Grilled Cheese No-Bubble?

Monday, February 16, 2015

To quote the article:

…with the goal of becoming the largest operator in the gourmet grilled cheese space.

Surely we should have known there *was* such as thing as a “grilled cheese space”?

That said, I am a big fan of food trucks – they are very successful at a Mom-and-Pop entrepreneurial level, serving urban communities. In Michigan, food truck environments in Detroit and Traverse City have been wildly successful. Most of these entrepreneurial efforts come about as a love of the labor, and the owners pride themselves on a down-home, “real food” emphasis as opposed to marketing $20 Ramen Noodles made from Ostrich ligaments, sprinkled with gold glitter left over from Kim Kardashian’s reality show pilot.

But this here gourmet grilled cheese business model represents the usual market excess + have-pulse-will-loan mentality + the irrational entrepreneur banking (pun intended) on profiting from the infantile behavior that litters the landscape of American society. The misguided “entrepreneur” who selects a business model such as this, however, forgets that fads driven by false market signals and faddish infantilism always reach a “the novelty has worn off point.” Hence the cupcake carnage. It’s akin to the child purchasing an “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt, because he’s driven to giggles by wearing it one time, and one time only. Then the novelty dies. And the real funny part is that Wall Street used car salesmen will throw a hunk ‘o love at these novelty IPOs.

Thing is, former NATO commander General Wesley Clark owns a 5% stake in the company and is Vice Chairman of the Board. A further look finds a 10-Q filing from 2014 that indicates that the company will not be able to continue as a “going concern” due to the incurred net losses and working capital deficit. That’s CPA-Speak for “yer effed.”

Vaccinations: Whose Science?

Sunday, February 15, 2015
Posted in category Uncategorized

This is one very sane and reasoned article from Dr. Donald Miller, a retired cardiac surgeon and professor of surgery on the Left Coast. Don is also a successful writer and public speaker who spent the latter part of his career battling the medicalocracy and it’s politicized junk science. He is a scientist as well as a long-time champion of truth and personal liberty.

This article is a refreshing change from the emotional ranting, screeching, hatred, and relentless vomit attacks being spewed from the Vaccination Nation crusaders who have pegged anyone who dares to think or act outside the collective box as the “anti-vaxxers.” Maybe those of us who question the vaccination question are just anti-groupthink, anti-stupidity, and pro-thinking for ourselves.

Embracing logic and critical thinking while assessing and analyzing facts that may lead us down a road not blessed by the popular thought-of-the-day has become a crime in our modern, collectivist, in-the-box society. Folks have no pangs of conscience whatsoever as regards the use of coercion to force their beliefs, their ideals, and their garbage-bag extrapolation of facts unto others. They gather in packs of like-mindedness and barrage the mainstream media and social media with their malice for anyone who dares to defy the prevailing winds of wisdom that demand we all play our part and assume a position couched in frenzied hysteria. Here are a few headlines culled from the mainstream and alternative media.

Anti-vaxxer campaign: one foolish, dangerous trend.”

How to Deal With Anti-Vaxxers. Try to persuade them. And if that fails, give them no choice.”

4 Disease making a Comeback Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers.” (Reveals the incredible “scientific logic” of Time magazine)

Anti-Vaxxers ruined Disneyland: Why this public health nightmare needs to be stopped. (This Salon writer reveals her excessive and emotive support for coercion by saying that ruining Disneyland should be “the final straw” [ for allowing folks to reject vaccinations ] )

And don’t forget Herr Obama’s brilliant pronouncement: “the science is, you know, pretty indisputable.”

Democracy is indeed a process of two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. And the wolves are out in force, striking at a rapid cadence, with their heads buried up their collective buns. Yet I don’t see any screeching, hate-driven headlines or statements from “anti-vaxxers” claiming that people should not be allowed to choose to be vaccinated.

 

Altered Apples

Saturday, February 14, 2015
Posted in category Uncategorized

With no process in place to review genetically modified foods, the FDA has declared these apples “that resist browning” to be “safe.”

