Recently in Business Category

...unemployment benefits.  I think that the people who first implemented these could have chosen a better date to end them.   And why all at once? Odd. London Daily Mail:

Biden takes selfies with union workers during Labor Day weekend trip to Delaware as more seven million Americans see their unemployment benefits end TODAY

    • President Biden made a surprise Labor Day visit to a local electrical workers union, lasting roughly 30 minutes
    • He was all smiles socializing with a friendly crowd as millions of Americans lose COVID benefits the same day
    • Four types of special COVID unemployment benefits all end on Monday, 18 months after the pandemic began
    • They include unemployment that 7million people couldn't previously claim but did over the last 18 months
    • They also include a boost of $300-per-week to people who were claiming regular unemployment
    • It comes after a disappointing jobs report in August - only 235,000 new jobs were recorded
    • Some say ending the payments so abruptly is dangerous given how growth is slowing
    • Morgan Stanley now predicts the economy will grow annually by just 2.9% - down from 6.5% earlier this year

President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to an electrical workers' union hall on Labor Day where he was all smiles socializing with blue collar workers there - as millions of Americans lose their federal COVID pandemic unemployment benefits.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 313 in Delaware represents 700 active members.

And those benefits:

Meanwhile, more than 7million Americans will lose federal unemployment benefits today and an additional 3million will stop receiving a $300 weekly boost on checks as emergency COVID payments expire.

Four types of specialized unemployment payments that were created because of COVID end on Monday.

They are; the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($300 weekly boost on existing payments), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (for those who already exhausted their state unemployment benefits), Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation ($100-per-week for people who previously worked as a contractor and employee) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (which widened who could apply for unemployment).

Today, 18 months after they were first created, Americans will no longer be able to claim any of them.

Many say the expiry is overdue and that the inflated benefits drove a labor shortage because people could make more money doing nothing than they did in certain jobs.

Which will be good for the real job numbers. Our tax dollars at work.
Again, I have zero problem with a hand-up but it should not become a lifestyle.

Heh - soul food...

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From the London Daily Mail:

Florida diner that posted note refusing service to Biden voters because of his botched Afghan withdrawal is forced to close after it SOLD OUT of food following a boom in customers

    • Angie Ugarte posted the sign in the window of DeBary Diner in DeBary, Volusia County
    • Comes after Thursday's attack by ISIS-K at Kabul airport that killed 13 US troops
    • Now, she says she's seeing an outpouring of support, with patrons inundating the diner on Wednesday offering to buy meals for veterans
    • The support was so overwhelming that the diner ran out of food, forcing the diner to temporarily close due to the amount of donations and diners
    • 'I think that the veterans will be fed for the rest of the year at the rate I'm getting donations' she said of the outpouring of support
    • She intends to keep sign up as long as American's still stranded in Afghanistan

The Florida diner where the owner posted a sign turning away Joe Biden voters after 13 US troops were killed in Afghanistan has had to shut its doors - because so many people called to buy meals for veterans that the small business ran out of food.

'I've gotten so many people calling me from all over the world, from Europe, trying to purchase meals for veterans, which I still haven't been able to organize,' said Angie Ugarte, who posted the sign in the window of the DeBary Diner in the central Florida city of DeBary.

'I think that the veterans will be fed for the rest of the year at the rate I'm getting donations.'

The sign told customers: 'If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere,' the sign read.

I would go in for dinner if they were in the area.  Great idea and great response.  Shows what: "We The People" are thinking (and voting).

A shortage of the stuff - CO2

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Wonder what the environmentalists will say or do with this - from Quartz:

US carbon dioxide supply is a bottleneck for Covid-19 vaccine distribution
Over the last few months, industries in the US have had to contend with a troublesome carbon dioxide shortage. From May to July, beer brewers and soda makers across the country were at a loss to source the fizzy stuff.

But as summer turns to fall, a lack of CO2 could cause an even more problematic shortage: one of dry ice.

In early September, the New York Times reported that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects that at least two Covid-19 vaccine candidates will require dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, for transportation. In order to ship those vaccines, distributors will need to make sure industrial chemical plants can supply enough CO2 gas.

More at the article - couple of different reasons.

Why some people are so up against CO2 never fails to amuse me.  They think that by choosing this gas as the "boogeyman",  they can hamstring our industry and slow down our development.  They fail to realize that #1) - CO2 is plant food and #2) - they are causing grievous harm to 3rd-world citizens and little or no harm to Western civilization. Unintended consequences.

