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On “The GM Strike is Going to Take a While

Another possibility is that the UAW is only concerned with temporary workers now for fear of their leverage. AFAIK, the longest UAW strike was of CAT in the early 1980s, it lasted 207 days and ended not long after CAT started advertising for permanent replacement workers and got a lot of responses (the unemployment rate was in double-digits at the time). Temps would be good recruits for scabs since they are probably already working for less compensation.

My main concern for my relation is if he doesn't get asked to work for the actual company he is working for, and that provides some sort of stigma when he's looking for other jobs. Right now, he's just out of college, and he could gain some useful skills to work elsewhere if he's not hired permanently.


They're saving healthcare cost and other benefits by having workers that aren't employees. I used to work next door to an engineering firm whose chief work was supplying long-term temporary engineers to a major manufacture. A close relative just got hired as a member of the industrial design "team" at another major manufacture through a similar arrangement. I'm not pleased with that state of affairs, but it all makes me very ambivalent about strikes that seem to guarantee that the company makes off-setting moves like outsourcing more production to other countries. Are other UAW plants joining, or do workers from other companies see themselves as competitors?

On “Wednesday Writs: Criminal Justice Reform

L1: This just seems like poor legislative drafting. I think the residual clause is simply ambiguous and should have been voided. Make Congress do its job.

L9: Surprised that the impeachment drama failed to mention that Johnson was correct that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional, or at least the SCOTUS said so later when it struck down similar legislation. Congress had also passed the law with consequences that precluded its review. Grant was willing to temporarily hold the Secretory of War position to allow Johnson to obtain judicial review of the law (that he also thought unconstitutional), but when he discovered the Act imposed a $10,000 fine and imprisonment for disobeying the Senate once it formally objected to Stanton's firing, he gave Stanton his job back and Stanton began building his fortifications.


We hafta get on -- we have so much time and so little to do . . .

On “Wednesday Writs for 9/11: Willie Francis is Executed, Twice

I couldn't see any documentation, but it appears that Pennsylvania, like many states, criminalizes theft for failure to return property:

§ 3924. Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake.

A person who comes into control of property of another that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the property or the identity of the recipient is guilty of theft if, with intent to deprive the owner thereof, he fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to a person entitled to have it.

Knowledge and intent are the key elements, and it appears that the couple told investigators that they knew the money didn't belong to them and the bank wrote notices. There is also probably an issue of spending so much money so quickly, which would be interpreted as thinking they had to spend it or lose it.

I'm not sure a lot of prosecutors would go after something like this though, as opposed to leaving it to the bank to go after them.

On “Chick-Fil-A: Whose Pleasure?

"I suspect that there is a strong element of self-selection in who works there"

This is one of the things I was implying in my "Walden" comment. But I might have emphasized that the Chick-fil-A near me is one of the most popular fast food places in the city, with long lines at least for a 3-hour lunch period. If you apply, you have to know that the work-pace is different than most other restaurants, but the means to an end is a consistent bit of pleasantries. I also think that the "Sundays off" is an undervalued piece of compensation to outsiders, because some of the unpleasantness of retail is not having the days off that other people have for social activities.

On “Wednesday Writs for 9/11: Willie Francis is Executed, Twice

[L1] I didn't realize until reading the link that after the opinion was published Justice Frankfurter reached out to a former classmate in order to get him to use his influence on the Governor in favor of a reprieve from execution. That adds another layer to the conflict btw/ personal views and judicial roles. And he didn't tell the other Justices what he had done.

However, I did know the governor was the "singing governor," Jimmie Davis, best known for "You Are My Sunshine," and at least a partial inspiration for the Governor in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" While this last minute attempts were being made, its possible that Davis was in California, cutting and filming musical shorts. The bright lights beckon to stars and moths alike.


She was interrupting the judge, after the judge warned her to stop. Did she have any job to do in that court room beside persuading the judge?

On “What Is the Purpose of Primaries

I think the system in toto requires high-consensus, but still presumes that the individuals elected to office enjoy popular support. On election eve 2016, 61% of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of Trump and 52% had an unfavorable opinion of Clinton. The worst and second-worst favorability ratings for Presidential candidates in polling history. I think that is an indictment of the primary system as it performs today.

Admittedly this is not a unique feature of the American system. Right now, the UK has an opposition leader, who is hugely unpopular in the country at large as well as among Labour MPs in particular. History will laugh.

