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DECEMBER 19,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THE MARCH OF HYPOCRISY – FROM FOX:   Retail CEOs are calling on Congress for help amid the smash-and-grab lootings that are leaving them grappling with hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost or stolen merchandise. Some of those same companies, however, supported organizations last year that have called to defund or overhaul policing in the United States.   "Many corporate leaders jumped on the woke bandwagon and wrote big checks to organizations that still continue to advocate to defund the police. They did not think of anything beyond not being labeled a racist," Sean Pritchard, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, told Fox News Digital Tuesday.   Nearly two dozen CEOs signed the letter to Congress asking for support as theft crimes rage, including the chiefs of Target, Nordstrom, Levi Strauss, Ulta Beauty and Home Depot.   "Leading retailers are concerned about the growing impact organized retail crime is having on the communities we proudly serve," the letter, which was sent by the Retail Industry Leaders Association to Congress last week reads, highlighting support for the INFORM Consumers Act. "This important legislation will modernize our consumer protection laws to safeguard families and communities from the sale of illicit products and we urge its quick passage."  Not a single apology for going along with, and helping to finance, radical anti-police movements.  I'd make these boys beg a little.

December 19, 2021       Permalink

 

NEXT YEAR – OVERNIGHT:  Already we see the predictions for next year, and some of them are pretty interesting.  We'll see more like this in the coming week.  From the New York Post: 

Over the past year, we started figuring out how to live in an (almost) post-pandemic world. Behaviors that once seemed unnatural — working from home, living more digitally, feeling grateful for basics we once took for granted — became second nature.

In 2022, we’re ready for what’s next. And one thing’s for sure: We’re not going back to the old ways. So what can we expect from the new normal?

Here, experts give their predictions for the coming year.

Restaurant robots

Staff shortages at restaurants are only getting worse — according to the National Restaurant Association, three out of every four restaurant owners can’t retain enough servers — but demand for in-person dining is returning. What are restaurateurs to do? Hire robots.

Last summer, the Cuban restaurant Sergio’s in Miami, Florida, introduced the newest member of their staff, Servi — created by Silicon Valley company Bear Robotics. Servi, which delivers food and clears dirty dishes, is leased by Sergio’s for around $999 a month — or about $2 to $3 an hour including installation and support — and doesn’t accept tips.

Flippy, a burger-flipping robot from Miso Robotics, made its debut in 2018 at Pasadena-based burger chain CaliBurger, but was fired after one day for flipping burgers too fast. In November, Miso unveiled Flippy 2, a sleeker and more independent version of the kitchen robot, which is poised to officially join the food industry workforce later this year.

“I think the big difference in 2022 is that we’ll likely see actual production deployment of specific devices, such as French fry or pizza robots,” said Jim Collins, President of Perfect Company, a leading provider of technology solutions for the restaurant and hospitality industries.

Adding robots isn’t just about streamlining the cooking process. “It can actually free the kitchen team to focus more on creativity and innovation,” said Collins. “There are benefits to technology that go beyond quality and consistency.”

Minivans

Since their debut in the ’80s, minivans have never been cool. They’ve been synonymous with soccer moms and considered the last resort for families not hip enough to afford an SUV. But something changed in 2021, with minivan sales jumping 84 percent, according to a Cox Automotive report. New minivan models — like the much-touted 2022 Kia Carnival (above), described by critics as “sexy” — have the same sliding doors and high seats beloved by suburbanites, but now come with a rugged, stylish design.

Part of the minivan renaissance is thanks to COVID. “Minivans speak to our current, pandemic-induced desire to simultaneously cocoon and escape,” said automotive journalist and minivan enthusiast Brett Berk. “They’re literally a living room on wheels.”

Berk also points to a generational shift. “For Gen-Xers who were weaned on station wagons, the practicality of minivans are a revelation,” he said. “And they can be knowingly, slyly contrarian. Like wearing wide-wale corduroy blazers, they’re so uncool, they’re cool.”

Today’s daters crave more than dinner and a movie

After sitting at home for nearly two years, singles are “craving adventure and are up for anything,” said Talia Goldstein, the founder and president of matchmaking service Three Day Rule.

Today’s daters crave more than dinner and a movie, and they’re willing to travel further than a cab ride can take them. “Pre-pandemic daters would request a radius of 10 miles,” Goldstein says. “Now, clients are open to nationwide matches and even relocating for the right match.”

Tinder Passport, a premium feature that allows users to match with singles around the globe, has been around since 2015 but peaked in popularity last year. In 2021, Tinder members “passported” to an average of four cities and two countries. And 76 percent made matches in a country that speaks a language different than their own.

