"Taxes for 1999 alone went unpaid for 18 months, gathering a late fee of $5,200"Her excuse? My husband forgot to pay the bills. I can't imagine what my wife would do to me if I incurred a late fee of $5,200 like that.
The parents of Terri Schiavo have authorized a conservative direct-mailing firm to sell a list of their financial supporters, making it likely that thousands of strangers moved by her plight will receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups. "These compassionate pro-lifers donated toward Bob Schindler's legal battle to keep Terri's estranged husband from removing the feeding tube from Terri," says a description of the list on the Web site of the firm, Response Unlimited, which is asking $150 a month for 6,000 names and $500 a month for 4,000 e-mail addresses of people who responded last month to an e-mail plea from Ms. Schiavo's father. "These individuals are passionate about the way they value human life, adamantly oppose euthanasia and are pro-life in every sense of the word!" Privacy experts said the sale of the list was legal and even predictable, if ghoulish.Ghoulish doesn't even begin to describe that.
A promising group that is apolitical, and has a lot of great ideas, including the promotion of:
- The urban experience;
- Acquisition & renovation of a building to create a business incubator;
- Neighborhood revitalization/beautification
All they need is a group of motivated people who love Buffalo, want to keep people here, and attract people and business here. "Our vision is to help build a smarter and cooler Buffalo and to enhance the region’s profile as an exciting and vibrant community by mobilizing the bright, creative and hard-working people of Buffalo and the region." So, if you're bright, creative and hard-working (or think you are), please visit www.revitalizebuffalo.org and join. Their next meeting is Thursday, April 28, 7 PM at the Delaware Park Casino (behind Albright-Knox). Please sign up and attend.
'All those who will vote for the MDC are traitors,' state radio quoted Mugabe as saying to a ruling ZANU-PF party rally at Mutoko, 140 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Harare.Peas in a pod, she and he.
"News 10 Now's sister station New York 1 is reporting that Governor George Pataki expects to announce in the next few weeks he's not seeking a fourth term, and is instead deciding whether to run for president. Pataki is said to have knowledge that he's a long shot for the nomination, but thinks he could be the GOP nominee for vice president in 2008. "A new Rocky! Whatever little Pataki accomplished when first elected have been long overshadowed by his willing participation in a sick system, which has made New York weaker, not stronger. He's a laughingstock in his home state -what makes him think that the good voters of New Hampshire or Iowa will pick him over, say, McCain?
"Imagine failing for 20 years at something and then bragging about finally getting it done....before its done."That had me rolling.
After 20 years of abysmal failure, we should all pretend you [in Albany] are doing your jobs at the absolutely lowest standard since you've never been able to even reach that bar. Maybe we could be the "second worst legislature" in the country this year. Then we could really criticize some cynics. And now a word from our future Governor: "The assumption that Albany is broken is absolutely correct — and we need to fix that, if we don't reform the trilateral arrangement, we will have failed New York state."
Sorry about the y’all, after living here 13 years out of 15 some things like y’all, sweet tea and BBQ are as natural as “pop” Errr pepsi … Mighty Tacos and of course wings. It isn’t pathetic, just taking on some of the local culture. I can still easily use the Buffalo phases “Dis and “dese “ (aka this and these) in any sentence. “you call dis pizza?”... “you call dese wings?”This New York boy can sympathize there. When I get tired and lazy, my speech quickly regresses to a horrific NYC-style, swear-packed patois.
You can argue there are less people, but it seems services and spending are cutback at the same rate as the decline in population? Funny, looking at Erie County’s statistics, Government is the largest employer in WNY http://www.erie.gov/overview . Government agencies hold half of the top ten slots and provide 20K more jobs then the 5 top private sector jobs. Per the NYS labor statistics (1) Total government employment is 17.1% of workforce (take total private vs. total government). On the Erie County website, it shows government employment at 15.44% of the total (Source: NYS Department of Labor - July 1998 Data). Government employment rose almost 2% from 1998 to 2005 while population is down 20K from 1990 through 2000.You're right about that, and I've commented about it before. I think it's depressing. But I think Buffalo is uniquely poised - right place, right time, to do something about it. But that also means that I can't really be bothered listening to the opions of the people who are leaving/have left. I came here voluntarily. None of that ingrained, institutionalized, special brand of Buffalo pessimism has infected me yet.
