Who's Cooking Tomorrow?

I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, for the first time in years. I'm about to start. Is anyone else here cooking? What are you making?

I'm making a cornbread and fruit stuffing, two kinds of mashed potatoes ( regular and sweet), a green bean casserole, gravy, cranberry sauce and salad. In addition, of course, to the turkey.

I also made a giant lasagne last night, and put it in the freezer, just in case the turkey doesn't come out right. I'm much better at cooking one pot meals: sauces, noodle dishes and stews, than one big bird and a lot of side dishes.

I'm also checking out Black Friday deals. Be careful about clicking from Google, there are tons of links with m*lwAre. Who do you think has the best deals on whatever you are looking for?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Happy Thanksgiving to All (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 07:53:33 PM EST

    We are going (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:00:31 PM EST
    to the home of old friends for Thanksgiving.
    Although I am bringing some side dishes.  Oyster stuffing, Greek Yemisi (a rice, hamburger, chestnut, pine nut, raisin stuffing), a Greek salad, a shrimp dish, and a butternut squash pie.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all, and Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends.

    Dinner (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Lora on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:25:32 PM EST
    Last year, roasting the turkey nearly killed me, so this year I made Cornish hens.  We just finished Thanksgiving dinner tonight, so my daughter and her boyfriend could join us.  Cornish hens, marinated with a combination of sesame-lime dressing and herb-white wine marinade, butternut squash, a wild/brown/white/black/red rice mix cooked with butter and salt, then added garlic and paprika, steamed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots), and salad.  And my mom special-ordered an apple pie (half Granny Smith and half McIntosh, half the sugar of a regular pie, and cinnamon as the only spice.  Heavenly), and a Mrs. Smith's pumpkin pie, for dessert.  All calorie counts are officially at zero for Thanksgiving dinner.

    Really like the sound of that apple pie (none / 0) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:56:32 PM EST
    half Granny Smith and half McIntosh, half the sugar of a regular pie, and cinnamon as the only spice.

    I like the firmness and the tart taste of Granny Smith apples. On the rare occasions that I make cooked apples, I use Granny Smith apples and tend to under cook them just a little.


    Just coming to the tail end of Day Two (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:39:37 PM EST
    of Thanksgiving Prep...we'll have 15 at the table(s) this year.

    What's on the menu:

    Cheese and fruit plate (guest contribution)

    Pumpkin soup (first time for this - tasted good, so we'll see if it makes it to next year's menu)

    Oyster stew (recipe from a local restaurant that is known for this - everyone loves it)

    Turkey (brined and butterflied and roasted flat)

    Grilled turkey breast

    Sage and sausage dressing

    Garlic mashed potatoes


    Cook's Illustrated Green Bean Casserole (fresh beans and mushrooms - makes a huge difference)

    Sauerkraut (a MD tradition - my mom's bringing it for the four people who will eat it)

    Spinach and Artichoke casserole (sister-in-law brings this)

    Relish tray (carrots, cocktail onions, celery, variety of olives)

    Brussels sprout salad (shaved raw sprouts, slivered almonds, grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, dressed with shallot/olive oil/lemon juice/orange juice)

    Cranberry sauce

    pumpkin pies (daughter making)

    apple pies

    Gingerbread roll

    Honestly, my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner?  The sandwiches made with the leftovers...

    Any mashed potato secrets? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:50:01 AM EST
    Broke down and bought a ricer this year - supposedly the secret to fluffy, non-lumpy mashed potatoes.

    Never use anything other than (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:42:43 AM EST
    an old fashion potato masher. I have the wavy kind.

    For me, the secret has always been to keep them on the stove over a very low heat while mashing and adding the butter, milk and seasoning.

    Have fun with your new ricer and let us know how it works.


    Plus one garlic glove (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:28:17 PM EST
    minced.  Agree on the masher.  A bit lumpy is the best.  And potato skins on, not peeled.

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by sj on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 02:42:19 AM EST
    yummy. Add a bit of sour cream. Sour cream is good on everything.

    I throw in some peeled garlic cloves with (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:21:31 PM EST
    the potatoes and then mash them with the cooked potatoes - the flavor is sweet, not strong.  I use lots of salt in the cooking water - it really adds a lot of flavor.

    I usually use a food mill, but skipped it this year, so potatoes were not perfectly smooth.  No one seemed to mind!

    I use lots of butter, which I grate into the potatoes, so it's all melted by the time I'm finished putting the potatoes through the food mill.

    Then I add some cream cheese, same way, and finally, the cream, salt and pepper.


    Might be time for some leftovers...


    Yes, I add (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:10:04 PM EST
    Garlic cloves as well when cooking the potatoes.  You're right, the garlic mellows out and is very nice.  
    I already had some leftovers.  Must.....resist.....more.  At least, for now.   ;-)

    Worked really well (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Yman on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:58:31 PM EST
    I've used a masher in the past, but I'm never able to get it lump-free and I know some of the kids/relatives like it completely without lumps.  used the Alton Brown recipe but with a ricer in lieu of a food mill and they were wonderful.  he has a creamy garlic/parmesan version as well, if anyone's interested.

    Never had a problem with lumpy (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:21:38 PM EST
    mashed potatoes. Glad to hear that you got the results you wanted. The garlic/Parmesan potatoes sound really good but we usually make mashed potatoes when my oldest grandson is around. He is still rather picky about what he eats. Not sure if he would like the change in flavor.

    the kids in my family (none / 0) (#20)
    by ZtoA on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:00:14 PM EST
    love the ricer. They all want to help and get in on the ricer action. I just supply the warm milk/butter/sour cream mixture. I have a small kitchen and these 5 kids are now tall, ranging from 5'11" to 6'7" and all have big feet so the kitchen is almost impossible to move around in especially since everyone else also wants to be near the action in the kitchen. This appears to amuse them.

    My daughter and I laid out some gourds to decorate the table and they fit perfectly into the shape of a man. Gourd man. We were going to say that he was thus because the turkey had gored him with its dangerous beak, but that's just a bit too dark for me. I'll replace it with some toys painted red with raw rice stuck to them and a couple of beautiful plastic dinosaurs all sharing some bits of food.


    The fresh green beans are ... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:47:40 PM EST
    ... easier said than done out here in the islands. I love green beans, but they've looked like crap the entire fall. This time around, we went with frozen instead, and steamed the product rather than boil it. I could hardly tell the difference.

    Anne (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:35:56 PM EST
    You left one important item off the table... A Ravens victory to top it all off.

    Ha! Didn't want to jinx it, and what (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:57:38 PM EST
    a game it was...Ravens/Steelers almost always goes down to the last second, and this one was no exception.  Some crazy plays - I mean, when was the last time you saw a play called dead because someone's helmet came off?  

    Long day - good day - food was good, we had lots of laughs, and tomorrow, the great leftovers!


    no cooking for me :) (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by labrat on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 10:08:16 PM EST
    I bring the wine and wash the pots!

    My best friends raise and roast my turkey!

    Best deal ever.

    Not for the bird! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:50:50 PM EST

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 201 (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:06:16 AM EST
    After a couple of bleak ones, here's a warm and cute and funny Thanksgiving comic: Santa's hungry.(link)

    The other two:
    v. 200
    v. 199

    Happy Thanksgiving to all TLers, have a great holiday meal, wherever you are, and whomever you're spending it with. As for the Dadlers, it'll be a quiet and intimate holiday dinner for three, prepared to the traditional and tasty nines by my lovely wife. She roasted a pumpkin a few days ago for pie filling. Nothing canned for my lady.

    Peace, y'all.

    Many Cooks (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by koshembos on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:50:32 AM EST
    We are a real melting pot: Chinese, American, Israeli and Polish. We have Buddhists, Jews and Catholics. In the past we had Arabs too, they brought a Halal turkey. We have two vegetarians.

    The turkey is done by the Chinese grandpa. My X, undisciplined as ever, will bring things I ate 40 years ago and many of them. My two sons will cook up a storm. My part: pumpkin/tofu wontons, ricotta balls, pumpkin pancakes, beet pancakes, mashed veggies and pumpkin cheese cake.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all and raise taxes on the rich (some in the extended family too).

    More of Zorba's excellent (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by fishcamp on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:17:09 AM EST
    Tzatziki dip recipe is going over to two Thanksgiving dinners to which I'm invited.  My Keys angler fans seem to be Tzatziki starved.  I just mumble incoherently when they ask what other Greek dishes I make.  Not sure if the Pilgrims had Tzatziki but it should be tasty with turkey.  Thanks Zorba.

    You know my email, fishcamp (none / 0) (#22)
    by Zorba on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:03:47 PM EST
    You have but to ask if you want any more Greek recipes.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:52:54 AM EST
    My favorite holiday--celebrated by all, the gifts are the food, drink, family and friends.  

    Among holidays, Thanksgiving is second (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:27:10 PM EST
    only to Passover.

    Happy T-Day everyone.... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:42:00 PM EST
    Eat and drink hearty.

    My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.

    Phyllis Diller

    Going to the inlaws (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:40:48 PM EST
    Bringing a dish.  The typical day.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:09:39 PM EST
    We're in Hilo once again for the long weekend, arrived at 8:00 p.m. last night. It's a gorgeous afternoon, but surprisingly warm and dry.

    There will be ten of us tonight, as we're hosting dinner for seven of Younger Daughter's friends from the UH-Hilo dorms, who otherwise don't have any place to go for the holiday. They're all downstairs by the pool right now.

    Elder Daughter stayed behind in Honolulu, preferring to spend the holiday with some friends over in Kailua. Besides, she would've had to fly back home tonight, because she has to work tomorrow. Her recovery from her accident injuries has been on course and uneventful, and she started back at work two weeks ago. The only difference is that she has an assistant assigned to her on site calls, and he gets to do all the ladder climbing and crawling and whatnot.

    As for me, the kitchen prep work is done, the bird's in the oven, The Spouse is napping (she's getting over a cold), and I'm enjoying the Raiders-Cowboys game with a pint of Kona Brewery's Pale Ale. How about those Packers, huh? Boy, oh boy, do they miss Aaron Rogers!

    Have a great day, everyone. Aloha.

    Have you noticed any dropoff (none / 0) (#47)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:25:21 PM EST
    in the Kona product since they were bought by Craft Brew Alliance? My BREW stock has done very nicely since they brought Kona onboard. Keep enjoying and keep drinking :)

    Most Kona Coffee is grown by ... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:52:35 PM EST
    ... a multitude of small farmers on the west coast of the Big Island. Since we live out here, we can buy the beans direct, without having to go through Craft Brew Alliance. It's one of the more expensive coffees to be had, but in my estimation it's worth it, if only because we're supporting local businesses directly. The neighboring Ka'u coast (southeastern shore of the Big Island) is also developing a reputation for growing a quality coffee product, and so is the island of Molokai.

    The biggest economic threat to Big Island farmers and the unofficial brand of "Kona Coffee" has come from those mainland distributors who advertise their product as "Kona Blend," when in fact it's about 97% Colombian and only 3% Kona, on average. They deceptively capitalize on the Kona coffee reputation, and unfortunately, people go for it and pay outrageous prices for what is mostly run-of-the-mill Colombian coffee.

    So, if you want the real deal, beware of the stuff labeled "Kona Blend," and purchase only those products which are labeled 100% pure Kona coffee.



    Not the coffee (none / 0) (#54)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:56:04 PM EST
    The beer :)

    Oops! My bad. ;-P (none / 0) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:30:24 PM EST
    I do like the Kona brewery product, especially the Pale Ale. Ironically, since Craft Brew Alliance bought the company, a lot of its product is not necessarily brewed at its flagship brewery in Kailua-Kona, but in places like Portsmouth, NH and Portland, OR.

    What we have now is basically the same problem I just described to you above about Kona coffee, i.e., people who are blatantly capitalizing on the Kona name, without actually offering the consumer you the real deal. Labels and truth in advertising seem to mean nothing anymore.

    I take great pride in Hawaii microbrews like Kona Brewing, because when I was working for House leadership in the state legislature 13 years ago, I managed to convince legislators over the course of two sessions (1999-2000) that microbrews could prove quite lucrative out here.

    We ended the stranglehold and near-monopoly that Eagle Distributors (Budweiser) and Paradise Beverages (Miller Brewing Co.) had enjoyed in the Hawaii beer scene for decades, by extending the shelf life for imported beers and allowing for the local incorporation of small breweries that produced only a few thousand barrels per year.



