Monday, March 31, 2008

Scientific Frontiers

The Hadron Collider is the largest collaborative scientific effort in history. It involves more than 2000 scientists from 34 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. It has taken 14 years to build at a cost of $8 billion and is scheduled to begin serious research work later this year.

And that work is mindboggling. The Collider seeks to accomplish nothing less than giving us a view of what the universe was like about one trillionth of a second after the Big Bang when the 4 fundamental forces in the universe – electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and gravitation – first split apart. By sending particle beams in opposite directions along a 17 mile underground circular track and accelerating them to near light speed while directing the particles with superconducting magnets to points where they are likely to collide, scientists hope to unravel some of the basic mysteries of the universe. Dark matter, extra dimensions, the nature of gravity, perhaps the fate of the universe itself could be revealed by these collisions and the subatomic particles they leave behind.

That is all good, right? Well, some aren't 100% convinced that we know what will happen. The whole story is given here, but this is a sample of what some worry about. The risk is probably small that the earth will be consumed, but......

" the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.

Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Although it sounds bizarre, the case touches on a serious issue that has bothered scholars and scientists in recent years — namely how to estimate the risk of new groundbreaking experiments and who gets to decide whether or not to go ahead.

Dubious Science

BestView has tried to point out scientific malfeasance when it is featured in the media and there is an article I ran across this weekend which deserves our skepticism. It comes out of Europe, but our press will pick it up because it is so sensational. Cell phones cause brain tumors is the claim, but the evidence is not there and the evidence which has been gathered leads to the opposite conclusion. Rather than simply claiming that the small amount of radiation associated with cell phone usage could theoretically produce cancer, the author claims the danger exceeds that of asbestos and smoking. That is almost surely patent nonsense. The greater problem is our school systems have failed us so completely that few will be educated to the point where the claim can be even questioned correctly.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sir Hillary reprise

Mark Steyn remembers the naming of Hillary.

Hmm. Edmund Hillary reached the top of Everest in 1953. Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, when Sir Edmund was an obscure New Zealand beekeeper and a somewhat unlikely inspiration for two young parents in the Chicago suburbs. If any of the bigshot U.S. newspaper correspondents on the trip noticed this inconsistency, they kept it to themselves. I mentioned it in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph at the time, but like so many other improbabilities in the Clinton record it sailed on indestructibly for years. By 2004 it was preserved for the ages in Bill Clinton’s autobiography, on page (gulp) 870: “Sir Edmund Hillary, who had explored the South Pole in the 1950s, was the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest and, most important, was the man Chelsea’s mother had been named for.”

Eventually, when it was noticed that Hillary was born six years before the ascent of Everest, Clinton aides tried assuring skeptics that her parents had seen a press interview with Sir Edmund in his beekeeping days, Mr. and Mrs. Rodham apparently being the only Illinois subscribers to The New Zealand Apiarist. Then, in the early days of her presidential campaign, Senator Clinton quietly withdrew the story, by which time the damage was done. Edmund Hillary passed away a couple of months back, and, as I recall, the New York Times headline read: “New Zealander For Whom Senator Clinton Named Dies; Also First Man To Climb Everest. Senator Clinton Was At The Summit To Greet Him, After Landing Under Heavy Sniper Fire From The Abominable Snowman.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More on charity

As a follow-up to the BestView comment on Obama's charity contributions, Betsy uses George Will's commentary today to highlight the liberals giving of their own money, blood, and time. Read it here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Liberal Charity

A few years ago some note was made of the fact that Al Gore gave a total of some $275 to charity as reported on his income of several hundred thousand dollars. This did not surprise those of us who hold the view that liberals are much more generous with the money they take from us than their own. Those who are constantly wanting to raise taxes to give to someone else are notably reluctant to just write a check to the IRS to increase their contribution to the effort. At any rate, the Obama tax returns were just made public and Hillary is once again promising hers will be released one of these days. I am sure we can take her at her word.

Obama is a pretty typical liberal in his giving. Last year he was most generous and gave 6.1% of his income to charity and in 2001 and 2002, the level of giving was about 0.4-0.5%. Evidently, the anti-American sermons of his friend the Reverend Wright did not cover tithing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary challenges the English language

BestView enjoys few things more than watching the dem candidates wallow in the muck during this extended campaign. The latest is Hillary's claim that Bill found Bosnia too dangerous for him to visit so he sent his wife and only child. As the plane landed there was such heavy sniper fire that nobody could recollect it except Hillary and the CBS cameras failed to confirm her ducking and bobbing for cover upon landing. So, we have a problem. How does the campaign control the damage of this revelation? First, they said she "misspoke". This claim has the unfortunate problem of ignoring that the tale was not just spoken, but also included in a book someone wrote for Hillary. Oops. We need other language to replace the fact that she lied about something other than sex. Others with greater facility in the English language have come forth with suggestions. Some have been used before like she "confused her facts". She "misremembered". Some one said her account of the Bosnian trip simply lacked the virtue of being true. Whatever.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mark Steyn's Grandma Analysis

Asked about the sin of racism beating within Gran’ma’s breast, Obama said on TV that “she’s a typical white person.”

