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|"Approximately 60 to 70 percent of the oil contracts in the futures markets are now held by speculative entities. Not by companies that need oil, not by the airlines, not by the oil companies. But by investors who profit money from their speculative positions." -- Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association |
Good Monday Morning,
The world is covered in ticks this year.
Billions and billions everywhere.
They're inside here and
And crawling in your underwear.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey is being treated for colon cancer. Our best wishes go out to him and his family.
I Beg Your Pardon?
"Please allow me to return to my family and community without incarceration. I pray to have the ability to volunteer and better my community, and I can attest to you that nothing I do will ever present me to the Court in such a manner again." Says former Senator Vinnie Leibell.
All I can say is that if you or I got in trouble for the same or less we'd be sitting in jail or prison. If the system allows the Senator off the hook it just goes to show that you cannot get a fair trial unless you're seriously connected.
But more, it will prove - beyond doubt - that politicians are not in the same class as the people who elect them, but in a special, protected class that takes care of its own. It's just another indicator that this nation is ready for revolution.
Stripping For Freedom
Twenty one year-old college student Aaron Tobey was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor after being searched at the airport in Richmond, VA. Why? Because when he was set for a pat down he stripped down to his skivvies and had the 4th Amendment written across his chest. That was too much information for the TSA as Americans should not be reminded of their rights and so they arrested and charged him and held him in handcuffs for 90 minutes in a room at the airport.
But Mr. Tobey was not to be undone so he filed a civil suit for $250,000 against Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, the head of the TSA and the airport security guards who arrested him.
And what was the government's response?
To avoid the obvious embarrassment they dropped the charges.
But Mr. T, being a good American and civil libertarian, is moving forward with his suit and I wish him all the best.
Remember these famous words from the TSA: "Also, we're going to be doing a groin check. That means I am going to place my hand on your hip, my other hand on your inner thigh. Slowly go up and slide down."
A $5 lap dance is illegal but for a $5 TSA surcharge on your airline ticket some dude can give you a hand job. America! What a country!
While we're on the subject of getting groped by strangers at your nearest, friendly airport, if you're standing online and it's taking forever and you complain about it, TSA agents are trained to spot you as a terrorist. See, according to TSA showing impatience is a sure sign that you need to be searched and questioned. That's just one of 70 signs TSA uses to ID a terrorist in a crowd. To quote the TSA:
"Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures."
Those intent on causing mayhem always draw attention to themselves at security checkpoints. Right?
So I have to wonder if that's designed to actually spot a French terrorist determined to punish the US for underpaying for the Louisiana Purchase or is it, and many of the other 'indicators', designed to keep you in line, passive and resistant to standing up for your rights?
A CNN article says:
"Expressing your contempt about airport procedures -- that's a First Amendment-protected right," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We all have the right to express our views, and particularly in a situation where the government is demanding the ability to search you."
Don't Say Gay!
Last Friday I ran this 2005 quote from The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named:
“I will not pander to an extreme Liberal agenda by supporting “Extra” rights for gays in order to be politically correct, while avoiding larger criminal issues for the protection of all of our citizens... Furthermore, I do not believe that the homosexual lifestyle should be promoted as an acceptable alternative of living in our schools and classrooms."
And it looks like he has some friends in Tennessee that share(d) his extreme, reactionary views.
The Tennessee State Senate's Education Committee has passed a bill onto the full senate that makes it a misdemeanor for educators to teach any sex education that is not part of the "Family Life Curriculum", for example, mentioning the words "gay" or "homosexual".
Most states have state flowers or vegetables. Others have breads and fruits. But Utah has a state snack food: Jello. Jello, you see, is about as exciting as Mormons are allowed to be. That wiggling, firm but soft matter made of collagen from ground animal bones (27%), pig skin (44%) and cow hides (28%) and derived with diluted acid, is a lot of fun - if you're from Utah.
Back in 2001 the State Legislature said in their resolution recognizing Jello:
WHEREAS, Jell-O® is representative of good family fun, which Utah is known for throughout the world;
WHEREAS, Jell-O® brand gelatin recipes, which often include bananas, apples, marshmallows, pretzels, carrots, and grapes, are a traditional favorite at family, church, and community dinners throughout the Beehive State;While most US cities have crime and parades and traffic and good Samaritans, Salt Lake City has lime-green jello.
In Texas, the state snack food is tortilla chips and salsa, a clear sign that we're losing our culture to millions of illegal Texans streaming across our borders.
In Illinois it's popcorn and Ridgeway, Illinois claims to be the Popcorn Capital of the World. But Van Buren, Indiana and Valaparaiso, Indiana also make the claim setting up a nasty, potentially violent intra-state rivalry. And not to be outdone, Schaller, Iowa, Marion, Ohio and Loup City, Nebraska, population 996, also make the claim. Just in case Loup City is *not* the Popcorn Capital of the World, it also calls bills itself as "The Polish Capital of Nebraska".
And South Carolinians love to snack on boiled peanuts at cross burnings so much so that it is the official snack food of that state.
I Said What?
The American Family Association is one of those groups that strives to prove the founders intended to create a theocratic nation even if they have to make up the "facts" to prove it. In a video trailer for one of their pieces they attribute a quote to John Quincy Adams; “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: ‘It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.’” Problem is, he never said that or anything like it. They misquote the author of an 1860s book, John Wingate Thorton, who wrote this in his book of quotations but did not attribute it to anyone.