Abject stupidity in full view.

Tip of the hat to Eaton Rapids Joe for the link.  His is a daily read for me.

Finally - arrival

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Took four months longer than anticipated.  From American Shipper:

Ever Given containers finally being offloaded at Port of Rotterdam
Despite the early-morning hour, 5:15 a.m. Thursday in the Netherlands, the Ever Given “arrived amid great interest,” according to a Port of Rotterdam statement. 

Normally a container ship’s arrival in port does not warrant a press release. But the case of the Ever Given, which will be forever infamous for getting stuck in the Suez Canal, is anything but normal and prompted Port of Rotterdam officials to post a brief statement and two photos of the Ever Given’s arrival Thursday.  

The statement said the berthing of the Ever Given in Rotterdam went according to plan — well, a revised plan. The Evergreen Marine-operated container ship had been due in Rotterdam some four months earlier. The vessel was waylaid, of course, when it was lodged between the banks of the Suez Canal for six days in March.  

The Port of Rotterdam said containers will be offloaded at its ECT Delta terminal. Boxes bound for Hamburg, Germany, will be loaded onto the Ever Utile over the weekend to finally continue their journey. 

Like they say: Better late than never but better never late. Wonder what the total overall cost will be.

Quite the payroll - Amazon

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Big but how big?  Bigger than you can imagine.  From NBC News:

Amazon now employs almost 1 million people in the U.S. — or 1 in every 169 workers
Amazon has revealed for the first time the number of people it employs in the U.S., putting the figure at 950,000, according to the e-commerce giant's quarterly earnings call on Thursday.

While the headcount was boosted by an additional 64,000 people hired in the second quarter, it does not include the thousands of contractors such as drivers whom Amazon depends on to run its Amazon Prime delivery operations.

The company's total employee count was shared in a lengthy press release, in a section titled “Investing in Employee Safety and Providing Good Jobs,” where Amazon revealed it has “introduced a new mental health benefit for all of its 950,000 U.S. employees, their families, and household members.”

Globally, the company employs 1.3 million people. It is the second largest employer in the U.S., behind Walmart, which currently employees nearly 1.6 million people in the U.S.

It is interesting that Walmart is even bigger.  I shopped at both places yesterday - some groceries at Walmart and the sign at Amazon.  Pure capitalism at work - what I want, where I want for a fair price.  Done deal.

Turns out some states are putting restrictions on the power consumed by some computers.
From Zero Hedge:

59 Million Americans Prohibited From Buying High-End Dell Gaming PCs
Approximately 59 million Americans spanning five states can't buy Dell's high-end Alienware brand desktop PCs "due to power consumption regulations."

When one goes to the Dell Alienware online configurator to buy an Aurora R12 gaming desktop, a special notice appears which reads:

This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.

Among other state policies, the prohibition puts Dell in compliance with California's Energy Commission regulations which took effect on July 1. Under the new guidelines, annual energy consumption cannot consume more than 75 kWh/year, and cannot exceed an "expandability score" (ES) of 690, which includes idle power consumption.

This is especially egregious as it is not targeting gaming systems specifically, it is targeting all high-end computer systems. Excuse me - I buy gaming systems every couple of years.   I do not play computer games - never had any interest in them - but the requirements for a good gaming system meet my needs for photographic and video editing as well as the music recording and editing. Gaming systems are usually a lot cheaper than any custom-built system.  Economy of scale and all that good stuff.

And why is WA State kowtowing to California's unrealistic diktats.

Tip of the hat to Don Surber for the link.

Get them while you can - I have been looking at a few capital purchases for the blacksmithing business and it seems that now is the time to buy. From Charles Hugh Smith:

America Has Lost the Trade War with China, and the Real Pain Has Yet to Begin
Corporate America sacrificed national interests in service of greed, and so did the U.S. government

As we all know, the source of Corporate America's unprecedented explosion in profits in the 21st century is the offshoring of manufacturing to China. If you doubt this, please study the chart below of corporate profits. Apologists claim many excuses in an attempt to evade the central role of offshoring production to China, but they all ring hollow: no, it wasn't increasing productivity or automation or Federal Reserve magic, it was shipping production to China and other low-labor-cost nations.

And now that China has grown to a point where it can start to dictate the rules?
C.H.S. is quoting from an associate:

China is laying siege to the USA by slowing down production and delivery of goods. It doesn't take much to hang up US production, just one missing item can do it. So much stuff is sourced through China they can affect all supply chains. Semiconductors are just the canary--because the chains are so long and complex, and specialized materials are required, etc. But it is happening everywhere.

