Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy -
In this issue:
1. Snowy Owl
2. Tax Act
3. Red Dog
1. Snowy Owl. Our Global Warming story of the week comes courtesy of Hot Air, Thursday which discussed the snowy owl, a native of the far north, which has started being sighted south of its normal haunts. The owls are normally seen in northern Ohio, New York and other states in the far north. They have been recently showing up in Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Media have long reported migrations of animals north and south as a reflection of long-term weather trends. Unfortunately that reporting has usually been biased toward whatever Great Scare is being perpetrated that particular time. In 1974, armadillos were moving south and Time Magazine reported that move as unassailable proof of the next ice age bearing down upon us (all our fault at the time). When moths and opossums move north in the last couple decades, it is unassailable proof of manmade global warming. Yet now that the snowy owl is moving south, it is a great cosmic mystery. The locations of plants and animals ebb and flow with long term changes in the weather because the things they feed upon and need to grow also ebb and flow. As an aside, the static view of the world as enshrined by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not allow for or even consider the long term movement of species along artificial (manmade) boundaries. The ESA assumes that conditions never change and that species never move in or out of any region for any reason. Keep at this long enough, and when the snowy owl moves into Tennessee in sufficient numbers, it instantly becomes an endangered species in that state. When it leaves and returns north at the next vigorous solar cycle, the entire state will be turned into a protected habitat in hopes that it will return. Ingenious, if you are in the business of stealing property from you countrymen, but ultimately evil.
2. Tax Act. A Texas Republican congresscritter introduced what he is calling the Rangel Rule, a change in the federal tax code that will allow any American who has failed to pay or all of his federal taxes to pay them later without any interest or penalty. He needs to call it the Rangel – Geithner – Daschle Tax Equity Act. Don’t expect this to go all that far, but it does quite nicely skewer the hypocrisy of democrats on the issue of taxes. Over the weekend, conservatives have started a viral campaign against the leftists noting that it is not any surprise that democrats don’t mind raising taxes on everything, as they don’t end up paying those taxes themselves. This will be very damaging over time and it will spread virally. Hot Air, Fri.
3. Red Dog. The EPA war against hard rock mining here in Alaska continues, last week with the release of a 600+ page report on the impact of the Red Dog mine near Kivalina in western Alaska. Among other things, the EPA concludes mine operation and shipment of ore along a 52-mile long haul road are harming subsistence hunts of caribou and beluga. The caribou tend to stay away from the mine and haul road and the beluga tend to stay away from the port, causing local hunters to have to go to different places for their hunts. As a result, the Kivalina locals are blaming the mine for decreased availability of subsistence meats. A neighboring village 40 miles south of the mine is blaming their decreased take of caribou on sport hunters. My guess would be that the hunters are getting better at doing what they are doing and are taking too many animals, which is what happened here in Cook Inlet with belugas. The mine has been in operation for over two decades, and the subsistence conclusions of the report appear to be politically written to further an anti-mining push by the EPA, where any excuse will be used to shut down hard rock mining. ADN, Thurs.
4. House. Nancy Pelosi’s (D, SF) House passed out the stimulus bill with a mere eight hours of debate – about one hour of debate for each $108 billion to be spent. There were no Republican members included in the writing or review of the legislation. And it passed on a near party line vote, with all Republicans and eleven democrats voting against it. The legislation is a Christmas tree of things that democrats have wanted to get out of a president for decades. Half of the spending appears to be payback to the unions that have supported the democrats for years. There are buy American provisions that will trigger an international trade war (think Smoot – Hawley II). There is funding for the federal board that will ration nationalized health care by deciding which treatments are too expensive and which are not. The majority of tax cuts contained are new welfare payments to people who do not pay income taxes. These payments include payments to illegals. ACORN will get over $4 billion to register more democrat voters and commit more voting fraud. There is nearly $60 billion to complete the federal takeover of public education nationwide. Note that this $800+ billion pile of garbage is only intended to pay off supporters of the democrats and ensure their reelection in 2010 and 2012. We tried a stimulus last spring with direct payments to most Americans. It didn’t work. We spent $350 billion in TARP 1 last fall to save the banks and lending institutions. That didn’t work either. We just approved TARP 2 and God only knows where that money will be gong. Now we want to follow that badly spent money with more money to poorly spend. And looming on the horizon is TARP 3 which is now being suggested at $1.2 trillion to bailout the rest of the banks. Hyperinflation is only a couple of years away. Get ready for it. Now if you really, really want to stimulate the economy, here is a very short, very simple list of things to do: Zero out all capital gains taxes; Zero out all corporate income taxes; Zero out all estate taxes; Repeal Sarbanes – Oxley (or at a minimum the mark to market rule). Then stand back and get out of the way. The average recession lasts around 16 months. This one started in December of 2007. That means Obama and the democrats have three months to turn things around. They can do it, as they have the votes. But it would not allow them the ability to control the Little People they so desperately need.
5. Daschle. HHS Secretary nominee and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is yet another Obama appointee with a little tax problem. Apparently he has failed to pay income taxes on over $140,000 in income over the last few years. He made no move to correct that problem until last summer, when it appeared that Obama was going to win the presidency and that he would be in line for a cabinet position. Daschle is infamous for a lot of things during his tenure in the senate, and has written a couple books on nationalizing health care in the intervening years. The basic message in one of those books is that the American people defeated HillaryCare in 1993 and 1994 because they knew too much about what was in the legislation. Daschle’s solution? Turn all the decision making apparatus over to a Federal health Board that would set all the policies and make all the decisions on federally funded health care. Congress would pass enabling legislation to set up the entire mess and would step out of the way and allow the federal board – unelected and unaccountable – to make all rationing, spending, treatment and care decisions. It will be a Hobbsian world – where life is nasty, brutish and short. We will hope he is not confirmed. [TOWNHALL Note: Daschle has withdrawn his nomination as this post was being published here. Yes!, this is change we can believe in.]
6. Bison. Sometimes I wonder what the rocket scientists in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) are smoking. They are proposing to introduce a breeding population of wood bison in the Nenana basin south of Fairbanks. The thought is to introduce yet another species of game animals for hunting in the central part of the state. There is some evidence that wood bison did live up here many thousands of years ago, but they are long, long gone. The problem with this is that the wood bison is also an endangered species in the Lower 48, leading to fears that once introduced, the greens will use the artificially created population of bison as a vehicle to shut down natural gas exploration and construction of a bullet line for natural gas. Developers want ADF&G to go to the feds, hat in hand, and request a secret handshake – good for a couple nanoseconds or whenever the new nominee takes office – from the Obama administration to not list the newly introduced animals. Good luck on that, guys. ADN, Fri.
More later — AG
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.
Note: Interesting Items can be found also at the following locations: MatSu Valley News and the home page. Rod Martin’s The Vanguard site is also a long-time supporter of this column. Alex Gimarc is a long-time member of the Town Hall Conservative group.