Buffalo Connect: WiFi from 1999

BuffaloConnx

In a partnership with UB and M&T Bank, the city of Buffalo unveiled free outdoor WiFi along the Main Street corridor this summer, to much fanfare.

The ribbon-cutting was in mid-July, accompanied by hopeful comments, including this from Mayor Brown:

If downtown Buffalo is going to be a thriving engine of opportunity for all city residents, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs. By providing city residents, members of the business community and visitors with free public Wi-Fi, we will continue to attract more people and business to downtown Main Street, while making targeted investments to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure.  I thank M&T Bank for leading the effort to engineer, purchase and install the system in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo as we work together to further strengthen our economy.

I would submit that it’s not entrepreurs along Main Street who need broadband, but the poorest of the poor. Some of the region’s fastest publicly accessible internet is found at any branch or location of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, with speeds – up and down – that exceed 20 Mbps. Noting that 58,000 people work downtown every weekday, here’s what M&T’s Robert Wilmers had to say:

Every day it seems, downtown Buffalo is adding new residents, new employers and employees, new visitors, new and redeveloped buildings—and now new public Wi-Fi.  Buffalo Connect will make downtown Buffalo an easier place to stay connected, and that’s good for our City, and for the people who live, work and visit here.

With a major presence on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the University at Buffalo provided fiber assets and expertise in network engineering design and management. University at Buffalo students also helped design the new logo and digital experience for Buffalo Connect.

“This is a great time to be in Buffalo—whether you are working here, studying here, or coming to visit and enjoy all our great city has to offer. UB is excited to partner in the expansion of our region’s Wi-Fi capabilities to better serve the people in our downtown corridor each day. This network will be a terrific asset to our community, and we are proud that we can lend our leadership and expertise—including the involvement of our student engineers and artists—to make this regional fiber network a reality,” said University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi.

That’s a lot of technology and money backing this up.

The network operates through more than 30 “hot spot” access points running along Main Street. The access points, which have a range of approximately 250-feet, are now installed and operating from the Theater District through Canalside and Erie Basin Marina. Additional access points are being installed to extend the network to North Street, on the doorstep of the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

So, how’s it working? City of Light 2.0 decided to test it all out. The results are embarrassing.

Basically, it’s ridiculously slow. Even a tourist with no cellular data would find this to be an utter waste of time, and difficult to connect. In part 2 of its analysis, City of Light underscored that these sorts of speeds are what you’d have expected to get out of wifi in 1999. In fact, it seems as if speeds are capped at 2 Mbps, which is a tiny fraction of what you get from LTE on your cell phone.

…the reliability and strength of the signal from Buffalo Connect drops off quickly once you get off of Main Street.

Drawing from this key, we can see there’s a very fine line of green teal down Main Street, and pretty much everything else is blue. The areas that aren’t on Main Street are generally blocked by large buildings.

While on Main Street, there is a lot of background noise. Yet with all the background noise, it still has a strong signal. If you have potential for decent download/upload, but a lot of noise and/or interference, then you will likely experience slow or “unstable” connectivity that appears to drop. While on the Buffalo Connect network, while going up and down Main Street (the green areas on the map), and throughout Canalside, the connection consistently provided 1Mpbs and there was no drop in coverage.

To make matters worse, it appears that Buffalo Connect’s routers are quite expensive, retailing at about $1,200 each.

…a pretty penny was spent on these brand new routers, all to provide residents, businesses, and visitors to the area with a wireless network that we have trouble finding any practical value for.

On top of routers, there are other aspects to the network that would’ve cost the provider more money, such as the black boxes pictured behind the router, the lines to the router/black boxes also pictured, the lines from UB’s fiber, labor, weather-proofing, setting up firewalls, and basic network administration. While we’d have trouble estimating the total costs of all this, we can safely assume it wasn’t cheap.

To reiterate our thoughts from Part 1, Buffalo Connect is a lackluster network. As one can gauge from our further analysis, it has a lot of potential to be greater than it is. In Part 3, we’re going to investigate UB’s network to see how it influences Buffalo Connect’s performance.

It’s hard, sure, to quibble with the quality of a free service, but why tout the hell out of something that simply doesn’t deliver? And why doesn’t it deliver?

Buffalo News Sports Columnists: Where Are You?

graham

There are 30 teams in the NHL. (I don’t know from sports, so I had to look it up).

That means there are at least 30 local papers with sports columnists who offer opinion and commentary on things having to do with sports. It would make sense that they’d offer up opinions on local sports stories, national sports stories with a local angle, sports stories that may somehow affect a local team or player, and presumably anything else that they or their readers might deem interesting.

I didn’t have time to look them all up.

It goes without saying that an international superstar athlete being accused of rape is a big story. An international story, in fact, given the roster of NHL stars from other countries.

It, therefore, follows that you would expect the sports columnists who write for the single paper that exists in the city where the alleged rape occurred to be all over the story; “on it“, as we like to joke. You would expect that the media in the cities most directly affected—Chicago and Buffalo—would be clamoring not only to break news, but to offer some sort of insightful commentary.

Online, the Daily Beast wrote about it. So did DeadspinThe Times is “on it”, and so is “Fansided“.

Kane plays for Chicago’s Blackhawks, so that city’s columnists have been all over it. Here’s Julie DiCaroSteve Rosenbloom, and David Haugh in the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Chicago’s Jim Baffoe and Dan BernsteinRick Telander in the Sun-Times had a column about Kane, too. Matthew Schwerha in the Sun-Times explains how to handle these allegations with kids.

The Sporting NewsAndrew Forbes, a Colorado student paperProHockeyTalk at NBC sports, and USA Today all opined on the matter.

So did Russia’s ChampionatTASS, and SovSport.

So did the Czech Republic’s AktualneHokejportalDenik, and Hokej.guru.

In Finland, it was picked up by Jakiekko ExperttiSeiska.fiIlta-Sanomat, and MTV.fi.

It’s been covered in Sport1.deBluewin.ch, the Aargauer Zeitung (Kane played in Biel, Switzerland during the 2012 lockout). That’s why a paper in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino covered it, too. So did Le Matin.

You know who hasn’t written about it very much? At all, really? The Buffalo News’ sports columnists.

The Buffalo News has not published a single, solitary opinion piece about the Patrick Kane rape allegations from any of its columnists or bloggers. Nothing.

Harrington has a baseball piece from August 8th. There’s a Greg Connors piece about fantasy football. On August 6th, Bucky Gleason reminded us that Andre Reed is a great guy. Jerry Sullivan’s most recent column is about Bill Polian, dated August 5th.

Sullivan has been silent on Twitter since August 5thBucky Gleason tweeted out an August 8th BN story about how this whole pesky rape thing overshadowed Kane’s day with the Stanley Cup—nothing else. Harrington’s notoriously prickly Twitter account? Silent on Kane.

The only Buffalo News columnist who has treated this rape allegation story with the seriousness it deserves—at least, via Twitter—is Tim Graham, who has been all over it during the past several days.

I don’t know if anyone’s on vacation this week or what, but it seems outlandish to me that the Buffalo News’ opinion machine—whether it’s the editorial board or any individual columnist—has been completely silent about an international story involving a local mega-star. Even the BN Hockey Blog has nothing new or salient.

Have they nothing to say?

Are they being told to keep quiet?

Are editors spiking or delaying stories or columns?

Is there some sort of editorial crisis going on?

What the hell is going on? Why wouldn’t the Buffalo News want to try and compete with Chicago’s sports media about what they think about these Pat Kane allegations?

Could it be that Sunday’s disastrous use of victim-blaming quotes from local asshole club owner Mark Croce is the root of this crisis? Has the Buffalo News so beclowned itself that it has effectively forfeited the ability properly to cover an international story happening in its own backyard?!

By the way—wouldn’t it be funny if Croce’s rush to comment to the News came back to bite him? For instance, what if the woman he described turned out to have been under the age of 21, in which case she had no business being at SkyBar? Wouldn’t that just be poetic?

