A Couple of Unicorns For Ya

Pursuant to John’s gentle reminder to stay cool till more facts emerge from Dallas and elsewhere, here are a couple of pieces of good news to tide us over:

1) A while back I posted my thoughts on how providing direct support to an immigrant or refugee individual or family is one of the best things you can do to help them, their communities both here and abroad, and the global situation. Apparently our friends up in Canada have figured all this out and are rocking it:

Across Canada, ordinary citizens, distressed by news reports of drowning children and the shunning of desperate migrants, are intervening in one of the world’s most pressing problems. Their country allows them a rare power and responsibility: They can band together in small groups and personally resettle — essentially adopt — a refugee family. In Toronto alone, hockey moms, dog-walking friends, book club members, poker buddies and lawyers have formed circles to take in Syrian families. The Canadian government says sponsors officially number in the thousands, but the groups have many more extended members.

Both the words and pics in the Times piece will warm your heart.

2) Kudos to animal activists in Massachusetts who have collected enough signatures to put the Massachusetts Farm Animal Containment Initiative on the ballot in November. The referendum would, among other things, “ban the sale of whole eggs, pork products, or veal from animals that can’t turn around or stretch their limbs within their cages.”

Pretty optimistic about this one, especially given how California’s similar Proposition 2 was overwhelmingly passed by voters way back in 2008.






112 replies
  1. 1
    negative 1 says:

    That Massachusetts initiative is awesome. It would be a good national law. The big upside would be that it would impact big Agribusiness a whole lot more than a family farmer and help even the field.

  2. 2
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @negative 1: yes, if I were Big Ag I’d be sweating right now. I need to write up the recent Purdue animal welfare improvements, and will do that soon.

  3. 3
    negative 1 says:

    @Hillary Rettig: I don’t have a lot of knowledge about state-level races in the middle of the country, but do democrats and other liberals run on those sort of issues there? I didn’t think that the family farm-level farmers really liked having to compete with or sell out to the large conglomerates. I would think that reigning in big ag would be a winning message. Lord knows it would help the environment and labor.

  4. 4
    Kropadope says:

    Kudos to animal activists in Massachusetts who have collected enough signatures to put the Massachusetts Farm Animal Containment Initiative on the ballot in November. The referendum would, among other things, “ban the sale of whole eggs, pork products, or veal from animals that can’t turn around or stretch their limbs within their cages.”

    A beautiful thing, I will definitely vote for this. The ballot initiatives are probably the main thing that have me excited for November this year.

  5. 5
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @negative 1: this is a complicated question and I’m far from an expert on it. i think most politicians, unless they are explicitly pro-animal (like members of a pro-animal caucus) tend to shy away from making a strong public stand on animal issues until/unless voters make it abundantly clear that that’s what they want. This is especially true in agricultural states like in the midwest.

    at the same time, I participated in the Humane Society’s lobby day at the Michigan state capitol, a few weeks ago, and it’s pretty clear there is a huge groundswell of support for animal welfare and rights even in the heartland.

    Another complication: “Right to Farm laws” that override local zoning and animal protection measures (so residents of a bucolic town near us could do nothing when a chicken CAFO moved in). http://www.mlive.com/news/kala.....000_l.html

    HSUS president Wayne Pacelle just published a book The Humane Economy that is pretty readable and covers some of these issues pretty well; you might want to check it out.

  6. 6

    The Canadian thing is interesting. Probably leads to much better situations for all involved, especially on the assimilation front.

    And the MA law looks pretty good. Curious to see how that campaign will look (especially on the ‘no’ side), you know, out of academic curiosity.

  7. 7
    EBT says:

    Have a video of one of my late ferrets stealing a bag of noodles. https://youtu.be/OvSqGBj–Rw

  8. 8
    Svensker says:

    Across Canada, ordinary citizens, distressed by news reports of drowning children and the shunning of desperate migrants, are intervening in one of the world’s most pressing problems. Their country allows them a rare power and responsibility: They can band together in small groups and personally resettle — essentially adopt — a refugee family. In Toronto alone, hockey moms, dog-walking friends, book club members, poker buddies and lawyers have formed circles to take in Syrian families. The Canadian government says sponsors officially number in the thousands, but the groups have many more extended members.

