Monday, January 10, 2011

News That Matters - Monday, January 10,2011

News That Matters

News That Matters
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Telling it like it is for 10 years and counting...

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he said. "And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."- Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

"The left is coming and will hit us hard on this. We need to push back harder with the simple truth. The shooter was a liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words," - Tea Party Network founder Judson Phillips

“If anyone is responsible for the carnage in Tucson it is liberal Democrats that are under the ‘mind control’ of the despicable Hollywood media elite which is addicted as a matter of corporate policy to peddling violence in our society for fast cash, while ignoring the consequences of saturating young minds with relentlessly violent images" - Andy Martin, Announced Republican candidate for President, 2012

Good Monday Morning,

It was a cold but beautiful weekend and I'm hoping that with all the events we had posted on Friday you got out to at least one of them or you got outside at all! For reasons I don't yet understand people don't go out in the winter but it's the perfect time to hit the dozens of miles of trails around the area. This is when you can see the lay of the land that is hidden from us when the trees and brush are leafed out. And when there's snow down, like there is now, the topographic relief becomes all the more easier to see.

The weather service has reported another potential storm heading our way for tomorrow night (Tuesday) into and through Wednesday with 6"-12" of additional snow on the way. And yes, the standard rules still apply: take care of your neighbors, even the ones you think can take care of themselves.

Due to the weather report I encourage everyone to rush to the stores in a panic - right this very minute - and buy up everything on the shelves whether you need it or not. It's well known that if it snows there will be no food deliveries for weeks afterward and thousands of people will starve. I mean, that must be the case since every time it's going to snow people rush to the stores in a panic and buy up everything on the shelves. What's with that?
I once lived in a place where if it snowed deeply enough there were no deliveries for several days while the roads were cleared and, ya know, no one rushed to the stores and bought up everything on the shelves. It must be something.
On another matter altogether, if you have some time today, check this out. (SFW: Safe For Work)

For those of you who have not been paying attention, northeastern Australia has been inundated with torrential rains for the past couple of weeks leading to death (over a dozen) and destruction we're usually more apt to hear about from places like Bangladesh and Haiti. An area of Australia, the combined size of France and Germany, has been under water. See this link for more information and news. An informational video report is here.

According to articles in the NYJN, a family in Mahopac is accusing the school district of anti-Semitism, based on an article written for the school paper, one that was apparently filled with misinformation. But, according tot he article an attorney says,
"They (the Jewish children) are subjected to the widespread use of racial and religious epithets and slurs, including being subjected to depictions of swastikas and other symbols and references to Nazism and the Holocaust that occurred against the Jewish people in World War II, not only by students but also by school officials themselves,"
So, is this true from your recollection and experience? Write and tell us.

But as usual, the main story isn't about the events that allegedly took place. The real story is the posted responses on the JN blog site about the story for it tells us more about the makeup of our community, especially of those who hide behind anonymous monikers. Here are few quotes:
From Pacman21 - "one jew lawyer going after another. should be great fun. what about the Guineas, Wops, Pollacks and Micks? Who is going to represent them?"

From Putnamvalues - "While kids will be kids, they learn from adults. They can learn how to hate, and they can learn how adults become complicit in hatred by not acting against it. The Complaint in the lawsuit details a pattern of indifference by school officials, which, if true, not only aggravated the situation but effectively encouraged it. We should be able to expect more from our adult leaders who are also expected to set examples."

From Ballin - "I have to say that in the not so distant past, Mahopac CSD disappointed me in their response to the sexual harrassment my elementary-age child was on the receiving end of as well as a "hit list" which was written that included my other middleschool-age child's name. When these incidents were brought to the school's and administration's attention, there were no consequences for the student's who perpetrated these acts! Ridiculous! I am not at all surprised at their lack of response here."

From DeFaber1 - "This is nothing more than the Belloff family extorting money for private school tuition from the Mahopac District taxpayers. When this suit is thrown out for having no merit the district should go after their attorneys fees from the plaintiff. The most horrendous part of this whole spectacle is when true anti-Semitism rears it’s ugly head it might be ignored."

From Rocky NY - "When I was a kid there in the 70's I experienced ALOT of anti-semitism. Kids throwing pennies at me in the halls and the teachers ignored it. One teacher made me make cut out menorahs instead of christmas trees like the other kids - I was marked by that teacher for the rest of my career in Mahopac. The karmic wheel turns..."

