Friday, 18 July 2008

The Viscount

There is only one man on the face of the earth...whose challenged Al Gore to a open debate....internationally televised to bluntly discuss global warming. This is Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. He is the gentleman who served as a adviser to Margaret Thatcher. He is a thinker....in the sense that he doesn't just accept an argument without merit. So far, he hasn't had single indicator of Al wanting to discuss global warming in public....and I'm fairly sure that Al doesn't want that situation.

This week....the Viscount was kinda busy. He has been doing research for months...and he's come to several interesting conclusions:

  • The IPCC’s (the UN's own climate control committee) 2007 climate summary overstated CO2’s impact on temperature by 500-2000%;
  • CO2 enrichment will add little more than 1 °F (0.6 °C) to global mean surface temperature by 2100;
  • Not one of the three key variables whose product is climate sensitivity can be measured directly;
  • The IPCC’s values for these key variables are taken from only four published papers, not 2,500;
  • The IPCC’s values for each of the three variables, and hence for climate sensitivity, are overstated;
  • “Global warming” halted ten years ago, and surface temperature has been falling for seven years;
  • Not one of the computer models relied upon by the IPCC predicted so long and rapid a cooling;
  • The IPCC inserted a table into the scientists’ draft, overstating the effect of ice-melt by 1000%;
  • It was proved 50 years ago that predicting climate more than two weeks ahead is impossible;
  • Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth warmed;
  • In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years.
What the Viscount did....was take any statistical formula that the global warming crowd used in government publications and tossed it out. You can't come to reasonable carbon conclusions or global warming debates....without numbers. For any figure to appear on NPR and quote the previous formulas.....now paints himself as a "lost cause" before debate even occurs.

NASA and its grand climate control agenda? Well....at this point....where's the science? I'm pretty sure the NASA pretty boy for climate control....Jimmy Hansen....is the last character that would care to tangle with the Viscount. So this mighty discussion item.....is about to lose its sails.

The Obama Tour of the West Bank

Part of the grand tour that Obama is making in the next couple of weeks...ends up at the West Bank.

To be truthful....for any major player to announce travel plans and guests to visit a month out....in the Red Bank area....is a fool. He merely increases his odds of being shot or bombed.

I found this entire gameplan rather silly and worth nothing in the election coming up. It makes me wonder if this were some setup....to arrange Obama at a certain place and certain time. An Obama-less convention....becomes a Hillery victory, without any discussion....and catapults her to the national level and above McCain by twenty points. Adding to this strange scenario is that fact that ten million dollars of debt has been paid off in her situation since the fourth of July.

Am I predicting an Obama attack? No. I would be the last guy to predict such event....but I find this entire European tour and the West Bank bit.....a bit strange and beyond normal. Whoever pulls his strings and sees strategy in such events.....must have other agendas in place.

It would only take one character to enter the protected zone and I'm sure that the Secret Service is sitting there and scratching their heads on this matter. This is pure foolishness in a campaign period to run off to Europe and the Middle East....then the cherry on this cake is the West Bank.

So like many....I'll sit and watch this develop....and wonder what fool notion entered his head and how this is worth the risks involved. Me personally....I'd waste my eight days in South Carolina and Florida...working hard on getting those two states. Both are achievable....but you have to spend time there to ensure the win. These are eight days that are flushed down the toilet, and to be remembered forever as a dismal strategy of winning the American election....not the world election.

A Little Business Story From Germany

A true story, although we won't say names, places or such.

Dad and junior ran three businesses....between the three....they made around two or three million in profit each year. The businesses all had something to do with steel....or the import of such. Altogether, they had maybe twenty employees between the three companies.

Dad know how to run a business and manage folks. Junior, by age 35.....without any formal education....was as incompetent as you could get.....but he rewarded himself with a ex-wife, a steady girlfriend, and a liaison girl....plus maybe another girl or two....but we won't talk about that.

The fourth business, only controlled by Dad....was a RV park....where strangely enough....the other three were based out of.

Dad and junior work up this deal one day. They have another company that they'd like to dump two of the three businesses they own....onto this new company....for a hefty price. It was a deal of a lifetime.

So they had a guy who Dad knew for years at the other company. The guy wasn't the owner or major player....but he had a position which he was management....and he was destined by his mid-50s to be fired (six months away).

So they rig up this deal. Dad and junior represent their two companies as money-makers and they offer to sell at around nine million Euro. Most paperwork looks good and business is enough to make this an enticement.

The guy on the inside of the other company....convinces his bosses that the company is only worth six million Euro max.

The truth? Well....the two companies might pull in four hundred thousand Euro after taxes and employee costs....so the odds of someone paying six million Euro in reality? Zero. Realistically, it should have been a three to four million Euro offer....at best.

