Sunday, October 24, 2010

Election 2010--Open Letter to Democrat and Independent Friends

I sent this letter to our local newspaper: the Plattsburgh Press-Republican but seems worthwhile to offer to others across America:

An Open Letter to my Democrat and Independent Friends:

With a little over a week before Election Day I thought it useful to reach out to my fellow Democrats and Independents. I’m concerned about our nation’s future if this election goes to the Republican Party bolstered by its Tea Party extremists. As I talk to old friends, often liberals and independents, I am struck by how little enthusiasm they display for this President and the achievements of the last two years. Many say health reform was too compromised, others are upset that the stimulus package offered more help to banks than beleaguered home-owners; many are upset that we haven’t seen a new CCC or jobs program to provide needed jobs to the unemployed; more complain that President Obama has not acted more decisively to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Fair enough. Cogent points all. I agree with these reasonable cravats.

Yet, speaking as an American historian, this President, this Democratic Congress, has faced the most difficult moment in American history since the simultaneous onslaught of the Great Depression and the foreign threat of the Nazi fascists and Japanese war lords. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, used the vast power of the American government to bring our nation out of the horrific crash caused by unregulated, unrestrained, Capitalism. In so doing he saved Capitalism. As Democrats have done once more, moderate, middle of the road, American democrats, have once more saved the American enterprise system from its own excesses. The Party of No brought us to this point of collapse, as they did in Hoover’s day. Now they and, the leaders of the Know-Nothing Tea Party, complain that Obama is leading us down the road to Socialism. Former NY Governor Pataki was in Plattsburgh, NY in recent days complaining about Big Government and the threat of Socialism. What a joke.

Yes, it’s true, this President, with a razor slim working margin in the Senate, passed legislation that brought our financial system back from total collapse (supported even by Henry Paulson, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Treasury); he also built on the social safety net begun by FDR and expanded under Lyndon Johnson (it’s amazing to see all those Tea Party folks cashing those social security checks and using Medicare to pay their private hospital bills); he passed historic new regulations for the banking and financial system; he brought combat operations to an end in Iraq (the insane war brought to us by the lying Bush administration) and President Obama has given us a date for the beginning of a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan (in contrast to the “secret” end of the War in Vietnam promised us by Republican President Richard Nixon).

I say to my Democrat and Independent friends, to all the citizens of northern New York as well as in this country, that while President Obama has perhaps not done enough to clean up Wall Street, to bring us a single-payer health system, to end both wars in the dangerous Middle East—nevertheless, he has done much--and he needs our support. We need to get out and vote, stop sitting on our hands, and, in NY's 23rd congressional district, support Bill Owens for Congress. All the other progressive Democratic candidates running for office in this country need our contributions now: send a few dollars, go door-to-door, get your friends out, get your neighbors out and, make sure you vote.
Corky Reinhart
Plattsburgh, NY
October 24, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mining History Association Meeting Dillon, Montana June 1-5, 2011

Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the next Mining History Association Meeting in Dillon, MT June 1-5, 2011. Here is a link to the meeting website:

The Call for Papers:


In 2011 the Mining History Association will meet on the campus of the University of Montana-West in Dillon, near the historic gold rush towns and districts of Bannack, Virginia City and Alder Gulch. The Program Committee invites proposals for papers, presentations and panels on any aspect of mining history in any era or location around the world. Related fields may include science and technology, law and governance, labor and social history, industrial archaeology, business history, preservation, reclamation and environmental history. In celebration of the Idaho-Montana gold rush, 1860-1865, proposals on any mining-related aspect of that era are especially encouraged.

Each proposal should be submitted by e-mail, and contain an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with a brief c.v. that includes the address, phone number and e-mail for each participant. The Program Committee assumes all listed individuals in a session proposal agree to participate. Deadline for submissions is December 1, 2010.

Proposals and inquiries should be sent by email directly to either of the following members of the Program Committee:

Ronald H. Limbaugh,

William W. Culver,

Cathleen Norman,

Corky Reinhart,

Please consider joining us. My own experience has been wonderful. These MHA meetings have proved to be great places to share information and research on topics Anne and I are interest in and to learn a great deal from the amazing research done by others. Hope to see you in Dillon this June. corky

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Porch Swings

Porch swings evoke so many memories: for me, my grandmother’s porch, hidden amidst the old Dutchman’s Pipe vines (Aristolochia gigantean); seeing but not being seen. Mostly, you have to travel to America’s small towns and byways today to sit and visit with old or new friends. The gentle rhythm of the swing, the creak of the chains and hooks lubricate our tongues, opening our closed interiors to family, friends and strangers alike. We listen a little better, allowing others to interrupt, to join our internal dialogue so often closed to any but our own insistent voices.

