Archive | March, 2014

Kathy Weppner Violates Federal Law

31 Mar

Kathy Weppner’s Facebook page contains this image: 

Notice the Congressional seal above the two “p”s? 

18 U.S. Code § 713 – Use of likenesses of the great seal of the United States, the seals of the President and Vice President, the seal of the United States House of Representatives, and the seal of the United States Congress

(a) Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

The Attorney General’s office may enjoin Weppner from using the House seal upon complaint by the Clerk of the House of Representatives. 

It should be noted that Weppner does not serve – nor has never served – in the House of Representatives. She is, however, the clownshoes-iest candidate ever to run for federal office, and to also enjoy the endorsement of a major party. 

Then again, Eddie Egriu has this inexplicable thing

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Kathy from Williamsville Calls Rush Limbaugh in 2008

31 Mar

On June 5, 2008, a “Kathy from Williamsville” called into the Rush Limbaugh program. The topic? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Kathy began, 

You know, I gotta tell you, if I thought Hillary was going away, I would remortgage my house and throw a big party, but I know, I have a very strong feeling that about a week before the Democrat National Convention, something is going to leak out about Obama that all of these superdelegates know that he will be unelectable, and she will get the nomination. I just don’t think for a minute she’s giving up that. I really don’t.

RUSH: In this market, you would remortgage your house and throw a big party?

CALLER: I would, if I thought they were going away, oh, my gosh, yes! I can’t stand her! And Obama is absolutely reaping the rewards of people’s disdain for the Clintons. That’s the only reason he’s there. People hate her enough and him, too, to throw their votes on the other person.

That’s some pretty cutting-edge political analysis. Obama was running because Democrats allegedly didn’t like the Clintons, and vice-versa! 

The other thing that I’m really upset about is a couple of years ago I told myself that I would vote for whichever candidate was going to fight the war on terror, period, because I know our country is in jeopardy, the UK is almost gone, they’re almost down that dark tunnel and there’s no turning around, and we could be there, and I am so ticked off that I’m going to have to go into the voting booth and vote for McCain! Because at least I know on that one issue that he will at least take care of business and we’re going to be back to Jimmy Carter, 70% income taxes and everything else, and I am just really ticked off that our party — you know, I’m ticked off at you, that you didn’t talk up Mitt Romney more because he was a true conservative candidate. You know? You talked up Operation Chaos. Why didn’t you convince people to cast their vote for a conservative candidate? Because now we’re stuck with, you know, Curly, Larry, and Moe.

 Having visited the UK in 2013, I can vouch for the fact that it is still there. Having paid income taxes, I can assure you that nobody in the United States pays 70% income taxes (Reagan dropped it to 50% for top earners until 1987). 

Then Limbaugh reassures “Kathy from Williamsville” by playing the audio of Clinton advisor Harold Ickes: 

ICKES: Barack Obama is a strong candidate; he’s a powerful spokesman; he’s run a good race. The fact is he is not going to be able to win the general election against John McCain. That is the message. And he can’t win it for two reasons: We don’t know enough about him, there may well be an October Surprise. And, two, he doesn’t have the general election electoral base that Hillary has.

RUSH: Do you hear the reference to Ickes about an October Surprise?

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: It dovetails with your theory out there, Kathy.

CALLER: Yeah, it sure does. It sure does. She’s not down. She’s not gone. She will be the Democrat nominee.

RUSH: What’s this going to be? What is this earth-shattering news?

CALLER: I have no idea. It’s going to maybe be a Vince Foster, a Monica Lewinsky, I don’t know. It would have to be worse than that. I have no idea. But there’s going to be something. And the superdelegates are going to be scared to death, and they’re going to go and they’re going to give it to her.

Kathy from Williamsville thought there’d be a “Vince Foster” or “Monica Lewinsky” October Surprise to ensure that Hillary Clinton would snatch victory from the jaws of electoral defeat at the hands of Barack Obama – a man who not only defeated John McCain, but even “real conservative” Mitt Romney. 

But when? When will these revelations take place?

I think it’s going to happen right before their convention, and even if it’s underground where the high rankers know what’s going to happen and I seriously, I don’t think Obama is going to be the candidate, because I don’t think he’s — he’s electable at all, I really don’t. Between Reverend Wright and Reverend Pfleger or the priest, gosh, I can’t believe he’s a priest, you know, he absolutely bathed himself, bathed his children in these sermons of hating white people and we’re the problem and I can’t imagine that being palatable to a majority of Americans regardless of party. The other thing is, is that if John McCain does get elected and it’s a disaster, like it’s going to be domestically and economically for everyone, you know, we’re going to get blamed for voting when probably a lot of Republicans are going to stay home and the Democrats are going to elect ’em. And it’s a mess.

Kathy from Williamsville is a white person who is dreadfully oppressed by the tyranny of “Reverend Wright and Reverend Pfleger” and Barack Obama, who “bathed his children” in hatred of white people. That was a popular trope among the pre-tea party ultra-right; that the Obamas, by dint of being black, hated white people.  It was also widely believed that a “whitey tape” existed where Michelle Obama was said to have spewed hatred towards “whitey” as a homophone of “why’d he”

Of course, this supposed hatred of white people was non-existent propaganda ginned up by people who felt that any expression of African-American pride was a logical denunciation of Caucasians. It was racism. 

In the meantime, Kathy “from Williamsville” Weppner has had her campaign scrub from the internet any and all evidence of her previous pronouncements

Kathy Weppner : So Proud of Her Radio Program She Deleted All Evidence of It

31 Mar

On her website, Republican candidate for Congress in NY-26 Kathy Weppner adds this to her biography: 

She began her broadcasting career on WBEN’s Straight Talk with Kathy Weppner in 2005 focusing on citizen advocacy and engagement in the political process. On air, Kathy earned a reputation as a strong voice for those who have a difficult time speaking for themselves due to inequity in power. She intends to carry that voice to Washington to help overcome the unique challenges facing Western New York.

Being a strong voice for the weak sure sounds good, but is that really what she did? Until she declared, her site was still up. Then she scrubbed a few especially outrageous items from it. Then she got rid of the whole site, but it was still available on the Internet Archive

Here is Kathy Weppner’s website archive as of Sunday afternoon.

20140330-173557.jpg

 

If you can’t defend what you say when no one’s paying attention, how can you say you deserve the voters’ trust? This candidacy just got a whole lot more interesting, and I’m going to spend this week culling what we still can about “Kathy from Williamsville”, starting with her several calls to the Rush Limbaugh program. 

How To Not Be A Birther, By Kathy Weppner

26 Mar

This past weekend, the Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski brought WNY a wonderful expose on Ms. Weppner’s colorful history, and she responded on her campaign website, complaining about “yellow journalism”

In both, Weppner downplayed any interest she had in the birther movement. 

Zremski writes

Weppner took a keen interest in the “birther” movement, which raised questions about whether Obama was born in the United States and, therefore, eligible to be president.

Weppner hosted Orly Taitz, one of the founders of the movement, on her radio show, and questioned the credibility of Obama’s birth certificate both on that show and on a 2010 Blog Talk Radio appearance in which Weppner said: “What Obama’s campaign has put out is not a birth certificate.”

Weppner was referring to a short-form birth certificate issued by the Hawaii Department of Health and released by Obama’s campaign in 2007. Obama later asked Hawaii for a copy of a longer version of his birth certificate and then posted it to the White House website in 2011 in hopes of quelling the controversy over his qualifications.

Asked about her involvement in the birther movement and whether she still believes that Obama may not have been born in America, Weppner wrote: “That question has already been decided.”

She also wrote: “I believe, at that time, Mr. Obama’s submission of a ‘short-form’ birth certificate was a topic of conversation nationally as there were many lawsuits attempting to see his long-form birth certificate. I found it interesting that there was such resistance to produce this when it should have been simple. Mr. Obama Is our President.”

In her online rant, Weppner addresses the matter thusly

Q1)  You have repeatedly questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency. For example, in a 2010 Blog Talk Radio appearance, you said: “What Obama’s campaign has put out is not a birth certificate.” Do you still believe that Obama may not have been born in the U.S. and therefore may not be eligible to be president? 

A1 Kathy Weppner response: “I believe, at that time, Mr. Obama’s submission of a “short form” birth certificate was a topic of conversation nationally as there were many lawsuits attempting to see his long form birth certificate.  I found it interesting that there was such resistance to produce this when it should have been simple.  Mr. Obama Is our President”                                                                                               

Q2 NEWS follow up: Jerry Zremski wrote:
2) Your answer to my question about President Obama’s birth certificate is inadequate. Yes, Mr. Obama is our president — but do you believe he was born in the United States?
Kathy Weppner response: That question has already been decided. I raised three kids that took an oath under this president. Our family’s willingness to sacrifice for this country is clear period.   

