icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Does The World Really Need Another Blog?

THE WORLD'S DISPOSSESSED

 
     There are many groups of displaced persons in the world in need of help, and I'd like to highlight two of them.
 
Vive Refugee Shelter
  
     When, more than 30 years ago, the U.S. tightened its rules on granting asylum, Buffalo began attracting refugees seeking to enter Canada, which was more welcoming to those fleeing war, crime and poverty. However, the process required that they wait in Buffalo for extended periods before being allowed to cross the border.


     As their numbers grew, Women Religious communities converted one of their convents in Lackawanna, NY into a housing facility called "Vive La Casa". It provided shelter to the refugees as they waited to be accepted into Canada. Vive La Casa eventually moved into a former school building at 50 Wyoming Avenue, in Buffalo, where it still operates today.


     In March 2015, Jericho Road Community Health Center assumed operations of Vive La Casa, and it became known simply as "Vive". It became clear that the facility on Wyoming Ave. lacked space to meet the needs of the residents—which include medical, educational, vocational, mental health and many other services—so Jericho Road began a capital campaign to complete the purchase and renovation of a larger property.

    
     Thus far, with the support of the Scott Bieler Foundation, the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, the Rich Family Foundation and other major donors they have raised more than half of their $6 million dollar goal.


     Now is the time for the Buffalo community, which calls itself  the "City of Good Neighbors", to step up and contribute to the effort.  Donations of $10, $25, $50 or more can truly make a difference.

  
     On the right side of this page you can find links both to Jericho Road and to their Vive Capital Campaign. Click on either of these to learn more about the work they do, and how you  can contribute to their efforts.
 
Ukraine
 
     I've written in the past about the need to help Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by the war.  That war is now entering a critical stage, one in which the possibility of a Ukraine victory seems to grow each day. Their success on the battlefield owes much to the leadership of Zalensky, the character of the Ukrainian people, and the contribution of arms from the U.S. and European governments.


     Still, the needs of the millions of Ukrainians who have been displaced by the war, or who chose to remain in war zones, remain critical, and it's primarily up to us—private citizens—to fund these efforts.


     When the war first broke out there was a flood of donations to help the Ukrainians charities, but now, as time has passed, many (and I'll be the first to admit it I'm one) forgot about their needs.

 
     On the right side of the page you'll find a link to "Charity Navigator", which provides a list of fully vetted charities who are working on this problem, all of whom would appreciate your help.
 
As always, thanks for reading this far.

Be the first to comment

THE LIV GOLF TOUR

 
LIV is the name of a new golf tour created by the Saudi government, one that is attracting a few of the best known players in the world.
 
It's eerily ironic that the Saudis picked the name "LIV", because if you pronounce it with either the short or long "i" sound, it becomes the word, "live".
 
Ironic in that this new tournament is one more blatant attempt by the Saudis to "sportswash" blood from their hands, blood left there by the murder and dismemberment of an American journalist, a crime directly ordered by MBS, the Saudi Crown Prince. 
 
But, in fact, it's more mundane. "LIV" represents the Roman Numerals for the number "54", which is the number of holes played in the Saudi tournaments, as opposed to the 72 holes which make up every other professional golf tournament.
 
So, how did the LIV Tour come about?
 
The Saudis paid millions to Greg Norman, a former star player, to create a new tour that they hoped would soon be stocked with major stars, all part of their ongoing efforts to whitewash ("sportswash") their reputation in the international community.  The hope was that sports fans would overlook the repressive, barbaric nature of the Crown Prince's rule.

 

The Saudi's have spent billions on soccer, tennis and other international sporting events trying to distract us from a regime that murders its critics, imprisons homosexuals, and denies women the right to live lives outside of the government and their husband's control.
 
 The LIV Tour differs from other professional golf tours, and was designed to entice professionals to join it in significant ways, including:
 
-       Each tournament consists of 54 holes and lasts only three days, not 72 holes played over four days like other professional tournaments.
-       The winners receive $4+ million dollars, compared to the $1 – $2 million typical of PGA events.


