Wednesday, October 22, 2014




We've entered the season wherein we exercise our civic duty, listening carefully to every, carefully phrased, reason to fear the possible election of individuals who, out of greed, stupidity, or evil ideology, would do us irreparable harm. Things are bad enough, we reason, we can't let this happen. And so we argue, blame, and vote, believing that in so doing we've at least forestalled greater harm to our, long suffering, democracy. And some vote, out of a sincere belief that certain candidates are indeed of such sterling character that they will break the mold, go to DC and remain incorruptible, ultimately restoring real democracy and good governance to our republic.

How many more election cycles will it take? How many more disappointed dupes need be created, before we face up to the greatest con job, the greatest waste of resources (excepting wars), in perhaps all of human history?

Too many of us believe that the problems of government are embodied in certain individuals, who happen to be in office. Others believe that it's the 'other' party. And many feel that it's a flaw in some individuals--greed is often cited. We ignore the fact that by voting, as we usually do, we have reinforced the existing system. Who can blame a newly, or reelected, congressman or senator for believing that his/her campaign strategy was responsible for victory? The system works; your party's leaders did not lie. All that time, dialing for dollars, soliciting and accepting special interest contributions for you to spend on TV ads vilifying your opponent, did the job. (And the next campaign has already started.) All of this is bad enough, but there are other consequences.

The most obvious is that the special interests want something for their money. Business leaders, union leaders, and others seek special treatment giving them unearned advantages. Consider our tax code: Why should a business leader invest in research and development when he can buy a tax loophole with no risk and a better return? I could go on, but there's another point to be made.

While our legislators and administrations have been preoccupied, our government has run somewhat unsupervised. Regulations pour out, and regulators have taken it upon themselves to collect huge fines from corporations and individuals who cannot afford the even higher costs of pleading their cases. Attorneys general have joined the party throughout the country. We've become a country run by 'administrative law', trying cases in the court of public opinion rather than by law enforcement and courts. And there seem to be no 'checks and balances' in place.

Is it any wonder that our elected officials seem to be in a constant state of surprise as one screw-up after another comes to light? Doesn't anyone take time to think--to plan?

"It's better to light a single candle than to curse the dark." Use your vote to express your disgust with the system. Sooner or later, others will notice.

NOTICE: Class Rules, my new novel, is now available as an e-book on Amazon and in other formats.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 23, 1888.
Blodgett’s Mills.
   "Nothing succeeds like success." Last week's blizzard was a success surely. In fact it succeeded in keeping every one at home, and was a success in blowing every "item" away, and heaping up the snow like miniature mountains.
   The warm sugar festival was postponed until next week, Tuesday evening.
   Miss Carrie Baum, of Freetown visited Miss Jennie Stafford recently.
   Mrs. J. H. Rease is visiting friends in Baldwinsville.
   Charles Sperry has returned from Minnesota, where he has been spending a number of weeks visiting friends.
   Active preparations are being made by the M. E. Sabbath school, for a concert on Easter evening.
   Mr. J. Branch is very sick with pneumonia.
   Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Coon of Homer visited at Fred Kinney's last Saturday.
   A number of Good Templars from Virgil visited the B. M. Lodge last Friday evening.
   Mrs. Frank Meacham of Michigan is visiting her sister, Mrs. S. B. Smith.
World Building, New York City.
   The Ithaca Gun Works turned out 4,000 guns last year.
   Oneonta is to have free postal delivery, commencing April 1, 1888.
   Hornellsville becomes the twenty eighth city in the State of New York.
   Sidney has a few cases of smallpox, and has had several fatal ones of spinal meningitis.
   In the Boston walking match, Cartwright made 207 miles in 48 hours, beating the world's record.
   Mrs. Sarah Rogers, a colored woman, died at Cobleskill, N. Y., on the third inst., aged 104 years.
   The New Cayuga County Board of Supervisors consists of twenty-four Republicans and nine Democrats.
   The World says the 9,000 Chinese residents of New York city spend $468,349.75 annually for opium smoking.
   Aunt Carry Currie, living near Middletown, is in her 108 year. She is probably the oldest person in the state.
   At Warsaw Thursday Judge Haight resentenced Bob VanBrunt, the Castile murderer, to be hanged April 13th.
   Charles Johnson, the murderer of Turnkey Walter, was resentenced Tuesday of last week, to be hanged at Waterloo, N. Y., on Friday, April 27.
   John Reynolds, one of the survivors of the famous charge of the six hundred at the battle of Balaklava in the Crimean war, died at his home in Buffalo last Tuesday.
   Every square mile of land in Great Britain and Ireland has to support 200 persons, and in Germany 216 persons. Every square mile in the United States has to support only fourteen persons.
   Mrs. Henrietta Snell, widow of the late Amos J. Snell, of Chicago, offers $10,000 reward for the arrest and detention, until identified, of William B. Tascott, the supposed murderer of her husband.
   The Cattle Trust of Denver, Col., has closed a contract with the French Government to supply the French army with 150,000 head of beef cattle annually. The cattle will be slaughtered at Chicago.
   The National Exchange Bank of Auburn has obtained judgments to the amount of $36,000 against Joseph W. Dunning & Co., of that city. Mr. Dunning has been a heavy dealer in pig iron, and has met with many losses the past year.
   Congressman Scott of Pennsylvania is not quite 60 years of age, is worth $20,000,000, and employs 10,000 men. When he was still in his teens he was a page in the National House of Representatives, and thirty years ago h e was a fish peddler in Erie, Pa.
   Some negroes who undertook to set up with a corpse at Middletown one night recently, took the corpse from the table on which it laid, stood it up in a corner, and on its "refusing to drink" pelted the body with missiles. The corpse was found on the floor in the morning.
   French's hotel building, New York, has been sold to Joseph Pulitzer, proprietor of the New York World, who will erect a big building for the World on the site. As is generally known, the site upon which the well-known structure stands is among the most desirable in the city for newspaper purposes. It occupies the entire block in Park Row, between Frankfort street and the Bridge entrance.

