Friday Morning Open Thread.

A little birdie told me some of our Talk Left cohorts are in the Big Apple. Unfortunately for me, I'm out of town on business.

Open Thread.

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    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 281 (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:43:56 AM EST
    She's beautiful, she's angry, and her alarm system comes with a hair-trigger. (link)

    v. 280
    v. 279

    Had a good day on the felt yesterday, about a grand in profit. Heading down to Bay101 in San Jose next week to try to satellite into the World Poker Tour's Shooting Star event in March.

    What's up, Tent? Always nice to see you around. And all ye TLers meeting up in NYC, I wish I could be there, hoist one for ol' Dadler.

    We shall Dadler-man... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    shall I ask Oculus to fly back a Katzs' salami for your boy in the trombone army?

    Nice score yesterday, and good luck in the sattelite...I've been off the felt for so long I've got the shakes...hoping to get up to Foxwoods for a 300 buy-in or so next month during the Foxwoods Poker Classic.  


    I just finished my book... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:15:54 PM EST
    ...and I knew I play well. Got some serious players, guys who grind out a living at it, to give up the best hand at least five times. Crazy. Got lucky once or twice like you have to. All around good day, and it came in handy since, no lie, our Visa got hacked at our checking account was basically cleaned out. Time to go the mattresses like you, dog, I swear. But the best part about all the charges they ran up was three expensive phone calls to someone in prison. Oy. You can't make this sh*t up. Hopefully it at least went to some poor phuck in their on some non-violent drug charge. And we'll get the money back, but still...glad I had that grand to stick int he account. Peace.

    I get the proofreading Razzie (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:17:03 PM EST
    That post was just a mess of misspellings.

    The finance rackets taketh... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:37:23 PM EST
    the poker gods giveth...good timing indeed!  But you know my advice, stick it in the mattress..."fool me once, fool me twice" and all that.

    At least a portion of the ill-gotten loot went to a good cause like prison phone calls, as you said....speaking of highway robbery.  


    Tell us about the book. (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:58:54 AM EST
    collection of short fiction (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:32:23 AM EST
    have as good a connection to a publishing house (albeit small and Britain based) as I'll ever get. acquisitions editor friend owes me huge favor (i made him money years ago, giving him a story for a bbc helen mirren drama assignment he had and was drawing a blank on). so...we shall see. my own opinion is most of the stories are great, but two or three stink. i dunno tho, i'm my worst critic as the cliche goes, but it's no cliche really. i suck is what most artists think of their work deep down. or we'd never get better. then again, i'm such a weirdo it's off the charts.

    I'm looking forward to reading it! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 12:56:08 PM EST
    Where are you playing at?? (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:38:54 PM EST
    Might bump into you next month.

    At Lucky Chances (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:13:56 PM EST
    In Colma. You've probably hit the felt there once or twice. A lot of hardcore Filipino players. Sadly, the only poker I can play in the next few weeks is if I want to take a day (hopefully it would last that long) to try a cheap satellite down at Bay101 for the WPT Shooting Star in March. May not even be able to get that in. Crossing my digits.

    Hope all's well, my man.


    Played at LC many times (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 12:39:56 PM EST
    ....loved the smell of the flowers that wafted through the parking lot... and the view from the back side was always helpful when I had just had my set beat..


    Don't know how it is now but the 20 40 game use to be so loose that my favorite starting hands were suited connectors and I would never bet sets into an after the flop field of 8 players...

    Good luck!


    I actually love the place (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:48:53 PM EST
    Way better than Artichoke Joe's to me, but that's just my take. And those Filipino cats are so intense, and good. I had a guy go into the tank on me for three or four minutes after I shoved on the flop, into the tank so hard he called the clock on himSELF. All he had to do was bet off my check and I'd fold, but I checked in manner that led him to think I was trapping him. I stared him down like the child of two actors I am. And he called me. He was only on a draw (granted an up and down straight draw AND a flush draw), against my two pair. I survived two cards and more than doubled up. Lately I've been playing well, getting some really good players off the best hand. Let's hope it lasts. Good luck to you, my man.

    Do you ever play in the Napa area? (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by nycstray on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 12:47:58 PM EST
    Me or Jim? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:41:25 PM EST
    If me, then no. But I've got the itch to play that new monstrosity in Rohnert Park. What is it, Graton?

    You :) (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by nycstray on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 06:15:18 PM EST
    I don't know anything about any of the places since I don't play, but I just see them not to far from home. About 5 mins up the road just across the Napa County line :)

    If you ever wander up this way, let me know. There's also family fun @6Flaggs (your son likes the rides, right?) and of course the vineyards! And you can't beat the weather up here . . .


    Definitely (none / 0) (#58)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:14:15 AM EST
    We did the Six Flags thing a few months after we moved to NoCal. But we haven't ventured much north of that in Napa. Sonoma a little. We're not wine people much, my wife not at all (she's a vodka tonic, waste no time kinda lady), so the whole vino country thing escapes us. I promise, tho, if I get up there to play some cards, I will let you know. Do you play at all?