-       The LIV field consists of only 48 players, compared to the typical PGA event, which has three times as many competitors, making the LIV tournament much easier to win.


-       Unlike other tours, the LIV event has no "cut"—i.e., after the initial rounds no low ranking players are eliminated from the tournament's final days.


-       Every player gets paid something, even the last place finisher, who "wins" $120,000.  In PGA events those who don't make the cut receive nothing, and last place finishers typically receive $10 – 20,000.


In addition to larger payouts for tournament competitors, more famous players—like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau—were paid anywhere from $50 to 200 million dollars each simply to join the  LIV tour. So, regardless of how well they play, or where they finish, they're paid even more.  
 
Pretty good money, eh?
 
Blood money, most would call it.
 
The LIV Tour's strategy of overpaying players is a faulty one. They assume that golf fans care more about watching events full of big name players, even though they are nothing more than exhibitions.  When some players have already banked millions just for showing up, and everyone is guaranteed to win at least $120,000, regardless of how well or poorly they play, where's the competition?  Where's the excitement in that?
 
Of course, money doesn't matter to Greg Norman or the Saudis who created the LIV tour. They're not in it to make a profit. And there's no way that they can, because no reputable broadcast or cable TV network would touch them with a ten foot pole, and TV money is what pays the freight in professional golf.
 
Nope, their only goal is to divert us from thinking about their crimes against humanity.
 
I can only speak for myself, but I find it much more compelling to watch a PGA or LPGA tournament in which young, unknown players are competing against the best in the game, fighting to win for the first time, knowing that a win will change his or her life or forever.  Winning that first one assures the player of eligibility for two more years on tour, and access to the highest paid and most visible events—like The Masters, the US Open, and others.
 
It's even exciting to watch one of your favorite players struggle on Friday to make a birdie putt that gets them over the cut line and into the last two days of the tournament.  More than once we've seen that same player shoot low scores on Saturday and Sunday and go on to win the tournament.


THAT'S competition, exciting, and something you'll never see in one of the LIV Tour's exhibitions, where there is no cut, and everyone's a winner.
 
Everyone but MBS, that is.
 
There's no amount of sportswashing that will ever redeem the reputation of that murderous thug.

 

As always, thanks for reading this far.
 
 

1 Comments
Post a comment

Pro Choice AND Anti-abortion?

 
     Well, I thought I could ignore this issue, one so heavily laden with emotion that it makes rational discussion difficult, but Friday's decision by the Trump/McConnell-packed Supreme Court has forced my hand.
 
     The title of the post poses the question: is it possible to be both pro-choice and anti-abortion at the same time?
 
     The answer from this corner is "yes".
 
     I believe it's a reasonable stance—i.e., we as a people don't have an unlimited right to tell women what to do with their bodies, but as individuals we can choose not to have, or to be an active participant in an abortion.
 
     When I use the phrase "unlimited right", I'm positing that we the people do have some rights in the matter—specifically, to limit the right to abortion at the point the fetus is able to survive outside the womb—the so-called "viability" standard that was correctly used in the original Roe decision.
 
     The point of viability, in my and other's opinion, is also the point at which a fetus gains "personhood", with the resulting legal right to be protected from harm.
 
     Abortion opponents argue that human life begins at the point of conception—when a sperm successfully joins with an egg. The result is a zygote—a single celled organism.  While one may rightly claim that a zygote is a "form of human life", it's difficult for me to understand how a single celled organism can ever be thought of as a person.
 
     Webster (not that a dictionary should be the final arbiter in the matter) defines person as "- the body of a human being…also…the personality of a human being". 
 
     It seems to me that a single celled organism, even if appropriately categorized as a "form of human life", in no way meets this definition.  But a fetus that, after 20 – 24 weeks, has matured into a complex, bodily form that can survive outside the womb, does. That is the point at which the state acquires a reasonable right to intervene to protect the life of this "person" from harm.
 