    Ten responses to the phrase "Man Up." (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:20:04 PM EST
    In a monologue of a little over three minutes, the poet Guante offers ten possible responses to the challenge of "Man Up," each one with an invaluable insight as to why sexist attitudes and expressions can be just as damaging, debilitating, dehumanizing and demoralizing for men and boys, as they are for women and girls:

    "Seven. How many boys have to kill themselves, before this country acknowledges the problem? How many women have to be insulted, how many trans people have to be murdered? We teach boys how to wear the skin of a man, but we also teach them how to raise that skin like a flag and draw blood for it."

    Definitely worth a look and listen.

    Another sad dose of Black Friday reality (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:54:14 PM EST
    Black Friday Death Count.

    Gosh, maybe someone will come along to tell us what a great thing Black Friday is, and, hey if a few people die and scores get injured, well, that ain't no big thing. Support your local Walmart!!!


    Oh man (none / 0) (#97)
    by sj on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:59:55 PM EST
    I'm grateful I avoid Black Friday like the plague. That's really tragic.

    I have a cousin who's gone every Black Friday (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:14:23 AM EST
    for about five years to stand in line at 3:00 a.m. She's the only family member who does this and I just can't figure out what she needs so badly that she can't wait until a day off to go shopping? I imagine she was waiting in line by 11 pm last night for the midnight door opening. Crazy.

    Meanwhile, today in Bellevue, WA (just across the lake from Seattle) the riot police showed up at a small anti-Walmart protest.

    A group of over a hundred protesters showed up at Walmart around 10 a.m. on Friday and reportedly blocked one, but not all of the entrances to the store before police arrived.

    Protestors said they wanted to call attention to the low wages paid by Walmart stores.

    About a hundred people carried signs and marched near the mall entrance on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

    Bellevue PD brought in officers in riot gear to clear protestors from Walmart property.

    15 arrested, 0 tased. I guess that's progress.


    Happy Thanksgiving to all. (4.50 / 2) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:28:01 AM EST
    Hope everyone is spending time with people that they love and enjoy.

    Going to my daughter's house today. I'm doubly blessed - she has a big house and likes things cooked her way. IOW, she will be doing the major part of the cooking. I am bringing a cranberry orange relish and a bottle of wine. I may or may not be in charge of making the gravy. It depends on whether or not we get into a discussion on making the gravy using corn starch or flour. I make gravy with flour and it never gets lumpy. For whatever reason, I cannot make it lump free when using corn starch. Bottom line, flour - I make it - corn starch - daughter makes it. Just one of those "silly" family things.

    The best part of the celebration is that both my grandsons will be in town and I will get to catch up with what is going on in their lives. Nothing IMO beats spending time with "Nana's boys."

    Not an ideologically pure Holiday season (1.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:39:41 AM EST
    Amazon may save the US Postal service. Private-Public partnerships can also be pragmatic deals where everyone wins and not "dirty" as often imagined by ideological purists.


    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:04:03 AM EST
    They ALWAYS benefit the private and the expense of the public, that is the ONLY reason a private business gets into these things. Come on, you think they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Why would you WANT a scummy, employee-hating company like Amazon to "save" any part of a government supposedly by of and for the people. This is a uniquely American sickness, the idea that everything is just a commodity, from things to people's lives.

    And politics aside... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:05:51 AM EST
    ...Have a happy Thanksgiving, my fellow free American. Peace.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you also, (none / 0) (#23)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:07:32 PM EST
    Dadler. Wishing you the very best on this wonderful day!

    Amazon (none / 0) (#21)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:01:54 PM EST
    I did not say that Amazon will "save" the USPS out of the goodness of their heart. However, if you really believe that publicly funded organizations can provide services cheaper (as may folks here argue on healthcare issues) than private businesses because they do not have to pay high CEO compensation, etc, you can possibly believe that it would be in Amazon's own capitalistic interests to save the USPS. Cost cutting on package delivery charges using the USPS will mean more profit for Amazon and higher payday for its executives and shareholders.

    They won't save the post office (4.25 / 4) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:39:49 PM EST
    Out of either the goodness or badness of their hearts.

    They will deal with them.  If they get a good deal, they'll use them.  Pretty soon the PO will start relying on them.  Then Amazon will start extorting from them.  At some point, the political meme will be that we' have to give Amazon everything they want or the post office will die.  Federal "bail outs" will ensue, not to the PO, but to Amazon.

    It's the same kind of thing that Boeing does with state governments.

    Amazon isn't helping the post office in any way.  Maybe they're offering a temporary band aid, but the wound will grow huge underneath.


    Amazon will just be 1 customer (1.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 04:14:32 PM EST
    for the USPS. Why does the USPS have to rely on Amazon only for business?

    Lots of countries give companies all sorts of tax breaks to keep employment and technology within their borders. Europe does it with Airbus. Massive government tax breaks and subsidies provided by the local Chinese governments have helped China become the manufacturing capital of the world. People in most states in America (and also countries in the world) would love Boeing to manufacture airplanes in their state.



    Non-union states are courting Boeing (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:04:59 PM EST
    "Right-to-work" states that pay cr*ppy wages and cr*py benefits...whose workers are so pathetically UNSKILLED they f*cked up the Dreamliner production by making unusable, unsafe parts that had to be re-manufactured by the workers in Everett, WA -- the same Everett engineers and machinists that Boeing had said "F*ck You" to in 2003 when they set up Dreamliner deals. This all led to a three-year delay and billions of dollars lost because of Boeing's greediness and their hostility towards the longtime, highly skilled, unionized workforce in WA. And they still haven't learned their lesson.

    Maybe you can spend the rest of your holiday actually educating yourself about the FACTS regarding Boeing's corporate behavior. Because it's clear you know absolutely NOTHING of what you are popping off about.


    I did not know (none / 0) (#33)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:28:36 PM EST
    that California was a non-union state with pathetically unskilled workers. It is one of the states that is known to be aggressively wooing Boeing. Some other union states like Missouri, and Pennyslvania are also in the running.  

    Not all right-to-work states have an unskilled work force. Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, etc have very skilled labor pools with considerable experience in engineering and the aerospace industry. Even the Huntsville region in Alabama is brimming with NASA workers and contractors.

    It is just a matter of time before South Carolina catches up.


    "It is just a matter of time"? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:43:06 PM EST
    Oh, please, PK, read a history book. Even with just a cursory glance at the American past, it's more than apparent that South Carolina not only hasn't "caught up" in over two hundred years, it perversely prides itself on its sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

    What makes you believe the next century will prove any different from the prior two?


    A lot of the engineering workforce (none / 0) (#36)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:58:53 PM EST
    in South Carolina will probably be transplants from north-eastern or mid-atlantic states.

    Manufacturing will also get increasingly automated.

    Some dinosaurs on social issues (and there are plenty in South Carolina) may also have a strong skill-set required for machinists and electricians. Boeing will just hire these people for the skills they possess, not their views on social issues.


    They already did that. (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:14:47 PM EST
    The B-787 program ended up three years behind schedule, and plagued with problems galore. IMHO, Boeing got exactly what it paid for in South Carolina -- cheap results. The only reason that plane's even flying now is because of the job was turned back over to Boeing workers in Washington state.

    Let us wait and watch (none / 0) (#39)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:28:53 PM EST
    I would also strongly prefer manufacturing to remain in a blue state, this is the reason I am saying that we should not begrudge tax subsidies provided by the state government. All non-union states are doing that as well as countries that are our economic competitors. Workers employed by Boeing also pay taxes, so the state gets good returns on subsidies that are provided.

    "Wait and watch"? (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:40:20 PM EST
    Boeing has been in South Carolina for a decade now. Personally, I've seen enough.

    If Airbus manufactures in Alabama (none / 0) (#44)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:04:04 PM EST

    Your biggest competitor has also placed the same bets as you have. Some risks get reduced for Boeing if they manufacture in Alabama or South Carolina. No?


    I'm standing by what I said. (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:06:50 PM EST
    You get what you pay for. And if you pay cheap, you can expect cheap results -- which more often than not ends up costing you more money over the long haul, than if you just paid your experienced workers a quality wage to secure a quality product in the first place.

    Given Boeing executives' disastrous decision making regarding the 787 in South Carolina, which ultimately cost the company billions in lost and cancelled orders and ironically drove its stock price down, and its continued efforts to break the aerospace unions in Washington state and southern California, it's painfully obvious that they've not learn their lesson, and are stuck on the same ideological plain as their ignorant tea party brethren.

    As I said, it would be far better and more profitable over the long term for Boeing shareholders to dump its incompetent Chicago-based executives, and instead bring about new and enlightened management that treats its unionized labor force on the west coast not as a financial liability, but as the prized asset that it truly is.



    I agree with what you are saying (none / 0) (#56)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:24:11 PM EST
    but if shareholders took the long term view, we would not never have the kinds of problems we have in America right now, to begin with. I can hope for the best but will not be surprised if things don't turn out the way you mentioned.

    Even the Mexican government (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:43:28 PM EST
    is heavily investing in aerospace manufacturing. The Brazilian regional jet manufacturer, Embraer, will be using aerospace components manufactured in Mexico in its regional jets. Even aerospace manufacturing will eventually get commoditized.

    If you want aerospace manufacturing in Washington state, do not begrudge the subsidies that the state government if providing Boeing. Many other states would love to provide those subsidies to lure Boeing as would many other countries.


    Embraer S.A. is a very good company, with ... (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:38:12 PM EST
    ... great product. Their RJ-145 is one of the premier regional jets in the business, and their 30-passenger E120 Brasilia has long been a staple of regional airlines both her in the U.S. and around the world. They found their niche market, focusing on building aircraft that can service smaller and often more rural communities in a more efficient and profitable manner than can Airbus and Boeing products.

    As far as Boeing is concerned, management needs to realize that it was its unionized Washington state workforce -- and by literal extension, its unionized (former McDonnell-Douglas) workforce in Long Beach -- that got them to where they are, and not the "right to work" labor in Greenville, South Carolina.

    The Puget Sound region has been very loyal to Boeing and has supported the company through thick and thin since the 1930s, but unfortunately, that loyalty has not lately been reciprocated by a now-Chicago-based management obviously more obsessed with the company's NYSE share price than concerned with producing a quality product in its plants.

    Given that 80% of Boeing management probably doesn't know a ratchet from a lug nut or a gear strut from an aileron, they need to learn to respect their experienced labor force on the west coast for the prized asset that it is, and not just think they can just simply recreate it anywhere they so choose. As the B-787 program showed, it just doesn't work that way. It would be easier -- and probably more profitable over the long term -- to replace the executive suite occupants instead.



    Boeing should pay back WA State the $3.2 billion (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:26:35 PM EST
    in tax dollars for the last dirty deal they bribed us out of. And all they have done since that day in 2003 is tighten the wrench even more by trying to break the unions. The $9 billion they just demanded from us three weeks ago was a blatant attempt to violate their existing contract with the Boeing machinists, a contract that doesn't expire until 2016. When they bought out MD and moved their headquarters to Chicago they turned into a very dirty company. And McInerney and O'Connor are incompetent.

    Long Beach may yet get the 777x, and you can be guaranteed, it will be at great cost to California taxpayers. Boeing does not need tax breaks in order to build planes. It's a Fortune 500 company that hauls in $85 billion in revenues and over $4 billion in profits annually. They don't pay federal income tax, they don't pay their share of B&O taxes, and they don't have to pay any state income tax in WA, because we don't have state income tax. Boeing is the epitome of a company receiving corporate welfare.

    And South Carolina is, as Jay Inslee put it today, a "disaster" for Boeing manufacturing. SC can't produce even a third of WA's output, using three times as many workers. And they're not getting up to speed anytime soon.


    "Everyone wins." (none / 0) (#28)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:35:53 PM EST
    Not the people forced to now work on Sundays, just to keep their Amazon overlords happy.

    Sheesh. It gets more ridiculous by the moment.


    I don't know any business (3.00 / 2) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:21:24 PM EST
    other than most Chick-fil-A's that are closed on Sundays and they are open in my local mall on Sundays now. I worked Sundays and holidays for 26 years. Even my bank is open on Sunday now. Sundays off is long in the past.

    Shoephone (none / 0) (#50)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:21:27 PM EST
    I'm not saying it's right. It's just the way it is. Black Friday started at 4pm today at my local mall and they stay open straight through until 11:00 tomorrow night. I passed by a Walmart that had police directing traffic at 5:00 this afternoon because the parking lot was full and closed. If people want it, businesses will open for it. Such is life.

