Monday, May 10, 2010

News That Matters - May 10, 2010

News That Matters

News That Matters
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"He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."  - Douglas Adams

Good Monday Morning,

Our poll on your choice for NY's 40th Senate district has now had 42 votes and the results are about as they were last week. Westchester county legislator Mike Kaplowitz is still ahead with 52%, Southeast's Jim Borkowski comes in second with 26%, and Greg Ball has edged out Somer's Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy with 12% to her 10%.
At least as far as News That Matters readers are concerned, Senator Leibell's hand-picked replacement is not doing all that well and Southeast readers were not able organize enough to overcome Legislator Kaplowitz' rather significant following. But not surprisingly, away from the spotlight of divisiveness and xenophobia, Greg Ball is not doing nearly as well as his public noise-level would indicate. Could this be the election that finally, once and for all, buries our most famous local demagogue? Are we just a few months away from liberation?
NY State Senator Joe Bruno was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for violating the public trust. However, his sentence has been set aside until the US Supreme Court rules on whether there is a legal "public trust" or not. Stay tuned.

What if the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico were spread over the NY Metro area, how big would it be? It would be something like this:

Oil Spill over NY

And what would it be like if we confined the spill to an area the size of Putnam County? Someone asked me this last week and thanks to people way smarter than myself, the answer is this:
Imagine a fine coating of oil covering everything: Every leaf and car and flower and road and windowsill and lawn mower and bluejay and parking lot and lawn and child playing on an oil-coated swingset. Imagine that layer was less than a tenth of a millimeter in depth but if you wiped it away by the time you were done it was back, nice and slick and even. And no matter what you did or what you used to clean it up, so long as the pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico remains unplugged, not only is your handiwork undone but the entirety of the covering layer get thicker a tenth of a millimeter by a tenth of a millimeter, one tenth for each 15 million gallons of oil gushing from the ocean floor.

An interesting and easy to read explanation of what's going on down there was posted this morning here and a nice PDF graphic of what's at the bottom of the pipe is here. Halliburton's connection to this environmental disaster is written about here.

Over the weekend a few dozen tea baggers met in convention in Goshen to hear prospective candidates for Congress but my favorite, Krisita Cavare, was sadly not among them. If you've forgotten, Ms. Cavare is the woman who claimed Republicans freed Europe from Nazi aggression and claimed also that she had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars yet her campaign could only show $12. Yes, twelve dollars. Oh well.
'Sue Kelly Light' candidate Nan Hayworth said, "My background as a doctor, and a mother and a businesswoman gives me a lot of qualifications to tackle the issues that face us in this electoral year and going forward,” which, if you're interested in electing someone that closely aligned with the health insurance industry (her husband is a principal with the Mt. Kisco Medical Group), is a good bet. She, like Ms. Kelly before her with the banks and insurance industries, would be a good fit for that role.

David McFadden claims to be the only candidate in the race who has ever held elective office - at least we know whom to blame. And candidate Neil Di Carlo said, "I’m just a regular dad, I'm just a regular father and I go to work every day just like the majority of the people in this district and I accurately represent them, I’m just a regular guy." Always be on the warning for anyone who claims they're just a "regular guy" as their primary qualification for public office.

Also at the 'baggers meeting was Republican NY Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino who said, "We’re about change, we're about taking Albany apart piece by piece and restructuring our government so that it's responsive to the people,” Oh my, we see how well that worked out!

For all the problems I have with Congressman John Hall, and they are many and run deep, he's still light-years of intelligence ahead of the pack trying to unseat him.

If, come November, you're going to vote for a candidate based solely on their party affiliation, please unsubscribe from this list.

