The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Since it's the Holiday Season, we decided to get away from politics and give you a nice poem that symbolizes what the Season means to us.

A Poem, by Clement Clarke Moore*

'Twas the night before New Years
And all through the County
The legislators were huddled
Counting their bounty

The pay hike went through
Nigh, Christmas Eve
In the hopes that residents
Would never believe

While the voters all worried
As their taxes did rise
We just couldn't believe
It was quite a surprise

They had kept it real quiet
Would not confim or deny
Even Talespin was fooled
By the pigs in their sty

With the meeting near over
They called the last vote
With the chamber near empty
No one took note

Then what to our wondering
Eyes did appear
But a man at the podium
With a smile so dear

With a twinkle in his eye
He had brokered the deal
And with that bald head
It must be Saint Neil

More rapid than eagles
the votes they now came
He looked at the roll
And called them by name

Monahan and Mirch
O'Brien and Wright
They all voted yes
It was quite a great sight

Dedrick and Durkee said yes
VanDeusen did too
With Stammel and Swartz
Whom nobody knew

Herrington and Hammond
Bauer and Reid
All went along
Blessing the deed

Next, Salisbury and Walsh
Brearton, McHugh
With their snouts in our wallets
They made quite a crew

Finally Brownell
He was there too
They bent us right over
A real pretty view

Then Saint Neil turned around
And pulled out his list
Lets not forget Kathy
And good old Rich Crist

Excuses were found
When the press called for quotes
They weren't really good
Lets just hope that one floats

It's been seventeen years
Since we had such a treat
With our taxes so high
We can't make ends meet

They prayed for a miracle
As they sat down in Church
No three jobs for them
They can't all be Bob Mirch

Then we heard them exclaim
As they drove out of sight
Good government marches on
Just not tonight

* The Night Before New Years may be reprinted or performed in public with the permission of the author.

Friday, December 30, 2005


It's time for our very first Year in Review and Predictions post.

It's been a fantastic year. Subscriptions are up, we had to hire three new staff members and the police were only called three times to our Christmas Party. Here's our look at 2005 and some predictions for 2006.


The year started out with a great State of the City Speech by Mayor Harry. In the speech, Mayor Harry renewed his promise to fulfill the promises in his 2004 State of the City Speech. There was great rejoicing.


The groundbreaking, highly influential internet periodical The Troy Polloi debuts. The critics were unanimous:

"There are more than 20 million blogs. The Troy Polloi is one of them." - Unanimous Critic


Carignan sues the City, Corporation Council Dave Mitchell calls City Chair Tom Casey a liar and The Troy Polloi receives it first mention in the Times Union.


Rob Gregor resigns, Mirch busted by vigilant cop and Young Sweeney is indicted. The best was the Rensselaer County Legislature passing a resolution to hire a Tourism Director. DeAngelis begins to implode, becoming about as stable as Regan McNeil.


Crawley utters his memorable line, "This is Bullshit" to express his frustration at not being allowed to interrupt Council President Marge DerGurahian. Judge leads veto override, Kenny Bruno's ex alleges he threatened her with a gun and Harry cuts funding for children, declaring "There shall be no more toymakers to the king!" Troy renamed Sombertown.


GOP exhumes Bill Pascarell and the Senate Majority leader proclaims that a grand hotel shall arise on the shores of the Hudson where City Hall now exists (a prediction also made by famed Astrologer Nostradamus more than four hundred years earlier). It will be called "The Joseph Bruno Motor Lodge" or "JoBroMoLo."


Patricia DeAngelis unanimously declared next Rensselaer County Court Judge by all pundits, including this one and Dewey beats Truman.


Democratus vacations on Cape Cod, extradited back to New York a few days later.


Harry embraces Guardian Angels, Red Beret stock soars. Crawley purchases miniature, autographed Notre Dame helmet for $100 but it doesn't fit. Mirch, caught in dark alley with bruised knees, admits to third public sector job.


Mirch rifles through City Hall furniture looking for spare change. "Rensselaer County District Attorneys Office Goes Wild" hits the shelves, staring Jen Sober & Trish DeAngelis. Immediate hit.


