Friday, August 31, 2007

Leno gets it about right

"Speaking at a forum organized by Lance Armstrong on cancer research, Hillary Clinton told Chris Matthews if she is elected president, she will declare war on cancer, and then she will support the war on cancer for two years, and then she will be against it for a year, and then she will back out of it all together" -- Jay Leno, host of NBC's "Tonight Show."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

China water

There have a number of articles written lately describing the serious problems the Chinese are having with pollution of their water supplies. Factory waste is dumped directly into the rivers and streams and the sanitation systems for their cities and villages are either overwhelmed or underdeveloped. This is a big problem for the Chinese and about the only way I see to keep it from being my problem is to very carefully look at fish we buy at grocery stores and avoid any from China and most from other countries. That would be my advice to everyone.

Unintended consequences

The U.S. Commission of Civil Rights has a report out on the effect of affirmative action on blacks in law schools. It should come as no surprise to anyone that all the efforts of these law schools to admit blacks in preference to more qualified applicants has resulted in fewer black lawyers than would have otherwise been realized. This is a typical result for mushy headed liberal actions. The reasons for this predictable result are given in this article by Michael Barone.

Good Morning America

Some statistics reflecting the impartiality of this morning show have just been released by Brent Bozell. Anytime a candidate is on this show it is free publicity and if you are a democrat, it is always positive. So far this year Good Morning America (GMA) has had 119 segments on the dems and just 51 on republican candidates. They have something called the Town Hall segment and there have only been two candidates on so far--38 minutes for John Edwards and 26 minutes for Hillary. That sounds fair. In addition, the only republican to receive more air time than Al Gore who is not running is the liberal darling of the mass media, John McCain.

You can't tell everything by just counting minutes. How about content? Well, when Guiliani and Romney were on they were asked about such things as mormonism and a messy personal life in the case of Guiliani. Compare this to the Claire Shipman description of Hillary and Obama as "white hot" and Hillary was an "unparalleled star" with a "hot factor" boosted by her "ever-popular husband". Shipman said Obama had a "fairy-tale family and personal charisma to spare."

We need to keep watching to see if future appearances by dems on this program induce a cinematic orgasm of historic proportion by Ms. Shipman.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


This article on a new air service is one I hope succeeds. It is based on a simple business plan which is similar to Southwest without frills. The planes fly into seldom used airports where traffic is not great so they will be on time more often and charge for everything. The lack of frills leads to seats available for as little as $10.00 per flight. Bring it on. Worth reading about.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Any more geography questions?

YouTube - Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question

California Green

Naturally our brethren in California lead us all in environmentalism and concern for all things green. I was just reading about a poll out there which found that 54% of the residents out there believe global warming poses a very serious threat to the state's future and quality of life. As a result, 13% carpool and 7% of them use mass transit. Me thinks the concern is largely academic for those folks.

Walls work

There was a great outcry a few years ago from the loony left here in the U.S. when the Israel wall was erected in an effort to deter bombers from entering. As with most of the leftist positions, the actual results show them to be dead wrong with since there are significantly fewer Israeliis who are dead. Walls work.

Where is Jesse????

When the Mike Vick fiasco hit the news the other day I found myself wondering when Jesse Jackson would find a light on a TV camera and dash up to give his racist take on the situation. Well, it didn't happen and I assumed old Jesse was lost in the wilderness somewhere. Now I find that Jesse has found a new country in which he can ply his racial blackmail tactics. Jesse is in London. As reported in this article, he got the idiot mayor of London to blubber in tears as he apologizes for the British role in the slave trade 200 years ago. Hopefully, he will stay in Europe if he is going to dwell on the past rather than go to Africa where he could actually confront problems which are relevant in the here and now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another Congressman in the real estate tar pit

Rick Renzi, an Arizona republican is dropping out of congress next year to fight charges which are being covered by a grand jury that relate to payment for a real estate deal he may have facilitated with legislation. As BestView has noted previously, congressmen of both parties simply can't seem to resist crooked real estate deals and don't seem to be learning from the fate of the several which are now in or going to prison.

Jatropha to the rescue

There is an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about a plant called jatropha that grows wild in India and produces a golf ball sized bean filled containing an oil which can be converted to biofuel at a cost which makes it much more attractive than corn as a fuel replacement. The plant grows about anywhere and needs very little water. Many farmers in India are now being contracted to plant the thing for harvest and we will soon see if it makes sense to take the project to a large enough scale to make a difference.

