News That Matters
Good Thursday Morning,
You'll notice that the subject header this morning reads, "NtM" rather than "News That Matters". I write the latter several hundred times each year and by shortening it to its initials I can save thousands of keypresses. You're all getting this for free (thanks to saints among you who are donors and supporters) so saving a little here and there goes a long way. In two weeks I'll be dropping vowels from these articles to save even more time and bandwidth. Come April 1st I'll start visualizing the column and you'll get it via remote-transference. Just my part to save and conserve.
Patterson Democrats are looking for a candidate to take on County Legislator Mary Conklin this coming November. If your stomach is strong enough for a political campaign, contact Ken Harper.
The Assemblyman Who Shall Not Be Named (AWSNBN) raised nearly $357,000 for his race last year according to a rather interesting report put together by NYPIRG on state campaign funding during the 2008 election cycle. That report is here. For all state races last year, Putnam County residents donated a little more than $142,000 or about a buck and a half per resident. But look closer at those numbers and you'll see that the AWSNBN raised most of his funds from outside the county.
From the Department of Homeland Security:
"In sum, ecoterrorists adhere to a utopian ideological construct that borrows from, and merges together, several complementary philosophies and “are dedicated to the ideal of all living beings (plants, animals, even ecosystems as a whole) living together without being ‘commodified’ as resources or used, oppressed or destroyed for economic reasons.”
Wal-Mart's profits were down 8% in the last quarter. The culprit? A strong US dollar.
From the Your Tax Dollars Misspent Department: Reuters reports that Citi and Morgan Stanely are paying out $3 billion to keep their brokers from "fleeing" to other companies.
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand keeps a gun under her bed. Apparently that's news.
UN authorities in Gaza want a stockpile of unexploded bombs from the recent war returned. The stockpile went missing after it was entrusted to Hamas for guarding. Is anyone surprised?
A taxpayer watchdog group in the Town of Kent, Kent Fiscal Watch (KFC) is upset with the town for its apparent lack of information regarding an ongoing lawsuit filed against the town by the latest developers for the Kent Manor site on Nichols Street. They want to know whether the town's insurance will cover the costs if we loose the suit.
While I can't disagree (I'd like to know too), I know enough that any information the town gives out could end up in the wrong hands and hurt us in the long run. If the town should say that yes, insurance will cover us, that gives the developer the ability to sue to whatever that amount might be. KFC's call for the town to assure residents that the sky will not fall would only play into the developer's hands and weaken our abilities in court.
When it comes to these types of things, no matter how much we may hate it, we really do have to take a step back and trust the legal beagles even if we don't trust them - or the judge - very much.
From the "Yeah, I Can't Believe It Either Department"
Sunni Muslim clerics gathered in Turkey the other day at a conference dubbed the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign and called for yet another jihad against Israel. Mohammad Nazzel, a senior Hamas official based in Syria said, "There will be no agreement with Israel... only weapons will bring respect." and then told the meeting, "Don't worry about casualties."
I keep saying that spring has sprung and the proof is in this image taken on Tuesday:
If you squint, those little green things are the tips of daffodils ready to make their appearance in the perennial garden on the south side of my cottage. There's also creeping flox, butterfly bush, wild daises, spearmint, peony, creeping thyme and I'm working on getting some transplanted chamomile going. This spring I'll be adding more perennial herbs. How's your garden doing?
And now, The News:
A NYJN Editorial
Military leaders are taking seriously their duty to heal the psychic scars of war along with the physical injuries. There's clear evidence of a growing problem - the suicide rate has grown each year since 2004; a staggering 20 percent of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder .
ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2009) — A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) has developed a method that makes it possible to evaluate the environmental impacts caused during the construction of buildings in advance. Before beginning the works, with just the project data, the new method makes it possible to predict up to 37 environmental impacts. This information, according to the creators, could help improve environmental management in the construction processes.
BEACON – The continuing redevelopment and growth in Beacon has brought with it an expanding environmental movement which began several years ago with the Beacon Sloop Club.
Eric Bland, Discovery News
by The Associated Press
CLIMATE CHANGE AND NEW YORK'S COMMUNITIES
Climate change affects every community in New York -- economically, socially and environmentally. As the first line of response in emergencies, as the proprietors of critical infrastructure and as the governments with immediate responsibility for public health and safety, municipalities face a critical challenge in confronting and responding to climate change.
Naturally occurring greenhouse gases (GHGs) like water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane help keep temperatures on earth stable. By trapping heat near the surface of the earth -- a natural phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect -- GHGs keep the planet warm enough to support life as we know it. Since the industrial revolution, however, human activities have been adding significantly to the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere. Higher levels of atmospheric GHGs enhance the greenhouse effect, altering the earth's energy balance and resulting in the warming of its surface, ocean, and atmosphere.
By the year 2100, average global temperatures are expected to be between 2.5 degrees F and 10.4 degrees F higher than 1990 temperatures, according to the nearly 2,500 scientists who make up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). How much warming we experience will depend on how much GHG we emit. Warming is already having significant effects on climate, and will continue to change local climates for decades to come.
By JIM DWYER
ScienceDaily (Feb. 16, 2009) — As fans of talk-show host Jay Leno’s man-on-the-street interviews know, Americans suffer from a national epidemic of historical and civic ignorance. But just because most Americans know more about “American Idol” than they do about American government doesn’t necessarily mean it’s entirely their fault.