Whatever it is, the Buffalo News is harming its own reputation through dumb acts and blind omissions.

The Schmidbauering

Joe Schmidbauer cranked up ye olde Altpress machine to excrete this.

A young lawyer comes to town from the Boston area and with great hubris brands himself the Buffalo-pundit all the while living in suburban (white bread) Clarence and thereby gains entrance to the lucrative networking game called local politics.

WOW! That’s the best opening paragraph, ever! I came here to take over your internets, Buffalo!

The truth is that I arrived here fifteen years ago(!) one of those rare “newpats”.  In 2003 I started a blog to get out the word for a local Presidential race I volunteered with. When that guy dropped out, I blogged about national politics. It wasn’t until 2005 that I used “Buffalopundit”  because that’s what bloggers did – they adopted noms de plume. I switched focus to local issues, especially in light of the red/green budget fiasco. That’s how it started. I was writing about Buffalo – not just the city of Buffalo, but the metropolitan area of Buffalo. It was my daily letter to the editor, and to an extent remains that way.

I never blogged in order to “gain entrance to the lucrative networking game” called local politics. At my work, our firm represents Erie County in a very small number of matters, and I was honored to be appointed to the board of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.

It doesn’t matter that I live in Clarence. I spend most of my waking day in Buffalo; I work in Buffalo, I spend my money in Buffalo, my taxes go to pay for things in Buffalo. Buffalo is a place I care deeply about. After all I chose to come here. 

The irony has not been lost on many people. Complaints about his white suburban roots are old but very real. In his political commentaries on local politics, he has taken on the role of being the white knight of “liberal” political reform.

I wouldn’t say that living in Clarence since I was 33 is my “roots”. Fuck you for the insinuation, by the way. My roots are far more complicated and complex than that, and I’m not going to recite them to defend myself against a hateful and false allegation. Just – fuck you, Joe.

The phrase getting Bedenkoed was coined by the answer-lady (a University Heights blogger) during a blogging feud with Belenko over his legitimacy in calling himself the Buffalo-pundit while living in Clarence.

Who’s this “Belenko” character? Anyhow, if “Buffalopundit” is a misnomer because I live in Clarence, “Answer Lady” was a misnomer because she didn’t answer some very basic questions, allowing herself to use her anonymity as a sword rather than a shield as she picked fights with people.

The reason there was a feud with Beth Bradley, the SUNY system librarian and state employee who blogged as the “Answer Lady” is that, in attacking me, she said that the kids waiting to catch buses at Clarence schools were an “Aryan Youth Parade“. Seldom had I ever encountered such vicious hatred directed at schoolkids, and Bradley’s online behavior became as combative as it was cowardly.

She recalled her experience of being bullied and laughingly referred to being Bedenkoed. But it got serious for her. She felt her job was being threatened. At one point when her boss asked her about her blogging and expressed disproval. (At the time she worked at a local college.)

Too bad for her. Don’t call little kids nazis. 

Lots of folks have gotten Bedenkoed over the years: Pigeon, Jack Daves, Chris Collis, Crazy Carl. They usually are the enemies of the present Democratic Party leadership.

No, they’re palpably bad actors. Is socialist paragon Joe Schmidbauer going to defend the likes of these people? Paladino? Collins?

And now poor BMHA rep and Fillmore common council candidate Joe Masica is getting Bedenkoed. Masica is the focal point of a bizarre conversation about race in the local mainstream media to the point where Sandy Beach, Buffalo’s local right-wing anti-union anti-liberal attack dog is wrapping himself in a blanket of racial harmony and equality. He denounced Masica when he called his show.  Masica was taped by a former friend, Mr. Christopher, in an off the wall racist commentary on all things political during a private conservation, calling various black politicians racist names.

It’s Mascia. He called black political leaders with whom he works “ni**er” and “tizzun”. I criticized him for that. Fuck me, right?

Mr. Christopher is rumored to have ties with Joel Gambria and cash may have changed hands.

Rumor! This Paul Christopher is getting the Schmidbauering!

Writing in a series of commentaries on the Public site, Bedenko has out done himself. He listed Joe Masica’s financial and moral failures. The only unanswered question is Joe still beating his wife and kicking the family dog? In the list of Joe’s tale of business and moral failures and tax liens is one amazing fact. The honorable DA Frank Sedita, a man not known for his enthusiasm for the enforcement of New York State election laws especially around campaign financially laws prosecuted Joe for failure to file his campaign expenses. Joe pleaded guilty.

Totally a guy worth defending, not to mention electing.

Who would have thought a guy living in Public Housing would have business failures, bad credit and hard times, a fact that describes half the folks living east of Main Street and just about everyone living in the Fillmore District?

Ah, so “living in public housing” – in this case, Marine Drive, which is the public housing for the well-connected rather than for the genuinely poor – patronage housing, if you will – is an excuse for being a deadbeat! Hey, folks, move to Marine Drive and stiff your creditors – it’s ok! Then RUN FOR OFFICE, TOO BECAUSE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY!

The DA’s failure to enforce New York State Election laws for various political players is note worthy since the Public covered the issue many times. Masica’s prosecution by the DA should be a red flag that the powers that be, wanted Joe Masica gone.  Joe was a pain in the ass at the BMHA, not playing ball with the current administration around issues of police brutality, privatization and generally asking the wrong kind of questions. He is clearly a man with political ambitions whose his hair is presently on fire.

Here’s what one of Mascia’s observers have to say about that:

If Mascia’s mission is so important, perhaps the people interested in these issues might find a better spokesman.

It seems that Zellner and the boys at the Democratic Party HQ as well as Bedenko have judged Masica unfit for political office. (No question he is stupid, and has a street mouth and maybe is a con man) But the real question is who is fit, Dave Franczyk?

Hold the fucking phone just a minute. Mascia calls black politicians the most vicious racist slur available, and “maybe is a con man”, but hey, let’s elect him anyway?! Yes, thank the sweet Lord Jesus that Zellner has deemed Mascia unfit for public office. Anything less would be unacceptable.

The guy doesn’t understand the codified words like his mentor, Carl Paladino, who speaks the same vulgar truths in a more codified style, the mainstream media and the local elites forgive King Carl because he is just being Crazy Carl. Besides he has money and his agenda and theirs are the same.

I don’t think that Paladino’s and Mascia’s vulgarities are “truths”. They’re what Paladino calls “blurts” and they’re, at best, racially insensitive and underscore an unwillingness to work with others. More importantly, they display a mindset that treats some people in our society as something less than human.

But poor Masica, the media feeding frenzy will not let him be forgiven. He apologized and begged for forgiveness. No redemption for Joe. His racist rant foolishly spoke to the vulgar racist truth of the political gangs of Buffalo and Western New York in a private conservation with a “friend” who sold him out.

Mascia is a victim! The Schmidbauering!

Is Joe Masica a bigot? Yes he is and that reflects the unspoken third rail of Western New York, and Buffalo politics, and its culture of political ethnic and racist tribalism. Joe by mouthing-off in a racist street rant has pulled up the rug on Buffalo’s racial and tribal political system.

Yes, it has. But not in a good way.

These political associations (grassroots, go south to name a few), are all fighting for the influence and a piece of the cash pie, be it the non-profit industrial complex or patronage. It is an institutional political corruption and it is racist, oligarchic to the core be it a Pigeon, Zellner, Lord Byron, Bill Max, Sedita and the legion of political hacks waiting for a piece of heaven to fall to them.
It is a system that exists to serve the wealthy of the local elites who control the political process and who are happy to let the rabble fight over the table scraps. Who got that Buffalo billions deal? To quote beloved Beverly Gray (Council-person at Large who died of cancer), “Billions and billions dollars of economic development money has been spent by the government, I look and I don’t see it my community”

Yes. It is. I’ve written about that on countless occasions. So what does this have to do with me?

In no way does this justify Joe’s stupidity. Is he a valid candidate that is for the voters to decide if he has the balls to stay in the fight?

