by baldilocks

Because thieves need to be soiling their underwear.

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

A man in Washington created a genius device to catch pesky thieves who steal packages from front porches.

Jaireme Barrow, from Tacoma, Washington, was tired of people stealing his expensive Jeep parts and decided he ‘wanted to even the playing field.’

He created one of the earliest models trap – using 12-gauge shotgun blanks, fishing line, bricks, a wooden box-like, a small box, aluminum carrying vessel for the blanks, a small plate, and a cardbox box – and has filmed numerous wannabe thieves.

But the original model was not fool proof, and Barrow had to make a sign that said ‘Package armed,’
Nevertheless, numerous thieves can be seen being caught in the action, with one unfortunate soul even stumbling over himself trying to escape the popping.

From that, Barrow decided to launch The Blank Box, revising his old box method for something much simpler and sell-able.

For roughly $50-$70, people can get their own safety boxes and replace with extra blanks for an additional $2.99.

Thieves thwarted and only feelings, along with dignity – such as it is – get hurt. And, it’s technically not a trap, but a noise maker.

The contrast between the attitudes of the thieves and their would-be victim isn’t lost: one group tries to take that which does not belong to them. One individual, in trying to find a way to protect his property, creates a way to generate wealth.

And there’s some extra entertainment in the piece: proof that, even with double entendres, Brits and Americans speak a different language.

He even sells t-shirts that say ‘don’t touch my box.’

Not quite.

Barrow.

However, with recent revelations about the high and mighty, either slogan on a t-shirt is useful.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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Mayim Bialik not withstanding there is a lot to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving for Americans and those lucky enough to come here. And one of the things we have to be thankful for is Capitalism perfectly Illustrated by of all things rotisserie chickens sold by Market Basket stores.

If you go to any Market Basket you will find rotisserie chickens for sale. At the one closest to my house you can either buy a small chicken for $4.69 or a Perdue giant Roaster for $8.99 fully cooked and ready to eat.

The small chicken can feed two people easy and the big one can handle a family of four with no trouble.

Now you might be thinking: “Datechguy, so what? It’s a Rotisserie chicken, big deal!” To that I say: Yes it is!

Consider that for most of human history the vast majority of mankind has lived hand to mouth.  Even if you had good soil and ample water to grow crops you were one bad storm, one turn of the weather or one barbarian/bandit raid away from starvation.

Peasant:  He never steals all our food.  He leaves us enough to go on with.  That’s something.

The Magnificent Seven 1960

And even if you had access to food, unless you lived near the wilderness meat was a big luxury

Sir William: It may interest you to know that I’ve just been down in the kitchens. Do you know what our minions were feasting on, broth! And do you know what was in the broth, meat, MEAT!

His Lady: They have to put something in the broth.

Sir William: But not meat! Do you know the price of beef in Nottingham? It’s eating money!

The Adventures of Robin Hood The Miser 1956

And if you were poor or a common person you were happy enough to get a meal, any meal.

Sarah Jane Smith: Is all this for Irongron?
Meg: Him and his chamber guard.
Sarah Jane Smith: How many’s that?
Meg: Half a dozen. You’re full of questions, girl.
Sarah Jane Smith: Don’t the guards on the gate get stew?
MEG: What, meat for those common creatures? I should say not. They’ll have oatmeal the same as the rest of us, and lusty enough they are on that

Doctor Who The Time Warrior 1973

This has been the norm for most of human history.

Yet here in the west in general and the United States in particular this is not the case.

Consider, in Massachusetts the Minimum wage is $11 an hour while in the country as a whole said wage is $7.25 an hour, while Market Basket sells those chickens for $4.65 for the small and $8.99 for the huge Perdue roaster.

What does that mean, it means this:

If you are a person without education, without skills and only able to get a job doing simple manual labor.  For the price of not even a single hour of labor you can afford a meal of fresh meat fully cooked, and if you have a family you can even afford the big roaster (although if you are from out of state you might have to work a full 90 minutes to afford the Perdue model bird) to feed your entire family for the day.

That sentence alone is incredible in human history but there is an even bigger significance to it.

