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)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Are you driving less?

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ONE MORE GODDAMN THING ABOUT MY CARBON FOOTPRINT: Obama Flies Personal Trainer from Chicago to White House. “With a schedule as hectic as President Obama’s it must be hard to stick to a training regimen without help — but why does he insist on having his old trainer fly out from Chicago to D.C. once a month when Obama and his wife exhort the rest of us to drive less? And in a recession?” Those kinds of worries, like taxes, are for the little people
 Don't expect this to lead tonight's ABC/NBC/CBS/NPR "news" programs.

Just as we suspected

Wasting no words, LC sums up Judicial Watch's February 25th report on the the late senator-for-life:

Documents Prove Ted Kennedy Was a Commie Sympathizing Pervert

Revenge on the road


SU completes Revenge Week with 58-51 win at Georgetown.

Friday, February 25, 2011


h/t Boker tov, Boulder!

County drops out of suicide pact

James Simpson brings us interesting news from the Old Line State:
Carroll County, Maryland elected five new County Commissioners in November. These brave souls voted unanimously to get rid of all traces of the "Sustainability" agenda in the county. They abolished their "Sustainability" office and dropped out of ICLEI (the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), the first county to do so.
This may not sound like much but is in fact, huge. The ICLEI has been busy training local governments in implementing the UN's Agenda 21. If you recall, this was the key product of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro "Earth Summit," where Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, set the tone with the following memorable quotes:

"It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class, involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and workplace air conditioning, and suburban housing, are not sustainable.

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring about?"
(bold added)

"Good for Carroll County", you may say, "but why post this in a Finger Lakes blog?"  Well, take a look at this list of ICLEI member governments, and see if your local taxing entity is on the list!

Soros drives deeper into your wallet

Soros at Obama fundraiser, NYC,  April 2007

The ever vigilant Lonely Conservative reports on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que owner and international puppetmaster George Soros' latest hedge fund.  Soros' new fund will "invest in green energy" projects, which Lonely explains is simply a mechanism for stealing more taxpayer cash:
George Soros, funder of all things progressive, is starting a “green energy” hedge fund that will profit from the policies enacted by his political beneficiaries. My, isn’t that convenient?
 And who did Soros hire to lead this band of  green gonifs? 
Soros hired Cathy Zoi to run his new hedge fund, the same Cathy Zoi who worked for the Obama administration at the same time the President and Vice President were touting her husband’s company that they showered with taxpayer dollars. Now Zoi and Soros stand to profit from the policies she helped put into place.
Someone should make copies of LC's post and hand them out in front of the Dinosaur.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Obama wants high gas prices

We thought those prices were high...

Finger Lakes families once again see their budgets hammered by rapidly increasing gasoline prices.  Today's gas price at our local Byrne Dairy store reflects the chaos in the Middle East, compounded by the anti-energy policies of our own national government.  

While the Obama-Clinton foreign policy team, by design and/or incompetence, appears helpless in the face of world events, there is one thing we can do right here in the US to drive energy prices lower immediately. At Energy Tribune, Marita Noon reminds us:
Remember the last time prices spiked dramatically? It was Friday, July 11, 2008. They were $147.27 a barrel and, even accounting for inflation, have never been higher—before or since. On Monday July 14, prices began a descent. What stopped the increase? What changed the direction?
Monday, July 14, 2008 President Bush signed an executive order reversing his father’s 1990 ban on offshore drilling. The signature did not change the flow of oil, but it did signal a shift in political will. On September 23, 2008, then-Speaker Pelosi announced that Congress would allow the offshore drilling ban to expire. Then-Representative Rahm Emanuel called President Bush’s action a "political stunt," but the economic benefit was global.
The difference today is that Obama does not want lower gas prices - he wants higher gas prices.  To Barry, your economic pain is a feature, not a bug.  Don't expect any help from him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walker-Koch connection revealed

Professor Jacobson has located proof of Wisconsin Governor Walker's long association with the Koch Brothers.

