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#Obamacough?

13 Oct

(Starting around 0.38s)

“If you’re loving your Obamacough…if you’re loving that respiratory infection, it’s not a mystery – it comes from Obama’s children. If you’re enjoying that, why don’t you call Brian Higgins’ office and thank him for it, and ask if he’ll help pay your medical bills for whatever your doctor may have given you to counteract said cough.”

What is he talking about? What does this mean? What “Obamacough” did “Obama’s children” cause people in WNY to contract? Why should Brian Higgins pay for anyone’s medical bills, given that everyone in New York is mandated to have health insurance coverage nowadays either through their employer, through the exchange, or through Medicaid? 

In what way is this responsible? What sort of radio station is this, exactly, this WBEN? I mean, I get Bauerle saying any old oddity – that’s his job – but when it crosses the line from commentary into crackpot tin-foil hattery, doesn’t someone step in and do something about it?  

I mean, I know Obama is a public figure, and so are his kids, to a degree – I don’t put it past any right winger to leave Obama’s kids alone – but what evidence is there to back this up?  Isn’t this sort of the very definition of “actual malice” set forth in Sullivan v. New York Times

 

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Jefferson Street Shul 1903-2014?

11 Oct

Text of a press release:

Rabbi Drorah Setel and David Torke, activist and writer of fixBuffalo, will chain themselves to the threatened Jefferson Street Shul at 7am this morning at 407 Jefferson Avenue. The shul, constructed in 1903 and designed by A.E. Minks and Sons, is the oldest Jewish religious structure in Buffalo. An emergency demolition order was recently signed by the City, and demolition equipment has arrived on the site. All media are invited to witness this last attempt to save Buffalo’s oldest synagogue building.

I’m Offended You’re Offended

25 Apr

It’s a jokey thing to do – “pardon the butter lamb”. Erie County Executive Poloncarz did that sometime during that week before Easter when Polish WNYers rediscover their old neighborhood.  This attempt at humor (you can’t really pardon a thing that doesn’t live) has outraged at least one person,

In what at first appeared to be a harmless political stunt, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz ventured over to the Broadway Market to pardon a butter lamb today. For some community leaders in touch with their Christian faiths, it wasn’t so harmless after all.

“It is clear that Mr. Poloncarz and his staff are blatantly ignorant to the significance of the butter lamb and its portrayal of Jesus as the Lamb of God. The title Lamb of God was given to Jesus by the Apostle John to clarify to the flock that in giving his life for mankind, he embodied the ultimate sacrifice,” said one Catholic political insider. “For Mark Poloncarz to think he has the ability and authority to pardon that sacrifice, eliminating it’s necessity – even if it was just a political stunt – is incredibly offensive. We are in the midst of the holiest week in the liturgical calendar, and there is just no room for such ignorance.”

The first reaction a reasonable person might have might be, “lighten up, Francis”.

The second reaction might be to pose a question. If the lump of butter molded into a lamb shape and sold in a box is such a holy portrayal of Jesus, why are we cutting it with a knife and eating it? Are we all Romans, symbolically sacrificing a dairy portrayal of the Messiah?

It was a joke – a marketing stunt.  It was an effort to promote Buffalo, the Broadway Market, our Easter traditions, Polish heritage, and the company that makes the butter lamb. Google it, and you’ll notice that the stunt worked – it was picked up as a “weird news” story on the AP wire, and  ABC, MSN, Fox, the Times of Malta,  and the Washington Post all ran the story.  Poloncarz didn’t just pardon any old lamb, but one manufactured by the Malczewski company, which gleefully promoted the Poloncarz pardon on its Facebook page.

How does the “Catholic insider” jibe his offense with Exodus 20:4 – 6?

Maybe don’t be so offended. He wasn’t really pardoning anything, and the butter lamb isn’t Jesus. 

Quinn to School Board?

27 Feb

Here’s a secret: as bad and dysfunctional as Carl Paladino and Larry Quinn think the Buffalo School Board is, arrogant mansplaining / whitesplaining only makes the whole thing a bigger circus.

In point of fact, Paladino’s bull in a china shop dealings with his school board opponents underscores just what a disaster he and his ilk are, would be, and have been, whenever the electorate is unfortunate enough to elect them to some public office. Nothing has changed except angrier press releases and longer meetings. There’s no compromise – just conflict. So, the only solution is for Carl to recruit his super-rich buddy to come and help him out. 

Throughout all of it, the very real and evident question is – do these guys truly want to make the schools better, or are they looking to starve and privatize the system into a distributor of vouchers and regulator of charters? (Charters that are on the property rental market). Or is it just thinly veiled prejudice, founded on the notion that black females don’t know what they’re doing? Because it sure as hell looks that way. 