Which doesn’t sound like the sort of thing the supposed “post-racial” candidate ought to be saying, but let that pass. How “typically white” is Obama’s grandmother? She is the woman who raised him — that’s to say, she brought up a black grandchild and loved him unconditionally. Burning deep down inside, she may nurse a secret desire to be Simon Legree or Bull Connor, but it doesn’t seem very likely. She does then, in her own flawed way, represent a post-racial America. But what of her equivalent (as Obama’s speech had it)? Is Jeremiah Wright a “typical black person”? One would hope not. A century and a half after the Civil War, two generations after the Civil Rights Act, the Reverend Wright promotes victimization theses more insane than anything promulgated at the height of slavery or the Jim Crow era. You can understand why Obama is so anxious to meet with President Ahmadinejad, a man who denies the last Holocaust even as he plans the next one. Such a summit would be easy listening after the more robust sermons of Jeremiah Wright.

It doesn't get any better than Mark Steyn. Read his entire column here.

Liberal Euphemisms

This comes from Reason Magazine.

To soothe the bruised egos of educators and children in lackluster schools, Massachusetts officials are now pushing for kinder, gentler euphemisms for failure.

Instead of calling these schools "underperforming," the Board of Education is considering labeling them as "Commonwealth priority," to avoid poisoning teacher and student morale.

Schools in the direst straits, now known as "chronically underperforming," would get the more urgent but still vague label of "priority one."

The board has spent parts of more than three meetings in recent months debating the linguistic merits and tone set by the terms after a handful of superintendents from across the state complained that the label underperforming unfairly casts blame on educators, hinders the recruitment of talented teachers, and erodes students' self-esteem.

At a December meeting on how to improve struggling schools in Holyoke, Lawrence, and Springfield, superintendents implored members not to stick them with a label of "chronically underperforming."

"For our teachers, it's a blow," said Wilfredo Laboy, Lawrence superintendent. "It demoralizes staff completely."

Joseph Burke, Springfield superintendent, said that while he is not crazy about any label, he would prefer "priority one," because "It sounds nicer."

Facts are stubborn things

Last Monday - on ABC Radio National, of all places - there was a tipping point of a different kind in the debate on climate change. It was a remarkable interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Anyone in public life who takes a position on the greenhouse gas hypothesis will ignore it at their peril.

Duffy asked Marohasy: "Is the Earth stillwarming?"

She replied: "No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."

Read it all here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Divisive Gun Laws

Consider this lead paragraph in the USA Today:

WASHINGTON — Guns, and questions about how much power the government has to keep people from owning them, are at the core of one of the most divisive topics in American politics.

How divisive is the gun question? Here is the 3rd paragraph from this story:

Nearly three out of four Americans — 73% — believe the Second Amendment spells out an individual right to own a firearm, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 1,016 adults taken Feb. 8-10.

Maybe gun laws are divisive when liberal newspapers disagree with the people.


One of my sisters sometimes finds it necessary to correct my punctuation in this blog, but I got all of these spelling questions right. See how you do. Just click on the link below to take the test.

Your Spelling is Perfect

You got 10/10 correct.

Your spelling is excellent. You also have a great memory and eye for detail.

How sweet it is!!

Obama says his Grandmother is a "typical white person", leery of blacks and Bill Clinton says the country needs an election between two candidates who love America---like Hillary and McCain. The DNC imposes penalties on Florida and Michigan it can't afford to stick with or back off from. Conservatives will lose in the Fall, but right now all is well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hillary tossed off cliff by leftist loonies

The following is from the kooky leftist blogger Markos Moulitsas. Read the whole thing here.
I wonder what he has in mind when he says she must be "dealt with appropriately"?

It is Clinton, with no reasonable chance of victory, who is fomenting civil war in order to overturn the will of the Democratic electorate. As such, as far as I’m concerned, she doesn’t deserve “fairness” on this site. All sexist attacks will be dealt with — those will never be acceptable. But otherwise, Clinton has set an inevitably divisive course and must be dealt with appropriately.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Obama is lucky??

Geraldine Ferraro, one of Hillary's fundraisers and the 1984 vice presidential candidate, told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif.: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

There was no mention of the likelihood that Hillary would be in her position if she weren't the wronged wife of Bubba.

Getting pretty predictable

In lead stories Monday night about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being linked to a prostitution ring, neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News verbally identified Spitzer's political party. Must mean he's a liberal Democrat -- and he is.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


There are several amusing items which have found their way onto the internet related to recent news events. Here are three of them:In re the Eliot Spitzer "matter", this one is pretty good.

“Prostitute Admits Link to Elliott Spitzer; Resigns From Escort Service in Disgrace”

In another case, there was disappointment after the Spitzer appearance with his wife yesterday that some reporter didn't ask Silda Spitzer if this meant she would be running for Senator from New York.

In the new item where Obama's advisor said Hillary was a monster and had to resign, there is this:

Sen. Obama, fighting for the Democrat nomination, said, “I categorically reject Ms. Powers’ use of the term ‘monster’ to describe my opponent.”