The USDA said it had determined the apples were “unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agriculture” and they are “not likely to have a significant impact on the human environment”. Just like the vaccination issue, one side is said to be “scientifically sound” and the other side is said to “deny the science.” Again – whose “science,” and how is that science motivated by money and politics? Simple questions and skepticism triggers hatred for anyone who dares to question the so-called science of GMOs, in spite of the very transparent and documented political-profiteering undertones. From the FDA’s website comes the standard protector/safety language: “Using a science-based approach, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates foods and ingredients made from genetically engineered plants to help ensure that they are safe to eat.”

The company’s president, Neal Carter, called the USDA approval “a monumental occasion”. And so the profits will show as big biotech continues to use political channels to push its products on consumers while resisting voluntary labeling.

Libertarian Purity Quiz

Monday, February 9, 2015
Posted in category Uncategorized

The real test comes when … can you make the distinction between school meals and prison meals?

Test your acumen here. (Hint: one has lowfat or reduced-fat milk, and the other has lowfat or reduced-fat milk…)

 

can-you-guess-which-of-these-are-school-lunches-and-which-are-prison-meals-14-photos-141

 

Not Too Legendary to Fail

Monday, February 9, 2015
Posted in category Uncategorized

First it was the Feds banning simple, everyday items from your carry-on luggage in fear of them being repurposed as weaponry. Then away went those wonderful, dry, smashed turkey sandwiches that graced your palate on moderate-length flights. Then there came the cutback in flights and the steep rise in prices, accompanied by mini-bags containing exactly 5 peanuts. Over time, the airlines had become flying Greyhound busses with folks piling on planes dressed like dumpster divers, and first class seating starting to look like a waiting room at Urgent Care. Flying had already become a miserable experience. And then came the news that the beloved SkyMall was going belly-up.

The SkyMall catalog is the legendary pass-the-time tool of bored travelers who don’t have the attention span required to read a book. It’s the ultimate brain candy when your neighbor is snoring in the seat next to you with mouth open, and the brats behind you are kicking the back of your seat on red-eye flight. I love SkyMall for the pictures, ideas, and brilliant products no one ever needs to buy.

Why isn’t the Obama administration rushing to save SkyMall from the bankruptcy of its parent company? Is there no union interest in a SkyMall bailout? Do the banksters on Wall Street not benefit? Is there no revolving door between Big Government and SkyMall executive offices?

SkyMall had actually made its money on its loyalty-and-fulfillment business where people would redeem points for junk they’d otherwise never buy. When that part of the business was sold, there just weren’t enough customers for $350 pet beds with leather trim and high-waisted boxer control briefs for men.

Here’s the real story of SkyMall and its quirky business practices and merger with Xhibit Corp.

The Industrial-Depression Complex

Sunday, February 8, 2015
Posted in category Uncategorized

A recent Pharmaceutical Street Journal (WSJ) headline grabbed me when I read, “Can a Smartphone Tell if You’re Depressed?” The gist of the story is the usual: Yes, you’re depressed and don’t tell us you’re not because you just don’t realize it…and now we’re going to help you by tracking you with technology and mood-reading contrivances.

Depression is a principal revenue tool of the rent-seeking Big Pharma brigade comprised of pharmaceutical companies allied with policy-making government fat cats and a medical cartel of doctors, public universities, healthcare interests, and elevated “experts” who treat the Hippocratic Oath as a largely irrelevant recommendation. And the power of this monkey farm is further enabled by the legion of self-sacrificing serfs who confess perpetual ignorance and bend on one knee at the altar of Conventional Wisdom as determined by the anointed experts. In other words, the herd is largely dependent upon the government and industry “experts” to determine their individual well-being, and in doing so, they are content with being ruled and regulated and un-scienced into medical-psychological servitude.

The “Depressed,” as determined by the founders and enforcers of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), have their day-to-day actions translated into “symptoms” that fit into a very broad category of behaviors and/or functions. Modern technological advancements now allow for “health-surveillance technology” to track an individual’s psychological well-being based on the collection of personal data that is measured by assorted members of the “HealthCare” brigade who have a financial interest – drugs, treatment, insurance – in that individual. And yes, the US government is funding the studies to develop the invasive apps that will, and I quote:

records and analyzes patients’ vocal patterns during telephone calls to predict if someone is on the verge of depression or mania.

