May 27, 2016

"This America's for you"

"If political candidates were beer brands" I wrote when Donald still had primary opponents, Donald Trump would be Budweiser.

Unsurprisingly, I'm not the only one who thinks those two brash personalities are a match made in marketing heaven.

From May 23 through the presidential election, Budweiser beer will bear a different name. Eager to do its bit to make America great again, the brewer will replace the name "Budweiser" with "America" on its twelve-ounce bottles and cans.

George Will is quick to note the irony-

Nothing says "It's morning in an America that is back and standing tall" quite like beer cans festooned with Americana by Anheuser-Busch InBev, a firm based in Leuven, Belgium, and run by a Brazilian. The beer brands most familiar to Americans - Budweiser, Miller, Coors - are foreign-owned.

To which I reply, HUZZAH! From Levi's jeans to Air Jordan shoes, the world's consumers have long flocked to American goods. It's only natural that the world's industrialists also flock to ownership of American corporations. (I wonder if the Belgian Donald Trump lectures that Belgian companies should not have large portions of their workforce in exotic overseas lands like U.S.A.?) And it's also fully American, in the truest free-market capitalist, err, trade tested betterment sense of what Americanism really is, that the Busch family would grow the value of a brand and then sell it for an obscene amount of money to whomever in the world valued it the highest.

Will sneers, "Not cheerful" at Bud's brash marketing image. He misses the point. Being an American is about success. There are many words to describe events like the industrial revolution, D-Day, the moon landing and reconstruction of the World Trade Center. "Cheerful" is way down the list.


"America - King of Beers." King of industry. King of you-name-it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:46 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

F Yeah! A very important aspect of globalism, well stated.

I confess that I did take the liberty of trimming the picture down to the ThreeSources' Style Guide's recommend

Posted by: jk at May 28, 2016 1:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Will also diminishes the institutional advertising beloved by the big brewers. This may be fair, but ten minutes prior to reading his column, I heard my lovely bride listing to the two Bud Super Bowl commercials for the 867,413th time. There has to be some value in that.

Posted by: jk at May 28, 2016 1:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That institutional advertising, as maligned as it is by some, concentrates private commercial wealth in a way that facilitates many things that most take for granted - like watching live sports on television without the hassle or expense of buying a ticket. Last I knew, there was no "Dave's Pale Ale Field" or "Sam Adams Stadium" either.

For what it's worth, I consumed three beers yesterday - One imported German Pils, one Bud and a delicious coffee stout from our neighboring state of New Mexico. Diversity! It's the spice of life.

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2016 1:15 PM

April 7, 2016

Fresh Danish

After recently learning [first comment] that former long-time Democrat Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish has changed his registration to the eevil Republican Party and is running for his old seat, I also discovered that he's been writing columns for the Boulder Weekly newspaper. Here is an excerpt from a great one of those, and it involves the principal reason he decided to challenge an incumbent commissioner at the polls.

Government should pay a decent respect to people's fears and concerns. But it should also pay a decent respect to scientific fact, the imperatives of successful agriculture, and the truth.

And the truth is that after 20 years of growing and consuming GM crops the question remains: Where are the victims?

Usually this is the point in the conversation where GMO opponents start talking about the precautionary principle: "Above all, do no harm." The problem with the precautionary principle is that it doesn't take into account harms that can come from inaction. Maybe that's why it's a principle and not a law of nature.

And when the world is faced with an existential threat - the sort of threat that a combination of rising temperatures, rising population, and rising expectations presents - the precautionary principle may have to take a back seat to the survival principle: "Whatever it takes, baby."

I'm old enough to remember a time when people who thought this way were not principally called "Republicans," they were called "human beings."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 29, 2016

If political candidates were beer brands...

...this would be Donald Trump.

Pop a top and hear me out.

The rise of "sophisticated" craft beers has cut deeply into the market share of the "macro" brews, leaving them to find new ways to appeal to drinkers than "just" bikinis. Millions of dollars of professional advertising research and production later, we have - "Not Ponies", hard working blue collar men, big American brewing [owned by Belgians, I must admit] rock stars, sports champions, "Not Sipped", "Not Soft", "Not Imported", "Not a Fruit Cup", beautiful young women, "Not for Everyone" and ending with, "Not Backing Down."

The guy at the bar, who flicked the lemon off the rim of his beer glass, is NOT voting for a country club member for president - unless that guy OWNS the country club and talks like a Teamster.