There has been relatively little discussion about the increased burden placed on Erie County government due to the reduced regional earnings and out migration of the best and brightest of our young. The region is getting older and less affluent, and this is causing fiscal burdens to the region’s residents. The same holds for other large upstate New York counties such as Monroe and Onondaga.Groups like WNY Coalition for Progress and Revitalize Buffalo are looking to take steps - politically and through activism - to reverse the brain drain. As to my rant about local taxes being federal deductions:
Hmmm, you are correct, but is this good? There is a lot of debate around this topic and more then 1 proposal to due away with this deduction. If tax reform ever gets rolling, the “Blue” states are going to get hit hard if this reform is ever enacted. Personally I doubt it will ever pass, but it is something to keep an eye on. Personally, I rather take that money and invest it in equity in my house.Sure. But in many instances, the whole "taxes are lower where I've moved to" argument can be fallacious. If a 4 bedroom house on an acre in Clarence goes for $300,000, and a 4 bedroom house on an acre in, say, Atlanta (or Boston. Or Chicago) goes for $900,000, are you really paying taxes that are significantly lower? Maybe a smaller proportion; but wouldn't the end numbers be pretty similar? The blue states are definitely in for a right reaming if Bush & Co. have anything to say about it. But politics is cyclical, and what goes around... The commenter goes on to rebut my mostly knee-jerk attack on Atlanta in particular and the sunbelt in general. (I have no love for the South: not its past, not its present). Sure, Atlanta's got parks. Sure, Atlanta's got museums. But looking at the package as a whole: Atlanta's climate, people, traffic, etc., I give the edge to WNY in terms of desireability. Even with high taxes and shit politicians.
Nothing arrogant in my post, and I don’t hate WNY, my family, still lives there, and I would too if it wasn’t for the politics of the place driving businesses and people out. I am also one of the few who actually DID move back to WNY after 15 years. I gave it 2 years but sadly, the economy was so bad I took another transfer back to Georgia. So I do have some real-life comparisons that I can make.This place is what you make it. Some succeed, others fail. Like I said, I came here from elsewhere. I am optimistic and see only the area's potential, having not lived through its decline and failure. Is it hard for people to make it in WNY? Maybe yes, maybe no. I mean: did you come back to WNY with no job? Why 2 years? When I'm railing against out-of-towners' arrogance, I don't mean to personalize it against any one person or visitor or commenter. But I still cannot tolerate the utter hatred that many Buffalo expats have for this area - whether they realize it or not; whether they admit it or not, it's there. They think we're suckers for staying here and making a go of it. Maybe we are. But I refuse to think that way.
Leading lawmakers and the commission's new chairman have proposed a broad expansion of indecency rules, which were significantly toughened just last year. They are also looking for significant increases in the size of fines and new procedures that could jeopardize the licenses of stations that repeatedly violate the rules. Some senior lawmakers, including Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, and the commission's chairman, Kevin Martin, have suggested that it may be time to extend the indecency and profanity rules to cable and satellite-TV providers, which now account for viewership in 85 percent of U.S. homes.What's happening? When do we reach the tipping point when the theocrats' influence finally peters out?
Should Free Buffalo oppose subsidies and special tax breaks to Bass Pro? _____NO _____YESThat's it. No explanation, no discussion, no facts nor figures. Just a misleading conclusion and the solicitation of the reader's agreement. God forbid there be some contemplation and debate of the facts.
"Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced that Dr. Dawer Nadi, who practices on Webster Avenue in the Bronx, pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing Medicaid for dental services rendered to a patient who had died before the claimed 'services' were rendered. Nadi, 46, of 29 Terra Mar Drive in Huntington, Long Island, appeared on March 22 before Bronx Criminal Court Judge John N. Bryne and pleaded guilty to first-degree offering a false instrument, a Class E felony. In addition, Nadi agreed to repay $400,000 to the Medicaid program to resolve allegations that he was reimbursed for services not rendered to Medicaid recipients over a seven-year period. "According to the logic of the Spitzer-haters, this action will only discourage dentists from setting up shop or staying in NYS.
