Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is America coming apart?

When I read the comments on this humble blog as well as the national debate, I think Pat Buchanan is on to something.....This is an interesting read.
Is America coming apart?

Crowds Swarm Public Square

The investment in downtown paid off today as large crowds visited the street fair sponsored by the Downtown Business Association.
Antique cars, food carts, and craft exhibits were among the items lining the north side of the Square, which was closed to traffic.
Overcast weather and cool fall temperatures helped and when I was there at noon there were hundreds of people.
A live jazz band in the Gazebo provided ambiance and this event finally shows the potential for community events in the rehabilitated and renewed Downtown.
Congratulations to the DBA and all who helped organize the fair.

Vote on McHugh nomination may come next week - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Lets hope so. This campaign is in a strange limbo right now and really needs to get going if we are to hold the election whenit should be on November 3rd.
Vote on McHugh nomination may come next week - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mourning in Dexter

September 11th has come and gone and once again we watched the video that so changed all our lives.....It is still amazing to watch such a scheme unfold with such precision.

Friday in the Village of Dexter we learned that 9/11 has been of note there for some 22 years. It was on that late summer day in 1987 that the village's police chief was killed while responding to a shooting on Pillar Point.

The loss of Sam Johnson was also a loss for the City of Watertown as Chief Johnson was a city employee at the hydro plant.

For Dexter residents that crazy 1987 shootout that took two lives including the Chief showed how evil can occur in an instant and without warning.

It was a nice service today including a bagpiper provided by the Syracuse PD. The Fish Island Pavillion was dedicated in Chief Johnson's name.

It was a moving ceremony that reminds of the beauty of small town America where everyone feels the loss of one.

Splash Made At Chamber Dinner

Last night I had a good time at the LookOut restaurant in Henderson Harbor where the Watertown Chamber of Commerce doled out another Athena Award. Henderson is a pretty spot....As a provincial local politician I never thought there was a world beyond Sackets.
This years recipient seems like such a nice person. Jody LaLone is President of CarFreshner Corporation, based in Watertown. This iconic American firm sells the scented trees seen round the world. CarFreshner has also been a big supporter of the Thompson Park Zoo.
I delivered some remarks and presented Ms. LaLone with a city coin and a First Citizen Award, marred only by the capricious behavior of the lawyer sitting next to me at dinner. Instead of passing a cream container to the person on the other side of me, this boisterous barrister tossed it and it landed in my coffee. The splash made it on to the materials I was presenting so today I went over to CarFreshner with a new folder for Jody's certificate.
It's all part of the duties assigned, but of course I won't mention the lawyer in question, because as a retired LTC and downtown businessman he might be chagrined at the notoriety.
My remarks must have been OK. A channel seven luminary complimented me today. High praise indeed.

ACORN Set-Up Fuels the Right

A video expose aired yesterday concerning the group ACORN was at best embarassing for the community organizing group so linked to last year's elections.
The video is classic "gotcha" journalism but in this case they really did expose outrageous behavior. ACORN employees in Baltimore were on camera manipulating the law to help a purported prostitute and her pimp buy a house to operate a prostitution ring involving teenage illegal alien girls.
ACORN has reportedly fired the employees involved in the incident and says the producers of the documentary attempted a similar ruse in other ACORN offices.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Local Taverns & Restaurants Host Beers for Bears !

Fourteen local establishments now are hosting Beers for Bears. Patrons donate to get a card..
Mayor Graham Launches 'Beers
for Bears' Fundraising Effort

Congressman Behaves Poorly

This Member of Congress was way out of line. Hard to believe it's just emotion.....It's a speech...nobody gets that emotional over a speech. The more common cause for this behavior is alcohol, which is plentiful in the Nations Capital. At least he had the sense to promptly apologize.....
Obama heckled by GOP during speech: 'You lie!' - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stream of Consciousness Coverage

