Saturday, August 21, 2021

Jeff Bezos: Visionary. Back To The Future

This week’s theme is plus ça change, plus c'est la même chosethe more things change, the more they stay the same. That surely covers the Afghanistan situation, which I need to take a break from. It also sums up rather concisely this story, which literally made me laugh out loud when I read it: Amazon Plans to Open Large Retail Locations Akin to Department Stores. What a concept: bricks and mortar stores, the very thing Amazon set out to kill

searsSears, reimagined

Amazon started 27 years ago as an online bookseller but from the start founder Jeff Bezos intended it to become “an everything store” and planned for its explosive growth and ecommerce domination. Amazon’s virtual business model for discount books quickly killed every other major bricks and mortar bookseller in the country other from Barnes and Noble. As others followed suit, creating their own ecommerce businesses, traditional retail of all sorts fell victim. Today, from coast to coast, whole malls sit abandoned. 

rollin202Rolling Acres Mall, Akron, Ohio, before/after closing

Gen Z doesn’t even know a time when Amazon wasn’t the ecommerce behemoth it is today. They, and for the most part Millennials as well, can’t conceive of needing something that you would have to spend days or weeks trying to locate in actual stores around town and even then often have to settle for something else because nobody carried what you wanted. They never new a time when the entire world wasn’t your oyster, when things didn’t just show up on the front porch a day or two after it was ordered. Bezos’ business model, based on price and convenience, became the market in less than a generation.

And here we are today:

Amazon plans to open several large physical retail locations in the U.S. that will operate akin to department stores…The plan to launch large stores will mark a new expansion for the online-shopping pioneer into bricks-and-mortar retail…

Amazon executives have felt that bricks-and-mortar stores would enable better engagement with customers and provide a showcase for its devices and other products to shoppers who otherwise might not have tried them, a person familiar with the matter said.

Ironically, the first bricks and mortar retail store Amazon opened, in 2015, was a book store in Seattle.

amazon book storeLooks like it could be an old Borders Bookstore

The company has sought to innovate in bricks and mortar while building a network of stores that could glean insightful customer data and provide new shopping experiences. [ed. “gleaning” customer data has always been a big part of Amazon’s business plan.]

An expanded store footprint would enable Amazon to offer consumers a bevy of items they could try out in person before deciding to buy. That would be particularly beneficial in apparel, which can often be a guessing game for customers shopping online because of size and fit concerns. It would also give customers even more instant gratification than the quick shipping offered by Amazon for online purchases.

I guess you can call it what you like: instant gratification, boomerang business models, ‘everything old is new again’, plus ça change…the truth is it’s all premised on a form of predatory pricing, the illegal act of setting prices low in an attempt to eliminate the competition. It’s technically a violation of antitrust law as it makes markets more vulnerable to a monopoly”" (can you say “Amazon” - I know you can) However, like anything else involving crony-capitalists, don’t expect there to be any interest in such things at the Justice Department, they’re too busy not investigating the non-existent voter fraud in the last election.  You know, the election where the guy who was going to clear the swamp of crony capitalists lost “fair and square.”

The only trouble with capitalism in America today is…we don’t have capitalism in America today.

capitalism v crony capitalism aka corporatismCapitalism = Free Market; Capitalism + Government = Crony Capitalism: NOT Free Market. It’s that simple.

Friday, August 20, 2021

It’s Not As If We Didn’t Warn You

Should anyone care, the most dubiously elected President and Vice-President in the history of the Republic will be holding a presser at 1:00 EDT today. There will be remarks – on the Afghanistan crisis by Biden and the border crisis by Vice Border Czarina Harris. The remarks will be meant to provide the media with their latest talking points. The two might deem to take a couple of pre-approved and questions, probably regarding the COVID pandemic, prior to fleeing the scene.

We’ve come a long way baby.

From the Obama-Biden Peter Principle presidential ticket

bo joey_thumb[7]

which delivered a commie leader and his feckless sidekick, determined to fundamentally transform America.

bo joe tweedle dum and dumber_thumbThe Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb administration

That woke enough people up to give us President Trump for 4 years. But as he was too dangerous to the deep state’s agenda he had to go. So *censor me if you can find me* they rigged the election and fraudulently delivered the election to the selected team of Biden/Harris, arguably the two stupidest American leaders ever “elected.”