     Conversely, before the point of viability, before the zygote/fetus has reached "personhood", it's clear that the only one who should have the right to decide what happens to this immature form of life is the woman within whose body it resides. It is her decision, and her decision alone.
 
    This past Friday four men, and a woman who belongs to a cult-like, Catholic religious community, cherry-picked a series of historical references to justify overturning what had been the law of the land for nearly 50 years—and take away the right of a woman to decide what happens inside her own body.
 
    And it won't stop here.
 
     One of these men boldly stated that this ill-formed opinion is only the beginning. He announced that, if he has his way, all the rights to privacy in our sexual lives will be the next to fall. Your right to marry someone of your choosing, married couples' right to use birth control to decide when or if to have children, and the right to have private, consensual sexual relations with anyone you choose, may soon be gone. 

 

     And all because of a far right Supreme Court that is woefully out of step with the majority of citizens of these United States.
 


   As always, thanks for reading this far. 
 
 
 
 

6 Comments
Post a comment

MASS SHOOTINGS: SMALL SOLUTIONS


I don't need to repeat the details of what's happened over the last two weeks in my hometown of Buffalo and in Texas, but a couple of simple solutions seem obvious, at least to me.
 
Bear with me while I preach to the choir.
 
The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, included an amendment to the Constitution to assure that, in the event we were attacked by a FOREIGN power, local militias (groups of citizens armed with single shot muskets) were guaranteed the right to keep their arms at the ready.
 
Skip ahead 235 years and we find that the Republican Supreme Court has  translated that clear language into a much broader guarantee: anyone now has the constitutional right to walk into a store and buy a high capacity, military weapon designed to do only one thing: kill people.
 
So, I ask you:
 
1)   Does the 2nd Amendment also guarantee the right to purchase a bazooka?  Of course it doesn't. That is considered a "weapon of war." Well then, what is a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine that holds 30 bullets and can be swapped out in a few seconds?

 

It's not needed for hunting. It's not needed for target shooting. It's for one thing, and one thing only--killing.  People (even tiny ones).

 

These weapons should be illegal, and for a time they were. But then Republicans regained Congress, and the ban on them was allowed to expire.


2)   In Buffalo, the only reason a brave retired Buffalo policeman who confronted the shooter failed to take him down (but did delay him, at the cost of his life, from killing more African-Americans) was the fact that the shooter wore body armor.  It's easily available on the internet. Why?


Why would any law abiding citizen need such a thing? By law it should only be available to law enforcement and the military. Isn't that obvious?

 

Having said all that, you and I know that these two changes will never come to pass, and why that is.

 

Thanks, NRA.
 
After the Texas massacre I wrote to the head of our local gun rights chapter, asking him about the first item above. He did not reply. I wrote again, suggesting that we get together and talk about it ("I'll buy the coffee." I said), but still no reply.
 
He's not just a coward.  He's a coward clinging to his gun.

 

Thanks for reading this far.

 

4 Comments
Post a comment

TWO POETS WALK INTO A BAR

Two Poets Walked Into A Bar…
 
There isn't a punchline to follow, but there is a story that may be worth telling.


The two poets—one very famous and one less so—got snookered in that bar (the now defunct Beef & Ale on Main St.), and stumbled back to the apartment I shared with the less famous one. They woke me up, sounding as if they were about to come to blows, arguing over a single word in a poem, one that had something to do with…well, you'll find out.
 
But I jumped ahead.
 
I was 19 and attending UB's night school when I took a class from the Lessor Poet (LP) and we connected. When a spare bedroom opened up in his apartment directly across from campus, I couldn't turn it down.  I'd left Niagara U after one wasted year there and was back living at home, so I jumped at the chance to get out on my own.

 

Living with the LP had its ups and downs.

