Monday, November 06, 2006

Racist Goldfish

Bill and Joe got two goldfish a couple weeks ago, and within 10 days Bill's fish had effectively starved Joe's by hogging all of the flakes. Joe's fish goes belly-up, and we return to the store to get him another one. Joe doesn't want the typical little orange goldfish - he wants something a little different. We're at Petsmart, and luckily for me each bin of fish has a little card telling you whether the care of the fish can be achieved by a beginner, so we focus on that section. Joe wants the Black Moor Goldfish, which is black as night with big bulgy eyes; at $5, it is considerably more expensive than the $0.25 run of the mill goldfish, but there is a two week life guarantee on the more expensive fish, so I'm OK with it. The guy who is helping us out is black, and he asks Joey which particular fish he would like. Joey shrugs as if to say they all look alike to me, and says any one will do. I am sitting there cringing with white guilt at the implied insensitivity up the evolutionary chain expressed by Joe, and the guy just laughs and scoops up the first lucky Black Moor goldfish. I suggest Othello as the name, but Joe goes with Bulgy because of its eyes. We get home and place our $5 Moor in the tank with our 25 cent goldfish (Ego - don't ask), and Ego will have none of the Moor - he swims to a corner and avoids Bulgy at all costs. So now I can't invite any liberals over to the house because of my racist goldfish.

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I'm betting about a zillion dollars on Tradesports to win a nickel when the Democrats take over the House of Representatives tomorrow night. I couldn't believe how high the odds were - the bet is about $8 to win $10 if the Democrats take over. And what a welcome take over it will be, given their well thought out and expressed agenda. As far as I can tell, their agin whatever George Bush is for. If W takes his crap in the morning, well the Dems are for taking it in the evening. Very nuanced. Like him or hate him, at least Gingrich put together an actual agenda for the 1994 elections that most every running Republican signed onto, so you knew what you were getting.

Do you know what you're getting tomorrow? I'll tell what you're getting - at least among incumbent Democrats, if you re-elect 'em your either getting someone who voted every incremental step along the way for regime change in Iraq (policy of the country from the Clinton years) to bombing the bejesus out of Baghdad because they were popular notions at the time, or you're getting some nutbag whose reflexive pacificism would have him "bombing" a murderous thug who just killed his whole family with hugs, trying to get at the root understanding of why the assailant hates him.

All, of course, think George Bush is the dumbest guy walking. Which is OK for the pacifists to think, as far as I'm concerned, but for the rest of the incumbent rocket scientists, who to a man distance themselves from their own responsibility in voting for Iraq on the basis that they were duped by the most idiotic President the world has ever known, you have to ask yourself: do I really want to entrust these guys when they've been repeatedly fooled by a moron who they hated in the first place? Can you imagine these guys negotiating with Kim Il-Jong, who in their view ideologically has his heart in the right place (as do all murderous totalitarian commies)and is probably pretty smart? Why, they'd probably just sign some absurd treaty that would only hasten the North Koreans getting nukes, make pronouncements about how reasonable and intelligent Kim is, and pat themselves on the back in the process for keeping the world safe.

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And can someone please point out that the Democratic talking point that iraq has been a distraction from the war on terror is perhaps the most idiotic thing ever said in a campaign? Where do they think terrorist attacks are taking place on a daily basis, with American people and assets often as the primary target? It aint happening here, that's for sure. We clearly have many brave Iraqis who are allies in the war on terror, and who will continue to be targets if we leave - so this is the message we send to allies in the war on terror - we're right behind you until the terrorist fight back, at which time we have to stop being distracted from the war on terror and pull out as fast as possible and redeploy our troops to Germany, where we really have a terrorism problem. Look, if we pull out before the Iraqis can defend themselves, we just lost the war on terror, it's that simple - everyone will know that once we reach a three year point of steady (but historically low) losses of life, with the NYT and the rest of the media painting every day as a disaster with no upside, we'll wise up and leave. You can argue about whether it was the right move in the first place, but to suggest that the Iraqi front has nothing to do with the war on terror is truly a talking point worthy of the Pelosi's of the world. No wonder every terrorist organization in the world is looking forward to the election tomorrow with the glee of Howard Dean.

