As recounted here a number of times, before I became a credit card fraud investigator (for almost 22 years) I worked in a number of jobs.
FORTY, to be more precise!
One of those many jobs was a commercial bagel bakery. I needed work; they were there.
Not to far from my house.
Who knew they had bagels in Arizona?!
So, I was hired. Again, second shift.
Most of the rank and file were Latino, with a few American Indians mixed in. We all got along, although I’m pretty certain before they were employed, most of the ethnic types had no idea what a bagel was. 😛
I worked there a few months. The bad news was I came home after midnight, often smelling of yeast and onion.
The good news was whenever there were overruns, the workers could take home free bagels.
Dozens of them!
Our freezer was often overloaded.
It was hot, busy work. And I thought I had a future there.
But, it was not to be.
The (then) wife took a job which required some overnight travel. This meant someone had to be available during the day for Molly. For day care and school.
And I had to change jobs for something with a day shift.
John’s Uniforms it was!
German Firm Heckler & Koch Reportedly €170 MILLION in the Red
Via a press release published earlier this month, German gunmaker Hecker & Koch announced it had reduced its financial debt to a mere €170 million (~$194 million US), thanks to an equity increase of €50 million via a capital shares increase. With this, the company will issue approximately 6.6 million new shares, backed up by a capital injection of €50 million, and assistance in refinancing its 9.5% Senior Secured Notes at significantly lower debt. According to the release:
These funds will be provided initially in the form of a shareholder loan to be converted into share capital during the share capital increase to meet the time line of the refinancing of the 2011 9.50% Senior Secured Notes. Minority shareholders of H&K will have the possibility to subscribe for new shares on a pro-rata-basis and on the same economic terms against payment in cash.
Being almost two hundred million dollars in debt does not necessarily mean the German firm is in dire trouble, however, as they have recently gained significant contracts that will help offset this burden. Chief among those is the French AIF contract, estimated to be worth over €300 million ($342 million US). The revenue from this contract alone could offset the debt of the company, which as of 2013 was pegged at slightly higher than the company’s net worth. How the company’s finances will shake out, though, isn’t easy to predict, especially given the outstanding $27 million lawsuit from Orbital ATK over the failure of H&K to deliver XM25 CDTE grenade launchers. Still, the company being in debt to the tune of the entirety of or higher than their net worth does raise cause for concern, if they cannot significantly offset or restructure that debt.
Now, I know there are those among you who will cry “GOOD!”, having suffered the slings-and-arrows of their notoriously poor customer service, especially in the civilian market.
Obviously, the civilians aren’t the only one’s who have suffered…
I have no skin in this game. The closest I was to owning an H & K was a Century Arms H & K 91 knock-off, with original internals and furniture. She worked and shot well (when properly lubed). I liked her.
But, she went the way of the missing vault along with the rest of the collection.
I’m a capitalist. If a company cannot provide proper delivery or customer service, they deserve to fail!
Perhaps, if there is another incarnation, they will have learned that?
A lesson from Colt?
I usually fall asleep between 1120 and midnight. And arise between 0600 and 0700.
(NO, this is not an invitation to call! I’ve my morning shower-dress-meditation ritual)
Rarely am I disturbed. (Insert joke here) Except, of course, the battle sometime between 0130 and 0400 between my bladder and I. Who IS Master of my bladder? (It’s apparent, not me!) 😛
ANYWAY, my roomie and I share a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom. And, with her sleep schedule, sometimes I hear her in the loo. Sometimes I hear her TV.
This is not usually any big deal.
BUT, last night, after my traditional loss of the battle of wills with my bladder, I returned to bed, anticipating a return to sleep in a minute-or-so. When BOOM! Followed by yet another BOOM! And another!
It was a bit after 0400.
I thought ‘great – I awakened my roomie’ and she turned on her television. And was watching The Battle of Britain, or The Guns of Navarone!
But I was in error.
Usually, when she does that (a rarity) she hears the error of her way and turns it down in a few minutes. The noises continued, unabated for at least twenty!
And, I knew it wasn’t yet Independence Day!
