Hot Coffee

by Brad Nelson4/19/18

My opinion on the following matter is formed from the content of these three articles: Starbucks sets up re-education camps for baristas by M. Catharine Evans, Why We Shouldn’t Trivialize The Starbucks Arrests by Sarah Quinlan, and some background information about the barista in question, Holly Hylton (sounds like one of Trump’s women), that was presented as a link by a poster.

First off, the most damning part of this “background” information is that she made light of people who can’t speak English well. I guess we’re all racists then. She had mastered in Spanish translation so she hardly sounds like a xenophobe.

But you can connect the dots in such cases about any way you want. Because I frequent a local Starbucks, I have at least a little real-world experience in this area.

It would appear (and, yes, who knows what information will come forward later) that two black men sat down in a Starbucks in Philadelphia a couple days ago. For some unknown reason, the manager asked them to leave. By the eyewitness accounts of other patrons, the two gentlemen were not being disruptive in any way. The manager demanded that they order something or leave. The two gentlemen apparently explained that they were waiting for someone before ordering. After the two men were put in handcuffs by police, this third gentlemen did indeed show up.

I don’t know why the manager escalated things by calling the cops. But when the cops arrived, they escalated further by calling for backup. But, again, it appears there was nothing more going on than two people sitting peaceably in a Starbucks, not making a scene even when told to leave and even when the cops handcuffed them. (The video in one of the articles seems to confirm this.) As for “loitering,” that’s what the in-store space is specifically built for (and advertised as by Starbucks) — as basically an office for businessmen on-the-go.

And that’s what I see when I enter a Starbucks. Most business is actually done through the drive-thru. But in-store you basically see all kinds of technical forms of loitering. On my last visit there I ran into a nice lady (we exchanged business cards) who ran a cleaning service. She sat down at a table next to me and later another lady joined her at her table. She was there for a job interview which they commenced with right then and there.

This is an activity I commonly see there. (I’ve indeed seen other job interviews conducted there.). I also see people doing their taxes, writing reports, doing book readings, doing their college homework, working on their laptops, etc., and some of them may or may not have ordered a coffee. No one is keeping track. Whatever the case may be in the Philadelphia store, there is never a shortage of places to sit.

Three things stand out: The bad judgment of the store manager, the bad judgment of the police in handling this (handcuffing the men and putting them behind bars for eight hours), and the bad judgment of Starbucks management for planning to hold a re-education camp for baristas on May 29. As Catharine Evans noted regarding unintended consequences:

After the brouhaha in Philadelphia last week, try telling anyone who comes through the door of Starbucks that he can’t use the bathroom or squat at one of the tables without buying anything.  The domestic terrorists, Black Lives Matter and Antifa, will be smashing windows, looting, and blocking entrances in no time.

I’m not going to boycott Starbucks. The proper thing to have done (if the facts I read are true) was to fire the store manager. That happened. Still undone is to reprimand the cops for acting like Nazis and Starbucks managers for feeding the flames of victimhood and grievance. Can you now imagine any Starbucks manager or employee anywhere in the country “excluding” anyone from their stores, even if they come in smelling like urine and shoot up drugs in the corner?

I think Starbucks has just bought themselves a whole lot of trouble by over-reacting. If I’m a moocher, a vagrant, a bum, a cranky activist, or amongst “the homeless,” I’ve just acquired a few thousand more square feet of well-heated, well-lighted, and roofed floorspace with bathrooms to call home (and/or a place to air grievances). By treating this as a widespread problem instead of an individual incident, it will be interesting to see of Starbucks reaps what it sows.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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126 Responses to Hot Coffee

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    A couple apt comments from here and there:

    I think what trivializes the incident is Starbucks’ ridiculous reaction to it. We hear they’re closing all their stores for “sensitivity” training and then hear that it’s because of a single incident at one store, and the details of that incident become irrelevant. They’re trying to take the actions of one employee and inferring an essentially society-wide problem.


    Calling all homeless people. You know those public libraries you’ve been camping out at? Starbucks wants your business. Head on over there today.

    Many people have parsed this incident as “bowing to black privilege” or some incarnation of Black Lives Matter. But, from the reports offered, it does not appear that this was anything but two people (possibly real estate agents) waiting to have a meeting with a third agent.

    Starbucks gets woke, Starbucks goes broke! Bwahahahahaha!!!!!

