a fellow who could get the whole audience to laugh. I'd have waited until August 15 (the date of his death) to post this but America needs stuff like this right now. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves and with each other.


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"...Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don't hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous."

"...Our president delivered his State of the Union message to Congress. That is one of the things his contract calls for -- to tell Congress the condition of the country. This message, as I say, is to Congress. The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the president has to tell 'em."

"...The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, 'How is the president?'"

"...Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they'd be Republicans."

"...As a young boy, I didn't know a Republican from a Democrat, only in one way: If some man or bunch of men rode up to the ranch to sit or stay all night, and my Father set me to watching 'em all the time they was there -- what they did and what they carried off ...I learned they were Republicans."

"...Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated."

"...Their greatest trait to recommend the Democrats is optimism and humor. You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one."

"...Congress is so strange; a man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees."

"...I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

"...There wasn't any Republicans in Washington's day. No Republicans, no Boll Weevil, no income tax, no cover charge, no disarmament conference, no luncheon clubs, no stop lights, no static, no head winds. My Lord, living in those days, who wouldn't be great?"

"...There is something about a Republican that you can only stand him just so long; and on the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can't stand him quite that long."

"...The 'Ways & Means Committee' is a committee that's supposed to find the Ways to divide up the Means."

"...Politics is the best show in America. I love animals and I love politicians, and I like to watch both of 'em at play, either back home in their native state, or after they've been captured and sent to a zoo, or to Washington."

"...I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

"...Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even."

"...America has the best politicians money can buy."

"...A fool and his money are soon elected."

"...The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."

"...This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

"...Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray: Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they're doing. Amen"

"...Many a politician wishes there was a law to burn old records."

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Be good to each other.

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Fringeville #200: Celebrating a Milestone with a Saturday Double Shot

It took a long time and a lot of fits and starts to reach 200 posts. I take vacations from blogging, but I keep coming back. If I hoped it would keep me sane, it’s probably not working.

To celebrate, I thought I’d post a couple of my favorite tunes. When I was a young man playing in bands, all I knew was a little rock and roll (which included a lot of Beatles). I discovered these tunes later in life, one while researching for a bit of fiction I was writing and one while watching Walk the Line.


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...pretty sure this wasn't about Jackson Township. No slow ball there, to my knowledge.

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...just love this song, and have from the moment I heard it.
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Be good to each other.
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