— Liars Never Win (@liars_never_win) September 4, 2014
Michael Barone reports: I have never eaten at a McDonald’s in France. But evidently a lot of French men and women do. Business Insider reports that France is McDonald’s most profitable country after the United States. So much for all the French cuisine snobs who lament the presence of McDonald’s in la belle France…(read more)
Would you like some microchips with that burger? McDonald’s Europe strikes another blow against human interaction by installing 7,000 touch-screen computers to take your order and money.
“Welcome to McDonald’s . My name is HAL 9000. May I take your order?”
Amanda Kooser writes: McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn’t look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker. Read the rest of this entry »
This has gotten a lot of exposure in the last few days..but too good not to rewind and replay:
“I’m not Laurence Fishburne,” Jackson exclaimed after a painfully long silence. “We don’t all look alike! We may be black and famous, but we don’t all look alike!”
Samuel L. Jackson Eviscerates Anchor Who Confused Him With Laurence Fishburne Live On Air. “We don’t all look alike!” Jackson told the KTLA anchor. Samuel L. Jackson appeared on Los Angeles morning show KTLA on Monday to talk about his new film, Robocop, but promotion was the last thing on the actor’s mind after anchor Sam Rubin confused him with Laurence Fishburne.
While rattling off his recent list of professional accomplishments, Rubin included a Super Bowl commercial. But Jackson didn’t actually appear in a Super Bowl commercial last weekend… Laurence Fishburne did.
The price of choice-grade U.S. beef at wholesale set a new record on Thursday as already tight supplies were further squeezed by harsh weather that reduced the number of cattle that came to market in parts of the country, analysts said.
Select beef cuts on Thursday also marked a fresh record high for a fifth straight day.
Choice beef typically has more “marbling” or fat, making it juicier and more tender than select-graded beef.
The day’s wholesale price, or cutout, for choice beef hit $212.05 per hundredweight (cwt), eclipsing the previous May, 2013 record of $211.37, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Kevin Sheehan, Natasha Velez and Natalie O’Neil report: A wild flash mob stormed and trashed a Brooklyn mall, causing so much chaos that the shopping center was forced to close during post-Christmas sales, sources said Friday.
More than 400 crazed teens — who mistakenly thought the rapper Fabolous would perform — erupted into brawls all over Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Mill Basin on Thursday at 5 p.m., sources said.
The troublemakers looted and ransacked several stores as panicked shoppers ran for the exits and clerks scrambled to pull down metal gates.
“I was begging them to stop. There were a lot of kids, hundreds of kids . . . [Security] would chase them out one door and they would come back in another door,” said Abu Taleb, 31, a clerk at the kiosk Candy Plaza 2. “I’ve been here seven years, and I have never seen anything like this before.”
Some of the teens staged a game of “knockout” on the top floor — and one may have been carrying a gun, sources said.
“They were playing the ‘knockout’ game,” said Shante, a 21-year-old perfume merchant, in reference to a violent trend in which teens try to knock out an unsuspecting victim with a single punch.
“People were getting really scared,” she said.
The mall was shuttered at around 7 p.m. for roughly an hour and has since issued a temporary “no teens” rule, in which anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult, police sources said.
Less than 0.1 percent of the industry’s workforce participated
Jim Epstein writes: Yesterday, Naomi Brockwell and I attended a demonstration demanding that fast-food restaurants boost their minimum wage to $15 per hour, or a little more than double the current federal minimum wage. The strike, which was led by a group called Fast Food Forward that’s affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was one of more than a 100 similar demonstrations held in cities across the country.
The New York demonstration had about 150 people, but the number of actual fast food employees participating in the strike was small. It was business as usual at every restaurant we dropped by yesterday morning and, at a McDonald’s restaurant on 23rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan, employees behind the counter said they had heard nothing about a strike. Read the rest of this entry »
Master Blaster reports: Japan has a somewhat confusing take on hotdogs compared to other countries. For example, you’d be hard pressed to find packs of hotdogs on sale at any supermarket let alone buns, and yet they’re readily available on the breakfast menu of every McDonald’s.
Also, people may envision a true American hotdog to have been boiled in murky water on the side of the busy street, slathered with ketchup, onions, and relish and all served on a bun that may or may not have been used as the vendor’s pillow a few minutes earlier. However, in Japan, an “American Dog” is the common lingo to a pancakey kind of corn dog.
