Thursday, March 29, 2007

A sad state of affairs

Well, the Iranians take British sailors hostage and the response of our once proud ally is to go to the U.N. and ask them to condemn the action. How sad. A land of liberals.

Antibiotic resistant infection treatment

I ran across this article which reports on some research that indicates there is a peptide which can help treat bacterial infections which are resistant to our most effective antibiotics. This is a large and growing problem, but from what I can gather this research is a very long way from being the help we need. The animal experiments which lead to this report were not designed to show infections are actually cured, but rather it appears that if the peptide is given before or shortly after the animals are challenged with bacteria, the enhanced immune system helps prevent infections and affords some protection. Unfortunately, this is a long way from being what we really need.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What a crock!

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack gave Sen. Hillary Clinton his endorsement for her presidential campaign.

The Clinton campaign has promised Vilsack to help pay off a $400,000 campaign debt he built up during his run for the White House. . . .

The campaign said there is no connection between Vilsack's endorsement and their commitment to help pay off his campaign debt.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Global Warming "problem" put elegantly

There have been a number of great comments on the internet lately as a result of Al Gore's appearance before Congress. The position taken by BestView is well established, but sometimes the situation is put so well that it bears wider dissemination. The following is a comment offered by MikeD on Roger Simon's blog As one might suspect when a scientific matter is being considered, a scientist can be expected to offer more than an insane politician.

I think your commenters here have summarized the present argument (and situation) well. As a doctored geoscientist I claim no particular prescience, only an appreciation for the much longer geologic time frame, perhaps a greater appreciation for the variables involved, and a cognition of the number of times throughout history that "science" has gotten it rather wrong. I'm quite certain that the globe has recently "warmed"; it doesn't surprise me. I would even argue that there is probably some anthropogenic contribution. That said, science (and particularly fear-mongering politicians) have no idea of the magnitude or the consequences of such activity. We simply do not know, and more recent scientific insights regarding CO2 being a consequence of temperature increase rather than causative beggers the issue even more.

But Larry J is absolutely correct. There is no global political solution to the problem--it transcends our ability to impact it. Only an egomaniacal fool would posit such a stance. The Goreacle, whether considered the high priest or the emperor of GW, increasingly appears to be wearing increasingly transparent robes--and very likely none at all. Whatever the future climatic/environmental condition, human kind will have to adapt, just like the species has since Lucy scampered around the plains of East Africa. I wouldn't worry about GW if I were you, I would worry about large numbers of imbeciles following Al Gore and Laurie David and telling you how you should live your life.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Interesting Research in Heart Disease

This article describes some current research which I learned about through my interest in investments. A biotech company I invested in this week will report on some research tomorrow involving the injection of stem cells into the hearts of patients with recent heart attacks in a Phase 1 study. The results, I understand, were very positive and I expect the stock to do quite well, but the benefits to attack victims down the road may be even better. The company is Osiris Therapeutics Inc., stock symbol OSIR.

An eye on Iran

There is an interesting analysis of the present situation in Iran this morning in the American Thinker. Here is an snippet, but the whole thing is worth reading.

Chances are that the decision to stop Mahmoud's trip to New York was made by the Supreme Guide, with the support of the pragmatists.

At the same time the Russians are beginning to pull their technicians out of the Bushehr nuclear plant in a dispute with the Mullocracy that is said to be about money, but is more likely to be about nukes. The Russians can't be thrilled with an out-of-control jihadist nuclear power on their Southern border.

When the Israeli Air Force bombed Saddam's nuclear reactor in 1981, the French had withdrawn all of their technicians. The Israelis worked with French intelligence to avoid casualties, and destroyed Saddam's nuclear program in essentially one strike. That is not going to happen with Iran's dispersed nuke effort, with more than 1000 sites. But if the Russians withdraw their people, the Iranians know perfectly well that the Bushehr plant can be hit with immediate multiple attacks from US and Israeli forces.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Liberals will never learn

Michigan has a problem. Actually they have a number of them, but one big one is a $940 million short fall in its budget. What to do? Well, Governor Granholm has a proposal to just raise taxes and cut a little from the budget. Granholm has proposed a 2% tax on services, a new tax on businesses to replace the Single Business Tax which expires Dec. 31, and smaller increases in cigarette, liquor and estate taxes. Granholm's executive order included $171.5 million actual cuts to state programs, the rest was accounting changes to state programs such as reduced payments to state employee retirement funds. House Appropriations Committee chairman George Cushingberry, D-Detroit, said he will look at other options such as increasing the income tax or expanding the 6% sales tax to a limited number of services. One example, he said, is country club greens fees.

