Tag Archives: silliness


7 Jun

In an exercise in facile nonsense, local Republicans Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant criticized Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz today because Poloncarz took to Twitter and Facebook to criticize the fact that JPMorganChase is closing a call center in Albion (Orleans County), eliminating 400 jobs. The Republicans played a bit of “gotcha” with Poloncarz, who accepted campaign cash from JPMorganChase in past races, and demanded that he return it for some unstated, obtuse reason

It only makes sense if these Republicans agree with Poloncarz, that JPMorganChase is a bad corporate citizen for announcing these layoffs – otherwise they wouldn’t be demanding he return anything. 

Yet Collins, who has said nothing in public about the loss of jobs in his district, owns between $100,000 – $250,000 in JPMorganChase stock, according to OpenSecrets. Certainly, he will show solidarity with 400 of his constituents who are about to lose their jobs by divesting himself of these holdings. Right? Yet, oddly, there seems to be an eerie silence on this question. 

I think owning $100 – 250,000 worth of stock in a corporate bad actor is worse than taking $3,160 from them to win some elections. 

Republicans remain silent on the fact that Poloncarz not only accepted over $3,000 in campaign cash from JPMorganChase, yet still felt comfortable criticizing them harshly.  I guess it shows that Poloncarz’s opinions and positions are not necessarily stifled or silenced by campaign contributions.

Isn’t that a good thing

One Sign to Rule them All: My Precioussss

1 Oct

Hartzell stands next to his most prized sign

Clarence’s most clownish town supervisor candidate has managed to offend (a) a fellow Republican; (b) a campaign contributor; (c) a prospective ally on the town board; and (d) a well-liked councilmember who is likely to coast to re-election! Bonus? (a) through (d) is the same guy!

Dr. Bernie Kolber, Republican town councilman, sent the following missive to members of the town Republican committee this week, and it was forwarded to me by a disgusted tipster. Shoot first, ask questions later may work…well, it never really works. But that’s just the kind of guy Hartzell is.

Talk about a circus.

Before the rumor mill hits, as fellow town Committeemen, I wanted to make you aware of a situation that happened to me today. I would rather take a proactive approach to situations.
This morning I was visited by a New York State Trooper who informed me that a complaint was filed against me by David Hartzell. On September 15th, two days after the primary election, someone saw me removing one of his signs on County Road. For the past 8 years that I have been involved in Clarence Town Government, there has been a tradition of quickly cleaning up our town immediately following an election. It was a matter of pride in the appearance of Clarence that 1-2 days following an election there would be little evidence that an election took place. As I am sure that you are aware, both major political parties and their candidates would quickly go out and by gentlemen’s agreement would remove most if not all campaign signs, which would be collected, sorted, and returned to the respective candidates, regardless of party. In the past a communal Uncle Bob’s storage location was even used to deposit all of the signs prior to distribution.
Knowing that I was working the following day, and that there was a Town Board meeting the following night, I wanted to get a “head start” in cleaning up the town. At approximately 11:00 PM on September 13th, the night of the election, I went out to begin removing my signs and to clean up some of the overwhelming sign clutter that was engulfing our town. I was out until 2:45 AM that morning cleaning up a number of polling locations, intersections, and whereever I could find signs. I worked my “butt” off to start to clean up Clarence. Prior to that I had joked with my wife that I was not going to remove Weiss signs, as he would likely have me arrested out of spite. I did not remove any of Weiss’s signs, and concentrated on the most cluttered areas as well as where my own signs were located. By the end of my efforts that night, I had an overflowing pickup truck. Despite being exhausted, I was quite proud of my efforts, especially when someone commented on the “for the good of the town” how nice it was that the town quickly had been cleaned up. I knew that I had done a large part of it.
On the evening of Thursday September 15th, I continued with my efforts primarily re-tracing the routes where I had put my signs up. While I was on County Road, I noticed 2 large “Hartzell” signs and a number of “Bylewski “still up. I took down dozens of Bylewski signs already. By this point in time likely combined efforts had removed most of the campaign signs in town, with just strays remaining. Having just spoken to Republican Chairman Michnik several minutes earlier, I called Chairman Michnik back, and stated that there were a couple of large “Hartzell” signs still up on County Road. I asked if he wanted me to “leave them up or take them down”. He said to “take them down”, which I did. Someone saw me taking the signs down and informed Mr. Hartzell. No good deed goes unpunished. While trying to help clean up the town and save others the work in removing what needed to come down, I get a complaint filed against me, and the embarassment of having the State Police show up at my office. Shoot first, ask questions later.
Town of Clarence sign code dictates that the permitted “window” for campaign signs allows for placement no more than 30 days prior to an election or political event. Said code dictates that all signs have to be removed within 1 week after the election or event. At this time Mr. Hartzell has numerous signs up, some placed recently, that are illegal and not in compliance with the code.
Rather than calling me, or Chairman Michnik, Mr. Hartzell then filed a criminal complaint against me. Couldn’t he have had the courtesy to make a simple phone call? This is despite the fact that we are both on the Republican line together, that I had made a financial contribution to his campaign, and that I was supporting him by party affiliation over his opponent, Supervisor Bylewski who is also my friend. I am obviously withdrawing my support for Mr. Hartzell and am requesting the return of my contribution to his campaign. I have to question the lack of intelligent reasoning, and continued poor decision making that would lead him to take such an action. Such spontaneous actions in my opinion do not lend themselves to the skill set and character needed to act in the capacity of Town Supervisor.
I was not going to send this, but the rumor mill seems to be at full steam.I wanted to address this issue in a forthright manner. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Bernard J. Kolber
Looks like Dr. Kolber got the last laugh in this situation.