Last week Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman suggested that Federal law be changed to say that anyone who is accused of supporting a foreign terrorist group should lose their US citizenship. What would happen is that you'd be turned over to the State Department and they, alone without due process, would make the determination of whether or not you should become a stateless person.
While you may think this is a good idea, all you Irish Catholics out there who supported the IRA, please get in line... Oh, you're off the hook. The IRA is no longer an international terrorist organization as they've since disarmed. Whew! The point is, that's how close millions of Americans were to losing their citizenship had Senator Leiberman's suggested US Code change had been in effect back in the day. You know, one man's terrorist is another mans' freedom fighter and the decision is made by those who are currently in power. It could get ugly.
“I think we should keep this clean, keep it simple, go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant. They’re quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.” So said Sarah Palin on FOX the other night and I'm willing to agree. Let's go back and rewrite the entirety of US Federal and local laws based on Leviticus.
So, here we go:
  • From now on you will be paid on the day you've worked, no more of this every two weeks crap.
  • It will be an insult before God to cut your hair,
  • Or to wear two different fabrics at the same time. If you get caught wearing any of those cotton/poly blends you will be stoned to death. And I don't mean with a mean Thai stick, but with real rocks thrown by your god-fearing neighbors, none of whom have committed sins.
  • In order to save money at home you may now sell your daughters into slavery.
  • All your debts will be forgiven every seven years.
  • All our laws will be thrown out and rewritten every seven years.
  • For you farmers and gardeners, you'll leave the corners of your fields and the fruit that has fallen off your trees unharvested so that those who are hungry may come and eat.
  • You will no longer be able to have a cheeseburger and a shake, doing so will get you stoned to death.
  • If you have sex out of wedlock, both of you will be killed and please, don't have sex with your mom.
  • Clams? Shrimp? Pork Sirloin? Just for the heathens - who will be killed.
  • Masturbation? Oy vey! You are unclean and anything you've touched will be unclean. In order to make clean you must take two doves and ritually sacrifice them. Then you're kosher again.
  • Woman having their periods? For seven days you are unclean and again, anything you touch will aso be unlcean. And in order to get clean again... yeah, get those doves ready.
  • If you plant corn and beans in the same garden plot you will be killed.
  • And lastly, you have to be nice to immigrants.
I said it last week and I'll say it again, Sarah Palin is the stupidest woman we've ever let go before a microphone.

In response to recent events on the boob tube where South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker used references to the Prophet Mohammad in a recent episode which drew death and bomb threats from radical Muslims, May 20th has been designated as "Draw Mohammad Day". The idea is that if everyone draws an image of the Prophet there will so many potential targets that the radicals will implode trying to kill us all.
Considering that no one even knows what the dude looked like I'd say anything you draw could be the right thing and land you in deep, deep camel-shit. I could say the same for Joshua ben Yoseph but everyone knows he was a 13th century, European skinny guy with long hair and a beard and not the 5'6" dark skinned Semitic guy with a Jew-fro - and a beard - that evidence suggests he might have been. So, get your pens, pencils and paper ready!
Largely unreported in the mainstream press, a new genotype of Cryptococcus gatti fungi, usually found in the tropics of southeast Asia and India is spreading through the US Pacific northwest and Canada.
The airborne fungus attacks both humans and domestic animals and can sit in the body for about six months before symptoms are seen, symptoms which include a lingering cough, sharp chest pains, fever, night-sweats, weight-loss, headaches and shortness of breath. There is treatment - if caught early, but the mortality rate is at 25% making this genotype way more lethal than Cryptococcus gatti normally is and six people have already died. While the effects are not transmittable between people or animals, it is in the air - and spreading slowly.

The Attorney General for the State of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, has altered the 234-year-old Virginia state seal, covering the bare breast of The Goddess of Virtue and replacing it with... well, it's hard to say what it is now. It kinda, sorta looks like a Disney character after the model of a junior high school text book article on Spanish Conquistadors.
Here's the "before" and "after". If the images don't show up below here's a link to an article about it.

Virginia State Seal - BeforeVirginia State Seal After

Mr. Cuccinelli said, "The seal on my pin is one of many seal variations that were used before a uniform version was created in 1930. I felt it was historic and would be something unique for my staff. My joke about Virtue being a little more virtuous in her more modest clothing was intended to get laughs from my employees — which it did! Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean we always have to continue doing it that way. Now seriously, can we get on with real news?"

"Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean we always have to continue doing it that way." I'll remember to hold him to that the next time same-sex marriage comes up.
Police in Texas have a problem. They've got 200,000 pounds of confiscated marijuana they're finding too expensive to destroy. They should have thought of that before they began impinging on personal rights making the commonly found roadside weed illegal. My advice? Save the $100 billion we spend each year through (some) drug enforcement, free the 2 million Americans in prison for low-level drug convictions and put those dollars towards health care or education or motherhood or infrastructure or.... well, something useful, at the very least.

Last words:

"There won't be any people on the beach. Yes! That's a positive."
"I might be able to keep my lights on at night because there won't be any turtles on the beach."
- Rush Limbaugh on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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