The apps will use voice analysis (pace and response and tone), movement, sleep, stress reaction, social interaction, etc., to determine if one should be scooped up by the Industrial-Depression complex for further treatment. So the conventional wisdom that drives profits to the industrial-medical-pharmaceutical complex as a whole will be supported by good old algorithms, that very thing that determines how and when to ding you when you didn’t pay your Mastercard on time. Slowly, the individual judgment of trained and unbiased, science-educated professionals is being replaced by Orwellian apparatuses using algorithms that are determining “sickness” and designating individuals into collective classes of crazy. One such description of disease is, to quite the article:

signs of possible depression, such as when a person suddenly stops calling family members or stays inside the house for a week

While these apps have the principal aim of detecting psychological issues, they will also be used to “flag patients” who “aren’t motivated to take their medications or follow their exercise and rehabilitation regimens, doctors say.” Take your pills or they’re coming after you. One person who was a subject of the article expresses apprehension at the extent of the invasive tracking, but as usual, relents when she’s told it’s for her best interest because the experts say so.

 Ms. Dye says she was told the app would record her location and how far she traveled, but she didn’t realize that her behavior was being probed for a link to depression. She says she doesn’t mind the extent of the tracking, because it was in service of her health care [...]

Medical policing will be the next major uptick in the crushing of individual freedom concerning one’s own body. Welcome to the land of the unfree, the home of the cowardly.

The powerful propaganda machine created by the government-Big Pharma alliance has the job of lying to the citizenry, and making them dependent on their products and services by creating and selling sickness. This grows the governmental public health sector and empowers the public-private sector alliance. The result is political power, profits, and job creation. This consortium of health tyrants re-define the parameters of sickness so that, eventually, we are all a high risk for some potentially disastrous health debacle, and thus we become lifelong patients. And now they have the means to technologically enslave the masses to this hugely profitable racket.

About thirty years ago, Merck’s CEO Henry Gadsden told Fortune magazine it was a shame that the company’s products could only be limited to “sick people.” As cited in the book Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients, by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels:

Suggesting he’d rather Merck to be more like chewing gum maker Wrigley’s, Gadsden said it had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people. Because then, Merck would be able to “sell to everyone.”

 

Finally, a Vaccination That Should Be Forced

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Posted in category Medical Tyranny

I appreciate Ryan McMaken’s comments on the compulsory-vaccine crowd. Again, another poke of reality that, I thought, was another well-done piece of parody. Then I realized that USA Today isn’t a parody tabloid … or is it?

This is what happens when reactionary-hysterical, crazed collectivists who go on public-health benders and simultaneously lack basic critical thinking skills have a welcoming place to publish their hyperventilating debris. This is the sub-headline, and I shit you not:

Your family’s right to be sick ends where public health begins.

Funny, I’ve not known one person who has ever fought or died for their “right to be sick.” Methinks this guy has a bad case of stupid and has never opted for the anti-stupidity vaccination. The author of this emotive screed is listed as the founding editor of “RealClearScience.” Three cheers for a RealClearAsshat.

The Motorcar Idiocracy

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Posted in category Automobile Industry

Oh this is so good. Eric Peters on new car “features” run amok. It’s a short list of factual assessments that may not seem exciting at first, but it provides some very useful information. He doesn’t mention the “driverless cars” that the Idiocracy salivates over, but he’s addressed that in whole articles. The worst ever new car eff-up, I mean feature, is the unreliable touch screen technology that is replacing standard buttons and levers and knobs that always work. ‘Tis why I drive an 11-year-old car, and before that, I held on to my 1994 pick-up until the engine bearings started to quit after 14.5 years and 250k miles. I despise so much of this inefficient, costly, unreliable new technology (like touch screens) that does not add true value, but rather, is geared toward sparking amusement and perceived convenience amongst the dumbed-down car-buying crowd. And I really like Eric’s comments about the pathetic profusion of barbarian, gigantic wheels as carmakers attempt to appease (or sway) the philistine masses.

20 inch (and larger) wheels:

This ghetto inspired trend has reached the apotheosis of stupidity. Everyone seems to want their car – or SUV – to look like a Suge Knight Special.

Man, I can’t wait to not drive my futuristic-driverless, Google-controlled motorcar with a government-mandated black box data recorder and a set of hopped-up 28″ wheels. It may not be cost-efficient, safe, or reliable, but I’ll look cool. You can bet I’ll be wearing my Google glasses, too.