So, I bailed out of bed, listening to the ongoing explosions, crossed the no-man’s land of the bathroom, and rapped on her door.
Yes? She replied.
I opened the door slightly and asked, “Is it you making all this noise, or is it the neighbors?”
She answered, “It’s the neighbors. And I’ve already called the police on them!”
About ten minutes later, the booming stopped.
Video gaming?! The neighbor is a young woman who seems to have a revolving door of male roommates. Perhaps this was one of them?
ANYWAY, back to sleep I went (at around 0500) and rolled out a bit after 6.
I hope to get an afternoon nap later today.
(from The Art of Manliness, in part)
Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined. So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.
Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival. While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.
In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!
23 Dangerous Things You Should Let You Kids Do
Unlike many of you out there, I grew up in a city. And, my Dad was largely absent. I was given boundaries, though. Don’t cross these streets; Don’t play with these kids; Let us know where you are; Be home for dinner @ 6 o’clock.
Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices. Playing in old abandoned houses and construction sites, climbing into open manholes and irrigation conduits. Picking through discarded trash for treasures. Making rocket fuel and fireworks. Dissecting unexploded fireworks. Dirt clod fights. Rubber band guns with projectiles!
I wasn’t foolhardy, but I wasn’t a namby-pamby either!
I remember when my Dad’s .22 rifle went missing. He accused me of taking it, but was most upset I hadn’t asked! (I didn’t take it – it was stolen and later recovered by the PD)
From what I’ve observed, most kids (and most adults) don’t play outside or explore anymore. Instead, they are inside getting carpal tunnel…
(And not in the traditional way! 😛 )
Toss your kid outside, without their electronics. And tell ’em not to return until dinner-time.
They might learn something!
Here’s what that bastion of liberal thought, Harvard University, has to say about it:
(from the Daily Wire)
Harvard Study: Minimum Wage Hikes Killing Businesses
Erik Mcgregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.
The study, titled Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit, looks at “the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area” from 2008-2016.
Researchers Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca chose the Bay Area due to their frequent minimum wage hikes in recent years. “In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, there have been twenty-one local minimum wage changes over the past decade,” they write.
The Lucas found that lower-quality restaurants (indicated by Yelp scores) were disproportionately affected by wage hikes, increasing their likelihood of closure relative to higher-quality, established restaurants.
“The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage,” says the study. “Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating), but has no discernible impact for a 5-star restaurant (on a 1 to 5 star scale).”
While “firm exit” was the focus of the study, the researchers also noted that there are often other consequences from wage hikes, such as worker layoffs, increased pricing and hour-cuts for existing workers:
While some studies find no detrimental effects on employment (Card and Krueger 1994, 1998; Dube, Lester & Reich, 2010), others show that higher minimum wage reduces employment, especially among low-skilled workers (see Neumark & Wascher, 2007 for a review). However, even studies that identify negative impacts find fairly modest effects overall, suggesting that firms adjust to higher labor costs in other ways. For example, several studies have documented price increases as a response to the minimum wage hikes (Aaronson, 2001; Aaronson, French, & MacDonald, 2008; Allegretto & Reich, 2016). Horton (2017) find that firms reduce employment at the intensive margin rather than on the extensive margin, choosing to cut employees hours rather than counts.
Such findings were backed up by Garret/Galland Research’s Stephen McBride, who highlighted in March the “minimum wage massacre.”
“Currently, rising labor costs are causing margins in the sector to plummet. Those with the ability to automate like McDonalds are doing so… and those who don’t are closing their doors. In September 2016, one-quarter of restaurant closures in the California Bay Area cited rising labor costs as one of the reasons for closing,” McBride wrote in Forbes.
“While wage increases put more money in the pocket of some, others are bearing the costs by having their hours reduced and being made part-time,” he added.
As noted by Red Alert Politics, the Bay Area is headed for a $15 minimum wage in July of 2018, though they’ve already seen over 60 restaurants close since September.
While it would behoove the Bernie Bros picketing for $15 an hour to take a look at this study, it’s entirely unlikely that such evidence would deter their entitled attitudes.
