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Andy Borowitz

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by Andy Borowitz

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Statistical proof that gun control has reduced gun deaths in countries around the world is something that a significant number of those polled have given up attempting to break down for morons.

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NRA: “Guns don’t kill people. Movies kill people.”

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Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I wish mental health care were as easy to get as, say, a gun.

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“For those who thought the bar still had room to be lowered, our findings resoundingly contradict that assumption,” a researcher said. “The bar is now essentially flush with the ground.”

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In terms of dignity, the Republican race has descended several rungs below a “Yo mama” contest.

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Republicans Furious at Trump for Perfecting Hateful Message They Spent Years Working On

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Trump’s Poll Numbers Indicate Republican Voters Now Mainly Sociopaths

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Trump is giving voice to millions of frustrated Americans who are fed up with empathy.

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To those who say Donald Trump is making us the laughingstock of the world, actually our gun laws already did that.

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An attempt at moderation by the moderator will be followed by a personal attack on the moderator by Donald Trump.

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“Liquified Petroleum Gas & Methane Gas Storage Under the Shores of Seneca Lake: Insanity On Any Level”

Seneca lake

“Talking Peace: Insights on Peace and Justice with the WNY Peace Center”

Showtime: 5:05 PM to 6 PM, Monday July 27, 2015

Those outside the Buffalo area can tune in via the internet by going to: http://bscvs01.buffalostate.edu/wbny

Crestwood Midstream Partners, LLP plans to store liquified petroleum gas underground in dozens of salt caverns next to Seneca Lake, just north of Watkins Glen NY. And they want to expand the methane storage capacity in other salt caverns, owned by a Crestwood subsidiary, Arlington Gas Storage.

The entire gas storage area is 600 acres, roughly equivalent to 1/2 the area of the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. The gas storage facility sits in the middle of a prosperous wine growing, a billion $ tourism region and on the very shores of a precious source of drinking water, Seneca Lake.

Every township surrounding Seneca Lake has said NO, except the Town of Reading, where Crestwood resides.

Does this expansion of fossil fuel storage make sense in a setting where the world’s economies are moving toward renewable energy, where tourism is growing, and where the world’s sources of drinking water are disappearing?

Over 260 members of We Are Seneca Lake don’t think so. They have been arrested at the main gate of Crestwood Midstream Partners on Seneca Lake.

My guest is Lyn Gerry who lives in Watkins Glen NY. Lyn is a member of We Are Seneca Lake, and has been arrested twice, along with hundreds of others, for blocking the Crestwood’s main gate.

Prior to her Crestwood activities, Lyn hosted a weekly radio program for 20 years and started the A-Infos Radio Project in 1996.  She was one of the early pioneers in internet radio and she began covering the hydrofracking issue on her radio show 9 years ago, long before anyone heard of it.

Charley

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N.R.A. Proposes Sweeping Ban on Movies

 

FAIRFAX, Va. (The Borowitz Report)—Saying it was “high time to take action against the number one cause of violence in America,” the National Rifle Association issued a statement today urging a sweeping ban on movies.

Tracy Klugian, an official spokesperson for the gun-lobbying organization, said that the N.R.A. had taken this extraordinary step because it “could not stand idly by and watch movies tear apart the fabric of our civil society.”

To that end, Mr. Klugian said, the N.R.A. would use money from its PAC, the N.R.A. Political Victory Fund, to support politicians who favored a ban on filmed entertainment.

In the hours after the N.R.A.’s announcement, politicians on both sides of the aisle were quick to applaud the group for identifying what it called “a long overdue need for movie control.”

“It is time for us to stop the madness,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner. “As a first step, I am proposing legislation that would impose a two-year waiting period and background check before one is allowed to see a Hollywood release.”

Minutes later, the White House said that the Speaker’s proposal was “a good first step, but does not go far enough,” arguing that Congress had to “take a hard look at whether superhero costumes and masks should continue to be legal.”

All in all, the N.R.A.’s Klugian said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the organization’s call for new legislation would be heeded “because our message finally seems to be getting through: Guns don’t kill people. Movies kill people.”

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Rick Perry: Allowing Guns In Movie Theaters Would Prevent Shootings

“These concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea.”

by Andy Borowitz

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) claimed that if people could bring their guns to the movies, they could have prevented the movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday evening.

