Thoughts On A Sunday

The summer has been flying by, with the annual Bike Week seeming like it was just the week before last (it was in mid-June) and the Fourth of July a couple of days ago. But school starts here in the Lakes Region in a little over two weeks, the last of the summer events are approaching, and all too soon the summer greenery will be replaced by the fall foliage colors.

Such is the nature of summer, where as kids we felt like it lasted forever and as adults it flies by far too quickly. I know for me it's as if I've barely settled into summer routine and come to feel like it's actually summer when it comes to an end and preparations for fall and winter need to be made.


The ongoing battle between regional supermarket chain Market Basket employees and the upper management continues. Both employees and customers of the chain have been protesting for the return of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, fired when his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, convinced the board of directors to fire him and replace him with two co-CEO's and to name him as president.

To all intents and purposes the supermarkets have been closed down, with few deliveries being made to the stores due to a work stoppage by warehousing and distribution workers and lengthy protests by employees outside the supermarkets. Many customers also joined in the protests, both picketing outside the stores or boycotting the stores altogether.

The higher-ups have certainly screwed this up, losing the PR war as not one of the members of the board of directors, neither one of the co-CEO's, or Arthur S. Demoulas have appeared before the cameras. All they've offered is press releases. The employees and middle managers have all be quite vocal, speaking out at every opportunity, slamming the actions of the board, and taking control of the debate. Even if Arthur T. Demoulas was fired for cause it won't matter because the perception is that he was ousted due to an ongoing squabble between two branches of the Demoulas family, and that the side that got him fired did so only to start stripping as much cash out of the business as possible and distributing it to family members. It doesn't matter if that perception may not be true, that's what it is and as everyone knows, perception is reality.


This is certainly an indication that corruption in Washington has reached a level not seen since the beginning fo the 20th century.

The Obama Administration has actively been blocking investigations by inspectors general whose job it is to seek and rout out waste, fraud, and corruption within the federal government. So one has to ask, what is it the administration is trying to cover up?

For being one of the “most transparent administrations ever”, the Obama Administration has been more secretive, underhanded, and corrupt than the any preceding it in the past 60 years or so. As the saying goes, don't pay attention to what they say, pay attention to what they do. Doing so, one has to wonder whether the Obama Administration is really a criminal organization. They certainly have no regard for the law.


Moonbattery gets into the cost of trying to 'halt' global warming versus adapting to it, illustrating that 'halting' it will cost 50 times what adaptation would cost, with no guarantee efforts to stop it will have any effect at all.

Of course, the idea of halting it is based upon the still unproven hypothesis that climate change is All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-HumansTM. While there has been tenuous correlation between human activity and climate change, one must remember that correlation does not imply causality. There has been even stronger evidence that warming temperatures are indeed due to human activity...such as siting weather stations near parking lots, airport runways, in the midst of urban heat islands, or near HVAC exhausts rather than in pristine locations without those influences. It doesn't matter to those all for bankrupting the world in order to combat global warming that satellite measurements going back to 1979 do not show the warming the ill-sited weather stations have been reporting.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


I doubt anyone who subscribes to cable or satellite TV has a clue that over $6 of your cable bill goes to pay just for ESPN, whether you watch it or not.

Six dollars is a lot of money for one network. The next closest is TNT, and that's $1.48 for each subscriber., with TBS at the bottom at 72¢ a month and FOX Sports 1 at 68¢ a month.

I know I've been seeing our satellite bill creeping up, with our latest bill going up $3 compared to last month's bill. Both Deb and I have been talking about dialing back on our satellite packages once our 2-year commitment expires (we upgraded to HD in January of 2013), or dropping it all together, cutting the cord.

I am increasingly in favor of pushing for legislation to permit á là carte programming. With the average American home receiving 179 channels, but watching only 17 channels, the present model has got to be ended as we are all paying for things we don't use and don't want. If any other business tried to pull this they'd be indicted for fraud, theft, racketeering, or all three. That the content providers are able to dictate to the cable/satellite customers what they will pay for whether they watch it or not is not good business in the long run. Is it any wonder people are dumping cable?


One thing I noticed just last night was the sound of crickets chirping. Normally they start their nocturnal song around August 1st but this year they're a week and a half late. Last year they were a little early. I think the cooler than average summer this year had something to do with their tardiness. I've noticed this late start before, the year we had a very cool, wet summer.

But now they are making their presence known and we can count on hearing them from now until some time in mid to late September, though their numbers fall off rapidly once the cold evenings arrive.


If you need more evidence of one of Obama's major mistakes, in this case withdrawing our troops from Iraq prematurely, there's this: Islamic State Killed 500 Yazidis, Buried Some Victims Alive.

If we still had a major military presence there, ISIS would have been wiped out before gaining any ground and the thousands of Iraqis and Kurds would still be alive.

Call it yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences poking the Obama Administration in the eye. The problems is that Obama won't learn an effin' thing from this lesson. Then again, he's all but gone ROAD (Retired On Active Duty) on us. It didn't take long for him to find out that winning the Presidency is not the same thing as actually being President.


Are we already seeing a pro-active response to the rise in minimum wage in several states? If one looks ate McDonald's, I have to say the answer is yes.

In Illinois, McDonald's is looking at replacing their cashiers with machines after employees picketed for “a better living wage”. Frankly, I don't blame them. I expect McDonald's and other chain restaurants in the greater Seattle area will do something like this considering the minimum wage is expected to rise to $15/hour.

McDonald's already has experience with ordering kiosks, having deployed thousands of them in Europe, with a large number of them in France, for the same reason it is considering the same thing here: high wages for what are really entry level jobs. It might also have something to do with the labor laws there which make it difficult to lay off or fire workers, even for cause.

As I've stated more than once, better a job at $7.25/hour than no job at $15/hour.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer's still here for a couple of more weeks, parents are looking forward to their kids going back to school, and where my summer to-do list is way behind schedule.