"I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst

of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."
Adlai E. Stevenson, American statesman (1900-1965).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Gas Price Check..

I never thought I'd see the day again when gas was below $2/gal!

National average: $1.868

In Waddington:
Sharlow's: $1.99
Kunoco: $2.02

Anyone else below 2 bucks?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Invitation to NNY Bloggers...

You will notice a Red Kettle to benefit the Salvation Army at the top of my page.

I ask you, Danger Democrat, Political IV, Abaycircus, Foil Hats Unite, Lefty Limericks, and all others to join me in this most worthy cause this holiday season.

Please, email me at smalltownamerica@earthlink.net for the html code for the top of your blogs and join my Red Kettle Team.

This is a true opportunity for us to push partisanship to the side and join together for a cause much greater than ourselves.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

Thank you,
Small Town America

Friday, November 21, 2008


OK, so we know Junior Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton from New York.

But what do we think about Junior Senator William Jefferson Clinton from New York?

The rumor mill is running full bore with this tidbit--he may snag Hill's vacant spot for himself. Could Bill make his own way back to Washington after all?

Word has it that there are several biggies that covet this position, including RFK Jr and Andrew Cuomo, that Bill would have to contend with. Perhaps even Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.

Chuck Schumer will mostly likely be the biggest anti-Bill voice--why would he want to be the senior Senator to someone, well, more "senior" than himself? And we're not talking age...

Its all about ego, folks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Electoral College: Yea or Nay?

Before I took a political science class in college, I had little understanding of the Electoral College and even less knowledge of how it came to be. The information startled me, and dimmed my bright perception of our founding fathers.

What is your opinion of the Electoral College? Should we keep it? Or should we encourage our representatives to ditch the antiquated system?

I have an opinion, I'll let you voice yours first...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gas Price check

National Average 11/20/08: 2.02/gal

In Waddington:
Sharlow's: 2.24/gal
Kunoco: 2.27/gal

I put $10 worth of gas in my car yesterday, and it actually took it over the half-tank mark!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Prison System v. The School System

I'd like to start a discussion on the prison system versus the public school system.

In response to the recent announcements regarding our state budget, I would like to know why our children should be the ones to suffer while NYS prisoners are living the "high-life" behind bars.

While our children may be facing no sports, no music, no drama club, or after-school programs, the Empire State's prisoners enjoy free room and board, state of the art fitness centers with no membership fee, free cable, free therapist sessions, and free health care and dental services.

Why should our children be the ones to suffer? Or us, if we want their services to continue, we must pay even higher taxes. Where do we draw the line?

The proposed New York State budget for corrections for 2008-2009 is $3 billion.
The proposed New York State budget for education for 2008-2009 is $31.5 billion.

One quick look at those figures and you might say, "Its a no-brainer--trim the education budget!" Take a closer look, though.

In 2006-2007, NY's per pupil spending of $15,263 was the second highest in the nation.

In contrast, NY's per inmate spending in 2001 was $36,835 (fifth highest in the nation)--adjusted for inflation, today that is $45,505.

$15,236 per student versus
$45,505 per inmate.

What am I missing here?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nice thoughts....Just wanted to share

I pulled this off Addie Jenne Russell's blog page. I did not know that Ms. Russell had left a message for me 'til Jim aka pguston emailed me--and I didn't even get the email until after the election.

It is refreshing that a candidate would personally reach out to one individual.
I am touched and appreciative.

Addie08.com said...

This is a special message to Small Town America. I'm sorry that I have not had the chance to meet you yet. I assure you I've been to Waddington several times and have spent a lot of time in St. Lawrence County. Perhaps you and I can have a chat this weekend. I'll be in Waddington on Saturday at the Civic Center at around 1:30pm. If you can't make it, please give my campaign office a call at 777-4900 so that we can arrange for a telephone call. I respect your opinion and enjoy your blog, and would love the opportunity to meet you. Thanks. -Addie

SmallTownAmerica said...


I apologize for not addressing this sooner--it was just brought to my attention that you posted this for me.

First things first, congrats on your win!

Unfortunately, I was not one of the people you met in Waddington. Family obligations kept me away from your meet & greet.

I did keep tabs on what was going on with your campaign, as well as your opponent, as you no doubt read in my blog.