“These concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country — who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms — to carry them,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. “I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette.”

Such a provision “makes a lot of sense” under the Second Amendment, the 2016 presidential hopeful said.

When Tapper asked if that solution would be more effective than strengthening gun control laws, Perry pushed argued that the problem in Lafayette and the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, is a lack of enforcement.

“We need to enforce the laws that are on the books,” he said. “Somebody didn’t do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are on the books.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) similarly called for better enforcement of gun laws, stressing that John Russell Houser, the shooter who had a history of mental illness, should not have been able to obtain a gun.

“Every time this happens, it seems like the person has a history of mental illness. We need to make sure the systems we have in place actually work,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We need to make sure that background system is working. Absolutely, in this instance, this man never should have been able to buy a gun.”

Houser legally purchased the gun used Thursday at a pawn shop in Alabama last year, according to law enforcement officials. He had previously been denied a pistol due to a prior arrest and reports of domestic violence.

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Official Republican Debate Format

by Andy Borowitz

BREAKING: Republicans Announce Official Debate Format

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The Republican National Committee has released the format for its first 2016 Presidential debate, to be broadcast by Fox News on August 6th:

1. Question from moderator to Donald Trump;

2. Ignoring of question by Donald Trump, followed by personal attack on Jeb Bush;

3. Feeble attempt at rebuttal by Jeb Bush;

4. Interruption by Donald Trump, followed by attack on other eight candidates

5. Attempted moderation by moderator;

6. Personal attack on moderator by Donald Trump, followed by gratuitous attack on Rick Santorum;

7. Reaction shot of stone-faced Rick Santorum, excluded from debate but sitting in audience;

8. Concluding statement by Donald Trump, including attack on Fox News’ ”cheap-looking” debate set;

9. Demand for apology by Mexicans, veterans, China, Bobby Jindal’s mom, and other people attacked during debate by Donald Trump;

10. Donald Trump declared winner by Donald Trump.

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Russ Brandon Named President of the Buffalo Sabres

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The Buffalo Sabres announced Monday that Russ Brandon has been named Team President and Alternate Governor. Brandon replaces Ted Black, who the Sabres say has mutually agreed to part ways with the organization.

Brandon will also maintain his duties with the Bills, and now oversee all aspects of business operations for both teams while reporting to Terry and Kim Pegula.

A news release from the Sabres says the Pegula’s have been impressed with Brandon since purchasing the Bills. “Russ will work with Pegula Sports & Entertainment to create strong synergies between the Sabres and Bills,” said Terry and Kim Pegula. “With Russ’ strong ties to the area business community and sponsorship partners, he will effectively position both organizations for future growth.
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Ecstasy Lab May Have Been Operated in Amherst Neighborhood

Lebrun Street Sign

An investigation – prompted at 4 p.m. by an Amherst resident’s complaint of an odor of natural gas – continued through the night and into Sunday morning, said Amherst police, who called in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team and State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team.

In a statement issued at 4:47 a.m., Amherst police confirmed that a National Fuel technician dispatched to a Lebrun Circle address “discovered what appeared to be potentially hazardous chemicals in an apartment located above a detached garage.”

State Police and federal agents “remediated the potential hazard and processed the scene,” the police statement read. “No injuries were reported and there was no risk to neighboring residents.”

State Police and Amherst police declined to give further information on the nature of the chemical activity but a source close to the investigation indicated the Lebrun Circle apartment may have contained an Ecstasy laboratory.

No injuries were reported, said Amherst police. No arrests were made.
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Rising Lake Erie Damages Property, Swallows Beaches

Ward Pinkel, left, and Ben Little, two Grandview Bay residents, paddle around near a U.S. flag in the water near their cottages. Pinkel placed the flag there several years ago to warn boaters of shallow waters – not recently a problem thanks to heavy rain – and rocks.
Ward Pinkel, left, and Ben Little, two Grandview Bay residents, paddle around near a U.S. flag in the water near their cottages. Pinkel placed the flag there several years ago to warn boaters of shallow waters – not recently a problem thanks to heavy rain – and rocks.