Politics is at least as much about message and marketing as it is about ideas, if not more, unfortunately. Whoever wants to beat Trump needs his own version of "America, f*ck yeah!" to compete with this. Just an observation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Perhaps in a general election -- and Reagan's "Morning in America" comes to mind. Simplify and emotionalize to capture lower info voters in a general (without talking down to true believers).

But Brother nb captures my wistful ennui below by saying "Damn, a Cru-Bio showdown could have been so good for liberty...."

Amen. And a Rand Paul -> Scott Walker -> Bobby Jindal -> Cruz -> Rubio even better. I think if you are selling your candidacy to Republican Primary voters as a beer brand then you are doing it wrong. Or, much worsely and matching my darkest fears, the polity is wrong. Maybe Republicans are as stupid and racist as my lefty friends have been trying to tell me.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Some are, 'tis true, but no greater percentage than are Democrats.

Picture the man at the bar in this commercial though. Would you call him stupid? Does he look stupid, and not thoughtful? Or anyone else in the commercial? And yet you can easily imagine them pulling a lever for a potty mouthed billionaire because they think he will fix what needs fixing.

I dunno, I guess I just think the "stupid racist" crap gets thrown around way too casually. Guys who carry lunch pails to work have as much right to their opinion as anyone else. God bless America!

I also meant this as an anti-snobbery play. I have friends and relations who deride me for drinking Coors and Bud. "Life's too short for cheap beer" sez they. When I grew up this beer was plenty expensive and plenty tasty. Liking craft beers now doesn't mean I also have to stop liking the beer I loved first, sez I.

This Bud's for you, unless you're too good to drink with me. And there's Donald's true appeal, is it not?

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2016 4:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I do wish I could summon Jonah Goldberg to the blog. He could admire my Buffy reference and critique my bold Trump == (WJ) Clinton claim.

He could also pontificate here. He is an unabashed fan of Budweiser, no less abashed ridiculer of elitism and fruit beer style frumpery in all things. But. He opposes Trump in a way that side by side comparisons make me look like " a leaner."

No, your beer drinking friend is not stupid -- but he is choosing a product which is not tied to reason. Choosing a candidate in a primary is a more intellectual endeavor.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 5:24 PM

December 23, 2015

But what about the GOOD effects?

Today's Chipotlefreude post remind of some research I did last week into a family member claim that "microwaving food ruins its nutritional value" or some such. I think the belief was inspired by someone along the lines of Mike Adams, whose piece in a 2007 posting on Organic Consumers Dot Org soft pedaled the issue thusly:

But microwaving that broccoli destroys the anti-cancer nutrients, rendering the food "dead" and nutritionally depleted. There's even some evidence to suggest that microwaving destroys the natural harmony in water molecules, creating an energetic pattern of chaos in the water found in all foods. In fact, the common term of "nuking" your food is coincidentally appropriate: Using a microwave is a bit like dropping a nuclear bomb on your food, then eating the fallout. (You don't actually get radiation from eating microwaved foods, however. But you don't get much nutrition, either.)

You get the picture. But the "other side" coming from the authoritative Harvard Medical School is that microwave cooking is among the best possible methods to preserve nutritional content.

The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method.

The loss of nutrients is really a result, says Harvard, of cooking the food at all.

Some nutrients break down when they're exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. But because microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with a microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that break down when heated.

And cooking has a secondary benefit, or perhaps primary if you're trying to run a successful Chipotle franchise, of killing food-borne pathogens.

Now back to Mister Adams. What is his advice for the best way to prepare food?

When you need to heat something, heat it in a toaster oven or a stovetop pan (avoid Teflon and non-stick surfaces, of course). Better yet, strive to eat more of a raw, unprocessed diet. That where you'll get the best nutrition anyway.

Ummm. Yeah. Maybe a little irradiation first please?

Click continue reading for an interesting aside on Adam's preoccupation with, and complete misunderstanding of "irradiation."

Adams again:

Microwaving is, technically, a form of food irradiation. I find it interesting that people who say that would never eat "irradiated" food have no hesitation about microwaving their food. It's the same thing (just a different wavelength of radiation). In fact, microwaves were originally called "radar ranges." Sounds strange today, doesn't it? But when microwaves were first introduced in the 1970's, they were proudly advertised as radar ranges. You blast your food with high-intensity radar and it gets hot. This was seen as some sort of space-age miracle in the 1970's. Perhaps someday an inventor will create a food heating device that does not radically alter the nutritional value of the foods in the process, but I'm not holding my breath on this one. Probably the best way to heat foods right now is to simply use a countertop toaster oven, and keep the heat as low as possible.