    well, kinda. Our group in toronto sponsored a family — mom, dad, 2 young boys and a baby girl — and were all ready to go with them. They were told they’d be processed in the next few weeks (back in January) and we were told to get ready to receive them. we had an apartment ready for them, furniture and household goods, money, clothing, doctors and dentists. then, wham, the gov’t said, nope, no more folks, we’re done. Huge protests, all polite of course. gov’t reconsidered and has now committed to helping get out at least those folks who have private sponsors. Our family has had their interviews and their health checks — but have been told it will probably be at least 6 more months before they are allowed to leave. In the meantime, they are in limbo, trying to exist while staying out of sight of their not-very-happy host govt, and we’re in limbo — what do we do with the apartment? How can we store all the stuff? Should we donate it to refugees who are already here and then try to get new things for our family? the kids’ clothes will all be too small by the time they get here. We’re just praying our family survives intact while they’re waiting to get out, that’s the most important thing.

  9. 9
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    Curious to see how that campaign will look (especially on the ‘no’ side), you know, out of academic curiosity.

    They will say it increases food prices.

  10. 10
    kindness says:

    And the chicken/egg farms are still in California. No one has moved out yet.

  11. 11
    negative 1 says:

    @Hillary Rettig: Thanks for the reply. I understand that any farmer gets a little nervous about animal rights issues as they are nervous it will impact their business (full disclosure: I’m a vegetarian so I’m hardly an unbiased observer). My question is just more broad level — do dems in the traditional ‘bread basket’ states ever try initiatives aimed solely at smaller farms, and do they specifically rail against big ag? Or what about imported food? I am only curious because agribusiness is one of the worst industries world wide for pollution and horrific labor practices, and may be the outright worst in this country.

  12. 12
    sherparick says:

    It is 48 years since he gave this speech, and if were still alive he would be turning 90 this year. I can’t think of better and more appropriate remarks then Bobby Kennedy’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoKzCff8Zbs

  13. 13
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    So does that make Canada a terrorist-sponsoring country? Must we now look to erecting a 50-foot wall across the US/Canada border?

  14. 14
    Arclite says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: Of course! And Canada is gonna pay for it too!

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    I remember hearing this story on NPR a few months ago about how Italy is embracing migrants. There have been several different ones, including stories about Italian citizens volunteering to teach Italian language classes for migrants to help them settle in better. Italy seems to be one of the unsung heroes in the European migration story right now.

  16. 16

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Curious to see how that campaign will look (especially on the ‘no’ side), you know, out of academic curiosity.

    IIRC, here in California the big argument on the “No” side was that it would drive prices through the roof, and there’s some truth to that. Eggs did get noticeably more expensive after the new rules went into effect, but the prices are still pretty reasonable in an absolute sense.

    I think it’s like a lot of things in our economy: people get so wrapped up in low prices that they overlook everything else: decent wages for the people they’re hiring, respect for the environment, decent animal conditions, etc. You see it a lot whenever people discuss raising the minimum wage. Opponents act as if small price increases for fast food and the like are a major hardship, while ignoring the much greater hardship for the people trying to live on today’s inadequate minimum wage.

  17. 17

    I am glad that Canada has evolved from the Komagata Maru days.

  18. 18
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Major Major Major Major: even the “trivial” interpersonal interactions provide valuable cultural competency info and practice. it’s hard work for everyone, but I agree with you that the outcomes are better this way. // btw, the reporting on this rings really true based on my own experiences. managing expectations seems key to success in all realms, but especially the interpersonal.

  19. 19

    @Roger Moore: I’ve definitely noticed that in minimum wage stuff.

    On the other side of that, of course, is a staunch refusal to believe that raising the minimum wage does, in fact, have economic and labor consequences, which is irritating.

  20. 20
    negative 1 says:

    @Roger Moore: There was a site that used fake WWII era propaganda posters to make points about our current labor and economic practices. My favorite of any of them was a soldier in a dystopian-hellscape crawling out of a foxhole with the slogan “There’s Nothing We Won’t Do For Low, Low Prices”

  21. 21
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Roger Moore: also the point that food is pretty cheap in the US compared with other industrialized countries, and that that’s largely due to massive subsidies that the agribusiness whingers receive.

    and that the overconsumption of cheap food (esp. meat and dairy and eggs) is considered a prime cause of a lot of public health problems, including obesity, diabetes, etc.

    and that hyperintensive confinement of animals breeds disease, including some that everyone is afraid will cross over to humans. (we really are on this l’il spaceship together.)

    then there’s the the ethical concerns – should we really be tormenting someone for their entire lives just to save a few pennies? more and more people say no.