Sure! Maybe he can kick a baby, too! After all, he’s saying really important things about the mismanaged BMHA! Who better to right its financial ship than a deadbeat bankrupt?

Here we get to the meat of the matter:

Bedenko and the mainstream media feeding frenzy about Masica has taken the media focus off Fillmore councilmen Dave Franczyk’s leadership in the Fillmore district for the past 29 years. Franczyk’s district funding policies are geared more toward defending the remaining elements of old Polinia, (Matt Urban Life Center, Adam Mickiewicz Library, St. Stan’s, and the Broadway Market) than any real attempt at advocacy for economic development such as numerous projects being developed by PUSH on the westside.
The past three mayoral administrations have let the people of the district sink under the weight of red lining, divestment, poverty and crime. The primary government redevelopment program is knocking down buildings and creating vacant land for future cattle ranching. The census tracks for zip codes in Fillmore are some of the worst in the nation, for unemployment, incoming inequality, and quality of housing.

To clarify: my crime here is to have written four pieces about Joe Mascia (here, here, here, and here). Schmidbauer actually left a comment. He omits that fact, and my responses.

There was also this:

That was in response to a piece about a Family Court candidate who’s hired a bunch of people under state and federal investigation to help her out. Fuck me, right?

The Schmidbauering excuses racist deadbeat Joe Mascia and condemns a writer who lives in the suburbs and writes a blog under a name that Joe thinks is obnoxious.

Poverty and hopelessness are powerful engines of voter suppression, and the Fillmore district has the lowest voter turnout in the city. Gerrymandering for white voters (First Ward, Allentown) has been the Franczyk strategy for maintaining his continued stay in power.  Advocacy and hope are always threats to the political status quo.

So, get rid of the Polish white guy and replace him with the racist white Italian guy!

Dave Franczyk’s greatest success over the years has been selling himself to the white liberal community (like Bendenko) as a “progressive.” He has supported numerous resolutions on national issues through the common council, issues that have little direct bearing on the lives of people living in Fillmore. He supported Dennis Kucinich and other progressive democrats. These issues have put him in high esteem as a “progressive politician” fighting for social justice as he represents the very system that creates the injustice. He is a living example of the hypocrisy of the liberal left in Buffalo and Western New York. They organize bus tours in the eastside to see the poverty, homeless and despair, looking out at that world seated in privilege, like wealthy Christians standing on the shoulders of the poor to get closer to God.  Real causes of institutional racism are of no interest because they challenge the system of power, and privilege. (I have had numerous conservations with “white progressives” over the years regarding poverty and conditions eastside. They all turn a blind eye to the reality of Dave Franczyk’s role in maintaining the political situation.)

Fucking hell, if you can find a single positive thing I’ve ever written or said about Franczyk, knock yourself out. I don’t follow closely what Franczyk does in the common council, and I’m not swayed by his appeals to liberals. If you don’t like him, get rid of him. Just find a viable, responsible candidate first, you know?

I can summarize in Franczyk’s own words. When confronted by members of the common council on his two track race baiting campaign literature, Franczyk, said, the greatest local Orwellian political statement on record, “I will not be a victim of racial McCarthyism,” just wow!

Is this media frenzy really about Joe Masica’s foul racist words or is it about distracting from foul racist policy?

 

tl;dr: Joe Schmidbauer viscerally hates David Franczyk, so he’s willing to forgive quite literally everything in order to replace Franczyk, no matter who it is. And even though I’ve never taken a side in a Fillmore District Race, it’s largely my fault because Clarence.

Mascia and Paladino: BFFs

Courtesy of Tommunist.com

Courtesy of Tommunist.com

On Twitter, someone commented that Mascia must have, “missed the thing about integrity is what you do in private.”

Generally speaking, you can get away with saying you’re not racist so long as you’re not, I dunno, caught on tape calling black political leaders “fucking nigger” multiple times, “camel jockey” once, and “tizzun” once. Rod Watson’s column in the Buffalo News, however, posits a very important question about racism and the perception of racism.

On the one hand, Mascia has spent time fighting for BMHA tenants of all races, but is caught on tape blurting out horrible racist things. On the other hand you have Carl Paladino, who has forwarded emails just as racist and disgusting, and who has used subtle codes to express his feelings about people not like he, but

One’s racial slur draws immediate condemnation and calls for his political exile, from both black and white members of the political establishment, as well as other members of his own board. The other’s racist rants and forwarding of emails depicting the black president and first lady in despicable terms drew silence from those same elected officials.

Watson concludes that it’s easy to condemn Mascia because he’s a nobody; a little-known, essentially powerless gadfly. Yet few people stand up to Paladino,

…a wealthy developer and political power broker whose money and influence seem to have neutered the principles that other leaders apply so easily against Mascia.

This is true. Mascia has no business, at this point, being anywhere near elected public office because he has disqualified himself from it. His casual, repeated use of hateful racial slurs are, frankly, inexcusable. In all of his public pronouncements, he’s expressed remorse over those words, but he’s much more upset over having been caught.

I have no idea, thankfully, how Carl Paladino privately refers to people who don’t look, act, or think like he, but he’s at least never been caught using race-hate on tape. A few weeks ago, he told reporters with mics and cameras about how those “damn Asians” were coming to take slots at UB away from real American kids. When challenged, Paladino made a fauxpology, as the Buffalo News reported,

Paladino said he does not take issue with the fact that foreign students attend UB, but thinks their education should not be subsidized by taxpayers. He said he selected Asians as an example of out-of-state students because it is easy to assume they are not from the area, an assumption for which he apologized.

UB made it clear that Paladino’s feeble “point” about foreign students being subsidized is false and inaccurate; they pay their full ride, and they pay it in cash. They can’t claim New York domicile by attending school because they’re here on student visas that automatically disqualify them from doing so. But the real racism here is the notion that Paladino reckons that Asians probably “are not from the area”, which is just fundamentally inaccurate (New York is a big state, by the way, and it’s got Asians in it), and picking on a racial group because of their non-Caucasian appearance – there’s a word for that and the word is “racist”.

Yet while Mascia is pilloried in the media and community for calling the Mayor a horrible racist epithet, Paladino skates. Where’s Sandy Beach to viciously cross-examine Carl Paladino about not only his anti-Asian animus, but the falsity of his underlying charge about “subsidizing” foreign students?

Hulk Hogan gets caught on tape using the word, “nigger”, and he apologizes and the WWE scrubs all evidence of his very existence. Joe Mascia gets caught on tape using the word, “nigger”, and he’s running for public office, and now being defended by…

Carl Paladino.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Oh, yeah. Carl’s not a racist – he’ll laughably threaten to sue you for defamation if you think that of him and express itHe just supports the racist guy. Carl’s not a racist, he just thinks it’s cool to say that Dr. Pamela Brown and Dr. James Williams were hired simply because they were black. Carl’s not a racist, he just sends around emails showing the President and First Lady dressed as a pimp and ‘ho in full blaxploitation garb. Carl’s not a racist, he just sends his buddies emails with links to videos of African tribesmen dancing, calling it the rehearsal for the Obama inauguration. Carl’s not a racist, he just selects people who look different from him, calls them “damn Asians” and accuses them of stealing opportunities and tax dollars from real Americans.

Wednesday afternoon, Mascia defiantly refused to leave the race for the Fillmore District. Forget the racism for a second – this guy still owes about $10,000 to people for his past runs for County Legislature and Assembly. Every penny he takes in for his city race should go to pay off his creditors. He’s unelectable because he can’t handle money, and he’s a racist dummy. Here is his statement (obviously [sic])

Mascia is now in full victim mode, and oblivious when it comes to crisis management. You don’t double down and become Mr. Self-Righteous. You bow out and re-examine what you’ve become. This behavior is, alas, some sort of oddball narcissism. At this point, you have to assume that Mascia is digging the attention.