To Rent.
   An elegant suite of rooms in the Squires Building. Rent, $9. Inquire of James S. Squires.

Collars for Dogs.
   Mr. Cornwell, of Yates County, introduced in the Assembly at Albany a bill providing that the owner of every dog in the state shall place on the animal a collar bearing the name of the owner. Dogs without collars may be shot.

Page two advertisements, Cortland Democrat, March 23, 1888.


Monday, October 20, 2014


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 23, 1888.
The Wrestling Match.
   Between four and five hundred gentlemen, who take more than a passing interest in the events of the sporting world, assembled at Taylor Hall last Saturday evening to witness the wrestling match between Fred Kelson, of Syracuse, and Jack Kerwin, of this place. While the crowd was an enthusiastic one in the matter of cheering, etc., it was at the same time somewhat conservative, and but very little betting was done.
   Promptly at 8:30 P. M., the curtain was run up and a sparring match, with soft gloves, between Mattie Kerwin, of Syracuse, and Clayton Gardiner, of McGrawville, was announced as the first attraction. Four rounds were fought, resulting in a victory for Gardiner, much to the chagrin of the Syracusans.
   At the conclusion of the fourth round, after time had been called, Gardiner offered his hand to Kerwin, who refused it and struck him a severe blow on the face with his bare hand. The act met with the unqualified disapproval of the crowd, and for a time it looked as though the fighting would not be confined to the stage. Order was, however, restored, and the match between Dick Kerwin and Mike Byron was called. This resulted in a draw after five rounds, and had the effect of restoring the audience to good humor.
   The ring was then cleared for the wrestling match, and in a few minutes the contestants appeared and took their places. The referee announced the terms to be catch as catch can, both shoulders down to constitute a fall, and best two in three to be winner. The first bout resulted in a fall for Kerwin; time, 1 min. 30 sec. The second in a fall for Kelson; time, 2 min. 35 sec. The third gave Kerwin another fall, and he was declared winner by the referee. Time, 1 min. 50 sec.
   With the one exception the contests were friendly throughout. A challenge for a return match at Syracuse will be issued soon.

