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"Jeff Green runs an excellent and unique web site in Putnam County. I’m a supporter and you should consider it too." - Aaron Freimark
Good Monday Morning,
Thanks, Aaron. I think you already got a card?
There are elections in Philipstown tomorrow (Tuesday) so don't forget to vote.
This is also tick season, the time of year those little nasties become voracious feeders after having been in a state of semi-suspended animation since last December. Check yourself daily if you work out doors and especially if you have pets that wander out on their own. As someone living with Lyme disease let me tell you, you do not want to go there if you can help it.
Tomorrow is also the Ides of March. No one really knows what that means but you'll hear the smarter-than-thou's today and tomorrow morning at the office cooing over their Shakespearean knowledge. If you feel like being a dick about it and feel like putting them in their place, ask them which play it's from. ["Julius Caesar", Act 1. Scene 2] If they happen to know, you've made a new friend. On the other hand, if you've embarrassed them, just hope they're not sleeping with the boss.
My article on Paul Camarda and his successful attempts to garner corporate welfare from our Republican-controlled county legislature has been read more than 3-score times at the website and fed out more than 300 since it was first posted. The continuing series on Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, ("Where's Nan?") has been read more than 150 times and fed to nearly 100 different outside websites and readers and is currently the hottest story hosted.
People are obviously concerned about these things but what they're going to do about them is another story altogether. I do recommend you follow the story and more specifically Ms. Hayworth's posted quotes for she makes George Bush sound literate... and we've got two years more coming.Gordon Stewart, the publisher of the non-FOX related Philipstown.info wrote an important editorial on whether he will accept comments to articles that are sent anonymously. He has decided that he will - with certain constraints. But as you know News That Matters does not accept anonymous comments. There has been an interesting exchange you might want to read. Click here for all of that but be prepared for interesting, thoughtful and carefully crafted editorial content from Mr. Stewart.
Thomas Courtien posted at the Patterson board the other day pointing readers to this story from Putnam County, Ohio and asks if it looks familiar:
Commissioners renew sales tax
Roughly ten percent of the members of the NY State Senate have been charged with corruption of some sort or other. Karl Kruger, Joe Bruno and Vinnie Leibell come immediately to mind.
Senator Joe Barton, the congress-dude who kept making apologies for BP while they were spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, is now telling Congress that Exxon needs a government hand-out in order to stay in business. Just so you know, Exxon earns $10 billion EACH QUARTER. Does anyone want to take bets on whether Congressional Republicans give them what they want? I didn't think so.
The same Joe Barton is working on legislation that would undo the nation's move toward more efficient lighting which requires only that light bulbs be 25% more efficient than they are currently a move that would save millions of barrels of imported oil each year. But hey, Joe's from Texas and Texas has oil and, well, you know where that's going and it's not good for the nation as a whole.
Last month Congressional Republicans slashed funding for the Pacific Tsunami Warning System. Just imagine if we didn't know what was coming after that earthquake... But not to be outdone, they also proposed slashing funding for the National Weather Service, to slash $1 billion from a HUD program that assisted the recently unemployed in paying their mortgages and to defund other government agencies in their continued attempts to nickel-and-dime the budget all the while ignoring the $1.6 trillion off-budget allocation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the $600 billion yearly allocation to the Pentagon and the billions handed out as corporate welfare. So you may not know when that next hurricane or blizzard is going to hit but if you're an arms dealer you're going to be richer!
Rebels in Libya are now in full retreat as Mohammar Qaddafi regains control of his nation and the United States is moving rapidly toward continued indecision. The UN will meet Tuesday to decide that they should meet again in a week in order to set a schedule of future meetings on the issue. The Obama administration will continue to delay until Qaddafi has complete control and begins his internal purges leading to the deaths of thousands of people who looked to us for help and assistance and to whom we have failed.
Just yesterday an amazing and historic geo-political action took place when the Arab League, no friend of the United States, requested a no-fly zone be instituted over Libya. What was the American response? Vacillation. Pause. Indecision. If we miss this opportunity we will pay for it for a generation. We've already waited too long and for each hour the Obama administration delays Qaddafi gains ground and democracy and freedom takes another dying breath.
Some readers claim that I pick on Republicans too much and give Democrats a pass while more politically progressive readers tell me I'm totally unfair to the President and his party especially at the county level. But they're both looking at this from a partisan point of view, unable to break the grip of a two-party political mindset that has been the ruin of this nation. The truth is, I don't make this stuff up, I just report it.
To the former group; if Republicans would stop trying to return this nation to a time in history that never was and that never should be and stopped their attempts to steal from the working classes and hand the spoils to the wealthy in some perverted reverse Robin Hood scenario, there would be a lot less to say. To the latter group, if your party actually stood for something they wouldn't be such fodder for jokes.
Palestinian terrorists liberated a little more of Israel the other day by slashing 5 members of the Fogel family in their home and continuing to do so until they were dead.