It’s been a long time since Lake Erie was this deep.  People have been bemoaning the shallow depth for years but that is now a thing of the past.

Lake Erie is averaging 573.31 feet above sea level this month, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers data. That height hadn’t been reached since June 1998.

The star-spangled banner still waves in Lake Erie – but in much deeper water.

The 4-by-6-foot Stars and Stripes that Ward Pinkel of Evans anchored between some rocks in Grandview Bay a few years ago had a purpose beyond patriotism: to warn boaters of shallow water and a field of debris from an old dock.

But those rocks and remnants of that dock are now submerged, along with most of the flagpole, as Lake Erie’s rising waters now lap toward the bottom of Old Glory. That’s because the lake has added a lot of water over the last few months – about 2.9 trillion more gallons, or roughly the equivalent of 4.4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Just a couple of years removed from unprecedented declines in water levels – when Lake Erie dropped every month in 2012 and ran as much as 9 inches below normal between May 2012 and June 2013 – its depth ballooned in June and July because of as much as 400 percent more rainfall in some areas of the Great Lakes watershed this spring and summer.
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DiNapoli: Sales Tax Collections Growth Slowed in First Half of 2015

DiNapoli

Lack of Growth Could Mean Fiscal Challenges

Local sales tax collection growth across New York State slowed to 1.6 percent in the first six months of 2015 from 3 percent growth in 2014 and was considerably lower than the 4.2 percent average annual growth over the past 15 years, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

County sales tax collections, excluding all cities, increased only 0.5 percent for the first six months of 2015, with many counties seeing a decline in their collections.

“There has been a general downward trend in sales tax collection growth over the last several years and that is continuing in 2015,” DiNapoli said. “The slow growth in sales taxes could pose fiscal challenges for local governments across New York, especially for counties who rely heavily on sales tax collections to pay their bills.”

New York City’s sales tax collections grew by $91 million, or 2.7 percent in the first half of 2015, accounting for a substantial part of local sales tax growth statewide. Still, the city’s growth rate fell from a 4.8 percent growth rate for the same period in 2014.

The Capital District had the second strongest sales tax growth in the first half of the year at 2 percent. Western New York was next with 1.5 percent growth.

In contrast, sales tax revenue declined in five of the 10 economic regions of the state, with the sharpest decline being in the North Country, which saw a 2.5 percent drop. Also declining were the Southern Tier (1.2 percent), the Mohawk Valley (1.0 percent), the Finger Lakes (0.4 percent) and the Mid-Hudson region (0.4 percent).

Sales tax collections declined in 33 of the 57 counties outside of New York City from the same period in 2014. The largest decline was in Schoharie County, with a 6.1 percent drop. Allegany, Delaware, Lewis and Montgomery counties also had declines of more than 5 percent. In some cases, these declines were due to technical adjustments, which can have a large impact in counties with relatively small populations and retail sectors.

Of the 24 counties that saw sales collections rise, the strongest growth was 8.8 percent in Steuben County. Ulster County had an increase of 8.4 percent, which was due in part to a rate change. Hamilton and Washington counties also saw growth rates of more than 6 percent. Technical adjustments can explain some of these increases.

See the report here, or go to: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/snapshot/localsalestaxcollection0715.pdf

See the County-by-City Table here, or go to: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/snapshot/localsalestaxcollectiontable0715.pdf

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The Lord Expects Us to Share

Nick Langworthy2

I found the following comment on FaceBook from Nick Langworthy, Chairman of the Erie County Republican party:

“$15 unskilled minimum wage would be a $31,200 annual full-time salary. Teachers in a WNY school start at $37,000 with a Masters. It’s Wrong!”

Mr. Longworthy, you are correct and it’s evident that teachers must be paid more.  I agree with you.  Surely you must know many politicians who are grossly overpaid. Nick, have you seen the cost of school supplies?  Be honest.  Could you live the way you presently do on just $31,200?

They are  so many things you do for your family because of your salary.  Just think about taking the family to a movie.  It would cost you at least $30 dollars.  This is a big chunk of change out a minimum workers salary.

Nick, instead of complaining, offer from your bounty to help people who have to live in the dregs of poverty.

I try to live by my LORDS law to help the poor.

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