As former commander-and-chief™ Obama liked to tell us, elections have consequences. If that fact has somehow eluded you up till now you are part of the problem. So now come the consequences of the fraudulent election:
  • Out of control inflation
  • Out of control spending
  • Out of control crime
  • Out of control illegal alien invasion/child trafficking
  • Crippled American energy independence
  • Iran is back!
  • The pandemic is back!
  • Our foreign policy is a shambles: Afghanistan is a nightmare of catastrophic proportion and our allies are out of the loop and uninformed (and left hanging for 36 hours in the case of British PM Boris Johnson)

joe biden foreign policyNote to our diplomat-in-chief: people get pissed when you don’t return their calls, especially in the middle of a crisis.

But…no mean tweets! So I hope all you intellectually and morally superior bleeding heart pussy-hat wearing liberal fools are happy.

It’s not as if we didn’t try to warn you.

you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Limits of Tyrants

Whitmer, state's chief medical official at odds over school mask mandate. Our state’s “medical officer” recommended a statewide mask mandate for schools; Whitmer declined.

Whitmer has declared that she plans to leave school mask guidelines up to individual county health departments and local school districts, despite recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement universal mask mandates throughout the nation’s schools. Khaldun indicated that she would have preferred to accept the CDC recommendation.

Normally Whitmer loves mandates so why not impose another mandate now? Simple answer: (insert shocked face) politics! More specifically, polling data.

First of all, anytime a politician blames their decisions on “the science” you can rest assured that we are talking political science, which is a “science” in the same way women’s and gender studies are a “science.” Which is to say a pseudoscience discipline that ends in either “data” or “studies” and does not comply with the scientific method, lacks supporting evidence, and cannot be tested in practice or in principle. Perfect for politicians.

Apparently the science of political polling indicated to our governor-up-for-election-next-year that a significant number of parents opposed masking their kids for another school year.

TAMPA, FL - JULY 27: Families protest any potential mask mandates before the Hillsborough County Schools Board meeting held at the district office on July 27, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended those who are vaccinated should wear masks indoors including students returning to school. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

So she off-loaded that unpopular decision to local officials. These neo-authoritarians enjoy exercising their newfound petty tyrannical powers even more than those further up the chain.

But don’t worry Michigan, Whitmer’s Director of Health and Human Services , Elizabeth Hertel, hasn’t ruled anything out:

Hertel stated she would not “rule out” new restrictions, and noted another round of statewide mandates and closures could be imminent. “That’s a determination that needs to be made as the virus continues to spread across the state," Hertel said.

Translation: enjoy your freedom until such time our polling indicates that “the science” of popular sentiment shows that you are fearful enough to allow us to impose unconstitutional rules again.

It is not without purpose I post this link to a Spiked article about Australia. It is a warning, mostly for the Millennials and Gen Zs: the earth really can open under your feet and allow you to fall into a void. Once you find yourself there good luck with crawling and clawing your way out:

People who once thought they’d won the lottery of life by being born in Australia now wake in fright every day to the sudden realisation that they are living in a 21st-century penal colony. The country they once loved has been replaced by something they barely recognise.

The restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic are just the start of it. People have been confined to their houses, prevented from going to school or work, denied the freedom to cross state borders even to see a dying relative, and coerced to take a vaccine in order hopefully to regain the freedoms that were once their birthright.

Worse, these restrictions are being imposed by authoritarians who have seemingly come from nowhere and now dominate all of Australia’s positions of power, from the government to big business. These people are unlike any ruling elite Australia has ever known.

_methode_times_prod_web_bin_9158e340-e489-11eb-a821-58982b1c936dStay home and SHUT UP! We’ve got a 2nd 3rd 4th…104th wave!

His laments for his country are not unknown to us.

Sadly, there are few signs of dissent, let alone rebellion, among the populace. Polling companies are finding that modern Australians approve of being locked down by the government and even admire the grim, tough-talking leaders who impose these restrictions on them.

The mystery is, how did we get here? What happened to the culture that built this thriving nation on a harsh continent from scratch, that encouraged young men to fight so gallantly in other people’s wars, and that cherished freedom with such unbridled vigour? In short, and in the traditional vernacular, how did Australians go from being deadset champions to a nation of piss-weak wimps?