The guy on the inside convinces the new group to buy the company, and they actually pay six million Euro (roughly $9 million dollars). The number of visits by the new company prior to sell? Probably zero....they relied on their guy to advise them. The number of third party check-outs of this deal....probably zero.

The company begins to look at actual profits by March and April of this year....and its not what they expected. The new guys begin to go off and get hostile. They had already fired their "advisor" back in March for other problems....so he's gone.

What did the insider get paid from Dad and junior? One can only guess...but maybe a million Euro out of this deal....I'm to guess.

By early July....Junior....who never was much of a businessman or had faced hostile folks before...began to crack. His girlfriend? She decided that the new girlfriend had already eased her out. The third business....still surviving under Dad....and likely to continue on. The legal aspects? Well.....the other company found that junior went and bought a car or two with his company....kept them around six months, and sold the car to himself at a depreciated price (say 50 percent off after six months). He did this yearly for several years....it would appear. They already referred this to the Finazamt, and I'm guessing Junior will be assessed well over 100,000 Euro in fines, and maybe a brief period in jail.

The insider? Gone....no one is sure where he went. Dad? Well...he is keeping himself out of the light and waiting for the legal case. He likely has fixed this deal up enough that its all legal....and the other guys really screwed up by not checking facts carefully. The amusing thing, is that this isn't the third world where this occurred. Its Germany. How many serious business mistakes were made over this? Dozens. And this is the crew who proudly boosts that they are smarter than Americans.

The 2010 Census and No Gay Couples

Someone woke up this week, and grasped that rules in place....by congress....forbid any government official from counting gay married couples as couples. The head census guy doesn't care himself....he is merely a counter of details in America, by the rule established. And plainly.....gay couples don't count.

The 1996 lay....really wasn't thought much about back in 2000 when that census came around...primarily because there weren't any states running around to marry dudes and dudes....or lez's and lez's.

So we stand in 2008, and we've got two such states who have real marriages for gays. The other forty-eight? Well....some folks envision another three by the end of next summer....and then things kinda slow down slightly.

Will this topic come back up before the 2010 census? I'm betting on a court team challenging the 1996 law. The supreme court tossing this out? Well....this would be curious, but since you only have two states and the majority don't recognize such marriages....I'm thinking the supreme court is not going to shake this issue much.

So we will enter the 2010 era, and start to see state by state events where by the end of the next decade....there might be twenty-five states with such laws and a vast attempt to force the other twenty-five to recognize the census count as gay couples.

The curious thing....is that it really doesn't improve government payoffs to states...give your state any more representatives....or even introduce a federally subsidized-rodeo for your local county. It doesn't get more global war on terror money for your state police....it doesn't give you a cowboy hall of fame in the local town....or even address global warming in the Gulf of Mexico.

So deep down....this is really a discussion item for a couple of folks on a porch....sipping ice tea on a hot summer afternoon, and arguing gay politics. Thats about all this vast verbal, state, and court fight gets you. Yes, we can readily admit it....it isn't worth much except reporting the number of gay couples in America...whether there are 14,000 or 88,000.

Lets be honest, we don't census one-legged Vietnam Vets....but maybe we ought to. We don't census how many believe in global warming or how many visit the dentist yearly. We don't census how many drink beer daily....although it might be nice to know. We don't census old guys and ask how many attempt to chat with 14-year old girls on the internet. We don't census school teachers and ask how many play around with their 16-year old male students in class. We don't even census folks on how many warts they have or if they'd like to remove them if they had federal health care insurance....to include free wart-removal.

So, I'm scratching my head. A bunch of damn fools will run around with this story....weeping and crying over them not being counted with their lesbian girlfriend as a real married couple. They probably will sip alot of booze tonight....and get into a big argument over this topic....accusing each other of being a "friend of Karl Rove" and later whack on each other with frying pans. The cops will drive up....ask what triggered the argument....and everyone will be a bit amused on a topic of zero value. This is life in America tonight....sadly. Surely, we have better topics....but then that just wouldn't be as good as Madonna and her baseball boy-toy.

Obama and the Nukes

This was the week where Obama spoke on how life would be so wonderful....if no nukes existed. He went onto assure the crowd that America would totally disarm and would push the Russians into such an agreement...thus working to eliminate nukes across the globe. It was a wonderful speech and thousands cheered.

The sad truth is that his speech was worth about three cents. The idea that Russia will totally disarm.....is an amusing joke which even the Russians have to laugh about. They really would intend to do such a stupid thing. As for Pakistan and India....no, they really wouldn't do a stupid thing like that either. North Korea? Very doubtful. China? No. France or the UK? Well....only if everyone else did dump their nukes.

