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)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daydream Believer

Davy Jones dead at 66.

Tompkins County to join 25th district?

Congresswoman Buerkle

Is this an attack on one New York's most conservative member of Congress?
Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) has released the following statement in regards to Congressional redistricting:

"A story earlier today citing anonymous sources indicated that the current 25th Congressional District could be redrawn to include all of Tompkins County. This is just one step in a lengthy redistricting process and these maps will be presented to a federal judge, who will determine what shape the lines will take by March 12th. I will be on the ballot in 2012 and intend to continue the work I've started in Washington. If the results of redistricting require us to introduce myself to a new set of voters, I look forward to carrying my message of smaller government, personal liberty, and economic prosperity across central New York."
Or will the Prius-driving, global warming conference-attending academics of fair Tompkins be represented by Ann Marie?  

Not recommended

Spotted in Moscow.  As always, click pic for larger version.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

US taxpayers buying into French automaker?

1983 Renault Alliance

Congratulation, Finger Lakes taxpayers, you're now going to subsidize the French auto industry.  Our own government-run car company sees opportunity in the land of escargot.
PSA Peugeot Citroen may announce as soon as this week plans to sell a stake of about 7 percent in the French carmaker to General Motors Co. as part of a development alliance, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
GM, which still owes billions to US taxpayers, has been using those confiscated funds to dish out big bonuses to the same employees who ran the industrial giant into the ground.
Does it make sense that a company who can afford to pay bonuses needs government subsidies to sell its cars, like the Chevy Volt?
According to all the reporting news sources, most managers could see bonuses for 2010 equaling 15 to 20% of their annual salary. Other reports are indicating as much as 50% of salary, while some blue collars might merely get $10K on average.
Question is, why is there any bonus at all at GM?
It is no small thing that General Motors and Chrysler are still in business today, due to the extreme generosity of the American taxpayers.
So, why should either company even think of giving bonuses to the blue collar and white collar workers at all before paying back the loans?
For those with short memories, the rotting hulk pictured above is a Renault Alliance, the ill fated offspring of the last time a US automaker got in bed with the French.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Clinton, Schumer blame president for high gas prices

"This is indicative of this administration's failed policies."

H/T Instapundit.  More at BuzzFeed.

Wearing Sarah's dress

Looks better on her

Don Surber accuses Barry Obama of crossdressing.
Republicans have President Obama on the run. He has had to disguise himself and his stupid policies again — this time by donning the political garb of his arch rival. President Barack Obama looks pretty nice in Sarah Palin’s dress. And by dress, I mean her energy policy.
However, Mr. Surber isn't fooled by Barry's new outfit.
But President Obama is not the real deal. He’s in drag. President Obama is not a real believer in American energy independence. He’s a fake. A fraud. A phony.
Obama's commitment to increased energy production includes financially eviscerating the companies that are actually producing energy, while handing out billions to his campaign donors.  Algae?  Read the whole thing.  

Take it, boys!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shocker: gas prices rising!

In the old days, before January 20, 2009, whenever gas prices went up, mainstream media reporters would immediately bother drivers in gas stations.  "What do you think about these high gas prices?"  "Don't like 'em, won't be able to feed my kids, etc., etc..."

In the past three years, however, gas prices have doubled without attracting the news hounds.  Until now, that is.  Be sure to watch this one, from yesterday's ABC News, all the way to the end:

Mad Men: Season 5

Mad Men's long delayed Season 5 returns to AMC with a 2 hour special on Sunday, March 25, at 9:00 eastern.  NCAA basketball scheduling may conflict, so be sure to set your DVR.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Upstaters beginning to notice gas prices?

Even if your only source of information is the old media, you might have seen this shocking story today.
High gasoline prices have Theresa Impink and her family thinking twice before taking the car out for a drive.
Impink, her husband and their two teenage children try to determine if the trip is worth the cost.
“We’re consciously cutting back on all travel because it’s getting too expensive,” said the 38-year-old Frankfort resident.
The most difficult part is Impink’s 50-mile roundtrip drive to Rome every day for work. To fill the tank of her SUV costs about $56, and a full tank only lasts between five and six days, she said.
“What I’ve done is adjust my whole budget.”
Keshia Clukey, the professional journalist who dug up this news, forgot to ask the financially strapped Ms. Impink if she is aware of the fact that the Obama administration wants high gas prices.
This barely made a blip in the news when it was first reported, but read what President Obama’s Secretary of Energy Steven Chu had to say about gas prices back in December:
In a sign of one major internal difference, Mr. Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work.
“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Mr. Chu, who directs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in September.
And now you’re paying $4  a gallon. not quite European prices, but no fun nonetheless.
 Will Upstaters vote to reelect Obama?  Stay tuned.

