Despite the fact that the Senate recently voted 98-1 that climate change is real and not a hoax, Sen. Jim Inhofe, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, was back on the floor mocking the notion of climate change this week. Inhofe voted for the earlier resolution but insists that man is not responsible for the changes. Those pushing for measures to combat climate change bring the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world to such debates as well as dozens of studies. Inhofe brought a snowball.
Yesterday, we discussed another massive book burning by Islamic State as well as reports of the destruction of ancient art pieces. The latter report appears true after ISIS posted a video of its militants taking sledgehammers and drills to ancient art work and statues going back to the 7th Century. The actions are reminiscent of the infamous destruction of the famous giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.
The execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, had a rare interruption this week. The first female prisoner to be executed by the state of Georgia in 70 years was halted not by an order of the governor or the Supreme Court. It was delayed on account of “inclimate weather.” I have not seen such a “called for weather” delay in an execution, which is generally set by order or statute as occurring on a set day.
We have previously discussed the burning of rare books by Islamic State. Now, a new report says that the group has burned more than 8,000 rare books and manuscripts in Mosul. They then reportedly bombed the Mosul Public Library according to the director of the library. A new video also shows ISIS fighters smashing works of art, including a 9th Century figure.
I had one as a kid named Garibaldi. Millions of people embraced them as pets. However, a study is attributing one of the greatest plagues in history to the cute little rodents: the bubonic plague. While long blamed on rats hiding away on ships, the scientists at the University of Oslo in Norway now believe that the 14th Century plague began with gerbils via the Silk Road.
Vice President Joe Biden has regularly caused uproars with his off-the-cuff remarks and serial gaffs. However, his most interesting remarks are not gaffs but clear statements of his views on some subjects. This is particularly evident on issues of taxes. Biden has called previously for the redistribution of wealth and called higher taxes an act of patriotism. For many, he epitomizes the image of a tax-based liberal and this week he seems intent of ratcheting up that image. At a Black History Month event at his official residence, Biden called for a new “emancipation:” freeing money from the rich.
Yesterday, the Justice Department closed the book on the George Zimmerman case with the announcement that it will not file federal civil rights charges. When Attorney General Eric Holder ordered in federal investigators soon after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, some (including myself) questioned the legal basis for entering the case based on the still developing evidence. The Justice Department usually allows state or city prosecutors and police to finish their investigation before entry into a case. Holder was viewed as responding to political pressure in ordering the premature entry in the case. That investigation will now end shortly before Holder leaves his very controversial tenure as Attorney General.
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