Monday, May 23, 2011

News That Matters - Monday, May 23, 2011

News That Matters

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

"Do to lack of funds, The Rapture(tm) has been postponed." - Richard Plikington

Good Monday morning,

Our hearts go out to the people of Missouri, Kansas and Wisconsin where 89 people (as of this writing) have been confirmed dead from a series of tornadoes.

Well,I'm still here. If The Rapture(tm) actually did occur last Saturday evening as it was supposed to, I wasn't close enough to Jesus to be swept up into heaven to sit by his side. And from the looks of things few of you made the cut as well.

So, welcome sinners, degenerates, homosexuals, Mohammedans, Papists, Jews and Buddhists! We're stuck here together on this lonely planet, abandoned by the heavenly father until October 20th when he comes down and destroys us all in a burning ring of fire. Until then, PARTY!

Tomorrow evening, Tuesday, May 24th, the county legislature will vote on a bill to formalize Albany's extending the county's 1% sales tax surcharge that sits on top of the New York State's 3% sales tax. It is doing so, according to the legislation itself, to ensure adequate funds for governmental services.
Sandy Galef is carrying the bill to the Assembly (A5749) and Steve Kataz is not.

The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named will not sign on to the equivalent Senate bill (S5331) until (drum roll please...) the county drops the Putnam Press/Times and sends it's Legal Notices to the FOX News Courier.

Why? Because he's mad at Don Hall, publisher of the Press/Times, for being a dick during the last campaign, and he was, no doubt about that. His virulent personal attacks on TSWSNBN were juvenile and over-the-top-hysterical and made the anti-truth machine over at FOX News look downright respectable. In fact, it looked and read a lot like Pravda.

But Senator, come on! Grow up. You're playing with the Big Boys now and you should act like it. Leave the petty shit to Michael Rights, Bob Tendy and Kenny Schmitt, Okay?
Whatever. We're not going to win this one, but here are a few things to remember:

A Republican Legislature is raising your taxes. Again.
A Republican Legislature refuses to make cuts equal to the amount of the tax increase.
The Tea Baggers are busily getting tea bagged and could not care less about you or your taxes.

I just thought I'd remind you that all the blather we've been hearing from local Republicans about cutting budgets, lowering taxes and cutting government services is, at least here in Putnam County, a load of hogwash. But I'm guessing you already knew that.

The Doctor
: [The Beast] is playing on very basic fears. Darkness, childhood, nightmares, all that sort of stuff.
Danny: But that's how the devil works!
The Doctor: Or a good psychologist.

Payroll Service

If anyone uses a payroll service for a small number of employees and you are happy with it, please let me know by dropping me a note.

Republicans are lining up behind Marriage Equality in New York State
and not just the rank and file, but the Big Funders are finding it important too, as Mayor Bloomberg ($900,000 donated to the NY Senate Republican fund) said, to be on the right side of history. Rabbi's, including Assemblyman Steven Katz' own, priests and ministers of all sorts are on line with the program as well.
Where does The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named stand? He's a "definite maybe".

Call his office today and tell his staff that you'd like him to be on "the right side of history" with a YEA vote when Governor Cuomo sends the bill to the Senate. His number is 845-279-3773.

Personally, I’m a fan of letters as they give the Senator’s Staff something tangible to work with.

It doesn’t have to be long or involved, you don’t have to pour out your heart unless you feel so inclined. Just state your case, the case for equal rights and the case for New York.

Here’s the address:

Senator Greg Ball
1441 Route 22
Suite 205
Brewster, NY 10509

"The Ryan plan, recently endorsed by Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, will reduce the quality of healthcare  to senior citizens. Medicare is there to assure our senior citizens that they will have good and appropriate health care in their golden years.  The cost of healthcare is now too high and the problem is not getting better.  The solution is not to place these costs on senior citizens.  The first step to keeping costs down is to keep people healthy.   Later we will all pay, in far greater amounts, for the absence of preventative care.  Medicare is highly efficient, for both the patient and the health care provider, meaning much less of each dollar is spent on administration and more funds go directly to providing care for patients.  Now, we need to work on ways of making the care itself more efficient.  We need to work on cutting back on duplicative services, and to reduce the costs of diagnostic testing and medication costs. We must not balance the budget on the backs of our seniors.  Voucher plans pay a portion of a private insurance company's yearly premium. This means seniors must pay the balance, and thus most likely will have to select a poorer quality plan, to afford coverage.   It will greatly increase the cost of health care because there will be many more impoverished sick people.  Medicare has been the greatest government program in our history, we need to repair it and bring it up  to date, not dismantle  it."