    "It's just the way it is" lets them off (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:15:27 PM EST
    the hook for ruining the only national holiday that is considered a coveted get-together for families. And, even though it's gotten progressively worse in the last decade, it wasn't this way last year...not quite...because this is the year Macy's decided to get in on the act and open at 8 pm Thursday, and K-Mart, bless its non-existent heart, has been open all day and is staying open for 41 straight hours. It doesn't have to be this way. But the sick consumer culture we desperately cling to makes it acceptable for companies to do this. Just because companies can get away with it doesn't mean they should.

    I know people who work for these retail outlets and they are not making any time+1/2 wages. But they are being told they need to show up or they will get a demerit point on their records, or, in the worst case, be fired. These are companies that already wreak havoc on employees' lives by giving them terrible hours that change every week or two, making it impossible for them to have normal family time. And it wreaks havoc on people's health. I know this firsthand because my brother worked for Macy's for over a decade--as a manager--and after he and my sister-in-law had two kids, the company still wouldn't give him decent, reliable hours. He finally quit and found a good job for comparable salary with a much more humane schedule.

    I don't take part in Black Friday, never have, never will. And I certainly won't go shopping on Thanksgiving. I won't contribute to the outrageous income gap between CEO's and their workers, and I won't be a part of creating scenarios that force people to choose between their crummy retail wage job and their family. This country's economic realities remind me of something out of Dickens.


    What's really amazing is that there (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:45:48 PM EST
    actually was a time when stores weren't open in the evenings or on Sundays - and somehow, people managed to buy what they needed to buy.

    And then one store decided to open on Thursday night, and all the other stores, afraid that they would lose business to that store, decided they would be open that night, too.  And then it was Saturday night.  And before long, it was every night, and then it was Sunday.  Were more people shopping, or were pretty much the same number of people shopping over more hours?

    I can't ever picture myself shopping on Thanksgiving, and I've never been a Black Friday shopper.  For one thing, I'm usually so beat from hosting Thanksgiving that I don't make it out of my pajamas and just want my turkey sandwich on good bread, with mayo and cold stuffing and lots of olives on the side.  And I hate crowds, can't stand the pushing and shoving.

    I'm glad I have the choice not to be working on Thanksgiving, but I feel bad for those whose don't really have that choice, not if they want to keep their jobs.  I'm actually more likely to shop at a store that doesn't make its employees work on Thanksgiving than at one that does.  And I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way.

    It is what it is because of the choices businesses make, but if more of us just stayed home, there wouldn't be an economic advantage for these places to be open.


    "Small Business Saturday" (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:56:35 AM EST
    Don't know about the rest of the country, but here in the Seattle area we have "Small Business Saturday" as a welcome counterpoint to Black Friday. It encourages people to patronize their neighborhood small businesses. Since I do the majority of my shopping at small independents anyway, I look forward to this.

    And I bet you're not going to want to get out of those pajamas until at least mid-afternoon tomorrow.


    Well, we got along without cellphones, too. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:09:31 AM EST
    And now, the FAA is thinking that we can't get by without them on plane rides. It's ridiculous. We would do well to dial back the self-induced frenetic pace of life.

    I read the other day that actually, 85% of Americans do stay home on Black Friday, no doubt while the remaining 15% of us seek new lows in the realm of collective and individual human behavior.

    Enjoy the mall/big box store-free day.


    I didn't stay home this morning (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:04:40 PM EST
    Although it was tempting.  However, I didn't go shopping, either.
    I woke up early and dragged myself to my water exercise class at the Y, which was going on today (although not too many of us were there).  I just felt that I needed to exercise after all the food yesterday.
    And then I rewarded myself by soaking in the whirlpool spa for awhile.  Heavenly!  I would love to have one of those at home.  And a small indoor pool to swim in.  And the money to afford all of this.    ;-)

    We also got along (4.00 / 3) (#70)
    by CoralGables on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:23:38 AM EST
    without planes. I have no doubt, once upon a time people, people complained Henry Ford was ruining the neighborhood.

    Our policies are a mixed bag (none / 0) (#66)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:37:27 AM EST
    At a personal level, I never go for black Friday sales, can't even imagine shopping on Thanksgiving day, mostly shop from independent "mom and pop stores" wherever possible (and avoid big box stores). I do not patronize retailers that are known to treat their employees badly. My shopping needs are also strictly functional and I never shop for pleasure.

    In other words, I do not feed the consumerist culture that is prevalent at the personal level.

    However, I got called a "capitalist pig" in this thread. And when I suggested yesterday that the middle class could take more control of the economic inequality debate in this country by eschewing consumerism, ironically, I was accused of promoting "feudalism".

    Today, the focus in this blog is on reducing the frenetic pace of life-something that consumerism is directly responsible for promoting. I am thinking, "duh, this is what I was saying yesterday and you were low rating me at that time...."

    The level of discourse in this blog has hit abysmal levels!

    I would like to however point out that many people do find it convenient to have stores open in the evenings or Sundays. People that are single or belong to families where both spouses work find it convenient to patronize stores, post-offices, banks etc that are open during their non-work hours. Work hours for a lot of people spill into weekends these days.

    People in this blog think that "capitalist pigs" have destroyed the way of life that America had 40 years ago. A conservative colleague of mine is equally convinced that "greed" in families where 2 incomes are needed out of "consumerist want" and not necessity has led to a very materialistic society where money is more important than people and the frenetic pace of life we are witnessing. He blames "the liberals" for it.

    Where do you go from here? People on both sides of the ideological divide have diametrically opposite viewpoints regarding what has caused this change in the pace of life in the last 40 years. I do not think that you can force others to "see the error of their ways".

    Wiser people than me have said that if you want change in the world, be that change yourself instead of expecting others to change to what you want them to be or want them to do. This piece of wisdom holds true even today, IMO.


    ROTFLMAO (4.33 / 6) (#71)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:56:00 AM EST
    This is a classic.

    You actually put a complaint that the discourse in this blog has hit abysmal levels, a whine that people were saying mean things about you and an admonishment to others "if you want change in the world, be that change yourself instead of expecting others to change to what you want them to be or want them to do" in this comment.


    When we are not parsing and other gotchas (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:45:51 PM EST
    Isn't the matter of Thanksgiving time no-end-to-shopping-at-any-time something that most here find sad, bad and to be avoided if possible.  That seems like what I read.  

    The degree of differences in the comments may be more pronounced in the area of assigning responsibility ... spiraling consumerism, extra profit seeking corporations, growing materialism in a changing society, all of us individually (and "all of the above.") IMO, politalkix touches on these aspects.  I think that his/her short earnest discussion in that vein is a good contribution to any look at the bloated shopping malady afflicting Thanksgiving recently. Note: I do enjoy an occasional shopping for no reason at times other than Thanksgiving holiday ... so, I don't meet the austere standard alluded to by pk in that regard ...but then, fun helps relieve "all work and no play," etc.

      On a more serious note, and knowing that you did not use the uncalled for description of "capitalist pig" earlier, somehow leveling a societal put-down against politalkix (or anyone else) for pointing out that individuals also need to take responsibility for seasonal shopping hysteria is a mite much.  After all, collectively and individually, we are part of it.


    Just in case comment was unclear, (4.20 / 5) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:05:00 PM EST
    it had absolutely nothing to do with shopping.

    When a commentator is noted for dishing out insults at every opportunity, I find is ironic to say the least when they complain about the discourse in this blog hitting abysmal levels, proceeds to whine about people saying mean things about them and then admonish others on how they should be the change themselves instead of expecting others to change.


    Chicken & egg & all that (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:19:25 PM EST
    Assuming arguendo that the writer of "capitalist pig" did not "start it"--the "it" being a personal insult contest or practice--what is the reward or positive enforcement for taking-the-first-step to curtail our insult practice???  Does it matter who takes that first step!!!

    I stand by what I said (4.33 / 6) (#78)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 02:59:27 PM EST
    Blaming the middle class for the rabid greed of corporate executives is really beyond the pale, IMO. As is being a dismissive a$$hole about so-called whiny people who want to have Sundays off from the post office so they can have one day for family time and relaxation (apparently, it's beyond comprehension for some people that families don't have the opportunity to all spend a day together during the week..ya know, when the other parent is working, and the kids are in school.)

    The post office is not the same as a retail outlet. Is that hard to understand? And, unsurprisingly, we also got fed a comparison between the invention of air transportation and forcing people to work on Thanksgiving. Are these things comparable? No, they are not. It is a laughable comparison.

    But that's the kind of nonsense that passes for intelligence on this blog these days.

    I live in the northwest, and I have people in my life that either currently work for, or have previously worked for both Boeing and Amazon. When it comes to corporate bad behavior, I know whereof I speak. Funny coincidence that, this week, workers are striking an Amazon plant in Germany, in hopes of getting decent wages and improved working conditions (Amazon is notorious for horrible working conditions at its warehouses). Gosh, I guess it's not just an American thing. In fact, it's a problem with multi-national corporations.  

    I and my family members have been directly affected by the disgustingness of Black Friday, Putrid Thursday, and all manner of corporate bad behavior when it comes to working retail. And to have some petty little a$$hole handing out tropes about "being the change you want to see" is offensive as he[[. Because I would put my cred against his any day of the week when it comes to practicing what I preach, and putting my money where my mouth is.

    I stand by what I said.


    I am sure that your feelings are genuine (none / 0) (#79)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 04:57:16 PM EST
    Plus, your points about how employees in retail are treated and, more pointedly, the callous disregard those employees in the highly-promoted commercial season of $$$ joy for the corporate owners ... those points should be repeated.  They need to be heard and digested along with the repasts of the season.

    From my point of view, tho--and here comes the "but"--the fact that someone puts forth a different emphasis about the sales-sales season does not translate to being called a pig of any persuasion.  Whether there are underlying animosities as to certain people, it doesn't make sense for me to comment on who-said-what-to-whom years ago for starters.  Looking only at the discussion about Black Friday and now the notorious spin-offs, I can point out what appears to be an out-of-proportion, insulting epithet.  I can comment on that ... and have legitimately done so.


    Christine, shoephone was very clear (4.33 / 6) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:25:43 PM EST
    that her comment was not about

    who-said-what-to-whom years ago

    and you know that. My comment was also not about

    who-said-what-to-whom years ago

    I can legitimately point out what appears to be an out and out distortion of what is being discussed. Your comments lose validity when you resort to this type of rhetoric.  


    Let it pass (1.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:29:39 PM EST
    Christine, Let it pass. I think some people have an Occupy TalkLeft mindset. They think that by hurling epithets like "capitalist pig", "petty little a$$hole", etc, they are increasing their street credentials and expressing solidarity with each other. Just take a quick look at the people who are highrating posts containing these epithets-you will be able to form an idea about the way they try to bully people.

    You cannot have a reasonable discussion with them. I will not even try. I am not a self-proclaimed pacifist. However, I do have a lot of respect for real pacifists, not the phoney kind without a modicum of self control. So I will continue to quote Pope Francis, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama and others whenever I consider it appropriate, irrespective of how some people perceive it here. I will not let people bully me into not doing that.

    It may be more useful for us to get back to the substance of the conversation regarding whether the Amazon partnership with USPS is a healthy development or not with a potential of expanding private-public partnerships instead of getting drawn into side discussions of insults.


    You can dish it out (4.33 / 6) (#87)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:23:14 PM EST
    but you sure can't take it. You just cannot deal with being called on your b.s. Well, too bad. You're going to keep getting called on it.

    As for your plea to Christine, you don't get to control the conversation here, as desperate as you are to try.


    If you feel self satisfied (none / 0) (#90)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:18:30 PM EST
    "controlling" the conversation here with your behavior, keep doing what you are doing. The USPS will however deliver for Amazon on Sundays. The USPS will also be partnering more with private companies to provide round the clock services to customers in the future. This was something that you were against and wanted to control. That will not happen.

    I may even order some books and merchandize from Amazon and ask for a Sunday delivery. I won't feel guilty about it because I work regularly on weekends. Ofcourse, I will tip the mail delivery person very well and make him/her happy. Most people that I know, who do not have the luxury not to work on weekends, will also call you out on your bs. Just like me!

    Calling people names will not enable you to control the things you want to, however desperately you try! Changing your behavior may make people listen more sympathetically to what you want.



