Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Anonymous Chartreuse Alcoholic

More reader uprisings, trying to dictate content here at Ideas Hatched, have once again proven successful. First, Tri-Cup, a recent employee of my firm who is now in law school, presses me for opinions on topics that matter.

Are you for the Miers nomination? If so, why do you believe that she is the best candidate for the position? Many conservatives, both the blogging variety and mainstream, don’t think that Bush made a good choice here. What’s your take? Conservatives have been leading the federal government for years, and this is the right’s big chance to reshape the court.

I am not really for it, but I'm not really against it. I wish I had the basis for a strong opinion either way, and for that I guess I am disappointed. Had it been Gozalez, I would have been pissed off, but every other candidate being considered outside of Gonzalez seemed to have all the right people excited. He could have chosen someone very conservative, and that person still would have sailed through the Senate because there are a bunch of Democratic Senators sitting in heavily red states facing re-election in 2006, and they all saw what happened to Tom Daschle.

I don't buy the "you have to be a legal genius to be a Supreme Court Justice" argument. If only a genius can understand the laws, how are the rest of us (or maybe I should say the rest of you) supposed to be able follow the laws? I think this pick was based on the following calculation: I have Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts there to do all the heavy thinking for my side; on the other side Souter and Ginsburg will be consulting emerging EU law for their opinions. All I need is someone who can clearly avoid voting with the dim bulbs, and she probably fits the bill. An all-star team is not always the best team; remember the Sixers had their Mark Iavarone, and the Lakers their Kurt Rambis. So maybe she's our Iavarone.

What about today’s arguments in the Supreme Court about Oregon’s assisted suicide law? It was opposed by Ashcroft and the Bush administration after Reno let it slide for years. Do you come down on the side of personal choice and states’ rights, or on the side of federal regulation of medical practices and the centralization of cultural norms?

Kind of like asking me when did I stop beating my wife. Well, gee, since you put it that way, I guess I have to steer away from the centralization of cultural norms. So let the honor killings of our Moslem sisters who have strayed from their virginity begin! And bring back the ritual burning of Indian women upon the death of their husbands!

Calling assisting someone in committing suicide a medical practice is a bit of a stretch; I can think of many ways to effectively assist, but it doesn't make me Marcus Wellby. I hope they strike it down; it is an inherently selfish act that is rightfully stigmatized, and giving it the explicit permission of the law is intended only to remove the stigma. There are ways to relieve physical pain short of death. If today we make it a "right," tomorrow it will be a business, and the next day it will be a duty owed by the old and infirmed to their families.

Or, if you like, choose another topic: military or political progress in Iraq, America’s energy policies, the structure and purpose of FEMA, the use of the military in future emergencies, or the federal government’s deficit . . .You’re my go-to guy on the right.

Well, let me give a little red meat to my liberal commentors - I think Bush's fiscal policy is an abomination. Not because of the deficits, and not because of the tax cuts, but merely for his penchant for spending. Ditto for the Congress. Ten years ago we were talking about eliminating the Department of Education; now it's bigger than ever.

Yeah Hatcher, weigh in on the national scene: Red Sox or White Sox? MORE SPORTS

You gotta go with the White Sox. The over-exposure of the "Idiots" after last year has me hating them nearly as much as I hate the Yanks. I fear this year will be the Yanks year. They have a lot of clutch players on that team playing well, and you can only deny them their rings for so long. I was amused, however, when A-Rod was pissed off after Texas pulled their starters early in the last game of the season in a move that led to the Angels getting homefield advantage. He said it violated some code of honor or some such absurdity; the poor Yanks, with their $200 million payroll, need help from the Rangers, who A-Rod milked for several years. So win your World Series, you losers. I think I'll go buy some shares on Tradesports right now (trading at $20, even with the White Sox, and $6 less than the Cards). The Cards pitching is a house of cards, and the White Sox are the White Sox. Easy money.

The legal separation of Kobe and Phil Jackson is officially over with NBA camps starting this week, and somewhere in LA there is a very happy psychiatrist keeping a seat on the couch open for the Zen Master. Now we'll see the value of Phil Jackson - taking a team that couldn't make the playoffs last year. Getting into the playoffs won't be enough to prove anything - they were close last year. Likewise, winning 1 series would make him a good coach. But Zen Master status would have to be revoked if he doesn't go to the third round of the playoffs.

Make sure to watch ESPN tonight airing a movie on Roger Bannister's breaking of the 4 minute mile at 7 pm EST. 4 minutes was thought to be a strict biological limit at the time, perhaps because of the symmetry of it - 4 laps needing to each be completed in exactly 1 minute. Now of course it is old hat; my guess is that some or several alums of my high school, which boasted an excellent cross-country team, have done it by now. Incredible Dirigible - can you confirm this?

