Add your voice to public debate on current issues. See what others have to say.
My entry on Iraq/Afhgahnistan is on 11/15/06 at either 11:49 pm or 11:56 pm
Add your voice to public debate on current issues. See what others have to say.
My entry on Iraq/Afhgahnistan is on 11/15/06 at either 11:49 pm or 11:56 pm
A WORD TO THOSE ELECTED NOVEMBER 7. CONGRATULATIONS. THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT.
THE VOTERS HAVE PLACED THEIR CONFIDENCE IN YOU. THE FATE OF NEW YORK, AMERICA and ALL THE PEOPLE IS IN YOUR HANDS. WITH POWER COMES RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. DEMOCRATS CAN NO LONGER BLAME GEORGE W BUSH FOR ALL THAT IS WRONG OR NOT GOING WELL, ON THE HOME FRONT OR OVERSEAS.
HOME LAND SECURITY , EMERGENCY/DISASTER PREPAREDNESS and PUBLIC SAFETY ARE THE PRIORITIES AT HOME.
AMERICANS MUST BE SAFE IN THERE HOMES, SCHOOLS, WORK PLACES, STORES and ON THE STREETS. LAW AND ORDER MUST BE RESTORED. GANG BANGERS, CRIMINALS, ANTI-SOCIAL MALCONTENTS MUST BE DISARMED BEFORE THEY ALLY WITH THE FOREIGN TERRORISTS.
OUR NATIONAL BORDERS MUST BE SECURED and ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION DEALT WITH DECISIVELY. AMERICA IS LIKE A LIFE BOAT IN THE STORM TOSSED THIRD WORLD SEAS. THOSE ON BOARD MUST BE ROWING IN UNISON, IN THE SAME DIRECTION. IF WE TAKE ABOARD TOO MANY, FROM THOSE SEAS, LIFE BOAT AMERICA WILL BE SWAMPED.
NO SOCIAL SECURITY, SOCIAL SERVICES, FREE SCHOOLING, DRIVER'S LICENSES, VOTING, OR JOBS FOR ILLEGALS.
ENGLISH IS THE LANGUAGE OF AMERICA. GOVERNMENT IS WRONG TO BE PROMOTING MULTI-LINGUALISM . THIS PRACTICE ONLY INCREASES DIVISIVENESS AND HASTENS THE DEMISE OF AMERICA FROM WITHIN.
YOU CANNOT CUT AND RUN FROM AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, and KOREA. AMERICA MUST PREVAIL BEFORE WE LEAVE. THE NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES OF IRAN AND KOREA MUST BE NEUTERED.
GOVERN WELL DEMOCRATS. OUR FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS.
IF YOU DO NOT DEAL EFFECTIVELY, AND QUICKLY, WITH THE ISSUES ABOVE, WE HAVE NO FUTURE.
SOME THOUGHTS ON A VITAL "MID_TERM ELECTION".
The 2006 mid-term elections are among the most critical in the history of our state and nation. The post 9-11 world is a dangerous place. Homeland security, public safety, emergency/disaster preparedness are the transcendent issues of the day. All other concerns pale in significance. Our state and nation are deeply divided by extreme partisanship and racial rancour. We face enemies ,overseas, and within, who seek to destroy us and our way of life. This is no time for politics as usual. It is a time that demands extraordinary leadership and an informed electorate.
The political pundits are predicting a sweep by Democrats in New York State and Congress. The public will be in extreme danger during the transition in political power, for a year or more. This is a time when the foreign terrorists and their domestic allies are likely to launch devestating simultaneous terror attacks that could cripple our state and nation.
When the dust of election 2006 settles, George W Bush will still be the President. We will still be in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea. The border will still not be secure. Urban crime and illegal immigration will still be among the priority domestic issues.
The political officeholders, and public, will have to set aside political partisanship, and unite to find solutions to the grave international and domestic problems that threaten our very survival.
A best election result would be for the Republicans to retain control of the state and U S Senate; for Democrats to be elected Governor and Lt Governor and Republicans as Comptoller and Attorney General in New York State. This would provide some checks and balances in government and require that both political parties cooperate for the public good.
America has no other choice than to use it's military might to defeat terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to neuter the nuclear capabilities of Iran and Korea.
On the homefront, we must secure our national borders and protect our citizens from foreign and domestic terrorists and violent malcontents who make us unsafe in our homes, in our schools and work places, and on our streets.
Without international peace and stability and without law and order at home, we have no future.
Either we stand united, or we fall divided. Every New Yorker and every American has a stake in the outcome, and a role to play.
It all begins with casting informed ballots on November 7, 2006. What the public decides with regard to the contests for federal and state public offices, this election, will surely reveal insights into whether or not our political system will survive, and whether or not the public has the ability to rise above all the media hype and partisanship, and make the correct choices. This is particularly true in two particular races: state comptroller and Member of Congress from the 20th District.
We shall find out later today. May God Bless America, keep our troops safe overseas and our citizens safe here at home.
