tvm's blog

It's all about doing away with that inconvenient Constitution

Doesn't matter whether we're talking about Agenda 21 specifically or RGGI or doing away with fossil fuels and "replacing" them with renewables (but there would never be blackouts or brownouts if we did so, oh, no)— it ultimately all comes down to which do we choose...liberty or tyranny?

Environmentalists want to ban hydraulic fracturing in Las Vegas, N.M., and the surrounding county and they don’t plan to let the United States Constitution stop them.
“What people don’t understand is sometimes we have to step outside the boundaries of the Constitution to get things done,” Paula Hern, a board member with Community for Clean Water Air and Earth, told the ABQ Journal. “Laws are made to protect corporations and we need laws that protect Mother Earth – earth, air and water.”
Hern was defending a “community rights ordinance” banning fracking that the Las Vegas (N.M.) City Council passed but the mayor refused to sign. “The way it reads, it will supersede everything – our city charter, state and federal laws,” said Mayor Alfonso Ortiz...
"What people don’t understand is sometimes we have to step outside the boundaries of the Constitution..."? Oh, I understand plenty.  
And I've been in Las Vegas, NM.  It's poor. And about an hour's drive from Santa Fe, where I've also been, and which struck me as Ithaca with a Spanish accent.  Are you getting the picture?  I wonder how many of the fractivists pushing for the ban in Las Vegas are from San Miguel County and how many are well-heeled imports from Santa Fe—and beyond—who just plain know better than anyone else...and who use fossil fuels and their derivatives and by-products all the time but who don't want to see any low-brows seriously better themsleves by working to produce those fuels.  Better that they should sit on the sidewalks around the central plaza in Santa Fe selling baskets of tchotchkes.
Stand up for the Constitution and liberty, people, or we're all going to be sitting on sidewalks selling tchotchkes.

Great NYS news!

Ummm, not so much.

Would you be happy if your student got Ds?  Well, Mario's kid just received a grade of "D" from the Cato Institute in their latest Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governor's: 2012. You should definitely look at the whole thing to see how the various states and their governors are doing, but here's the part relevant to many of us (on page 34):

New York

Andrew Cuomo, Democrat Grade: D

Legislature: Divided
Took Office: January 2011

In his January 2011 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo said that New York must “hold the line on taxes now and reduce taxes in the future.” Unfortunately, the governor has not lived up to that pledge. In December 2011, Cuomo signed an increase in the top personal income tax rate, which is expected to raise $1.9 billion annually. A previous “temporary” hike in the top rate from 6.85 percent to rates of 7.85 percent and 8.97 percent was supposed to expire at the end of 2011. But Cuomo’s legislation will “temporarily” create a new top rate of 8.82 percent through the end of 2014. Cuomo’s tax plan included some tax breaks, but the overall net tax increase was more than $1.5 billion a year. These tax hikes won’t help the New York economy, which already suffers from having the second worst business tax climate in the nation.

There were no new taxes in the governor’s budget this year, and his spending increases have been about average among the governors. Also to his credit, Cuomo approved pension reforms for public sector workers, which could save state and local governments in New York tens of billions of dollars over coming years. In New York City alone, the annual cost of pensions for city workers has exploded from $1.3 billion to $8 billion in just the past decade. So Cuomo’s reforms were desperately needed, but much more needs to be done to reduce government spending in New York.

And the moment you've all been waiting for, the release of the 2013 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index from the Tax Foundation, in which the state whose motto is "Excelsior" ranks 50th among the 57 states because we have

...the worst individual income tax, the sixth- worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes. The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates...

But wait...when it comes to why individuals and espcially businesses don't wish to be in NYS, there's more!  Here's a specific example at FoxNews via Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

Two venerable American gun manufacturers — Remington and Colt — could head for the West their weapons helped win if New York and Connecticut force them to implement microstamping technology.
Microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, is a patented process that uses laser technology to engrave a tiny marking of the make, model and serial number on the tip of a gun’s firing pin to allow an imprint of that information on spent cartridge cases. Supporters of the technology say it will be a “game changer,” allowing authorities to quickly identify the registered guns used in crimes. Opponents claim the process is costly, unreliable and may ultimately impact the local economies that heavily depend on the gun industry, including Ilion, N.Y., where Remington Arms maintains a factory, and Hartford, Conn., where Colt's manufacturing is headquartered.