  22. 22
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: good reminder of that shameful incident

  23. 23
    Kropadope says:

    @Roger Moore:

    IIRC, here in California the big argument on the “No” side was that it would drive prices through the roof, and there’s some truth to that. Eggs did get noticeably more expensive after the new rules went into effect, but the prices are still pretty reasonable in an absolute sense.

    Who knows? Maybe they’ll even come back down when a large enough portion of their market demands humanely treated food products and they actually put more than a half-assed effort into finding ways to deliver food both humanely and economically. In the meantime, companies already doing so will reap a reward for doing the right thing.

    I think it’s like a lot of things in our economy: people get so wrapped up in low prices that they overlook everything else: decent wages for the people they’re hiring, respect for the environment, decent animal conditions, etc. You see it a lot whenever people discuss raising the minimum wage. Opponents act as if small price increases for fast food and the like are a major hardship, while ignoring the much greater hardship for the people trying to live on today’s inadequate minimum wage.

    They also ignore people reduced bargaining power in an age with fewer unions and more consolidated big-box chain stores. Too many jobs nowadays are “take what we’re offering or we’ll find someone else who’ll work for a pittance.” The imperative to raise prices may often be overstated too. Lost profits derived from fair pay can also be made up by selling more product, which should be easy to do when more people have more money.

  24. 24
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Mnemosyne: thanks for posting; had no idea. that’s lovely.

  25. 25
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Svensker: well that really sucks. I hope things work out for all of you, and thanks for your good hearts. please keep us posted!

    PS – even though your story was aggravating, I had to chuckle over this:
    > Huge protests, all polite of course.

  26. 26
    Miss Bianca says:

    @EBT: ferret love!!

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @negative 1: i just don’t know. I think what you’re really asking is what influence small farms have on the political process versus agribusiness, and I’m guessing not much.

    And it’s not so clearcut. Michigan, for instance, recently overhauled its food safety laws in ways that benefit consumers. BUT I’m told that agribusiness will find the new rules easier to comply with than small farms.

    http://michiganfoodsafety.com/.....7208_7.pdf

  29. 29
    Hillary Rettig says:

    I have to sign off now, everyone, but will check in later. bye!

  30. 30
    EBT says:

    @Miss Bianca: He loved anything that went crinkle. Tie plastic bags in knots and throw them around and he would pick them all up and hide them.

  31. 31

    Afternoon break:Two Punjabi wedding songs, with the amazing Kangana Ranaut

    Ms. Goody-two-shoes in Queen
    Curly Haired wild child in Tanu Weds Manu

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Weaselone says:

    When I first glanced at the Ballot proposal description, my gut reaction was that my vote was going to be a No vote mainly because “cage free” doesn’t translate to images of chickens running through sunny fields and digging for grubs. Generally, cage free seems to mean massive, crowded warehouses full of chickens so fat they can barely walk stumbling all over one another injuring themselves. “Free Range” translates to the same, but with a small hole cut in one side of the barn connecting to a small square of dirt. Consumers then get to pay extra for the “cage free” and “free range” label, while the quality of life improvement for the chicken is marginal at best.

    On the other hand, I’m a big fan of moving agriculture to a more sustainable model, one more respecting of animal dignity. So I would like to support a measure like this, but I need to be convinced it actually accomplishes something beyond making people feel good and raising the price of eggs.

  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    I slept twelve hours, missed seven posts here and all other media and am grateful for Hillary’s advice to stay out. Feel fine except for the usual joint pain.

    I agree with @Roger Moore: that prices of eggs went up here, but nothing that broke the budget. The campaign for that initiative was really smart. I was at a street fair and their booth had a row of cages stuffed with really lifelike fake chickens, and the visual hit me in the heart and gut more than any picture could have done. I was sold.

  35. 35

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Must we now look to erecting a 50-foot wall across the US/Canada border?

