We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, December 5. 2018
What Is Channukka?
Wall Street Rule for the #MeToo Era: Avoid Women at All Cost
What’s Really Happening to Retail? Manhattan’s shuttered storefronts tell a larger American story: Only Amazon-proof businesses can now survive in brick and mortar.
Minimum Wage Creates Robot Janitors
UN climate chief has solution to ‘urgent’ climate threat: ‘We require deep transformations of our economies and societies’
Wind Power Lunacy in Virginia
The left’s nauseating love affair with “Beto.”
POP CULTURE CLOBBERED CONSERVATIVES IN 2018
Return to civility means surrender to the Democrats and media
The Guardian’s Reputation In Tatters After Forger Revealed To Have Co-Authored Assange Smear
On Losing the Thread -- Update on What Actually Remains of the Russia Collusion Tale
The view from PMSNBC: Mueller Could Ensnare Trump And Family In Conspiracy Case
Mattis calls for help in ending war in Afghanistan: ‘40 years is enough’
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re Minimum Wage Creates Robot Janitors
Yes. It's an age old trade off. The higher wages go, the more incentive the employer has to replace the human with a machine.
One wonders how far we are from a 'payroll tax' on robots because companies are 'cheating' government out of their rightful taxes by replacing workers with machines?
What do you think carbon taxes are for?
They are desperate to drag us into the dark ages 2.0.
Well, how else are they going to establish their cred as feudal lords when there's no feudalism going on? Gotta crash the economy and make sure the heel of the law stamps out any chance of recovery from it...
Re Manhattan storefronts - there comes a time where the cost of complying with regulation coupled with high rents simply makes it unaffordable to keep the business open unless you've got a REALLY high profit margin on what you're selling. I've seen a lot of stories about 'trendy' and popular restaurants who can't make a go of it in NYC because they can't charge enough to cover all the costs.
If you can't cover your costs, you won't stay open. It's not rocket science...
Re Beto... He looks good. Apparently that's all that's necessary any more for the Dems. Let's not worry about actual accomplishments - as long as the candidate is photogenic (like AOC is) it doesn't matter they're dumb as a stump. (Like AOC is.) Glowing media coverage can offset a whole lot of shortcomings in the knowledge and competence departments. (Seriously, she graduated with a degree in economics? FFS, she's sure not showing any indication she ever attended any sort of class in micro- or macro-economics by the answers to even the softball questions...)
Re Wind in VA - windmills and solar are feel-good homeopathic solutions to Global warming. And like homeopathy, it really doesn't do much of anything. Want to keep the lights on? you can't depend on wind and solar...
Also RE Manhattan storefronts: The small, quirky shops - like the bookstore for chess lovers mentioned in the article - are moving online, which allows efficient appeal to niche markets.
Dan Hannan: The open conspiracy to foil Brexit is having its day, but it will fail
Not sure how to square the circle. Hard Brexit?
RE: WSJ and #metoo:
"Try not to be an asshole." Bad plan.
a) chicks dig jerks
b) it doesn't matter because you're guilty until proven innocent regardless.
My favorite example of machines replacing humans is the cotton picking machine. They were introduced in the 1940s and the first machines picked one row of cotton at a time and did work of about 40 humans. Now the cotton picking machines pick 6 rows of cotton at a time. That's a lot of human cotton pickers made obsolete.
If you think cotton-pickin' machines (southern pun intended) are a bad thing, you never picked cotton.
RE: Loading - Sincere thanks for your resolution of the loading up problem! Maggie's website (even the 'comments' section) now load up in a BLINK! Seriously, even faster than before.
Kudos, all round!
re Dan Hannan: The open conspiracy to foil Brexit is having its day, but it will fail
We can only hope he is right, but I wouldn't be against the ruling class and the deep state.
So far it has been years . . . and nothing.
I will have to see the Brexit come to fruition before I will believe it will actually happen.
feeblemind: I will have to see the Brexit come to fruition before I will believe it will actually happen.
Britain leaves the EU on March 29, 2019 at 11 PM GMT, so something will happen; either a hard Brexit, or a mutually agreed upon soft Brexit of some kind.
feeblemind: We'll see
Not sure what else you can foresee, whether a hard Brexit or a mutually agreed upon soft Brexit. Another Brexit vote is unlikely. Even if there were another vote, it's not clear the EU would allow Britain to change directions at this late date. The legal mechanisms for Brexit are in motion.
What other possibilities might there be?
NYC Retail: High rents and too high taxation.
Robots: Too high taxation and too high minimum wage.
Virginia: Those windmills should be installed in DC, both House and Senate.
The Guardian’s Reputation In Tatters: The Grauniad's rep has looooooooooooooooooong been in tatters.
Brexit: Voters were for it. May and Parliament were against it.
Voters should do something about both.
Afghanistan: Time to get out and let the Afghans kill each other as they have been for years and years. Past, WELL-past time to leave.
#5 Ray: Cotton picking was stoop labor. I remember seeing film of it in junior high, 60+ years ago.
"We require deep transformations of our economies and societies."
This sort of technocratic, dirigiste hubris can only lead to failure.
Where is the democratic country prepared to frog-march its population through such "deep transformations"?
Look what a few extra eurocents on a litre of gas have already done for the French government!
I can't be the only one who sees Beto and thinks Beavis.
I loved how they tried to smear Pence as some Christian rube for his policy on meetings with women other than his wife, and now he looks like the smartest guy in the country. At some point, with all the bullshit, people have to realize that there's a calculus that goes on with hiring, etc. and having people rage, sue, and complain that they're a victim every time they don't get their way does them, and folks like them, infinitely more harm than good.
And you just the UN Climate Chief would love to say what he's thinking: If we could just cull a couple of billion people from Mother Gaia, we would all be better off, and so would she.
Wall Street Rule...
Finally, he landed on the solution: “Just try not to be an asshole.” That’s pretty much the bottom line, said Ron Biscardi, chief executive officer of Context Capital Partners. “It’s really not that hard.”
Not nearly as hard as knowing how other people will define "asshole", when it's to their benefit.
“There aren’t enough women in senior positions to bring along the next generation all by themselves,” said Lisa Kaufman, chief executive officer of LaSalle Securities. Men have to step up, she said, and “not let fear be a barrier.”
It's easy to tell other people they should put their careers at risk to help you get what you want.