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)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earl Scruggs, 1924-2012

Blugrass legend Earl Scruggs, dead at 88.  In this rare film from the late 60s, Scruggs (orange shirt with tie) plays banjo with the Byrds.  "How was that, Roger?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

USS New York deploys

USS New York departs Norfolk Tuesday

A Navy warship built with steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center left Norfolk on Tuesday on its maiden overseas deployment.
The amphibious transport dock New York is part of a three-ship group that will spend at least six months patrolling the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf, training alongside the military forces of various allies and responding to political and humanitarian crises.
In addition to "responding to political and humanitarian" missions, the New York is also prepared to assist in the destruction of America's enemies.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arne Duncan's graduation rate scandal

Duncan ignores kids, consults with Sharpton

In the midst of Syracuse University Basketball's NCAA Tournament run, Barry Obama's "secretary of education," Arne Duncan, decided to attack the Orange and Coach Jim Boeheim:
Pittsburgh – After his team’s victory over UNC Asheville in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim took on another opponent.
Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Duncan singled out Boeheim on Wednesday in a conference call with news reporters about the graduation rates of NCAA basketball tournament teams.
Yes, so-called "educator" Duncan thought he could piggyback on the Tournament's publicity.
A story with Duncan’s comments ran in Thursday’s editions of USA Today and was accompanied by a column that chastised Syracuse for the academic performance within its men’s basketball program.
Coach Boeheim dosen't need our help to reject Duncan's forced shot.  In the post-Ashville press conference, the Coach explained:
Boeheim had one final jab left for Duncan, who played at Harvard.
“I don't think Harvard was punished when Bill Gates left early,’’ Boeheim said. “I don't think they were. I don't think he did too badly. We've also had five or six guys who left early, went to the NBA, played, and came back and graduated. We helped them graduate. We have two or three right now that are very close to graduating who are done playing with their NBA careers.
“So education is paramount to me,’’ he continued. “We want every guy to graduate, and we work very hard on that. So I think it's fair to say that I'm upset right now.’’
The bigger question here is: who is this annoying Duncan and why does have have anything to do with our children's education?  It turns out Duncan was raised among the swells in Chicago's exclusive Hyde Park neighborhood, the same side of the tracks where unrepentant terrorist William Ayers launched Four Dollar Barry's political career.

Duncan played basketball at Harvard University and had a brief professional hardwood career in Australia.  His time after returning to Chicago seems to have found Duncan involved in various non-profits, but Arne had never taught school for a single day at any level when second generation Chicago Democrat machine Mayor Richard M. Daley made him head of Chicago's failing public school system in 2001.  Even fellow Democrats recognize the destruction that Duncan left behind in the Windy City's schools.  New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Obama chief of staff, has it in for Arne:
Rahm is still steaming about the contracts negotiated by Daley and Arne Duncan—who was then running CPS and is now the nation’s education secretary—which gave teachers hefty pay increases and a shorter school year. “I know what the teachers got, and I know what the politicians got,” he says, meaning no strike. “But I don’t know what the kids got.”
The Chicago public school system operates seven community colleges.  As head of Chicago's schools, Duncan was responsible for those seven institutions.  What about the graduation rate at Duncan's own legacy college system - why, it's seven percent!
If low graduation and student transfer rates at City Colleges of Chicago don’t start improving, the system’s leaders could lose their jobs. That’s because the formal job responsibilities of the chancellor, presidents and even trustees include graduation rate goals.
Cheryl L. Hyman, chancellor of City Colleges, began a “reinvention” of the system soon after her arrival in 2010. While the seven-college system has long welcomed urban, lower-income students who have few higher education options, Hyman argues that it hasn't done enough to help students graduate and get jobs...
“You cannot continue with a 7 percent graduation rate,” said Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, at news conference last summer. “We owe the taxpayers – and most importantly the students – a better community college system.”
In light of the fact that non-educator Duncan is an expert on college graduation rates, we demand he abandon his war on success and resign from the federal government.  Seven Percent Arne needs to return to Chicago to deal with the disaster he left behind.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lehigh - Duke results reach the bunker

h/t ES

You borrowed half a million to send Barry to the game

Flagrant foul!
Now that we're in the Elite Eight, let's take a minute to look back at beginning of the NCAA Tournament.

Recall that Barry Obama and some British character flew from Washington, DC to Dayton, OH to take in one of the pre-bracket play-in games.  Nice work if you can get it, but if you went to Dayton, you'd need to fill your minivan with $4.00 gas and drive for hours.  Did Barry pop for his Dayton junket?  No, no, no - your yet-unborn grandchildren did.  Let's let another Brit lay it out.