LAWN SIGNS. Lawn signs most often appear everywhere else, except on lawns. I used to view lawn signs as being for dummies. However, I have come to appreciate their value. This is especially true if the signs are properly designed and placed.
Most voters find out who is running for what by reading lawn signs. The signs name the candidate, the office a candidate is seeking; and sometimes, tell what party line the candidate is on, and in what political juridiction the candidate is running. A few lawn signs direct the viewer to the candidates website, if that candidate has one. The color schemes and lettering of signs are key featrures that govern the visibility and effectiveness of the signs.
Lawn sign placement is an art. Where and how signs are placed often determine their longevity. Crooked signs suggest crooked candidates. Vandals often destroy signs under cover of darkness. Usually, the destruction is selective, indicating the political affiliation of the vandals.
Voters can determine that a particular candidate is gaining strength when that candidate's lawn signs begin to disappear.
In Albany there are fewer lawns signs than in the past, particularly on lawns. This tells us something about the mood of the electorate.
In sum, lawns signs have their place and value in the political process. Those who destroy lawns signs, under cover of darkness, are cowards who violate the First Amendment rights of candidates and voters, alike. Let the signs be!
Candidates have an obligation to gather up and remove their signs from the landscape within a few days after an election.
Lawn signs get the attention of the voters. However, it is the obligation of the voters to find out as much as they can, or want to know, about candidates; and to cast informed votes in primaries and general elections.
Candidates who do not have much money, and organizational power, can get their messages(if they have one) out through WEBSITES. When the media publishes voter guides, which contain brief candidate profiles, and indicate the websites of the candidates - and puts that information on line, just as the TIMES UNION has done this year - a giant stride to campaign reform has been achieved. CONGRATULATIONS TIMES UNION and to CANDIDATES WHOSE WEBSITES HAVE MESSAGES OF SUBSTANCE.
OLD SALTS KNOW THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE "LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS". JOHN KERRY HAS JUST SWIFTBOATED ANY CHANCE THE DEMOCRATS HAD OF TAKING THE HOUSE NOVEMBER 7.
WILL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL OFFICES ,IN NEW YORK. DISAVOW KERRY'S SLANDER OF OUR ,YOUNG MILITARY VOLUNTEERS SERVING IN IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, KOREA AND ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD?
SHAME ON JOHN KERRY , AND ON ANY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE WHO DOES NOT REPUDIATE KERRY AND HIS STUPID, ARROGANT AND OFFENSIVE SLANDERING REMARKS.
THE MEDIA AND THE BODY COUNT GAME. As the parent of a U S soldier proudly serving his country in the desolate mountains of Afghanistan, it is especially distressing to pick up a newspaper, listen to radio newscasts or watch television news, and be continuously assaulted by the latest body count.
An example is today's Times Union, front page, carrying the AP story headline: Troop toll at 101 for month. The article contains a red color graphic profiling the military death numbers, for the past 12 months.
My son recently sent a ominous letter on the eve of going into combat. He told me that he and his comrades were on a dangerous mission, and some would fall. He told me where he wanted to be buried. He also said, that he and his comrades were facing their fates with the belief that they were doing what must be done.
As each day dawns, I wonder, will this be the day that uniformed officers visit our home with the dread news.
I view the shallow political campaigns of those who aspire to "lead" us. I look around at my neighbors living their lives as if nothing had changed since the 1950's, oblivious to the decline of Albany and America, and to the sacrifices that some young Americans have made, and will make.
I admire those young Americans and share their ideals. For the others, I feel a growing contempt.
As I walk my dogs around the neighborhood, I look at the "Support the Troops-Bring them home now " signs. Nobody wants to bring the troops home more than the parents who have sons and daughters over there - but the troops have a job to do, and they are doing it for us, and for future generations of Americans, just as the troops who fought in bygone wars have done.
Those who really support the troops should fly their flags and yellow ribbons at their homes, and they should send letters and supplies to the troops, particularly those special forces who are living off the land in remote mountains.
To the media, I say: stop playing the body count game with our valiant military.
If the media wants to play a body count game, the numbers are even more staggering, with regard to domestic homicides, automobile fatalities and abortions.
To those politicians , political wannabes, and camp followers, who are politicizing the war on terror, you only aid and abet the enemy and you do a grave disservice to our military men and women.
We cannot run from the battlefield with our tail between our legs. For now, the front lines are over there. Soon, the home front will be the front line. Political correctness can not govern our response to the threats overseas and at home.
Rabid political partisanship has deeply divided America. We are in a struggle for our very survival. As President Lincoln warned in the dark days of the Civil War " A nation divided- cannot stand". Is that to be our fate? I suspect that we may have the answer sooner than most would contemplate.
IS ANYBODY READY? The Times Union Sunday, October 29, 2006 Perspective (B) section, carried an article: The home front. Individual households need to know how, and why, they should prepare for disaster, written by Jack Fenimore, a retired Air Force major general, former chair of the state Disaster Preparedness Commission.