Save your pity

There will be a lot of angst published in the next months about poor homeowners who are losing their property to foreclosure. Out on the streets, they are. We have to save them--bail them out. Well, not so fast. In the first place, many of them took out loans with no money down and paid nothing on the principal while they lived there. That is called renting. When the homes value did not increase enough for them to refinance at the time the mortgage conditions were reset as described when the loan was taken out, they are in the position of giving back a house they paid nothing for and are now looking for a place to rent at monthly rates they can afford. In effect, the people who are portrayed so pitifully in the media have lost nothing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ann strikes again

Here is another slice of Ann Coulter's latest essay. I just love her.

Liberals know they're losing the demographic war. Christians have lots of children and adopt lots of children; liberals abort children and encourage the gay lifestyle in anyone with a flair for color.

They can't keep up.

Population expert Nick Eberstadt recently speculated in The Washington Post that a principal reason for America's high fertility rate compared to Europe's is its religiosity. Well, that leaves liberals out.

The Democratic Party is in the fight of its life against a conservative demographic trend. Its only hope is to gerrymander America to make the poorest half of Mexico a state. Only a massive influx of criminals, wards of the state and rioters can save them.

This is why Democrats are obsessed with giving two groups the right to vote: illegal aliens and felons. With Arellano, they get two for the price of one. To liberals, building a wall across the Mexican border is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A mistake???

The lead attorney for pro football star Michael Vick said Monday that the Atlanta Falcons quarterback will plead guilty to dogfighting and related charges and will ''accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made.''

This worthless thug brutally kills dogs and calls it a mistake. A mistake is when some idiot owner thinks Vick is worth millions a year to play quarterback.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Scientific Doubt

I was just trying to understand what I am sure is a very elementary explanation of some doubts which have developed in the science of cosmology (origin of the universe stuff). Here is a sort of summary of the situation from an article in American Scientist.

In its original form, an expanding Einstein model had an attractive, economic elegance. Alas, it has since run into serious difficulties, which have been cured only by sticking on some ugly bandages: inflation to cover horizon and flatness problems; overwhelming amounts of dark matter to provide internal structure; and dark energy, whatever that might be, to explain the seemingly recent acceleration. A skeptic is entitled to feel that a negative significance, after so much time, effort and trimming, is nothing more than one would expect of a folktale constantly re-edited to fit inconvenient new observations.

My first thought was I will never be able to bend my mind in such a way as to understand all of this. However, my second thought is if the Einstein model is being held to scientific scrutiny and doubt by other scientists, it is not completely absurd to question the conclusions of Al Gore...even if he did invent the internet.

Back to 5th Grade

This story about Garner, N.C. paying $50.00 to fill vehicle tires with nitrogen instead of air suggests a refresher course in elementary school science which teaches that air is 80% nitrogen may be appropriate.

Biggest Phony Contest

This is open to everyone in the world. Here is my entry.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sorry about that

Just ran across this from Australia. Evidently the decendents of some cannibals now apologize for killing and eating some Fijian missionaries in 1878. Evidently they promise not to ever do it again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mortgage Mess

BestView is back to say "I told you so." That is no great feat since any idiot could see that when people were buying houses with no money down and insufficient funds to pay the mortgage when the loan had an automatic escalator in the interest rate in 2 years, defaults were inevitable. Well, here they are. The logic at the time the loans were taken out went something like this. "Don't worry about the adjustment of the loan in 2 years. When that time comes, we will simply refinance the loan based on the increased value of your house." So, some families--especially in high housing markets like Florida and California--signed up. Well, now they go down to the friendly loan company and find the house on which they have been paying interest only on for 2 years will no longer appraise for the loan balance and the only way they can get a loan of any kind is to come up with 20% of the house value. Most of these people didn't have even 5% of the value when they took out the loan in the first place and sure don't have 20% now. In the meantime, the lending agency tells them that the house payment is going to go from say $2,000 per month to $3,000. Whoa! $2,000 was a stretch and now the only option is to give the keys to the bank and walk away to a rental unit of some kind. So much for the home owner. What about the mortgage lender stuck with a house instead of a monthly income? In some cases, he will have to renegotiate payments or become a real estate holder. In the worst case, the one holding the bag is the one who bought high yielding bonds composed of these mortgages which are now in default. These are called CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) and carry a high interest payment which depends on the homeowner making those monthly payments.

