Wednesday, November 16, 2011


well--they did get the headline 'wrong'--but then my local newspaper does own the printing press.  Click on the newspaper opinion page if you'd care to give it a little love.  I'm sure it will get some folks (probably more academic liberal types) in a lather.

Occupied by Revels, Slaves, and Courtjesters?
Recent Millard Filmore cartoons and letters about the “Occupy” movement conflict with my knowledge that 4-tour Marine Scott Olsen lies damaged by rioting paramilitary police in Oakland.   Award-winning journalist and theologian Chris Hedges calls Occupiers “the best among us.”   Having visited a few general assemblies in D.C. and NYC, I must agree with him.  They are clean, respectful, and principled. 
Sadly, the U.S. has no Canadian style law banning media liars--or we could ban Fox News and derivative ‘humor’ from Filmore.
  As a journalist since 1977, with a Masters and PhD in critical media analysis, I feel obligated to point the Star to the shining example of the late Ralph McGill, who put his pro-integration editorials on the front page--replete with photograph.   McGill and other publishers of his era, such as Hodding Carter II, knew that reactionaries have a history of calling ‘dirty’ those who ‘betray’ white middle class privilege to denounce injustice.  Consider Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, which praised brave publishers like McGill thusly:  “...Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful “action” antidotes....” 
I would like to think the Star would willingly stop carrying Filmore, and other ‘conservative’ liars.  
Anti-falsehood legislation would undoubtedly over-reach.
However, responsible editorial fiat could provide a sane middle ground.
So, please reconsider paying known liars.  In the words of Hedges:  “There are no excuses left....Either you obstruct... the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil....Either you are a rebel or a slave.”  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rooney Was NOT An Enlightened Fellow

Praise for Rooney? 

When someone famous (particularly if their fame was of a national nature) dies, I believe a written record of their expressed hostility toward a particular group--particularly minorities, should be explained.  I don’t believe petty crimes should be extolled, but when that person has a big, national megaphone placed in front of them, it’s only fair that such shortcomings be mentioned.  The silence regarding the true nature of Andy Rooney's 'amiable' ranting is very telling.  And noticed. "Rooney was a sexist, a racist, and a homophobe but the country loved him nevertheless," was the prescient comment of "The Angry Arab News Service: A source on politics, war, the MIddle East, Arabic poetry, and Art."  I will respond by saying that the U.S. news consumer has little choice but 'love' a dead white male when you consider the past 30 years of news minus radio news in this country.

But, in the spirit of Rooney, I have digressed.  Back to Andy.

Not in any order of offended group, but in my humble opinion, may I say that Andy Rooney’s overly long tenure at CBS News might be part of the reason our mainstream news media has lost all credibility?
Regarding women:
“..."The first thing that came into my mind is, does anybody take Andy Rooney seriously anyway?" said ESPN SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn. "He doesn't take himself seriously half the time anyway. The second thing is, why is he stereotyping all women? God knows if he watches SportsCenter and has ever seen me. You have to judge each person separately. The third thing is, when was the last time he followed any of these sideline reporters around doing their job? Tell me the date and time, please."
Regarding race relations: 
“...Burke said Rooney's future with CBS News will be discussed at the end of the three-month suspension.
In the Feb. 27 edition of The Advocate, Rooney is quoted as saying that "blacks have watered down their genes because the less intelligent ones are the ones that have the most children."”
And, from the above article, regarding gay rights:
“...Rooney, 71, who previously had come under fire from homosexual-rights groups for remarks about gays and AIDS in a CBS-TV special in December, also is quoted as saying that, while he felt that gays have been the victims of prejudice, he found the homosexual act "repugnant" and homosexuality "not normal."
In an interview with The Times following his suspension, Rooney denied that remarks he made to The Advocate in a phone interview with one of its reporters expressed racial bias. However, he confirmed he had written a controversial letter to the magazine commenting on gays in response to criticisms of his views on homosexuality....”
My local paper, the Oneonta Daily Star, offers a very brief “Cheers” section as part of the opinion page.  They extolled his service to CBS and the nation:  "...Rooney was witness to some of history's defining moments as a correspondent for the newspaper Stars & Stripes during World War II, and the Albany native's insightful and witty segments were often the perfect way to end a weekend..." I guess the writer has some pretty boring weekends!
  I realize that itt’s hard to briefly round out any human. But, in full disclosure, I must note that the person in charge of the Star's operation is an avowed "Israel-Right-Or-Wrong" sort of guy.  So, perhaps I’m not surprised that this normally laudable item misses the point on Rooney.  What would a better, more-rounded presentation look like?  In print--a simple sentence, such as “Rooney was notably in hot water with CBS for comments blacks, gays and women found intolerant.”  In a radio piece, back when we had hourly newscasts, this could be fitted into a simple 40 - 60 second piece. 
For instance, when I did obituary radio news items on Arthur Godfrey in Houston in 1981, I was able to use soundbites from the late RKO news service from people who believed Godfrey had killed many the career of those then considered 'pink'--those who, today would be mainstream supporters of the Occupy movement. That is how skewed our country's news has been since we lost those 5,000 radio news people to 'deregulation'--and the wider variety of sources other journalists could have persuaded their editors to let them quote. Safety in numbers helps a profession that is supposed to explain things in context do just that.
  When someone famous (particularly if their fame was of a national nature) dies, I believe a written record of their expressed hostility toward a particular group--particularly minorities, should be explained.  I don’t believe petty crimes should be extolled, but when that person has a big, national megaphone placed in front of them, as did Rooney, it’s only fair that such shortcomings be mentioned. 