The message in this article is that we can expect to be on our own in the event of major simultaneous terror attacks, pandemics or other disasters.
Fenimore writes: "For countless Americans, it all comes down to one simple truth: The quality of your life after a pandemic, terrorist attack or natural disaster will reflect the quality of your planning and preparation before the event. Relying totally on the government and other relief agencies is a strategic blunder with potentially dire outcomes."
In other words: don't look to government to save you, and your loved ones, in the event of terrorist attacks or other disasters. YOU are responsible for your survival, and the survival of your loved ones.
Check out the websites of those who aspire to be elected, or re-elected, to federal and state public offices, November 7. Public safety, homeland security and emergency/disaster preparedness positions are not the priority they should be.
We will be most vulnerable to terror attacks, and other disasters, as new leadership, and political control shifts occur at the federal and state levels. It takes, at least a year, for new government administrations to get organized.
Don't look to your neighborhood churches, synagogues and schools for any relief, because they have failed to prepare to serve as refuges in times of disasters or terror attacks.
As this site has been advising, (see numerous earlier entries) you are on your own and you bear the ultimate responsibility for your survival, and the survival of your loved ones.
So, Get Busy, TODAY, preparing for your own survival, and that of your loved ones.
For starters: Go to: www.ready.gov
RETURN OF THE WHITE DEATH. It's that time of year again. State and local governments, businesses and homeowners will dump tons of salt to deice roads, bridges, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks. This seasonal ritual kills street trees, pollutes surface and groundwaters, corrodes road surfaces, our very expensive motor vehicles, exteriors of our homes (when it drys and becomes airborne) and has significant adverse health impacts for humans, pets, wildlife and birds.
Why do we do this? So, we don't slip and fall on icy pavements and so we can continue tp speed along roads and streets in our vehicles.
Are there alternatives to this seasonal madness? Yes! Slow down. Drive and walk with caution. Use sand or kitty litter on walkways. Use sand or other alternatives on roadways.
Google:, alternatives to road salt : to review sources of further information on this topic. Here are a a few links for starters -
The salt industry site: http://www.saltinstitute.org/30html
During the winter and spring do to the surrounding highlands to view Albany and adjacent communities lying beneath a white death smog. As you view this scene ponder what you have read and ask yourself: what about the synergistic effect of all that road salt combined with emissions from vehicles, chimneys, and power plants?
Any wonder why hospices are booming?
Contact your elected officials, urge them to go easy on the application of road salt. Do the same with businesses and your neighbors. Urge everyone to slow down and adapt their walking and driving to icy conditions.
HOMELAND SECURITY/EMERGENCY/DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND PUBLIC SAFETY.A survey of candidate websites and literature reveals that candidates for state and federal public offices, this year, have little or nothing to say on these vital priority issues.
All else is irrelevant, if we are not safe, and those who aspire to lead us have no clue or specifics as to what they are doing, and will do, regarding the above priority issues.
Day 1 could turn out to be a disaster without a plan in place .
RETURN TO DEMOCRATIC PARTY 9/22/06
On Friday, September 22, 2006 I filed a change of party enrolment form at the Albany County Board of Elections, changing my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
My reasons for doing so are detailed on: http://www.gopalbanycity.blogspot.com
I served as Albany City Republican Committee Chairman, from 2000 to 2006. I was Republican candidate for State Senate, from Albany County, in 2000 and Republican candidate for Mayor of the City of Albany in 2001 and again in 2005. The record of my 2005 mayoral run is contained on this site.
The Albany County Republican Committee, with Captain Queeg Kermani, at the the helm, is a sinking ship, with no compass, no rudder, no sails and no oars.
On June 8, 2004, at the call of Kermani, Albany County Republicans from the Towns, voted to take away the right of self-determination from Republicans in the cities of Albany, Cohoes and Watervliet, through certain party rules changes. Those rules changes are invalid because they conflict with state Election and are unconstitutional because they treat Town and City Republicans unequally.
Kermani and his ally, Counsel Tom Marcelle, barred me from attending and speaking at the organizational meeting of the Albany County Republican Committee, serving me with a summons returnable in Federal District Court. I gave Notice to them that I had a right to be at the meeting because I was, by law, a holdover member of the county committee, holdover chairman of the Albany City Republican Committee and, as such, a holdover member of the county Republican executive committee, with privilege to have the floor to address the assembled county committee members at the statrt of the meeting.
I advised Kermani and Marcelle that by barring me and preventing me from having the floor, any actions they took at said meeting would be found, in a court, to be null and void.
It is difficult enough to be a Republican in Albany City, but worse still when the County Chairman , his Executive Assistant, Barbara Davis, and his Counsel, Tom Marcelle, continually undermined my efforts to build a viable Albany City Republican Committee. Despite their obstruction, I still managed to recruit more than 90 committee members in more than 50 election districts. But, to no avail.
There is simply no point in staying aboard a ship that is headed for the bottom in the storm tossed seas of campaign 2006.
The Democratic Party in Albany, is deeply divided, as well. The Town Democrats are at war with the City Democrats.