    Will you, now? (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:09:13 PM EST
    I may even order some books and merchandize from Amazon and ask for a Sunday delivery. I won't feel guilty about it because I work regularly on weekends. Of course, I will tip the mail delivery person very well and make him/her happy.

    Considering that postal workers are prohibited from receiving cash or cash equivalents, I'm sure they'll appreciate your generous tips after they're fired.



    Yes, this is true (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:27:55 PM EST
    When I tried to give our postal worker up here in the boonies a tip years ago, she told me that they were not allowed to accept such.
    Although, I have since given her home-baked goods or a jar of home-made jam or pickles.  This, she will accept, gratefully.
    Maybe these are "cash equivalents," but since they are home- made and not purchased, this seems to be okay.  
    She does a great job, delivering our mail on a mountain-top country road, in all kinds of horrible weather.  I often talk with her, and consider her a friend.

    No, I think you're good (5.00 / 3) (#170)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 07:27:42 PM EST
    As long as those type of gifts are worth less than $20/$50 per year, you should be good.

    I'm sure she does appreciate them ... who wouldn't appreciate some homemade, Zorba goodness!  :)


    I think what I most enjoy about your (4.50 / 6) (#102)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 10:28:57 AM EST
    comments is the combination of spitefulness and superiority - oh, and I can't forget the unintentional humor of telling people that if they would change their behavior, their comments might be received better.

    I think what you are missing here, perhaps because you are so committed to being on the opposite side of whatever certain of us here are on, is that it is possible to have a good, profitable business model that isn't built on treating employees badly.  There are a lot of businesses that are just fabulous - if you don't have to work for them.  And salving your conscience by "generously tipping" the person working on Sunday because he or she is fearful of losing the job doesn't make up for it.  

    Because the postal worker who shows up at your door is just one part of the equation.  There are all the mail sorters who don't get the benefit of your tips, the warehouse workers, the customer service people, the back-office clerks - all of whom know that with unemployment still high, Amazon won't have any trouble finding replacements for the people fired for refusing to work on Sundays.  

    I mean, how fabulous is this?

       Gawker has published a brutal series of emails describing life inside America's Amazon warehouses, where temp employees toil in freezing conditions. Their rest and lunch breaks disappear because Amazon's warehouses are so big its takes several minutes of walking to get to and from your work-station.

        Pennsylvania's Morning Call published a series of stories about Amazon warehouses that were so hot workers fainted on the job and were placed on stretchers  by paramedics. (Amazon has since installed air conditioning.)

        Amazon's temp agency aggressively opposes unemployment compensation for workers who were let go because they were sick, The Morning Call reported.

        Mother Jones did an in-depth piece that described how Amazon workers are fired if they burst into tears on the job. ("There's 16 other people who want your job. Why would they keep a person who gets emotional, especially in this economy?")

        One account of being trained at an Amazon warehouse compared it to being in prison: "My initial thought was this is prison, the comparisons were obvious. I felt like asking anyone sitting by me or standing in line next to me 'so, what are you in for?' It would have been a completely appropriate question."

        And it's not just the warehouses. We recently published portions of an email from an Amazon temp developer, who explained that because Amazon only seems to hire temps, the pay and the quality of work stay low.

    How are your "tips" going to help these people?

    And why would you want to praise a business model like this, and why would you want to spread that model to the USPS?

    Who is it really making money for?


    That entire post is insanity (4.33 / 6) (#91)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:35:30 PM EST
    I'm not the one trying to "control" anything. You are. It just so happens, I actually know something about the greedy corporations you support. And you're not convincing anyone of anything except that you are indeed, one of the biggest whiners ever to hit this site. Mo Blue's link was spot on!

    Uh-huh. (4.33 / 6) (#94)
    by sj on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:54:54 PM EST
    You may even order from Amazon and ask for a Sunday delivery.

    And you will tip the mail delivery person very well.

    While you are at work.

    Where you are regularly on weekends.

    And unless you live in a secure building, the "mail delivery person" is unlikely to even ring your doorbell, so you would naturally tip the door answering person, too, right? And make a point of learning the name of the mail delivery person so that they can be tipped at a later time if necessary?

    You are always sideways with logic, but this one? Oy. Even the petulance and pettiness is funny. In fact, the whole thing made me laugh.

    Maybe you should remember that

    [c]hanging your behavior may make people listen more sympathetically to what you want.

    Maybe some folks are so magical (4.00 / 4) (#96)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:58:48 PM EST
    with changing the world, they can actually be in two places at one time: at work on the weekend while simultaneously tipping the mail carrier at home. Like "I Dream of Jeannie." Just cross your arms and blink! Try it!

    Oh,yes, I'm terrified of the weekend workers!!! (4.00 / 4) (#92)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:48:29 PM EST
    Hate ot break it to you, but one of my friends who works weekends is a postal worker... working every Saturday for about the past ten years. And guess what? She's not down with being forced to work Sundays, not for Amazon (which she thinks is run by a freak), not for anyone, not ever. Ooops!!! Sorta blows your whole silly, uniformed spout-off, huh?

    Jeff Bezos (none / 0) (#100)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:03:21 AM EST
    did not inherit wealth. He built a wonderful company from scratch with his ideas and hard work. So did many other entrepreneurs like Sergey Brin, Elon Musk and others.

    People who are against what they have done can always choose not to work for them and not buy or use products that their companies make.

    But there will be many others who will not see things the way you see them.

    This is life! Get used to it!


    Nice bunch of straw men ya got there (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:16:09 PM EST
    Of course, none of that has anything to do with the subject that you raised. It's a sad thing to start an argument and then see it spin out of control when other people confront you with facts, isn't it? Did you even bother to read Anne's comment and links about Amazon??? Obviously not. Facts are scary things.

    I am very glad (none / 0) (#101)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:36:20 AM EST
    that the USPS Postmaster-General dies not agree with your friend. link

    Of course you lambaste the workers (3.67 / 3) (#103)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:11:07 PM EST
    and prop up the guy in charge. That's what you do. That's who you are. You believe in feudalism, and sh*t on the serfs every chance you get.

    True to form! (none / 0) (#105)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:43:27 PM EST
    I should however not complain. The same charges were once leveled against much greater people than me. The professional left of earlier times also accused pacifists like Tolstoy and Ghandi of "romanticizing feudalism" and being tools of the capitalist class. Some even tried to market Stalinism as the panacea for the poor. In this blog the Dalai Lama was called stupid because his view on a certain subject went against the grain of group thought.
    After being thoroughly rejected by people and history, the professional left made some efforts to reinvent themselves, but their tactics remain the same.

    Somehow I missed this (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:10:56 PM EST
    piece of tripe on my first visit. I can't believe you are seriously putting yourself in the same class as Tolstoy, Ghandi and the Dalai Lama.

    Two things about this:

    The professional left of earlier times also accused pacifists like Tolstoy and Ghandi of "romanticizing feudalism" and being tools of the capitalist class.
    First, I can't find a single citation to back up that claim. Not for Gandhi (note the spelling), nor for Tolstoy.

    "Tolstoy condemned capitalism, private property, and the division of labour. Civilization in general he regarded as bad, emphasizing the need to make life as simple and primitive as possible." Which for me, frankly speaking, is taking things a little bit too far. Come the revolution I'll live as simply and primitively as necessary, but I like my bathroom. I don't begrudge a penny I spent on it.

    "I should allow a man of intelligence to gain more and I should not hinder him from making use of his abilities. But the surplus of his gains ought to return to the people, just as the earnings of the children who work go to the common family fund. They are only the `trustees' of their gains, and nothing else. I may be sadly disappointed in this, but that is the ideal which I uphold, and that is what is understood in the declaration of fundamental rights."

    Emphasis mine. Do you subscribe to that philosopy? I would not guess so by your comments.

    Secondly, the "professional left"? You mean I could get paid for this? I'm capitalist enough to ask: where do I get signed up?

    You made the claim. Now prove it.


    Okay (none / 0) (#110)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:12:25 PM EST
    so Gandhi is easy to misspell. I'll give you that one.

    Politalkix is now teh one! (4.20 / 5) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:02:37 PM EST
    Will we soon see you in commercials with a sun shining behind your head like a halo.

    Your on going attacks on the left and your support of companies known to mistreat their workers don't remind me of any of the people you mentioned.

    We have tea party members on this site who don't condemn the left as often and as vehemently as you do. Makes a person wonder.


    This is how to support small businesses: (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:14:46 PM EST
    Not just with "Small Business Saturday," but by supporting local bookstores.

    A number of local independent booksellers are welcoming authors into their stores as guest booksellers tomorrow. You'll be able to get book recommendations from a number of local writers, as well as autographed and personalized copies of their own books. This is a program that's going on in just about every bookstore in town. Sherman Alexie will be making a series of Santa-like appearances in bookstores everywhere--this whole thing was his idea in the first place--and other authors who are participating in the event include Maria Semple, Garth Stein, Nancy Pearl, Ethan Stowell, Stephanie Kallos, Maged Zaher, Kathleen Flenniken, Jonathan Evison, Jennie Shortridge, Ryan Boudinot, and Ken Jennings. All of these authors are voracious readers, and they're militant about getting the right book in the right hands. If you're looking to give a gift with a story behind it, you can't do much better than "The greatest Jeopardy! champion in history told me that this book would change your life."

    No Amazon involved. Actual purchasing of books in person from actual booksellers. I probably don't need to say that Seattle is one of the reading-est cities in the U.S. And while the Bezos behemoth is everywhere here, we love our local bookstores and happily support them.

    The events at all the participating bookstores will be packed today. And I won't mind waiting in line for this at all. The opportunity to have Sherman Alexie, Maria Semple, Ryan Boudinot, Peter Mountford or Nancy Pearl personally take me around the store and recommend a book to me is worth more than can be described.


    Not enough room here for your massive ego (4.00 / 4) (#107)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:57:36 PM EST
    My, oh my. Placing yourself in the same league as Tolstoy and Ghandi? AND the Dalai Lama???Seriously???

    Your comments about those ungrateful workers and the magnificent CEO's who make it possible for them to eat tell us everything we need to know about your views. Once again, you expose yourself and then play the victim when you are called on it.

    And, really, for someone who throws around the laughable phrase "The Professional Left" as many times as you have today has no credibility at moaning about being labeled a feudalist.


    I'm still chuckling over PK putting (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:20:37 PM EST
    him/herself in the same category as Ghandi and the Dalai Lama, and trying to figure out how someone who has had one justification after another for Obama's drone-killing operation thinks he or she is even in the same zip code as a "real pacifist."

    Poor, misunderstood Politalkix...I'm sure, though, that christine is right now mixing up a special word salad that will attempt, in its usual "huh?" kind of way, to justify and defend - but oh, so genuinely, the feudal lord/serf relationship and how it is somehow good for us.  



    That was seriously funny, (3.00 / 2) (#115)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:24:39 PM EST
    wasn't it? LOL
    I'm still chuckling over PK putting (none / 0) (#113)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:20:37 PM MDT

    him/herself in the same category as Ghandi and the Dalai Lama

    She throws out "invective" like beads at Mardi Gras and then whines, in essence, that nobody likes her. And he's sooooo misunderstand.

    I think we understand quite well.


    Hey! (1.00 / 2) (#122)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:40:28 PM EST
    Go back and read. I specifically said that I am not a "self proclaimed pacifist" but respect "real pacifists".

    Even a great a practitioner of  non-violence, Ghandi, had once remarked that if he had to choose between cowardice and violence, he could support the use of violence to fight back. His answer was a reply to a question regarding whether non-violence could defeat Nazism.

    Ghandi even asked Indians to support the British war effort in WW1. He did not think that WW1 would resolve itself through non violent means.

    The Dalai Lama is also not totally against the use of military force if greater violence can be avoided.

    Abandoning the children of Afghanistan to the murderous Taliban, thinking that you can get a few more dollars in social security or medicare benefits is cowardly and selfish. Little girls in Afghanistan also have the same rights to education as children in any developed country.


    Oh good! (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:43:33 PM EST
    You're still on line. I'm waiting for the cite to back up your claims on Tolstoy and Gandhi. You don't have to back up the one on the Dalai Lama. I remember that one.

    Just the tip of the iceberg (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:43:35 PM EST
    WASHINGTON -- After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals, and power brokers with ties to both.

