An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Archive for 7 April 2009
A new x-ray image has revealed an unusual hand-shaped nebula that brings a whole new meaning to the expression “reach for the stars.”
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory recently snapped this shot of energetic particles streaming from a pulsar—the rapidly rotating core left behind after a very massive star exploded as a supernova.
Known as B1509, the pulsar is thought to be about 1,700 years old and lies roughly
17,000 light-years from Earth.
The tiny pulsar is just 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) wide. But it is spinning so fast—it makes a complete rotation about every seven seconds—that the particles it spews have created a nebula spanning 150 light-years.
The pulsar’s rapid rotation likely helped create the nebula’s odd shape. Its finger-like pillars appear to be transferring energy to a nearby gas cloud, which glows orange and red in x-rays.
Swiped from Skp!
The House passed a bill to allow people with handgun carry permits to bring their weapons into establishments that serve alcohol.
The chamber voted 70-26 on Monday in favor of the bill sponsored by Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican and a retired police officer.
The bill would still ban handguns at any establishment that enforces age restrictions, and would maintain current rules that prohibit alcohol consumption by anyone carrying a firearm.
The proposal would also create a curfew for handguns being carried between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
The House on a 72-17 vote rejected an attempt by Rep. Brian Kelsey, a Germantown Republican, to remove any time limitations.
The companion bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Are they serious?
Now, anyone who comes around here on a regular basis knows I’m extremely pro 2nd Amendment. That’s a given. But even I know that it’s not a real good idea to allow people, going into bars, chugging down their favorite adult beverage, to carry guns. As a former drinker, I can tell you from experience……enter alcohol….exit gray cells. Yes, even I know guns and alcohol don’t mix. Alcohol makes you do stupid things.
Let’s say you are sitting in a bar, minding your own business, cozying up to favorite honey, imbibing a few adult beverages and along comes a person who has also been participating in this “grown up” activity. He/she starts eying your honey, says a few inappropriate words, and fists start flying. Now, add a gun into the mix. Yes, there are some people who wouldn’t consider pulling out a weapon, no matter how many such beverages they have downed. On the other hand, you have the moron, who would pull out a gun in a heartbeat.
Now, I don’t have a problem with restaurants, that also serve alcoholic beverages, allowing personal protection. I do have a problem with businesses that are strictly for the ingestion of alcohol. Some folks might disagree with me, and I don’t mind discussing different views. Just off the top of my head, I don’t believe it’s a good idea.
If true, this is just so sad.
ROME, April 6 (Reuters) – An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L’Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population.
The first tremors in the region were felt in mid-January and continued at regular intervals, creating mounting alarm in the medieval city, about 100 km (60 miles) east of Rome.
Vans with loudspeakers had driven around the town a month ago telling locals to evacuate their houses after seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani predicted a large quake was on the way, prompting the mayor’s anger.
Giuliani, who based his forecast on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas, was reported to police for “spreading alarm” and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet.
It goes on to say
“It is useful to underline that it is not in any way possible to predict an earthquake,” it said, adding that the agency saw no reason for alarm but was nonetheless effecting “continuous monitoring and attention”.
As the media asked questions about the authorities’ alleged failure to safeguard the population ahead of the quake, the head of the National Geophysics Institute dismissed Giuliani’s predictions.
“Every time there is an earthquake there are people who claim to have predicted it,” he said. “As far as I know nobody predicted this earthquake with precision. It is not possible to predict earthquakes.”
Enzo Boschi said the real problem for Italy was a long-standing failure to take proper precautions despite a history of tragic quakes.
“We have earthquakes but then we forget and do nothing. It’s not in our culture to take precautions or build in an appropriate way in areas where there could be strong earthquakes,” he said.
How many lives could have been saved if they had only listened?
One thing that also stood out was the quote “We have earthquakes but then we forget and do nothing.” Hmmm…makes one think…
H/T Real Debate
I’ve heard about this particular matter in a few places, but don’t recall seeing anything about it in the main stream media. From Judge Andrew Napolitano, FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst
The Federal government committed extortion and they’re not being held accountable. What’s next? Listen to this: I recently met with the Chair and CEO of one of the country’s top 10 bank holding companies. His bank is worth in excess of $250 billion, has no bad debt, no credit default swaps, no liquidity problems, and no subprime loans. He told me that he and others were forced by Treasury and FDIC threats to take TARP funds, even though he did not want or need them.
The FDIC — with Treasury backing — threatened to conduct public audits of his bank unless his board created and issued a class of stock for the Feds to buy. The audit, which he is confident his bank would survive, would cost it millions in employee time, bad press, and consequent lost business.
Merriam Webster had this to say about extortion:
1: the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property ; especially : the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice; to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power
Seems to me that threatening the bank with an unnecessary audit which would cost time, money, and reputation would fall under that category.
The article goes on to say
He pleaded with the Feds to leave his successful bank alone. He begged his board to let him tell the Feds to take a hike. But they gave in. The Feds are now just a tiny shareholder, but want to begin asserting more and more control. This is a classic extortion: Controlling someone’s free will by threatening to perform a lawful act. (Blackmail is the threat is to perform an unlawful act in order to control someone else’s free will.) There are no exceptions in the statutes prohibiting extortion for government persons
There is simply no authority in the U.S. Constitution for Congress to exercise the level of control it now seeks over private industry. In fact, this level of control will wind up costing the businesses that took TARP (voluntarily or involuntarily) money since they will lose key employees who will go to work elsewhere and because the reporting requirements will take time and time is money. The Constitution basically says that if the government wants to take time or freedom or money from someone or something, it must sue for it. It cannot just give itself the authority to do so via legislation.
Folks, we are on a very slippery slope here, and it’s moving fast. If the government doesn’t like the job you’re doing, they’ll fire you. They’ll set your wages. Hell – they’ll just take over the company!!
Napolitano says it well when he states “Our liberties are slipping away right before our eyes.”
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Jack was sitting on the plane when a guy took the seat beside him. The guy was an emotional wreck, pale, hands shaking, moaning in fear.
“What’s the matter?” Jack asked.
“I’ve been transferred to Detroit, there’s crazy people there. They’ve got lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor public schools, and the highest crime rate.”
Jack replied, “I’ve lived in Detroit all my life. It’s not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, enroll your kids in a nice private school. It’s as safe a place as anywhere in the world.”
The guy relaxed and stopped shaking and said, “Oh, thank you. I’ve been worried to death. But if you live there and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?”
“Me?” said Jack. “I’m a tail gunner on a Budweiser truck.”