    No, I don't play (none / 0) (#83)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:11:31 PM EST
    I've been known to do the rare low money for fun for an evening in AC or Tahoe, but that's about it :)

    Don't forget about the food up in vino country ;) I'm personally a fan of the drives around Sonoma and Napa. So peaceful :) I'm going to try and get to more of the food related events in those counties this year, along with ones in Oakland and Berkley.


    3 Cohorts... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:55:38 PM EST
    to be exact...I'll do my best filling in for ya as local TL-family host BTD.  

    The ladies must be heartbroken you're out of town...my brand of degenerate knuckleheadism will just have to suffice in place of your wonkery as entertainment.  

    Mending our broken hearts (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:59:45 PM EST
    With music, Guinness, and gin!

    And looking forward to tour de kdog tomorrow!


    I had a great time last night kdog (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 09:57:46 AM EST
    Ate a hotdog last night too.  A hotdog has not passed my lips in 25 yrs.  When my daughter finds out I am in deep trouble.  Hotdogs were not even allowed in her house growing up.  Can I argue that Gray's Papaya isn't a real hotdog?  Maybe what happens in New York City stays in New York City?

    We met with squeaky last night too and had Guinness and Black and Tans.  It was wonderful, but schedule for me means missing a squeak dinner, it is up to you and others remaining kdog to tell me how wonderful it is.  Squeaky is not the average cook. Talkleft must have a yearly NYC meet up.


    Kdog went way above and beyond hosting duties (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by ruffian on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 10:13:23 AM EST
    Arranged a get together with squeaky, then got us through a nasty traffic jam to great pizza and the Rat Dog show, where we rocked out - highlights for me were Truckin' and 'When I Paint My Masterpiece'. And of course the best people watching venue in town.

    Then I thought he was going to take us to a train stop and send us on our way, and shut my eyes for a few minutes and, next thing I knew we were back on the bridge to Manhattan to our hotel. And a hot dog!

    Can't thank you enough for everything, especially the great company with your family and squeaky. What a rare pleasure for me to hang around with such interesting and generous souls.


    Thank you kdog and squeaky. (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 11:04:53 AM EST
    I do hope kdog is home by now. What a drive.

    Kdog is wise to the ways of the NYPD, who parked a marked car in a traffic lane on Riverside Dr. just before a stop sign. Nice try, cops. Kdog pulled back into the lane in front of the marked car and came to a complete stop. Remarkable.

    A drunken fan wielding two beer cans opined I did not belong at the Ratdog concert. How perceptive. Then he gave me his spiel re software that would save my company should its computer operation fail. And spilled his beer on my chair.

    Hotdog (NYT-rated, blind test) vs. gourmet dinner and Steinway grand.  What a choice!


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 01:02:00 PM EST
    Nice time..  kdog rocks.. he is an awesome host, I jumped in at the last minute and was able to get a few beers in with the crew, but WOW kdog is quite something.. he showed real NYC hospitality plus. Nice to meet oculus, ruffian, MilitaryTract and kdog..  great bunch here at TL..

    Now now now... (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:34:47 AM EST
    thank all of you for your generosity and a great time.  

    You gotta be Billy the Kid quick to the draw to pick up a tab with this bunch, lemme tell y'all...squeaky bought us all a couple rounds at his very cool local watering hole...a true NYC pub experience for the ladies.  Just too short, better planning next time!

    And the ladies wouldn't let me open my wallet the rest of the night...too bad all the damn traffic left no time for a tailgating experience at Ratdog...my bro-in-law said they had the nitrous out and everything.  

    But what a show...perhaps not Tracy & oculus' cup o' tea, but I know for sure ruffian was digging it hardcore with me.  Good call on the highlights ruff...killer "Terrapin Station" and "One More Saturday Night".  Super-pumped for a Mountain Jam encore now!

    You guys all rock, great company...until the next adventure kids!  Enjoy the rest of your stays, and y'all come back now ya hear!



    Terrapin Station, yes! (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:01:09 AM EST
    Plus your sister resuscitating the passed out guy. This is the only group I want  to party with from now on! Nothing else will measure up!

    Handy to have a nurse... (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:10:52 AM EST
    in the concert crew, to be sure.  Not the first time duty has called her to be a concert first aid responder either...never a dull moment!

    Don't be fooled kdog (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:08:44 AM EST
    Just because the music wasn't familiar to me or oculus, wine and people watching while contact high is still one helluva good time.  Meeting some of your family was also great.  If tthere was a bummer it was that we didn't get our tailgating time with them.

    Better people watching than... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:19:08 AM EST
    a Dead-inspired scene is hard to come by, am I right or am I right? ;)

    If we had been able to tailgate even more so...oh well, ya can't win 'em all, and we won plenty of good experience Saturday.

    I hope you guys didn't think me rude not to pass my puffage, I just assumed the contact high was enough for you lot, and did not wish to peer pressure.  At one point in the second set I moved down the aisle for crowd cover to spark one, and I think ruffian went to follow till she saw what I was up to, and peeled back a little.