Weppner analysis of the NEWS article published:  Please note from  the questions asked by the NEWS that: I was never asked about my involvement in “the birther movement as Mr. Zremski claims. Nor did I ever claim to be a birther.  I am not  exactly sure  what the “birther movement” means or who is in  it”?  What constitutes membership? 

She also complained that this online radio show had “deceived” her, and “ambush[ed] her with controversy”. It was all an extended version of, ‘I read it in a chain email or at some right-wing freakshow of a website, and didn’t really look into whether any of it was true, because it sounded true and jibed with my already hard-wired prejudices’ 

Weppner is not sure what the “birther movement” is? She was never asked about her “involvement” in it? She never claimed to be a birther? 

On January 19, 2010, Congressional candidate Kathy Weppner (R-Cuckooland) appeared on “Reality Check Radio” on an internet streaming service. The show, at the time, was all about the birther movement and questions surrounding President Obama’s eligibility to hold Presidential office.

It was the fad at the time. A right-wing xenophobe’s hula hoop. 

What Weppner likely didn’t realize was that the show existed to debunk birtherism

http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/4/214/show_4214691.mp3

Immediately upon getting on the phone, Weppner was asked about her involvement in the birther movement, and she replied,

One of the reasons why I have always been stuck on the eligibility issue is that my husband is a clinical chief of an OB-GYN department, and very early on when the issue  came up, I said, “can you explain to me what a birth certificate is supposed to have on it if you go to a hospital and deliver a baby?” And very early on I came to understand that what Obama’s camp had put out was not a birth certificate.

…the thing about eligibility is, and I think there are three different issues with Barack Obama’s eligibility, and #1 is that the founding fathers said you have to be a “natural-born citizen” and Orly Taitz has done a lot of work in going back and researching what that meant when they wrote that, and that meant that you have to be born in the United States, and you have to born of parents who are citizens, and both of your parents had to be citizens. That certainly is not the case…

…if you go to Orly Taitz’s … and I’ll spell her name for you … she is not only a dental surgeon, but she’s a lawyer. She was from Russia, she has a beautiful accent, and she has taken up the cause of just wanting the President to prove his eligibility.  And remember the hundred lawsuits that have been filed would all go away if he authorized the Hawaiian hospital where he says he was born to release his records. Because when a woman goes to the hospital – like he said his mother did, there is a file that’s created for mom and baby.  After the baby’s born, there’s a piece of paper that has the delivering doctor, that has the signature of the doctor on it, it has the hospital name, the time of birth, and it’s the official document that the hospital puts together that says, “this baby was born here with these witnesses, and here was the doctor.” So that is the proof that you’re born where you say you’re born, and that is absolutely the document that could make all of this go away.  Instead, they’re spending over a million dollars defending lawsuits all over the place, just release the document and it goes away.

Does that sound like someone who isn’t really quite sure what birtherism is? Or that she was just curious or interested in a passing topic of conversation? Or does this sound like someone who was as well-versed on Taitz’s wild conspiratorial nonsense as Taitz herself? The host accused Weppner of being misinformed, 

…I’m really, I’m not misinformed. If people wanna go on Orly Taitz’s website. They – all of this documents are fully there, they state all of the…lemme put it this way, R.C., one judge – just one judge – to order discovery, okay, just discovery, to produce the documents, it all goes away, and it’s settled. Why hasn’t that happened?

The host explains that, in order for a judge to order discovery, there has to be a case.  

…you have to have standing, right? And nobody has had standing. All of the judges have said, “you don’t have standing, you don’t have standing, you don’t have standing”.

The host of the show argues about the validity of the short-form certificate, and that the hospital record is irrelevant. 

…no, they’re legal documents…the hospital birth certificates are sent to the municipality and they certify that the information on it is correct, and you have a legal document. But the municipality is the one, I mean, they pick them up at my husband’s hospital once a week – all the birth certificates of all the births that have happened in this township, and then they take them and they send them to the state.”

 …but it’s not the hospital birth certificate. That’s all they want, because it’s proof that he was born there. If he was born in Hawaii, you only needed one relative to present to – and it’s all in Orly Taitz’s – what what was going on in Hawaii at the time – you only needed one relative to come in and say, “I witnessed the birth at home, and he was born here”, and they would give you a birth certificate that looks exactly like Obama’s. And you had up to a year to produce the child.

 …I’m serious, this…you have to go, and you have to read Orly Taitz’s documents.

The host brings up at this point that he won’t go on Taitz’s website because Google says it contains malware.  Weppner – who doesn’t really know much about this whole “birther” thing, replies, 

I’ve gone there many times, I’ve never had a problem.

She changes it up a bit from there when a caller asks Kathy the sources she consults for this eligibility issue.

I actually call the people involved and I interview them. Orly Taitz was on my show for two hours. I’ve called Nathan Deal, anybody that has actually had a lawsuit, if I’m going to talk about it, I’m going to go online to get information, but then I call them, because I want it right from them.

Let me tell you what I do during the week, ok. I read the Wall Street Journal every day, I’ll read the New York Times, I watch Washington Journal, I watch C-Span, the hearings, because I find the hearings, you get all the information instead of just a snippet of it here and there, and anything that I’m gonna talk about, I usually have maybe an inch stack of stuff that goes into the studio with me.

While Weppner now denies knowing much about this whole birther matter, back in 2010 it was all-consuming for her. 

Here’s what I find is very interesting, okay. I’m a real common sense person. So, as I’m gathering information, I look at the list of things that the candidate Barack Obama said that he was going to release after the election, as well as Michelle Obama. They said that all of their documents would be forthcoming. All of the law school records, all of his college records, and everything would be released after the election. None of it has been released.

When asked if she has a source for that,

You know what, I’ll find this soundbite, and play ‘em on my show on Saturday. I watched him on television say that.,,I will research that and find the soundbite. Because even Michelle said that all of her college records would be released, because they were interested in what her senior thesis was of something, and they would ask her and she said she’d release it after the election.

But here’s the thing. Remember when  President Bush was running, they looked at his college records, he was a C student, they looked at Al Gore’s, he, y’know, he was a C student. They always look at college records. To have no records released about a candidate, to me, y’know, when the Founding Fathers made the press totally have free speech, freedom of the press, they knew that would protect us. Having journalists digging for answers,  having journalists digging things up and being in competition with each other, would protect the American people. Nobody did that this election.

Don’t you remember when Bill Clinton released his medical records, they found out that he had V.D.?! I mean, all of the records are released. We don’t even have Obama’s medical records released. It’s standard operating procedure that a candidate…”

To clear things up – the Obamas didn’t make promises about releasing school or medical records. Bush never released his college records (although somebody did leak them). Neither did Al Gore. Whatever information exists about that came from their autobiographies.  Bill Clinton didn’t have V.D., and he never released his medical records. Michelle Obama did release her thesis in 2008, but The President’s is gone

By this time, the topic had strayed from “eligibility”, and a caller asked Weppner why she needs all of this other documentation.  Weppner claims entitlement to see, 

documents that prove who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you’ve accomplished…

So, if Clinton had VD that’s important to the American public?

No. What I’m saying is if you’re going to be in the public, and you’re going to seek the highest public office, your life kinda becomes an open book.

That must be why we have all of Bush’s National Guard documentation.  Oh, wait. 

When asked to delineate public versus private information, Weppner responded: 

College records? Law school records? Come on. That’s basic.

What’s in the law school record, that has to do with eligibility? 

That he took these classes with these professors, and – oh yeah – the professors remember him being there. That he did what he said he has done, and that he is who he says he is, and that he was born where he says he was born, and just scrutiny of who he was – that didn’t happen this election at all.

When asked to cite independent sources for her assertion regarding Hawaiian law, Ms. Weppner brought up Orly Taitz’s website and lawsuit, and promptly hung up. 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you prove that you’re totally unconcerned and not involved in the birther / Obama eligibility movement. 

Collins Expresses Support for Sharia, Fiqh

26 Mar

This is a Constitutional pronouncement that my Congressman, Chris Collins, Tweeted Tuesday afternoon: 

That’s an interesting take on liberty. 

Hobby Lobby sued the government to preserve some sort of religious right to require that its predominately female workforce not have insurance coverage for certain types of contraceptives, including IUDs and the morning after pill. 

Hobby Lobby argues that requiring it to subsidize insurance plans that cover what it considers to be abortifacients violates its 1st Amendment right to freely exercise its religion. 