On “Chick-Fil-A: Whose Pleasure?

Heh, good but defies all reason that someone would think there was a line to order at Arby's. :)

Just add in here: jobs at this CFA start at $12 per hour, and ...

"Since this is a fast paced environment, we expect our Front Counter Team to be highly motivated with the ability to work gracefully with urgency and be efficient while making it a priority to maintain the solid presence of our CORE 4 attitude: making eye contact sharing a smile, speaking enthusiastically; and staying connected."

I sometimes have an inner-ear thing that would prevent me from balancing so many service characteristics, but the person answering this advert presumably thinks they can; it not they can probably get a job at Arby's for (looks up) an undisclosed starting pay with a mere expectation of a "positive mental attitude (PMA)"


I find franchise arrangements both interesting and suspect, but I'm not sure I would consider that a franchise arrangements. I googled the issue myself and the first search result promised to explain how I can own my own future through franchising and licensing, but the page led to a similar discussion of being a franchise operator, or operator for short.

Sounds like an employment relationship to me. I don't see anything troubling about that, but one probably wants to closely observe the conditions under which one can be fired.


Just now, I went to Chick-fil-A because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I looked into the eyes of the workers and found no traces of hidden terrors, but an unfeigned interest in one's fellow man. I do not wish to live naive; I turn and look closer at the interactions of the man who could be manager, but am interrupted by a slight touch on my shoulder. I'm asked if this is the line, and I show him his way. The customers are polite, the man who could be manager says "please." No platitudinous posters set designs on the human spirit.

As I leave, I realize that all have come to this place deliberately, armed with patience and courtesy for the lines linger on and on. Even I had played some small part. But my last impression was of an outdoor greeter at the drive-through. Between cars she turns away and looks at the blue sky and smiles brightly to herself, unseen by anyone but me; it was her moment she had taken for herself, before returning to work.

On “What Is the Purpose of Primaries

I think the problem is that the primary system developed with higher levels of party identification. In June, Gallup reported 46% of Americans identify as Independent, 27% Democrat and 26% Republican. I don't think these numbers reflect parties with broad-based appeal. That one of the major parties will control one or more branches of government after a given election is a meager sign of success given that the first-past-the-post system entrenches a two-party system. A party can win by merely appearing better than the opponent, but can it govern or execute any mandate? Not really.

The parties probably need to take charge of the primary system, as if they were developing a national product and were testing representative markets. They need to replicate the conditions of a general election during the primaries as best they can by making them truly open and secret. And it would be nice if they can find ways to make politics fun again, because elections used to be more participatory events, not merely moments of self-expression (the election as marketplace), but I'm not sure how.

On “Saturday Spins

I think Dylan was covering or borrowing from old blues men from early on, though that may not stand out because a lot of musicians were doing that in the 60s. I'm not as familiar with his most recent records. But the one time I saw him live was at the 1993 New Orleans Jazz Festival, and he opened with a cover of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More." Seems like he was branching out to some obscure over-century old classics.


Also, a few of the lines from "Mississippi" were borrowed from prison chain gang songs recorded by John Lomax and his son during the Great Depression. John Lomax sang the song "Rosie" when he returned to Greenville, MS at the age of 80 for a city commemoration, and by some accounts he collapsed and later died after singing the lyric "stayed in Mississippi one day too long." Sounds a bit too on the nose to me, but he apparently he sang a "Rosie" song, but which one?

Lomax thought Rosie must have been a prison prostitute or follower as the prison allowed conjugal visits from time time, and "Rosie" is a lament about the prison guard making life tough, perhaps limiting access to Rosie or the money to keep her, giving rise to thoughts of suicide, cascading into threats of violence to kill or otherwise fix the snitch. Dylan also borrows from a second Rosie song, "Long Gone," in which the singer thinks back to what Rosie had said and if he'd listened to her, he would still be in her bed, but instead he got to "running around" until he was jailhouse bound. These seem to be different Rosies, one Saint and the other Whore. One the prisoner is looking back to with regret, and the other he is looking forward to, but may be impeded.


he evokes regret for staying in the state “a day too long,” much like the guys from My Cousin Vinny; or was that Alabama?

I think more like when one goes down to Highway 61, one never knows where one might end up, perhaps stuck in Mobile, wanting to get back to Memphis, or headed to New Orleans, but tangled up in a fishing boat right outside of Delacroix. The character is a drifter whose been "in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down."