Not only is the poor person able to afford that chicken but the Market Basket chain is able to sell them that chicken while still managing to pay:

The employees who cooked wrapped and put out the chickens for sale
The truckers who deliver the chickens
The farmers who produced the chickens

and Still make a profit!

That is the result of capitalism, and freedom.  Capitalism, a system that allows and provides a reward for a person seeking to make a profit from their labors and a government free enough to allow this system to work.  It’s the combination of capitalism and the freedoms provided by western civilization in general and the United States in particular that allow this system to work.

It’s also why so regardless of how the academic left, the media and the professional left keep decrying the west as awful and capitalism as an evil repressive scourge, real people who know real repression and real hunger all over the world do all they can to get to the west in general and the US in particular, because they understand this underlying truth.

The only reason why so many in America have the luxury of professing socialism is because they live in a capitalistic society that keeps them fed 

because if they lived under the Venezuelan socialism that they so often espouse they’d be too busy trying to find food to proclaim how awesome socialism is.

I’ll leave you with these two tweets.  Kevin D Williamson who is a pretty bright fellow tweeted this out last week in response to a map showing that half the country lived in blue urban islands.

He’s close but not quite.

That’s the miracle of American freedom and Capitalism. It means that millions of folks like myself are fed because our Capitalistic system not only provides enough profit for others to make a living producing the food we need instead of having to grow it or hunt it ourselves but it provides a huge surplus that is given away to the poor all over the world, moreover it continues to provide incentives to drive people to do it better and cheaper every single day.

Capitalism as practiced in the US makes this anomaly of human history not only possible but so common that most people who are fed this way rarely if ever reflect on it.

If that’s not something to be thankful for I’d like to know what is?


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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I may be behind the curve on this but it’s just recently come to my notice that we are living in a world of subscription services.  Whether it’s that we are simply unable to make our own choices anymore, or that we don’t have time to, or perhaps we just don’t make the time, subscription services are now available for everything from boxes for your dog, to makeup, to clothing, to wine, just to name a few.

Can’t pick your own forever mate?  Join a dating site like Farmers Only or Match. They’ll hook you up.

Can’t decide what to cook anymore?  There’s Blue Apron for you.

Having trouble picking out new wine?  Try Club W.

Need some toys and snacks for your dog delivered to your door?  There’s Bark Box.  For your cat  there is MeowBox.

Need some new clothes and some personal stylist advice?  There’s Stitch Fix who will deliver a box of clothes and accessories upon demand. For the guys, there’s Trunk Club.

Like to go fishing but need to jazz up your gear?  There’s Mystery Tackle Box to send you new things to try.

Cosmetics?  Birchbox.

Rawbox sends gluten free, raw, plant based products.

GeekFuel for the gamers and geeks.

The list is simply endless.  If it exists, it’s in a subscription box service somewhere.

What does this say about us as a society?  We’ve always liked magazine and newspaper subscriptions, for example, but the explosion of small box services has grown to a new level.  Are we incapable of making decisions anymore? Too busy?  Do we not have enough confidence in our own ability to make decisions?  If we can’t pick our own fishing tackle, how in the world can we pick a president?!

It’s not unlike the shift in television programming from $150 satellite bundles to al a carte streaming services.

Theoretically, you can sit inside your own house and never have to leave; you can have all your basic necessities and luxuries both delivered right to your door and never have to set foot into a shopping mall or a strip mall again.

I kind of get the appeal of it.  Out of curiosity I tried StitchFix and received a box of five items – two tops, a pair of jeans, a scarf, and a cardigan.  They all fit perfectly and are exactly my style based on the profile I submitted.  It’s addictive.

Think about how much information we give up in all these profiles we fill out for these services!  It’s staggering.  Where will it end?!

Now, since I’ve tried Stitch Fix, I feel sort of guilty and think maybe I need to do a Bark Box for my dog…

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

If you want to understand how unique the Market Basket protest is listen to this WBUR interview with one of the protesters who has been fired after 41 years at the store

You might note the entire argument of the fired worker concerning the good of the business & the old CEO who made it a success. business.