I’m not sure which church Hobby Lobby attends. I suppose the Chapel at Crosspoint might be large enough to accommodate an entire Hobby Lobby store, but only one. I haven’t seen a Hobby Lobby store transport itself to and from a place of worship, as I suspect that would cause an epic traffic headache every week. 

So, assuming the corporation has some form of fictional personhood involving fictional church membership and make-believe church attendance, we’re talking about a new precedent whereby a corporation can assign to itself a faith. For instance, Chik-fil-A is famously Christian and notoriously homophobic. Amazing to note that In-N-Out Burger is also run by devout Christians – flip the cup over and there’ll be scripture printed there – but they’re neither homophobic nor trying to limit their employees’ contract rights. 

When an employer provides health insurance as part of its benefits scheme, it helps to subsidize the plans. The insurance plans themselves, however, are individual contracts between the employee and the insurer. So, Chris Collins thinks that an entity that possesses fictional legal personhood should be able to come between a woman and her doctor. 

What if a company decides that its religion dictates that it be exempt from child labor laws, or from sex discrimination laws, or from prohibitions on racial discrimination? Chris Collins would support that, based on his jejune, ignorant pronouncement. 

Who is Hobby Lobby to interfere with a female employee’s medication or health care scheme? People like Collins demonized Obamacare as being a “government takeover” of healthcare, putting the government between a person and their care. But when it comes to women – true to type – corporations and conservative patriarchal government flip the script and maintain control and shame, inserting themselves between a woman and her doctor. 

Does Hobby Lobby oppose artificial dick-hardening drugs as part of its employee health plans? Are we saying #prayersforED in a Christian, Godly way to ensure that the impotent can impregnate women who then,  in turn, find their contraceptive options artificially limited? 

But I suppose we should look on the bright side. Our multicultural-embracing Chris Collins has come out strongly in favor of Sharia law. Under his logic, a corporation can declare itself to be an adherent of Islam. If a craft store decided to close on Fridays and forbid any employee health plans from offering, say, treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, Collins would apparently support that. If an employee of a Muslim craft store decided to bring a ham sandwich to lunch, the company could fire her on the spot; intoxicants and pork are haram under Sharia law and Fiqh. Collins would support, evidently, a company requiring its female employees to wear a hijab or chador, because to him, the free expression of the employer trumps the free expression of the employee. Long live our new, two-tiered Constitution!

The liberty-ish way to handle this is to say that the owners of a business have a right to practice their religion in whatever way they deem fit. However, they should not have a right to impose their religion upon their employees, who are also free to exercise (or to be free from) whatever religion they choose. The American way would be for businesses to let their employees be free to take whatever medicines their doctors prescribe, without interference. Freedom and liberty would dictate that craft stores not interject themselves into contractional relationships between their employees and those employees’ health insurance companies and physicians. 

But when it comes to big business and the role of so-called “job creators”, people like Chris Collins believe that the rights of the employer trump those of the employee. To Chris Collins, Hobby Lobby, and the new tea party plutocracy, employees are mere chair-moistening chattel. If their employer wants to impose Islamic law on them, they are free to contract for their labor elsewhere because the job market is so great thanks to the Republican jobs plan of “repeal Obamacare for the 51st time“. 

I wonder how that’ll play out in Wyoming County. 

Kathy Weppner Tries to Explain; Fails

25 Mar

Kathy Weppner, the Republican trainwreck running against Brian Higgins, has descended into self-parody with record-breaking celerity. I almost have to congratulate her on the speed with which she has beclowned herself.

On Monday morning, I went to her “Str8talk” blog to peruse its sanitized state and noticed that it had been completely scrubbed out of existence. The Weppner sanitization had been completed by redirecting to her campaign website. That means, we have to rely on the Waybackmachine to find anything and everything about what she thinks when it doesn’t really matter. 

But there may be something even better on her campaign website – a passive-aggressive page of whining about “yellow journalism“. In 1941, Frank Luther Mott set forth five elements of yellow journalism

– scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news

– lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings

– use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts

– emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips

– dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.

None of those exist in Zremski’s piece

Let’s now turn to Weppner’s epic self-defense. It’s an admittedly unique tactic – lashing out so furiously at the librul meediya in ALL CAPS AND RED TEXT AND ZOMG. 

As a threshold matter, I don’t precisely get why she all-caps the word “NEWS” rather than just capitalizing “Buffalo News”.  I’m thinking it might be her way of telegraphing the fact that the Buffalo News is a front for the Bilderberg/Illuminati conspiracy, or that it’s really an acronym for something nefarious.  (Also, I will edit out some of the text from Zremski’s article to save space).  

The first article from the Buffalo NEWS posted online Saturday March 22, printed March 23.   My final comments are under each news comment. 

I would like to thank the Buffalo NEWS for exposing themselves today as yellow journalists and providing the evidence to WNY for how they manipulate public opinion during elections.

Last week, while I was out of the country Buffalo NEWS Washington Bureau  reporter Jerry Zremski  sent an e-mail filled with questions about my past radio show topics, why I discussed them and where I read about the topics I discussed.  He indicated that his editor wanted these questions answered for an upcoming article.

I found the nature of these questions to be very peculiar however, I responded to the questions and now you can find  both the Questions and my responses  on the website & facebook.

Now it’s the public’s job to evaluate  questions and answers in full to see if the reporting lines up with the facts.

You see. How inconsiderate. She was out of the country while her serfs are out getting petition signatures on her royal highness’ behalf. How dare this middle-class peon working for the “NEWS” email her a set of questions

If Kathy Weppner wasn’t prepared at this time to be interviewed, or to have her background and viewpoints examined, then perhaps she should have waited until after her foreign travel to announce her candidacy. 

Readers must decide what the urgency was that this had to be published on Saturday.  In two separate e-mails (both on March 21st) I stated I would be available this week for an interview.  Could it be that petitions are being walked throughout the district right now?  Could it be that fundraisers are being set up right now? How many other campaigns have had this happen in the early stages of getting organized?  Why change any of the wording from the online version to the printed version? You decide

Let’s. 

Weppner final analysis in red of  BUFFALO NEWS ONLINE Article   22-2013 1:08 pm   (since removed) changes noted in print edition are in green & yellow.

 Here, Weppner posts the first several paragraphs of Zremski’s article

…Weppner refused to be interviewed for this story, instead answering questions via email.

Weppner response 1: Attached find my response to your questions. Sorry about the delay I was out of the country. Monday I will be releasing a report to the media regarding a pressing issue facing Western New York. You will be included in that release. I am currently putting together my platform and when that is completed we can sit down for an interview.

Let’s NEWS some more.  

Zremski Follow up: Jerry Zremski wrote:

5) Perhaps it is best if we talk about these things. What is your number?
Kathy Weppner response: For now I am totally focused on organizing my campaign. I anticipate having time next week to talk about issues in Western New York and the report I mentioned.

Phones work outside the country, and she punts here – she’s not offering to address Zremski’s questions – she will only “talk about issues in Western New York” as she defines them, and some “report”. I’m sure the report provides us with, I dunno, exquisite detail about how communist homosexual gangs of paper clips have conspired to bring down the WTC and American exceptionalism. 

Zremski notes that Weppner paid a lot of attention to the birther movement, going so far as to interview Orly Taitz, whom nobody with half a brain takes (or took) seriously. Weppner picks nits,  

“In a series of written replies to questions,”  is omitted in the printed version changed to:   “She also wrote.”There were eleven e-mails back and forth.  Why would this be taken out for the printed version? 

Because who cares. She reprints portions of the email exchanges with Zremski, 

Q1)  You have repeatedly questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency. For example, in a 2010 Blog Talk Radio appearance, you said: “What Obama’s campaign has put out is not a birth certificate.” Do you still believe that Obama may not have been born in the U.S. and therefore may not be eligible to be president? 

A1 Kathy Weppner response: “I believe, at that time, Mr. Obama’s submission of a “short form” birth certificate was a topic of conversation nationally as there were many lawsuits attempting to see his long form birth certificate.  I found it interesting that there was such resistance to produce this when it should have been simple.  Mr. Obama Is our President”                                                                                               

Q2 NEWS follow up: Jerry Zremski wrote:
2) Your answer to my question about President Obama’s birth certificate is inadequate. Yes, Mr. Obama is our president — but do you believe he was born in the United States?
Kathy Weppner response: That question has already been decided. I raised three kids that took an oath under this president. Our family’s willingness to sacrifice for this country is clear period.   

