Good Housekeeping 101


A house divided against itself cannot stand.”   Mark 3:25 – as referenced by Abraham Lincoln in his speech to the Illinois Republican State Convention June 16, 1858

To the honorable ladies and gentlemen of the 113th United States Congress,

Now that you are back home in your respective districts, and I assume fully engaged in this year’s midterm scuffle, I would like to share my thoughts on what I believe might serve as a better strategy to bring some dignity, decorum and decency back to “The People’s House” come this fall.

At the age of sixty, I am both the beneficiary, and the occasional casualty of the character of this country. The inherent opportunities and resilient nature of America has allowed me to receive a quality education, become a teacher, writer, hold elected office in the state of New Jersey, own a tavern in the shadows of where Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton, and to function as a voice in public broadcasting during the last twenty-three years. But at the same time, I like so many Americans face a fairly insecure future as a direct result of the ongoing dysfunction and distrust in Washington.

So rather than spending countless sums of donor’s money on trying to defend against the pitchfork politics of those who want to dismantle our governing institutions, those politicians who truly believe in the hopes and aspirations of the Founders should rededicate themselves to the simple idea of providing bipartisan working governance—putting both people and principles before party! This is the spirit that will cause your constituents to live up to their side of the contract by returning them to the voting booth—thus restoring representation that reflects the true will and needs of the majority.

On some of those more practical political issues that will be the focus of slickly produced, half-truth sound bites in the upcoming weeks–here are my recommended responses to those carpetbagging cash cows attempting to influence the outcome of local races from afar:

  •  On Healthcare – While the President’s attempt to tackle an issue, that at  one time was agreed upon by both parties as being in need of major reform, might have its flaws, those relevant points of the legislation, such as providing care for those having preexisting conditions, should be protected. Unfortunately, there still remains too much disparity and inefficiency in our healthcare system. People will continue to die because they cannot access or afford the best treatments available today in this country. That is totally unacceptable! The mantra must be, “repair and improve” this landmark legislation.
  • On Immigration – Every American must ask themselves, what they would do if their children were faced with the conditions and violence that plague those who are crossing our southern borders, before reducing the issue to a matter of simply demanding that the government prosecute and remove legitimate refugees who are portrayed by some as part of some criminal class.

 Secondly, a comprehensive approach to immigration is extremely practical when addressing the future needs of both entitlements and the economy. Any country that has a diminishing birthrate will simply not have enough healthy, young workers fueling its economy, or paying those taxes that offset the financial requirements of those programs designed to provide a degree of well-being and income to an aging population. And in the United States, where today fewer and fewer companies are providing guaranteed security for their retirees by way of pensions and extended health benefits, our own system of Social Security and Medicare must be shored up and strengthened.

In short, our future growth and economic welfare is somewhat dependent upon those who come here from other lands in order to find a better way of life. But hasn’t that always been the American story—and one worth retelling again?

Members of the Continental Congress at the City Tavern in Philadelphia

Members of the Continental Congress at the City Tavern in Philadelphia

While I tend toward George Washington’s point of view on political parties that ultimately they would do more harm than good to the republic, I do support a worthy opposition that brings a different approach, new ideas and rational thought to the table. If enough of our elected representatives were to take the political high road (like those astute gentlemen who came together at Philadelphia’s old City Tavern after adjourning the Continental Congress) those now joining together at that table would be able to dine together, drink together, dialogue together—and yes perhaps even govern together!

Posted by: Chris Poh

Blue Tag



Rebels United Against the Shutdown

“Our demands most moderate are – We only want the earth!”
James Connolly
Depending on one’s position or perspective, presented herein is either the best or worst rendition of the song “James Connolly” ever attempted by anyone. But these affable lads stand united against any shutdown–no matter how many times the bartender makes last call!

Captured live (and later released back to their natural habitat) at the Indian Rock Inn in Upper Black Eddy, PA.

Cheers from American Public House Review and  Parting Glass Media


How Would Have Jesus Voted on Health Care Reform?

