Last week I pointed out that Caterpillar is laying off thousands of workers, many of them from its central Illinois operations. But don't worry because alternative employment is on the way: the local paper notes that franchise restaurants are blowing up here. Not literally blowing up, but as the kids say. Let no one ever again question the munificence of the free market!

In a happy coincidence, the property developer that provides a home to these various franchised gristle huts is run by the wife of the Caterpillar CEO, so I imagine they can sort out how many people making decent money to fire based on the needs of the menial service industry over a light dinner every now and again.

Oh, and since I can't think of new things to say ever ten days when there's a noteworthy mass shooting – we have to separate them now into normal background static mass shootings and ones that are actually shocking enough to merit attention for a day or two – I'm just going to repost Bill Bonds now that I've already taken the time to type up the transcript.

24 thoughts on “CAVALRY”

  • duquesne_pdx says:

    "But don't worry because alternative employment is on the way: the local paper notes that franchise restaurants are blowing up here."

    The real problem being that there is no longer a central (relatively) high-level employer in the area to support people frequenting the franchise restaurants. Ghost malls of the future!

  • Argh! Who is going to go to your chain restaurant when they've got no job and they've got no money?

    I mean sure – you might find cheap labor to work in your restaurant. But you need customers as well as employees to make a business work.

  • Economics students of the future are going to hear about the interdependence of successful business environments, probably after an exciting market crash. The .001% is reluctant to fix things until they're hip deep in smoking wreckage.

  • Well Tim, the advantage of being in the .001% is that if things burn to the ground they have the resources to buy the remaining assets at pennies on the dollar. It is just a happy coincidence, and they have no hand in ripping and burning the existing structures, they after all are the JOB CREATORS, and only have the peons best interest in their greedy little hearts.

  • To the history books Mike! In 1932 there was that certain whiff of hot tar and torches in the air accompanied by the music of rattling pitchforks and FDR offered a much more reasonable alternative than FSM knows whatever was behind door number two. The .001% may be rather parochial in their views, but they're not as stupid as they sometimes look.

  • Alas, Tim, the .1% are never hip deep in smoking wreckage. They merely contemplate it from the helicopter window as they depart to one of their many extremely nice residences elsewhere.


    OK. I feel better now, having gotten that off my chest. Really, Dave, I feel much better now.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    Because of its position at a freeway junction, Barstow, California has found its purpose serving deep-fried entrails to people who don't live, or wish to spend more than 25 minutes, in its borders.

    It's hard to imagine the P replicating that success.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is under the nominally conservative leadership we've "enjoyed" over the last thirty years, inflation has been finessed and re-defined, but not so much actually controlled, millionaires are now upper middle class, the conservative movement promised to protect the value of the dollar, and failed. Now think about what the .001% are going to flee with if this goes on. This may be something to provide a bit of leverage for the progressive movement, especially if "Those damned Democrats" starts sounding like "The dog ate my homework".

  • Guys, the CEO's wife is the developer, not the owner of the restaurants. What does she care if they go belly up? She just has to sell the site to some schmuck. We have tons of new developments going up around Dayton, while we have acres of empty retail and office space, and lots of closed businesses. Someone is making money off of those "new" developments.

    As for gun violence and mass shootings, I'm convinced there is no political will to change anything. If 20 small children can get gunned down in cold blood and nothing changes, then we're done. The crazies think that any regulation of guns is a slippery slope to gun confiscation, and act accordingly. The "good guy with a gun" myth is terrible fiction, but it works into the cowboy mentality of the gun nuts and cop worshippers.

    "Stuff happens". Yeesh. If Hilary Clinton (or any other Democrat) had said that in response to Bengazhi, they amount of screaming would have been heard from space.

    Mole people.

  • I wonder when American will finally control its guns? How many of us have to be murdered before that will happen?

    Tom Sullivan today homes in:
    That's Freedom? Seriously?

    Peter Daou: "My military service quickly taught me that there was an inextricable link between the weapon I carried on my shoulder and the suffering to which I bore daily witness. I was trained to use guns against others before I was old enough to be considered a man.

    In Lebanese culture, “manhood” was an issue teenage boys were taught to think about. What did it mean to be a man, to be respected as a man? A gun was an instant pathway to respect – or as I more accurately understand now, fear masquerading as respect.

    America’s obsessive relationship with firearms is familiar to me; I know the intoxicating sense of power that a gun bestows, particularly to a young man. But in the aftermath of the terrible violence I witnessed and with the passage of time, I know that guns are dangerous and illusory shortcuts to strength and maturity and no guarantee of personal safety."

    Daou considers guns "the ultimate drug" for treating feelings of powerlessness. "Those of us who advocate for stronger gun control measures," he writes, "must understand that we are dealing not just with an obsession, but an addiction. And addictions are notoriously hard to break."

    digby points to the latest Breitbart turd:
    Mass shootings are all wimmen's fault

    "The media trash-talks everything men love: guns, booze, boisterousness, drugs, sex and video games. Economic pressures are relentlessly stripping away male spaces like the traditional pub, where blokes can drink and bond. Social pressures are opening up male-only golf and social clubs to women, destroying what made them precious and essential."

    digby observes:
    Civilization has been tamping down the human urge to fight, shoot, kill since time began. One might even say that it's the fundamental reason for civilization in the first place. It doesn't always work, obviously. But the effort is largely why the species has progressed.