It’s a simple yes-or-no question, yet Weppner is pathologically unable or unwilling to simply say, “yes, I believe Obama was born in the US”, or “no, I believe Obama is a Manchurian candidate placed as chief executive as part of a 50 year-long communist plot to make the US an Indo-Kenyan vassal state”. 

Weppner analysis of the NEWS article published:  Please note from  the questions asked by the NEWS that:

I was never asked about my involvement in “the birther movement as Mr. Zremski claims. Nor did I ever claim to be a birther.  I am not  exactly sure  what the “birther movement” means or who is in  it”?  What constitutes membership? 

No way she’s serious about this here. You don’t host Orly Taitz on your radio program, discuss birtherism, and then get to deny even knowing what the term means.  She appeared on some internet radio show and rejected Obama’s birth certificate there. 

Read carefully-Mr, Zremski  alleges that because “birthers” question Mr. Obama’s eligibility,  and I once stated, “What Obama’s campaign has put out is not a birth certificate,” that means I am  “a birther”.  Because Mr. Zremski believes I am a birther,  I must have believed in the past, and still must believe now, that Obama is not eligible to be president.  

Well, why discuss it, otherwise? Why complain about the short-form birth certificate, which is enough for anyone legally to get a passport or otherwise to prove their place of birth? 

This Article was not offered on an opinion page.   Mr. Zremski’s questions and conclusions are not journalism.  Mr Zremeski’s personal opinion about “birthers,” and his personal opinion on who qualifies as a “ birther,” interjected into an NEWS article  is bias masking as journalism.

No. Zremski’s article is factual in nature. His opinion was that Weppner’s original punt of an answer was inadequate. He had to ask her two times if she believed that President Obama was the legitimate head of state, and she refused to answer it directly on both occasions. He was cross-examining her, and she couldn’t handle it. The truth. 

Like many others, I was a show host doing an interview just like  Salon, MSNBC  and the Daily Beast,  when they also did interviews with Taitz.  The numerous legal cases involved had aspects we have never heard before. This topic was in the news and interesting!

Salon  2009  http://www.salon.com/2009/08/13/orly_taitz/
MSNBC 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vNpXJxpu48
The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/07/30/queen-of-the-birthers.html

It was especially interesting to right-wing tea party Obamaphobes. Weppner’s evasion and unwillingness to answer a direct question speaks for itself. Also, Salon and the Daily Beast give Taitz the mocking beat-down she deserves. Did Weppner do that? Is she doing it now, or is she denying that she even knows what “birther” means? 

Q1)  On that same radio show, you said that when Bill Clinton’s medical records were released, “they found out that he had VD.” I can find no proof of that; in fact, I found a quote from his press secretary in the late 1990s saying that Clinton’s most recent physical had found that he had never had a sexually transmitted disease. What proof do you have that President Clinton had VD?

Q2 Zremski follow-up Jerry Zremski wrote:
3) In your answer to question 3, you say, “Bush Jr. admitted cocaine use.” According to my research, he never admitted that. What is your source?

Kathy Weppner response to #2 follow-up: 
http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6130_102-65801/bush-admits-past-drug-use-in-interviews-with-author/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seery/the-bush-cocaine-chronicl_b_37786.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/BothSidesAllSides/story?id=2773754

The ABC link is a Michael Medved opinion piece. He expressly states that Bush has refused to reveal his past drug use.  The HuffPo article, likewise, discusses how the media refuse to take Bush to task over his refusal to admit or deny past drug use.  You can see the pattern – the CNET article also shows nothing to confirm that Bush ever actually tried cocaine

A)  Weppner response 1: I find it interesting that I spent over 700 hours on the radio and you have focused on a fifteen minute interview on a blog show that I did not have documents in front of me for.  I was asked to appear on the blog radio to explain how I was transformed from a talk-show caller to host. My appearance ended after about fifteen minutes when I hung up realizing that I had been deceived and the real purpose of the interview was to ambush me with controversy. I had been asked about politicians and documents. I did not have the source of those allegations with me as I usually do for topics I discuss on shows,   I have no intention of digging though 9 years of clippings as my time is better spent on pressing WNY issues that matter.  The STD story you refer to originated in 1996, during the Dole Clinton race when reporters asked Clinton if he was hiding conditions like STD’s by  refusing to release his medical records.  There are still press accounts remaining online about this line of questioning you might want to research. There were so many other Clinton allegations over the years such as  American Spectator, the magazine that broke the “troopergate” story, Paula Jones etc.  alleging Clinton cocaine use using Little Rock Dr. Sam Houston as the source.  I also recall these kinds of topics coming up in the news again in 2000 & 2004 when Bush Jr admitted previous coke use, and again in 2008 during Pres. Obamas campaign because Obama admitted cocaine use in his book.  ie :
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/BothSidesAllSides/story?id=2773754
If  I confused  decades old issues  during the middle of a brief ambush interview that I ended by hanging up, if I did not properly cite facts or sources on this issue, my sincere apologies to listeners and to Mr. Clinton. If the public can forgive admitted cocaine abuse perhaps a momentary confusion by a talk show host seems worthy of forgiveness. 
http://capitalismmagazine.com/1999/09/the-coke-question-why-bush-not-clinton/
CNN ARTICLE
http://cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/news/9609/13/clinton/

That’s quite the protestation. No one owes her “forgiveness”.  Zremski merely asked her for clarification of her views. Of course, there’s nothing in the CNN article revealing proof of a Bill Clinton STD, and the “Capitalism Magazine” *rolleyes* article is just another hit piece on Clinton. Here’s a tip – if you’re going to whine about unfair press coverage, don’t cite unfair press coverage. 

Q7)  On Nov. 15, 2008, you reposted an article called “White Guilt Is Dead.” What you posted includes this passage:  “I’ve always despised lazy white people. Now, I can talk smack about lazy black people. You’re poor because you quit school, did drugs, had three kids with three different fathers, and refuse to work. So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah watchin’ butt on the couch and complain “Da Man is keepin’ me down,” allow me to inform you: Da Man is now black. You have no excuses. “ Do you agree with that sentiment? Some might find it to be racially insensitive – do you?
A1 Weppner response: I find your question as insulting as the stereotypes printed in this Philadelphia  Inquirer editorial titled  ‘White Guilt is Dead ‘. Some might find it to be racially insensitive – do you?  ‘  “ I was surprised the Inquirer printed  this. Did you pose the same question to their editors?
Q2 NEWS FOLLOWUP: 4) On the “White Guilt Is Dead” post, why did you post it?
A2 Weppner response: Regardless of his political policies, Mr. Obama’s election was a proud moment in American history. I always feel deep pride in the American people and their willingness to embrace all ethnicities. It’s a statement to the world that in America if you work hard you can achieve anything. If you read the article carefully it actually reflects the same sentiment that in order to achieve you must rise above the offensive stereotypes.
Weppner final analysis: I invite readers to decide why Zremski edited my comments the way he did.

I went back and read the article “carefully”. What I see is nothing about “willingness to embrace all ethnicities”, or that “if you work hard you can achieve anything”. I see some base fucking racism there. I see an article written by someone who is so filled with rage and resentment that he writes something so base and so ugly that even Weppner – in her “A1 Weppner response” – expresses surprise that it was published in the first place. Yet in the next breath, she’s characterizing it as a reconfiguration of Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus. The cognitive dissonance is stark beyond belief. If Weppner thought that reprinting this exchange would make her look better by comparison, I question her judgment, full stop. 

Weppner then addresses what Zremski wrote about her anti-Muslim writings and pronouncements. Nits are again picked. 

“THIS IS AN EXCELLENT SYNOPSIS OF ISLAM AND HOW IT WORKS,” Weppner wrote.   [wrote changed to “posted” in print version

Again – a distinction without a difference.

6)  On May 5, 2008, under the headline “Wake Up America,” you posted what you called “an excellent synopsis of Islam and how it works.” That synopsis says that after a country’s Muslim population exceeds 80 percent, people can “expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide.” But Turkey, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates are stable and peaceful, with no ethnic cleansing or genocide, despite being more than 80 percent Muslim. How, then, is this an excellent synopsis of Islam and how it works?

