Sanity Fair

Problems of a Neglected Region Cross U.S. Borders

Every once in a while, our cluelessness about our neighbors to the south erupts into full-scale engaged lunacy.

“The people of the United States will do anything for Latin America, except read about it.”



Finding an Appreciation of World Cup is the GOOOOOOOOOAL

Senior writer Ed Griffin-Nolan compares two very different sports in this week’s Sanity Fair.

It was crowded at Kitty Hoynes Irish pub on the afternoon that the U.S. was playing Germany in Brazil. In case you didn’t hear, there is a tournament going on in Brazil for people who call soccer by its real name, fútbol, and which is keeping people away from their places of employment and driving them to drink in the middle of the work day. People like me, except most of them seem to understand the game a lot better than I do. I must confess that even after a few weeks of watching random games, I’m still not feeling the love.



Born to Run (or Born This Way)

Jack and Nolan Willis were born with a rare genetic disorder. They have been part of a team competing in athletic events to raise money and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the as-yet incurable malady that limits their movement such that they need wheelchairs to get around.

It was a great day for democracy in Cazenovia on the Fourth of July. I had the chance to run around Cazenovia Lake with the Willis twins, two 12-year-old boys who were told earlier in the week that they couldn’t be part of the race.



Flip That Calendar

In summertime, it’s easy to see why fracking is such a bad idea. When it’s 20 degrees, fracking opponents will have to explain where in the world we will be getting the fuel we need to keep warm.

There is nothing like the sound of an overnight summertime rain tapping on the roof. After a beautiful sun-drenched weekend, you can lie in bed and listen to the raindrops pounding on the shingles and running off the sides of the house, recharging the gardens and refilling the water table and (assuming you remembered to close all the car windows) feel that all is right with the world. When all of this takes place while we’re lying in bed, we don’t lose out on a minute of enjoying our all-too-brief but spectacular summer.



Peddling A Little Safety

The bicycles that the top-end athletes ride can cost as much as a small car.

This past weekend, if you were out in Jamesville or Pompey, you might have noticed some pretty fancy bicycles being driven at a high rate of speed through the hills. Those people were part of the Syracuse Ironman 70.3, an endurance event that combines a lake swim of 1.2 miles, a bike ride of 56 miles and then a half marathon run (that’s 13.1 miles). The triathlon, in its fifth year, draws athletes from around the world.



Minority Report

Hudson was one of two members of Syracuse’s Common Council to vote against the ordinance passed June 9 that, come October, will ban smoking in city parks and at festivals held on city properties.

If you’ve never known that craving, this story might make no sense to you.



Happy Father’s Day

(Sanity Fair) A few examples of today’s fathers according to Netflix

Dear Old Dad has been taking it on the chin these days (and in a few other places; see below), so as this year’s Father’s Day approached, I decided to take a look at some recent television fathers. What I found really made me miss Cosby.



Snowden Revelations Saving our Freedom

Would we hold a parade?

If I had asked you on Sept. 10, 2001, to indicate on a map a country that assassinates its own citizens by remote control without due process, warehouses prisoners on a remote island to keep them out of reach of its judicial processes and monitors the telephone and email correspondence of all its people, chances are you would not have pointed your finger at the United States of America.



NOSTALGIA FOR THE DAYS WHEN CORRUPTION HAD SOCIAL BENEFIT

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno acquitted.

Whenever the stench of corruption rises over the Hudson, as it did this week in Albany with the acquittal of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, pundits raise the specter of Tammany Hall. But those comparisons are unfair … to Tammany Hall. The corrupt Irish politicians who kept that famously well-oiled patronage machine of old working for decades at least did something to earn their graft.



Language Matters

(Sanity Fair) You are not a human resource. You are a person.

In the landmark 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission case, the Supreme Court essentially said that corporations can spend as much money on political messaging as they like, as long as it is not given to candidates or their committees. Corporations, the Supreme logic went, are just like people.