Such were the memories and new thoughts evoked by a lovely morning spent talking, chatting, with Linda Gross, the owner of Cedar Hill B&B located in the happy heart of the old mining town of Globe, Arizona. Linda came to Globe from corporate America to be with and care for her mother; she stays on to care for herself and to help look after Globe and all the small towns America is doing its best to ignore or discard. We need more folks like Linda, working to restore the small towns, urban neighborhoods, quiet swings and vine-draped front porches of a healthier America.

My wife, Anne, and I were delighted to share Linda’s interest in her small community with its large mining history (,_Arizona). Linda introduced us to the fascinating role played by Chinese immigrants as mine workers, merchants and shop owners in nineteenth and twentieth century Globe.

For Globe, Arizona panorama, 1917 see:,_Arizona

Evidence of old mining efforts can still be seen on the hills surrounding Globe and its nearby mining neighbor Miami, Az. Likewise, Globe’s historic district still lives and has great small restaurants run by a wonderfully diverse community of peoples. Be sure to visit with Roberta (and her daughters) at the wonderful Mexican Restaurant, Chalo's, 902 E Ash St. in Globe.

Linda Gross can be found most often hard at work as reporter, photographer, layout editor for the GlobeMiamiTimes or taking a breather in her swing at her lovely Cedar Hill B&B (1 -928-425-7530) 175 E Cedar Street, Globe, Az 85501

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm not writing so much as to start a new thread (but you are all welcome to comment here as you see fit)--Afton has got us off to a good start this week--but rather just to say hello as I travel to my mining conference in Creede, Colorado. My friends and I arrived in Jerome AZ last night just before dark. Early enough to take a look around this historic old mining community.Taking copper ore out of this mountain, Jerome was the leading ore producing site in north America for many years until its death in the mid-1950s. From the 50s to the mid 70s it remained a classic ghost town (really nearly abandoned) and then "hippies"move back in and soon "hippies" became artists and a massive restoration was underway. I'm sitting in a little park overlooking the old blast furnace and below me the valley that stretches as far as the eye can see. Jerome is at 5500 feet--a mile high as the local cafe advertises. It is a also described as one of the "wickedist" towns in the west, saloons and brothels marked Jerome's "best" years.

But, like most of American history--and the history of the slave trade--its only when we get closer to we see the interesting and varied threads that make up the whole cloth. I'm off to Creede, another former mining ghost town, to discuss the contributions of a former slave and black man--Fred Coleman--to the discovery and mining of gold in--yet another--former mining town (now restored)Julian California. As these old towns--ghost towns--rediscover their pasts they are also rediscovering the interesting and diverse population of people who contributed to their original development. Fred Coleman's history--his contributions to Julian-- has only in recent years been acknowledged. The slave trade snuffed out millions of lives and disrupted--destroyed the cultural fabric of west Africa, but it also brought (however unwillingly) millions of black people to north and south America--people who have made an enormous contributions to the "American"cultural fabric. From my park bench in Jerome, I wish you folks a good day and fun with your researching and our discussions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Outstanding Paper Award

I'm proud to report:

Emerald Literati Network

2009 Awards for Excellence

Every year Emerald invites each journal’s Editorial Team to nominate what they believe has been that title’s Outstanding Paper and up to three Highly Commended Papers from the previous 12 months. Your paper has been included among these and I am pleased to inform you that your article entitled Constructing the Cafe University Teaching and learning on the digital frontier published in On the Horizon has been chosen as an Outstanding Paper Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2009.

The award winning papers are chosen following consultation amongst the journal’s Editorial Team, many of whom are eminent academics or managers. Your paper has been selected as it was one of the most impressive pieces of work the team has seen throughout 2008.

Further information regarding the Awards for Excellence can be found at the following site:

Rum, Slaves and Molasses: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Americas

Been a little while since I've had occasion to return to my blog and share thoughts with friends and colleagues worldwide. I'm beginning a new online term with students at St. Edwards University in Austin, TX this summer 2009. The course is one of my favorites: Rum, Slaves and Molasses: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Americas. I love to teach it. The course grew out of my much older, more conventional course devoted to slavery and incidentally to the slave trade offered at several institutions but especially St. Lawrence University the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. After opening an extension of the University Without Walls program (Skidmore College) in the beautiful Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda my interest sharpened to the African slave trade to the Americas but especially the Caribbean. My wonderful students on Antigua introduced me to new ways of viewing the trade in human cargo and to the languages and folkways left in the wake of the horrific trade in humans. People make the best of difficult, horrible circumstances. The peoples carried off the many coasts of Africa, the African Diaspora, survived--indeed, prospered. Their experience and their survival merit our attention and admiration. I'll have more to say and share as the course gets underway next week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ulysses Alfred Lord Tennyson

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.