    And in the rush-rush I left my homemade special chocolate that looked like dog poop in the car...doh!  My roomates were up when I got home around 2 and digged right in though;)


    Lol, yeah I thought I'd let you (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:31:56 AM EST
    enjoy your puffage in peace and get back to my good view spot!

    But I would have tried the chocolate if I had (none / 0) (#63)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:43:53 AM EST
    known it was in the car! At least one of us would have enjoyed the traffic jam.

    Honestly... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:18:23 PM EST
    it came out so bad I would have been a little embarassed to present the chocolate...but it doesn't taste horrible, it only looks it.

    In the future I'll stick to baked goods like brownies and cookies...I don't think I have the knack for chocolatiering;)


    Hey, dog-man, (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by NYShooter on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:38:18 PM EST
    really glad you all had a great time. Of course, with the big apple as the venue, the chore probably became a pleasure.

    Just one question: what was the original purpose of coming to NYC for the out-of-towners? I'm sure just meeting you was more than enough of a reason, but, did they all have other business there, and, just felt that, since they would be there anyway, a get-together would be a terrific idea?

    And, #2, don't forget; even though I'm living down South currently I still have a house upstate, on the Hudson. Secluded, surrounded by deer, bears, turkeys,..... total privacy.... magical, and, like before, it's yours for the asking. It's about an hour and a half North of the city, and about a half hour South of Woodstock.

    Say the word, and, the key will be in the mail.


    Shooter-man... (none / 0) (#101)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:02:26 AM EST
    Oculus visits somewhat often for her NYC culture fix...operas, orchestras, and plays and whatnot.
    Ruffian and MT just came on up for a weekend getaway for same...and since they all were here, I invited 'em to the Ratdog show and they accepted.  

    iow, not just to hang with me, I was like a bonus:)

    When I had the pleasure of meeting Dadler and fam it was the same deal...in town, so why the hell not?  It's nice to put a face to the monikers.

    Regarding Numero Dos...that is most gracious generous offer.  Don't be surprised if I take you up on it this summer.  


    Karma, Baby! (none / 0) (#105)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 03:30:16 PM EST
    Right out of Hollywood; it wasn't five minutes after reading your gracious reply to my comment about the house on the Hudson than I got a fabulous purchase offer on it. Funny thing though, I suddenly got a real nostalgic-like feeling about selling it. It's true, I don't need 4 homes, but, this one was my dream home. I hand designed it (an architect converted my drawings)and, I took on the roll of Building contractor. It's a good thing, too, 'cause I made so many changes during construction a regular G.C. would've walked off the job for sure.

    But, you're not out of luck completely. If you have any plans about a Hudson Valley excursion in the future just let me know. I've got lots of friends and, I'm pretty sure I could enhance your enjoyment of the Valley.



    When are you going to do (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:30:14 PM EST
    the west coast wine tour?

    Famous last words... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:33:58 PM EST
    I've had a West Coast road trip on my radar for years..it will happen.  Maybe this summer...so you've been warned stray, you've been warned;)

    Late Sept/Early Oct (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:49:18 PM EST
    is a great time to visit with all the harvest going on and fantastic weather. Still a lot of events happening too!

    Human Rights Watch has issued a (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:39:34 PM EST
    28-page report on "The Wedding that became a Funeral" - the December, 2013 drone attack that killed 12.

    From the report:

    Yemen authorities initially described all those killed in the attack outside the city of Rad`a as "terrorists." The US government never officially acknowledged any role in the attack, but unofficially told media that the dead were militants, and that the operation targeted a "most-wanted" member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who was wounded and escaped.

    Witnesses and relatives of the dead and wounded interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Yemen said the convoy was a wedding procession. They said everyone in the procession was a civilian, including all of the dead and injured, and that the bride received a superficial face wound.


    Human Rights Watch found that the convoy was indeed a wedding procession that was bringing the bride and family members to the groom's hometown. The procession also may have included members of AQAP, although it is not clear who they were or what was their fate. However the conflicting accounts, as well as actions of relatives and provincial authorities, suggest that some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians.

    This raises the possibility that the attack may have violated the laws of war by failing to discriminate between combatants and civilians, or by causing civilian loss disproportionate to the expected military advantage.

    Neither the US government nor the Yemeni government has offered specific information that those whom the eight relatives and witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch listed as killed and injured were involved in militant activities.

    The Intercept has more.

    I find the US drone policy disgraceful (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:09:10 PM EST
    Both president Bush and Obama will have a lot to answer for in history on this particular subject.

    Also the American public is pathetically uninterested in what it's government is doing in its name.


    I agree with John Stewart (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:25:50 PM EST
    Its a political thing (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:53:31 PM EST
    Ideally the civilized world would use diplomacy and sanctions to force countries to clean up their own houses and not allow the export of terrorists. The political will doesn't exist to do this, various countries will play the situation for their own benefit.

    Of the remaining options it seems use of drones is what politicians choose in light of media response to other alternatives.

    OTOH this is not war, we are not fighting some country, its a big police action. Still seems to me to be better if we could focus more on cutting off resources to terrorists instead of using drones.