“Mandatory microstamping would have an immediate impact of a loss of 50 jobs,” New York State Sen. James Seward, a Republican whose district includes Ilion, said, adding that Remington employs 1,100 workers in the town. “You’re talking about a company that has options in other states. Why should they be in a state that’s hostile to legal gun manufacturing? There could be serious negative economic impact with the passage of microstamping and other gun-control laws”...
Of course, there's not only the negative economic impact involved here, but a slight matter of the Second Amendment, whose continued and unwelcome existence is a much bigger deal to gun opponents in this state than law enforcement concerns.
You can always move west like a lot of our central NY forebears to where men and women really know how to work together:

Facts? What facts? This is Ithaca.

I wonder how many Pinocchios this article at the fishwrap of record about transient drill rig roughnecks Cornell students engaging in underage drinking got?

This many, ya think?

I give the editor credit—rather than take down the article, he left it there to stink:

Editors' Note: September 28, 2012
An article on Thursday described the effect of social media use on the bar scene in several college towns, including the area around Cornell. After the article was published, questions were raised by the blog IvyGate about the identities of six Cornell students quoted in the article or shown in an accompanying photo.

None of the names provided by those students to a reporter and photographer for The Times — Michelle Guida, Vanessa Gilen, Tracy O’Hara, John Montana, David Lieberman and Ben Johnson — match listings in the Cornell student directory, and The Times has not subsequently been able to contact anyone by those names. The Times should have worked to verify the students’ identities independently before quoting or picturing them for the article.

Via Newsbusters, where it was pointed out that the author of the article at the NYT "...had not considered at the time that the students could be lying."

And I love the dry remark at Instapundit:

Always remember,  these people are trustworthy, unlike those bloggers working in their pajamas.

No enumerating those poultry just yet

Nevertheless, this feels good.

You've probably seen this:

After last night, there's this:

On the one hand...

...and on the other hand...

You mean gas drilling isn't the problem?


Via the Lonely Conservative:

TUPPER LAKE — Big Tupper Ski Area will not open this winter. 
The grassroots group Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving our Economy (ARISE) said they lost investment resources to reopen the ski center this season because of a lawsuit filed against developers who own the mountain property....

...Big Tupper is owned by partners of the resort project, whose lead developers are Michael Foxman and Tom Lawson.
But Protect the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club and several Tupper Lake neighbors filed an Article 78 lawsuit charging, among some 30 counts, that APA [Adirondack Park Agency] did not complete wildlife studies before granting resort permits and that APA staff violated hearing rules in communicating with the resort developers after formal hearing testimony closed....
And as long as we're banging our redneck heads against the wall, why don't we run the ol' hypocrisy meter whilst we're at it?
Because that's what this is.  It isn't about the environment...that's just a smokescreen. What it's really about is this:
...There is a war going on in parts of America between impoverished locals and urban elites. These elites are using fraud, exaggeration and celebrity star power to stop rural communities from prospering...
And it doesn't matter how those locals might prosper, whether it be through gas drilling or through the preferred "anti" alternative to industry here in NYS, tourism. But don't worry—the elites will continue to drive in fossil-fuel-powered cars or fly in fossil-fuel-powered planes to their winter vacations at out-of-state ski resorts.
And don't give me any crap about global warming...this winter is going to be actual, you know, winter:
Mark Wysocki with the Northeast Regional Climate Center says don’t expect a repeat of the mild winter we had last year because signals in the Pacific Ocean show that body of water has become warm, and when the Pacific is warm it points to a cold and snowy winter for the Northeastern United States.
Wysocki predicts snowfall for the region will be 3 to 5 inches about the annual average.
The average snowfall for Ithaca is about 69 inches per year.
So, Big Tupper could have had a chance this year but for the caring, compassionate folks at the Sierra Club and their fellow travelers.
Frickin' hypocrites.

The rich get richer...

...and according to the President, "America doesn't succeed when the rich get richer..."

There's a little problem with that reasoning—it's called "math."

Yes, we all know that many Americans are functionally illiterate:

But many, including the President, are also functionally innumerate:

Indeed, a friend went to that well-known list of the rich getting richer, the Forbes 400, and just for fun, added up the wealth of the top 100—I know, we're getting into the realm of higher mathematics here, three-and four-column addition—and it came to just over a trillion dollars. Fabulous wealth, no? Shouldn't we just confiscate it and solve all of our fiscal woes?

