Saturday, May 26, 2018

Your Local Starbucks Homeless Shelter


If this doesn’t make your day, nothing will make your day.

Apparently, the woke company called Starbucks is having a problem with its new open-doors policy. As you know Starbucks, in a paroxysm of guilt over the fact that a manager in Philadelphia called the police to remove two non-customers and who refused to leave the cafĂ©. 

The result, a new policy. Starbucks now allows anyone to drop by and to hang out. They can all use the facilities without buying anything.

It’s a calamity in the making. The Zero Hedge blog has the details, which, as it happens date to before the new policy:

Starbucks is having a terrible time adapting to its new "inclusive" public restroom policy, as employees contend with blood spattered walls, used drug needles, and face-melting waftings from deuce-dropping vagrants filling the store. 

Oh, and all that was happening before the new homeless shelter bathroom policy

The stores have always had needle removal equipment:

A former Starbucks facilities manager who oversaw several urban stores on the East Coast said those cafes had special kits on hand with rubber gloves, tongs and a box that store employees could use to dispose of needles... –WSJ

Customers are decidedly unhappy… which eventually will be bad for business. Zero Hedge reports:

As we reported on Thursday, Starbucks' new "inclusiveness" policy is sparking outrage in customers who just want to get a $6 latte without running into the new bathroom inhabitants. 

“It sounds like Starbucks is turning their stores into homeless shelters. Their coffee is strong but their management is weak,” said Ron Raduechel, a 64-year-old retired supply chain executive from Waukesha, Wis., who said he would no longer go to Starbucks. -WSJ

As the reactions from viewers of CBS LA's recent story about Starbucks' new policy suggest, customers are fed up...

“If you go into a business and you just sit there and you don’t buy anything you are taking up space at the table,” said Melrose Larry Green.

You could end up having a squatters problem where you just have people coming and staying. I mean if they are going to do that they need to limit how long people can stay in there,” said Joe Selva.

Call it the free market at work. Those who want to impose their ideology on the rest of us ought at least to pay for it.

The Noise That Never Stops


The New York Times reports on a gigantic Brazilian wind farm. The farm is located in an area where the wind never stops… surely a good thing in the wind farm world.

It just shows you what we can do when we can harvest the wind as what the Times calls “a natural resource:”

At night, blinking red dots fill the sky, and the sound of whooshing rotating blades is everywhere — constant reminders of the wind’s abundant presence here on Brazil’s Atlantic coast and its harvesting as a natural resource.

At daybreak, towers rising nearly 400 feet peek out high above the canopy of palm trees, like gigantic dandelions.

Here is the good news:

On this part of the Atlantic coast, the wind blows constantly and in one direction consistently, giving Brazil a steady stream for energy production. The country is now the world’s eighth-largest producer of wind power, according to the Global Wind Energy Council, a trade association, with wind farms operated by Weg, Siemens Gamesa, Wobben Windpower, among other companies.

Among the benefits are these:

A mile from the beach, the view of the turbines reminds the rural area’s residents of both the possibilities and the impact of the industry.

At Morro dos Martins beach, about 80 miles northwest of Natal, Damiao Henrique, 70, plugged electric cables to a pump so he could water his bean plants. A fisherman and farmer, he was removed from his old strip of land and sent a few yards closer to the shore to allow space for a wind farm.

“But I am O.K.,” he said. “As compensation, I received energy from the company, and now I can water my beans more easily.”

Surely, it’s a good thing that Henrique can water his beans more easily.

Other residents have been disappointed:

Other local residents said the promised benefits had not appeared.

“The mayor said there would be schools,” said Maria Venus, 47, who owns a grocery store in Morro dos Martins. “They opened a music school for the community, gave us some guitars and after a year all was put on hold.”

But there is a problem:

And then there is the noise.

“Oh yes,” she added, “they also left this noise that never stops.”

It’s a trade-off. You get cheap energy and you save the planet. On the other hand, the noise never stops. We have heard these stories before. These wind turbines are expense. They are rotted by the salt air. And they damage your health by subjecting you to the “noise that never stops.”

Do you want that in your backyard?

Alleged Corruption in the Broward County Sheriff's Department


You recall the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. You know that disaffected students blamed it all on the NRA and initiated a children’s crusade for more gun control. The notion of out-of-control children calling for more control smacks of irony.

Anyway, if you read this blog regularly, you know that the man most responsible for failing to stop Nikolas Cruz was the Broward County Sheriff: Scott Israel. In a better world, Sheriff Israel would have handed in his badge and taken responsibility for the manifest failures of his department. Not only did his deputy, Scot Peterson, assigned to duty at the high school that day, run away from the shooting, but Israel’s deputies had investigated Cruz dozens of times before he set about to murder his classmates.