    How does one go about (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:33:51 PM EST
    "cutting off resources to terrorists" given that the host country won't??

    Given that al Qaeda lives (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:36:58 PM EST
    with civilians and are unmolested by those civilians... What is the difference between a drone attack and any bombing attack on any military target located with civilians.

    Simon Head's new book on Amazon (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:56:09 PM EST
    excerpted at Salon.

    Just one example of many, demonstrating Amazon's authoritarianism towards workers:

    Amazon's system of employee monitoring is the most oppressive I have ever come across and combines state-of-the-art surveillance technology with the system of "functional foreman," introduced by Taylor in the workshops of the Pennsylvania machine-tool industry in the 1890s. In a fine piece of investigative reporting for the London Financial Times, economics correspondent Sarah O'Connor describes how, at Amazon's center at Rugeley, England, Amazon tags its employees with personal sat-nav (satellite navigation) computers that tell them the route they must travel to shelve consignments of goods, but also set target times for their warehouse journeys and then measure whether targets are met.

    All this information is available to management in real time, and if an employee is behind schedule she will receive a text message pointing this out and telling her to reach her targets or suffer the consequences. At Amazon's depot in Allentown, Pennsylvania (of which more later), Kate Salasky worked shifts of up to eleven hours a day, mostly spent walking the length and breadth of the warehouse. In March 2011 she received a warning message from her manager, saying that she had been found unproductive during several minutes of her shift, and she was eventually fired. This employee tagging is now in operation at Amazon centers worldwide.

    And at an Amazon's Augsburg Center warehouse in Germany:

    Machines measured whether the packers were meeting their targets for output per hour and whether the finished packages met their targets for weight and so had been packed "the one best way." But alongside these digital controls there was a team of Taylor's "functional foremen," overseers in the full nineteenth-century sense of the term, watching the employees every second to ensure that there was no "time theft," in the language of Walmart. On the packing lines there were six such foremen, one known in Amazonspeak as a "coworker" and above him five "leads," whose collective task was to make sure that the line kept moving. Workers would be reprimanded for speaking to one another or for pausing to catch their breath (Verschnaufpause) after an especially tough packing job.

    The functional foreman would record how often the packers went to the bathroom and, if they had not gone to the bathroom nearest the line, why not. The student packer also noticed how, in the manner of Jeremy Bentham's nineteenth-century panopticon, the architecture of the depot was geared to make surveillance easier, with a bridge positioned at the end of the workstation where an overseer could stand and look down on his wards. However, the task of the depot managers and supervisors was not simply to fight time theft and keep the line moving but also to find ways of making it move still faster. Sometimes this was done using the classic methods of Scientific Management, but at other times higher targets for output were simply proclaimed by management, in the manner of the Soviet workplace during the Stalin era.

    No wonder Bezos wants to develop robots and drones. There's no way human beings can ever reach the targets he wants.

    Insanity (1.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:03:55 AM EST
    paying people based on the actual work they perform, what is next?

    Try reading for comprehension next time (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:38:40 AM EST
    Then you won't sound like an obtuse knee-jerk winger upon response.

    Your knee jerked, not mine. (1.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:54:06 AM EST
    I grew up in a piece work industry, were each employee removes a tag from batch they work on and turn that in at the end of the week, so many cents for each item completed depending on the task. Make more than minimum wage, get paid more, make less, get fired.

    Most of the working people I know are either paid specifically by the jobs they do, auto mechanics, or by salary without compensation for extra hours, software. Who has the luxury of working without someone keeping track of how well you perform?

    What exactly is your beef by proxy you have for the Amazon workers?


    Yes, that is what shoephone ... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:09:18 AM EST
    Most of the working people I know are either paid specifically by the jobs they do, auto mechanics, or by salary without compensation for extra hours, software. Who has the luxury of working without someone keeping track of how well you perform?

    ... was arguing.

    Pfffttt ...

    That comprehension-thing isn't working.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:19:35 AM EST
    for confirming my suspicion that conservatives love totalitarianism as long as it supposedly purports to support capitalism. I'm sure a paen to Pinochet will be forthcoming at any minute.

    Try educate instead of blind intolerant ridicule (none / 0) (#85)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:58:41 PM EST
    What is it that I am missing?

    People get paid for working, fired if they don't, nothing about the technology used changed that.


    "What is it that I am missing?' (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:31:32 PM EST
    Pretty much the whole thing.

    What are you missing? (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:44:56 AM EST
    For starters, it isn't our job to educate you.  People post excerpts from and links to various articles and information they feel are of interest, generally provide some comment in connection with them, and from there it's open to discussion.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but if it's something that piques my interest, I'll go to the link and read the entire piece.  Sometimes, the linked material leads me to other material, and time and interest permitting, I'll check that out, too.

    And if I have something to say about it, want to disagree with it, want to add related material to it, I can and I will.

    But I don't sit back and expect others to do that work for me.  I try not to ask questions that can be answered by reading either the comment or the linked material.