    Here’s another comment I need to respond to:

    There’s a simple test to be applied to this situation: What if the two men had been White but, in every single other aspect, the situation were identical? The manager would undoubtedly responded to their ‘squatting’ in exactly the same way as she did here, although we cannot know I don’t think it unreasonable to assume that she would. Had these White individuals behaved the same way she would have called the police (why 911? because that is the defacto number for law enforcement.) and everything else would have gone down exactly the same way with a single exception: We would NEVER have heard a peep out of anyone. No one, other than the store manager, what other customers may have been on the premises and the officers involved in the arrest would ever have had any knowledge of this event.

    At least in the Starbucks stores I’ve been in, the baristas are far too busy behind the counter to keep track of who is buying coffee and who is just sitting at a table keeping out of the rain. (Doubly evidential is that rarely are the tables wiped or bussed by the employees.) It’s a complete non-issue. Unless you were making a lot of noise, smashing chairs, harassing other customers, or something like that, there is absolutely no radar on you in regards to whether or not you are buying their coffee.

    It was (“was” being the operative word) generally a very relaxed atmosphere. Starbucks clearly modeled their interior space after student lounges or libraries. And that’s how they are used. They are very “liberal” in this regard. There are certainly other establishments that will more readily frown on such things. In most non-fast-food (aka “nice”) restaurants, there’s no way you’d be allowed to just sit down with your laptop at one of the tables and do your homework or just otherwise hang out. But the interior spaces of Starbucks are built and promoted for just this kind of relaxed environment.

    Now it’s to be seen whether “the homeless” and other vagrants catch hold of the implications of this story and the May 29 re-education camps. I have a cup of coffee there about once a week or so. I’ll let you know.

    • David Ray says:

      I get your chafing at the over handed 911 call, Brad.
      Reminds me when some giddy bartender called 911 on Bush’s daughter for having an alcoholic beverage at a college bar. (If you ever hear it, the bitch sounded like she won the lotto.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m all for helping the poor (in ways that help, not simply ways that virtue-signal and sweep the problem under the rug). If Starbucks wants to be an open-space for vagrants, more power to them.

        What would Jesus do? He’d probably offer vagrants free coffee and a biscotti. The vagrants would then be so touched by His love that they would then clean up, get jobs, and stop using our communities as a public toilet.

        In reality, if you want to help the poor, do not make them easy in their poverty. I’d have some program like “Bring in a garbage-bag full of trash and receive a free sandwich and coffee.” No, the logistics on this aren’t without problems. But if someone needs help, let them put in a little effort to get it. Let them help clean up themselves, their city, and thus their attitude. But don’t just virtue-signal and make it easy for the degraded to stay degraded.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It’s easy to forget that the poor in that era consisted of the working poor and the disabled. Able-bodied beggars such as the ex-leper in Life of Brian were probably rare.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I don’t know about the far-past, but I saw different types of beggars across Asia while I was living there.

            There were females sitting outside the Grand Hotel in Calcutta (which wasn’t so grand) who would wait for a foreigner to come out of the hotel. The women would pick up a naked baby lying next to them and jump up to rush to the foreigner, (me) before he could get away. They would generally be putting on a miserable face and alternatively shove the baby at the foreigner and put their hands up to their mouths to indicate food or hunger. All the while they would say something like “papi, papi, papi.”

            I have seen little rag-a-muffins, in the dozens, surround foreigners who were foolish enough to give a single child a coin, although others who knew better (me again) warned them not to give anyone money.

            I have seen beggars who were apparently maimed in order for them to become professional beggars.

            I have seen beggars on the overhead bridge near Pedder Street in Central Hongkong selling chewing gum as an excuse to beg.

            I have seen women sitting on different ends of the main road in Saltillo, ( with little babies in front of them) who at the end of the day, gave their money to men who then drank up the proceeds.

            Hell, I had a middle-aged Latino come up to me in downtown Dallas when I was about 18 and ask if I had any spare money. The man did it in such a charming way that I walked awhile with him and gave him a small amount.

            From what I have seen and heard and read, begging is very often a profession and controlled by a “King of the Beggars.” Choice spots are allocated to those who are in the favor of the “King.”

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Wow. Those are some amazing observations, Mr. Kung. And the truism here is there for those with eyes to see: It is not good for anyone to propagate a beggar culture.

              It had previously been the Christian ideal to help but at the same time make sure that you were doing no harm.

              But now the focus isn’t on the poor (despite all the noise). The focus is on the giver. The esteem of the giver, not the results of their efforts on the poor, is the point.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                In whatever place I was, I tended to have a soft spot for those who were out selling something like chewing gum, especially as many of these were handicapped. I respected them as they had the pride not to just stick out their hands. It got to the point where I regularly saw a couple in Hongkong and we would greet each other. (I crossed that pedestrian bridge pretty often) I didn’t buy chewing gum each time I passed and they didn’t seem to expect it, but we were cordial to each other over a period of a couple of years, or so.