Well, as we've blogged about here 18 months (and a couple of trillion dollars in debt) ago, all that wealth is a drop in the bucket relative to what we are spending—and borrowing—on a daily basis. 

In addition to innumeracy, maybe people can't suspend their disbelief—people simply can't believe that we're that far gone financially, that even instantly, magically confiscating all the wealth of the wealthiest among us and immediately applying it to our budgetary problems wouldn't fix things.

In fact, it would probably make things worse...the same mathematically-inclined friend points out that if you impoverish the rich at the federal level

  1. there goes the tax base for other taxing authorities such as the 57 states, and
  2. what do you do in year two? You can only go to that particular well once, after all.

And, seeing what happened to their rich compatriots, any other productive or potentially productive Americans would likely "go Galt." John Smith found that out in Jamestown in 1607—when it comes to human nature, there's nothing new under the sun.

But our idiot savant President thinks that none of that is an issue. Debt? What debt? So what if we have a little debt...after all, we just owe that to ourselves, right?


What we're doing is saddling our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews with debt that will keep them working for the government rather than for themselves for their entire lives...all to repay the excesses of the current and past generations, excesses that didn't arise out of compassion, but out of political expediency.

And even worse, if that's possible, is the money that we owe to creditors outside our own the Chinese Communists.

Yes, the Chinese Communists.  Sounds old-fashioned, doesn't it?  Didn't the Chinese see the error of their ways and morph into capitalists?

Not really.  They're big-C Communists who are not nice people (don't click on the link unless you have a strong stomach...what's been seen can't be unseen).

The Chinese would make a mafioso Vito-the-Legbreaker collector look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

This is where we're headed, folks:


h/t Tom.

Death & taxes

The only sure things, according to Benjamin Franklin.

Not much to look forward to.  At AMAC:

BOHEMIA, NY, Sep 14 – “There may not be a ‘death panel’ lurking in the Affordable Care Act but there is an Independent Payment Advisory Board [IPAB] that has some folks – including many physicians – scared it will ultimately find a way to ration care for the elderly,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
“You can hide a lot of mischief in a 2400 page law.  Perhaps, that’s why they didn’t want you to know in advance what was in the legislation that the President calls ObamaCare.  And, the IPAB is, in fact, one of those hidden threats all set to rear up and bite us come 2015 when the Board is expected to begin functioning.”
The stated purpose of the IPAB is to control costs and that’s a good thing, said Weber.  However, he added, when you dig down into the descriptions of the Board’s functions and powers a lot of questions are raised.
“For one thing, it creates the very real possibility that the Board will reduce payments to doctors as a means of controlling costs.  In turn, it raises the specter of physicians choosing to not treat Medicare patients at all or, if they do, they might elect to limit the amount of care they will provide”...
And as always, the media is carrying water for the administration, the kind of water that gets you acclimated to your own imminent demise:
You're being trained to think that the road the administration is going down is the only path to take and is the only solution to existing problems.  For example, in USA Today:
The number of total knee replacement surgeries has soared 161.5% among Medicare participants over the past 20 years, a $5 billion annual tab that will continue to grow as the USA's 77 million Baby Boomers age, according to a large study out today...
...The challenges, [lead author Peter Cram] adds, are how to address post-surgery problems that can develop from shorter hospital stays and in patients with other conditions such as diabetes and obesity, and how to ensure doctors are not overusing a "highly reimbursed procedure"...
...the authors say the yearly demand for total knee replacements could be as high as 3.48 million procedures by 2030 and can potentially "decrease the allocation of health care resources used by patients."
Yet the surgeries also "will be a driver of health care costs,'' and steps need to be taken to address "predisposing modifiable factors such as obesity and to advance efforts at early intervention strategies to treat mild arthritis and to prevent progression'' requiring surgery...
The solution to existing problems is to vote out of office the people whose policies are completely driven by leftist ideology and who are thus unable to think outside that box.
Grandma says it best:
h/t Tom

UPDATE: At the Lonely Conservative..."Former Obama Adviser Steven Rattner Called for Death Panels in NYT Op-Ed"


This isn't the Wild West, you know.  Or is it?

We and our contributors have mentioned more than once one of the more ludicrous objections to hydrofracking in this neck of the woods...the problem of—gasp!—transients.  You know, those people that drive up the price of housing, cause traffic jams, engage in public drunkeness, wreaking havoc near and far and then leaving destruction in their wake as they hightail it out of town.

