Wednesday, September 29, 2010

News That Matters - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

News That Matters

News That Matters
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Wednesday Morning,

Putnam Valley resident Judy Allen reminds us that you have until October 8th to register to vote if you have not yet done so. You can download a PDF form from the Board of Elections here and request an absentee ballot here.

Fall is coming and winter is close behind so it's time for those end-of-summer chores like getting your house sealed up and your firewood split and stacked. And it just so happens that two of our supporters (over there in the sidebar) can help you with both. TaconicArts is a painting company, (licensed and insured with Putnam County,) with special rates for "News That Matters" readers and "Out on a Limb" can provide you with seasoned firewood. Give them both a call.

Ball Women 4 BallOp Hike Mike

Greg Ball
has resorted to hiding behind the skirts of women who belong to an organization called "Women 4 Ball" and the bad pun is not, I am sure, unintended. It's like shouting that you're single and lonely and can't get a date and so hang around the debonair Ballster who also can't seem to get a date. Though, he does seem to surround himself with fine young men and that just zippers open another can of worms. (They shouldn't let me write write about Greg this early in the morning.) I swear, being a "Women 4 Ball" is like being a Log Cabin Republican except that the Loggers get dates once in a while.
Anyway, the point is that another affinity group, Women for Kaplowitz, (which does not hold the pizazz of being Balled,) held a rally at the courthouse calling for equal pay for women and about 15 of Ball's gals showed up with their hot-pink signs and their voices hoarse with indignation against equal pay for women.

"And the Lord sayeth, place thy women into thy kitchen, unshod and with child, that thy menfolk may tend to thine goats and bringest forth their holy milk". Ball 15:23
News Briefs:
  • Senate Republicans and the US Chamber of Commerce scuttled a bill that would have raised corporate taxes on US companies that sent your jobs overseas. Vote Republican! The Job You Lose May Be Your Own!
  • Miami Federal prosecutor Sean Cronin was arrested after taking a dip in a pool in his boxers. It wasn't that he was wearing boxers that was the problem, it was what fell out of them when he got out of the water. A woman was so horrified by catchning a fleeting glimpse of his naughty-bits that she covered her daughters eyes and called police. Really now. Are we that sexually repressed as a nation? Would someone please get that woman a date!
  • It turns out that Viagra is useless in 50% of British men who use it and that low testosterone levels are actually to blame. I'm not touching the rest of this story with a ten-foot pole.
  • An aid ship named "Irene" left Cyprus a few days ago and headed toward Gaza when the Israeli navy legally intercepted it in international waters, offloaded the crew, which included a Putnam County resident, and brought them and the cargo to Ashdod where supplies were loaded on to trucks and sent down to Gaza for distribution.

    But the Hamas government wasn't all that happy about the ship nor its crew for they have not signaled the belief that the Israeli state should be destroyed. Gazan political writer Dr. Issam Shawar said, "Even though they claim to recognize the right of the people of Gaza and the West to exist, they do not recognize the right of the majority of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and do not recognize as well as the crime of occupation for the rest of our territory. Those people are trying to ignore the usurpation of people's rights, and trying to mask the ugly face of occupation with this photo-op. Do not fool us this trick, which is widely practiced in the West and the rest of the world...."
  • The Baltimore Sun reports that a Harford County (MD) Circuit Court judge ruled that a motorcyclist who was arrested for videotaping his traffic stop by a Maryland State Trooper was within his rights to record the confrontation.
  • If you happen to be on death row in a state that uses lethal injection to murder its citizens, you have a little extra time on this earth as prisons are having a hard time getting the drugs required to kill you. See, the company that makes sodium thiopental, one of the drugs used in the injected "cocktail", objects to their product being used by the state to kill people and so are blaming "supply problems" on the shortage.
  • A Muslim terrorist was arrested for a plot to blow up a woman's clinic in North Carolina. Okay, just kidding! Arrested was evangelical Justin Carl Moose of Concord, North Carolina. On his Facebook page Mr. Moose wrote: "whatever you may think about me, you're probably right. Extremist, Radical, Fundamentalist...? Yep! Terrorists...? Well.... I prefer the term 'freedom Fighter'. 'End abortion by any means necessary and at any cost'. 'Save a live, Shoot an abortionist' ". And, "There are few problems in life that can't be solved with the proper application of high explosives :)". The double standard is obvious as no one is arresting the government for putting that sentiment into actual practice.
  • From the Daily KOS: Tired of Big Gubmint getting in the way of your entrepreneurial ambition?  Ready to Go Galt and shrug all the welfare queens off your shoulders so you can have the riches you deserve?  Well, I have some great news - there are many unique job opportunities to be had in a small government society that are simply not available in today's Communist America.  In fact, there are so many that I can only discuss a handful of them here, but they're more than enough to refute the odious librul myth that people can't get by without public services.  There is an entire world of opportunity for hard-working people in Libertarian Paradise. Read more here.

And now, The news:

Even Living Among Us, Coyotes Remain a Mystery

With a chorus of howls and yips wild enough to fill a vast night sky, the coyote has ignited the imagination of one culture after another. In many American Indian mythologies, it is celebrated as the Trickster, a figure by turns godlike, idiotic and astoundingly sexually perverse. In the Navajo tradition the coyote is revered as God’s dog. When European colonists encountered the species, they were of two minds, heralding it as an icon of the expansive West and vilifying it as the ultimate varmint, the bloodthirsty bane of sheep and cattle ranchers.