I once thought it could never happen here; I’m still guardedly optimistic – if you can call a thin thread of hope optimism. My delusion of America as a united country with a spine of steel is long gone but I do hope there is a regressive gene passed on to current generations that might activate a strand of DNA to rebellion before the final meltdown occurs. Something that will serve to awake the Woke Generation™ to their impending doom before they have been completely consumed, as we will be long gone.

Please pardon Grandma’s Frenchstill protesting this shitBut she’s been protesting face masks stomping on her face since 2020.

boot face tyranny

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Two Shots And A Booster

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge.

From HIPPA to “show me your medical records” in just 25 years. Awesome.

This is the inevitable evolution of progressive politics:



no shoes no shot


covid shots for the rest of usSo be sure to take your COVID shots today!

How does this even happen? The same way we went from energy dominance to energy begging in just 8 months. It’s not an accident, it’s the endgame of leftwing progressive policies. We are intended to become state-dependent serfs, it makes us easier to rule.

Wake up people. Refuse to be ruled by absolute morons; or you will wake up one day with absolutely no personal autonomy left. Trust me, millennials-who-know-much-more-than-all-us-old-boomers, you won’t like that.

Joven-Tequila shots lime and saltTwo shots and a booster: for the  ungovernable.

NOTE: Just received confirmation that my grand-nephew has been deployed to Afghanistan so your continued prayers for him, and all of our troops in harms way, would be deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Not Even A Player

As the situation on the ground deteriorates rapidly, the Biden administration’s reason for leaving appears to be transforming from “the Afghanis are ready to lead” to “the Afghanis will never be ready to lead.” - NR

Good grief. According to  WH talking points – aka “spinning points” show

“The administration knew there was a distinct possibility that Kabul would fall to the Taliban.”

The President continued to maintain that “it was not an inevitability,” it was a “possibility.” Apparently one they prepared for:

“The administration planned for every possibility. We had contingency plans in place for any eventuality – including a quick fall of Kabul.”

So…this is the contingency plan?

chaos at kabul airportchaos

Did the plan allow for the Taliban surrounding the Kabul airport, hence prohibiting access/evacuation of our Afghan allies and the remaining Americans on deck?


Who looks like they’re playing with the JV team now, Mr. President-two-cones?

joe ice cream

Mr. “the buck stops here” President?

biden points fingers afghanistan

Mr. LGBTQ-rainbow-flag-diversity President?

biden2The President, bucking the stop.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” — President Obama on ISIS, January 2014

No sir, it does not make you Kobe Bryant, nor does “winning” an election using “any means possible.” It doesn’t even make you a player.


Monday, August 16, 2021

Mx. Kabul

First came Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, debuting at the La Scala in Milan in 1904.

madame butterfly

Set at the beginning of the ever-so-hopeful 20th century it is the operatic story of Cio-Cio-San, a 15 year old geisha known as Madame Butterfly. She is  “purchased” along with a lease house overlooking Nagasaki harbor by an American Naval officer, Lieutenant B. J. Pinkerton. He ‘marries’ her, fathers her child, abandons her to return to America and take a proper (white) wife. When he returns years later with the new Mrs. to take his son back to America Cio-Cio-San chooses death over dishonor and commits seppuku.

Madame Butterfly, like many early operas, has run afoul of today’s gender and racial politics; it is accused of committing the dreaded sin of cultural appropriation along with propagating racist stereotypes. Many would have it cancelled straight away as a hateful relic of the past. Now I’m not saying that’s the way the Japanese interpreted the play 117 years ago, nor am I saying there’s any direct connection at all but I will point out that Japan did attack our Naval fleet 37 years later.

Seventy years later and the elite artists and musicians still didn’t get it. On the heels of our most humiliating military defeat until this weekend, Boublil and Schönberg released their updated version of Madame Butterfly for the Vietnam generation: Miss Saigon.

miss saigon album

The music was new, and unremarkable, but the story was as old as any cultural appropriated story could be: another tragic tale of a doomed romance between an Asian prostitute (Kim) and her G.I. lover (Chris). Like Pinkerton before him Chris father’s Kim’s child and abandons her -  on the roof of the American embassy no less - to return to America and marry a proper (white) wife.

miss saigonScene from NY Met production of Miss Saigon

He too returns with his new little woman to snatch up Kim’s son and yes, she too kills herself.

