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This Modern World: The Existential Threat


YAK Car Pic of the Day


It’s reader request day here at the YAK blog. A couple of days ago, a bit of this car showed in the photo of the ’47 Chrysler from the Labor Day car show at Niawanda Park, and someone asked if I had also photographed this 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air. Why cointenly I did! This two-door sedan is quite optioned-up, with fender skirts, dual mirrors, whitewalls & wheel covers, radio, Power Glide, and a few other chrome goodies. The owner mentioned to the YAK reader that he had bought the car as you see it for $13,000. I’d say he got a deal, even if it isn’t the hardtop.

Jim Corbran • You Auto Know •


Political Shorts and a Hot Dog Stand

1. Schneiderman Kickoff

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman kicked off the WNY leg of his 2014 re-election campaign in Niagara Square on Tuesday, flanked by a wide variety of politicians, activists, and union leaders from throughout the area, some of whom don’t always get along (more on that later). Throughout his first term, the former State Senator from New York’s Upper West Side has brought a new energy to the Attorney General’s office, with his most significant focus being the protection of the average consumer from predatory, unfair, and deceptive business practices.

After glowing speeches from former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and Mayor Byron Brown, Schneiderman was introduced by Avi Israel, an average guy from North Buffalo. Israel’s son, Michael, tragically committed suicide a few years ago in part  because he was taking several prescription medications that different doctors had prescribed.  Because there was no mechanism in place for the physicians to see what others had prescribed, and at the time of his suicide, Michael was taking about 20 different medications

With Schneiderman’s help and lobbying, New York passed the I-STOP prescription monitoring program last year. The program requires providers to review a patient’s medical history before prescribing any opioid pain medication. It also requires any such medications to be e-prescribed, and the filling of any prescription by a New York pharmacy updates the database in real time. This has decreased doctor-shopping in New York by an incredible 75%

Just this week, the AG’s office cut a deal with Wal*Mart over a fraudulent “sugar tax” it was levying on sales of soda

Schneiderman’s opponent is hitting the incumbent on his silence over the Moreland Commission debacle. But consider this

I think you may have heard that that is the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, and I don’t comment on ongoing investigations,” Schneiderman told reporters in Schenectady, where he announced $20 million for a land bank initiative. “My office is cooperating with the United States Attorney and we’ll leave it at that.”

Schneiderman has said little about the Moreland Commission’s demise or whether he knew about claims that Cuomo’s administration was interfering in the panel’s work and steering them away from Cuomo’s allies.

Schneiderman’s office deputized the members of the commission, and has been cooperating with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office in connection with its ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, Schneiderman’s opponent touts his work with George Pataki, a governor who didn’t need to shut down his own investigation into public corruption because it never made its way to his agenda. 

For his part, Schneiderman noted that his office had prosecuted over 50 cases of public employees and electeds stealing taxpayer money and abuse of power. 

2. Scratch that!

State Sellout Tim Kennedy is not challenging Jeremy Zellner for the chairmanship of the Erie County Democratic Committee at this Saturday’s re-organization meeting. Instead, it will be Amherst Town Councilman Mark Manna. Manna reportedly has the backing of Mike Deely from NYSUT, State Sellout Tim Kennedy, and Mayor Byron Brown. 

This is all very interesting mostly because Zellner and ECDC endorsed Brown’s re-election campaign last year on the express condition and guarantee that the Mayor would back Zellner’s re-election as chairman. That’s honor for you. I’m not 100% sure what it is about Steve Pigeon’s track record of running the party in the late 90s is so desirable to people, so it must come down to who doles out the jobs, and possibly something to do with the judicial nominations. There’s no other objectively rational explanation. 

I like Mark, so I’m not going to bash him, but I will say this: Zellner’s opposition is running on a “peace and progress” platform. It seems to me that Erie County Democrats could easily have had peace and progress over the course of the last decade if there wasn’t a conspiratorial opposition working feverishly to sabotage the county committee every so often. A group of malcontents (Deely, for example, was for Teachout/Wu and now he’s aligned with people who sell out to the GOP regularly?) conspiring in Steve Pigeon’s house to overthrow the guy they’ve been working feverishly to weaken over the last few years is hardly the picture of party unity anyone needs. This time, at least, they don’t have Governor Cuomo’s blessing or support. 

Let it be clear: if you hand over the reins of the party committee to Steve Pigeon, the last things you’ll get are peace or progress. 

3. Grisanti Staying In The Race

State Senator Mark Grisanti remains on the Independence Fusion Party’s ballot, and dammit he’s got bank, and he’s gonna spend it. Right now, it would be a 4-way race involving Grisanti, Marc Panepinto on the (D) line, Kevin Stocker on the (R) line, and Timothy Gallagher (who?) on the Conservative Fusion Party line. Stocker and Gallagher split the gun-fetish vote, so look for Stocker to somehow wrangle the Conservative Fusion line in the next few weeks. With Stocker picking up the anti-Cuomo vote, Grisanti and Panepinto duke it out for the general electorate, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, but not especially liberal. 