Armet, Judge, voted off the island. North Greenbush Republicans beat to a bloody pulp under political strategy genius Rich Crist.


Rensselaer County Legislature sodomizes residents with pay raise. There is a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.


Troy Polloi nominated for Pulitzer.


OK, loyal readers, let us know the following:

1) The biggest story this year in local politics;
2) Your favorite Troy Polloi post;
3) Will Damon get the Yankees over the top;
4) Iz adolt illiteracy reely a problum;
5) Who's a better politician than human being;
6) Who's a better human being than politician.


Let us know if you have any predictions for the next year. Ours:

1- After a visit from three Ghosts on December 24, DA Pat DeAngelis does some serious soul-searching and is radically transformed. Hence forth, she is known as Mother DeAngelis.

2- Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian announces that DPW Commissioner Bob Mirch will also be the City liaison to Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's office as well as Troy liaison to the County Legislature. The two part-time jobs pay a combined $50,000.

3- With four contract negotiations on his plate, Harry saves money by ordering all police officers to use Segways rather than patrol cars.

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4- City Council President Hank Bauer decides to primary DeAngelis for the 2007 nomination for District Attorney. Mother DeAngelis forgives him.

5- An elite unit of Troy's finest formed to combat jay-walking. After training with Army Rangers, they hit the streets and jay-walking is a thing of the past (except during the Victorian Stroll).

Leave your predictions here.

Have a Happy New Year, stay safe.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


We don't have much to say today and we'll let Franco do the work for us since we've been harping on the same subject.

Raise game played very well

By: James Franco, The Record

Since it is the slow time of year I may as well re-visit the decision by the 19 esteemed county legislators to give themselves a $5,000 raise and take care of many of their friends as well.
They intentionally did it about a week before Christmas when not many are paying attention, so the more ink it gets the better.

With the increase, which was voted on about a month after they were elected to new four-year terms, rank-and-file legislators will make $20,000, the four in "leadership" positions will make $25,000 and Chairman Neil Kelleher will make $30,000.

And being a legislator is a part-time job, which includes attending one meeting a month, maybe two, and controlling only 20 percent of the budget. The state and federal governments tell them how to spend the rest. In other words, not a lot of heavy lifting - outside of the fact they raised taxes four years in a row.To put it into perspective, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, per capita income in Rensselaer County stood at $21,095, which is slightly lower than the state per capita income of $23,389.

Another way to look at it is that if a worker puts in 40 hours a week for a year at the state's new minimum wage of $6.75 an hour, he or she would make $14,040 before taxes are taken out. Ironically, or sadly, a portion of those same taxes would pay for the salaries and raises of the legislators.

Yet another way to look at it is an active duty Private First Class in the U.S. Army makes just $19,692 a year after six years of service. True, the soldier gets an additional $250 a month if he is shipped off to Iraq, free room and board and some stipends if he or she has a family, but I am not sure if they get a bump in their check if they get shot at.

Seems to me a full time soldier's pay should certainly equal what a legislator in Rensselaer County makes for a part-time job. Okay, maybe not the four in leadership positions - the majority leader, minority leader, vice chairman and vice chairman of finance are pretty high-powered positions that I am sure everyone in the county looks to for guidance and direction - but the base pay of someone getting shot has should make at least the same as a rank and file Legislator.

Furthermore the legislators rarely talk for themselves, have an original thought or write their own communications to the people. For that the Republican majority hired Rich Crist, and to show their gratitude they gave him a raise of nearly $11,000, bumping his salary up to $80,000. The minority has Sue Steele, whose salary was slashed four years ago when the Democrats lost two seats. It is unclear what salary she will get this year out of the $60,600 increase to the Democrats' budget.

To put it into perspective, an active duty Army captain makes $52,412 with the same benefits as that of a private first class, including getting shot at.The Republicans did it smart. They bought off the Democrats with extra money for their budget and their staff, and in return the Democrats did not make a stink over the vote - they just pocketed the money.