Father Udi, 37, mother Ruth, 36, 10-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas were found bloodily murdered. Two other children in the house at the time managed to escape the carnage and a 12 year old daughter made the grisly discovery upon returning from a youth group event around midnight.
Whenever there is an Israeli air strike against a munitions depot in Gaza or a smuggling tunnel or a PalArab kid gets hurt while throwing rocks at Israeli senior citizens going about their business, my mailbox is deluged with outrage. But in this instance my mailbox has remained empty.
In response to this strike against Zionist hegemony, as some on the American Left would gleefully call it, the Israeli government gave permission for 500 additional homes in Judea and Samaria and I'm willing to bet I'll get email on that! That I don't agree with the continued construction and expansion of settlements in Judea is well known and when it happens you often read about it here.
The PalArab press had this to say:
Gaza - Firas Press: commended the Movement «Islamic Jihad» and Nasser Saladin Brigades, in the operation that killed five settlers from the Itamar settlement built on the territory of Palestinians near Nablus in the northern West Bank...Don't believe me? It's right here.
Terrorists in the Palestinian territories rest easy each night knowing that the American Left will remain silent when they perform these acts and it gives them succor, support and breathing room to continue planning future attacks.This month a dozen rockets fired from Gaza have landed inside Israel and my mailbox remained empty. But the Left will march and demonstrate and boycott Israeli products and accuse Israel of "apartheid" though I can find little evidence of Jews being allowed to live in Arab nations, meaning the word "apartheid" for them only goes one way and that's just wrong.
When my mailbox becomes active when Hamas, Hezbollah and other similar groups perpetrate violence against civilians as equally as it does when things go the other way, we'll start making progress on peace. When my mailbox demands that the one million Jews forcefully evicted from Arab nations be allowed to return to their homes with full compensation for their losses, they can write me about it, just as they write me now demanding the "right of return" for Palestinians.
But so long as the terrorists know that they will not be condemned by their political allies around the world, especially here in the United States, there is no reason for them to stop this barbaric behavior. In essence, the American Left must bear responsibility for this continuing cycle of violence and some of the blood in these photographs is on their hands.
Please don't write me about these images: this is what violence against innocents looks like and you must see it in order to learn from it. If you want to write someone, write to Hamas.
And now, The News:
NPR Scandal Reversal: The Raw Footage Shows Something Else
By Russ Baker on Mar 13, 2011
This just in….
When I wrote a piece the other day about a scandal rocking National Public Radio over “inappropriate” comments NPR fundraising executives make on edited hidden-camera footage, I wondered whether raw footage might provide some useful context. I did not know at the time that such raw footage was there to be scrutinized.
Thus, I was pleased to learn that a conservative news site, The Blaze, which might ordinarily be assumed would jump on the NPR-bashing, actually had someone go through and compare the two. Astonishingly, what Blaze found and was willing to report was that many of the edited comments were taken out of context. Why is this astonishing? Because, according to its website, “The Blaze is a news, information and opinion site brought to you by Glenn Beck and a dedicated team of writers, journalists & video producers.” Given that the NPR executives were represented in the edited video released by right-wing activists as unapologetic leftists and partisans, and sympathizers with Muslim extremists (with the resulting uproar causing several network officials to resign) it is especially interesting to see what this particular conservative website came up with.
Here’s my quick summary of The Blaze’s significant findings:
(Page 1 of 4)
If you had to name a most valuable player of December’s climate summit in Cancún, hands down the award would go to Jairam Ramesh. His Mexican hosts, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and ministers from small island-nations such as the Maldives and Kiribati all hailed India’s 56-year-old environmental minister for salvaging the entire endeavor. Ramesh brought the West and developing countries together by pointing at ways to ease access to green technology and suggesting an agreeable way to monitor progress in tamping down emissions. In Cancún Ramesh proved himself an international power broker, a star among the world’s climate warriors.
But then Ramesh returned home. Awaiting him was the pending approval of a $12 billion steel plant. The deal—the largest single foreign direct investment in India, and clearly a boon to the country’s economy—would also vanquish a track of pristine forest along India’s eastern coast. The project, proposed by the South Korean steel conglomerate Posco, had actually already been approved by his ministry. But local tribal groups were protesting, complaining that the deal endangered their livelihoods, which depend on the forest, and that they were not being fairly compensated for their land. Ramesh heeded their call and temporarily halted the project while two expert panels looked at the issue. Both found Posco in the wrong. But for months, Ramesh let Posco sweat. When he stepped off his flight from Mexico, however, rumors had begun to circulate that Posco was threatening to pull out entirely. Suddenly, Ramesh faced perhaps the biggest decision of his 18-month tenure.
Hard-pressed Americans are understandably concerned about rising gasoline prices. Republicans predictably are trying to use that anxiety to promote their drill-anywhere-and-everywhere agenda. At his press conference on Friday, President Obama wisely chose not to pander to the appetite for quick or destructive fixes.