Florida billionaire calls for mob rule in New York

Tom Golisano

Billionaire Tom Golisano relocated from Buffalo to Florida in 2009, thereby saving himself $14,000 per day in New York taxes.  Those of us staying behind in New York wish Golisano well, and many of our neighbors have followed him to the Sunshine State.  But here's the deal, Tom: once you've abandoned the Empire State, keep your nose out of it!

Tom Golisano opened the post-New York, post-Buffalo Sabres phase of his public career Tuesday by becoming national spokesman for a movement that aims to make sure that the presidential candidate who gets the most votes actually wins the presidency.
"I wanted to take a leadership role in this campaign because I believe that every vote should count equally," said Golisano, who just turned over the Sabres to new owner Terry Pegula. "The president we choose represents this entire nation, and we should all count when making that choice. Our presidential election should be truly democratic."
In New York, the National Popular Vote bill passed the State Senate last year but never made it to the floor of the Assembly.
The bill's nationwide approval, Golisano said, would enliven presidential politics in states such as New York, which is so strongly Democratic that neither major-party presidential nor vice presidential candidate made a campaign appearance in the state after the 2008 party conventions.
Our founders created the Electoral College for a reason, Tom.  While New York tends to slavishly follow the national trend towards increasing statism, we have surprisingly not yet abandoned the Electoral College.  New Yorkers, as you're well aware, pay a big price to live here.  We can make our own decisions, pal.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Democrat senators blame president for high gas prices

"Where is the president?" (John F.) Kerry asked in Portland, where gasoline is selling for as much as $2.31 a gallon. "We need a president who is fighting for the American worker, the American family at the fuel pump."
On Capitol Hill, a group of Democratic senators introduced a resolution calling for the release of 1 million of barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for up to 60 days, arguing that would force down gas prices. Said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: "The administration insists on throwing fuel in the fire."
Those quotes are from an AP report written in May, 2004.  This time, not a peep from those two friends of the working man.

The difference between 2004 and 2011 is that we now have an administration that is actively working to raise gas prices.  High energy prices are the single most effective way to damage our economy.  A clever enemy can do more long term harm to our nation by causing higher energy prices than by pulling off another Pearl Harbor or 9/11. 

Syracuse blogger Lonely Conservative has all the facts, which you should read and share. 

Reposted from January 11 as  Finger Lakes gas prices hit $3.40/gallon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sweet road win, indeed!

Brandon Triche

Syracuse gets big road win at Villanova

Explaining high speed rail

Americans prefer to drive

Here at South of 5 and 20, we've been obsessing over the feds' high speed rail fever since our former Democrat Congressman Mike Arcuri got weak knees over the idea, then was booted out of office by our current rep, Republican Richard Hanna. 

Experts of all persuasions have declared Obama's $53 billion proposal an insane boondoggle, the most recent being newgeography's widely respected Joel Kotkin.  But we suspect all the demographic analysis and cost accounting is irrelevant.  Writing about Kotkin's learned article, Connecticut real estate blogger Christopher Fountain hits the buzzer beater:
The author thoroughly debunks any idea that high speed rail could ever make economic sense, but I think he misses the point when he tries to understand the liberals’ love affair with choo choos. It’s really all about power. Liberals hate, absolutely hate the automobile, because it allows individuals to travel alone, when they choose and where they choose. Trains and other forms of mass transit tell people where they will go, when they will go and by God, they will travel together! It’s the mass in mass transit, and that’s what sends a tingle up liberal’s legs.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cutting back on family vacations?