I have a little manufacturing company and I am seeing this in supply lines. I sent an order to China for printed circuit boards (US prices are astronomical because of various factors). They don't get back for a week, then they quote, then I send money, then they sit on it, then I call and they say they are having problems with some process... etc. But all the suppliers are like this, it is not an isolated incident. They are sandbagging.

So just as in laying siege, the attackers have the food outside the castle and wait for the people inside to starve.

As prices rise the Chinese manufacturers take bigger profits so the slowdown effects on that end are mitigated. For products they do not have a monopoly on, like PC boards, they slow down. for things like LCD displays and NFeB magnets, the items become unavailable (try buying magnets on Amazon).

I have to say this is a brilliant idea on China's part, and no one on this side has realized the situation yet. This plan is straight out of Sun-Tzu. implications? inflation and shortages will continue for a long time... maybe forever. The only long-term solution is repatriation of manufacturing to the US. But it is going to cause some serious hurt, vastly more than the sanctioning of Chinese tech companies.

And it will get worse before it gets better.  I am seriously looking at a largish laser cutter and a hydraulic press.  I will be buying replacement parts as well. If you are budgeting for something, get it now and buy spares.  Lots and lots of spares. Much more at the site.

And back down to normal price

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I was at Costco yesterday and had been noticing a sharp price increase in my favorite cut of meat - Tri Tip. It started at $9.99/pound and went up sharply from there.  Several weeks it was a buck more each week.  Took a long time to come down too.

Yesterday, it was back to $9.99:


The whole sordid story can be found here, here, here, and here complete with photos.
Again, I had asked several times (both the butcher and the member services window) and nobody had any information - nothing from corporate.  It was just an odd bubble in the price of beef.

And again, these are all the same SKU #33708 and the same store #662 - only variation is the price.

Was looking online at some machine tools and happened on this from Ali Baba:


The 500 unit minimum is going to be a deal-breaker as I sincerely doubt that this is filled with anything better than fuesel oils and rotgut.  Still...  Makes you wonder how many bars are out there serving this stuff - the same vendor has a lot of other alcoholic beverages for sale as well.  Patron, Jack, various rums.

Oh. Yeah.  A 750ml bottle of Blue is about $200.  Let us not forget the wonderful commercial from 2014 featuring Robert Carlyle:

Oh no. Oh HELL NO! - housing

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Are the people running *Resident Biden this stupid? The banks will not care, they will get bailed out. It's the investors, the homebuyers, and later the homeowners who are going to get screwed over. AGAIN. We did this already in 2006 and it fscked up housing prices through 2012. We are only now just recovering. From Politico:

Biden’s new dilemma: How to slash housing costs for low-income borrowers
President Joe Biden’s move to fire the top U.S. mortgage regulator is triggering calls from fellow Democrats to use the agency to expand access to loans for lower-income people, who have struggled to buy homes since the financial crisis.

That’s setting up a clash with Republicans over how far the government should go in shaping an industry that makes up one-fifth of the U.S. economy.

A long-awaited Supreme Court decision last month gave Biden the ability to remove the Trump-era leader of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and he wasted no time. The president installed as interim director an agency veteran who says she’ll make affordable housing and combating discrimination a top priority, but who has underwhelmed those on the left, who say she is a mere caretaker.

Progressives are concerned that Biden will be too timid in changing course at the powerful agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two companies that stand behind half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage market. Top Democrats are calling on Biden to quickly name a permanent leader — a position that Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown's spokesperson said is “vital to the administration’s goals of building an equitable economy and must be filled quickly.”

Of course Brown wants this.  He is salivating at the prospect. The Obama administration bailed out the banks in 2008 (Remember, Brown is the Senate Banking Chair - he just wants to take care of his friends.  The ones that get him all the sweet hookers and blow). Brown is operating under the impression that this will happen again.

Again, we have seen this all before twelve years ago and a lot of the same players are lining up to run the scam again.

Don't you want to guarantee affordable housing to the poor? If they can not afford it? No.
This is leading up to a very large bubble and will burst. Not if. When.

Everything was going great guns until *Resident Biden pulled the plug.
Now? The company behind the pipeline is pointing out a few violations and asking for compensation.
From TC Energy:

TC Energy commences NAFTA claim following revocation of Keystone XL Presidential Permit
TC Energy Corporation announced today it has filed a Notice of Intent to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the Keystone XL Project’s Presidential Permit.