Jesus at Ale Mary's - Baltimore, MD

After the President put his pen to the Health Care Reform Bill, I immediately went over to my liquor cabinet to check on the fate of my whiskey supply. Much to my surprise, my selection of American bourbon and rye had not been transformed into cheap Russian vodka as a warning from the heavens above that our nation was about to usher in a new age of Soviet style Godless Communism right here in the land of mom and apple pie. In fact by day’s end the Dow was up by 103 points. Apparently the free market had once again found another route around the Beltway Bolsheviks.     

I am among those millions of Americans that have some misgivings about the legislation. While I support any effort to rein in the unconscionable business tactics of the insurance industry, I would have liked to have seen a bill that went much further in revamping the practice and delivery of medicine.

During a recent tavern chat session at the Indian Rock Inn, one of the patrons seeded the debate with these two questions: Why all the vitriol over what should be a fairly innocuous subject,  and how would have Jesus voted on health care reform? I called upon my many years of familiarity with both sides of the bar to answer his first question.    

It has been my experience that no bar fight has anything to do with the stated reasons for the malicious transgression. It’s never truly about who won at pool, who looked at whose girlfriend, or who is the better NASCAR driver. These conflicts are fueled by ignorance, low self-esteem, prejudice and just plain not liking the guy sitting next to you. Unfortunately, these behaviors have once again found their way into our national political dialogue. As far as the Son of God’s position on health care reform, I’m still pondering that one; but I suspect most people will spin the divine perspective according to their own personal point of view.     

The Tea Party types would most likely say that there is no way Christ would support a bill that might contain some loopholes for abortion rights. And the newly formed Coffee Party would most likely proclaim that Jesus, the humanitarian and social activist, would vote yes, and furthermore demand a public option. Both Democrats and Republicans would thank Christ for taking the time to care, but would respectfully remind the Savior about the separation of church and state, rather than have him be privy to what really goes on in the halls of Congress.    

In actuality, Jesus would not have to vote on health care reform. He would just simply heal the sick, and for an extra measure of preventative care, he would change their water into wine.  And the only premium that would be raised is the expectation that we treat our fellow-man, even if they are just politicians, with dignity, kindness and respect.     

Now if  He would only come back and turn the coffee into great whiskey, and the tea into a really fine India Pale Ale!    

Amen to that!!                               

   Posted by: Chris Poh     


Searching two bars for Dunmore Throop

In our very first issue, we were introduced to the writings of a mysterious former employee of Scotland Yard name Dunmore Throop.  For some reason this international man of intrigue, and I guy that only editor Chris Poh has ever met…well, allegedly met, seems to enjoy strolling along the Delaware River during is days off.
The bar at the Indian Rock Inn

The bar at the Indian Rock Inn

Along the way he discovered a lovely spot called the Indian Rock Inn.  In my ongoing pursuit to find and actually talk to Mr. Throop, I stopped at the Indian Rock to question the help there about Mr. Throop’s visit.  No one seemed to have any idea who I was talking about.  But that is not at all surprising since I can only imagine that for security’s sake Mr. Throop did not reveal his true identity.  I mean after all, from years of working undercover at the Yard, he must still have quite a few people who would pay handsomely for information on his whereabouts. 

at Manhattan's famous White Horse Tavern

Manhattan's White Horse Tavern

But I must admit that I am somewhat worried about Mr. Throop these days.  The last time we heard from him was February when he reported to us from Manhattan’s famed White Horse Tavern.  The White Horse is one of America’s most historic pubs, and was once the favorite hangout of the legendary poet Dylan Thomas.  Mr. Throop seemed as enthralled with the place is Thomas himself was.

I tried to trace Mr. Throop’s steps here as well, but met with even less cooperation from those I interrogated there.  It seemed almost as though he had instructed them to cover for him.  There are a lot of people in Manhattan, and an awful lot of mysterious things can happen to mysterious people like Dunmore Throop.  But even though I may worry a bit, in my heart I do believe he will return from his hideaway soon enough.  This is a man who has served Scotland Yard well for decades.  A man like that is not easily found.

by David McBride

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