Quackenbush Wants to Watch Recount--So Should Anti-Fracking Nobiling Supporters

678 to 656 was the tally in the Autumn Cafe election night.  678 for Repubican Quackenbush and 656 for write-in anti-fracking candidate Tim Nobiling.  And there are about 80 absentee ballots.  Anti-fracking people need to contact Sustainable Otsego and make sure there is a PLAN to watch how the write-in votes are counted and be lawyered up in case there are any shenanigans.  Just saying....

Monday, November 7, 2011


UPDATE:  Laura Malloy got to see the ballot--and, while confusing, it is not WRONG.  The top 3 are still separated from Malloy so it appears at least ONE anti-frackiing candidate will be elected to the Laurens Town Board.  However--why are the ballots so late in arriving for review by candidates?

UPDATE:  I spoke with my sister, who is a lawyer on call for the Democratic Party during election season (they started sending out 'clean' 'unjammable-for-the-election-day' phones only to be used in case of irregularity) and said:
Injunction must be filed before end of day requesting a PROPER ballot and noting the lateness of receipt of the flawed ballot.

Okay, sports fans, here we GO!
Laurens Town Clerk TODAY notified anti-frack candidate Laura Malloy of a problem.
the ballot, as published in the Daily Star a week ago, and based upon petitions filed with County Board of elections SHOULD have:
Linda Reeves (Independent( anti-drilling)
Rick Brockaway (R) (pro-drilling)
Wilber Cleveland (R)  (less pro-drilling)
and then
1 candidate for councilman, unexpired term
Laura Malloy (No Drill)  (anti-drilling)
HOWEVER--on the ballot LINDA REEVES has been moved down there with Laura so that the two anti-drilling candidates are running AGAINST one another and the two pro-drilling candidates are running unopposed by Linda Reeves.
Laurens is a VERY IMPORTANT place for drilling to be stopped in Otsego County given the very very high water table there.

I know the election will now proceed tomorrow despite this. What do I do?..."

Friday, November 4, 2011



Tim Nobiling, Town Councilman, Town of Oneonta
His name should be written in at the bottom of column 9a of the ballot.

Dominick Reisen - Town of Middlefield Board
Dominick J. Reisen
Swedish Hill, Goose Watch, and Penguin Bay Wineries