Two newly elected Democrats who had no vote on the pay raise, Kevin Harrington and Brian Zweig, are giving their extra $5,000 to charity, but so far they are the only ones to step up and do the right thing.The GOP also gave two popular politicians, County Executive Kathy Jimino and County Clerk Frank Merola, a $12,000 and $10,000 raise, respectfully, so the legislature doesn't look so bad. Jimino now makes $116,000 and Merola gets $80,000. At least they are pretty much in line with similar positions in the area, and they actually work for their money.

Not much of what you just read is new, but with the cost of electricity going up, gasoline prices going up and companies laying off workers all over the place, the more written about politicians paying themselves more money the better.

James V. Franco is The Record's Capitol Bureau reporter.

It's four years until the next legislative race. That's a long way and voters have short memories. It's up to everyone to keep this story alive. If taxes are raised next year, I suspect the story will have legs. In four years, vote out every hack who voted yes, regardless of party.

Peace Out!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Hope you all had a great Christmas. Also, Hanukkah started yesterday so Happy Hanukkah for our Jewish friends.

Pirro Flip-Flops

Many of you probably know that after repeated vows to remain in the Senate race against Clinton, Pirro flip-flopped, abandoned her disastrous senate campaign and will now run for Attorney General. Looks like she's been lying to us for weeks.

Pirro showed her true colors recently at the funeral of a New York City police officer.

Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro was seen giggling and chatting outside a Bronx church after the funeral Mass for slain Police Officer Danny Enchautegui - spurring outrage from cops.

One officer brusquely told her to "shut up," prompting Pirro to zip her lips and snap to attention just after the flag-draped coffin holding Enchautegui was placed into a nearby hearse.

While grim-faced Finest stood ramrod-straight, Pirro drew glares from the hero cop's fellow officers when they spotted her giggling and chatting with state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-Rensselaer) (Daily News, December 15, 2005)

Maybe Joe was making her laugh, telling her knock-knock jokes, discussing her campaign, trying to fix her up with Ken? You'd figure Joe might have elbowed her when she opened her mouth or at least when she began to giggle. Pirro is officially a joke in political circles and she is not going to be our next Attorney General. Has any political star burned-out as quickly as Pirro?

The GOP may be left with former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (Spencer also served as President Bartlett's Chief of Staff before his recent death). Spencer stands zero chance of defeating Clinton but at least he's a real conservative.

This points out the dilemma faced by the NY GOP. Actual conservatives can't win because New Yorkers are too intelligent to flirt with GOP wingnuts. That stuff plays better in the South. On the other hand, a moderate to liberal Republican will be chewed to pieces within their own party.
This will become more apparent if Pataki actually runs for president. The looney right, which controls the national GOP, will tear Pataki a new one (same for Giuliani). Pataki is aiming for a cabinet post, not president, because he knows he'll never be ideologically pure enough for the national party. It's amazing to us that the media never points this out.

Who Lied to Talespin?

We'd love to know who lied to the Talespin staff. Crist? Mirch? Kelleher? Someone at the County told Talespin it was a no-go on the pay hike. We know how that turned out. We're amazed by this. What happened to "no comment"? Frankly, as voters, we're also a little jealous. We thought we had a special relationship with politicians. We thought they cared enough to lie only us. Now they're lying to anything that walks by. We want a divorce!

On the upside, we voted ourselves a 33% tax cut yesterday. So we got that going for us.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Wishing all of you a great Christmas. Come on in and warm yourself by the fire.

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The traditional Polloi Log

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Amazing, when things like this can happen in broad daylight.

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Artist's rendering of what the legislature did
to the County on Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Not only have our fine public servants given themselves a pay hike, they saw fit to bestow one on Jimino and whores like Crist. Crist will now be making $80,000. almost as much as Mayor Harry, just for running his mouth.

"Crist said a remark attributed to Chairman Neil J. Kelleher, a Republican, was taken out of context. A recent Record editorial observed that 80 percent of legislators' work simply follows inflexible state mandates. "That was in relation to fiscal issues only," Crist said. "He made that comment during a budget meeting. Good government marches on."