Kathy Weppner response:  
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/12/international/asia/12cnd-indo.html?fta=y&_r=0
For your further research please see link  
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Wake+Up,+America!-a0173513219

“ A book called ‘Wake up America’ not about Islam but what we now refer to as  islamofacism  also came out around that time.   “Tolerance is cultural suicide when it is a one-way street. “ Hmm… some might say the last line reminds them of Democrat & Republican politics. I also suggest your further research regarding Indonesia  and Turkey, cleansing and genocide. I have included some links to broaden your knowledge:  Ethnic cleaning in Indonesia  2001 Thousands flee bloody Borneo ethnic cleansing.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/feb/26/indonesia.johnaglionby
“”Ethnic cleansing perpetrated by indigenous tribal fighters against migrants in Central Kalimantan engulfed the capital of the Indonesian province for the first time yesterday as tens of thousands of refugees fled hordes of head hunters. As the official death toll from eight days of carnage on the island of Borneo rose to 270, hundreds of local Dayaks swept through the city of Palangkaraya looking for settlers from the island of Madura. Police did nothing to prevent them burning dozens of homes and setting up roadblocks across the city to stop the Madurese escaping….The The slaughter was sparked by two local government officials who paid a group of Dayaks to attack a Madurese housing complex. Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported yesterday that the death toll is at least 400; Madurese in the Sampit refugee camp reckon it is several times that figure.”
 Indonesia discrimination against Chinese:
1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_Chinese_Indonesians
“Turkey Armenian Genocide:
I had a guest on by the name of Thea Halo author of Not Even My Name.  Her mother was a survivor of the Turkish genocide of over three million Christians. She spoke later at UB. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Armenian_Genocide: “The Armenia Genocide was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian  subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. It took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert.[…… There, the Armenians were subject to the whims of their Turkish and Kurdish neighbors, who would regularly overtax them, subject them to brigandage and kidnapping, force them to convert to Islam, and otherwise exploit them without interference from central or local authorities.[32] In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the dhimmi system held up in Muslim countries, they, like all other Christians and also Jews, were accorded certain limited freedoms (such as the right to worship), but were in essence treated as second-class citizens and referred to in Turkish as gavours, a pejorative word meaning “infidel” or “unbeliever
Weppner final analysis of the NEWS published article:  Mr. Zremski’s report is incorrect.  The synopsis is not an essay about the religion of Islam alone and it clearly states that in my post. The synopsis dealt with the “system of Islam,” and it’s various components-the religious, legal, political, economic and military components in Islamic states. The synopsis was written by the author of a book entitled,  Slavery, Terrorism & Islam – The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat’,  by Dr. Peter Hammond , a missionary from Africa. My post clearly identifies the book and author as well.  It was posted at a time when all Americans were learning about the difference between Islam and Islamofacism. http://www.amazon.com/Slavery-Terrorism-Islam-Revised-Expanded/dp/0980263913

The problem is that Weppner – and WBEN – never set out to, e.g., teach the difference between Islam and what they term “Islamofascism”. The New York Times article from 2006 that she cites describes a singular crime against Americans. It has nothing to do with genocide or ethnic cleansing, but with a terrorist act. Stalin didn’t commit genocide in the Soviet Union because he was a Muslim. Hitler didn’t murder millions throughout Europe because he was heading up a Sharia-based caliphate. The Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot wasn’t following the “dhimmi” system to create his agrarian dystopia. Milosevic and his henchmen in Bosnia weren’t Muslims committing genocide – quite the opposite, actually. 

3)  On Jan. 7, 2006, you reposted on your blog an item called “21 Things You Must Believe to Be a Good Democrat.” Among those reasons were “You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.” Does this mean that you think being homosexual is unnatural?

Kathy Weppner response: Please read all 21 Reasons below. Since you apparently, missed the humor and irony reason # 21 answers your question # 21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.   I know plenty of Democrats who feel their own party has been perverted by extremism. I know plenty of Democrats who are insulted by media who assume that all Democrats  think alike.  I don’t believe all Democrats think alike, ditto for Republicans. That’s why I am running.  That’ also the reason why the irony expressed in article is amusing.

Weppner analysis of NEWS article published: I stand by my response. Mr. Zremski called it an “essay”.  I called it humor. There are many different versions of this on the internet.   There is also a version for Republicans. Below are ALL of the 21 things in the article.  Buffalo News readers and editors should be asking why Mr. Zremeski picked  only #6 and ignored #21:

1. You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach fourth-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding. 
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth’s climate, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs. 
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural 
7. You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand. 
8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity. 
9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony activists who’ve never been outside of Seattle do. 
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it. 
11. You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars. 
12. You have to believe the NRA is bad, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution. 
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high. 
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinen are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison. 
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren’t 
16. You have to believe Hillary Clinton is really a lady. 
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge. 
18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belongs in the White House. 
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal. 
20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest of the United States. 
21. You have to believe that this letter is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

WTF does that even mean? First of all, this confirms my going theory that Weppner is little more than a repository and regurgitator of mean-spirited right-wing chain emails. Secondly, it says you have to “believe” all 21 of these things in order to be a “good Democrat”. Where is the joke? What is funny about this? That homosexuals are abnormal and should be held up to ridicule? That feminists are garbage? That “Hillary Clinton is [not] really a lady”? Where is the “irony”, much less the “amusing” irony? It’s just culture warfare diarrhea.  

In 2007, she criticized an immigration bill that was before Congress at the time, saying it amounted to amnesty for illegal immigrants and adding: “If people truly want to be reunited with their families they can go home!”

Asked about the quote this month, she said: “Do you really think a complex issue such as immigration can be solved by asking a single, seven-year old, out-of-context question such as posed?” 
Weppner final analysis:  I stand by my response.

If you stand by your response, then what did Mr. “Zremesky” do wrong? Weppner blogged and spent time on WBEN with reductive xenophobia concerning immigration, so certainly she should be ready, willing, and able to defend or discuss something that she so casually wrote. 

9)  On Sept. 8, 2009, you posted an item on your blog headlined “Who Am I?”  It says, among other things, “* I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another country. I was not his only child. He fathered several children with numerous women.” And it ends with the words: “Who am I? ADOLF HITLER. WHO WERE YOU THINKING OF?” That seems to imply parallels between Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. Do you see such parallels?
Weppner response: To me the article was a humorous way to warn of the dangers of  not vetting a candidate properly, of relying on press reports that sound nice but have no substance in the report. To me it implies that Greek pillars, chanting for candidates and songs about them is bordering on dangerous idolatry.   To me it simply pointed out the dangers history has taught us in wholehearted support without doing your own critical evaluation. Stepford Media helps create Stepford Voters.  The article meant more about the criteria we are relying on to elect candidates in this modern age. 

Weppner final  analysis:  
Jeepers Jerry. You missed a few really important things. Did you read past the first line? Or did the rest not fit your agenda?

Again – WTF does any of this mean? Zremsky accurately condensed her response into something readable, and she’s complaining that he didn’t add in her pithy “Stepford Media” quote? She equated Barack Obama with Adolf Hitler because ha ha socialism and foreign. Any attempt by her to turn it into something about “vetting” is utter bullshit. There was no lack of vetting of Hitler. Hitler, first of all, was not duly elected to the Reichstag in 1933 in anything remotely similar to what the US did in 2008 or 2012. Secondly, Hitler and his ideology was well-known to Germans thanks to his 720 page book, “Mein Kampf”.

That book was a best-seller in Weimar Germany, and required reading between 1933 – 1945. The first chapter details Hitler’s upbringing in Austria, the fact that he fought in World War I for the dual monarchy, and his coming-of-age in Vienna. None of these pieces of information was unknown, and whether Hitler’s father had lots of kids with lots of women seems microscopically irrelevant in comparison to the malevolence for which he is remembered. 

Weppner’s “final analysis” is ridiculous on its face. 

Continuing to criticize The News’ line of questioning, she said: “Should I assume the NEWS supports the Obama administration’s new proposal to have the federal government investigate and monitor how newsroom editors decide topics and how topics affect policy?”

Asked about that purported policy, Debra Gersh Hernandez, spokesperson for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said: “I have no idea what she’s talking about.”

Weppner final analysis: 
I stand by my responses. Can the NEWS stand by it’s reporting? How could the news have missed this story that was covered internationally?  Can the NEWS stand by its’ sources? Stepford Media produces Stepford America. I read  ‘The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom…Why is the agency studying ‘perceived station bias’ and asking about coverage choices?’ This article published in the Wall Street Journal, written by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in Feb.HTTP://ONLINE.WSJ.COM/NEWS/ARTICLES/SB10001424052702304680904579366903828260732    Quote FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai:

“Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.”

 I also read ‘CC Suspends Critical Information Needs Pilot Study …Will change methodology and will not ask questions of journalists or owners’ 2/21/2014  in broadcasting.com saying the questions were way out of line:http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/fcc-suspends-critical-information-needs-pilot-study/129333   

– “The study has come under fire, fueled by commissioner Ajit Pai’s op ed in the Wall Street Journal this week taking issue with it.”

