Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Are minimum wage laws ethical?

Minimum wage hikes always result in layoffs.  A lot of low end, part time, seasonal jobs, life guarding, lawn mowing, fast food, ski patrolling, waiting tables,  will just go away if the minimum wage goes up.  In short, while a minimum wage helps the better paid workers, it results in layouts and job loss to at least as many.  There is only so much money to go around, minimum wage forces more money to go to fewer workers and layoffs to the others.  The NH ski areas, a low margin business if there ever was one, fear that Obama will force them to pay the seasonal workers $10.10 an hour.  Excuse?  A lot of ski trails run thru Forest Service land, and Obama thinks that gives him the right to dictate wages. 
   With unemployment what it is, the country needs more jobs, even entry level jobs.  Kids coming out of high school need that first job.  It gives them experience, and even more important, it gives them references, essential to landing that next job.
   Unions love minimum wage laws.  It drives the high schoolers and the part timers out of the labor market and allows them to win higher wage hikes at bargaining time. 
   Bureaucrats love minimum wage laws.  It allows them to interfere in yet another part of American life.
   I think wages ought to be a matter between employee and employer.  If the wage is too low, the employee can always quit and draw welfare.  Or  organize a union and go on strike.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Desert Victory

Old old WWII newsreel expanded out to feature length.  From Netflix of course.  All about the battle of El Alamein.  The British were so pleased to finally beat the Germans in a stand up fight that they did this one up brown.  El Alamein was the first real British victory, and after that, the British kept on winning.  The British sent an advance copy of the flick to the Roosevelt White House. 
   Looking at the film you see a lot of scenes of British infantry, bayonets fixed, khaki shorts, and British style helmets advancing on foot across the open desert   Not a scrap of cover or concealment.  Easy targets.  I kept wondering, "Why don't the tanks go first?"  as I watched those scenes. Lots of vintage tanks, aircraft and vehicles.  Many shots of the artillery delivering fire.  Shots of Churchill addressing the troops.  Montgomery shows up too. Good maps. 
   WWII buffs, and serious history students really want to see this film to make El Alamein real, not just words on paper.  It's a primary source, the newsreel footage was taken at the time and on the scene. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Obama complains about social media

Obama wants the good old days to come back.  Where the few media outlets could suppress stories they didn't like, and in general slant the news in a democratic party direction.  Now with blogs and Instapundit  Drudge and twitter, and Facebook the stories get out.  And that stirs up the voters and makes them harder to bamboozle. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oil your Panther's steering.

Panther (car buff name for Ford  Crown Victoria/Mercury Gran Marquis/ Lincoln)  has a tricky steering column with two U-joints under the hood between the steering box and the column proper.  Steering had been getting sticky on mine, sticky moving toward un drivable.  Gave the U-joints a good shot of WD-40, and finished them off with 3-1 oil.  Vast improvement.
   WD-40 is very thin and isn't much of a lubricant, it's more a rust proofer. It softens up the crud and soaks into the joints.  The 3-1 oil follows the WD-40 and gives some lubrication. 

MEK saves a paint brush

Somehow I forgot to clean the paint brush after the last trim and shutters touchup.  It was an oil based primer and it hardened, rendering the brush unusable.  Thinking back, to an accident where spilled MEK had dissolved the linoleum floor tile, I tried putting some MEK into an empty coffee can and soaking the brush in it.  Worked like a charm.  Brush came out cleaner than when I started the paint job.  Note to self, this probably only works on oil based paint. 
MEK, short for Methyl Ethyl Ketone.  I normally keep it in the shop for use as a plastic cement.  I buy it in the paint section of Home Despot. 

New York Times wants $1099

For a one year subscription no less.  That's about $3 an issue.  Which is totally ridiculous for any paper, let along the New York Times with it's well earned reputation for slanting the news and out right lying.  I used to take the Wall St Journal when it was $250 a year.  I dropped it when it wanted $430 a year.  And the Wall St Journal is a real newspaper with real and dependable news, unlike the Times. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Screw top Champagne bottles

It's just a low end champagne, Andre to be specific, but it came with a screw top.   Arrgh.