The crisis in Buffalo city schools is not something that can be fixed on a balance sheet or through privatization. But guys like Carl – tea party right wing extremists – don’t ever support the policies and programs that would help lift people out of multigenerational poverty. The “concentration camps of couth” or the Emily Post Correctional Facilities idea was the sum total of Carl’s ideas along those lines. 

If these guys truly want to help the schools, they should stop being assholes and start cutting deals, making friends, and earning allies. Through negotiation and discussion you can accomplish great things. By treating your opponents like idiots, you’ll accomplish nothing. 

Coca Cola Offends People Who Purport to Hate “PC”

3 Feb

If this woman singing “America the Beautiful” in Arabic makes you angry, then you are a horrible and small-minded person

Last week, left-leaning horrible 24-hour news network MSNBC was forced to apologize for Tweeting,

“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family. http://t.co/SpB4rQDoAR“.

A staffer even lost his job over it.

MSNBC was right to bow to pressure from Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee.  It got it all wrong. 

The right wing was actually outraged over an ad for Coca Cola, which featured people singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages

To sum up, if you are outraged or angry over this ad for a sugar water that is sold around the world, and is practically an ambassador for America itself, then be advised that you are a horrible and awful person, and I implore you to get help.

Here’s one Fox News hack

Here’s former Congressman and alleged crime perpetrator Allen West,

I am quite sure there may some who appreciated the commercial, but Coca Cola missed the mark in my opinion. If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?

Well, it’s not as patriotic as beating a detainee or threatening to kill an Iraqi policeman, so maybe we shouldn’t take West’s word for it. And don’t forget to follow #BoycottCoke and #SpeakAmerican (yes, that.) 

And these people are also supposed to be interested in buying Maseratis?!

I loved the hell out of that Coke ad, and I’m not offended or threatened by Americans who speak or sing in another language. In fact, I’m one of them. 

Stuffing Waffles

22 Nov

Next week is Thanksgiving, during which we give thanks for our good tidings in a reasonably non-theistic way. Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that roasted turkey sort of sucks. It’s not whether it comes out dry or moist – it’s just that it’s a somewhat flavorless bird whose preparation we often overcomplicate. Remember a few years ago when everyone was buying the massive Ziploc bags and brine kits from Williams Sonoma? All it did was make the bird exquisitely salty. 

My wife agrees with me about turkey, so we’ve been known to substitute out a lobster dinner or a beef Wellington or something because you don’t need a turkey to give thanks, and even Tevye was pragmatic enough to eschew tradition. 

I do, however, enjoy the accouterments – the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, gravy and whatnot that goes with the turkey. But to top it all off, I came across a recipe in Serious Eats (from which I got the whole Kettlepizza/Baking Steel idea) that we are absolutely trying next week, and I pass it along to you, so it might become “viral” as the kids say. 

Stuffing waffles. Not stuffing made from waffles – waffles made from stuffing. Here is what they look like, served with some gravy and maple syrup (because maple syrup goes wonderfully with many savory foods): 

Via Serious Eats

Writer Kenji Lopez-Alt’s favorite Thanksgiving thing is stuffing, and his favorite part of the stuffing are the crispy edges. So, if you take a sausage stuffing recipe and use it in a waffle iron – presto, you get the best thing the best way. The article that describes the process is here.  Here is the recipe for the process itself. Here is the recipe for the underlying sausage stuffing recipe. Here is the recipe for his simple turkey gravy

Enjoy and let me know if you try it and how it comes out.

SHOCKER: American Children Compelled to Swear Loyalty Oath to N0Bama Regime

21 Nov

Last night I was listening to Michael Caputo filling in for Tom Bauerle on WBEN, and the topic of the Common Core curriculum came up. Admittedly, I don’t know quite enough about Common Core to be strongly for or against it – I know that there are concerns about excessive testing, and this is troubling to me. 

However, one of the callers likened Common Core to Mein Kampf (OF COURSE) because, although the new school curriculum doesn’t call for, e.g., the extermination of international Jewry, it was implemented under Indo-Kenyan socialist Hussein N0bama. 

The wildly inappropriate Hitler analogy was prompted by a sentence culled from a textbook on grammar that reads as follows, 

The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.

It’s a simple active/passive voice exercise, but people can find anti-American outrage EVERYWHERE. I mean, if you look at that sentence, it’s palpably true, in 99.9% of instances. If a cop orders you to pull over, you’re supposed to obey. If a government official is carrying out the law, within the bounds of his authority, you’re generally supposed to obey the command – to be drafted, to pay taxes, to stop at a red light, to show your passport at the border, etc. It is a completely uncontroversial sentence that helps instill the notion of civic duty in a kid. Back in the allegedly “good old days”, this is precisely what was taught.  