"We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make our natural resource work for us. The New York State Power Authority's 50-year license to sell power generated from the Falls expires soon. It wants a relicensing deal. It's a chance to claim what we deserve - more cheap power from our own resource. 'We need something dramatic to help us,' said Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo. 'This is our best opportunity to revive the economy of Western New York.' The roadblocks to economic rebirth are high taxes and utility costs. It's why we can't keep or lure businesses. Businesses mean jobs. Jobs mean our kids don't leave and departed friends can come back. Heavy industry here already gets cheap power from the falls. So do some cities and towns. They want to keep what they have when a new 50-year deal is cut in 2007, and they should. But we deserve more. Florida used its warm climate to build a tourist industry. We should use the cheap power from the falls to rebuild our economy. Instead, the authority pads its profits by auctioning power that should stay here to users across the Northeast. 'The authority is exploiting our resource for their economic benefit,' said Higgins, 'while undermining our vitality.' "You know, say what you want about Brian Higgins, but he's in Washington and he's really looking out for Buffalo on honest-to-goodness, day-to-day, bread-and-butter issues. Where the f*ck is Tom Reynolds, and how has he helped his constituency, lately?
... The person quoted in the article is JUST the kind of person y'all should be listening to. Remember, as people leave your taxes will continue to increase to make up the slack.Except that there ought to be less people who need services, arguably. And spare me the "y'all" schtick. If you're a Buffalonian living in Atlanta, "y'all" is merely a pathetic attempt to fit in.
Heck, I save over 6K each year in taxes by living anyplace besides WNY... I use that 6K to buy products and services from locals to keep the Georgia economy working. Imagine if every home owner in WNY had an extra 6K to spend, the WNY economy would be booming.Maybe you're right. But you know what else? That property tax and other state taxes that you pay are a straight deduction off your federal return. New Yorkers pay less federal tax and/or get a larger refund than people in other states due to our local tax burden. (Not saying that's necessarily good - just a fact)./
If I stayed in WNY, that 6K spent would have been spent on goverment services that I do not use, and have no need for.Yeah. Who needs parks, museums, roads, filled potholes, and plowed roads?
so, ignore these people, and remember last person to leave Buffalo, please turn off the lightsI cannot tolerate the arrogant pricks who leave WNY, and then express nothing but hatred and disdain for their native region. If you hate it, fine. Just STFU about it, 'kay? Some of us prefer to live in an area chock-full of cultural attractions and natural wonders. I'll take the Albright-Knox over the Coke museum, thanks. Some of us enjoy dry, sunny summer days that seldom hit 90, instead of hot, sticky, muggy 100+ degree days. (That electric bill you have for running the a/c all year 'round whittles away at your precious 6k fictitious number). Some of us enjoy a comparatively traffic-free commute to work over the snarled stop 'n go you get in places like Atlanta. Some of us enjoy a complete lack of natural disasters (except the infrequent snow dump); no earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, or tornadoes. Some of us recognize that WNY isn't perfect, but we're willing to work hard to make change for the better. But if you choose to leave and then express hatred towards WNY when you've gone, don't let the door hit you on your ass on the way out.
The State Legislature has agreed to put a three point five percent cap on how much counties have to pay for the health care program for the poor. Erie County Executive Joel Giambra has repeatedly blamed the high cost of Medicaid for the county's budget problems. Giambra called the agreement "a partial victory" for his joint effort with other county executives to seek Medicaid reform.The leg says that it'll then be up to the counties to control costs, to which HRH Joel I replies that the counties just do what Albany says. Which is true. But it seems to me they can do what Albany says more efficiently and with less waste. This'll nick $15 million off of the 2006 budget.
"It has just occurred to me; you are a plant. You are from the Giambra administration, or perhaps the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Maybe you are Joel Giambra himself. Buffalopundit? C'mon Joel. How was your Florida vacation?"Whattamaroon
Sources continue, 'the hard drives of selected staff members have been seized.' It is unclear whether the grand jury will hear from Legislature Clerk Kevin Kelly on Monday."
