Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pluots

I am not sure where they have been all my life, but I just discovered these things which are supposedly a genetic cross of plums and apricots. Find some which are still pretty firm and cool them in the fridge. Great.

No Child Left Behind

Our area just reported its results for the SAT and evidently our scores were down relative to the national average. The apologists in our education system were not smart enough to understand that when you are down relative to others who took the same test, it is not exactly an excuse to say the exam was harder and longer this year than last year.

Critics have long complained that the compliance requirements for NCLB puts too much stress on state resources and educators, many of whom say they must teach to the test at the expense of other learning. This might be better accepted if the test scores they are teaching toward were actually increasing.

Time to wake up

I was reading a news article yesterday about a motorist in San Francisco who went on a hit-and-run spree that involved trying to run over pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists for a full hour. He injured 14 and killed 1. Press accounts centered on alleged mental illness and left out the fact that he was Muslim from Afghanistan who seemed calm, coherent and unrepentant when he was finally captured. The Jewish Community Center was a few blocks from where the rampage ended. Is this an isolated incident? Let's see.
A few months ago, a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan went on a shooting spree in a Seattle Jewish Center. The press ignored his stated religious motive (" I am a Muslim-American; I'm angry at Israel"). Again he was declared to have a history of mental illness.
In North Carolina last Spring at the University in Chapel Hill, another angry Muslim lashed out at infidels by hitting 9 people with a SUV he rented for the purpose. He was an Iranian who said he wanted to punish the U.S. for its actions around the world. The media played down the obvious angle as BestView pointed out at the time.
The Beltway snipers in Maryland were Muslim converts who stated their objective was to "terrorize" Washington. The news outlets at the time chose to ignore the fact that the leader's name had been changed to John Muhammed and instead used his previous name of John Allen Williams. Look it up.
Finally, there was the Muslim immigrant from Egypt who shot two at Israel's El Al ticket counter at LAX and the media were completely incapable to call it a terrorist attack. The FBI even demurred in that regard.
Soon we will have one which even the politically correct press will have to admit is a terrorist attack and the liberals will echo the current mantra of the Democrats that Bush has not done enough to protect America.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Common sense in the Mid-East

I ran across this today which indicates that everyone is not oblivious to the obvious in the Mid-East.

Arab leaders wasted billions of dollars to fund a war they can never win, a member of Jordan's royal family charges.

"Arab leaders stole billions of dollars from the Arab people in order to spend them on weapons to fight Israel, which they can never defeat, instead of using the money for health and education purposes to aid their people," Jordanian Prince Hassan Bin Talal told an international conference in Kyoto, Japan, according to the Israeli Ynet news.

Once in line for the Jordanian throne, Prince Hassan spoke to the world conference of the interfaith group "Religions for Peace," attacking Iran's nuclear development program and warning against nuclear armament, especially on Iran's part.

The prince warned that it must be made certain that Iran's nuclear project does not reach the point of building nuclear weapons.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Israel is learning a valuable lesson

A poll published on Friday in the Yedioth Ahrnonoth daily shows that 63 percent of Israelis feel that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert failed in managing the war in Lebanon and should resign.

Only 29 percent believe the prime minister is fit to continue leading the country.

About 74 percent of those polled said Defense Minister Amir Peretz mishandled the war and should resign his post. A mere 20 percent said Peretz should keep his post.

This is what happens when you elect a liberal Prime Minister or President. Netanyahu is on his way in to correct this situation, I predict.



Lose an election, lose your mind

From NewMax.com

Sen. John Kerry didn't contest the results at the time, but now that he's considering another run for the White House, he's alleging election improprieties by the Ohio Republican who oversaw the deciding vote in 2004.

An e-mail will be sent to 100,000 Democratic donors Tuesday asking them to support U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland for governor of Ohio. The bulk of the e-mail criticizes Strickland's opponent, GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, for his dual role in 2004 as President Bush's honorary Ohio campaign co-chairman and the state's top election official.

"He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote," said Kerry's e-mail.

Kerry, D-Mass., conceded the election when he lost Ohio and its 20 electoral votes. A recount requested by minor-party candidates showed Bush won by about 118,000 votes out of 5.5 million cast. But Kerry's e-mail says Blackwell "used his office to abuse our democracy and threaten basic voting rights."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fox captives released "unharmed"

From the OpinionJournal.