    In a recent quarterly report, the US special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction said that, when security for aid workers is figured in, the total amount of nonmilitary funds Washington has appropriated since 2002 "is approximately $100 billion"--more than the US has ever spent to rebuild a country. That estimate came out in July. Since then, Congress has appropriated another $16.5 billion for "reconstruction." And all of that has not bought the United States or the Afghans a single sustainable institution or program.
    As for all those new schools: The Taliban have attacked, bombed, or blown up hundreds of them--more than one hundred just last year, the UN reported. And for those that remain standing, few have electricity or running water. Teachers are barely educated, often unpaid, "and the text books are mostly outdated," said Javid Ahmad, an Afghan writer and former aid worker there. "They're mostly Pakistani, Iranian or Indian, published in the seventies or eighties."
    Well, almost two years later, when Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell was testifying before Congress, Representative John F. Tierney, a Massachusetts Democrat, asked him about still another case when a contractor overbilled the government--by more than $500 million this time. Heddell acknowledged: "Obviously this is an example of just about how bad it can get. And, clearly, this happened. It wasn't a well designed, well thought out contract."

    Then last September, the special inspector general's office, widely known as SIGAR, noted that for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, the United States has been providing Afghanistan, practically the most corrupt nation on earth, with $1.1 billion in fuel for the Afghan military--even though the US has made no effort to determine how much fuel the military actually requires.

    When SIGAR looked, it found that the Afghan military was counting trailers and other non-motorized conveyances in its list of vehicles needing fuel. What's more, it had destroyed all records of fuel dispersals between 2007 and 2011, "in violation of DoD and Department of the Army policies," the report said. Special Inspector General John Sopko told Congress he found this "deeply troubling."

    If I wanted to put this information into the same dishonest and nasty distortion of facts that you have done in your comment #122

    Abandoning the children of Afghanistan to the murderous Taliban, thinking that you can get a few more dollars in social security or medicare benefits is cowardly and selfish.

    I could very well ask you why you want to deprive children and the elderly here in the U.S. of food, housing, heating assistance and education  to continue to funnel billions of dollars to the Taliban and corrupt Afghan officials and U.S. contractors. See how that works.


    World Report on Afghanistan 2013 (4.25 / 4) (#126)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:56:03 PM EST
    A series of high-profile attacks on women highlighted the heightened danger that the future holds for Afghan women. The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women, adopted in 2009, remains largely unenforced. Women and girls who flee forced marriage or domestic violence are often treated as criminals rather than victims. As of spring 2012, 400 women and girls were in prison and juvenile detention for the "moral crimes" of running away from home or sex outside marriage.

    The late December 2011 arrest and subsequent trial of the in-laws of Sahar Gul--a girl sold into marriage at 13, locked in a basement, and tortured by her in-laws after she refused their demands that she become a prostitute--underlined the threat posed to Afghan girls by unchecked violence against women.

    The unsolved February murder in Bamiyan of an adolescent girl named Shakila led to street protests in Kabul and Bamiyan, and complaints from Bamiyan officials to President Karzai over what was seen as a cover-up by government officials of a murder. In July, a videotaped public execution of a woman in Parwan for the alleged "crime" of adultery followed by the assassination of the head of the government's Department of Women's Affairs in Laghman highlighted the erosion of legal protections for Afghan women.

    In the spring and summer, a series of "poisonings" at girls' schools in several provinces, alleged by the Afghan government to have been perpetrated by opponents of girls' education, escalated fear for schoolgirls and their families. World Health Organization (WHO) investigations of some cases pointed to mass hysteria as the likely cause. The Afghan government made several arrests, prompting the United Nations to accuse the Afghan government of extracting forced confessions from the alleged perpetrators.
    The Afghan government continues to allow well-known warlords, human rights abusers, corrupt politicians, and businesspeople to operate with impunity, further eroding its public support. Worries about the potential for a civil war along geographic and ethnic lines following the withdrawal of international forces led to reports of re-arming and preparations for conflict by warlords.
    Pro-government security forces were also responsible for abuses against civilians. In September, concerns about the US-backed ALP prompted a temporary suspension of training of new recruits while all 16,300 members of the program were re-vetted. While ALP abuses included reports of extortion, assault, rape, and murder of civilians, ALP "reform" by the US and NATO focused solely on measures to halt the rapidly escalating number of "green on blue" killings where members of Afghan security forces, including possible Taliban infiltrators, attack their international military mentors.

    Why this comment deserves a "2" (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:33:54 PM EST
    is a mystery. Maybe because it contains facts about how the Afghan government has made it possible for the Taliban to thrive, despite the U.S. presence there.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:40:13 PM EST
    why the comment deserves a 2 is a mystery. Why it got one is not mysterious at all.

    Have you ever (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:36:15 PM EST
    been to RAWA's website? The Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan was organized and 1977. I first heard about them in 2001 in this profile on Salon. They are seriously courageous women and they don't mince words:
    It has been twelve years since the US started its `war on terror' with claims of securing `women's rights', `human rights', `justice' and `stability' in Afghanistan; and that too by relying on fundamentalists such as Sayyaf, Qanouni, Fahim, Khalili, Abdullah, Mohaqiq, Atta, Ismail, Khuram, Almas, Rabbani, Dostum, Sherzoy, Farooq Wardak, Arghandiwal, and others, who are misogynist in nature and the most brutal and corrupt creatures in the world. In this period of occupation by more than forty plunderer countries and dominance of vicious fundamentalists, contrary to the claims of the bogus propaganda by the Western media, Afghan women have not been able to achieve even the most basic rights. Rather, their sufferings and hardships have been treacherously misused for promoting the colonial policies of the US and West.
    Anyone who cares about women in Afghanistan should stop in. They don't put new stuff up often at all, so sometimes I forget to check. But if you want to know what activist women in Afghanistan have to say, that's one place to find out.

    Just bookmarked it. (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:40:09 PM EST
    Thanks! Had not heard of it.

    Saving RAWA (none / 0) (#143)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:22:14 PM EST

    A women's rights advocacy movement in 1970s, now RAWA has changed into a political propaganda group that dedicates most of its campaign to attacking the foreign troops in Afghanistan. As one of the only women's organizations from Afghanistan that has world-wide audience, RAWA is responsible for representing Afghan women and promoting their rights and welfare. The organization fails at fulfilling both of those responsibilities.

    The majority of RAWA's repertoire happens outside the country, in USA, Pakistan and many European countries, which decreases the organization's efficiency in promoting and defending of women's rights inside the country.

    According to a survey done by BBC, ABC News and Washington Post, in Afghanistan in December of 2010, 63 percent of Afghans backed the presence of American forces and 54 percent supported NATO and ISAF. Given that the majority of Afghans still supports the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and believes it essential to the process of democracy in Afghanistan, RAWA's advocacy has caused the organization's popularity in Afghanistan to decrease.


    "According to a survey done by... (none / 0) (#155)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:16:00 PM EST
    ...BBC, ABC News and Washington Post...". I know, I know. You prefer homegrown propaganda. It takes all kinds, I say.

    I see that (1.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:55:50 PM EST
    you're still getting nowhere with anyone here.

    Have you figured out yet whether it's them, or you?


    Not true (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:22:05 PM EST
    I like the posts of PKix.  

    I don't usually (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:43:35 PM EST
    Not true (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:22:05 PM MDT

    I like the posts of PKix.

    But I adored the bit where she put herself in with Tolstoy. And Gandhi. And the Dalai Lama. That was some good stuff there.

    Have you figured out (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:23:45 PM EST
    your attempts to run off PKix are not working?

    And I thought people on the Left were for free-wheeling discussion.


    Yay! (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:31:15 PM EST
    When people have conviction, they find a reservoir of stamina :-)

    They think that they can run me off from this blog by telling me that nobody likes me, nobody even acknowledges my thanksgiving greetings, nobody listens to what I have to say, etc.

    And I say to them, "Keep dreaming, I am made of sterner stuff!" :-).  


    Excuse me, Politalkix, (5.00 / 3) (#152)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:53:19 PM EST
    But both sj and I did acknowledge your Thanksgiving greeting by giving you a 5 rating.
    I do not always have time to respond to comments as I quickly scroll through the threads, so I will give 5 ratings as an agreement, which I did in this case.
    In any event, I do hope that you had a very nice Thanksgiving, and that you are enjoying a Happy Hanukkah, if that is your belief, or that you will have a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus, Great Solstice, or whichever way you roll.  All are good.

    A good mood (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:13:44 PM EST
    also gives a reservoir of stamina. I can vouch for that!

    And what, pray tell, (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:28:06 PM EST
    induces that "good mood?"

    Oh, lots of things (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 12:29:33 AM EST
    And what, pray tell, (none / 0) (#167)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:28:06 PM MDT

    induces that "good mood?"

    An absolutely lovely holiday with my family. Good food, good company, lots of laughter. Toddlers learning to talk, and how to use a straw. That Chandon Sparkling Red was to die for. That was Thursday.

    Today and yesterday it was 60 degree weather at the end of November, more good food, and such good company we never did go to that movie. I have an episode of "Grimm" and two of "Elementary" on tap. I gave my dog a bath and the shedding should be under control for a week or two (Chow, you know. Lots of fur). My house is clean, and the laundry is done.

    It's all good. The only down side is that out-of-town relatives left this evening.

    Hey, thanks for asking. You're not usually so interested in the details of my life. I can give you more if you want.

    What, pray tell, induces a good mood in you ?


    ::sigh:: (none / 0) (#204)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 06:17:50 PM EST
    What, pray tell, induces a good mood in you ?
    Apparently nothing. :)

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (4.00 / 4) (#161)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:42:44 PM EST
    But the more important point is the political sanctity of victimhood itself, the desperation of certain conservatives to depict themselves as the aggrieved party in even the least likely circumstances.

    One of the ongoing techniques of the "Professional Right" that you have down pat.


    Oh, the victimhood (4.00 / 4) (#171)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:04:16 PM EST
    Nobody's trying to "run you off this blog." People disagree with you--strongly--and you think whining about it, throwing out straw men, and derailing the conversation are effective retorts. They're not.

    How about responding to the blockquotes and links MO Blue provided that deal with Afghan corruption, and the facts regarding the Taliban's continued regime of violence since at least 2007?


    Have you responded to MO Blue's comments (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:59:22 PM EST
    on the corruption in Afghanistan? Nope. Not yet. Still waiting.

    I had already addressed her issues (none / 0) (#176)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 11:01:33 PM EST
    relating to Afghanistan in post # 74, Sunday NFL Open thread. There is no point in repeating my answer again and having another round of pointless discussion with her. I can just briefly summarize my POV

    (1) Taliban attacks since 2007: Yes, but so what? They will dramatically increase the moment NATO leaves the country. The whole country may be taken over by the Taliban. I would not like to see a repeat of the situation that happened in Afghanistan after the US left in 1989.

    (2) Corruption: Try to reduce corruption. Are we going to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid because of frauds in these programs? Same in Afghanistan. NATO troops in Afghanistan have improved the life of its people by reducing the scope of terror (however imperfect things are) inflicted by Taliban thugs. I feel strongly about violation of human rights and children's rights anywhere in the world, I will therefore support the presence of troops in Afghanistan.

    (3) Other reasons for my support for NATO troops in Afghanistan have more to do with US strategic interests. Pakistan is a very unstable country that has nukes. If we leave, the whole AfPak region can disintegrate into civil war. Anything can happen after that.



    Re: #1: "But so what"? (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 11:20:17 PM EST
    If our exit--no matter when we exit--is going to increase attacks...than how long do we stay? Indefinitely? Especially when the violence is occurring now, while we're still there?

    Re: #2: The so-called improvement in Afghani lives appears to be minimal, based on the facts. And Karzai is a crook. How many more billions of dollars do we invest in Afghanistan that ends up in the hands of criminals who care nothing for the lives of women and girls? Who only want their palms greased, no matter who is doing the greasing?

    Up until a year ago, I might have agreed that we should stay, for the sake of the women and girls. But, after the steady stream of reports detailing how our presence is not doing anything to stop the Taliban menace, is doing nothing to stem the tide of corruption, I've seen the uselessness in this military adventure. It is sheer folly, IMO, to believe our continued presence will change a thing. And I believe the facts support my position.

    And billions a year spent to prop up a corrupt government over there is billions lost here. There's no way around that.



    As for #3, (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 11:27:41 PM EST
    the Pakistanis hate us for the drone strikes, and the government is just as corrupt and week-kneed against the Taliban as Karzai's regime. We can't trust them as far as we can spit. We don't need to have troops there to deter their using nukes...they've had nukes since 1972.

