Wednesday, October 13, 2010

News That Matters - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

News That Matters

News That Matters
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Good Wednesday Morning,

Those political signs are still along Route 301 in Fahnestock State Park. Just thought I'd mention it...

Yesterday afternoon I finally closed my account with Bank of America. Back in June I wrote an article called, "The Thirty-Eight Billion Dollar Fee" about my reasons for divorcing that evil financial institution and it has become the most read article at the website proving that I'm not alone in my beef with the American corporate banking system.
The bank officer I worked with yesterday, Ryan Coakley, was very nice about the whole thing and as I related the story to him as to why I was leaving a 40+ year relationship he appeared unmoved by the banking world's efforts to screw the common man. After all, that system is paying his rent. Farewell Bank of America! May you, your executive officers and your shareholders spend eternity in that hot place.
Do you remember back in the day when Ridgefield, CT developer Paul Camarda sold his bill of goods to the town of Carmel for the purchase of town land along Route 6 adjoining his golf course? Remember the conference center that wouldn't be just another hotel but a "destination"? Whatever happened with all that? He owns the land and has for years but where's the playground and the 12 acres he was supposed to set aside for construction of the YMCA?
Anyone? Hello Carmel! Is there anyone home?

If you, like me, use Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands State Park then you'll be interested in commenting about the State's plans for the future of that facility. You can read Draft Master Plan and DEIS here. You can, and maybe should, attend a public hearing about this tonight at the Perkins Lodge on Route 9 (just north of Route 301) at 7PM.

Hard at work representing you in Albany, Greg Ball found the time over the long weekend to stop by the Patterson library and take pictures of the illegals replacing the roof. Illegals? That's the implication the Ballster makes on his Facebook page where he writes,
"Let's be honest. Taxpayers are paying a given rate (when actually hiring illegals), contractors pocketing the profits, and unemployed carpenters in Patterson could have had a job this week - but did not! Not playing games."
But is it true? Did Patterson hire a firm that uses illegal employees? The bidding process and rules for municipalities for hiring contractors generally requires that the contractor provide ID and forms for each employee. Did the Ballster check with the library or did he just take pictures of cute butts for his photo collection? We report. You decide!

On another issue, Ball Facebook supporter Cheryl Feldman wrote, "....people need to keep their crap social agendas out of the government and focus on things that matter." I assume she means that it's not the government's business if the Christian God is on our money or in the mandatory saying of the Pledge of Allegiance or who should be married to whom. I agree with Cheryl: keep your crap social agendas out of the government and focus on things that matter like feeding the hungry, educating the illiterate, housing the homeless and healing the sick. Wait! Those are all Christian precepts!

If you're a veteran and plan on voting for Nan Hayworth on election day could you please write and tell me why? Though I have some deep seated issues with John Hall you cannot take away the outstanding work he's done on veteran's affairs. This is work that Sue Kelly could have done but didn't and it's clear already that Hayworth's focus will be on enriching health insurance companies at your expense. So, if you're a vet and you're voting for Nan please tell me why.

News Shorts:
Only 22% of Americans can see Sarah Palin as an effective President. 78% of Americans were too stunned by the question to answer the poll.

Tea Bagger Jim DeMint (R-SC) who does major fundraising for the movement recently said that gays and Lesbians - and unmarried women - should not be allowed to teach in schools. Tea Bagger radio host David Burton suggested that gays be "regulated" because it's unhealthy, such as we do with smoking and trans-fats.
These are the types of people running for office across the nation - including right here in Putnam County. As an American I cannot imagine them being in power in Washington, let alone Albany or Carmel.
Glenn Beck is in the news again. This time he compared California's Prop 19 to... wait for it.... Nazi Germany. "Weimar legalized everything that could help people be distracted before the trouble came" he said in a report. Everything, that is, except gays, Jews, Gypsies, cripples, the mentally ill, non-Germans, Poles, Russians, the Brits, the Czech's...

According to an article in Medpage Today, even though we have the best and most expensive medical care in the entire world, Americans are dying at a faster rate than their cousins overseas in countries that have cheaper, national health care systems. Money might buy you love but money isn't making you any healthier, at least not the way we do it.

In a recent CNN poll, Americans think Obama is a better President than was George Bush by a margin of 47%-45%. The same poll says that 7 out of 10 blue collar white Americans plan to vote Republican. Apparently they like the recession just the way it is.

Note: The links below have never really worked but they should now. It took a complaint from a reader to finally make me do something about it. I've tried and we'll see!

And now, The News:

A vote for Southeast bond is a vote for Main Street

A NYJN Editorial

On Election Day, voters in the town of Southeast will get a chance to do something great for Main Street in the Village of Brewster. They can cast ballots in favor of the $3.8 million bond to renovate the Old Town Hall theater.

The Old Town Hall, which used to house town offices on the ground floor and still houses the Southeast Museum on the middle level, has a long-shuttered, 320-seat theater on the top floor just waiting to be pressed into service for an encore performance. Built in 1896, the Old Town Hall is on the national Register of Historic Places. Restoring it won't just preserve the past of Southeast's only village, Brewster; it can help lead the way to a brighter future for the troubled village and the surrounding Town of Southeast.

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Day in the Life program to let students collect, share Hudson River data


Day in the Life event will illustrate estuary ecosystem

On Thursday, environmental education centers and school classes all along the Hudson River estuary will collect scientific information and share it to create a picture of A Day in the Life of the Hudson River.

The annual program will help participants understand how their piece of the river fits into the larger Hudson estuary ecosystem.

Sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Program, the Day in the Life event is in its eighth year. About 3,000 students and educators will sample the estuary's waters at more than 60 sites from New York Harbor to the Capital District.

