tvm's blog

" may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas."

Mark Finkelstein? No, Davy Crockett. Has that same slap-in-the-face kind of feel to it, though. Another kulak flees the gulag.  Over at Legal Insurrection:

And now after 25 years in Ithaca, Mark is fulfilling the dream of approximately one-half of Northeasterners.  He's moving to Texas.

It seems we're already obsolete


From the NY Observer, via Hot Air:


Whatever blogs have become, there seems to be universal agreement that the format that made them ubiquitous—the reverse-chronological aggregation accompanied by commentary—is not long for this world, and Mr. Denton's scoop-friendly redesign would seem to be the best evidence of that. In fact, the decline of the blog has come so quickly, one has to wonder whether we ever really liked the medium at all....


More "green" moonbattery (so to speak)

From Rich Terrell:

Brian Milligan drove a Mini Cooper Electric from London to Edinburgh in four days with nine stops for up to ten hours to recharge its batteries (using electricity produced with fossil fuels--tvm). A stage coach used to make the same journey in two days and two nights.

Spilled milk

Since Richard Hanna is a member of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, he might find this column by the well-known economist Thomas Sowell, er, interesting (via Weasel Zippers):

Despite the old saying, "Don't cry over spilled milk," the Environmental Protection Agency is doing just that.

We all understand why the EPA was given the power to issue regulations to guard against oil spills, such as that of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska or the more recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But not everyone understands that any power given to any bureaucracy for any purpose can be stretched far beyond that purpose.

In a classic example of this process, the EPA has decided that, since milk contains oil, it has the authority to force farmers to comply with new regulations to file "emergency management" plans to show how they will cope with spilled milk, how farmers will train "first responders" and build "containment facilities" if there is a flood of spilled milk.

Since there is no free lunch, all of this is going to cost the farmers both money and time that could be going into farming-- and is likely to end up costing consumers higher prices for farm products.

Read the whole thing.  Micromanagement, anyone?

Mad Meat Making Scientist Proves Climate Doomsayers Wrong

Heh.  I no sooner put up the calendar item in the previous post (below) than this article popped up.  It's a neat piece, and the funniest part is that the author seems to think that Dutchess County is in upstate New York... 

Calendar item: Global warming talk on February 9th

All are welcome to attend a talk entitled "The Truth About Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)" on Wednesday, February 9th, at 7pm in the Borg Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca.

The speaker is Dr. Arvid Pasto, a materials scientist with a specialty in ceramics, who recently retired as the Director of the High Temperature Materials Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Pasto's presentation will describe the situation as depicted by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN-IPCC) and other AGW supporters, and will then show that we are not in the midst of an unprecedented warming period.

The talk is sponsored by Forward Thinking: The Ithaca Tea Party.

So you can do a little research on your own ahead of time, follow the links in this blurb from a post at Hot Air:

The reasons people see global warming alarmists are less credible is not limited to the “Climategate” fraud or cold winters. Better scientific studies are turning the tide from faith-based politics and toward — dare I say it — a more reality-based position (via memeorandum).

Portrait of the Blogger As A Middle-Aged Mama Grizzly

Couldn't resist (h/t—or apologies to— James Joyce, Sarah Palin, the NRA, and the NFL).

Kulaks and gulags

kulak n. A prosperous landed peasant in czarist Russia, characterized by the Communists during the October Revolution as an exploiter.

gulag n. 1.A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union. 2. A forced labor camp or prison, especially for political dissidents.

From the Ithaca Journal:

Despite lobbying, Cuomo shuns higher taxes for the rich


ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to reject attempts by education groups and unions to shift the state's tax burden to the rich, saying that doing so would further hurt the state's business competitiveness.

The issue is creating a growing divide between the Democratic governor and the more fiscally liberal members of the state Legislature, who on Tuesday called on Cuomo to maintain higher income-tax rates for people making more than $200,000 a year. They also want him to move to a more progressive property-tax system based on household income not home value.


"When government resists deep cuts, when we appropriately tax the wealthiest New Yorkers and keep on public employees and keep on supporting the private sector by keeping government intact, (emphases mine) we actually see a better and stronger recovery," urged Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca.

If Assemblywoman Lifton in fact said this (and that seems likely since it sounds like the sort of thing I've heard her say with my own ears), her entire remark is absurd on its face. But let's look more closely at the parts in bold.

That last bit, about "supporting the private sector by keeping government intact," is just a wee bit bass-ackwards.  No, dear, especially at the state level where the government cannot print its own currency, the private sector props up the government, not the other way around.  

And then there's the ever-popular-amongst-progressives meme, "when we appropriately tax the wealthiest New Yorkers" (of which I am not one, not even close, according to their definition).  From a document in the Library of Congress, via Legal Insurrection (A volost' was a territorial/administrative unit consisting of a few villages and surrounding land. Think "county.")



Comrades!  The revolt by the five kulak volost's must be suppressed

without mercy.  The interest of the entire revolution demands this,

because we have now before us our final decisive battle "with the

kulaks."  We need to set an example.

      1) You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public       

         sees) at least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the            


      2) Publish their names.

      3) Take away all of their grain.

      4) Execute the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's          


      This needs to be accomplished in such a way, that people for

hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out:

let's choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks.

      Telegraph us acknowledging receipt and execution of this.

                                               Yours, Lenin

P.S.  Use your toughest people for this.

Now, am I suggesting that Barbara Lifton is on a par with Vladimir Lenin and has designs on well-to-do New Yorkers' necks? Of course not. But I'd bet good money that well-meaning people in 1875 thought that Marx had really nailed it with "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" (not that even Marx's Communist Manifesto in 1848 was so original. The Jamestown colony in 1607 and the Plymouth Plantation in 1621, for instance, tried this very thing—spectacularly unsuccessfully). Those 1875 progressives probably never anticipated that, by 1918, a disciple of Marx would have carried Marx's philosophy to such neck-stretching extremes.

But words matter. Context matters. History matters. And while I doubt that Barbara Lifton and her like-minded fellow travelers give this much thought to the absurd nonsense they spout, they should.  Already (and I know I'm mixing time periods here) the NYS kulaks are escaping from the gulag, moving to states that place a lower tax burden on their citizens. And ultimately, this sort of progressive thinking never ends well.

Pah-tay on Saturday, January 29th

Click on "Calendar" up there in the red bar for details.

Here's a little music to inspire y'all:


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