Dick Kern Asks a Question

20 May

Remember Syaed Ali and SAIL-IT? Exiled gadfly Dick Kern was wondering about his hiring spree, and asked a question:

From: KernwatchMN@aol.com
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 08:19:58 -0400
Subject: Buffalo IT co. plans hiring spree

In the context of the economic recession, what is the status of the ‘hiring spree’ announced October 31 in Business First?

How many employees are there currently at Sail-It? Where do they work?

Any progress on the legal front with the Mayor’s forces?

Dick Kern

Pretty benign, right?


From: syaedali@sail-it.net
To: kernwatchmn@aol.com
Sent: 5/20/2009 1:07:58 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: RE: Buffalo IT co. plans hiring spree-Cease & Desist

Richard Kern
3109 36th Ave S, Apt 2
Minneapolis, MN 55406-3555

Re: Cease and Deist sending emails to hr@sail-it.net

Dear Richard Kern:

Pursuant to my rights under federal, state, county, and city laws, I am requesting that you cease and desist communication with me, my employees, and contractors as well as my family and friends in relation to this matter.

It is my personal choice to deal with only people that are familiar to me in relation to this matter, and that of issues that are of business and professional interest.

You are hereby notified that if you do not comply with this request, I will immediately notify my legal counsel to take appropriate action. Also I will be sending a copy of this notice to my legal counsel as well.

Thanks for your time and consideration.


Syaed Ali

Disproportionate response, much?

Collins’ Troika of Doom

20 May

Kevin Hardwick vs. Michele Iannello

Lynne Dixon vs. Bob Reynolds.

Wouldn’t it follow that another media person would need to be recruited to challenge the last “obstructionist” who is allegedly thwarting Collins’ “reform agenda”?

Chesley McNeil for Comptroller!

How can you NOT have a sense of humor in this town?

9 Apr

It all started with a couple of Tweets from Buffalo Geek:

A local seller of pro-Buffalo T-shirts replied:

Well, that sounds rather reasonable, right? We used an on-demand online t-shirt manufacturer because we’re not in the t-shirt development, printing, inventorying, and sales business, but if someone’s willing to partner with us on that, then it might work.

To which the local t-shirter replied:

We’ve seen this kind of pointless nonsense time and time again over the past few years. A lot of people are dummies, and a lot of people have no sense of humor whatsoever. More often than not, the two are amalgamated into one dumb, humorless person with no sense of irony or self-awareness.

How can a Buffalo booster be fundamentally opposed to the message of “Keep Buffalo Lame”? Buffalo’s lameness keeps it empty and different. It’s what enables you to talk about keeping chickens in your backyard or buying up city blocks for a farm. What would this community be if it couldn’t bitch, moan, and argue about casinos, Bass Pro, parking, the Peace Bridge, preservation, bad design, concrete shit, zoning issues, and other crap that other cities have resolved through the election of reasonably competent people, reasonably executed laws, and a general notion that progress is good? What would you do if you couldn’t boast about our great schools, 20 minute commutes, cheap housing, cheap land, and practically an entire city waiting for gentrification if only someone would bother.

Buffalo’s lameness is what makes it unique and interesting. It’s a statement of pride – this place may be lame, but I love it and I live here, and I want to keep it just the way it is.

Even a commenter or two on my site, where I wrote an entire tongue-in-cheek post announcing the t-shirt store, saw the point zip past them like an air-to-air missile missing its mark.

If you think an ironic or funny t-shirt is a horrific message, then you need to get a (1) grip; and (2) sense of humor.

But that’s almost become a pattern – a typical way for the cool Buffalo kids (you know, the ones who know better than you and tell you all about it) to hector, nag, whine, and moan about stuff. There is no sense of self-awareness; no sense of humor to be had. Need proof? The Coalition of Enough Already. Here’s the original post, and here’s a reply post I did commenting on how people in this town need to get a fucking sense of humor.

It’s Buffalo, NY – butt of jokes, home of the Bills and Sabres. It snows 7 months out of the year. Our economy sucks, our politics suck, our taxes suck, and people are leaving as quickly as U-Haul can get trucks back up here.

And I love it.

How can you not have a sense of humor and survive in this environment?