– “”Chairman Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required. Last week, chairman Wheeler informed lawmakers that the commission has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters and would be modifying the draft study. Yesterday, the chairman directed that those questions be removed entirely.

–  Commisssioner Ajit Pai “The Commission has now recognized that no study by the federal government, now or in the future, should involve asking questions to media owners, news directors, or reporters about their practices. This is an important victory for the First Amendment. And it would not have been possible without the American people making their voices heard. I will remain vigilant that any future initiatives not infringe on our constitutional freedoms.”

Look again. Weppner characterized this as the “Obama administration’s” proposal to intercede in the newsroom. The FCC is an independent agency, not directed by the White House, but run by a bipartisan board. It was one study that the FCC was conducting in one Southern market, and it responded to reporters’ concerns by halting it altogether. It wasn’t an effort to monitor, but to study. Here is the text of the questions asked. It’s a far cry from that to “OBAMA IN UR NEWSROOM ZOMG”. 

Weppner final analysis of Buffalo NEWS and the article published: Kathy Weppner response:

Attached find my response to your questions. Sorry about the delay I was out of the country. Monday I will be releasing a report to the media regarding a pressing issue facing Western New York. You will be included in that release. I am currently putting together my platform and when that is completed we can sit down for an interview.

Dear Mr. Zremski,

Reviewing your questions, I note that you did not ask one question about Western New York or about my agenda. Given the problems facing WNY I am surprised you’d focus on the minutia of radio talk show fodder, which is nothing more than food-for- thought-discussion. Additionally, just as your e-mail demonstrates, like reporters, hosts are often influenced from above regarding timely topics for discussion. Should I assume the NEWS supports the Obama administration’s new proposal to have the Federal government investigate and monitor how newsroom editors decide topics and how topics affect policy? 
Please know that I have no intention of responding to every topic I have ever discussed over the last 9 years. As a subscriber to the Buffalo NEWS I can assure you that if something is printed in the NEWS it does not mean the information is always credible. My time will be spent on agenda items. Now that we’ve addressed your editor’s pressing questions I would ask the NEWS to focus its’ attention on the real issues that matter to Western New York.

I am a strong supporter of a free press because I believe a strong press is a crucial component of a Democratic Republic. The Founders envisioned a strong checks- and- balance free press with robust debate. However, as my website will explain, we are now living in an age of “yellow journalism” and blatant bias. There is a whole generation now that has not been taught about yellow journalism. I will deal with that element on my website. You are free to print what you want.

As I said at my announcement, it is not for the media to pick winners or losers. I believe that the greatest threat to our American Republic is not whether you have a D-Democrat or R-Republican on your registration; rather, it is a media that serves it rather than the people. When the public fears to discuss what the media refuses to report, our country and our hard-earned freedom is lost. When the media assumes the election is over before it begins WNY loses.

I am aware that you have a new Editor at the NEWS since the last Congressional elections so please convey the following NEWS look-back information regarding the 2012 26th district race. To my memory, the NEWS published 2, perhaps 3 articles on Mr. Higgins’ opponent Mike Madigan with an overwhelming press focused on the Hochul- Collins race. The reporting was so out of balance this created much confusion for voters. Due to the last minute redistricting, no maps were available at the county. I along with many other voters contacted the NEWS and requested a map with street names be published so folks could figure out whose district they were in. The NEWS acknowledged the problem, but took no action. I spoke to many voters who did not know for sure until arriving at the poll, which district they were placed in, this despite the fact that the 26th district contains the two largest cities in WNY, Buffalo & Niagara Falls. 

As I stated in my announcement, a strong America was built by competition. The most important element is the competition and melting of ideas. WNY is no different. America must never allow politicians the comfort of having no competition. I will be tackling many of WNY challenges on my website. My time will be focused not on minutia and character assault but on the issues impacting WNY. I invite the Buffalo NEWS to rise to the challenge and to explore the issues anew with an open mind. I urge you to bring your A-team because WNY deserves nothing less.

As of Tuesday morning, this passage has been redacted. Probably because it’s a little crazy and more evidence of the end of punctuation. 

To the people of Western New York:  YELLOW JOURNALISM IS NOT MY PROBLEM…. IT IS OUR PROBLEM. The Buffalo NEWS has been caught red-handed manipulating the facts to manipulate the outcome of a campaign before it even starts.  You deserve better. The Buffalo NEWS owes a huge apology to its’ readers and to you.  It’s time for Western New York to empower themselves and demand it!    end analysis

 “Melting of ideas” alright. 

Perhaps Zremski’s article wasn’t an article at all. Perhaps Weppner missed its inherent irony; that 

“To me the article was a humorous way to warn of the dangers of not vetting a candidate properly, of relying on press reports that sound nice but have no substance…”

When the light of “vetting a candidate properly” is shined on Weppner, she takes out her shovel and digs her whole ever-deeper.  

I have a hard time believing that a serious adult wrote any of this, as it reads more like some of the blithering rantings you’d find at an online forum. It’s always a good strategy, I suppose, for Weppner to run against the media. It’ll play great with the base. But as far as her having any mainstream credibility whatsoever, it wasn’t Zremski’s article that torpedoed that so much as this astonishing response to it. 

Oh, and don’t bother trying to delete it. I took a screencap

Weppner Vetted

24 Mar

When right-wing fascistic talk radio intersects with real-life electoral politics, it usually shines a bright light on just how repugnant the ultra-right tea party is. It isn’t always elections that do it – for instance, Rush Limbaugh’s national sponsors began abandoning that drug-addled ship when he viciously attacked female activist Sandra Fluke

Forget, of course, for a moment that insurers pay for Cialis and Viagra, but the predominately male, Caucasian, baby-boomer, “me-Generation” types who populate hate radio in America are outraged – OUTRAGED – that insurance might pay for contraceptives to prevent the natural outcome of Viagra usage. 

And so it is that Kathy Weppner, a former host of an unlistenable train wreck of a hate radio show, is being asked to answer to a wider audience for a lot of the racist, nativist nonsense that she used to espouse and regurgitate to like-minded resent-porn enthusiasts, with impunity.  When she announced, I wrote that Weppner: 

… is not only going to be a tea partier, but is – quite literally – a low-information WBEN caller. “Kathy from Williamsville” is going to take her fact-free jingoism on the campaign trail. She is a walking, talking anti-Obama chain email, and anyone reporting on her should be sure to haveSnopes queued up on their mobile browsers. Seriously – there will be no point covering her campaign if you’re not able immediately to vet her pronouncements and cross-examine her on the inevitable fabrications and fantasies she’ll discuss. After all, she has a list of known communists, doesn’t seem to be ready or willing to represent Muslim residents of the 26th (hint: it’s the primitive blood lust), has declared “white guilt” to be “dead”, warned against a hyperinflation that never came, and – like Ronald Reagan – opposes Medicare

 The Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski queued up Snopes and went through her on-air and online pronouncements. I won’t examine the entirety of Zremski’s thorough article here; it speaks for itself. But consider these points: 

1. Weppner refused to be interviewed for the Buffalo News’ article; instead, she would only answer emailed questions. If a candidate for federal elected office cannot muster the courage or mental fortitude to be interviewed by the singular local paper covering her district, she’s fundamentally unqualified for public office of any kind. 

2. She – or someone acting on her behalf – went through her “Straight Talk” website with a fine-toothed comb to remove any odd nonsense and otherwise to sanitize it for a wider audience. Her problem is that the internet doesn’t forget, and the Waybackmachine holds all the embarrassing secrets she sought to expunge from her record.  I’ve written a lot of profane nonsense over the last 10 years, but I haven’t hidden a word of it. If you’re going to take a political viewpoint – even a controversial one – you defend it. You don’t run and hide from it when the rubber hits the road. She cannot defend her views. The expunged parts of her website are precisely what endeared her to the white omniphobes who support her for election. Now she’s trying to poo-poo them all away – all of her treasured opinions about the un-American, Muslim foreignhood of Barack Obama, all of her ridiculous nonsense about Islam being a genocidal religion, all of her promotion of Stepin Fetchit minstrelsy bullshit. Also, socialism on the march!

3. Birtherism – she can run, but she can’t hide. When it mattered, Weppner hosted lunatic birther Orly Taitz on her radio show and promoted her as a serious person. Now she says she acknowledges Obama’s legitimacy, but back then, she took a brown-skinned man with a funny name and single mom and assumed he was part of some half-century-long conspiracy to place a foreign-born person as POTUS. 