Sorta like students.

The Ithaca Journal ran a piece by Jon Campbell, 'splainin' why DEC Commissioner Joe Martens decided "to delay a decision on hydrofracking and further assess its health impacts..."

That makes it sound as though Babs Lifton and her fellow travelers got their way.

Not so much.

If you have the patience to stick with the entire article to the bitter end, you find out that "Martens dismissed requests from environmental and medical groups to hire an outside, nongovernmental group to perform a health assessment..."

So what actualy happened?

It went more like this:

...The groups would require that DEC conduct an outside health study that would determine the outcome of the final decision. I reject that demand. I believe it is highly likely that some of these groups will pursue litigation following the conclusion of the Departmental process if they do not agree with the outcome.

I believe deferring to an outside group or entity would be an inappropriate delegation of a governmental responsibility. Government is the public's independent reviewer: that is the essence of the current process. To suggest private interests or academic experts bring more independence to the process than government is exactly wrong. Many experts in this field have an opinion - pro or con- which could influence the process. Nor could one ever be sure that there weren't potential conflicts of interest with outside consultants if they were to actually direct the outcome. It is the government's responsibility to ensure objectivity and a review directed by DEC and the Department of Health is without bias.
The Governor's instructions have been clear from the outset - let the science determine the outcome...
...Accordingly, I have asked and NYS Health Commissioner Nirav Shah has agreed to assess the Department's health impact analysis. I have also asked Dr. Shah to identify the most qualified outside experts to advise him in his review. While the review will be informed by outside perspectives on the science of hydrofracking, the decision-making will remain a governmental responsibility....
One could raise the question of why we can't consider the experience of other states where hydrofracking goes on and where health impact studies have already been conducted, rather than spending NYS taxpayer dollars re-inventing the wheel. 
But never mind.
So what exactly are the health impacts of hydrofracking that we need to be afraid of?
Hilarity ensues.  At the NYDN:
In their desperation to block Gov. Cuomo from giving the okay for fracking in New York...the enviro-activists have demanded that state officials explore an alleged link between fracking and — we kid you not — syphilis.

They argue that a drilling boom would draw an influx of male workers from other states who would engage in activities of a kind that would spread sexually transmitted diseases...

And that increased truck traffic would not only lead to more road fatalities, but would also — again, no kidding — discourage people from getting the outdoor exercise they need to stay fit.

This is absurd...

...What fracking opponents really want is not a study of imagined risks, but many more months of wheel-spinning in Albany — and additional fodder for litigation...

...The opponents tried to push DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens into hiring a public health consultant to check out the danger of venereal diseases and all the rest.

Smartly, he went only so far as to ask Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to review whether DEC has appropriately considered health concerns...
The jig is up, anti's. People are only just barely able to stifle their laughter. 

h/t South of 5 and 20, UB, & Publius

But there's no slippery slope

What a silly idea, a slippery slope.

Planned Parenthood's Facebook page, "Planned Parenthood Info for Teens," includes a link to the MTV program Sextra Credit, Episode 2—no, really—with a profound discussion about sluts and sluttiness:

...“A lot of people define slut as someone who has too much sex or too many partners – but according to who?” Francisco asks. “The slut fairy?”
Francisco continues by sharing the “positive” side to being called a slut.
“But did you know that some people use slut in a positive way? Francisco says. “They use it to define a woman who is confident in her sexuality and being the sexual being that she is.” Francisco says. “I personally think there’s a little bit of slut in all of us.”
“Why is it that when girls have lots of sex they’re sluts, but when guys have it, they’re studs? Francisco says. “Not only does that make zero sense, but it’s also totally unfair.
“So hey, stand up for equality,” Francisco says. “Stop the slut-shaming.”
There is also a link to Seventeen Magazine: “We’re taking sex questions over at Seventeen Magazine,” the teaser to the link says...
Just great.  I remember reading Seventeen.  It used to be a classy publication.
One (female) commenter on this story at CNSNews wrote
Funny how being a liberated woman today is all about her sexual organs. I thought we were supposed to be considered more than a biological pleasure unit. I thought liberation meant equality. Guess I was wrong.
I'm watching (for the second time) the HBO series, John Adams, with my teenaged daughter. She says Abigail Adams is her hero.
Thank God.


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