Saturday, January 08, 2005

Random conversation at a party

Somebody I didn't recognise, sitting with his wife and baby in the corner. I stopped and played peekaboo with the baby a little. Then the parents started chatting with me. At a pause I asked, "What do you think about the war?"

He stopped and thought. "The iraq war?"

"Yes."

"Well -- I think you have to make your stand and stick with it. If you keep thinking about it there's no end to it, and it will drive you crazy. And you ought to know my company is a defense contractor. We make things for aircraft carriers. And I support the troops. And, well, the war has been good to me."

"I'd think it would be good for some contractors and not so good for others."

The couple looked at each other and grimaced. "It's been good for me. But I worry some about the sailors on long deployments. Less of everything, it's hard on them and they have to cut corners and get by without proper maintenance. But they knew what might happen when they signed up."

"We don't have to do it that way. We could spread out the sacrifice."

"What do you mean?"

"If we rolled back the tax cuts we could pay for what they need."

"The tax cuts have been good to me."

"Same here. But we could do our part for the war and support the troops."

"Huh. Our budgets are shot. They told us to cut 10% of everything to go for the war. It's all screwed up. If we had the funding...."

"That's what I was thinking about the war being better for some contractors than others. Whoever's getting your ten percent...."

"It sure is hot in here. I need to go get another drink."

We nodded to each other in passing after that. He seemed to be drinking pretty heavily.

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