Friday, August 25, 2006

moveon ads

Remember, this is the guy represents those of us that live in North Elba.

Sorry No Post Today

I was in surgery all afternoon. Twenty patients and unfortunately, none of them survived. Going to the NY State Fair this weekend. Maybe something interesting will happen.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Health Care Crisis

Iraq War Vets Duke it Out

Paul Hackett is awesome. Watch him make mincemeat out of Vin Taylor who is running for congress in Texas. Whether you are for or against the Iraq War, Hackett makes a lot of sense.

Bush's Notes Analyzed

Bob Harris at Huffington Post used photoshop to get a look at GW's press conference notes. It's well worth reading his comments.

Bush apparently has a seating chart that includes which reporters he supposed to call on (middle sheet in the photo). Two of the reporters were CBS Radio Mark Knoller and NBC Kelly O'Donnell, both were called on.

Cost of Iraq War

Most people know the Iraq War is expensive. Tens of billions of dollars a year. I've read 8 billion dollars a month. Sounds about right. So that is:

$2 billion a week
$267 million a day
$11 million an hour

This of course doesn't include the human and societal costs. The big question of course is whether spending all that money is making us safer today. Being a big bleeding heart liberal, I would argue NO. I wonder what else we could be doing with that kind of money.

The UK Guardian has an article which claims the winner of the "War on Terror" is Iran.
The study said Iran had been swift to fill the political vacuum created by the removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The Islamic republic now has a level of influence in the region that could not be ignored.

In particular, Iran has now superseded the US as the most influential power in Iraq, regarding its former adversary as its "own backyard". It is also a "prominent presence" in its other war-torn neighbour, Afghanistan, according to Chatham House's analysts.

The report said: "There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East.

Ellenburg, NY Strikes It Rich

A deal has been struck with Noble Environmental Power. Noble gets to build 54 clean energy producing wind turbines and Ellenburg gets:

$243,000 annually for 15 yrs for agreeing to be a host community for wind turbines.
$54,000 one time bonus for allowing special projects.

And Ellenburg gets to split with Clinton County, the Town of Ellenburg and the Northern Adirondack Central School;

$486,000 annually for the next 15 years. 54% to the school!

"The benefit to the town, when you add it all up, is about $462,240 every year," he said.

"We intend on taking some of that money and putting it toward taxes. The Town of Ellenburg will see a drastic reduction in their taxes."
More here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Saranac Lake Community Store

A group of hard working volunteers have been working on the formation of a Community-owned retail store for Saranac Lake. They have a website called

The community store concept is an idea that is slowly catching on in some small communities in the country. The Powell, WY Mercantile is often the store that community store groups want to use as a model. From the Casper Tribune:
The people running the Powell Mercantile didn't expect their downtown clothing store to become a tourist destination, but people come to The Merc by the busload.

Smaller contingents pull up in cars from Torrington, Riverton, Newcastle, Rawlins and Ely, Nev. But these particular tourists come not with cameras, but with questions about community ownership.
Or this:
"We've made money since day one," Witzeling said.
The cool thing about community stores is that they are owned and operated by community members. But it is not a co-op, it's about as capitalistic a company as they come. FAQ about community stores can be found HERE. The volunteers behind the Saranac Lake Community Store deserve 100% community support for one reason. As their website points out, their mission is to bring reasonably priced goods to Saranac Lake. How can anyone be opposed to that?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

John Sweeney (R-NY-20)

Here is what Rep. John Sweeney has to say about the Iraq War and Pres. Bush. (Times Union)
He applauded President Bush's declaration Monday that troops will remain in Iraq to "finish the job," calling him "a determined leader who is absolutely right to say the troops will be there until we achieve our objective."
Sweeney, like Bush, disagree with the majority of US citizens about the Iraq War. So, if you want our troops to stay in Iraq for the next 2.5 years, I guess John Sweeney is the guy to vote for.


Do you think Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans should get a $1500 bonus and improved health insurance benefits?

John Sweeney doesn't, he voted against H.R. 3289 and H.R. 1815

Do you think you should be able to purchase cheap drugs from Canada?

John Sweeney doesn't, he voted against H.R. 2427.

How do you feel about the oil and gas industry right now?

John Sweeney loves them and he's in favor of price gouging, voted against H.R. 3402.

Do you think American companies that have moved offshore, to escape paying taxes, should qualify for Federal loans?

John Sweeney does, he voted in favor of H.R. 4818.

See here.

You Win!

A neurobiology professor, Dr. Dario Ringach, has given up animal research because of pressure from the UCLA Primate Freedom Project. This group published a picture of Dr. Ringach along with his address, phone number and email address on their website.

Why did he stop? From "Inside Higher Education"
Anti-animal research groups are trumpeting Ringach’s move as a victory, while some researchers are worried that it could embolden such groups to use more extreme tactics.

Ringach’s name and home phone number are posted on the Primate Freedom Project’s Web site, and colleagues and UCLA officials said that Ringach was harassed by phone — his office phone number is no longer active — and e-mail, as well as through demonstrations in front of his home.

In an e-mail this month to several anti-animal research groups, Ringach wrote that “you win,” and asked that the groups “please don’t bother my family anymore.”

Colleagues suggested that Ringach, who did not return e-mails seeking comment, was spooked by an attack on a colleague. In June, the Animal Liberation Front took credit for trying to put a Molotov cocktail on the doorstep of Lynn Fairbanks, another UCLA researcher who does experimentation on animals. The explosive was accidentally placed on the doorstep of Fairbanks’s elderly neighbor’s house, and did not detonate.
There is a bill in committee called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (H.R. 4239) that would supposedly make it a crime to harrass animal researchers or for that matter any enterprise that uses animals for 'profit'. The act has primarily Repulican sponsors which makes me suspect that legal civil rights will be taken away from protesters.

Unfortunately, the current Animal Enterprise Protection Act is largely unused by prosecutors. An analysis of the Act by animal liberation types can be found HERE.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Day at the Track - Saratoga Springs Travers

First, breakfast at the track

With friends from Maryland

While watching the horses being exercised.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Random Quote Generator

Go to the random quote generator and generate some quotes. I like to use the cynical quote collection myself but there are many other collections from which to choose.

A few cynical quotes that were generated for me:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken

It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated. Alec Bourne

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. Douglas Adams

I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time. Charles M. Schulz

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.
Franklin P. Jones