I am watching the President's speech at Pete's amidst the clamor of glassware and the conversations of the uninterested.
Mr. Obama says its a time for action and the season for bickering is over. He says insurance companies are evil and that opponents of his plan are spreading lies and misinformation.
Its always the boogie man....The insurance jackyls who terminate coverage and let people die whimsically.
Its sort of like judging the character of an entire class of people based on their occupation. I know some insurance people....Maybe I should soap their windows.....
"Its bizarre," says the guy next to me as he leaves the restaurant. A couple to my left says they don't want to pay for the insurance of others and they hate those Cadillac plans the public employees have.
The President is flattering John McCain as he calls for a ban on coverage restrictions on pre-existing conditions.
Now he is chastising small business for not providing coverage.....Like the convenience store owner who is paying higher and higher taxes is made to feel the villian for being unable to pay for insurance.
People who can afford insurance will have to buy it says Mr. Obama.
Now he is ripping at Palin over the death panels...
"It is a lie, plain and simple, " he said.
The applause is getting more sparse, the more people he disses.
Somebody just heckled him and Speaker Pelosi gave a dirty look.
With all the regulation of the insurance industry, why are they so evil ? Is the State of New York Department of Insurance corrupt ? How did this evil grow ?
Now the pitch....the government bureaucracy is somehow more efficient and more compassionate than the regulated private sector.
Dave Mance texted me. He says a single payer plan will relieve SMC of the $2million in "charity" treatment they provide each year. URGENT- He saw this post and called to tell me he supports the public option but not single payer..."
Dave is seriously smitten by Barack....Like a tingle up his leg smitten.
Mr. Obama is throwing the "public option" under the bus. Says progressives need to be open to ideas that accomplish their core goals.
"If Americans cannot find affordable coverage , we will provide you will a choice....." the President said.
"I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits."
What about the 8% employer surcharge....the 35% insurance company fee.....the $3800 citizen contribution.
The Bush Whacking has begun.....He inherited a trillion dollar deficit.
Speaking to seniors....says debate over Medicare has been distorted....
We have lost interest....Tom Constanza, Majesta and Cabrina are talking about the Beers for Bears fundraiser and how many places are participating.....Now we are talking about computers.....and the President is in the background....
I'd best pay attention.
"Most of these costs will be paid for money already being spent."
"I will continue to seek common ground....but I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it is better to kill this bill than pass it...."
Threatens to call out those who misrepresent.
You see Americans would embrace these policies if only they understood.
Now he is reading a death bed email from the late Senator Edward Kennedy.
Networks cutaway to shots of Mrs Kennedy and the children of the late Lion of the Senate.
Playing the Teddy card. "We came here not to fear the future , but to shape it..."
Good speech...but its Congress that passes bills.. Time will tell.
Speech over....

Screw Ideology...I Want Entertainment

If you are liberal (progressive) frightened by the likes of Glenn Beck, you can be assured there is a character from an alternative universe that is just as scary to conservatives.
Sometimes I watch the ED SHOW on MSNBC. His name is Ed Schultz and he is a no holds barred lefty. When he is on there with the head of SEIU or Katrina from the NATION, its enough to make you hide in the storm cellar.
So while the main stream media keeps portraying Beck or Hannity as dangerous and extreme voices on the right, don't forget the antidote is only a few channel clicks away.
Funny thing is, they are all so entertaining I can watch them all and enjoy.

Poll: DeDe Leads But Not By Much

The Hoffman for Congress campaign needs to establish street cred if they hope to convince Republicans in the end not to endorse Diedre Scozzafava for Congress. That's why they were so anxious to release poll results showing Scozzafava with less than one-third of voters supporting her despite name recognition and a major party label.
Polls are always affected by the question asked...With Hoffman labeled as Conservative Party candidate, that idealogical label may prompt voters to support him at least for now.
Nonetheless, the poll does give Hoffman a bit of juice in this bid to replace Rep. John McHugh. Not much in these numbers for Bill Owens either.
The In Box: First poll shows Scozzafava leads close House special election

Clunkers, Council, and other Tid Bits

Auto registration figures for August show the Cash for Clunkers program staunched the bleeding with 389 new vehicles registered in Jefferson County up from 366 last year, but still down from 550 vehicles in 2006.

