Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Our theme song:

In a town this size, there's no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know...
In a smokey bar, in the backseat of your car
In your own little house, someone's sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink...

(Kieran Kane)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Starbucks for your Valentine

Who knew a such a politically correct outfit would support the second amendment?
The National Gun Victim’s Action Council (NGAC) will lead a national boycott of Starbucks Coffee products on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to try to change the company’s “open carry” gun policy at its locations. Starbucks currently allows guns to be openly carried by patrons in its stores in the states where it is legal to do so.
Nervous corporate functionaries are known to buckle at the slightest test of their character, so let's support Starbucks.  Click here to enjoy fine Starbucks products on Valentine's Day in the comfort of your own home. 

Welcome at Starbucks

Self defense by snow brush

Snow brush season is well under way here in Upstate New York.  In Rochester last night, a snow brush wielding resident fought off an armed robber.
Police in Rochester say a man brushing snow off his car was shot during a robbery attempt Monday evening.
Investigators say the victim had just left a bar at the corner of Delmar Street and Otis Street and was cleaning off his car when he was approached by the suspect and robbed at gunpoint.
Police say the victim fought off his attacker with his snow brush, but was shot in the ankle.
Now that the ubiquitous winter tool has been successfully used as a weapon, expect Chuckles Schumer to soon stand before the cameras demanding federal snow brush registration.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marco Rubio gets it

Rubio understands why our ancestors got on the boat.  

Our enemies are already already after him.  He'd better watch his back.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rot at the top

We're late to the party, but we want to make sure our readers do two things:

1.  Watch SU grad Steve Kroft's interview with Peter Schweizer, above.
2.  Order Schweizer's 2011 book, Throw Them All Out, using the link here or the box at the top of the page.

When you complete this assignment, you'll be in the market for blood pressure medication - or rope.

Update: Congress Doesn't Want to Give Up Its Insider Trading Privileges

John Heinz Kerry, featured in Throw Them All Out

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cuomo mandates electric cars

Mario Cuomo, that is.
In a decision that environmentalists contend will provide a major boost to the nation's tiny market in electric cars, a Federal judge ruled today that New York State can order automobile manufacturers to sell thousands of electrically powered vehicles in the state beginning this fall.
The ruling by Judge Lawrence E. Kahn of Federal District Court in Albany upholds a six-year-old state rule requiring that 2 percent of all vehicles sold during the 1998 model year, which begins on Oct. 1, be powered by electricity. The quota gradually increases to 10 percent by 2003.
That's right - by 2003, a full ten percent of cars sold in the Empire State were supposed to be coal-powered.  As we recall, the rules actually mandated that ten percent of new cars in stock on dealer lots had to be electric.

However, like unicorns, marketplace-viable electric cars never appeared.  By 1995, rino governor George Pataki was reluctantly retreating from the fantasy.
Amid a strenuous lobbying campaign by the oil and auto industries, Gov. George E. Pataki is hinting that he may push back the state's deadline for auto makers to begin selling electric cars in New York State, now just over two years away.
His decision could have an important effect on whether the auto industry will sell electric cars or other fuel-efficient vehicles across the rest of the nation. And the auto makers are pressing for a decision in the next few weeks so they can have time to prepare.
Under antipollution rules written during the administration of Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, major auto companies must sell a quota of electric cars starting in New York in 1998. But the auto makers contend that a commercially viable electric car does not exist, and they have been pressing Mr. Pataki to push back, if not eliminate, the deadline.
We'd be willing to bet $10,000 that not one out of one thousand current New Yorkers has ever heard of the Cuomo/Pataki fantasy car mandate.  If they had, perhaps they'd be a little more skeptical of Cuomo Jr.'s current schemes.

Constitution, shmonstitution!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gillibrand to New Yorkers: Freeze!

Millionaire lawyers Gillibrand, Clinton

Despite the best efforts of anti-energy fanatics, increased production of natural gas, resulting in dropping prices, is putting a little money back in the pockets of some New Yorkers.  Empire State politicians have presided over some of the highest energy prices in the nation, so we're happy to see gas users get a little relief.

Not everyone has access to natural gas, of course, and the millions who heat with fuel oil are suffering with steadily rising prices.  But shivering New York citizens take heart - millionaire ex-tobacco lawyer and US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to help you - by giving your tax dollars to well-connected crony capitalists:
"I am hoping the president will focus on how we can compete with China in the green energy revolution, how we can actually retain the manufacturing of green energy in America," Gillibrand said. "We have great manufacturing assets in upstate New York and on Long Island. We have some of the most cutting-edge energy research in the world in New York state. We want to see 'made in America' again."
Gillibrand favors a 30 percent federal tax credit for commercial, industrial or residential investment in energy efficiency.
That would particularly help New York, she said, because the state is a leader in developing new energy technologies, including solar and wind technology, and lithium car batteries, fuel cells and bio-digesters.
Gillibrand saying anything so stupid in response to her constituents' real suffering  confirms that she assumes nobody will ever find out what she said, so please share this with your neighbors.

