under $250- ish
and if it could play games that would be uber-sweet
Red- "The Iraq war benefits everybody"Ok, we agree that the Iraq war should be carried out to the end and that it's rationale was spotty at best. It seems to me that the main difference between myself (I won't speak for the others on my side) is best illustrated in this question to me from J. Morgan.
Blue-"But Bush lied to us to lead us into it in the first place"
Red- "Yeah that sucks, but the Iraq War totally benefits everybody."
Blue- "Yeah, that's great, but Bush totally lied to us to lead us into it in the first place"
Red- "Yeah that sucks, but the Iraq War totally benefits everybody."
Blue- "Yeah, that's great, but Bush totally lied to us to lead us into it in the first place." etc...
"It should matter to you that the administration made a huge effort to construe spotty, irrelevant, and inconclusive evidence as complete certainty. It should also matter to you that they were wrong. Why doesn't it? Why doesn't that stir some moral outrage?"After mulling it over quite some time (by mulling it over I mean not really thinking about it except when blogging) I had an epiphany. The reason that this fails to stir some kind of moral outrage or really even affect me at all is this: I believe that I already had some a priori belief that taking out Saddam and instituting a pro-US democracy style government was a good idea based on those merits alone. Call it manifest destiny and label me an imperialist, but I'm really not opposed to the idea of spreading American influence for the goal of spreading American influence. I'm not in any way advocating colonialism or even comparing us to a Biblical Israel out to inhabit a global Canaan, but I really don't care about the rationale for taking down some anti-US government and putting up a pro-US one in its place, I think that goal is rationale in itself.
A quick glimpse at the title screen prepares you for all out boxing mayhem against the most diverse and increasingly deadly collection of breakfast foodstuffs on either side of the Mississippi. Time to grab your ass-kicking gloves and notify your next of kin...
Fight #1: The first step towared glory comes against Ray Zinbran, who appears to be a giant, yellow bowl of soggy cereal with an axe to grind. Standard equipment is a giant spoon, which he saves for slinging fibery projectiles at you from across the ring in his special move, "Raging Bowl." You (from here on referred to as Lil Mac) better have brought your A game...
... or at least your c game. Ray Zinbran is the typical first round patsy who fights like I assume his namesake would, Ray Charles. Strategy isn't required for this fight, as Lil Mac need only throw punch after punch through Ray Zinbran's pourous defences. However, even while knocked out, Ray realizes that Lil Mac has the potential to bring down the corrupt morning heirarchy and urges Mac not to obsess over his end, but to keep on fighting.
Fight #2: The next step is to take on a breakfast staple so evil that even the homeless will refuse to accept the stumps. Don't let his hobbies fool you, next on the list was "Rip your face off" followed by "Take your mother out to a nice seafood dinner and NEVER call her again." When things get tough, Moe will fall back to the dreaded "Muffinheadbutt" and knock you into next week unless you can preempt him with Lil Mac's Coup De Grace, "The Frusionator"- a devestating blow that will cut through any defences...
... including those offered by Moe Finntop, who crumples, er.... crumbles into the corner and dreams of ponies. Lil Mac is halfway to his goal...
Fight #3: Mac's toughest to date. Dave "A sausage, egg and cheese sandwich" Jenkins is every bit as deadly as the ones you get from McDonald's- with an attitude to match that off the person in the drive-thru. His special move, the aptly titled "Burpscreen", involves emitting a noxious green cloud and throwing a withering barrage of punches through the fog. Only fast feet and fast thinking can keep Mac out of the way of such an onslaught and balls of steel to be able to counter immediately after...
"I've got a problem, and the only prescription is more Fusionator"
...ending the tyrannical reign of Mr. Jenkins and setting Mac up with the final fight against the only Jewish boxer left since the retirement of "Elliot" Butterbean to appraise jewelry in South Florida.
Fight #4: "Papi" C. Debagel- the pinnacle of breakfast. The gaping hole in his chest only serves to remind Mac that he has no soul. "Papi" is on top of the boxing world for a reason, an unlimited array of death dealing moves, inexhaustible energy, and a special move learned from Hemingway on the banks of Lake Michigan that results in an automatic knockdown for Lil Mac- "The Dough Also Rises." Not even God can save Lil Mac now...
"Has any country ever started an unjust war? If so, how do you oppose it while still supporting the armed forces? I asked redhurt once whether or not it would be courageous for a Soviet soldier in 1979 to have laid down his arms and refused to invade Afghanistan (the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan being one of the most illogical, bloodthirsty and power-driven conflicts I can think of in recent years.) I say YES. There's the classic debate about following orders, but if your commander orders you to go into a village and rape all the women, you say no, sir. So when do we say no sir to Bush?"I'll go through it point by point, artfully dodging where I can't answer.