In both the Republican and Democratic Parties in Albany County, the Towns seek to marginalize the cities. This is unacceptable and foolhardy.
I will do my best to assist both Albany City Democrats and Republicans to resist ,and defeat ,efforts by those in the Towns to make city residents second class citizens.
I can be most effective in this effort by being a member of the majority party. Thus, I have gone back to the Democratic Party.
Joseph P Sullivan
Tel/Fax (518) 438 5230
A Chocolate City. One year later. A Nation on the Brink.
New Orleans, Louisiana - flood prone bottom land, inhabited by bottom feeders and governed by an inept, racist mayor and incompetent female state governor.
America beware. Katrina is a disaster, but only one. Consider the chaos, unbeliveable hardship and civil disorder that would result if America expiriences simultaneous, multiple natural and man made disasters, including a West Coast quake along the San Andreas fault line, a major Atlantic hurricane making landfall on the densely populated South Shore of Long Island, followed by a severe, frigid Northeast winter with blizzard snowfalls. Couple these events with simultaneous, coordinated terrorist attacks on our nation's electrical grid, oil and gas supply lines and nuclear plants.
Never happen, you say? Well, what if it did? Katrina would pale in comparison. America would be in ruins and might never recover.
The Southern border would continue to be overrun by hoardes of Mexicans and OTM's, while the inner city welfare recipients would plunder and pillage because the terrorists also destroyed the welfare delivery system.
Government, at every level, would be in disarray. We would be on our own with slim chances of survival.
Meanwhile, most of our fellow citizens are in denial of 9-11 and it's consequences. State and national politicians, both, in office, and those who are seeking election or re-election, are running meaningless, politics as usual campaigns. Those in office lack the ability to lead and do what must be done now. Those seeking election or re-election have no answers; they are avoiding the priority issues of home land security/defense and emergency/disaster preparedness. The media is cashing in on these meaningless political campaigns, as usual.
We live in perilous times. It may well be the End Time for America and us all. Silent, empty sky scrapers tombstones,amid the rubble and debris of abandoned, once great cities ,may stand on the landscape ,like the long ago abandoned urban cliff dwellings of the American Southwest. Vistors from outer space may view these ruins and wonder what happened to the people who used to live and thrive here?
This doesn't have to be! Real Leadership ,rejection of racism, by people of color and whites; rejection of mindless liberalism , the politics of appeasement and political correctness and the resurrection of an America with traditional values, under God, with liberty and justice for all,;but with zero tolerance for those who would destroy us, from within and without, is what is required.
Do we have the will, and ability, to do what must be done, now, to save our nation, our way of life and ourselves? The answer will probably be known in our life time.
Check out August 26 entries # Campaign 2006 Staus Report
# Policing The City of Albany
See also: August 17 entry #Summer on the wane at Buckingham Pond Park
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FLAG BURNING
The flag is a symbol of our nation - what it is and who we are.
The Supreme Court erred in it's 1989 ruling that flag burning is a protected form of free speech. The Supreme Court has made serious errors before: Dred Scott and Roe v Wade come to mind. The Supreme Court is not infallible.
Americans have died, are dying , and will die, for what the flag symbolizes and represents - our Nation , our political system and our way of life.
Flag burning is a hateful, inflamatory, violent act that is an affront ,and an act of disrespect, to those who have died so that we may live in freedom. It is an affront , and a threat, to all who call themselves American.
Flag burning is only the beginning. It will lead to more violence. What will be next?Books? The Koran, Bible or Torah? The Cross? Buildings? Cities? Will we hear again the cries of " burn, baby, burn" in our city streets ?
Fire leads to explosions. Will the Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument and other national landmarks, monuments, bridges and public buildings be next ? Have we forgotten 9-11, the destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York City, the attempted destruction of the Pentagon and White House in Washington DC? The loss of thousands of American lives and the health impact on tens of thousands of police, firefighters, construction workers, National Guard members, EMT's and others who volunteered for rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site?
Symbols have great significance, particularly to foreign terrorists and their domestic allies: social malcontents, prisoners, criminals and gang bangers, who pose a real threat to our safety and the very survival of our nation.
Our enemies are the foreign terrorists and and those native born, who have citizenship by accident of birth, but who are not Americans in spirit, belief or practice.
America stands at a cross roads. What we do now, or do not do, will determine if we will survive.
The Supreme Court erred. Now it is up to Congress, the states , cities, and towns, to legislate, making flag burning the hate crime that it is. The House has made the effort, but the Senate has failed. Will the Albany Common Council be the first to step forward? How about the Albany County Legislature? Our local candidates for State Assembly and State Senate? Candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and Congress?
When you dutifully go to vote (if you do), forget blind allegiance to the donkey or elephant. Look carefully at the voting records and positions of the candidates on vital issues of the day. Flag burning is but one, because it symbolizes so much more; and because to tolerate flag burning will only lead to greater violence and destruction by those who are set on destroying us as a nation and as a people.
As you celebrate July 4th..reflect on it's true meaning.