President Obama adds $478,000 to the US national debt with Ohio basketball jaunt.
$478,000 – that’s the cost for the use of Air Force One for two 80 minute flights for the US President and the British Prime Minister to Dayton, Ohio, and back to Washington, DC, last night at a cost of $179,750 per flight hour. When you factor in the additional expense of Marine One helicopter flights from the White House to Andrews Air Force base in Maryland, as well as security on the ground in Ohio, White House advance teams, and Air Force cargo planes to carry the presidential motorcade, the total figure is far greater.
In an age of austerity, this is a significant amount of taxpayers’ money to spend on attending a college basketball game between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky, especially when tens of millions of Americans are unemployed and facing financial hardship.
SU - Buckeyes, Saturday @ 7:05, on CBS.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Obamas' daughter on Spring Break, story disappears from web (updated)

Photo discovered at El Universal.mx

Malia Obama, the Obamas' 13 year old daughter, is on Spring Break in Oaxaca, Mexico.  In what we can assume is a taxpayer funded vacation to one on Mexico's most dangerous regions, the Sidwell Friends student is traveling without her parents, but with a dozen friends and a contingent of 25 Secret Service agents.  Readers looking for more info on this story are advised to  brush up on their Espanol.
Malia Ann Obama, hija mayor del presidente de Estados Unidos, Barak Obama, vacaciona en este destino turístico acompañada de un grupo de amigas y de un discreto pero fuerte dispositivo de seguridad.
Malia Ann habría llegado el pasado viernes proveniente de la ciudad de Houston, Texas, y acompañada de 12 jóvenes de su edad, con quienes se hospedó en un pequeño hotel del centro histórico de la ciudad.
English language links to this story, it seems, are being scrubbed from the web at an alarming rate.  Search Google or Bing and you're likely to find the relevant links will take you, instead, to another topic.  Rather that the typical Obama-style imperial use of taxpayer money and resources, the bigger scandal is quickly becoming an obvious attempt to make the embarrassing story disappear.
An AFP story, linked at the Huffington Post and elsewhere, reported on Malia Obama's visit to Mexico despite a Texas public safety warning, she's reportedly accompanied by 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The Huffington Post story link now directs to the main page and the AFP item is fast disappearing from view. 

The Yahoo News link now diverts to a completely different story, in contrast to the url: http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-daughter-spends-springbreak-mexico-145031176.html. The headline now reads: Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail.
Finger Lakes parents' ability to take their own kinds to Disney World, or even  Darien Lake, is quickly being eroded by the current administration's intentionally destructive spending.  Do your friends and neighbors understand what is happening?  A good time to bring this up might be when they start bitching about gas prices.

Update:  Stories about the Mexican vacation story being removed from the web are now also being scrubbed.  
The White House's campaign to scrub a story from the internet yesterday about Malia Obama's trip to Mexico has gone meta: a media reporter's blog post about the administration's efforts to scrub the story has now been scrubbed of certain details, Politico confirmed.
Remember how the media covered up for the Bush twins
Supermarket tabloids ran stories labeling Jenna Bush a party girl even before President George W. Bush took office. A citation for underage drinking and a court appearance last month were also noted by the media.
But when police said Wednesday they were investigating a charge that Jenna Bush, 19, and her twin Barbara had tried to buy alcohol with false identification, the story received the full treatment: tabloid headlines like the New York Daily News' "Double Trouble," segments on network news programs, discussion on cable talk shows labeled "Jenna's Latest Jam" and stories in national newspapers.
"If they're going to make news, they're going to get covered," said Amy Sohnen, a senior producer at Fox News Channel.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Irish immigrant

John Byrne
Captain, 155th NY Co. I
Major, 155th NY
Lt. Col., 155th NY
Wounded, Spotsylvania CH
Captured, Reams's Station
Commanded Regiment at Appomattox CH

The 155th New York Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865, was recruited in the City of Buffalo and surrounding towns in late Summer, 1862 and was comprised almost entirely of Irish immigrants. 

The 155th NY, known as the Buffalo Irish Regiment was presented with a green silk flag by the citizens of Buffalo. On one side was the harp of Erin surrounded by a wreath of shamrocks and scrolls reading "Corcoran Guards" and "We Strike for the Union and the Constitution" while on the the reverse side of the flag were the twin seals of New York State and the Federal government.  The 155th NY was present for the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, then marched in President Johnson's Grand Review of the Federal Armies on May 23. They were mustered out of the service in mid July.

Upon their arrival in New York City, the men of the 155th and the rest of the Legion were feted in a parade held by Irish-American citizens of the city, after which they were paid off and discharged, returning to their homes and families.

In three years of conflict the 155th NY suffered a total of 189 deaths and roughly 280 wounded, captured or missing.  Their overall casualty rate was about 60%.

Colonel Byrne suffered a gunshot through the head at Spotsylvania Courthouse.  He miraculously survived, but the wound resulted in the loss of an eye.  

