Friday, October 8, 2010
For the last five years, photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has been circling the globe by airplane, photographing everything beneath him. Here are some incredible views of countries all over the world from his collection "Earth From Above
The Left seems fascinated with O”Donnell. I like that she is a non politician, unlike her self described “Marxist” career politician opponent.
Wilmington, Delaware (CNN) -- Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell granted me a 10-minute interview at her campaign headquarters on Thursday. Here are the highlights:
On the Bill Maher tapes: "No I haven't been embarrassed. And I'm not saying that I'm proud. You know, obviously what they're trying to do is paint a picture of who I was 20 years ago. I've matured in my faith. I've matured in my policies. Today you have a 40-something woman running for office. Not a 20-year-old. So that's a big difference."
"A lot of what I said ... I had a new-found faith and I saw this an opportunity to talk about the faith on national TV and more as a ministry opportunity. But voters need to rest assured that when I go to Washington D.C., it's the Constitution by which I will make all of my decisions. And I will defend their right to disagree with me."
Keep the Bush tax cuts and cut the deficit? "It is not impossible. First of all, any time taxes have decreased, revenue has increased. Because what you're doing is you're putting money back into the private citizens who then go and start businesses and create jobs based on the private sector not government spending."
Health care reform -- scrap the whole thing including consumer protections? "What I want to do is create real health care reform. Things like that are absolutely crucial and you have to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage and care that they need. I want to scrap the bill and start over with real reform, piece by piece. Nobody is disputing that we need health care reform, but this bill is a massive government takeover of the health care system that gives the government way too much power."
Is a repeal realistic? "If Barack Obama vetoes that the year before his re-election, he's setting himself up to be very vulnerable and I've seen many Hillary for President ads running. So if he chooses to thumb his nose at the will of the American people and ram this unrealistic, unconstitutional bill down America's throats, then there will be consequences politically for Obama."
Yersinia Pestis Bacteria Confirmed as Cause of Middle Ages 'Black Death' Plague Epidemic
ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2010) — The latest tests conducted by anthropologists at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have proven that the bacteria Yersinia pestis was indeed the causative agent behind the "Black Death" that raged across Europe in the Middle Ages.
The cause of the epidemic has always remained highly controversial and other pathogens were often named as possible causes, in particular for the northern European regions. Using DNA and protein analyses from skeletons of plague victims, an international team led by the scientists from Mainz has now conclusively shown that Yersinia pestis was responsible for the Black Death in the 14th century and the subsequent epidemics that continued to erupt throughout the European continent for the next 400 years. The tests conducted on genetic material from mass graves in five countries also identified at least two previously unknown types of Yersinia pestis that occurred as pathogens.
"Our findings indicate that the plague traveled to Europe over at least two channels, which then went their own individual ways," explains Dr Barbara Bramanti from the Institute of Anthropology of Mainz University. The works, published in the open access journal PLoS Pathogens, now provide the necessary basis for conducting a detailed historical reconstruction of how this illness spread.
"The history of this pandemic," stated Hänsch, "is much more complicated than we had previously thought."
"I have written a book. This will come as a shock to some of the elites. They didn't think I could read a book, much less write one," Bush quipped.
Speaking at the University of Mobile in Alabama Thursday night, Bush talked about his memoir "Decision Points," set to be released next month.
"It's about the decisions I made as president, and it's very anecdotal. Here are the stories, and you can decide what you would have done," he was quoted as saying in the the Press-Register of Mobile. The 64-year-old said the tome gives some understanding to the decisions he made on tough issues like the handling of 9/11 and the Iraq war.
The president, who has become a target of both Democrats and President Obama since he left office, refused to comment on the current state of political affairs. "You're not going to see me out opining or offering my critique. Frankly, I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor," Bush said.
From VDH's From the Unbelievable to the Passé:
Statism versus free markets is about as easy to understand as the difference between Singapore and Greece, and yet here we go again. This weird suicidal statist impulse seems for Obama to trump almost every other consideration: he may well destroy the Democratic Party for a decade just when it was recovering; he has so terrified private enterprise that trillions of dollars in capital are simply sitting out his first two years, waiting for the end of his congressional majorities, and hence his agenda to implode.
All this goes on as Obama sees the EU running away from precisely what he wishes to implement, while at home a high-tax, high-entitlement, redistributive economy like California has managed to destroy the most richly endowed human and natural landscape — agriculture, tourism, high-tech, oil and gas, Hollywood, Napa Valley, Silicon Valley — in the nation. And yet here we continue down into the abyss.
In October of 2006 — just before the Democrats took Congress — unemployment was 4.4%.
Outgoing National Security Adviser Jim Jones once disparaged his replacement and current deputy, Thomas Donilon, for his lack of overseas experience, telling him that as a result: "You have no credibility with the military," according to Bob Woodward's "Obama's Wars."