 

On the upside, he was a warm, gentle soul and a very good poet. He encouraged my writing and we spent a lot of time together.  I learned much from him about writing, and how to drink gin straight on the rocks (not sure if that was an up or a down).

 

On the downside, the LP had some…um…issues, that resulted in his coming home after a night out with his face bloodied, his glasses broken and his wallet missing. Once he was deep in his cups, he had a habit of coming on to the wrong  people, who took strong exception to his advances. While he always respected my heterosexuality, and didn't cross any lines, it was painful to see someone I liked and admired continue to make the same mistake over and over again.

 

Still, we had some interesting times together.

 

Accompanying him and another UB poet to a reading the LP gave in Fredonia, everything was normal…until it wasn't. The reading went well, and it was the after party that set things in motion. We accepted a toke or two from the obligatory proffered joints, thinking nothing of it. But… whoa!  Once back in the car, driving the 60 miles up the NYS Thruway, things took a dark turn, literally.

 

I was in the passenger seat next to the driver, and for the life of me I don't know how he kept that car on the road. It was clear that someone at that party had  spiked our drinks or the joint with a psychedelic substance. I thought that if he was half as stoned as I was, we'd likely die, or worse, get pulled over by State Troopers, who have never been known for their support of the arts. Every curve in the road gave the impression that we were about to drive off a cliff. That short trip (no pun intended) seemed to last forever, and I didn't relax until we arrived home safely.
 
But back to those Two Poets.
 
The more famous of the two was a man named Robert Bly.
 
In a career that began with his first book of poetry in 1962 and went on for the next 50 years, Bly became famous not only for his poetry and prose, but for his political stance against the Viet Nam war, and for his translations of and support for poets from other nations.


He won the 1968 National Book Award for a book of poetry, but his most popular book was a work of prose entitled Iron John: A Book About Men.  Published in 1990, it spent 62 weeks on the NY Times Best Seller List and helped popularize a movement intended to help men connect spiritually with their lost masculine identity. The movement included therapeutic workshops and wilderness retreats, often using Native American rituals such as drumming, chanting and sweat lodges (something Fox News' Tucker Carlson would endorse today).
 

But let's cut to the chase.
 
In 1968 Bly was in Buffalo for a reading and afterwards he, the LP and I headed to the Beef & Ale, where they stayed long after I'd gone home to bed. Fueled by drink, they returned to our apartment, where the LP read Bly his latest poem.

 

Apparently Bly, a very large man with a booming voice, had concerns about the poem, and they centered on one word that occurred multiple times. They argued back and forth over this word until Bly summarized his objection in a voice that woke me from a sound sleep.

 

"Goddam it, (LP)!" he shouted, "There's too much semen in this poem!  You've got to clean it up!"
 
And so it is that my last memory of meeting Robert Bly, who went on to become the poet laureate of his home state of Minnesota, and who died last November at the age of 94, was that thunderous voice complaining about too much sperm in his colleague's poem.  


 
As always, thanks for reading this far.
 

1 Comments
Post a comment

Podcasts I Have Known & Loved

     In a recent post about Ukraine I included a link to Ezra Klein's interview with Fiona Hill.  It got me thinking about podcasts I listen to regularly, and I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

 

     I won't include links to them because you can use any Android or Apple smartphone or tablet to search for them by name and then listen, and if you wish, subscribe.

     

     I'm certain everyone knows what a podcast is, but here's a brief overview:
 
     Podcasts, which might be thought of simply as radio shows you can download and save on your phone or computer, have exploded since 2004 when the first known one was created. It's now estimated that there are 4.2 MILLION of them floating out there in cyberspace.

     

     They come in all shapes and sizes, from segments of broadcast news programs, to serialized novels and true crime stories, to podcasts that include visual material—slides and video. But I believe the most common format still involves interviews and monologues.
     

     Many (most?) podcasts are free to download, paid for by sponsors or by the inclusion of commercial advertisements, while some are based on a paid subscription model. There are also "hybrid" models, where the basic podcast is free with ads, but additional content and/or an ad-free version is available for a monthly fee.
     