Mark Twain was so struck when he first saw that “long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolfskin stretched over it” that he called it “a living, breathing allegory of Want.” And Twain’s description itself was so vivid, it inspired the animator Chuck Jones to create that perennial failure known to cartoon-loving children everywhere, Wile E. Coyote of Road Runner-hating fame.

Yet as familiar as the coyote seems, these animals remain remarkably poorly understood. They have remained elusive despite fantastic ecological success that has been described as “a story of unparalleled range expansion,” as they have moved over the last century from the constrictions of their prairie haunts to colonize every habitat from wild to urban, from coast to coast. And they have retained their mystery even as interest has intensified with increasing coyote-human interactions — including incidents of coyotes dragging off small dogs and cats, and even (extremely rarely) attacks on people, from Los Angeles to the northern suburbs of New York City, where four children were attacked in separate incidents this summer.

Read More

As L.S.S.I. Takes Over Libraries, Patrons Can’t Keep Quiet

J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.

The basic pitch that the company Library Systems & Services makes to cities is that it fixes broken libraries — often by cleaning house.

Now the company, Library Systems & Services, has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy.

A $4 million deal to run the three libraries here is a chance for the company to demonstrate that a dose of private management can be good for communities, whatever their financial situation. But in an era when outsourcing is most often an act of budget desperation — with janitors, police forces and even entire city halls farmed out in one town or another — the contract in Santa Clarita has touched a deep nerve and begun a round of second-guessing.

Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?

Read More

Tiny Upstate New York Town Wants Local Muslims to Dig Up Their Cemetery

A town in upstate New York is trying to force a local Muslim religious community to dig up a small cemetery on its property and never bury anyone there again because it says it's illegal.

"What we would not want is an unauthorized cemetery," says Bob McCarthy, town supervisor of the Delaware County town of Sidney, population 5,993. "We're taking care of a bunch of cemeteries, and they just came in and buried the bodies, and didn't go through...there's no funding there, it's not a standard kind of deal, and it's going to become a liability to the town."

So what steps have the Muslims skipped? "I don't know what the exact law is," he says.

Which is the problem; because whether or not the town government likes it, there are no laws in Sidney -- or New York state, for that matter -- covering cemeteries on private land -- religious cemeteries included. Plus, the town approved the cemetery in 2005.

Read More

Progressives: Obama Remarks Are "Condescending"

President Barack Obama’s lecture to his supporters to snap out of their lethargy is getting a frosty reception from some on the left side of the Democratic coalition.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama made a point to argue — “with intensity and passion, repeatedly stabbing the air with his finger” according to the magazine — that his followers in 2008 must not stay home this year.

“It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election,” Obama said.

Whatever complaints they might have about climate change or other issues, Obama said, it is “just irresponsible” that some Democrats and progressives were lacking enthusiasm for the election.

“If people now want to take their ball and go home that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place,” he said. “If you're serious, now's exactly the time that people have to step up.”

“I think it is a remarkably condescending message,” said Darcy Burner, the executive director of and the Progressive Congress Action Fund.

Read More

US Military Needs to Get Off Oil by 2040: Report

The United States military must entirely get off oil by 2040 if it wants to reduce operational vulnerabilities, reduce costs, stop new security risks caused by climate change and avoid the coming peak oil supply crunch. That's the word from the Center For a New American Security, whose Fueling the Future Force report details the hows and whys of the situation.

Petroleum is 77% of Military Energy Supply

Report authors Christine Parthemore and Dr. John Nagl say, "Reducing dependency on petroleum will help ensure the long-term ability of the military to carry out its assigned missions. Moving beyond petroleum will allow DoD to lead in the development of innovative technologies that can benefit the nation more broadly, while signaling to the world that the United States has an innovative and adaptable force."

How big is that dependency? Currently US forces rely on petroleum for 77.2% of all energy needs, with "other electric" sources coming in second at 11.4% and natural gas coming at 8.4%.

Read More

Survey: Americans don't know much about religion

By Rachel Zoll

A new survey of Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.

Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn't know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.

More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.

The survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history. The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared to largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.

Read More

Modern cargo ships slow to the speed of the sailing clippers

The world's largest cargo ships are travelling at lower speeds today than sailing clippers such as the Cutty Sark did more than 130 years ago.

A combination of the recession and growing awareness in the shipping industry about climate change emissions encouraged many ship owners to adopt "slow steaming" to save fuel two years ago. This lowered speeds from the standard 25 knots to 20 knots, but many major companies have now taken this a stage further by adopting "super-slow steaming" at speeds of 12 knots (about 14mph).

Travel times between the US and China, or between Australia and Europe, are now comparable to those of the great age of sail in the 19th century. American clippers reached 14 to 17 knots in the 1850s, with the fastest recording speeds of 22 knots or more.

Read More

Subscribe to the News That Matters RSS Feed and stay up-to-date.

FBNews That Matters
on Facebook

Support Our Sponsors

Interior/Exterior House Painting by someone you can trust. (845) 225-2104 House

Joe Greico's
Out On A Limb

All types of tree work, all aspects of lawn maintenance, snow plowing and more!

82 Hortontown Rd.
Kent Cliffs, NY 10512
T- (914)224-3049
F- (845)231-0815

Mike Kaplowitz
Town of Kent Conservation
Advisory Committee

Mt. Nimham Fire Tower

Explore the outdoors in the Town of Kent, New York

Chuckie Goodnight Foundation
To educate children on how to be good stewards of the earth.

Chris Casaburi

(845) 531-2358

Brown Ink
Commercial Printing

600 Horsepound Road,
Kent Lakes, NY 10512
(845) 225-0177
Greg Brown

One Click ButterCutter
A Putnam County Owned Business Enterprise

Copyright © 2010 News That Matters