New Paltz: The Jason West footnote is unveiled

After he was purged by the Party in the 2015 village mayoral election, Jason West assumed immediate footnote status in the local political milieu. The footnote remained unwritten, however,  and just sat out there as a superscript asterisk in the cloud of New Paltz herstory. Jason moved along to saving the Wallkill river, about which I thought, “the poor Wallkill.”

I admit to wanting to like West, even as I now accept that he’s a lifer in The Cause. I was sympathetic when he had to take to the hills of our therapeutic society to be pronounced bipolar. That’s the modern replacement for getting absolution in the confessional. Sins are not forgiven, they’re diagnosed.

Now the text of the footnote is available, as yet another public relations effort on West’s behalf at the Party weekly, the Fidelpaltz Giftshop-Leninist.* It’s in the July 14 Bastille Day edition.

It is a sad pro-forma reach around by the paper’s sports reporter, Rich Corozine. But then what would one expect in a footnote? There aren’t a lot of dispatches in the Giftshop-Leninist that begin with anything remotely like, “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” This is a generic Party town now and the paper conforms to that model.

Fortunately, the piece isn’t available yet at the paper’s online version, so I can’t tempt readers here with a link.

* Known to itself as the New Paltz Times.

Posted in General | Comments Off on New Paltz: The Jason West footnote is unveiled

The price

Bobby Bates was 19 when he was killed in Vietnam in 1967.

He was a neighbor, an older kid down the street, when I was growing up in Suffern, New York.

I remember him every Memorial Day. His death was a great loss to his family, to our town, and to his generation.

As a wide receiver on the Suffern High football team, he once made a great over-the-shoulder catch of a long downfield pass, and I remember that catch. Bobby was one of those older kids who could be looked up to by younger ones like me. I hope that there are enough like him now to see the world along.

Posted in General | Comments Off on The price

New Paltz: Mayor Generic Wants an 80% Raise — Hey, Don’t We All!

Our glorious newspaper of the local revolution, the Fidelpaltz Nytol-Abuser,* reports in a press release from its top public relations man Terence Ward that Mayor Generic wants a $20,000 raise.

So do I! The burdens I bear are enormous, and they constitute a full-time job, in my opinion.

There’s a local ritual that goes something like, “I’m running for office because I think this is an exciting time in New Paltz and I want to have a leadership role in making the best of it. And I’m uniquely qualified for the job!”

No one ever adds, “but hey, when I get there, I’m gonna want more money, pretty quick.” In this case Mayor Generic thought the decent interval was one year before asking for the 80% raise. Contextualizing that just a bit, it was shortly after winning last year’s election that Generic declared the Village Hall a dinosaur and entangled himself in a fairly consuming effort to get village offices into a new, fresh, green building, with the town, at a “joint municipal complex” out on the periphery of the village.

I find that irritatingly presumptuous, but who am I, as I often say to Madam Vandam.

My favorite paragraph is where PR man Ward leaves this quote from Mayor Generic: “It is clearly a full-time job that requires more than a $25,000 annual salary. I would like to see all future mayors paid fairly too so a broader pool may consider applying for the job.”

So it’s a question of fairness, this 80% boost, but when he was a candidate, Generic didn’t raise the fairness of the salary. (Just as he did not mention that the Village Hall was a dinosaur and he wanted a building more suited to his taste.) It’s “clearly” a full-time job? Well, maybe for someone else it would be a part-time job. A good delegator and time manager might handle it very differently. Someone not susceptible to Parkinson’s Law.

If the question is about future mayors, then raise the salary so that it takes effect at the beginning of the next term. If it’s about the pool of applicants, there were four who ran last year, including Generic and the incumbent, the historical celebrity Jason West. How many more candidates should there be?

But I’ll be fair and say go with a mere 40% raise, to $35,000.

An upstate small-village mayor should be a part-timer, and should have another and main source of income. That’s what helps keep things small and ambitions in check.

* Some refer to it as the New Paltz Times.

Posted in General | Comments Off on New Paltz: Mayor Generic Wants an 80% Raise — Hey, Don’t We All!

New Paltz Spring

The wind blew the garbage dumpsters over last night.

It must have been the result of Donald Trump supporters and the people who watch Fox News. (This is the new mimetic contagion sweeping progressive communities everywhere, apparently.)

This is a progressive community, he said, where people share and listen to all points of view, but we don’t want to become a place with people who watch Fox News or attend Trump rallies, because we want to consider and share all points of view.

That reasoning is what I heard from one of the local progressive type people who, as he says, all have open minds to all points of view and let’s not demonize people in a way that creates a chilling effect on their ability to express their views.

Did you see that sieg heil salute that his followers gave Donald Trump? Well, it didn’t happen, but can you at least imagine it? We want all points of view expressed, unlike those who watch Fox News or attend Trump rallies.

I won’t embarrass that idiot by naming him.