    But time and again, you have shown a distinct lack of interest in educating yourself, even as you have no qualms about expressing your opinions.  If you're not going to bother to expand your knowledge base, don't be surprised if the opinions you express are met with little enthusiasm.

    What are you missing?  That Amazon has, in its practices, eliminated - or is striving to eliminate - any semblance of worker autonomy, treating their employees like humanoid drones rather than like human beings.  

    Does Amazon have the right to establish goals and standards?  Of course it does.  But their methods for compliance are Orwellian, and it is the technology that is allowing them to do it.

    And as the consumer, making choices about which companies I want to give my own hard-earned money to, I appreciate knowing what's behind the curtain at Amazon.  I've bought plenty of things through them over the years, but I don't know that I will ever again be able to open a package from Amazon without wondering about the people who picked it off the shelf and packed it for shipment.  Were they sweltering in 100+ degree heat, afraid they would lose their job if they got heat stroke?  Were they putting off going to the bathroom because they were afraid the extra time would mean not meeting their goals for the day?  Did they skip lunch because they were running behind?  

    Amazon may have the ability to "fulfill" the wants and needs of its customers, but the fact that they see no problem doing it through technology-assisted intimidation and bullying of its employees is more than disturbing.

    Do we really want Amazon to be leading the way to the rise of the New American Sweatshop?  Do I want to be part of that?  Do you?  


    There's this mystical belief embraced (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:33:21 AM EST
    by many that, in the final analysis, all that really matters is that Jeff Bezos started a company and became a billionaire. It's a miracle of the Free Market that surpasses in importance any other human needs of any living, breathing human beings including his employees. Go consult any of the mutants teaching in any American school of economics and they'll explain it all to you in micro and macro terms until you feel as though the very life's blood has been drained from your body.

    Amazon employees who collapsed (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 01:28:42 PM EST
    in warehouses kept at 100+ degrees (the managers refused to turn the fans on or keep doors open for ventilation) are but an irritant to the Mikados of the world. Slavery's not so bad once you get used to the food.

    What the "unimpeded free market" (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:49:45 AM EST
    wants to do is go back to the good old days of the Gilded Age and the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. If not here, than certainly in Latin America and the Far East. And of course, the equal-and-opposite reaction to all this fetishizing of market share will be the inevitable rebirth of socialist revolutionary movements around the world. The old story of the serpent poisoning itself by biting it's own tail..

    What Anne Said +1 (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:49:27 PM EST
    I used to really like Amazon, until bit by bit I realized that company despises it's own workforce and pushed labor laws to the edge of legalness.

    And Mikado Cat:

    Try educate instead of blind intolerant ridicule

    Really, for someone who can't stop with the personal responsibility BS, now you think we are here to educate you, how about taking some responsibility and doing what most other people here do and educate your damn self ?  

    Preferably some place beyond the Fox News type echo chambers that constantly confuse gut feelings with facts, much like yourself.

    Places that do not despise the American worker wanting a decent wage for his family, since you are probably one of those American workers who probably wants a descent wage.

    Can you seriously not empathize with anyone stuck working for one of these human factory centers that doesn't give two rats about their own fricken employees.  I am fortunate enough to work at a place that actually cares about the people working for them and views us as assets, not liabilities, but I want what I have, for everyone who was to work for a living and if that means the stuff I buy costs more, so be it.

    When we all prosper, we all benefit.  When just a few prosper, many suffer.  Consider yourself educated, FOC.


    Oh, nevermind (2.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:51:38 PM EST
    I thought it was serious, not ideological silliness. Its a job, not a trip to Disneyland. Most people without skills work in the same situation.

    Will you prefer a few years in the future when most of those jobs go away as processes are automated?

    There is a massive tier of unskilled labor jobs that are just a few minimum wage hikes away from automation and elimination.

    What are those people going to do for work?


    Does reality ... (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:20:02 PM EST
    ... ever intrude upon these sill fairy tales that exist only in your mind?

    All the time (none / 0) (#104)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 02:56:52 PM EST
    Maybe you should give it a try, take a glimpse at reality instead of dogma and partyline rhetoric.

    There is a constant movement and pressure in a production environment toward automation and shifting of skills from the operator to the system.


    "All the time"? (none / 0) (#106)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:13:15 PM EST
    Hasn't manifested itself in any of your comments.

    "Most people without skills" (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:39:05 PM EST
    Who ever gave you the idea that the people working at Amazon have no skills? Oh, right, you just made that up.

    You've got no facts, no evidence, no knowledge of the subject, and exhibit no critical thinking. All you have is a truck full of made up bu[[sh*t and FOX talking points. Your shtick became tiresome months ago. If you don't want to read the entire article and make a comment based on the content and context of the article, fine. But quit expecting other people to feed you every ounce of information just so you can fling it like dogsh*t and say "Nyah Nyah Nyah" like a six-year-old spoiled brat.


    Maybe you have never worked in a warehouse (1.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 02:48:46 PM EST
    or a shipping dept. Its entry level work with a couple days training, less likely than the janitor gets.

    In time the jobs WILL be more and more automated, and employ fewer and fewer people.


