Tuesday's Mayoral Debate

It's being put on by Revitalize Buffalo, the New Millenium Group, the Buffalo Jaycees, and Buffalo 2032. Channel 2 did a preview piece, available here. Stef Mychailiw is moderating the debate, which will take place at Hamlin House next Tuesday at 7pm. As Amy mentions in the piece, we've had 2 mayors in 26 years, and change is inevitable and imminent. Change of faces, that is. Will there be a change in leadership? A change for the better? A change to lurch Buffalo into the 21st century and on a path to prosperity and growth? As Deborah Lynn Williams says in Stef's piece, "You have to pay to play, and the currency is participation." Say something & say it loudly.

Bill Weld 2006? OK by me

I lived in Massachusetts during the last half of Bill Weld's tenure as Governor of that fine Commonwealth. At the time, I was a Deadhead Republican, and I happened to have a Deadhead Republican Governor. I was quite happy with him. In fact, I hoped that he would move on to higher office. Weld was my kind of Republican - the kind that's been completely marginalized and demonized by the hard-right theocrats who now run the party. They're denigrated as RINOs - Republicans in Name Only - because, although they believe in fiscal conservatism and responsibility, they don't curry to the whole radical right-wing Christian control over every aspect of your private and personal life bullshit espoused by such free thinkers as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum and others. Since the GOP became hijacked by these nuts, I found no more place for me there, and switched to the Democratic Party which had a wide enough tent to accommodate people who believed in financial and personal freedoms. I don't hear a lot about DINOs. When Spitzer announced, I instantly backed him because I'm through with Pataki and Bruno and all the other little petty, petulant assholes who pretend to be Republicans in this state. (I say they're the real RINOs, because they sometimes pander to the right-wing bullshit artists - e.g., recent hubbub over the morning-after pill, yet do absolutely bugger-all to promote fiscal discipline, conservatism, and responsibility in this spendthrift state of ours.) Since then, it's become apparent that Weld is throwing his hat in the ring, with Giuliani's blessing. Let me be clear: in my opinion, whether Weld or Spitzer ends up being governor of this State, the true winners will be the people of the State of New York. Read these notable Weld quotations to get a sense of where this guy's coming from.
  • I suggest to you that increasing the size of America's economic pie - which can be achieved only if everybody has a seat at the table - is the most important challenge facing our country today.
  • I think coercive taxation is theft, and government has a moral duty to keep it to a minimum.
  • I think government has a major role to play in helping us with the pursuit of happiness.
  • I thought it was madness for the Republicans during the first Bush administration to be opposed to the Family Leave Act.
  • It's healthy for government to be a kind of moral catalyst, using the bully pulpit of high office.
  • It's not good for government to tell people that the world owes them a living and that things are free.
  • Liberals often don't see the problems, and conservatives don't see the promise, of government.
  • Managing from a distance, from Washington, is not a great role of government for a country this big and this disparate.
  • Managing people's sex lives is something that I don't think is a good role for government.
  • Micro managing anything is not a great role for government.
That kind of stuff isn't just music to my ears, it's a bloody symphony. And no one else in New York state politics is saying any of it. But ultimately, my real reason for liking Bill Weld as a potential governor, is the fact that in 1997 he spearheaded the voluntary abolition of Massachusetts county government. Hell yeah, baby. It's time for a repeat.
If Massachusetts Governor William Weld (R) has his way, county government will close shop by 1997 in pursuit of his goal to “support only that level of government which is necessary for the public good.” Gov. Weld introduced “An Act Abolishing County Government,” Jan. 23, as part of an overall legislative package designed to reorganize state government. Weld’s proposal would retain county-elected sheriffs, but abolish all other county offices and absorb them into a state structure.
You want reform? THAT'S reform.

If it's Sunday, it's Hardline with Kevin Hardwick

This week his in-studio guest will be EC Legislator Al DeBenedetti. Next week, he'll have the Comptroller candidates on. That's 11am on WBEN 930 every Sunday.


Abolish County Government

That happened to be the topic du jour on Sandy Beach's program this afternoon. Apparently, Amherst Councilman Bill Kindel sent Sandy a bunch of stuff about MA, NH and other states' experience with the abolition of county government. I don't know when Kindel first mentioned it, but as far as I know (and I know I'm tooting my horn here), I first posed the idea of abolishing the county's government on this very page. County government is redundant and wasteful. It exists solely to enact Albany's programs and pay for them, to boot. Imagine no county government = no county sales tax. That means that NYS sales tax would be 4%. And zilcho on clothes. Imagine no county government = no unfunded state mandates. That means Albany has to tighten its belt and figure out its own way to pay for Medicaid and other, similar social programs. Imagine no county government = no county legislators bickering with a non-existent county executive. Imagine no county government = towns and villages would have more control over how their money is spent. Imagine no county government = more jobs, since there'd be one less stratum of bureaucracy for businesses to deal with. I'm glad people are finally talking about it.