Toes feeling a little numb this winter?  Just wait until Kirsten's bio-digesters warm up.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guess who?

Martha Stewart, 1961

Kodak introduces digital photography..

The future was in their hands

...in 1995.  In this photo, Kodak staffers demonstrate digital photography at a press conference in San Francisco on March 28 of that year.  The basic technology behind digital photography was developed at Kodak in 1975.

Kodak had a fast break opportunity with digital imaging, but threw the ball away. Check out the rise and fall of the Big Yellow Box at ExtremeTech.

Kodak: world's first digital SLR, 1991

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Why would he be doing it any differently?"

Mike at Cold Fury explains why Obama killed the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
As I keep saying, not only does His Majesty the King get to make ordinary Americans suffer more from higher gas prices, he also gets to offend an ally, placate his Watermelon friends, weaken our economy, and help out our Middle Eastern enemies at the same time. For an America-hating douchebag like him, what’s not to like?
Also as I keep saying: if he wasn’t intentionally trying to do actual harm to this nation, what would he be doing any differently? The only way to adequately analyze and understand this vicious shitweasel is to assume the worst about him. Period, full stop, end of story.

Kodak bankrupt

Eastman Kodak Company has finally pulled the trigger.
"After considering the advantages of Chapter 11 at this time, the board of directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," CEO Antonio M. Perez said in announcing the decision.

The filing listed assets of $5.1 billion and debts of $6.75 billion...

As of a year ago, Kodak had 7,100 employees in the Rochester area and 18,800 companywide. The worldwide figure is now 17,000, the company said in its bankruptcy papers, about 8,000 of them in the U.S. It did not give a new Rochester-area figure.
At its peak in the early 1980s, the company employed 62,000 people in Rochester and 130,000 worldwide.
Under Perez's enlightened stewardship, Kodak's stock price dropped from $25/share to bupkes.  One would assume Mr. Perez had his hands full getting ready for a big garage sale at Kodak Park, but the Spanish-born business genius still has enough free time to serve on something called "President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Maurice Hinchey will retire

Downstate career politician, radical leftist and gerrymandered Ithaca-area congressman Maurice Hinchey will not run for reelection.
Hinchey is making his announcement a couple of weeks prior to the expected release of new congressional district lines by the state Legislature, and the timing serves a courtesy to lawmakers in Albany who may have intended to preserve the current configuration of his Democratic-leaning 22nd Congressional District. The current boundaries include numerous cities and colleges. The western boundary includes Ithaca and Binghamton, while the eastern boundary includes the mid-Hudson Valley cities of Poughkeepsie, Newburgh Middletown and Kingston.

Media ignoring US assassination?

Bagherzadeh protests Iranian theocracy, 2010

We're hearing a lot about Mitt's (100% legal) income tax rate today.  Why aren't we hearing about this?
Police are looking into whether a young Iranian molecular scientist shot dead in her car on Sunday night as she drove home to her upscale neighbourhood  was followed by her killer.
Just after midnight, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, a 30-year-old genetics student who lobbied on behalf of Iranian women's civil rights, was struck by a single bullet that entered the passenger door window as she talked on the phone with her ex-boyfriend.
The victim was a well known activist for Iranian civil rights.  It's hard to believe this cold blooded killing on US soil wasn't in retaliation for the recent rash of exploding Iranian nuclear bomb scientists.

Solyndra: Campaign Ad

From AFP.

h/t LC

UpdateApparently Solyndra, for which Finger Lakes taxpayers are on the hook for half a billion bucks, is now completely worthless.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Fool Such As I

Raul Malo, live at the Stagecoach Festival, 2007.