That will help prop up sales tax numbers but there is still underlying weakness in the economy and the test in the auto sector comes once the giveaways are over.

City Council last night okayed a concession deal for the Fairgrounds Arena with the local Hockey Association. The fee is less than last year and plans to competitively bid the concession were nixed by the four to one approval of a new one year franchise agreement.

Diners at the popular Beef n Brew Restaurant on Court Street will now be able to chow down at tables on the sidewalk.

Council remained committed to infrastructure improvements needed on the City's west end in the vicinity of Gaffney Drive. Two hotels are proposed for the area.

Talk about a pay cut.....City Council members voted three to two to slash the annual retainer for Dr. Kasulke to be the city's health officer, a position required by law. How's a cut of 80% sound. Whether he accepts the cut is unknown.

And the city and union representing police have delcared an impasse in contract talks. Arbitration will result if a state appointed mediator cannot facilitate a settlement. A two year contract with firemen was approved last night with wage adjustments of 0% the first year and 3% the second.

The Beers for Bears fundraiser for the Zoo is at a quarter of its goal. We still have two more collection boxes available in case any other tavern or restaurant wants to participate. Call me at 486-0879 for details.

The Op-Ed Ted Ford Won't be Reading

Here's another viewpoint on health care to consider before watching President Obama's speech tonight.
Sarah Palin: Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care by Sarah Palin Facebook

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Too late for Obama to turn it around? | Salon

This is a really good piece by a lefty on the brain rot that threatens the historic Obama victory of 2008.......
Too late for Obama to turn it around? Salon

Hoffman Gets Going

The only really political guy I ever knew named Hoffman was Abbie.....He's dead, but is making about as big an impression in Watertown as this Conservative candidate for Congress with the same last name. He's probably a nice guy, but really, there's more to the district than the Village of Lake Placid, which come to think of it isn't even in the district.......the 23rd district that is.......
The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

Joe Biden to Work for Defeat of DeDe

Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava is going up against some firepower as the WDT reports Vice President Joe Biden is holding a fundraiser in Syracuse for Democratic Congressional candidate Bill Owens of Plattsburgh.
The appearance of Mr. Biden suggests the Dems do intend a full throated effort in the 23rd CD, now represented by Rep. John McHugh who is joining the Obama administration pending approval by the Senate of the President's nomination of McHugh to be Secretary of the Army.
Mr. Biden is a graduate of Syracuse University Law School.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Thats Why They Call Them Minor Parties

I got the explanation today on what's happening with next Tuesday's primary elections.
The Independence Party and the Conservative Party both have countywide votes on the nomination for Jefferson County Judge.
One of my pet peaves is the musical chairs with polling places and the latest is that only two locations, instead of the normal nine will be open for the primary.....
All voters in Legislative Districts 12 & 13 vote at City Hall, and the rest of the city votes at Midtown Towers on Mechanic Street.
Two issues......Why not explain this well ahead of time, especially to the candidates who are doing outreach to the voters in these parties ?.
Other issue is why do all the Northsiders have to travel cross town to Mechanic Street to vote in a location they have never voted before. What about the North Side Improvement League ?
Add to this confusion, the new optical scan voting machines and you quickly realize Americans had best not get on their high horse about elections in other countries.
City voters should have four central sites for voting...the High School, The League, Midtown and the Fairgrounds. Set them in stone and leave them.....
I have a friend who has voted in four different sites in the past five years, even though he lives in the same house.
This morning I again extended an invitiation to meet with the BOE so that the political leadership in the area can help devise a system where voting is easy to find and easy to do. The Council is already on record in favor of simplification .
Let's get it done so voters know where to go and are comfortable doing so.