    If we elect Trump, they’ll be happy to build it for us. Of course it will be designed to keep Americans out of Canada rather than the other way around, but who’s counting?

  36. 36
    Shana says:

    How typical the Canadian story is of what I have always experienced of Canadians in general. Thanks for sharing that.

    I just got back from a very hot morning at a local high school where they had two naturalization ceremonies. The morning one had 399 participants, the afternoon one was about the same size. I was there as a representative of the local Democratic committee handing out welcome letters from our chairperson, who is herself a naturalized citizen, with lots of useful voting information on the back. I did this once before in the spring and had such a good time. The applicants were all so happy and proud. Most people had lots of family and friends with them. I talked to one group of 4 people who were there to surprise their coworker who was becoming a citizen. The County had lots of people manning the voter registration table so we just asked folks if they had registered when they were on their way out and nudged to make sure they register if they didn’t do it today.

    Like in the spring ceremony, there were no Rs around.

  37. 37

    @Major Major Major Major:

    On the other side of that, of course, is a staunch refusal to believe that raising the minimum wage does, in fact, have economic and labor consequences, which is irritating.

    Of course it has effects, but at the very least they are much less dire than opponents claim. There certainly isn’t strong evidence for the kind of dire effect opponents always claim there will be; at best the results are inconclusive. Given the lack of strong evidence that raising the minimum wage hurts employment, there’s good reason to increase it.

    Of course that evidence is only good within the range of minimum wages that we have experience with. If we tried to raise the minimum to $50/hour, all bets would be off. But raising it to $15/hour would get it back to the same general real level it was at back in the 1960s, when it didn’t seem to destroy the economy. It would also be similar to the level in Australia, where there doesn’t seem to be a problem with fast food restaurants ditching their human employees for robots.

  38. 38
    Kropadope says:

    @Weaselone:

    On the other hand, I’m a big fan of moving agriculture to a more sustainable model, one more respecting of animal dignity. So I would like to support a measure like this, but I need to be convinced it actually accomplishes something beyond making people feel good and raising the price of eggs.

    Well, if the law doesn’t accomplish everything it needs to, the issue can addressed again at a later time. Maybe the legislature will beef it up to make sure its constituents’ increased egg cost will actually bring about the desired result of improved treatment for farm animals.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    There is no country that is free from hatred — even Canada has had some nasty incidents, and they have their own home-grown white supremacists. The actions of a few don’t erase the actions of whole towns.

  40. 40
    redshirt says:

    @Mary G: Glad you’re well!

    Did you really sleep for 12 hours straight? I find that incredible. That’s like 3-4 days of sleep for me. I envy you.

  41. 41

    @Mary G: Good to know, you are doing well. {{{ }}}

  42. 42
    Mike J says:

    daveweigelVerified account @daveweigel
    First thing I see at DNC platform meeting: A Bernie delegate wiping away tears and asking Jeff Weaver to make sure he doesn’t concede.

    And people tell me we don’t need veal pens.

  43. 43

    @Hillary Rettig:

    Michigan, for instance, recently overhauled its food safety laws in ways that benefit consumers. BUT I’m told that agribusiness will find the new rules easier to comply with than small farms.

    I think that’s generally true of those kinds of rules. FDA rules* seem to be built around the assumption of big producers. The record keeping requirements are very detailed and time consuming. They make sense if you’re part of the big food processing industry, since it’s vital to track where stuff came from and where it wound up in case something goes wrong. Unfortunately, they’re really too onerous for small-time operators, and they don’t necessarily make sense in that case, either.

    *I assume USDA and similar agencies, too, though I have no personal experience with them.

  44. 44
    EBT says:

    @Mnemosyne: A few being every interaction between the skasatchaean police and First Nations?

  45. 45
    Saskexpat says:

    I moved from California to the Canadian prairie about a year ago, and the difference between the attitudes on things like immigration and racist historical practices are striking. It ain’t perfect here, there are still rednecks, bigots, and assholes, but there is a fairly broad support for inclusive policies and more honest conversations about racial justice for First Nations communities, from local politics to what’s taught in elementary schools to Parliament (and I live in a fairly conservative province). Obama’s speech in Ottawa on these issues was very well received here. My understanding from speaking with people is that the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the residential schools helped make people more comfortable dealing with discussions about racial justice. I think such an approach could be useful back home, FWIW.

  46. 46
    Weaselone says:

    @Kropadope:

    Well, looking at the article linked by the OP the impact of California’s law was:
    1. Short term price spike
    2. Small permanent increase in the price of eggs
    3. Reduction in total egg production in California
    4. Conditions for chickens are still equally crappy, they are just dying and decomposing on the floor of massively overcrowded warehouses instead of being stuck in cramped miserable cages.

    So why would I vote for a law that increases the price of eggs, drives egg production down and out of state and doesn’t actually help chickens?

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EBT:

    Prezackly. Though it’s not like us USians have much room to talk when it comes to the treatment of our indigenous peoples.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Weaselone:

    The Humane Society of the US is behind the Massachusetts law. If they’re not strong enough supporters of farm animals for you, I don’t think any organization would meet your standards.

  50. 50
    James E Powell says:

    @sherparick:

    Can you imagine how the cable news shows would react to a politician quoting Aeschylus?

  51. 51
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Did I imply otherwise? — I did say mixed results. I just feel that the mixed nature of human successes need to be acknowledged, not feeling that cozy little places to forget the realities of such is a luxury we can really afford. Especially as many people can’t escape the inevitable complexities.

  52. 52
    Kropadope says:

    @Weaselone: Source?

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    It’s a matter of focus. Do you prefer your focus to be many people are good and that behavior should be encouraged or some people are bad, and that should be punished?

    Since current psychology shows that rewarding people for good behavior works better than punishing them for bad behavior, it’s foolish to focus solely on bad behavior. YMMV, of course.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @scav: And a clarification. While I utterly understand the need to take a break from the complexities of the world, I generally feel it better that they come as distractions and a focus on other topics, rather than a retreat from acknowledging the world is a complex place.

    I focus on acknowledging the complexity rather than only the pretty pretty. Some people and problems respond purely to rewards — others clearly don’t. Plan for both.

  55. 55
    Fair Economist says:

    @Weaselone:

    4. Conditions for chickens are still equally crappy, they are just dying and decomposing on the floor of massively overcrowded warehouses instead of being stuck in cramped miserable cages.

    Even assuming that’s true, no, an overcrowded warehouse is still much better than a cage so small the hen can’t even spread her wings.

  56. 56

    Oldie but goldie.
    Aye Mere Pyare Watan (Oh my dear country) from Kabuliwala, a movie based on Tagore’s story by the same name. Its about the plight of an Afghan immigrant from Kabul in Calcutta in the late 19th century. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    The story was published in 1892, and the movie is from 1961.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    So when you have Hungary doing their best to drive migrants out and Italy doing their best to welcome them, what we really need to do is focus on Italy’s shortcomings?

  58. 58
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Look to learn what conditions lead to variable success and failure in Italy and Hungary and apply them elsewhere. Not ignore half the situation and half the data in two instances.

    ETA: Not everyone in Italy is welcoming, and not everyone in Hungary is kicking.

  59. 59
    MomSense says:

    These programs are working wonders here in Maine to help existing farms be more viable and to help people start farms. One interesting thing is just linking retiring farmers with young farmers who want to start.

    Maine Farmland Trust
    http://www.landformainesfuture.org/ Land for Maine’s future

  60. 60
    Doug R says:

    @Roger Moore: This study calls bullpucky on those minimum wage naysayers.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    Well, if everything evens out and some people are always going to do bad things, no point in even trying to improve the world. Glad to have your optimistic perspective on this shitastic day. Go fuck yourself.

  62. 62
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Rerun this conversation with Italy as cops and Hungary as african americans and see how it reads.

    And what’s with this evens out? I’m trying to get data to solve a complex problem and you think I’m advocating for nothing to be done about it?

  63. 63

    @Roger Moore: Minimum wage should keep up with inflation and it hasn’t. Of course if you make it $100 that’s going to have a negative effect.

  64. 64
  65. 65

    @Roger Moore: Well, yeah. But I’ve had a number of conversations, with otherwise very intelligent progressives, where they say there is simply no evidence of labor market effects and no reason to suspect that there may be, and that any economist who suggests otherwise (i.e. most of them) is eeeebul. The effects are certainly less dire than the opponents say, but they are bound to pop up, especially in industries where you can just relocate to, say, one mile from the Seattle border. That they have no negative/mixed consequences is the party line, and it’s become a shibboleth, just like rent control.

  66. 66
    MomSense says:

    @James E Powell:

    Can you imagine how the cable news shows would react to a politician quoting Aeschylus?

    They couldn’t even handle a politician eating arugula.

  67. 67
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Flying off the handle there are ya?

  68. 68
  69. 69
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, we pay $2.99/dozen for cage-free at our local market, which is slightly higher than before, but not much. I’ve seen them for $1.29 (non cage free) at 99 Ranch. Some of the price increase was due to avian flu, but a lot of it is sourcing. Eggs don’t travel well so prices vary considerably based on where you can source them from. For example, eggs are one of the only products that McDonalds doesn’t centralize, relying on local contracts. I wouldn’t be surprised if some locations saw huge increases while others only saw modest ones.

  70. 70

    @MomSense: As I recall, RFK did it off the top of his head. I like to think I’m well-read, but that’s impressive.

  71. 71
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    Just hired a nice new assistant at a rate higher than I’d planned to go, but she may make a real difference to my business as she claims fluent Spanish as a job skill. My current assistant is a sweet girl who is finally going to escape her shitbag lazy abusive addict husband, and he’s melted down; in order to escape his demands and the demands of his family, she has to move back to NYC. His response has been to incur his third mental inquest for another bullshit suicide attempt in a month in a bid to get her to stay here, and his family continues to ask her to stay and help him to “get better”. Needless to say, she hasn’t been real productive, but it is nice to see her smile occasionally with hope for her future.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @raven:

    Yep. Go fuck yourself.

  73. 73

    @Mnemosyne: How is your movie blog?

  74. 74
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yea, tell us all about what YOU know.

  75. 75
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The study does tease one detail out – service jobs tend to expand under a wage increase, suggesting that manufacturing and other more substitutable labor don’t fare as well.

    So wage increases may accelerate an existing trend toward automation, where automation is a viable option. In the service sector, it’s not an option, so it tends to expand employment as more people can afford the service. People rarely differentiate products based on how they’re made, but they largely differentiate services by the number and quality of labor.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I haven’t written on it for a long time, sadly. I was having trouble keeping up with TCM. I should probably just write about the movies I want to write about and let folks get caught up later.

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yea you should.

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    It was impressive and he couldn’t cheat by looking it up on his smart phone before speaking.

  79. 79

    @🌷 Martin: exactly. This is why you can say “unemployment didn’t go up in Seattle!” and be both right and missing the point. Cities are rather heavy on the immobile service sector.

  80. 80
    scav says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Ahhh, the image of RFK eating arugula off the top of his head. Thank you.

  81. 81

    @scav: You’re welcome!

  82. 82
    Immanentize says:

    One for Cole. Thanks for this place! Lowell George would have been 71 today —
    “There’s a fat man, in the bathtub, with the blues. I hear him moan….”

  83. 83

    @Mnemosyne: I tried to send you message on your blog. I am not sure it went through. Can you email me at the contact email on my blog? manyworldsonecat@gmail.com

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I’m heading into some meetings, but I’ll do it when I get home tonight. 😊

  85. 85
    Technocrat says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But raising it to $15/hour would get it back to the same general real level it was at back in the 1960s, when it didn’t seem to destroy the economy

    This would double the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. I can’t imagine anyone has models which predict the likely outcome of that large a change.

  86. 86

    @Technocrat: I’ve been told by my progressive betters that it would be harmless and paid for by the millionayuhs and billionayuhs.

    Seriously, I have friends that basically argue this, it’s not a straw man.

  87. 87
    Mike J says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If we tried to raise the minimum to $50/hour, all bets would be off. But raising it to $15/hour would get it back to the same general real level it was at back in the 1960s

    A bit more. In ’68 it was $1.60/hr, which would be $11.05 today. $15 today would be $2.17 in ’68.

    Which isn’t to say that $15 isn’t a better number, but it is higher than it has ever been even in inflation adjusted terms.

