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