TC Energy will be seeking to recover more than US$15 billion in damages that it has suffered as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations.

$15 Billion is not chump change - this is about $50 for every taxpaying man woman and child in the United States. Waste and mismanagement like that adds up quickly. Good on them - I hope that this becomes a very public persuit.  Not only the lost jobs, the lost revenue, the lost tax money.  Not to mention that the oil is going to flow anyway and without a pipeline, it will be carried in Warren Buffet's rail cars.  How much is he paying *Resident Biden to make this happen?

Today's auction - too damned high

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Great for the auctioneer and for the client but not so good for us poor schlubs trying to find a deal.

Example - from the auction:


5" Angle grinder - final bid was for $125.00 - on top of this is sales tax plus another 13% auctioneer's premium ($16.25).
The model # 6123-30 is discontinued.  The replacement is # 6124-30 - from Northern Tool:


So, you can get a brand new version of the same tool with full manufacturer's warranty and Free Shipping for $149.00.  You do have to pay sales tax (as before) but there is no additional 13% Auctioneer's Premium and you get the full manufacturer's warranty. It is brand new in the box.  All of a sudden, that great deal does not look too good. You are literally saving less than eight bucks for an older, discontinued, out-of-warranty tool.

The chain fall hoists went for around $80-$150 which is about half new price.  For something like this, I would need to examine them carefully as they can crack or fail under load.  Not good.  I am inclined to buy new.

Not to mention, the site is about 120 miles and two ferry rides away - they do not ship.
You have to go there and pick up in person.

Everything else was like that - bidding up to the point of absurd.

Couple more auctions in the pipeline but nothing with anything I am interested in...  Oh well...

Warren Buffet?  One of the richest people in the world and owner of a number of railroad companies.
From Just The News:

Feds could send billions in tax dollars to Amtrak for Northeast Corridor
The federal government could allocate nearly $6.6 billion in grants to Amtrak over the next five years for "activities associated with the Northeast Corridor."

The money is included in the $78 billion Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021. The bill, which the Senate Committee on Commerce advanced this week, allocates $36 billion for rail projects, including $25 billion over five years for intercity passenger rail.

"This bill protects Amtrak's treasured long-distance routes, provides funding to address the Northeast Corridor project backlog, and encourages expansion of passenger rail corridors with State support," according to a fact sheet on the bill.

Buffet does not own Amtrack but he should.  It has lost money since day one.  It needs to be broken up and privatized.

What Warren is smiling about is that his railroad cars will be rolling over some nicely maintained track, switched in some upgraded yards, all on the taxpayer dime.

Time to do a bit of hoarding

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So true - retail

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As good a reason as any

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High gasoline prices are in our future.  Nice that the Biden administration has such a convenient "crisis" to shift the blame.  From The Epoch Times:

Gas Prices Expected to Keep Rising in Wake of Colonial Pipeline Attack
Gas prices, already close to $3 a gallon after a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, are expected to keep rising through the week, especially in the eastern United States.

“We’re expecting to see price increases to continue through the week, and in particular in the southeast region and in the northeast, because we are seeing directly impacted areas along the terminals of the pipeline that remain out,” Devin Gladden with the American Automobile Association (AAA) told The Epoch Times.

“And so as we see imports, deliveries from trucks, fill that gap, that may mean that higher costs will be associated with those deliveries and that is certainly causing prices to increase at the pump for consumers,” he added.

I went to Gas Buddy to check prices but they were having some issues - I'll try again later today and see how things are in New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Dropped my membership with AAA about five years ago.  My insurance company offers exactly what I want - basic roadside rescue and towing - for about 1/3rd the cost. AAA used to be focused on car+driver+travel and now, they are trying to diversify by marketing all sorts of other crap.  I get it, they are a business and their core function is to make money for their shareholders. Still - when you dilute the core competency, you dilute the whole business. Not good.

From America's Newspaper of Record:

Bounty On Groot Skyrockets Due To Spike In Lumber Prices
The bounty on notorious criminal Groot's head has skyrocketed following a sharp increase in lumber prices across the galaxy, sources confirmed Monday.

The member of the outlaw group known as the "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- wanted for violent assaults, escaping prison, more nefarious mercenary acts -- previously had a bounty issued in the amount of $100,000 in Terran dollars, but that number has shot way up, with bounty hunters now seeking him out for the sum of $10,000,000.

