Published on: February 11, 2015
On the subject of increased competition in the Minneapolis/St. Paul marketplace, one MNB user wrote:I would agree that the MSP market has some of the finest grocers as well as some excellent meat markets and smaller independents. I am not sure why everyone wants to take on that competition. Hy-Vee could have had Chicago had they pursued some of the Dominick's locations.
Regarding the proposed classification of the internet as a public utility, one MNB user wrote:I have not researched this subject (yet) so I don't know all the pro & con arguments relating to this issue. But there are some indicators for us to consider. Let's see where this might be headed.
If it is a public utility:(1) it could be taxed; wow, that would be a surprising development; (2) Congress could pass laws relating to this; another possible surprise is that it might lead to lobbying and that might lead to campaign donations.
The benefits of the public utility solution seem to be overwhelmingly favorable. Who will be among those treated most favorably?
MNB reader Joe Luehrmann had some thoughts about Jack in the Box, which says it is investing in a better burger (which I thought was barely mediocre):I have not been to Jack in the Box since they poisoned their customers years ago. If you cannot trust a food operator to practice proper sanitation standards, why would you ever go back? I had encountered a number of undercooked JITB hamburgers as it was the only place open at night in my St. Louis neighborhood. Several friends also complained about the sanitation.
So you're saying that I'm not missing anything by not having a Jack in the Box anywhere near me?
In a piece/rant about nutritional supplements the other day, I commented:Let's also be clear about something. I'm not sure anyone has said that all nutritional supplements are useless and/or mislabeled. Just a percentage. (Like maybe 50 percent?) Albeit a sizable enough percentage requiring regulatory attention.
(There's an interesting intellectual exercise for you. How "sizable" is "sizable enough" to create regulatory interest and consumer outrage? What's the number? Five percent? Ten percent? Two percent? Just curious...)
Which prompted one MNB user to write:Regarding percentages, I was told that 0% is the best measure.……ie; What would you think id 95% of the time you turned on your lights everything was O.K. but the other 5% there was. chance you would be electrocuted. Would you install that switch in your home?
Somehow, folks in the nutritional supplement business have turned lack of transparency and a sense of mystery into an advantage.
On another subject, one MNB user wrote:I read your recent posting on Brian Williams, my comments have nothing to do with the fabrication of the story…..I think he will not survive the story…but a line in your story caught my eye...
“A salesman at a men's clothing store there once told me that Williams was an incredibly nice man who could afford to spend a lot more on clothes than he did. That means something, though I'm not exactly sure what.)”
You asked the question, that means something though you were not exactly sure what. I thought about how we are constantly bombarded by story after story about how American have not saved enough money for retirement and many of us are in for a rude awakening.
I think if more people were like Brian and did not spend as much as he can afford to, we would be in better shape as country. Living below one means is a trait that I believe is lost in our culture. Now granted much easier for Brian to live below his means ( his means are much higher than the average Joe) but how many people do we know that are making a lot of money but do not have two dimes to rub together in their savings.
Of course if the many American that are spending at or above the means…then I guess I economy would take a hit but in the long run we might be better off.
Regarding the passing of former Kings CEO/ chairman Allen Bildner, one MNB user wrote:Allen Bildner was class & manners and possessed a keen ability to relate to everyone he met. A gentleman in the truest sense of the word. The world was a better place with him and fortunate are those who had met him. Just a great guy.
I took note the other day about how the Jeb Bush sort-of campaign for the GOP presidential nomination has hired former Walmart exec Bill Simon to hire staffers to shape policy positions, and suggested that he needs to do better than Ethan Czahor, the founder of hipster.com who was named the Bush Campaign's CTO ... and who, it has been revealed, used Twitter in the past to make observations that seemed to use "slut" as a synonym for "woman."
One MNB user wrote:I saw your comment about the Jeb Bush plan to run for President. Regardless of how anyone feels about Bush, you set yourself up for critical backlash when you devote so much space in your response to another name with no connection to Bill Simon former WMT CEO. Maybe I am uniformed since I’ve never heard the name you mentioned. Are you implying that Bush picked another bad choice? You come off sounding like a Bush hater, I doubt you intended to give that impression.
First of all, there was no backlash.
Second, I was not expressing any opinion about Jeb Bush's candidacy.
However...while you may not have heard about Ethan Czahor, the fact is that his name was very much in the news and his Tweets had gone viral. And I have very strong opinions about the fitness of this guy to serve in any sort of public policy capacity.
I don't care that he was just out of college when he made these comments, nor that he made the comments four or five years ago. It is, in my view, inexcusable - it suggests a world view that I find to be abhorrent, and a significant character flaw that, to be honest, likely still exists. He's apologized and deleted the tweets, but my guess is that he's mostly sorry he got caught.
This doesn't make me a "hater." It just makes me a barely enlightened male who has a daughter, sister, and wife ... and who understands that there is no place in public or private discourse for these sorts of people and opinions. And I don't think I can devote too much space to this discussion.Breaking News: As I was posting MNB this morning, it was announced that Ethan Czahor has resigned from the Bush campaign.
Finally, responding to yesterday's piece about a NYC church taking Walmart to court over gun sales, one MNB user wrote:I’m so tired of reasonable people like yourself having to preface pieces like this by acknowledging and nearly apologizing to America’s “gun culture.”
There have been 104 school shootings since Newtown and still the rules around purchasing arms and ammo online, at retail or from the trunk of someone’s car, have not been significantly changed. There have been very few improvements in preventing those who have been diagnosed as mentally ill from buying firearms and ammunition in bulk. Rarely does a week go by that we don’t hear about a child— or toddler—shooting a family member. And still we’re all trying to not offend the gun culture?
Any objections to potential changes made to waiting periods and restricting the mentally ill from access has nothing to do with hunters and everything to do with the fact that the NRA has bought our leaders from both parties while frightening the “gun culture” into buying more guns and renewing their NRA memberships.
I'd like to think that I was acknowledging the gun culture that exists in much of the US ... but I don't think I was apologizing. There are those who would suggest that I was risking offending them just by bringing it up.
But I get your point. And agree with all of them.
I know how I feel about this issue. I felt that way before Newtown, and the fact that the Connecticut elementary school where my wife teaches has been turned into a high-security facility has done nothing to alleviate those opinions. Not acknowledging the fact that there are cultural differences, though, strikes me as ignoring the only path to any sort of reasonable compromise.