Q: What is a required element in a contract between Marcel Marceau and another person who speaks via gestures and body movements, i.e. without words?
A: A meeting of the mimes.
Breitbart breathlessly announced that Luther Strange, a former trade lobbyist for Russell Brands running for Jeff Sessions' Senate seat, "lobbied for the trade deal that drained thousands of Alabama jobs to Honduras and Mexico."
Breitbart conflated NAFTA and CAFTA-DR, the former involving Canada and Mexico and the latter involving Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
NAFTA has never been in our favor. U.S.-Canada trade was until recently the world's greatest trading relationship, with that honor now belonging to U.S.-China trade. Note that the trade imbalance with Canada became outrageously so during Bush the Younger's reign, while the imbalance of U.S.-Mexico trade really became prominent immediately after the passage of NAFTA on January 1, 1994.
But CAFTA-DR trade has definitely been favorable to the U.S.
U.S.-China trade is the one to which we should pay attention given how lopsided it has always been. The last year the trading relationship was balanced was 1985, curiously the first year for which CENSUS Bureau data is available. We should depart the WTO or demand that China do so, not to mention eliminating China's PNTR status.
It's certainly true that Russell Brands took advantage of CAFTA-DR to transfer the wages of American workers to corporate management and Americans should punish the company by not buying its products. But to say that CAFTA-DR is not a benefit overall is disingenuous.
Look closely at the second photo in the Denver Post article regarding co-working and see how many things you can find that are wrong:
- Everyone is using their own laptop, i.e. the office is a BYOD (bring your own device) shop. Employees think it's wonderful, as they have their personal apps, but IT departments hate it because employees decide if they install questionable apps or have antivirus software, with all of these devices being behind the corporate firewall. It's not a coincidence that cyber-breaches such as the one at Equifax are multiplying like rabbits. When someone clicks on a phishing email, its malware will spread.
- There is no separation of any kind between employees, so all personal odors will waft throughout the work space. If your co-workers eat beans and onions for lunch, wear strong scents, or eschew regular showers, there's no place to escape. And some people just stink.
- Not one monitor is at eye level, forcing the person to look down all day. My neck hurts just looking at them, especially the ones using laptops with a display not much bigger than a smart phone. In the old days, we'd use telephone books to serve as a platform, but these companies don't have landlines.
- Some people cannot help clearing their throats or making personal noises. One solution is to wear headphones, but if someone wears ear buds or the open style of headphones, everyone in the vicinity will hear the escaping noise.
- Some people have annoying habits: knuckle-cracking, leg-bouncing, finger-tapping, etc. Quoth the raven, "ever more."
- Any personal or business conversation, whether on the phone or nearby, will distract.
- Movement of people will attract the eye. It's human nature.
- There's been quite a few articles and lawsuits regarding sexual harassment in the office. Look at the people sitting across from one another. Every time one of them looks up, perhaps to ponder a point, they will be looking directly at the other person, which might not be interpreted innocently.
Reuters reported that a number of politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, are pressuring Equifax to allow people to freeze their credit for free.
Reuters is confused. It is free to freeze one's credit. However, it costs $10 to temporarily unfreeze one's credit to apply for a loan, credit card, or another form of credit. And it's even worse than that because companies offering credit do not usually advertise the name of the credit agency they use, forcing one to either guess or attempt to contact the relevant party in that corporation. Wrong guesses cost $10.
The BBC News article by Sarah Buckley and Amelia Butterly on Glassbreakers CEO Eileen Carey is so blonde
There are countless blonde jokes, while jokes regarding brunettes and redheads are rare. There are jokes inferring that blondes are less than intelligent and there are jokes describing their allegedly voracious sexual habits.
I thought about it and came to the conclusion that the jokes were not derived from the antics of natural blondes. They were derived from the antics of bottle blondes, women who believe that a change in hair color substantially improves their life. Bottle blondes tend to be party girls, which would explain the second category of jokes. And as I wrote before, the natural skin and hair color of people go well together, as compared to the often hideous appearance of people with hair color from a bottle. Kim Kardashian comes to mind.
BBC News journalists Sarah Buckley and Amelia Butterly interviewed Glassbreakers CEO Eileen Carey. Their article asserted that poor Carey has suffered so greviously in life, being hit on by "people" -- not solely men as one would suspect -- in bars, that this "natural blonde" dyed her hair brown.
It's definitely true that many men, both straight and gay, are predatory, with Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Gaëtan Dugas being the poster boys.
And it's definitely true that Silicon Valley has interpersonal problems in the workforce. It wasn't that long ago that Silicon Valley companies supplied unlimited quantities of liquor at company parties, with employees expected to imbibe heavily. Until the lawsuits, of course.
But Carey is not a natural blonde. She's a natural brunette, as can be seen in the second photo in the BBC News article which shows her dark roots.
It appears that Carey simply returned to her natural color, to her roots if you will, as shown in the first photo in the BBC News article which shows her skin, eyebrows, and hair in close harmony, though it's likely that even the brown color is not her natural one, as the second photo depicts her roots to be closer to black, making this an advanced exercise in blonde logic.
Not to mention that Carey's business model, convincing companies to hire more diversely, is in stark contradiction to her contention that "investors she was pitching to would feel more comfortable dealing with a brunette, rather than a blonde woman." Those investors would appear to require some education in tolerance or at least a good public shaming.