Some ideas that Mr. Cantwell discussed in the final days disturbed me. That swayed my vote. I do not like the classic Republican ideal of trickle-down economics, and I was disappointed to hear him discussing it.

I believe we need to start at the bottom. At this juncture, if for no other reason, it would be a morale booster. The lower and middle-classes have been dealt the worst blows in this economic melt-down. Consumer confidence is everything when trying to boost the economy. If we feel we have more, and are confident that we will continue to receive more, the more we will spend, and the better off everyone will be.

That is one of the main reasons, in my opinion, that Bush's recent economic stimulus package had no impact. People either saved it, or spent it on bills or paid off their credit cards. They didn't travel, they didn't buy a washer, they certainly didn't buy a car with it. They did nothing with it that would impact any industry other than banks and utilities. It was a little teeny drop in the vast ocean of economic misery we are all drowning in.

I have to sign off now, but I hope at some point in the future, we can continue this discussion. That is, after all, what we all gave you our votes for--to listen to us--and to be our voice.

Please don't forget that during your tenure in Albany.

Addie08.com said...

Thank you STA, and I will indeed keep these thoughts in mind as we take on the task of revitalizing our economy. I look forward to meeting you someday.

Best wishes,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gas price check

Feel free to add your hometown's gas stations to the list. It would be nice to get a feel for prices North Country-wide, or planet-wide for that matter, as I was excited to see visitors here from Canada, France and Japan. Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

National average as of 11/13/08: $2.17/gal

Waddington, New York:
Sharlow's: 2.49
Kunoco: 2.47 (they dropped from 2.52 over lunchtime!)

Hogansburg (Reservation):
Any gas station: 2.29/gal

From globe-trotter rwiley of leftylimericks:
Istanbul, Turkey: 11.02/gallon

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Time to Heal

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
--The Byrds

These words taken from Ecclesiastes are no more apropos than now.

What we need is to heal, unite.

What a divided people we have become. Perhaps divided is not the appropriate term. Divided to begin with, but something darker now. Isolated. Polarized. Blue, red. White, black. Capitalist, Socialist. Straight, gay. Republican, Democrat. American, anti-American.

There seems to be no middle ground anymore--no haven where we can come together as one.

A country founded on the ideals of freedom and equality and unity has been reduced to nothing more than a large kindergarten class full of "did nots" and "are toos". But even in hide and seek, there are safe zones.

I listened to Rush Limbaugh for a bit the day after the election. He is still spewing hate across the airways, and along with his callers, still stirring the pot of discord in America.

We need to move on. We need to heal, unite.

What truly prevents us from coming together to form a more perfect union—to band together as one nation, under God? Is it really that far out an idea? And if so, what kind of psychedelics were our founding fathers passing around as they were brainstorming our founding documents?

I used to be such an optimist. When I graduated high school, my favorite song was “Imagine” by John Lennon. I would sing it and feel every idea in that song course through my veins, and I just knew that I would make a difference in this world. I voted the first time I was of age to do so. I voted for Bill Clinton, and he was elected. It was elating. I felt I had a voice, and that it was heard.

I have become jaded in my seventeen years since high school. I no longer “know” that I can make a difference. Rather, I see it as a lofty dream, one of those regrets you take to your grave. I see a bright future for my children, but keep my aspirations guarded. Although, to them, they can and will do anything their heart desires. For them, at least, I let my cynicism take a nap.

I don't want to be a cynic anymore. It is the cynics that have given hope a bad name. Today, if you dream of better things to come, you are naive or immature. Today, if you hope for a better future you are impractical. Today, hoping for world peace has been reduced to a beauty pageant joke.

During this election season, I felt a tug of that optimism from what seems so long ago. I first felt the twinges four years ago during a key note speech from a little-known state Senator from Illinois. The speeches of Barack Obama, then and now, are uplifting, hopeful, inspiring, moving. I feel energized, renewed. I felt my voice come back. After eight years of having my words shoved back down my throat, I could be heard again! And the words I would speak were coming not from myself, but from a man with a strange name and a skin color not my own. Imagine that.