The "irradiation" of food is a process where it is subjected to "ionizing" radiation from sources such as x-rays or gamma rays. Electromagnetic radiation or "radar" waves from, say, a microwave oven, are "non-ionizing" radiation. It is completely different, unless you are a junk science fear monger. And if you still want to disagree, stop recommending the use of a "countertop toaster oven" which heats things by showering them with infrared radiation! "It's the same thing [as microwaving] (just a different wavelength of radiation)."

Perhaps someday our schools will produce an adult citizenry whose average member has a better understanding of science, or at least some understanding of what he doesn't know - but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Bringing to mind the greatest Junk Science meme of all time: plants which withered and died because they were watered with microwaved water (cf. Lack of Water Harmony).

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2015 3:38 PM
But jk thinks:

May 8, 2015

California Regulators: Falling Down on the Job of "managing private profit"

Can any ThreeSourcer believe that California regulators have been passing up opportunities to control a for-profit industry in California since around 1987? I was truly amazed to learn this. Perhaps the old codger who used to do it died before training his successor. But California environmentalists are on the case:

According to Adam Scow, California director of Food and Water Watch, the governor and state agencies could in theory disregard the legislature and act on the California constitution which bars "waste or unreasonable use" of the state's water supply.

"We need to start managing and protecting groundwater as a public resource," Scow said. "In a drought, bottling public water for private profit qualifies as wasteful and unreasonable."

Because... DROUGHT! "Endless drought" in fact.

Nestlé itself insists its water use is efficient and has minimal impact on the environment - something the activists reject out of hand.

"While California is facing record drought conditions, it is unconscionable that Nestlé would continue to bottle the state's precious water, export it and sell it for profit," says the petition, which is sponsored by the political activist organisation the Courage Campaign.

But surely not as unconscionable as drawing a Mohammad cartoon. Right?

Please people. A little perspective is in order. Bottled water is measured in ounces and gallons. Irrigation and municipal water is measured in cubic feet per second and acre feet!

Nestlé and its competitors point out that bottled water accounts for a tiny fraction of California's overall use, particularly when compared with the state's vast agricultural infrastructure. Almond farming alone sucks down 10% of the state's water, at a rate of roughly one gallon per almond.


One key question will be how much water Nestlé is taking to create what one industry group delightfully calls "the quintessential hydrating beverage". The company claims 700m gallons a year, or about what it takes to keep two golf courses green.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

And my Facebook friends have posted (as Dave Berry would say, I'm not making this up) "Ban Almonds!"

One hates to see suffering, but the Hayekian in me welcomes this as a graphic illustration of Fatal Conceit -- let the pointy heads price a commodity instead of the market, and expect shortages or gluts.

Everybody's water price is subsidized in California. The created huge water subsidies for agriculture because Adam Smith, then they had to subsdies municipal usage because the discrepancy was alarming.

"Why didn't they just lower the..." Son, you've never faced an Ag lobby.

Searching for the great piece I read on this topic, I encountered this guy who started growing almonds because he saw that subsidized cotton in the valley wasn't a long term plan.

As for the gallon-per-almond metric?

Boy, that sounds wasteful. It's a figure designed to outrage, and it does the trick.

But looking at the societal value of producing food only by gallons of water used is silly, if not absurd. My fellow growers of other crops calculate that it takes about 168 gallons of water to produce a single watermelon. And 50 gallons for a cantaloupe. That head of broccoli that you feel good about serving to your child? Thirty-five gallons. A single ear of corn requires roughly 40 gallons.

If only there were some way to let all the users of a commodity find its most valuable use among competing demands. If only somebody could come up with such a scheme.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2015 3:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thus explaining why ag water is measured in acre feet instead of gallons. For example:

1 almond = .000003 acre feet of water
1 watermelon = .0005 acre feet

Everything else listed is between those two figures. Units matter. It's like saying a typical diet soda has just 4 Calories, when in scientific terms (thermal calories) it is actually a whopping 4,000 calories. (And a Carls Jr. 1/2 pound guacamole bacon thickburger is 1.21 million calories.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2015 12:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Reading the comment-linked article, CA farmers are paying $1000 per acre foot for federally supplied water. Since there are 325,853 gallons in an acre foot that is 0.3 cents per gallon. Talk about "producer subsidy!" The hipsters' have to pay 650 times that for their Ethos Water!

I'm not sure which is "worse" - the government giveaway to "Big H2O" or the rapacious profit-gouging by private corporation Starbucks!

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2015 12:43 PM

April 9, 2015

Being overweight is bullshit

Those who know me may say my headline is callous, but I could not resist - this week in particular.