    That's very good.... (none / 0) (#107)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:21:47 PM EST
    "There is a constant movement and pressure in a production environment toward automation and shifting of skills from the operator to the system."

    You would have made a great Production Mgr. back in the days when B.C. was evolving into A.D. The various Despots of that era, even without all the technological aids you have at your disposal, came to the same conclusion you did, some 2000 years later. Like you, they, brilliantly, figured out that by beating, starving, and driving their "means of production" to the point of mental & physical exhaustion they could reach the gates of Oligarchic Utopia.

    And, just like the current crop of Capitalistic Alchemists on Wall Street, they are certain that their breakthrough formula, "take everything, give nothing," will lead to riches they could hardly imagine.

    Of course, some Wiser Heads whisper, "too fearful to imagine."


    Fearfull (none / 0) (#110)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:49:42 AM EST
    or not, its is happening and has been for ages.

    Shovel ready high paying jobs are the fantasy. The future scary or not is with the steam shovel not John Henry.

    Look at a modern grocery store. Shipments arrive with a printed picture of where the items go on the shelf. Bar codes are scanned to enter prices, and bulk of the transaction is between the buyer and credit card swiping machine telling them step by step what to do.


    Interesting twist (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:47:40 PM EST
    John Dingell announced his retirement after serving 58 years in Congress. Possible replacement:

    Debbie Dingell, a Democratic power broker and chairwoman of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, is expected to run for Michigan's 12th Congressional District, now that her husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, announced his retirement Monday, political experts said. C&L

    Debbie (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:19:19 PM EST
    Is like a hound dog with a bone when it comes to things she cares about (that's not always good as she can also trun people off).

    Pity Eric Cantor if she ever gets a hold of him.


    That would be worth the price of admission (none / 0) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:29:50 PM EST
    Pity Eric Cantor if she ever gets a hold of him.

    More on John Dingell (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:07:05 AM EST

    His list of accomplishments eclipses so many others in the Congress.

    He made his name on Big-D Democratic social causes, like Medicare (he presided over the House as it passed in 1965), the Civil Rights Act, and his strong hand in developing the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Dingell's biggest win, by far, was the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Every year since he joined Congress in 1955, Dingell has introduced a bill for universal health coverage. It's the same thing his father, who held the seat before him, did.

    But he also established himself as a strong overseer of the executive branch, and was known for his tough questioning of agency officials when he was a committee chairman as well as his strongly worded letters ("Dingellgrams," people call them in Washington) challenging administrations of both political stripes.

    Dingell's progressive politics also had reasonable bounds. He was an environmental champion but always cautious about the effects of legislation on industry, notably the auto industry, where he has fought to balance fuel efficiency goals with realism. He is a moderate supporter of abortion rights.

    And he is a hunter and gun enthusiast; he supports the Constitution's Second Amendment as strongly as all the others.

    Increasingly in Washington, Dingell is an anomaly, estranged from the GOP because he's a Democrat but also on a little bit of an island in his own party because of his independence.

    Dingell's willingness to get things done first, has made him an anachronism in a Congress bent on cheap political scorekeeping.

    Yep - that's why he's been in Congress for 55 years.


    Dynastic public office (none / 0) (#94)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:53:57 PM EST
    can't be a good thing, just typical insider power.

    Republicans in public office (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:58:41 PM EST
    are not a good thing and guaranteed to be bad for anyone not in their elite circle. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop us from having Republicans in office.

    Maybe not (none / 0) (#96)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 05:03:55 PM EST
    And I don't think Debbie Dingell is the greatest thing since sliced bread either, for a variety of reasons, but there's one thing (actually two) I will say about her:  She is very passionate about issues I care about and she will fight like a dog with a bone for her constituents.

    Is no one bothered at all (none / 0) (#99)
    by Slado on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:49:40 AM EST
    That if she were to serve for 19 years or so the office would remain in the same family for 100 years?

    On the face of it no matter which party that seems a tad too long.

    By all accounts he was a great guy but while I'm not in favor of term limits (BTD taught me that) 55 years seems like a long time to be in public office,   One could lose their perspective on what it's like to live in the real world serving and living in Washington for that long.

    I don't know.   Celebrating the culture of Washingtom with his retirement just doesn't seem like a good news story to me.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:24:45 AM EST
    But in this case, the Dingells (especially Debbie) spends a lot of time in Michigan, and especially the home district. While she does the Congressional wife thing, especially being married to the "Dean of the House", she also has a job and holds seats on several boards in the Detroit area, so while I can't say I'm a HUGE fan of hers, she is better equipped than most people to not only understand and be connected to the people in her district and home state, she knows Washington.

    And I don't care about family dynasties, as long as they are getting things done.


    Incumbents have too much power (none / 0) (#102)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 02:43:24 PM EST
    as it is over opponents, I favor an even playing field. Politics should not work like a well oiled machine.

    Sure they do (none / 0) (#112)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 01:31:17 PM EST
    But if you get incumbents who actually DO something, then who cares?

