Sunday, March 31, 2013

You've Got to Be Kidding

I usually try to be pretty terse with my comments on Democrat and Chronicle editorials, but this morning's silliness demands some more.

First, if you don’t graduate from high school, don’t have command of the English language, dress like you are in a gang (or are in a gang), or don’t go out actively pursuing employment, chances are you aren’t going to be hired. This same concept can also be applied to the D&C's “Making justice more just” editorializing, where it complained about lack of diversity in the Monroe County Court/Law Enforcement system. If you are not prepared for the job, you will not get it.

To suggest without any proof or example that the reason there is higher unemployment amongst minorities is because of racism on the part of employers is ridiculous. If you have no proof or example, use some journalistic integrity and ethics and leave it out of the story.

It would do the editorialists some good to watch their newspaper's own video of the young man who tells us he is working to achieve things in life for himself. I didn’t hear anything from him suggesting that business owners are leaving him behind. He also acknowledges that there are many people in the city who are not willing or interested in finding better for themselves. My guess is that many of those add into the high unemployment rate.

Lastly, my last name is Tyson. Tyson sounds plenty "afrocentric" to many people. Believe me, I have surprised many people over the years when they finally meet me and say, “Oh, you’re white”. I have been interviewed for many jobs over the years and worked for many people that were black, latino, and white. As the Editorial Board doesn't consist of business owners, its members most likely won't get this, but business owners are looking for good people. They care less about the name at the top of the resume ("afrocentric," "eurocentric" or otherwise) and more about the experience and ability of the person behind the name.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

New York the Least Free State

Driving to western Massachusetts today revealed the rapacious Vampire State in all its glory. It's the end of the month, so state cops are staked out in their hiding spots everywhere along the Thruway, desperately trying to hit their ticket quota for the month, extracting cash to feed the monster.

So today's news seemed especially appropriate: New York ranks as the least free state in the country.

George Mason University's Mercatus Center spells out the reasons in its study. Oppressive taxes and regulation, of course, but also much more, including the most regulated and monitored motorists. Worth reading, even if it tells us what we already know.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Family Feud

After a truce of sorts, the gloves are off between Assemblymen David Gantt and Joe Morelle.

Still smarting from Morelle's elevation to Assembly Majority Leader, Gantt wasted no time in whacking Morelle for supporting Rochester Mayor Tom Richards for re-election. Gantt favorite Lovely Warren just announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Mayor last week.

The Mayor, says Gantt, "was only supposed to fill in" for a few years as Mayor, and Warren would have the nomination this year. That was the word on the street at the time.  Morelle countered quickly with a carefully-worded statement that translates in plain English as: "Gantt's lying, as usual."

So grab your popcorn and a cool drink, sit back and enjoy the show between now and the September primary.

The Monroe County Democratic Committee is concerned about the looming fight. Its house newsletter this morning deployed a bit of diversionary persiflage, with an editorial demanding that the County Republican Committee must "change its policies."

But the real show is the clash betwen Gantt and Morelle, who have been going at it in Albany since Morelle's elevation in January to Shelly Silver's official Number One Sychophant.

Anyone who wants to share information on the shaping mayoral contest is invited to do so, to our e-mail eaddress at the bottom of this page.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stand Up

The media's urging the national Republican Party to abandon core principles.   The better to make it a party that consistently loses.   Because right now it doesn't.

In the spirit of that thought, consider this, from Michael Walsh at National Review:

Advice to the RNC: Don’t “re-brand.” Fight.

That’s it. Fight. Fight them on every front, fight them in every state, fight them on television and in print and on the airwaves. Confront them at every opportunity, seek out and embrace conflict, and fear not bullies like Chuck Schumer (the living embodiment of the Lefty Sneer), Dick Durbin, and passive-aggressive corruptocrats like Harry Reid. Don’t make nice with them, don’t play fair with them, don’t reach across the aisle and above all, treat them and their ideas with exactly the same amount of respect with which they treat yours: none. Contempt is the only language they understand. Remember that, thanks to Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Alinsky Left, the personal is now political, so get personal; all’s fair in love and war, and politics isn’t love. As Pat Caddell just reminded the GOP, his team plays to win, and doesn’t really much care how it does it — “by any means necessary” is their motto. If you’re not using their own rules against them, you’re not playing the game.

• • •

Finally, stop cringing. As Vito Corleone exclaims as he slaps Johnny Fontane around: “You can act like a man!” Stop caring what your opponents say about you. Stop the counter-factual whining (“if this were Bush . . .”). Of course, they’re going to be opposed to you — that’s the nature of opposition. Politics ain’t beanbag, and smart gangsters and politicians alike understand that. Get in their face, harass them, worry them, give them not a moment’s peace or respite. Come at them constantly, in shifts and in waves. Never back down. But act like it’s fun while you’re doing it — that’s what being a “happy warrior” means.

You may lose, you may win. But at least fight.

Complete article here


Friday, March 15, 2013

Police State

Cops stick together, but can't Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn find a better inspiration than the East German Secret Police, the dreaded Stasi?