Our newsrooms have been too decimated in the past 30 years to be able to properly cover the assault by the gas industry on our commons.  Those remaining in the newsrooms are also expected to write an increasing amount of ‘puff’ or promotional pieces--instead of doing NEWS!  Too often, even in the face of obvious gas industry fabrications, these fabrications are presented as ‘one side’ which needs to be refuted.  Too often, even when better polls exist, the difference of opinion on fracking is presented as an ‘even’ shares proposition.  But, as the link below to a synopsis of a PULSE poll shows, the overwhelming majority of people in our area of New York oppose gas fracking.
Citizen media must take up the slack if we are to experience democracy.
In the course of the past two years of researching the fracking process, videotaping and interviewing people in Bradford County, PA, and Tioga, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego County, NY, I have become convinced of three things:  
1.) fracking not only harms the surrounding air, water, and land, but it harms or coarsens the SOCIAL FABRIC of communities which are ‘fracked’; 
2.) if this happens, a unique part of the world--an area I have adopted as home (although I appear to have an ancestor buried in Richfield Springs)--will be irreversibly damaged;
3.) the people who have signed fracking contracts are not bad people, but there are some really bad players involved in the whole industry who manipulate and instill a great deal of fear in those who have signed contracts.
              A journalist since 1977, and a media scholar since 1988, I have decided to put together what I and others have seen and documented in the forthcoming documentary, “CLUSTER-FRACKED.”  It does more than ‘take off’ where GASLAND began, but explores the torn threads of society’s fabric where fracking has occurred near my hometown of Oneonta, NY.
It won’t be done until the middle of December, long after this election.  But I realized that I could not look in the mirror if I do not speak out now--when people of conscience could possibly help stop this disaster literally headed down the pipeline.  
          I cannot vote in this election, as I was still busy moving back here when it was time to register.  
         And I feel badly about that.  
Wednesday morning, a friend collared me in Green Earth and asked me “WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR?  I DON’T WANT FRACKING TO START HERE!”  And I remembered an ad I’d seen in the Pennysaver from Sustainable Otsego.  This is the list I saw there.  It is from Sustainable Otsego.   I believe they have really done the county’s stewards a big service in putting this list together.  I put in a call to Catskill Mountainkeeper, and they referred me to Riverkeeper.  I also looked at various anti-fracking groups and finally found another LIST put out by Marcellus At the Polls (MATP).  They included some footnotes indicating why some candidates made their list.  
         Sustainable Otsego’s (S.O.) website lists ‘anti-fracking’ candidates for the November 8 election, and lists them on their website at
Here is a shortened version of S.O.’s press release.  The first two groups of names are running on the “Sustainable Otsego” party line, for County Board, and Town/City Office:
Richard Murphy, District 4, Town of Oneonta (also MATP)
Barbara Monroe, District 5, Towns of Milford, Hartwick, New Lisbon (also MATP)
Beth Rosenthal, District 7, Towns of Middlefield, Roseboom, Cherry Valley (also MATP)
John Kosmer, District 8, Town of Otsego (also MATP)
TOWN/CITY CANDIDATES (Sustainable Otsego)
Bennett Sandler, Town Board, Town of Otsego (also MATP)
David M. Jones, Town Board, Town of Oneonta (not mentioned by MATP but he came to my house and convinced me)
Chris Harmon, Supervisor, Town of Milford (also MATP)
Barbara Snyder, Town Board, Town of Milford
Bruce Milavec, Town Collector, Town of Milford
Edward E. Gross, Jr., Town Board, Town of Unadilla (MATP)
Lisa J. Moskowitz, Town Board, Town of Unadilla
Again--these are Sustainable Otsego line candidates.  It appears “Marcellus at the Polls” did not look at all town candidates for Otsego County.
I like that Sustainable Otsego mentioned other potential public servants even though they are not running on the Sustainable Otsego line (but I assume they are a mix of D’s and R’s and maybe even a couple of Greens?  Who knows? I don’t.  And I don’t care).  I like that Sustainable Otsego listed them on their website as “Other anti-fracking candidates for Otsego County Board, and for (Various) Town Boards” and their names follow.  I am placing MATP (Marcellus At The Polls beside the names of those candidates (not on the Sustainable Otsego line but listed on their site) who also are endorsed as ‘anti-fracking by MATP, apparently based upon the advocates for morris.blogspot.  
Teresa Winchester, District 2, Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield (also MATP)
Gary Koutnik, District 11, City of Oneonta
Linda Rowinski, District 13, City of Oneonta
Catherine Rothenberger, District 12, City of Oneonta
Katherine Stuligross, District 14, City of Oneonta 