From Happypal - "in response to mhsalumgirl~~~you are exactly right about the Belloff children-it has nothing at all to do with them being jewish. ~ while defending themselves, the mahopac school officials should interview the classmates/peers of this girl, so they can see clearly just what kind of child they are dealing with. and it has nothing at all to do with her religion! she is a plain old creep!"

The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named has been tapped for a seat on Governor Cuomo's Spending and Government Efficiency Commission. Based on past experience the Senator will recommend outsourcing government jobs to India. He's also shown a new interest in the Town of Kent. If you live there, beware. If you work for them, I hope you like nan and curry.

Sarah Palin says that the "crosshairs" on her "Take Back The 20" map of potential political victims weren't "crosshairs" but "surveyor's marks".

While news networks around the world carried a press conference from Tuscon live, FOXNews saw fit to cut to a commercial the moment someone stepped to the microphone and said, "And I say to you, Sarah Palin," What he said after that was that the political rhetoric had gone too far but FOX couldn't stand hearing one of its employees named.

Right-wing blogs claim that the primary target of the shooting the other day was a "Republican Judge" and not a Democratic Congresswoman. When that failed to gain traction they started blaming "liberals" and their Hollywood backers (traditionally read as: Jews) for the violence that took place in Arizona the other day. That Congresswoman Giffords was Jewish seems to have missed them.

But anyone with two working synapses in their heads knows that the noise for the past two years has had an effect on our society and that the loudest voices have been coming from FOXNews and WABC radio and their affiliates by dividing the nation and discouraging meaningful dialog. They've painted everything as black and white, Liberal and Conservative, with us or against us, patriot or traitor, leaving no room for discussion. All one has to do is read US news from foreign sources to know just how messed and polarized up we've become.

FOXNews Boycott:

It works like this: Whenever you walk into a business that has FOXNews on the television calmly speak to the manager telling him you find it offensive and ask him to run a different channel otherwise you'll feel uncomfortable shopping in that store. If he says, "what's wrong with FOX?" just shake your head, put your purchases down and walk out.

This is one way we can help cut the crap that has been so ugly over the last two years - you vote with your dollars - and we do our very best to let people know that we will not stand for it any longer.

And if you won't do it for fear of being the sole complainer, here's a short story:
An area McDonalds I end up in due to work (when I have work, that is!) had FOXNews running on the TV in the dining area. I walked up to the counter and said to a kid, "Could you ask your manager to change the channel on the TV? FOXNews is pretty insulting." He leans back and yells, "Bill! I've got someone else here who doesn't like FOX!" The next time I went in they had CNN running instead - and have since.

A local gas station that used to run FOXNews now runs the Weather Channel instead.

It works. Do it. Today.
Likewise, feel free to not do business with establishments that run News That Matters if you feel a need to be "Fair and Balanced"!

And now, The News:

Exclusive: Loughner Friend Explains Alleged Gunman's Grudge Against Giffords

Mother Jones

At 2:00 a.m. on Saturday—about eight hours before he allegedly killed six people and wounded 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in Tucson—Jared Lee Loughner phoned an old and close friend with whom he had gone to high school and college. The friend, Bryce Tierney, was up late watching TV, but he didn't answer the call. When he later checked his voice mail, he heard a simple message from Loughner: "Hey man, it's Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later."

That was it. But later in the day, when Tierney first heard about the Tucson massacre, he had a sickening feeling: "They hadn't released the name, but I said, 'Holy shit, I think it's Jared that did it.'" Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a "fake." Loughner's animus toward Giffords intensified after he attended one of her campaign events and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer a question he had posed, Tierney says. He also describes Loughner as being obsessed with "lucid dreaming"—that is, the idea that conscious dreams are an alternative reality that a person can inhabit and control—and says Loughner became "more interested in this world than our reality." Tierney adds, "I saw his dream journal once. That's the golden piece of evidence. You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner's mind, there's a dream journal that will tell you everything."

Read More

How the World Covered Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

Global news outlets say "vitriolic politics" of US is culpable in Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

The weekend shooting at point blank range of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a U.S. Congresswoman, continued to lead news bulletins worldwide, from Arizona to Australia, on Sunday.

The sheer scale of coverage indicated a high level of interest in the assassination attempt on the Democratic congresswoman as she met constituents in a shopping center in Tucson, Ariz. By Sunday mid-morning there were more than 11,000 articles devoted to the killings on Google News, compared with other world headline news, including South Sudan's vote for independence (1,800), the discovery of 15 headless bodies in Acapulco (722) and the devastating floods in Queensland, Australia (1,300). The story stayed at the top of Google Trends' list of hot topics in the U.S., and in the top 10 worldwide, for most of the morning.