Good government marches on? Yes, right up our collective ass! Shameless public servants.

We did receive a response from Mr. Kelleher re: our inquiry.

Dear Democratus Santorum:

We cannot find a Democratus Santorum in our directory; if you choose to speak to the Legislature regarding this issue, please let me know your identity. Our usual practice is not to engage in conversation with anonymous people.Sincerely,


Translation: I'm voting for the pay raise. What politician wouldn't want to go on record opposing a greedy pay raise. So, we knew Kelleher was on board. Plus, we'd like to be added to his "directory."Also, we're not anonymous. We're an amalgam. Get it straight. These guys run the county and don't know the difference between anonymity and an amalgam?

However, as we are fair and balanced, the Troy Polloi was able to sit down and discuss the pay raise with to legislative leaders. Here's what we found out:

TP: Why was the pay hike resolution the last item of business?

Legislative leaders: Snort.

TP: Do you think a 33% increase is excessive in light of the fact you've raised taxes over 50% in the last four years?

LL: Snort...snort....squeal!

Needless to say, we didn't get far.

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Legislative leaders explain the pay raise

We'd say shame on all of you, but you're beyond shame.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


If you work for the County.

We said we'd beleive it when we see it (no raise). We didn't see it and didn't believe it and guess what? They all voted themselves a nice Christmas bonus. The Record has the story and the numbers. Even Rich Crist, a political hack, got a nice bump in pay. At least they won't be going cold and hungry.

Remember folks, you heard it hear first.

If this shameless act offends you, Air your Grievance. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Criminal Gets No Jail Time

Looks like the son of Congressman John Sweeny will serve no jail time. Can't wait to hear from the "tough on crime" crowd. We're sure they're just outraged. Is there anyone out there that doubts if Sweeny were black and poor he'd have done time? Hell, he'd have gone to jail in Troy for not have a horn on his bike.

The judge pulled no punches when sentencing young Sweeny. The Congressman's son has to write, "I will not kick people in the head and send them to the hospital unless they really, really deserve it," one hundred times.

Guardian Angels
Oops, almost forgot.

The TU did a story on Troy's Guardian Angels. The Troy Polloi supported bringing the Angels to Troy for a number of reason. First. they couldn't hurt. Secondly, we wanted to help the dying beret industry, which has suffered since the Lewinsky scandal.

We have doubts about the chapter flourishing in Troy but we tip our caps to those willing to try and for those who do more than talk.

Mayor Harry also has doubts about the need for the Angels, citing the fact that crime is down in Troy. Interestingly, crime is down and Troy has lost population (under 50,000 for the first time since the Buchanan Administration) but the Administration has seen fit to hire two more police officers. Don't get us wrong, we're all for more cops. But why, if crime and the city's population are both down?

Pay Raise

According to Talespin, the County Legislature will not vote themselves a healthy pay raise. Why? Christmas Spirit. Some Republicans don't want to play hardball with Sue Steele's job. Interesting? We suppose the fact that they don't deserve a pay raise never entered their minds.

We'll believe it when it's confirmed.

Festivus for the Rest of Us

Happy Festivus! We've dusted off the Festivus pole and are dedicating this post to The Airing of Grievances. The Feats of Strength will commence at a later date.

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Oops, almost forgot. Remember Joseph's House suit against the City? According to a source in the Corporation Counsel's Office, the City expects to lose that suit and is attempting some sort of settlement. Just giving all you guys in Little Italy a heads-up. The homeless need shelter but does a shelter for the chronically homeless really belong in that neighborhood?

Thursday, December 15, 2005


If you haven't been following the story, we're proud to announce that Troy is no longer getting Weed 'n Seed money. Why? Due to the gross incompetence of Rensselaer County.

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Seems our friends at the County are unwilling, or unable, to respond to the Federal Government's inquiries. And if you know the Feds, that really pisses them off. Also note, "no additional adjustments will be granted...." Translation, no more money for now.

