Thursday, January 31, 2008


The folks in Kenya don't seem to be getting along and playing nice lately. I guess I need to look into what is going on there. I suspect it is a tribal thing similar to what we have been facing in Iraq. More later.


I have never really understood exactly what waterboarding was and how it was conducted, but I had decided that it is not torture if it is merely psychological and not painful or long-lasting (since the recipient gives up almost immediately). There is a very good article in today's Wall Street Journal which describes the technique in detail. It makes a good read.

I remain convinced it is not torture and I want no part of it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Universal" Health Care Rationing

In London doctors are barring some patients from operations they need. This includes the smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly. So, for Britons, health care rationing is a reality. The logic is that persons who made bad choices should be the ones who do not get scarce resources. The situation should be instrumental for us as we listen to the liberals who cry at full throat for universal health care. It can never be universal if by that we expect anything for everyone. At some point, the gatekeepers will impose rationing since there is not enough money to treat everyone for everything always. So, those inclined to follow the Hillary universal plan can look forward to bureaucrats rationing care and the providers will be civil servants who will remind you of the employees at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Pell Grants for kids

There is nothing the liberals like more than giving away money. Pell grants are very popular when given to poor students so they can take the money to any college---public or private --to help pay college expenses. It will be fun to watch the hypocrits in Congress jump through their rear denouncing a Bush proposal to give Pell grants to poor students to attend school in K-12. The education establishment will not let them disturb their failed system. This, of course, is vouchers by another name and will be rejected.

If there were Republicans worth their salt, they would insist that the next appropriation for Pell grant money be expanded to all students or cut out entirely.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why not the Sandy Berger Sentence?

Joseph Romito spotted an original, four-page letter earlier this month from antebellum Vice President John Calhoun being offered on eBay by seller "Idd1863," did a quick check in a specialty reference text, and discovered that it was supposed to be part of the official New York State Library collection.

"When I saw that the document was being sold by someone who listed his address as Rensselaer and then I saw that was right near Albany, I believed something was amiss here," Romito told The Post.

"I called the library the next morning, told them of my suspicions, and they said they'd look into it," added Romito, a 59-year-old litigation and estate-planning specialist from Richmond.

The next thing Romito knew, investigators from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office were handling the case, bidding on eBay until they eventually "bought" the purloined document for $1,802.77.

The sticky-fingered state archivist and eBay merchandiser, identified by Cuomo's office as Daniel Lorello, 54 - a 30-year employee paid $72,000 annually - was arrested late last week on multiple felony charges, including grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, and first-degree scheme to defraud.

He faces up to seven years in prison.

As Betsy asks, why is this so much more harsh than the one Sandy Berger got for stealing and destroying documents.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Whither now, Bill

The chattering out of the liberal press holds to the view that Bill cost Hillary in South Carolina and he needs to be diverted to other, less polarizing activities. One line of speculation holds that he will now get sick and have to get off the campaign trail for a while. This will allow Hillary to soldier on despite this heavy burden and even cry a few times at the thought of poor Bill's declining health. Seems plausible to me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Out of it

I am way over the hill, I guess. Heath Ledger's death seems to have captivated the news on TV and even in the print media. I am sure it is a stunning news event, but I had never heard of him and even after endless recounts of his career, the only movie I knew of was "Brokeback Mountain". I gotta get out more.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Obama rediscovers the wheel

he following quote from Senator Obama is kinda funny. He seems to have just discovered that a convicted perjurer doesn't tell the truth.

Bill 'has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts. Whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas. This has become a habit and one of the things that we're gonnna have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate'..

Friday, January 18, 2008

It is Bush's fault

Read in the paper this morning that Israel test fired a long range missle that could probably be used to carry nuclear warheads. Iran is not happy and Ahmadinejad said Bush just came to the mid-east and incited confrontation. Makes sense to me. There wasn't any before Bush's time.

George Will's characterization of John McCain

This is great summary of why John McCain should not be elected---and why BestView has come to view Romney as the best alternative to the dangerous dems if Thompson can't be nominated. At one time I flirted with the idea that we could live with McCain, but I finally became completely disabused of that notion. I think it was a form of mental illness.