     I first became aware of podcasts via Mark Maron's "WTF" (it stands for exactly what you think) in which he interviews movie stars, musicians, politicians—including President Obama—and  others. Maron's podcast gained fame, and  helped spread the word about podcasts, by his ability to get his subjects to open up about the most intimate details of their lives (the coolest President ever wasn't one of those who did). WTF is currently airing (if that's the proper term for something that doesn't actually go over the air) its 1,330th episode. I've since moved on from WTF, and have a number of other podcasts that I listen to regularly.
 
The Ezra Klein Show


     This is easily my favorite.
     Ezra, who focuses on politics and world events, started out as a blogger, became a frequent talking head on MSNBC, then moved to the NY Times. He writes a column for them, and has a weekly podcast as well. He is easily the best prepared interviewer in the business, and he and his staff do intensive research on the subjects and guests he has on.

     One smart cookie.
 
"Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!"


     This podcast is a replay of a weekly NPR radio show that airs on Saturday mornings. The format is simple. The host, Peter Sagar, and a panel of three comedians/commentators dissect the week's news events with humor, and it is FUNNY. And I mean—laugh out  loud funny.

     The hour long show also includes a guest of some prominence who is forced to play a Q&A game called "Not My Job" where they are asked about a subject that has nothing to do with whatever it is that brought them fame.
     The show has advertisements, but my iPhone has a little > button that allows me to skip ahead in 30 second increments, so I avoid them. 
     (PS. "Wait, Wait" is often performed in front of an audience, and this week's show airs from Shea's Buffalo Theater here in town.)
 
To The Best of Our Knowledge


     This podcast comes from Wisconsin Public Radio, and its hosts cover a wide-ranging list of subjects using interviews with experts in the field and/or people who have experienced the events being discussed. The titles of recent episodes will give you a flavor of their range: "Plants As Persons", "Secrets of Alchemy", "Taking Pop Seriously" and "Searching For Order In The Universe."

     It's intelligent and thoughtful, and one you need to pay close attention to as you listen.
 
Fresh Air


     Another famous interview podcast, Fresh Air stars Terry Gross (who, coincidentally, attended the University of Buffalo). Gross's podcast pre-dates WTF, and she is admired as one of the best interviewers out there. I myself am not a huge fan—she sometimes she seems unprepared, and too often interrupts her guests—but her guest list is pretty amazing. If there's anything of interest going on in society at the moment, you can be sure that Fresh Air will bring in the right guest to talk about it.  
 
The Axe Files


     This interview podcast stars David Axelrod, who was Obama's chief campaign strategist and a Senior Advisor during much of their time in the White House.  As you might expect from a political consultant, Axelrod's guests come from the ranks of politicians and print and television journalists. He doesn't play political favorites. His guests come from both ends of the political spectrum.

     He has a nice way of introducing us to his guests by exploring their life story in detail before diving in to his questions. 


Sarah Silverman


     Sarah, a self-proclaimed potty-mouthed comedian and committed progressive, has a simple format to her podcast. It consists of a brief monologue on what's happening in her world—from something as mundane as a silly argument with her boyfriend to the tragic loss of a close friend—and then segues into callers' voicemails. The calls generally involve someone asking her for personal relationship advice, or questions about show business and Sarah's life as a comedian.
     While Sarah is the first to admit she isn't a trained therapist, there's always something straightforward and wise about her responses to people's problems. She appears to be thinking out loud, and isn't shy about doubting the value of her own advice even as she's giving it. Yet, by the end of her response you realize she just nailed it again.
     Two warnings: 1) she really is often X-rated; and 2) the podcast gets bogged down by commercials that can last 2+ minutes at a time. But there's always that skip-ahead button to let you avoid the worst of them. 
 
Hope you'll check out one of the above.  And let me know if you have other favorite podcasts you'd recommend.
 
