End the Stench in Vestal

In the past, the summertime stench wafting over western Broome County was the byproducts of the Vestal-JC Sewage Treatment plant.  A similar stink has shifted further west and now hangs over the Vestal Town Hall.  Technology defeated the sewage plant stink, now voters have their change to do the same in voting out self-serving elected officials that treat Vestal taxpayers like their personal Piggy Bank.

Hopefully, political new-comers Maria Sexton, Robert Greene and Glenn Miller can provide the industrial-strength air freshener so vitally needed to rid the Town of Vestal of a closed, autocratic governance structure that has provided insiders with bloated salaries while punishing taxpayers with unfair assessments and in general, ignoring the concerns of residents.  The reek of self-serving political operatives that distain their constituents while lining their own pockets is hopefully over.

Sexton, Green and Miller are running against the incumbency in the Democratic primary coming up on June 27, 2023, for Supervisor and town council spots respectively.  Notoriously low turn-outs for primary campaigns is what breathed life into the likes of Congresswoman Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez in 2019.  If Vestal residents sit on their hands in this race, current Town Supervisor John Schaffer and his muted-minions on the town board will continue to ransack the town and betray the interests of Vestal residents so please get out and vote.

Under the cover of a Covid scare, this is what current Vestal leadership has done:

Schaffer has doubled his salary in less than 3-years to over $100,000.00, pretty good for a part-time job but that’s not the worst of it.  The Human Resources Director saw her salary package increase over 130% in three-years to well over $90,000.00, oh and so you know, her husband, who is also the Town Attorney, is making north of $119,000.00, up 74% from 3-years ago.  Those are just the highlights.  For more go to: 

https://www.realdemocracy4vestal.com/money-go-2 and see all of the inflated price-tags on all the insiders riding the taxpayer-funded band-wagon.

Sexton is a political new-comer with an impressive resume of leadership, integrity and a full understanding of systems, administrations, budgets and people.  Mr. Greene and Miller are likewise poised to provide principled leadership by paying close attention to what residents want as opposed to enriching themselves at taxpayer expense.

John Schaffer is a loud-mouthed bully that holds court in a manner that is opaque, autocratic and outwardly abusive and dismissive to any dissenting voice.  The current board members are potted plants that take their nourishment from Schaffer and rubber-stamp his agenda.

If the voters in Vestal want more of the same, keep ignoring your local politics, but be aware, if you do nothing, nothing will change and if that happens, well then keep your mouth shut when the reality of continued mismanagement and uncontrolled taxes is the order of the day.


In Defense of Property Owners

There is a largely undomesticated segment of society that lives in the stained shadows of poverty, ignorance, crime and mayhem.  These miscreants exist in a world of chaos and filth and care nothing about their home, the quality of the neighborhood or the welfare of their neighbors.  These are the schemers, the scammers, criminals, professional failures, reprobates, repeat-offenders and general agitators; the bottom-feeding under-belly of the rest of a civilized society.

Liberals will tell us that putting these people into “nicer-housing” will make them nicer people.  It won’t.  What it will do is result in that nicer housing being trashed.  This is why slums and crappy housing exist, not necessarily because property-owners want it that way, but because providing anything better is rewarded with destruction.  Why keep replacing doors and walls that have been punched through with holes when these vermin will simply re-punch the same doors and walls over and over again?  Better to let their domain fit their temperament.

Even scum-bags need a place to live, and so some property owners provide exactly the standard of housing these uncivilized people create on their own by the life-styles they choose to live, and by the decisions they choose to make.  Ironically, this cohort is by in large representative of domestic, passed-down generational failure generally unique to those born here and rare in those who risked it all to come here.

Just as fathers are treated terribly in family court, property owners are likewise seen as the “bad-guys” in the legal system.  There is little if any accountability placed on tenants and the presumption of favorable treatment and outcomes is always pointed in their direction while the property owner is generally perceived as evil.

I took a large financial gamble by purchasing a two-family home in a tough neighborhood because I saw the faint signs of revitalization.  After evicting both tenants for months-long non-payment, the clean-up effort was so bad it began by using gas-masks and snow-shovels to remove the filth and debris from the floors.  One tenant had buried her dog in the middle of the back yard in a grave so shallow the lawn mower dug it up.  After waiting months to drag the one tenant into court, the judge asked her if she wanted free legal help in having her case reviewed.  I was paying my lawyer by the hour while this scum-bucket-tenant was being spoon-fed free legal advice by a judge that had no concerns at all with my rights, my losses, and my bad investment.