When McCain and Joe Lieberman introduced legislation empowering Congress to comprehensively regulate U.S. industries' emissions of greenhouse gases in order to "prevent catastrophic global warming," they co-authored an op-ed column that radiated McCainian intolerance of disagreement. It said that a U.N. panel's report "puts the final nail in denial's coffin about the problem of global warming." Concerning the question of whether human activity is causing catastrophic warming, they said, "the debate has ended."

Interesting, is it not, that no one considers it necessary to insist that "the debate has ended" about whether the Earth is round. People only insist that a debate stop when they are afraid of what might be learned if it continues.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mortgage Problems

This is probably too arcane for most people, but if you are reading and hearing about the problems in the home mortgage market, most of what you read is about the sub-prime mortgages. In these, the bankers lent money to people who did not have the income or credit scores which should have been required before the mortgage was approved. On the other end there are prime mortgages which were taken out by borrowers with good credit and good income so they have been judged to be great credit risks. Most people do not realize that there are problems there as well. Here is what has happened in markets where home values have dropped (Florida and California, for example): Some of these great credit risks have taken out lines of credit with their homes as collateral. These are called home equity loans and many people use them to live beyond their means. Now some of these home owners are falling behind on these loans because they have interest rates which go up to levels which crimp the ability to pay. When this happens, the bank has a problem. Do they foreclose or not. In many cases, the bank owns the 2nd mortgage and someone else owns the first mortgage. So, if the homeowner does not make payments on the home equity loan, the lender in many cases decides to just let it go rather than try to take your house because if they did, the holder of the original mortgage would come first and the house in many cases could not be sold for the amount owed. If you are an investor in the bank, you should realize that they are carrying the value of this home equity loan on their books as an asset and it is in fact worthless unless some time in the far future the house happens to sell for enough for the loan to be paid. I would not consider that an asset and you should not either when considering whether to own shares in a bank.

Thompson supports BestView on energy

Appearing on CNN, Thompson was asked whether, as president, he would turn to Saudi Arabia for help as Bush did.

Thompson, a former Tennessee senator, said the problem was a "little bigger" than Saudi Arabia.

"It's not in the United States' long-term interest to go hat in hand begging people to do things that in the end we know they're not going to do," Thompson said.

"What we need to concentrate on is diversifying our own energy sources here in this country and opening up what oil reserves that we have here ... using nuclear more, using clean coal technology more and all the other things that we can do," Thompson said.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Energy Depression

Actually, the problem isn't energy depression, but BestView depression because of the sorry situation we find ourselves in with respect to our energy policy. It is depressing to see our President in Saudi Arabia begging the sheiks to increase the supply of their oil instead of fighting to increase our exploration for oil here at home. The American people bitch about paying $3.00 for a gallon of gas and yet won't let our elected official drill for oil off our coasts or in ANWAR. At the same time, we are allowing 20% of our corn crop to be diverted to ethanol production which increases the cost of food. This diversion makes up only 4% of the fuel our cars burn, but the government continues to place a $0.54/gallon import tax on Brazilian ethanol so it is not economical to use their ethanol instead of subsidizing our corporate farmers to the tune of billions per year. Don't look for the pitiful politicians currently running for President to change the situation, either.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Congressional Progress

Newly ascendant Democrats may have hit roadblocks on Iraq and fiscal issues, but they have revamped congressional menus, replacing fatty, pre-made foods with healthier, gourmet alternatives. The once dreary congressional cafeterias now abound with haute cuisine.

The menu transformation is part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “Greening the Capitol” plan to make the House campus more environmentally friendly and socially progressive.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gay Sex

As confirmed by this article, gay sex is not healthy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Political Stalemate

The democrats in the U.S. Congress say the surge in Iraq has not worked because the Baghdad legislative body has not accomplished anything in the past year which would bring the Sunni and Shiites together. BestView can't think of a group more qualified to recognize legislative incompetence.