Why can't we, as a nation, as one people, join together with one voice and one purpose? We need to move past the negativity, the cynicism, the derogatory, the differences and regain our hope as a nation. We need to forgive the "other side" for whatever wrongs we feel they have done and make a pledge to band together for the greater good of our nation. Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace--Tolstoy

There is a website called DividedWeFail. The title is a foreboding omen for our country. Divided we will fail. Divided, we will fail to support our new President who has given us his word that he will make our lives better. I understand the difficulty of taking someone at their word. Long gone are the days when trust is established by a word and a handshake. But they don't have to be.

Can't we, just for a moment, peak over our self-erected fortresses, spit in our hand, and give our President a firm shake?

Look him straight in the eye, and say, "Mr. President, you have my support, and I am counting on you."

Can we not, as the United States of America, stand side by side, and shamelessly scream those immortal words of John Lennon?

You may say that I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will live as one

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gas Price check

Sharlow's: 2.59
Kunoco: 2.62

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Random thoughts....

Random Election Day thoughts welcome here:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gas Price check

Sharlow's: 2.64
Kunoco: 2.69

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday self-reflection....

I am taking a much needed break from my usual Sunday evening of laundry and the New York Times crossword puzzle. I have been so busy lately, I haven't had much time to put fingers to keyboard and make real sense of what's been going on in the world and the North Country. I got a little encouragement today, however. Let me share it with you...

Its funny how things happen for a reason....karma, fate...whatever you want to call it, it was in full swing this afternoon. And its funny when you look back on it. So, I lead group of Girl Scouts. We just finished our meeting early, and I took my two girls to the grocery store here in Waddington to pick something up for supper. I spent about a half hour in the store roaming the aisles before deciding on pot pies (haven't had them in years!) all the while yelling at my kids to quit climbing on the cart, quit climbing in the cart, quit acting like animals, quit touching the cart, quit touching the cart or you will go to your room, quit touching the cart or you will go to your room with no supper, and several other variations thereof. After finally getting to the check out the cashier starts whipping off my order (I appreciate her efficiency, but not in this case) before I can watch what she is doing. See, more often than not, I will be over-charged for something. Could be a few cents, could be a few dollars--one time they wanted to charge me over $13 for grapes, when in fact, they were on sale. Anyway, I am sick of being over-charged, so I make sure I check it before I leave the store, because I will never return with my receipt to get a refund. As fate would have it, I was overcharged for two items. As efficient as she was in ringing up my order, the cashier was not so efficient when it came to refunding my money and she needed someone to help her. This is all the while killing time before I get outside. So, as I turn to go out the door, it, for some odd reason, did not occur to me to ask why in the hell Dave Renzi was standing in the entry way of the IGA in Waddington. He said Hello, and I breezed right by with a Hi, over my shoulder. As I hit the parking lot, there is a crowd of people there and I thought there was a car accident, or even a gang war. Well, it could happen in Waddington--you never know these days. Anyway, as I was loading my bags into the trunk of my car, I hear someone calling my name. It was none other than Mr. Russell B. Strait, who you may remember from an earlier post. Of course, his wife, Mrs. Strait was there, too. And as Russell is dragging me over to this group of people, I realize we are headed into the den of Satan himself! The Republican traveling circus!

(OK, OK--I'm kidding, it wasn't that bad--although I did have to use lavish amounts of hand sanitizer when I got home.)

They really had all the big stars out for the show. Let's see, I saw my ex-boyfriend Bobby Cantwell who verbally cheated on me with the entire News10Now viewing audience--what a cad. Now he thinks just because he kissed my hand on bended knee and gave me a hug that we are on good terms again......well, maybe. He did ask, "So are we OK now?" And I did say, "I suppose. But no more of that fire in your belly thing. You can have anything else in your belly, but it better not be a fire." This all while some older woman was standing there listening, and who then remarked, "I guess I should have come over here sooner." lol--maybe that was his mom? Anyway, I was introduced to his wife as "the person who wrote that blog about Bobby", at which point I flatly denied writing any such blog, but did admit I said he was handsome. By the way, Russell, "that blog" reminds me of McCain's "that one" and I'm not sure yet if I appreciate it.

Who else did I see....oh, yeah--Dave Renzi, as I mentioned above. I shook hands with him outside--he has a nice shake, firm grasp, not wimpy at all--I appreciate that. He was nice, and better looking in person than in his ads. He introduced himself, and I was polite and said, "nice to meet you." Then he asked for my vote. . . . . .
I was the epitome of restraint, as I said, "I will consider it."