And, as always, thanks for reading this far.

Be the first to comment

Michigan Senator Fights Back Against LGBTQ Discrimination

Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow was accused of being a "groomer" of children and a pedophile by one of her female, Republican colleagues in a sleazy fundraising email. 

 

She refused to take it lying down.
 
See and hear for yourself (and notice that she looks directly to her accuser as she speaks):
 

https://twitter.com/MalloryMcMorrow/status/1516453738403143681?s=20&t=Ruy0DM1xhHbF08eb7F8Qdg

 

 

1 Comments
Post a comment

Ukraine: Dark Clouds & Silver Linings

There's litle I can add to the condemnation of Putin (and his American enablers: T***p, Tucker Carlson, Fox News, et al) regarding the torture and killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine.  It's a dark time. Not just for Ukraine, but for the world. But there may be an unexpected silver lining in these dark clouds.


Putin's invasion, successful or not, will have far reaching global effects, especially in terms of the availability of food (wheat and other grains) for populations in the Middle East and Africa already at risk of famine. Ukraine is the breadbasket of much of the world, and farmers can't go into their fields if they're full of mines left or they're under fire from retreating Russian troops. 


For more about the broader impact of the invasion, listen to the podcast where Ezra Klein interviews Fiona Hill, the most knowledgeable U.S. Russian expert we have. Hill sketches out a dark future, one in which global famine  becomes a reality, and offers a sobering view of what is to come from a war where Putin refuses to recognize the integrity of an independent nation. It kept me up long into the night.

 
But is there a reason for hope? Is there possibly a silver lining somewhere within these dark clouds?


Perhaps.


First, as you've seen in the reporting on the Ukrainian army, it's holding its own against Putin's best. The most recent success was their sinking of his flagship in the Black Sea. That ship not only sent cruise missiles into Ukraine, it also provided air cover for their bombers, and was their center for command & control. The Ukrainians are fighting for their lives, and doing a damned good job of it.


Secondly , the only way Putin can finance his war and prop up the Russian economy against the West's economic sanctions, is through the sale of fossil fuels.  Proceeds from gas and oil sales are paying for the bombs which rain down on hospitals, schools, train stations and apartment buildings in Ukraine, and for the bullets being put into the heads of civilians.


But this has led Europe to an "ah-ha" moment in re: to their dependency on Russian fossil fuels. They are now working, with our help, to wean themselves off the Russian oil/gas teat, and finding new sources of energy, including renewables. Europeans are well ahead of America in using renewable, non-fossil fuel sources of energy to stem the climate tsunami that is coming from rising global temperatures and, hopefully, impetus from the Ukrainian war will result in their moving even faster in this direction.

 
In light of this, I believe that, though we feel our hearts breaking at visions of civilians being bound and executed by Russian soldiers, the world is being given an opportunity to do both the honorable and the good thing by cutting off fossil fuel sales from Putin's regime, while at the same time, finding ways to wean ourselves off fossil fuels FOREVER.


Europe and progressive states in the U.S. are working toward a goal of saving the earth for our grandchildren (sorry, folks, it's already too late for our children), but too many Americans act as if there were no crisis, as if Mother Nature will somehow pull us out of this hell of wildfires and floods that are becoming second nature.


But what can one person do?


It's got me considering two things: heat pumps and electric vehicles.
Heat pumps are an efficient way to use the earth's stable below ground temperature to heat and cool our homes.  At the bottom of this post I'll share some links to information on this technology and what it can do for you. And, while the technology can be expensive, there are governmental subsidies which lower the cost.


The same is true for electric vehicles, which are being improved with every new model that comes off the assembly line. They provide the equivalent of from 85 to 110 miles per gallon, with a range of 220 – 350 miles, and most come with a large government rebate.


Heat pumps and/or electric cars may not work for everyone, but for those with enough land for the heat pump piping, and for who don't need a car to drive long distances on a regular basis, these two options can significantly reduce one's use of gasoline and natural gas.