So there you have it. Businesses and people are leaving in droves, unemployment is the highest in the nation, the housing foreclosures and decrease in home values is also tops in the nation. How do we deal with this? Let's raise taxes and exacerbate the problem. The real fun will be when the great state of Michigan is unable to fund employee pensions. How much will taxes go up then?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Too extreme????

As indicated in this news item, the legislature in South Carolina is considering legislation to require an ultrasound prior to an abortion. The objection of the pro-abortion legislator is interesting---it would be too extreme. So, by this reasoning a harmless, non-invasive imaging procedure is an extreme prelude to a surgical procedure which kills a baby.

(Columbia) - Getting an ultrasound is a normal part of most pregnant women's journey into motherhood. Now, some state representatives want women considering abortions to view images of their fetuses before a decision is made.

Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester and York Counties), said, "I'm just trying to save lives and protect people from regret and inform women with the most accurate non-judgemental information that can be provided."

Delleney is the main sponsor of the amendment. Currently, there is already a South Carolina law requiring women to pass prerequisites before abortions, including reviewing abortion information and undergoing a waiting period. Still, Delleney says women need more information to make a final decision.

"From the calls I've gotten, I think some people wished there was an ultrasound requirement at the time they underwent the abortion procedure," he said.

But Delleney's ideas are meeting a lot of opposition from several organizations, as well as other lawmakers, such as Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg County). She says it's too extreme.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gonzalez should go

Our current Attorney General is so pathetic that he can't leave soon enough. Either he didn't know what was going on in his department or he did. Either way he demonstrated his incompetence and this friend of Bush should go. He probably will this week. Maybe his replacement will take another look at the crimes committed by Sandy Berger and clean up that mess.

Gore won't show up

A Englishman by the name of Lord Monckton has challenged Al Gore to a debate to be televised worldwide on the subject of man-made global warming. Of course, if old Al is really interested in convincing the world that the future of mankind is being threatened as he claims, he will readily accept the challenge to broaden his views to a audience measured in the billions. Since Lord Monckton would counter with scientific facts, I am sure that Al will find a way to be somewhere else.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Don't worry your pretty head.

I just saw the following story and for some reason, the attempts to allay my concerns were not successful.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Suspected members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States, counterterror officials said Friday, in a cautionary bulletin to police. An FBI spokesman said, "Parents and children have nothing to fear."

Asked about the alert notice, the FBI's Rich Kolko said, "There are no threats, no plots and no history leading us to believe there is any reason for concern," although law enforcement agencies around the country were asked to watch out for kids' safety.

The bulletin, parts of which were read to The Associated Press, did not say how often foreign extremists have sought to acquire licenses to drive school buses, or where. It was sent Friday as part of what officials said was a routine FBI and Homeland Security Department advisory to local law enforcement.

It noted "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who either drive school buses or are licensed to drive them, according to a counterterror official.

Foreigners under recent investigation include "some with ties to extremist groups" who have been able to "purchase buses and acquire licenses," the bulletin says.

But Homeland Security and the FBI "have no information indicating these individuals are involved in a terrorist plot against the homeland," it says. The memo also notes: "Most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus licenses to drive them are legitimate."

I want to see the follow-up on the ones which are not legitimate.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Inclusion long overdue

From Sand in the Gears.

The University of California at Berkeley is looking to hire its first Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, and I think it's about darn time. I'm heartened to know that with this renewed focus on recruiting students and faculty from underrepresented groups, Berkeley's agents will soon be scouring Iowa for devout homeschooled virgin boys. Young men returning from service in Iraq, likewise, may find a warmer reception than they would have received in years past. And no doubt many young parents, as well as retired executives, will soon be submitting their applications to the more equitable and inclusive Cal-Berkeley. Observant pro-war Jews, aspiring Christian filmmakers, chaste young pro-life activists — all are welcome under Berkeley's big tent, right.

Got a million? Not rich enough.

Hedge funds are the investment vehicles which have more flexibility and clout than ordinary mutual funds most people put their retirement money in. Since the risk is greater, the government has set up standards of wealth for someone who wishes to turn over his money to a hedge fund. Currently, one should have a net worth of $1 million including the value of a primary residence or an annual income of $200,000 for the previous two years ($300,000 for a couple) in order to "qualify" for a hedge fund investment.

