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|"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt |
Good Monday Morning,
School Board and budget elections are tomorrow. Unless there's a candidate who has made consolidation a key component of their campaign, write in someone instead of voting for the guys/gals on the ballot. You're not wasting your vote, you'd be stating your opinion and that's what elections are all about. Who to write in? Me. Matt Damon. Clarance Darrow. Jerry Garcia. It matters not. But please, do go to the polls. School district costs represent, by far, the largest portion of your property tax bills and since no one seems to care much about changing the way we pay for education (see A6009 as the only viable solution) you need to make your voices heard.
Only four of you have voted in our latest poll on what you like to do on weekends. I'm willing to bet had the poll question been, "Which Putnam County Politician Would You Most Like to See Naked" we'd have more than four votes. Go vote.
If you're heading down to the city today, note that several trains no longer exist due to cost cutting by the MTA. Check the schedules carefully.
It was quite a weekend here in Putnam County. The weather was stellar and there were so many events to pick and choose from it made planning difficult. But in the end, on Saturday we stopped in at the CCE Master Gardener's plant sale at Tilly Foster Farm:
Then at the new Farmer's Market in Kent where I got some olive-rosemary bread that might actually last until tomorrow night's dinner:
Yesterday we were at the Chuang Yen Monastery in the Free State of Kent Cliffs celebrating, with hundreds and hundreds of others, the birthday of the Buddha. There's additional pictures posted at my Facebook page.
equal work for equal pay bill, part time Assemblyman Greg Ball had this exchange with Assembly Labor Committee Chair Susan John:
For the record, Ball voted for the bill in the end. Thanks to the Albany Project for reminding me of all this.
In the meantime, the Ballster's State Senate campaign website claims he's a champion of woman's rights. I'm assuming he means the right to remain barefoot, the right to remain pregnant and the right to remain in the kitchen, but not the right to be barefoot and pregnant and milking goats in the barn.
There is nothing stopping material goods from entering Gaza if brought in by legal means, and tons of such goods have come in since Hamas got their asses handed to them a while back. In April of this year, 12,000 tons of humanitarian aid and 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel arrived in Gaza and product destined for market in Europe came out. Also in April, Hamas launched 31 rockets into Israel as their way of saying, "thanks!" for the help.Their belief in the "Protocols" says it all.
So, my Lefitst, wayward friends, spend your time and efforts setting Hamas on the path to peace and you won't have to worry about blockades. And to Hamas and their supporters I say, Never Again.
England has once again closed its airspace due to the volcano in Iceland that no one can pronounce or even spell. The airline industry says the closure is extreme and unnecessary but I'm willing to bet, scones to haggis, that if one of those planes go down the government will end up paying the bills. Whatever happened to the days when corporations took financial risks and the responsibility that goes along with it? Oh yea, now I remember! That ended the day they bought the government. Please fasten your safety belts....
And now, The News:
The state Senate recently missed a golden opportunity to restore the right of all New Yorkers to have a stronger voice in environmental decisions that could seriously impact our health, safety and prosperity.
By voting down the Environmental Access to Justice Act, the legislators refused to reinstate the balance originally intended in the State Environmental Quality Review Act — the chief means of ensuring that developments won't have adverse consequences for our air, water and land. In essence, they've cut out a large segment of the population when it comes to speaking out about the pros and cons of residential or industrial projects.
At issue is "standing," an outgrowth of Scenic Hudson's 17-year fight to halt a massive hydroelectric project from defacing Storm King Mountain, a Hudson River landmark. In 1965, the group won its first major victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Scenic Hudson had standing — the right to present evidence in court that the project would be an environmental albatross.
Q: Why are the sturgeon an important species and why are they worth studying?
A: The sturgeon used to be called Albany beef. They used to eat the meat, smoked, and its roe, the eggs. They'd cut it open and take the eggs out. They've been known to grow 14 feet.
They're rare now. Sturgeon takes 14 years to mature, when they can begin to spawn.
Q: What did your research project entail?
Bt cotton is a cotton seed injected with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a bacterium that is toxic to the bollworm (and other insects), which releases this toxin and wipes out the pests, thereby reducing the need for cotton farmers to spray pesticides on their cotton crops.