Our pal Penn Jillette shed 105 of his 330 pounds rather quickly when his doctor told him that obesity led to his hospitalization for hypertension.

"I was on six very powerful meds to bring the blood pressure down. My doctor said I needed to get my weight down, and if I brought it down 30 or 40 lbs. it would be a little easier to control. And then he said something in passing that completely blew my mind - he said, 'If you got down to 230, you probably wouldn't need any of the meds.'"

So how did he do it?

To lose almost a pound a day by his March 5 birthday, the magician limited himself to 1,000 calories daily.

Now that he's at goal, Jillette has shifted into maintenance mode with Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutritarian diet. The plant-based plan eliminates processed grains, sugar, salt, and animal products.

"I eat unbelievable amounts of food but just very, very, very healthy food," emphasizes Penn.

Instead I would say very, very, very low calorie food. The elimination of processed grains and sugar are probably what got him into shape. Salt and "animal products" have been unfairly maligned in the government-funded scientific research for decades, with both being exonerated of their evilness in recent months. But, if it works for him...

So does he cheat or indulge once in awhile?

"I could probably have a steak or a doughnut every couple of weeks, but I just haven't felt like it," insists Jillette.

"When you're feeling as bad as I felt, and you go to feeling as good as I feel, the temptation to go back to doing what you were doing when you felt bad is not very great."

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:58 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Glad he's doing well and could not be happier.

I confess to philosophical disappointment. His choice seems to contravene three episodes of the TV show referenced in the title. "Obesity" questions the obsession with chasing svelteness; "Fast Food" is not kind to a hyper-reduced calorie diet; "Organic Food" -- well it's just funny as hell.

I appreciate the difference of his being 300+ pounds (330! That's 23 and a half stone!) compared to the generally healthy competitors in the "Fat Guy Olympics" who carry an extra 10 or 15 lbs.

But Penn is a man of appetites to which I relate. I question the sustainability of this, but wish him the best.

Posted by: jk at April 10, 2015 9:56 AM

March 16, 2015

Calorie Count

How do we list the calorie content of our pizzas on a menu when we have 34 million different variations of pizza? -- Dominos CEO Patrick Doyle
You should've thought of that before you opened stores in the United States of America, Bucko!
It's a textbook case of a mindless and arcane regulation, of Washington bureaucrats imposing on businesses costs that will have no effect on public health. "We've been voluntarily doing menu labeling for over a decade," Mr. Doyle says. "We even have an online calorie calculator we call the 'Calo-Meter' for every possible pizza order, and it tells customers what happens if they substitute, say, sausage for mushrooms, because we strive to be very nutrition-conscious."

That isn't good enough for the feds. The Food and Drug Administration is now insisting that every one of the chain's 5,000 stores post menu boards on the wall with calorie counts. "It's crazy and it doesn't help consumers," Mr. Doyle says, because "90% of Domino's orders arrive by phone or Internet and are for delivery, so fewer than one of 10 customers will ever see these signs." The signs will cost about $2,000 at every store, and each change of menu will require new ones. That is about $10 million of extraneous costs nationwide for Domino's. Thank you, Washington.

Other than that, Mr. Doyle is having a good day when I visit him at the Domino's world-wide headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.

I'm going to go one worse that that. If you're counting calories on your pizza order, you are doing things wrong. It's grand that they offer an online "Calo-meter" for those interested, but now that we've intruded on property rights, design accommodations, and budgets, I suggest calorie counting is an anachronism of a failed diet policy.

I think Gary Taubes put a fork in calorie counting pretty effectively, but I know there are still some adherents. Yet I don't think I'm wrong to assert that more and more diets are moving away to counting carbs, good carbs/bat carbs, fat grams -- whatever. Yet the calorie is enshrined -- mohair subsidy like -- on American menus for all times.

"A Republic No More." Mister Cost (and Dr. Franklin) nailed it.

UPDATE: I should have included this:

As for those who fret that only the rich are getting richer and upward mobility isn't possible, Mr. Doyle says they should pay more attention to what happens at Domino's. "Over 90% of our 900 franchisees started as an hourly worker in the store," he says. "Most of them started as delivery drivers at minimum wage. They work their way up. They become a manager. Then they come in, they apply to buy a store." So from earning $7 or $8 an hour, they now earn $80,000 to $100,000 by operating a franchise. Many have become millionaires. "This is absolutely a story of upward mobility in America."