Colonel Byrne later became police chief in Buffalo.  Byrne's son Eugene attended West Point, where he was a member of the football team.  Eugene died as a result of injuries suffered in a 1909 game against Harvard.  Eugene's injuries led to changes in the rules of college football, including the universal wearing of helmets and all plays being originated at a line of scrimmage.

History of 155th from Kevin O'Beirne

Reposted - Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SU ready to play

Centers Keita (front) and Christmas practice yesterday

Top seed Syracuse University takes on UNC-Ashville in the opening round of the NCCA Tournamant this afternoon at 3:10.  Despite what you may have heard, the Orange will not be playing without a center.  Big men Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas will be available to what is still the deepest team in the nation.   

Coach Boeheim reminds us:
"I think these guys didn't (accomplish a 31-2 record) with one player, they did it with 10 players," said Boeheim. "And now, they have nine left and I expect them to be fully ready to play tomorrow."
 Update: SU 72, Ashville 65.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Last call for the Lido Deck

Video from the first season, 1977, starring Ithaca College's most famous graduate.  And check out those guest stars!

It's now too late to visit the Lido Deck, order a drink from Issac, and take in the sights poolside:
One of the most famous cruise ships of the modern era, the former Pacific Princess, is heading to the scrapyard, according to Italy's La Repubblica.
The news outlet says the 40-year-old vessel, recognizable to millions of Americans as the "Love Boat" of 1970s television, has been sold to a Turkish demolition company for just over 2.5 million euro -- about $3.3 million at current exchange rates.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is Barry afraid to debate Sarah?

It seems B. H. Obama thinks he's running for reelection against Sarah Palin.  Obama's official campaign organization released this video yesterday.  Today, candidate Palin challenged the teleprompter messiah to debate:
Sarah Palin shot back at the Obama reelection campaign this week after it used footage of her in a fundraising video.
"I’m not running for any office, but I’m more than happy to accept the dubious honor of being Barack Obama’s 'enemy of the week' if that includes the opportunity to debate him on the issues Americans are actually concerned about," Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page, posted late Monday. Palin was responding to a Web video fundraising for Obama that uses recent footage of Palin criticizing the president.
Mark Levin has offered to donate $50,000 to the Obama campaign if Chicago Barry accepts Sarah's challenge.  We'd bet the smooth talking Democrat will decline.  

Barry, are you tough enough?

Attention Republican candidates:


Free political consulting from South of 5 and 20 - here's how to beat Obama:
President Obama's approval rating has hit the lowest level ever in CBS News polling, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times survey. The drop may be partially attributable to rising gas prices.
Just 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, according to the poll, conducted from March 7 to 11. Another 47 percent disapprove of his performance, up from 41 percent last month.
Mr. Obama's approval rating was 50 percent last month.
The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 12 cents over the past two weeks. The poll found that most Americans, 54 percent, believe gas prices are something a president can do a lot about.
Bold added to make this even easier for professional political advisers to understand.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Its official: you're subsidizing Peugeot

The joke's on you

As we predicted, the Obama administration is giving hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to failing French automaker Peugeot.
Attention U.S. taxpayers:  You now own a piece of a French car company that is drowning in red ink.
That’s right.  In a move little noticed outside of the business pages, General Motors last week bought more than $400 million in shares of PSA Peugeot Citroen – a 7 percent stake in the company.
Because U.S. taxpayers still own roughly one-quarter of GM, they now own a piece of Peugeot.
Peugeot can undoubtedly use the cash.  Last year, Peugeot’s auto making division lost $123 million.  And on March 1 – just a day after the deal with GM was announced – Moody’s downgraded Peugeot’s credit rating to junk status with a negative outlook, citing “severe deterioration” of its finances.
In other words, General Motors essentially just dumped more than $400 million of taxpayer assets on junk bonds.
"“severe deterioration” of its finances," indeed.  Next time your local Democrat-friendly congressman comes to town, be sure to ask him about this.

How about Betty Jo Bialosky?

What's all this bruhaha?  Peter Bergman of Firesign Theater, RIP, 1939-2012.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is the chicken local?

"His name was Colin."

h/t Dr. Joy Bliss

SU-UConn, Round 3

After practice in NYC, yesterday

After UConn's surprising overtime victory over West Virginia yesterday, the Orange will take on the Huskies, for the third time this year, at noon today.

Update:  SU 58, UConn 55.   Next up: Cincinnati, tomorrow at 7:00.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Obama, return Maher's million

Wealthy HBO "comedian" Bill Maher has publicly referred to former Alaska governor, vice presidential candidate and mother of five Sarah Palin as a "cu*t, a "tw*t", a "boob" and "bimbo."  So we were shocked when we learned that Barry Obama, who was so concerned about a radio host's (since withdrawn) treatment of a Democrat activist that he called the "victim" personally, than made a big public deal about it, accepted a million dollar campaign donation from Maher.