If you don't have such a mortgage or own a bond depending on CDO solvency, you don't have a problem. Or do you? Well, you may. The unknown consists of how much paper your pension fund owns, for example. If a significant percentage of their solvency depends on these mortgage payments, your monthly income could be affected if things get bad enough.

The markets are going to have to work through all this and there will be losers of vast amounts of money. Let's hope for the best.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Science and Society

In the modern world, science and society often interact in a perverse way. We live in a technological society, and technology causes political problems. The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, “Sorry, but we don’t know”. The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed.

As a scientist I do not have much faith in predictions. Science is organized unpredictability. The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen. You might say that if something is predictable then it is not science. When I make predictions, I am not speaking as a scientist. I am speaking as a story-teller, and my predictions are science-fiction rather than science. The predictions of science-fiction writers are notoriously inaccurate. Their purpose is to imagine what might happen rather than to describe what will happen. I will be telling stories that challenge the prevailing dogmas of today. The prevailing dogmas may be right, but they still need to be challenged. I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies. Since I am heretic, I am accustomed to being in the minority. If I could persuade everyone to agree with me, I would not be a heretic.

These thoughts are those of
FREEMAN DYSON, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton. They are especially worthy of consideration when reading the lay press describe the effects of global warming in 25 to 100 years. The book is HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem

MJT: Why is Iraq such a mess? Is it the Americans’ fault?

Hammer: No. You can’t blame it on the Americans. Iraqis are number one at fault for this mess. They are greedy and will do anything for money. They are like people who were in jail for 30 years, were suddenly set free, were given money, then had their money taken away. What will they do next? They will kill for money. They are selfish.

They got selfish from Saddam. Iraqi people used to be different. I am the same person I always was, but most Iraqi people are different now. They feel that no one will help them so they help themselves.

MJT: Is there a solution to the problem in this country?

Charge money to the families of insurgents. Fine them huge amounts of money if anyone in their family is captured or killed and identified as an insurgent. Make them pay. You can put it into law. Within one week they won’t do anything wrong because they want money. Their familes will make them stop.

The militias pay them 100 dollars to set up IEDs. Fine them thousands of dollars if they are caught and their families will make them stop. Give them that law. Go ahead. Try it.

Read the entire interview with this Iraqi interpreter here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Photoshop fun

It always amazes me how soon after some news event that the internet is flooded with something relevant. The latest is the Mike Vick indictment for dog fighting. This one is good.

Uphill climb

I just learned there is a group called "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)". Good luck with that.

The great energy hoax

The House recently passed something called "New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection". As we have learned over the years, politicians of both parties have an inate ability to provide the exact opposite of legislative effect in the title of major bills. This is no exception. It provides $16 billion in new taxes on oil companies. If you believe that higher taxes on oil companies will make them provide us more energy and not pass added costs on to consumers, you are as stupid as politicians like Nancy Pelosi think you are. She described this legislation as the "energy policy of the future". That would be sad.

No terrorism here

The following is a report of a little noticed incident in my neighboring South Carolina. It is described as not being related to terrorism, but I am skeptical. Who is hiding what and why?

Two men are being held in the Berkeley County Detention Center after police find explosive making devices in their car. The quantity of explosive making materials in that vehicle is unclear.

The FBI (website) reports that there is no known link to terrorism. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office believes that among materials in the car's trunk were a bomb and bomb making materials that include chemicals, fuses, and igniters.

The men 21-year-old Yousef Megahed and 24-year-old Ahmed Mohamed were pulled over Saturday evening during a routine traffic stop near Myers Road and Highway 176. Few details about the suspects are known at this time. They are believed to be students at a Florida college. They are of Middle Eastern descent and are not US citizens.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Barbra's Travels

Though she's a big backer of environmental causes, and even offers tips for low-carbon living on her personal website, Barbra Streisand was busted by the British press for touring in a private jet with a massive entourage that required 13 trucks and vast amounts of laundry—in other words, for sponsoring a traveling CO2 extravaganza. These loony Hollywood leftists never seem to disappoint.

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