    Uh oh (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:55:17 AM EST
    Maybe I don't want to fix the dent in my car just yet...  :)

    First Lady Michelle Obama has a warning for D.C. drivers: Watch out, Malia is coming.

    The eldest daughter of the Obamas will be learning to drive next year, Obama said Thursday night on an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," and in an effort to keep her children's life normal as possible, she wants to make sure Malia learns how to drive when she turns 16 this summer, though not in the presidential limo.

    "I don't think we'll let her have that," Obama said. "One of the things I told my staff, I've told the Secret Service, is that when we're out of here in a few years, you know, they've got to be able to function as normal people. And so driving is a part of that. So we're going to have to figure that out. Ladies and gentlemen in D.C., watch out. Malia Obama on the road, kind of frightening. I have security, so I'm good."

    A little bird told us (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:09:25 PM EST
    Ching Chong Chinaman meets with HIS acolytes!

    Sorry to miss you BTD! Another time, another place...

    nobelboy - SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:41:34 AM EST
    Throughout many old, old threads

    Pew research categorizes twitter (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:05:14 AM EST
    conversations. Any relevance re TL?  You decide.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 282 (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:15:53 AM EST
    At least he wasn't paying five dollars per minute. (link)

    v. 281
    v. 280

    Get your weekends on, my friends. We're all sick with head colds here, gonna stay on the couch and watch TV or read.


    As today's heroes have said (none / 0) (#25)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:20:22 PM EST
    As one with all today in the Maidan ... "Heroes never die.  Glory to the Ukraine."

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 283 (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 09:41:48 AM EST
    I "buried" bodies for the guy from New Jersey. (link)

    v. 282
    v. 281

    Get to church, you effing heathens. And peace to all.

    I eorship @ Carnegie Hall. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 10:31:26 AM EST
    "Eorship" AND "worship." (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 11:06:05 AM EST
    It's not a new methodology for (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    detecting the presence of illegal substances, but intentional flatulence leads to drug bust. [courtesy of google news.]

    Jason Collins returns to the NBA Tonight (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:05:41 PM EST

    To the best of my knowledge (none / 0) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 08:56:06 PM EST
    Jason Collins tonight became the first openly gay athlete to play in the NBA, MLB, NFL, or NHL.

    Not to mention (none / 0) (#108)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:26:52 PM EST
     the CIA, NSA, NCIS,  CONTROL, and/or KAOS

    Re: KAOS (none / 0) (#109)
    by shoephone on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:15:41 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure Siegfried's right hand man, Starker, was gay.



    John Dingell (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:12:29 AM EST
    The Dean of the House, is stepping down and will not run for a 30th term.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 284 (none / 0) (#51)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:31:35 AM EST
    I wish (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:24:01 AM EST
    BTD would start posting here again about politics. He did a piece yesterday on a Hillary Clinton candidacy that I would like to hear people around here discuss.

    The positive I'm seeing so far is that no one is talking about unity ponies and rainbows and post partisanship.

    That is One Thing About Hillary... (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:38:36 AM EST
    ...she might hawkish and economically conservative, but she sure as hell isn't living under the dillusion that the right is ready for a huge Kumbaya moment so long as we give them what they want.

    Going (none / 0) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    by 2008 she wasn't that economically conservative. Obama was to the right of her on economic policy.

    Needless to say, I strongly agree with BTD (none / 0) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:26:27 AM EST
    on these 2 sentences in his post.

    As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in.{snip}There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.

    I left this part out of the paragraph above since I since I am no longer a partisan Democrat.

    I am a partisan Democrat, it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the time. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats.

    Dkos source


    And part of the problem is that (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:17:12 PM EST
    Obama has been seemingly impervious to Democratic pressure, taking his cues more from where Republicans are on things.  

    Like chained-CPI, which a lot of people think was left out of the budget because of liberal pressure - but this has been challenged - see Digby, here.

    From the Goldfarb article:

    In 2011, in 2012 and in 2013, Obama was willing to adopt a chained consumer price index, which would result in lower payouts of Social Security benefits over time. (He would have protected poor seniors.)


    Democrats hated the idea. Liberals were furious. But the president kept it on the table. What many liberals didn't understand was that Obama kept it on the table not just as a token to Republicans -- many of his advisers believed that chained CPI, with protections for poor seniors, was a good policy that used a more accurate measure of inflation.


    The GOP refusal to agree to a deal is the reason why Obama's Social Security proposal isn't law. In fact, though he's not including it in his budget, Obama says the offer is still on the table.

    "Still on the table."  That doesn't sound much like the position of someone actually responding to Democrats, does it?

    I'm pretty tired of needing to count on Republicans to maneuver a Democratic president into doing - or not doing - something the so-called Democratic base has been advocating.  

    Mostly, I'm just tired of Democratic presidents with Republican sensibilities - there's a reason he has advisers championing chained-OPI: he's surrounded himself with those who think and believe as he does.

    I don't see Hillary supporting those kinds of damaging safety-net proposals, but I don't see her rejecting the executive authority overreaching Obama's engaged/engaging in, so in that respect, I think she'd be as impervious to Democratic pressure as Obama has been.