The New York Times reports that Centanni and Wiig "were released unharmed on Sunday after being forced at gunpoint to say on a videotape that they had converted to Islam." That is a curious way of putting it. Isn't a forced religious "conversion" a form of harm?

One suspects the Times would not describe as "unharmed" the al Qaeda prisoners who supposedly have endured insults to their religion by U.S. interrogators. For secular Westerners, taking religion seriously is an act of condescension toward "victimized" groups.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Solid Science???

One of the things BestView enjoys is pointing out bad science. There are a lot of examples, but this is one that I ran across today. I haven't had the time to delve into the study mechanics to see exactly how flawed it might be, but I suspect this is junk. The article is here.

While researchers have long shown that tall people earn more than their shorter counterparts, it's not only social discrimination that accounts for this inequality -- tall people are just smarter than their height-challenged peers, a new study finds.

"As early as age three -- before schooling has had a chance to play a role -- and throughout childhood, taller children perform significantly better on cognitive tests," wrote Anne Case and Christina Paxson of Princeton University in a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The findings were based primarily on two British studies that followed children born in 1958 and 1970, respectively, through adulthood and a U.S. study on height and occupational choice.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The French do it again

France pledged to supply troops to the U.N. force in the south of Lebanon in order to get the latest worthless resolution passed by the Security Council. Now, they have reneged on the numbers and it is impossible to be surprised by this. This is the slimiest country on earth and the one the liberals in the U.S. like John Kerry insist we co-operate with in order to show we care about what the rest of the world thinks about our activities. Sadly Bush and Rice have bought into this crap.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back to the meditation, boys

For some reason, I found this amusing.

Protesters calling for an end to recent violence in Sri Lanka found themselves brawling with hardline Buddhist monks Thursday, after a rally dubbed a "peace protest" turned unexpectedly violent.

Organizers said there were around 1,000 people in a park in the capital, Colombo, listening to a range of speakers when hardline saffron-robed monks opposed to concessions to Tamil Tiger rebels mounted the stage and erected banners.

Some more moderate Buddhist monks, protesting for peace, were already on the stage when punches were thrown. Soon, monks' robes and fists were flying, although no one was badly hurt, witnesses said.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A good history lesson

One of the most brilliant men in the world has a wonderful refresher course on the Mid-east which can be found here.

Just as I suspected

Boy, the liberals won't like this. The ACLU types and Democrats like Russ Finegold who would rather see our country attacked again like it was on September 11, 2001 than be perceived by their kindred spirits in Europe as less than civilized when we question terror suspects are in for a case of the vapors. As I suggested obliquely in a previous entry, the terrorist captured by the Pakistanis who coughed up information vital to preventing the British attack on a number of planes bound for the U.S. was subjected to extraordinary interrogation techniques. He was tortured. You can read the liberal view of this here. Basically, if you think this is a legal matter, you are on one side of this and if you think we are at war, you agree with me that a few electrodes attached to testicles is justified when it saves American's lives is just fine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Steyn's Got it Right

“You may not be interested in war,” said Trotsky, “but war is interested in you.” The Israelis have always grasped that. If war is going to come, why not ensure that it comes at a time and place as advantageous to one as possible? That’s a large part of what’s happening in the Middle East. If you try to avoid confronting Iran now, you’ll only have to confront them under worse circumstances later. Jimmy Carter, who embodied the west as a smiling eunuch, wanted to avoid confronting the newborn Islamic Republic three decades ago and now it’s a nuclear power. As I always say, there is no “stability”: behind the polite fa├žade of the UN peacekeepers patrolling the stalemate, history is always on the move; the bad guys get new weapons, new rockets – and, as we’ve seen in Haifa, these bad guys use what they have to their full extent. So what will they have in five years’ time?

Read it all here.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Katy Couric

Well, the time must be drawing near. Katy Couric is on CBS doing promos for her coming stint as anchor for the CBS Evening News. If you haven't heard one of them, she says that they believe that you want not just the news, but also you want her to explain it to you and explain how it affects you. So, if you are too stupid to understand the news and want to hear the looney left spin, then Katy is on her way...just for you.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Lou Holtz Philosophy

I read an article recently about Lou Holtz the football coach which profiled his philosophy of not only handling his football teams, but also life. At other times BestView has pointed out individuals who stated things in a way which greatly exceeded my limited ability to express them. Lou did this when asked about his previous dismissal of players who broke team rules. At times these players were unable to compete in important games. Lou explained that his actions were simply an enforcement of the player's own decisions. The players were told if you do this or that, you are not going to play and will be sent home. When they choose to break the rules, they choose not to play. He thinks people have to be held accountable and privileges packaged with responsibilities. He tells his players that just because they did not honor their word when they agreed to obey team rules, they should not ask him to break his word to send them home.