Well, now it seems like the government has decided millionaires are no longer financially savvy enough to make these types of investments. The logic is that there are too many millionaires now. According to the 2004 statistics, 8% of the population is now eligible under current rules. So, let's change the rules. The SEC is now proposing that an individual have investible assets of at least $2.5 million excluding equity in a primary residence to be eligible to sign up for a hedge fund.

We should all feel better now that the government is looking out for the millionaires.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The price of fame

In last Saturday's Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition, veteran food reporter Raymond Sokolov bestowed the grand title on an eight-stool restaurant called Ann's Snack Bar. It serves the "World Famous Ghetto Burger". After eating dozens of hamburgers coast to coast and everywhere in between, Ann was declared the best. Since then, owner Ann Price has been besieged with business at her ramshackle, blink-and-you'll-miss-it, 35-year-old joint in Atlanta.

"It's driving me nuts down here!" Price, 63, bellowed from behind the counter where a dozen or more of her iconic double-pattie creations sizzled on the flattop grill, reddened with seasoning salt and draped in yellow cheese. "I don't have the space!"

"Miss Ann," as loyal regulars call her, prefers to work less like a short-order cook and more like an itamae-san at a sushi counter — crafting each burger sequentially, starting with a mound of loose meat cupped in her palm. She carves slivers from a whole onion over the burger as if she were peeling a potato. She crisps bacon in the deep-fat fryer, toasts the bun on the griddle and hand-spreads thin veneers of every known condiment. Sokolov termed the results a "masterpiece" and "the next level of burgerhood."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

General Pace's Comment

In a newspaper interview Monday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had likened homosexual acts to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces. This, of course, caused an uproar which started out as a misrepresentation of his actual words. Most news accounts jumped directly to state that he said homosexuals are immoral. There was no attempt to differentiate between homosexuality and homosexual acts. This was despite his clear statement that heterosexuals were also capable of immoral acts in his opinion. Once again, one is not entitled to opinions that run contrary to the PC crowd that buys ink by the barrel. The fact remains that the men and women in the armed forces don't want fags in their midst if it is obvious.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Too far left? Too loony!!!

Another example of the kook extremism going too far is given in the New York Times today. Readers of BestView know the screeches of Al Gore are absurd, but now the liberals are beginning to realize it and this article pointing out some of the global warming "facts" are anything but. Read it here.

Too far left?

If you are a loony liberal and have the slightest interest in deciding when you have gone too far off the ledge, what guide do you use? Well, as Lyndon Johnson once said with regard to Viet Nam, when you have lost Cronkite, you have lost the American people. Well, one thing the kooks like Nancy Pelosi might use is the liberal press. As shown by this editorial, even the Washington Post recognizes the falacy inherent in the attempt by the Pelosi crowd to micromanage the Iraq situation. Read it here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

House Schedule

House Schedule for Week of March 12

First Vote of the Week: Monday 6:30 p.m. Last Vote Predicted: Thursday p.m.

So, once again the dems will not be able to keep their pledge to work a full week.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bush upsets the spirits

Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits". Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders said the "spirit guides of the Mayan community" decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of "bad spirits" after Bush's visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace. He also said the rites — which entail chanting and burning incense, herbs and candles — would prepare the site for the third summit of Latin American Indians March 26-30.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Everyone should hear this

This is an excellent reminder of where we were once and how different it is now.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hillary is hilarious

O.K. here is the famous clip of Hillary and her newly found black, southern accent which she delivered to the black church in Selma, Alabama. Now the question is whether her pandering is sadder than the fact that her audience didn't seem to take umbrage.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Even More on Gore

My feeble efforts to describe the Al Gore hypocrisy have been vastly exceeded by the man himself. Mark Steyn offers this as an opening paragraph, but the whole thing should be read here.