"It's just supply and demand," said one member of a Ravager clan. "Builders are seeking lumber right now, which is in short supply. And Groot is a highly sought-after Flora colossus, desirable for its application in building homes and businesses. While he was previously wanted for his criminal acts, he's now wanted more for his potential as a building material."

Groot strongly condemned the increased bounty on his head, saying, "I am Groot. I am Groot? I am Groot." When pressed, he added, "I am Groot," leaving little doubt as to where he stands.

Reporters also sought comment from Treebeard. He has promised a statement but only got out the word "hello" by publishing time.

Feel kind of sorry for the little guy but I do need some 2X4s...

Quite the dinner date

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A simple question

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and a simple answer:


Modern wealth - building

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Prices are still insane:


Short but excellent video - the big multi-national corporations are not capitalist. They hate capitalism. They want a monopoly so they do not have to work as hard.  Amazon. Google. Microsoft. Capitalism benefits the consumer.

Tip of the hat to Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse who has a lot more on the subject.

Everything is going as planned - from Breitbart:

Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Jump to 744,000, Much Worse Than Expected
New weekly jobless claims rose to 744,000 for the week that ended April 3rd, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

Economists had forecast a decline to 680,000 from the previous week’s 719,000. This is the second consecutive week in which initial jobless claims moved up in contradiction to expectations. The upper end of the range of forecasts in the Econoday survey was 705,000.

I miss our President.  Say what you like about the man, he knew how to lead.

From the Los Angeles Times comes this story of a small business in Beverly Hills, CA:

Beverly Hills store let criminals stash guns, drugs and cash in vault at strip mall, prosecutors say
When federal agents descended on a Beverly Hills strip mall last month, it took them five days to seize the contents of hundreds of safe deposit boxes inside a store called U.S. Private Vaults.

On Friday, the government revealed why it was so interested in the seemingly mundane business wedged between a nail salon and a spa: It was laundering money for drug dealers and letting them stash guns, fentanyl and stacks of $100 bills in security boxes that were rented anonymously, prosecutors alleged.

In an indictment against U.S. Private Vaults, Inc., the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles accused the company of marketing itself deliberately to attract criminals, saying it brazenly promoted itself as a place customers could store valuables with confidence that tax authorities would be hard-pressed to learn their identities or what was stored in their locked boxes. To access the facility, customers needed no identification; it took just an eye and hand scan to unlock the door.

“We don’t even want to know your name,” it advertised, according to prosecutors.

I do hope that the federales had the foresight to stake the place out and shoot photos as people came and went.
Could build up quite the database from that. Must be some politicians or elites involved as they report:

None of the people who are allegedly behind the operation were named in the court records. It is was not immediately clear whether any individuals will face criminal charges as well.

Hunter?  Is that you?

From Seattle station KING-5:

Skyrocketing lumber prices drive up homebuilding costs in Washington
Anyone buying lumber these days is in for sticker shock. Prices are at unprecedented levels, and it's affecting everyone from people planning home construction projects to home builders, like Landed Gentry Homes.

The Skagit Valley home builder has never seen lumber prices skyrocket like this before.

The price of lumber has gone up 188% since the beginning of the pandemic, adding at least $24,000 to the price of a new single-family home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Landed Gentry is building a 60-house development.  The contracts have already been signed so they are locked in to what they can bill. Sucks.

Sadly, so true

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And not much we can do about it.  I was lamenting earlier this month that 2X4 lumber has almost doubled in cost in six months. This image brings it home:


Still stuck in the Suez

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Update from gCaptain:

Grounded Mega Ship in Suez Canal Paralyzes Trade for Second Day
Tugs and diggers have so far failed to dislodge a massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal on Wednesday, increasing the chances of prolonged delays in what is arguably the world’s most important waterway.

Work to re-float the ship was suspended until Thursday morning in Egypt, shipping agent Inchcape said, citing the Suez Canal Authority. Dredgers are still trying to loosen the vessel before any attempt to pull it out, the ship’s manager said.

It’s taxing to even grasp how big this ship is. About a quarter mile long (400 meters) and weighing in at 200,000 metric tons, its sheer size is overwhelming the efforts to dig it out. A huge yellow excavator, itself about twice as tall as its driver, looked like child’s toy parked next to the ship’s bulbous bow.


The people standing by the excavator really show the scale of this.  Imagine how large a Conex box is - 20' long by 8 or 9 feet tall and wide. This ship can hold a little over 20,000 of these.  Huge. The ship had been purpose-built to be as large as possible but to still fit through the Suez Canal.  Designed specifically for the Asia-Europe trade routes. This is going to shut things down for a little while. 

