Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bad Science

Most science that you read about in the news and hear about on TV is just bad, I am convinced. First there was the big study by a group called the WHI (women's health initiative) concerning the use of estrogens and progesterone by menopausal women. That one was screwed up, I am reading by using old women well past the initial menopausal symptoms and thereby reached an erroneous conclusion regarding the risk of heart problems. More recently we have heard that those women who take calcium to protect against loss of bone density and colorectal cancer aren't protected. The problem here is many of the women in the placebo group also took supplements in the form of multi-vitamins. The latest and probably the most shaky is the study widely talked about which seemed to show that a low fat diet does not confer any lessened risk of breast cancer. The problem here was several-fold. One factor was many of the women did not adhere to the low fat diet and the resulting numbers in the group dropped too low to give the statistical interpretation enough power. I don't think they really had it set up to be low fat in the first place, but that is another matter. Also, there were women who did adhere to a very low fat diet over the course of the study and they showed a 24% drop in risk, but this was buried deep in the report and not covered by the press. The reason given was that this was a sub-group of women and thus not as relevant. One could also argue that it was the most important finding by the study in that it was most relevant to the original objective of the study.
My conclusion is that the more publicity a study gets (think global warmings causes and effects), the more likely it is to be bad science.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Housing Shortage in Georgia

When I built my new office behind my garage I wound up with some trees too close to the windows and had them cut down last week. This opened up my view of the backyard and I decided on Saturday to replace a bird house that had been up on a tree since we bought the house years ago. I got a nice $10 cedar bird house at WalMart and attached it to a tree about 10 yards from my closest window. A pair of little somethings adopted it within 1 hour. They have come back several times to check it out. I can only suppose there is a serious housing shortage to have it claimed that quickly. One of the pair has a fairly bright blue back. Gotta look up what they are since they will evidently be neighbors.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Minimum Wages

I read today that California is joining 11 other states and will no longer wait on the federal minimum wage to be raised. They want to raise it from $6.75 to $7.75 per hour. What they will learn is when the minimum wage law confronts the law of supply and demand, the latter wins every time. Lower paid workers will lose their jobs. The liberals who push for these increases are primarily screwing the portion of the population they profess to stand so staunchly in support of.......working poor and blacks. They will be the ones to lose. Blacks in this country have an especially poor concept of what constitutes enlightened self-interest, so many of them will be grateful to know that an employer must pay them $7.75/hour when it is that requirement which keeps them from being hired. There have been numerous studies of the effect of minimum wage increases on employment over the years and the evidence shows that a 10% increase in the minimum wage reduces the employment of young workers by 1-2%. If this holds in California, about 50,000 jobs will be lost. Swarzenegger vetoed a minimum wage bill similar to this one in 2004 saying "this is not the time to create barriers to economic recovery". Apparently now is the time to create those barriers because he has apparently given in to the demands of his democratic legislature.

William Buckley says we lost

During the Viet Nam war it is said that the military victory was declared a loss when Walter Cronkite said we had lost. I wonder now if the Iraq war will be a failure because William Buckley says it is. Here is an essay by one of my most respected intellectuals. A sample is given below.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that Americans aren't on the scene to protect them and to punish the aggressors. And so they join the clothing merchant who says that everything is the fault of the Americans.

Hippocratic Oath as applied in California

A brutal rapist and murderer escaped execution in California this week because two physicians said their involvement would be a violation of their principles.
“To participate in capital punishment, if you’re a physician, is a violation of the most fundamental ethical principles we hold.” What principles? The Hippocratic Oath says that doctors explicitly abjure “deleterious and mischievous” actions including giving “a woman a pessary to produce abortion.” The Geneva Conventions require doctors to “maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception.” Would that all California doctors held to these principles in all circumstances. Alas, in 2000 alone, 236,060 unborn Californians received fatal treatment from licensed physicians.