 After thousands of dollars in remediation and months of lost-rental income, I finally got two really good tenants, only to have them regularly frightened by the constant street noise, the fighting late at night the loud-unlicensed motorcycles, the illegal fireworks and on and on.  The police and the city were no help, except by reminding me to pay my taxes on time.

These two great tenants had to sleep at night because they had jobs.  The street-trash partying all night had no such obligations and had nary a care about the welfare of the very neighbors that actually worked and paid taxes so these same lazy welfare-rats can milk the system and annoy everyone around them.

After 4-years of trying my best and hoping for the revitalization of this neighborhood, it became clear it wasn’t going to happen and I recently sold the building to investors from Boston.  My former tenants just reached out to me, asking if I had anything they might rent because the new owners raised their rents by 40%.

Here is my prediction.  My former great long-term tenants will be forced to move and the Boston investors, managing from afar, will make the mistake of renting to scum-bags and the cycle of destruction will begin again, the investors will sell and walk away and the street and neighborhood will continue its downward decline.  This is what happens when liberal policies paint the world as they wish it were, rather than how it actually is.  This fantasy happens when out-of-touch policy makers live in their privileged and completely segregated world that floats above the rest of the wretched humanity they pretend to try and save while privately abhorring.

The City of Binghamton has a dual-system of tolerance regarding law-and-order; one set very high for poor neighborhoods, and the other set low for the wealthy and privileged.  This emboldens and encourages the very behaviors that are the least desirable and insures that positive changes will not come.  Say what you will about “gentrification”, but without it, the undomesticated amongst us make our communities unsafe, undesirable and a bad investment.


No Shades of Black

We don’t measure darkness, stillness, cold or silence.  These conditions represent the absence of something, namely light, speed, heat and sound.  There are no shades of black; it is the absence of color.  There are many ways to see, but blind is blind.  Scientists define a total lack of heat as “absolute zero.”  It is important to accept that there are “absolutes” in our lives and the presence of evil is one of those realities.  Evil is to goodness what darkness is to light, its absence.

We can increase light, motion, temperature and sound infinitely while their absences are by definition finite or “absolute.”  The absence of light can’t be made any darker. There is no state of stillness beyond motionless, absolute zero is as cold as it can get and silence can’t be made any quieter.  The bible tells us “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.

Darkness is conquered by light just as goodness conquers evil.

God’s heaven is a state of total goodness and the lack of all evil.  Here on earth, we cannot create a heavenly state we can only strive towards goodness by rejecting evil.

Nature and Divinity abhor a vacuum and when goodness by way of Godliness decreases and when we reject God from our lives, evil moves in to fill that spiritual vacuum.  Just as the path towards darkness increases gradually as the sun sets, evil falls upon us as our souls give into the worldly and the wicked.  Just as the warmth of summer yields to fall and then winter’s cold, mankind in a spiritual vacuum tests the unworldly frigidity of absolute failing, absolute tragedy and absolute anguish.

While the angst, suffering and heartbreak we see today all around us overwhelms the feint of heart and the spiritually suffering, there is a solution.  The absolute Goodness of God overcomes evil but only when we embrace the former and reject the later through the grace of the Lord.  He tells us, “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:43.

The senseless killings we see day after day correspond with the mental and spiritual illness we see increasing in our world.  The objects people use to murder and snuff out life are distracting representations keeping us from examining the harder, less obvious problems of mental illness, the corruption of the human soul and the degradation of the value of life.  When we ignore or at best, fail to cultivate our own commitments to righteousness we see the proliferation of evil that fills the vacuum of our own making.

The Lord God possesses all goodness.  Striving to follow Him is the pathway to pushing evil back into the absolute pit of its own birth and to bury its presence in our lives through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.



NOTE: I wrote this article in 2003 just before my dad passed away

The youngest of eight boys and a sister, my father’s biggest fear as a 17-year-old was that the war which had called all of his brother’s would end before he could enlist.

He just made it.

My father was a strong and decisive man, self-made in the tradition of the American hard work ethos, rising from a laundryman in a hospital to a policeman in our little town.  From walking the beat, then patrolman, finally detective, he persevered through bad bosses and good times.

He raised our family and demonstrated a strong faith.  He sang at the top of his voice regardless of whether he was in the church choir or sitting in our family pew dating to 4-generations.  He showed me the power of absolute values and uncompromising principles.