I posted regarding this phenomena before, but I obviously don’t have the gravitas of Harvard (nor, apparently the other sources I borrowed
It’s basic economics – businesses expect X dollar profit to be profitable – having the gov’t mandate paying their employees more money lessens profit. Something has to give.
We’re seeing many more kiosks on restaurant tables and counters these days.
They cost less.
“Come With Me If You Want To Live!”
Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures
When I was making minimum wage, I changed jobs when I saw I couldn’t make rent and eat on that income. This was in the 70s, when I began making $1.60 an hour, and moved up to $2.10…
Well, here we are, again…
The contractor returned Thursday to close the hole in the ceiling. He said their estimate disagreed with the material provided by the insurance company (i.e. they mentioned a repaint, but NOT closing the hole in the ceiling!) A minimum of THREE WEEKS before they return.
J., my roomie, continues to have health problems, multiple doctor appointments and physical therapy. Next is a nerve ablation on her neck, which causes her great pain.
I discontinued my auto insurance and notified the State my car is no longer on the road, pending sale or donation. No sale or donation as of yet. She’s still collecting spider webs…
J. added me to her auto insurance as an additional driver.
I’ve my own doctor appointment tomorrow, with a vascular surgeon(?!) regarding my right calf, which continues to be oversized.
Money continues to be an issue. Quelle surprise.
Weather? Today 111º. Tomorrow 116º. Tuesday 118º That’s The Valley of the Sun in the Summer. Oh, wait? It’s not Summer, yet! 😛
I will update you kind folks as I know more.
Thanks, again for your support.
(from Peter – Bayou Renaissance Man)
If Facebook were actively trying to define itself as ‘creepy’, it couldn’t do much better than this. Two reports over the past few weeks have caused me to wonder at the sanity of anyone who still uses the service.First, it seems Facebook actively marketed to advertisers its ability to ‘target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability’. Wired reports:
Data mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.
But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.”
The 23-page document had been prepared for a potential advertiser and highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” According to The Australian’s report, Facebook had been monitoring posts, photos, interactions, and internet activity in real time to track these emotional lows. (Facebook confirmed the existence of the report, but declined to respond to questions from WIRED about which types of posts were used to discern emotion.)
There’s more at the link.
Not content with that, it seems Facebook is trying to patent ‘creepy technology which spies on people and automatically analyses their facial expressions’. The Sun reports:
The social network applied for a patent to capture pictures of a user through their smartphone.
The creepy designs, which date back to 2015, were discovered by software company CBI Insight, which has been analysing Mark Zuckerberg’s “emotion technology”.
. . .
Researchers at CBI Insights warned that the plans could put a lot of people off using the service.
“On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield,” it wrote in a blogpost.
Again, more at the link.
So Facebook now wants to use the camera on your smartphone to watch you while you use the device. Why would anyone in their right mind allow a social media network this kind of intimate access to their thoughts, feelings and emotions? Is there no value attached to privacy any more?
From my moral perspective (which is admittedly that of an older generation), this seems not only an invasion of privacy, but actively evil – trying to use your own emotions to manipulate you, and/or sell data about you to advertisers and others (for example, political parties analyzing voter emotions and behavior) who will use it to manipulate you.
News reports like this make me devoutly grateful that I have no Facebook presence at all! If you do, in heaven’s name, why do you want to expose yourself to this???
I joined FB long before I began blogging, or even reading other’s blogs. I liked the Internet, and it just seemed to be the social thing to do. (I was doing the IRC and bulletin boards before THAT!)
Yeah, I’m old. 😛
But, considering Pandora’s Box has already been opened, do I want to make it even easier for the alphabet soup of government, or private corporations or citizens? Is it even worth the effort, now that the cat’s escaped the bag?
Maybe. I am considering leaving FB. Most folks who care I blog know Guffaw is my nom-de-Internet, and can do research to determine my FB moniker and extrapolate real info and data from there.