So was this an ingenious way for Carey to obtain free publicity for her company or a poorly researched feminist diatribe?
My father warned me about Allstate Insurance when I was a teenager. He told me that the company was notorious for having adjusters issue checks that would not cover actual repairs to damaged vehicles. I wondered about the type of people who would accept such a policy, concluding that they must be ignorant or ready to cash-in on an accident, taking the money instead of fixing their vehicle.
Some things never change.
I was driving through a construction zone in Broomfield, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. I stopped at a traffic light, second in line. The speed limit was 30 mph, but people were generally driving slower due to the terrible road quality. 20-30 seconds after I stopped, Spencer Tuttle rear-ended me in his Mercury Grand Marquis. Hard. My neck went forwards and backwards. I heard no sounds of braking, but his car probably had anti-lock brakes. We pulled off the road into a small parking lot where he tried to coerce me into exchanging information and leaving the scene. I firmly refused, stating that the law required us to wait for the police. I called 911 after noting his license plate number. He again tried to coerce me into leaving. I again stated that we would wait for the police. I was not friendly, but I didn't call him any names. I asked for his insurance company and he told me it was Allstate. He loudly commented as to why I was being such an asshole. I said something like, "I'm not scared of you," and he jumped out of his car and lunged toward me, stopping just short of running into me. He was clearly trying to intimidate me.
I walked back to my truck to call the non-emergency number for the Broomfield police department because it had been ten minutes since I called 911. I suspected he might make a run for it, and he proved me right, driving away with his damaged hood and bumper. I looked over at where he had temporarily parked, but there was no puddle of radiator fluid, and his car did not make the sounds one would expect if a fan had been bent or dislodged.
A few minutes later, a police car drove into the parking lot. I explained the situation to the officer. He was much more experienced than I was at such matters, because he called Allstate and informed them that they needed to call Tuttle and notify him that if he didn't call the officer by close of business that day, he would be ticketed for hit and run, along with the ticket for the accident. Tuttle called within a few minutes and tried to argue with the officer who was having none of it.
Ten minutes later I saw a scruffy guy riding a motorcycle enter the parking lot. At first I wondered if it was a construction worker, but then I realized it was Tuttle riding without a helmet. After he dismounted, the officer tore him a new one. Tuttle tried to blame me for his early departure, asserting that it was my idea for him to leave the scene of an accident before the police arrived, but the officer already knew the facts of the case. I would have preferred that Tuttle bring the car back so it could be inspected, as he appeared to be hiding something.
I filed a claim with Allstate while all of this was happening on the advice of the officer. They tried to lower my expectations in every aspect. The operator tried to get me to agree that Allstate was only liable for an econobox rental car while my full-sized pickup was in the shop, even though I'm too tall for Tonka toys.
Later that day, I visited a body shop that my insurance company recommended. I thought I would employ a GM dealer recommended collision center, but I was curious as to what I would learn. The adjuster looked at the drooping bumper and tow hitch, but also looked under the back of the truck. I could tell he was concerned about something. He went inside and returned with a senior technician who also looked under the vehicle. He then told me something I had not expected to hear, that the frame was bent, with the damage being so bad that it might require a replacement of the frame. He said he wouldn't know for sure until he removed the bumper, tow hitch, and exhaust system, and connected the chains.
The next day, Allstate's adjuster called. She told me to use Allstate's app to send them photos. I countered with the fact that I did not have a recent smart phone with a good camera, but I did have a decent point-and-shoot camera, computers with Windows or Linux installed, and the ability to use email. She rejected this approach and told me that it was not possible to send Allstate photos via email. As an alternative, she told me that a contractor would visit me to take photos. She would use those photos to create a repair estimate and then send me a check. I told her of my visit to the body shop, but she seemed strangely uninterested. I asked her if she could contact the body shop to get a copy of their estimate, but she told me she could not do so, regardless of the fact that it was a large chain with which most insurance companies, including Allstate, did regular business. I told her of the senior technician's opinion that the frame would need repair, but she was oblivious to the fact that her estimate would not take that into account. The only good news was that after I explained Tuttle's antics, she told me Allstate accepted liability.
I ran Tuttle's arrest record via CBI and discovered that he has seventeen arrests in Colorado, starting with vehicular homicide and DUI, and continuing with two more DUIs, burglary, theft, intimidation, resisting arrest, trespassing, and other crimes. He spent three years in state prison for a burglary in Westminster involving "WEAPON OFFENSE - USE OF STUN GUN," as well as many months in local jails.
What my father had told me many years before is still in effect.
The police officer was wrong to advise me to pursue payment from Allstate. I filed a claim with my own insurance company. In a borderline case, I might be charged for the collision deductible while the two companies fight it out, but my insurance company's adjuster has already informed me that the company will waive the deductible.
The police report noted that "the defendant stated he was looking at the car in front of him that was moving a then he looked away and when he looked back forward the car in front of him ahead stopped." This is horse manure, because I had been stopped for thirty seconds before I was hit. And this intersection is in the middle of being reconstructed, with a light pole in the lane forcing drivers to take a sharp right after leaving the intersection, i.e. if my truck and the car in front of me had not been there, he would have run into the pole. If only. He was doing something that completely took his attention away from his driving. He never touched his brakes. He was hiding something, but there's no way to force him to admit what actually happened. And our police have no way of quickly determining if a driver was texting because our useless government refuses to pass the necessary law.
And, of course, no one from Allstate has called to take photos.