J P Sullivan
Albany, New York
TIME FOR THE ALBANY CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO MAKE THE BRIGHTER CHOICES: RETURN TO K-8 NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL SYSTEM AND LIMIT THE SCHOOL BUDGET INCREASE TO NO MORE THAN 3 PERCENT.
April 10 the Albany City School District/Board may vote to close the Livingston Middle School (300 students) on the premise that this move would save one million dollars.
Is it reasonable to conclude that closing all three middle schools would save three million dollars?
Time has come for the Albany City School District/Board to make the brighter choice - follow the lead of progressive cities like Boston, and return to a K-8 neighborhood school system.
Neighborhood schools are best for kids, parents and neighborhoods. Kids can walk to school, and their academic progress (and problems) tracked and dealt with from grades K-8 in the same setting. Walking to school will help combat the growing obesity problem among school age children. Parents can more readily participate in the education of their children, when all their children attend a neighborhood school, Neighborhood schools serve as neighborhood learning and social centers which contribute to strong neighborhood identities. In times of disasters and emergencies, neighborhood schools can be places of refuge. Neighborhood schools provide settings that allow for better discipline and avoidance of the disorder and violence plaguing the three city middle schools.
Another million, or more, dollars can be saved by returning to a K-8 neighborhood school system by eliminating all those yellow buses that clog city streets, twice daily, creating traffic congestion, inconvenience, noise and air pollution.
Millions more can be saved by eliminating most of the six figure administrative positions in the city school system. According to an Albany Times Union story, there are at least 34 such positions in the city school district. (Not to mention many more in the 75-100 thousand dollar pay range).
As things stand now, children, parents and property tax payers in the City of Albany are being shortchanged by a City School Administration that runs a disorderly, unsafe school system, which is not conducive to learning. With a more than 50 percent drop out rate, the Albany City School Admionistration is failing to produce graduates who have learned the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to become productive members of society and responsible citizens.
Another double digit Albany city School Budget increase, this year, is unacceptable, in light of the chaotic, disorganized condition of the city schools, and in light of the sigificant increases of state aid in the state budget this year and in recent years.
Recall that the recent, and coming, property revaluations amount to a substantial property tax windfall for both the city government and the city school district.
Add to this, the fact that the successive, annual property tax increases produces an ever increasing tax base, where even a 3 percent annual increase in school taxes is a significant increase.
Time for the Albany City School District/Board to make the brighter choices: (1) return to a K-8 neighborhood city school system and (2) establish safe, orderly school environments conducive to learning and (3) learn to live within a tight budget like the property tax payers who support the city schools must do.
If the school district presents a budget with a property tax increase greater than 3 percent, on May 16, Albany City voters should vote "NO".
Unwilling or unable to make a decision on returning to a K-8 neighborhood city school system? Put the question on the May 16 School Budget Vote Ballot and let the voters decide.
Also, open all the regular polling places, as in a primary of general election ,so as to allow for and encourage a maximun turnout of city voters
J P Sullivan
CONGRATULATIONS ALBANY VOTERS ON DEFEAT OF THE MAY 16 SCHOOL BUDGET PROPOSITION. DO IT AGAIN, IN JUNE!
CLOSE CALL, ALBANY LUCKY....THIS TIME
Last week's windstorm caused downed trees, power lines and power outages for our neighbors to the North and West. We were lucky this time. Next time???
Imagine having no power for months, no utilities, sewer and water systems destroyed, out of control fires with no water to put them out, police cars, garbage trucks and emergency vehicles without fuel, food scarce or not available because farmers can't plant, tend or harvest crops and livestock and our transportation network destroyed, hospitals and health care system not functioning, prescription drugs unavailable to those who depend on them.
Imagine chaos and civil disorder as people in every corner of our state and nation struggle to survive without the water, food, health care and medicines, and utilities and transportation we all take for granted. No telephones, no radio or tv, no weather reports becauses the towers and lines are down.
Imagine what would happen if seniors didn't get their social security and welfare people didn't get their welfare benefits because the systems were destroyed.
Simultaneous, coordinated terror attacks, large and small, could plunge every corner of our country into a desperate struggle for survival.
Imagine containerized WMD's being delivered to our major ports under management by foreign interests. Pick a date. July 4 maybe?
Could you ever imagine that with our nation in chaos at home, our ports destroyed , that our military and naval units deployed around the world would be on their own? They would soon run out of food, water, medical care and ammo because we could not supply them? Well...imagine it! It could be for real!
We are in WWIII but our politicians, media and most of our neighbors don't get it. It is a war unlike any other that we have faced.
Look at the political campaigns underway in New York and nationally this year. Look at City Government in Albany -what "issues" are being bandied about.
Look at the federal government's failure to secure out borders and ports. It isn't only the President. Both parties are at fault because they are letting happen! We have a leadership crisis at all levels of government in America.
We have no Patton or MacArthurto save us. We must save ourselves.
Ultimately, the people have let it come to this, by blind partyline voting, or by not paying attention or voting at all.