That happened, umm, before they had to pony up $2000/store for calorie signage...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:43 PM | Comments (2)
But AndyN thinks:

Someone who headquartered a business in Ann Arbor can't possibly be surprised by the political ideology driving a mandate like this.

Posted by: AndyN at March 16, 2015 4:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Man's got a point.

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2015 4:54 PM

February 19, 2015

Single Best Argument for Libertarianism

If I could sell one single idea, I would think it might be: "Government has no valid role in diet and nutrition."

You can attack it with consequentialist arguments: "they suck!" Or you can attack it with first principles: there is a very vibrant market in literature and ideas in the nutrition and exercise space; government is not needed.

But the Feds have fallen on their face, repeatedly, from the Four Best Lobbyists 4 Food Groups , the Food Pyramid. Once again. Emily Litella style, they say "nevermind." This time on cholesterol. But rather than humility (I do kid myself sometimes), the new guidelines just airbrush out all the b******t they told you last time, while hectoring you on several new and very dubious fronts.

But the broadminded approach extends a little too far; now everything from environmental sustainability to helping immigrants adjust to a new food culture falls under the DGAC's purview. And the committee hasn't really abandoned its tendency to single out specific nutrients as special diet dangers, suggesting that drinks with added sugars are a good candidate for targeted taxation:

For all those who did not DIE (all caps and ****-ed out swear words, damn, this is a rant) from the previous Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recommendations, you now have to be hectored on environmental concerns as well:
In addition to recommending particularly dietary patterns based on their ability to promote health, the report for the first time notes the advantages of "sustainable diets"

All this for an industry with a most vibrant private-sector discussion. Walmart* does not wait ten years -- they offer low-carb dieters a marvelous bucket of meat and cheese and cheese wrapped with meat. Capitalism rules!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:02 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I suspect all of us grew up with the Four Basic Food Groups* being drummed into us. The USDA has always been unduly influenced by parties seeking to tilt the scales to increase their industry's share of the shopping cart, and more recently, parties bound and determined to stigmatize meat. The way I hear it, meat is to the rest of the menu what fossil fuels are to wind and solar - the energy-density champion.

I'd sooner do away with the USDA entirely, its welfare programs and its bad regulations, and trust my family doctor, my high school health sciences teacher, and private experts whose opinion I value, and let me buy as I see fit**. When you all vote me into office, it'll happen.

*(I was once asked by a friend to name the Four Basic Food Groups in the REAL American diet as practiced, and to name one common dish that had it all. I quickly came up with lasagna, but I was wrong. The four food groups in the REAL American diet center around alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat -- and therefore Irish Coffee represents a balanced diet.)

** We'll see what the free market does with Little Caesar's latest concoction, linked here. I'm torn; Little Caesar's is the second-worst pizza chain around after Pizza Hut, but it's wrapped in three and a half feet of bacon.…/little-caesars-fast-foo…/23565411/

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 19, 2015 11:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Errrr, let's try that again...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 19, 2015 11:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Cholesterol, Cholesterol! Good thing it's okay now.

Posted by: jk at February 20, 2015 10:27 AM

January 1, 2015

New Year's Resolution

In the interest of all the creatures of the world except myself, I herewith resolve:

- To become a vegetarian,
- To purchase an electric car,
- To wear clothing woven from hemp fiber,
- To shower weekly instead of daily,
- To install solar panels on my home, battery storage in the basement, and break my unhealthy connection to the filthy industrial power grid,
- To stop resisting humanitarian efforts to improve the lives of everyone on earth at the expense of American prosperity,
- To say, "Yeah man" more often.

I realize that this is, in itself, not enough to atone for my selfish lifestyle for the past five plus decades, but it is only a beginning and I intend to redouble my efforts again next year. And I don't even consider it a sacrifice, as it is for the good of all life on earth. (Well, maybe not so good for plant life but we can't all be winners, right?] I have no doubt about the power of my intellect to wean myself from the unhealthy foods made from other creatures, like hamburgers, steak, chicken wings, bacon, ... ... ... nevermind.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:38 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. This is getting slightly better play on Facebook.

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2015 2:26 PM
But jk thinks:

A popular gag at my place of employment is to get on somebody else's (unlocked) computer and send group emails swearing gay love or antithetical opinions in the person's name. I got a queasy "he's been hacked by the NorKs" feeling before I hot the punchline.

Posted by: jk at January 2, 2015 3:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps you were expecting an "unfriend" announcement as well? LOL

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2015 4:11 PM

November 4, 2014

Why America Can't Lose Weight

Hint: This post is categorized under "food" and not "exercise."