“You can't hand out piles of cash to a wealthy corporation and take that money away from people who are struggling to survive in this area,” said James Ostrowski, freebuffalo.orgThat statement is wrong. Twice. Bass Pro is not being handed piles of cash, and Jim Ostrowski knows it. He's smart enough to read the MOU, and comment on it accurately, but he won't. What's sad is that he's deliberately misleading people about this deal for his own personal and political gain. Is he the spokesman Buffalo's downtrodden taxpayers need? I think not.
When Terri Schiavo is finally allowed to slip past her cruel fate and move on to a better place, she will not be the only one to have died this month. At another gravesite, this marker should be erected: Barry Goldwater's Conservatism in America 1964-2005Hopefully, l'affaire Schiavo will help the republican party shed the theocrats and the rest of the loony right fringe.
"I think that opposing Bass Pro, if it comes about, will be a tactical error (I 'voted' against opposing it by the way.) The government's contribution (to the best of my knowledge) consists in infrastructure improvements and not in operating subsidies. Perhaps a technical distinction to some but enough for me to still support it. Bass Pro will be huge. It's worth it. "Amen.
"'You don't want to be the father of the kid who screws up,' said Bruno Odoardi, whose son, Nick, is a Royals' defenseman. 'And believe me, on this team they let you know.' Mr. Odoardi, who owns an auto repair shop, is one of many Royals parents who spend several nights a week in ice rinks and have invested tens of thousands of dollars in their sons' hockey careers. "Imagine if that much time, money, and effort was spent on the kid's studies?
In Auburn, which has a population of 27,000, the Bass Pro outlet has single-handedly transformed the nearly vacant Fingerlakes Mall, located on the city's outskirts, into a retail hotbed, according to Bulkley. 'A year ago there were maybe six tenants in the mall. Now it's nearly 100 percent full and you can't find a parking place on weekends,' he said. 'Even in the middle of winter, they are coming in from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Montreal to shop at Bass Pro.'People from Mass., PA, or Quebec don't come to Cheektowaga to shop at Dick's, nor to Tonawanda to shop at Galyan's, by the way.
And those visitors also are spending money and time at other Auburn-area businesses and attractions, boosting revenues for established stores, and reeling in a laundry list of new retail and hospitality companies. Bulkley said the Bass Pro store often finds itself providing 'concierge services' to its thousands of out-of-town customers, directing them to local food, lodging and entertainment. 'They come for Bass Pro, but they look for other things to do while they are in the Auburn area,' he said. "And let's not forget: the Bass Pro in Auburn is about 1/3 the size of the one in the Aud, which will boast a hotel, restaurant, and museum.
"GM's Buick and Pontiac are both 'damaged brands' due to lack of investment over the years, and GM is working to correct that with an array of new vehicles coming to market, Lutz told a Morgan Stanley automotive conference in New York. "I vote Buick. The average age of a Buick owner is 67. It's trying to reposition itself as an alternative to Lexus, but there's no way in hell Buick could come close to that prestige or quality. At least Pontiac has the pretty nice G6, the hot Australian GTO, and it's shed the Aztek.
"Early this morning, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied Terri Schiavo's parent's application for a stay of her sentence of death. The ruling was based on arcane matters of law and jurisdiction-heady subjects that only lawyers and judges understand. While the law may be complicated and hard to understand, the reality is that an innocent woman, who has committed no crime, and is only dependent upon others to give her food and drink, will soon be dead.Trans: We're too ignorant and lazy to figure out what all those federal judges are talking about, but we've got OPINIONS. And you know what they say about opinions.
Her mother and father, sister and brother love her-have cared for her and ministered to her. Her estranged husband has constructively abandoned her-yet still claims control over her life. Her situation is pitiful, and we as a people have failed her miserably. Our instinct ought to be to rush to the side of an ailing, dying fellow human being. We should be willing to sacrifice to provide her aid and comfort, but instead, we debate, litigate, and posture.Trans: "What's the laaaawww got to do, got to do with it?"
In the wake of the failure of the courts and legislatures to save Terri Schiavo from a national experiment with Euthanasia, we are here at the White House and at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee because there are yet two men in this country that can save Terri Schiavo's life; President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush.Translation: Whaddayamean, this sort of hard, personal decision happens every day? Whaddayamean science says she's not suffering because she has no cerebral cortex and, thus, cannot feel anything?
