House May Block Food Safety Bill Over Senate Error


A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House....

Really?  The Constitution says that?

....The debacle could prove to be a major embarrassment for Senate Democrats, who sought Tuesday to make the relatively unknown bill a major political issue by sending out numerous news releases trumpeting its passage.

Here's the whole (brief) article.

Sustainability notes

The Dryden Town Board is putting something called sustainability onto Dryden’s radar.   It sounds like motherhood and apple pie... how could you be against it? The Sustainability Planning Framework mentions lots of attractive things like quality of life, safety, biodiversity and jobs.  But what does the “sustainability community” mean by sustainability? 

To some, sustainability primarily refers to energy efficiency or to the slightly broader principles of efficient resource conservation. To others, sustainability requires radical changes in our social and political institutions.  Indeed, some proponents of sustainable development argue for "socially just development world-wide" that "should attempt to address important social and political issues related to the inequitable allocation of the world's resources.  Still others envision sustainability as a fundamental human right.

-- Carl J. Circo, “Does Sustainability Require New Theory of Property Rights?”, 58 U. Kan. L. Rev. 91 2009-2010


Hey, efficiency sounds great, but what are these “radical changes” and what might they mean for property rights?  What is the agenda of the sustainability movement, and what are its tactics?

11/29/10: The Federal Farming Power Grab Scheduled for Senate Vote Today

See my earlier post below. In addition to adding to what we think we know about what's in S.510, an  article at today's American Thinker also has an enlightening description of how this stuff actually happens in the halls of Congress—Schoolhouse Rock it ain't.

UPDATES (11/30/10) on this bill here.  Also, a tool for tracking what's going on and what people are writing about the bill is in this box (which is great when they keep it updated): 


The Varna Community Association (VCA) has a website where you can find a year’s worth of newsletters describing the many goings-on in the Varna area, and I was genuinely impressed with the energy and dedication of the folks who make all those things happen.  In addition to being simply informative, the newsletter also masterfully creates an image in the reader’s mind of Varna as de facto village. 

From the Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011 newsletter:

Your Input is Needed


WHEN: 7pm, Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WHAT: A meeting to learn about the proposed community development plan for the hamlet of Varna. Previous plans developed by residents of Varna will be reviewed, and issues will be prioritized. Your input is needed!

WHY: The Town Board has directed that a Master Plan be developed for the hamlet of Varna.

WHO: Mike Welti, Certified Community Planner, Director of Planning Services at Behan Planning and Design will lead the presentation and discussion. Mr. Welti is a consultant to the Town of Dryden.

WHERE: Varna Community Center


“Plans” come with price tags.  Who pays? Who benefits?

Dryden and sustainability

The first town-wide meeting re: Dryden's sustainability initiative was held November 16th.  Here are some

"Personal definitions of sustainability from participants:"

1. “Dryden is a place where people will be thriving and enjoying life and each other’s company
 in peace, health, and plenty.”

2. “Local, green, natural, affordable, equitable, community pride.”

3. “Living or operating within the means provided with the ability to save for future use.”

4. “It is not spending more money and buying more things to create less energy. It is learning
 and knowing how to simply use less energy.”

5. “Self-reliant without being a burden on your neighbor.”

6. “Practice-based on current technology that benefit us now and future generations in a 
 positive manner.”

7. “A sustainable future demands hard choices and requires accepting limits on what we do
 including limiting human population.”


For more of this stuff, visit the town sustainability page (you have until December 15th to comment). And for an alternate approach, try an article entitled The Livable Communities Act.


Cui bono?

I was once on the staff of a church where one of the congregation members tried to encourage attendance at Wednesday night suppers with the slogan, "Hey—ya gotta eat!"  Between that indisputable fact and the presence of various agricultural interests in the town and the county, there are plenty of reasons to wonder about the Food Safety Bill (S.510).  After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Who Benefits? The Food Safety Bill Will Centralize and Regulate Food Production

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” - Thomas Jefferson.
This Founding Father would be rolling in his grave if he knew of the draconian measures to restrict food production the Senate is seeking to bring in. Under the deceptive title of the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act", the bill if passed into law will crack down not only on large corporations, but also on "small businesses and entities that sell directly to consumers", and will give authorities power to further regulate "growing, harvesting, sorting, packing, and storage operations, minimum standards related to soil amendments, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water"....

Read the whole thing.

FLLT Purchases 169 acres of land in Dryden


The Finger Lakes Land Trust has purchased 169 additional acres of land in the Town of Dryden in support it's plan to create a natural corridor from Dryden to Hector.  The land is adjacent to Six Mile Creek  and Hammond Hill and Yellow Barn State Forests.

The land is "protected", but also removed from the town's tax rolls, effectively increasing taxes with no public discussion or vote.  The government, and its shadow organizations seem to be grabbing land everywhere, including vast tracts in the American West.

It's ironic that 150 years ago, preservation meant private ownership, such as the development of the Ithaca water system by the Tremans.  Those unique tracts like Upper/Lower Treman Park, now owned and managed by New York State are falling into disrepair due to the financial mismanagement of the government. How many more State Parks will be threatened by closure in the next budget season?

Update:  Kathleen McCaffery, blogging over at Prof. Jacobson's, pointed me to a great Thanksgiving column by John Stossel on RCP.  What hooked me was the quote from Aristotle: "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it."  

Like Aristotle said.

The Promise and Perils of Hydraulic Fracturing: Best Answers to the Hardest Questions

A Heritage Foundation panel discussion.

WHEN Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010, 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Go to to sign up to watch this panel discussion online.


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