This is, of course, a common sense way to raise children and a great way to explain to children the way in which "punishment" is really just a consequence of choices they make. Once the child learns the validity of this concept, one might expect that later in life as a young adult, the relationship between choices and outcomes is not only understood but becomes fundamental in decisions on such things as education, job choices, marital relationships, saving for retirement, etc.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Liquid on planes

As I understand it, the response of the airline security forces to the most recent terror plot will be a prohibition against taking liquids onboard the plane. This will be done by several means including bans on bottled water, tooth paste, mouth wash, and even such things as cosmetics. I don't want to be unduly skeptical, but if someone wants to secrete liquids onto a plane it will take a complete body search to prevent them from doing it. I can think of several ways to attach non-metallic containers to my person in such a way as to avoid detection by metal detectors and visual inspection. If two or more passengers do this and then combine the components during the flight, other measures will be necessary to save that plane.

Grammar Lesson

One of my readers corrected a punctuation error in one of my offerings the other day. I admit I am often not as careful with spelling and punctuation as I should be, but this headline in an English newspaper makes me feel somewhat better. Here it is for those of you who want to actually read the article entitled "Pregnant woman arrested by terror police in her pyjamas." Don't expect to learn how the police got into them, however.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pakistan Information

The Associated Press reports that a Pakistani intelligence official "said an Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border several weeks ago provided a lead that played a role in 'unearthing the plot.' " I sure hope those intelligence officials in Pakistan were nice to the militant when they chatted with him about the plot to kill some 2,000 to 3,000 persons in airplanes.

The bomb plot

We are being told that this was a sophisticated plot and we must restrict liquids on planes to prevent future attacks. My information indicates the plot was not new or especially sophisticated. It also suggests we should have been enforcing a liquid ban a long time ago.

In 1994, Yousef and Khalid Sheik Mohammed started testing airport security...The two had already converted fourteen bottles of contact lens solution into bottles containing nitroglycerin, which was readily available in the Philippines. Yousef taped a metal rod to the arch of his of foot in place of the detonators...

The Bomb

The "Mark II" "microbombs" had Casio digital watches as the timers, stabilizers that looked like cotton wool balls, and an undetectable nitroglycerin as the explosive. Other ingredients included glycerin, nitrate, sulfuric acid, and minute concentrations of nitrobenzene, silver azide (silver trinitride), and liquid acetone. Two 9-volt batteries in each bomb were used as a power source. The batteries would be connected to light bulb filaments that would detonate the bomb. Murad and Yousef wired an SCR as the switch to trigger the filaments to detonate the bomb. There was an external socket hidden when the wires were pushed under the watch base as the bomber would wear it. The alteration was so small that the watch could still be worn in a normal manner.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The U.N. Again

I have long wondered if there was even a scant use for the United Nations. Certainly this has been a difficult search, but I finally have one. With Israel needing time to finally finish a war in an era when even the U.S. fails to pursue one to a logical conclusion, we are using the U.N. perfectly. By trying to construct a way to bring about a "cease fire" or an end to "hostilities", we are working with the French of all people to develop a Security Council resolution which can pass. This is perfect in terms of assuring that Israel gets all the time it needs. Then if they finally do get one sufficiently wishy-washy for the French, we can all be certain that it will not produce the desired result if it is acted upon at all. Perfect.

Blatant Thievery

Our beloved Congresswoman from Georgia was defeated in her bid for re-election last evening and she has a very specific explanation for her loss. You see, the election was stolen by the poll workers, the voting machines, and so forth. There was a plot to negate her votes and count only those of her opponent. All of this is just blather, of course, but once again we have a Democrat politician blaming Democrat county and district poll workers for incompentence which resulted in a loss. In Gore's case, the defeat attributed to defects in the Florida process in 2000 was close. Cynthia lost by 20%, so evidently the Georgia Democrats are better thieves.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The no job policy

Liberals from such blue states as Maryland and Illinois have lately decided that WalMart doesn't pay enough to push union wages up artificially so they are trying to force them up with idiotic laws. In Maryland they tried to construct a law which would force WalMart to pay more for health insurance, but it was batted down by the courts since it was only aimed at WalMart.