As citizens and people of faith-we implore, beg, nay... insist, that you brothers, so distinguished by their singular accomplishments and political leadership-use the Constitutional powers of their respective offices to interpose yourselves and deploy the police services at your disposal and take Terri Schiavo into your protective custody, direct that her food and water be restored to her, and save her alive while the lawyers debate arcane matters of jurisdiction and jurisprudence. For God's sake, take pity, have mercy, and please do not delay in saving Terri Schiavo's life."Translation: Send in the police, army, national guard, and the Iraqi Republican Army, if you have to. So long as you ensure that Terri Schiavo continue to live and be used by us as a poster child for our anti-individualist, theocratic cause. Honestly, aren't there fates worse than death? Hasn't Terri Schiavo arguably been the victim of such a fate for 15 years?
"'One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America,' Mr. DeLay told a conference organized by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group. A recording of the event was provided by the advocacy organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State. 'This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others,' Mr. DeLay said. Mr. DeLay complained that 'the other side' had figured out how 'to defeat the conservative movement,' by waging personal attacks, linking with liberal organizations and persuading the national news media to report the story. He charged that 'the whole syndicate' was 'a huge nationwide concerted effort to destroy everything we believe in.' "That's right, Tom. By protecting the rights of people to choose to die with dignity, we are "destroying everything [you] believe in." Seeing as how Delay believes in large handouts, kickbacks, and payoffs, maybe he's got a point.
"'Even if your governments are stressed, your economy can still function quite well,' Nordquist said. 'You have to figure out how to regenerate your real estate market. That's what built the city in the first place.' Prime real estate is downtown and on the waterfront. The key to the waterfront is to connect it to downtown, to turn expressways into boulevards, to build bridges connecting downtown to the virtual frontier of the outer harbor lying just across the Buffalo River. 'You separated your downtown from the lake with that (Skyway),' Nordquist said. 'We took our (elevated freeway) down and replaced it with a boulevard, and the waterfront real estate values shot up.' We're frayed at the edges, but have good bones - the basics to build on: A downtown of great buildings. A waterfront of vast potential. Great commercial/residential strips on Elmwood, Hertel and in suburban villages, the kind that towns across America try to recreate. 'There's a depression people feel here,' Nordquist said, 'that isn't justified to the level that people feel it.' We have what it takes. And with Brian Higgins in Congress, we have somebody in the right place who knows what it will take. Higgins jump-started waterfront development with Gallagher Beach. He wants to build bridges and boulevards to reconnect downtown to the waterfront. It worked in Milwaukee. It can work here. "1. Rip down the skyway and replace it with a drawbridge or tunnel 2. Cut & cover the elevated I-190 from about the Niagara Street exit to past Oak & Elm. By doing that, you reconnect downtown with the waterfront, and open up new land, and new opportunities.
"I don't think we are going to be getting out ahead this year and saying we support a particular candidate unless we decide to support one of our own Independence Party members, which is also under consideration,' Orsini predicts. 'We are going to wait until we see what the Democrats and Republicans do first and then make our decision. That way we will have additional leverage."That quote is made in this context: Orsini calling on people who want to run to go out there and just announce; "stop Monte Hall-ing it..." he says. "...take a chance!" Meanwhile, the IP itself isn't sticking its neck out until the major parties do so first. And the IP doesn't even have its own candidates to run yet. Pot. Kettle. Black. The whole thing just seems stupid to me.
D'ja ever sit down and figure out exactly what your NYS property tax bill amounts to?
- County tax: $4.04 / $1,000 assessed value
- Town tax: $1.68 / $1,000
- School tax: $13.21 / $1,000
That's a whopping $18.93 / $1,000 in my town.
How much in your town, New Yorkers?
Post to your blogs & comment here.
By way of perspective, in "Taxachusetts", I paid $10.37 / $1,000.