Oppressive even by Stalinist standards, the Stasi became notorious in particular for its use of informers.   With one informer for every 6.5 citizens, the Stasi maintained greater surveillance over the subjects of its state than any secret police force in history, including the rest of the Soviet bloc.

Now Monroe County's own Sheriff asks citizens to spy on and report each other.   Specifically, on fellow citizens they observe driving while "distracted." People reported won't be charged.  They'll get a "warning letter," but won't learn who reported them.

The gimmick of a "warning letter" is itself a cowardly and sleazy way around the right of an accused person to confront his accuser. If there's no formal charge, the constitutional right doesn't apply. Yet the Sheriff gets to leverage all the coercive force of police power, not to arrest, but to intimidate.   Pure sleaze.

Part of the psychological technique of the oppressive state:   isolate and intimidate by not letting people trust anyone else.   Who knows who might report you?   Or for what?

Never mind that the Sheriff provides no safeguard against his informants filing false or malicious reports solely to harass.

Never mind that just writing down the information required for the report will distract anyone a lot more than a simple phone call. Informants must note their victim's license plate and sex, describe the vehicle, the alleged offense and note the date and time.   A lot to write down behind the wheel.

But that just illustrates the real purpose, so grimly familiar here in the Vampire State.   The Sheriff's not going after eating or drinking in the car, rummaging through your purse or briefcase, reading the paper, consulting a map, putting on makeup, inserting a CD, or the thousand and one other things people do in cars.   Informers submit a "Mobile Device Violation Report."

It's all about your cellphone.   What O'Flynn's informants are most likely to notice isn't the indisputably reckless texting while driving. Much easier to spot other people just talking -- an act far less distracting than any of the commonplace in-car activities noted above.   The Sheriff's plan adds further insult to the injury of a bad law designed only to rip off and harass ordinary citizens going about their day.   Typical New York:   find things everyone does, criminalize them, collect the fines.

We've thought of our Sheriff more in the tradition of the gentle Irish romantic than the jackbooted Stalinist oppressor.   But his latest initiative reminds us that there's but a thin line between Officer Friendly and Kommissar Kissoff.   By inviting citizens to turn informant, Sheriff O'Flynn has crossed it.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Defending Civil Rights

Dr. Paul Maurer of the University of Rochester Medical School spoke Tuesday night before the Monroe County Legislature. A leading expert on gunshot wounds, who helped save the life of Officer Anthony DiPonzio, Dr. Maurer supported the Legislature's resolution requesting repeal of Cuomo's assault on the civil right to bear arms.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Unite Rochester

Could there have been a moment more moving, or more full of substance, in showing people of diverse backgrounds coming together in common support of public progress, than occurred at the most recent meeting of the County Legislature?   An audience of minority students from the City of Rochester gave a standing, cheering ovation to the mostly suburban Republican legislators who had just approved a new urban campus for Monroe Community College at the Kodak site downtown.   There in the moment, and in the life of this project going forward, the concept of "Unite Rochester" lives in tangible substance, not mere talk.

You'd think this would rate a front page photo in the Democrat and Chronicle, which launched the "Unite Rochester" initiative, ostensibly to bridge gaps between urban and suburban, between black and white.   But nothing.   Silence.   No image.   Instead, just a sour editorial a few days later, demanding that politicians like Joe Morelle and State agencies interfere in the decision of the MCC President and Board of Trustees to proceed with their new urban campus.

Just a few years ago, wasn't it the same newspaper that declared autonomous operation of Monroe Community College to be sacrosanct?   That was when the College Board of Trustees was considering some candidates for the college presidency who -- horrors! -- were reported to be on good terms with the Republican county government that funds the college.   "Hands off" was the message.   "No political interference."

Today, however, the D&C and others demand political interference in the operation of the college.

Democratic stakeholders, including not only the newspaper, have been sensitive about the College moving out of the Sibley building.   Originally because it could create problems for a major Democratic contributor.   Now they oppose it for reasons less clear, although we think Mayor Richards, at least, has principled considerations behind his position on the matter.

The college wants to move.   Sibley needs a tenant.

We suggest a modest compromise.

You know who who else needs new office space?   And has committed to finding it downtown (which it defines as "inside the loop")?   The Democrat and Chronicle!   A month ago or more its publisher announced the paper was selling its building at Broad and Exchange in search of new digs.   Let the Democrat and Chronicle fulfill its dual goals of securing new space and demonstrating its unshakable commitment to the city core by relocating to the Sibley Building!

Last time the D&C moved operations it was to move all of its printing ... to Greece.   Hey, business is business.   But the paper can now expiate its Greece move and champion inside-the-loop Downtown by attaching to its masthead the swank address of the Sibley Building.

And if the space is too big for the future no-paper, all-digital newspaper, no problem.   The Monroe County Democratic Committee can relocate from University Avenue to take up the extra space at Sibley.   Think of the efficiency of having all the Democratic Party infrastructure, both administration and communications, under a single roof.