Perhaps the City Administration should start making some noise about this. After all, it was Troy's money. Cops in Troy are being pulled back from Weed 'n Seed details while County law enforcement has no such problems. Maybe Mirch can be the City's point man in going after the County, that won't work. Could be a conflict of interest.

There is a theory that the missing Weed 'n Seed money will equal the County Legislature's pay raise. Stay tuned.

On that note, has anyone heard back from their legislators about the pay raise. We'd love to know.

Finally, you are all cordially invited to the Troy Polloi Festivus Party on December 20, 2005. We'll begin the festivities with the "Airing of Grievances."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Posting may be limited throughout the Christmas season. We may limit to Tuesday and Thursday as opposed to M-W-F. All of you are quite disappointed, we're sure.

North Greenbush

Mr. Franco has a good piece on the North Greenbush Republicans desperate, last ditch effort to dole out patronage. On the other hand, they all do it. All parties make last minute appointments, even Founding Fathers such as John Adams.

It will be interesting to see what the NG Democrats do. We doubt they'll break the law like Tutunjian did in a similar situation. Instead, we predict they'll abide by the law and will not do anything childish, such as dissolve the Planning Board and then reconstitute the Planning Board.

Court Adjourned

The Times Union had a nice piece about retiring Supreme Court Justice James Canfield. Canfield could be cantankerous, but was respected by the attorneys that appeared before him. Overall, the Democrats have been well served by their choices for judges, especially at the Supreme Court level. Canfield leaves a good legacy as both a Judge and a District Attorney.

Perhaps DeAngelis might pay Canfield a visit and get a few tips on how to run an office.

State Politics

The Republicans continue to prove that at the state level they're about as organized and competent as the Marx Brothers. The leadership is strongly pushing for Jeanine Pirro to ditch her lethargic Senate Campaign and enter the race for Attorney General. Meanwhile, State Chairman Minarik is backing William Weld for Governor, much to the dismay of the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Why are the conservatives so down on Weld? Because he's basically a Democrat.

People are missing the entire point of the Pirro Senate campaign. She doesn't expect to unseat Clinton. Hell, that's the last thing she wants. The race for Attorney General was a natural for Pirro, so why the Senate race, where she's a sure loser? We're glad you asked.

Pirro's race against Clinton (if it ever gets off the ground) will confer celebrity status upon the Westchester County District Attorney. That means book deals, interviews, high paying speaking engagements and eventually, a lucrative gig on Fox News. The looney-right will hold it's nose and make a Saint of the politically moderate Pirro for taking on Clinton. Don't fool yourself. Only an idiot thinks Pirro can beat Clinton and Pirro ain't no idiot. The race against Clinton is simply business. It's not personal.

Weed 'n Seed

We should have some interesting W & S information in the near future. The Feds are snooping around, asking for information from the County and they're not getting what they're asking for. Maybe that's why the Weed 'n Seed funding is now on hold.

Friday, December 09, 2005


The Troy Polloi is closed for today due to inclement weather.


We'd urge an e-mail campaign to our County Legislators about the possible pay raise. You can find their e-mail addresses here. Click on the link and then click on the name for the e-mail address of your county legislator.

We're serious. We have not received a response to our e-mail but maybe one of you will. We're not suggesting anything rude or obnoxious. Just a polite inquiry on the issue: will there be a vote and and how will that legislator vote. We'd like to get a few of them on the record about a potential pay hike.

We thought this was something most could agree on, Republican and Democrat alike. If there is going to be a pay hike we'd bet at least three Republicans will vote against it.

Drive safely.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


According to reports, a deal between the Democrats and the Republicans has been struck. Previously, we reported that the County Legislature cut money for Democratic legislative staffing from the budget.*We were wrong. Those cuts will be made at the upcoming December 20th meeting if the Republican demand for a pay raise is not met. In essence, the Republicans will hold potential cuts over the heads of the Democrats like a Sword of Damocles.**

The Democrats in the Rensselaer County legislature will roll over and vote for the pay increase. According to sources, the Democrats will surrender to blackmail in order to save a staffer's salary. The Republicans get their raise, the Democrats save a job and we get royally F----d! Cigarette anyone?