The only problem is that the lack of spraying is allowing the populations of other once minor pests to boom and to spread to other fields. While Bt cotton reduced the amount of pesticide usage significantly when it was introduced in the 90's, now farmers are back to spraying roughly the same amount as they were, and using a genetically engineered seed that they must purchase year after year instead of saving their own.
Just another example of the GM merry-go-round that harms both the environment and farmers by making them dependent on corporations. Farmers begin spraying for the bollworm, seed companies create a genetically engineered seed that is bollworm resistant, it has some unforeseen effect that eclipses its benefits, so farmers find themselves in a place that is worse than where they started, until the seed companies invent something else for the farmers to buy from them.
Jeremy Wijer, who recently opened the Portland [Oregon] Thai Boxing gym in an old Northeast Portland warehouse, insisted the owner install energy-efficiency building upgrades.
With their reputation for punishing opponents in the ring, mixed martial artists might not seem the most likely advocates for energy-efficiency building upgrades.
But Jeremy Wijer, owner of the Portland Thai Boxing gym, sounds like a lifelong environmentalist when he talks about the benefits of saving energy.
“Energy efficiency is good for everybody. It saves money, it reduces pollution and it’s good for the power grid,” says Wijer, who picked up his earth-friendly ethos growing up in Eugene.
So when Wijer recently looked at opening his gym in an old warehouse, he knew the old metal cone lights had to go. Not only was the quality of light poor, but Wijer knew they would cost a fortune to operate.
Today, The Money Game highlighted Milken’s opening presentation. It included eight broken campaign pledges to work toward energy independence since the 1960s.
From The Money Game:
* In 1974 with 36.1% of oil from foreign sources, President Richard Nixon said, “At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need.”
* In 1975 with 36.1% of oil from foreign sources, President Gerald Ford said, “We must reduce oil imports by one million barrels per day by the end of this year and by two million barrels per day by the end of 1977.”
Lawmakers from both parties are poised to override Gates and fund the C-17 cargo plane and an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter -- two weapons systems the defense secretary has been trying to cut from next year's budget. They have also made clear they will ignore Gates's pleas to hold the line on military pay raises and health-care costs, arguing that now is no time to skimp on pay and benefits for troops who have been fighting two drawn-out wars.
The competing agendas could lead to a major clash between Congress and the Obama administration this summer. Gates has repeatedly said he will urge President Obama to veto any defense spending bills that include money for the F-35's extra engine or the C-17, both of which he tried unsuccessfully to eliminate last year.
"Secretary Gates is a very deliberate and careful man," said his press secretary, Geoff Morrell. "He does not make idle threats."
Gates is hardly the first defense secretary to try to kill expensive weapons systems, only to have them spring back to life on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are reluctant to cut programs that provide jobs in their legislative districts, even if the programs' military usefulness is marginal.
1. Combating fraud and other overbilling by doctors and hospitals.
2. Running "utilization review" or "pre-certification" departments to determine whether the insurer should cover treatment that doctors have proposed.
3. Conducting internal or external reviews when patients appeal an insurance company's decision to deny coverage.
Insurers have urged regulators to give them credit for all of the above.
If people know one thing about Glenn Beck, it is that he cries. He is the Crying Conservative. Alone among cable news and talk-radio personalities, he frequently chokes up, his lips quiver, he wipes his eye, and he holds tortured misty pauses until he can hold them no more. For more than a decade, Beck has been crying on the radio, on television, on stage, in interviews, and even in scripted commercials. Sometimes the tears are implied; at other times, such as during a 2009 stage performance, he gets into a fetal position on the floor and bawls. But whatever the gradation, he owns the scale. It defines him like nothing else.
This is not an accident. As they were always intended to do, Beck’s tears have become a distinctive corporate-brand handle. They mark him clearly from everyone else in the broadcasting industry. When Beck began his career in conservative commentary, the field was thick with tough-guy know-it-alls—from the lace-curtain boor O’Reilly to the cigar-chomping blowhard Limbaugh.
But the cast of the late 1990s was incomplete. It contained no emotional Nancy, no repentant prodigal son, and no needy Twelve Stepper. Beck, a careful student of positional marketing theory since his days as a morning-zoo deejay in the 1980s and ’90s, identified and exploited the open niche. He began practicing the act during his transition from Top 40 to talk radio in the late 1990s. According to his Connecticut colleagues, he was known for being both genuinely emotional and able and willing to fake cry on cue.
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