But in the end, here is the real insanity with respect to all of this: Paladino’s support and defense of the guy who called black political leaders “fucking niggers”:

Carl P. Paladino, the 2010 Republican candidate for governor and member of the Buffalo School Board, said Wednesday that Mascia represents the only “balance against corruption in the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.” He added that tapes of Mascia’s recent “N-word” characterization of several African-American politicians result from a “purposeful attack on him.”

See? Carl agrees – Mascia is the real victim because that audiotape viciously recorded Mascia’s words, verbatim. Carl, too, has been a victim of that insidious practice when the media recorded his thoughts about students foreign and Asian.

“They’re going after a guy who keeps going out on a limb about corruption,” he said. “He should be respected, and I don’t see anybody buying into this racist stuff.”

Carl Paladino, the Italian-American multi-millionaire developer and forwarder of racist emails isn’t offended, so it’s no big deal – not a fundamental character flaw, just a conspiracy to smear the guy who called Mayor Byron Brown a “tizzun”!

Paladino – Mascia’s major financial supporter in past elections and again this year in the Fillmore District campaign – called him an “honest guy.”

“He is sorry,” Paladino continued, claiming Mascia was tricked into using racial slurs in the tape.

“Now all the politically correct people want to get up and say ‘Oh my God’ about this,” Paladino said.

Wait – why is Mascia sorry if this is all just political correctness run amok? Mascia isn’t honest – he lied, at first, when confronted about using “nigger” before the tape came out. Mascia may say he’s sorry, but his media blitz reveals that he’s much sorrier about having been caught. The news flash for Paladino is that it’s not just the “politically correct” who find fault with calling the Rev. Darius Pridgen a “fucking nigger” who, with his “nigger” cohorts just wants all the power. Mascia’s words were reprehensible and ugly – Paladino’s apologia is, amazing as it seems, even more so.

But while Paladino is being ignorant and tone-deaf, Conservative fusion Party head Ralph Lorigo sees the real deal:

“He has told me it’s a conspiracy and that it will all come out,” said Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo. “Unfortunately, no other person put those words in his mouth.”

Exactly. No one’s interested in excuses – the tape speaks for itself. Paladino probably feels a need to defend Mascia because he’s heavily invested in that person. As the News reports, Paladino has contributed over $20,000 in money and things to Mascia’s various efforts to get elected to something.

Paladino said Wednesday he realizes he has been criticized for racial views, pointing to controversial emails that figured in his unsuccessful campaign for governor. His recent remarks in Olean about “damn Asians” and other “foreigners” attending the University at Buffalo on discounted tuition also provoked criticism.

“I have never made racial remarks,” Paladino said, adding his recent comments pointed only to observations that out-of-state students – whether foreign born or not – are taking advantage of New York’s heavily subsidized university system at the cost of taxpayers.

“They were legitimate statements and did not have racist intent,” he said.

Two deluded guys strutting around Buffalo spitting racist crap and getting away with it. We can do better than this, can’t we, Buffalo?

Look at the pattern: Paladino denigrates “damn Asians” because they look different and “aren’t from this area”, and he thinks that’s not racist? He claims no racist intent? That’s sort of the definition of racism. Ignorant. Base. Unbecoming of a public servant. Disgusting. He pretended to apologize, but now continues to defend what he said as a “legitimate point”, but UB explained in detail how it was a completely illegitimate point. So, it was, at best, racially insensitive and factually false. Yet he continues to defend it, and his loopy gang of groupies holds a rally for him.

For his part, Mascia thinks that getting caught repeatedly using racial epithets on tape now qualifies him to be a social justice warrior. No, that’s not how this works. Although he has apologized for what he said, he’s claiming to be the victim now, blaming the guy who taped him for doing so without his knowledge, for waiting to release the tape, and for somehow tricking Mascia into saying what he did. No, that’s not how this works.

Mascia doesn’t deserve public support, but then, neither does Paladino. Mascia’s a deadbeat and Paladino’s an influential millionaire, and the latter is defending the former. Finally,

You know what they say about birds of a feather.

Mascia Goons Visit Franczyk; Hilarity Ensues

Mascia

Scroll to the bottom, and you’ll find what I believe so far to be the first publication of the unexpurgated Joe Mascia tape. I think it’s important to hear the words that he says, the way in which he says them, and the context in which they’re spoken. In the meantime, a story.

A few weeks ago, Fillmore District Common Councilman David Franczyk’s staffer, attorney Michael Kuzma, was hosting former Buffalo writer and gadfly Dick Kern in his office in City Hall. Then-Councilmember Michael LoCurto was there, too. It was lunchtime, and Kuzma was going to join the visiting Kern for lunch. Kuzma was then called into Franczyk’s office.

In the office were two of Joseph Mascia’s political operatives – his now-former campaign manager, Cheektowagan Katrinna Martin, and North Tonawandan aggro-blogger Matt Ricchiazzi. The blogger wanted to take pictures in Franczyk’s office, and Kuzma refused, adding that, “you write crap, you get nothing.” Kuzma was specifically referencing myriad anti-Franczyk pieces the blogger had published, some of which may have been defamatory. Kuzma then began walking Mascia’s operatives out of Franczyk’s office. Kuzma says he never touched either of them.

Kuzma has a history with the blogger, who had once run for Mayor of Buffalo. Kuzma and fellow election law attorney Jim Ostrowski had met with him at the time to help him out, but the putative candidate simply didn’t meet the residency requirement. In his only prior interaction with this young man, Kuzma had only ever tried to help him.

At this point, Mascia’s campaign manager began yelling, demanding that Kuzma stop cursing. Kuzma, however, wasn’t cursing and he continued to try to usher the two out of the office. The blogger again attempted to get his camera on, and Kuzma put his hand up to block the lens. The blogger dramatically started shouting, “don’t hurt me! Don’t hit me!” And loudly saying things like, “this is how residents in the Fillmore District are treated.” It was, to hear Kuzma tell it, a surreal scene.

Kuzma withdrew at this point, and the two unwanted visitors left. After he returned from lunch, a Buffalo cop walked into Franczyk’s office to investigate whether, “someone manhandled a couple of constituents,” and that someone in the office was accused of having, “attacked a woman, manhandled another gentleman, and dropped the ‘f’ bomb.” At the time, Kuzma didn’t know that Martin was on Mascia’s payroll, but he knew the blogger had some relationship with him.

The officer called a lieutenant, who came by 2-3 hours later and heard Kuzma’s side of the story. The lieutenant said he was thinking of charging Mascia’s operatives with trespassing. Kuzma said that probably wouldn’t stick, since it was public property.

A few days later, however, a detective came by Franczyk’s office to take photographs of the “crime scene”. The detective left a calling card with a note informing Kuzma that, “we need to talk to you, you manhandled a couple of people.” Kuzma drew up a witness list and had Franczyk and LoCurto recount what they had observed – that Kuzma had acted professionally at all times, and that Mascia’s interlopers had tried to manufacture some sort of fracas. Kuzma, for his part, was flabbergasted that the BPD had the time to spend on this, given the crime issues in the city.

Kuzma was going to go down to B District to give a statement, and asked prominent attorneys Daire Irwin and Peter Reese to accompany him. However, the Detective wasn’t in, and Kuzma was not interviewed at that time. The next day, Kuzma got a call from the detective informing him that the charges were unfounded and the investigation was over. Kuzma suspected that the detective had spoken with the District Attorney, and acknowledged that a trespass charge wouldn’t stick.

Kuzma then suggested to the detective, “what about charging them with filing a false police report?” The hunt is now on to see what, exactly, was contained in the complainants’ police report.

In the meantime, Mascia’s operatives had gone to 311 citizens’ services and made some sort of complaint, which was forwarded to Franczyk’s office for review.

click to enlarge

But what we have is two non-residents of the City of Buffalo who are affiliated with the campaign of a Franczyk rival coming into the councilman’s City Hall office to cause some sort of scene or to set Franczyk or his staff up. Kuzma characterizes it as a “political hit” and that, “without witnesses, this could have turned out very badly” for him.