Key Largo

Several local restaurants have gone belly up recently, as Finger Lakes families deal with reduced incomes and higher taxes by staying home.  Indeed, we were all scolded by Barry O: 
‘If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation,’ he said.
Apparently cutting  back doesn't apply to our rulers, however.  In in spite of trillion dollar deficits, the O's ares still living high on the taxpayers' hog.  While Americans will never find out about the Obamas' current trip to Vail, our British cousins can read all about it in the Daily Mail:
First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are said to be on a ‘private family trip’ to Colorado for Presidents' Day Weekend.
They are staying at the upscale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
And Joe Biden, head cheerleader for the high speed rail scam, is escaping the snow in the Florida Keys.  No word on whether he took Amtrak:
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife are spending the holiday weekend in the US in Florida’s Key Largo resort town.
The White House said the Bidens arrived in Key Largo on Thursday night and will remain there until Monday night.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A question for our readers

Clem - Don Laird Collection

Yes, Clem is a cat, but can you identify the engine?  Leave your answers in the comments!

US unemployment rate in perspective

Table from Gateway Pundit.

Another Cornell professor nixes high speed rail

We recently told you about Cornell professor Rick Geddes, who doesn't think "high speed rail" makes economic sense.  Now another Cornell faculty member has weighed in on the Obama administration's plan to put your grandchildren in debt for your grandfather's technology. 

Nationally prominent blogger Bill Jacobson, who also somehow finds time to teach law at Cornell, has posted performance data on the feds' current passenger rail boondoggle, Amtrak.  A sample, from for Amtrak's most heavily traveled route:

More data at Legal InsurrectionJacobson asks:
Before we spend $53 billion on high-speed rail, can we try to get low-speed rail to run on time?
With the Cornell faculty lining up in opposition, we can only hope that Governor Andy Cuomo will realize New York cannot afford to participate in this scam.   And we repeat our call for the Jimmy Olsens at the Ithaca Journal to interview Ithaca's most prominent pundit.

No reflection on the Daily Planet - ed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's murder in Seneca County?

An Ovid resident has been charged with manslaughter in the fatal Valentine's evening shooting of a Lodi woman.
On, Monday evening at 9:55 p.m., Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a death at 2178 Grove Street, Lodi, New York.

Upon arrival Sheriff’s Deputies found Sandra D. Marsh, age 51, of 2178 Grove Street, dead of an apparent gunshot wound to the upper torso.
A joint investigation conducted by the Seneca County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s Office resulted in the arrest of Vincent K. Voorheis, age 45, of 3838 County Road 139, Ovid
 More at Fingerlakes1.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

School closing in Watkins Glen?

Expensive electronic sign

Public school enrollment in the Finger Lakes has been declining for years.  At the same time, taxpayers are staggering under endless annual budget increases.  

Speaking off the record, experts have confirmed to South of 5 and 20 that our numerous school districts, each with its own highly paid gang of administrators, are ripe for consolidation.  This blog recently reported on consolidation efforts in Seneca County, and now the trend may be spreading to Schuyler:
Superintendent Tom Phillips told the Watkins school board that no decision has been made yet about closing the middle school campus and consolidating, during the Monday, Feb. 7, meeting.
“No, we are not closing the middle school,” he said. However, the district is looking at that as a possible way to save money.
 Details at Observer-Review.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Biden to jump Grand Canyon

"Sputnik Moment"
GRAND CANYON, AZ - Standing on the rim of the gaping two-mile wide chasm of the Grand Canyon in a star-spangled jumpsuit, Joe Biden today announced a new $53 billion federal high speed rail program that will include funding for "SkyTrain X-2," a new experimental locomotive that, if successful, will make him the first known U.S. Vice President to jump the Grand Canyon by rail.
With gandy dancer Ray LaHood at his side, Amtrak Joe made the startling announcement.  Iowahawk reports:
According to the project press kit, Biden will be attempting the jump in a train of his own design. After a TSA patdown, Biden will board the 8-car, 150 ton UAW-built train, accelerate to nearly 80 miles per hour up a 1200-foot launch ramp, touchdown on the far side of the canyon, and retreive his baggage from the carousel.
High tech jobs of the future

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Amity Shlaes for US Senate

South of 5 and 20 hereby endorses Amity Shlaes for US Senate from New York.  The Lonely Conservative explains why Shlaes will be accidental senator Kirsten Gillibrand's first serious opponent.