Where is the emergency/disaster preparedness in our city, out neighborhoods and our own homes? It isn't there!
For the past 4 or more years I have been prodding neighborhood churches, synagogues, schools, and businesses to make emergency/disaster plans to be able to provide water, food, blankets, emergency power and shelter. No response! Prayers will be too late!
The media is no better. Survival shows are carried on tv for entertainment.
How many of those reading this have emergency water, food, fuel, and plans for their households and their loved ones? How many have guns and ammo to protect against pillaging and plundering mobs where local law enforcement has broken down?
To paraphrase the U S Department of Homeland Security..."Are You Ready?"
The Answer.....NO! Too bad for you, yours, me and mine!
J P Sullivan
ANY PORT IN A STORM?
Another year of politics and business as usual, as our world crumbles around us.
Who would ever believe that America would come to this point. We have entrusted our fate to elected officials who are unwilling and unable to serve our best interests as a nation, and who are leading us down a path to oblivion.
Worse, still We the People are allowing it to happen.
Prayer? By all means. But, in the end, the old saw will hold true: "God helps those who help themselves".
Get ready , as best you can, for what is coming our way. J P Sullivan
SPITZER GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN OFF TO BAD START
Eliot Spitzer receiving much media coverage of late accepting endorsements of NOW, NAARL, PLANNED PARENTHOOD and other feminist proponents of the culture of death. Today we learn from the Times Union that Eliot Spitzer supports the "morning after pill" being available without a prescription.
Very disappointing and totally unnecessary. Those groups were in his corner anyway (unless they would endorse the likes of William Weld). The result of all this is to turn off conservative Democrats, Republicans and Independents who might otherwise have supported Spitzer in his bid for Governor. (Maybe his advisors believe Eliot doesn't need those votes)
Worse yet, the apparent focus on cultivating a pro-abortion image raises the question of what are the priorities of Eliot Spitzer as a potential Governor?
Where is he on the vital issues of the day? Protecting New Yorkers from the next terrorist attacks, emergency/disaster preapredness, fixing the failing public schools, combatting crime, disarming criminals and gangs, making sure New Yorkers are safe in their homes and anywhere in public, revitalizing the agricultural and manufacturing sectors of New York's economy, promoting wise land use and open space planning, abuses of eminent domain to confisgate private property, securing our borders, halting illegal immigration, the insane idea of allowing an Arab company to manage the Port of New York and other major U. S. ports?
As one who knows and admires Eliot Spitzer, and one who likely would have worked for him and voted for him, I am profoundly disappointed with the poor start to his campaign to be the next Governor of New York.
Looks like another low turnout election, because the majority of voters who stay home, are indicating their displeasure with both major political parties and their alienation from the political process. This does not bode well for those who win offices with smaller and smaller turnouts. Nor, do these trends bode well for the future survival of our form of government, particularly in times of crisis.
J P Sullivan
Holland Ave Spot Zoning Blunder Retrospect and Prospect
In retrospect: the rezoning of 3.5 acres of land on Holland Ave at Hackett Blvd should never have happened. It would not have, had the sponsor of the zoning change measure, Shawn Morris, then Ward 7 Alderwoman and Common Council President, had withdrawn the resolution as advocated by Lonerangeralbany during last years city elections, and just prior to it's passage at the December 19, 2005 Council meeting. (See numerous posts this blog).
Shawn Morris and the Council Members elected with Working Family Party endorsement bear the burden of this blunder. It is politically damaging to the WFP-Liberal Democrat Coalition.
The Albany Common Council remains an ineffective, divided legislative body that represents, on the one hand, allies of the Mayor, and on the other, the WFP-Liberal Democrats who sought to unseat the Mayor last year, and to gain control of the Council. The Coalition has failed on both counts and has failed the citizens of this city.
Albany needs a Comprehensive Land Use Master Plan. Unfortunately both factions of the Albany Common Council , by their eleventh hour passage of what is clearly Exhibit A as a worst case of Spot Zoning ( Highway Commercial on a major emergency vehicle routeway to Albany Medical Center - and one that will result in a big box retail drug outfit undercutting and driving existing neighborhood pharmacies out of business) have shown themselves to lack credibility to devise such a plan.
Who can trust them to develop and enact a Comprehensive City Land Use Plan and a revised City Zoning Code that will truly benefit remaining residential city neighborhoods, particularly those neighborhoods that pay the lion's share of the property taxes that support city government and the city schools?
Shawn Morris and the new Council Majority Leader, McLaughlin, have shown they lack the judgment and ability to lead the Common Council. (McLaughlin voted for the rezoning).
So, as Bill O'Reilly often asks: "who's looking out for us" (In Albany). The answer is NO ONE. Four more years of more of the same politics as usual.
Can the WFP-Liberal Democrat Coalition muster the 12 of 15 votes to rescind therezoning. Highly unlikely!
The end result? No confidence in the Coalition! No confidence in the Albany Common Council!