    Pakistan (none / 0) (#182)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 12:23:46 AM EST
    I do not expect the Pakistani government to use nukes. However, the Pakistani military is more weak kneed against the Pakistani Taliban than it has ever been. The Pakistani military is now totally infiltrated with the Taliban. You never had this situation in the 1970s. In the 1980s, you had the Soviet War in Afghanistan and then you had civil war in Afghanistan-so these insurgents were busy and could not turn their attention against the Pakistani state. The Pakistani military had more control at that time. Many articles in recent times have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and other newspapers about the deteriorating situation in Pakistan. There is speculation that the Pakistani Taliban can take over a large part of the Pakistan if fighting broke out in that country.

    Once we leave, even Pakistan (not just Afghanistan) can end up like Syria. It won't be a question of who has control of chemical weapons this time, it will be a question of whether anyone has control of the nukes.


    Lol .You are a good laugh (3.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:40:03 PM EST
    I'll give you that much.

    In spite of, or maybe because of, your inability to answer the simplest questions.


    Oh, I wouldn't dream of (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:44:43 PM EST
    ...trying to run him off! There is fuel in this thread for weeks to come! Why do you want to take the fun out of everything?

    I'm all for free-wheeling discussion; what (5.00 / 3) (#157)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:25:10 PM EST
    I am opposed to is disingenuous, illogical, manipulative bullsh!t that is Pk's stock-in-trade.  The now-constant references to "the professional left" mark him/her/it as a trolling button-pusher who might be more at home on one of the right-wing sites whose commenters share PK's  disdain for liberals.

    Perhaps the real problem is that you and PK and christine are not having any luck selling your center-right, mealy-mouthed, Obama-cheerleading, reads-Republican crap.  And don't bother to tell us that doesn't describe you, because if it didn't, you wouldn't need to disingenuously muse about what it is that "the Left" believes - you'd already know from the comments of all the leftists here - we've not been coy about expressing our opinions.  

    But, then, I suppose it does take some attention away from the actual comments when your habit and practice is to spend your time handing out troll-ratings.  What - that's not an attempt to inhibit discussion or run people off?

    Could have fooled me.


    I wasn't talking (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:49:55 PM EST
    about the Left but those of you who say you are left.  Look at the nasty digs in your post.  You and your cabal want discussion as long as it parrots your nihilism.  If you do not get responses you like, out comes the venom.

    "disingenuous, illogical" (3.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:32:08 PM EST
    I'd go along with. Even "mealy-mouthed".

    But "manipulative"? His "manipulative" abilities I'd have to say are pretty pathetic and ineffective and don't draw too many bites or even nibbles as far as I can see.


    "Manipulative" refers to his/her (3.67 / 3) (#159)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:39:42 PM EST
    habit of deliberately misstating what others have written in an effort to steer the "discussion" in the direction he/she wants it to go.

    It's not ever done well enough that it fools anyone, but the fact that it is regularly attempted is what got it a mention.

    I was originally going to go with "dishonest" which is perhaps a better way to describe the effort.


    Ah, ok.... (3.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:44:06 PM EST
    In that case I'll give him credit for tryin', at least. ;-)

    I take it (3.00 / 2) (#141)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:17:42 PM EST
    that was a "no".

    Wow (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:46:33 PM EST
    I am trying to find out what PKix's offense was to get all this invective.

    The closest I can determine is some offense from threads past...

    There is so much name-calling it is very hard to discern what it is you are talking about.


    Apparently (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:18:13 PM EST
    Wow (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:46:33 PM MDT

    I am trying to find out what PKix's offense was to get all this invective.

    The closest I can determine is some offense from threads past...

    ...you haven't bothered to read this thread. Although I'm not surprised that you are unable to discern.

    And grief from (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:21:12 PM EST
    you too.

    Working on Sundays was a point but exactly what people were saying or advocating as a cure was not all that clear...


    Cure for what? (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:28:17 PM EST
    "Saving" the U.S. Postal Service? The remedy for that has been posted on this blog numerous times in the last year: Congress needs to rescind the ridiculous and unfair rule placed on the USPS to fund its pension obligations decades out.

    Voila! No Amazon Sunday service needed.


    Oh? Did I miss (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:29:16 PM EST
    a "point" or bit of information that you had shared? All I saw was "grief" coming from you. And whining. I saw that, too.

    So sorry. I apologize if you had insight to share and I missed it. I'm still missing it for laughing at the Tolstoy/Gandhi/Dalai Lama thing.

    So. You now have my undivided attention, and my serious face. What was the analysis or new information that you were sharing here:

    Wow (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:46:33 PM MDT

    I am trying to find out what PKix's offense was to get all this invective.
    The closest I can determine is some offense from threads past...

    There is so much name-calling it is very hard to discern what it is you are talking about.

    I'll try to make a substantive response.

    I can't help it. I cracked myself up.


    "Whining?" (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:30:46 PM EST
    There you go.

    You are seriously in (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:31:59 PM EST
    need of a sense of humor transplant. Yes, you whined. Most whiners deny it, you know.

    And I'm going to up rate (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:34:05 PM EST
    this. Just because I'm in a good mood.

    And to freak you out. Or pi$$ you off. Either or neither is fine by me.

    Whining?" (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:30:46 PM MDT

    There you go.

    But wait. You still (1.00 / 0) (#121)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:39:37 PM EST
    haven't clarified your point here. The one I missed.
    Wow (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:46:33 PM MDT
    I am trying to find out what PKix's offense was to get all this invective.
    The closest I can determine is some offense from threads past...

    There is so much name-calling it is very hard to discern what it is you are talking about.

    You've been gone a couple of days, and I wouldn't want to miss the substance to the comment. So, please. Tell me what I'm missing. Because I'm looking really hard and I can't see it.

    I hope I'm not going to be waiting as long as I've been waiting for your "substantive comments" on thongs. I was really looking forward to that, too...

    Nevertheless, I'm all virtual ears. And I'm standing by.


    Thongs? (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:45:41 PM EST
    Huh?  And you want substantive?

    I see you have the same (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:53:31 PM EST
    memory skills as you do reading comprehension. Shall I direct you to the thread where we were discussing ::ahem:: thongs and you derided me with your usual garbage about not making substantive comments. Whereupon I asked for yours. Your reply was that you make "substantive comments". Whereupon I asked for yours.

    There may have a been a rinse and repeat in there, I forget. But you went looking for a fight and a place to challenge me about my lack of "substantive comments". Which happened to be in a discusson of: thongs.

    If you want I can find the conversation. Shall I?


    It obvioulsy made an (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:56:05 PM EST
    impression on you.

    I do not care.


    But I'm still waiting to be (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:08:19 PM EST
    enlightened as to the substance of your first comment. As I said: I'm all virtual ears. You still have my undivided attention.

    Well, maybe it's a little bit divided. But I can multitask.


    Well (3.00 / 2) (#137)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:51:09 PM EST
    Well, I waited to be enlightened as long my dog could hold it. Apparently your expanded comments aren't ever going to show up anyway.

    But in case you've forgotten (because you don't have a good memory, like I do, LOL) Here is where I "obvioulsy" missed the substance to your comment:

    Wow (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:46:33 PM MDT
    I am trying to find out what PKix's offense was to get all this invective.

    The closest I can determine is some offense from threads past...

    There is so much name-calling it is very hard to discern what it is you are talking about.

    I admit it: I'm having way too much fun with this. ::sigh:: It's the simple things in life.



    And your attempts to bully (3.50 / 2) (#140)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:17:17 PM EST
    PKix are pathetic.  And you and your trite, stupid story of deciding in sixth grade to supposedly stand up to bullies means you dish out more stupid venom and viciousness..

    You guys cannot discuss anything without venom, ridicule and viciousness.  All this on display here before I commented.


    See what I mean about (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:48:12 PM EST
    your memory? It was the second grade.

    Heh! (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:56:11 PM EST
    You overeducated precocious little elitist, you! Lol.



    You had the misfortune that (3.00 / 2) (#156)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:18:14 PM EST
    I read this comment twice. I'm (almost) sorry about that, but, anyway. Talk about viciousness! It just oozes out. Here: I'll repeat it for you:
    And your attempts to bully (2.00 / 1) (#140)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:17:17 PM MDT

    PKix are pathetic.  And you and your trite, stupid story of deciding in sixth grade to supposedly stand up to bullies means you dish out more stupid venom and viciousness..

    You guys cannot discuss anything without venom, ridicule and viciousness.  All this on display here before I commented.

    Let's see: pathetic! and trite! and stupid story! and stupid venom! and viciousness!

    Okay, I'm trying to decide: which of those are "invective"? Y'all are proving my point though. You'd rather have negative attention than none at all.

    Bad luck for you that I am in a good mood and find this all really hilarious. Sorry if it's making you spit at your computer.

    Well, not really. It's kind of making me spit at my computer, too. But in my case I'm laughing. Take it easy on those keys though.

    And sorry, sorry, I know this is really trivial but it's been bugging me. An ellipsis is three dots. Not two and not four. It is an actual punctuation mark. You might want to check your CV to make sure it's not used there. Just sayin'. A blog comment is one thing, who cares? Well, except me, sometimes, and I know how much you don't care about my feelings. But you don't want to make that kind of mistake alongside your real name.


    Grammer police (none / 0) (#165)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:25:29 PM EST
    How pedantic and tedious.  I am sui generis.......Sometimes I like just two or three dots...sometimes more......My ellipses are unique.  Typically, in a more formal setting, ellipses are not expected.  If you do use them, true, at the end of the sentence, you can have a single period followed by the standard, sometimes boring, three dot ellipses....But here I am free to ellipses at will..........

    Since you are into substance........You do understand that there is no such thing as an approved grammar, as if it were Natural Law to be handed down from on high, don't you?  All language is a spoken medium first.  Written language follows the spoken......the written just reduces to writing the conventions of the spoken....And recording language in written form is on the newer side.  But some get it backwards...."Rules" are just conventions helpful to communication.   Thus, the split infinitive rule was a rule borrowed from Latin in the 19th Century.  And the rule of not ending a sentence with a preposition was something up with which Churchill said he would not put.

    English?  What is English?  Is just a Germanic dialect.

    Your little, small minded attempt at being the grammar police shows where you are stuck. Second grade, yeah, that explains it.

    Frankly, I like my syntax (I like it truncated, often without subjects) just fine, and like my use of ellipses.....

    I do not have to toe the line here on what anyone else says regarding grammar.

    And this endless fascination with my c.v.  Are you really that obsessed?


    Ha! (3.00 / 2) (#184)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 12:53:48 AM EST
    You do understand that there is no such thing as an approved grammar, as if it were Natural Law to be handed down from on high, don't you?  
    Tell that to an English teacher, LOL. Actually, my professors in any subject would have taken off for that.

    I know you like your syntax.

    I know you like your attempts at mockery (hint: If you're trying to hurt someone's feelings with mockery, get the details right. Otherwise you're completely missing that tender spot you were going for. Another hint: Although you gave it the old Community College try, there isn't anything you can say that would ever hurt my feelings).

    I know you like swinging your verbal fists.

    I don't know, but I think you have compassion for those you care for who have suffered. And you have compassion for the faceless unknowns who are suffering, be it from ill health, mental health issues, or addiction. I don't know about those who suffer from economic issues.

    I know you have no tolerance. And that you like to spew invective while accusing others of doing so.

    I find that contradiction almost interesting for a moment or two.


    The substance (2.67 / 3) (#139)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:04:08 PM EST
    is that you shroud the substance with your stupid viciousness.   Which was well underway here before I commented.

    My, my, my (3.00 / 2) (#147)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:40:19 PM EST
    That's a nasty little temper you've got there. I suppose some laughter could be vicious. Not that it would even approach the levels that you and Politicalkix reach regularly. But come on. Admit it. Just between you and me? You know brought it on yourself.

    Bless your heart. :)


    I don't blame you (1.00 / 1) (#128)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:04:55 PM EST
    It obvioulsy made an (none / 0) (#127)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:56:05 PM MDT

    impression on you.

    I do not care.

    I wouldn't want to back there either. Obviously. Or even "obvioulsy".

    And if you hadn't noticed by now: everything makes an impression on me. That's what I do. I notice things. I remember things. How else can synthesis happen? Maybe there's another way, but noticing and remembering are tools I use regularly.


    It is fascinating to hear (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:29:47 PM EST
    you praise your own memory.

