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I used to do a weekly newsletter that had quite a following. But it got too much for me to juggle, so I let it slip. But now, as possibly a step towards re-establishing it, I want to start a Cool News Roundup, highlighting stuff from the past week or so and/or relevant older articles that may be of interest, as well as action alerts. My personal biases will of course come into play: science, Jewish issues, history, etc. will often be part of what I highlight.

Let me know what you think!

So, below the thingie, let's begin.

We are approaching the season where mold and mildew I think it is worth posting this again:  Dealing with Mold and Mildew in Your Home

HEALTH, SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS:

Obama to GOP: The Affordable Care Act is working.

Progress: Procter & Gamble Offers Deforestation-Free Palm Oil Commitment

Here are a couple of articles that sound like they come from a jbou diary

Okay, this puts a new spin on the "Chics with Dicks" fetish: Female cave insects have 'penises'

And it is hard not to follow up that article with this one: Doctors implant lab-grown vagina

FOR ASD AWARENESS MONTH:

For those of us who live with someone with ASD, EVERY month is Autism Awareness Month. I wish I could share my son's eloquent "coming out" as diagnosed with ASD to his class, but since it is filmed in a classroom, it can only be shared privately. But it was a wonderful moment for him and for his class. And it was all thanks to my giving my son the  The Survival Guide For Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents), which my son LOVES.

But others can also be eloquent about ASD. This from Daily Kos: If you have ever loved or known someone with Autism please read this diary

And let me also plug this WONDERFUL website done by two kids with ASD: Aspberger's Experts

CLIMATE ACTION ALERT:

Stand Up For A Cleaner Environment!‏

Our future depends on switching to cleaner, better, more local energy sources. There is no one single solution, but combinations of solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and biogas production, coupled with increased energy efficiency, could go a long way not only to reduce America's carbon footprint, but also to create local jobs. AND reduce our dependence on oil producing nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela.

Pear Energy is a way you can switch to clean energy easily. Your energy bill will start to support the creation of new clean energy sources. From Pear Energy:

The United States needs to reduce its carbon footprint by about 40 percent over the next 20 years and by 80 percent by 2050 in order to control climate change. This is what we need to achieve to stop playing Russian Roulette with our global environment. Learn more

Electricity generated by coal produces 40 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity from natural gas increasingly involves fracking technology, which is poisoning our groundwater.

Pear wants to make it easy and affordable for you to buy clean wind and solar-powered electricity, so that we can, together, defend the environment, fight climate change, and generate millions of good jobs in the process. We can all help build a green economy by our own decisions on what we buy, starting today.

My wife and I have been buying all wind power for about 10 years now (through another program). When we made the switch we also switched to CFL light bulbs. The savings from the CFLs more than outweighed the small increase from the switch to clean energy.

This is really a critical action. Combining switching to CFL bulbs (or now LEDs are an even better option) and buying all clean energy will together save you money and greatly reduce your carbon foot print. Join my family and switch now.

REMEMBERING LETTERMAN:

More here: Letterman rocked...

HISTORY/OPINION:

A piece I wrote about guns:

Guns: Bloomberg, Teabagger Jews, and Founding Fathers

In addition, I have been reading a biography of George Washington. In it is a telling comment about the issues of State vs. Federal sovereignty that I think is critical to keep in mind given the way the right wing twists the whole "States Rights" issue:

In a remarkably prescient letter, [John] Jay described the preferred conclusion in Philadelphia as a federal government comprised of three sparate branches...The national government should have a veto over all state laws, much like the British king's veto over colonial legislation. The knotty question of sovereignty--did it reside in the states or the federal government?--might be ingeniously resolved by locating it in the fountainhead of all authority, "The People."

[James] Madison was equally thoughtful in anticipating the major controversies likely to dominate Philadelphia...Like Jay, Madison also wanted a federal veto over state laws. And on the sovereignty problem, he had an unprecedented solution, which was to dispense with the assumption that sovereignty must be clear and indivisible: "I have sought for some middle ground, which may at once support a due supremacy od the national authority, and not exclude the local authorities whenever they can be subordinately useful."

So it seems John Jay and James Madison did NOT have the view that the modern Teabaggers that the Federal government was subordinate to the state governments. This idea WAS indeed part of the debate, and indeed many of those at the Constitutional Convention would have held this idea. But the key players, the ones who wrote the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers and gave us our first Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, etc. pretty much believed in a FEDERAL veto power over STATE laws and either FEDERAL supremacy, or, and this is what is really enshrined in the Constitution, SHARED Federal and State supremacy. Needless to say the Teabaggers do not know their history.

MEDIA NEWS:

New Analysis Finds Significant Differences in How Accurately Cable News Networks Portray Climate Science

The Right-Wing Media depends more on Payola than advertising? Tea party fuels right-wing radio with millions in cash

Funny thing is, Tea Party Payola isn't enough: Rush Limbaugh Is In Ruins - Bad News Coming From Every Direction - Including The Right

POLITICAL NEWS:

NY State focus: Why Cuomo?

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez - National Sexual Assault Awareness Month:

RANDOM NEWS:

Is THIS really what North Korea needs to be focusing on? North Korean officials visit salon over Kim Jong-un 'bad hair' advert

And here is this week's moment of jbou: Nice try Jesus' disciples, but I've seen "Weekend at Bernie's [sic]

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE ACTION ALERT:

How about a National Day of Reason?

With the National day of Prayer coming up in a couple of months I felt it was time to get the ball rolling on the National Day of Reason Campaign.

I have sent a version of the letter below to Governor Jay Inslee requesting that his office proclaim May 1st as a Day of Reason in Washington state.  I will also be sending this letter out to several local officials and trying to get it in as letters to the editor in as many papers across the state as I can find.

I urge you to contact you local officials and encourage them to proclaim their own Day of Reason.

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