In addition, Donilon, who previously worked as a vice president for floundering mortgage giant Fannie Mae and was known for his strong views and opinions, once offending Defense Secretary Robert Gates so much during a meeting that the Pentagon chief almost walked out, according to Woodward.
Gates asserted that Donilon would be a "disaster" as National Security Adviser, the book alleges.
New research shows that women have to work harder than men in order to start sweating, while men are more effective sweaters during exercise
The Savoy finally reopens on Sunday after three years.
The Savoy is a hotel of firsts. It was the first luxury hotel in Britain, the first to have electricity, electric lifts (known as "ascending rooms"), air-conditioning, 24-hour room service, private bathrooms, and constant hot and cold running water. This must have been a marvel to anyone accustomed to the two inches of lukewarm brown water de rigueur in the grand English country house.
The Savoy was ruled with a rod of iron by the world's first famous general manager, Cesar Ritz, and the kitchens run by the first celebrity chef, Auguste Escoffier. The Savoy had the first serviced apartments and Sarah Bernhardt moved in; in 1937, King George VI became the first reigning monarch to dine in – shock, horror! – a hotel when he attended a private dinner at The Savoy; his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was first seen in public with Prince Philip at a wedding reception in the hotel in 1946. Vivien Leigh met her future husband, Laurence Olivier, in The Savoy's lobby.
This is good tax advice. It is just plain sad that it touches our lives up to and including planning your death.
If You Can't Die by Dec. 31 (0% Estate Tax), Make Gifts (35% Gift Tax)Wealthy Lock In Low Gift Levy as Time Runs Out on 0% Estate Tax, by Ryan J. Donmoyer:
Estates are exempt from all taxes for 2010, and the rate shoots up to 55% next year unless lawmakers act in a post-election session. That means the best tax-reduction strategy, short of dying in 2010, may be to transfer assets to family members this year and lock in a historically low gift-tax rate of 35%. ...
Citigroup has been ordered by an arbitration panel in the US to pay Larry Hagman, the actor made famous as J R Ewing in the television series Dallas, $11.1m in damages.
The panel ordered Citi to pay $1.1m directly to the former soap opera star and another $10m to a charity of the actor's choosing in a punitive award. The bank has also been told to pay $440,000 in legal fees and $20,000 in arbitration costs.
Mr Hagman, who rose to fame in the US in the 1960s comedy series called I Dream of Jeannie, had asked for $1.3m in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages.
So sad, NYT can’t get basics right and their editors can’t catch it till their readers point it out.
ATLAS SHRUGGED, HAYEK WEPT. And the rest of us are kind of snickering. “The reporter covering the tea parties for the New York Times appears to think that ‘the rule of law’ is some sort of exotic term of art invented by right wingers.” Remember, the people who can’t get this stuff right regard the electorate as their intellectual inferiors.
This is from today's NYT Corrections Section. The paper corrects a news story written by a reporter who has no comprehension of the tax code, but nevertheless tried to make a political point by implying that subchapter S corporations represent some kind of tax dodge:
An article on Wednesday about the business culture at the Tribune Company after its acquisition by Sam Zell referred incorrectly to federal taxes on an S corporation, which Tribune became after the deal. S corporations pay no federal taxes because shareholders are responsible for all taxes; therefore, taxpayers do not become "essentially silent partners in the deal."
HOW CONVENIENT: The Hill: Rangel, Waters public ethics trials won’t start until after election. “Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) won’t face public ethics trials until after the election. . . . Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who chairs the panel, made the decision unilaterally
Not a big believer in polls, particularly national polls in off year elections. But the Tea Party trends shows through in almost every poll
POLL: Nearly One in Four Democrats Believe GOP Will Win Control of the Senate. Plus this: “56 percent of likely voters support the Tea Party movement.”
This Oct. 28, 2008 photo shows Liu Xiaobo, right, reading a letter beside the grave of Bao Zunxin, a Chinese historian and political dissident who was arrested and jailed for his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests in Beijing, China.
OSLO, Norway -- Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights" -- a prize likely to enrage the Chinese government, which had warned the Nobel committee not to honor him.
Thorbjoern Jagland, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman, said Liu Xiaobo (LEE-o SHAo-boh) was a symbol for the fight for human rights in China and the government should expect its policies to face scrutiny.
"I promise 100% transparency in my administration."
"I promise NO NEW TAXES on a family making less than $250K a year."
"I will allow 5 days of public comment before I sign any bills."
"I will remove earmarks for PORK projects before I sign any bill."
"I will end Income Tax for seniors making less than $50K a year"
"I'll put the Health Care negotiations on CSPAN so everyone can see who is at the table!"
"I'll have no lobbyists in my administration"
"Eventually socialism runs out of other peoples' money." --- Margaret Thatcher
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." --- Isaac Asimov.