Charles, Eckelmann, Supervisor, Town of Butternuts (No MATP mention, but a letter to the Star complained he’d sung an anti-fracking song!) 
Michele Farwell, Councilman, Town of Butternuts (also MATP)
Heather Covington, Councilman, Town of Butternuts (also MATP)
Marcia Membrino, Councilman, Town of Milford (also MATP)
Bob Thomas, Councilman, Town of Morris (also MATP)
Marilyn Roveland, Supervisor, Town of Morris (also MATP)
Dawn Sieck, Councilman, Town of Morris (also MATP)
Julie Huntsman, Councilman, Town of Otsego (also MATP)
Alanna Rose, Councilman, Town of Plainfield (also MATP)
Bob Eklund, Councilman, Town of New Lisbon (also MATP)
Steven Zerby, Supervisor, Town of Westford (also MATP)
Steven Hatfield, Councilman, Town of Westford (also MATP)
Karen Wyckoff, Councilman, Town of Westford (also MATP)
Diane Addesso, Councilman, Town of Worcester
Laura Malloy, Councilman, Town of Laurens
Paul A. Stein, Councilman, Town of Pittsfield
William Curto, Councilman, Town of Pittsfield
Jimmy Junior Massey, Councilman, Town of Richfield
Mary Margaret Snyder, Councilman, Town of Richfield
Allison Jones, Councilman, Town of Maryland
NOT ON SUSTAINABLE OTSEGO’S LIST, BUT ON THE MARCELLUS AT THE POLLS LIST (again, per the morris blogspot, apparently):
Mike Harvey of Butternuts
Keith Parr of Hartwick
I do not know the methodology Sustainable Otsego used to determine that the names listed above are all anti-fracking candidates.  But, I know many people associated with that group and respect their judgment.  I am assuming, given the fine materials about fracking available on their website, that there was consideration given to candidates’ positions taken on various issues and possible scenarios.  
On another note, I notice that Bob Woods, who is running for re-election as Oneonta Town Supervisor, is not mentioned on this list.  I am puzzled by that, as his positions on key matters of similar nature seems to put him in the anti-fracking camp, or at least the ‘sane and responsible’ public servant camp, the way I see it. 
I posted an ad in the Daily Star promising a similar list for Delaware County.  But, no one seems to have generated the original research for me to summarize here.   I only have one name.  Why aren’t any of the local news media outlets doing this research?  Maybe it’s not their fault.  Maybe no one is talking much about that.  SUSTAINABLE OTSEGO DID NOT MENTION ANY CANDIDATES, NOR DID MARCELLUS AT THE POLLS.  In fact, representatives from these and two other anti-fracking organizations said there wasn’t much buzz about this in Delaware County.  Speculation is twofold:  
1.) Perhaps there are many secondary residences there and the people are just not around to attend meetings, buttonhole candidates, etc., or 
2.) perhaps there are people who have purchased land in Delaware County for the purpose of fracking it?  
I think both possibilities might account for the relative pre-election silence from Delaware County.  And, certainly it APPEARS that Governor Cuomo’s reputed sparing-of-the-ax for the NY City water supply portion of Delaware County has lulled people into a false sense of complacency?  But, one environmental organization is not waiting to see what happens and why.  More on that in a moment.  
But first! 
Riverkeeper gave me one candidate’s name as an anti-fracker.  
Steve Lundgren (D who opposes fracking versus Ed Sykes (D running as an R FOR Fracking).
You cannot make this up.
While I was given three possible towns with anti-fracking candidates, I was unable to do the research myself on this.  If someone wishes to contact me, I will check my email late Saturday and early Sunday while in D.C. videotaping the Tar Sands action surrounding the White House on Sunday.
Riverkeeper is currently suing Delaware River Basin Commission (a federal commission that has authority over the entire Delaware River region--including portions of Delaware County).
  DRBC has proposed their own regulations (which they say they will finalize them in November)  on fracking--meaning a person COULD frack in Delaware River region, but would also need an additional permit-- NY state permit).  Riverkeeper is challenging the DRBC regulations themselves on the basis that there was no environmental review done, ala New York’s environmental review process, for instance.
  Josh Fox of GASLAND fame has produced a nice short video about the DRBC
Because my documentary concerns events in Chenango and Tioga counties, I am also summarizing Marcellus At the Polls’ list of anti-fracking candidates here, including the footnotes they used.
AFTON Abram Loeb Town Council
April Leggett Afton Supervisor
SMITHVILLE  Carol OMalyev Council Board