J P Sullivan
* See TU, today page B1
STATE OF THE CITY: ALBANY 2006
Congratulations to Mayor Jerry Jennings on his re-election as Mayor of the City of Albany. Best wishes for a successful four year term.
The Mayor's fourth term appears to be off to a great start:
1. The Mayor appointed Jim Tuffey, Chief of Police. Tuffey is the right man for the job, having credentials and experience in both law enforcement and emergency management and planning.
2. Mayor Jennings has declared that the issue of public safety is his priority concern.
That is the concern of every resident of Albany, as well. The Mayor, in conjunction with the Police Chief, have to come forward with concrete policies and actions that will address this public safety concern: like clearing the streets of hostile, belligerents and those that harass and prey upon law abiding citizens, and disarming the criminals and gangs, who are, in fact, domestic terrorists who are the eventual allies of the foreign terrorists, who seek to destroy us. Given Osama bin Laden's recent message to his operatives, who dwell amongst us, it is imperative that Mayor Jennings and the APD disarm the criminals and gangs without delay. This will require an assist from the State Police, and other law enforcement. Governor Pataki can make this happen, now. Take the 100 or so NYS Police that were deployed to New Orleans and put them to work in Albany as a part of a really aggressive Operation Impact to accomplish these objectives ASAP. Time is not on our side!
When Bin Laden warned that we will soon being seeing terror attacks in our homes - what did he infer? We have seen an increase in home invasions already. It is not too much of a stretch of imagination to picture armed criminals, gangs, and other assorted hostiles running amok pillaging and plundering our homes in a time of disaster or major, simultaneous, terror attacks.
The City Schools must be brought under control immediately. They are the breeding grounds for ther next generation of criminals and anti-social belligerents. The battle for public safety must be fought, not only on the streets, but in the city schools. Governor Pataki and the State Legislature can be of major help here. The Albany School Board and School District are educational failures. Disband them and vest authority and accountability for city schools with the Mayor and Common Council. Return to a K-8 neighborhood school system. Adopt strict student conduct codes, in school, on city streets and buses. Replace gang colors and insignia with school uniforms. Remove disruptive and violent students from classes and transfer them to a boot camp campus staffed by former military.
Albany does not have a Comprehensive City Emergency/Disaster Plan that anticipates and prepares to address the types of natural and man-made disasters, and terrorist attacks that will come our way in the "days and nights ahead" as Bin Laden warns. This is a parallel priority that must be immediately addressed by Mayor Jennings. It will take more than weekly meetings of the Police and Fire Departments and building a new public safety center at the Port of Albany. It will take the education and involvement of all the citizens and institutions of this city. Again, time is not on our side!
All the rest of the Mayor's State of The City is meaningless, if the above public safety concerns are not immediately and effectively addressed.
A convention center, the land fill, the city water supply, the Palace Theatre, new office buildings, Tech Valley Dreams, Park South , Mid-Town and Arbor Hill redevelopment plans, summer employment and recreation programs are all important concerns, but they must be viewed in perspective of the public safety threat posed by lunatics like Bin Laden and those drawn to him, by hate and discontent.
It is admirable that Albany's archeology and heritage is protected by legislation, as the Mayor informed us in his State of The City address.
I, for one, would be comforted, by prompt attention to the above public safety priorities, lest the artifacts, and ruins, of our contemporary city be, one day, found among the archeolgical stratas of the past.
A word of advice to the Common Council and City School District - set aside your misguided leftwing political and social agendas, work with the Mayor and APD, and others, to achieve public safety and to develop an effective City Emergency/Disaster Plan before it is too late for all of us.
J P Sullivan
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ALBANY MAYOR JERRY JENNINGS. POLICE CHIEF JIM TUFFEY AND APD START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT.
Public Safety, in our homes, neighborhoods, on city streets, in schools, work places and shopping areas is the Number One Priority for Albany.
Disarming criminals and gangs, clearing he streets and schools of anti-social belligerents, now ,is the imperative.
Preparation of an effective City Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Plan that anticipates, and prepares for, natural and man made disasters and terrorist attacks that may befall Albany in the days ahead is also needed now, as a major element of the Public Safety Priority.
Continue to send the message that Albany is a law and order town, where people will be safe anywhere, anytime...that city schools will offer safe environments conducive to learning, for those that want to learn. Those who do not ,will be placed in alternative "boot camp" settings staffed by ex -military.
While the immediate need is to clear the streets and disarm the criminals and gangs, the long run battle against crime, anarchy and civil disorder will be won in the city schools.
Congratulations Jerry, Jim and APD in sending this message at Livingston Middle School yesterday.
J P Sullivan
A NEW YEAR BRINGS NOTHING NEW
Consider these Times Union reports in today's edition:
* 1) Neighborhood groups ask for a plan (pB3)
* 2) Council position changes hands (pB10)
The first report informs us that:
a) CANA will vote today urging the city to adopt a City Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
Why didn't CANA do this during the 2005 City election campaign when there was a chance of getting some immediate action?