Now, some 45 years later and 20 years in the making, we have yet a third remake in the series. This one will be called Mx Kabul. (Note: “Mx” is the new, approved gender-neutral title)  This new musical will feature the combined talents of woke artists Bruce Springsteen, Lil Nas X, Beyoncé and Jay-Z and will be a hip -hop, rap, pop opera for the ages: completely cultural appropriation free and filled with inclusionary racial, sexual and cultural references.

For a change the abandoned lover will be neither geisha or whore but more likely a bacha bazi – one of the young boys forced to wear makeup and dance for men. Instead of the protagonist, the roles of whore and pimp will be filled by the producers and writers.

boyMx Kabul

I dare not even guess who will birth the offspring. So stay tuned, it’s guaranteed to be a Grammy and Tony winner.

In the meantime, enjoy Maria Callas singing Puccini.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Market Madness

I see that President Joey was right about one thing – the helicopters evacuating Americans from our embassy in Kabul are not landing on the roof…so far.

Given the state of the world I did the only thing a rational person can do: I went to the farmers market. Once there I proceeded to over-buy, well, everything: zucchini, eggplant, corn, blueberries, tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers. I always forget that I have to deal with all this produce once I cart it home and the rush is over.

So I made a pot of ratatouille.


It will be served hot, baked with mozzarella and parmesan, then cold, with crusty bread and maybe some salami. Even then I’ll still have enough left to freeze a couple of servings for later when fresh produce like this is nothing more than a fond memory.

But I couldn’t help myself, with Raj as my co-dependent accomplice I swept through the market, sweeping up more stuff than a family of eight could possible eat, especially corn. That wasn’t really my fault though; after I’d purchased my standard allotment of bi-color (see: I can be progressive!) corn from my usual purveyor I ran into another favorite vendor who had a small stash of the world’s most rare and elusive corn, a new silver queen variety – as sweet as any bi-color and then some. That’s right, my white supremacy emerged and forced me to purchase another half dozen ears. So now, depending on how you choose to view it, I’m either corn rich or corn heavy.

Of course I could always make corn relish but I generally save that task for the very end of the harvest season, plus I didn’t have any poblanos on hand which I like to use and it seemed a bit too warm to get the canner out Of course those are all simply excuses for the real reason which was “I just don't feel like it.” So I spent some time scrolling through pictures of corn salad recipes on the internet looking for something new as I’ve already done several riffs on the standard corn/black bean/avocado mélange. And I found a winner; admittedly it sounds weird and you will no doubt go “yuk” but trust me, you doubting Thomases, this will become one of your favorite summer side dishes. And it took care of two of my surplus items: corn and blueberries.

bc3 salad


Blueberry Corn Salad



2 ears fresh, uncooked corn cut from cobs

1 c. blueberries

1/3 c. minced red onion

1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper


¼ c. rice wine vinegar

¼ c. olive oil

1 smallish garlic clove, finely minced

¼ tsp kosher salt, black pepper

Cayenne pepper to taste, I used 4 shakes


Place salad ingredients in a bowl.

Put all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined.  Pour some of the dressing on the salad and stir to combine well, adding more dressing if needed. You’ll probably have about half of the dressing left over for another batch and trust me, there will be another batch. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

I’m thinking something green in it would be nice: basil, cilantro, parsley, a little mint perhaps?

There are dozens of recipes out there, I got mine here. Most use a variation of a honey-lime vinaigrette but I like this simple rice wine/olive oil/garlic version very much. You can also add all sorts of things to your salad if you’d like: diced cucumbers, avocado, jalapenos, cilantro, mint – even feta cheese. But honestly, I liked it just the way it’s written. It’s weirdly delicious. Raj was extremely skeptical but became a convert with the first bite. I might throw in some minced jalapeno and chopped cilantro to the leftovers today but that’s as ambitious as I intend to get all day.

So be careful out there good people, it’s a jungle out there and life’s too short.

farm road at sunset artOld roads, old dogs, old folks and old ways, still have a lot to offer in this sped-up world. – Unknown