Good analysis from National Review

Kofi Annan has called for the closure of the terrorist-detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in response to a report by a group of U.N. “human-rights investigators.” The group, which answers to the U.N. Human Rights Commission — a body that includes such humanitarian luminaries as Sudan, Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe — proclaimed that prisoners at Guantanamo are being treated inhumanely and even tortured. After completing their thorough, dispassionate, truth-seeking investigation of American atrocities, the rapporteurs called for the responsible U.S. officials to be prosecuted “up to the highest level of military and political command.” Of course, none of the investigators felt the need actually to visit Guantanamo and observe the scene firsthand. They instead interviewed some former detainees (eyewitnesses!), along with detainees’ families and defense attorneys. Never mind that Qaeda training manuals instruct operatives to fabricate torture stories whenever they are captured. Never mind, either, that American officials deny the torture allegations. The Archimedean axiom of any good U.N. investigator is that anybody is more trustworthy than an American official. It’s a principle with which the U.N. indeed hopes to move the whole world.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Civil War Score Card

I just ran across a list of things to watch for as we go on alert for Iraq descending into a civil war. This is from a blog called PoliPundit.

The following list contains the main lead indicators a full scale civil War in Iraq is underway:

• The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance no longer seeks to form a unity government and marginalize the Shiite political blocks.
• Sunni political parties withdraw from the political process.
• Kurds make hard push for independence/full autonomy.
• Grand Ayatollah Sistani ceases calls for calm, no longer takes a lead role in brokering peace.
• Muqtada al-Sadr becomes a leading voice in Shiite politics.
• Major political figures - Shiite and Sunni - openly call for retaliation.
• The Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party and Muslim Scholars Association openly call for the formation of Sunni militias.
• Interior Ministry ceases any investigations into torture and death squads, including the case against recently uncovered problems with the Highway Patrol. • Defense Minister Dulaimi (a Sunni) is asked to step down from his post.
• Iraqi Security Forces begins severing ties with the Coalition, including:
o Disembeddeding the Military Transition Teams.
o Requests U.S. forces to vacate Forward Operating Bases / Battle Positions in Western and Northern Iraq.
o Alienates Coalition at training academies.
• Iraqi Security Forces make no effort to quell violence or provide security in Sunni neighborhoods.
• Iraqi Security Forces actively participate in attacks on Sunnis, with the direction of senior leaders in the ministries of Defense or Interior.
• Shiite militias are fully mobilized, with the assistance of the government, and deployed to strike at Sunni targets. Or, the Shiite militias are fully incorporated into the Iraqi Security Forces without certification from Coalition trainers.
• Sunni military officers are dismissed en masse from the Iraqi Army.
• Kurdish officers and soldiers leave their posts and return to Kurdistan, and reform into Peshmerga units.
• Attacks against other religious shrines escalate, and none of the parties make any pretense about caring.
• Coalition military forces pull back from forward positions to main regional bases.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The ports kurfuffle

I must admit to not having a firm grasp on the pros and cons of the approval given by the Bush administration for a Dubai company to take over ownership of management of 6 of our ports on the East coast. My first impression is this could be another Harriet Meirs deal whereby Bush will tuck tail and pull back in the near future. One clue it is a bad deal is the news that Jimmy Carter is for it. I also have a hunch that if Bush should need to take on Iran, we will need friends in the Gulf region with air bases. I need to learn more. We need to do something to get Carter on the other side.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lottery Foolishness

As I have mentioned before, when the national lotteries reach the 300 million mark or so, I buy a couple of tickets. That was the case this past weekend when it reached a record $365mm. Since Georgia does not have the PowerBall, you must go across the river and buy them in South Carolina. This undoubtedly increases the number of tickets sold over there since a lot of us from Georgia add to the activity. When you have a big prize like this, there are almost always long lines of people buying large numbers of tickets for several days. As I told my bride, if we wake up on Sunday morning and learn that the winning ticket was sold at the very filling station where we bought ours, the odds of us winning would still be prohibitive--tens and maybe hundreds of thousands to one. As they say, a tax on the stupid.