  88. 88
    Barb2 says:

    Meanwhile first American Zika related death in Utah. Elderly man was infected while traveling.
    (Reference – Huff Po front page).

    But then the GOP doesn’t have time to come up with a clean funding bill for Zika research. Oh no gotta do the email smear and related sexist pig stuff – for that they have unlimited time and money. Our money.

    My husband is pissed at me because I want nothing to do with his cousin in upstate NY. The guy is a teabagger, Fox news addict and rigid GOP jerk.

    This war with the GOP is really an issue of life and death.

  89. 89

    @Barb2: I saw that some senator (R-whatever) was blasting Obama for not having zika funding, because the Senate passed a bill that had around half as much as Obama asked for.

    Now, mind you, that bill died in the House.

    It was Obama’s fault for not having an appropriation that Congress didn’t pass, because he had asked for too much money.

    The mind, it boggles.

  90. 90
    Chyron HR says:

    @MomSense:

    They couldn’t even handle a politician eating saying arugula while talking to arugula farmers.

    Fixed to emphasize their utterly mendacious shit-stirring.

  91. 91
    Cmm says:

    I woke up with my typical middle of the night insomnia, saw the news about Dallas, and bailed out of FB for the day after posting something brief because I knew friends would be checking in. Went back to sleep. Was gently awakened at 930 by my beloved, reporting that she had already been to Target (we were out of dog food) and had brought me back Cocoa Puffs (don’t judge, I stress eat junk food and this was a lovely thing for her to do as I’ve been very good and sticking with raisin bran and oatmeal lately). And that she thought I should take a self care day and go see The Secret Life of Pets later.

    Which we did and it was the PERFECT antidote. Laughed my ass off and felt so much better. Now snuggling with puppies and about to nap a bit. Back to work tomorrow.

    TLDR if this week is too much for you, and you like current day animation movies, go see the Secret Life of Pets. You will feel much better.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Well, yeah. But I’ve had a number of conversations, with otherwise very intelligent progressives, where they say there is simply no evidence of labor market effects and no reason to suspect that there may be, and that any economist who suggests otherwise (i.e. most of them) is eeeebul.

    This really fails the common sense test. And it makes me wonder about the accuracy of analyses of the impact of a minimum wage increase.

    I have friends who use an angry moralizing defense. If I point out a business that laid off many people, or a business that shut down, the response is, “well, if they couldn’t thrive with the increase then they deserve to go out of business.”

  93. 93

    @Doug R:

    This study calls bullpucky on those minimum wage naysayers

    You really shouldn’t trust a single study, even an apparently really good one. Its usually possible to extract very different results from the same information depending on exactly how you design your study. It’s generally best to use the results from multiple studies that take different approaches, since that will tend to eliminate bias from any particular study. I think that’s especially true in a heavily politicized field like economics, where people have such a strong incentive to tweak their methodology to favor their preferred outcome.

  94. 94
    Arclite says:

    They blew up the Dallas shooter with a bomb on a robot. Is that legal? Not that i expect anyone to be indicted if it wasn’t legal. But with no humans in immediate danger and since they had him cornered the killing seems extra judicious.

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @Cmm:

    TLDR if this week is too much for you, and you like current day animation movies, go see the Secret Life of Pets. You will feel much better.

    It is on my to do list for this weekend.

  96. 96
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Did you see LMM teamed up with JLo today outside the theater?

    I can’t look at the news. It’ll be Shirley Temple / Hamilton for a few hours until I can surface.

  97. 97
    JPL says:

    @Arclite: The perp was threatening more violence and was not going to be talked down. They had already lost so many officers, that the choices were limited. You don’t want to lose anyone else.
    Unfortunately, other departments might follow suit for situations not as serious.

    imo The situation was so fluid, I can’t second guess it.

  98. 98
    germy says:

    @Arclite: They bought Dylann Roof a hamburger.

  99. 99
    Technocrat says:

    @Major Major Major Major: @Brachiator:

    the response is, “well, if they couldn’t thrive with the increase then they deserve to go out of business.”

    That’s the one I hear. “They’ve been making out like bandits for years, screw them if they can’t adapt”. Which is probably very valid for Walmart, not so much for Bill’s Hardware.

  100. 100
    Mike J says:

    @germy: Not until after he was in custody and they were trying to get him to talk.

  101. 101
    Technocrat says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You really shouldn’t trust a single study, even an apparently really good one

    This is my favorite post on that exact topic.

  102. 102
    Mike J says:

    @Technocrat: And don’t yet listen to people who claim the min wage hike has failed.

  103. 103
    Barb2 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The idiot GOP was trying to send Obama a bill which decreased funding for Obama care – but the best part was – less or no money for birth control. At a time when the world heath organization was recommend “don’t get pregnant” the GOPERS are working on more forced births.

    I’ll be down in Arizona for the November election. WA has mail in ballots so I’ll vote here. When I get to Arizona I’m going to help with the GOTV down there. Arizona might turn blue this year. Our 84 year old neighbor down there is already hard at work.

    When the GOPERS turn a public health crises into a conservative wish list effort – those idiots have got to be retired permanently. They need to spend more time at anything else.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Nemo_N says:

    Wolf Blitzer at CNN just asked a government official if it’s safe for cops out there.

    Funnily, I have never heard him or anyone else at CNN ask an official if it is safe for black men to be around cops out there.

  106. 106
    Cmm says:

    @Arclite: I was kind of shocked by that because I hadn’t heard it as a tactic before. I don’t have any visual info on where he was holed up but apparently it was 1) a good place to make a stand because the police couldn’t come in and get him without being exposed to close up rifle fire. I way of knowing how much ammo he had left. 2) he said he had bombs everywhere and possibly specifically said he had bombs on himself or in his hidey hole, or police had to treat it as a possibility because he said he had bombs. 3) if he had bombs he may have a suicide belt or a dead man switch that could set off explosives even if a frontal assault was successful. Can’t wait for him to fall asleep for same reason. 4) homemade bombs can also be unstable and go off without the bomber setting them off or intending for them to go off, which is another reason you don’t stand around indefinitely waiting the guy out. They apparently had communication with him enough for negotiator to make the call that he wasn’t going to surrender any time soon. The bomb thing is unorthodox–I am not familiar with any other barricaded suspect incident being ended this way in the US–and I hope it doesn’t become common or anything but I can see justifiable reasons for that decision.

  107. 107
    Botsplainer, Neoliberal Corporatist Shill says:

    @Mike J:

    Demand creates jobs for the middle class across broad sectors, not rich guys building gilded palaces.

  108. 108
    scav says:

    @Nemo_N: Similarly, the BBC is going about about what sort of meaning the phrase “Black Lives Matter” has any more — not that Eric Rudolph’s bombing of the Olympics and the violent actions, bombings, assassinations of all his tribe ever similarly called into question the entire anti-abortion movement in the eyes of the media and “real” Americans.

  109. 109

    Robert F. Kennedy, from 1968…and it is still relevant, especially after this week:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhANTymDIYk

  110. 110
    weaselone says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Even assuming that’s true, no, an overcrowded warehouse is still much better than a cage so small the hen can’t even spread her wings.

    Directly from Atlantic article Hillary linked to:

    Some animal rights activists also say California law isn’t properly implementing its law because the proposal left both enforcement and measurements for animal confinement ambiguous. A recent report by animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere about a facility owned by JS West, a large California egg producer, found hens tightly packed, some with “growths and abscesses” and others dead and decomposing on the floor.

    I’ll expand on this. It’s quite possible to pack the animals in so tightly they actually have less room than they do in a cage. On top of that the animals can injure themselves and others in ways that are not issues in the cage. Which is worse is a fools dilemma. It’s like picking between a solitary cell with no room to move and being packed into a boxcar so full there is only room to stand. Profit motive suggests that the large farms that employ these tiny cages would transition to big warehouses with chickens packed like sardines unless the law was clearly written to prohibit it and adequately enforced.

  111. 111
    weaselone says:

    @Kropadope:

    Umm. I read the Atlantic Article Hillary linked to?

  112. 112
    Kropadope says:

    @weaselone: OK, sorry, I didn’t understand that at first because I don’t think the article supports your claim. The issue seems to be that the law is not being implemented adequately, see your own excerpt. Inadequate implementation does not mean inadequate law. This just goes to show it’s not enough just to pass a law, government agencies need adequate personnel, will, and funding.

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