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Columns

Saturday, May 19, 2012

As the 19th president from 1877-1881, Rutherford B. Hayes is known for overseeing the end of Reconstruction and guiding the nation into the Second Industrial Revolution. He became the Republican candidate in 1876 and his campaign against Samuel Tilden was a bitter and corrupt one.

No one was even certain who won that hotly disputed election in 1977 until, just days before the inauguration, Hayes and his party won a challenge in the Compromise of 1877 and was awarded the victory.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A good volunteer is rarer to find today than a two dollar bill.

People describe the eighties as the "Me Decade", but 30 years ago in the midst of all that so-called self-centeredness volunteerism was still widespread especially compared to today's sad trend. I've heard the excuses several times. "We are too busy" or "we just can't make it" or even worse "we will be there" and then never appearing on the scene.

Credibility seems to be as important to most people today as the mythical spare tire in the trunk. By the way, that is another rare sighting in today's world.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We all think we're much better educated today than our ancestors. Way back then many grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education. Today most of us can boast of a high school education, and many of today's young people advance to the college or trade school ranks.

But, were our ancestors really that uneducated, even the ones who quit school to join the work force following eighth grade.

Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895? I know I would have lots of trouble.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Standing on the bank of a scenic river, I noticed a woman sitting alone on the bank while she half-heartedly threw her fishing line into the river.

I smiled at her and she smiled back. It was a sad smile that never quite reached her eyes.

"I just watched my husband die," she said. "I held his hand and looked in his face as he took his last breath."

I told her I understood the depth of her emotions and knew how hard it must be for her.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

JIM:

"Sicko" is the title of Michael Moore's 2007 documentary about the flaws in America's health care system. My wife and I have always been blessed with good health insurance plans through our employers. Consequently, five years ago I didn't pay too much attention to Moore's film. What a difference five years can make!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The United States Post Office (USPS) has been falsely maligned for decades. People complain about the USPS almost as much as they complain about the weather. In my opinion, they do not know just how good the USPS actually is. They perform minor miracles every day. They deliver mail from any location in the United States to any location in the world. Their employees are courteous and provide assistance when customers have questions or special needs. Most people take the postal service for granted.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

There are only nine questions.

This is a quiz for people who know everything!

I found out in a hurry that I didn't.

These are not trick questions.

They are straight questions with straight answers.

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just when I think I have read or heard everything about the global warming/climate change debate, someone out there manages to surpass the boundaries of all things logical. Just this week in a news flash reported by Reuters and I use the cliché loosely, scientist David Wilkinson from Liverpool John Moores University has made the claim that dinosaur flatulence created global warming that affected their lives to the point that it could have contributed to their extinction and climate change.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Being a mother is the most important and most rewarding job I have ever known.

It's surprising, however, to do well in this noble profession, it seems you must be a good liar.

I admit, my kids got in a lot of trouble when they lied. It just never occurred to me (while they were growing up) that I was the one whose pants were often on fire.

My youngest daughter recently shared this memory with me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

By jim zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com

In the space of three days during the spring of 1912, Tamaqua residents celebrated two separate sports that had put the town on the statewide map high school basketball and prize fighting.

First, the basketball team, recognized as one of the best in the state, was honored with an "elegant chicken and waffle supper" at the American Hotel. Professor A.C. Lewis, in toasting the "athletics of the future," said that judging from its fine record, "Tamaqua has got the ball rolling in basket ball."