Why didn't CANA support Lonerangeralbany's call for a Moratorium on all zoning changes and use/area variances pending adoption of a City Comprehensive Land Use Master Plan and Revised Zoning Code based on
participation, advice and consent of neighborhood residents?
Why doesn't CANA adopt this resolution tonight?
b) A Master Plan would be useful in averting the rezoning of 3.5 acres on Holland Ave as "Highway Commercial" to allow construction of a Walgreens Big Box Store. The rezoning was approved at the Dec 19, 2005 by the Common Council.
c) Council President Shawn Morris opposed the rezoning and welcomes the idea of a citywide master plan.
Had CANA pressed for and the Council enacted the 15 month Moratorium in 2005 as advocated by Lonerangeralbany - the rezoning could not have occurred.
Shawn Morris opposed the rezoning? Then why was she the sponsor of the rezoning legislation? Why didn't she withdraw the legislation as advocated by Lonerangeralbany early in last year's city election campaign?
The Holland Avenue rezoning a classic example of spot zoning. A big box store should not have been approved on an already congested emergency vehicle routeway to Albany Med Center. The Big Box store will undersell established neighborhood pharmacies on Delaware Ave, New Scotland Ave and at Crestwood Plaza putting them out of business. Smart growth? No-dumb move! Shawn Morris and the Common Council rate a big ZERO on this one.
The rezoning measure was passed at the last Council meeting in 2005 (Dec 19) with a number of lame duck members voting in favor. Why didn't they hold off the vote until the present Council took office, as Lonerangeralbany called for?
Answer, Shawn Morris and the Council Members conspired to pass the rezoning at the very end of 2005, and get the incoming Council off the hook.
Sure, Shawn Morris voted against the rezoning, along with several others, but they knew the votes were there to pass the legislation on Dec 19.
As sponsor, Morris could have withdrawn the legislation and there would have been no vote!
WHAT CAN BE DONE NOW?
1. When CANA meets tonight, it can adopt two resolutions that have some teeth:
First: Call on the Common Council to immediately enact a 15 month Moratorium on any further rezonings and commercial use/area variance grants pending enactment of a City Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Revised City Zoning Code with the participation, advice and consent of neighborhood residents.
Second: Call on the newly seated CommonCouncil to vote to rescind the Dec 19, 2005 vote of the Council approving the "Highway Commercial" rezoning on Holland Ave for the purpose of building a big box store. Reason for revote? See above arguments re: spot zoning at it's worst.
Third: The Times Union should hold to a higher standard in reporting "stories" relating to activities of the Common Council with regard to land use planning and other matters.
The Second TU story? Council position changes hand
We are told that Carolyn McLaughlin was elected Majority Leader of the Council by a 15-0 vote, replacing James Sano.
We are told that Sano represents the" predominantly white and affluent neighborhood around New Scotland Avenue", while "McLauglin's ward along South Pearl Street is one of the city's poorest neighborhoods where about two-thirds of residents are black."
Why is the Times Union playing the race card? Don't we have enough racial tension in the City of Albany as it is?
Why didn't the Times Union add a few more facts to their racial profiling observation? Like, which of the two wards has the higher rates of social services recipients and illegitimate, teen age births? Like, which ward pays the taxes that supports the other ward? And like, which ward spawns the bank robbers, stick up and graffiti artists who are invading the other ward?
Affluent ward, my backside. I drove down the New Scotland Avenue corridor, after reading this story (and reviewing my city property tax bill), dodging numerous pot holes (aggravated by excessive road salt dumping), and a second -rate snow removal effort , and observed a deteriorating housing stock and graffiti in abundance.
Incidently, McLauglin was one of the returning Council Members who voted FOR the Holland Avenue "Highway Commercial "rezoning.
With a Common Council led by the duo Morris and McLaughlin are the residents of the few remaining "affluent neighborhoods" in the City of Albany safe?
A New Year brings nothing new. Just some of the same tired old faces, wearing different hats and titles.
Mayor Jennings and his new Police Chief Tuffey have their work cut out for them.
The biggest challenge facing the Common Council is to rise above being an ineffectual, dysfunctional, obstructionist body; and work with the Mayor and Police Chief to make the streets of Albany safe, to disarm the criminals and gangs, to restore order, and discipline in the failing city schools and create safe learning environments in a k-8 neighborhood school system.
Yes, Albany needs a Comprehensive Land Use Master Plan and Revised Zoning Code.
Even more importantly, Albany needs a City Emergency/Disaster Plan that anticipates and prepares for the kinds of natural and man made disasters, or terrorist attacks that are sure to befall us in the days ahead.
Set aside the partrisan political power struggle within the Democratic Party and work with the Mayor and Police Chief and City Schools for the benefit of all the residents of Albany.
As for the Times Union: be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Improve the content , depth and objectivity of your "stories". Stop playing the race card and promote racial and political harmony instead. Tell it as it is, not as you see it or wish it to be.
A Happy, Healthy Productive New Year to all. Lonerangeralbany will have more to say in 2006 as events and circumstances require.
J P Sullivan