George Washingon

Washington at Morristown, 1779

George Washington, born in Virgina, February 22, 1732.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Local heroin ring linked to higher education industry

Heroin hotbed

The Finger Lakes' heroin crisis was apparently caused by the recent influx of college students:
A Cornell student was arrested along the 500 block of Stewart Avenue Dec. 19 for criminal possession of a “substantial quantity” of heroin, the Ithaca Police Department said.
Keri Blakinger ’11 was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, a class A-II felony.
The report also makes clear that the reason Blackinger came to the Finger Lakes was to particpate in the area's higher education boom.
Blakinger is a former (Cornell Daily) Sun staff writer. She also previously served as editor of Red Letter Daze and features editor.
Further application of the same logic is available here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

SI discovers SU

Winning at Louisville

This week's Sports Illustrated takes a break from Linsanity to look at Upstate New York's most successful organization, currently 26-1.  Michael Rosenberg covers everything from Melo to Bernie, so read the whole thing.  

From Coach Jim Boeheim:
Within the construct of the games, Boeheim is in complete control. Most college coaches call timeout, then huddle with their assistants to talk strategy before addressing the players. Boeheim leaves his assistants' brains unpicked.
"My job is to coach the game," he says. "To press if we're going to press, or change our zone, or trap in our zone, or which plays we're going to run, or who we're going to go to. That's my job. I've been doing this 36 years. Why would I want an assistant telling me what plays to run?"
Unpicked, indeed.  Keep up the good work.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Its no secret

Investor's Business Daily, a reliable analyst of matters political and economic, today makes the shocking charge that Barry Obama secretly wants high gas prices.
If gasoline prices so far are any indication, the pain at the pump will be severe this year. But if you think President Obama cares, you're wrong. If anything, he's secretly cheering it on.
Already, average pump prices have topped $3.50 a gallon, leading some experts to think they could reach an all-time high of $5 by the summer.
So what's Obama's response? He treats it like a badge of honor, saying this week that "gas prices are on the rise again because as the economy strengthens, global demand for oil increases."
We agree with IBD, but its no secret.  We let that cat out of the bag a year ago.
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.
In the past year, Barry's been very successful in making the situation worse.  Do your neighbors understand what's going on?

GM profitable? So was Whitey Bulger

Whitey and Catherine hiding out from the feds

Now that crack federal gumshoes have finally located Whitey Bulger in his California condo, and just in time for the presidential election, Americans who get their news from the mainstream media have been inundated with the "General Motors Turns a Profit" story: all praise to Barack Obama for rescuing Detroit. Let's check in with Jerry Hirsch at one of the house organs of the Democrat party, the Los Angeles Times.
Three years after nearly collapsing into liquidation, a resurgent General Motors Co. has posted its best annual profit, surpassing what it earned during its heyday in the mid-1990s.

In earning $7.6 billion last year, the automaker demonstrated how it has capitalized on its 2009 bankruptcy reorganization and federal bailout to shed brands, slash debt, rewrite union contracts and close surplus factories.

The record annual earnings represented "a remarkable turnaround from what appeared to be a hopeless situation," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with automotive information company TrueCar.com.
But there's a problem with  Comrade Hirsch's rosy analysis.  In a comment posted on that article, Teresa Trujillo fills in the missing pieces.
The only reason Chrysler and GM are profitable today is because the government allowed them the discharge huge amounts of debt. Vendors, shareholders--including many retirement acount vehicles like mutual funds--were forced to take HUGE losses on their GM stock holdings when the previous version of GM, was for all intent and purpose, dismantled.
The American taxpayer has assumed a very large burden for the GM "reorganization." Anyone can see what the individual federal deficit burden is by visiting usdebtclock.org 
The U.S. federal debt is now $15.4 trillion dollars, and the debt per citizen is nearly $50,000. Rather than bailing out the "too big to fail" organizations, the government could have written a check for $10,000 to every social security number that appeared on a 2007 tax return. The federal bailouts that were authorized by congress only bailed out the tycoons and oligarchy--they could have chosen to bail out families. 
Think how much faster the economy would have recovered, how many homes would have been saved, how many jobs would have been created.  I'm still waiting to see those "shovel ready" jobs get rolling.
The Times has neglected to tell the story of how a few people are benefiting on the backs of all Americans in this story. This story is a testament to the power of the autoworkers' union.
The celebrated "recovery" of GM is really part of the largest organized crime heist in American history.  You, dear reader, your children and your grandchildren are the victims.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Republican guru bails out

Roger Stone
Roger Stone, longtime Republican political consultant, a libertarian who may have helped bring down Elliot Spitzer, and who has a picture of Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, has left the Republican the Republican party. In a long explanation of his decision, Stone nails the problem with the GOP's current crop of mainstream media-approved "front runners:"
Sadly the difference between the two major parties has become rhetorical. Under the Democrats you're going to hell. Under the Republicans, you are still going to hell but you are going more slowly.

