Monthly Archives: January 2009

A trash quote worth recycling

This quote is just one small excerpt from another blogger’s much wider-ranging reflection on human civilization and achievement. But since Syracuse’s litter problems seem to come up time and time again, I thought it worth highlighting.

Almost every driver has carefully checked to see who’s around before thinking about innocently chucking an empty gas station coffee cup, water bottle, candy wrapper, or cigarette box out of their window. For each one of us, justifying this act is easy, but it’s only easy because there are no short-term consequences. “So what?” and “Who cares?” make up the bulk of the typically ignorant responses. The prisoners will pick it up, right?

Well, what about the garbage crisis in Italy? What about the massive plastic island floating in the Pacific Ocean? Each piece of trash carries a so-called innocent story, which climaxes years later into an epically guilty tale.

A basket of issues for the next senator

Upstate newspapers are running simultaneous editorials today about what a new senator needs to know about regional issues. Truth be told, anyone contemplating running for governor (or currently governor) should read these as well. Here are all the editorials compiled on one page. Areas chiming in include the Adirondacks, Batavia, Binghamton, Buffalo, Albany, Elmira, Ithaca, Poughkeepsie, Plattsburgh, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and Watertown.

Joanie for Lt. Gov?

Here’s an article about the calculations that go into the choice of the senator that Paterson will inflict on us. It’s the first article I’ve seen which mentions Joanie Mahoney as a potential candidate for statewide office.

Some of Mr. Paterson’s advisers envision a Republican ticket headed by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, for governor, with Joanne M. Mahoney, the popular Onondaga County executive, as his running mate. Rounding out the ticket might be John J. Faso, the former assemblyman, for comptroller, and Peter T. King, the Long Island Republican, for Senate.
“That’s a white Catholic ticket,” said one person who has ties to the governor’s political team, and who requested anonymity for fear of losing those ties. “And it’s white Catholics upstate they are going to lose.”

Hm, a couple of Republicans I could stand (Mahoney and Faso) paired with some of the most odious players I can imagine (Giuliani and King)… well, as a white Catholic, I’ll pass. But if the GOP were smart (which they aren’t), they would market someone like Mahoney as a “green,” small-business-friendly candidate and sell her decision to stop the Armory Square sewage treatment plant. The GOP would do well to simply greenwash their entire party platform – it’s not like the Upstate business establishment isn’t on that bandwagon now.

According to the tribal logic of New York politics, Mr. Paterson can expect strong support in New York City, among black voters and from staunch Democrats. Ms. Kennedy, a white Catholic, could help in the battleground suburbs of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. But the Democratic ticket already includes Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, who is Catholic and already broadly popular in those places.

The idea that I’d vote for Caroline Kennedy just because she’s an Irish Catholic is really insulting, and the poor reception she has had up here ought to give the lie to that reasoning. I am waiting for someone to seize the real issues that are before us. It’s sad that I can imagine the Republicans doing that before I can imagine Democrats doing it. Still, if the Republicans are going to run a high-negative and frankly has-been figure like Giuliani as their lead candidate, I guess I can’t imagine them doing that either. The Age of Dinosaurs grinds onward.

Happy New Year 2009

A glorious sunny morning in CNY reminds me of New Year’s Day 2000, which had similar weather. There was just something about the blue sky on that morning that made future possibilities seem limitless. This year… well, not so much, all things considered, but there’s always a chance. Have a great New Year, and may your resolutions last longer than last year’s…