Lets get our representatives on the record. Are they for or against a pay raise. Call them, write them, e-mail them (just click on the name and you'll get their e-mail address.)

Here's our e-mail:

Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 01:22:25 -0800 (PST)
From: "Democratus Santorum"

Subject: Possible pay raise

Dear Mr. Kelleher:

Please advise if the legislature will vote to raise it's own salary. I've heard rumors to that effect and believe that you would be in the best position to confirm or deny said rumors.

Will you pledge to vote NO! to any pay raise?



We'll let you know if we get a response.

In all fairness, the hardworking members of the Rensselaer County Legislature do deserve a pay hike. Raising our taxes and voting 'Yes' or 'No' on a few items is demanding work. How can we expect them to sacrifice so much of their lives to public service for the crumbs they now earn? Most of our legislators live in conditions similar to London's East End, circa 1880's. How often have we seen them, our legislators, huddled in doorways, looking pale, thin and half-starved? Going through dumpsters, searching for a scrap of food? Urinating in an alleyway?

The plight of our legislators is nothing less than a countywide disgrace. It is time we act!

Sure, the Conservatives among you may laugh at our chairitable efforts but we'll sleep better knowing that some of our hardest working citizens have a place to sleep and warm food this Holiday Season. Never again will we see this sight on our streets:

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"Please, Sir, may I have some more?"
-unidentified Rensselaer County Legislator

*We were wrong. The Legislature passed Jimino's budget. Possible cuts to the minority staff are being threatened but have not yet taken place.

** Damocles was a 5th Century County Legislator that liked to play with swords

Monday, December 05, 2005


Bob Mirch has turned hypocrisy into an art form. He's a real master too, a regular Rembrandt.

The County Legislature recently passed the budget. The Republicans have cut the Democrats funding for the minority, despite the fact that the Democrats picked up two seats. It would make sense to cut the Republican funds for staffing, but hey, it's Rensselaer County.

Mirch had this to say:

Majority Leader Robert Mirch said the Democrats' request for more money to run the office flies in the face its campaign promises to cut spending.

"It's absolutely hypocritical," Mirch said. "During the campaign, the minority said they wanted to cut spending and are looking for more money for political patronage."

Sad, really, when the 'shame' gene skips a generation.

Sources close to the Troy Polloi have revealed that the pay raise issue is not dead. It may still go down and it's not pretty.

Essentially, the Republicans will restore the cuts to the Democrats if the Democrats vote for the pay raise at the Special Meeting to adopt the tax levy. This would take place just before Christmas and it would be a very nice Christmas for Kelleher and Mirch.

The breakdown would be:

-$7,200 for Kelleher, Mirch and the Minority leader;
-$5,000 for the remaining members of the legislature.

That places Kelleher's Legislative salary at $32,000 and Mirch's at $27,000 (making Mirch the highest paid Man-Whore in the country).

We'll have to see if this comes to fruition. It would be pathetic if the Democrats went along with this. Not as pathetic as pay raises for a legislature that consistently raises taxes, but pathetic if they cave to blackmail.

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Legislative Majority Leader Bob Mirch

Thursday, December 01, 2005


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That's right. In Wednesday's Record, Mirch joined the chorus of whiners complaining about Durkee's defeat in District 5. Mirch (or someone literate) wrote a letter to the Record. Whining about the election wasn't the funny part, just the sad part.

The line that caught our eye: "If Democrats are really concerned about integrity...."

Bob Mirch talking about integrity is like Ted Bundy talking about courtship techniques.

Lets see, Bob, what else could you be doing with your time:

1) A legislative investigation into the Ellis No-Show Job at the District Attorneys Office;*

2) An investigation into the Weed n' Seed Scandal;

3) Might try keeping taxes a bit lower in Rensselaer County;

4) Keeping detailed time sheets on your three jobs to ensure you're not triple-dipping.

That's a start, Bob. Integrity....You're a funny guy.

*Mirch is an expert in the field and perfect to lead the investigation