   Quite a number of our of town people attended Gilmore's concert in this place, last Monday.
   P. H. McGraw will build a large addition to his new wagon factory at McGrawville in early spring.
   Wallace & Linderman have opened their new dining rooms on Main street, and have now the finest rooms in town.
   Richard Howard, of this place, has rented a building just north of Dan Donohue’s saloon in Homer, which he will occupy as a meat market.
   Mr. Isaac Dennis, Jr., will open the Grand Central 5, 10 and 25 cent store in the new Wickwire block, about April 1st, with a full line of new and desirable goods.
   Mr. G. [Bligh], of the Fair store, will move his stock of goods from the Squires building to the store formerly occupied by Edgcomb & Ballard, in the Standard building, April 1st.
   There will be a fox chase at Cuyler, on Saturday, March 24th. Purse, $16; $6 to first dog, $5 to second, $3 to third, and $2 to fourth. Entrance fee, $2. The dogs will start at 10 A. M.— DeRuyter Gleaner
    Mr. Thos. Carty, who has had several years' successful experience as a hotel keeper in Ithaca, has taken possession of the restaurant heretofore conducted by Mr. Erving Stevens, on Orchard street, and will conduct the same in the future as a hotel.
   Erving Stevens, of this place, has purchased the lease of the hotel Windsor in Homer, of Capt. Lason, and will take possession at once. Mr. Stevens has had several years' experience in catering to the wants of the public, and has hosts of friends who will wish him well. We heartily commend him to the good citizens of Homer.
   Lason & Jennings will sell at auction, twenty-five Illinois horses at the Arnold House stables to-morrow at 10 A. M. These horses are from five to eight years old, sound and right, and weigh from 900 to 1200 lbs each. They will also sell two Kentucky saddle horses, gentle for ladies to ride. The sale will positively take place regardless of weather, and will be a good chance for horsemen to purchase some desirable animals.
   Mr. J. H. May will give a farewell party at the hotel in Virgil, on Friday evening, March 23d. Music by Palmer's full orchestra. Bill, $1.00. Mr. May will surrender possession of the hotel April 1st next, to Mr. Frank D. Freer, who has exchanged his farm near Blodgett’s Mills for the property. The retiring landlord has kept an excellent house, and we believe the new proprietor will continue to keep up the good reputation of the same.
   The bill introduced by Mr. Tisdale extending the time for the construction of the Erie & Central N. Y. railroad five years, passed the Assembly on Tuesday.
   Nicholas Collins of Homer, who is employed as a brakeman on the D. L. & W. road, fell through a trap door at Cal Wagner's saloon in Syracuse last Tuesday evening, sustaining injuries that will probably prove fatal.
   Mr. Geo. E. Cook, the artist, will be at Mrs. Gale's rooms, in the Graham block on Monday next, where he will exhibit selections in all branches of art. If a sufficient number attend who desire lessons, he will form a class.
   Chief Engineer Thompson has received a letter from the chairman of the Volunteer Firemen's Association, of New York city, asking for information in regard to the coming State convention, and stating that the members of that organization to the number of 200 will be in attendance. They will arrive by special train, and bring with them several bands of music and one of their double-decker engines of the old 1860 system. They also state that they expect to be accompanied by an equal number from the Brooklyn Volunteer Association, who will bring their engine and two large banners. They will remain in town two days.

   The funeral services of Rev. E. D. Terpenning, was held at the M. E. Church on the 6th inst., conducted by Presiding Elder U. S. Beebe, assisted by Revs. Purrington, Harrison and Hobertson, of Scott. A large number of people were present. Mr. Terpenning was a man whose friendship we prized, having known him from boyhood days and employed him as a teacher, and sustained church relations with him. We wish to say of our deceased brother that he was always to be found a genuine Christian man.
   The funeral of Mr. John P. Price was held on Sunday at the M. E. Church, services by Mr. Harrison. Mr. Price has long been a resident of this town, and was in former years a well known business man. Of late poor health and increasing years have taken him out of business life, and required care from his family which has been cheerfully given. Deceased was a communicant of the Baptist church, and leaves a wife who is now very ill, and a family of five children all grown to man and womanhood, and occupying responsible positions in society. He was nearly 83 years of age.
   Mr. Willfried Muncy has received a position as salesman in the store of J. H. Duff, of Syracuse, and goes to his employer with a good record from here, and will no doubt strive to sustain it in his new position.
   Mr. Lewis Terpenning has purchased of Mrs. Ingraham, the farm known as the Rease farm.
   The young people of the Good Templars Lodge of this place, paid a visit to the Blodgetts Mills Lodge on Friday evening, and report a hearty reception.
   The Good Templar Lodge will have a new maple sugar festival at their ball on Friday evening of this week, and extend an invitation to all.
   Mrs. Wilbur Spencer, of Whitney's Point, is visiting her father, Mr. Josiah Chrisman.
   Mr. Millard Filmore Leroy, formerly of this place, now a resident of Auburn, N. Y., is visiting his many friends here.
   The hotel in this place has been sold to a Mr. Freer, living near Blodgetts Mills.
   The lawsuit between Frank Miller and his mother, was decided in favor of Mrs. Miller.
   The many friends of M. L. Sheerar of Chicago, are glad to greet him and to learn that both he and A. H. Peckham have received no financial injury in Mr. Chamberlain's business reverses.