Then there is this quote from the story emphasis mine:

Some Massachusetts lawmakers have called for a boycott of the company, led by state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, whose district includes the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury. As of Monday, 37 state lawmakers and mayors had agreed to encourage constituents to stop shopping at Market Basket until Arthur T. Demoulas is reinstated, said Finegold, who attended Monday’s rally.

“I’ve never seen a rally where workers are not asking for more wages or benefits. All they are asking for is the reinstatement of the person that’s been running this company,” Finegold said. “It’s about keeping the culture of this company they’ve built that’s benefited so many all these years. So many people are paycheck to paycheck. If you can save 10 percent of your food bill, it’s a big deal.”

That’s likely why only 37 lawmakers have come out for the workers in a state where democrats have over 175 members in the house and senate. Why are the rest holding back? Here is a clue.

Fired Market Basket employees yesterday rebuffed offers of legal advice from the Teamsters, saying the solidarity of the Tewksbury grocery chain’s workers — from top executives to store baggers — is stronger than any union.

“It’s not our way of doing things,” said former facilities and operations supervisor Steve Paulenka, among eight senior workers canned this past weekend for their allegedly disruptive roles in organizing an employee push for former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas’ rehiring. “We really take care of ourselves. We don’t need a union.”

I’ve heard this sentiment from every Market Basket person I’ve talked to from managers to baggers they don’t want a union and it was made plain during the protest

When word got out at a Friday rally at Market Basket headquarters that representatives of an unidentified union were passing out cards to protesting employees, it was Trainor who responded: “Really, do you think we need a union?” The crowd responded with a resounding “no.”

“There is no union in this country that’s stronger than this crowd right here,” Trainor said. “So take your cards and go home.”

So basically you have a workforce not complaining about wages, not complaining about working conditions, not calling for a union but instead protesting against business decisions that they believe will hurt long term profitability.

There is one way to describe a protest like that: Pro Capitalist.

That’s why it will never get the approval of the National MSM. If that kind of idea spreads, watch out.

Monday I wanted to see the effect on my local Market Basket first hand so I headed down to water street to pick up some onions I’d need to replace what I used up cooking Steak & pepper sandwiches.

I put my camera around my neck and went inside turning it on when I got to the produce section providing a carriage eye view (that’s why it’s shaking a tad when I walk.

I do the shopping in the house and as money is very tight I’m very attuned to prices. Market Basket is reliably the lowest prices anywhere.

The Nissen bread disappeared when Hostess went belly up and came back when the brand was purchased.

The meat section was doing better but as I buy all my meat at Romano’s Mkt that didn’t matter to me.

The Market Basket Brands in particular seems to almost not exist in some sections.

the Soda & Chip sections were pretty well stocked again if it was a market basket brand it wasn’t doing so well on the shelves.

I dropped $26 bucks and checked out the lines were pretty short but there weren’t many customers as compared to a normal monday.

Bottom line the stores are starting to feel the pinch and if I was one of the board guys I’d think really carefully if I want to lose money in the short run on this stuff because you had better believe that the other supermarkets are going to do their best to get these people in and keep em.

I noticed Ed Driscoll’s writeup at Instapundit on the new Newsweek cover:

Clapped-out sclerotic old magazine with one foot in death’s door increasingly believes in salvation in the afterlife, if this latest Newsweek cover is any indication.

Boy, between the above cover, the mausoleum-like Newseum, and the Washington Post investing in a hospice care facility, the MSM sure is obsessed with death these days, aren’t they? Contrast this with the 1960s, when a Time magazine cover gleefully killed off God, at the apex of that youth-obsessed decade.

While I’m usually not one who minds hitting the MSM and Snark is great Ed misses the significance of this issue of Newsweek.

Taken alone a Newsweek cover of this nature is no big deal but consider the last few weeks:

One cover that appeals to conservatives is an oddity.

Two covers that suggested things might be happening

we might be one cover too soon to say it but it appears that she has seen the numbers both financial and demographic and decided to go where no liberal has gone before.

Now we have three count em THREE covers that are designed to get conservative to buy the magazine.