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1 Ohio school, 4 bullied teens dead at own hand

By Meghan Barr for CNN

The family watched, she said, as the girls who had tormented Sladjana for months walked up to the casket — and laughed.
MENTOR, Ohio — Sladjana Vidovic's body lay in an open casket, dressed in the sparkly pink dress she had planned to wear to the prom. Days earlier, she had tied one end of a rope around her neck and the other around a bed post before jumping out her bedroom window.

The 16-year-old's last words, scribbled in English and her native Croatian, told of her daily torment at Mentor High School, where students mocked her accent, taunted her with insults like "Slutty Jana" and threw food at her.

It was the fourth time in little more than two years that a bullied high school student in this small Cleveland suburb on Lake Erie died at his or her own hand — three suicides, one overdose of antidepressants. One was bullied for being gay, another for having a learning disability, another for being a boy who happened to like wearing pink.

Now two families — including the Vidovics — are suing the school district, claiming their children were bullied to death and the school did nothing to stop it. The lawsuits come after a national spate of high-profile suicides by gay teens and others, and during a time of national soul-searching about what can be done to stop it.

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Tea Party Bullies on Homosexuality: “No Punishment Too Severe?”

By Julie Ingersoll

While much of the nation has been in a state of shock and sadness over the recent death of 18 year old Tyler Clementi, key tea party leaders ramped up their bullying rhetoric against gays and lesbians. That’s right, while the media rushed to report on school bullying that has in some cases been so vicious that it leads its victims to suicide, two of the most visible conservative leaders ramped up their anti-gay rhetoric, adding to the bullying.

First, Jim DeMint (R-SC), whose fundraising efforts are benefiting tea party candidates across the country, returned to an issue many thought settled decades ago, saying gays and lesbians (and unmarried sexually active women) should not be permitted to teach in public schools. Speaking at a “Greater Freedom Rally,” DeMint reportedly said that people encouraged him in his position limiting freedom for gays and lesbians, saying he “shouldn’t back down. [The people who agree with him] don’t want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.”

As I reported here months ago, DeMint has been using a Christian Reconstructionist group’s mailing list for fundraising, indicating that, at least in part, he thinks he and they are compatible.

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Medical News: U.S. Still Lags in Life Expectancy

By Joyce Frieden, News Editor, MedPage Today

Americans' 15-year survival rates in comparison to those of other countries has been declining despite increases in health spending, researchers have found.

"Even as relative health care spending has increased in the United States, the nation has fallen behind 12 comparison countries with respect to 15-year survival for men and women ages 45 and 65 during the past three decades," according to Peter A. Muennig, MD, MPH, and Sherry A. Glied, PhD, both of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City.

"The findings undercut critics who might argue that the U.S. healthcare system is not in need of major changes," they wrote in the November 2010 issue of Health Affairs.

In 1950, the U.S. was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, the authors noted. But the most recent numbers put the country at 46th in the world. And, for male and female life expectancy combined, the U.S. is ranked 49th.

Meanwhile, per-capita health spending increased at nearly twice the rate in other wealthy nations between 1970 and 2002. The U.S. now spends far more on health than any other country as a percentage of its gross domestic product.

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RNC circulates study that shows Dem tax plan is better for poor than GOP one

By Greg Sargent

Okay, this is a bit in the weeds. But it's worth it.

This morning the Republican National Committee blasted out a story from The Hill about a new nonpartisan study finding that the poor will be hit hardest if all the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. An RNC spokesman, taking a shot at the Dems' failure to extend the tax cuts, rhetorically asked: "What excuse will the Democrats use now?"

Here's the funny thing, though. While that study does indeed find that letting all the tax cuts expire does disproportionately hurt the poor, it also finds that the plan Dems have actually proposed on the Bush tax cuts is better for the poor than the Republican one.

The study, by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, took a look at how letting the tax cuts expire impacts the after-tax income of people at different income levels. The study's numbers show that letting them all expire would hurt the poor more, because the change in income would matter a lot more to them.

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Top 10 Craziest Tea Party Quotes of All time

Posted by Devona Walker

In this straight up nutty political climate, elected officials and candidates sometimes say the darndest things.

Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has called for investigating Democrats for being un-American

Remember that old show, “Children say the darndest things?” In this political climate, largely fueled by the tea party movement and a host of “not-ready-for-prime-time” hopefuls for elected office, that show could easily be revamped. There are obviously quite a few people out in America who are angry, afraid and “want their country back.” I don’t know exactly why they think it’s been taken from them, but what is clear is that they believe somehow that intellectualism and minorities are to blame.

As a result, their chosen candidates are about as dumb and white as they come. Here’s a list of some of the craziest things the tea party candidates have come up with. They range from such deep thinkers as Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell to New York Gubernatorial candidate Carl “imprison welfare recipients” Paladino. Read, enjoy. But most importantly vote! Things may be bad now, but can you imagine how much worse they will be if these idiots get elected, or in some cases re-elected.

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Google, Verizon Release Joint Proposal for Net Neutrality

By Dan Hope, TechNewsDaily Staff Writer

This morning, Google and Verizon released a joint proposal that outlines how net neutrality should be preserved. That's the way it appears on the surface, at least. Upon closer inspection, there are some serious caveats.

Net neutrality is the belief that internet providers should not be able to regulate connection speeds based on what content providers are paying for and what users are looking at. Basically, it means that someone viewing a news site and someone watching a streaming movie should be entitled to identical download speeds. Net neutrality is under fire from many corporations; not surprisingly, the wireless networks are some of the most vocal.

Google and Verizon's proposal says that net neutrality should be strictly preserved, but then it goes on to say that this standard only applies to wired networks. In other words, cable networks and similar providers. Verizon then says that wireless networks, such as itself, should not be subject to net neutrality in order to maintain flexibility under different traffic loads.

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