Remember Those for Whom Labor Day Is Bittersweet

Back to school...back to thankful for both.
With summer over and the white shoes and belts back in storage, there is the annual readjustment as we begin the most beautiful of seasons with the knowledge a long winter is not far behind.
For those with children there is the ritual of getting kids ready for school.....and for many the passing of Labor Day is a passage from the hazy lazy days of summer to a more strident, get-down-to-business climate.
For over 5 million Americans Labor Day was not so much fun for they are the ranks of the long term unemployed....People who are not seeing a rebound regardless of the Dow or the pronouncements from Washington.
Statistics show the average period of time on unemployment is rising as the economy contracts and employers shed jobs to remain competitive.
It all points to an extended period of high jobless numbers as the country adjusts.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fur flies over proposed ban on declawing cats

Uh-Oh.....I have done it again....I have deviated from the lifestyle and mores of the state of my birth, California. You see my 14 year old car Panzy is declawed....Had it done a long time ago and never regretted it.....Now the procedure is being banned....And I am left to feel estranged from the increasingly sensitive society in which I live.
Fur flies over proposed ban on declawing cats

Here We Go Again

On September 15 the primary elections are to be held. It's bad enough that upstate the polling hours are limited to noon to 9pm, but now I am hearing that polling places are being moved again.
There are countywide primaries for the judge in the Independence and Conservative parties.
An Ann Street voter tells me his polling place is Midtown Towers.....It used to be St. Anthony's ....before that the Fairgrounds...before that LeRay Apartments.
A candidate reports to me voters in District 12-2 have similar concerns.
I have to look into this and see that the facts are.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How Much Do We Need To See ?

Another one of those debates over the propriety of a news photo is being held.....
This time its the dying in progress photo (not shown here) of Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard of New Portland, Me. He died in Afghanistan after being struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a news photographer was there.
I heard about the debate on Fox today and saw the photos on Newzjunky after they were printed by a British tabloid.
There are also shots of Cpl Bernard on patrol prior to the incident and shots of a makeshift memorial erected by Marines after the attack.
I think the before and after gives an adequate impression of what happens in a war zone. There is no pressing need for the photo of his last moments. I know the argument about the horrors of war....A bad car accident is a horrible sight too.
It reminds me of the local newsphoto years ago of the incinerated house fire victim propped in the window of a W. Main Street home. People still talk about that to this day.
This topic it seems is a chance for a conversation via your comments.

Van Jones......Under the Bus

Well, it happened...In a quiet moment in the middle of the Labor Day weekend, presidential advisor Van Jones resigned.
He was in essence Borked by Beck......A segment of the media along with internet folks flooded those who would listen with YouTube snippets of Mr. Jones making some spirited remarks....Calling Republicans A-------.........
Suggesting that only white kids engage in Columbine type shooting sprees, signing a petition for the so called "Truthers" who believe President Bush was behind 9/11. Oh and he said white polluters introduced toxins into neighborhoods of color.
He became to some, in essence, the left wing version of the so called "Birthers" lambasted of late by another idealogically competing section of the media.
Now, I don't see any connection between Mr. Jones comments and his ostensible role as an advisor on "green jobs." That may be his dilemma....He is on record with a lot of saucy ideas, none of which seem to relate to why he was hired.
That begs the question.....What does he do and why do we need him ?
It doesn't matter now.....He is under the bus.
I have no idea who is right on this.
The conservative media has villified Jones and has the tape to back up the tale.
The liberal media simply ignored the evidence because...well...he was one of their guys.
Here is what I do know....Elections matter....By a margin of 9.5 million votes the nation opted for a turn to the left. This was reenforced by the results of the 2006 and 2008 Congressional Races.
Why wouldn't you expect the persons holding the views of Mr. Jones would be put in positions of responsibility? That's what happens when you win.
Change in the other direction must happen through another election..
Searching YouTube videos to find spicy soundbites may have felled this person, but's its not the way conservatives will effect real change.