A good time to be in the marine salvage business.

The ship in the Suez Canal?

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Still stuck - from gCaptain:

Tugs Work to Refloat Ultra-Large Containership Blocking Suez Canal
The shortest shipping route from Europe to Asia remained blocked on Wednesday as eight tug boats struggled to free one of the world’s largest container ships after it ran aground in the Suez Canal.

GAC, a Dubai-based marine services company, said authorities were still working to free the ship mid-afternoon on Wednesday, and that information it had received earlier claiming the vessel was partially refloated was inaccurate.

The 400-meter, 224,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement.

About 30% of global container ship traffic passes through the canal each day, carrying everything from fuel to consumer goods. The main alternative route for ships traveling between Asia and Europe, around the African cape, takes a week longer to navigate.

The article goes on in some detail.  The Canal handles 12% of all of the worlds shipping. Major source of hard currency for Egypt. European oil prices have already risen 2%. In 2020, they had an average of 51.5 ships transit each day.  Wonder if this will prompt them to build a second and wider canal - I know this has been talked about.

Thanks a lot Ford - jobs

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What a difference two months makes - from Cleveland, OH station WKYC:

Ford plans to move new project from Avon Lake plant to Mexico
The United Auto Workers union has informed workers at the Avon Lake Ford plant that it plans to move a major project slated for 2023 from Northeast Ohio to its plant in Mexico.

The letter, dated Friday, March 12, stated that Ford is going back on its agreement to build a "next-generation vehicle" at the Avon Lake plant in 2023.

In 2019, the UAW says Ford promised to invest $900 million in a new project at the Avon Lake plant, that was set to begin production in 2023. The agreement also included a "complete revitalization" of the facility.

So basically, President Trump got Ford to commit to American labor and revitalizing American businesses. Ford bought into the program and promised to build cars here. The Democrats promised to keep the jobs here so the Unions voted for Biden.  This is a perfect example of their payback - what they got for their time and their money. Screwed.

Maybe next time, you might vote conservative - we actually have American at heart. All of America. Sit down and talk with us - you might be surprised.  We are not what the progressive narrative says we are.

What a brilliant idea

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The three key elements of retail sales ae location, location and location. From the Detroit Free Press:

Girl Scouts suspend sales outside marijuana dispensary after misunderstanding
A Walled Lake marijuana dispensary seemed like an ideal place to sell Girl Scout cookies after some local troops set up shop outside the facility and sold 1000 boxes last weekend.

At least that was the case until the Girl Scouts of the United States of America got wind and frowned upon the idea — setting off a storm on social media and leaving scout leaders scrambling to smooth over the hubbub, calling it a “misunderstanding.”

After arranging to go back this Friday and Saturday, local Girl Scout members and families were told not to sell cookies in a "facility where they're not allowed to shop," said Jerry Millen, the owner of Greenhouse of Walled Lake. "I understand that, that's fine ... but they were set up on a public corner, in wildlife."

Seems to me that that would be a perfect location. Sad that the Girl Scout bureaucracy did not let them have some fun.  The pot shop owner stepped up to the plate:

Legally in Michigan, dispensaries are not allowed to sell food or drinks inside the facility, so Millen took it upon himself to buy 301 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from the girls who were going to sell outside his shop today, to pass out for free tomorrow "just to prove a point."

And it is not that this is without precedent - I wrote this in 2014: Great business location - Girl Scout Cookies

Bureaucracy at the feed trough

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Never get between a bureaucrat and the money. They can go feral if they don't get their share.
From Showbiz 411:

Hollywood Women’s Group Times Up Spent Whopping $2.4 Mil on Compensation in 2019, Just $19K in Grants
Time’s up for Time’s Up. Really.

Last November, the Daily Mail reported that the Hollywood women’s advocacy group spent lavishly on themselves in their first year of operation but did little for other people. The Mail story cited $1.4 million on compensation, among other things. It was outrageous.

But now Time’s Up has posted its financial report for 2019, and it’s worse! Salaries and compensation totaled $2.4 million —  including almost $600,000 to get rid of CEO Lisa Borders, formerly the head of the WNBA, after her son was accused of groping a woman (that’s putting it nicely) during a “healing” session. (He hired Kevin Spacey’s lawyer to defend him, but Borders left with a neatly wrapped exit package.)

Time’s Up now, according to their website, has an all new staff, with Tina Tchen running the show. But I also count a whopping 25 main employees, all with fancy titles, and no doubt six figure salaries.