Although Ms. Shlaes has not yet announced her candidacy, anyone who has read her best-selling books understands that this must happen.  Shlaes' books may be ordered directly from the right side of this page.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cuomo to nix more personal cars?

Does your boss provide you a free personal car?  Once again, we learn that struggling Finger Lakes taxpayers are doing just that for some of our privileged state employees:
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo publicly rejected $20,000 raises for 28 State Police top brass in mid-January, he didn't immediately mention the unmarked cars they and 1,400 other officers drive home.
However, the administration says with proposed budget cuts it's looking at whether the government needs to buy, fuel and maintain nearly 60,000 vehicles in state fleets. Those include nearly 3,500 trooper cars, almost half individually assigned to investigators and command officers because they may get called to duty from home, although some seldom do.
State police say they don't keep track of recalls to duty from home, though a comptroller's audit nearly two decades ago said cars used for commuting had become "an unwritten condition of
No doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Video at YNN.

Friday, February 4, 2011

No Bud Light for me, I'm drinking

Honorary Finger Lakes resident Greg Sullivan lists "10 Luxuries We Don't Do Without."  Here's #5, go read the rest!
5. First-Class Booze - I have a hell of a time in other people's houses. They drink diet beer. If they're rich, they drink expensive diet beer. You can get Guinness in a can, with a nitrogen depth charge inside to make it pour like the best pub on earth, in a Walmart in Treestump, Maine; but everyone walks past it to get a thirty pack of Bud Dry Draft Lite Ice. I'd rather have one Guinness a week than ten diet Buds. Actually, I'm dividing by zero here; I don't want any diet Buds. Life is too short to drink diet beer.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

The Lonely Conservative points out what's been happening here in the US and in New York while the media goes "all Egypt, all the time":
I wish the news media would find the time to cover what’s happening here at home in addition to the Egypt coverage. But for the most part, all we’ve heard about for the past week is Egypt and the weather. Yet the 1099 provision in Obamacare was shot down, ObamaCare was ruled to be unconstitutional, the governor of New York is pulling a Chris Christie, the Obama administration was found to be in contempt of court, Obama’s threatening to veto any legislation reining in his green agenda, and a whole host of other things are going on here in the US. You may not know any of that if not for blogs. But all the media is talking about is Egypt. Yes, Egypt is newsworthy. But that doesn’t mean we stop watching what’s going on here at home. If so, it will be at our own peril.
Syracuse-based LC is also linked at the right side of this page.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CU prof negatory on bullet trains

Cornell University transportation expert Rick Geddes has analyzed our rulers' plans for high speed rail.  His conclusion is not surprising:
"My concern is that the proposals currently on the table are for high speed rail between a lot of points where I don't think it makes economic sense," said associate professor Rick Geddes of Cornell University's Department of Policy Analysis and Management.
More than 20 high speed railways are planned, but the professor says routes like the proposed Albany-Buffalo line won't have enough passengers to pick up the bill. Just like those bullet trains careening through Europe and Asia.
"So the governments have to continually lay out funds to support those high speed trains which we like very much, but you're talking about continuing public outlay that I think the United States cannot afford given the fiscal problems that we're facing on state, federal and local levels right now," Geddes said.
Geddes estimates these schemes will cost $50 million per mile.  That's your money, amigos!  Details and video at YNN.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Easier than robbing banks...

...and less chance you'll get shot:
Chrysler Group LLC lost $652-million (U.S.) last year, but the company will hand out performance bonuses for 2010 to almost all its employees before repaying taxpayer loans of $7.6-billion (U.S.) that kept the company alive during the auto crisis.
The auto maker, however, forecast a profit for the current year and said its turnaround is so far advanced that the company can afford to share its improving fortunes with workers.
Luckily for the Obama administration, US taxpayers will never find out about this.  Canadian readers, however, can get the details in the Globe and Mail.