As if that’s worth anything…
(copied in it’s entirety from Vox Populi)
Once an organization starts celebrating diversity, cucking and convergence are soon to follow:
The full exchange shows McHugh stating the truth that all mainstream media establishments seem to dance around, and then reminding someone who is not English that his opinion is not necessarily on point. In return, the Breitbart kaffeeklatsch erupted:
A number of Breitbart colleagues, who chose to remain anonymous, also attacked Ms McHugh for her Islamophobic comments. Speaking to CNN anonymously on Sunday, one said they found them “appalling” while another branded them “terrible”.
…This is by no means the first time she has made inflammatory remarks about race. She once told her 19,000 Twitter followers: “Mexicans wrecked Mexico and think invading the USA will magically cure them of their retarded dysfunction. Lol.”
It is rare for Breitbart, a publication which has been accused of writing racist and misogynist articles, to dismiss its employees for their controversial views. Although one exception is the case of Milo Yiannopoulos. In February, the alt-right figurehead, who was one of the site’s most high-profile writers, was forced to resign from the publication after his apparently pro-paedophilia remarks resurfaced in an old podcast.
McHugh said nothing that Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan and any conservative before 1965 would have admitted was true, and her comments are especially on point regarding recent Muslim terror attacks in the UK and France. If diversity did not exist, the problems of diversity — including the actions of other groups who want to dominate or destroy us — would not afflict us.
Breitbart has succumbed to DR3, or the tendency by conservatives to attempt to “prove” they are non-racist by accusing others of racism, creating a circular firing squad:
Many on the Dissident Right mock cuckservatives for engaging in “DR3” or DemsRRealRacists i.e. incapable of defending their values on their merits, they concede the Left’s moral premises, but accuse them of being the “real racists”, homophobes, sexists etc.
DR3 afflicts the mainstream Right, which struggles for “respectability” or at least less censorship in a Left-leaning time. Big internet giants like Google and Twitter, major publications and big donors often will drop and ignore any publication which crosses the line on race, which in late Leftism means anything but foaming-at-the-mouth advocacy of diversity or having multiple ethnic and racial groups in the same society.
As an implicit endorsement of diversity, DR3 subscribes to the “Magic Dirt” idea that if we take people from the third world, bring them to our lands and instruct them in propaganda for our system and culture, they will take it up and suddenly become us. This both replaces us and replaces their own culture with ours as a dominant colonial power.
When conservatives take up “magic dirt,” it shows that they have been captured by the very group they claim to oppose, namely the Left, since they have adopted Leftist policies like diversity, equality and indoctrination.
As I said in the Darkstream last night, to prevent convergence, you must resist the urge to excitedly embrace rival identities who happen – or merely claim – to share your values. In most cases, you will learn that identity trumps values, and when they bring in more of their identities, your values, no longer shared, will be rapidly jettisoned in favor of social justice values.
Isn’t this what the Left always does? Consider the Fabian socialists. They play the long game.
WE must remain honest and consistent in our values, lest they be polluted!
April 21, 2017 (Suarez International)
There are cultural myths that all civilizations seem to adopt. Once they do, it is virtually impossible for them to let go of such myths, even when pursuing them is no longer viable. With the west is the myth of egalitarian inclusion. The idea that all men want the same things, that we can all get along, and that with acceptance and understanding, we can all live together in peace under beautiful rainbows.
Such a naive world view ignores the incessant jihad that the west has faced for a generation. And that jihad, both violent and overt, as well as cultural and covert.
Just this week, we not only had a Black American Jihadist shoot and kill a number of “white devils” in California, but we also had a French Policeman killed and another seriously injured in a proactive jihad ambush in Paris. It has become so common, and seemingly accepted that I will bet you cannot name all the terrorist events in the USA in the last 12 months.
Another factor in this is the west’s abject fear of being considered unfair or (gasp) racist. Even if we stop to consider that a religion or a political movement is not based on race, the language remains. And the word has power over westerners. At some point westerners, and I suspect the Europeans will be first, will have to ask themselves what is the greater danger – being called a racist or losing their civilization.
