Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Life Could Be Worse

At least students at the US Universities aren't forming fraternity gangs that intimidate, assault, and harrass faculty.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Subtle Racism: Can Repulicans be Proud?

I've respected John McCain for a long time. I said as late as June that I could see myself voting for him, depending on what the alternatives are. But it saddens me to hear the subtle influence of the Karl Rove "How Racist Can We Be Without Putting too Many White People Off?" campaign strategy. The warmup, Joe Lieberman:

Not too bad, now Mitt Romney:

Now, Chris Rock recycling some of his comedy for the topic:

McCain supporters and doners: Tell your candidate this not the honorable campaign we expect and that this insults our intelligence.

Mission Accomplished, Part Duh

The Murdoch Street Journal published and article that once again declares victory: "The War in Iraq is Over. We've Won," reports Bret Stephens. Bold. What does that mean John McCain will do for the next hundred years?

My if it takes more than 100 words to prove victory, then you probably ain't won yet, but he bases the decision on the fact that Francis Fukuyama conceded a bet about whether Iraq would still be "a mess" five years after the war started in 2003. In my book, a country that can't stand on it's own without 100,000+ foreign troops occupying it as peacekeepers qualifies as a mess, and few would argue that it wasn't a mess in March at the date of the 5-year anniversary.

But that's neither here nor there. This is the key point Mr. Fukuyama points out that trumps the current conditions on the ground: "We've spent a trillion or so dollars, 30,000 dead or wounded, a large loss in international influence and prestige, all for the sake of disarming a country with no WMDs." Where is the margin indeed? Few dispute the tangential benefits that have been realized by giving Saddam the boot, but those benefits weren't the main reason for entering. I, along with others including Mr. Fukuyama, have said from the start that regardless of your personal views about the war, it was never giving the American Taxpayer the most bang for it's military spending buck in the socalled "war on terror."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gains from Trade and why Favre won't get Traded

Gains from trade occur when one side has different endowments or preferences that make exchanges mutually beneficial. For a Brett Favre trade to happen 3 parties have to all be satisfied: GB has to get talent without helping its division and conference rivals, Farve wants to find a team with a legit shot, and the team he goes to has to have QB needs. Most trades only satisfy 2 of these parties, and that's why economics gets so difficult when there are more than two parties have veto power to a transaction.

Which contenders need a QB? The Giants, Pats, Cowboys, Chargers, Seahawks, Colts and Steelers all have stars in the position. The Jags are solid, leaving the Bucs and Skins as the only possibilities from last year's playoff teams. The Titans, Saints, Rams, and Panthers don't seem to be itching to make a QB change either. Bears fans would rather go 0-16 than see "Number Four" wearing GSH on his sleeve. Would the Pack really help the Vikes or Bucs to fill their biggest holes? The only teams left are a handful of AFC teams with little or no chance of making the Playoffs let alone the big piece of dinnerware at the end (I include my beloved Chefs in that lot). So sit back and enjoy the drama, NFL fans.

Gots to Get Paid

I knew the man was stickin it to me!

Or, maybe writers (like people with "real" writing jobs for mags & papers) get something out of blogging. Blogs aren't necessarily as scrutinized for length or content, so writers can say more and be more blunt in blogs than they would in their more formal editorial and analytical writing.