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The Sixers are 3-0, on their way to a perfect season. If you don't think so, I can assure you that Vegas Heavy-T will take the other side of that bet. Meanwhile in college football, Louisville is poised for the national championship game, provided they can get past perrennial powerhouse Rutgers. I'm all for it - people who say that if Michigan-Ohio State is a close game, it should replayed for the national championship are wrong. Both will have their chance at each other, and if the loser of the first match-up were to win the second, while Louisville goes unbeaten, why would the second winner have the claim over the winner of the first game, let alone over Louisville? College football has always been screwed up by the notion that in a world of 1 loss teams, the team with their loss most distant in the past is the winner. It's a stupid way to judge performance across a whole season, which is necessary when there are no formal playoffs. Let the two best undefeateds play for the championship, and anyway who wines about can have their loss thrown in their face.

12 Comments:

Blogger pbryon said...

I'm guessing that you'll tell me, since I take your bait most of the time, but what's wrong with being for an increased minimum wage, stem cell research funding, decreased lobbyist influence, enacting the 9/11 commission recommendations, and paying for things as you spend?

These are the things called for in the Dems "first 100 hours" plan, and as far as I know, the majority of Americans support them. Isn't that what representative government is about?

Unfortunately, Korver can't keep shooting like he has. He'll have to have at least a few bad nights. Sixers will go 79-3.

Perhaps you should build a wall in the tank. Ego probably thinks Bulgy is an illegal immigrant.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Hatcher said...

You guessed right:
1) minimum wage - no brainer dumb idea, and any economist will tell you that it hurts the people it intends to help (it incentivizes dropping out of high school, and also draws in competing works (picture the elderly in McDonalds) who are preferred to minority drop-outs).

2) Stem cell research - all of a sudden the Democrats are worried that big Pharma is not getting enough of a handout? Plenty of private incentives to spend on this, and plenty of private money flowing into the more promising areas of umbilical cord stem cell and adult stem cell research.

3) Decreased lobbyist influence - endemic to the system when one small group of people has a huge power of the purse. Do you really think it's going to be reduced? Do you really think it is an exclusive Republican problem?

4) 9/11 commission recommendations - great, so you want to vote in the party that voted against the Patriot Act, which even Janet Reno said was the most important aspect of our defense, because they'll put into place recommendations at the margin, as long as they don't include tapping the phones of someone talking to AlQueda in Pakistan on a daily basis. I feel safer.

5) Paying for things as you spend - there is another part of the equation, and that is how much you choose to spend. Eventually you pay for everything you spend - so my preference is for them to spend less.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Professor Vic said...

I fully agree that the Dems have no good plan for Iraq. That, of course, is because the utter incompetence with which the war on terroism has been waged in over the past four years has led to a situation where there are no good plans available.

However, I quote the First Rule of Holes, "When you are in one, stop digging." Applied to Iraq that means the first thing you do is fire everyone involved with screwing things up so far and see what happens.

Like a large number of Americans, I was moderately in favor of the war in the beginning (or at least not strongly opposed.) While I was happy to take one side and argue against going into Iraq with Hatch just for the fun of debate, in my classes, I generally spoke in favor of going to war in order to at least temper some of the overwhelming anti-war ideas going around campus at the time.

The absolute inability of the administration to do anything right (both from a practical and an ethical point of view) since that point now makes me strongly anti-Bush, and like many Americans, I will register my disgust for the administration's actions by voting for the person tomorrow who is most likely to vote against whatever Bush wants to do.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Professor Vic said...

A few comments to Hatch:

1) minimum wage - no brainer dumb idea, and any economist will tell you that it hurts the people it intends to help.

Hatch needs to keep up with the literature. Most current economic research suggests that minimum wages have only small effects on unemployment among the working poor while potentially having large positive benefits in terms of increased wages. While other programs such as the EIC (which Republicans also generally oppose) are likely to be more beneficial to the working poor and more economically efficient, sometimes you fight the battle you can win.

2) Stem cell research

If Hatch favors government spending through the NSF for basic research, I presume he should want to support the research that gets the most bang for the buck. If umbilical cord stem cell and adult stem cell research are truly more promising, the government shouldn't need to ban funding for stem-cell research as no scientist should be investigating anything down those lines anyway.

3) Decreased lobbyist influence -

This is certainly not exclusively a Republican problem, but based on Hatch's reasoning, he should support a government where different parties control the Presidency, House, and Senate in order to reduce corruption. He should favor a move to a Democratic House or House/Senate.

4) 9/11 commission recommendations - as long as they don't include tapping the phones of someone talking to AlQueda in Pakistan on a daily basis.

This is one of the great lies propagated by the Republicans. I challenge Hatch to find any Democrat who opposes listening in on terrorists. Lots of Democrats (and Republicans/Libertarians) oppose an unlimited ability of the administration to wiretap anyone they choose. Exactly what does Hatch have against the police just getting warrants?