I believe, at that time, Mr. Obama’s submission of a ‘short-form’ birth certificate was a topic of conversation nationally as there were many lawsuits attempting to see his long-form birth certificate. I found it interesting that there was such resistance to produce this when it should have been simple. Mr. Obama Is our President.

The demands for the long-form birth certificate were an unprecedented, racist troll. Do you always take the bait and feed the trolls? 

4. Back to the minstrelsy – when asked about a blatantly racist opinion piece about “White Guilt”,  

Asked if she saw that language as racially insensitive, Weppner replied: “I find your question as insulting as the stereotypes printed in this Philadelphia Inquirer editorial titled ‘White Guilt is Dead.’ …I was surprised the Inquirer printed this. Did you pose the same question to their editors?”

Weppner deleted the “White Guilt” article from her site so recently that it still appears in Google’s cache. (It was still online on March 4th). She did not add any commentary to it – she didn’t question the appropriateness of the racism in that article, or query why the Inquirer printed it. She regurgitated it – verbatim – in its entirety. She endorsed it. Nice try. 

Weppner that very special confluence of hatred, bigotry, ignorance, & stupidity. She is, simply put, the prototypical, perfect tea party candidate. To that point, she’s still at it – uncritically regurgitating whatever conspiratorial nonsense she picks up from dubious sources: 

“Should I assume the NEWS supports the Obama administration’s new proposal to have the federal government investigate and monitor how newsroom editors decide topics and how topics affect policy?”

Asked about that purported policy, Debra Gersh Hernandez, spokesperson for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said: “I have no idea what she’s talking about.”

No one does. No one has any idea what Kathy Weppner is talking about. She is the tea party’s excreta, and she’s running for Congress. 

High Speed Rail to New York

24 Mar

Google Maps says it’s 408 miles from Niagara Falls to New York City. It should take about 6.5 hours to drive. Unfortunately, taking the train takes 9 hours – if you’re lucky. Amtrak shares almost all of the railway west of Albany with freight operators, and freight has the right-of-way, so it’s not uncommon for passengers to spend an interminable wait outside of Rome, for instance. 

Paris to Marseilles is 480 miles, and is about a 7 hr drive. The TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) takes 3 hrs 15 minutes. 

The Acela corridor connecting Washington, New York, and Boston is the only nominally high speed rail line in North America, and only parts of the track are capable of accommodating real high speeds. 

The New York State Department of Transportation is planning a high-speed rail corridor between New York and Niagara Falls, called the “Empire Corridor”. There had been a public comment period that no one knew about, so it’s been extended until April 30th. There are several alternatives being considered: 

Base Alternative – Improvements to the existing right-of-way, new and redeveloped train stations, high-level boarding platforms, and 20 miles of new track, signals, and track improvements, such as grade crossings to enhance safety, security, and convenience.

Alternative 90A – New train sets, locomotives and coaches, and 20 more capacity and station improvement projects in the existing right-of-way.

Alternative 90B – All Alternative 90A features plus station improvements and construction of more than 300 miles of track dedicated to passenger rail.

Alternative 110 – All Alternative 90A features and 325 miles of new dedicated passenger rail track.

Alternative 125 – Entirely new 247-mile corridor connecting Albany and Buffalo, requiring construction of a separate right-of-way for passenger rail service and sections of elevated track to bring passengers to stations or freight to customers and freight yards. New service would stop in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo, where travelers could change to local trains.

By my way of thinking, if you’re going to do something, do it right. I would prefer 125 or 110 and ensure that passenger rail is efficient and reliable. Alternative 125 would allow for about 15 – 20 trains per day reaching average speeds of 77 MPH and a top speed of 125 MPH. The current top speed is 79 MPH, and that’s what the base alternative would maintain.  Under alternative 110, the travel time would be about 7 hours and would cost about $6.25 billion. Under alternative 125, the time would be 6:02 and would cost $14 billion. 

There had been an earlier alternative that would have allowed average speeds of 120 MPH and top speeds of 220 MPH – TGV speeds – but implementation would have been $40 billion. 

The form to comment is located here

Good Riddance, Fred Phelps

21 Mar

A busy week with late nights, so posting has been regrettably light. So, with the weekend approaching, I leave you with these thoughts: 

1. While Mark Croce may have a right to charge up to $75 for a day’s worth of parking at the corner of Blight and Squalor, Buffalo is not a $75-per-day parking city. We don’t have a parking shortage, nor do we have any particular need to restrict access to our downtown, so something like Uber’s “surge pricing” – something else we don’t have in Buffalo –  is a ridiculous notion.

The barrage of counterarguments from people upholding the right to cheat tourists was astonishing.  Airline fares! Hotel rates! Well, sure. But Croce’s lot was charging 1500% more than a regular Thursday, and double to triple its usual “event” rate. “They could just drive around” is the method suggested for tourists unfamiliar with downtown Buffalo to find something else. True, I guess – that’s should maybe be our local tourism slogan to replace “For Real” or “Sense of Place”.  “Just Drive Around a Bit” that doesn’t make an outrageous markup any less so. Most of the lots – including the FN Center’s own directly across the street from the arena – were $20 for the day. If you were willing to walk a bit, they were less. But part of that “choice” is predicated on you being somewhat familiar with where you are and how to get around. I can’t imagine why anyone would pay $60 to park outside in the Buffalo snow, and the law might not consider it to be gouging under the law, but I think it’s someone taking unfair advantage of visitors who simply don’t know that $60 is an outrage to park around here. Or that we have plenty of other choices. Or that we have a Metro Rail. I argued about this with people on Twitter, and was truly surprised by the number of people defending Croce’s right to charge whatever he wants. Well, sure, I guess. But does that make it right? Or does your humanity, good neighborliness, and sense of fairness demand that visitors not be gouged by a greedy millionaire? Welcome to Buffalo! If the government doesn’t rob you, our business oligarchs will. 

But seriously, if it costs less to eat the ticket you get from parking in a “No Parking” zone than in one of Croce’s lots, the rules of “basic economics” are out the damn window. 

2. Last night the Blue Bash to celebrate the 2014 Undy 5000 and the Colon Cancer Alliance was held at Artisan Kitchen & Baths. While colon cancer is the 2nd deadliest cancer in America, affecting thousands of people every year, there’s such a phobia and stigma attached to it that people are dying needlessly. Early detection is the difference between life and death; survivor and victim. My wife is a cancer survivor and we are raising money for the CCA to help its mission, part of which is to provide free colonoscopies to people who cannot otherwise afford them. Please consider donating anything you can at this link. 

3. Looks like a lot of local school districts – Orchard Park, Ken-Ton, Depew, Cheektowaga, Sweet Home, and Buffalo, to name a few – are undergoing the same gut-wrenching budget crisis this year that Clarence underwent last year, and there’s more on the horizon.  When Clarence’s budget was in trouble last year, the board tried to pass a 9% increase to maintain the status quo. The vote failed, and the curriculum was gutted and electives were eliminated. Some in WNY pointed and laughed. Sprawly, tax-averse Clarence kids got what they deserved, some argued. Well, the hurt is getting spread around while Clarence’s crisis appears to be over. If we can’t adequately fund our schools and instead prioritize things like handouts to businesses and pothole repairs, then our priorities are beyond screwed up.

Welcome To Buffalo, You Philistines

19 Mar
WINTER

By Patrick Blake via the AV Photo Daily Flickr Group

I literally cringed while I read this. Not figuratively – but “for real”. 

The title of the piece itself is cringeworthy in its clumsiness – “Welcome to Buffalo, folks, you’re in for a nice surprise”. People will be swarming into town to watch the basketball.  Many of them have never been here. Certainly some are thinking, “Buffalo? Really?” For those reasons, I wouldn’t at all blame the local convention & visitors’ bureau from retaining the services of an ad agency to develop a slick handout to direct NCAA spectators to places and things to do whilst not watching the basketball. 

But the Buffalo News’ most insufferable nominal columnist, Donn Esmonde, couldn’t resist getting into the act. Knowing Buffalo, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they took today’s column and reprinted it in the “welcome to Buffalo NCAA people” brochure. Esmonde can’t help himself – he is a scold even when trying to put a welcoming face on an embarrassing downtown.  And it reads like a 7th grader’s book report. 

Congratulations, NCAA visitors. You have drawn the long straw, hit the proverbial jackpot. An extended weekend in Buffalo may not seem like an ideal destination. Yet what awaits you is not just a basketball-filled 72 hours, but a journey of discovery.

Welcome to Buffalo, the best-kept civic secret in America. By the time you leave Sunday, you will have been enlightened, transformed, rebirthed and metamorphosed. OK, maybe we can’t promise a complete epiphany. But we can guarantee you a good time – and I suspect your perception of our city will change for the better.