Some blow off steam and express frustration by marching in the streets and holding up signs. Others do it through petitions and attending public meetings. Some do it by holding a kaffeeklatsch at Sweetness 7 on Grant, (because it has more urban hipster cred than Spot now.) I do it by mockery, poking fun, and maintaining a sense of humor and irony amidst the failure.

Don’t buy the shirts if you don’t want to. But remember this: it’s just a farking t-shirt. Lighten up.

AP’s Calvin Woodward’s Comedy Piece

1 Apr

It has been argued that Barack Obama broke one of the central promises of his campaign – that he has opted to raise taxes on people earning less than $250,000, after all. You can hear Joe the Plumber howling in “toldyaso” derision. You can hear outrage throughout the fruited plain. Why, the entire foundation of Obama’s appeal has been violated. Cut down. Destroyed.

When I learned of this breach of trust today, it was on teh Twitter. Complete with #TCOT hashtag, so it was super-important. I asked for a link. I received it. Here’s the article that reveals Obama’s lies, all lies.

Go ahead and read it.

That’s right. Raising taxes on tobacco has been spun into an income-based tax on those making under $250k per year, because the poor smoke more than the wealthy.

Got that?

I thought the Norquistians would be pleased – the government was finally acknowledging that taxing a behavior acts as a disincentive to engage in it. But the more politically opportune spin is to go down the broken promise path.

Rather than rely on one speech that Obama gave, I’d prefer to rely on his policy positions as set forth in writing. Or maybe the tax cut calculator. It talks about tax rates based on income. Not consumption taxes based on one’s smoking habit. To suggest that this tobacco tax is somehow even remotely related to his pledge not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 is typically intellectually dishonest, but given that the Party In Name Only is sort of out of ideas of its own (except for its unifying dogmas of Limbaugh fealty and tax cuts), this’ll have to do.

And if it means that American kids get guaranteed health care thanks to the tobacco taxes, I hope the President decides to double the proposed tax.

The “Going Galt” non-nomenon

11 Mar

Having never cursed myself with the task of attempting to read anything by Ayn Rand, I know only the Cliffs Notes version of Atlas Shrugged.

But when the alleged phenomenon of “Going Galt” became an internet meme this week, I felt it necessary to find out what the hell that meant. (Started here in October of last year, it refers to this one character, and a speech that literally goes on for 40 pages. Apparently, no other character in the book tells him to hurry up or get to the point. Sounds like staggering self-indulgence, to me.) In the book, the rich, creative people who produce everything get tired of paying taxes or something, so they all give up and move away somewhere, leaving the rest of mankind to fend for its uncreative, un-self-starting self. Or something. Seriously, who cares?

But this article, which was forwarded to me today, perfectly crystallizes not only the opinion of people whom I respect who have bothered to sit through Rand, but also my own opinion about this whole “going Galt” foolishness.

It begins:

I used to think Ayn Rand was the bomb but I outgrew it. You know, when I turned 12.

We all know that liberalism is for the (naive, inexperienced, foolish) young while conservatism is a natural byproduct of aging, maturing, and gaining experience with the world, right? Conventional wisdom gets it wrong yet again. The surge in popularity of objectivism and libertarianism on campus underscores how right wing ideology, not pie-in-sky liberalism, is the real fantasyland for kids who have absolutely no experience in the real world.

It goes on:

“Just this weekend,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with TWI, “I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he’d run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success.”

John, your constituent is a friggin’ idiot. He is exactly the kind of ex-fratboy MBA who thinks of himself as a linchpin of society, an “Atlas” upon whom the nation rests, but in reality could be replaced by any literate college grad or, in many cases, an unusually motivated ape. Think about this logic (or “logic”) for a second: this guy no longer wants to run his business because his taxes went up a few percent. The government wants to reduce his income by 10%, so his response is to reduce it by 100%. Sheer brilliance. Go ahead, Mr. Irreplaceable. Close your business. Go broke to “teach us a lesson” about how important you are. We’ll just have to struggle on without you. I am trying to be tactful here, but if this logic makes sense to you, I have to be emphatic: you are retarded. You’re far more likely to be in the bottom rung of society than among the “producers.”

The whole thing just made me smile.

Act II, Where ECFSA makes stuff up

6 Dec

Here, the chair of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority asks why the Leg is being mean about BAN [bond anticipation note] borrowing.

Here, Lynn Marinelli asks, WTF are you talking about?

County government is sooooo much fun.

Breaking News!

24 Nov

The Vatican forgives John Lennon for saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus.

In 1966.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled activities.


Don’t Believe Everything You See on TeeVee

3 Oct

Channel 7’s report on last night’s debate watch party is here and here.

Channel 4’s report is here, where when what I said is written out, I sound almost Palinesque:

“I think she’s doing great, too. She’s throwing punches, too, and I think that’s what gave Biden the opening. He probably was going to be on good behavior until she started swinging and she came out swinging and I think she’s doing great.”

WTF kind of idiot string of sentences is that?

Anyhow, when the bar is set at “mediocre”, all you have to do is hop it and reach “adequate”.