Let’s at least start with something uplifting: Doc and Raider‘s lovely portrait of Montreal this time of year.
Somebody was celebrating the resurgence of independent bookstores the other day and I made the point that, for all NYC types celebrate the original anchors, once Barnes & Noble and Borders went corporate, their big box stores did as much, if not more, harm to the independents than Amazon.
It reminded me that, when I lived in Plattsburgh, NY, our book-buying choices were an expensive ferry ride to Burlington or a shorter ride to Montreal where the language thing somewhat restricted choice, of which I knew a few antiquarian bookshops and Ogilvy, a high-tone department store with a small but wonderfully well-curated book section.
And the thought of Ogilvy and Rue Ste. Catherine reminded me of how Christmasy it felt to be there shopping this time of year, the latitude making it night by four o’clock, the trees lit up as seen above, the store windows decorated, people bustling by in a babel of different tongues besides French and English, Montreal being an extremely cosmopolitan small city.
The real benefit being that, while Montreal was less than an hour away, the border meant that we could live as pure country instead of in sprawling suburbia.
You could sample the urban treasures like holiday shopping and fabulous bakeries, and forego the hassles of life near a major metro.
Which combination of shopping and hassles brings us to our
Juxtaposition of the Day
There are two interconnected issues at work here, one practical and one based solely on greed.
The practical one is that you have heavy and light hours in retail, but you can’t (by law, at least most places) call people in for a two hour shift from 11 to 1 and then send them home again. You have to keep them around and on the payroll for a minimum amount of time.
The solution is, or used to be, that you kept a moderate number of people around and, during the rush, they’d run the registers, and, the rest of the time, they’d dust, restock shelves, take inventory or otherwise make themselves useful.
The greed element comes in when numbers overcome humanity and common sense, and when, as Wiley notes and Val explains, some beancounter a thousand miles away finds out that you can stay in business with minimal staff.
As long as you don’t mind not quite reaching mediocrity.
And then, when your business fails because people have come to hate you, you can blame Amazon.
But if your business fails because sometimes markets fail, or because someone has imposed tariffs on you that make it clear you are never going to be able to succeed, please shoulder the blame yourself, because obviously it couldn’t be Dear Leader’s fault.
I am in agreement with Nick Anderson about the hypocrisy of campaigning on an “America First” slogan while profiting from the Trump line of foreign-made clothing, and especially while profiting from the Trump line of foreign-made political success.
As noted yesterday, you have to cut the guy a little slack because, after all, he hasn’t got the slightest goddam notion what he’s doing, as this Vox article confirms.
His bullying of GM is not simply a sign that he doesn’t know how manufacturing works but a further sign of his deranged inability to empathize with others. Take away the millions his father gave him and he wouldn’t have a friend in the world.
Worse for us, however, is that this is the first job he’s ever had that Daddy’s millions didn’t buy for him.
And yet he’s still the spoiled little rich boy whose staff spends their time running around trying to make him look competent.
Call it the Potemkin White House.
This extends to his dismissal of the report on climate change. David Horsey adapts the old ostrich myth and, if the trope doesn’t break new ground, he’s certainly making the most of the old.
Not only are the ostriches staring in disbelief, but Soccer Mommy was quick to smooth over her little Donnie’s astonishing ignorance by proclaiming
We think that this is the most extreme version and it’s not based on facts. It’s not data driven. We’d like to see something that is more data driven. It’s based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you’re talking about the climate.
All planning for the future is based on modeling, and, as far as I know, math is not a matter of opinion and what in the hell is this woman talking about? How can she say the report is not …
She’s saying stop being mean to her Little Donnie, and it reminds me of the old story of the perfect hostess, who noticed that a guest had inadvertently cut through the doily under his cake and so gallantly ate her own as well.
If this were “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” they’d have to crank up the heat in the White House because everyone would be walking around doggedly loyal and naked as jaybirds.
I like Horsey’s little coal punchline above, and I like where Keith Knight has taken that same topic here.
Hillary Clinton’s promise to bring job training to coal country was met with derision, because Dear Leader promised, instead, to end clean water, clean air and worker safety to bring back good ol’ coal.
I’d say “How’s that workin’ out for you?” but it seems cruel. It’s working out for them as well as it’s working out for the autoworkers and for a whole lot of people who remain loyal and faithful, and who tell the neighbors that they walked into a door.
Jen Sorensen asks why, in the wake of the blue wave, nobody is demanding that the conservatives pull it back and tone it down.
Well, there were calls for decency, inclusion and intelligence when Obama was elected, but the haters dug in their heels in the name of power and profit, and soon those who had called for change were gone.
Coal country used to get it