"The show last night was also not fair and balanced. To see all the wives being interviewed who had not lost their husbands and to hear what "hard work" it is to be left behind when their husbands are at war. How hard to you think it is to have a child killed in an illegal and immoral war? In this "wonderful" group of families left behind, we had exactly ONE of the wives call us..she is Diane Rose who was my son's Colonel, Frank Rose's wife. The last time we heard from Diane was in October and we feel we have been left behind by anyone connected to the 2-5 Cavalry. Is support only given if your loved one stays alive? One wife was quoted as saying that Sundays were the hardest for the families left behind. My son was killed on Palm Sunday last year..how does anybody think Sundays are for my family?"Hmmm... maybe the rest of the ol' duece five families don't want their grief used as political ammunition or just can't stand the "my pains hurts worse than yours" attitude. Oh wait, I forgot- that's how she gets more "moral authority" than the rest. Seriously, why would Palm Sunday make any difference? Moving on...
"A distraught father who lost his son was shown telling how much his life was so adversely affected. Why wasn't a mother (like me) who has been an outspoken critic of this war and of the President's policies interviewed for this piece? Why wasn't I given a chance to talk about 04/04/04 and the series of lies, mistakes and miscalculations that led to my precious oldest child's death??"She may as well be Ben Affleck... "Why doesn't anyone come to my movies? I have as much talent as Matt Damon..." Someone should tell her that the History Channel is more likely to buy her conspiracy theories, or at least Gore TV. I'll skip ahead in the letter to keep this post from dragging...
"Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11."Apparently, Cindy Sheehan is reporting that this paragraph of her letter has been tampered with online. Which makes total sense because she hasn't ever said anything like that before...
"Although military recruiting has clearly suffered over the past year as a result of the unrelenting propaganda campaign against the Iraq War by the MSM, reenlistments by deployed troops have never been so robust. I don't think that Selective Reenlistment Bonus’ can explain this “phenomenon” since most of the troops that are re-upping are not eligible for them. I do not know what Casey Sheehan’s reason was for reenlisting, but since he was certain that he would be deploying to Iraq it seems reasonable to assume that the instinct to fight for his Nation was something that Casey felt deeply. That he answered his Nation’s call to service with the sacrifice of his life indicates to me that he is worthy of honor and gratitude from his fellow citizens and especially his family.Since the left has postured Cindy Sheehan's views as especially relevant because of her position as the mother of a fallen soldier- "the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute." (Maureen Dowd)- clearly showing their willingness to exploit the military for political gain. I don't want this to seem like I'm playing the "dems hate the military card" but I think it is valid in this case. How else could you ignore the "moral authority" of those who give their life for a cause they believe in?
For that reason, I believe that his mother’s very public effort to steal his honor is one of the most despicable acts that can be perpetrated by a family member of the fallen. Nothing would bring me greater shame than to know that my own mother was using the willful sacrifice of my very life as an opportunity to garner public attention for the belief that my life was wasted. I am utterly disgusted by a woman, her loss notwithstanding that would allow her son’s enemies and those of the Nation he died to defend to profit from his death. Her self centered actions have created what amounts to a pack of hungry hyenas fighting over the corpse of her fallen son. The honor and respect that Casey is entitled to is being torn apart by the likes of Moveon.org, Michael Moore, Code Pink, the Kossacks, and the MSM anti-war establishment for the whole world to see.
Casey, as a brother warrior, I bid you rest and pray that you have not seen what your mother has wrought. RIP."
"WHAT lies ahead now in Iraq instead is not victory, which Mr. Bush has never clearly defined anyway, but an exit (or triage) strategy that may echo Johnson's March 1968 plan for retreat from Vietnam: some kind of negotiations (in this case, with Sunni elements of the insurgency), followed by more inflated claims about the readiness of the local troops-in-training, whom we'll then throw to the wolves. Such an outcome may lead to even greater disaster, but this administration long ago squandered the credibility needed to make the difficult case that more human and financial resources might prevent Iraq from continuing its descent into civil war and its devolution into jihad central."So what side is he on? Should we stay there and circumvent "jihad central" or leave and circumvent "distraught parents outside the ranch" central?
"Bush, an evil, elitist caucasian, took us to war when he shouldn't have, exploiting and causing the death of thousands of poor, urban youth so that he could gleefully listen to the tears of their mothers outside his ranch. In light of this, we, along with the majority of the population, are demanding that we pull out immediately. However, if he does (which he can't because he is too busy taking vacation and ignoring the rights of Iraqi women), we are also prepared to demand that he stay to protect those Iraqis not loyal to caliphate, so that our position of "whatever Bush does is wrong" is well protected and no cracks will appear in our impenetrable, reactionary fortress."Yup- that's basically it. I just saved you the hassle of reading the op-ed page for the next three months. Also, for the most unintenionally ironic blog on the web, visit here. Easily the funniest thing I read today.