Much of the focus remained on the medical condition of Giffords, still in critical condition Sunday after being shot in the head by a gunman at a public event, and finer details of the story — including the death of a 9-year-old, among five others.

Read More

Shooting of Jewish Congresswoman Giffords Is Not Just a "Tragedy"

Rabbi Michael Lerner

It's part of a right-wing assault on government and the liberals and progressives who support it.

"According to Ha'aretz newspaper, the killer's website had Hitler's hate book Mein Kampf listed as one of his favorite books! When Jews are targeted, it's rarely "by chance."
Liberals and progressives are hated in many Red States because they support government policies that put restrictions on corporations; challenge the racism, sexism, homophobia and hatred of foreigners that has been part of the traditional conception of what male power; and tend to be insensitive to the legitimate fears that many have about the collapse of families, religious traditions, and the triumph of materialism and selfishness. This last set of concerns is totally valid, and the willingness of liberals and progressives to only see the hateful side of right-wing ideology infuriates many who are drawn to the right not because of hatred of government or because of the various hatreds, but because they feel that their legitimate concerns about the selfishness and looking out for number one are never heard by the Left. Yet, there are a core of haters in the Right, we've seen them not only on Fox t.v., Glenn Beck and company included, but also in the faces of some who were attracted to the Tea Party or who now rally around the anti-immigrant movement.

When right-wingers create a climate of hate against liberal government, and then individuals act on that hate as they did in blowing up a Federal Building in Oklahoma City and now this premeditated murder of several people (we are still praying for the survival of Congresswoman Giffords) in hate-filled Arizona (where she had been attacked viciously but not physically for her support of health care reform), the state whose racism has made it famous around the world for profiling Mexican immigrants, there is no call to investigate and protect ourselves from these right-wing hate mongers. Similarly, when Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by right wing Jews, the right-wing ultra-nationalist community in Israel's West Bank settlers never faced any serious investigation of their role in creating the hateful climate that helped produce the murderer.

Read More


SALT LAKE CITY, January 10, 2011 – Inexpensive igloo-shaped, pollution-eating devices nicknamed “Poo-Gloos” can clean up sewage just as effectively as multimillion-dollar treatment facilities for towns outgrowing their waste-treatment lagoons, according to a new study.

“The results of this study show that it is possible to save communities with existing lagoon systems hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, by retrofitting their existing wastewater treatment facilities with Poo-Gloos,” says Fred Jaeger, chief executive officer of Wastewater Compliance Systems, Inc., which sells the Poo-Gloo under the name Bio-Dome.

Kraig Johnson, chief technology officer for Wastewater Compliance Systems, will present the study Jan. 13 in Miami during the Water Environment Federation’s Impaired Water Symposium. It also will be published in the symposium program.

Wastewater treatment in small, rural communities is an important and challenging engineering task. Proper treatment includes disinfection and the removal of unwanted pollutants. Most rural communities rely on wastewater lagoons as their primary method of treatment because they are simple and inexpensive to operate. Lagoons are large ponds in which sewage is held for a month to a year so that solids settle and sunlight, bacteria, wind and other natural processes clean the water, sometimes with the help of aeration.

Read More

Kingston's TechCity East Campus development proposal ready for public scrutiny

TOWN OF ULSTER – The proposal for redevelopment of the TechCity East Campus in the Town of Ulster will go before the public next month as the draft generic environmental impact statement is presented.

Town Supervisor James Quigley III said the proposal looks at redevelopment of the 138 acre East Campus.

“The challenge is to develop a single user facility that was built up over the course of 30 years and converting it into a multi-user facility, which has different needs and different access requirements,” he said. “This is quite an extensive redevelopment.”

The East Campus currently has 22 industrial and office buildings with over 2.1 million square feet and over 4,200 at-grade parking spaces. The proposed plan would be to develop multi-use development to include light industrial, office, research and development, manufacturing, educational, wellness, neighborhood retail, restaurant, entertainment and multi-family residential uses, along with accessory parking.

Read More

Clean Air Act Enforcement

by Jim DiPeso

Let's say, in a naive, Candyland sort of way that is apropos in the early days of a new year, that lawmakers who talk at the opening of a new Congress about working together in good faith actually mean what they say. What could they accomplish?

