How Local Businesses Can Compete Against Wal-Mart’s Red Pickle

You might be thinking about why a local company would feel the need to compete against Wal-Mart’s red pickle. You’ve come to the right place to learn the answer. You see, it relates to one of their key principles to not only their current success, but their future success as well. To find out how the red pickle is important to their current and future success, I recommend first listening to the Planet Money podcast below.

If you don’t want to listen to this, I’m going to describe the key points below, but I think both Mitchell and Don would find the podcast interesting. Continue reading “How Local Businesses Can Compete Against Wal-Mart’s Red Pickle”

Political Scorecard: the Nunes Memo

(Note: This is post is more of a work in progress. My rationale is that if I don’t post this soon, I never will, and I do want to test the idea out–an idea I mentioned briefly in this post. Think of it as a beta-test; or maybe watching me build a house in front of everyone, while hopefully getting some help from those watching. Also, not that I have to tell you this, but please take what I say with a grain of salt. There could be errors, here. Indeed, if you guys notice them let me know, particularly any factual errors or other significant inaccuracies.)

This scorecard will focus on Rep. Devin Nunes’s memo. Score will be kept about the claims made by the memo, as well as counter-claims. I’ll also keep score on the people making the claims. Here are brief summaries of the two main claims:

The Nunes Side:

  • My understanding is that Rep. Nunes has found that DOJ/FBI have improperly got FISA warrant to set up surveillance on Carter Page.
    The claim is that Christopher Steele’s dossier was the primary reason for this. The claim is that FBI/DOJ(?) didn’t give background information about Steele dossier, namely that Steele hired by Fusion GPS, who was hired by DNC to do opposition research on Trump. (Fusion GPS actually initiated the research from a conservative group during GOP primary.)
    The contention is that the memo will reveal serious misconduct and perhaps show politicization of the Russia investigation.
    Nunes did make changes to the memo, after it was voted on to be made public, but Nunes claims the changes were minor (grammatical type of changes.
  • The Schiff Side:

  • My understanding is that Rep. Schiff believes the memo is baseless and also dangerous–in that it can expose classified information and possibly sources and methods of gathering that information;
    Schiff says the memo is undermining the trust between Congress and the intelligence community;
    Democrats have also written a memo to debunk the Nunes memo, but as far as I know the HPSCI hasn’t allowed its release.
    FBI and DOJ have said the oppose the release of the memo.
    Rep. Schiff claims that Nunes changed the memo after it was voted on to be released. In other words, the memo sent to the WH is different from the one the committee voted on releasing.
  • Continue reading “Political Scorecard: the Nunes Memo”

    Why Has the Internet Been So Disappointing for Discussing Individual Movies, Books, Etc.?

    When I’m asked about things I like to do, reading was one of the things that I’d mention. In reality, that’s not really accurate, especially if we mean deriving pleasure simply from the act of reading. That’s not me (unfortunately). What would be more accurate is to say I like learning; and I like talking about what I learn and read. This also applies to movies as well (although watching movies is enjoyable and more effortless than reading). Generally speaking, talking about books and movies might be more enjoyable to me than experiencing either. Because of this, the internet has been a place that has, until recently, held a lot of promise for me. When I read a book or watch a film, especially more obscure ones, I assumed that the internet would be the solution to this, especially now with millions (billions) of people online. Given those numbers, finding others who have read or seen the same books and movies I have shouldn’t be hard, right? Now, not all of these people have an interest in discussion. Still, I thought the ones that would be would constitute a big enough number to have a discussion. I’ve now concluded this is not the case (but I would love to be wrong about this!). To be clear, I’m not really referring to the currently most popular books and films. I think you can find conversations on those, but if I want to find a conversation, right now, on Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the Heart, forget about it. Why is that? Off the top of my head, here’s my short explanation: Continue reading “Why Has the Internet Been So Disappointing for Discussing Individual Movies, Books, Etc.?”

    Notes on The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss by David Bentley Hart

    Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, philosopher and cultural commentator, and he has written a response to atheism, which seems in vogue now. He claims that his objective isn’t to prove God’s existence, but to clarify a false premise in the debate. Here’s how he puts it:

    If one imagines that God is some discrete object visible to physics or some finite aspect of nature, rather than the transcendent actuality of all things and all knowing, the logical inevitable Absolute upon which the contingent depends, then one has simply misunderstood what the content of the concept of God truly is, and has nothing to contribute to the debate (p. 327)

    Using this as a starting point, Hart discusses the way this conception of God relates to problems with a strictly materialistic view of the world (which he generalizes, rightly in my opinion, as the main world view of the New Atheists.), going into three aspects of the concept of God that highlight this problem—-being, consciousness, and bliss/

    As in other “notes” threads, I’m going use this to jot random thoughts and notes as a way to help me process the book.

    Congressional GOP and Fox News Are Worse Than Trump

    As I mentioned in the other thread, in a way, I think the Congressional GOP and conservative media outlets (including radio pundits) that either actively enable Trump or largely stand by silently are actually worse than Trump. I actually believe that if they vigorously and vocally opposed Trump, it could actually be a kind of proud moment in our history (or at least mitigate the way Trump has embarrassed and disgraced us), and it could serve as a big blow to authoritarian regimes like Russia. But, alas, something close to the opposite has happened. Like the other thread, I’m going to use this thread as a collection of evidence for this claim. Here’s one I saw today from Fox News’s Sean Hannity:

    Continue reading “Congressional GOP and Fox News Are Worse Than Trump”