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            One of the best examples are the WPA work camps in the 30s. Most of the men were out of work, many were fruit tramps traveling from picking to picking. The camps consisted of beggars, thieves, alcoholics, near-do-wells and out of work teenagers.

            The universal rule was don’t work and don’t eat. Amazing how not eating can motivate even the laziest. BTW in 1942 large numbers of these men joined the military and were already accustomed to regulated lifestyles, thus, made excellent soldiers.

            It is hardly possible to travel the west and not see evidence of the WPA projects. It may be the one thing that Roosevelt got right.

            I doubt a program like WPA would work today. Too much PC in the air.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I doubt a program like WPA would work today. Too much PC in the air.

              I believe the first and central problem would be what that “W” stands for, Steve. 😀

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

                For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies.

                Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

                But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

                And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

                Yet count him not as and enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

                II Thessalonians 3:10-15.

                Paul is clear that one should work, not only to support himself, but also to stay out of mischief. (Idle hands being the Devil’s workshop or something to that effect.)

                And while Paul told Christians to treat such loafers as brothers, he also made clear that they needed to be admonished for their behavior and, if need be, shunned. Modern-day-faux Christians seemed to have forgotten the second point.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    There’s some conflicting reports about whether the customers asked to use the bathroom. At least in every single Starbucks I’ve frequented, this is a non-issue. The bathrooms aren’t locked. In fact, at the Starbucks just down from me, the entrances to the bathrooms are out-of-view and quite distant from the where the employees work behind the counter. There is absolutely no impediment to someone stopping off to use the bathroom. Maybe they lock them in Philly, I don’t know. This sounds like fake information, but who knows?

    But from the firsthand reports of other patrons, the black guys weren’t doing anything. They were just sitting there waiting. If that is the fact, it is not a “conservative” opinion to write something like this poster did:

    The individuals werent “oppressed”, they were loitering. They were asked to leave and refused. They had multiple opportunities to defuse the situation but decided their entitlement outweighed the rights of a private business. Then they found out the were wrong. Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for them, but somehow I doubt it.

    I am no friend of Black Lives Matters, eternal grievance, victimhood, white guilt, or racial politics. But who is engaging in racial politics if (and if the facts from the articles I initially linked to are essentially correct) you parse this as two men asserting some kind of black privilege if they’re just sitting peaceably in a Starbucks?

    Like I’ve said, and I’ll continue to say, getting sucked into The Daily Drama corrupts everything it touches.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I have not been in a Starbucks for years, and even then, I would go perhaps several times a year. So, I am no expert on their seating and bathroom policies. That being said, let me make a few observations.

    1. For many years, it has been customary that if someone is going to sit at a table or use the facilities in any private establishment, they buy a product. These places are there to make money and they cost money to run. If I use the restroom in a gas station, I will buy a cup of coffee or something else even if I am buying gas there.

    2. Anyone who has used the facilities in any such establishment knows how some people are pigs. Restrooms are troublesome to keep clean in such places at the best of times. But the pigs among us make them worse. And there is no reason an establishment should be forced to let non-paying customers use the facilities. I have friends who own a restaurant who have to deal with this problem on a daily basis. They are next to a store which does not allow its customers to use the facilities so they send them to my friend’s establishment. It had become so bad that my friends would not allow people to use the facilities unless they bought something. Someone complained to the police and the police told my friends that the way to solve the problem was to put a sign in their front windows saying “Restrooms not for public use” or something to that effect.

    3. If the two men in question really were waiting to meet another, and didn’t want to cause trouble, all they would have had to do was to order a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea. It would have been a simple thing to do.

    I do not believe the whole story is being told. The modern media is great at disseminating lies and half-truths in order to create false stories which make the media money and spread an agenda.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      1) Mr. Kung, I’ll note there are different atmospheres in more urban and crowded Starbucks than the typical “mall” or suburban ones I frequent. These latter kind probably do 90% of their business via drive-thru. The interior seems as if it’s treated as a “loss leader,” or just something you have to have. They are rarely crowded.

      The Starbucks I’ve frequented in Edmonds is usually jammed pack with very little sitting room. Normal expectations of normal restaurants aside, no one is usually thrown out of a library for not reading a book. Starbucks has intentionally built a people-friendly environment where, implicit or explicit, there is not the expectation that you must constantly be drinking their coffee to have a seat there.