We also know that many people have called for Sheriff Israel to resign, and that his own department cast a vote of no confidence in his leadership. Israel has refused to go peacefully.

In the follow-up, you have also heard that Deputy Peterson has now retired from his job and is receiving a very generous pension. I mention these facts to bring you up to date and to prepare you for what is coming.

The story was reported by a Miami local news station and by the Daily Wire. As it happened, one of Israel’s sons was arrested four years ago for sexually assaulting a boy in his high school. The incident was allegedly covered up by no other than Scot Peterson.

Here is the Daily Wire account:

A local Miami news station released an explosive report on Thursday night about a "disturbing assault" that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four years to the day before the tragic shooting in February. The alleged incident involved one of the sons of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and was allegedly "covered up" by Officer Scot Peterson, the resource officer who infamously failed to confront the Parkland shooter.

WPLG Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman reported Thursday that two 17-year-old students at the school allegedly bullied a 14-year-old freshman boy, with one of the 17-year-olds holding down the student while the other 17-year-old kicked the victim, grabbed his genitals, and then grabbed the victim's own baseball bat and began shoving it against his buttocks "simulating rape" through the boy's clothes.

The father of a shooting survivor, a man by name of Royer Borges, has called for an investigation:

"Now I ask you: If this wouldn't have been the sheriff's son, would a sexual assault have been reduced to a simple battery?" Borges asked in his statement. "Was deputy Peterson allowed to retire with his pension because he protected Sheriff Israel's son from having a felony arrest? These are the questions that I and I'm sure many people from this county want answered."

Friday, May 25, 2018

Trump Cancels North Korean Summit


Did you ever get the impression that you are living in a confederacy of dunces? Did you ever get the feeling that the #GetTrump crowd does not care about success or failure. No matter what Trump does they will always find fault.

Their greatest fear of late has been that Trump might negotiate a deal for North Korean denuclearization. Thus, when Trump pulled out of a June 12 meeting in Singapore, the #GetTrump group was elated.They could not restrain themselves from declaring Trump to be an incompetent negotiator and a general all-around failure.

It was a pathetic spectacle. It signaled an absence of patriotism, a failure to understand that Trump, like him or not, is the president of the United States. Rooting for a president to fail because you believe it gives you political advantage is ignoble. End of story.

One thing we do know, canceling the meeting was a move in a game. We do not know the outcome of the game. We do not know how it will proceed and we certainly do not know how it will end. Thus, all speculation about whether it was right or wrong, good or bad is fatuous. If our own dunces are honorable they will admit that there is more to life than their own propaganda and that, if they do not know the outcome, they should not jump to conclusions.

One other thing we know is that North Korea had not responded to administration efforts to negotiate the framework for a meeting. Secretary of State Pompeo said so yesterday in front of a Senate committee. As opposed to some other administration officials,  Pompeo seems to be in charge of his mouth. In truth, if you cannot reach your prospective negotiating partner, you are receiving a clear signal. And that is: he is more interested in the theatrics of the ceremony than any substantive agreements.

You have no other choice but to postpone the meeting. If Trump had not done so his detractors would have been rushing to the microphones to explain that he had been had.

In addition, you will note that Trump, diplomatically, had been speaking of Kim in very respectful tones. And Trump has expressed great admiration an gratitude for Chinese president Xi Jinping. His rhetoric has been exemplary. 

And yet, National Security Adviser John Bolton declared that he was looking for a Libya-like solution… which brings to mind the fact that after Libya gave up its nuclear weapons, the Obama administration rewarded Col Qaddhafi with a bayonet up his butt. I prefer to think of Bolton as having made a rookie mistake. Trump quickly walked back the remark. But then, Vice President Pence—another rookie?—repeated the same analogy to Libya, apparently not knowing how this would sound to Kim Jong-un.

The North Koreans reacted with insults and invective against Mike Pence… which also made it impossible for Trump to continue. I cannot speculate about Pence's tactics, but he is not covering himself in glory here. If he is speaking for the administration it is, within the White House, incoherent and unnecessarily provocative. A bad move.

And then there is the China angle. Readers of this blog know my theory—namely that Trump and Xi made a deal. By the terms of the deal Xi would corral his ally in North Korea and Trump would reciprocate. We did not know what the precise terms of the quid pro quo would be. We suspected that it had something to do with the American government’s sanctions against Chinese telecom firm, ZTE. When Xi asked Trump to intervene in the matter, Trump instructed his Commerce Department to solve the problem.