   Seneca Mudge, of McGrawville, N. Y., is in town shaking hands with his many friends.
   At the corporation meeting on Saturday evening, the following officers were placed in nomination: D. B. Tripp, President; Geo. Adams and A. Hilsinger, Trustees.
   On Monday of last week, Dr. G. T. Chadden, of this place, delivered a cow, belonging to Bird Johnson, of a monstrosity in shape of a calf. The calf had seven legs. The calf was grown together from the hips backwards. Only one set of hips, two hind legs, two tails, and one unnatural hind leg. This leg protruded out from the point of the hip on the left side, laying along the back to the front of the fore shoulder. About two feet forward from the hips were two separate bodies, both of them natural. Two complete heads and four forelegs. This monstrosity ought to have been stuffed and placed in some museum, but the owner did not see fit to have anything done with it, so he threw the carcass on a manure pile to decompose. The monstrosity was not alive.

Another Fire Alarm System.
   The Union File Alarm Co., whose head quarters are at 145 Broadway, New York city, have had thir electric system on exhibition at Firemen's Hall during the past two days. The system is modeled largely after the Gamewell, to which the manufacturers assert it is superior in some respects, and fully equal in all others, while the cost is about one third less. The devices for sending an alarm from the boxes to the department rooms are very similar to the Gamewell as is the arrangement for striking the number of the box on the bell in the tower. In addition to this the Union has an indicator in each of the engine houses which shows in figures the box number, thus precludes the possibility of any mistake in locating the fire.
   Provision is also made for [fault] signals at the engine house in case a wire should be broken or two become crossed, while a galvanometer is employed to note the amount of electric force in the wires so that in case it should fall below the amount necessary to make the system efficient, it may be easily detected and remedied. The inventor and manufacturer of the Union system is Mr. J. T. Murray of New York, formerly an associate of Edison's, and a life-long electrician. Mr. Murray is also the inventor of the quadruplex system of telegraphy now used in all the largest city offices, and his reputation should be a guarantee of the thoroughness of his work.

W. C. T. U.
   The twelfth quarterly convention of the Cortland Co. W. C. T. U. held its session in the Presbyterian Church, Cortland, March 14, 1888.
   The convention was called to order at 10 o’clock, by the President, Mrs. E. C. Viele. At the roll call of officers, eight responded. After the appointment of committees, an address of welcome was given by the Cortland Union, which was responded to by Mrs. Alien, of Homer.
   At a meeting of the executive board Mrs. Burt’s resignation as chairman of the Fair committee, was offered and accepted, and Mrs. Beard elected to fill vacancy. Miss Eva Gardner's resignation as Rec. Secretary was also offered and excepted, and Mrs. M. P. Starr, of Homer, elected to fill the office.
   In the afternoon an exceedingly interesting paper was presented by Mrs. S. C. Stillman, of Scott. Subject: "How to interest and hold members of local W. C. T. U.'s" Also an able and very instructive paper upon "Our National Temperance Hospital," by Mrs. June, of Blodgetts Mills.
   Mrs. Benjamin reported prison and jail work done in Cortland, also spoke of the Easter letters which are to be written and sent out by the Unions throughout the State to jails, prisons, reformatories, etc. Interesting reports from various other departments were also given, showing progress in other lines of work.
   Two memorials were presented to the convention, commemorating the deaths of Mrs. Elvira Blanchard, of Homer, and Mrs. Dudley Corwin, of Cortland.
   Invitations from Virgil and Homer, for entertaining the June Convention, were received and that of Virgil accepted.
   In the evening "Ye famous Hatchet Famihe" from the ranks of the "Willard Y" was introduced, made its bow and set forth its views and reviews of the temperance work, much to the delight of the listeners. An essay was read by Mrs. Mr. E. Collins [sic] upon the "Relation of Young Women to the Temperance Work of to-day."
   A quartette of young ladies sang in a very sweet and effective manner "In Heavenly Love Abiding," after which Miss Emma Nason, in her own inimitable manner, gave a grand review of the three years work done by the Department of Soldiers and Sailors, of which she is superintendent.
   A vote of thanks was extended to the trustees of the Church for so kindly allowing us its use for the day, to Mrs. Gillett and her corps for their efficient and bountiful entertainment, also to the Willard Y's for teaching us how to use the temperance hatchet, and all others who contributed to make the day a happy, and we trust a profitable one to all, after which the convention adjourned, regretting only the enforced absence of many dear sisters on account of the heavy storm which had prevailed.
   Rec. Sec'y Pro. tem.