Here's an idea for them to ponder before they get back to the important business of putting partisan score-settling above the national good: A grand bargain on clean air.

The time is right. There are lot of proposed regulations and a flurry of regulatory deadlines coming down the pike aimed at cleaning up coal-fired power plants, especially the decades-old beaters that lack up-to-date pollution controls. First, there are SOX and NOx emissions caps (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which help form smog, ozone and acid rain, for those outside the Clean Air Act cognoscenti) in a smog-transport rule that will affect utilities in states east of the Rockies. EPA is reconsidering the ambient ozone standard. There's a proposed rule to limit power plant mercury emissions, another rule to tighten controls on power plant cooling water intakes, and still another on managing coal ash.

The transport and mercury proposals are responses to court rulings throwing out earlier transport and mercury rules that didn't cut the legal mustard.

Read More

Why Music Makes You Happy

Discovery News

People love music for much the same reason they're drawn to sex, drugs, gambling and delicious food, according to new research. When you listen to tunes that move you, the study found, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical involved in both motivation and addiction.

Even just anticipating the sounds of a composition like Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" or Phish's "You Enjoy Myself" can get the feel-good chemical flowing, found the study, which was the first to make a concrete link between dopamine release and musical pleasure.

The findings offer a biological explanation for why music has been such a major part of major emotional events in cultures around the world since the beginning of human history. Through music, the study also offers new insights into how the human pleasure system works.

"You're following these tunes and anticipating what's going to come next and whether it's going to confirm or surprise you, and all of these little cognitive nuances are what's giving you this amazing pleasure," said Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal. "The reinforcement or reward happens almost entirely because of dopamine."

Read More

Wildflower colors tell butterflies how to do their jobs

ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2011) — The recipe for making one species into two requires time and some kind of separation, like being on different islands or something else that discourages gene flow between the two budding species. In the case of common Texas wildflowers that share meadows and roadside ditches, color-coding apparently does the trick.

Duke University graduate student Robin Hopkins has found the first evidence of a specific genetic change that helps two closely related wildflowers avoid creating costly hybrids. It results in one of the normally light blue flowers being tagged with a reddish color to appear less appetizing to the pollinating butterflies which prefer blue.

"There are big questions about evolution that are addressed by flower color," said Hopkins, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation just weeks before seeing the same work appear in the journal Nature.

What Hopkins found, with her thesis adviser, Duke biology professor Mark Rausher, is the first clear genetic evidence for something called reinforcement in plants. Reinforcement keeps two similar proto-species moving apart by discouraging hybrid matings. Flower color had been expected to aid reinforcement, but the genes had not been found.

Read More

Eat A Bagel. Get Arrested

Ognjen Milatovic, a professor at the University of North Florida recently boarded a US Airways flight with a bagel and bag in hand, simply minding his own business. The bag, containing his snack, a hat and a set of keys, was placed in the overhead bin. Unknowingly to Milatovic though, his fellow passengers deemed the bag a suspicious package, unaware of the relatively harmless contents inside.

Before the plane ever departed, passengers approached flight attendants fearful for their own safety, who then in turn contacted the authorities. When questioned, Milatovic became understandably irate, unsure of how his bag could be considered remotely dangerous. Taken off the flight, Milatovic’s day was certainly ruined.

The next time you’d like to eat your own bagel or travel outside of the prying and ever-increasingly suspicious public eye, turn to Magellan Jets for the highest level of discretion and privacy. Magellan will arrange for your private jet, with your preferences.

Read More

The Left, Not the Right, Owns Political Violence

By Michael Filozof

It took less than 24 hours for the political Left to seize upon the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six people on Saturday to blame the political Right for the shooting.

Perhaps the most egregious example came from Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who wrote "We don't have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was." (The newspaper that published plagiarized and fabricated accounts of the "D.C. sniper" by affirmative-action hire Jayson Blair in 2003 is still publishing unsubstantiated suppositions without "proof," eh?)

"[Giffords'] father says that ‘the whole Tea Party' was her enemy..." continued Krugman, "And yes, she was on Sarah Palin's infamous ‘crosshairs' list." As if that was not enough, Krugman went on to invoke the specter of Tim McVeigh.

Well, we do have some proof now, and it's clear that the shooter was in no way connected to the Tea Party, the Republican Party, or any other movement on the political Right. Law enforcement officials have revealed that suspect Jared Loughner was rejected by the Army, kicked out of college, appeared to have mental-health issues, and was a reader of the "Communist Manifesto."

Read More (If you can stomach it)

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