But then, Congress got in the act and both Republicans and Democrats decided that it was time to get tough on China. Led by famed grandstander Marco Rubio, the Senate Banking Committee passed a resolution that will make it far more difficult, if not impossible, for Trump to fulfill his end of the bargain.

Some have argued that President Xi never wanted North Korea to be denuclearized anyway. And yet, if we assume that he was pursuing his national interest, he would certainly have wanted to receive signals from the United States that he would receive something in return. If not, the chances are that he will not allow the summit to go on.

An alternate theory would have it that the world was starting to see Kim as Xi’s puppet. This would have caused Kim to lose face. And, to save face he needed to assert himself… to make it appear that he was in charge. As of now, he seems not to have reckoned with the possibility that Trump would withdraw from the summit and has stated that he will meet with Trump anywhere anyhow.

The Case of the Childless 40-Year-Old Single Woman


It’s a good example of how a seasoned therapist misses the point. A 40-year-old single woman writes to therapist Lori Gottlieb. Her problem, according to her is that she cannot get her ex- out of her mind. He seems to have been her one and only true love. She wanted a home with children. He did not. 

She doesn’t quite say it but she has clung to the hope that he would come around. She broke up with him. She hooked up with him a few times. It did not work out. She is alone and bereft and she asks a therapist how to stop thinking about him.

Here is the letter:

I’m a 40-year-old single woman. Never married, no children, and I’ve been struggling for years to get over my ex. He was my first love and we met when I was in my early 20s. It was a very immature relationship that culminated in me breaking up with him finally (for about the third or fourth time), mostly because of a growing fear that I knew I would want kids and was worried that I was wasting my time with someone who wasn’t willing to work on a future with me.

This was more than 10 years ago, and although my ex and I have occasionally stayed in touch, been intimate, and reconnected after a few years of separation, we have not been able to have a healthy relationship. I’ve tried to be honest about my wanting a different type of relationship with him, but he doesn’t seem to want that. I have tried moving on by ignoring my feelings for him, ignoring him when he has reached out to me, and repeatedly reminding myself that ours is not the kind of relationship that I want. But it all feels like a lie.

The truth is, here I am, thinking about the last person I had the strongest romantic relationship and potential with. And I feel like a fool. I tried blocking him on my phone, but I still saw his calls. I have avoided his social media since it just triggers sadness instead of happiness and joy. I need some practical help to get him out of my mind.

Anonymous

Therapist Gottlieb responds reasonably that the woman will need to give up her hopes for a future with this man and move on. It is self-evident. She correctly points out that most therapists want their patients to live in the past, not the future. And that Anonymous is living in the lost past.

If she moves on and develops new dating habits, Gottlieb continues, perhaps she will find true love.

It sounds unobjectionable. And yet, I am happy to offer an obvious objection. At age 40 Anonymous has a much bigger problem than finding true love. Her problem is: to have or not to have a child.

Since we know nothing about Anonymous’s living conditions, her family, her career or any other relevant details about her life, we cannot evaluate her options realistically. I have often remarked that letters written to advice givers rarely give anything close to the amount of detail that you would need to offer decent advice. They seem to be suffering from too much therapy; they see themselves as a bundle of mental or emotional processes.

And yet, in this case we do know one salient fact. We know, because it has been widely publicized, that Gottlieb herself had a child at age 39 through the aid of a sperm donor. Now, we do not expect that Gottlieb will go all Ask Polly here and fill up an endless stream of pages by oversharing about her own very personal experience. It would not be very professional.

And yet, as long as the information is public record, it would have been more constructive to say a word about single parenthood, to address this woman’s manifest desire for a child, before droning on about Freud’s idea of the repetition compulsion. The truth is, the time that it takes to find a new man, to develop a relationship, to marry and to start a family will probably decide the issue.

Having a fatherless child is certainly the exception. Naturally, a woman who is contemplating such a move would want to know how it has worked out for someone who has done it. And she would ask a woman who has undergone the experience, who knows what it's like to be pregnant and alone, to have or not to have family support, to explain the situation to the child... who it is working out.

Unless of course Anonymous has simply given up on the prospect of having a child of her own. I suspect that she has not. But, at the least, a savvy therapist should raise the issue and discuss the different options. A therapist who had undergone the experience would have some direct personal knowledge of the issue.

On this score, therapist Gottlieb misses the point completely. For all the fancy psycho theories about repression, this therapist has a rather large and obvious blind spot.

