March 30, 2006

Howdy!

Hello Comrades! Ooops! Hello fellow bloggers. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Trip Segars. I was invited to participate by JK with whom I've worked and played hockey with in the past. JohnGalt is another ex-Mambo King (our hockey team). I'm exposing my true identity as insurance - if I am ever so foolish as to run for office, I'm hoping that I will be confronted with my posts here and forced to withdraw from the Political Correctness Czar contest. I'm forty-one, have a six year old son, and am divorced but getting married in June. I work as a software developer.

My moniker is LatteSipper because latte-sipping, Volvo-driving, sushi-eating liberal takes too long to type. I'm a liberal (if you haven't figured it out yet) and wonder why the richest nation in the world chooses a military budget that dwarfs that of the rest of the world yet trails much of the developed world in areas such as poverty and infant mortality. I do believe that government can be used as a tool to improve the general quality of life and standard of living, but agree with Silence Dogood that many of our social programs are inefficient or don't produce results at all. The same could be said of our military expenditures, agriculture subsidies, tax loopholes; the list goes on and on. I do not, however, believe that simply shrinking the government is the answer. I think a new approach is called for, one that involves evaluation of what our collective, national priorities are and evaluating which investments, if any, move us towards our goals. It would require wiping the slate clean and starting anew, with no guarantees for any special interest groups, neither welfare mothers, retirees, farmers, CEOs, defense contractors or our elected representatives. Perhaps I am flailing at windmills, but I am not yet so pessimistic or cynical to believe that things can't change for the better.

I've come here on JK's recommendation looking for good discussion and hoping to challenge my beliefs and broaden my understanding ... and to find out if Dick Cheney really is a baby-eating cyborg. Cheers!

From the other side Posted by LatteSipper at March 30, 2006 4:10 PM

There goes the neighborhood.

I have long sought to recruit a left-of-center blogger, and Trip fills the bill. He's way left and sharply critical of the administration, yet I have always found him to be an honest interlocutor. In addition, he is an informed individual from whom you'll hear more than bumper-stickers and bromides.

A bit of a break from our internecine disagreements, but It should be fun. We'll get to your Socialist, failed agenda in later posts, Trip -- but welcome aboard.

Posted by: jk at March 30, 2006 4:52 PM

Nope. Can't wait. The "richest nation in the world" is the richest precisely because we have allowed individuals to prosper unimpeded for most of our history.

There is a clear, Constitutional purview to defend ourselves collectively. Military spending, by free people with votes to choose the level of support for a civilian-headed military is a very good thing. Protecting our way of life is a very good thing.

These nations we trail in your stats all seem to be full of people trying everything to get here -- nothing is more popular than American poverty. The infant mortality stat is the most specious and bogus argument since boasts of Castro’s free health care. Our rate is higher because we attempt to save sub-two pound infants who are months premature as a standard practice. Those who exceed us all inflate their numbers by allowing more babies to die. If you don't try to save it, it doesn't go against your average. I have never once struck out in a major league baseball game. Ever.

The trouble with your government spending for good is that government has no money. They spend our money and, with microscopic exceptions, we can always spend it better.

Posted by: jk at March 30, 2006 5:49 PM

I suddenly feel less outnumbered, a great big welcome from me LatteSipper!

Posted by: Silence Dogood at March 30, 2006 6:31 PM

I knew the hospitality wouldn't last for long! ;) I agree with you and your smaller government brethren, defending our nation and way of life is a legitimate use of our money. My issue is with a defense budget that's more tuned to exerting our will, i.e. getting our way any where on the globe than it is in defending our country. My bad on poverty and infant mortality - I forgot that other countries lie about those things and we don't.

Posted by: LatteSipper at March 30, 2006 6:43 PM

How about LSVDSEL instead? Seriously though, I look forward to many opportunities to tell you just how and why you're wrong that I always had to pass up because I couldn't afford to spend an entire day in debate.

I'll lay off the criticism of your misty eyed idealism for now, but one bit of advice seems apropos in response to your sarcastic "I forgot that other countries lie about those things and we don't" comment. If you never acknowledge when the other guy has made a point he'll just judge you a bore and quit trying to engage you. Here's where that clean slate thing comes in! (Others may find this advice amusing coming from me but hey, I've done it! At least once or twice!)

Congratulations on the pending nuptials. The second time was the charm for me, as I hope it is for you.

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2006 12:39 AM

I was gonna suggest "Volvo." We're all coffee fanatics around here I don't about others but I'm a big sushi fan. But yes, I think you're the only one who'd be caught dead in a Volvo!

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2006 9:30 AM

As long as you don't like Uni....

Posted by: AlexC at March 31, 2006 12:28 PM | What do you think? [7]