Saturday, May 31, 2008

Libertarians Dream of Being the Tie-Breaker

According to this story, the Libertarian Party is hoping to wield some influence in the coming election due to the "purple" nature of the country.

I've said for a long time, I'd like to see 215 Republicans, 215 Democrats and 5 Libertarians (or other independents) in Congress. This would give the "real" power to those 5 LP members and would prevent the extrememist loons from either party from running rough-shod over the Constitution.

Interesting to note in the story, they quote a Libertarian monthly named "Reason."

What a good name for a magazine ... or even a talk show. :)

Dunkin Donuts pulls "terrorist ad"

Advertising - For Dunkin’, a Tempest in an Iced-Coffee Cup - NYTimes.com

Further proof that the rabid right-wing of the US is abso-friggin-lutely out of the mind.

The link above explains that Dunkin Donuts has pulled an ad featuring Rachel Ray wearing a black and white scarf becuase the folks behind Little Green Footballs thought it looked like a "terrorist scarf."

*shakes head*

Check out the YouTube video below ...

Dems compromise on Florida and Michigan

The Associated Press: Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get half-votes:

This really seems to have been close to a best-case-scenario for Hillary Clinton, and yet, she's not happy at all. In fact, her people were protesting outside the meeting saying that if she didn't get everything she was asking for, they were going to vote for John McCain.

I find it hard to believe that suddenly Hillary Clinton supporters are going to shack up with McCain.

Worth noting, Hillary has said she may appeal this decision to the Democrats' credentials committee, which could potentially drag the matter to the party's convention in August.

Rush Limbaugh's gotta love this, don't you think.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dr. Laura and Leviticus

We're going to begin Dialog this morning where we left off yesterday ...
I'm planning on reading this little ditty ... and wanted to put the link up now rather than later ...

Dr. Laura and Leviticus ...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Transit North

Here's a link to the Transit North website.

Cost per barrel

Here's the link to the site I was talking about noting the cost per barrel for gas.

Don't get sick ...

New column ... and a couple of quick notes ...

I posted a new column this morning at scottleffler.com ... the direct link is here.

I've been transferring over all of my old columns to blogger so they're all together in an RSS feed for ease of use. Anyway, I've been reading them as I go ... Some are incredibly dated. Others are still VERY relevant.

I added a guest for Friday for Reason. Paul Fallon, publisher of "The Beast" will be in studio at WECK taking phone calls.

I'm working on a potential guest for the first bit of todays show. If it works out, you definately want to listen to Reason this morning at 10 a.m. on AM 1230 WECK.

Town of Lockport Supervisor Marc Smith will be on Dialog today at 11 a.m. on AM 1340 WLVL.
Don't forget to email me (scott@scottleffler.com) if you'd like to be added to my weekly update.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Check out this video (Box Transformers)

Check out this video: Box Transformers






..

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Survivor Kindergarten ...

According to this news story, a Florida teacher is under fire for allowing her students to vote on whether or not one of the kids in the class should stay in the class.

The kids voted 14-2 to expell Alex Barton, who may have Asperger's syndrome -- an autism spectrum disorder.

Now the mom is suing ... and the world's in mass hysteria.

Don't you wish you and your work colleagues could vote out the dead weight?

Aghast over gas?

Contrary to the recent headlines proclaiming the entire country to be up in arms and aghast at the price of fuel, I'm not.

I want to be angry. I've tried. In fact, I've spent the last few days trying to get angry just so I could write about how angry I am.

Maybe it's that I don't drive enough. Maybe it's that I'm in a better financial situation than others. Or maybe it's just my cool demeanor. But I doubt it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy about $4-plus gas. I certainly don't look forward to spending more and more of my hard-earned money on getting from point A to point B. But I'm certainly not angry.

Who, after all, am I supposed to be angry at?

Should I be angry at the Bush administration for not being able to force OPEC and oil companies to set their prices lower?

Should I be angry at Congress for the same? Or for not having billions of barrels of oil stored out back somewhere to help this crunch we're in?

Should I be angry at the oil companies themselves for wanting to make a profit?

The most frequent excuse I hear for why I should be angry is that "big oil" is reaping larger and larger profits each quarter. Of course, their response is that they actually only make pennies on a gallon and the reason for the high profits is that we keep consuming more and more gallons.

So should I be angry at you? Or myself? Or developing nations in Africa and Asia that are using more oil than they used to?

Cause when it really comes down to it, it's supply and demand. The more in demand something is, the more "they" charge us for the supply.

Sure oil company profits are huge ... but their profit margin is not. Many of you could surely care less about profit margin, but look at it this way: You'd surely invest a dollar to make $10. And you'd likely invest $10 to make $100. But would you be so willing to invest $100 to make $10? You're still making the same $10 you were before when you were investing $1 ... but the deal doesn't look as good now. Profit's the same ... but profit margin is less.

You know the old saying, "Don't cry over spilt milk." Well, I guess I have a similar philosophy on gas. I'm not going to cry over milk someone else spilled ... even if I have to clean it up.

