American Elephants

Do You Know the Astonishing Story of Gobekli Tepe? by The Elephant's Child
September 13, 2011, 6:24 pm
Filed under: History, Middle East, News

I had never heard of Göbekli Tepe, and I find it absolutely fascinating. I don’t keep up with archeology, though I should, and these discoveries and the slow and careful building of understanding about the world’s past change our views of who we are.

According to this site:

In 1994, in southeastern Turkey, a Kurdish shepherd discovered the remains of one of the most astonishing archeological finds of our times. Göbekli Tepe.

19-foot columns expertly carved out of stone, decorated with sculpted animals that do not and may never have lived in the region have baffled the German archeological team who came to unearth this spectacular find. The scientists estimate that the structures at this site are between 11,000 and 12,000 years old.

This would be 8,000 years before Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids were built!

See Wikipedia


It’s All about Politics — Not Jobs! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s American Jobs Act is just plain dishonest.  He wants the bill passed at once, but he plans to pay for it way down the road.  According to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew, the president plans to play for his $447 billion jobs plan through tax increases.  Itemized tax deductions and exemptions would be cut for those making more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000. This would supposedly raise about $400 billion over ten years.

Another change would bring more hedge fund earnings under normal tax rules as opposed to carried interest rates.  The new tax rules would not take effect until January 2013. Obama is not offering any spending cuts to pay for the jobs plan. So the taxes would take effect well after the election.

The rest of the total would be raised by cutting the subsidies for the oil and gas industries to bring in another $40 billion. So he wants to raise taxes on drilling new oil and gas wells. For every 2¢ of subsidy received by the oil and gas industry, nearly $1 in subsidy goes to the useless wind and solar industries. And he’s certainly not going to reduce those subsidies.  And Obama wants to go after those corporate jets. That might raise $3 billion.  Why a president who has the world’s biggest corporate jet at his beck and call, and seems to be constantly in the air, has so little understanding of why company executives might need to fly is interesting.

It should be noted that the jobs that might be created if Congress passed the American Jobs Act are all union jobs for the construction unions and teachers unions.  More Obama payback. It would be nice if he just wanted to create jobs for Americans.

The White House would not specify how many jobs it expects Obama’s proposal to create, but directed reporters to Moody’s economist Mark Zandi’s estimate of 1.9 million jobs created.  It appears, however, that the plan is aimed directly at creating just one job — Barack Obama’s. This is not a job creating plan.  It is all about politics.  As Harvard economist Robert Barro said in the New York Times on Saturday:

Today’s priority has to be austerity, not stimulus, and it will not work to announce a new $450 billion jobs plan while promising vaguely to pay for it with fiscal restraint over the next 10 years, as Mr. Obama did in his address to Congress on Thursday. Given the low level of government credibility, fiscal discipline has to start now to be taken seriously.

This mess of a bill was not designed to create jobs, it was designed to fool the voters in 2012 to think that Republicans— not an inexperienced and incompetent big-government president and his political party — are to blame for our economic woes.

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