“To avoid flirtations getting lost in translation, we’ve partnered with [language-learning platform] Duolingo to give 100,000 Tinder members a free month of Duolingo Plus,” said a spokesperson for the company.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  As Mort Sahl liked to say, "The future lies ahead."  There are more revelations in the article, and many more to come in the following months.

December 19, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER 18,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

ANOTHER UNIVERSITY OUTRAGE – FROM COLLEGE FIX:   Chemistry Professor Patanjali Kambhampati said he has been denied two grants over the past two years for failing to properly pledge allegiance to equity, diversity and inclusion.  Kambhampati was born in India. He grew up and was educated in the United States.  Since 2003, Kambhampati has successfully conducted cutting-edge research at the intersection of chemistry and physics as a member of the Department of Chemistry at McGill University in Canada.  “What I do is I develop lasers and laser-based instrumentation to measure the motion of electrons and atoms in materials that might be used in anything from solar cells to flat panel displays to lasers to next generation computers,” he said in a recent phone interview with The College Fix. Kambhampati said he has raised close to $7 million over the last 15 years to further his work, receiving funding from the government of Canada in addition to various organizations, provinces and corporations.  “But everything seemed to change about a year or two ago,” Kambhampati said. “In the last two years the federal grants have begun to ask for equity, diversity and inclusion statements.”  “Initially, they started asking us to state our EDI position, which is a new thing,” he said. “The newer thing happened in the last one year where the federal agencies said we’re going to look at your EDI statements first and foremost. That will be the gatekeeper.” If a researcher doesn’t write a satisfactory EDI statement, some federal funding agencies will not even look at the scientific merits of the work anymore, Kambhampati said.  May I note that Professor Patanjali is a scientist of color, but it made no difference to the thought police.  They came for him also.  Read the rest of the piece.  It's worth it.

December 18, 2021       Permalink

CONGRATULATIONS – OVERNIGHT:  Finally, something good happens at Harvard.  From College Fix: 

A group of undergraduates at Harvard University recently revived a publication to rectify what they describe as a scarcity of conservative and political thought on campus.

The Salient was originally founded as a “moderate to conservative” paper at Harvard in 1981, according to a report at the time.

Its folding in the early 2010s left a lack of thought challenging the predominant talking points on campus, and the newly returned Salient aims to resolve that.

“The drying up of discourse has been an inevitable effect of the end of the lone opposition paper; in the place of debate and intellectual exchange there is only the continual repetition of political maxims grown stale with the years, of truism and tautologies untested by disagreement,” its November 2021 general introduction reads.

Harvard student Jacob Cremers, spokesperson for the Salient, said in an email to The College Fix on Nov. 30 that the revival of the paper is meant “to fill the vacuum and to encourage diversity of opinion on Harvard’s campus.”

“The Salient has traditionally served as a source and platform of independent and contrarian thought at Harvard; it seemed to us a shame that it had vanished without leaving another newspaper to take its place,” Cremers said.

About 5,000 copies of the new edition were distributed, he said, including under the doors of every student dorm and over 800 faculty offices on campus.

The November 2021 edition was titled: “Revising America: The Deconstruction of the American Commonwealth and the Patriot’s Reply.” It featured eight articles written by students using pseudonyms.

“Pseudonyms are used in order to encourage freedom of expression and attract contributors who would otherwise be too shy of public exposure. The pseudonyms also allow readers to focus on the ideas communicated, rather than the writer behind them,” Cremers told The College Fix.

In the most recent publication of the Salient, one column offered Utah as a model for the rest of America, attributing its socioeconomic success to the centrality of the family and religion within the state.

Another explained the universality of the American Founders, characterizing them not as men to be worshipped but rather as examples of American virtue and principles to be followed.

Harvey Mansfield, a renowned conservative scholar and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University, called the first issue of the reborn Salient “both very patriotic and very serious, an unusual combination,” he said in an email to The College Fix on Nov. 28.

“I am an adviser of the Salient and quite delighted to see it revived,” Mansfield said, noting that he has nothing to do with the content of the publication “except to like it when it appeared.”

The Salient encourages any Harvard students to write for the paper so long as their opinions are “well argued and rationally defended,” the general introduction to the paper stated.

COMMENT:  Welcome back, Salient.  Now let's see what you can do.  We await the first shouts of "Shut it down!" from the academic left.  Maybe we'll be lucky this time, and maybe Harvard will support free speech. 

December 18, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

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