I must conclude that Tina Brown has come out as a Capitalist, I hope she gets a better reception from her friends coming out than Stacy Dash as a Romney Supporter

Update: Cripes those guys really mean it, this is from The Daily Beast.

But it isn’t just foreign donations that are a concern. So are fraudulent donations. In the age of digital contributions, fraudsters can deploy so-called robo-donations, computer programs that use false names to spew hundreds of donations a day in small increments, in order to evade reporting requirements. According to an October 2008 Washington Post article, Mary Biskup of Missouri appeared to give more than $170,000 in small donations to the 2008 Obama campaign. Yet Biskup said she never gave any money to the campaign. Some other contributor gave the donations using her name, without her knowledge. (The Obama campaign explained to the Post that it caught the donations and returned them.)

This makes it all the more surprising that the Obama campaign does not use a standard security tool, the card verification value (CVV) system—the three- or four-digit number often imprinted on the back of a credit card, whose purpose is to verify that the person executing the purchase (or, in this case, donation) physically possesses the card. The Romney campaign, by contrast, does use the CVV—as has almost every other candidate who has run for president in recent years, from Hillary Clinton in 2008 to Ron Paul this year. (The Obama campaign says it doesn’t use the CVV because it can be an inhibiting factor for some small donors.) Interestingly, the Obama campaign’s online store requires the CVV to purchase items like hats or hoodies (the campaign points out that its merchandise vendor requires the tool).

This is incredible, and good news for Oswin Oswald, if a member of the Dalek media can be converted maybe she can still be saved!

“You’ll give us victories then, you think?”

“We do” said [Captain Charles] Stewart, “and not upon irrational premises”

“Which victories,” [President James] Madison mused aloud, “Will give us ships; for with victories Congress will supply them faster than they can be lost”

Fletcher Pratt: Preble’s Boys Commodore Preble and the Birth of American Sea Power 1950

Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.

Matthew 25:20b

On of the basic truths of Capitalism, the thing that makes it successful is the act of investing capital for a return.

Some investments are in established companies, others are in startups. Like any investments some of will fail but if one invests wisely, looking at facts and not at hype, investments particularly in startups will bring a strong return.

Political Capital works the same way as Sarah Palin is demonstrating.

Politicians tend to be very careful, they don’t like to risk offending one side or the other. In particularly they don’t want to risk taking on the powers that be over something as quixotic as principle.

Sarah Palin is not of that kind.

During the 2008 Race Sarah Palin earned political capital with the voters. She spoke plainly and honestly and won her base over. After the campaign she wrote her best selling book and she and her family found themselves comfortable.

She could have sat back, after all her books and TV series were popular and profitable, she could have held court and been courted by pols all over the country and been a standard visit on the “Pay homage to get elected” tours.

Instead she took her political capital and invested it.

When the rest of the right (with the notable exception of Rush Limbaugh) were in dead panic over the popularity of Obama, she spoke out hitting Obama.

When the Media was hitting the tea party and some in the GOP were gun-shy she embraced them.

When the entire media (and many Republicans) were in a dead panic over events in Wisconsin she went to Madison and spoke in his defense.

And she stuck her neck out both supporting candidates like (Deb Fischer, Ann Marie Buerkle and Renee Ellmers and Kelly Ayotte

She even on occasion supported establishment candidates that the tea party did not (John McCain & Orin Hatch) taking the risk of a backlash.

And now we see Texas. There was a time that Ted Cruz was a longshot. Gov Perry and the establishment were behind his opponent. As late as Monday the MSM described the primary as “tight”…

…and the rest is history.

The most significant piece of that history? Sarah Palin endorsed Ted Cruz back in MAY.

Now THAT’s a return on an investment.

Sarah Palin is the perfect political capitalist, she has taken her political capital, invested it in the candidates of her choice and come out with even more. No amount of political snark or clever Conan skits will change that. The MSM can pretend her capital doesn’t exist, but you’d better believe Ted Cruz, Kelly Ayotte and dozens of members of the congress who received that capital when they needed it know it is there and when and if she needs to draw on that capital, I suspect they will remember it.

If that’s not Capitalism I’d like to know what is?

———————

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