    In other words: (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:38:04 PM EST
    It is fascinating to hear (none / 0) (#131)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:29:47 PM MDT

    you praise your own memory.

    You've got nothin'.

    Ooohhh (3.00 / 2) (#130)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:16:50 PM EST
    Politicalkix doesn't like that I remember things.

    Oy (none / 0) (#188)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 09:14:25 AM EST
    how about you adults trying to set an example for Jim and I for a change?

    But your handing out of 1 ratings (4.33 / 6) (#88)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:47:29 PM EST
    is on a much higher, truer plane, right?  

    I think what is sometimes truly funny about your comments is that you're ridiculing others for things you do all the time.

    And careful, you get that nose up any higher in the air and the next good rain we have is not going to end well for you.


    Another tactic that you have taken (4.20 / 5) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:53:12 PM EST
    from their play book and boy do you have it down pat.  In fact, you could probably give them pointers.

    Just a thought (3.67 / 3) (#99)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:51:28 AM EST
    So I will continue to quote Pope Francis, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama and others whenever I consider it appropriate, irrespective of how some people perceive it here
    .You might be taken a little more seriously if you emulated these people rather than just quoting them.

    Not really a chicken and a egg (4.20 / 5) (#77)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:37:43 PM EST
    Using insults rather than facts is SOP for your friend. Ignoring him/her, not responding or not responding in kind does absolutely no good.

    What is also SOP is the whine when someone finally gets tired and responds in kind.



    You have an abysmally low (4.00 / 4) (#67)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:42:36 AM EST
    conversion ratio. You just never seem to get very far with people around here.

    It must be them, right?


    Conversion is what you need (5.00 / 0) (#68)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:58:35 AM EST
    Not me!

    You want people to vote for a third party.
    Not me!


    How about people voting for (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:56:16 PM EST
    3rd and 4th parties..?

    Say, Paul-type Libertarians and Naderesque Greens or Social Democrats?

    So that we can at least have actual in-depth public debates that don't insult our intelligence and spirits.

    The two party status quo is a corporatocracy-rigged game.


    You mean (3.67 / 3) (#69)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:00:36 AM EST
    it's not them? Wow. Sad.

    Yes, you hit the (none / 0) (#181)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 12:04:58 AM EST
    nail on the head.  What you are responding to is a classic case of projection--of someone who comes here to convert and does not get the desired results.

    You are dishing it out (4.00 / 4) (#89)
    by sj on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:57:02 PM EST
    big-time and are now whining when your intended targets don't take it. What a piece of work you are.

    I've come to the conclusion that part of the reason you dish so freely is that those are usually the comments you make that get any sort of response. Even up thread when you wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving it was ignored by all except who? Oh, that's right, myself and Zorba wished it back with an up-rating. Even your most stalwart defenders couldn't be bothered.

    By your patterns "one could conclude" that you would rather have negative attention than no attention at all. And by virtue of the fact that said stalwarts didn't take the time to say "Hey" in any fashion, with words or an up-rating "one could conclude" that they also prefer the fray to the convivial.

    Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, by the way, was done in the spirit of the holiday. It wasn't intended to prove anything but that I hoped you have/had a nice Thanksgiving.

    Oh, and that mirror you're getting me for Christmas? I think you should keep it. You're going to be needing it.

    Wiser people than me have said that if you want change in the world, be that change yourself instead of expecting others to change to what you want them to be or want them to do. This piece of wisdom holds true even today, IMO.

    Perfect, sj. (3.67 / 3) (#95)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:55:35 PM EST
    Fueled by the middle class (none / 0) (#172)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:38:32 PM EST
    Stores like Walmart exists because of the demand from the middle class for cheap products, 24 hours/7 days service.

    Here is an article that corroborates exactly what you said. link

    "A while back, we thought we'd stick little American flags on the products made in America," said Frank Blake, chairman and chief executive of Home Depot. He said he had figured, based on the prevailing marketing wisdom, that customers would flock to the items. "But whatever segment really cares about it doesn't make much difference from a retail perspective."

    Walmart, which centers its business on inexpensive items, started a program this year to increase its purchasing of American-made goods by $50 billion over the next 10 years. The company says that more than 150 projects are under way, with products ranging from socks to flat-screen TVs.

    Walmart has an advantage that few other retailers can match: Because of its scale, it can push suppliers on cost. For example, it got the price on an American-made towel down to $9.47, or 50 cents less than a foreign-made towel previously for sale. (That $9.47 towel is a premium product at Walmart, where some towels sell for as little as $1.97.)

    "We do have research that says, yes, it is an attractive proposition, customers will buy more because of the `Made in the U.S.,' " said Michelle Gloeckler, a Walmart executive who oversees the program. "We even have some research that says customers will pay more for made in the U.S., but we don't believe that they should have to."

    Walmart's efforts go only so far. Asked if it would push suppliers to provide more apparel made domestically, executives said probably not, because of the labor costs associated with cutting and sewing.

    "The wages in other countries are still lower than the absolute wages here, so products that lend themselves to more U.S. production are generally more highly automated," Ms. Gloeckler said.

    That has drawn criticism from some suppliers. Price targets "barely cover the cost of the fabric required to make the garments, never mind the salaries and expenses of American workers," wrote Christopher Dal Piaz, president of the sportswear company SML Sport in New York, in a letter to the Walmart merchandising chief after a frustrating buying meeting. The machine-made products on which Walmart is focusing "do not build a new middle class," he wrote. (Walmart says the effort has drawn pledges from manufacturers to create more than 1,600 American jobs.)

    The average price of a garment sold in the United States is $13.49, according to the NPD Group, an industry researcher. That low price is largely a result of sales at extremely low prices by huge retailers like Walmart, Target and H&M -- sales that are made possible by efficient supply chains and purchases of products from low-cost countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia, said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD.

    But keeping costs low, which consumers now expect, can often mean lower quality


    Whatever. (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:58:29 PM EST
    Today, I and hordes of other people in Seattle flocked to our neighborhood independent small businesses to support "Small Business Saturday." The stores were packed, everyone was happy to support their local independents, and the store owners were overjoyed. That's what "everybody wins" really means.

    And, later in the day, I got to chat with some of my favorite novelists, as they made recommendations and sold me some great books. One of the authors had written a much earlier novel I was interested in purchasing, but the store was sold out. He was really happy I wanted to purchase his early work, but leaned in and whispered "please buy it here at your local store and not from Amazon." I responded, "Consider it done. I've never bought a book from Amzaon, and never will." 30 seconds later I ordered the book from the person at the front desk of the bookstore.

    Oh, by the way, I'm part of that working middle class you referenced in your previous comment. And Seattle is one of the most proudly liberal cities in the country. We put our money where our mouth is.

    And, as with Amazon, I have never once set foot inside a Walmart, and will not ever do so.


    Of course people want to spend the (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 10:40:44 PM EST
    least amount they can, but that doesn't give - or shouldn't give - employers like Wal-Mart and Amazon the right to provide those cheap products at the expense of their employees.

    You've been provided with examples of companies that are providing products at reduced/discount prices, but are also well-compensating their employees, in terms of salaries, benefits and working conditions, and yet you still seem determined to perpetuate the myth that the only way to keep prices low is to follow the Wal-Mart/Amazon model.

    I'm still waiting for you to tell us how the working conditions to which Amazon subjects its workers are justified.  Or how accepting these conditions as normal doesn't eventually lower the bar for every other employer, and make life harder for their employees.  

    I won't hold my breath; your track record for follow-up is pretty bad.


    Walmart/Amazon model (none / 0) (#180)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 12:01:48 AM EST
    Anne wrote-"You've been provided with examples of companies that are providing products at reduced/discount prices, but are also well-compensating their employees, in terms of salaries, benefits and working conditions, and yet you still seem determined to perpetuate the myth that the only way to keep prices low is to follow the Wal-Mart/Amazon model."

    If what you are saying is correct, then why are customers not leaving Walmart/Amazon and taking their business to other companies? Maybe it is a combination of cheap prices, quick and 24hr/7day service and some other benefits these retailers provide...No?

    I am not following what you are asking from me. Are you asking me whether I support bad working conditions of employees at Walmart or Amazon? Of course, not! Would I support better working conditions there? Absolutely! Would I be willing to pay more for products to support better employee working conditions? Yes! If employees demanded more pay and benefits, would I support that? Yes! But I do not know who is going to listen to me. I do not own shares of Walmart or Amazon. I always support legislation relating to increase in minimum wages and better working conditions.

    I hardly go to Walmart. Used to go there once in a while a number of years ago when it was the only store in my area that was open 24 hrs. Now, some other local stores also offer expanded hours of service. I buy from Amazon but if a local, independent bookstore carries a book that I need, I give preference to my local bookstore.

    But I am the "liberal" or the "capitalist pig" depending on who you ask and Walmart/Amazon is not thriving because of me.

    Still not following what you are expecting me to say...



    When you say this: (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 01:22:11 AM EST
    I am not following what you are asking from me. Are you asking me whether I support bad working conditions of employees at Walmart or Amazon? Of course, not! Would I support better working conditions there? Absolutely! Would I be willing to pay more for products to support better employee working conditions? Yes! If employees demanded more pay and benefits, would I support that? Yes! But I do not know who is going to listen to me. I do not own shares of Walmart or Amazon. I always support legislation relating to increase in minimum wages and better working conditions.

    you are giving legitimacy to the "that's just the way it is, and there's nothing I can do about it" school of thought.

    If you support better pay, benefits, and working conditions for retail and manufacturing employees, then all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is on a continual basis. Do not shop at Walmart. Do not shop at Sam's Club. Buy that sweater from a retailer you respect, one who treats his employees with respect too. Don't buy books from Amazon, only buy them from bookstores. Despite what you have heard about authors not getting enough of a cut from the publishers, they still get a lot more from the publishers than they do from Amazon. And Amazon plays dirty with both publishers and bookstores. That's one of the reasons the novelist today implored me to buy from the store, not the online behemoth. And lots of times I don't even pay full price for books, because I trade books back to the store after reading them, and get credit towards new purchases.

    If you think you can't have any power to change company policies unless you're a shareholder, then become one. Start a proxy fight. Do something, other than giving the CEO's the power to use people as slave labor (which is pretty much how those Amazon warehouse workers are treated).

    It's not that hard to support companies you believe in, and to shun the companies that take total advantage of their workforce. Really. It's what I do everyday.


    I already told you (none / 0) (#186)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 08:53:37 AM EST
    that I do not go to Walmart. Do not go to Sam's Club also. Do my groceries, shopping, dining, financials, etc at farmer's markets, smaller retailers, eateries and restaurants, credit unions that support the local economy. I do not patronize businesses that are not known to treat their employees well.

    I cannot buy all the books I need from small independent bookstores. They do not carry them. So I buy from Amazon and Barnes & Nobles also.

    Amazon has changed the nature of the publishing industry in a way Microsoft changed the nature of the computing industry. There are pros and cons to it. You mentioned some of the cons. However, publishing has become easier today. I had read an article a long time ago about the effect Amazon was having on bookstores and publishers. All of it was not bad, some of it was good also. It was a mixed bag and bookstores and publishers also had to adapt.

    At the end, whether the Walmart or Amazon model works or not will depend on whether there are enough workers willing to work for them and whether you have enough customers willing to buy from them. I am not even sure whether the model that you like will have the support of the majority of the middle class. The entire middle class in the country do not live in big cities like Seattle. There are many places in the country where Walmart and Amazon would be welcomed with open arms if they decided to open retail outlets and warehouses. It goes back to the same conversation that has plagued the left for many decades-whether "latte liberals" understand or speak about the needs of the "middle class". Would workers in that Amazon warehouse in Pennsylvania that Anne wrote about back you if Amazon decided to move that warehouse to Texas or Mexico if you tried to push for changes you want?


    The counter argument about Amazon (none / 0) (#187)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 09:09:45 AM EST

    The counter argument about Amazon. From the article
    "I also think Amazon has been an enormous boon to readers and authors.  Does anyone really believe that, without Amazon's innovations, readers would be paying less, or authors making more?  Or that there would be remotely as big and vibrant a digital and self-publishing market for books if Amazon hadn't blazed the trail with the Kindle, the Kindle Store, and digital self-publishing".


    I read that article when it was published (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 01:46:22 PM EST
    and I have the same response now as I did then: meh. That's one person's opinion, but it's not really borne out by facts. You should read some of the comments on that piece, particularly comment #2 (which I won't copy and paste here out of copyright consideration).

