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Passover and Easter are coming up so there's only a few days left to get your dining and guest rooms painted before the relatives show up. Call Jeff at Taconicarts.com (845 225-2104) for an estimate and fast work. Licensed and Insured and News That Matters' most generous supporter and they'll meet any written legitimate estimate from the competition. If you're going to Shop Putnam, now is the time.
The High Price of Gasoline - A Solution.
Republicans in Congress want to drill more domestic wells, fight more trillion dollar wars and continue subsidies to oil companies which is nothing but a transfer of wealth from your pocket to Exxon's. Democrats just want the world to stop spinning so they can step off. So what's a good American to do?
As Congress discusses the new Federal budget almost every department is taking cuts, some more dramatic than others. What I propose is that we take 5% of those cuts overall and turn those dollars into a fund that will provide grants to homeowners earning less than $75,000 a year and 0.5% loans to those earning more than $75,000 to achieve better energy efficiency at home and at work.
Where's Nan? IV
She's at the PlanPutnam/News That Matters website. I have decided to carry her news feed (which you're paying for through your taxes) at the website but, as is the case with her videos, comments on her posts are closed. Why am I doing this? Because I'm pretty sure none of you believe what I write about her votes and policies so I've made it easier for you to read them for yourself. It's usually safe for work unless you're a surgeon or crane operator and laughing at the wrong time could be a problem.
By the way, she has just announced the annual Congressional High School Arts Competition for 2011 so if you're in High School or know someone who is and are artistically inclined, write to Ms. Hayworth and ask why she voted to slash funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Or, just send her your artwork - with a bill.Here is a letter to the editor sent to a local news organization that did not make it onto their Letters pages:
I contacted Representative Nan Hayworth's office in Washington on March 18th to ask how she voted on funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Sugar and Spice and Everything Deadly
The most common words used in advertising toys for boys are, "battle" and "power". The most common words used in advertising toys for girls are, "love" and "magic". Read more and see the charts explaining it all, here.
Q: Where am I doing this?When I moved up here 13, almost 14 years ago, a traffic jam meant stopping to chat with a neighbor. Now it's like, as I promised, Long Island. Are we satisfied now?
Customer Appreciation Day
When Bank of America (see: The Thirty-Eight Billion Dollar Fee) holds a Customer Appreciation Day it means they'll only charge you 3 $35 fees that day instead of 4. That they might actually know the answer to a question on the third round through customer service and there was a 50/50 chance your money was actually credited properly to your account. Trust me on this. That's as good as it ever got at BoA.
But on Monday afternoon I stopped into the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union where I now keep my meager few shekels and they were having a Customer Appreciation Day.
Sunshine on My Shoulder
Back in 1975 the FBI began compiling a file on folksinger John Denver at the request of one Robert J. Lipshutz, Counsel to the President. On the very first page of now-released document the FBI says there was no information of value and continued to say so for thirty-three pages beginning with an allegation that at a concert Mr. Denver was high on cocaine, then that he was going to be a speaker at a "Dump The War" rally schedule for May 23, 1971 in Bloomington, Minnesota. On page 18 the Fed begins outlining 17 threatening phone calls Mr. Denver received and then redacts entire pages following that.
In 1965, the FBI began an investigation of movie star Rock Hudson where they state a "preliminary search of files has developed no subversive information...", then took another 33 pages to say so but not without mentioning, "Los Angeles [bureau office] has advised suspected of having homosexual tendencies," and that, "in view of the information that Hudson has homosexual tendencies, interview will be conducted by two mature experienced Special Agents." I'm guessing this a way of finding Roy Cohn dates with movie stars? The non-investigation was initiated by the Director of the FBI who we all know was sniveling little coward.
Paul Harvey, Lucille Ball, George Burns, Marvin Gaye, Jerry Garcia, Clark Gable, Walter Cronkite, Carl Sandburg, Will Rogers, Carl Sagan, heck, even writer Pearl S. Buck have all been investigated by the FBI in files that have been released and heavily redacted (after stating there was nothing to report) at the FBI's "Vault". If you click through to the link please do so at home since you're going to be poking around in there for hours upon hours. And for your special fun, they've also released their files on UFO's.
Nobody Loves Janet
Napolitano, that is. The Department of Homeland Security has only 12,759 Facebook friends. Justin Beiber has more than 315,000. My advice? Put Justin in charge of DHS and send Janet out on a concert tour.
And now, The News:
He says: "AV would undoubtedly be an improvement on First Past The Post (FPTP) -- which is just about the worst election method ever devised, because it does not require that the winner gain a majority. The winner can be elected on the votes of a determined minority of committed supporters even though he or she might be intensely disliked by the vast majority of voters. AV avoids this problem by requiring the winner to have a majority, if not on first preferences alone, then once the second, third and so on of the weaker candidates have been counted after they are eliminated."