He listened to talk radio before it was popular, late at night the crackling faint and fluctuating AM-radio voices sounding so far away, making it feel so special.  He took me to a small church in the country on some Sunday nights so he could sing real loud and enjoy the company of the minister, his dear friend.

Dad showed me that crying was OK as a man and he leaned on me as a boy when I thought I couldn’t do things,  but I could, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.  He introduced me to death as his mother and then older brothers fell one by one.  I knew it was all a dress rehearsal.

He loved my mother harder than he should have.  He hadn’t considered his own vulnerability, it wouldn’t have been right.  That would undermine the commitment, the uncontested, no restrictions love that he thought transcended all.  He was wrong sometimes.  The divorce nearly killed him.  His only chance was to wade back in quickly.

No good deed shall go unpunished and indeed it did not.  Five children, all pre-teens and a 2nd wife with shoulders built to carry a chip.  He did the difficult with no thanks and suffered at the hand of her having it both ways because he relished the task of being needed.

We all assailed him as adults with various and wide ranging admonitions, requests, presents, favors, accusations, automobiles and accolades.  He was accused of high crimes and misdemeanors and the saving of lives.  Some disliked him because he stood for something and was unashamed in defining it.

He was born late enough to have science save him from the heart disease that took his father and brothers, only to live long enough to be sentenced to death without parole in the cell of a nursing home, a prisoner lost in his own mind.  The Law of Unintended Consequences.

I speak of him as if he were dead because the disease insures that he is, forced to observe it all from his frail body with a capacity just functional enough to feel the terror of the reality every once in a while.  Where is God in all of this?  Why the loss of dignity to such a good soldier?

The only reason I’m not embittered by my father’s dilemma is the knowledge that if he were healthy and guiding me today, he would tell me not to be.  He would look me straight in the eye and tell me that God had nothing to do with this.  It’s because of his faith and example that I believe him.


Good versus Evil..

There is a finiteness attached to a lack of something and infiniteness only possible in its abundance.  Silence is the absence of sound, darkness the absence of light, stillness the absence of movement and cold simply the absence of heat.  Silence can’t get quieter, dark darker, stillness stiller or cold colder.  Sound, light, heat and movement can all be intensified in one direction only, outward from their absences and infinitely intensified by volume.

Good and evil I believe can be thought of in the same way.  Evil is the absence of good and can only intensify in direct proportion to a lack of goodness.  Just as sound, light, motion and heat defeat silence, darkness, stillness and cold, goodness overcomes evil.

God and faith gird our goodness.  The more distance we put between ourselves and God, the closer we allow evil to come.

Just as heat, light, motion and sound are all choices that we moderate, so too is it with our relationship with God and our faithfulness and with that comes the level of evil we are willing to tolerate.

Our duty to ourselves is only one of two responsibilities we face when addressing our positions in the battle of goodness over evil.  The second condition has to do with the state of our collective conscientiousness that indicates to God the validity of a nation, the nobility of a people and the worthiness of mankind as we are judged by the Almighty when He holds us up to His image, which is what he had in mind upon our creation.

When that day comes when the collective evil in the world outweighs the good and the faithless outnumber the faithful, it will be too late but today is not that day and today, we can reaffirm our faith and redouble our relationship with God as we celebrate His birth and refocus on that which matters most; Goodness.   



An Open Letter to Former President Trump

Mr. President:                                                                           November 9, 2022

I strongly encourage you to run for the office of President of the United States once again in the 2024 election.  Armed with the experience you gained in your first term, I can only imagine what progress you will make in your second.  The country needs you desperately and the stakes could not be higher for refocusing, rebuilding and re-exciting both the country and the citizenry.

Mr. President, I believe that enlisting the support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as your Vice-President will afford you the highest likelihood of gaining that second-term for which American’s so hopefully pray. 

Governor DeSantis

Engaging Governor DeSantis as a protagonist is a mistake.  Instead of potentially weakening a terrific governor with a splendid track record, enormous name recognition and wide-spread public support, better to harness that positive energy for not only your re-election, but to insure the legacy of accomplishment two strong-willed and patriotic men can best accomplish together.

I believe the key to this alliance will be to assure the Governor that it is your solemn promise to do everything in your power to see to it that he is your successor.  Leaving Governor DeSantis out of the equation for 2024 will only spell trouble in splitting voters and by doing so, assist the opposition party by encouraging us to war against ourselves and thereby making their path to a victory that much easier.

Mr. President, please Take America Back Again and do so with the horsepower of a Trump/DeSantis ticket to a sure fire victory.