To real conservatives the freedom of the individual is paramount. No one should be able to tell you what you can eat, drink, smoke, or marry, or what kind of gun you can own. We don't want to be snooped on by an all-knowing big brother government. That is the essence of liberty. The Republican Party has become both a party of big government but also an authoritarian party that would tell us how to live.

That the Republican Party can only produce Mitt Romney who was an independent during the Reagan-Bush years (and only converted to conservatism after serving one term as governor never intending to run for re-election while always planning to run for president), Newt Gingrich, a thrice married ego-maniac with delusions of grandeur and Rick Santorum, a religious fanatic, who would tell other people how to live, as presidential candidates proves the GOP may be
going the way as the Whigs.

I fervently hoped that Donald Trump would run for president. Trump is a big thinker, with the kind of toughness and guile you need to be a successful negotiator and a successful president. While it is popular among elites to snicker at Trump his connection to average Americans and working people cannot be denied. As Neil Cavuto of Fox Business News said "No one draws ratings like Trump."

To put it bluntly the Republican Party is hopelessly f*cked up.
Our country needs a leader who values freedom and who can can win.  We may learn that the Republican party is unable to deliver such a candidate, even though the woods are full of them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Newt steps on the gas

Not that long ago

Say what you will about Newt Gingrich, the guy has more ideas in one day than Mitt Romney has had since he got back from France.  Among Newt's output today is a plan to return to $2.50 gasoline.
$2.50 a gallon gas is not a dream. It’s achievable with the right policies. If we take these steps, we can quickly and dramatically reduce the price of gas by tapping America’s incredible oil and gas resources to increase supply. That would mean more money in Americans’ pockets, lower costs for millions of businesses, and tens of thousands of jobs across the country in an industry poised to take off.
When Obama was inaugurated, Americans were paying $1.85 for gasoline.  Assumed Republican presidential candidate Romney should embrace the NewtGas plan and pitch it at every campaign stop.  Pledge to appoint Newt Secretary of Energy.   Or put Sarah in the post.  Hammer Obama on the one issue that every American can understand.

Mitt: please do something, anything, or just get out of the way and go back to Taxachusetts.

Update:  Don Surber:
Conservatives should quit chatting up rubbers and go where the rubber meets the road: The economy.
CNS, bless its heart, reported that the price of gasoline is up 83% since The Won took office on that awful day in 2009.
That did not make the nightly news because conservatives were too busy with their catechism classes. Conservatives cannot complain of being made fools of when they act like clowns. Quit taking the bait already.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Candidate slams administration on high gas prices, poor economy

The presidential campaign's focus turned sharply to the economy Monday, an inopportune time for Republican John McCain as Americans cope with record-high gasoline prices and a spike in job losses.
Democrat Barack Obama seized on the issue by launching a two-week economic tour meant to highlight his differences with McCain on taxes, spending priorities and other matters. At every turn he is tying McCain to President Bush, whose approval ratings are consistently low.
The national average hit $3.523 a gallon, the Energy Department said Monday, up 4.1 cents from a week earlier. Analysts said the early price shocker is likely a sign that pain at the pump will rise to some of the highest levels ever this year.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tell Mama

Savoy Brown, featuring British blues legend and current Finger Lakes resident Kim Simmonds, 1971.

From the album Street Corner Talking, which readers may order, while supporting South of 5 and 20, by clicking the link.


Barry & Valerie

Bokor Tov, Boulder reminds us of a fascinating coincidence.  Valerie Jarrett, long time Obama advisor and corrupt Chicago slumlord, was born in Iran, of all places, just down the road from self-declared enemy of the American people Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  

What are the chances?

M. Catherine Evans, last May,  provided additional analysis of the Jarrett-Obama partnership for power. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kodak makes its last camera

Rochester's Eastman Kodak Company introduced its first daylight loading camera in 1891.  Today, Upstate New York's former industrial giant, now bankrupt, announced that it will end camera production.

For generations of New York politicians and business "leaders," who've told us the solution to our economic collapse is more of the same, then more of the same, then even billions more of the same, we'd hope Kodak's historic collapse will ring a bell.  At least, take Kodak's name off the list of  politically connected crony corporations we're supposed to follow into the promised land.