"FPTP has allowed extremist candidates to win local government seats in some areas. For example the BNP candidate was elected to represent a Burnley ward with only just over 30 percent of the votes because of a three-way split among the three main parties. A majority of those voters would probably have preferred any one of the main parties to the actual winner."
by JONATHAN KARL and AVERY MILLER • March 30, 2011
The Tea Party swept into the 112th Congress with promises of cutting government spending. But according to a report out today, at least five lawmakers with Tea Party connections have been longtime recipients of federal agricultural subsidies.
"There's nothing too surprising about hypocrisy in Washington," Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group, told ABC News. "This particular group, you not only have to look at the hypocrisy but you need to watch your wallet."
While the majority of American farmers receive no government money at all, at least 23 current members of congress or their families have received government money for their farms -- combining for more than $12 million since 1995 according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.
The biggest recipient was Rep. Stephen Fincher, a Republican from Frog Jump, Tenn.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice must know that sigh well. From Newsday:
Despite having some of the highest taxes in the nation, Nassau County has such a massive structural deficit that it's under the thumb of a finance authority to compel the executive and legislature to avoid renaming the courthouse after Wal-Mart. This had nothing to do with the fact that its crime lab has been shuttered for lying and cheating, while under the watchful eye of Rice and cops perpetually by her side. Now they have to do it all over again, paying a competent lab for the effort, and this only goes back as far as 2005, while no one knows how far back the lying and cheating goes.
Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi. Atelier DNA’s “Windstalk” project came in second in the Land Art Generator 1competition a contest sponsored by Madsar to identify the best work of art that generates renewable energy from a pool of international submissions.
The proposed design calls for 1,203 “stalks,” each 180-feet high with concrete bases that are between about 33- and 66-feet wide. The carbon-fiber stalks, reinforced with resin, are about a foot wide at the base tapering to about 2 inches at the top. Each stalk will contain alternating layers of electrodes and ceramic discs made from piezoelectric material, which generates a current when put under pressure. In the case of the stalks, the discs will compress as they sway in the wind, creating a charge.
“The idea came from trying to find kinetic models in nature that could be tapped to produce energy,” explained Atelier DNA2 founding partner Darío Núñez-Ameni.
The good folks at CleanTechnica have embarked on a worthy project that deserves all the praise and support we the digital people can muster — what they’re calling “a comprehensive resource page for all things wind.” (They plan to do the same for other renewable energy sources in the future.)
Much of this stuff is available somewhere else on the Web, but there’s a quiet sort of power to assembling it together in a single go-to list. For some reason, I’m always particularly impressed by the cross-referencing of new and cumulative capacity stats for renewables. In 2010, for example, 38,265 megawatts (MW) of new wind power was added to grids worldwide, which if you scroll down just a bit you’ll discover is roughly equal to all the wind power there was in the world in 2003 (39,431 MW). And as CleanTechnica’s Zachary Shahan notes, “much more is expected from the coming years.” This is still just prelude to the full-scale global cleantech boom. Exciting times.
Ed Note: The following article, though referencing Canada is as applicable to the United States as any. JmG
Citizens would rather shop, making them vulnerable to manipulation by politicians without scruples.
What does it say about our democracy when the prime minister can with impunity demonstrate contempt for it and repeatedly violate its rules, conventions and the independence of its institutions and agencies?
Combined with a trend towards disturbingly low turnouts in federal elections, there is reason to start using the term crisis in describing Canadian democracy.
It has been a long time in the making and is the explicit accomplishment of corporate globalization -- although not one that is talked about very much. In the mid-1970s, the formation of the Trilateral Commission heralded the end of the old social contract whereby the activist state was tolerated by capital so long as it got what it believed was its fair share of output in the form of profit. When labour seized too much for its share, the contract was torn up.
But it wasn't just the private economy that was the problem. Workers and the previously marginalized in society had come to expect too much of government. Flush with tax revenue from a booming economy, governments, including Canadian governments, responded to increasing expectations. According to the Trilateral Commission's first publication, The Crisis of Democracy1, there was in the 1970s Western world "...an excess of democracy."
BUCHANAN – Some two dozen people started their Peace Walk in Croton Sunday, stopped to pray outside the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, before they set out for the 206-mile walk to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
Japanese Buddhist nun Jun Yasuda of the Grafton Peace Pagoda in Petersburgh, NY, led the walk.
“People have been suffering from the earthquake; so many people died by the earthquake and also so many people are suffering under the nuclear situations,” she said.
Among those joining the walk was Gerry Katzpen of Putnam Valley.
A new survey from Public Policy Polling finds that 46 percent of Mississippi Republicans not only oppose interracial marriage, they believe that individuals who marry someone of another race should go to jail.
On a positive note, it is at least progress that these Mississippi racists see prison time — not lynching — as an adequate penalty for race mixing.
Just 40 percent of GOP voters in the state say they think interracial marriage should remain legal, while 14 percent are not sure.
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