126,000 people voted in 2012, and turnout might be about that high, given the gubernatorial race. But when Paladino ran in 2010, only 65,000 people voted overall, and Grisanti narrowly beat incumbent Antoine Thompson. 2012 gave voters a chance to express their outrage at Grisanti’s same sex marriage vote, and 2014 gives the NY SAFE Act opponents a similar opportunity. But Grisanti can tout the fact that both major parties have rejected him and posit himself as the centrist alternative to ultra-left-wing Panepinto and extreme right-wing Stocker. Don’t count Grisanti out just yet. In November,  the tea party’s influence is significantly more diluted than it was in September. 

4. How hard is it to operate a bridge,

for God’s sake? The Peace Bridge is the steel emblem of western New York. It is our physical connection to a huge, wealthy Canadian marketplace, and stands as a symbol of political gridlock, secrecy, inaction, failure, and idiocy. 

5. Reverse Cowdog Taken?

The contrived use of shipping containers – whatever. But I quite literally hate everything else about this “Dog e Style” from the name, to the font, to the sign, to the mascot. Get it? The hot dog is wearing a tux, so is “é” “is” in Portuguese? But the double entendre is “doggy style”, which will make parents of pre-adolescents cringe the hell away from that place because, really. The day my kid asks to get a “gourmet” hot dog at a place pronounced “doggy style” is not a day that will ever happen. 

Via @buffalovebirds at Twitter

Via @buffalovebirds at Twitter


Malcolm Holcombe at Sportsmen’s Tavern Tonight

M&pigNorth Carolina troubadour Malcolm Holcombe returns tonight for a 7pm show at Sportsmen’s Tavern.

Click here to read what I wrote about him four years ago.

Here’s what David Fricke had to say about him in Rolling Stone magazine:  Not quite country, somewhere beyond folk, Holcombe’s music is a kind of blues in motion, mapping backwoods corners of the heart.


Sums it up pretty nicely. He’s a truly original performer with a unique sound.

Opening the show is yours truly, Buck Quigley, front man and spokesperson for the Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo, NY-based music act and global think tank.

YAK Car Pic of the Day

49 hudson wht ton copy

This 1949 Hudson Commodore coupe just seems like the kind of a car that should be shown in black and white. Not that the very pale gray paint job showed much color anyway. Looking at it from this angle I’m assuming there’s a ton of trunk space in this old barge, most of which probably can’t be seen out the back window while sitting in the driver’s seat, making this Commodore another car I’d hate to parallel park. Seen last evening in Tonawanda.

Jim Corbran • You Auto Know •

Bills Provide Distraction From Football

Filed under: Buffalo Bills, Sports
Photo by Tim Saracki

Photo by Tim Saracki

Normally, We Want Marangi is not the sort of sporadically published, narrowly read sports blog to go around saying, “I told you so.”


The Buffalo Bills capped their best week in a couple of decades by gutting the Miami Dolphins, with the 29-10 final masking the true level of competitiveness. In the process, they produced one of the few causes for good feelings during one of the ugliest weeks in National Football League history.

Between the charges of off-field violence that supplanted ISIS beheadings as the primary source of social-media outrage and the latest grim statistics on the long-term impact of in-game collisions, the NFL has made itself pretty easy to hate lately.

“The Shield,” as the league likes to be known (and giving yourself a nickname is generally a sign of some pretty deep-seeded issues), spent the spring and summer first botching its handling of the assault charges against former Baltimore running back Ray Rice, while ignoring a couple equally revolting, though video-free, cases against Carolina’s Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald of San Francisco, then attempting to obfuscate its way out of the self-created mess.

Roger Goodell’s descent from sanctimonious crusader to bumbling ass-coverer was so complete and so swift, he became the first NFL commissioner to face widespread public and media demand for his dismissal. On a positive note, the Ginger Hammer’s arrogant ineptitude did give the independent aviation industry a boost, with small prop planes tugging “Goodell Must Go” banners over several sold-out stadiums on Sunday.

Ralph Wilson Stadium was not one of them. Which was fitting, since the newly remodeled, yet still-somehow-inadequate-according-to-Goodell structure was one of the few spots in the sport where the firestorm — given fresh fuel by the indictment on Friday of the game’s top running back, Adrian Peterson of Minnesota, on child-abuse charges — could be forgotten. At least for a few hours.

Over a span of three-and-a-half hours on Sunday, the Bills demonstrated why the sport, for all its increasingly public flaws, inspires such unnatural behavior as face-painting, boycotts of faded, otherwise-irrelevant pop stars and radio-talk-show-calling.

First, the Bills honored their late owner and stadium namesake with an emotional pre-game ceremony featuring their greatest quarterback, who was making his first large-scale public appearance since being declared cancer-free by his doctors. The ceremony inspired thunderous ovations from a crowd already giddy from last week’s news that the home team is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

Then, the Bills kept it loud by overwhelming the unnerved Miami Dolphins in every imaginable phase of the game.

