Wind Projects Count on Towns Ignorance

The proposed wind project in the towns of Windsor and Sanford is a bad idea and the town boards ought to be drafting zoning regulations that are in the best interest of all of us not just some of us.

This project was originally slated for offshore, near New York City, closer to where the power is actually needed.  Taxpayers on Long Island pushed back so wind developers began seeking softer, easier targets in small, rural community’s upstate, taking advantage of a suffering, depressed local economy and counting on small community leaders that may lack the sophistication and legal understanding to mount any significant challenges.

The truth is that the net economic toll in projects like this are consistent losers for the local economy, local taxpayer and property owners.  Developers and suppliers make the most money up front, courtesy of government subsidies and incentives, paid with our tax dollars!   After calculating the losses in property values, the negative agricultural impact, suffering tourism, the health implications and the awful aesthetics, these projects pose a health, safety and general welfare problem for everyone and truth-be-told, the net losses are in the millions of dollars beyond the short-term gains.

Our Town Boards have a statutory obligation to protect all of the citizens.  Those in leadership positions did just that in Cooperstown, NY, which successfully defeated a wind project in their area.  Ask any community that has gone ahead with a wind project if they would do it again and overwhelmingly the answer is no.

The short-term allure of modest lease payments and the unfulfilled promise of abundant power is not a sufficient rationale for allowing this project anywhere near Broome County.  Accordingly, we are calling on not only the Towns of Windsor and Sanford to step-up and face their statutory obligations; we are calling on every town and village in Broome County to pass a well-written protective wind ordinance, in anticipation of these projects continuing to propagate.

Imagine dozens of these 500 to 700 feet behemoths, visible from everywhere, stretching up into the sky three times higher that the state office building in downtown Binghamton.

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Thank God, we enjoy the concept of home-rule here in New York State, allowing us local control over our own areas.  We need to harness this advantage and refuse to allow downstate interests to control our destiny and literally change our landscape.  We already supply them with our water, take their trash and afford them our natural beauty and peaceful, wonderful countryside as their weekend and vacation escape.

The beauty, serenity, our way of life, lets not let them take that from us too.  We should not and we will not surrender to anyone this place we all call home.

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The Utopian Ideal of Fairness

It isn’t fair that only a select few people have stood on the summit of Mt. Everest.  Everyone is entitled to see that incredible view from the highest point on Earth, right?

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Wrong.

To the mountain and the attainment of its summit, the concept of, “a level playing field” is a joke.  The only way to climb the highest peak is to prepare, practice, get fit, acclimate, be highly motivated and highly trained.  Like mountain climbing, the normal course of every day life activity does not resemble anything remotely “level.”

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Playing fields are designed by humans, controlled by lines, numbers, fences, referees and rules.  Americans are blessed with the opportunity of the daily adventure of pursuing happiness by way of their God given rights, not government granted successes.  The more level the playing field, the less liberty one has.

The myth of fairness shrouds itself not in the righteous concept of access to opportunity, but in the perverse, socialist ideals of the equality of outcomes.  This warped mentality ignores the human conditions of individualism, ambition, perseverance, leadership and vision.

The summit to the climber, or an ordinary life well lived are both attained by our own actions, not ordained by governments.

 

 

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America’s Finest!

The clueless clamoring over Trump’s tax returns is the liberal’s version of the Obama birth certificate scandal, except that being a natural-born citizen is a constitutional requirement for being the President.  Handing over your tax returns is not.

The Internal Revenue Service, (IRS) is the most aggressive tax collection agency in the world, employing 10,000 auditors.  So what do the liberals want?  They must believe that the audits of Trumps returns are inadequate or they wouldn’t be asking.  Why do they doubt the very agency they created and control?  Had any wrongdoing been found, Trump would have been subject to penalties.

And who better to review and analyze a complex tax return than the likes of say US Representative from Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee, member of the Judiciary Committee and among those demanding his returns.  Representative Lee is famous for confusing her planets when she asked if the Mars Pathfinder was able to photograph the spot where astronaut Neil Armstrong had planted the US flag, (except that was on the moon.)

