A New Term

Yesterday I was sworn-in to a full term on Lamar Town Council.  I was elected earlier this year in a special election, so this was my second swearing-in ceremony.  Now, however, I’m in for a full four years.

My colleague on Council, Councilwoman Mary Ann Mack, was also sworn-in to her first full term after being elected last July.  Our new mayor, Mayor James Howell, was sworn-in, too, marking the start of his administration.

The ceremony was short and sweet.  We gathered on the front lawn of Town Hall at 5 PM.  The judge ran each of us through the oath of office, starting with the new mayor and wrapping up with myself.  There was a nice Christmas tree on the lawn, and lots of family, friends, and city employees were in attendance.  Mayor Howell brought out the biggest crowd, with Councilwoman Mack bringing a few family members.  I arrived solo, and had to take my oath on the Bible the local Methodist minister brought for her short invocation (apparently, I missed the memo to bring my own Bible—d’oh!).

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SubscribeStar Saturday: 2021 Election Analysis

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Elections all over the country on 2 November 2021 (and run-offs on 16 November 2021) came back with some surprising results—and results that, with due caution, should give conservatives hope.  Popping all those black pills was premature, but all of our problems aren’t magically solved just yet.

Winning elections is one thing.  Governing in such a way that honors the reasons voters gave you office is another.  But the results from the 2021 elections are very encouraging.

Today’s post will be slightly delayed, but should be posted to SubscribeStar by this afternoon.

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TBT: The Morning After

It was one year ago today that The Z Man wrote that “America died” on 3 November 2020.  I don’t think he meant it melodramatically, and it certainly encapsulated what a lot of us were feeling as we watched the fraudulent votes magically appear in the middle of the night.

The 2020 election woke a lot of people up, but even blatant fraud across multiple States has, sadly, gone largely ignored.  The silver lining is that folks seem to have abandoned national politics and are focusing on what’s happening at the local and State levels.  Indeed, there seems to be a general disengagement from politics, something that in the past I would have decried, but that now I think might actually be healthy—provided people are willing to make tough decisions for themselves.

Regardless, it’s hard to think about the 2020 election.  Since then, we’ve been stuck with a old man who is essentially a corpse dangling from the strings of invisible hands.  I thought a year ago that The Usurper Biden would be tossed from office at the first opportunity, but it’s occurred to me that he is too perfect a patsy for the radical elitists performing the marionette.  For one, Kamala Harris somehow manages to be less likeable and more phony than Hillary Clinton, and progressives don’t like her.  For another, it’s better to have a hollow man like Biden than a strident floozy like Harris, who might occasionally make a decision on her own.

Well, this topic is depressing.  You can see why I’ve switched over to writing about music and the weather.

With that, here is 4 November 2020’s “The Morning After“:

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Lamar Election Results 2021

About forty minutes after polls closed, poll workers posted election results to the front door of Lamar Town Hall.

Here are the receipts for Lamar Precinct No. 1, which is south of Main Street, and Lamar Precinct No. 2, which is north of Main Street (I live in the latter district).

Those don’t include the absentee ballots, which a poll worker announced aloud.  Here are the final vote totals (winners in bold green):

Mayor’s Race

James Howell – 164

Inez Bess Lee – 155

Town Council (2 Seats to Fill)

Tyler James Cook – 162

Mary Ann Mack – 176

Jerry Shull (Write-In) – 111

Here is a picture I took from a lady’s phone; she managed to get a photo of what I think is the sheet the poll workers used to tally everything:

Lamar Election November 2021 - Totals

The numbers on the left are the vote totals.  The first number to the right of each name represents the absentee ballots, which is what the Darlington News and Press is reporting at the time of this writing; the second number represents votes from Lamar Precinct No. 1; and the third number represents votes from Lamar Precinct No. 2 (cut off in this photograph).

Barring any chicanery, these look to be the official numbers.

Thanks to everyone who came out and voted today.  I appreciated your support!  Congratulations to all of the candidates for putting themselves out there to serve the public.

Election Day 2021

Today is Election Day in Lamar, South Carolina, and in several other towns in the region.  We have a competitive mayoral race, and I am up for reelection for the Council seat I currently hold.  Another Councilmember is running for reelection for her seat, but neither of us have any officially filed competition.

There’s also an election in Society Hill with seven candidates running—three for mayor and four for council seats.  I’m particularly interested in that race because of a homesteading-related issue at the center of it, with one candidate running largely to fight an ordinance limiting the number of animals he is allowed to keep on his property inside city limits.  Hartsville, home to the world headquarters of Sonoco, has five candidates running for mayor.

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Lamar Candidates Forum

Last night my little town of Lamar, South Carolina, hosted a candidates forum to give voters an opportunity to learn more about the candidates for Town Council and the Mayor’s race.  Our Town employees did an excellent job organizing the event, which was held in the Fire Department’s fire truck bay.  I brought some sound equipment and setup a very basic sound system for the candidates.

