Wednesday, June 16, 2010

News That Matters - Wednesday, June 16, 2010

News That Matters

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Good Wednesday Morning,

The political situation in Putnam County is calm this morning with everyone settling into their new roles. Vinnie Leibell is picking out new carpeting for the County Executive's offices, congressional candidate Nan Hayworth claims we can get 60 billion barrels of shale oil from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and Greg Ball has been running commercials on television which include footage of an Assembly floor debate, illegal under their rules, and everyone is fighting over the Independence Party line even though that party has recently come under scrutiny as being the recipient of some of the dollars allegedly stolen from Mike Bloomberg's last mayoral campaign.

An unknown amount of oil is still leaking into the Gulf of Mexico and right-of-center pundits are blaming the President. Apparently he should have had foreknowledge of the accident and after it happened, already been there with giant secret US Navy sucking ships to clean it up. In the meantime, BP has bought 1/3 of the worlds supply of dispersants in an effort to hide the worst of it and the state of Mississippi says that the tar balls washing up on her beaches are only a minor annoyance.

Responses to the article, The 38 Billion Dollar Fee, have been tremendous. It's something of a relief to know that so many of you *used* to do your banking with Bank of America for all the reasons outlined in the article - and more.

In other news:
  • Metro North service cuts kick in this weekend. The goal is to save money but the impact will be the loss of travel to and from NYC effectively putting more cars on the road.
  • A six-story-tall statue of Jesus with uplifted arms burned to the ground after being struck by lightning the other night in Ohio. Nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus" by locals it sat alongside the interstate, usually scaring drivers who came upon it. Now all that's left is the steel frame on which the plastic and fiberglass statue was attached looking for all the world like a genuine goal post.
  • The Bank of Palestine has a map on its annual report showing its branch locations and while there are none in Israel that makes sense since Israel isn't on the map. 
  • At the World Cup, the vuvuzela seems to have raised an awful lot of attention but if you're of a certain age don't you remember having one back in the day? Remember those long, plastic horns that were so popular in the 60s and 70s? Yeah.
  • Bank of America found a new fee the other day: I had a debit purchase from overseas for $12 and it came with a 36 cent overseas fee. No joke. Luckily I had $12.38 in my account otherwise I would have faced another $35 over draft fee.
  • A mix-up in paper work saw a prisoner released from jail in Pennsylvania. He turned himself back in but is now facing charges of escaping from jail. Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. "He certainly didn't escape" as jail officials actually walked him to the door. But DA's being DA's and all...

And now, The News:

Back from Iraq, Frisco, Texas soldier finds home sold by HOA

FRISCO, Texas — A soldier returned home from combat to find his Frisco home, which was owned free and clear, sold off by his homeowners' association.

While there is a law to protect service members from financial disaster while they're off fighting a war, it is frequently broken.

On dangerous missions in Iraq, Capt. Michael Clauer of Frisco was responsible for the lives of 130 soldiers. He had a lot on his mind.

"You can't worry about what's going on at home," he said. "It's enough stress there the way it is."

His wife, Mae Clauer, was under stress, too. She was alone and taking care of her family in a $300,000 home her parents had given her as a gift.

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Choose Local Foods, and Lose Those Food Miles

By article feed, on June 15th, 2010

It takes a tremendous amount of fossil fuel to transport foods from far-flung locales to your grocer’s shelf. That’s one reason more and more people are adding locally sourced foods to their diet.

The other reason: They’re fresher and taste better. Meals with fresh meat, milk, eggs, artisanal breads and cheeses, grain, fruits and vegetables prepared using locally grown or produced ingredients use from four to seventeen times less petroleum to transport than one compiled from the typical grocery store. And the money you spend will stay in the community longer, creating jobs and helping preserve family farms.

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Gardening for the Grill

This article was first posted at Plant Talk by Plant Talk.

Every year around Memorial Day weekend or shortly thereafter we observe the ritual of rooting through our kitchen drawers on a mission to find and inspect the condition of our barbeque paraphernalia. We locate the barbeque fork, the long-handled tongs, the broad spatula, and the tattered basting brush.

For gardeners the ritual starts well before Memorial Day, and by the end of May or early June preparations for the seasonal grilling fests are in full motion. Garlic was lovingly planted in the fall, perennial herbs were groomed in mid-April, and annual herbs and vegetables were started from seed indoors around February or March and popped into the ground as transplants starting in April and running into June.

If you’ll be spending weekends and evenings standing over the grill, you will want to grow plants that aid in this culinary endeavor. Sometimes the choices are easy. Sometimes the choices are easy. Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens has come out with a line of herbs that were destined for marinades and skewers. (Herb plants from Gilbertie’s are sold at Shop in the Garden).