In view of Maher's abhorrent treatment Governor Palin and other women, we demand Obama return Mahers' million immediately.  Anything less will constitute Obama's endorsement Maher's misogynist rhetoric.

Easier than robbing banks

Bonnie and Clyde, who died in a hail of bullets, would be jealous:

A better question for David Axlerod

Lonely Conservative just watched CNN's interview with Obama's long-time consigliere David Axlerod.  At a time when half of Americans ages 18-24 are unemployed, the real estate market has imploded, federal bureaucrats are taking over your health care, gasoline is heading for five bucks a gallon, and Iran is bragging about getting nuclear weapons, the only questions Anderson Cooper could come up with involved the Democrats' charge that Republicans want to take away a college student's constitutional right to taxpayer-funded contraception, or some such blather.

LC has a suggestion for the oh-so-professional journalist Mr. Cooper:
Cooper didn’t bother asking Axelrod about his ties to known communists, or those of his boss. Not that anyone expects people like Anderson Cooper, who are paid to investigate these people, to ask those sorts of questions.
Go to LC's post  for video of Cooper's journalistic malpractice.  Have any of your friends or neighbors ever heard of David Axlerod?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who invented the personal computer?

Xerox Alto, with mouse and Rolodex, early seventies.

Who came up with the first personal computer?  The first graphic interface?  The first computer mouse?  The first ethernet network?  Was it Steve Jobs?  Bill Gates?  A team of  faceless Japanese engineers?  No, it was formerly Rochester, NY based Xerox Corporation.
In the sixties and seventies Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Company (PARC) invented just about everything you can imagine. That includes what was recognized as the first true PC – The Xerox Alto… This sucker had everything, Ethernet networking, graphical user interface, icons, bit mapping, scalable type, a mouse, the world’s first laser printer, hot and cold running water, a back scratcher (OK, just kidding on the last two.)
So why didn't we ever see Altos in every business, school, house, tent and mud hut aound the globe, like the more successful "micro computers?" we've come to know and love?  George Parker explains:
It was years ahead of its time. So what did Xerox management do with it? Not a god damn thing. They were too busy counting the money rolling in every time someone used a 914, ‘cos you couldn’t buy one, you had to lease it and pay for every copy you made. The thing was a gold mine for years until the patents finally ran out.
As everyone knows, the main beneficiary of all the incredible stuff coming out of PARC was Steve Jobs, ‘cos in its infinite wisdom, Xerox gave the King of Apple a conducted tour of PARC, showing him everything they were up to, even watching him as he made notes of everything he was shown. Within months he had hired away some of PARCS top talent and instituted a program that resulted in the Lisa, the forerunner of the Mac, which I worked on before most of you were born!
The "914" was an early Xerox office copy machine, which generated so much revenue that Xerox saw no reason to exploit its later invention.  Why, that sounds just like that another Rochester industrial giant, now bankrupt, which invented digital photography - Eastman Kodak.


SU-Louisville attendance:  33,205

Syracuse University, Big East regular season champion, finishes best regular season ever: 30-1. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Our tax plan

Just in time for election season, Bob explains South of 5 and 20's tax reform proposal.


Ann Romney with Kid Rock, Detroit, February 27.

Kodak selling online services to Shutterfly

Rochester's bankrupt Eastman Kodak Company is reported to be in the process of selling is online photo services business, Kodak Gallery, to competitor Shutterfly.
Eastman Kodak Co has agreed to sell its online photo services business to Shutterfly Inc for $23.8 million, kicking off the bankrupt photography pioneer's relaunch as a much slimmer company although a patent sale seen crucial to its turnaround may still be months away.
The once-iconic company that invented the hand-held camera has said it will quit the camera business and is expected to fetch $1 billion to $2 billion from the sale of about 1,100 digital patents, which is due to get under way by June 30.
After dominating Upstate's industrial landscape for more that 100 years, Eastman is now forced to surrender it's still-viable photo printing business to what was, only a few years ago, a tiny start-up that no one at Kodak Park had ever heard of.  While Kodak management was out spending their annual bonuses on Buicks and swimming pools, a few techies in California were thinking ahead.
Shutterfly was founded in 1999 by two employees of Silicon Graphics – Eva Manolis and Dan Baum. Eva was a product person and Dan was a technology person. They teamed up and asked Jim Clark to fund it, which he did...
The vision at the time was that people were starting to buy these new things called digital cameras, but their pictures were stuck in them. They created a site that allowed people to get their pictures out of the camera, literally. Their early adopters where white men, technofiles, spending $2,000 for a 1-2 Mega Pixel camera. That was in 1999. They started programming in April, and the site launched on December 11, 1999.
 More on Kodak's digital photography history here.