There are two Council seats up for election, which Councilwoman Mary Mack and myself currently occupy.  We’re both running for re-election, so we are officially running unopposed.  Residents will have two votes to cast in the Town Council race, one for each position.

As such, Councilwoman Mack and I were invited to tell voters a bit about ourselves and our visions for the town.  The main event was the mayoral forum, which was structured in a series of questions (nine or ten) posed to each candidate.  The mayoral candidates received their questions in advance, and the audience was not allowed to ask questions (although I think several people did after the forum formally adjourned).

Both candidates acquitted themselves nicely, differing mainly in the margins.  Councilwoman Inez Lee focused on cleaning up the town, literally and metaphorically, frequently invoking Franklin Roosevelt’s “First Hundred Days”:  we have a number of dilapidated buildings on Main Street that are eyesores.  James Howell, a local landscaper, focused on improving the town’s infrastructure and zoning to make the town more attractive to businesses.

All candidates for all offices touted the need to fix Lamar’s water system, so we sell our own water again.  We are currently purchasing around four million gallons of water each month from the Darlington County Water and Sewage Authority, paying rates that are onerously high for residents.

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Playing Catch-up: TPP Update

Apologies to my regular readers for the very delayed post today.  Now that I have a large contingent of British readers, I really like to hit the 6:30 AM EST posting time, which I imagine is around lunchtime for them, so they have something to read over their tea and crumpets while my American readers have something to read over their grits and coffee.

As I’ve alluded to in other posts, the past two weeks or so have been absolutely insane for yours portly.  As my school’s music teacher, I’m also the audio-visual wizard on campus.  With Homecoming Week last week, it was my responsibility to make sure the sound system at the football field was working properly, and to assist with setup for some of the Homecoming games.  I also set up another ad hoc sound system for my High School Music Ensemble to play a couple of songs at a pep rally Friday morning.  When most of your musicians play guitar and piano, the logistics of plugging everything in become more daunting when taken outdoors.

Needless to say, all of my planning time was consumed with these activities, and I spent most of my Music classes using student labor to move equipment to and from the football field.  That meant more time in the evenings and early mornings working on school-related stuff, and less time to focus on the blog.

In the midst of all of the Homecoming Week wackiness, I’m also running for reelection to Lamar Town Council and practicing and preparing for the 2021 Spooktacular.  Tonight I have a candidates forum for the former, and last night my buddy John and I practiced for the latter.

Add to all of that a whopping dollop of after-school music lessons, and you can tell I’ve had precious little time for much else.  I had a fun-filled day with my girlfriend on Saturday, then turned around Sunday and immediately set to work finalizing first quarter report card grades.

I’m not complaining—I like being busy—but I hope readers will extend some graciousness and excuse some occasionally late posts.  My poor dog has been getting the short end of the bully stick, too, though we both collapsed into a snoring heap on the couch last night after John departed.

Such are the rhythms of life.  Here’s hoping things return to a more stately tempo after the frenetic rhythm of the last few weeks.  Again, I don’t want to be bored, but having a little more time to focus on writing would be great.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Another Election

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One month from today, my little adopted hometown of Lamar has another election.  There is a competitive mayoral race, between a current Councilwoman and another resident.  That should be an interesting race to watch.  If the Councilwoman loses, she’ll maintain her seat on Council, as she is in the middle of her term and not facing re-election this election cycle.  If she wins, it would trigger a special election—I think—to fill the vacancy.  Either scenario is interesting, but either way she would remain on Council.

There are also two Council seats up, both with incumbents running—another Councilwoman and myself.

For the Council races, residents will be able to vote twice—once for each seat.  Since there are no other filed candidates, it should be a fairly straightforward election.

That said, I lost my first run to a surprise write-in candidate (indeed, to the other Councilwoman running), so I don’t take anything for granted.

So, what is my approach this time?

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TBT: Populists and Elites

One of the blessings of the Trump administration was that Trump reminded us how fun regular people are.  Sure, I love the symphony and all that stuff, but a representative government should be basically populist—it should care about the people it governs, and look out for their interests.  Leaders should reflect the people, not set themselves against the people.  At most, our officials should strive to set examples for how a good life can be lived.

The thrust of this piece—written one year ago today—is that elitism is shockingly ignorant:  it presumes that anything that does not interest the elitist is somehow barbaric and simplistic.  That our own elites embrace the vulgar and raise up vice as a virtue suggests their elitism is supremely misguided—or lacking entirely.

Few remember now Michael Bloomberg’s disastrous run for the Democratic primary last year—it was so long ago!—but it was the political embodiment of clueless elitism against Trumpian populism.  Bloomberg had the resources and the softly center-Left stance to buy himself into the White House, or at least the Democratic nomination, but he bungled it so badly, even his supporters were in awe of his ineptitude.

Well, now we have a senile, fraudulent feebster leading a puppet regime, so it seems gross incompetence is no longer a barrier to entry to the highest office in the land.  Perhaps a healthy dose of elitism is needed after all.

Regardless, here is 18 February 2021’s “Populists and Elites“:

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