With all these intentional falsehoods coming from organizations such as AFA and as many others as we collectively have fingers and toes to count on, just how Christ-like do they really want us all to be? Was the Jesus written about in the New Testament an habitual liar? If so then Christian social-political organizations in the United States are doing a swell job of it.
And now, The News:
Scenic Hudson’s proposed restoration of the 87-acre West Point Foundry Preserve (WPFP) received its first regulatory approval on April 20 when the Cold Spring Village Historic District Review Board awarded the project a Certificate of Appropriateness after a sparsely attended public hearing. The certificate affirms the $3.6 million-project is in compliance with the village’s historic architectural and design standards. The vote was 4-0 with one member absent. No opposition to the project was expressed at the hearing or otherwise entered into the record.
The review board’s sign-off is the first of several required approvals or sign-offs needed from state and federal agencies and most importantly the Cold Spring Planning Board, which has declared its intention to become the “lead agency” reviewing the project. The technical designation, once formally declared and communicated to other agencies, will start a regulatory review clock and presumably provide momentum to the approval process. The planning board is expected to do so in the next week or two. Scenic Hudson, a non-profit historical preservation and land conservation group, first applied to the Cold Spring Planning Board in 2008. The group has previously expressed the importance of beginning construction as early as possible in 2011 so as to finish principal work before winter.
DOROTHY BROWN, 80, the matriarch of Cherry Ridge Farms, doesn’t use the word “viewshed,” but she is standing in one she helped to save, as she looks up the hill at Olana, Frederic E. Church’s grand Persian-style home perched 600 feet above the Hudson River.
Mrs. Brown and her husband, Donald, who died in 2003, preserved 129 acres of fruit trees — apples, cherries and peaches — soon to bloom along the east side of the river, instead of selling to a housing developer in 1992.
“What would we do?” she recalled her husband saying, as they envisioned tract houses and macadam roads replacing their orchards and barns. “The farm would be gone.”
So the Browns sold their development rights to Scenic Hudson, a conservation group that has preserved about 28,000 acres in the Hudson Valley, including 1,300 acres in the Olana viewshed. (A viewshed, as in watershed, refers to a landscape — usually a beautiful one threatened by human development — that can be seen from one or more points of view.) Mrs. Brown and her four children still own the farm, but it cannot be developed.
And now visitors to Olana, the house and 250-acre estate, which is a state and national historic site, look down on fruit trees instead of a subdivision.
By Jim Planck
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers HUNTER — The Town of Hunter got an update on the proposed Kaaterskill Rail Trail project Tuesday night from Greene County Watershed Assistance Program Coordinator Michelle Yost.
Yost has been shepherding the project — an outgrowth of the agency’s Mountaintop Community Resource Strategy — along with the help of a local committee and working with town officials, the Mountain Top Historical Society, state Department of Environmental Conservation, involved property owners and volunteers for about the past two years.
She told board members the rights-of-way paperwork, which has been a focus for many months, was anticipated to be completed, literally, shortly after the meeting.
The trail will run 1.5 miles along the path of the old Ulster & Delaware Railroad, going from the MTHS campus in Haines Falls, on Route 23A, overland to Laurel House Road, near the top of Kaaterskill Falls.
It's August, 2009 again. Except this time the disgruntled town meeting attendees aren't teabaggers, they're everybody. And the targets are now Republicans. Here's Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), at a town hall meeting facing constituents over a broken campaign promise to not privatize Medicare. An angry constituent confronts him: "If you voted to abolish Medicare, how would you explain that to people in their 50′s out of a job?!"
It's not just Meehan, or the most prominent example so far, Medicare abolishment plan author, Rep. Paul Ryan who was booed by his constituents at a town meeting for defending tax breaks for the wealthy. Turns out, it's happening in districts all over the country. HuffPo's Jason Linkins has a round-up of all the GOP members facing major hostility at home for their vote to end Medicare.
Our guest blogger is Mike Elk, a freelance labor journalist and third generation union organizer based in Washington, D.C. You can follow him for more updates on twitter at @MikeElk.
This past month, there was much outrage over the fact that General Electric, despite making $14.2 billion in profits, paid zero U.S. taxes in 2010. General Electric actually received tax credits of $3.2 billion from American taxpayers.
At the same time that General Electric was not paying taxes, many undocumented immigrants, who are typically accused of taking advantage of the system while not contributing to it by many on the right, paid $11.2 billion in taxes. A new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants paid $8.4 billion in sales taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.2 billion in personal income taxes last year. The study also estimates that nearly half of all undocumented immigrants pay income taxes.Read More
There is an e-mail making the rounds with a set of arguments alleging to prove that the US is a "Christian Nation." The entire e-mail was taken directly, word for word, from this webpage: http://www.errantskeptics.org/hold_quotes_2.htm, which was in turn taken from an article in Worldnetdaily, and which is quoted verbatim on what seems like hundreds of other webpages. I've put the original in italics and my responses in normal text.
We are a Christian nation.
A loaded beginning right off the bat. This statement could mean two very different things, and has been used to mean both things depending on who is speaking. Does this mean we are a nation made up mostly of Christians, whose culture has been highly influenced by Christianity? No one in their right mind would deny that very obvious truth. Or does it mean that we are an officially Christian nation, a nation whose government should endorse Christianity in a de jure or de facto manner? That is a far more controversial statement, one that even most Christians would likely oppose. Since the first one is painfully obvious to everyone, and thus pointless to argue on behalf of, we can safely assume that the author here is advocating the second option.
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