Author: James Blubaugh

OLD RAG GAZETTE BIDS FOND FAREWELL

It’s time to say goodbye. Old Rag Gazette started a year ago.  There were two of us, Jed Duvall and myself; we hoped there would be more.  We wanted to develop a modern way whereby people in our rural area could communicate thoughts and information among each other, in a way that was polite and that embodied our rural roots. An electronic community magazine, if you will. It ended up looking pretty good.  And our readership was pretty good, also. But it has been difficult getting people to contribute.  Only one other person came forward, Don Audette; he provided...

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AN IMMIGRANT’S TALE, PT 2

The Memories of Emery Lazar: Journey Towards a New Life… [Editor’s note: If you have not read Part 1 of this saga, you may wish to do so first.  It can be found here.] My parents, brother and I fled Hungary from the advancing Soviet Army in the spring of 1945.  My brother was 15 years old at that time, and I was eight.  We lived as refugees in a Bavarian village called Gergweis, under very poor conditions.  But high school education was free, and I attended the Oberrealschule in nearby Passau. By the end of 1951, my brother Attila was...

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TWO STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ON BALLOT

In addition to voting in November for a new President and Congressional Representative, there will be two proposed Virginia Constitutional amendments on the ballot. Right to Work The first proposed amendment concerns Virginia’s right to work law, and the question on the ballot will be posed this way: Question: Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization...

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SO, YOU THINK YOUR VOTE DOESN’T COUNT?

There are 2,318 voting precincts in Virginia, according to the State’s Department of Elections.  In 2014, President Obama carried the State by 149,298 votes.  That equates to under 65 votes per precinct. In other words, if 33 people in each precinct in Virginia had voted differently, President Obama would not have carried the state. In 2016, Senator Warner won by 17,727 votes.  Or under 8 votes per precinct. In Ohio, a swing state, there are 8,888 precincts, and Obama won by 103,481 votes.  Or under 12 votes per precinct. In Florida, it was even closer.  President Obama won by...

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BOOK REPORT: THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN

The French Lieutenant’s Woman, by John Fowles Sometimes our book club keeps up with the latest, but sometimes we try out a classic.  Classics are usually a good idea, and this time was no exception. Published to great acclaim in 1969, The French Lieutenant’s Woman is set in England in 1867, the year of the Second Reform Bill.  The First Reform Bill of 1832 had extended voting rights to wealthy males; the Second went further, extending them to virtually all English men.  The monarchy, under Queen Victoria, was gradually losing power, as the House of Commons gained.  The class system...

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