Opie gets a Kodak

CNY blogger reporting from CPAC

Syracuse's own Lonely Conservative is in attendance at this year's annual Conservative Political Action Conference, currently under way in Washington, DC.  No matter where one falls on the anti-statist spectrum, the gathering's list of speakers is overwhelming.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Former Presidential Candidate
  • Steve Bannon, Filmmaker
  • Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
  • Hon. John Bolton, United States Ambassador to the United Nations 
  • L. Brent Bozell III, Media Research Center, Founder & President
  • Andrew Breitbart, Breitbart Media, Founder
  • Herman Cain, Former Presidential Candidate
  • Al Cardenas, American Conservative Union, Chairman
  • Ann Coulter, Best Selling Author
  • S.E. Cupp, Conservative Commentator
  • Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • Hon. Newt Gingrich, Presidential Candidate
  • Jonah Goldberg, Conservative Author
  • Hon. Daniel Hannan, Member of the European Parliament
  • Hon. Mike Huckabee, Fox News Host & Former Arkansas Governor
  • Laura Ingraham, Best Selling Author and Radio Host
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman of the Republican Study Committee
  • David Keene, National Rifle Association, President
  • Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association, Executive Vice-President
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Michael Medved
  • Col. Oliver North, Host of War Stories with Oliver North, Best Selling Author
  • Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform, Founder & President
  • Hon. Sarah Palin, Former Alaska Governor
  • Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, President
  • Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)
  • Ralph Reed – Faith & Freedom Coalition
  • Hon. Mitt Romney, Presidential Candidate
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee
  • Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA, former), Presidential Candidate
  • Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Founder
  • Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
  • Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel, the American Center for Law and Justice
  • Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)
  • Rep. Allen West (R-FL)
LC will be posting from the heart of the action, so be sure to check in.

Photo update:  LC with Jim DeMint:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting ready to mow?

Before we know it, Finger Lakes lawns will be knee deep. We advise our readers to plan ahead for mowing season.  Time to replace that K-Mart special?  Former Dukie Shane Battier demonstrates the Cadillac of lawn mowers, the John Deere X360.

From our archives:  We explain the role lawn care plays in Finger Lakes society.

Ginsburg's Gotta Go

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Cornell student and current US Supreme Court justice, appointed by the Clintons, is sworn to uphold and defend our Constitution.  Rather than do that, she's gallivanting around the word, telling our third world neighbors that the US Constitution sucks.  Since that's the way she feels, she should resign immediately, or face impeachment.

South Africa?  Disgraceful.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New York "recovery" "stalling"

Future flea market location?

Finger Lakes residents may not have noticed that New York's economy has been recovering.  In a press release provided to Gannett, Andy Cuomo's official spokesman for economic matters admits that it really isn't.
New York's economic recovery appears to be losing momentum, and that's raising concerns about the pace of the rebound we'll see in 2012.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shared those findings in a report released Thursday: "Economic Trends in New York State."
 Don't move to Texas yet, as DiNapoli has some good news.
Rochester, New York City and the Glens Falls areas did better than the state average, with Rochester recovering 98.1 percent of the jobs it lost. The report attributed Rochester's economic success to gains in professional and business services, but it warned that the recent bankruptcy of Eastman Kodak "could result in the loss of thousands of jobs."
Yeah, that Kodak bankruptcy could really have a negative impact on Upstate's staggering economy, Tom.  Then there's this other matter:
New York also has had the stigma of being unfriendly to business. The Tax Foundation, based in Washington D.C., last week named New York as having the 49th worst business climate in the nation -- ahead only of New Jersey.
"The combination of high property taxes, high income taxes, high corporate-income taxes and high sales taxes all create a toxic climate for attracting businesses and people in the state and keeping businesses and people in the state," said Scott Hodge, the group's president.

Mama told me not to come

Open up the window, let some air into this room.

Three Dog Night, 1970, written by Randy Newman.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Help Ann Marie Buerkle defeat Dan Maffei again

Buerkle with Benjamin Netanyahu

North of 5 and 20, voters in New York's 25th congressional district, as part of Obama's 2010 shellacking, booted radical leftist Dan Maffei and elected Auburn native Ann Marie Buerkle.  Talk about too close for comfort - it appeared Maffei had won that election until all the absentee ballots were counted.

Now it's 2012, and Pelosi lapdog Maffei, who voted for Obamacare, has been promised financial backing from the national Democrat organization to buy his way back to Washington.  Syracuse area readers who believe in freedom should do all they can to keep Ann Marie in congress.  From her bio:
Of Ann Marie’s six grown children, only one remains in New York State due to better job opportunities elsewhere. As an owner of a small business for over twenty years, Ann Marie knows that high taxes, ever expanding government giveaways, and exorbitant energy costs are driving businesses and jobs from Upstate New York. As our congressman, Ann Marie will fight to change that.