Another third cultural habit of the west is self-hatred and a deliberate ignoring of history. The self-hatred I don’t know whence it came. I will bet it has some basis in liberal-socialist thinking.
Perhaps one of the readers can comment.
But the ignorance of history is a crucial element here…specially for the young. History is rewritten to fit the modern narratives which support the other cultural habits and myths. But not knowing the real story is a problem. What would a man do, for instance, who had never been told that a hot stove will burn his hand. He would not know what he faced when coming in contact with one. Ignorant of the effects of hot steel on his hand, he would go ahead with his plans to touch it.
Islam has been on a mission to conquer and convert the world for a thousand years. At first, as shown in the video below, the methods have been via military invasion and conquest. But today, the would-be invaders are using far more subtle means. Theirs is the slippery slope of compromise and appeasement…the “cultural” and “societal” jihad that some writers speak of. And with every point of compliance from western nations, they take another small step toward their objectives. The west has helped in that mission by its policies. And if steps are not taken to change the west will lose…and it will lose by defeating itself.
So here is a history lesson. Its not very long, but it is informative.
Just yesterday, ISIS attacked people at a Shiite shrine in Iran. This evil is not just for Western democracies. Of course, the Shia Iranians have their own agenda.
It’s been estimated that 10 to 15% of Muslims worldwide have been ‘radicalized’. While still a small minority, that’s not an insignificant number.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the World.
This ‘problem’ is not easily solved.
Canadian William Shatner REFUSES
To Trash Trump: ‘I Consider Myself a
William Shanter, the ICONIC Star Trek actor himself, refuses to talk ill of President Donald Trump regardless of his feelings for politics. In a recent interview he had with the Daily Beast he spoke all about it, and his new book, ‘Spirit of the Horse’. During this interview, Shatner made it really clear that his name was not to be added to an open letter that was released out of Hollywood last year denouncing Trump’s candidacy.
“I didn’t do that. I would never have done that,” the actor said of the anti-Trump letter posted on the Trek Against Trump Facebook page last September.
There were however, notable personalities of the original star trek series like George Takei (of course) who played Hikaru Sulu, and Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ.Abrams, who was a very avid Clinton supporter did sign that letter.
The Beast reporter did attempt more than once to get Shatner to dish on Trump, and the actor stuck to his guns refusing to do so, making it very clear that he wasn’t willing to speak ill of the president.
“I don’t want to discuss Trump or [George] Takei,” Shatner said, adding: “Listen, I’m Canadian and I’m apolitical. I love America. I consider myself a guest here.”
“I won’t do anything that might get me deported,” the 86-year-old star joked.
The Priceline pitchman, known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also revealed that while he and Abrams have discussed him having a role in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, the director hasn’t extended the offer.
“I’ve met with J.J. Abrams, who seems to be running the film franchise now,” Shatner said. “Though I’ve repeatedly expressed my interest in being in one of the Star Trek movies they seem to have no interest in bringing back old Captain James T. Kirk.”
Shatner, who made his small-screen debut as Captain Kirk in 1966, also revealed that he has never seen any of the new films.
A lifelong lover of horses, Shatner’s new book Spirit of the Horse is a love letter to his four-legged friends.
Although he is very liberal in his political beliefs, he knows how to stand for those beliefs without being ridiculous and out of line like his other Hollywood friends.
Yep. I could sit next to him on a plane, introduce myself as a conservative and he’d like me.
That’s how it’s suppose to be.
h/t Facebook, I Have the Truth.com
AMEN, Mr. Shatner and Mr. Wendal!
Now, I’m not an unabashed fan of the current President (although he is certainly a vast improvement over the last one!) Having said that, I tire of the juvenile and sometimes criminal actions taken against the President. Like it or not, he IS the President! And deserves some respect.
(I’d preferred a more libertarian President, stopping this ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment. One with a better speaking style. Wish in one hand…)
To see and hear (most) Hollywood types continue to attack and beat on him is more than shameful. YES, everyone has a right to an opinion.
But, lets be adult about it, shall we? Disagree on policy choices, not hairstyles!