The list of 2019 salaries staggers the imagination for a start up group dedicated to advocacy work. Currently, Time’s Up is shooting fish in a barrel, attacking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for not having black members. Duh. They’re acting like this is a revelation.

In 2019, Time’s Up also paid Washington DC law firm Arnold & Porter almost half a million dollars in legal fees —  $454,693. (The only good thing you can say about that was that it was a decrease from 2018’s $719,000.) They also paid a New York recruiter $165,000. Why? It couldn’t have been that hard to find women qualified to come in and make six figures to do nothing. At least in 2019 there’s no listing for a fee to a PR firm. In 2018, Time’s Up paid $112,435 to Rally Public Relations.

And nothing is what all these people did. In the end, after raising $1.7 million (half of what they reported in 2018) they donated just $19,342 to the National Women’s Law Center. That was their sole grant. And it was down from the almost $180,000 they gave away in 2018.

The filed Form 990 is full of more discrepancies than  I usually see on these things. There are plenty of contradictions from one page to the next. And what is the point of creating an advocacy group that helps no one but spends over $400,000 on travel and rent? I must be missing the point.

The group’s payroll taxes– $23,287 — were higher than their one donation to a women’s group.

Typical - so fscking typical. This is not something that is owned by the liberals - look at the National Rifle Association for cryin' out loud.  The Amateur Radio Relay League had it's own problems there 40 years ago but they turned themselves around.

My ex used to do plant (the green vegetative kind) maintenance for high-end businesses and had stories about going into the luxurious offices of major national charities and seeing catered lunches coming in from top-line restaurants. So much money spent on themselves and so little going out to their professed clientele.

Twenty five years working for Nike.  She is now a Vice President. She just resigned. From Yahoo/Sports:

Nike VP resigns after report on son's lucrative sneaker resale business
Nike executive Ann Hebert resigned Monday, a week after a Bloomberg Businessweek report detailed her son's lucrative sneaker resale business that flips hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shoes every month.

“Ann Hebert, VP/GM, North America geography has decided to step down from Nike, effectively immediately,” a company statement reads. “We thank Ann for her more than 25 years with Nike and wish her well.”

Bloomberg's Joshua Hunt detailed the business of 19-year-old Joe Hebert, aka "West Coast Joe," who set up a sophisticated scheme for his company West Coast Streetwear to collect coveted sneakers en masse and sell them for a profit.

There is no indication in either this or the Bloomberg article that she colluded with him but he definitely was gaming the system in a way that prevented legitimate customers from getting their fair share.

Bloomberg described a transaction in which Hebert and his team used bots to overwhelm a Yeezy Supply website designed to limit purchases to one per customer. Hebert told Bloomberg he racked up $132,000 in purchases that day and quickly flipped the supply for a $20,000 profit.

Hebert, who operates out of Portland near Nike headquarters, told Bloomberg that he also gained an edge via access to inside information.

“If you know the right people here, this is the city to sell shoes,” Hebert told Bloomberg. "The right people “can give you access to stuff that, like, a normal person would not have access to.”

And, there was this little tid-bit:

Bloomberg also reports that Hebert provided an American Express statement to verify his revenue claims. Ann Hebert's name was on the credit card.

I doubt a 19-year-old is going to have a $200,000 credit line on their Amex card. His Mom was a co-signer.  What is she going to do for a career now - is Joe going to support her?

There is a TLA for times like this: CLM

Such a deal - dishwashers

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Took this photo when I bought my new dishwasher.  It was a mistake and the sales person and I had a good chuckle over it but still... Some poofreading is neaded:


Thinking that all of District of Columbia probably has them. But naaaaaa...  the rules do not apply to THEM.
From The Daily Caller:

In Historic First, Janet Yellen Becomes First Female Treasury Secretary To Request Ethics Waiver For Wall Street Speaking Fees
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sought and received an ethics waiver before she called a meeting between top federal regulators to discuss market volatility surrounding GameStop and other so-called meme stocks, according to Reuters.

Yellen’s move to obtain an ethics waiver followed reports that she received more than $800,000 in speaking fees from Citadel, a hedge fund directly connected to the GameStop saga. Citadel is invested heavily in Melvin Capital, another hedge fund that saw 53% of its $12.5 billion portfolio wiped away in January amid the GameStop short squeeze.

What pearls of wisdom would she have to be worth so much for a 45 minute speech?  Nothing.  Those speaker fees are strictly pay-for-play.  They figured Biden's puppetmasters would cheat "his" way into power and that she would be the new go-to person for the Treasury. They were looking to buy her favoritism. Accountability? Not spoken here.