Then came the woman who wanted a safe place to dissent, without that chilling effect of actually having to do the actual dissenting. Trust me, she said, it’s nerve-wrenching, to have the chilling fingernails of oppression sunk into your unsafe dissent.

Then there was the town board refusing to even discuss a motion by Jeff Logan by refusing to second it — something that without question was arranged in advance by the four members who sat there silently. This was confirmed when Logan, attempting to discuss his motion after not getting a second, was silenced by a hurried motion to adjourn, which was seconded and passed.

Cowards. Supervisor Generic looked like a fool. The board wanted a safe place from the nasty controversy.

This bears watching.

Posted in General | Comments Off on New Paltz Spring

“The One-Stop Shop for All Your Terror-Sentimentalizing Needs”

Gallows humor from Mark Steyn.

Posted in General | Comments Off on “The One-Stop Shop for All Your Terror-Sentimentalizing Needs”

On Molenbeek

Theodore Dalrymple:

“On my visit to that quarter of Brussels a few years ago, I could see the dangers clearly enough. People like Salah Abdeslam, the terrorist arrested there a few days ago, would swim like a fish in the sea there, to use a Maoist metaphor. Between the sympathetic locals, and the rest of the population—whom they could intimidate into silence—it would be easy for them to hide. This social world is impenetrable to the forces of the state. My informant told me that the Belgian government is unable to collect taxes from businesses there—though it is, apparently, able to distribute social security.”

Posted in General | Comments Off on On Molenbeek

New Paltz: To Pledge or not to Pledge

New Paltz consists of two municipalities, the geographically larger town of New Paltz, within which is the geographically smaller but denser population center, the village of New Paltz. Each has a governing board and under each is a planning board. These planning boards review proposals to build in their respective jurisdictions.

A member of the town planning board, which has seven members, proposed that the board begin each meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Obviously, at the time she made the proposal the board was not reciting the Pledge.

When something like this happens, whether you agree with the proposal or not, I think the rule-of-thumb is to say “sure, why not?” and then take the fifteen seconds at the start of each meeting to recite the Pledge. If anyone feels uncomfortable with that, then he can simply not say it.  He can even roll his eyes and sigh. But he will have not insulted either our homely old Pledge or our country or the person who proposed saying it. This rule-of-thumb can be called the “don’t be impolite about the Pledge” rule. When someone says “let’s say it” and you don’t want to say it, you get to not say it. But anyone who wants to say it gets to say it. This isn’t hard to understand.

What you don’t do, if you’re a member of such a board, is say something like “it’s a waste of time” and then complain that the Pledge includes the phrase “under God” and make a stink about it. That is bad form. The Pledge is the Pledge.

So, the town planning board voted 4-3 not to say the Pledge. The two members who voted “no” but claimed they did so because they did not want to “divide” the board accomplished what? They accomplished a shitstorm.

That’s why my rule-of-thumb — “sure, why not?” — is the way to proceed. Go back and try again. Please, do not make me come to one of those meetings to explain this in person.

Posted in General | Comments Off on New Paltz: To Pledge or not to Pledge

Report from Calais

A disturbing account of life with migrants in Calais, France.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Report from Calais

“Intensification of the struggle”

Tight-lipped liberal women (of both sexes) muttering bien pensant phrases about this or that, who can neither hear nor make real arguments. Sadism as a yoga position.

Posted in General | Comments Off on “Intensification of the struggle”

Jay Nordlinger on Brown U’s secret forum…

…where students go “underground” to discuss politically incorrect issues.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Jay Nordlinger on Brown U’s secret forum…

The triumph of death

Kathryn Lopez reports:

“ABC’s prime-time show Scandal had lead character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), D.C. “fixer,” at work. After encouraging the ex-wife of her boyfriend, the president, to finish the filibuster she had begun on Christmas Eve to stand up for continued funding for Planned Parenthood, the flagship of the abortion industry, Olivia went in for her own abortion. The background music for the scene was the Christmas hymn “Silent Night.”

“‘Heavenly hosts sing ‘Alleluia,’ you heard Aretha Franklin sing, as the abortion began.'”

Posted in General | Comments Off on The triumph of death

Is the Daily Serf being raped by a hacker?

The Daily Serf (known to itself as the Daily Freeman) out of Kingston, N.Y. appears to be running a sick political cartoon against its will.

The cartoon first appeared, as best as I can tell, in the online edition of the Serf the day before the murders in Paris. It keeps bobbing around the editorial page, disappearing and reappearing, here and there, and showing up in the top spot.

It’s an utterly contemptible and idiotic cartoon, suggesting moral equivalence between ISIS beheadings and U.S. drone attacks on terrorists. While that kind of stupidity is not unknown along the Woodstock-New Paltz axis, the identity of the author of the cartoon is not clear and is accompanied by no signature or identification of its classification — it’s not a “letter” to the editor, for instance. And I’m fairly certain that it’s nothing that the editors of the Serf would hang up there as their choice of cartoon.