More recently the city of Chicago has tried to force WalMart to pay not what the job was worth but what they thought a person should make according to his lifestyle and size of family. When WalMart was told of these new rules they built a store two blocks away from Chicago in Evergreen Park and there were 10,000 applicants for 350 jobs. Now Evergreen Park gets the tax revenue from the store, but Chicago is not through by any means. Liberal democrats on the Chicago City Council recently voted 35-14 to force stores 90,000 square feet or larger to pay workers what their lifestyle requires....not what the labor is worth. As a result Target just announced that they would pull out of a planned 32 acre shopping center being developed in the depressed Southside and will likely cut out the 160,000 square foot shop underway on the Northside as well.

These big box opponents need to realize that zero is not a living wage. They should also consider that the average WalMart store saves families $2300 a year by slashing prices and forcing other retailers to do the same. The big lie of democrats is they represent the working man. If they did, they would subsidize the building of WalMart stores in urban areas where groceries, for example, cost more than anywhere else in America.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Women's Lib in Islam?

In the Islamic countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and Pakistan women who are raped face incarceration or execution. There are evidently laws called "Hudood" which legalize the prosecution of women for fornication if she can't prove a crime was committed. In Pakistan, the woman must have four Muslim men as witnesses who will testify she was raped in order to avoid conviction. If she can't produce those 4 men, she is charged with falsely alleging a crime. Penalties include stoning to death, lashing or prison. Stoning and lashing are not common, but more than 2000 women are in prison in Pakistan for Hudood crimes.

There is a women's lib protest going on in Pakistan to repeal these laws and considerable international pressure is being exerted on Musharraf to do this, but it hasn't happened yet.

The 9/11 tapes

This article in Vanity Fair is the first publication of the communication tapes from NORAD and civilian controllers of air traffic on 9/11. Very interesting.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More on the U.N.

As should be evident by now, I am not a big fan of the U.N. One of my very favorite columnists, Mark Steyn, being a brilliant and insightful fellow agrees with me on its worthlessness. He, however, is able to bring specifics from numerous directions to back up his opinion. Here is a really good one. Read it all.

Two years ago, you may recall, Sudan was elected to the UN Human Rights Commission at a time when the government’s proxies were busy slaughtering and gang-raping their way round Darfur. The last thing one needs when one’s got a hectic schedule of mass murder on one’s plate is a lot of tedious paper-shuffling committee meetings in New York, but Sudan’s ambassador, Elfatih Mohammed Ahmed Erwa, gamely rose to the occasion by announcing, upon joining the Commission, that he was very concerned about human rights abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Let me see if I have this right

Six years ago the U.N. passed something called Resolution 1559 that called for Hezbollah to disarm, leave the area next to Israel, and defer to a "peace keeping" force put there 28 years ago by the U.N. Well, they did not disarm, did not leave, did not hesitate to invade Israel, and kidnapped the Israel soldiers and killed others. The response by Israel was "excessive", disproportional, caused the expected civilian casualties, and is now drawing the howls of cease-fire from nearly all countries. So, what is the solution to this "crisis"? Go back to the U.N. for another but differently numbered resolution. Give me a break.

Losing or not winning?

This is the summary paragraph of a pretty good editorial in National Review Online.

President Bush said on Monday morning that Syria and Iran “must” stop their support for terror. When a president of the United States uses such a strong word he has to back it up, or else he renders it meaningless and discredits himself. The fight has to be taken to Syria and Iran, which doesn’t mean imminent military action, but does mean more serious pressure on all fronts. Iran’s agents in Iraq currently don’t fear us — they should. And our patience with the current round of ineffective nuclear diplomacy should be wearing thin fast. As for Syria, there are still sanctions that can be levied against it, and Israel should make it clear that it considers Syria’s continued arming of Hezbollah a hostile act. The downward drift of events in the Middle East is eventually going to force the Bush administration either to tacitly admit defeat in the region or to accept the confrontation that its regional antagonists are forcing. And defeat is too awful to contemplate.

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