An interesting analysis from Dinesh D'Sousa - 8:54 - well worth your time:

250+ comments - well worth reading

When I am done with that, I'll start looking around for a different brand - from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

Coke sets diversity targets, financial penalties for outside lawyers
Coca-Cola said it will require diversity among law firms who bill it for work in the United States — and reduce payments if they don’t comply.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant’s general counsel, a recent hire from the top ranks of Ford, disclosed the changes in a letter Thursday to law firms the company uses.

“Quite simply, we are no longer interested in discussing motivations, programs, or excuses for little to no progress – it’s the results that we are demanding and will measure going forward,” Bradley Gayton wrote.

And he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he hopes other major companies make similar moves to “change the trajectory” of diversity in the field.

So the moke who made this bonehead decision is:  "a recent hire from the top ranks of Ford"  Begs the question, why did Ford let him go?  Ford is a well-run corporation.  I drive Ford trucks exclusively (last 20 years: two F-350's and currently driving an E-250 van - a bunch of earlier Fords as well)(note: I do also have a Toyota sedan for my local runabout).

The next question is how long is Mr. Gayton going to be working for Coca Cola? Not long if he is as stupid as he sounds.  Another perfect example of someone who is very highly credentialed but just plain dumb.

On this, we both agree

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No surprise there - Wall Street

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Time to hack their asses - GME needs to be just the beginning. From CNBC:

Wall Street spent over $74 million to back Joe Biden’s run for president, topping Trump’s haul
People in the securities and investment industry will finish the 2020 election cycle contributing over $74 million to back Joe Biden’s candidacy for president, a much larger sum than what President Donald Trump raised from Wall Street, according to new data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The sum includes contributions that began in 2019 and continued through the first two weeks of October to Biden’s joint fundraising committees and outside super PACs backing his run. Former Goldman Sachs President Harvey Schwartz gave $100,000 this month to the Biden Action Fund, a joint fundraising committee for the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties.

It's their money - they can give it to whomever they want.  There needs to be a lot less pay-for-play.

Dodd-Frank was just the beginning of allowing for this. 2,300 pages of pure pork. (signed into law by Obama in 2010).  It replaced the Glass-Steagall Legislation of 1933 - a svelte 37 pages long. Easy to understand and it served this Nation very well for 77 years until the banksters got greedy.

The best Gamestop Meme

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From Daily Timewaster (anything but)


Tacoma, WA loses out

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They implemented some large taxes on gun dealers and manufacturers.  Guess what happened next?
From The Truth About Guns:

Aero Precision Moves Out of Tacoma In Response to Gun and Ammo Tax
Aero Precision, one of the nation’s leading firearm parts and accessories manufacturers, warned Tacoma, Wash., city officials their proposed punitive gun and ammunition tax would have consequences. Officials passed the proposed increases and instituted the taxes and fees.

Aero Precision answered back. The company and its 800 employees announced plans to expand and grow their manufacturing base in nearby Lakewood, Wash. Instead of investing in more jobs, more infrastructure, and more taxes paid to the City of Tacoma, Aero is literally sending their business elsewhere.

Heh - a bit more:

Aero Precision kept its word. The Tacoma City Council passed the tax proposal in 2019 to take effect in July 2020, which was later delayed until 2021 due to COVID concerns. Still, Aero Precision followed through, announcing an expansion to nearby Lakewood.

“We are very excited to be working with the City of Lakewood on our relocation,” Dover said. “The city representatives have been extremely welcoming, and we foresee Lakewood as the long-term home for Aero Precision as we continue to position ourselves as a top tier manufacturing facility in the State of Washington.”

Lakewood’s gain is Tacoma’s loss and a sizeable loss at that. Aero’s new facility is 268,000 square feet and will welcome some of the existing 800 employees and newcomers who will sustain the new growth. That’s a huge loss for Tacoma whose council members were looking for $30,000 in extra taxes.

Sounds like the City of Tacoma needs to elect a new City Council.  The ones they currently have aren't that bright. They can not seem to grasp the idea of cause and effect.

And hello Walmart Plus

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Checking out their 30-day free trial:


They are like Amazon in that they serve as the gateway to a whole bunch of independent small retailers. You are not just shopping the contents of the WalMart stores, there is a lot more variety out there.

We will see...  At least, they do not meddle in progressive politics and censorship.

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