5) Paying for things as you spend - my preference is for them to spend less.

Yeah, the Republicans under Bush have done a great job reigning in spending. In fact, a quick examination of government spending shows that spending increases about twice as fast if the same party controls both the executive and legislature than if power is split. Again, by Hatch's own argument, he should favor power passing to Democrats in the House and/or Sentate.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Professor Vic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Jim O said...

I'm voting against the GOP because I don't think they have done ENOUGH to fight the war on terror, especially in Iraq. Maybe under the Dems we will be attacked again, and everyone will get serious about obliterating this lunacy. It's a sucky plan to have, I know, but it's the only one I see. The GOP doesn't want to fight the fight because it's too expensive, and we can do it cheaper with private-sector contractors. The Dems don't want to fight the fight cause it hurts people and we get called names by the Europeans.

Maybe if another building gets hit, the government can finally get down to business, without handwringing (DEMS) and ledger sheets (GOP). You whining little pansies. Do the damn job. If my brothers have to go back to that god-forsaken hellhole again, cause you jackasses couldn't or wouldn't do the job the first time, I'm gonna start my own jihad.

12:06 PM  
Blogger pbryon said...

But would the Dems have Bush and the Republicans in a political hard spot with any or all of these issues? Could, for example, Bush veto a bill that would increase the minimum wage? Not everyone is as experienced as Hatcher and Vic when it comes to the economic nuances of an increased minimum wage.

Oh, and I forgot the one other thing on the 100 hours agenda--giving Big Pharma less control over prices in the new prescription drug plan.

Don't forget to vote for Webb, Jack!

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to reduce the influence of lobbyists, Bush, and other costs? The answer is to vote for a dramatically reduced government. The Democrats don't get it because they continue to insist that everybody else needs to pay for their cause. The Republicans have deviated from the man who made them most recently great (Reagan) and are spending too much as well on wars. Nevertheless, everyone seems to agree that reducing government is best. No one is going to get their way and have their cause paid for, so do what you have a right to do: raise the money yourself. The best bet amongst the two parties is Republican only because at least the platform says "reduce government size". However, both deserve to be relgated to hell. Vote Libertarian.

8:13 PM  
Blogger pbryon said...

For what its worth, Anonymous, I did vote Libertarian in all the races except the real close ones, where I voted Dem.

That's my usual M.O.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Pulvarizer said...

This notion that Iraq is the central front on the war on terror, and thereby used by the Administration as the du jour justification for the war is ridiculous. Iraq would not be a hot bed for terrorism if it wasn’t for our unnecessary invasion. By this reasoning, we could justify invading any predominately Muslim country as long as we faced significant resistance, labeled “terrorism” by the Bush Administration. That argument presents a serious moral hazard in my opinion, and shows the callous and flawed logic of the Bush Administration.

This argument is similar to one we hear the Bush Administration asserting, that is, the Iraq war is justified and righteous because we are taking the war to the terrorists, and therefore keeping the war from the U.S. homeland. But shouldn’t we have asked the innocent Iraqis civilians first if it was ok with them if we imported a vicious and brutal war onto their streets, homes, and businesses, where none existed before we arrived? The Bush Administration has said time and time again that one of the primary reasons for going to war in Iraq was for humanitarian purposes, to free the oppressed and persecuted Iraqi civilians from a dictator. However, we thoughtlessly replaced the relative, albeit repressive, peace they once knew with a brutal and vicious civil war that claims the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians every day. Its sheer hypocrisy to say the neo-cons and the Bush Administration give a damn about the average Iraqi, when so many are dying each day because we imported a war they never asked for, and didn’t need to be fought in Iraq.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone justify the war in Iraq against the uncertainty in Afghanistan?
Again:
THERE IS NO AND NEVER HAS BEEN ANY LINK BETWEEN SADDAM AND AL QAIDA.
On the other hand, the representative democracy (if we can even call it that) in Afghanistan is holding on by a thread.
Basically, the regime that allowed the training camps and harbors Osama is kind of in power in the hinterlands to this day.
What the hell happened to taking the fight to the terrorists?
Oh yeah, have to sacrifice 2,800 to get revenge for Daddy.
Who knows, with the changes in the house, maybe congress will again begin to live up to its responsibilities - Oversight and Advice.
We all know that the Repub controls have been really effective at that...............

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What!!??!! There was an election? I must have missed it. That was one hell of a Chartreuse bender.

4:25 AM  

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