    The idea that America, the country with the largest military the world has ever seen, with more bloodshed than any other developed nation, which boasts only 17% of female political representation and 5% of female business leadership is smothering its males and denying them their "masculine urges" is vacuous in the extreme.

    What percentage of our population consists of weak men frightened by their perceived powerlessness and seeking relief in gun addiction?
    We've had such success managing other addictions, after all – religion, alcohol, drugs… Getting rid of this social cancer should be real easy, right?

  • The trouble with the gun control arguments is that the ban-the-guns side really has no concrete suggestions.
    E.g., shooter in Oregon — what policy would you put in place that could prevent that?
    Background checks? Passed. Waiting period? Passed. Expensive ammo? What does he care if he maxes his credit card on bullets, he's going out in a blaze of glory.

    Unless we come up with policies that are realistic and helpful in today's society, we're not doing politics, we're just doing moaning. And guess what, moaning is exactly what both sides want you to do. Moan and send in some money, and don't think about the other shit going on like Catapillar laying off 10,000 people. And the companies that pay zero taxes, and the hedge fund managers who pay less in taxes than you do.

    Gun control is a fig leaf used by the democrats to hide the fact that the country is being bled dry by the top dogs; and the threat of gun control is a fig leaf used by the the republicans for the exact same reason.

    Want to cut down on gun violence?
    End the war on drugs.
    Create jobs in the cities.
    Affordable, available health care for everyone, including mental health care.

    In the mean time look at the numbers yourselves and decide how important gun control really is.

    More kids are beat to death by their own parents than are killed by guns.
    More people die by hammers and blunt instruments than by "assault" weapons.

    Fix the exploitative economy and most of that will improve.

  • Skepticalist says:

    I grew up surrounded by guns 60 years ago. Family veterans liked to think they were good hunters, even built a camp and bought a lot of stuff from L. L. Bean. It was real Field & Stream–nothing like the pit occupied by today's 2nd Amendment miss-interpreters. At best the latter depress the hell out me. They believe anything they are told so long as it scares the shit out of them.

    I got to know a lot of gun show types because it's where we sold war relics years ago. It got so I was more at ease with Nazi collectors than gun dealers. Hitler's silverware is safer to handle.

    Gun control. How about a go at it? At worst only a few lives will be spared.

  • SeaTea:

    I don't see Gator's comment as "Don't do anything" at all. He is pointing out the fallacy in assuming that there is a miracle gun control law that can solve our problems.

    There are just too many guns out there. And cultures that, for whatever crazy reasons, worship gun ownership (and use). Not sure it will even be possible to effectively "control" that. And, as Gator points out, there are too many lone wolves that will slip through anyway. Gun control will not stop spree killers.

    Reflexive "We need more gun control laws" is kinda sorta the reflex liberal version of the "we need to deport all of the illegals" the right promotes. Impossible, intrusive, and ultimately ineffective.

  • Shane in SLC says:

    Speaking of the Lennon shooting (plus Reagan and JP2), here's my favorite song on the subject:

    "Civilization's dying and no one's realizing
    The position of hate stuck inside the gun
    Civilization's crying and I won't try to deny it
    We've got a problem son, something's gotta be done

    For the Pope and the President
    And the big rock star who made a lot of money
    They've all got one thing in common
    They know it ain't no fun to get shot with a gun"

    That was from 1987. It seems more relevant now than ever. Sigh.

  • When the oligarchy start getting shot up, then I imagine we'll see gun control real quick.

    A total ban on ammo purchases or sales, for starters.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    I think most people would fall right in line with that IF AND ONLY IF it occurred on the watch of Republicans.

  • Anonymous Prof says:

    With a hat tip to whoever said it first…

    If we really wanted to control guns, we would treat guns like abortion. ("Gun violence stops a beating heart!")

    First, make sure that most states- especially big states- have only one gun shop each.

    Second, surround that gun shop with protesters 24/7 who are carrying graphic pictures of the victims of guns (homicidal, suicidal, and accidental.)

    Third, make sure that every time someone buys a gun or ammo, they have to submit to a frivolous transvaginal ultrasound or prostate exam.

  • Most of them also remain convinced that unlike almost everyone else, they will heroically save the day rather than shoot themselves in their own privates.

  • More moaning and name calling.

    You guys aren't being realistic in any sense of the word. One, you're not proposing anything remotely useful. Two, you're not proposing anything remotely practical in the sense that you could get it passed into law.

    And we have the 2nd Amendment and the Supreme Court behind all this. Pass a law outlawing guns and the Supreme Court will simply decide all gun control violates "shall not be infringed." Then you're worse off than before.

    I am a liberal. I am pro choice. I donated to Bernie. I'd love to see wall street burn. I want a better tomorrow for my kids. Etc. I also own guns.

    I hear the same kind of dumb shit from the NRA types. "libtards", "Obummer is letting the UN take over the US to take your guns" etc. You're buying into the democrat/republican tribalism. Don't think, just react. They're not actually going to do anything anyway, they just want your money and your vote.

    The only winners are the gun companies. Time to buy some more S&W stock!

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