This is what leaders do — seize a moment when something like a spike in prices at the pump has grabbed public attention and use it to instruct on larger issues, in this case the need for a saner energy policy and a cleaner energy future. Mr. Obama is good at that.
But there is another thing that leaders do, and that is to push and pull and knock heads and do whatever else is required to make sure those goals are achieved. And on this score, Mr. Obama often falls short, especially on important energy issues.
YOU won’t find directions to the Field Lab, a homestead two and a half miles off Highway 118, deep in the West Texas desert and 30 miles or so from the Mexican border, on MapQuest. But John Wells, who built the place and lives there all by himself, will meet you under a highway billboard in his white Toyota pickup and lead you in, accompanied by a cloud of tenacious Fizzle Flat dust. (He might even offer you dinner: a plate of red beans, rice and broccoli, and a tangy slice of homemade cheese, olive and beer bread, cooked all afternoon in his solar oven.)
Known locally as the Moonscape, this raggedly lovely landscape of mesas and buttes, mesquite and desert juniper is rough and cheap, which makes it a tempting site for off-the-gridders like Mr. Wells. There are no paved roads, no electricity and no water, but you can see the Milky Way more easily here than you can at the Hayden Planetarium. (Last Thursday night, shooting stars fell with ho-hum regularity.) And your yearly property taxes might be less than a month’s worth of cable and Internet service. Last year, Mr. Wells’s were $86.
With his ZZ Top beard, battered cowboy hat and worn boots, Mr. Wells, 51, looks like a native. But like many of his neighbors, he’s a recent transplant, a former fashion and catalog photographer, late of Manhattan and Columbia County.
A Solar and Wind Revolution From a Land of OilBy JAMES KANTER
BRUSSELS — Higher oil prices are usually good news for clean energy because they make costly technologies like solar and wind less daunting to investors. But for one of the world’s most ambitious clean-energy projects, Desertec, the instability in North Africa behind the price increases signals a less certain outlook.
Desertec aims to tap the vast solar and wind resources across the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa and, over coming decades, deliver as much as 15 percent of the electricity needed by the European Union through high-voltage transmission lines to be laid under the Mediterranean Sea.
With little assurance about how long instability in the region could last, concerns are growing that investments in Desertec may never materialize or that interest in the project will fade because it risks creating new dependencies on an unstable and potentially hostile region for energy.
At the same time, the sudden surge of interest in promoting democracy and prosperity in North Africa as old regimes are toppled could be a boon for Desertec if the region becomes a more attractive investment destination.
Facebook announced two new safety features Thursday in conjunction with a White House summit on bullying.
A new reporting tool will let Facebook users, including teens and younger users, to privately report troubling content not just to the site itself but to parents, teachers and others in their support system.
And an improved Safety Center, due out in the next few weeks, will provide educational videos, articles and other content created by bullying experts to help adults address the problem.
"Today's summit is about collaboration and being innovative in the ways in which we address safety," the networking giant wrote on its Facebook Safety page. "We hope these new resources will help all of us -- parents, teachers, kids, safety experts, and Facebook itself -- work together to create safer environments."
In a video posted on the safety page, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama encourage Facebook members to join in the effort to decrease bullying, both online and off.
New data suggests Israel may not only have much larger gas resources than believed, but also the 3rd largest deposit of oil shale in the world.
Libyan oil accounts for less than 2 percent of world oil production, yet the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi has managed to shoot up the price of oil to more than $100 per barrel in the last month.
No one knows how long the internal instability in the Middle East will last, but according to the US Department of Energy, its share of the world’s total oil supply is expected to actually increase in the years ahead.
Simply, the world is using up the reserves of non- Middle East oil more quickly. Moreover, of the trillion barrels of proven reserves still left, according to the CIA roughly 800 billion barrels are to be found in the Middle East and North Africa, especially in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.
The implications for Israel of the West’s growing dependence on Middle Eastern oil are troubling, for obvious reasons. Yet there are two new developments in our energy sector that could well offset these trends and eventually alter our standing in the world, especially with respect to Europe.
Whether or not you believed in the cause, for the British government, the Irish Republican Army was a terrorist organization that committed terrorist acts. Indeed, any group of "freedom fighters" that uses violence to, you know, harm people and, you know, terrorize others would be, in any context, a terrorist organization. Here's the FBI's definition of "terrorism": "The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." Yep, the IRA counts.
The thing about terrorists is that there's ones you support and there's ones you don't. You may be all for the rights of the Palestinians, but when some non-Israeli from Gaza commits violence against Israel, that's terrorism. In Libya, you can sure as hell bet that the Gaddafi regime considers the violence against it terrorism. They are merely the terrorists we in the United States happen to like. Yes, terrorists can become an army in a war against a corrupt government or an occupying power. But they're still terrorists until they take over. Like, you know, the colonists who fought the American Revolution.
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