The Partnership's Plan

The News had an article about the partnership's plan for streamlining Erie County back to fiscal health. Seems a lot of it has to do with getting out of the health care industry. Seems to me New York State should get out of the county business, but that's a different matter altogether. I haven't had a chance to review this report, but link to it here for your perusal & digestion. (pdf)

I meant to post this yesterday

Obviously, it's tongue-in-cheek, but I thought it was pretty hilarious.
Buffalo News - Maybe Erie County should try new negotiating techniques 8/17/2005 I have been reading the recent stories of Iran's threats to restart its nuclear program unless the Europeans negotiate certain economic and political 'considerations.' This has prompted an idea. With all the terrible fiscal mess that Erie County is in, we should start a nuclear weapons program (or maybe in the interest of fiscal responsibility, just threaten to start one). We can then go to Albany, Washington, Canada and Mexico and demand economic help. In return, we will sidetrack our weapons program for awhile. To fund the start-up of this program, I advise we sell some extra, slightly used, county office furniture. Rick Ellis Alden

A 1-year old almost shot a 4 year old.

How nice.
An 18-month-old girl reportedly pointed a carelessly stored, loaded .22-caliber revolver at a 4-year-old girl Wednesday morning before she was disarmed by the girl's mother, police said. The child's father, Tamone Henderson, 21, of Guilford Street, located at his place of work in Amherst a few hours after the incident in a Rother Avenue residence, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. Laquita Ross, 27, of Broadway in Lancaster, her 7-year-old son and her daughter, Dinah, were visiting Ross' close friend Santana Ladd, 19, when Ladd's daughter, Symone Henderson, emerged from her bedroom with the small, silver-plated gun.
Thank God a tragedy was narrowly averted. Luckily, the News gave us some (admittedly dark) comic relief:
Henderson told police he found the gun earlier Wednesday morning in a field and brought it over to his girlfriend's house, where he left it in his daughter's bedroom, according to police reports. "He said he was in a hurry to go to work," said Ferry-Fillmore Lt. Gail Allen said. "To me, that's no excuse. Have respect for a weapon." Ladd told police that Henderson was at work for an area temp agency, but she didn't know the name. Militello and Detective Mary Evans called about a dozen local agencies before finding the one where Henderson worked.
But, in line with those popular "Stop Snitching" t-shirts, some people aren't happy:
Ross claims she has been threatened by friends and relatives of Henderson and Ladd, who say she should have tossed the gun away instead of involving police. "Some of those people say I should have handled it in a different way. I say I am blessed to have my daughter and the little girl with me instead of reading about their brief lives in the obituaries," Ross said. "That's the real picture."
Her little girl was almost shot & killed due to complete and absolute fucking asshole morons, and the asshole morons' friends are threatening her?

On viruses

I run an iMac at home. I get no spyware. No adware. No viruses. None. Zilch. Nada. The good people at Apple have ensured that their operating system is as secure as possible. Obviously, fewer people and companies use Apples than use Windows, but the problems mentioned above just don't exist for me, period. The world of Microsoft is strange, indeed. How many times are we forced to download some security patch or another? Once a week? To plug up some security problem that Windows didn't bother to get right in the first place. And XP has been out - what, for about 2-3 years now? Sure, I have to download the occasional security patch for OSX, but it's much rarer. Much. It's just somewhat astonishing in this day and age to have a network of sites crash because some fucking geek was able to write a virus that can infiltrate and disable networks running Win2000 all around the world. Obviously, I'm no power user and I know very little about what I'm talking about when it comes to this shit. But that's why we pay Microsoft the big bucks for those operating systems, isn't it? So that their power user brilliant geniuses don't leave our shit vulnerable like this, right? I was teetering between replacing my antiquated laptop with a cheapo win-based machine. I just might go checkout the cheaper iBooks now.

What do you think you're doing, Dave?

Evidently all of wnymedia.net's sites have crashed, probably due to that virus that's affecting computers all around the country. I've been told that they'll be back up within 2-3 days. That seems a good a time as any to take a little break, so posting will be relatively light the next few days. I've had a busy week, and I'm decompressing now that some houseguests have left. Check back if you'd like, and I'll announce when the main site is back up. Cheers.