Celebrity News

I don't often wander off into the land of OZ inhabited by the loonies in Hollywood, but this is a holiday so let's see what is out there.
  • Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong broke up I learn. What could have possibly lead to such a sad event? Well, according to a friend of Crow's, Armstrong is a Bush backer to the max. "Sheryl said Lance didn't just support Bush,-he'd go off and fight if the President asked him to". Looks like she will have to go to Hollywood to find someone to share her hatred for Bush. What are the chances?
  • An Indian filmmaker by the name of Rajeevnath is looking to make a film on Mother Teresa. This will be his 11th commercial film, so I presume he has some movie credentials. Although there are several actresses willing to play the role, he is actively pursuing Paris Hilton for the role. Seems he is impressed by her refusal to pose nude for Playboy. I wonder if he has seen her most famous role which debuted on the internet?
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, in a recent interview, say Brits are much more intelligent and civilized than Americans. That view is probably colored and slanted by her association with Keith Richards, Ozzy Osbourne and Boy George.
Now you can't say this isn't an eclectic blog. Maybe too much so.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cowardly Lions?

Rationalizations notwithstanding, the refusal of the US media to show the images at the heart of one of the most urgent stories of the day is not about restraint and good taste. It's about fear. Editors and publishers are afraid the thugs will target them as they targeted Danny Pearl and Theo van Gogh; afraid the mob will firebomb their newsrooms as it has firebombed Danish embassies. ''We will not accept less than severing the heads of those responsible," an imam in Gaza preaches. ''Whoever insults a prophet, kill him," reads the sign carried by a demonstrator in London. Those are not figures of speech but deadly threats, and American newspapers and networks are intimidated. ...

This analysis from Captain's Quarters is right on the mark. Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Here we go again

Palm Beach County, Fla., created the controversial ''butterfly ballot'' in the 2000 presidential election that reportedly confused more than a thousand Gore-Lieberman voters such that they wound up marking their ballots for a minor-party candidate.

In February 2006, local education officials told the Palm Beach Post that too many of the county's high school students apparently knew answers on the statewide comprehensive test but were incorrectly marking the answer sheets. The multiple choice questions require only one circle to be darkened on the sheet, but other questions require darkening digits of an actual numerical answer, apparently bewildering students into darkening too many or too few circles.

Friday, February 17, 2006

More on the frenetic liberal media

The liberals who feed us their drivel from a lofty perch in the "main stream media" are about to lose it in the aftermath of Vice President Cheney's hunting accident. Obviously he was drunk or he would have called the Washington press corps before he even went over to see how badly his companion was wounded. Surely he was hiding something. As we wait for this to play itself out as did the other liberal hissy fits such as the stolen 2000 election, Enron, Halliburton, Abu Ghraib, torture at Guantanamo, Bush WMD lies, secret prison sites, Valerie Plame, Cindy Sheehan, Cheney's secret location, Hurricane Katrina, Jack Abramoff, illegal wire taps, etc., etc. we need to step back and ask how far all this hatred for Bush has gone. For example, the New York Times has a story advancing the possibility that if Mr. Whittington dies, Cheney could face a grand jury. I am not sure whether that is in fact the case since much of what they publish is not true, but I am almost sure those in charge of "news" and editorial content at this paper are not praying for his continued medical improvement and eventual recovery.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Follow-up on Katrina trailers

Now we are learning there is another reason the trailers are sitting in Arkansas rather than being moved somewhere so displaced hurricane victims have a place to live. Turns out the towns where the trailers are to be moved don't want them. They won't allow them to get occupancy certificates or some such. That makes one wonder why someone didn't consider that before the trailers were purchased. I bet if some of that multibillion dollar money Congress is sending to Louisianna and Mississippi had a clause to the effect the trailers had to be accommodated prior to getting the money, they would find a way to reconsider their objections to trailers.

