Joe Biden: 'They're gonna own our kids' without high-speed rail
Speaking about the need for high-speed rail, Vice President Joe Biden commented that, "If we don't get a grip, folks, they'll not only be teaching us, they're gonna own our kids."
If I'd known that all it required to own someone's kids was to discourage him from supporting high-speed rail, I would be beating Angelina Jolie right now in the people's-kids-owning-game.
Leaving aside the numerous objections to high-speed rail, this seems like an odd thing to say under any circumstances. I understand that this makes it characteristic of Joe Biden. I think the most impossible quiz in the world would be something called, "Joe Biden Quote Or Something An Old Guy In a Sweater Says To You To Make Conversation At The Gas Pump." It's sort of a mouthful, but I think most of his remarks pass the test.
"You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent....I'm not joking." (Something Biden actually said to an Indian-American man that was caught by C-SPAN)
And now this one. Fail to get a grip, and they'll own our kids.
Things look pretty bleak for our kids, based on the remarks our public officials have been making. They are, apparently, going to be outsmarted, outcompeted, out-Sputniked, outparented, owned, transformed into robot slaves, outsourced, and forced to appear on the NBC comedy "Outsourced," all by people from another country who are marching back and forth doing calculus in the snow, or something.
And don't get me started on the trains. It's not that I have anything against trains. I'm a frequent rider. [One of the greatest disappointments of my young life was realizing that wedding dresses did not come with actual trains attached. I watched Unstoppable for the trains, not for the presence of Chris Pine. I also watched the 2009 Star Trek movie for the trains, not for Chris Pine. I just had to watch it five times to make certain there weren't any trains I'd missed the first four times around.
So it is with love that I say that I think trains are inefficiently run, often randomly late, contain no edible food, and stop sometimes for no reason in the middle of Pennsylvania to take what appears to a layman to be a long nap, forcing you to spend two hours conversing with a man who claims he knew your grandfather in the wars as the car slowly climbs to a temperature usually associated with the inside of bear suits. So the idea of funneling large amounts of money into the present system so that fast trains can reach every door in America whether or not anyone would actually like to ride them seems, well, a bit dubious.
Yes, there are areas of the country in which high-speed rail makes sense. The vast megacity of the northeast corridor where Joe Biden likes to hop the train to Wilmington springs to mind. But otherwise? The lack of trains in places where trains don't belong will probably do more to discourage people from owning our children than covering the country in unnecessary rails, in spite of what Thomas the High-Speed Tank Engine -- or Joe Biden -- might say.
| February 9, 2011; 12:26 PM ET
Categories: Petri, That's awkward | Tags: Joe Biden, oratory, trains
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