Why another blog?
Welcome to Politics and Other Stuff!
So here goes. Your humble blogger has had a great interest in politics for nearly 50 years (dating myself here), since the end of high school. There were many years in my life when I was a very active participant in the world of politics. Everything from envelop stuffing to campaign management. From the local council level to presidential campaigns. On the Democratic side. A whole lot of politicians worked for, fought against, had a beer with.
For the past dozen or so years there hasn’t been more than an occasional conversation with an office-holder or candidate about their campaign. But there continues in me a great interest in government and politics on the local, state and federal levels. After you have spent decades participating in and observing politics, it’s like being at the Hotel California – “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Like anyone who has been active in politics or has just been a serious observer of the scene, I have some opinions about things governmental and political. Some opinions are well-grounded in fact, others in speculation. Still other opinions are simply things I believe in. It is good to realize that as you get older you can still have passion about things you consider important.
I’m offering this blog for public consumption to provide comments or opinions about issues that I consider important to think about. More than any other purpose, I’m hoping that what gets posted here over the next weeks and months may inform you and get you thinking too, or maybe just considering another point of view.
I will also provide analysis of public issues from time-to-time.
I will be looking for feedback by way of the email address listed above, and will post emails from time-to-time that respond to my blogs. I have been thinking about the possibility of permitting commentary right on the blog. Maybe. But frankly what will hold me back from doing that is that, having seen what happens in other blogs and in newspapers when open commentary is available, I’m not sure that I want to go there. Vitriolic remarks are common in such cases, often very personal, often very repetitive and from the same people. I don’t want to spend time policing such activity.
I may invite or accept guest commentary on the blog. I think that can add some spice to the publication.
I will occasionally just publish some facts about an important issue – statistics; demographics; legislative votes; poll results, etc. That will come under the label “What We Know.”
Anyone who has spent time working in or observing politics knows that rumors and speculation are as baked into politics as flour in bread. So occasionally there may appear in this blog rumors or speculation about officeholders, candidates, parties, campaigns. They will be identified as such, and will come under the label “What We’ve Heard.”
In posting such information, or in commentary about issues, candidates, officeholders, etc. I will strive mightily to observe one rule – civility. Former Congressman Tom Reynolds has been a friend of mine for more than forty years (dating both of us now). Several years ago while working at Canisius College I learned that Tom would be speaking to a political science class about civility in politics. I invited myself to the class. When Tom came in and spotted me he came over and shook hands, putting his arm over my shoulder and telling the students, “this is civility in politics. The tall guy is a Republican, the short guy a Democrat. But we’ve always gotten along. Challenged one another on an issue, but then had a beer together.” This blog will be civil.
So back to the name of the blog – “… and Other Stuff.” I’m a big fan of pro football, so I may comment on the sport occasionally. Maybe baseball or hockey once in a while. I like to read or see an occasional movie, so I might provide a review. Education is an interesting topic. So is health care. There are probably a few other things. That will be the “other stuff.”
I hope to provide new postings often enough for you to come back and read and think about things. I hope what is written here is interesting and informative. That is what I will strive to do.