I felt bombarded and overwhelmed, so I retreated to the trunk of my car where I pulled out one of my Obama/Biden yard signs and started carrying it around like a shield. (The reason it is in my trunk and not in my yard is another post altogether.)

Anyway, I met Nancy Martin, the St. Lawrence County Republican Party Chairperson, who knew who I was, but I did not recognize her. Nancy said she read my blog. I invited her to stop by and post some comments, but she passed, saying stuff like that comes back to bite you in the ass (my paraphrase.) (Nancy has her own post below this one.)

Apparently Janet Kelly was there as well, but after I basically called her an asshole, I had no desire to meet the woman at that moment--my kids were still in the car after all.

Some guy was wandering around taking photos of the whole melee. I made a point of hiding when I knew he was there, but at the last moment, he caught a picture of me & Bobby McGee. I warned him he'd better not use it--Why not, he asked. To which I replied, I'll be ostracized from the Democratic party [dumb ass]. Even worse, I'd be outted to the entire community. No one but Republicans know who I am. Is there something wrong with this picture?

I suppose I can take solace in the wise words of that Italian philosopher Michael Corleone, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

Later add: I think Patricia Ritchie was there also, and possibly John McHugh.

BTW, Bobby, have you been to the tanning booth lately?

Letter to Nancy Martin

I wrote this post on 9/21 (before Nancy Martin was chosen as the new SLCRPC) and chose not to publish it. As I have now met Nancy Martin, I would like to share it with her. It is my hope that she learn from her predecessor's mistakes. I am a Democrat--so what do I care, right? Well, there are people very close to me that are Republicans...family, friends...I feel they need--deserve--better representation.

Open letter to St. Lawrence County Republicans...

It has come to my attention that you will soon be choosing a new Republican Party Chair for St. Lawrence County.

I know very little personally about either of your two choices, Nancy Martin and Janet Kelly.

I do know this, however: Janet Kelly is a piss-poor representative of your party. She is, in my opinion, disrespectful to the citizens of the North Country. You need to get rid of her.

The following is a comment I made to a post on Political IV. I believe it bears repeating on here...

"Janet Kelly is a hypocrite.

One day, she is suggesting Democrat Addie Jenne Russell is not suitable for the job of Assemblywoman because she is a new mother and has a lot on her plate. The next day, she is on the front page of the Massena-Courier Observer singing the praises of Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. We should vote for Palin, Janet Kelly says--she is one of us--she hunts, fishes and her husband rides snowmobiles.

Well, isn't Mrs. Palin a new mother herself--of a special-needs baby, no less? I would deem the Vice-President a slight more demanding a position than that of North Country Assemblywoman, wouldn't you?

What's with the double standard? And does Janet Kelly really think we are that stupid to fall for that "she's one of us" crap? Jesus! I thought someone from here would have more integrity than that. I thought someone from here would show more respect for her fellow citizens of the North Country. She disgusts me. She is an insult to our people, to our area, to our heritage. She needs to move to the big city where she will fit right in with the rest of the Republicans who feel rural America is filled with a bunch of easily manipulated rubes, easily lead around like sheep to slaughter, easily told what to think like brainless backwoods idiots.

Well, I am not one of those rubes. She cannot fool me. She can kiss my ass."

In summation, I feel Janet Kelly insulted our intelligence--not as individuals, but as a collective group. Suggesting that we vote in favor of someone because they hunt and ride snowmobiles is one of the most ridiculous political endorsements I have ever had the misfortune to read. Unfortunately, sadly, people will listen to this drivel. This is why we are where we are eight years later, with a president some hick feels they can have a beer with.

Well, tell me, have you had that beer yet? Better yet, can you actually still afford beer?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Letter to the Red States

Someone sent this to me by email. Thought I should share it. And since secession is apparently an acceptable ideology for a potential Vice-First Dude, it should pass muster for the rest of us.

A Letter to The Red States

Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas , Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty . You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of America 's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms. Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq , and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America 's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford , Cal Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University , Clemson and the University of Georgia . We get Hollywood and Yosemite , thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,
The Blue States

Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it

~George Santayana

They must have read my mind...

hat tip to abaycircus for finding this gem: