Thursday, January 28, 2010


Mark turned me on to some of Howard Zinn's books back in the '80s. Certainly his is a rare voice that we'll miss.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hope and Change?

Simon reports that in the Village of Dryden, the Republican incumbents will face no Democratic opposition for the first time in 30 years.

I spent my lunch hour downtown with Irene and Gwen dishing on potential opposition for the judge, sheriff, and assembly races--all positions held currently by Democrats, but who knows what will happen this year?

It's a little disconcerting, although it's been coming for some time in Dryden Village--we kept putting up good candidates who kept getting smacked down, even though each year we got more votes than the year before.

Redrawing the Borders

This lovely map has been making the rounds; it shows how things might look if our two senate seats were based on population rather than on state borders. I love the pleasing labels for the different regions. We're stuck in Erie, but that's okay.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Race to the Dumpster

This description of NYS's failure to submit part of the necessary material for Race to the Top funding for schools epitomizes all that's wrong with our dysfunctional state government: 1) They wait till the last minute to decide anything, 2) They think compromise is a show of weakness, and 3) They are beholden to all manner of special interests, in this case, the teachers' unions. Meanwhile, the unions themselves don't seem to recognize that by standing in the way, they will lose thousands of members over the next couple of years, as local school districts trim budgets with reduced state aid and not one penny of this potential money from the feds. Eating their young, as usual.

Who Rules America?

I'll give you a hint: It's not us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fandom Sux

Full disclosure: I liked John Edwards in 2008. I thought his focus on The Two Americas was exactly right. I thought Barack Obama was a great speaker, but I didn't think he was ready to lead. (I leave it to you to decide whether that last part proved true.)

Of course, Edwards pulled a Spitzer and imploded in a way that, had he gotten the nomination, would have guaranteed a Republican victory, and now we'd have Sarah Palin in our face daily instead of just weekly. Now it turns out that the baby he denied really was his--surprise. But he thinks she'll forgive him, and why not? That's what women do. Well, John, guess what. I was a fan, and I don't forgive you. You are pondscum.

I was a fan of David Paterson's, too. I liked him a lot when he came to visit. I liked his wife. I liked the fact that he didn't want to be governor. Of course, that was before he came out and confessed to a series of indiscretions and took over for the feckless Eliot. This week, the Post described Paterson's nuzzly lunchtime tryst with a young woman. While I'll consider the source, I'll also say, Fool me once, shame on you. . . .

Give me a nice money-laundering scandal anyday over this kind of tawdry crap.

Charging for Content

The NYT will charge for content next year, giving readers a certain number of articles for free and then charging per article from that point.

It's clear that newspapers can't afford to go on as they have, and maybe this is a sensible alternative. The fact is that I read only a handful of pieces each day anyway, so I may fall under the freebie category--unless they charge automatically for op-ed pieces, in which case I'm screwed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gas/No Gas

Paul liked the juxtaposition of the IJ's two main articles Friday: CU to cut emissions by 28% by moving from coal to natural gas vs. drilling protests planned. They quote natural resources prof Tim Fahey:
"I try to emphasize to my students that there's no such thing as environmentally friendly sources of power," Fahey said. "What there is, is comparative risks ... What we know for sure about energy sources is that the cheapest source of power is coal, but it's also the most risk-intensive."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Makin' Money on the Circuit

Since time immemorial, pols have raked in money under the table. Now, as Frank Rich points out, they don't even try to hide it.
The right has a point when it says that the Senate health care votes of Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana were bought with pork. But at least their constituents can share the pigout. Hustlers like Steele and Palin take the money and run.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google Exits China?

I can't help feeling that this is one of the most important stories of the day. Giant corporations may replace political envoys as the arbiters of international diplomacy; they have the leverage to make change happen. Or do they? Stay tuned. . .

Monday, January 11, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Good Bye, P&C

Tops has made a deal to buy every one of upstate's P&Cs. It could be worse. I prefer Price Chopper, but they would have closed 'em all for six months to revise them. Tops seems more likely to keep them open while fixing them up and modernizing them. I hope they teach the employees how to move people through a line.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Dog

New Chair

For the first time in a while, the chair of the Tompkins County Legislature will NOT be from Ithaca. Dryden's own Martha Robertson won handily.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Required Reading

Not a week goes by when O doesn't have a sub in one class or another. This little NYT essay will give all parents pause.
Nationwide, 5.2 percent of teachers are absent on any given day, a rate three times as high as that of professionals outside teaching and more than one and a half times as high as that of teachers in Britain. Teachers in America are most likely to be absent on Fridays, followed by Mondays.

Next Weekend in Dryden

Running to Places Presents The Music Man

Running to Places presents The Music Man at the Dryden High School Auditorium. Featuring the brightest young talent from across the county, The Music Man is great post-holiday fun for the whole family. The show will run January 8-10 at the Dryden High School Auditorium, Friday & Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm. The Music Man is sponsored by the Ithaca Youth Bureau and the Overhead Door Company of Cortland, with season-long support from the Ithaca Youth Bureau, CSP Management, and Cayuga Radio Group. Tickets are $10 General Admission and $8 Students/Seniors and are available at the door and online at