Holding aloft a dictionary, the presidential front runner said, “A monster is an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly and frightening. But I assure you that Sen. Clinton is no imaginary creature.”

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sushi Anyone??

Ali Howell is a massage therapist and a college student. But on Saturday night, the 26-year-old brunette was a human sushi platter.

Naked under two roses and a large daisy placed you-know-where, she lay still for more than an hour as people plucked raw fish off her body at Temple, the downtown Minneapolis restaurant that held its inaugural naked sushi party this weekend. Read it all here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

How sweet it is

One of my favorite things in life is real-time confirmation of my long held beliefs about liberals in general and dems in particular. This election season is giving me lots of examples. For example, the state democrat parties of Florida and Michigan thought that moving their primaries up would give them a greater voice than if they waited. The national party geniuses could not abide such free-lancing, so they imposed penalties on the states which the candidates all rushed to endorse and now they have a mess which one could have predicted simply because liberals usually find that their results are opposite stated intentions. Late primaries are now having more influence than early ones, the party punishment of Florida and Michigan is far worse than the transgression demanded, and there is no pain-free remedy of the situation. Just delicious.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Equal opportunity baby killing

There were nebulous accounts out there that Obama had opposed a bill which would have protected a baby which survived an abortion attempt. There is a federal law which bans the practice of simply throwing the baby in a trash can to die or actively killing it. The logic of opposing this law by Obama has finally been explained. So, if the following is accurate, Barack Obama thinks that if it is legal to kill one child it is legal to kill them all and vice versa.

In March 2001, Obama was the sole speaker in opposition to the bill on the floor of the Illinois Senate. He said: "We're saying they are persons entitled to the kinds of protections provided to a child, a 9-month child delivered to term. I mean, it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal-protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child." So according to Obama, "they," babies who survive abortions or any other preterm newborns, should be permitted to be killed because giving legal protection to preterm newborns would have the effect of banning all abortions.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Who uttered the following sage voter advice? Senator Obama? No. It was Bill Clinton in 2004.

“… if one candidate is trying to scare you, and the other one is trying to make you think, if one candidate’s appealing to your fears, and the other one’s appealing to your hopes. You better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.”

Another Quiz

Here is an article reporting that the former Mayor of Newark, NJ is going on trial for fraud and stuff like that.

This is an open book quiz. Read the article very carefully and then decide which political party Mayor James belongs to.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bad Science, Worse Politics

At a town hall meeting Friday in Texas, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., declared that "there’s strong evidence" that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that was once in many childhood vaccines, is responsible for the increased diagnoses of autism in the U.S. -- a position in stark contrast with the view of the medical establishment.

McCain said, per ABC News' Bret Hovell, that "It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines."

Overwhelmingly the "credible scientists," at least as the government and the medical establishment so ordain them, side against McCain's view.

Moreover, those scientists and organizations fear that powerful people lending credence to the thimerosal theory could dissuade parents from getting their children immunized -- which in their view would lead to a very real health crisis.

By 2001, thimerosal had been removed from all childhood vaccinations. If thimerosal in vaccines had been a significant cause of autism, the effects of the removal in the form of diminished diagnoses would have been evident by now. There is no such diminution.

You have to remember that McCain has also bought into anthropogenic influence on global warming. Really sad.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Civilians in Gaza

The news this week has several reports on the Israeli response to rockets being fired from this Hamas area into the towns of Israel. For many months these rocket attacks have been directed at a strictly civilian target---namely citizens in these towns. Because the rockets are not very accurate, the actual effectiveness of them is not great as of yet. However, Israel has finally decided to retaliate and has launched an offensive directed at those who are firing the rockets. The news reports, however, are focused on the fact that there have been many casualties and many of these are "civilians". Even children. This is obvious liberal bias since none of the stories seem to be able to mention that if the terrorists in Gaza would stop firing rockets at civilians in Israel, their own civilians would not be killed. To these liberals, it is simply not fair that Jewish reprisals are more efficient than the initial attacks. The idiocy continues.

A female assessment of women

This is one of the more interesting essays I have run across in a long time. The fact that it is written about and by a woman makes it interesting and there is no way I am going to be jumping in and trying to improve on her analysis. Here is just a bit of Ms. Allen's thoughts on woman-kind.

"He did not flinch when women screamed as he was in mid-sentence, and even broke off once to answer a female's cry of 'I love you, Obama!' with a reassuring 'I love you back.' " Women screamed? What was this, the Beatles tour of 1964? And when they weren't screaming, the fair-sex Obama fans who dominated the rally of 16,000 were saying things like: "Every time I hear him speak, I become more hopeful." Huh?

"Women 'Falling for Obama,' " the story's headline read. Elsewhere around the country, women were falling for the presidential candidate literally. Connecticut radio talk show host Jim Vicevich has counted five separate instances in which women fainted at Obama rallies since last September. And I thought such fainting was supposed to be a relic of the sexist past, when patriarchs forced their wives and daughters to lace themselves into corsets that cut off their oxygen.

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