The intent of BlueInGreene.org is to provide a forum for the dissemination of information and stimulation of discussions related to issues of importance to residents of Greene County, the Hudson Valley, the six-county Catskill region, and all of New York state. Our goal is to provide ongoing dialog that will promote the vision of Greene County as progressive, environmentally leading, educationally innovative, and supportive of local farms and business. We intend to take strong and detailed positions on issues and candidates, and critique politicians, government institutions and mass media, providing facts and opinions not always covered by print or electronic corporate media. In addition to fact-finding and criticism, this blog will recommend specific ideas and courses of action to consider.

We encourage participation, by all, concerning the issues and problems we are faced with now, and hope you will offer ideas and solutions that can lead to actions that allow Greene County, and all of New York state be to viewed as a model of progressive government, industry, education, and democracy.

We are not a forum for neo-con rants and uninformed extremism. We strongly believe that an informed and involved electorate is essential for the existence and growth of a society based on equality, openness, and mutual respect.

Postings will be reviewed and where appropriate, fact-checked.

Before casting your vote for the NY 19th Congressional district, please check out the real John Faso.  In 13 years in the State assembly, he missed nearly 1700 votes (NY Post – 5/8/06). He claims to be against special interests and corporate welfare – then why has he received $500,000 donations from Wall Street insiders, and why has he worked for corporate, and anti-environmental interests as a lobbyist? Let’s see where his money has come from in his long and checkered Albany career – let’s see his tax returns.

The past 5 years have seen dedicated and informative posts and excellent management of the site. We intend to continue this, with articles about local, state, national, and international politics. In addition there will be discussion of concepts such as Patriotism, Citizen rights and responsibilities, and corruption. Of course there will be areas devoted to individual candidates, where they get their money, what their history shows about their real intentions, and, in the end , who they really are beholden to. Especially in this time of mass media obfuscation, and convenient ignoring of important happenings and issues, we intend to highlight dishonesty in all forms of political discourse. On the positive side, there are some truly impressive new voices on the political scene, and we will talk about candidates, office holders, and activists who have risen above the self-serving political crowd and are having a real  positive impact on the world and our system.

We hope everyone will feel free to join the discussion, and we especially welcome ideas and information that other internet sites may have missed.

Do you know the record or positions of your Senators or Congressman? Here are several links that will give you immediate access to the voting records, positions on critical issues, legislation introduced, contributors, as well as many other important informational data points.

For Kirsten Gillibrand go to: http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/65147/kirsten-gillibrand.

For Chuck Schumer go to: http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/26976/chuck-schumer.

For Chris Gibson go to: http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/127042/chris-gibson.

For legislation introduced and the entire Congressional Record go to the Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php.

A rock-star economist says it’s much simpler than you think. Daron Acemoglu, M.I.T. Professor, and his collaborator have found that the wealth of a country is most closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy. When the poorest and least educated citizens have some shot at improving their own lives—through property rights, a reliable judicial system or access to markets—these citizens do what it takes to make themselves and their country richer. A comparison of related countries bears this out, e.g. the Dominican Republic vs. Haiti (two halves of the same island!) or Thailand vs. Burma (now Myanmar). It has also been true historically that fairly open and prosperous societies can revert to closed and impoverished autocracies. (NY Times Magazine, 3/18/12)

An important report from Working Families:

“This morning, a fracking compressor exploded in Northeast Pennsylvania, just 30 miles south of Binghamton.

As black smoke billows from the site, emergency crews from three counties are on the scene. The most recent reports suggest that workers are still trying to shut off the flow of gas. Luckily, no injuries have been reported so far.

The compressor station takes gas, extracted from the Marcellus Shale by hydrofracking, and pressurizes it for transport. Stations like these would spring up across New York if Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation approve fracking in our state.

Poisoned water, earthquakes, and now explosions. What more evidence do we need that fracking is too dangerous?”

Here is the link to news coverage by the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Chris Gibson’s Record (in part)

1. When he is in the district, he talks about getting Federal aid for flood victims from agencies such as FEMA. In Washington, he votes against all FEMA appropriations.
2. When in the district he talks about jobs. In Washington, he votes for tax cuts for large corporations and the rich – giving them money they invest overseas to take jobs away from Americans.
3. When in the district, he says he is in favor of expanding broadband coverage throughout rural areas. In Washington, he has done nothing to push this, and has voted against stimulus moneys that could be used for broadband expansion.
4. He consistently votes to restrict women’s rights.
5. He only votes against the wishes of his party’s leaders when they give him permission to do so and already have the votes they need, even when their positions hurt the district and its citizens. In short, he represents big corporations and lobbyists, and not us.

Governor Cuomo has quietly removed funding for the health assessment of hydrofracking, so that there will be no governmental data to prove that hydrofracking will result in increased levels of toxic chemicals in the air and water, with severe irreversible long-term health consequences for New Yorkers.

The issue of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars seems to have faded from public consciousness. It is important that Americans continue to recognize that these wars were sold to us with a pack of lies. They created unprecedented human misery, including the unnecessary deaths of thousands of young Americans, resulted in huge deficits (following a Democratic administration that left the country with a budget surplus), and failed to accomplish any of their stated aims of creating democracies and ensuring a guaranteed supply of middle eastern oil.

Significantly, when the Bush administration left office, Dick Cheney stated that he was satisfied that they had accomplished what they set out to do. What could that have been other than to make him and Bush’s supporters very, very wealthy, destroy the nation’s economy, and make the world a much more dangerous place.

Here is the Jewett Town Board’s resolution against using “fracking” brine on local roads:

The Jewett Resolution

The Town Board’s response was made in part because of a post on this site in January, and it’s an important step forward in the fight against environmental damage caused by fracking.