So it is that Putin's brutal attempt to destroy Ukraine, by highlighting the danger of  Western Europe's addiction to Russian fossil fuels, could possibly have a silver lining: an unintended, positive impact on the battle against the ongoing effects of climate change.

 

Thanks for reading this far.
 
Here are some links related to the above:

 

How To Help Ukraine:

 

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=9366


 
Ezra Klein Podcast:


https://podcasts.apple.com/la/podcast/the-ezra-klein-show/id1548604447 

 

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zaW1wbGVjYXN0LmNvbS84MkZJMzVQeA==
 
Heat Pumps:

 

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-systems

 

https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Residents-and-Homeowners/Heat-and-Cool-Your-Home/Heat-Pumps
 
Fully Electric Vehicles & Subsides:

 

https://www.edmunds.com/electric-car/#electric-vehicles

https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml

1 Comments
Post a comment

New Bills Stadium: The Last Word

 
That title is a bit misleading in that I'm certain people will be talking about this decision for years to come.  It is accurate insofar as this is the last time I'm going to talk about it. Once I get this off my chest I'll move on.
 
First, full disclosure: I'm no longer much of a football fan, so my opinions about the stadium deal are likely biased. There was a time when I watched every game, but after spending the fall of 2015 in a Cleveland hospital bed where the only game on TV was the lowly Browns, I realized I didn't miss it.  I found it was nice to have my Sunday afternoons back to do other things.
 
         So, here goes:
 
-       It's obviously crazy for taxpayers to subsidize what's essentially a billionaire's playground, but I understand what the Bills bring to the area, in emotional if not economic terms, and I think the financial arrangements are about as good a deal as we could have gotten.  I'm especially glad the Pegulas (the team's owners) are on the hook for any cost overruns during construction, which I expect to be significant in light of supply chain and global economic issues. Still, it's hard to swallow throwing tax dollars at owners and a league that rake in billions every year.  


-       The new stadium is being built in the wrong place. Despite the fact that a South Park site in the city scored the highest in the Pegula's own study, they've insisted on building it in the middle of nowhere. Granted, building in Orchard Park will be cheaper and quicker, meaning the Pegula's and the NFL's contributions will be smaller, and they can reap the financial benefits that much sooner, but it does nothing for the Western New York community at large. Building it in the city would cost more and take longer, but the overall economic payoff, as outlined in the team's study, would be much greater. Thus, the new stadium joins a famous list of failed opportunities, from putting the University of Buffalo campus in the suburbs, to cutting an expressway through the heart of the East Side and destroying an Olmstead Parkway in the process.  


-       It is hard to blame the owners for doing what's in their best financial interests, but one aspect of their plan—to partner with and benefit financially from the exploding sports gambling market—is especially appalling.  Gambling addiction leads to increases in bankruptcies, family breakups, and even suicide. Yet, the Pegula's plan includes a provision to make it easier for fans in the new stadium to gamble on the game. Kim Pegula said (paraphrasing now) that while she isn't morally for gambling, their study identified it as a new revenue source, so they'll embrace it. Apparently, for the right price she's willing to hold her nose and take the money.
 
That's all I've got.
 
Thanks for reading this far.

4 Comments
Post a comment

I Caved

In my first post (see below) I claimed I wouldn't pester friends by announcing the existence of this blog.  

 

And now I have. 

 

Boy that didn't take long!

 

Thus, the score remains, Ego - 1, Modesty - 0.

 

Now I don't intend to bug folks every time I put a new post up, but hey, I lied about this once before, so why should you believe me?

 

Seriously, if you do want to get an alert now and then, let me know, either via email or by posting a comment to this message. I promise not to overload your inbox by sending out a note every time a new post goes up.

 

As it is, too much of our time is taken up with fending off the internet's intrusions, so I wouldn't take it personally if you silently decline the offer.  

 

Thanks for reading this far. 

2 Comments
Post a comment