Confession Time

Since I have been spending more time trading stocks lately, I have the TV on CNBC a lot. They have been going to curling at the Olympics after the market closes and I got to watching it the other day. Darn if I am not hooked now. Since I have never been around ice and snow much, I didn't even know what curling was before this week. Now I see it pretty much like chess on ice where you have to slide a 42 lb stone down the ice and try to get it in this circle with team mates sweeping the ice in front of the thing to slide right. The American women's team has these cute young things on the team and they seem to be holding their own. The men are about the same, I guess. Next thing you know, I may be watching pairs figure skating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hello!! Anyone home?

We've learned in recent days FEMA trailers remain on acres of ground in Arkansas instead of being used to house Katrina evacuees. Yesterday I heard one of the reasons. Many of the places where those trailers are needed are in floodplains. There is some sort of a federal regulation which says that you cannot put one of these FEMA trailers in a floodplain. This is your government we're talking about. Common sense and efficiency? Evidently not. The reality is that most of these trailers will never be used. Taxpayers were asked for $800 million to buy the trailers and then insisted on enforcing rules which prevent them from being used.

Makes sense to me

One of the things tracked by the Pew Research Center is happiness. Since the 1970s, the Pew pollsters have been asking Americans how happy they are and analyzing the results. Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats and 29% of independents. This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972.

The gap between Republicans and Democrats persists when factors like income and marital status (both powerful predictors of happiness) are accounted for.

Conservatives, likewise, are happier people than liberals, and churchgoers are happier than non-churchgoers.

The Cheny Affair

The self-important White House press corps is in full-throated outrage that they were not told about Cheney's hunting accident for some hours. Now the Democrats are joining in in an attempt to bring as much crap down on our Vice-President as they can. Most Americans do not feel it is any great crime to be involved in what was obviously an accidental shooting and they sure don't care if the press is ever informed about such matters. The esteem of this bunch is low and dropping. For the Democrats, however, they should avoid what could be a more serious shooting incident--i.e. one in which their collective foot is the victim. It would be easy for them to cause Cheney to decide to just resign and go back to Wyoming where fishing and hunting would be a welcome relief from all the Washington nonsense. Should this happen, the hapless Democrats would be faced with 3 years of a Vice-President (Condi Rice) who could well have presidential ambitions. They would be smart to let this drop.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The man is off his rocker

Former Vice President Al Gore told a mainly Saudi audience on Sunday that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment.

Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Real or psychological ploy?

More and more we are reading articles like this.

If we are in fact getting ready to attack Iran, it is difficult to account for the origin of these stories. If we are not serious about such attacks, I think we should be. Let's get it on.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Happy Valentines Day

We all know the sellers of flowers, candy, and jewelry do well on Valentine's Day, but there is another industry that does really well also. Most of us would not think of it, but private detectives live for this time of the year. If someone has a lover on the side and must divide attention on this one day, it creates a definite opportunity for those who make a living catching cheaters. One private investigator who charges $95 an hour will handle about 20 suspected infidelity cases that day. One is a doctor whose wife aroused his suspicions when she told him she would be working late on Tuesday rather than her regular daytime shift. Another is an attorney who told his wife he couldn't have lunch with her on Valentine's Day because he would be in court. She knows he always gets a lunch break from court.
The detectives say trips scheduled over the day is commonly a clue that they follow and credit card receipts for restaurants and jewelry stores are their best evidence in these cases. One detective says he was hired by a man who was going to be out of town with his wife over Valentine's and wanted to spy on his mistress. She was taped buying two Valentine's cards, buying a dress using the client's credit card, and finally going to a hotel to meet another man.