In the first half, Buffalo’s defense delivered its most dominant performance since shutting out New England in the 2003 season opener, sacking Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times and dumping his receivers in the backfield twice and yielding just 13 passing yards before intermission.

Amidst the defensive carnage, free-agent pickup Anthony Dixon (who will heretofore be referred to in this space by his nickname, “Boobie”) blocked a punt to set up a Dan Carpenter field goal on the way to a 9-0 Buffalo lead after two quarters.

On their first third-quarter possession, the Dolphins kept Tannehill on his feet long enough to move into position for a field goal of its own, introducing the day’s first element of anxiety. That feeling lasted for as long as it took C.J. Spiller to sprint past the first line of Miami’s kickoff coverage team and down the sideline for a 102-yard touchdown and all the points Buffalo would need.

Miami did tense things up a bit with its subsequent touchdown drive, at least until Spiller shot through the left side of the line for a 47-yard run. Three plays later, E.J. Manuel — whose failure to put the Buffalo offense in the end zone had been the lone worrisome aspect of the first three quarters — gave Sammy Watkins a chance to demonstrate why the Bills gave up two first-round picks to get him with twisting, pylon-whacking leap into the end zone.

Up by two touchdowns, Buffalo’s defense resumed chasing Tannehill around the field. In the fourth quarter, Tannehill got sacked again, stuffed on a ill-designed fourth-down keeper and finally intercepted in the final seconds, while failing to complete any pass long enough to cause much concern.

The good feelings around here should last until at least Sunday, when San Diego arrives in town fresh off a dominant (or, as Bill Cowher said on the CBS halftime show about the Bills’ performance, ‘domilant’) win over the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Even as more ugliness oozes out elsewhere, underscoring the hypocrisy of a corporate culture that bans pot smokers for months, or longer, while strenuously ignoring, or making excuses for, alleged men who beat women and children.

A few other items worth briefly noting:

— That Watkins kid is pretty good. Eight catches, 117 yards and one of the most athletic touchdown dives you will see, all while visibly hampered by the rib injury sustained, then aggravated, during the exhibition season. Watkins has already become the focal point of Buffalo’s passing game, with Manuel targeting him a team-high 11 times on 26 throws.

The Bills paid a steep price for Watkins, but WWM can not recall a game in which any two Buffalo first-round picks played as decisive a role.

— Hopefully, a 2-0 start means the networks will send less excruciating announcing teams to cover the next few games.

Tom McCarthy’s play-by-play was riddled with misidentified players (like confusing defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Stefan Charles, who really could not look less alike), incorrect down-and-distance announcements and wildly inaccurate ball spots — in one case misplacing the line of scrimmage by 34 yards.

Then there was analyst Adam Archuleta. whose analysis was limited to saying very obvious things with a tone that suggested an epiphany. When Miami could not beat the play clock early in the second quarter, Archuleta declared, “The crowd noise may have had something to do with that,” sounding very much as if the thought had never occurred to him, or anyone else, before.

The din probably had something to do with the Dolphins’ breakdowns on the offensive line and the failure by the punt team to prevent Dixon from a free shot at their punter, too, but noting such subtleties is probably a little much to ask from CBS’ last-string broadcast pairing.

— Archuleta also failed to comment on the dumbest call of the game, which is sort of what you would want from the supposed expert in the booth: Miami’s decision to run a read-zone option on fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. A slow-developing run play against a defense shooting through every gap on the line is a lousy choice even if your quarterback is Colin Kaepernick or Johnny Football (assuming the Browns ever give him more than one snap a game). Tannehill may has well have taken a knee.

— Mary Wilson, Ralph’s widow, must have been thrilled with the camera lingering on her while she ate her halftime meal. Twice. Nobody looks good while they eat.

— If your biggest concern is a quarterback who, in his 11th and 12th professional starts, completed two-thirds of his passes, had a hand in three touchdowns and turned the ball over once, while outplaying counterparts in their eighth and third full seasons as starters, well, then, your football team is in pretty good shape.

YAK Car Pic of the Day


See the guy sitting in the lawn chair behind this 1947 Chrysler Windsor Traveler? He’s the owner, and I find it hard to believe he doesn’t have huge biceps from parking this thing. No power steering in this baby! The Traveler was a new Chrysler model in 1947, easily recognized by the wooden roof rack which you could use for — well, for traveling. He probably needs a step stool to get anything up there, as it’s no short reach. I met him and his car at the Niawanda Park Labor Day car show earlier this month.

Jim Corbran • You Auto Know •


“New York Revolution” Goes Eliminationist

This was found at this Facebook page around lunchtime on Monday September 15th. 


I have no words for this. 

This “New York Revolution” group had the support of Republican challenger for the SD-62 (Maziarz, incumbent) seat, Gia Arnold. 

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