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Archive for November, 2009

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

– G. K. Chesterton

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“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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poem

A November Sunrise

Wild geese are flocking and calling in pure golden air,
Glory like that which painters long ago
Spread as a background for some little hermit
Beside his cave, giving his cloak away,
Or for some martyr stretching out
On her expected rack.
A few black cedars grow nearby
And there’s a donkey grazing.

Small craftsmen, steeped in anonymity like bees,
Gilded their wooden panels, leaving fame to chance,
Like the maker of this wing-flooded golden sky,
Who forgives all our ignorance
Both of his nature and of his very name,
Freely accepting our one heedless glance.

– Anne Porter, from An Altogether Different Language. © Zoland Books, 1994

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“The world is full of willing people,
some willing to work,
the rest willing to let them.”

– Robert Frost

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To our Gods of old, we bless the ground
that you tread in search of our freedom!
We bless your presence in our lives and in our hearts!
Take of this offering to your delight,
and be filled with our prayers of thanksgiving!
May our lives remain as full as our hearts on this day!

yoruban – africa

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“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it.”

Haniel Long

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poem

XI.

Though he was ill and in pain,
in disobedience to the instruction he
would have received if he had asked,
the old man got up from his bed,
dressed, and went to the barn.
The bare branches of winter had emerged
through the last leaf-colors of fall,
the loveliest of all, browns and yellows
delicate and nameless in the gray light
and the sifting rain. He put feed
in the troughs for eighteen ewe lambs,
sent the dog for them, and she
brought them. They came eager
to their feed, and he who felt
their hunger was by their feeding
eased. From no place in the time
of present places, within no boundary
nameable in human thought,
they had gathered once again,
the shepherd, his sheep, and his dog
with all the known and the unknown
round about to the heavens’ limit.
Was this his stubbornness or bravado?
No. Only an ordinary act
of profoundest intimacy in a day
that might have been better. Still
the world persisted in its beauty,
he in his gratitude, and for this
he had most earnestly prayed.

“XI.” by Wendell Berry, from Leavings. © Centerpoint, 2010.

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must see

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moonlight sonata

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NYS Conference of Mayors
Proposed 2010 Legislative Priorities

Overall Priority
Maintain Commitment to Revenue Sharing

FINANCE COMMITTEE
1. Pension cost reform
2. Prohibition against unfunded state mandates
3. Increase CHIPS funding
4. Gross receipts tax – increase rate and expand scope to include cellular services
5. Wicks Law Repeal

ENVIRONMENT and ENERGY
1. Renewable energy and “green building” program
• Price preference for renewables
• Price preference for “green building” technology and materials
2. Improve the State’s clean water revolving loan fund scoring system
3. Emergency management – preparedness and response
4. Authorize financing of storm water management

GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS and COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
1. Amend village dissolution law
2. IDA reform
3. Increase competitive bidding limits
4. Tort reform/collateral source

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS and PUBLIC SAFETY
1. Compulsory arbitration – ability to pay & “final offer”
2. Heightened risk for disability payments under General Municipal Law § 207-a and § 207-c
3. Prevailing wage reform
4. Decision to transfer the work of unionized employees should be a nonmandatory subject of negotiation

I’ll jump in and add short descriptions over the weekend, but I wanted to get these posted so you’d see what we are tussling with.

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It is my distinct privilege to be here with you again this morning in remembrance of all those who have served our nation with honor. They have given us reason to pause and reflect on their selflessness and to pay tribute to their heroic actions.

On this day, we hold profound gratitude for our men and women that bravely wear the uniform of the United States of America. Their dedication to our institution of liberty has permitted us each to live every day under the blanket of their protection. As we recognize this remarkable contribution to our country, we also remember all those that left our nation’s shores but never returned home as veterans to witness these words of thanks for their sacrifice.

veteran's day 2009

Our nation’s service members, many of whom grew up in our great city, have devoted their careers to the military in order to preserve our freedoms. The military of the United States of America battles oppression and stands as a beacon of opportunity, courage and integrity for the entire world. As we reflect on these guiding principles that are memorialized across the nation in services like this one today, let us please observe a moment of silence for all those who have served our nation courageously and for those who steadfastly stand guard at this moment in history.

(For those of you reading, please take a moment of silence there in front of your screen)

We face continuing threats against our nation – against our collective and individual safety and security. As these threats evolve, so does our capacity to identify, prevent, and respond to such threats, and as such, we must recognize that those that place themselves in peril, and those that have stood against these evils in the past, deserve our complete support. While ribbons, pins and flags are symbolic of our unified appreciation for our nation’s heroes, let us choose to actively participate in helping our veterans – let us donate essential resources and volunteer time to local charities that are supportive of veteran’s causes and their families; let our government adequately supply much needed services to those that have returned from service, sometimes broken physically, and sometimes spiritually as well. Lastly, let us all offer on a daily basis a silent prayer or in a way that is as small as a handshake or a smile of thanks the recognition of all that our military members do for us.

In parting, I want to express my appreciation on behalf of our city to the many organizations that are present here today. Thank you especially to the Veteran’s Commission for your tireless commitment to our nation’s heroes and your work to represent and protect our city’s veterans. I ask all that are gathered here today also to contribute to the new memorial that will be constructed at Veterans Field in recognition of every man and woman hailing from the City of Amsterdam that has served in our armed forces. Please call Richard Leggiero (843-0808) for more information.

God Bless us all. Thank you.

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Oh, Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit will come to you
without shame.

american indian – lakota – chief yellow lark – 1887

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