Absurdity to a new level

Mark Steyn found a guy in Englan by the name of Sgt. Leslie Turner who sued Scotland Yard for racial discrimination and was awarded 30,000 pounds. Out of court. It seems he was a black officer guarding Camilla and he was the first such black to be so "honored." He claimed he was over-promoted because he was black and that put him beyond his abilities and made him unhappy and even miserable. His lawyer was able to sell this and he was compensated for this egregious promotion. There is nobody better in the sphere of commentators to sum up situations like this than Mark Steyn. Here is what he said on the subject:

With hindsight, it seems amazing that no such case has yet been brought in this great Republic, where affirmative action is so much more advanced. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow-PUSH could have a sister Rainbow-PULL organization: twice the shakedowns! One week you’re jumpin’ up and down outside Texaco or Wal-Mart shouting “No Justice, No Peace” because they’re not promoting enough blacks. Then, a month later, you’re back demanding they cease over-promoting blacks: “No Demotion, No Peace.” And the settlement wouldn’t be a footling thirty thousand quid, either.

So racial discrimination has now reached the blissful state of global warming: As the eco-crowd solemnly warn us, if it’s too hot, that’s a sign of global warming; if it’s too cold, that’s also a sign of global warming. If you’ve got too few blacks in senior management, you’re a racist; if you’ve got too many blacks in senior management, you’re also a racist.

Freedom of Speech

Journalists pride themselves on being the speaker of truth to the powerful. For generations now western journalists have been able to talk the talk without having to walk the walk. Now the power that they must confront is of a different sort and journalism is returning to its roots: speak the truth and risk your life.
The deep convictions of the major (read that liberal) newspapers seem to have suddenly undergone a change in the past week. Muslim extremists take to the streets threatening terrorist attacks, burning flags, and calling for the beheading of cartoonists, and press solidarity evaporates. Instead, the champions of free speech advise us: "Yes yes, free speech is all very well but you must of course practice it responsibly."! I wouldn't look for much bravery from the press in its support for free speech. The only time freedom of speech is relevant is when the speech is offensive to someone. Who needs freedom to speak on non-controversial topics?

Not sure what this means

The findings of Weight Watchers survey of 3,000 women revealed that girls lose an average of 8lb 5oz to impress a new man, but put on 11lb 3oz, as they spend few years into the relationship.

The survey also found that a woman's love life plays a significant role in how much she weighs.

"Our relationships have an enormous effect on our weight," The Sun quoted a Weight Watchers spokesman, as saying.

Almost two-thirds of wives said that their weight changes depending on how happy they are in their relationship, and and cited husbands as the biggest factor.

Before their wedding day, brides-to-be shed 9lb 2oz, but after having kids they put on 16lbs. They then lose the same amount in a mid-life makeover to rekindle their old romance.(ANI)

Do blacks know or want the facts?

Sen. Ted Kennedy drew roars of approval at Coretta's funeral when he invoked the 1960 phone call placed by his brother, then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, to Coretta King to pledge his help in freeing her husband from jail. Kennedy also mentioned the call placed by another brother, Robert F. Kennedy, JFK's campaign manager, to a local judge to inquire why Martin Luther King, Jr., could not post bond. King was freed the next morning, according to Kennedy

The sanctuary burst into applause when Sen. Kennedy said, "Robert called the judge!"

He omitted the "Robert called J. Edgar!" part of the story.

More than a few observers of the politically charged, partisan funeral service noted that Kennedy failed to tell the whole story about the relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

It was the Kennedy brothers who authorized the wiretaps and surveillance of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time, according to historians, King was meeting with members of the American Communist Party, which greatly distressed the Kennedy brothers.

While the Democrat Party continues to claim it was the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover who conducted the eavesdropping on Dr. King, Justice Department records released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that Hoover was ordered by Robert Kennedy to conduct the surveillance operation.

The records indicate that Robert found wiretaps and electronic listen devices or "bugs" useful in Justice Department operations against the Teamsters Union, organized crime and suspected communists. Prior to assisting his brother, John, Robert worked as an aide to Senator Joe McCarthy during the notorious hunt for communists within the US Government. He was also a close associate of the demonized Roy Cohn.