One thing I do know for sure is that the Anonymous Chartreuse Alcoholic hasn't broken the four minute barrier.


Anonymous Jado said...

Your reasoning on the assisted-suicide conundrum is some of the most clear, simple, and adroit reasoning I have ever read on the subject.

Being a natural misanthrope, I had previously been in favor of the concept (fewer people = more of everything for me, less idiots to deal with, and an improved gene pool due to the removal of people who think that suicide is a viable option), but the thought of a business with advertising and pressure salesmen is enough to turn me around.

Congratulations. Your arguments have succeeded in changing the mind of one of your readers.

I recommend that you print this comment out and hang it on your fridge as proof positive that Dad is a "genius" as well.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

I set the VCR to tape "Four Minutes". It's on tonight at 7pm & 9pm on ESPN2.

The only Paul VI graduate to crack the four-minute barrier is Joe Wolfram, but it was unofficial since it was a split during this year's Run for Tony.

There are no other sub-4 Paul VI graduates to my knowledge.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Professor Vic said...

I am not quite as enamoured of Hatch's reasoning about assisted suicide as Jado. As Hatch notes, "If today we make it a "right," tomorrow it will be a business, and the next day it will be a duty owed by the old and infirmed to their families."

I buy the move from right to business but not the move from business to duty. I mean, following the repeal of prohibition, certainly all sorts of businesses, from seedy bars to Carthusian Monks producing Chartreuse, have risen up to allow me to exercise my right. However, I am not sure I have generally felt it is my duty to drink. (Of course, I didn't go to Lehigh...)

In fact, if the country continues on with private medical insurance as Hatch would surely advocate, the medical profession has every incentive to keep people alive as long as possible. There's certainly a lot more profit in keeping a brain-dead Terry Shiavo alive for 10 years than in selling somebody a 25 cent overdose of morphine.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Hatcher said...

From what I've read, there is social pressure of this nature in the Netherlands, where assisted suicide is legal. Arguably the same is true for abortion here, where many women are advised it is the responsible choice.

And sure, skilled doctors won't see this service as something they want to get into (as is true for abortion, which generally has some of the least skilled doctors), but there are enough would be Kevorkians out there who can't make a buck in more skilled ways, and who get a kick out of this sort of thing. It is not a matter of a doctor giving up his heart surgery practice in favor of selling morphine. It is competition from the hacks who cannot otherwise make a buck in medicine.

And don't forget that in many cases there will be a willing buyer - the family with the financial burden (Michael Schiavo, for example), who will be only to willing to exert pressure to do the responsible thing. That's what distinguishes this issue - no one would ever argue that you are being selfish by not drinking to excess (except at Lehigh, where such behavior is anti-social), but clearly on this issue that will be the case.

Lastly, F-A-R-M! Back off, Professor Vic!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Kolb Barrett said...

Jado, Hatcher, same person

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no opinions about anything Hatch posted, and I never broke the four minute mile. I was and continue to be, too drunk on Chartreuse.

By the way, check the stats. Even in the steroid age of track and field, breaking the four minute mile is still a world class accomplishment; not "old hat" as the Hatcher states.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

True, it's not "old hat" to run the mile in under four minutes; however, I've read that the year after Bannister did it, 36 guys did it, & after that, over 300 guys did it! But my source could be wrong.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Jado said...

"Kolb Barrett said...

Jado, Hatcher, same person "

I think Hatcher will agree that you have succeeded in simultaneously insulting both of us.

I am very close to Hatcher, but we differ in many ways, not the least of which is body weight and admiration for running long distances quickly.

I own a car, so the ability to travel one mile in less than 4 minutes just means that I have shifted my car out of park.

Also, I am an Independent politically, as the Democrats make me sad with their general incompetence and belief that everyone should be "protected", and the Republicans make me angry with their willingness to trade the future for money now.

Besides, Hatcher doesn't have a beard. Everyone knows that truly intelligent men all have beards.


8:19 AM  
Blogger Hatcher said...


Don't take it as an insult; the KolbBarrett refers to an inside joke, and the comment is meant only to convey the sentiment that only I would write a comment that flattering in regard to anything I write.

I know only 2 people with beards - one always posts as JimO, so Jado must be Bob Rebelien. Correct? If not, my apologies. And by the way, really smart people are balding; sometimes they grow beards to compensate, leading to spurious inferences of causation between the beard and the intelligence. If you were balding, you wouldn't make that mistake. (Though I cannot explain your ability to spell F-A-R-M).

8:45 AM  

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