Fundies in a Bunch - Paul Fallon
Tillman Critic Trounced - Matt Taibbi
Bush's Archival Ambitions - Al Uthman
War is Lost - William Rivers Pitt
9 of 10 Iraqis Prefer US Abuse - Stephen Borchert
Abuse Defender's Funpage!
Ask Ariel Sharon
News in Briefs
Sports Blotter - Matt Taibbi
Kino Korner - movies
Separated at Birth???
[sic] - your letters
Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth
Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notely
Unbalanced Load - Darren Longo
Personified Object - Ian Hunter
Baby Steps Review Cubby
NEWS IN BRIEFS
ECMC Scam, er, Plan - We are really fucked if this thing goes through. Joel Giambra and the Erie County Legislature have dollar signs in their eyes with some cockamamie plan to change ECMC from a public hospital into a nonprofit public
corporation. Itís basically switching words on a piece of paper and will allow ECMC to partner with private physician groups and health care organizations, something which is restricted under state law. Much ado about nothing except this also allows Erie County to borrow a
whopping $106 million on the hospital and use $85 million of it to cover county debts. Giambra claims thatís how much ECMC owes the county in the same way he tells us Medicare eats up all our property taxes, a grand statement without any facts provided.In short, ECMC will be
mortgaged to make this yearsí budget look good, a desperate move destined to fail in the long run. Under the plan being considered, the county will have thirty years to pay the loan back, so taxpayers will be left holding the bill long after our current crop of politicians are
dead and gone. This solves the countyís short-term financial situation but the future consequences for city healthcare will be devastating. As a public hospital, ECMC is filled with patients that can't afford private care and the hospital gets a pittance from the federal
government through Medicaid which is the reason it runs the red every year. So instead of addressing this issue the proposal opts for short-term politically motivated fix.. For all that money there ought to be some serious consideration being given to the future of ECMC, not just
a $19 million dollar bone thatíll be swallowed whole. So the hospital will get a brand new legal structure with the same old problems and no thought given to fixing any of them. How will this "plan" bring in droves of private practitioners who will revitalize the
facility? Who knows! The county will more than likely hire one of Joel's public relations/marketing campaign donors and give them a big contract to lure affluent suburbanites into the filthy dungeon that is ECMC. ECMC is old and run down, full of poor people, medical students,
and nursing home patients, thereís no profit to be made without some real visionary thinking of the hospitalsí future role in the community. Apparently foresight takes too much time in Erie County, this deal went down in secret during the short weeks leading up to Christmas.
Look for ECMC to run up a truly mind boggling debt in the coming years, double or triple the initial $106 million, and eventually close down, leaving county taxpayers with a huge debt and minus one hospital. Itís amazing how such a complex piece of legislation gets slapped
together in less than thirty days, yet a restaurant canít get a simple smoking ban waiver for nine months and counting. This one is big, and itís sliding under the radar- feels like thereís nothing but zombies inhabiting Erie County, the placid, bovine variety, and not the
ravenous, pissed off, flesh-eating dead people we ought to be.
Bass Pro Lures - Break out those fishing poles, kiddies, because an $80 million red carpetís been rolled out to lure Bass Pro into downtown Buffalo. Thatís right, the
"projected" $105 million idea got a big boost from the Empire State Development Corporation who, never mind not having a state budget or anything, are working on a package comprised of federal dollars (money set aside for the Adelphia building that never went up),
"unspecified state sources" (no idea!), and of course, loans to the city and County on the future tax revenue of the site. None of itís binding so for now itís just hot air, Bass Pro hasnít even decided this is something they want to do, theyíre still doing
research (and hopefully not testing the local fish for radiation). If it happens, great, but citizens really need to watch this thing because it sounds all too familiar: a legitimate business is proposed, the city or the county or both mortgage the assets before anythingís
built, things start off in the red, continue losing money while running up giant bills, then one day the doors close and everyone involved magically disappears, leaving taxpayers to pay for it all. Hopefully itíll be more like Dunn Tire Park or HSBC Arena, beautiful but
underused county facilities weíre still paying for instead of getting them to pay for themselves like every other community in the country does. Thatís the bait to get Bass Pro in here, your money, and itís going to redecorate the Aud. It would cost far less to tear it down
and build a real 21st Century structure but what we have here is a good olí construction project smack dab in the middle of downtown Buffalo! This opportunity only comes once every few administrations so watch that projected budget skyrocket while the politicians and
businessmen gorge themselves like rabid piranha. At least, if it gets built weíll all become fishing aficionados and nine thousand years from now our descendants can enjoy eating what they catch in Lake Erie.