According to conversations this writer has had with a top FBI agent from the Kennedy era, Robert Kennedy took an active role in covert operations which angered Hoover. The late Special Agent Bill Roemer told this writer of the times that agents listened to King's trysts in disgust, some of them even voicing objections to the intrusive "bugging" of King's hotel rooms.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The al Qaeda plans to attack L.A.

"Their plot was derailed in early 2002 when a Southeast Asian nation arrested a key al Qaeda operative. Subsequent debriefings and other intelligence operations made clear the intended target, and how al Qaeda hoped to execute it."

The quote above is from President Bush's speech yesterday to the National Guard where he revealed our success is stopping an attack on the Library Tower in Los Angeles. My favorite part is the fact that we found out about the attack from "subsequent debriefings" of this operative. I reckon we just asked him and his lawyer to please tell us about any other planned attacks and he just spilled his guts. I am sure we did not engage in any more aggressive interrogation techniques which would upset the ACLU and our liberal politicians such as John McCain.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jimmy Carter makes my list

As regular readers of this blog know, I keep a list of idiots and creeps who stand out as particularly perfect examples as such. I mentioned in a previous post that I try to keep it from being populated by politicians since it would be easy to crowd out such deserving listees as Mike Tyson, Barbra Streisand and others. But Jimmy Carter's tirade at the funeral of poor Mrs. King the other day earns him a place.

Carter tried to zing Bush for his terrorist surveillance program - by referencing the wiretapping of Martin Luther King that had been ordered by the Kennedy administration.

Of course, the bitter-sounding Georgian never acknowledged that it was Democrats who had violated the King family's constitutional rights. A jerk like this must be on the list.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

They all look alike to liberals

NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams told The Hill that he wrote Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) letters of apology last week after he confused the two men at the State of the Union address.

During NBC's broadcast, Williams noticed Obama on the House floor and identified him to the viewing audience. Unfortunately, it was actually Ford.

Phony of the Year?

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton launched a charm offensive on Monday in a bid to counter charges from a top Republican that she sounds too angry to get elected president.

In a half hour news conference at a Head Start classroom in Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton took great pains to avoid sounding shrill as she urged the GOP to worry instead about "these devastating budget cuts [and] the confusion and bureaucratic nightmare in the prescription drug benefit."

The New York Times noted that Mrs. Clinton "spoke in even tones" to reporters and used "temperate phrases" as she "conveyed her displeasure at Mr. Bush's budget priorities."

The performance stood in marked contrast to attacks delivered by Hillary last week, where she accused the White House in harsh tones of deliberately delaying aid to Hurricane Katrina victims and charged that administration officials covered-up the health risks posed by contaminated air at Ground Zero in the days after the 9/11 attacks.

NSA Spying Controversy

If you have any doubt about the validity and necessity of President Bush's surveillance activities, this should put your mind at ease and reassure you he is doing the right thing:

Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program Monday and said he believes the president has broken the law.

"Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision — we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people," Carter told reporters. "And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act."

Will Gore blame Bush?

A Russian astronomer has predicted that Earth will experience a "mini Ice Age" in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak, RIA Novosti reported.

The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said.

Dramatic changes in the earth's surface temperatures are an ordinary phenomenon, not an anomaly, he said, and result from variations in the sun's energy output and ultraviolet radiation.

The Northern Hemisphere's most recent cool-down period occurred between 1645 and 1705. The resulting period, known as the Little Ice Age, left canals in the Netherlands frozen solid and forced people in Greenland to abandon their houses to glaciers, the scientist said.

Cartoon Madness

The response to the Danish cartoon depicting Muhammed was probably encouraged by Iran we are now learning, but much of the main stream media and even our own State Department is trying not to take sides when it is clear to me that there is one correct side to take in this situation. CBS said it didn't want to show the cartoons since the situation was "sensitive". The following sums up the current world situation:

In a speech to the National Press Club last week, Secretary Rumsfeld said of Islamic terrorists, "they will either succeed in changing our way of life, or we will succeed in changing theirs."

