Jim Seward

Another RINO bites the dust

Today Richard Mourdock beat incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary. At the fishwrap of record:

7:50 p.m. | Updated   Richard G. Lugar, a six-term Republican senator from Indiana, lost his bid to stay in office after his Tea Party-backed rival questioned his conservative credentials and accused Mr. Lugar of losing touch with Indiana and its voters.

Well, that wasn't a very difficult case to make.

The results of the primary end the career of one of the longest-serving members of the Senate and provide a new trophy for the Tea Party movement. Mr. Lugar, 80, leaves after three decades as one of the chamber’s leading foreign policy experts and with a reputation as a voice of moderation in his party.

Really? Make sure you read that link above, to a piece at Accuracy in Media entitled "World Government Lobby Frets Over Fate of Lugar." That's the kind of foreign policy and moderation Lugar espoused.


In NYS primary news, Madison/Chenango County resident Mike Kicinski is definitely on the June 26th federal office ballot trying to unseat Richard Hanna in the new NY-22—see the Lonely Conservative for more info.

And Jim Blake of Schenevus, Otsego County, has announced his candidacy for Jim Seward's (R-Oneonta) seat in the 51st state senate district. That state and local primary is scheduled for September 11th.

Both these gentlemen will be at this event in Oneonta on Saturday, May 12:

In the shadow of Frackingstock


Not so epic?

I'm right in the shadow of the "epic" "Frackingstock" , which is taking place right across the Six Mile Creek valley from Redneck Mansion.  A great time for a compendium of stories from our Finger Lakes area colleagues...

There is lots of discussion about today's WSJ piece, The Facts about Fracking which responds to the anti-fracking hysteria with some common sense and perspective.  Read it all, and the comments.

The question for the rest of us is whether we are serious about domestic energy production. All forms of energy have risks and environmental costs, not least wind (noise and dead birds and bats) and solar (vast expanses of land). Yet renewables are nowhere close to supplying enough energy, even with large subsidies, to maintain America's standard of living. The shale gas and oil boom is the result of U.S. business innovation and risk-taking. If we let the fear of undocumented pollution kill this boom, we will deserve our fate as a second-class industrial power.

Lonely Conservative wonders why the public employee unions don't get behind fracking.

In Why They Oppose Fracking, South of 5 and 20 mines the comments to find what is really going on.

Strange bedfellows:  Our Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and State Senator Jim Seward team up (read the comments) to throw bones to the anti-fracking zealots.

Marcellus protestors just don't get it.  Make them ban the use of natural gas where they ban drilling for it.

20 Questions

That game usually starts with "Is it animal? Mineral? Vegetable?"   This is a game our family has played often around the campfire on our family camping trips. (It does take some time for the younger members to grok what it means for something to be mineral or vegetable...)

Our NYS Sentate has been playing the game this year... a bill co-sponsored by our State Senator Jim Seward, and recently passed by the Senate, names the Herkimer Diamond as our official state mineral.  The "diamonds" are quartz crystals with distinctive double points because they grow with little or no contact with their host rocks.

Herkamer diamondHere is a little one which I collected on a trip to the "diamond mine" along the Herkimer River with some of the kids.  The trek to Herkimer is a fond memory for many New York families... we learned some geology and some state history in the diamond mine's surprisingly complete museum.

OK, so most of what we found was in the souvenir shop... but right now I can't name another attractive mineral so identified with New York, so I can probably go along with this designation.  I mean, no one makes earrings from the limestone from Howe's Caverns or from Niagara dolomite.

* * *

Moving onto vegetables is another matter.

The NY State Senate voted 56-6 to name corn the official state vegetable.  News coverage noted that the issue is "still simmering in the Assembly," but the corn had "creamed" onions, the other state vegetable contender.

Now, people that know me will say that I have long contended that corn is the "only necessary vegetable," and would guess that I'd be steamed if corn didn't pop out on top in this race.  But in this case, I'm not so taken.

Yes, corn is important to New York's agricultural economy, but other places are much more identified with corn.

Corn PalaceWhen we were driving and camping across the country a couple of years ago, we stopped in Mitchell, SD at the Corn Palace.  (To be entirely truthful, I drove my family about a day out of our way to go there.) 

The huge murals on the outside and inside of the building are all made anew each year out of 275,000 ears of different colored corn.  They have been celebrating corn at the "mother church" since 1892 and at this location since 1921.

I don't think that New York is going to catch up with that level of corn-identification any time soon.

My other problem with corn as a state vegetable is the current political landscape. Corn is intimately tied to government and subsidy.

Feeling the need for an example of government policy run amok? Look no further than the box of cornflakes on your kitchen shelf. In its myriad corn-related interventions, Washington has managed simultaneously to help drive up food prices and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit, while arguably increasing energy use and harming the environment.


Here is perhaps the most incredible part: Because of the subsidy, ethanol became cheaper than gasoline, and so we sent 397 million gallons of ethanol overseas last year. America is simultaneously importing costly foreign oil and subsidizing the export of its equivalent.

That’s not all. Ethanol packs less punch than gasoline and uses considerable energy in its production process. All told, each gallon of gasoline that is displaced costs the Treasury $1.78 in subsidies and lost tax revenue.

So, a symbol of government overreach, inefficiency and waste as a state symbol?  Well, it might actually be appropriate, but I think we should have gone with the onion.

* * *

Any recent NYS votes on the animal front?  Not going there.

Subscribe to Jim Seward