Barfrack and Wafflin' Andy

Famous natural gas storage tank, Boston, MA

Two of our wealthy career politician rulers have suddenly switched sides on shale gas recovery.  America's most anti-energy president has suddenly become Barfrack Obama.
The Wall Street Journal has an opinion column noting that Barack Obama has done an about face and now seems to be boosting the prospects of natural gas (especially that derived from shale gas fields). The White House has released a report that notes the important role that shale gas has played in helping to spark job and industrial growth. The White House mentions the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania as playing an especially important role...
Meanwhile, in Albany, governor Andy Cuomo, who we suspected had already promised billions of dollars in fracking revenue to his state employee union masters, in spite of the fact that the rest of New York's anti-prosperity Democrats are fighting fracking tooth and nail, has suddenly gone a-wafflin'.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal will not include any funding for additional gas-drilling regulators, he said Monday.
Speaking after delivering remarks at a Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance ceremony, Cuomo told reporters he won’t move to add the appropriate staff until the state Department of Environmental Conservation determines whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
It’s a “chicken and the egg” situation, Cuomo said.
“You would not be hiring staff to regulate hydrofracking unless you believed you were going ahead with hydrofracking,” Cuomo said. “And we haven’t made that determination. So the budget won’t anticipate hydrofracking approval.”
What's up with the commissars?  We suspect it has to do with Barfrack wanting to be reelected president, and Wafflin' Andy looking to be reelected governor.  Ed Lasky has another theory about Frackin' Barry's suddden crush on shale, however.
George Soros -- a major donor to Obama, a major backer of so-called 527 groups, and the sugar daddy of the Democratic Party -- has recently made a major investment in a company that would be enriched if natural gas takes off as a fuel source for cars, trucks and buses.
 Apologies to Mrs. Howe for the run-on sentence, we couldn't stop ourselves.

Monday, January 16, 2012

20-0 tonight?

Jason Hart

Central New York's most successful organization, Syracuse Univerity's men's basketball team, currently ranked #1 in the nation for the sixth consecutive week, has tied the team's record for its best season starting record at 19-0.  SU's 1999-2000 team also opened at 19-0.  That team featured 4-year starter Jason Hart at point guard, and included players like Etan Thomas, Ryan Blackwell, Allen Griffin and Preston Shumpert.

The Orangemen have the opportunity to set a new opening record tonight when struggling Pittsburg visits the Carrier Dome at 7:30 for ESPN's Big Monday.  Immediately following that broadcast, ESPN will cover one of the nation's other two undefeateds, #3 Baylor, which visits Kansas.

The third undefeated Division 1 program, Murray State, narrowly escaped Tennesse Tech on Saturday.

Update:  Final score SU 71, Pitt 63

19-0 on Saturday

Cuomo tobacco tax grab fails

A memo sent to members of the New York Association of Convenience Stores from the group’s president, Jim Calvin — a copy of which I have on my desk — said, “I got a call from Gov. Cuomo’s budget office yesterday. In examining cigarette tax receipts so far this fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) it looks like they will fall considerably short of their projection in new revenues. . . .”
The sale of nontaxed smokes by stores on Indian reservations became an issue two years ago when the state cigarette tax was raised significantly and many smokers took more of their business to reservations — or to Internet sellers — whose packs aren’t taxed. Some folks even bought lower-taxed cigs smuggled in from out of state.
The State of New York estimated that taxing Indian reservation cigarette sales at the wholesale level would bring in an additional $130 million.  It appears resourceful NY smokers made other plans.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The truth about pasta faucets

This one's in Palm Springs

Even hard core HGTV addicts wonder "what's the deal with pasta faucets?  Suppose some schlub leaves the water running without a pot?"  

Connecticut real estate agent Christopher Fountain tells it like it is.
Spared from dealing with a gallon of cold water, Suzy Wafflebottom must still deal with that same gallon, now boiling, and a pound or two of steaming spaghetti which she must drag across her 30-foot-wide kitchen to dump the contents in her farmhouse sink. And she has benefitted how?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Microsoft axes marketers

Former Microsoft marketers pursue other options

Old time software giant Microsoft Corporation is loosing some of its core corporate business to hip young competitors like Google and Apple.  What can the industry dinosaur, which spent $13.9 billion on sales and marketing in fiscal 2011, do to stop the bleeding?  Cut the marketing department, of course.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is making plans for a companywide restructuring of its marketing operations, a move that may include hundreds of job cuts, according to people familiar with the matter...
Changes may include shifting some of the more technical marketing workers to engineering groups, cutting employees who don’t have needed skills or whose work is duplicated by other workers, and revamping how marketing groups are organized and where they fit into the rest of the company, the people said.
In what some might see as a desperate attempt to stay relevant,  the smokestack-era coding shop is looking to play some diaper dandies.
A former Microsoft exec tells us Microsoft had made it a criterion of their annual review to recruit a set number of students straight out of college. He reckons Microsoft last year let go the bottom 10 to 20 per cent of its staff, kept the top 20 per cent and made life "uncomfortable" for the 60 per cent in between. "The plan is to hire in people fresh out of college to get new talent and make Microsoft cool again. It's pretty broad within the company," he says.
Blue screen of death, perhaps?  Bold added.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We're not hobbits

Richard Downey lives in the real world:
No man is an island.  We’re not hobbits in the shire.  From our earliest days we’ve depended on others outside our valley to produce goods that suit our needs and desires.  Somebody outside of Otsego County made the Prius that was parked in front of me yesterday.  Nobody walked to the DEC hearings.  Few of us make their own clothes.  We buy them at Walmart.  Sure, we should eat only local foods but … oh, those oranges!