Stop me if you've heard this before, but the other day the Rev. Al Gore declared that "climate change" was "the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced.'' Ever. I believe that was the same day it was revealed that George W. Bush's ranch in Texas is more environmentally friendly than the Gore mansion in Tennessee. According to the Nashville Electric Service, the Eco-Messiah's house uses 20 times more electricity than the average American home. The average household consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours. In 2006, the Gores wolfed down nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Abortion and Sex Selection

"At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are ‘missing’ from various populations as a result of sex-selective abortions or neglect." This sentence was part of an article I read recently and seemed to me a really big number until I realized that most of these abortions were conducted in China and India and therefore not the subject of discussion here in the U.S. This situation reminds me of the intellectual trap in which liberals find themselves with other issues. Liberals find all manner of reasons why our slavery hundreds of years ago is harming blacks in the U.S. today, but say not a word about those being held in slavery today in other countries. The problem the left has with abortion rights--a woman's right to choose death for her fetus--is clearly revealed by their complete silence on the practice of abortion to choose the sex of the new-born. It is hard enough to feign a moral stance when advocating abortion for any reason, but the cognitive dissonance required to support a womans right to choose while opposing abortion for sex selection is so obvious that the liberals choose to simply ignore the situation. Can't really blame them.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Dem Dilemma

The poor dems in Congress are at odds on the best way to surrender. Read about it here.

School Choice

There is a really good Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal today pointing out once again how phony liberals are when it comes to school choice. The only choice they favor is one for their own children. The examples are well known to those of us whose blood boils when faced with such hypocrisy. The Clintons put Chelsea in Sidwell Friends rather than any of the public schools available to her and then vetoed a bill which would have given some inner-city parents the same option. John Edwards? He campaigns with the complaint that America has two schools-one for the affluent and one for everyone else. He sent his children to a religious school because D.C. schools are "deeply troubled". He has no problem with the logic that school choice for other kids would drain resources from public schools, but his choice didn't. Al Gore, of course, is the biggest phony on this subject as on most others. He sent his children to elite schools in the nation's capitol like the one he went to when growing up, but opposes school choice for low-income families. He once said, "If I was the parent of a child who went to an inner-city school that was failing, I might be for vouchers, too." But, as Clint Bolick, the author of this piece points out, he isn't so he doesn't.

The teachers have selfish motives for opposing choice since it would expose their failures and most of them are very liberal in opposing something which doesn't guarantee everyone an equal outcome. It is far better to keep all children in a failing school than allow some of them to escape. To a liberal, that is just as unfair as recognizing that some student might excel at soccer, or some other activity, and thereby deserve an award superior to others.

All of this is very discouraging to those who actually want a better education for our kids, but the saddest aspect of the whole situation is the parents of the inner-city kids are not perceptive and knowledgeable enough to help themselves using their political clout. Instead, they follow the same failed leadership in the largely black community.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

More on Gore

Once it was made public that Al Gore uses more energy in a month than the rest of us use in a year, some serious damage control was called for. So, here is what the Gore camp says:"Gore buys "carbon offsets". What are these? Well, the loony left has invented these for rich extremists who use a lot of energy. What they do is send money to some outfit which will supposedly plant a couple of trees or put up some solar panels to assuage the donors excessive depletion of resources. Gore buys his offsets from a company called Generation Investment Management. Gore is chairman of the firm and either draws money from the organization or at least would prosper if his investment prospers. In other words, this phony buys credits from himself. He is not buying carbon offsets, he buys stock in his own company.

Labors Woes

Most folks aren't paying any attention to the liberal Dems efforts to placate their union backers, who take money from coerced workers and give it to them. In sum, the unions want to do away with secret ballots when workers decide whether or not to form a union. This has been the case for many decades, but now it seems workers are not voting right, so the opportunity to do a little arm twisting as only unions can twist arms seems to be just the medicine for this situation. Years ago when the Wagner Act was passed, it was widely argued that neither companies nor unions should be able to influence unionization elections, so they should be done in secret. It has been working all this time. Now we need to back-track, but in only one direction. When the Republicans offered an amendment in the Senate which would allow companies to use the check-off procedure to decertify a union (rather than a secret ballot), the dems quickly rejected this offer. Surprise, surprise.

Jefferson Roll Call

This should be interesting. Republicans plan to force a floor vote on Rep. William Jefferson's move to the Homeland Security Committee in an unprecedented maneuver to force Democrats to go on the record supporting their embattled colleague who is the target of a federal bribery investigation.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) pledged to call for a recorded vote on the House floor when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduces a resolution to make the Jefferson move official.

Jefferson Roll Call

This should be interesting. Republicans plan to force a floor vote on Rep. William Jefferson's move to the Homeland Security Committee in an unprecedented maneuver to force Democrats to go on the record supporting their embattled colleague who is the target of a federal bribery investigation.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) pledged to call for a recorded vote on the House floor when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduces a resolution to make the Jefferson move official.

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