Kind regards,

Bob Kingsley



If you need an example of today’s double-speak and lack of personal responsibility, look no further than today’s story in the Wall Street Journal, (WSJ) regarding Tyson Foods Chief Financial Officer, (CFO) John R. Tyson entitled, “Tyson CFO Held On charge Of Home Trespass.”

This 32-year-old “man” is the silver-spooned-snot-nose son of Tyson Food founder John W. Tyson and according to the WSJ article, the younger Tyson got so drunk that he was found asleep in the wrong house.  He was subsequently arrested for criminal trespass and public intoxication.

Here is the money quote, from Tyson himself:

“I am embarrassed for personal conduct that is inconsistent with my personal values.”



Your personal conduct DEFINES your personal values.  Tyson’s twisted logic here infers that his conduct was somehow independent from his values.  Sorry Johnny but that thinking won’t fly any better than your chickens.  If your alleged personal values were as elevated as you suggest, your CONDUCT would reflect that.

Here is a better public statement that would be at least honest:

“I am embarrassed that I didn’t take appropriate measures to enlist the help of others to monitor my drunkenness and keep me out of trouble.  Unlike most people, I can afford to hire any number of people to see to it that I stay out of trouble and I didn’t do that and for that, well, I’m embarrassed.  I’m counting on the fact that regardless of my personal life issues, Tyson Foods will continue to provide me the boat-loads of money I regularly receive for the rest of my life.  Thanks dad.”

Tyson’s chickens will never come home to roost.

(Photo by Greg Smith/Corbis via Getty Images)


Principled Leadership?

Broome County voters are facing a terrible choice when it comes to electing our next sheriff.  NYS Senator and former Broome County sheriff Captain Fred Akshar is running for Broome County sheriff against Kate Newcomb, his former live-in girlfriend and current Captain in that same sheriff’s office.

The adage about politics and odd-bedfellows has never been more literal.

Akshar is campaigning on “Principled Leadership”.  Seriously?  How “principled” was it to have a sexual encounter with a woman involved in an active criminal case still at trial in which Akshar was involved?  How “principled” was it to dispatch his own brother, (also a Broome County sheriff at the time), to a domestic dispute involving one of his political friends who will undoubtedly be running for Broome County district attorney in the next election?  How “principled” was it to hire an assistant in his office and raise her salary exponentially while having a romance with her, only to be slapped down by the Senate ethics committee?

As for Newcomb, how “principled” was it for her to interfere with a NYS Police investigation involving her nephew, advising him to obstruct an investigation into his drunk driving and then protecting him while screaming at the troopers that she should be afforded professional courtesy because of her position in the sheriff’s department?

Barring a miracle, Akshar will win this race, parlaying the vote-getting appeal of former Binghamton mayor Rich David in exchange for his Senate seat.  After Akshar takes office, you can expect to see Newcomb resign and the county loses a career cop while gaining back a man with well documented integrity and judgment issues.

Then, God forbid, in two years, the Akshar political machine gets into gear and elects his buddy Paul Battisti to the Broome County District Attorney’s office, that’s right, the same guy who called in a favor in having his former wife arrested by Akshar’s brother in the parking lot of Dick’s in Binghamton.  The same Paul Battisti that owed more than 86,000.00 in back taxes to the IRS in 2019.

“Principled Leadership”

When the two most significant legal entities in the county are being managed by men with a history of manipulating the legal system, womanizing, using taxpayer monies to over-pay girlfriends and failing to pay their own taxes, what kind of a justice system will that mean for Broome County?  Those systems will be forged in the respective images of the men who manage them, striking at the very heart of institutions that rely overwhelmingly on morality, truth, character and high principles, qualities which go wanting by all those political players.

Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”


Under the Bus

The Covid crisis not only crippled ridership of the poorly run Broome County transit system, it shed much needed light on what is an under-scrutinized and opaque government operation.

According to a former career county worker within the department, BC Transit is a corrupt, mismanaged operation that misrepresents facts, cooks the books and cheats taxpayers out of millions of dollars. 

Because over 75% of the department’s budget is funded with federal and state tax dollars, management was quoted as saying to employees, “We don’t run this like a business because we don’t have to.”  No doubt about that.  The 21 fixed route bus lines run empty the majority of the time and most routes could be serviced with a motorcycle and side-car.  Instead, a fleet of nearly 50 full-sized buses traverse thousands of miles of roads, usually with only the driver aboard, little more than diesel-belching billboards.   Astonishingly, the department claims 2-million rides last year which equates to a just-not-believable 5400 plus riders a day, every day, a total fabrication.

