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)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Economy stinks even worse

Bloomberg speculates the lack of retail spending may be due to lack of jobs:
A lack of jobs may prompt Americans to keep focusing on replenishing depleted nest eggs, hurting sales at retailers from CarMax Inc. (KMX) to Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (RRGB) Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley were among those cutting forecasts after the figures, indicating the economy slowed further in the second quarter.
The data are “consistent with a weakening growth backdrop,” said Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research LLC in New York. “There’s still this propensity for consumers to boost their rate of savings, which is what you’d expect in an environment where they are very skeptical about the outlook for the labor market.”
We hesitate to disagree with a professional economist, but we doubt that consumers aren't buying because they want to build up their .01% interest rate savings accounts.  We suspect households are not visiting CarMax or Red Robin because they don't have enough money.

Allen West explains Obamatax

Allen West
Florida Rep. Allen West uses a sneaker analogy to explain Congress's new found power to tax anything you do, or don't do.
“Now we have a federal government that has unlimited taxing authority and power based upon the precedent that was just established by the Supreme Court,” West said, “So that if I want to tell you that all runners in the United States of America must buy New Balance running shoes and if you don’t buy New Balance running shoes, I’ll tax you for it.”
West said that there is now literally "nothing that the government cannot do" by imposing a tax.
Republicans, to differentiate themselves from Democrats, must choose leaders who can make very important points in very clear words.  Have you ever listened to Mumblin' Mitch McConnell or Weepin' John Boehner?  Does one out of a hundred of your friends or neighbors even recognize either of these career politicians?  In a time when America's very existence is on the line, Republicans spouting legislative jargon and bipartisan boilerplate are nothing more than power tools for the enemy.  

We need plain speakers like Allen West.  As a matter of fact, we're not the only ones who hold that radical position.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a top surrogate for GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, suggested Wednesday night that controversial Tea Party freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) could be a "good" choice as the party's vice presidential nominee.
Nikki Haley, Sarah Palin
"You've got great ones. You have heard Gov. Palin talk about West, and he's good," Haley told Fox News. "Of course, Marco Rubio is great, and Chris Christie. We know he can be the fighter, and I think there are so many really great ones out there. I think Romney is going to have a hard time picking."
Palin told Fox on Tuesday night that she hoped Romney "goes rogue" and picks someone like West for the nomination.
"Top of my list is Allen West," Palin said. "I love that he has that military experience, he is a public servant willing to serve for the right reasons. When I talk about going rogue, what I want is to encourage the GOP nominee to not think that they have to go with somebody necessarily safe."

Harry Reid, Joe Biden
And let's not ignore the visuals.  When it comes to entrenched, powerful, corrupt, vindictive old white men, the Democrats are second to nobody - compare and contrast.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wendy Long statement on Obamacare decision

Earlier today:
“Although I have yet to read fully all the opinions in this complicated ruling, I respectfully disagree that Obamacare’s individual mandate is justified as a tax. But now that the Court majority has called it a ‘tax,’ as New York’s next United States Senator, I will work to repeal this tax and replace it with a sensible plan to improve health insurance coverage for all Americans.”

Economy still stinks

In case you missed this amid all the Obamacare hubub, here's the latest on Obama's Recovery Summer II:
The number of applications for unemployment benefits hovered last week near the highest level of the year, showing little improvement in the U.S. labor market.

Jobless claims decreased by 6,000 to 386,000 in the week ended June 23, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The prior week’s reading was revised up to 392,000 from 387,000, matching an April figure as the steepest of 2012. 
And if you happen to be, or are the parent of, a recent college graduate, this research from Rutgers University should make you think twice about your "Obama 2012" bumper sticker.
Just half of the college students who graduated during the Great Recession and its aftermath currently have full-time jobs, a new report says.
The survey, called "Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession" and conducted by Rutgers University’s John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, spoke to 444 people who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011.
Fifty-one percent of respondents had full-time jobs, the survey found, and 20 percent were in graduate school. Part-time workers made up 12 percent, while 11 percent were unemployed.
Bold added.  Our advice to the young:  unemployed college graduates, many of whom are facing a lifetime of student loan debt and fines for not buying health insurance, should refrain from voting for Obama again.

Are you registered?

Reposted for July 28, 2012:

And then get your butts to the firehouse, town hall, high school gym, or wherever your district votes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Long to face Cuomo croney Gillibrand

Wendy Long appears to have easily won the New York GOP primary race for US Senate.  She'll face Kirsten Gillibrand, the most liberal member of the Democrat-controlled Senate and a long-time Andy Cuomo crony.

Long, who was endorsed by South of 5 and 20, got 51 percent of the vote in a three way race. 

If you just tuning in to Wendy, try this for starters:
The main purpose and idea of my campaign is not original. I can't claim authorship. An inspired group of New Yorkers and other Americans came up with the idea, about 225 years ago.
It's called limited self-government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wendy Long for US Senate

Wendy at the range

We endorse Wendy Long in Tuesday's Republican primary.   Wendy deserves to replace America's most liberal senator, former tobacco company lawyer Kirsten Gillibrand.
With so many serious issues and responsibilities before the United States Senate, New York needs a Senator who thinks for herself - not just someone who rubber-stamps the Obama agenda or checks with Chuck Schumer and says, "Me too!"
Independence is a quality that New Yorkers used to count on in our Senators, regardless of party. Think of names like Kennedy, Buckley, Moynihan, Clinton, D'Amato: a lot of political differences come to mind. But they have something in common, too: they are names associated with purpose, with ideas, and with stature worthy of a Senator from New York, not a cheerleader on the sidelines of an administration whose policies have so clearly failed.
And this brings me to the heart of my candidacy.
The main purpose and idea of my campaign is not original. I can't claim authorship. An inspired group of New Yorkers and other Americans came up with the idea, about 225 years ago.
It's called limited self-government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bob explains Obama'a finacial reforms

Democrats to pound another nail into Upstate's coffin

Next time you hear double-dipper Bob Duffy gassing about creating jobs in Upstate New York, ask him how this helps.
State lawmakers are in talks over a plan to lower New York's cap on carbon emissions, a move that would likely boost costs for coal-fired power plants and revamp the state's participation in a regional climate-change program.
Under pressure from environmental groups, lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office have discussed lowering the limit through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a nine-state cap-and-trade program in which carbon allowances are auctioned off to power producers.
Let's think about this for a moment.  If you're a struggling Finger Lakes homeowner, your second-highest-in-the-US electric rate will go up again.  If you're a swell who's invested in carbon credits, however, your net worth will increase.
"One of the most serious things that has been looked at this year is adjusting the cap, and by adjusting the cap the credits themselves will regain value," said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Kingston Democrat who chairs the chamber's energy committee.
And if you happen to still have a job in a coal fired power plant, don't worry.  
The legislation would likely have a significant impact on the state's coal plants, particularly financially troubled facilities in Lansing, Tompkins County, and three others in western New York.
You and your fellow taxpayers will be forced to hand over more cash to your local government, which by the tortured logic of the state legislature, will make it all better.
Current discussions, however, center around providing state aid to municipalities should a power plant close, according to the bill language. Forty percent of the additional revenue from the emissions auctions would be earmarked for communities that are "substantially adversely impacted by the loss of property tax revenues" or a payment in lieu of taxes agreement "due to the closing of a major electric generating facility."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The problem with getting older

Dr. Robert Owens explains:
The problem with getting older is you can remember when what we now pay at the pump was a car payment, and what we now pay for groceries was a house payment.  The central-planers behind the curtain in OZ may tell us there is no inflation, but our eyes and our wallets tell us something else: the truth.

Washington, DC:  3/20/12

Friday, June 15, 2012

Long Island has better looking McDonald's

Yes, it's a McDonald's.  From Scouting New York:
McDonalds purchased the property with the intention of tearing it down and replacing it with a standard McDonald’s restaurant. Thank God for the citizens of the New Hyde Park, who worked to secure landmark status for the building in 1987.
McDonald’s had no choice but to restore the property and work within the parameters of the landmarks commission, which ultimately resulted in their most beautiful restaurant in America (if you know of a better example, please let me know).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Having a flashback?

Do our eyes deceive us?

We acquired this convenient thirty-pack of refreshing Genesee Cream Ale, not in 1978, but earlier today!  Either our local retailer was not rotating his stock in a timely manner, or Upstate's leading brewery had rolled out a very retro look.  It turns out our purchase is indeed fresh.
According to Janine Schoos, brand manager for the Genesee Family of Beers, Genesee Cream Ale is experiencing a resurgence. The beer is taking off in cities like Brooklyn, Atlanta and Seattle. Better availability, along with growing interest in beers with heritage, have helped Genesee Cream Ale gain relevance among consumers.

The new packaging mirrors a move made last year with Genesee Beer. “The response to Genesee Beer’s vintage packaging, along with the release of a collection of heritage beers, has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Schoos. “We’re getting back to our roots and reintroducing the packaging that people knew and loved. And beer drinkers are responding – Genesee is rapidly growing.
Much as we admired GCA's gorgeous "new" logo, we always loved the simplicity of the former, and now current, look.  And we can't help but be pleased to learn that the swells in Brooklyn, Atlanta and Seattle are catching up with us.

Back to the future

Voters could eliminate property taxes today..

...in North Dakota.  Finger Lakes citizens who believe "you don't own your home, you rent it from the teachers' union" will want to take note.
In an election here on Tuesday, residents of North Dakota will consider a measure that reaches far beyond any of that — one that abolishes the property tax entirely.
“I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I can’t pay a tax,” said Susan Beehler, one in a group of North Dakotans who have pressed for an amendment to the state’s Constitution to end the property tax. They argue that the tax is unpredictable, inconsistent, counter to the concept of property ownership and needless in a state that, thanks in part to wildly successful oil drilling, finds itself in the rare circumstance of carrying budget reserves.
“When,” Ms. Beehler asked, “did we come to believe that government should get rich and we should get poor?”
Who could be opposed to such an expansion of liberty and freedom?  Why, the usual beneficiaries of the status quo:
AARP of North Dakota
AFSCME Council 59
AGC of North Dakota
American Council of Engineering Companies North Dakota (ACEC/ND)
Badlands Board of REALTORS
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
Bismarck Mandan Development Association
Bismarck-Mandan Board of REALTORS
Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce
Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association
Burke Divide Electric Cooperative
Burleigh County Township Association
Capital Electric Cooperative Inc.
Cass County Electric Cooperative
Cavalier Electric Cooperative
Central Power Electric Cooperative
Credit Union Association of the Dakotas
Dakota Valley Electric Cooperativ
Dickinson Area Builders Association
Fargo Citywide PTA
Fargo Moorhead Area Association of REALTORS
FMWF Chamber of Commerce
Forx Builders Association
Fraternal Order of Police
Grand Forks Area Association of REALTORS
Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce
Grand Forks County Employees Association
Great River Energy
Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation
Home Builders Association of Fargo/Moorhead
Independent Community Banks of North Dakota
Jamestown Board of REALTORS
Jamestown Chamber of Commerce
KEM Electric Cooperative
Lignite Energy Council
McKenzie Electric Cooperative
Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.
Minot Association of Builders
Minot Board of REALTORS
Minot Chamber of Commerce
Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, Inc
ND Assoc. of Oil & Gas Producing Counties
ND Water Resource Districts
ND Water User Association
NoDak Electic Cooperative
North Central Electric Cooperative
North Dakota AFL-CIO
North Dakota Association of Builders
North Dakota Association of Career & Technical Education
North Dakota Association of Counties
North Dakota Association of REALTORS
North Dakota Bankers Association
North Dakota Beer Distributors Association
North Dakota Beer Distributors Association
North Dakota Chamber of Commerce
North Dakota Corn Growers
North Dakota Education Association
North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association
North Dakota Farmers Union
North Dakota Grain Growers
North Dakota Grocers Association
North Dakota League of Cities
North Dakota Long Term Care Association
North Dakota Motor Carriers Association
North Dakota Petroleum Council
North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association
North Dakota PTA
North Dakota Public Employees Association
North Dakota Recreation & Park Association
North Dakota Retailers
North Dakota Rural Electric Cooperatives
North Dakota Rural Telephone Cooperatives
North Dakota Rural Water Systems Associations
North Dakota School Boards Association
North Dakota Senior Service Providers
North Dakota Soybean Association
North Dakota Stockmen’s Association
North Dakota Township Officers
North Dakota Utility Shareholders
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative
Professional Firefighters of North Dakota
Roughrider Electric Cooperative
Slope Electric Cooperative
Tobacco Free North Dakota
Valley City Chamber of Commerce
Verendrye Electric Cooperative
Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Board of Realtors
Wahpeton Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce
Ward County Farmers Union
Williston Area Builders Association
Williston Board of Realtors
Williston Chamber of Commerce, frozen tundra division.
 The "we got ours" club, frozen tundra division.

Update:  North Dakotans have voted to keep their chains.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Living Like a Fool

Linda Ronstadt, "Playboy After Dark," October, 1969.  Bernie Leadon on guitar, Hugh Hefner on the couch.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Heat Wave

Linda Ronstadt, Offenbach, Germany, November 16, 1976.

Politicians wake up to toll increase

Will billionaire Cuomo campaign donor Howard Milstein get away with his stake-through-the-heart Thruway toll increase?  Maybe not.  In the Finger Lakes:
You won't find any supporters of a proposed New York State Thruway toll hike among Cayuga County's state legislators...
The potential toll increase was criticized by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, who said that it's another example of New York "not being open for business."
"It would increase the cost of goods and services and increase costs at a time that people do not need any more increased costs," he said.
Assemblyman Gary Finch, R-Springport, shared Kolb's position.
"At a time when we're trying to get the economy to come back, in addition to the high cost of fuel, we're putting an additional burden on trucks that will be reflected in the costs of goods and merchandise to the consumer," he said.
Assemblyman Robert Oaks, R-Macedon, and state Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, also oppose the proposed toll increase.
And from the remote Western New York outpost of Amherst:
Representative Kathy Hochul (NY-26) sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo expressing her opposition to a proposed 45 percent increase in tolls for trucks on the New York State Thruway stating that the increase would negatively impact Western New York’s economy.
In the letter Hochul writes: “If implemented, this would seriously hinder economic activity in our region. I spoke to truckers just today who say they will have no option but to either pass on the additional costs of the higher tolls to their customers, or to avoid the Thruway altogether by using secondary roads. The Thruway Authority’s proposal would make the cost of business in our state even higher, especially in rural communities that depend on trucks for freight service.”
We remind Rep. Hochul that people who depend on truck transportation are not confined to New York's rural hinterlands.  Every man, woman and child in the United States depends on trucks for the necessities and luxuries of modern life. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wolly Bully

"...one, two, tres, quatro."  Sam the Sham (Domingo Samudio) and the Pharos, 1966. 

Tumbling Dice

Linda Ronstadt, at the Summit in Houston, TX, November 17, 1977.  Intro by Martin Mull.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sentimental Lady

Bob Welch, 1945-2012.

Live, with Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood (worth watching the ad).


They're ubiquitous in the Finger Lakes.  They go in snow "like a rat with sneakers."  And even though they're made in huge factories by a giant corporation, and spew carbon like a politician explaining why higher taxes are good for you, for some reason they seem to be politically correct.  And they're waterproof!
"Ja, that ice'll hold ya." Until it didn't, and suddenly a man's 1996 Legacy wagon was at the bottom of a shallow lake in Finland. Three months later, the Subaru wagon was dragged from its freshwater slumber, and while most people would just write the car off or at most turn it into a parts donor, curiosity got the better of the rescue squad...

After removing a live fish from the engine bay, draining a lot of water from the fuel tank and crankcase, and a fresh fill of fluids and spark plugs, lo and behold, the SCUBA-ru chugged to life on the first try.

The Married Men

Phoebe Snow and Linda Ronstadt, Saturday Night Live, May 15, 1979.

Dow up again today?

After yesterday's huge upward jump, as we write this the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 100 points.  Listening to network radio news as we travel through the Finger Lakes, it would appear that inventors are reacting to a lack of bad news from Greece, or perhaps an optimistic crop forecast from the Andromeda Galaxy.  Who knows what affects stock prices?

We'll tell you who knows - Larry Kudlow.
You didn’t see it in the mainstream financial media Wednesday morning. But stocks loved Governor Scott Walker’s spanking of public-sector unions and Democrats in Wisconsin. The Dow jumped about 165 points right at the opening on Wednesday, and was up over 200 points later in the day. There really was no other news. There was some speculation about central bank stimulus in Europe and the United States. Blah, blah, blah. But there was nothing specific or concrete.
So it’s an easy point to make: Markets love the Scott Walker landslide.
We always hesitate to give investment advice, but if you believe Obama is toast, it might just be time to buy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fighting food facism

A culture that redefines food choices as moral issues will demonize the people who don’t share the tastes of the priest class. A culture that elevates eating to some holistic act of ethical self-definition - localvore, low-carbon-impact food, fair trade, artisanal cheese - will find the casual carefree choices of the less-enlightened as an affront to their belief system. Leave it to Americans to invent a Puritan strain of Epicurianism.
We've had enough of the food fascists ourselves, and so has Professor Reynolds:
Let me be clear. These people are not well-meaning do-gooders who have just gone a bit too far. They don’t actually “mean well” at all. They don’t mean well, they mean to be in control. They are power-fetishists, drunk on the joys of bossing the little people around. They are not good people. They are evil. They should be ashamed of themselves, but shame — like taxes — is for the little people.
They don't like you.

At Last

Phoebe Snow, recorded in Germany.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ohio solar heist was an inside job

Obama labor secretary Hilda Solis tours W&K, 2011

Back in April, we told you about another solar energy crime family, the W&K gang in sunny Ohio.  In addition to ripping off Italian investors, the green gonifs also got away with fifteen million dollars taken from Ohio taxpayers.  We feel bad for the Italians, who should have done due diligence before they parted with all those lira.  But why would the government of Ohio, a state whose economy was already swirling down the rust belt commode, allow its taxpayers to be hornswaggled?  Hadn't they heard about Solyndra?

Breitbart reports that the Toledo Blade has found the answer:  Ohio's then governor, Democrat Ted Strickland, was on the take.
So, as governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland saw that WK Solar was in trouble after the state loaned them $5 million. Why on earth would he make the decision to flush another $10 million of Ohians money down the toilet?
In 2010, WK Solar executives — including CEO Michael Cicak and president James Appold — donated almost $25,000 to Gov. Ted Strickland’s re-election campaign. Cicak also donated to Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher’s US Senate campaign. Fisher served as director of the Department of Development under Governor Strickland.
Later that year, in July of 2010, the Department of Development lent WK Solar an additional $10 million in taxpayer dollars. Strickland’s administration also approved multiple deadline extensions for required financial reports, as well as deferrals for required loan repayments. [emphasis added]
What a deal for "WK Solar executives" - a measly $25K to "green jobs" scammer Strickland got them a cool $15 million, coerced from Ohio families. 

We don't know if ex-governor Strickland is in the running to replace Steve "Ten bucks a gallon" Chu as Obama's energy secretary, but when it comes to "Strickland" and "energy," we'll stick with Strickland Propane.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bloomberg supports giant donuts

At Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s press conference touting his efforts to stop the sale of large soft drinks in restaurants, one reporter in attendance brought up the interesting fact that his administration also supporting “National Donut Day” tomorrow and inquired as to whether that muddled the mayor’s message on the issue.
Indeed, at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, Entenmann’s will be unveiling “Custom-made Entenmann’s large donuts, 1-foot in diameter” at Madison Square Park at the same time they unveil a “Proclamation Letter by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Mitt gets it

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Listen to Mitt Romney explain Obama's scheme to steal half a billion taxpayer dollars. We're pleased that Mitt has the guts to say it.  We understand, Mitt understands, now make sure your friends and neighbors understand.