Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why Obama Is Unsuitable for the Presidency

See illuminating article in the WaPost.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Religious Freedom in America

Started with the Flushing Remonstrance, which is celebrating its 350th anniversary.

"THREE hundred and fifty years ago today, religious freedom was born on this continent. Yes, 350 years. Religious tolerance did not begin with the Bill of Rights or with Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1786. With due respect to Roger Williams and his early experiment with “liberty of conscience” in Rhode Island, this republic really owes its enduring strength to a fragile, scorched and little-known document that was signed by some 30 ordinary citizens on Dec. 27, 1657."

That is the first paragraph of an op-ed piece in yesterday's NYTimes.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Graphics Re Sub-Prime Crisis

For superb graphics of the sub-prime crisis see this article from the BBC.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pretty Boy Obama - Full of Entertaining Hope

" . . .nothing Mr. Obama has said suggests that he appreciates the bitterness of the battles he will have to fight if he does become president, and tries to get anything done."

Last line in today's Krugman column.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why Obama? Because Obama Is Entertaining

On the face of it, Obama does not begin to be a serious candidate for the Presidency. He is totally lacking in relevant experience and accomplishments.

So, what is the explanation for his success? Obama is entertaining. He is black, but not too black. His African heritage is real African. He is not descended from slaves, he is not derived from a crime ridden, drug infested American ghetto. He is an Ivy League graduate. He is refined, educated and has superb manners. He is not angry or arrogant. He does not demand reparations for slavery. He is the author of two books about himself. He has a beautiful and accomplished wife. His children attend private school. He fits superbly in the white society. Last but certainly not least he has the enthusiastic support of the most super entertainer of all, the entertainer-in-chief, herself.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mac Leopard Part 2

So, I called B&H Photo-Video to get an RMA permission to return the useless Leopard and Keyboard. After keeping me on the line, after I told the agent my complaint, he gave me a lot of blah about policy, i.e. I have to fight with Apple (a definite losing proposition).

I gave him a loud earful about Apple shipping a lousy beta product as if it were finished and that they would blow me off, but if B&H complained to Apple, they would have to listen since B&H is a major distributor of Apple computers.

The agent caved and gave the RMA number, exactly 1 unit greater than the order number.

Does that suggest anything to B&H customers?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mac Leopard, Bah!

I tried to install "Leopard" OS X V10.5 on my Mac Pro and received some scary messages: First, the screen said that installation is not possible (for some incomprehensible reason) and asked me if I wanted to try again. I clicked on "Yes." Next the screen told
me that to install OS X V10.5, it would be necessary to totally erase the hard disk of my computer. Not acceptable.

Then, I tried to use the new ultra-thin keyboard and found out that it was not compatible with my Mac OS X V10.4.10.

What a waste!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Are Mutual Funds Obsolete?

A bit of background, first.

Recently, I needed to liquidate some mutual funds that I had not held for the required three-month period. So, I was charged an obscene 2 percent penalty and received phone calls and e-mails promising that my buying privileges would be suspended.

So I looked around for alternatives. I found ETFs. They behave just like mutual funds except that they are not actively managed. Virtually all of them mirror an index published by an outside firm. Also, crucially, ETFs are bought and sold like any stocks. You can buy and sell an ETF at any time the exchange is open and it costs $8 to buy and $8 to sell. No penalties and no threatening phone calls or e-mails. Another difference is with ETFs you can get a price quote at any time the exchange is open.

That's the difference. Rewards and risks are the same. You can make money and you can lose money. You can either make or lose even faster with the leveraged ETFs.

More info at:

and of course, you can pick and choose among Google or Yahoo offerings under "ETF."

Good luck!