Albert Flasher

"Diesel fixer, fixed a diesel."  The Guess Who, 1971.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Cornell University's new gas-fired power plant

The distortions and myths, patched together by pitchfork wielding “Villagers” opposed to almost all energy development, are designed to create fear and have a life of their own; they join the undead and are nearly impossible to stop.
The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition has just released a handy guide to rebutting some of the common misconceptions about hydrofracking promoted by our anti-prosperity pals.  Click to download, share with your neighbors:

Note from the DSEC:   Although the attached material is copyrighted and all rights reserved, permission is granted to the public to republish and redistribute the material and to quote from it in context, in whole or in part.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kodak's last new cameras?

Despite teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, Rochester's Eastman Kodak Company introduced two new cameras today - perhaps its last.
Two new Kodak cameras were announced today, both of which are priced below the $200 mark: the Wi-Fi-enabled Kodak EasyShare M750, which allows users to upload photos directly from the camera and pair up with smartphones via a peer-to-peer connection, and the Playfull Dual hybrid still/video camera, which has some of the best specs we've seen in a pocket camcorder.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dancing in the Moonlight

Finger Lakes-connected Sherman Kelly, writer of Dancing in the Moonlight, with all-kid chorus at Newfield Elementary School in Tompkins County, NY.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kodak shares drop to 48 cents

As Kodak board members abandon ship, renewed bankruptcy rumors sent shares of Rochester's once-mighty Eastman Kodak Company to a new low today.
Shares in photography company Eastman Kodak have tumbled to a new all-time low following a report that the ailing company is getting ready to seek bankruptcy court protection.
The Wall Street Journal said Kodak is preparing for a bankruptcy 11 filing "in the coming weeks" should efforts to sell a trove of digital-imaging patents fall through.
Among the well paid geniuses who ran Kodak into the ground, and the most recent fleeing board member, elite academic Laura D'Andrea Tyson was head of Bill & Hillary Clinton's National Economic Council and 16th Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  Amazingly, the teflon Tyson is now on deck for a similar position in the Obama administration.

Professor Tyson

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

AES power plants in bankruptcy

AES Cayuga

AES Corp., owner of the recently re-started Finger Lakes power plant formerly know as Milliken Station, has filed for bankruptcy.  The company blames the ongoing economic depression.
AES Corp. (AES) units that either own or lease six coal-fired power plants in New York state sought bankruptcy court protection, citing the depressed economic environment for the electric power industry.
AES Eastern Energy LP and 13 other AES affiliates listed as much as $1 billion in debt in Chapter 11 filings yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. AES Eastern listed $100 million to $500 million in assets.
The units want to sell or transfer their only two plants in active operation, in Cayuga and Somerset, as part of a settlement with certificate holders, Peter Norgeot, president of AES NY, said in a court filing.
As we reported in May, financial problems at AES Cayuga are causing headaches for taxpayers in the Lansing school district.  Most Finger Lakes residents understand the Obama recession's impact on AES' power sales, but how many of us have ever heard of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative?  The RGGI boils down to a massive New York state tax on coal-fired electric generation, resulting in higher rates for already strapped consumers.  In addition, the tax may be forcing CNY electric utilities to switch to less expensive Canadian hydro power, further damaging the local plants' revenues.
For the past three years, New York has participated in the RGGI Cap & Trade scheme without the authorization of the state Legislature! Already this Cap & Trade energy tax has cost New York businesses and ratepayers a staggering $327 MILLION! Not only are we seeing an increase in our energy bills because of this mandatory cost increase to production being passed on to consumers, but this tax is also hitting us in other areas such as food, goods, and services.
Bold added.  We encourage our Finger Lakes neighbors to attend the upcoming AFP presentation in Ithaca, referenced in the One of Nine post linked above. 
Taxation Without Representation: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in NYS
A presentation by Lisa Thrun, Grassroots Chair,
The New York Chapter of Americans for Prosperity
Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm
Tompkins County Public Library - Borg Warner Room
101 E. Green St., Ithaca NY