Manís Inhumanity To Deer - What happens when a deer collides with a car on Route 20 and survives the accident? Well if youíre the Town of Aurora highway department you put on a real show for
bystanders and run the squealing, squirming vermin over with one of them new fangled Hi-Lift construction machines a few times! This technique is being field tested in a few redneck counties and itís certainly a novel alternative to cops just shooting the darn thing in the head
and putting it out of itís misery. According to the story theyíve cooked up to appease the SPCA crowd (who certainly know more about putting pets to death than anyone else in the world besides Chinese peasants), the Hi Lift was called in because State Police deemed the area,
a bank parking lot, too dangerous to chance a bullet ricochet. The plan was to gently hoist the injured animal onto a flatbed and truck it out to a less dangerous place for gunfire when another horrific accident took place: the Hi Lift ran over the dying deer not once but twice,
a mistake blamed on "operator error". Witnesses claim otherwise, it seems more like some Billy Bob thought he was being funny. Weíre no strangers to running construction equipment and anyone operating heavy machinery with forks on the front who keeps running over what
heís supposed to be picking up gets his ass kicked first and fired second. Just hearing this awful story has caused us severe pain and mental anguish- Cellino and Barnes, where are you?í
Budget Cuts - Decades of fiscal mismanagement, graft, and shameless corruption have finally come back to haunt us. Our debts are insanely outrageous and weíll be paying them off for many, many years under a state authorized control board because our politicians and
bureaucrats screwed us to the wall. Where the hell did all the money go? Supporting a degenerate bunch of swine whoíve used the political system to bleed taxpayers dry, making bankers and developers and politicians rich men while ordinary people struggle to get something
positive going in Buffalo. In this climate Mayor Masiello released his budget and what do you know? Property taxes are going up four percent, permits and fees are increasing, including a 20% bump on garbage collection and things like those pesky $50 parking tickets you keep
getting. In a ridiculous cost cutting move the entire Olmstead Park System will be absorbed by Erie County this summer, otherwise there isnít a single dime for the city to run it come June. Our parks are something you would think any Mayor of Buffalo would fight forever to
keep, Big Tony spent so much money rebuilding it, but no, theyíre the first goddamn thing to go and itís pretty sad. Now the same guy who runs a crooked Highway Department among others we havenít heard about yet, joker Joel Giambra, fresh from his massive furniture buying
spree, will takeover a giant piece of the city with the potential to rob it blind as he is wont to do. Itís a contentious bombshell, City Finance Commissioner James Milroy threw a fit and walked out of a recent Common Council meeting when Marc Coppola refused to let him speak
out on the record against the plan. The only good news is the city is at long last cutting some fucking jobs. Many of the positions being terminated are vacant, whatís known as "plum" jobs, you know, for people like scumbag Michael Muscarella. Whatís ironic is that
our garbage costs didnít cause these financial woes, nor did our property values, certainly not in a place where the population is fleeing, but these are the easiest targets to start milking cash from. What caused the problem is do nothing political patronage jobs, a tax base
hijacked to the suburbs and a slew of stupid decisions (the Skyway, the 198, UB and the Bills moving away, etcetera. The bottom line is our public administration needs to be depoliticized across the board with an emphasis on paying the service providers and the needless pencil
pushers. We can't let politicians steal our tax dollars to pay for some asshole sitting on the Water Authority at $80,000 a year plus a car, or any other no-show, bullshit jobs, but so far the only people getting fired are the bottom-feeders in this horribly corrupt pyramid
scheme. Masiello calls it "painful for everybody" because he doesnít have the honor to do the right thing: bring some accountability to local government. We guess the city is about medium rare right now, just getting a hint of the fire, but donít worry, this place
will be a hardened lump of shit before the barbecueís over.
Shitty Schools Not News! - Buffaloís Business First released its annual list of the best area school districts in terms of overall academic achievement and, surprise, surprise, some goddamn suburban school ran off with the award! The Buffalo School District ranked 97th
overall, not too bad considering it would have been lower if more schools were reviewed; thank god they stopped when they did. A half billion-dollar budget and Buffalo schools barely crack a hundred, thatís seriously retarded. For that kind of money NASAís playing Robot Wars
on Mars while Buffaloís education system sucks up cash like a black hole and has nothing to show for it. Good thing public schools and charter schools are at war with each other and everyoneís salary just got frozen by the control board and the teachers unionís going nuts,
this is just the sort of motivation everyone needs to get kids learning! I guess what we need is to spend more money on bloated administration payrollsóthe kids are too dumb to save, anyway, right?
Metaphor Comes to Life - Weíre no strangers to guns on occasion, but thankfully not this one. A Drug Enforcement Agent shot himself in the leg while conducting a gun safety class in
Orlando, Florida late in April. With over fifty observers watching, the Narc ejected the clip of his .40 caliber automatic handgun, pulled back the slide and asked an audience member to confirm the chamber was empty. Guess he asked the wrong guy, because upon releasing the slide
a bullet exploded into his thigh, ending the class prematurely. Itís a perfect example of why idiots shouldnít handle guns, especially if theyíre cops; a few misfires here and thereís not TOO big a deal, but shooting yourself in the leg while conducting a gun safety class
is. Just think of the office jokes this putz will have to endure for the rest of his life.