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Certainly Congresswoman and Science Committee member Lee might be just the brain trust to unravel for us not only the mysteries of space, but of high finance as well.

 

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No Appetite for Change

The Southern Tier doesn’t have a “hunger problem”; it has a nutritional problem in dysfunctional households.  This isn’t from a lack of food, this is the result of families failing their own children.  Local incidents of malnutrition are practically zero.  Poverty and poor nutritional choices positively correlate.  The real medical emergency regarding nutrition is obesity and all of the health concerns stemming from that.  The poorest among us are the most obese.

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If children are going hungry, it is the breakdown of families not of governments.  The illusion of hunger is a marketing tool that massages donor’s guilt to support the charities payrolls.  Childhood obesity is on the rise, especially among the poor.  In Broome County, more than 30,000 people receive SNAP benefits, (food stamps.) There is not a lack of food or its availability, but families incapable of managing adequate households.

With at least eight federal programs available, and nearly every community having a food bank, soup kitchens, church suppers, free lunches, replicated in hundreds of places throughout the area, it strains credulity to accept that anyone is going hungry due to a lack of community care or governmental policies.

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Being poor in America

For the only large grocer on the North side of Binghamton, SNAP is the stores welfare program as one employee told me that approximately 70% of their income comes from some form of government food aid.

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Being poor anywhere else

Some SNAP recipients offer “shopping” services, selling their benefits for 50 cents on the dollar in order to generate cash.  By making the maximum use of all of the free sources of food, combined with their SNAP benefits, those gaming the system create a benefit surplus large enough to sell on the open market of the grocery store parking lot to anyone who pays in cash.  This generates the funds that buys cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

Food banks and free meal giveaways make the donors think they are doing the Godly, righteous thing.  Tossing a box of cereal or a few cans of vegetables into a CHOW barrel makes for easy, pain-free soul cleansing with the tiniest amount of effort.

Without means testing, (which no local food giveaway does,) no controls are in place in order to calculate the righteousness of those seeking the assistance.  Those defrauding the system are using the good will of decent people that are unwittingly supporting their drug habits, addictions and other vices.

A SNAP program so liberalized as to accept almost anyone is an all-you-can-eat vote-getting machine.  Attempting to regulate the kinds and qualities of foods recipients consume is of no interest to politicians that need them fat and happy enough to keep pulling the lever for politicians that keep the free stuff coming their way.

Knowingly inducing obesity and learned helplessness isn’t Godly it is evil.  However, requiring proper nutritional balance and limiting choice to the most cost-effective brands would buy fewer votes and therefore is an idea without a prayer.

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PC = Censorship

The ongoing saga of the alleged strip-search at a Binghamton middle school is a classic example of how the poison of PC (political-correctness) pollutes and censors common sense.

After an internal investigation, followed by two separate police investigations, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.  Why?  Because the allegations are false.  PC demands that you don’t dare say this or risk being labeled a racist.

Charges of filing false police reports ought to be leveled against the girls and their parents but that will never happen.  The girls aren’t white and the school officials all are.  This automatically invokes playing the race card in a tired old card trick everyone knows is a false flag.

Within hours of the alleged incident, a local hate-group calling themselves PLOT, (Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow) weighed in with their racist-based, vitriolic-fueled bile.  Eyes not blinded by the PC acid mist could clearly see the “plot” here has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with extortion and an excuse to be outraged.  PLOT’s own web-presence proudly proclaims their hatred.

The Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the girls.  In their statement they say, “… research shows how stereotypes lead adults to perceive black and Latina girls as more troublesome and suspicious than their white peers…”  What if in the case of this school, and in the case of these girls, that statement is just plain true?  What if these girls are well-known trouble-makers?  Is it a stretch to think that maybe, just maybe, these girls have had brushes with the school authorities in the past?  Common sense says that middle school kids perceive white teachers and principals as “troublesome and suspicious” as well.  No secret there.

The hard-working, quality educators that teach in that school are highly experienced, well-trained, professionals.  These folks fight every day a clash of competing cultures throughout the Binghamton schools, some that don’t respect authority, don’t respect the value of education, and come from backgrounds and familial situations that have failed to prepare them for assimilation into a productive, inclusive and friendly world based on mutual trust and mutual understandings.  How do you expect our educators to manage that mix of cultures with others that embrace personal responsibility, hard work, ethical behavior and the ideas of furthering and bettering ones-self to the best of each persons ability?