The Adkins diet has earned approbation on these pages, and here's another data point in favor. The new Qdoba burrito configurator web app that I stumbled upon shows, interactively, how many calories and how much fat is in your delicious, foil-wrapped "football." And the first question is the most important one: Tortilla or bowl? choose carefully... it is a 300 calorie decision you are making. Depending on your other choices that could double the calories of your meal. Or conversely, cut them in half.

But that bowl just adds more trash to the landfill! Boo hoo. You would protect the landfill from overflowing, rather than your beltline?

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2014

Imagine there's a paycheck

Have you seen the new Chipotle bag slogan, offering "people something to read while dining?"

"Hope that, in future, all is well, everyone eats free, and anyone who works actually gets paid for it."

Okay, I made that up from a collision of two stories about Chipotle this week:

Useful Idiots: Chipotle Espouses Communist Rhetoric On To-Go Bags from 'Tea Party News Network', and;

Chipotle workers say they work extra hours for no pay from CNN Money.

So is the bag slogan a proletarian fig-leaf for the Bourgeiose Chipotle corporatists? For its part I am critical of TPNN's take that "the Mexican grill took another step to the left by writing slogans on their bags that include plainly Communist rhetoric" with the slogan:

"Hope that, in future, all is well, everyone eats free, no one must work, all just sit around feeling love for one another."

I wrote on their FB post, "Am I the only one who recognizes the difference between "no one must work" and "no one DOES work?"

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I had also hoped to parlay this story into a "what would you spend your time doing if you didn't HAVE to work" comment fest.

My answer: I would build more and invent more. And maybe also farm more.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2014 6:15 PM
But jk thinks:

You were a little more generous than I with Chipoltle. I heard the strains of Merle Haggard warning us of "drinking free Bubble Up and eatin' that Rainbow Stew."

I think of the dumpster divers ("Freegans " -- that's the name) who are already there. They enjoy a lifestyle for which Willa Cathers' characters labored seven days a week and they are not impeded by work.

Likewise, I would hope for a future where yes, you could have a 2014 lifestyle without work, but that those choosing that would be equally derided. And the rest would still fervently produce to afford the latest flying car.

My public sector relatives are all retiring or discussing it, though most are younger than I am. I -- in perfect health -- would not dream of stopping in less than 12 years and then would hope to work half-days-most-days-a-week as my father did: a splendid "half-retirement" that lasted several years.

With my imperfect health, I worry monstrously that I might be shunted off to disability before then and I dread the idea. Playing guitar and reading on the weekend is a joy but I need the structure imposed by employment.

Which was the Vonnegut book where nobody works? It was a dystopia and the protagonist's best day is when he helps a person repair a car and gets $5. My economics and Vonnegut's are less than identical, but I think he nailed that one.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2014 7:38 PM
But dagny thinks:

Try a Heinlein book called Beyond this Horizon. It concludes that humans are basically productive and even when not, "working," per se they still create stuff that increases wealth.

Posted by: dagny at November 3, 2014 11:55 AM

May 29, 2014

C2H5OH Review Corner

The Centennial State is arguably the top micro brew state in the Union. The Refugee does not have visibility into the other 49 states, but it seems that the "micro" thing has also taken hold across the state in the realm of distilled spirits, specifically whiskeys. Daveco Liquors, named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest liquor store, is just five miles from The Refugee's house (and within shouting distance of several blog brethren); Daveco has a nice section of Colorado whiskeys. It just seemed like a really good idea for The Refugee to sample every one made in Colorado and report on them to Three Sourcers. So, prepare to grab one of JK's recommended readings and settle in with a wee dram.

First, The Refugee must explain his impeccable review credentials and methodology. He is specifically qualified to review whiskeys because he has two key attributes: a tongue and a keyboard. Oh, yeah - and a third thing - a credit card to pay for the stuff. For methodology, he puts a nice two-ounce pour over four ice cubes (made with filtered water) - never any extra water or other additives. If you've gotta mix it, then it can't be good. Of course, one sample is not enough. One must drink at least half the bottle (no, not in one sitting) to appreciate how the taste evolves over time. Just as there are different varieties of beers, there are different varieties of whiskeys. The Refugee does not try to categorize them for comparison, but just to make note of the variety. Whiskeys are evaluated based on five taste characteristics: smokiness, bitterness, sourness, astringency and taste strength. (Astringency is to whiskey as hoppiness is to beer.)