So here is the Obama man, making a speech that is worthless and simply sounds good. The news folks run this and chatted on how courageous he was....with his worldly vision.

The thing is....since 1945....no one has used nukes. If this was an affair where twenty nukes had been used over forty years....there might be a huge interest in this....but no one has used them for the past sixty years almost. There is a fair amount of leadership at work here....from every single player in the nuclear world....even if a dimwit Mullah in Iran were to have a nuke....he'd have to order some military guy to press the button or prepare the bomb.....and its kinda difficult if some military officer would see himself being the first ever to press the button.

So we got this grand speech from Obama.....detailing a grand vision of life in a peaceful world.....and we can smile proudly at his worldly vision....and then smile at how worthless the entire speech really was. His sales job? Fairly weak.....and I doubt that he fully grasps that lots of folks really have no humor in such dramatic acting for a political figure. So on we go, in a real nuke world.....and really gazing upon an assortment of luck and good behavior. For some reason....over sixty years....its been enough. Maybe for a brief moment....Obama ought to think of how these factors work...rather than dramatic three-cent speeches.

Strategy and Softball


I was introduced to softball around the fifth grade. It was a pretty average introduction....we had the class split....boys and girls....into two groups....and around eleven players on the field defensively. It was a learning experience for that entire year.

By the sixth grade...they combined us and the seventh grade group.....boys on one field and girls on the other.....always starting in March and playing softball each day for sport activity. From home plat to the distant fence in left.....it was around 260 ft. For the right field area....it was easily 300 ft and truly beyond anyones imagination to hit a ball beyond that wall. To be truthful....there just aren't any sixth or seventh grade kids who can smack a softball that far.

As time went by, I began to realize the various strategies at work. Out of twenty guys...only one was a left-swinger, and he barely ever clobbered the ball. So the majority swung as right-handed guys. The two best fielders? Always at third base and left field....because we all tended to hit in that direction. So we positioned our defensive in such a manner. We usually had two or three homeruns each day because a guy could hit a long shot between left and center.....and the ball would roll....thus allowing us to run the bases and get a inside-the-park homerun.

By the seventh grade....I began to realize that the worst fielders were always over in right field and never caught the ball. I slide my right foot back at the plate.....and I aimed myself at the first baseman.....the most unusual stance you could ever draw up. As the weeks went by....I began clobbering homeruns each day that I batted....because I knew the ball would fall and roll. Its true....I had to twist my neck an extra inch.....and my bat wasn't really in the correct position as I swung....I was more of a direct line-drive hitter with this method. But the right field guy could never outrun the ball or catch up with it.

As the eight grade rolled around and they combined us with the ninth grade guys....it was the same story. I had the stance which allowed me to swing at a regular pitch and hit it clearly toward right field...which none of the other guys could grasp. Homerun after homerun for that entire spring. If it wasn't a homerun.....it was a double.....and I'd just steal third on the first pitch and be ready to score.

This was a time-tested method.....and I wasn't going to change this swing.

In the ninth grade....some kidded with me one day. In an entire year....there might be one kid who could clobber the ball over the 260 ft wall. They said I couldn't make it over the wall. So I stood there the next afternoon.....in late May.....and took a totally open stance...with me almost facing the third baseman now. It was a totally opposite stance this time around.

I stood there as the ball rolled in.....and hit the ball. I watched it, and barely made it ten feet as I watched it sail into the outfield. The ball ended up being just inches over into fair territory.....and a good five ft beyond the wall. So it was the once-a-year homerun that was automatic. I ran the bases smiling.....and took the kidding for a day.

The next day....I went back to the right-field attacks and my inverted stance. I really didn't care to repeat the matter and enjoyed the line drive strokes I was doing.

The next year, I changed schools and we barely played softball. Same for the junior year. Around my senior year....with a morning PT class.....we came to play softball and I went to bat with my inverted stance. The fence was a good 300 ft away to right field and almost 340 ft to left field. No one ever hit real homeruns....just inside-the-park homeruns.....at least till that day. I ended up hitting one that cleared the right field fence by a foot or two. I was kinda surprised but then the inverted stance was the trick or strategy in this case.

As the year finished and I finished school....I never picked up a bat again. There have been a couple of times that I swung a bat at the ball-tosser machine in Tucson....just to see if I could still swing the bat. But for the most part.....my softball days are long gone. Its been 30 years since that last real inverted swing and the homerun.

Once a year, I will think about that period. I really wasn't a 4-star player of sorts....although I knew how to get on base and how to get runs in. Its interesting that this still runs through my mind here at almost fifty years old. Life is too damn short....thats the sad truth. And I wish I just ten minutes to relive that youth and be there on the field again.