Crab v Dachshund

Unlike most videos that feature dogs, I do not find this adorable. But it is very interesting:

What we see here is gross difference in perspective. The Dachshund is playing—it might as well be chasing a ball. But for the crab, this is an existential conflict. Even if the dog means it no harm, and the crab has no way of knowing this, the dog could easily kill it by accident.

The video has a certain drama to it. Throughout, I was hoping that the crab made it to safety. I didn’t think this because I particularly care about the fate of any given crustacean. But I did think that if this dork with the camera posted the video with this feel-good music and the crab died, I was going to be very angry.

I kind of am anyway. As I said, this was not a fun time for the crab. If it had been my dog, I would have pulled him away. “Leave the poor crab alone and be happy you were born a mammal whose every need (except crustacean crashing) is taken care of.”


I just noticed the top comment on the video read, “I think it’s quite the stretch of words to consider them ‘playing’… The dog was definitely playing…the crab was running for its life!” Indeed.

Reich on Romney

Robert ReichRobert Reich has written a very interesting article for The Nation called Mitt Romney and the New Gilded Age. It discusses how it came to be that one of the two major political parties in the United States nominated a man for president who epitomizes everything that is wrong in our country. It was only 4 years ago that the economy imploded because of what Reich calls “casino capitalism”: the heads they win, tails we lose rules of the financial industry.

Reich doesn’t go into this in the article, but Romney proposes the exact same policies of George W. Bush. Even if we forget about the Crash of 2008, Bush’s policies have been refuted. This is not just true in terms of the facts: both of the Bush tax cuts were sold as stimulating the economy, but they did very little in this regard (we hardly needed this proof—supply side economics just doesn’t work). Perhaps more important, the people of the United States were unhappy with Bush long before the Crash.

After discussing many malefactors who are using their billions to destroy democracy, Reich puts his focus directly on Romney:

But Romney is the only casino capitalist who is running for president, at the very time in our nation’s history when these views and practices are a clear and present danger to the well-being of the rest of us—just as they were more than a century ago. Romney says he’s a job-creating businessman, but in truth he’s just another financial dealmaker in the age of the financial deal, a fat cat in an era of excessively corpulent felines, a plutocrat in this new epoch of plutocrats. That the GOP has made him its standard-bearer at this point in American history is astonishing.

Again, I don’t think Reich goes far enough. He seems to imply that if Romney had owned a manufacturing giant, his claims to know how to create jobs would be more credible. But this is not the case. Business experience is useful in a lot of ways, but it absolutely does not help to create jobs in the economy as a whole. The Federal government has special tools that allow it to affect how hot or cold the economy runs: deficit spending the money supply. This stuff is totally different from what any business does.

I’m not putting down business experience. The truth is that being a governor of a state doesn’t prepare someone to manage the economy either. But a governor has a lot more transferable knowledge than a corporate CEO does. Not that this makes the CEO unqualified. This idea that CEOs know something special about creating jobs, however, is total nonsense.

Despite these caveats, Reich’s article is great. I recommend reading it.