If a news outlet, political operative, or blogger legitimately attends some meeting or event and is threatened or mistreated, it would be newsworthy and typical for that to become a news story in and of itself. It is a wholly different thing, however, to show up at an elected’s office in an effort to corner or embarrass him, or to manufacture a controversy when one didn’t naturally exist. That’s activism—not journalism. That’s incitement—not reporting.

Mascia began appearing on everyone’s radar last week when he was caught on tape making horrible, hateful racist remarks about local officials such as Mayor Byron Brown, Councilmember Darius Pridgen, and others. He refers to Lou “Fas” Fasolino as a “camel jockey.” He calls the Mayor a “tizzun.” He threatens to wear a “wire” to entrap Joel Giambra.

It would seem that Mr. Mascia’s operatives tried to set up Franczyk and his staff, thus stopping him now from whining about the audio recording being a “set up.” To my knowledge, here’s the only unexpurgated version of the recording that’s been made public. Listen for yourself. 

The Unelectable Joe Mascia

If you’re most people, you never heard of Joe Mascia before this past week. He’s a nothing; a nobody. 

He’s a failure. 

Mascia is running to represent the Fillmore District on the Buffalo Common Council. He’s running with the blessing of the Conservative fusion Party, but Mascia is an unendorsed Democrat who also filed petitions for that line. David Franczyk is the incumbent. Mascia resides in the Marine Drive housing project, which is a waterfront blight whose tenants’ association was

…discriminating against minorities who applied to move in and giving special preference to government employees and people with political connections.

“It was publicly subsidized segregation,” said Scott Gehl, executive director of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a not-for-profit group that fights housing discrimination in Buffalo. “A lot of the older tenants say things were wonderful in the good old days, but it was a segregated place for people who were blessed with political connections.”

A federal investigation and legal action that HOME filed in 2002 led to a federal judge ordering the tenants’ association to revise its rental policies and give minorities a better chance to move to Marine Drive.

Simultaneously with Mascia’s 2014 conviction for election law violations, he was elected to his fifth term as the tenants’ representative on the board of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority – an agency that offers public housing to the poor in a city with a property vacancy crisis, an urban prairie, and a land-banking program. Although the BMHA owns the Marine Drive complex, it is privately managed

Mascia is only nominally a Democrat. His 2011 race for county legislature was partly funded by contributions from LLCs owned by Carl “Damn Asians” Paladino. In his 2012 run for state Assembly, he received $4,800 from Carl Paladino’sTurning Albany Upside Down” (2nd entry, 3rd entry, 4th entrytea party PAC and $1,666 from Paladino personally. (Query what sort of political committee this is, given that it’s not only contributing to candidates, but also evidently making expenditures on someone’s behalf). At least one of his reporting periods ended up in the red – a huge no-no. By 2012, his campaign war-chest had debt of over $10,000, which rose to $15,000, and was being charged overdraft fees (and here). As of the July 2015 disclosure, Mascia’s campaign account is still over $9,000 in debt

Mascia’s city council run has only the July 2015 disclosure on file, and it reports $500 from Paladino’s PAC, and $239 on-hand

Last week, a recording surfaced where Mascia repeatedly referred to local African-American elected officials as “fucking niggers”. Under no circumstances is a person who harbors such thoughts and utters those words fit for public office. In a normal world, Mascia would have resigned his BMHA seat by now and withdrawn from whatever political campaign he’s engaged in. In a normal world, Mascia would be radioactive. 

Even Hulk Hogan and the WWE know this. 

This isn’t the normal world, though.  This is Buffalo, and Mascia apologized but also made excuses – he’s never used those words before, he was recorded without permission, others are racist, too. It’s beyond unseemly. 

On Friday, Mascia called in to the Sandy Beach show on WBEN. To his credit, Beach treated Mascia with the contempt he deserves. 

It was an astonishing phone call; extraordinary to witness and observe racist old Buffalo taking its dying breaths. Beach called Mascia a “blight”, and said that, “you’re a liar, phony, hypocrite…you’re the perfect candidate for WNY.” Beach said the person who recorded Mascia’s racism, “did the public a service”. Mascia spent time making excuses and calling this a set-up before Beach said, “don’t you have any decency?” At one point, Mascia accused Mayor Brown of using the “same explicative” against white developers building on the east side. He didn’t; he expressed frustration at the lack of African-American developers working in that area. 

Perhaps most hilariously in his ill-fated call to Beach, Mascia attempted to pivot his way into victimhood by paraphrasing this quote from Goodfellas : “If you’re part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they’re going to kill you, doesn’t happen that way. There weren’t any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who’ve cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time that you’re at your weakest and most in need of their help.”

Mascia wasn’t at his weakest – he was quite aggressively challenging David Franczyk. He was funded by a wealthy benefactor. 

Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner demanded on Friday that Mascia withdraw from the race for the Fillmore District. Conservative fusion Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo expressed dismay, but never demanded Mascia withdraw. That particular point is moot, as the Board of Elections rejected Mascia’s Conservative petitions.  Mascia’s campaign manager, Katrinna Martin, quit over the weekend, and urged Mascia to abandon the race, as well. For his part, Mascia doesn’t get it. He says that it’s a set-up, and his online mouthpiece is now accusing former County Executive Joel Giambra of organizing an anti-Mascia “conspiracy”. 

So what if it was a set-up? Mascia obviously takes umbrage at the fact that he was recorded without his knowledge – something permitted in New York. He is clearly upset that he was set up by someone he considered to be a trusted friend. It’s also evident from the tape itself that the guy making the recording was baiting Mascia, bringing up certain non-white people and asking Mascia, “what is he?.”

The problem isn’t whether Mascia was set up. It frankly doesn’t matter; there are thousands of things Mascia could have said to insult Byron Brown or Darius Pridgen when prompted. Had he just called them a name or some expletive, it wouldn’t have amounted to much at all. Instead, Mascia called them “fucking niggers”, and called someone else a “camel jockey”. It’s not a crime to be profane or obnoxious or hateful or even a racist. Mascia is free to sit in his house and blurt out whatever hateful stuff he can muster to whomever will tolerate it. 

But Mascia is an elected official, and running for a further elected office. Not just any elected office – but one to represent a predominately African-American constituency. I have no doubt that Mascia’s expression of racist hatred has led many to make calls of support to him. But his attitude toweards African-Americans in Buffalo isn’t the only thing that disqualifies him from public office. 

Mascia pleaded guilty to serious criminal violations of New York State Election Law – a wholesale failure to disclose how he funded his campaigns. Court records also reveal Mascia’s $307.877.64 in unpaid liens, judgments, and debts over a forty year period. Mascia could have been talking about himself when he cynically declared that, “crime has gone too pervasive,” at a public rally on May 23rd. He also ironically – brazenly – said that he is running “against corruption.” The record shows that corruption is his milieu. 

Mascia’s conviction for election law violations were so brazen that he’s lucky to not be in jail. But beyond this, Mascia has a longstanding documented history as a notorious deadbeat.  Court records show that Mascia, his failed companies, and immediate family members, engaged in a decades-long swindle against honest vendors and creditors. Yet, the 70 year-old Masica, lives in public housing and drives around in a new Cadillac when he should be paying back all those he knowingly and deliberately swindled. Indeed, Mascia’s own mother secured a money judgment against him in 1999. 

Mascia says he’ll deliver “concrete results” for the Fillmore District. Mascia should know what he’s talking about: his failed concrete companies, Mascia Concrete Co. and Lor-Sam concrete company defaulted on tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Mascia even stiffed his workers, and was successfully sued by the New York Department of Labor over and over again. That’s bad enough, but he and his companies have sixteen tax warrants and judgments totaling tens of thousands of dollars by the New York State Department of Taxes and Finances and United States Federal Tax Department.

Crooks like to play the victim. That’s why Mascia shed crocodile tears in a published report saying he went into debt because of a traffic accident in the mid-1990’s. Yet how does that explain Mascia’s pattern of willful, staggering debt and swindles decades before the alleged accident? And how does it justify twenty years of more debt after he’s seen laying more concrete masquerading as community activist? 

State Judgments against Mascia include:  

  • New York State Division of Labor, Unemployment Division vs. Joseph A. Mascia – $4,495.57 judgement against Mascia (6/11/97)
  • New York State Department of Labor, Unemployment Division vs. Joseph A. Mascia – $301.04 judgement against Mascia (7/15/97)
  • New York State Department of Labor vs. Joseph A. Mascia dba Mascia Concrete – $16,019.60 judgement against Mascia (10/5/98)
  • New York State Department of Labor vs. Joseph Mascia $4,903.60 against Mascia (1/12/99)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph A. Mascia dba Mascia Concrete $2,310.94 tax judgement against Mascia (4/28/99)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph Mascia $8,880.19 tax judgement against Mascia (6/21/00)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph Mascia $559.76 tax judgement against Mascia (12/16/02)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine  Mascia $96.00 tax judgement against Mascia (1/14/04)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,062.47 tax judgement against Mascia (2/24/04)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $2,229.50 tax judgement against Mascia (2/10/05)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,648.38 tax judgement against Mascia (12/05/05)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,654.36 tax judgement against Mascia (1/05/07)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,045.74 tax judgement against Mascia (9/28/07)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,204.88 tax judgement against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia (6/29/09)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,712.66 tax judgement against Mascia (3/22/10)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $898.92 tax judgement against Mascia (9/21/10)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph A. and Lorraine Mascia $258.04 tax judgement against Mascia (1/9/13)

Federal Tax Liens against Mascia include: 

  • United States Federal Tax Lien against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia – $19,787.83 (6/4/04)
  • United States Federal Tax Lien against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $12,441.15 (9/13/05)
  • United States Federal Tax Lien Against Joseph A. Mascia – $1,400.40 (8/16/06)
  • United Stated Federal Tax Lien Against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia – $562.13 (5/4/10)

State Board of Elections judgments and fines include: 

  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia, candidate, $1,070.50 (6/4/13)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia – $1,070.50 (6/14/15)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia – $1,070.50 (6/27/13)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia -$1,070.50 (9/12/13)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Jospeh A. Mascia – $1,070.50 (10/3/13)

Other actions against Mascia include, 

  • Federal National Mortgage Association vs. Lorraine Mascia foreclosure on $50,000 loan for 109 Greenwood, Buffalo, N.Y. (8/20/98)
  • Allan Murray vs. Jospeh and Lorraine Mascia $410.00 judgment against Mascia (5/16/96)
  • The Kiesten Corporation vs. Mascia Concrete $14,399.52 judgment against Mascia (1/29/99)
  • Katherine Mascia vs. Joseph A. Mascia  $462.90 judgment against Mascia (7/9/99)
  • Fast Track Structures vs. Mascia Concrete $1,328.09 judgment against Mascia (5/28/00)
  • Fast Track Structures vs. Mascia Concrete $18,030.05 judgment against Mascia (8/07/06)
  • Napeir Fitzgerald and Kilroy vs. Jospeh and Lorraine Mascia $49,688.61 judgment against Mascia (2/22/08)
  • Great Lakes Concrete vs. Jospeh Mascia $778.08 against Mascia (12/08/09)
  • The Buffalo News vs. Joseph Mascia $4,131.14 against Mascia (4/9/12)
  • Samantha Mascia (residing with Joseph and Lorraine Mascia; namesake for another of Mascia’s failed concrete companies, Lor-Sam) $97,997.30 bankruptcy

So, the base racism is merely the icing on the cake of Mascia’s unfitness for public office and electability. Serious questions ought to be directed to anyone for their political or financial support of this hypocritical malefactor. It’s Buffalo, after all, and this sort of vocalized racial animus is succor to myriad people who feel economically left behind, or are otherwise socially, politically, or economically stunted. Of course Mascia should drop out of the race. The things he said were so profoundly racist that there was really no chance for him to salvage this already ill-fated run. 

Slowly, and at long last, our world is changing. After 150 years, the confederate battle flag has finally earned its place as little more than a symbol for little more than genocidal race-hate. The small-minded Jimmy Griffin Buffalo is dying in fits and starts, no matter how many rallies people hold for themselves, how many excuses people make for their racism, and no matter how many others in town share these backward views. 

Godly Hate and Christlike Crimes

IMG_0548_JPGOn Twitter, someone posted a piece of this story, so I reached out to the actual victim to find out what happened. Dan and Alexandra Palmer of North Buffalo sometimes flew a flag that looked like this, alternating it with a Buffalo flag.

The Buffalo flag came down and the US rainbow flag went up when the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same sex marriage came down a few weeks ago. Dan Palmer says,  “I made it a point to fly the rainbow. My wife and I are not gay, bi, or trans but we support equal rights for all people.”

On Monday morning, the couple awoke to find the flag burned on their front lawn with a note placed on top of it. Police and neighbors were milling about. Here is what they saw:

Here is the note that the perpetrator placed on top of his handiwork,

“You have dishonored the flag, Christ ______ the symbol of America, the nation that I love. Just enough _________ You have twisted the flag so many men and women have _______ protect all that it stands for, and in doing so offended not only myself, but the very religion this country was founded upon. The rainbow was the L-RD’s way, the L-RD’s message to all mankind that never again would the earth be destroyed by flood. Homosexuals have taken his message and used it for the symbol of something he does not approve of, and furthermore disgraced my nation’s flag. From now on, whenever and wherever another abomination of a ‘flag’, I will burn it so long _______ gasoline. You can raise your flag, and I will raise ________.

Uncle Sam”

Palmer explains that, “we weren’t able to touch anything, smooth the creases or move the rocks because the police wanted them as evidence. And I was a bit surprised at how seriously they took the situation. There were 3 patrol cars and a detective in an unmarked vehicle. They interviewed as many neighbors as they could rouse, took what evidence they could, searched the block for matching rocks (found in a garden a few doors down.)”

One of the things that flag stands for – whether it has red and white stripes or a rainbow – is freedom and liberty. Your neighborhood homophobe arsonist might, for instance, fly a confederate flag. You don’t have to like it or what it stands for, but you have no right to come onto his property, remove the flag, and burn it with gasoline. That’s a crime.

Likewise, a homophobic firebug who happens upon a rainbow American flag doesn’t have to like it, and can be as “offended” as he wants, but that doesn’t give him a license to commit theft, vandalism, and arson. Palmer adds, “I am also a strong supporter of free speech, even for folks with whom I strongly disagree. If the individual responsible for this wanted to sit on his (or her) own lawn and burn his property, he’d only be wasting his own time and money, as well as doing his neighbors the service of letting them know what a dumbass he is (knowledge that could come in handy,) but this clearly crosses a line”

The Palmers promise to replace the burned flag, and many neighbors express that they will do the same. Palmer, however, has some concerns, “I do not want to cave to bullying or let hate win. But I am concerned about the safety of myself and my family. It’s chilling to think that this was far from an impulsive act. Someone took the time to write out that letter. They obviously stood by and waited for the flag to burn before leaving it.”

I’m heartened by the fact that the police are taking this matter seriously, and sincerely hope that the content and style of the note helps the authorities catch whoever committed this act of hatred. Indeed, it’s quite possible that the perpetrator, when caught, will be charged with a hate crime, which would render something like criminal trespass to be a “violent felony offense”.

Trespass, theft, and arson don’t constitute the free exercise of religion or free speech. Stop using God to justify hate, crime, and hate crimes.

Get To Know WNY’s Presidential Candidates: Buttocks 2016

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Western New York boasts three Presidential candidates.

If you think Marco Rubio is too green, Donald Trump is too brash, and Jeb Bush is too formulaic, then Republicans ought to take a serious look at Niagara Falls’ own Silvia Stagg. At her website, she rolls through her resume, and adds,

Help me to save our endangered world and our precious and endangered  White Christian European Descent Race now facing Race Extinction within One Hundred Years by making me your US President!  I  require Campaign Funds (US$2,500.00-US $5,000.00) Per Person Each Primary-General Election Campaign Season to Assist my Ballot Access – Televised Debate Access.  Kindly Contact All Fifty US State Republican and/or Democratic Party Chairmans-Vice Chairmans and have me placed on all Primary – Caucus Ballots and Designated Republican/Democratic Presumptive Presidential Candidate.  The Presidential Filing Process for Fifty State Primaries-Caucus is Honorable but Expensive and Arduous and I am your only Life Extension Candidate!