For a first review subject, The Refugee chose 303 Whiskey from Boulder Distillery. Interestingly, 303 (presumably named for the Denver/Boulder area code) is made from potatoes, not corn or grain as most whiskeys are. There is considerable debate in online discussion forums as to the authenticity of a potato-based whiskey. To The Refugee, it looks and tastes like whiskey, so he'll leave the labeling purity to others.

303 is a lighter color than many other whiskeys. It is packaged is a very plain bottle with a boring label, perhaps testimony that the makers are distillers and not marketers. Nevertheless, the bottle contents are a decent drink. Astringency, the first thing that hits your tongue with any whiskey, is moderate in 303. It's a little stronger than The Refugee cares for, but not so much that it interferes with tasting the drink. 303 has virtually no bitterness and very little sourness; in fact, it finishes with a bit of a sweet note. It's taste strength is rather nondescript: while pleasing enough, it does not leave you looking forward to the next glass. Nevertheless, The Refugee's impression of 303 improved over time. It gets better as you get deeper into the glass and the bottle.

At under $30 a bottle, 303 is a satisfactory drink and worth a try. Three tumblers.

Next up: Tincup Whiskey.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 4:35 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

303 seems a popular product name these days. And there is some congruity in a distilled spirit made from fermented potatoes being produced in the People's Democratic Republic of Boulder.

I appreciate the new column, and eagerly anticipate the next installment. I just unsealed my third bottle of Tincup since discovering it, also at Daveco, last year. Spoiler alert: It leaves me looking forward to the next glass.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2014 7:25 PM
But jk thinks:

I eagerly await the series as well!

Stuck for weeks in the land of the greatest beer (sorry, lads, that's Britain) while on the Atkins Diet! I tried to transfer my affection to Scotch. My benefactor/CEO did a great job on your third point, covering the check. But he told my companions, out of earshot, that I lacked the discipline to sip and was poorly suited to the pastime.

Well, I was never a natural bike rider or hockey player either. But I always tried to compensate with enthusiasm -- and did the same for Scotch.

I question the rocks. Of course, in the UK you cannot buy ice for a million quid but don't you have to try it neat?

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2014 7:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder what the sage of the British Isles considers "disciplined sipping?" No more than 1 ounce per hour? Maybe two? You weren't shooting the stuff were you?

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2014 5:55 PM
But Jk thinks:

"Give every tooth a taste" was the buzzphrase.

RAH would like me; sipping, small bites, and moderation really are not my strong suits.

Posted by: Jk at May 30, 2014 6:10 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

OK, a neat sipping will be added to the test. At least one glass will be had neat.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 30, 2014 6:12 PM
But Jk thinks:

Sorry to add to your workload.

Posted by: Jk at May 30, 2014 10:14 PM

November 16, 2012

"Nut up or shut up"

"Someday very soon, life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go ... empty."


Is it too late to get Twinkies added to the endangered species list? Where's the EPA when we really NEED it!

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:29 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Mondo heh!

However, this being ThreeSources, I am going to warn good people not to allow non-union animus to cloud their economic thinking.

Greedy Bakers (Lochner v New York anybody?) may have hastened the demise of the yellow alleged food. But -- as Governor Romney tried to explain -- plants and brands of value will survive bankruptcy. If somebody wants to invest in Chrysler or Hostess, they can; else the assets will be put to greater use.

And if they are not wanted, it is the loud voice of the free market saying "we are wealthier now and have access to better tasting snacks."

Posted by: jk at November 16, 2012 12:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

New hashtag trending on Twitter, to the certain delight of readers and authors here:


Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 16, 2012 12:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Cloud? The movie clip tie-in is two-fold: First as evidence that the Zombie Apocalypse is surely nigh. Second, not to lament the demise of the Twinkie, but to celebrate the fungibility of capital, recipes and trademark rights. I fully expect, in due time, the Twinkie to be reborn. Perhaps even with the original brand name but under new ownership and not a whiff of union labor.

Posted by: johngalt at November 16, 2012 1:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Apologies if I misconstrued. We're into that C-word "Conservatism" again. I see some, if not y'all, waxing poetic about a snack of their youth at the expense of realizing that demand might be a bigger issue than bakers' benefits.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2012 11:03 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Waning demand may have soon sent Twinkies the way of buggy whips but free men willingly risked their capital on the bet that it would not. By refusing to make bakers' pension payments no longer the most expensive ingredient, the labor union's "consistently poor management" has decided the bet before it was placed.