I'm pretty sure Dylan was living in New Orleans at this point, riding his Harley into the country and cherishing encounters with the characters he meets. Whether or not he is the drifter or not, probably doesn't matter. But could be.

On “Katie Steinle’s Killer Wins Appeal

Occam's razor holds that the State didn't present any evidence on how the gun got there, who stole it, when it got there, etc., because the evidence doesn't exist. And if had existed, its exclusion would have been raised in the appeal.

On “The People Problem of Fast Food Labor

A local McDs has an app where you can place your order and designated parking spaces where you can go wait for someone to bring your order out. Never used one.

I was at a McDs grand reopening a few years ago. Someone had driven a van through the building, so they did a redesign. Two things I remember the owner saying in his speech: (1) Just because we're adding kiosks doesn't mean we'll have less employees; we'll have more employees in the kitchen and we'll be bringing your food to your table or your car. (2) Everyone in his family has worked for a McDonalds (introduces a lot of family members and tells where they started -- points out his newest daugher-in-law wearing a paper hat because she's on break), they start at the bottom just like everyone else.

I'm skeptical that the newest daughter-in-law has the same experience that I would if I started to work there, but I do admire the owner's notion that there is nothing wrong about his family earning at least little bit on their own.

On “Katie Steinle’s Killer Wins Appeal

Good post and agree with it entirely. And it's always a good thing when criminal law requires an intent element, or when the courts supply it.

On “Leave It Be

Not sure where you're getting "leftist" from; the article is full of negative references to government subsidies and planning. I think the article has a moderate libertarian angle, but I'm reluctant to try to frame political views from another country into an American context.

And not sure where your getting the notion that Amazon soils are some of the best soils in the world. Tropical soils are notoriously poor in quality.


This is a good piece; enjoyed reading it, but will push back on the part about soybeans. As Kevin Drum recently vetted a NY Times piece claiming that that Trump's trade war had "dried up" Chinese purchase of soybeans, the truth is China is buying as much as it did before the tariffs, some of this is confounded because China appears to have purchased a lot in 2017 to stockpile in the event of trade war.

Price has declined over the last ten years, but that appears to be due to Brazil and Argentina putting more land into soybean production, so there is a greater supply (which seems to be partly offset by non-major soybean producing countries exiting the market).

Also, Illinois, the sixth largest state produces the most soybeans in the U.S.

On “With Great Power Comes….Great Greed and Exploitation?

"I bought my very first comic in July 1975: Captain America and The Falcon, Issue 187."

My first super-hero comic was Captain America and the Falcon, Issue 185. I'm not sure why I picked it up from the wall of superhero comics at the news stand, but I think the idea of the buddy-partners appealed to me, and the super-villain was the Red Skull who seemed to embody both the features of a horror-movie monster with the historical "realism" of an underground NAZI restoration movement with advanced weapons and tech. I also picked up through editorial notes in the story that referenced earlier comic books that the story acted as a totality, but there were layers to be attained from back-issues. So I started collecting back-issues . . .

On “Wednesday Writs for 8/28

I think my state's law is similar, and I think the underlying priority is stability.

For example, the wife cheats on husband and has a child she knows is not her husband's and doesn't tell him. They raise the child together for a few years, but they decide to call it quits. The mother tells her child the truth -- he's not your dad. The dad finds out. However, because the dad didn't take steps to determine whether or not the child was his own within the first two year's of the infant's life, the presumption of fatherhood becomes irrefutable. The dad will be required to pay child support because he waived the right to raise that issue without any knowledge that there was an issue. He may be required to pay the child's way through college.

You can insert different motivations for the actors, and people's reaction will change. But motivations in this area can be mixed and inscrutable, judges acting as decisionmakers can bring their own biases to the table. So one priority is line-drawing that doesn't require that search. The main priority though is that the child has come to rely on the person he or she thought was the father, and if blood was important to the father he could have made the determination. A lawyer-friend who identified somewhat with the tea-party complains that the mother committed fraud by concealing facts that would have given reason to discover the parentage.

On “Maybe Forgiveness After All

Yeah,but the issue with the median student situation is that it still works out differently for different circumstances, but I do think putting a finger on the precise points of duress makes better policy than just increasing the subsidy. As you say, college graduates tend to have more going for them than those who do not.

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