In the competitive world of private enterprise, buses would be replaced with passenger vans, adjusting to dwindling demand and saving fuel and maintenance costs.  Instead, strong unions prohibit any changes and routes are set and unalterable.  Because of that, dozens of perfectly suitable vans sit silently in the Broome Transit lot.

When there is no competition and no profit incentive, there are no consequences and that crushes motivation.  BC Transit is little more than a 13 million dollar make-work-program for the 100 plus employees that devour an annual salary and pension cost of about 9 million dollars.

With alternatives like Uber, Lyft, electric scooters, bikes, and work-from-home situations becoming the norm, these realities don’t influence the “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” mindset of an organization that has no reason to be better and brags about its own mediocrity.  Instead, we celebrate when Senator Schumer announces a $12M infusion of electric buses into the fleet so we can more greenly and grandly waste taxpayer’s money.

Just a few of the ways the county does this:

  • The newer hybrid buses have power trains made by Cummins Corp.  Cummins contractors are on-site almost every day, at $1500/day fixing problems that the employees cannot.
  • Instead of using an older bus closer to the end of usefulness to provide a Covid enclosure, management instead put a newer, $700,000.00 dollar hybrid unit into that role thereby rendering it inoperable for anything else and ultimately scrapped.
  • When touring the BAE bus manufacturing facility to see the newest models, management overruled the recommendations of BAE officials when choosing buses, opting for all electric versions when experts were telling them that was the wrong application for our area and terrain, deciding instead that green symbolism was a better political choice.

BC Transit should be privatized, along with the Arena, the Forum and the Willow Point nursing home, all entities that the county has proven it cannot manage.  Government fails miserably when competing with the private sector.  Get back to basics.


The Myth of Hunger

Broome county’s poor don’t have a hunger problem, they have a nutrition problem.  The biggest medical issue for the poor is obesity.  Real hunger problems look like this:

The poor in America look like this:

The Left cries about “food insecurity.”  This is a myth.  The federal government doles out food vouchers like they were candy.  In many cases, that is exactly what it turns out to be. 

On top of that federal safety net turned hammock, the local food bank hands out food to anyone who shows up, no questions, no means testing of any kind.  This lack of accountability, combined with the myriad of free diners, free lunches, and school feeding programs allows for a black market in food.

It works like this:  A single mom with 3 kids receives an allocation of federally funded dollars appropriate to the family size.  This allocation is meant to be sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the family.  The children all receive free breakfast and lunch at school.  The federal benefit is not downwardly adjusted to account for this.  Should the mom avail herself to a food bank, or meals from churches, soup kitchens and free lunch programs, again, because there is no means testing or accountability, these additional sources of food have no significance to the federally funded benefit that was in and of itself appropriate to feed this family.

Once this over-abundance is achieved, then the mom can turn entrepreneurial and sell her excess federal benefits for cash.  This takes the form of “shopping” with a customer and after using her benefits card, exchanging that cart of groceries for 50 cents on the dollar, the current-going rate here in Binghamton.

Like most scams, the actual truth of what is happening and why is a far cry from what is advertised.  The federal government will tell you it’s about nutrition.  If that were actually true, the program would identify the nutritional needs of the family and then provide pre-packaged allotments designed to meet those nutritional needs and the lowest possible cost.

The government provides this benefit to buy recipients votes.  If government gave a damn about the nutritional well-being of the poor, they would design nutritionally healthy handouts and stop allowing recipients to eat there way into the healthcare system where once again, the taxpayer receives the bill for the poor choices of those who cannot or will not support themselves responsibly.  If this was actually done, recipients would scream about their rights and the pool of likely voters would shrink significantly and so, the government looks the other way while the poor poison themselves with unhealthy eating habits.

The local food-banks and other “free” food programs are just as culpable as the government.  Without means testing, accountability can’t exist and donors ought to be aware that their donation might very well be used to support an under-ground economy that provides the cash to buy alcohol, tobacco and drugs.  Again, the food-bank tugs at your conscious by telling you about “food insecurity” when what is really happening is that donors get to check off the box that says they did their good deed for the day by simply dropping a can of beans into a barrel and then pretending they are saving the world.

The poor are obese and sick courtesy of a government that wants nothing greater than to stay in power and a population of supposed do-gooders that are looking for the easiest  way to assuage their consciousness and save their souls.