"The Bell Curve (Hernstein & Murray) is a sociological analysis of stratification. The argument is that intelligence, as measured by a series of psychometrics, is a) largely a product of genetics, b) correlated with, among other things, race, and c) the single most significant factor in determining one's position in a stratified society." -J.Morgan
First- I'd like to thank J. Morgan taking the time to put together a pretty good summary on The Bell Curve and some of its problematic areas. (Read 1st Comment)
However, even though there are some reasons why the book is not as definitive as the authors intended, I don't think that we should "throw the baby out with bathwater". I think that a few of the points made in the book deserve some consideration and are not wholly without merit- provided that you believe intelligence varies between individuals and is at least partially heridatable.
I'll totally finish this post later- I have to run to Port St. Lucie to check out MATT.
First- let me quote the summary found in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Stephen Pinker.
"Herrnstein's argument, he was the first to point out, should have been banal. He wrote that as social status becomes less strongly determined by arbitrary legacies such as race, parentage, and inherited wealth, it will become more strongly determined by talent, especially (in a modern economy) intelligence. Since differences in intelligence are partly inherited, and since intelligent people tend to marry other intelligent people, when a society becomes more just it will also become more stratified along genetic lines. Smarter people will tend to float into the higher strat, and their children will tend to stay there. The basic argument should be banal because it is based on a mathematical necessity: as the proportion of variance in social status caused by nongenetic factors goes down, the proportion caused by genetic factors has to go up. It could be completely false only if there were no variation in social status based on intellectual talent (which would require that people not preferentially hire and trade with the talented) or if there were no genetic variation in intelligence."
This J. Morgan- is the baby. I think we can safely assume that is this theory holds true because of my anecdotal example A) I'd rather blargue (arguing through blogs- go ahead and use that, I just made it up) with all of you (a trade of ideas) than Paris Hilton, who common sense stipulates is a certifiable idiot and B) if height, weight, disease, and athletic ability are partially heridatable, it would totally illogical that intelligence isn't. If anyone reading this believes that intelligence is merely a factor of environment, I believe that you are sadly mistaken- but I would be interested to hear your argument.
In the second point J. Morgan made as to the unreliability of the book, he stipulates that
"The most convincing critique to me, although the most hotly debated, is that the AFQT does not accurately measure intelligence. This is the major source for data for Hernstein & Murray and, if these criticisms are accurate, it pretty much means that they have no meaningful data. The larger context of this debate is whether or not intelligence is a measurable quality in the first place. Most recent research, as I understand it, indicates that there is absolutely no reliable way to measure, or even define intelligence. Everything from IQ tests to SATS are pretty much bunk in this view."Let me define intelligence as "the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge" and the "faculty of thought and reason" (Dictionary.com) and I'll agree with you on the fact that neither IQ tests nor SATS are a perfect measure of intelligence, HOWEVER I will defend to the death (or at least the threat of death) the concept that these tests reflect intelligence, i.e. that more intelligent people tend to perform more successfully on these tests. Intelligence may or may not be a measurable quantity- but it is observable indirectly, and our society is structured around this in regards to the college and job application process. (Note: I'm disregarding professions that involve virtually no technical knowledge or ability such as being a golf professional- where success depends on connections, people skills, and as I've found here in the south from a few of our old white members who objected to me giving a golf lesson to a Rastafarian, your ethnicity) This notion I felt was covered adequately in The Bell Curve and I'll quote:
"Spearman noted that as the data from many different mental tests were accumulating, a curious result kept turning up: If the same group of people took two different mental tests, anyone who did well (or poorly) on one test tended to do similarly well (or poorly) on the other... This outcome did not seem to depend on the specific content of the tests. As long as the tests involved cognitive skills of one sort or another, the positive correlations appeared. Furthermore, individual items within tests showed positive correlations as well. If there was any correlation at all between a pair of items, a person who got one of them right tended to get the other one right, and vice versa for those who got it wrong. In fact, the pattern was stronger than that. It turned out to be nearly impossible to devise items that plausibly measured some cognitive skill and were not positively correlated with other items that plausibly measured some cognitive skill, however disparate the pair of skills might appear to be."If anything, I think that acknowledging this view of intelligence means there is a greater need to restructure our society to avoid the eventual Aldus Huxley like conclusion.
"Political leadership is the act of saying where our country can get to in the future. For the Republicans, the future is pure win-lose. To the Democrats, the goal is a future where everyone prospers. Unfortunately, they haven't figured out the "values" for getting there.
This clash of worldviews is at the heart of today's struggle. And the Democrats are traumatized by the "take no prisoners" aspect of the Republicans' goal.
Until the Democrats declare the Republican worldview to be obsolete and offer a clear plan for getting to the future they know in their hearts we can get to, the Republicans will beat them in every election to come."
"Although writers and political pundits never tire of deriding the Democratic Party for its failure in 2004, it is for some reason verboten to place the blame where it properly belongs: the American people."
If anyone can explain to me why apparently I believe the future is "pure win-lose" or what that entails, why the Republican worldview is obsolete when demographics are trending Republican, or why we should blame the American people for not voting Democratic- by all means do so.