And why does the union refuse to accomodate? Because doing so is an admission that everything free-market advocates have been saying is sustainably true - and everything the redistributionists say only works for as long as the faith holds out. In the case of Hostess the music has stopped and it's time to scramble for a seat. I look forward to seeing how the public reacts when the workers are left standing, despite the "protection" offered by their unionization.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2012 2:44 PM

October 20, 2012

Soi Disant -- or is that soy disant -- free people

We sure allow ourselves to be bullied by the Feds on food. Baylen J. Linnekin, Executive Director of Keep Food Legal, takes to Reason to list Ten Federal Food-Policy Issues Obama and Romney Should Discuss.

All ten are deeply depressing reminders of what we've given away. The Federal government performs paramilitary raids on raw milk, approves brand logos and packaging, gives (traditionally very bad) advice on nutrition, &c.

Trade all ten for the Tenth Amendment, good people.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:24 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:
"I've worked hard for every lump of coal I've taken out of the ground. And what do I have to show for it? I can't set my prices. I can't choose to whom I sell my product. The government takes what it wants, and taxes what it leaves behind!"

-Ken Dannager, Dannager Coal, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 (the movie)

It hasn't been as sudden or as obvious as 'Directive 10-289' but we are most of the way there, nonetheless.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2012 2:45 PM

December 4, 2011

Colorado Native Lager

Last spring I made my first attempt at growing hops. The plants never sprouted and I was quite disappointed, but others had better luck than I and the 100% Colorado brew from Coors brewing has been completed.

As soon as today, a batch of Colorado Native made with homegrown hops will hit store shelves, thanks to the efforts of 130 volunteer growers.

A year ago, AC Golden Brewing put out an invitation to its Facebook fans to accept a free hops rhizome, plant it and donate the harvested crop to the brewer.

The intent was to get AC Golden closer to its goal of producing a beer with all-Colorado ingredients. It's 99.89 percent local with Colorado barley, water and yeast. The missing fraction is hops the flowery green herb that gives beer its sublime bitterness.

The yield was not enough to produce a year's worth of the brew, but it's a start. As for the product? I posted the following on the beer's Facebook page:

My two rhizomes never broke ground - perhaps they languished in the fridge too long before I planted them. I'll try again in the spring. But I picked up a 12-pack yesterday and ... love it! I love highly hopped beers but the first bottle I drank (from a glass) almost blew me away. I got a headache it was so hoppy! (Had just returned from a day near Blackhawk though so was perhaps O2 deprived.) Second bottle today was more mellow but very tasty, well balanced and on its way to being the only beer I drink for as long as I can get it. Lovely red-amber. Five stars!

Back in the day, Coors Banquet Beer, brewed only in Colorado, was not available east of the Mississipi River (a fact capitalized on in the storyline for the movie "Smokey and the Bandit.) Coors is now also bottled in Virginia and available nationwide. CO Native, however - only in Colorado, brothers and sisters.

Posted by JohnGalt at 8:49 PM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:


Posted by: Terri at December 5, 2011 11:40 AM
But jk thinks:

I remember sneaking Coors was a big deal when I was a lad. Visiting easterners would load a couple of cases in their car. My folks shipped a case to a relative in Alabama. When Reverend <name changed to protect the guilty> showed up to pick up his "canned goods" shipped from Denver, the wrapping was torn. The Huntsville postal workers delivered the contraband amid much jocularity.

I will try the native, though I had some of the New Belgium seasonal Snow Day and I am under its spell.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 11:57 AM

September 17, 2011

O zapft ist!

Or translated literally, "O" taps is!

Oktoberfest 2011: September 17th until October 3rd

It is tapped!

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

This calls for a song!
Du, du liegst mir im Herzen
du, du liegst mir im Sinn.
Du, du machst mir viel Schmerzen,
weißt nicht wie gut ich dir bin.
Ja, ja, ja, ja, weißt nicht wie gut ich dir bin.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2011 12:36 PM

September 24, 2008

Que Sera Sera

A little-known Chilean wine known as Palin Syrah has apparently lost favor in the City by the Bay. Sales in San Francisco of this boutique product have fallen faster than a thermometer on the North Slope in January. Texas, however, seems to be picking up the slack.

The Refugee will confess to being a bit of a wine snob and may have to see about picking up a bottle at the local Daveco Liquors. He may need to find out how it pairs with a certain $8 cheese.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 1:11 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Mon Dieu!

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2008 1:30 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Thermostats on the northslope in January are pretty much bottomed out!

But the larger point.... A pair of my very best North Slope co-workers were visting our nation's capitol, and when carded at a bar, they were "accosted" by crazy Lib-tards for daring to bare an Alaska driver license.


Posted by: AlexC at September 24, 2008 2:42 PM