The set-up here is interesting because it jokingly oversells what these visitors are going to experience, which is somewhat limited in scope.  They’re not coming to Buffalo to come to Buffalo, they’re coming here for the basketball, to eat food, drink beverages, and to sleep.  Everything else – wings, Falls, transformation, enlightenment, rebirth, metamorphosis – is secondary. Maybe tertiary. 

They don’t call it the City of Good Neighbors for nothing. Here is the happy convergence of quality of life, culture and history, wrapped around a smaller-city, Midwestern-style bonhomie. You will have no problem soliciting dinner suggestions from locals or driving directions – which may include a simple “follow me.”

Yet the games will be played at the First Niagara Center in the cold. The radius of walkable destinations between games is limited, and it’s more likely that people will end up at the Buffalo Creek Casino than diving in head-first into our “bonhomie”. 

Hope springs eternal for the heads of cultural institutions, but few hoops fans will spend their spare time perusing Picassos at our art museum, checking out our Olmsted-designed parks system or marveling at our collection of Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces. So we will stick to visitor basics: Food, drink, what makes Buffalo special and What to Do on Game-Free Friday.

That’s actually pretty self-aware. Esmonde is right – they’re not here for parks (the temperature will be quite cold this weekend) or architecture. They’re here for the basketball.  

Esmonde goes on to discuss the Buffalo wing and our very late last call, pointing out Chippewa Street as our binge-drinking strip of note.  He also gives an approving nod towards the dram shops on Allen. Then…

Buffalo is no Styrofoam Sun Belt burg, and downtown drips with character – much of it visible from the Metro Rail cars ferrying fans to the arena. The reddish-orange, terra cotta 1896 Guaranty Building was one of America’s first skyscrapers. The invention of structural steel made possible Louis Sullivan’s masterwork and enabled the vertical growth of cities.

The yellowish dome of the M&T Bank building is actual 23.75-carat gold leaf. The last roof regilding cost a half-million dollars, so don’t try this at home.

Up the block from Lafayette Square, the art deco City Hall poses a broad-shouldered, “bring it on” challenge to whatever (yes, we get a little snow) blows in from Lake Erie.

Hey, visitor from the Sun Belt – please allow our glib, local asshole of a part-time columnist to denigrate where you live! Ha ha! Welcome to Buffalo, folks from New Orleans, Orlando, Miami, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, and other “Styrofoam Sun Belt burgs”! On the one hand, it shows me that Esmonde is a horrible traveler, if he goes anywhere at all other than his suburban sprawl home in Florida. Each and every one of the aforementioned cities in the “Sun Belt” are drenched with culture. It might be different from that we have in Buffalo or the Northeast, but it’s worth finding and is no less fascinating than some dreary history lesson about scooping grain or working in a steel mill. It takes interest and effort. 

How deranged do you have to be to puff your city by denigrating someone else’s? 

History doubles-down barely a court-length from the First Niagara Center doors. The pedestrian bridge at Buffalo River’s edge – near the World War II destroyer USS The Sullivans – spans the Erie Canal’s western terminus, where DeWitt Clinton in 1826 opened the waterway that transformed America.

The hulking grain elevator across the river is a remnant of the Great Lakes trade that built Delaware Avenue’s “millionaires’ row” of mansions. Hang a right when leaving the arena to find handful of bars and restaurants, tucked into canal-era buildings in the revived Cobblestone District. And yes, visiting Milwaukee fans, we haven’t – unlike you – taken down our elevated, waterfront-stifling Skyway (yet).

Again. Visitors don’t give a shit about the Skyway. They don’t care why it’s there, why it’s not taken down, or anything of the sort. The Skyway is certainly an eyesore, but it and the elevated 190 – on or under which visitors will have to tread to get to the First Niagara Center –  isn’t the sine qua non of Buffalo’s downtown decline. If you’re writing this for visitors, keep our civic debates out of it. No one cares. “Where” Magazine in your hotel room isn’t replete with civic debates about elevated highways, but food, drink, shopping, and attractions. 

There is natural wonder, as well. The partly frozen splendor of Niagara Falls is just a 25-minute drive up Interstate 190. But you can’t get to the glitzier Canadian side unless you packed a passport.

The days of getting waved on by customs officials after flashing a driver’s license are long gone.

Once an insider’s town of nook-and-cranny bars and neighborhood restaurants, Buffalo now offers more obvious charms. The reclaimed 1904 Hotel @ The Lafayette – with in-house bars and restaurants – is the jewel of a host of downtown building resurrections.

Funny thing that – we’re endlessly impressed with ourselves for taking an old flophouse and turning it into something urbane white people would want to visit. An old building with bars and restaurants? Why they even have that in “Styrofoam Sun Belt” cities!

Chippewa Street’s emergence a generation ago gave Buffalo a go-to bar/restaurant district. The Avant is an upscale hotel with high-end condos. Yet downtown remains a work in progress. Cranes hover over the embryonic HarborCenter hotel/restaurant/ice rink complex outside the First Niagara Center doors – the brainstorm of Sabres owner Terry Pegula. Behind a nearby construction fence, workers are replicating the old canal path that will mark an entertainment district.

They don’t fucking care. You already mentioned Chippewa Street as our local binge-drinking vomitorium, and the Avant is special for us, but not for visitors. To someone from out of town, the Avant is no more or less worthy of mention than the Hampton Inn at Chippewa and Allen. The HarborCenter isn’t yet open and will confuse the hell out of people relying on Google Maps to help navigate the area around the arena. 

More hotels are in the making. Swing by the next time the tournament swings through, to see the finished product.

Until then, enjoy the wonder that we think is Buffalo. Despite what you might have thought, you drew the long straw.

The only line missing is, “I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it”. 

Buffalo stands on its own merits (and demerits). Allen Street is great. Chippewa might be great for some. But if we could stop insulting other places to make ourselves feel better about Buffalo, that would be great. 

As an aside, I read every one of Esmonde’s columns. That’s usually about 2 per week. I don’t think I’ve written a commentary about any of them since September when I exposed his undisclosed chumminess with a quoted source and his sprawl-tastic Florida home. I certainly could have – he’s insufferable 99% of the time – but didn’t. I wasn’t going to write about this, either, until I got to the “Sun Belt” line. Who in their right mind insults the supposed, perceived, subjective inauthenticity of other cities? For what purpose? For a smug sense of self-satisfaction – parroting the “for real” and “sense of place” bullshit marketing buzzwords that we actually use now in real life to market this city to prospective visitors? 

Buffalo as a place to visit stands and falls on its own merits and demerits. If you want people to visit and to like it, don’t be a prat about it – just get to what’s to like.  

We were once stranded in Dallas because while en route from California to Boston, our destination was hit with a 30″ snowstorm. We ended up stuck for 3 or 4 days and we were lucky enough to have the scratch to afford a rental car and a hotel room. So, we explored Dallas. This was 1996, so there were no smartphones and we didn’t have any sort of internet access. We got ideas for things to see from memory (Book Depository, Southfork) or from brochures we found in the hotel (Fort Worth Stockyards, museums in the city), and just from exploring with no set destination in mind. Had I read something in a Dallas paper denigrating Boston, I’d have been pissed off and thought, “what a bitter, inhospitable place”. 

So, I don’t have a problem with Esmonde or anyone else writing a column welcoming basketball fans from around the world. But to criticize an entire swath of the US as inauthentic in order to sell your city as “real” is outrageous and insulting. My animus for Esmonde is well-known and well-documented, but I honestly don’t wake up twice a week rubbing my hands together like a Hanna-Barbera villain in anticipation of how I can bitchslap him in a blog post. 

Our downtown is an embarrassment, but small pockets here and there are getting better. But a visitor doesn’t give a shit about how, say, the Lafayette came about or how it’s not as bad as it was. They just want to know where it is that’s fun, cool, or interesting to go. Does the Lafayette have a nice restaurant? Swell! How do I get there? Do I walk? Is there parking? Do I take a cab? Do I take the trolley? Where does that trolley go, incidentally? Is there a goddamn bus map I can have? Are you running a shuttle bus to get me from the arena to a destination, and then back again in time to catch my next game? If not, is that bus with that car salesman on the side of it in any way reliable? How often do they come? When is the next one coming? In my cookie-cutter Sun Belt city, the bus stops are sheltered and there’s a sign that tells you in real time when the next one will stop here. 

The last thing they’re thinking about is Louis Sullivan, a replica “canal terminus” to nowhere, (in mid-30s weather and rain), and whether Buffalo is “authentic” or not.