More on light bulbs

In a previous offering, BestView commented on the governmental decision to make us change light bulbs from the carbon filament to the fluorescent bulbs which don't actually put out much light, but they make up for it by costing a lot more and contain mercury. This is the same government that made us give up thermometers which contain mercury and mandated that our toilets use so much less water that we now have to flush twice and use more water. This is the idiocy you get when we elect idiots and send them to Washington.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Eye-opening data

A friend sent me a Congressional Research Service report as of April this past year which contained some interesting information on military deaths of all causes since 1980. Here is the link to the report.

If you only read the newspapers, you would certainly expect that the war in Iraq since 2003 and the earlier invasion of Iraq in 1990-1991 would have lead to higher than normal military deaths among those on active duty. The data belie that conclusion. Table 4 on page 10 of the congressional report show that there were more military deaths in 1980, the last year of the Carter administration than any year of Bush's. Further analysis of the data shows that there were more deaths during the Clinton administration than Bush's---some 14,000.

Of course, there have been more deaths from hostile action in past 6 years, but accidental deaths and deaths due to homicide and illness are way less than in previous years. Any loss of our service men and women is too high, but a balanced reporting of the issue has not been presented.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Health Care Mandates

If you want to know what Hillary has in mind for you with regard to health care, consider the situation in her state. New York spent $48 billion on Medicaid last year and this is about $2,100 for every man, woman and child in the state. Despite this, 13.5% of the state's population still lacks health insurance. In neighboring Pennsylvania, $1,300 was spent on each resident and the uninsured rate was 10.5%. One reason for this disparity is the mandates which New York imposes on insurance companies that raises rates to levels which are unaffordable. For a policy not purchased through an employer, New Yorkers have to pay about $1,400 per month for a family policy. This is about twice the national average because of mandates. Here are some examples of New York style health care.

1. Insurers have to sell a policy to anyone who will pay for it regardless of health status. The result is the really sick wait until they need it to buy and this elevates the cost to levels which prevent the healthy from buying policies. Why pay when you are healthy when you can simply wait until you are sick.

2. Every state requires policies to cover basic care, but New York requires insurers to cover such things a chiropractic , fertility, and mental health services which, of course, drives up the cost of a "basic" policy. There are a total of 52 such services mandated by the home state of the smartest woman in America who is also it's Senator and wants to devise a plan for you.

3. If you are a young, healthy adult in good health, there are policies in other states which can meet your needs for about $100-$200/month depending on age and gender. In New York, the young people are too smart to participate in the liberal concoction of health care being advanced by their Senator Clinton. The problem faced by the young people in the U.S. is any effort to provide health care for everyone will require young healthy people to subsidize the older, sicker part of our population. No other way.

McCain's failing memory

McCain maintains that anyone who says he supported amnesty is "lying." From National Review.

"'There are jobs that American workers simply won't do,' McCain said. 'As long as there's a demand for workers, workers are going to come across.' An amnesty program is vital to any immigration legislation that includes a guest-worker program, he said. 'Amnesty has to be an important part because there are people who have lived in this country for 20, 30 or 40 years, who have raised children here and pay taxes here and are not citizens. That has to be a component of it,' he said. 'How can we have a temporary worker program if we're not allowing people who have been here for 30 years to hold jobs here?'" (C. T. Revere, "McCain Pushes Amnesty, Guest-Worker Program," Tucson Citizen, 5/29/03)


This field of Republican candidates is really just depressing. All are so flawed from a conservative point of view that the only hope for a decent candidate is a brokered convention. McCain lost me for good last night during the debates when he said there was enough evidence for him to conclude that man was contributing materially to global warming. This is just so idiotic that even the liberal dems aren't mentioning it. Thompson says all the right things, but he reminds me of myself at the end of my career as a lecturer....I was tired of hearing myself talk and knew the audience felt that same lack of enthusiasm. Romney is almost as phony as Edwards, Huckabee is evolving but not there yet and might even be a bigger risk in foreign policy than Obama. Giuliani is New York liberal and would act as one if elected. His ethical baggage is elephantine. Woe is me.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Iowa Results

Evidently Iowans really don't like Hillary. Not all that surprising.

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