Our educators manage a daily clash of cultures in a world seeing those factions grow further and further apart every day.

Indeed, those young girls were mistreated.  They were mistreated by parents and activists who jumped to conclusions and smelled a payday in a settlement to a nuisance lawsuit.  Moreover, they are being continually mistreated by the NAACP, PLOT and the Legal Defense Fund, all of whom are making political hay on the backs of these little girls.

Put that in your PC pipe and smoke it.

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Fast Freddie

Police recruiters screen out those who over-value power, dominance and authority.  Law enforcement tends to attract those with these over-valuing issues, making them likely to abuse their authority.

Fred Akshar fits that troubling profile.

Using only that which is in the public domain regarding his personal life, we see a disturbing pattern, beginning at the sheriff’s department where Akshar was involved in a romance with a subordinate.  As a Senator, Akshar again developed a relationship with a subordinate employee whose salary he tripled at taxpayer expense.  Now, Akshar admits to having a one-night-stand with the victim of a crime in a case on which he was working.  Because the case was being actively appealed, Akshar’s actions jeopardized the legal process.

Public officials are held to a higher standard that ordinary citizens.  The appearance of impropriety is to be avoided, in the interest of preserving and insuring the trust of the public.

FreddyAkshar not only fails in his ability to preserve the trust of the people, he doubles down, justifying and excusing himself from all criticism, going on social media to defend his behavior and deride any and all who see his antics for what they are, shameful, dominating and reprehensible.

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Tax Returns

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The date of this writing is Sunday, April 14, 2019 and it is well into the evening as I have just completed the electronic filing of my 2018 income taxes.  I thank God and Intuit Corporation for the miracle of the software package called Turbo Tax as this truly amazing product reduces the complexities of the US tax code to the answering of a few hundred yes-no, multiple choice or fill-in-the-blanks questions.

I’m certainly no high-net-worth individual; my tax return represents my small business and rental property.  Absent are the offshore accounts, European villas, international financial transactions and complex trust instruments and yet my own relatively simple and straightforward tax return prints out to 46 pages!

Even with a strong academic background in business and law, and a business owner for most of my career, the finer points of the Depreciation and Amortization form, MACRS deductions, the Qualified Business Income Component worksheet with the tentative QBI component and UBIA after applicable SSTB reductions is pretty much a mystery to me, produced as if by magic via my successful answers to the hundreds of questions.

I can only imagine what the tax returns for the likes of a Donald Trump might encompass by comparison.  In todays tax world, almost every single project benefits from the formation of individual corporations.  In the Trump world, it would not be uncommon for his signature to appear on scores of returns, each representing a single project.

The Internal Revenue Service, (IRS), routinely audits high net-worth taxpayers like Trump.  Less than 1% of taxpayers earning less than $50,000.00 are audited whereas nearly 10% of those earning more than $10 million are.  The Hill reports that Trump has been audited for 12 consecutive years.

After 12 years of audits, isn’t it safe to say that his financial affairs and their legality have been fully vetted?  Aren’t the trained, professional auditors at the IRS better suited to analyze the intricacies and details of a complex tax return than the average person?  Without extensive and advanced tax law training, I believe that the man-on-the-street wouldn’t have the vaguest idea of how to draw any conclusions or make any informed judgments about anything in that return.  If Trump had done something in violation of the tax law, the 12 audits would have exposed those failings long ago.

Presidents are not required by law to release their tax returns.  The mere establishment by convention of that expectation is not warranted, especially because Trump is the first President to come from a business background of the type that produces tax returns unlike conventional wage earners and employees.

The enthusiasm to demand Trump’s tax information is a more-of-the-same witch-hunt, now that he has been cleared of the ridiculous charge of colluding with Russia to undermine our elections.  Blind rage and hatred is what fuels the fire of discontent that burns in the chest of those who would trade our current state of prosperity, full employment and success for the collapse of it all, simply to bury a man they can’t stand.

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