Being angry gets you no where. You still have to spend $4.09 - or whatever it is by the time you read this - on gas ... plus you're angry about it.

Now, if we could bottle anger and use it to run cars ... then I'd be trying even harder to be angry ... and baiting you to do the same.

But that's not the case. Cars run on gasoline. (most of 'em). Gasoline comes from the oil companies. And we're not part of the process until we pull up to the pump.

That's not to say we can't do anything about the amount of gasoline we consume. But most of us - apparently - aren't angry enough to do that yet. I can tell by the amount of SUVs and pickup trucks driving around at any given time.

In the end, unless you're getting 36 miles to the gallon - which many cars get now - the only person you should be angry at about the amount you spend on gasoline ... is you.

And I'm not about to be angry at myself. So I just won't be angry.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mailing list ...

I've always got several things going on at once ...

And I don't always remember to tell people what's up ...

So I'm going to try to do a weekly (or so) email about what's gone down, what's coming up, and whatever else I'm thinking.

If you'd like to be added, just send me an email to scott@scottleffler.com ... and I'll make sure you get the updates ...

- Scott

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Scott Leffler dot com updates (new column)

Just as an FYI, I updated several things on my website, including a link to my Twitter status, some contact updates, and a new column.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Morning thoughts ...

Just a few things today:

John Harrison, the ice cream taste tester for Edy's will be in studio at WECK on Thursday, May 22nd from 10 a.m. 'til 10:30. He'll bring plenty of ice cream, so here's an open invitation. Come on out and enjoy free ice cream at WECK and check out the new studio. The address is 2900 Genesee Street, Cheektowaga, 14225.

Yesterday I had three guests between the two shows ... and may not have done a good enough job introducing them. At 10 on WECK, I spoke with Marc Odien from WNYMedia.net. Marc is a former employee of Channel 2 and we talked about how the media handled the standoff on the 190 the day before. At 10:30, I talked with Mike DeGeorge, spokesperson for the Buffalo Police Department. Then over at WLVL, I talked with Lee Bordeleau about his lawsuit against New York State. Lee is looking for co-plaintiff's in his fight against the state giving away our money to private industries. A $100 donation will make YOU a plaintiff. Send checks payable to Lee Bordeleau, 271 East Avenue, Lockport, NY 14094.

When I talked with Marc Odien, he told me about a neat little website called "Twitter." It's an easy way to keep track of friends and allows them to keep track of you. Ever the whore, I signed myself up. Want to keep track of me? Click here.

And I'm enjoying using the IM's during the show. Because the blog post listing my handles has scrolled down the page, I'm adding them to this blog.

AIM: wsleffler
MSN: wsl_capitalidea (at) msn.com
Yahoo!: leffler27
GTalk: scott.leffler (at) gmail.com
ICQ: 20531824
So join in the shows without calling in ...

And don't forget to listen to my new feature, 2 Minutes of Reason, broadcast live every morning on WECK and podcast at scottleffler.com. This morning's episode talks about Gordon Ramsay's plan to outlaw selling vegetables out of season. You can only imagine my take.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hell’s Kitchen chef want vegetable police ...

True. Gordon Ramsay wants laws about what vegetables can be on restaurant menus when ...

link

Great. More laws.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Free TimBit results in employee being fired

Check this story out ...

Fortunately, it has a happy ending.

Email too long to read on the air ...

ATTN: Jennifer Stanonis

I am a Buffalonian now living in western Massachusettes and I am a tattoo artist. I saw your report about the Niagara Falls tattoo guy spreading disease. As a former tattoo shop owner in Buffalo I am well aware of the dangers of an uninformed artist through blatant disregard for a client or just ignorance to proper procedure. In any further coverage of this story I would like you to consider the following....In my years dealing with the Erie county health department I have found that they should be the ones to blame for allowing people like this artist to continue with their poor practices. In Past dealings with the health dept I have seen representitives themselves use unsafe practices and I am convinced that the entire staff is ill equipped to understand any wrong practice an artist makes until someone actually comes forth with a case of hepititis or other bloodborne pathogen, Given that they even show up to inspect shops at all.. wich was a big problem for me when I owned my shop and is still a problem today.....Can you blame a child for misbehaving if the parent knows nothing about proper parenting?

Most of the artists in western ny are very safe in their practices and there is a good network amongst us, so we keep on each other to make sure WE are doing the right thing. There have even been efforts in the past by groups of us to reform the requirements of tattoo shops in the county of Erie, as Niagara county HAS NO HEALTH DEPARTMENT! But we were met withopposition from the very people that are supposed to be the watchdogs of our regions health, with responses like "well that is just too much paperwork" Is it really too much to ask to have a county regulatory office to just do their job correctly? This is how people like John Portik III get away with being out there and doing tattoos in an unsafe manner.

To Understand the difference between how we as artists conduct ourselves and the powers that be (E.C.H.D) Id like to invite you to contact a man by the name of Dave Vidra (http://www.hlthedu.com/instructors.htm) He has been working with artists around the country for years bringing the latest tecniques to the artist so that they may be able to better protect themself and their clients this is a 6-8 hour course with a test and certification wich in my opinion supercedes the Erie county test 10 fold.

In closing I would like to stress that Although I am very happy to see you are exposing people in the community that can cause harm to others, I would also like to see you report on the responsibility that we as tattoo artists take upon ourselves in the absence of a properly working system to insure that our community stays safe and healthy.

thank you for your time

Mike Gutowski

(note from Scott: Niagara County DOES have a health department. They're just useless)

Do nothing else ...

Don't type. Don't talk with a co-worker. Don't eat. Just listen.






Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A mass transit future?

Sunday began just like any other. Wake up. Eat some breakfast. Mow the lawn. Jump online to hash out to critical details for the day.

That's where it all went awry.

The critical details I was looking for was a means to get from A to B – in this case, A being my home in Lockport and B being Dunn Tire Park, home of the Buffalo Bisons.

I knew I could drive, as I've done dozens of times before, but I hated having to pay nearly $10 to park, and frankly, with gas encroaching upon $4 a gallon, the less driving I do, the better. My mind flashed back a couple weeks to a conversation I had with a friend about going to Bisons games. His advice, "take the train in." The Metro Rail, of course, is what he meant.

I'm a small town guy with a big city mindset. I actually love taking the subway in bigger cities. In New York City, my friends follow me blindly onto the subway, knowing that I'll get them where we need to go with time to spare. Washington DC has one of the nicest subway systems I've ever encountered, and when I'm in the District, I use it almost exclusively. But at 33 years old, I'd never taken Metro Rail in my own back yard.

And I still haven't. See, I couldn't – for the life of me – figure out where to get on. For many of you, this seems silly ... or even stupid, I'm sure. What an idiot I must be to not know where to get on the Metro Rail. There's a web site, for Christ sake!

And we loop back to the beginning of the column. The web site. Where it all went awry.

"How hard can it be," I mutter to myself as I typed NFTA.com into my browser just like my radio had told me to do countless times before. And right there on the front page, there's a link, "Going to the Bisons game" or something like that. "This is going to be a piece of cake," I think.

Then ... the hysteria begins.

I end up in an endless loop of information that means absolutely nothing to me. I figure out that I just get off at Seneca Street. And it looks like I want to get on at University Station. So I type those parameters into the "Metro Trip Planner" and am told that it's impossible. Like the guy in "Funny Farm" telling Chevy Chase, "Ya can't get there from here." Look up some more information. Change the parameters. Try try again.

I finally got it figured out. It takes about 20 minutes. I just get on at University Station and get off at Seneca Street. Hop. Skip. Jump. I'm there. Now ... where IS University Station? There's a handy dandy little map that shows that it's somewhere around Kenmore Avenue. So not the University that's close to me, but the other one. Okay. I know where the university is. But WHERE'S THE STATION?

Upset with the web's lack of answers, I call the number on the website ... in vain ... since it's Sunday. Why would anyone answer the phone on Sunday? It's not like people have anywhere to go.

I understand that there are budget constraints and maybe that's why there's no one manning the phones on a Sunday, but it certainly didn't do me any good. I gave up and drove. Paid $8 to park, plus the nearly $4 a gallon. When I would have definitely preferred to take the rail. If only I knew how.

It made me think that Metro Rail is a country club that you have to know the secret handshake to get into – or on, as it were. Sure wish I knew that handshake. But I'm no quitter, so I'll figure it out for next time.

While I'm on the subject, why is Kenmore the last stop for the Metro Rail? Why don't we have a real mass transit system in Western New York? You can't count the buses. I don't want to take an hour and a half to get from Lockport to Buffalo. Why don't we have a rail system outside city limits? They do it in other parts of the country.

Wouldn't it be great if you lived in Medina and could take a train into Buffalo? Or from downtown Buffalo to the Falls? Of course, I'd be thrilled if there were a Lockport stop. It's not like we don't have the infrastructure. There's train tracks all over Western New York, many of them practically dormant. And it's not like it's unprecedented. I'm reminded often of a rail system from downtown to Olcott that existed 100 years ago.

Is the problem money? Can't we fund it? A couple years ago, Congress approved $320 million for a bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Don't we rate to get at least a fraction of that money for the NFTA to build rail stations outside of Buffalo?

Is the problem us? Are we too good to ride mass transit and that's why they don't move forward? I hope that's not the case, but might not be surprised if I found out it was.

Look, the NFTA is a good organization. But it needs to go further. It needs to be better. It needs more details on its website. And more train stations.

In a perfect world, it would have all the above.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

IM's and more

I've said the past few days that if you want to IM me, there was a blog post on how to do that.
Um. There apparently wasn't. Sorry.

But I'm here to fix that now -

AIM - wsleffler
MSN - wsl_capitalidea (at) msn.com
Y! - leffler27
ICQ - 20531824
Google Talk - scott.leffler (at) gmail.com
and finally ... I use a program called Qnext to use all those IM services simultaniously. And on Qnext, my handle is Leffler27 ...

So ... there you have it for the IMs.

Of course, if you don't use IM, you can always email me at scott (at) scottleffler.com ...