As a trustee of the Saugerties Public Library and the liaison to the Friends of the Saugerties Public Library I want to share with you two exciting opportunities to see our “new” library. On Saturday, January 22 from 2-4 p.m. the Friends will be having an open house preview. Refreshments will be served. The preview is open to members of the Friends. RSVP 246-5670. You can join the Friends at FriendsofSaugertiesLibary.org or at the door ($10.00). On Saturday, Jan. 29 we will be having our formal dedication ceremony from 2-4 p.m. There will be entertainment and crafts for children as well as entertainment for adults. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. The library is located at 91 Washington Avenue, Saugerties. For more information go to SaugertiesPublicLibrary.org. As you know we have totally redone our original 1915 Carnegie Library building and built an addition to better serve our community in the 21st century.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO
I’ve finally found a good metaphor for fracking: addiction.
“The language of addiction is often invoked in conversation about our economy’s desperate relationship with fossil fuel,” said author and ecologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber. “This is a useful way to frame the problem, especially when pondering the irrationality of gas drilling and our own enabling behaviors that drive the need for it.”
Dr. Steingraber suggests we consider the drunk who has already cashed out his kid’s college fund, hocked the family jewels, burned the furniture and terrified the dog. He finally begins to grasp that he has a problem. He is running out of whiskey and flirts with the idea of Alcoholics Anonymous. He suddenly discovers a fully loaded wine cellar underneath the basement. He falls in love with his own cleverness and plans to blow up the foundation. When his family finds out about his plans they call an emergency meeting. What would you do?
stay out of the way and pretend there is no problem
help him get the wine and regulate the consumption
insist on overseeing the detonation of the basement
bar the way to the cellar steps
CLIMATE-CHANGE DENIERS BACK IN POWER
Republican Congressman John Shimkus, who could head the House Energy and Commerce Committee, opposes cap and trade (continue to pollute our environment, within “some” regulations) legislation, because (are you ready?): God will not allow the Earth to be destroyed by global warming. Congressman Shimkus said: “The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood. I do believe that God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.”
Another environmental quote from our incoming majority party comes from Mike Simpson, the Republican congressman who is expected to head a House panel that controls EPA’s budget: “I think we ought to start with a two-year pause in upcoming U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.” Congressman Simpson voted no on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution, voted no on tax incentives for renewable energy and yes on speeding up forest thinning projects as well as de-authorizing critical habitats for endangered species.
Whew we can breathe easy, (even if we’re breathing more CO2), because for the next two years, we cannot expect any restrictions from our government on climate change. Now, if you’re a billionaire, who owns mostly oil and gas stocks, that’s good news, (unless you breathe the same air as the rest of us).
OK - maybe Russia had a record breaking heat wave in 2010; maybe Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Washington and Philadelphia set new record heat levels; maybe the UN said that a total of 20 million people were driven from their homes by floods, that the Amazon River in Brazil suffered a severe drought and that the Rio Negro dropped to its lowest level ever, killing millions of fish and contaminating water. Oh, and then there was Haiti’s loss of about 220,000 people in the earthquake; making it one of the most devastating earthquakes in the last 100 years and now Australia reporting its worst floods in decades, oh, and then Pakistan said it had its deadliest floods since 1929, (but who believes what Pakistan says).
Now, there’s this story of approximately 5,000 dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas beginning at 11:30 PM on New Year’s Eve. Well, there’s been speculation that it may have been one drunken bird that led the rest to fly beneath the gigantic fireworks in Arkansas. Beebe, Arkansas? Population approximately 6,000? Gigantic fireworks? Well, I can give Beebe the half hour mistake, but hey, I’ll go with the drunken bird theory. But what about the 83,000-100,000 dead fish found about 125 miles away, 2 days earlier? Hey, let’s not waste our time with speculation and regulation, let’s just go to Church and stop having all that sex and then let’s leave it up to God.
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
(Taken from an article written by Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI in the German newspaper Deutsche Tagespost, dated April 27, 1984.)
The fight about Crucifixes in our schools, being waged now in Poland, and having been waged by our parents in the time of the Third Reich, in Germany, is clearly symptomatic in character. For those parents in Poland – as it did for our parents back then – the cross in the schools symbolizes a last measure of freedom, and they do not want to be deprived of it by their totalitarian government. It represents the assurance of a humaneness whose eradication they see as the arrogant claim of absolute sovereignty over everyone, a sovereignty that no longer is bounded by the standards of the cross and therefore knows no bounds anymore. They fight for the public recognition of Christianity, and in doing so they fight for our common humane foundations and humane standards, indispensible also for the secular state. If we no longer have the resolve to understand and defend such symbols as indispensible, then we make Christianity itself dispensible, while the nation as such does not gain greater pluralism and freedom; it rather loses its foundations. A nation needs public symbols of its constituent ideas. Even holidays as the public recognition of special times are part of this. Here lies the reason why Christianity must uphold those public symbols of its humaneness. But, of course, it can uphold them only only if they are supported by the power of manifest convictions. This is the challenge for us. If we lack conviction, and if we cannot convince others, we lose all claim to public recognition. We ourselves would then be dispensable and should then admit as much. But our own lack of conviction will deprive society of things objectively indispensable to it: the spiritual foundations of its humaneness and its freedom. The only power that will gain Christianity its public recognition is ultimately the power of intrinsic truth.
P.S. Why is it our president, Barack Obama, each time he lists our inalienable rights, he leaves out the words “endowed by our Creator”?
Joe Defino Sr.
A letter in last week’s paper suggesting school budget cuts (“My Wish List”) contained an error. In the original letter, the author wrote: “Elimination of frivolous field trips (ex. Medieval Times).” As published, the line read: “(except Medieval Times).” The author later informed us he had meant the “ex.” to stand for “example.”