I could get in touch with the managing editor and ask him about it, but I don’t want to embarrass him, if in fact his online edition has been invaded by a hacker and he can’t do anything about it. The cartoon has been up and down on that page for over a week now. Even more embarrassing, of course, would be if the editors are intentionally running it.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Is the Daily Serf being raped by a hacker?

John Kerry

Not since Sonny Bono hit the tree skiing has there been a mess like John Kerry as SecState.

Posted in General | Comments Off on John Kerry

New Paltz: My negligence

As always, I feel terrible at having missed a half dozen, at least, important political events, happenings, meetings, and things otherwise uncategorizable. I am negligent in my local duties, as I see them.

There was the flap over whether or not the town planning board would say the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings. Now, do I want to explore that and have a good time with it? Oh, yes. Will I? No. Not yet. First I want to finish my platter of vegan chocolates and then throw up.

There was the strange closing down of a newer favorite among local pub restaurants — Shea O’Brien’s. It was the place I could get Mr. Rizzi to go to, so that would make it one of a kind.

There was the sad loss of a longtime manager of the now long gone Ariel bookstore, Dan Schmidt. He and I were not friends but he was one of those people who characterized the downtown for decades.

There was an election, where the generics won again. We now have a generic mayor in the village and a generic supervisor for the town. And my theory is that that is the result of having an increasingly generic population. Generics, of course, are not really individuals, not in the American sense of the word, and so of course they are all reflexively Progs — Progressives, with a natural standpoint that maintains a good distance between themselves and reality, and you don’t have to listen to them to know what will be coming out of their mouths. Watching them do government is like being the faculty advisor to the student council. The self-importance of the self-anointed playahs always with an eye on blueprints for their pyramids. Now it’s going to be the “joint government complex” out by the decommissioned town hall. (It’s Zimet’s idea, and though a Prog, she’s no generic, but it’s the generics she’ll be leaving it to as she departs…)

And I missed town council member Jeff Logan getting into a the-police-were-called dispute with former village trustee Ariana Basco. The issue was Logan’s campaign signs, which had been plucked from the ground. He found them leaning against Basco’s house. I’ve always thought that Logan was smart, but now I’m starting to like his capacity for getting into trouble. (As my friend the Mad Scientist used to say about me, “when he drinks Jack Daniels, he fights,” so I appreciate a knack for trouble when I see it.) Last time out Logan got taped being really really mean to council member Tom Ripley, really mean, and Tom reported Logan to the principal’s office.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’ve been so negligent that I can’t dredge it up. Does anyone happen to know a good entry point for the Millbrook Preserve? Madam Vandam wants to take a look at it.

Posted in General | Comments Off on New Paltz: My negligence


The cloud of terror descends. It’s a variant of the fog of war. A photograph flits across the bulb, and that, say the news readers and the cut line at the bottom, is the “mastermind” of the mass killing. This time it was someone last seen driving a truck or a van full of corpses, to be delivered to a mass grave. I think the site of the supposed grave was in Syria. He had a big happy grin on his face.

No matter. Masterminds are a dime a dozen these days. Before the “JV” broke out in Iraq and captured Mosul there wasn’t a great deal of talk about ISIS. There was some, but it was more or less suppressed. The news queue is always tight. Just a little less tight than the great national attention span.

Our own Mastermind, speaking from Turkey yesterday, claimed that he was carefully heeding the advice of his military and intelligence advisors. What about that advice about leaving a contingency force in Iraq in 2011? (Roll out those “Booosh did it” excuses here, you sorry morons.) That was some advice that went unheeded. That contingency force that would have the backs of Iraqi forces, with forward on-ground air controllers and air support. I think the old cliché for that is “nipping it in the bud.” As in, you want to nip the “JV” in the budding stage, before it even becomes the “JV” (easily the most laughably glib term our Mastermind has ever used for anything; right up there with his description of his close friend Bill Ayers, a terrorist in his own right, as “some guy in the neighborhood”).

Then, after not heeding that contingency force advice, came the intelligence about the building threat of ISIS, glibly dismissed, again. In other words, he knew what was coming because his military and intelligence advisors were telling him.

But this is all academic now. Jonah Goldberg writes this morning about the new British Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, under the header “Loyal Opposition as Fifth Columnist.” Well, there’s been a lot of that fifth column stuff going around.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Paris

Stanley Kurtz on Bernie Sanders on Eugene Debs

I’m very happy that Sanders has come along. He has corralled in one place the unashamed political and economic illiterates, largely among American whites, along with the malicious haters of America and freedom, not to mention the haters of prosperity. He does mix some lies with truth, as do all socialist warriors. For instance, he’s part of an international movement but pretends that he’s an economic nationalist, because he sees how free trade ideology and multilateral trade agreements bargain away American sovereignty and squeeze the life out of the American workforce. It’s a good theme for him, but by the time he would be done with the American economy bad trade agreements would be the least of its problems.

Stanley has a good time with him.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Stanley Kurtz on Bernie Sanders on Eugene Debs