Kenneth Whitmore Council Board

PLYMOUTH Peter Hudiburg Town Council

Ann Ellis  County Legislature, District 4
Bridget Kane County Legislature, District 2

  That’s all I was able to find in two days of intermittent research.  If you’d like to learn more about other counties check out the Marcellus At The Polls site on facebook (you would need to be a facebook member or look over a member’s shoulder) at
This battle won’t be won at the polls, in my humble opinion (imho for facebook and Twitter users).  It will be won at meetings and in the streets of the Occupy movement.  Get involved.  Learn about general assemblies.  I have done 2 reports on the Occupy and related movements for Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Radio show at and 
And you can see two of my video pieces regarding our pro-peace veterans’ resistance activities in the D.C. area in the past year at lisabarr2010 on youtube.  The first concerns last December’s arrest of many veterans, including retired Col. Ann Wright and Daniel Ellsberg, as well as luminaries from Veterans for Peace and Camp Crawford outside the White House fence as Pres. Obama met with titans of industry inside.  It was colder than it looks.
And this piece concerns many of the same people protesting the torture of Bradley Manning while he was imprisoned in Quantico.  Bradley’s treatment is part of the reason behind the Occupy movement. 
If you would like to learn more about how you can help make sure the documentary CLUSTER FRACKED is completed by the end of the year, please contact me at: or


Well.  I can honestly say that I have found that WESTERN DIGITAL HARD DRIVES SUCK!  I have had THREE of them die on me in the last 2 and a half months.  Two died on their own of UN natural causes.  And a third was JUMPED on by a nasty HUGE piece of glass “Personal Projects” sign (why a Flintstone-esque piece of art where people are bringing in their gear to work on this oh, Apple Stores?)?  My THIRD WD 2 terrabyte hard drive died in D.C..  I went there on Saturday night, Oct 8th, to hear from an Apple wiz kid that WD drives suck.  As I passed the homage to the late Steve Jobs outside the store--I wondered--did Jobs know this?  Why are they selling WD hard drives at Apple stores still?
- - - - 
Anyway.  Around all this--I’m still working on my documentary about three towns--one being fracked (Towanda, PA) and two others looking down the pipeline (Binghamton and Oneonta, NY).  It’s called  “Cluster-Fracked” and it’s coming along nicely.  I’m also working on radio pieces.  None of which are getting me any money.  But, I feel it’s necessary to contribute.
Anyway--here’s what I’ve been up to the past month:
*I synopsized the press conference for the Cuban 5 held in September by the various attorneys for the men for Sally O’Brien’s Cuba In Focus program on WBAI.  My piece aired in the Sept. 29, 2011 show.
“On the show:  Cuba’s Foreign Minister addresses the UN General Assembly and calls for cooperation between Washington and Havana; Former New Mexico Representative, Bill Richardson, increases US/Cuba tensions over the case of Alan Gross, a special report from jane Franklin; Veteran diplomat, literature professor, writer and poet-Rolando Lopez Del Amo-talks about changes in Cuba; Lawyers for the Cuban Five hold a press conference on the 13th Anniversary of their clients’ incarceration and actor Danny Glober adds his voice to the call to Free the Cuban Five; Report on the Habeas Corpus appeal for Gerardo Hernandez, and a campaign to send Rene Gonzales back to Cuba upon his release October 7th.  And, monthly news brief.  Produced by Sally O’Brien with Margaret Gilpin, Jane Franklin, Bernie Dwyer, Lisa Barr, Desi K. Robinson, and Jay Potter. 
**I also did an advancer piece with some of the organizers of the Freedom Plaza “Stop the Machine create A New World for Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.
** And I spent about a week traveling around D.C. for the opening of the Freedom Plaza Stop the Machine Occupation (which was given a 4 month extension on their permit) and the Occupy D.C. installation at McPherson Square in D.C--and ended up visiting the NYC Occupy site near Wall Street.  That report, for Cindy Sheehan’s soapbox, is here.
= = = =