-- Cortlandt Town Councilman and cardiologist, Rich Becker

Enhanced Interrogation Stupidity Techniques

Last week Rick Santorum, once a US Senator from Pennsylvania,  publicly disagreed with Senator John McCain on whether torture, ahh excuse me, enhanced interrogation techniques, are effective or not. Mr. McCain, once a POW staying at the Hanoi Hilton, said they are not. Mr. Santorum, an oaf of the First Degree, disagrees.

This is from the Wikipedia:
In August 1968, a program of severe torture began on McCain.[45] He was subjected to rope bindings and repeated beatings every two hours, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery.[33][45] Further injuries led to the beginning of a suicide attempt, stopped by guards.[33] After four days, McCain made an anti-American propaganda "confession".[33] He has always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he later wrote, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine."[46][47] Many American POWs were tortured and maltreated in order to extract "confessions" and propaganda statements, with many enduring even longer and worse treatment;[48] virtually all of them eventually yielded something to their captors.[49] McCain subsequently received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.[50]
Anyone up for putting Mr. Santorum through what Mr. McCain went through, raise your hand...

Alright, get in line!

A crappy cellphone picture from Putnam County's excellent
Hazardous Waste Drop-off day this past Saturday.

"Reconciliation is an internal affair and we reject the American intervention, and Hamas will not recognize Israel."

-- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, reacting to President Obama's speech

And now, The News:

  1. Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can’t Say No to Drilling
  2. Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage
  3. Snafu short-circuits Hayworth meeting coverage
  4. Police Threaten Sexting Teens With Child Porn Charges

Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can’t Say No to Drilling

From ProPublica

As the shale gas boom sweeps across the United States, drillers are turning to a controversial legal tool called forced pooling to gain access to minerals beneath private property--in many cases, without the landowners' permission.

Forced pooling is common in many established oil and gas states, but its use has grown more contentious as concerns rise about drilling safety and homeowners in areas with little drilling history struggle to understand the obscurities of mineral laws.

Joseph Todd, who lives in rural Big Flats, N.Y., wasn't especially concerned when he learned in 2009 that his half-acre property had become part of a drilling unit. But when methane gas showed up in his drinking water well after the drilling began, he became outraged, describing forced pooling as "eminent domain for gas drillers."

"We never wanted to be a part of the drilling," he said. "To have something like this happen is beyond frustrating." Todd and some of his neighbors are now suing the company that is drilling near their neighborhood, even though no link has been proven between drilling and the contamination of their water.

Read More

Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

A majority of Americans say in a new poll that same-sex marriage should be legalized, marking the first time for such support since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2004.

Support for gay marriage jumped nine percentage points to 53%, largely due to an increase from independents and Democrats, the Gallup survey showed. Forty-five percent of Americans believe same-sex couples should not have the same rights as those in traditional marriage.

The survey comes as states such as New York gear up for heated battles over gay marriage. And two years ago this month, the California Supreme Court struck down Proposition 8, a controversial ballot measure banning gay marriage that has sparked a protracted legal fight.

Read More

Snafu short-circuits Hayworth meeting coverage

By Christian Livermore for the Times Herald-Record

NEW WINDSOR — When the news staff of the Times Herald-Record received a press release from U.S. Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-Mount Kisco, inviting them to a Friday morning roundtable she was hosting with small- business leaders on the impact that rising energy costs are having on businesses, they took her at her word.

A reporter and photographer accordingly rose at 6 a.m. and drove 45 minutes each to attend the meeting of the Small Business Task Force, formerly a committee of Hayworth's election campaign but now independent — and learn about the impact that rising energy costs are having on businesses.

But when they arrived, they were told by the chairman of the meeting that it was closed to the press and that he didn't know why the newspaper had received a press release.

Apparently, the press release was wrong when it said the meeting would be "open to the press," and wrong when it said that Hayworth was hosting the meeting, and wrong when it said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss rising energy costs.

Well, that last part's not entirely accurate. The press release was correct that rising energy costs were to be discussed. But not at 8. From 9:20 to 9:30 — shortly after Hayworth arrived.

The only thing that seemed to be correct in the press release was the initial start time, 8 a.m., which — did we mention? — caused a reporter and photographer to rise at 6 a.m. to be on time. So how did this happen?

Read More

Police Threaten Sexting Teens With Child Porn Charges

Police are threatening students at a New Jersey middle school with child pornography charges after a naked picture of a thirteen-year-old student made the rounds of their mobile phones. But there may not really be much authorities can do.

According to the Wyckoff Patch, police and school authorities found out about the photo when students at Eisenhower Middle School got in an argument with the photo's subject. Says Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox, "Some girls learned that their boyfriends had the picture and then there was an argument between those girls and the girl that was involved. That was overheard by the staff and they investigated and ultimately learned what had taken place." Police announced a temporary amnesty: students had until Thursday to delete the photos or face child porn charges. Except: there's no good way for police to enforce this. Says Fox,

Read More

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