James Clapper Loses Face

Not to be overly literal about it, but losing face has a very specific real-world correlate. When you lose face you lose your self-respect because you become unrecognizable. It's a bad sign, a sign of a lack of dignity and a lack of integrity. Among the ways to lose face: to become so emotional that your emotions make it nearly impossible for anyone to identity you.

Case in point, today, James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, on The View. Doug Ross @ Journal collected these images (via American Digest.)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tomi Lahren Attacked in Minneapolis


Here’s one for the annals of incivility. The thought police have bled out of universities and have taken up residence in your local eatery. At Sunday brunch, no less.

You have heard all about it by now. Fox News commentator and former Blaze talk show host, Tomi Lahren, a young woman who is a bit of a provocatrice—though certainly not at the Milo level—was having brunch with her mother in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For having done nothing to provoke anyone she was assaulted, verbally and physically by a group of young women who felt very, very strongly about immigration issues. I might be wrong, but I believe that throwing things at people is an assault. In England, you know, they do not just throw water. They throw acid.

Anyway, by their reasoning Lahren does not have the right to have brunch with her mother because she holds wrong opinions and has said what they consider hateful things. There you have it, Congress can pass no law restricting the freedom of speech but the thought police can harass and assault you in public if you disagree with them.

Even Kathy Griffin thought that they had gone too far.

In the world of democratic norms, the kind that the left is constantly denouncing Donald Trump for violating, allowing someone to have brunch in peace has to count among the most basic. Promiscuously denouncing a differing  opinion to be “hate speech” violates the norms of civility. The reason we have these norms is simple: what goes around comes around. Those who proudly proclaim themselves to be policing thought will eventually be subjected to the same incivility.

The Daily Mail has the story:

One of the two young women involved in a brunch scuffle with Tomi Lahren spoke out on Wednesday to say that she stands by the incident and ‘doesn’t care’ that President Trump disapproves of her friend throwing water at the Fox News pundit.

Twenty-three-year-old college graduate Libby, 23, was at a table with eight girlfriends at UNION rooftop bar and restaurant in Minneapolis when her friend threw water at Lahren as she walked by.

After throwing the water, the girl under the screenname Jasmine Kohler shared photographs of it on her Snapchat story and wrote: 'Thanks for the screenshots. I did it lol'. Earlier in the day, she appeared to goad followers by telling them in post: 'Tomi Lahren at union (sic). 5 screenshots and we dump a drink on her.'

After being hit with the water, Lahren turned to engage the group but it was Libby, not Jasmine, who launched a foul-mouthed tirade at her which was also captured on another video which later emerged.

What did she say?

She called Lahren, who is her age, a 'racist piece of s***’ and a ‘f****** piece of human garbage trash.’ 

She went on to tell Lahren’s 55-year-old mother Trudy that she worked with immigrants ‘every day of her life’, didn't want to hear what her daughter had to say and told the Lahren family: ‘You’re done, you can go.’

Remember when women were ladies. Remember when women and even men thought it indecorous to use foul language. Now, women feel compelled, not just permitted, to spew out a string of vulgar invectives... because they feel strongly about it.

If you don’t want to hear something, don’t listen. If you feel compelling to punish those who think differently, you are out of order and out of line:

Speaking to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, Libby said that while she did not throw the water, her friend was quite right to do so because Lahren is ‘racist’ and was ‘not welcome’ Minneapolis. 

‘When you use your platform to spread hate speech, you have lost your privilege to have a peaceful discourse,' she said.

'Especially when you come into our city, Minneapolis, which is a huge city for people of color and immigrants. She is not welcome here. Have you heard anything she says? She equated the Black Lives Matters movement to the KKK. 

So, disagreeing with the principles and tactics of BLM gives people the right to shut you up, shut you down and assault you in public.

Who is Libby:

Libby is a liberal arts graduate who volunteers for a non-profit organization which helps immigrants seeking asylum. She hopes to attend law school in the fall and wants to become an immigration attorney. 

On Sunday, she said she watched as Lahren was accosted by other patrons on the rooftop bar where drag performances had been going on all day.

‘Tomi was there at the brunch and everyone at the restaurant figured it out people were walking by her table and calling her names. We were going to do a chant, “like go home Tomi,” but it didn't happen.

‘[As Lahren was leaving], she walked by and the girl in the video tossed the water and it barely hit her,' she said. 

So, people believed that they had the right to assault Lahren and her mother verbally. Were they all immigration activists? Were they cosmopolitan citizens of the world who believe in open borders? We know that President Trump expressed his solidarity with Tomi Lahren. How about asking President Open-Borders-Citizen-of-the-World himself, Barack Obama what he thinks about what he has spawned.