Why, suddenly, do these congressmen in D.C. know more about this case – and about Florida law – than do Florida judges and doctors? How dare the too-ambitious Senate Majority leader, Bill Frist, a former heart surgeon, say that he can diagnose Terri Schiavo from a 30-second TV news clip? How irresponsible can you get? I can diagnose this: Frist has a terminal case of Potomac Fever! These Republicans – so-called ‘conservatives' – have now fallen into the habit of meddling in everyone's – and anyone's – business. They have opened Pandora's box: What internal family dispute cannot now be grist for their mill? A child custody case? A divorce that involves controlling shares in an important business? Disputed ownership of a valuable asset? Why can't – and why won't – the Congress now feel it is suddenly their business to intercede?The GOP has become an extremist's hangout, and will implode sooner or later, just like the ultra-liberal left did many years ago. The center always wins. Always.
"This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue. * This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida - has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats."Compassion in action.
If the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient is requesting life-sustaining treatment that the attending physician has decided and the review process has affirmed is inappropriate treatment, the patient shall be given available life-sustaining treatment pending transfer under Subsection (d). The patient is responsible for any costs incurred in transferring the patient to another facility. The physician and the health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment after the 10th day after the written decision required under Subsection (b) is provided to the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient … Tx Health & Safety Code s.166.046(e).It's known as the "futile care" law, and it permits hospitals to override the wishes of the parents, guardians, etc. regarding life-sustaining measures. There is a distinct possibility that Bush's futile care law killed a little boy who was born with a usually fatal type of dwarfism, but who was alert, conscious, and had survived for six months.
"Then at 2 p.m. today, a medical staffer at Texas Children's Hospital gently removed the breathing tube that had kept Sun Hudson alive since his Sept. 25 birth. Cradled by his mother, he took a few breaths, and died. "I talked to him, I told him that I loved him. Inside of me, my son is still alive," Wanda Hudson told reporters afterward. "This hospital was considered a miracle hospital. When it came to my son, they gave up in six months .... They made a terrible mistake." Sun's death marks the first time a hospital has been allowed by a U.S. judge to discontinue an infant's life-sustaining care against a parent's wishes, according to bioethical experts. A similar case involving a 68-year-old man in a chronic vegetative state at another Houston hospital is before a court now. "This isn't murder. It's mercy and it's appropriate to be merciful in that way. It's not killing, it's stopping pointless treatment," said William Winslade, a bioethicist and lawyer who is a professor at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "It's sad this (Sun Hudson case) dragged on for so long. It's always sad when an infant dies. We all feel it's unfair, that a child doesn't have a chance to develop and thrive." The hospital's description of Sun — that he was motionless and sedated for comfort — has differed sharply from the mother's. Since February, the hospital has blocked the media from accepting Hudson's invitation to see the baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, citing patient privacy concerns. "I wanted y'all to see my son for yourself," Hudson told reporters. "So you could see he was actually moving around. He was conscious." Texas law allows hospitals can discontinue life sustaining care, even if patient family members disagree. A doctor's recommendation must be approved by a hospital's ethics committee, and the family must be given 10 days from written notice of the decision to try and locate another facility for the patient. Texas Children's said it contacted 40 facilities with newborn intensive care units, but none would accept Sun. Without legal delays, Sun's care would have ended Nov. 28. Sun was born with a fatal form of dwarfism characterized by short arms, short legs and lungs too tiny to sustain his body, doctors said. Nearly all babies born with the incurable condition, often diagnosed in utero, die shortly after birth, genetic counselors say. Sun was delivered full-term at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, but Hudson, 33, said she had no prenatal care during which his condition might have been discovered. He was put on a ventilator while doctors figured out what was wrong with him, and Hudson refused when doctors recommending withdrawing treatment. "From the time Sun was born ... he was on life support because his chest cavity and lungs could not grow and develop the capacity to support his body. He was slowly suffocating to death," Texas Children's said in a statement today. Texas Children's contended that continuing care for Sun was medically inappropriate, prolonged suffering and violated physician ethics. Hudson argued her son just needed more time to grow and be weaned from the ventilator.I wonder if the lack of prenatal care was due to laziness or a lack of medical insurance? Why do I bring all this up? Because it's hypocritical for Bush (especially) to sign the Schiavo continuation-of-suffering-against-her-wishes bill, when he's also signed a law that killed a little boy against his parents' wishes. It should be the family - not the government (state or federal; courts or legislatures) that make these types of personal, private, emotional decisions.
