by baldilocks

One might say that Starbucks is defecating on its own market share, but I hate going for the easy poop joke. Yes, I’m lying.

Seriously, it’s sad to watch as a thriving business dies, even when it Deserves to Die.TM Even when it is committing suicide.

Monica Showalter:

The ever well meaning Starbucks chairman, Howie Schultz, more terrified of bad publicity and claims of racism than anything in the world, has just announced a rather customer-unfriendly policy of opening Starbucks bathrooms (as well as table space) to all comers, including people who won’t spring for a $4 cup of coffee.  Speaking to the Atlantic Council, according to the Washington Post, Schultz said:

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz said, “because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than.” (…)

For those of us who do buy Starbucks coffee, we know what this policy change means: an open invitation to the homeless to bring in hepatitis, trash, used syringes, solicitations for spare change, and all the other detritus of their uncured condition to Starbucks bathrooms.  The fact that Starbucks will be the only business with such a policy means that all of the homeless will concentrate in these outlets.  Rival store-owners and social service agencies will actually direct the homeless to Starbucks outlets for the free services.  Large groups will congregate, and tents will go up.

I have been guilty of using Starbucks’ free WiFi to check my email, but one usually doesn’t have to enter the business for that. Now I suspect that it will be difficult and unappealing to even get that close to any Starbucks.

But Monica thinks Schultz has a plan.

“One wonders if what Howie is really saying is that he intends to close outlets – in places where the homeless are concentrated.  Is it that? It’s already well known that a Starbucks outlet’s presence correlates with rising real estate values.  Perhaps Schultz means to concentrate that trend and will now keep his establishments in only rich areas with no social service outlets that draw the homeless.  Maybe he knows something about a coming housing bust and its effect on real estate values.

If he’s going to do that, I bet wasn’t the original plan, but the fix after the disaster. And it’s a good plan, though I doubt that Schultz conjured it.

There’s a Starbucks within walking distance in my blue/white-collar multi-ethnic LA neighborhood . But Dunkin Donuts is closer, has WiFi, coffee, tastier doughnuts than Starbucks (duh), no homeless hanging out and seems to have a smarter CEO — or at least a less white- and rich-guilt plagued one.

And, before I walk to DDs, I use the bathroom facilities in my apartment. I know the janitorial crew for that one.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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The second in an occasional series where I cover a single Presidential Candidate at multiple event in a day. My coverage of the WRKO event is here & my Bill O’Brien interview is here (My day of coverage of Ben Carson from mid May is here and here).

After getting the invite to the O’Brien House party for Cruz I hurried to my car in the hopes getting back & finding the speakers car, after a quick guardian angel prayer by an odd coincidence his car was just pulling out as I was and reminiscent of my Scott Brown Car Chase of 2010 I stuck to him as he took a bunch of side roads that I’d never be able to repeat.

On the way to his house the Speaker pulled into a Dunkin Donuts in Manchester. He and the Cruz team got out to get a drink

KODAK Digital Still Camera

And press the flesh

It’s worth noting that despite the 12 ft scarf the Senator apparently didn’t recognize me from the previous events I covered him at which goes to show how much different I look without long gray hair and a huge gray beard

One amusing story you might notice in this video two older ladies leaving while the Senator talks to the vet

One of them was wearing a tie die tee shirt with a peace sign. She was practically from central casting for a “60’s chicks for Bernie Sanders” call. The presence of Sen Cruz near her brought to mind a Vampire confronted with a crucifix. I stood near her table as I ate my croissant. The remarks she was quietly making to her friends concerning Ted Cruz fulfilled the stereotype of “Angry left” very well.

We got back in our cars and we arrived at the speakers house. Like me he has grapes and his back yard has an incredible view that a photo can’t do justice to

KODAK Digital Still Camera

About 120-150 people were there to hear the Senator I recorded a brief introduction

and after a photo or two

KODAK Digital Still Camera

the Event began. The Speaker introduced Senator Cruz with remarks similar to what he said in our interview an hour earlier. and then the Senator spoke for about 12 minutes.

You’ll note the Camera was a tad shaky during the first minute of the video, I have a touch of sciatica and it picked an awful time to flare on me.

After his remarks he took questions from those who attended and covered a wide range of subjects, Debt and Foreign Policy:

On fast Track

On the GOP majority and it’s actions/inactions this one is a MUST watch

You’ll notice that this one cut off suddenly the rest of the answer is here

He then took a question on Sequestration but for some reason my camera continued to act up so instead of a Q & A shot it became 5 short video segments you can see at Youtube as a playlist as posting it here would have been unwieldy.

As this was a House event and those showing up were not told there might be press I made it a point not to film the people asking questions as I thought it not appropriate (other than the Sequestration question from Rep Baldasaro who I knew had no issue with such filming).

After the Q & A Senator Cruz mixed with the crowd a bit and I interviewed Rep Baldasaro

Unlike the Speaker he has not made a final decision in fact he was on his way to a Scott Walker event directly after this one. One other pol there while a fan of Cruz had in fact decided on a different candidate but thought it inappropriate to do an interview announcing said support at a Cruz event.

Like the AM crowd this was definitely a Cruz Friendly Crowd as it was an invitation only the dynamic was a bit different. The Senator took the time to mix with the people and gave them a fair amount of time to make his case to them as the People of NH expect.

This had been the 2nd straight event where I had no net access so as I had an idea we were north of Milford NH I headed in the direction of one a Ray Kroc Memorial Media filing Center that was a mile or two away so I could charge the laptop and bring up the directions to the Andover MA event where I would end my day.

Update: As mentioned above there was a Scott Walker event in Rockingham NH but not being Padre Pio I couldn’t be in two places at one time, lucky for you Granite Grok was there. I’ll update when they do.

Update 2:  Here is the Scott Walker speech link with the speech from Granite Grok

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