 

“the market is starting to stir”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Posted in category housing bubble

I recoil when I spot these pea-brained-type headlines: “Consumer Confidence Lifting New-Home Sales.” I am perplexed by the fact that pro-central planning, quantitative methodologists can actually convince otherwise intelligent people that there can exist a “consumer confidence index.” To quote:

The nation’s biggest public home builders are telling investors that new-home sales picked up during the second half of January, reflecting rising consumer confidence, low interest rates and an improving economy.

This same old meaningless paragraph is lazily recast over and over, article after article, as tediously conventional non-thinkers – otherwise known as journalists – shilly-shally their way through the drudgery of received wisdom. The entire WSJ article reads like an “Onion” parody.

The nation’s “biggest home builders” are sucking at the teat of Government-Policy-and-Federal Reserve-Controlled, artificially-low interest rates. They profit from from a coercive monopoly of the money-making function of a banking cartel that exploits a fractional reserve banking system to manipulate the money supply. They benefit from a decades-long, Fannie Mae-sponsored propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the public that home ownership is the means by which Americans can experience the “American Dream.”

The “American Dream,” as originally cast by author James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book The Epic of America, referred to the following: “It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

“Consumer confidence,” stripped of its hype and progressive aspirations, actually reflects mass consumer stupidity and/or disinformation as regards economics. Housing is not an investment – it is a durable consumer good. Without the government-banking cartel, housing over time, like all other durables, would depreciate in value. Yes folks, your house can be measured by the subjective value you place on it for its utility, but it is no more an “investment” than was your 1992 Ford Escort.

Yet as consumers toss their cheaply-borrowed fiat money into the speculative bubble known as the housing market, they are consistently told by the media and presumed experts that they are “investing” in a “strong” economy. Here are three very consistently dumbass quotes from the very short Bubble Street Journal article, many of which are not shy about pointing to government management of the housing market. Apparently, I am among the few prophets of doom who dare to unwind the verbal diarrhea (“tailwinds”, “growth,” and other dark splatter) that dots the media landscape.

1- “But Sheryl Palmer, Taylor Morrison’s president and chief executive, and other builders said that sales this January were also boosted by better consumer confidence, an easing of mortgage requirements and other tailwinds.”

2- “Yet analysts and builders now point to several factors buoying buyer confidence. The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage stood at 3.66% last week, down from 4.32% a year earlier. Job and wage growth have gained momentum in recent months, and lower gas prices have emboldened some buyers. Recent changes by the Federal Housing Administration stand to lower mortgage-insurance costs and down-payment requirements for entry-level buyers.”

3- “The last two weeks have been so strong that the spring is looking really good right now,” said John Burns, chief executive of Irvine, Calif.-based housing research firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc. But, he added, “ there could be a headline that turns this whole thing around tomorrow. It’s just dependent on consumer confidence.”

 

An Evolution in Happiness

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Posted in category Big Pharma

A wonderful Big Pharma lampoon from the Onion:

Gathering around the kitchen table to pick out their favorites, all four members of the Johnson household eagerly dug into a 38-piece AstraZeneca pill sampler that they received as a holiday gift, sources confirmed Friday.

Spoof aside, this reminds me of how far we have come from Bing to Bristol-Meyers Squibb in the age of advertising. This Whitman’s ad is from the early 1950s, with Der Bingle selling good times via a candy sampler and his smiling face, four spiritsed sons, and thoughts of sweetest day, minus a rent-seeking “Big Candy” industry. In the age of Big Pharma, these samplers are handed out by doctors and hospitals as generously as any candy sampler while the TV is splashed hourly with “ask your doctor about …” pharmaceutical ballyhoo. During one evening where we tried to watch some holiday television, we were bombed all night with pharmaceutical plugs where the visuals displayed the usual carefree and happy humans as the result of “asking their doctors” about yet another ‘legal’ drug being doled out by a controlled, oligopolistic, pharmaceutical-medical complex. I get a kick out of the Onion photo version of  the modern holiday sampler.  Thanks to Dan Moit for the Onion spoof.

whitman

 

astra