Good. I know it should be obvious. I mean, even Hannah the BuffaDog knows that Spitzer is deeply distrustful of free enterprise, but I wasn't too sure if the Republicans had picked up on it.Spitzer is not distrustful of free enterprise. Spitzer is distrustful of cheating, deceitful businesses that commit fraud upon innocent consumers. But I guess to Minarik and his gang, that _is_ free enterprise. I think it's more pro-free-enterprise to pursue businesses that don't play by the rules and thereby obtain an unfair advantage over the poor schmuck who is fair to his customers and competitors.
As important as it is for M&T to begin to do business in high-growth areas, and as pleased as we are at having begun to do so, it would be just as significant for the company were our historic markets somehow to rouse themselves from their economic doldrums. It is unlikely that this will happen, however, until steps are taken to reduce the tax burden and attendant bureaucracy whose weight inhibits growth in payroll, income and population. The details of the burden are telling. As much as upstate New York trails the national average in positive indicators, such as those cited above, it leads in levels of taxation. Indeed, local government taxes as a percentage of personal income in upstate New York are fully 35% above the national average, a level higher than any state except New York as a whole (including downstate). In contrast, central Pennsylvania - a market in which the Allfirst acquisition has increased M&T's presence - stands 31% below the national average in the bite taken by local taxes. This is just one of the many reasons we are more hopeful about that region's economic prospects. New Yorkers, in contrast, are both paying high taxes and getting less than they should for their money. Consider two crucial areas of the state budget - spending on Medicaid health care assistance for the needy and on public education. Together, these two areas themselves account more than half of total New York State government expenditures. Medicaid spending in New York State alone - driven by generous benefits - is nearly equal to that of California and Texas - combined. The program’s costs are, in part, passed on to local governments, where the high levels of taxation noted above in turn inhibit job formation. New York State also spends 51% more than the national average on the per pupil cost of education but attains worse-than-average results (on average, a 1007 composite on the Scholastic Aptitude verbal and mathematics tests, compared to a national average of 1026). Among the other side effects of all this has been population flight, especially among the young – hardly a positive trend for industries such as ours. Over the period 1990-2003, the upstate population only barely held steady – growing at an annual average of just .1%. Even that small increase masked a far worse population problem – the decline in the number of young people. From 1990 to 2003, U.S. Census Bureau data show that the number of upstate New York residents aged 20-34 declined by 323,836 or 19%. This 1.6% annual decrease was eight times the .2% average yearly decline for the U.S. as a whole. Indeed, the upstate New York region alone accounted for fully one-fifth of the 1.6 million total fall of U.S. residents in the 20-34 age group during the period 1990-2003. In contrast, the new M&T markets – such as Maryland and metropolitan Washington, D.C. (including fast-growing northern Virginia) – gained population at an average annual rate of 1.3%. Overall, New York State ranked 44th among the 50 states in population growth.When one of the last major corporations based in WNY starts pointing this shit out to every one of its shareholders, one would hope that New York's leadership (not to mention WNY's) would pay attention and listen. But you know and I know that they won't. After all, Wilmers offered to pay the entire salary of the best schools superintendent for Buffalo schools that money could buy. And they nixed it.