So, that seems pretty reasonable. She also claims to be a “Good Gnome Individual”, which she explains,

The United States Congress authorized Silvia Stagg personally and as Owner-Permanent Senior Administrator of All Most Trusted Programsusa on/off planet to mine-clone-mint-print Currency and Coin including for the United States of America and the World for All Debts Public and Private and to Ensure the Socioeconomic Success/Stability of the Most Trusted Programs (including the privately owned/controlled Spacehubusa (and its ASAPs/Aerospace -Air Ports worldwide/on-off planet Earth)-SpaceCityusa-Moonbasesusa-Spacestionusa). Thus assuring the survival of Silvia Stagg, allowing future Good Gnome Individuals to survive and become empowered to lead society-government, and the survival of the White Christian European Descent Race, nearly driven into race extinction systematically via a history of race emasculation and disenfranchisement nationwide/worldwide by the non good gnome society/government historically in power. (Silvia Stagg is reportedly last good gnome who has been instructed since February 2002 by the United States Government to disseminate the Good Gnome into the White Christian European Descent Race (and upon brain tap-time clock inclusion study possibly some/all Minority Persons).

If Ms. Stagg doesn’t interest you, there’s Kenmore independent candidate, SEO specialist Eric Nagel. There’s no campaign presence online, but I reached out via Twitter, where he explained that he filed his paperwork “because I wanted to teach my kids (and Scouts) that anyone really can run. Democracy in action.”

Down in Jamestown, high school teacher Mark Sleggs has also entered the race as a Republican. I originally assumed it’s part of some school project for social studies or Government. The only problem is that Sleggs is a math teacher. I have emailed Mr. Sleggs and his campaign treasurer for more information.

Finally, perhaps the most significant entry into the Presidential race this year – and someone who has as much of a shot as Donald Trump – Buffalo’s own “Sydney’s Voluptuous Buttocks“.

We don’t know much about Mr. Buttocks’ platform from his website, but he posted a video of gruesome images of war with a Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack. The campaign slogan is catchy, however: “Please vote for Sydney’s Butt to be the president. After all, every politician is an asshole so what’s the difference?”

Mr. Buttocks also posted this video, which is all about “love”.

George Boria of Buffalo is the treasurer for the Buttocks campaign committee, and the Buttocks persona is his alter ego.

Boria says that, “it started as a joke. All politicians are assholes, so why not elect the entire ass?” Boria, a WNY native, has a job working maintenance at a housing development and will be attending SUNY Brockport in the Fall. He identifies himself as “left wing”, and when asked to sum up his platform, he sums it up as, “higher minimum wage, redeveloping a national science department, and cutting ties with the chinese industry to bring jobs back to the United States middle class.”

A platform not at all as silly as one might infer from the candidate’s name. When asked about that, Boria said, “No, it started out silly but developed into a real cause. I also want to see tax cuts on the upper class and bringing an end to the fast food industry by making higher education more available, free community college combined with the high school curriculum.”

Good luck, candidates!

Buffalo Provincialism and the Right to Marry

buffalo

For all of western New York’s charms, things like taxation and political malefaction help to keep Buffalo down. It’s like every two steps forward are met with a step back. But the biggest thing holding us back is our own provincialism. It’s on display every time Carl Paladino denounces the “damn Asians” at UB, and every time any word is uttered on Buffalo hate radio.

As an aside, this past weekend I heard a few minutes’ worth of Rus Thompson and sitting Assemblyman (!) David DiPietro filling in for the execrable “financial guys” on WBEN, and they were whining about how right-wing talk radio is labeled “hate radio” because they disagree, adding that if a librul disagrees, it’s “tolerance”, but if it’s a conservative real ‘mrkn, it’s “hate”.

No. When a conservative respectfully disagrees and debates, that’s perfectly reasonable. When, however, a conservative spews gutter prejudice and hatred, that’s something different, and deserves to be called out for what it is –  hate.

Late last week, the Supreme Court struck down laws throughout the country that prohibited same-sex marriage. Gay couples are now free to formalize their relationships and marry in all 50 states. I have to imagine that the rapid acceptance of same-sex marriage in the US (we went from civil unions in Vermont in 1999 to marriage in Massachusetts in 2004 to universal applicability in 2015) had to do with our American sense of acceptance and justice, but also thanks to the very simple fact that allowing gay couples to marry did not, as opponents promised, lead to polygamy or incest or bestiality or a destruction of the institution of marriage. Perhaps having political figures who were caught in diaper play with prostitutes concern-troll about the sanctity of marriage was somewhat ineffective.

Here’s the last paragraph of the Supreme Court’s opinion:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Here is the statement of Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of the Savannah, GA diocese:

…every court decision is limited in what it can achieve; again this one is no exception. This decision does not change the biological differences between male and female human beings or the requirements for the generation of human life which still demands the participation of both. It does not change the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding the Sacrament of Matrimony, which beautifully joins a man and a woman in a loving union that is permanent in commitment and open to God’s blessings of precious new life.

The Catholic Church will always maintain that marriage is a vocation of a man and a woman to faithfully commit themselves, through sacred vows, to a life shared until death which pledges them to complement one another in their development as husband and wife and to be co-creators with God in the procreation of human life.

This decision of the Supreme Court is primarily a declaration of civil rights and not a redefinition of marriage as the Church teaches.

However, this judgment does not dispense either those who may approve or disapprove of this decision from the obligations of civility toward one another. Nor is it a license for more venomous language or vile behavior against those whose opinions differ from our own.

This Court action is a decision that confers a civil entitlement to some people who could not claim it before. It does not resolve the moral debate that preceded it and will most certainly continue in its wake.

The moral debate however must also include the way that we treat one another – especially those with whom we may disagree. We are all God’s children and are commanded to love one another. In many respects that moral question is at least as consequential and weighty as is the granting of this civil entitlement.

This decision has offered all of us an opportunity to continue the vitally important dialogue of human encounter especially between those of diametrically differing opinions regarding its outcome.

This decision has made my task as bishop more complex as I continue to uphold the teachings of my Church on the Sacrament of Matrimony and the equal transcendent dignity of every human person.

By contrast, here is what Bishop Malone of the Buffalo Diocese spat,

I am bitterly disappointed that the majority of justices of the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to overturn the definition of marriage, which has remained unchanged for more than two millennia.  Marriage is the lifelong exclusive union of one man and one woman, a font of unitive life and love as well as the foundation of a stable family and society.

Marriage is rooted in creation: God created marriage in the very same breath as He created the human person, and for the Catholic Church, that will not change.

It is my prayer that despite today’s developments, we will embrace anew the truth, beauty and goodness of marriage as it has always been and always will be, between a man and a woman.

Bishop Malone is free to believe whatever he wants, and he is free to exercise his religion however he wants, and however the Church demands. His exercise of religion does not need to intersect with the civil right of same-sex couples to marry, as Bishop Hartmayer seems to comprehend.

But “lifelong exclusive union of one man and one woman”? Does Bishop Malone refuse communion for “divorced” Catholics whose marriages have been neither “exclusive” nor “lifelong”? Does he allow married Catholics to be granted an “annulment” and re-marry in the church?  If Bishop Malone is permissive when it comes to divorce, which breaks a “lifelong” sacramental marriage, how does he reconcile that with his “bitter” disappointment when a gay couple seeks to solemnify their relationship? How sad and hypocritical.

If marriage was limited to procreation, then it would be illegal for older couples or sterile couples to marry. If it’s all about having kids, is the Bishop “bitterly disappointed” in childless couples?

