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  1. One of the last books Michael Crichton completed before his death was State of Fear. It was meticulously researched (one of the few novels I've read with more footnotes and end notes than many scientific papers I've read). It documented the phony global warming false science when it was written about 6 years ago. I strongly recommend it if you are a Crichton fan (which I am).
  2. Gwizz & Hawk: The article I read said $30M, and that the station hadn't been used in 30 years. The AMTRAK station was new and down the track a bit. When I was in Tacoma in the 1980s, the feds paid to refurbish the old Tacoma station (the AMTRAK station was new and down the track a bit). As a guy who loves old buildings, I had mixed feelings about that. I am glad the building was refurbished and put to good use (don't know what that use was) rather than being torn down or allowed to further deteriorate. However, I can't help but thinking that the people who benefited from the refurbishment, namely the city and some private businesses, should have been the ones paying. My mother is from Lancaster, so I sort of feel the same way about this station.
  3. Gwizz: The article I read quoted Edmunds. According to the article, about 5/6 of the cars traded in during cash for clunkers would have been traded in this calendar year anyway. Edmunds cited the stats to more or less prove it. Also quoted an exec from Ford saying the same thing. The Ford guy did agree that it picked up sales for a short period of time, but that it wasn't likely to have any long term effect on anything. Anyway, that's how the $24,000 was calculated, by figuring that 5/6 of the cars would have been bought anyway, without the taxpayer handout.
  4. This depends on the map, of course. I like a train with one mail car, a dining car, and two passenger cars, set to wait for 1/2 full, plying back and forth between two stations. Mail has a high payoff, if it's delivered quickly.
  5. I have to agree with Gwizz. Krauthammer may not have written the note posted earlier by Gwizz, but he has certainly expressed all of these sentiments during his appearances on Fox and the op-eds I have read.
  6. I'm eligible for Medicare. So are both my parents, my mother-in-law, and my grandmother. It sucks, to be polite. So does Tri-Care and the VA system. So does Social Security. Yes, they are socialism, taking money away from me at the point of a gun (try not paying your taxes and see what happens) to give that money to someone else.
  7. Hawk: You were nicer than me. I deleted my response. Now here's health care you can believe in, and it's government run and single payer. Sounds like what Mr. Obama wants for the rest of us. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/21/national/main5257225.shtml
  8. Obama's first action was a tax increase. A $.65 per cent federal tax on cigarettes. Sure it may have been against those nasty smokers, most of whom make far, far less than $250,000 per year. Works out to about $200 per year for those who smoke a pack a day. So much for Obama's promise not to increase taxes (and didn't restrict that promise to just income taxes) for those making less that $250,000 per year. And what Republican tax increase took place this past April 15th?
  9. Gwizz: If it all does it run from downtown to the airport, it sounds a lot like the Minneapolis system I was on in March. Frankly, I didn't see the utility of it, except to make it cheaper for business people to get from the airport to downtown without using a cab, a limo, or renting a car.
  10. Gwizz: I was in Minneapolis last March for a college program. Minneapolis has an excellent surface light rail system that connects the Mall of the Americas in the south-southeast to the airport to downtown. It was very inexpensive and relatively quick. Unlike the DC Metro or the the New York subway, however, the system only connects those three points (with numerous stops in between). No feeder lines to the suburbs, for example. Minneapolis does have a bus system, but I didn't use that while I was there. Consequently, except for people going to and from downtown and the airport, the system didn't seem to have a lot of utility.
  11. Gwizz: There already is a "death tax," or "estate tax," in the U.S. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estate_tax_in_the_United_States As noted in the above referenced article, some of its provisions were moderated by the so-called "Bush Tax Cuts." Those cuts expire in 2011, so if you are planning on dieing anytime soon, do it during 2010, as that will be the cheapest year. What you probably heard was broadcasters talking about the expiration of the tax cuts.
  12. The politicians also seem to be missing the point that it isn't the supermarkets who are losing the carts, but consumers who are not returning the carts. So the politicians levy fines on the supermarkets. Talk about trying to drive businesses away, that's just plain stupid.
  13. This won't go anywhere, and it's probably better if it doesn't. If true, this would be worse for the country than an impeachment conviction (which has never happened, at least for president). A sitting president thrown out of office for fraudelently gaining the office, as well as the office of senator, and perhaps even state senator. And "America's First Black President" to boot? I'm old enough to remember the Watt's riots - lived in Anaheim at the time. We don't need a repeat of those. Better for the blue dog democrates to grow a set and start standing up to Pelosi and Reid before this country becomes a banana republic.
  14. We're certainly heading for national bankruptcy.
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