Furthermore, there are myriad textbooks and materials from which school districts can choose, and if a particular district doesn’t like the way its grammar exercises are set up, it can pick another one. 

Now, if you look at the insane lunatics at Infowars, you find that it wasn’t developed by the Chavista cadres of Obama’s cabinet, but by a massive private corporation. (I’m not linking to Infowars, sorry). 

This country is so fundamentally sick, I think it’s beyond help. It’s not sick because of idiots being outraged by a sentence in a textbook; it’s sick because everything is perceived to be a Stalinist/Hitlerist assault on God Bless America. 

Here’s how easy this is: 

The results of a Buffalopundit investigation reveal that children throughout Obama’s America are forced to swear a loyalty oath every morning. This loyalty oath is directed to a multicolored piece of cloth that the innocent children are told represents the government; the “Republic for which [the piece of cloth] stands”. But our exclusive investigation of the content of this loyalty oath also reveals that the children are forced to swear fealty to the government itself; “…United States of America, and to the Republic…” 

The oath goes on to shunt aside the rights of the individual, instead claiming that they are part of an “indivisible” “one Nation” collective taken right out of Marx’s Das Kapital. That collectivist agenda is tempered somewhat by the addition of the invocation of the Judeo-Christian deity, in whom some of the individual taxpayer-children in the crowd may not believe. 

We don’t know what kind of “liberty and justice” the totemist-communard loyalty oath anticipates, but it’s clear that Obama is indoctrinating America’s children into something that mirrors his particular anti-American agenda. 

Russia’s Concern-Troll

12 Sep

Better Opinion Columnist than Donn Esmonde

Last night, a New York Times opinion piece penned by Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s D.C. based public relations and/or lobbying group hit the Times’ website. I’m not particularly concerned with his last-paragraph indictment of American exceptionalism, because frankly the Russian President would be expected to believe in Russian exceptionalism. Yet what he actually writes is that no nationality is special. Don’t believe it, given the existence of what can only be called the Putin Youth, which uses a mix of Russian nationalism and Soviet imagery to lend support to the regime. 

What Putin’s Times piece really amounts to is the most prominent concern-troll in history. Putin lecturing the US about international shit-stirring and democracy is like Kim Jong Un lecturing the world about prisoners’ rights

The United States isn’t perfect by any means. Its government isn’t perfect, either. But of the countries qualified to lecture the US on good government and democracy, Russia is in maybe the lowest third. Since 2000, Putin has been the de facto dictator of the Russian Federation. Ask Chechnya about his democratic peacekeeping. Look how he bypassed term limits by switching between the President’s office and Prime Minister. We’re led to believe that a former KGB agent is a champion of openness and liberty because he is harboring fugitive thief Edward Snowden while actually monitoring communications for political means. 

All the things the tea party right and ultra left criticize centrist Obama for being or doing, Putin is actually being or doing. But, you know, Putin hunts with his shirt off, and he’s tight with the guy who gasses his own people with Sarin, so it’s all good. How many bands critical of the President has Obama thrown into labor camps? How many businessmen has Obama exiled or killed/attempted to kill? How many state-owned industries has Obama “privatized” into the hands of his friends and supporters? Has Obama promoted the cause of LGBT rights in the last 5 years, or deliberately rendered homosexuality illegal? How come people like Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and their supporters don’t criticize the Russian surveillance state

Anyone – including my own Congressman – who has nicer things to say about Vladimir Putin than President Obama is being an idiot, pure and simple. Swallow the propaganda all you want, but don’t pretend like Putin’s Russia is the model for America unless you’re into neofascism, autocracy, tycoonism, and mass surveillance for political, rather than security, ends. 

Gaughan to challenge Mychajliw

13 Jul

Regionalism and government downsizing advocate and attorney Kevin Gaughan will likely replace Lynn Szalkowski, and run as Democratic candidate for Erie County Comptroller against Stefan Mychajliw.

The decision will be made final later this week.

GripeO Survey

11 Jul

GripeO is a Buffalo-based startup that is set to launch later this year, and it will let you turn your gripes about bad products and customer service into something positive – savings and discounts. It calls itself a “better way to complain”. 

Right now, GripeO wants to hear your WNY-based customer service horror stories. By completing this survey and liking GripeO’s Facebook page, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to the WNY business of your choice.  I’ll link to the results when they’re in.