Tarry for the Nonce

February 14, 2009

A Raw New Deal

Filed under: History, Politics — lmwalker @ 9:04 am

Rock on, GOP Leader!

Thank you to the House (and most Senate) Republicans for displaying true fiscal conservatism – and – for all their reasoning may have been flawed – thank you to the following Democrats:

  • Bobby Bright of Alabama
  • Peter DeFazio of Oregon
  • Parker Griffith of Alabama
  • Walt Minnick of Idaho
  • Collin Peterson of Minnesota
  • Heath Shuler of North Carolina
  • Gene Taylor of Mississippi

(Do you have any idea how difficult it was to track down those names? Not a single major media outlet reported them. Why not?)

Thanks to Arlen “I-Wanna-Be-A-Democrat” Specter, Olympia “I-Wanna-Be-Loved-By-Democrats” Snowe, and Susan “I-Wanna-Be-Olympia-Snowe” Collins, the vote in the Senate was so close that they had to hold the vote open to allow the deciding vote to return from his mother’s wake.

Some of the more amusing “tax cut” provisions:

  • After all the flack Bush got for his 2008 “rebate checks,” there is a one-time $250 payout to benefit recipients. (Hmm . . . I guess the concept wasn’t as offensive to the Democrats as they previously postulated.)
  • There is a $400 credit for people earning less than $75,000. (I think this falls somewhat short of Obama’s “$250,000-or-less” promise.)
  • There is a one-year reprieve for middle-to-high income households on having to pay the AMT. (My guess is that most Average Joes don’t understand the concept of the AMT and they will nonetheless have to pay it eventually, so learn about it here.)

Some other provisions are documented by CNN and readthestimulus.org.

With the idiotic “Buy American” clause, the Democrats are making the same mistake now that Republicans made during the Hoover administration. History always repeats itself when it is disregarded.

And, of course, it is now being reported that earmarks have managed to find their way into this cobbled-together-behind-closed-doors bill, after all. You remember: the bill they (falsely) promised to publish for public scrutiny for 48 hours before the vote.

Pet provisions were coming to light that had not been included in the original bills that passed the House or Senate — or that differed markedly from earlier versions. Some appeared to brush up against claims of the bill’s supporters that no pet projects known as “earmarks” were included.

It’s the biggest scam in my lifetime. Shame on so-called “fiscal conservatives, but social liberals” who voted for Obama in this last election. If you truly consider yourself a “fiscal conservative,” you are either grotesquely ill-informed or inexcusably short-sighted.

Next time, pick up a newspaper (or a history book) before casting your vote.

March 15, 2006

Evidence of Pangaea?

Filed under: History — lmwalker @ 2:48 pm

Africa may be headed for a split:

The Afar Triangle, which cuts across Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, is the largest construction site on the planet. Three tectonic plates meet there with the African and Arabian plates drifting apart along two separate fault lines by one centimeter a year . . .

Basalt magma has risen into some of the crevices . . . And it’s the exact same kind of lava that spews out of volcanic ridges deep under the ocean — a process which slowly pushes older lava sediments away on either side. The process has only just begun in the Afar Triangle — and scientists for the first time can witness the birth of a new ocean floor . . .

Geophysicists have calculated that in 10 million years the East African Rift System will be as large as the Red Sea. When that happens, Africa will lose its horn.

What exciting times! Too bad Wegener isn’t around to observe this continental drift.

February 13, 2006

Watch Out for Mummies

Filed under: History — lmwalker @ 5:46 pm

I am fascinated by the fact that we can still find massive chunks of ancient history, this time in Pella, Greece.

The eight-chambered tomb dates to the Hellenistic Age between the fourth and second century B.C., and is the largest of its kind ever found in Greece. The biggest multichambered tombs until now contained three chambers.

The 678-square-foot tomb hewn out of rock was discovered by a farmer plowing his field on the eastern edge of the ancient cemetery of Pella, some 370 miles north of Athens, archaeologists said . . .

The tomb, believed to have been used for two centuries, was probably plundered in antiquity as most of the artifacts were strewn by the entrance to the chambers, [excavation leader Maria] Akamati said.

The complex is dominated by a central area surrounded by eight chambers colored in red, blue and gold dyes. Three inscribed stone slabs inside bear the names of their female owners, Antigona, Kleoniki and Nikosrati. A relief on one of the slabs depicts a women and her servant.

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