    I'm a writer. I know a lot of authors, a lot of struggling authors who are great writers and will never be published, and lots of celebrated published authors too, and all I can tell you is...they don't like how Amazon operates and they don't want their readers buying from Amazon instead of buying from booksellers. That's what yesterday's Indie Day was all about. Apparently, you think all writers are "latte liberals" (is that like being from "The Professional Left"?)  but writing is grueling, lonely work which hardly ever makes anyone rich, even when he/she is successful.

    Amazon doesn't give a flying fig about authors or readers or books. It only cares about undercutting everyone else on prices (the same way Walmart has done) and monopolizing the market. And it retaliates against authors and publishers who don't fall in line.

    You think you speak for regular Joe and Jane, but you're the same person who thinks people who are told to work Sundays should just suck it up and shut up. In my lifetime, I've worked more weekends than I can possibly count. I spent 14 years in the food service industry, and more than that in retail and the home improvement trades. We ALWAYS  work weekends. I've often held two jobs at the same time, sometimes three, just to make ends meet and pay my bills. Fitting in time to write and play music is very difficult in that scenario, but that's the way most artists live...working jobs they hate and living from paycheck to paycheck just so they can do their art. Don't tell me what it is to be middle class, or lower income and still working you're a$$ off. I know what that is. I've done it for 30 years. Every time you pop off about "latte liberals" and "The Professional Left" you show your true colors.

    No, not everyone lives in a city like Seattle (their loss) but most everyone lives in a town big enough to have retail other than Walmart and Sam's Club. This is not hard to understand: When you buy from the undercutting behemoths, you are supporting their CEO's and shareholders, and the crummy policies they implement to keep workers down. When you buy local you are supporting your community. What a concept: supporting community. Here's an article written a few days ago on the importance of buying from your local bookstore:


    I give major props to Sherman Alexie, who came up with this idea and started something that resonated around the country and around the world.  He proved what one person can do if he believes in something enough. And last night, he recommended and sold me a book I can't wait to read.  


    Personal boycotts (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:07:59 PM EST
    may be consistent with one's beliefs, but as long as Walmart and Amazon offer lower prices, the effort will largely fall silent.

    Some may be motivated by morality but lower prices are always hard to beat.

    Imposing a minimum wage and other labor standards is more effective.  


    Personal boycotts (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:18:22 PM EST
    You assume that only one person is boycotting and is vocally objecting. Not so.

    And, yep, a higher minimum wage and better labor standards are the goal. But guess which companies don't support either of those things? Which company is it that fights unionization at every turn, including by firing employees who try to unionize?

    I totally support the people who protested outside Walmarts on Friday, many of whom are Walmart workers, demanding better wages and working conditions.

    And I support the workers who protested at the Amazon plant in Germany this week.

    Do you?

    SeaTac is (to my knowledge) the first municipality to approve by vote an increase in the minimum wage--to $15 an hour--of its airport workers. That happened this last month in the election. And the city of Seattle is the next battleground to raise the minimum wage.

    So...it's clear lots of people are supporting the workers, in all sorts of ways.


    Exactly! (none / 0) (#197)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:29:55 PM EST
    For me, it is not even the lower prices in Amazon. As I have said before, smaller bookstores do not even carry all the books I need and read.

    True (none / 0) (#198)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:34:19 PM EST
    It's a two-fold process. Probably more than two.

    Being consistent with one's beliefs is its own satisfaction. Sharing that belief with others who may or may not follow suit is a slow, slow process that can't really be measured. And anyway, as you say, lower prices are hard to beat. I'm lucky that I don't have to seek out the lower prices. Not everyone has that luxury. And it is a luxury. I know that. I don't look down on anyone who shops in accordance with their own budget.

    Imposing labor standards and providing a livable minimum wage is much more effective.

    The weakening of unions (and yes, I know the counter-arguments of corruption or whatever, blah blah blah) has not served us well. It sometimes pains me that, being pro-union through and through, I've never had a job that was unionized.


    I cannot understand (none / 0) (#192)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 02:37:29 PM EST
    why you keep spending half your posts attacking me. If it was not clear from my previous post, I would like to point out that I am myself considered to be a "latte liberal" by some people on both the right and left spectrum of politics. I really do not care about what terms people throw at me.

    I have told you more than once that I do not shop from Walmart or Sam's Club and buy from independent local community retailers. Are you not reading my posts before writing replies to them?

    It seems your quarrel is with people who work and shop at Walmart, Sam's Club, Amazon, etc for keeping these companies in business and making money for its CEOs and shareholders. If you think you know more than me about what the middle class wants, go ahead and sell your ideas to those who work and shop at these businesses instead of spending your time quarreling with me. I just told you what my opinion was and you are free to disagree.

    I also have the right of not retaining the same opinion of the founder of Amazon as you, just like many other people in America.


    Keep on supporting Amazon (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 02:52:04 PM EST
    if you like. But, be clear, when you do, you are supporting its policies and crummy treatment of its employees.

    Here's what I don't get, shoe: (3.67 / 3) (#194)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:06:54 PM EST
    when I read all these comments from PK praising Jeff Bezos as a trail-blazing retail god, and providing material justifying the business model, why doesn't he shop there?

    Why go to all the trouble to defend these retailing behemoths and then say that he only shops small?  Why?  Because they can get along just fine without his business?

    It has an insincere feel of wanting to have it both ways, or of realizing he'd dug himself into a big hole and this was his way of climbing out.  Or that somehow, the lousy treatment of employees isn't his fault, because he doesn't shop there.

    I don't know - something's just off about it.


    There's a disconnect at work (3.67 / 3) (#201)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:29:28 PM EST
    I-don't-shop-at-Walmart-but-I-do-shop-at-Amazon. They're both bad corporate actors, but one I don't need and the other I do. Seems contradictory to me!

    Here's the thing: I understand if someone wants a book the bookstores don't carry, but...I've hardly ever encountered a bookstore that wouldn't order a book they don't normally carry, if it means gaining a new customer or keeping an old one happy. (I worked at a bookstore, so I know this is true.) And, it somehow gets lost that supporting the bad corporate actor, even if only occasionally, is still support for a race to the bottom. Because that's what those rock-bottom prices reflect.

    I know what I believe, and I put my money where my mouth is. That works for me. And it helps support my community. Some people foo-foo that, and imply that it's s drop in the pond and means nothing. I disagree. When a lot of people like me spend money at brick and mortar bookstores all across the nation, like we did yesterday, everybody wins.


    I don't know where you shop (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:34:42 PM EST
    for books, PK, but have you tried to get them to order the books you want? Are these books out of print?

    While congratulating yourselves (1.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:47:48 PM EST
    you may even want to consider not using any piece of electronics in your life (say your laptop/desktop PC or tablet, iphone, the vehicles that you drive because they also contain electronic assemblies and components, etc) that were assembled and manufactured under working conditions that may not meet your standards.

    Otherwise some of us will see a disconnect between what you speak and what you do.


    Anne (none / 0) (#196)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:16:42 PM EST
    Did you really read what I have wrote before posting? I have said that I buy books from Amazon (as well as smaller bookstores and Barnes and Nobles), more than once.

    When did I say that I do not buy books from Amazon?


    Oy (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:33:46 PM EST
    And the "tiger" chooses to retain her stripes. Not surprised at all, but everyone deserves a second chance. Whether they take it or not.

    After all, it's the Holiday season.


    It is likely... (3.00 / 2) (#199)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:51:55 PM EST
    I cannot understand (none / 0) (#192)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 01:37:29 PM MDT

    why you keep spending half your posts attacking me.
    I have told you more than once that I do not shop from Walmart or Sam's Club and buy from independent local community retailers.

    ...related to your previous declaration of your intention to make a purchase from Amazon and request a Sunday delivery. And other slurs made towards the "far left" and the "professional left".

    If all that was said in a fit of pique, I understand that. We've all misspoken. But nevertheless those sorts of things stay in the minds of your readers. I hope you take this in the spirit intended. Which was to provide the understanding you said you lacked.

    And good for you for buying locally when you can.

    You know what? You may choose not believe this, but I'm always willing to let bygones be bygones. But the "same old, same old" will get the "same old, same old" in return. Your interactions here with others is entirely in your hands, you know.


    But you keep missing the big question: (5.00 / 3) (#191)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 01:55:38 PM EST
    why does this have to happen on the backs of the people who work there?  These "innovations" from Amazon have come at the expense of the people who work for them, the people in the warehouses and distribution centers.

    Are you really suggesting, or do you really believe, that Amazon could not have blazed this same trail while treating its employees better?

    But let's be honest about something: this is not about bringing more books to the world, this is about making money.  It's about putting the smaller, independent booksellers out of business and creating monopolies in certain markets.  That's the Wal-Mart model, too - take the business from smaller groceries and specialty markets and stores.

    There's nothing wrong with making money - we all want to do it, we all want to be fairly compensated for the work we do, for the hours we put in.  I don't begrudge any business the right to make money, but I just don't believe it has to be done on the backs of their employees.

    Libraries are also an enormous boon to readers - and that doesn't cost anything, unless you're late returning your books, or want DVDs.  My library system is also lending books via e-readers, so they're making it possible for people who can't afford to buy books to download and read them.


    It ALWAYS means lower quality (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 11:31:46 PM EST
    especially in clothes.

    The USPS employees (1.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:45:49 PM EST
    who work on Sundays can easily be given a day off on some other day of the week or be paid more for working on Sundays.

    Spoken like a true capitalist pig (4.00 / 4) (#30)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:49:36 PM EST
    lol; I gave you a 5 to counter PK's usual... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:35:31 PM EST
    his dreaded "1" rating.

    Oh yeah.  Ouch Ouch Ouch.  lol.

    Hope you enjoyed Turkey day.  


    If Sunday is not their Sabbath... (none / 0) (#52)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:40:17 PM EST
    ...perhaps they'd like to work on Sunday and get off on whatever day their particular faith considers the "real" Sabbath.

    What's cooking, or boiling over, here? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 07:47:44 PM EST
    Mike Masnick over at TechDirt has an interesting short piece up yesterday on some legal fallout from NSA spying and a case in which a Judge Halts Sentencing After Feds Admit They Failed To Reveal Use Of NSA Data

    We've been following the crazy story of the Solicitor General of the US, Donald Verrilli, making blatantly false statements to the Supreme Court concerning how the feds would have to reveal to defendants that some of the evidence used against them came from secretive NSA data collection methods.  In Verrilli's defense, it is now apparent that lawyers for the intelligence community flat out lied to him, and he is reasonably angry about that -- leading to the DOJ to officially change its policy to now be consistent with what Verrilli told the Court: that if NSA data is used against someone, that fact will come out during the process, and the defendant can challenge it.  Along with this, the feds have started selectively alerting some lawyers that some NSA data was used on their clients.

    In one such case, of "would-be bomber" Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was accused of wanting to bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting ceremony, this news has put his sentencing on hold.  The details of Mohamud's case suggest it was yet another case of the FBI stopping a plot of their own making, as the entire "plot" was created with undercover FBI agents.  But there are also some questions about how the FBI first targeted Mohamud.  Now, it appears that it may have been due to NSA activities.  Mohamud had been found guilty earlier this year, and was scheduled to be sentenced in just a few weeks, but the judge -- realizing that the NSA revelations throw a big wrench into all of this -- has agreed to postpone indefinitely the sentencing.  I imagine there will be a flurry of legal documents as his lawyers use this to try to dump the original trial results.


    Oh well, fun is over (none / 0) (#160)
    by sj on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:41:48 PM EST
    It was great while it lasted, but now we're going to see a movie. I think. Of course, earlier we were talking about two movies: "Ender's Game" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire". The way things are going, though it might just end up being dinner :)

    "Ender's Game" has gotten mixed reviews, but I liked the book. (Which I read both before and after I learned about Orson Scott Card's abominable world view). It would be really easy to mess it up, though.

    As for "The Hunger Games" I don't have qualms about that. I expect to "enjoy" that one.

    My daughter tells me (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 09:55:53 AM EST
    that apparently the sadomasochistic fashion fascists think Jennifer Lawrence is too "thick" to be hired for clothing, cosmetic, or perfume commercials..

    Televison is getting harder and harder to watch: between these images of sylph-like, narcissistic women, and men obsessed with their d*cks in the form of Cialis, pickups, and six-packs..


    I heard that criticism (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by sj on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:46:01 PM EST
    when the first movie was released. That's just crazy talk, IMO.