The residents of the state of New York pay the highest taxes in the nation. Our sales taxes are among the highest, and our property taxes are disproportionately higher than the national average. Upstate New York, in particular, bears a remarkably heavy tax burden due to Albany’s exceedingly generous and expensive Medicaid coverage, and our bloated public employee payrolls. The ratio of local government workers to population in upstate New York is more than 25% above the national average. New York’s Medicaid program costs more than that of Texas and California combined; each state has a larger population than New York. Erie County residents’ property taxes are 42% above the national average. The question isn’t whether we were unreasonable to demand that our sales tax remain at an already-bloated 8.25%, but why Erie County can’t make do with the generous tax revenue it already receives from us. What’s distressing is that Giambra lowered our property taxes by over 30% since 1999, but he used rainy day funds to cover the shortfall. Now that the tobacco money and surplus are exhausted, Giambra’s mismanagement is coming back to haunt him. Had he engaged in a more moderate, systematic, and thoughtful reform and downsizing of government, we’d be better off today. Had he kept property taxes about where they were and avoided dipping into the surplus, we’d be better off today. Had he been serious about competently managing Erie County, we’d be better off today. Instead, he steered us into an emergency situation that called for radical and drastic action. Raising the sales tax – a regressive tax that disproportionately hurts the poor more than the rich – was not the solution in this case. Because Giambra did not competently manage the county’s finances, and because he didn’t downsize and reform government before it became an emergency, many people were laid off and many services cut. While on a personal level, all of these layoffs and service cuts are regrettable and painful, they have finally prompted people throughout Western New York to look at their governments and tax burdens with a more critical eye, and demand that government fix its own house before it again comes around to the taxpayers with a cup in its hand. In fact, there is no need for county governments at all. These bloated, redundant, patronage-ridden entities double the state’s own sales tax, and perform services that could just as easily be performed by the state or localities. Massachusetts permitted counties to be abolished in 1997, and many did so. Massachusetts boasts a flat 5.25% income tax, a 5% sales tax, and lower property taxes than New York. Compared to New York, that’s plain dreamy. The duties that Massachusetts’ counties performed are now handled by the state or towns. We can do the same here. The State DOT can create regional entities to maintain roads and bridges. The locally elected officials like the clerk, sheriff, and DA could still be locally elected, but their staffs would be state employees. Parks would revert to the towns in which they are located, or to the state. Social services would be handled by local branches of state offices. There’s no need at all for county government. Let’s get rid of it, and the local sales tax surcharge.Update: Here's this week's article.
"It would be funny if it didn't hurt. The health commissioner was on TV the other night, assuring folks that there would soon be toilet paper in the county office building. It's like living in a banana republic. "Whaddaya mean "like"?
"She clearly does not consistently respond to her mother,'' the judge wrote in 2002 after hearing from five doctors with divided opinions. ``The court finds that based on the credible evidence, cognitive function would manifest itself in a constant response to stimuli.''And the supposed "experts" who have drafted affidavits for Terri's parents & operation rescue are either not experts qualified to opine on this particular issue, or conveniently fail to give any opinion at all.
The conclusion the court came to is that, based on medical testimony and Terri’s CAT scan, her cerebral cortex has basically turned to liquid. The cerebral cortex is the seat of all our higher brain functions. Without a cerebral cortex, it is impossible for a human being to experience thought, emotions, consciousness, pain, pleasure, or anything at all; nor, barring a miracle, is it possible for a patient lacking a cerebral cortex to recover.In any event, Findlaw has links to all of the primary sources for this story. Most significant of which is the Florida Court's 2003 decision. Read it. They're the only ones that matter in this case. All of the posturing and libel by the National Review, Weekly Standard, Worldnetdaily, CNS News, Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax, etc. means nothing. Where the parents and husband cannot agree on what Terri would have wanted, Florida law requires that a trial judge make a decision that the clear and convincing evidence shows Terri herself would have made. (Clear and convincing evidence is something more than a simple preponderance, and something less than "reasonable doubt.") The courts have had a fair and open hearing on this. All sides were presented and heard. Terri herself had a guardian ad litem to protect her interests, based on the unfounded allegation that her husband had nefarious motives. The federal government has taken Terri Schiavo's choice to die with dignity away from her. They can do the same to you. The federal government has ordered that a plastic tube be shoved into Terri Schiavo to keep her alive pending the outcome of a redundant and unnecessary federal court action. They can do the same to you. The federal government has injected itself into a deeply personal and private issue, mostly thanks to the politicization of the matter by Terri's parents. If politically expedient, they'll do the same to you, too.
Concerning the sales tax problems at his restaurant, Holt explained he and his wife decided in 2003 to expand their restaurant from a 21-seat hot dog stand to a 90-seat family restaurant. But problems developed from their lack of sufficient capital and soaring utility costs, he said.I wonder what Holt's done about those soaring utility costs today?
Thanks for one hell of a ride. Grantland Rice, one of America's greatest sports writers and poets coined this phrase, "When the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he marks not that you won or lost but how you played the game."