It's going to be a long war.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I can't wait to see this one.

Aker Yards, the Norwegian shipbuilder, has won a new cruise ship order worth about €900m ($1.1bn) from Royal Caribbean International. The vessel to be built is the most valuable ship ever ordered in the history of commercial shipbuilding, the company said.

The 220,000-gross-registered-ton new vessel will be 360 metres long and carry 5,400 passengers, making it more than 40 per cent bigger than the world's biggest cruise ship now under construction for Royal Caribbean by Aker Yards in Finland.

They did it again

Police fired in the air Monday to disperse stone-throwing protesters demonstrating over a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, triggering a stampede in which a teenager was killed in northern Somalia. ...

This has to be some fatal genetic flaw flowing through the Muslim population.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Reckon they had any help?

A man convicted of masterminding the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000 escaped a Yemeni jail through a tunnel with 22 other prisoners, the international police organization, Interpol, said today.

The prisoner, Jamal Ahmed Badawi, was sentenced to death in 2004 by a court in Yemen for his role in the attack on the warship that killed 17 American sailors and provided an early glimpse of the workings of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda global terror network. The Interpol statement said that 12 of the prisoners who escaped through the tunnel with Mr. Badawi were convicted members of Al Qaeda.

Yemeni officials also confirmed to Interpol that a man responsible for the attack on the French tanker Limburg in 2002, Fawaz al-Rabeei, was among those who escaped.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Global Warming Review

If you find yourself hearing on the TV or reading in the papers that global warming is causing something or other, here are some things to think about.
  • this is a big planet and there are lots of places to take its temperature and the instruments used must be compared with the instruments used a century ago if one is to conclude that there has in fact been a one degree temperature rise in that 100 years.
  • if you conclude that scientists have indeed succeeded in accurately making that measurement, you must now decide whether that rise is the cause or whether or not the rise and fall of ice sheaths over the millenia might suggest that there are natural forces at work which do not have anything to do with human activity
  • the hypothesis is that man's activity has produced CO2 which absorbs heat and thus if man has caused the problem, man should be able to reverse it by not allowing so much CO2 to be released into the atmosphere. This is offered widely by the press, various politicians, and scientists. As a layperson, who did not actually make the measurements, you must rely on the claim that CO2 has increased in the last 100 years from 0.028% to 0.036% .
  • once you accept that claim you must face the numerous claims that global warming is responsible for such things as a recent claim that it is responsible for such things as frog deaths observed somewhere, hurricanes, too much snow, too little rain, etc., etc.
So, we have a model (increased CO2 makes the earth hotter) supported by dubious measurements being advanced to support the idea that governments should sacrifice economic growth to comply with hypothesized effects from this model. Lots of people accept that for the most part because they can't believe all those magazines, papers, politicians, and scientists would be concerned if there weren't something substantial behind the concern. I say poppycock (maybe even something stronger), but anyone is free to join those renowned scientists Al Gore and Bill Clinton who say global warming is the greatest threat to mankind.

I stole this, but it is pretty accurate.

During WWII, the Japanese were searching for a way to demoralize the American forces that they faced. The Japanese Psychological warfare experts came up with a message that they thought would work well. They gave the script to their famous broadcaster "Tokyo Rose" and everyday she would broadcast this same message packaged in various ways hoping to have an impact on American GI morale. What was the message? It had three main points:

1. Your President is lying to you.

2. This war is illegal.

3. You cannot win the war.

Sound familiar? Maybe it's because the US Main Stream Media and the Democrat Party has picked up the same message and is broadcasting it to our troops. The only difference is that they claim to support our troops before they demoralize them. Come to think of it, Tokyo Rose used to tell the troops she was on their side.

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