    If another Democrat becomes president (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:00:30 PM EST
    in 2016, it will be interesting to see what Democratic groups push back on policies that they went along with or remained mute when they were Obama policies.

    Yes (none / 0) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:40:47 PM EST
    they are already after Hillary and exempting Obama from what he did. Insanity is on the way.

    I personally want Dems to hold (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:55:47 PM EST
    their candidates/office holder's feet to the fire on a lot more issues. I wish that it had happened a whole lot more with Obama since he became president and hope that they begin doing it a lot more for the remainder of his term.

    I have absolutely no problem with them pressuring the next candidate to adopt more populist policies regardless of who it might be.



    I really (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 03:32:47 PM EST
    don't mind it either. Some people have made up their mind because of the AUMF. Well, i have had to tell them that Obama played you for a fool on that one.

    Maybe they learned their lesson with Obama but it still kind of ticks me off that they bought his BS in 2008, asked him almost no questions about policy or assumed they knew what his policy stances were. It should have been done in 2008 too and if it had been done it wouldn't tick me off because IMO they would be doing it to every candidate.


    They're just "looking forward," (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 03:36:01 PM EST
    that's all...taking a what's-done-is-done attitude.  Seems like that puts Obama into lame-duck status a full 18 months before that usually happens.

    As far as "insanity" goes, I think it's been here for a while - but it is going to get worse.  Much, much worse.

    I don't know if I have the stomach for it.

    And I'm dreading Obama's need to burnish his legacy with something that will take everyone's mind off the ACA roll-out...and not in a good way.


    Well (none / 0) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:34:35 PM EST
    I'm hoping it's not as ugly as it was in 2008.

    We here at TL have pretty much had Obama in lame duck status for over a year now. So this is nothing new for us.


    I understand the feeling. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:28:31 AM EST
    Believe me I understand. IMO people are talking about 2016 this soon because they are so over the post partisan unity pony rainbows and the heavens are going to open up and tra la la. Of course, all the people who bought into that cr*p are MASSIVELY disapointed.

    RIP Harold Ramis (none / 0) (#64)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:11:11 PM EST
    Can't believe he was almost 70. Still too young, far too young for the laughs he brought me.

    "We have a pool, and a pond. A pond would be good for you." --Caddyshack, directed by H.R.


    I Just Watched Stripes Yesterday... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:42:11 PM EST
    ...man I though that guy was a lot younger, like early 50's.  And Ghostbusters has got to be one of the funniest movies eva.

    And I noticed he did the screenplay for Year One, Bedazzled, Ground Hog Day, and a ton more, he also wrote Ghostbusters and Animal House.

    Damn shame to find out how grand his body of work was the day he died.

    Sucks, why do all the people who bring joy to the world seem to leave it so quickly and people who bring destruction and hatred seem to live forever and ever.

    He will be missed.


    Involved With 5 of the 100.... (none / 0) (#89)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:37:39 AM EST
    ...of the American Film Institute's funniest movies of all time.

    Rest in Peace... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:43:02 PM EST
    and in the immortal words of Mitch Cumstein's old college roommate Ty Webb..."Thank You Very Little".

    Caddyshack.... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:12:19 PM EST
    ...also co-written by Ramis.

    "Licensed to hunt gophers (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:32:07 PM EST
    by the government of the United Nations.."

    People say Doug Kenney, the other anarchic comedic genius responsible for Caddy Shack, was so depressed about the negative reception the film initially got that it set him on the downward spiral that led to his untimely demise..


    I saw a doc about it somwhere (none / 0) (#71)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:45:45 PM EST
    Late one night when I couldn't sleep, it was on one those E or TV Guide or whatever channel. I remember the Kenney stuff. Sad. Jon Peters was such a scumbag producer, too. Amazing it ended up getting made at all. (Dangerfield's first movie tho, and since he was a notorious ganja lover, i can only imagine the laughs on that set.)

    I did not know... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:54:12 PM EST
    he was one of the writers on another fave Dangerfield flick, "Back to School".

    "And another thing Vonnegut!  I'm gonna stop payment on that check!"

    "F*ck me?  Hey Kurt, can you read lips?  F*ck you!  Next time I'll call Robert Ludlum!"


    "Spalding, this calls (none / 0) (#73)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:55:50 PM EST
    for the old Billy Baroo. Ooh Billy, Billy, Billy.."

    I like what Rumi says: He who laughs the most knows the most, if the laughter is sincere.

    Yes indeed, Rest in Peace, Good Sir.

    Supreme Court (none / 0) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:45:55 PM EST
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from the National Rifle Association which complained about resistance by governments and judges to the high court's recent seminal rulings declaring that Americans have a constitutional right to own a gun.

    The justices on Monday let stand rulings that upheld a federal law that prevents young adults ages 18-20 from purchasing a handgun or ammunition from a licensed federal firearms dealer and a Texas regulation that prohibits most 18-to-20 year olds from carrying a handgun outside the home. TPM

    Guess Scalia meant it when he wrote "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited."