Friday, May 30, 2008

If . . .

If Obama had studied Chapter 3 of my book posted on the web (no charge, no advertising) before he shot his mouth off about meeting Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions, he would not be getting this never-ending flak from Republicans.

Chapter 3 deals with the fundamentals of Negotiation.  Anyone with a web connection can find it at:$15

As it is, Obama has given his opponents a hook on which they can hang never-ending criticisms abut his lack of experience and unfitness for the Presidency.

What was Obama thinking when he shot his mouth off? Maybe he wasn't thinking.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh, They Are Ever So Wrong

Rockefeller family members want Exxon-Mobil to move beyond oil and do all kinds of things that the company does not know how to do simply because these things are politically correct.

See article in today's NYTimes. See also unflattering photo of two Rockefellers at top of article.

If indeed the age oil is ending (a dubious assumption), Exxon-Mobil should accept this without complaining and gradually liquidate the company and return the money to the stockholders and allow them to invest the money as they see fit.

What Exxon-Mobil should definitely not do is to squander stockholders' money in areas in which the company has no knowledge or assets.  They have tried that in the past and failed miserably.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why Did Kennedy Meet Nikita S. Khrushchev?

Considering how poorly prepared Kennedy was, why did he take the risk of meeting Nikita S. Khrushchev, who was well-known to be a tough Communist street-brawler who would not hesitate to accuse, insult and threaten opponents?

An answer suggested in a letter to editor of the NYTimes, reproduced in its entirety below:

To the Editor:

Nathan Thrall and Jesse James Wilkins argue that President John F. Kennedy’s disastrous summit meeting with Nikita S. Khrushchev was a result of the president’s naïve rush to meet with an enemy leader.

There was another factor — Kennedy may well have been high on amphetamines.

As Lawrence K. Altman and I reported in The New York Times on Dec. 4, 1972, Kennedy was accompanied to the summit by Dr. Max Jacobson, a physician who routinely injected the stimulant into many prominent figures.

Dr. Jacobson told us that he injected Kennedy there. White House records confirm that the doctor was on that trip. It is not certain that the shots contained “speed,” but Dr. Feelgood, as patients called him, is known routinely to have mixed amphetamines into his potions.

The drug causes not only feelings of euphoria but also an exaggerated sense of power and superiority.

Boyce Rensberger
North Reading, Mass., May 22, 2008

The writer was a science reporter at The New York Times, 1971-79.

When Obama promised to meet enemies like Ahmadi Nejad and other tyrannical loonies without pre-conditions, was he also high on amphetamines?

Friday, May 23, 2008

If This Doesn't Get to You . . .

A group of artists is painting portraits of military service people killed in Iraq, based on photographs and information provided by close family members - at no charge. See article and pictures at:

Title of the article is Portraits of fallen comfort broken hearts.

Deadly Dissection of Obama's Mistake

See today's Krauhammer article in the WaPo, entitled Obama's Metastatic Gaffe.

This is just heating up. Expect the Republicans to really take him apart, in the Fall.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Russians Hire Designer for Military Uniforms

See article and picture in WaPo article.

Maybe our military should also hire a major designer so our guys can look good too.

Then, in the future, instead of wars, we will have beauty contests. Much less death and injury.

What a noble idea!

What JFK Said and What Happened

What Kennedy said: “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” Widely quoted.

What Happened

Kennedy’s one presidential meeting with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier, suggests that there are legitimate reasons to fear negotiating with one’s adversaries. Although Kennedy was keenly aware of some of the risks of such meetings — his Harvard thesis was titled “Appeasement at Munich” — he embarked on a summit meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961, a move that would be recorded as one of the more self-destructive American actions of the cold war, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.

Quote taken from an op-ed article in today's NYTimes, entitled Kennedy Talked, Khrushchev Triumphed.

Kennedy was advised not to meet with Khrushchev, but he went ahead.

. . . and for two days he was pummeled by the Soviet leader. Despite his eloquence, Kennedy was no match as a sparring partner, and offered only token resistance as Khrushchev lectured him on the hypocrisy of American foreign policy, cautioned America against supporting “old, moribund, reactionary regimes” and asserted that the United States, which had valiantly risen against the British, now stood “against other peoples following its suit.” Khrushchev used the opportunity of a face-to-face meeting to warn Kennedy that his country could not be intimidated and that it was “very unwise” for the United States to surround the Soviet Union with military bases.

Yes, negotiators are sometimes abusive and if you are accustomed to being polite and to rely on logical presentations, you can get whipped. Not good for a President of the United States. Bush was right and Obama showed his ineptitude.

Obama is not ready to play in the major leagues. There is no evidence that he will ever be ready.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glenn McCoy Cartoon - More to Come

If the shoe fits.jpg

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weight Management

A huge amount of the media are devoted to the weight of our bodies. Most of the talk is about losing weight. About different diets, difficulty of staying on a diet and inevitability of regaining lost weight.

Well, not all approaches are the same - not all approaches have the same results.

Restrictive diets most often do not work. Dieters sneak foods, binge and give up.

Weight losers who have made up their minds to achieve a certain, lower weight are less likely to binge because that would delay achieving their goal.

I have tried it both ways and the diet method invariably has failed.

But when I made up my mind to achieve a lower weight, I succeeded. I was constantly thinking about my goal: to weigh 170 pounds. Every time I contemplated eating, I measured my actions against my goal and acted accordingly.

When, for quality of life reasons, I decided to weigh 150 pounds, I repeated the process. I now weigh 147 pounds (at 6:00 A.M. after subtracting the weight of clothing).

If you want to lose weight, the first and most important thing to do is set a goal and think about your goal all the time. It may be boring, but it works.

When to Negotiate

Let's just clarify one thing. Negotiation is appropriate if the two sides have an important objective in common. Negotiation may lead to compromise on the issues where the two sides differ.

Now, can anyone identify any important objective(s) shared the United States and Ahmadi Nejad?

I sure can't.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What Is It About the Nobel Peace Prize that . . .

Causes recipients to do and say dumb things?

Jimmy Carter went and visited Hamas, giving them free publicity without any benefit.

Al Gore is carrying on about global warming as if it were the greatest disaster to planet Earth. No one claims that global warming is worse than the plague epidemics in medieval Europe. Yet, the human race survived the plague and moved on to the Renaissance and the birth of the age of science and innovation.

My suggestion to Carter is to find a good nursing home and to disappear from public view.

As for Gore, he should stop yowling about stopping global warming, which is impossible and to start thinking about adjusting optimally to the unavoidable changes in climate.

Bad News for Obama's Chances in November

Read Kristol in the NYTimes.

His most telling argument is that Obama was demolished in West Virginia and lost Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In fact, it's difficult too feel optimistic about Obama's chances in view of the above.

Krugman Misses the Obvious

In today's column, Krugman praises the benefits of mass transportation in view of the price of gasoline but complains about the high cost of building mass transportation.

He misses the obvious: hybrid busses and vans. Cheap to buy and run and infinitely flexible. Successful examples abound: New York City and Northern New Jersey suburbs.

Republicans Are Lying, Again

"Unquestioning belief in the economy’s self-correcting mechanism is the reason many Republicans don’t want to do anything to prevent foreclosures."

Taken from NYTimes article at

For the markets to "self-correct," all participants must have all the information they need to make rational decisions.

Actual conditions do not begin to approach this standard.

Another problem that helped to bring about the current disaster is that executive compensation schemes encouraged CEOs to take huge risks for their own immediate gains regardless of the enormous risks to the stockholders of their companies, for example E. Stanley O'Neal at Merrill Lynch.

Regulation is needed. Republicans must know this. They are just being disingenuous.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Israel's Worst Enemies Are . . .

. . . certain influential American Jews.

Top Israeli politicians understand that for Israel to survive, it is absolutely essential for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank settlements and to cede East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, many influential American Jews do not agree and succeed in preventing top American politicians from encouraging Israel to do what needs to be done.

See Jeffrey Goldberg's column at

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Was Obama Justified in His Response to Bush?

Bush was right and Obama failed to impress with his heated response.

Talking with nasty people is ok if and only if, both sides have an important objective in common. Then talking may focus on compromising on the differences for the sake of achieving the common objective.

If Obama plans to talk to Ahmadinejad or other loonies like that, it would be necessary for Obama to define what objectives are shared by the two parties.

Can anyone think of any objectives that the United States shares with Ahmadinejad?

There aren't any.

As noted at the beginning, Bush was right and Obama merely demonstrated, again that he is running on "Empty."

How Much Education Costs

"The U.S. has stopped dealing honestly with difficult and complex problems."

The above quotation taken from Bob Herbert's column.  Herbert discusses at length the truly inadequate job our public high schools are doing.  Nowhere does he mention the inability of the providers of public high schools to provide sufficient funds.  Of course, it all goes back to the unwillingness or inability of taxpayers to properly fund public education.

Recently, I had occasion to look into the true cost of a good education. An excellent private high school costs $31,000 a year for tuition, books and lunches. Public schools cost the tax payers an average of $6,000 a year.

No wonder our public high schools are doing such a poor job.

One also has to recognize that because of the enormous demand for private school education, in spite of the high fees, the schools can be and in fact are, highly selective in the students they accept. Also, because the students are superb, teachers are eager to work in the private schools, so there also great selectivity is exercised.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bush Gets Obama's Goat

The NYTimes reports that "Bush Issues Veiled Attack on Obama."


Bush told the Israeli parliament that talking to terrorists (which Obama has promised to do) is appeasement and is bound to fail to achieve any worth-while results.

Obama denies that he promised to talk to terrorists.

I seem to remember that Obama promised to talk to top politicians in Iran and Syria. He did not say what he expected to accomplish.

What Caused the Rise in Food Prices?

An article in the NYTimes tells of the sarcastic responses of Indians to Bush's suggestion that emerging countries should not be consuming so much food.


For instance, Pradeep S. Mehta, secretary general of the center for international trade, economics and the environment of CUTS International, an independent research institute based here, said that if Americans slimmed down to the weight of middle-class Indians, “many hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa would find food on their plates.”

The Asian Age, a newspaper based here, argued in an editorial last week that Mr. Bush’s “ignorance on most matters is widely known and openly acknowledged by his own countrymen,” and that he must not be allowed to “get away” with an effort to “divert global attention from the truth by passing the buck on to India.”

There may be some foundation to Indians’ accusations of hypocrisy by the West. The United States uses — or throws away — 3,770 calories a person each day, according to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization collected in 2001-3, compared with 2,440 calories per person in India. Americans are also the largest per capita consumers in any major economy of the most energy-intensive common food source, beef, the Agriculture Department says.

Question: What Does $86 Million Look Like?


Bacon Triptych.jpg

See article at:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Global Warming Is Happening and Will Continue to Happen

Global warming is almost certainly a fact.

Reversing the course of global warming is impossible.

There are too many people in developing nations who aspire to a living standard comparable to first world nations: houses with refrigerators and air conditioners and of course automobile ownership.

Can anyone stop them? No, not really.

Can anyone discourage them? Americans who drive gas-guzzling SUVs? Who live in Macmansions with every conceivable appliance and central air conditioning running full time?

Not a chance.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chinese Earthquake Is Set Off by Collision with India

The earthquake in the Sichuan Province of China on Monday was a result of a continuing collision between India and Asia.

India, once a giant island before crashing into the underside of Asia about 40 million to 50 million years ago, continues to slide north at a geologically quick pace of two inches a year. The tectonic stresses push up the Himalaya Mountains and generate scores of earthquakes from Afghanistan to China

from the NYTimes at:

Now, is Al Gore going to make a movie about this and advocate policies to drag India out into the Indian Ocean?

And if he does, will he get another Nobel Peace prize?

OK, It's Obama, But . . .

After two weak presidential campaigns, in 2000 and 2004 with two men, Gore and Kerry who were not capable of standing up to the Republicans and fighting, the Democrats have finally got a fighter who is willing to go on until the last count. The Democrats have needed a candidate with that kind of fortitude for a long time.

Barack Obama is not a fighter and has winced every step of the way. Mrs. Clinton has actually forced him to be a better candidate against his will. Wait until the Republicans get ahold of him.

Hollis MacArthur
Irvine, Calif., May 9, 2008
in a letter to the editor of the NYTimes

Friday, May 09, 2008

What's Wrong with Democrats?

Most commentators overlook a key fact.

If the Democrats had used a nominating process that's aimed at winning the November election (like the Republicans) Hillary would have easily won the nomination and would have had no trouble beating McCain.

Instead the Democrats used a process which seeks to be fair to all candidates. So, we had protracted process that did not result in an early and definitive nomination.

The likely Democratic candidate, Barack Obama carries so much baggage that he may actually lose to McCain. That is a truly inferior result for the Democrats.

How can one party be so utterly inept at winning the Presidency?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sick Smile.jpg

Michelle: "We can hardly wait to start make those changes we can believe in."

Barack: "Do you remember what they were? Did you by any chance write them down?"

Better than A Cartoon

Putin and . . . .jpg

Medvedev: "Give me a moment. I'm trying to think."

Putin: "See the kind of incompetence I have to put up with . . ."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Education GI Bill - The Key to Permanent Economic Growth

Bob Herbert reports that a bi-partisan group of Senators is proposing a GI Bill of Rights for Iraq War veterans. (Bush opposes it, but Congress may have enough votes to over-ride a Bush veto.)

As shown in the post WWII GI Bill, the Veterans benefitted by being subsidized in getting a college education and the Nation benefitted from the great increase in intellectual capital. The Government benefitted handsomely from increase of income tax revenues as the veterans succeeded in business and the professions. It was an all around magnificent win.

Given that wonderful experience, it would seem to like a very good idea to extend education subsidies to all college aspirants, not just Iraq war veterans.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Obama Is Outraged

Michelle Obama: Barack has hit boiling point
By Tim Shipman in Raleigh, North Carolina

Barack Obama is struggling to contain his anger and frustration over the constant barrage of questions about his character and judgment, his wife has revealed.

Michelle, ouraged.png

Michelle Obama lifted the lid on the irritation felt by the leading Democrat candidate for the White House at the way anti-American outbursts by his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, have dogged his campaign.
He is said to be itching to turn all his fire on John McCain, the Republican candidate, who is benefiting most from Mr Obama's protracted tussle with Hillary Clinton.
Mrs Obama told a rally in Durham, North Carolina, on Friday that only her husband's desire to change US politics had helped him to control his feelings: "Barack is always thinking three steps ahead – what do we need to do to make change."
Her husband was thinking "I can't let my ego, my anger, my frustration get in the way of the ultimate goal," she said.
"Barack has been characterised as many things that have nothing to do with who he is."
Senator Obama has known the Rev Wright for more than 20 years, but he was forced to end their friendship last week over repeated claims by his pastor that America was to blame for the 9/11 attacks and for spreading the Aids virus.
New polls show the affair may have derailed Mr Obama's chances of sealing a double win in Tuesday's North Carolina and Indiana primary elections, which might have ended Mrs Clinton's hopes.
Instead, in just a week, Mrs Clinton has reversed a narrow Obama lead in Indiana and is closing fast in North Carolina, where Mr Obama had hoped for a convincing win.
A poll on Saturday found 58 per cent of voters believe his de-nunciation of the Rev Wright was merely an act of political expediency.
The Rasmussen survey found 56 per cent of voters thought it likely that Obama shares some of his pastor's anti-American views.


From McCoy:

McCoy Cartoon (Reduced).jpg

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Great Cartoon


Friday, May 02, 2008

For A Preview of How the GOP Will Slash and Burn Candidate Obama

See the Krauthammer column.

Krauthammer writes the truth, with elegance and wit. His column should be required reading for all students who were required to read Obama's ballyhooed speech on race relations.

Are We Going to Face Our Education Problems Before It's Too Late?

Today's Brooks column points out a truth that has been obvious, but ignored, for a long time.

It's not globalization that needs to concern us but the lack of investment in intellectual capital.

The well-being of the citizens of any country is attributable mainly to the level of education of its people. Tell me the proportion of college graduates (excluding religious studies) in a country and I'll tell you how high the standard of living is. It's that simple.

After World War II, our Government, fearing a return of the Great Depression, instituted the GI Bill of Rights, which included college scholarships for all returning veterans. Send them to college to reduce the ranks of the unemployed.

The unexpected consequence was a huge increase in the intellectual capital of the nation and the greatest economic boom in the nation's history. The money spent on subsidizing higher education was recaptured by the Government many times over in the form of taxes on the greatly increased incomes of the newly-educated masses.

We seem to have forgotten the lesson. In the face of the rising cost of education, Governments at all levels have reduced their support.

Where will that get us?

Why Does Obama Pander to Republicans?

See today's Krugman column .

Is that Obama's concept of "Change we can believe in?"

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Why Support Obama?

Now that we know Obama better and "Yes we can" is gone and "Change we can believe in" has become totally empty, what are the reasons for supporting Obama, aside from:

1. His semi-blackness, and

2. That he is not a woman.