It was one of the most haunting scenes in cinematic history: HAL 9000 is the latest in artificial intelligence; a sentient, on-board computer that functions as the brain of the spaceship Discovery. It understands human language, its nuances and ambiguities, and pleasantly converses with the crew by speaking in the softest, most dulcet tones.
Then Hal, the epitome of technological perfection, seriously malfunctions and Discovery’s two astronauts must disconnect its cognitive functions in order to protect the mission. Wary of HAL, they enter into a see-through soundproof pod to prevent the computer from overhearing their plan. The life force of HAL is represented by an enlarged, piercingly red eyeball. That eyeball now focuses menacingly on the pod. The camera shifts back and forth between the silently moving lips of the astronauts inside the pod and the iconic red eyeball of HAL. Suddenly, the viewers shockingly realize that HAL is reading the lips of the astronauts. HAL, fearing his own technological death embarks on a murderous rage against the crew.
Throughout the budget process this year we have remained true to our commitment – to address the over $10 billion deficit by cutting spending, not raising taxes. New York State does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. To get our economy moving and create new jobs, we need to get government off people’s and businesses backs – hence spending cuts, not new taxes.
We can’t tax our way out of this recession. Governor Cuomo gets it. I get it. Unfortunately, there are others who don’t.
As we head into the final lap of budget discussions in Albany, it is increasingly clear that special interest groups plan to defend their stranglehold on New York State’s purse strings by stepping up their propaganda. These groups are committed to maintaining the historical status quo and will fight, tooth and nail, to block the change we were elected to implement.
Patsy Ann Joinnides
MA Childhood Education
The twin disasters of an earthquake and a tsunami have Japan in a desperate race against time to prevent large-scale radiation leaks in an unfolding nuclear crisis that has the world holding its breath. There is the usual chorus criticizing another nation’s lack of preparedness for a catastrophic event in addition to calls to shut down nuclear power plants altogether. These criticisms and demands are unrealistic since such things are bound to happen and they fail to take into account where the human race would be without technological advances.
It has been a busy week in Albany. We continue the process of examining the state budget. These are difficult financial times but working together, we will ultimately succeed in cutting expenses and providing a framework for real long-term relief. In order for us to improve our state’s fiscal health, we need to provide residents with property tax relief, create jobs and control spending.
In another blast of high stakes rodomontade, Vice President Joe Biden in one of his descending from the “mount of God” moments, augustly proclaimed that our nation needs a $53 billion appropriation to build a high-speed rail and it needs to get the job done in a hurry. These implorations may have been heartfelt, but Americans are not quite ready to come aboard this one-way express to deficitville. Nor does the history of American transportation justify Biden’s confidence about a rail-based America being the dominant mode of transportation.
And Shredding ProgramKeeping our planet healthy takes a joint effort. That’s why I am proud to announce that the Town of Hempstead will hold an “E-Cycling, Pharmaceutical Disposal and Shredding” Day on Sunday, March 13 in Levittown from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. This is your chance to get rid of your unwanted computers, televisions, DVD players and VCRs and help the environment at the same time. In addition, bring your outdated pharmaceuticals to the program for proper disposal and you can also bring old documents to be shredded while you watch. The event will take place in the Town of Hempstead municipal parking lot area, located just off Division Avenue behind the Tri-County Market (Hempstead Turnpike) in Levittown.
If the truth will set you free then our society is shackled by pretense, misconception and outright denial. Truth no longer thunders, it mumbles. There are moments when the verities prevail but truth is too often on guard about giving offense to speak its mind too freely. It is said the best counselors are often the dead; for books will speak plain when the living among us blanch.
Last week, I began my list of the most successful presidencies with number 10 through 7, this week I conclude the article starting with number 6:
I have resigned from my position as a Trustee of The Floral Park-Bellerose School Board of Education. This was a very hard decision for me to make. The deciding factor in making this decision is my health.
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