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Spanish Politician Castigates US and Israel Bashers

By Pilar Rahola

Pilar Rahola is a Spanish politician, journalist and activist and member of the far left. Her articles are published in Spain and throughout some of the most important newspapers in Latin America.

Why don’t we see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris, Barcelona?

Or demonstrations against the Burmese dictatorship?

Why aren’t there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection?

Why aren’t there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs?

Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan?

Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel?

Why is there no outcry by the European left against Islamic fanaticism?

Why don’t they defend Israel’s right to exist?

Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism?

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To Helen Thomas: Get the Hell Out of…My Face

Here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking about poor Helen Thomas, who I believe was probably just saying what everyone thinks and has therefore been made a scapegoat. Not that I really care, because we ought to share the scapegoat status once in a while. It’s the least we can do to dispel the stereotype that we are stingy, us irritating Jews.

Irritating enough, apparently – like the too-talented and bossy fame-hog Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) on Fox’s Glee – in our discovery of the written word, monotheism, modern physics, psychology, vaccinations, and the film industry, that every country that has ever “hosted” us has found it necessary to tell us to get the hell out, like Thomas did. (Ironically, the aforementioned Jewish character Rachel, in a particularly annoying moment in one episode, was told by classmates to move to Israel. I doubt the writers coordinated this telling joke – Jews do equal Israel in the eyes of the world, sorry J Street - with the State Department.)

Anywho. Helen, you know why we were in Germany and much of Eastern Europe in the first place? (And by the way, if I follow your advice, do you think the nice old ladies who got my grandmothers’ large houses and farms from the Nazis in what was once Czechoslovakia will kick the property back two generations? That would be cool because I’d love a vineyard and an agricultural estate.)

…We were in Germany and Hungary and Czechoslovakia and Russia (where we were regularly just plain killed by Cossacks), and also, for many centuries, Poland (ditto), cuz we were told to get the hell out of England, France, and Spain. (Or, you know, just plain killed by handsome and heroic fairytale knights.)

And you know why we were in Western Europe to begin with? Cuz we were told by the Greeks and the Romans – wait for it – to get the hell out of “Palestine,” where we had been living since the beginning of recorded history.

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Ramen Noodles May Lead to Chronic Illness

Ramen noodles could be putting college students and frugal eaters at greater risk of developing chronic illness, according to a recent study.

The instant noodles have long been a staple for the cash-strapped, but they could be putting their fans at risk of further nutritional deficits already caused by a lack of affordable and fresh fruits and vegetables, suggests a study presented at a meeting of the Dietitians Association of Australia.

According to the study, conducted by Australian researchers Danielle Gallegos and Kai Wen Ong, one in four college students reported insecurity about being able to afford food.

Of those students, two-thirds said they ate two or less servings of fruit per week, suggesting that money spent on more-filling but sodium- and MSG-laden Ramen noodles and fast food takes away from funds that could be spent on healthy but less-filling fruits and vegetables.

Read More

Somali football fans executed for watching matches

The following night, another 30 people including a 15-year-old boy were arrested as the watched the Germany-Australia game in two private homes in the town of Afgoye.

A spokesman for the group, Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Aros, said the rest of Somalia should respect their ban on the World Cup – the first to be hosted in Africa – and focus instead on "pursuing holy jihad".

"We are warning all the youth of Somalia not to dare watch these World Cup matches. It is a waste of money and time and they will not benefit anything or get any experience by watching mad men jumping up and down," he said.

The ban, which has seen radio stations around the city taken off air for playing music, has resulted in people flocking to public cinemas in the few Government-controlled areas of the country.

Read More

Cow executed for seducing man for sex

An Indonesian man claims he was seduced by a cow after he was caught having sex with it on the resort island of Bali.

Cow: Come hither my little boy toy

Busti Ngurah Alit was caught by a neighbor in the rice paddy fields of the village of Yeh Embang in Jembrana   wooing the cow, CNews reports.

The village chief Embang Ida Bagus Legawa said the 18-year-old man was standing naked while holding the back of the cow. Alit claims he didn’t see an animal but a beautiful woman.

 ”She called my name and seduced me, so I had sex with her,” said Alit.

The young man was then forced to marry the cow in a cleansing ritual for his unholy acts. He fainted during the ceremony that also required his clothes be thrown into the sea.

The cow didn’t fair so well. Chief Embang gave the owner of the cow approximately $562 before having the animal drowned in the sea to rid the village of bad luck.


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