Now, Japanese convenience store Ministop is taking the “America” out of American Dogs and replacing it with pizza for some junk food hybrid goodness.
Indeed, for those who wanted to eat a pizza and a hotdog with one hand at exactly the same time (you know who you are), look no further. Ministop is serving up an all-pork hotdog covered in pizza sauce and cheese, before being rolled in dough and deep-fried. Be still, my quite literally aching heart! Read the rest of this entry »
Patrick Poole writes: Yesterday I reported from the National World War Two Memorial on several members of Congress crashing the barricades set up by the National Park Service that were keeping out several hundred Honor Flight veterans — many of whom were WW2 veterans — from visiting their own memorial. The Park Service claimed that the memorial and the entire National Mall area had to be closed because of the government shutdown.
The same scene was reenacted again today as two Honor Flights from Missouri and Chicago arrived in prearranged visits. These Honor Flights were met by hundreds of ordinary citizens and about a dozen members of Congress, who once again crashed the barricades to let the veterans into the WW2 Memorial.
After about an hour, about 20 protesters arrived on the scene chanting “Boehner, get us back to work” and claiming they were federal employees furloughed because of the shutdown.
In the video below these protesters were marching towards the press gaggle and I was asking them to show their federal IDs to prove they were in fact federal workers. No one wore their federal ID and none would provide it to prove their claim.
Then, remarkably, a guy carrying a sign passed by wearing a McDonald’s employee shirt, which I noted. I then began asking them how much they had been paid to protest, at which point the guy wearing the McDonald’s shirt came back and admitted he had been paid $15. Read the rest of this entry »
Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society
A fine essay via DCMontreal
It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault. As a Canadian I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!
But maybe we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.
Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.
An entrepreneurial culture and the rule of law have nourished the nation’s economic dynamism.
Worry over America’s recent economic stagnation, however justified, shouldn’t obscure the fact that the American economy remains Number One in the world. The United States holds 4.5 percent of the world’s population but produces a staggering 22 percent of the world’s output—a fraction that has remained fairly stable for two decades, despite growing competition from emerging countries. Not only is the American economy the biggest in absolute terms, with a GDP twice the size of China’s; it’s also near the top in per-capita income, currently a bit over $48,000 per year. Only a few small countries blessed with abundant natural resources or a concentration of financial services, such as Norway and Luxembourg, can claim higher averages.
America’s predominance isn’t new; indeed, it has existed since the early nineteenth century. But where did it come from? And is it in danger of disappearing?
By the 1830s, the late British economist Angus Maddison showed, American per-capita income was already the highest in the world. One might suppose that the nation could thank its geographical size and abundance of natural resources for its remarkable wealth. Yet other countries in the nineteenth century—Brazil is a good example—had profuse resources and vast territories but failed to turn them to comparable economic advantage.
A major reason that they failed to compete was their lack of strong intellectual property rights. The U.S. Constitution, by contrast, was the first in history to protect intellectual property rights: it empowered Congress “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” As Thomas Jefferson, who became the first commissioner of the patent office, observed, the absence of accumulated wealth in the new nation meant that its most important economic resource was innovation—and America’s laws encouraged that innovation from the outset. Over two centuries later, the United States has more patents in force—1.8 million—than any other nation (Japan, with 1.2 million, holds second place). America is also the leader in “triadic patents” (that is, those filed in the United States, Europe, and Asia) registered every year—with 13,715 in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, ahead of Japan’s 13,322 and Germany’s 5,764.
Another reason for early American prosperity was that the scarcity of population in a vast territory had pushed labor costs up from the very beginning of the colonial era. By the early nineteenth century, American wages were significantly higher than those in Europe. This meant that landowners, to make a profit, needed high levels of productivity—and that, in turn, meant the mechanization of agriculture, which got under way in America before it did overseas.
The replacement of labor with capital investment helped usher in the American industrial revolution, as the first industrial entrepreneurs took advantage of engineering advances developed in the fields. The southern states made a great economic as well as moral error in deciding to keep exploiting slaves instead of hiring well-paid workers and embracing new engineering technologies. The South started to catch up with the rest of the nation economically only after turning fully to advanced engineering in the 1960s as a response to rising labor costs.