In another twist reminiscent of the Hobby Lobby case, where the Supreme Court declared that being in business can be the same as practicing religion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion allowing state officials to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if it violates the clerk’s religious beliefs. There will likely be litigation over whether being an appointed or elected public official constitutes or intersects with the exercise of religion. It seems to stretch credulity to claim that executing the duties of a county clerk constitutes the exercise of religion.

Same-sex marriage has been the law in New York for a few years now, and if it has had any effect on the institution of marriage, it’s strengthened it. After all, look at all the same-sex couples who have sought the rights and responsibilities of legal marriage wherever legal.

Bishop Malone’s statement is as heartbreakingly narrow-minded as it is self-admittedly bitter. Bishop Hartmayer shows that, while the Catholic Church is unlikely ever to sanction same-sex marriage, it doesn’t have to heap bitter narrow-minded hatred on gay people and couples. Bishop Malone isn’t alone in doing so, but western New York has this weird, self-defeating habit of being tolerant of racism and hatred, but intolerant of love and acceptance.

Malone’s unnecessarily bitter rant, as juxtaposed against Bishop Hartmayer’s gentle statement, is just another bit of evidence of Buffalo’s own self-defeating intolerant provincialism. In short, this area won’t change until its people do.

Same-sex marriage doesn’t negatively affect anyone – least of all the Catholic Church. It’s been legal in New York State for several years with no controversy, so it’s silliness for the Bishop to so desperately condemn something that doesn’t affect him or the diocese in the least. Love over hate; acceptance over fear. That’s the way forward.

Paladino’s Fauxpology

Area Man Gesticulates To Make False Point

Area Man Gesticulates To Make False Point

Why won’t the liberal media stop unfairly quoting things Carl Paladino says, verbatim?

Carl Paladino is a misomniac; he hates everything. Well, maybe that’s not true. He hates most things, though. He hates liberals and the media and gun control and Brian Higgins and…for a guy who has $150 million in the bank he’s quite the grouch. If I had that kind of scratch, I’d have the sunniest disposition, ever.

But Carl’s having something of a bad week. There is, of course, the Public Accountability Project’s series exposing Paladino’s demeanor, behavior, and connections. Also, at a recent ammosexual rally in Olean, Carl said some really factually incorrect and hateful things to some reporters about international students at UB – especially the “damn Asians”. He later apologized, amazingly enough.

Paladino’s original argument had been that international students at UB take opportunities away from in-state students, and that they somehow connive to claim New York residency after their first year of studies in order to pay a heavily subsidized in-state tuition.

UB responded that this was impossible, since 99.2% of international students are here on a temporary student visa, thus leaving them legally unable to claim any sort of domicile in New York. In subsequent missives, Paladino has effectively recanted his apology. Consider this story from WGRZ, and this response:

More about this re-framing of his argument (and victimhood) in a second. He then posted a note he received from attorney James Tresmond, praising Carl and attacking the press, and later included some comments he received from random people.

It bears mentioning – repeating? – that Carl Paladino and his right-wing talk radio ilk are a dying breed. Fueled by misinformation and animus, they expertly don an unearned, false mantle of victimhood. They are ignorant, xenophobic, racist, people who examine their own lives and need to blame someone for something – they look at Buffalo and WNY and decide that the real culprits are those who wield the least power. They blame immigrants and minorities for real and perceived ills, regardless of the facts. Coming from someone whose own parents are immigrants, that sort of childish mindset is especially sinister.

Buffalo and WNY aren’t perfect, but such a place doesn’t exist. Blaming immigrants is stupid – we should be welcoming them and their talents and experiences with open arms. They’re here to work, not to mooch. To repeat what the International Institute’s Eva Hassett said,

Immigrants, refugees, international students, foreign born professionals are are critical to the region’s economic growth. International students in particular are more likely than native born students to study in STEM fields, which relate highly to making the investments in the BNMC, Solar City, etc turn into jobs. Lots of cities get this. What they also get is that communities need to be ‘welcoming’ to the foreign born, or none of their other strategies work. Being inclusive and tolerant is a great base for an economic development strategy. Not to mention making it a nicer place to live.

What foreign-born physician or scientist is going to want to work in Buffalo’s fledgling knowledge-based industries if there’s some rich, powerful fossil yelling hateful things about them? What refugee is going to find safe harbor here among our small-minded loudmouths? Elon Musk – a South African by birth – is opening a new plant in South Buffalo in spite of our provincial xenophobia, not because of them.

But as far as UB is concerned, Carl Paladino’s reactionary xenophobia is false. UB has already said that it is complete fiction to allege that international students displace New Yorkers. Of the 5,000 international students attending UB, 99.2% of them pay cash, and they’re here on an F-1 visa; they’ll never get in-state tuition. I also confirmed with UB that the out-of-state tuition Paladino cites above represents the unsubsidized actual cost to attend the school. Comparing UB to Canisius or any other private university is wholly unfair.

According to UB, by the way, its international students had a positive local economic impact of $140,307,100 in 2013, supporting almost 2,000 local jobs.

Let’s examine the comments he approvingly re-posted and endorsed.

You are 100% right on this issue. I have been told that many SUNY graduate programs are almost entirely filled with foreign and non-resident students. They justify this by saying that without these students, they would not have enough students to make the programs viable. This I’m sure is not true, but the cost to these students is a real bargain and subsidized by us.

Keep ‘Hammerin em’!

Ray

It is not “subsidized by us”. On the contrary, these international students pay the full cost of their education – in cash – and they have an incredible positive impact on the local economy. This mindset that the inclusion of an international student represents a state subsidy or displacement of a local hopeful is simply false.

But that sentiment is hardly as bad as this:

Carl,

Not just Asians and Indians but S. Americans, Mexicans, Middle Easterns, Africans, just about anybody that comes here and DemoRats want to make them their voters. They get priority of all our benefits while we work our butts off to make ends meet and send our kids to school.   My and your taxes are paying for them and we keep on getting left back at the end of the line.

What’s the use of being a citizen of American if America doesn’t take care of us first…

Rosa

That’s some laundry list of brown people that Rosa considers to be moocher-takers. I don’t know exactly what “benefits” an international student on an F-1 visa can claim “priority” for on Rosa’s back, but facts don’t matter when you have blind hatred on your side.

This policy affected my son, a prospective med student at Georgetown. He was told by the interviewer that there was a significant percentage of foreign students that had to be placed at Georgetown, which, of course, drastically reduced the number of American students who had tax paying parents.  Very disheartening.

Anne

Georgetown is a private university. To call this anecdote irrelevant is a vast understatement.

AMEN, welcome to the liberal-owned media. Thanks Carl, for being real/honest/and direct.

Father Joe.

Yeah, AMEN because how dare the liberal media quote your own words verbatim, Carl!

See? Liberal media, askin’ questions and transcribin’ answers!

Hang in there Carl-we know it’s just your passion for Western New York speaking. Too bad the media is not as passionate in the integrity of their reporting. I’m with James Tresmond, who is a true gentleman, all the way. Keep up the fight for us Carl.

Sincerely,

Jim

See, Carl might have said something really hateful and ignorant, but his heart was in the right place – he loves WNY, just not all the people who live in it, if you know what I mean. Especially that pesky media again, writing down things you say. Who do they think they are?!

I completely agree….keep up the good work. As a long-time resident of the area around UB’s South Campus I can assure you that UB spends a lot of money putting a positive spin on any bad news coming at them….in other words….they speak with a “forked tongue”……!!

Fred

Or, you know, pushing out facts to rebut wholesale falsehoods. Tomato, tomahto.

One common refrain is that Paladino is generous and thoughtful in his private philanthropy. That’s laudable, if true. It does not, however, excuse these sorts of knee-jerk mouthnoises.

The real tragedy is that Paladino’s companies are doing some really good things locally, and they would – themselves – endear Paladino to people. All of this sound and fury not only signifies, but accomplishes nothing.

There are no winners here. All of this – and especially Paladino’s continued support in the community – reflects poorly on Buffalo and western New York. 

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