      As conservatives, we know that civil conduct can never be expressed (probably should never be expressed) in a comprehensive and pedantic set of rules. And in the case of the Philly incident — unless these two men were known scoundrels — there appears to be no reason to single them out. They apparently were in no way being uncivil or disruptive and their fellow Starbucks patrons actually pleaded their case to the cops in this regard.

      2) Agreed. I turn vagrants away from my bathrooms from time to time. And it’s not because I’m uncaring or have a strict rule. It’s because these wanderers are simply moochers, not someone in need of an emergency bathroom break (and I would gladly make an exception for the latter). And I’ve been told by those with more experience than me that, especially with young women, they typically want to use the bathroom only to take whatever pills they can find and/or to do a general casing of a joint.

      From what has been reliably reported so far, none of this appears to apply to the two black men waiting for a friend in a Starbucks.

      3) One of the things that most bothers me about this is the comments from others that “If they would have just done what they were told, there would have been no problem.” One does not have to subscribe to the Libertarian heresy to understand that we would not have become a nation had we taken this sheep-like approach. What I would have done (and apparently this is what these two men did) was to tell the waitress or manager that I was waiting for someone. I cannot foresee a situation where I would meekly order something just to buy time and placate a bossy waitress or manager. I’m a customer. I’m just waiting for someone. This is an extremely common occurrence at any restaurant.

      I don’t know if the whole story is being told. But the prima facie case is that two black men were sitting in a Starbucks making no fuss. For some reason, the manager did not believe their story that they were waiting for someone and instead called the cops. That is a bizarre reaction unless these two were known vagrants, known troublemakers, or were being disruptive. Even so, none of the other Starbucks customers who witnessed all this have said that they were doing anything disruptive. And if they were known trouble-makers, it should be said that the police (after 8 hours) released them.

      Unless there is a very big unknown fact, this is outrageous and, on the face of it, ought to disturb anyone. And even if they were just hanging out (and there is no evidence that I’ve read that says this was the case), and if they were not being disruptive in any way, this is clearly a case in a cafeteria-style self-serve restaurant which models itself as sort of a college dorm where you just put up with a little bit of that as the cost of doing business.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        As conservatives, we know that civil conduct can never be expressed (probably should never be expressed) in a comprehensive and pedantic set of rules.

        Amen to that. The loss of common-sense is one of the biggest problems in our country. Zero-tolerance policies are a perfect example of how stupid we have become. But it must be said that blood-sucking lawyers and leftist agitators are, to a large degree, responsible for the death of common-sense. Everyone is out to cover their collective asses legally.

        If everything you say, and that has been reported, is correct then the way this thing was handled was incredibly stupid. And yes, there are a lot of stupid people in the world, so it is possible that this happened as reported. But I wonder what we are not hearing.

  4. Timothy Lane says:

    The key here is: what would that particular Starbuck’s have done with 2 whites who were dressed and behaving identically? Many Starbuck’s have no problem with loitering, and presumably allow the loiterers to use the bathrooms. But did this one do that? In the end, the best sensitivity training for Starbuck’s would be to test them in precisely this way.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Many Starbuck’s have no problem with loitering, and presumably allow the loiterers to use the bathrooms.

      Hopefully I have made my point very clear that Starbucks restaurants have re-defined “loitering” if only because they seem to encourage it as a place to (hopefully) have a coffee and hang out. At the Starbucks I frequent, I’d said most (but by no means all) people have some coffee with them. Even so, there is reasonable evidence that people are working there for an hour or more on various things. Most are yutes on their laptops likely doing their usual time wasting.

      But your hardworking editor is not always as anti-social as he appears to be. I will often strike up a conversation with fellow patrons. It is very common to see people doing things that are slightly unusual and that provides a good “in” for opening a conversation. At one table there was an old gentleman and his wife (I presume her to be his wife) playing Scrabble. I sat down with them and talked for a moment or two. Who cannot be impressed by people who play such a wonderful game based upon knowledge of language?

      Other times I’ve seen obvious traveling vendors or salesmen doing business on-the-go with laptop and papers spread out before them. As I already noted, I’ve seen more than one job interview take place there. And I’ve seen lots of yutes reading what appears to be a college-level textbook and working on some paper. Whether they had a cup of coffee in front of them or not, I doubt the 35 cents profit (after expenses) could justify the use of one of the tables for an hour or so.

      But no one cares. That’s the kind of atmosphere, at least in this Starbucks, that is readily accepted, if not outright promoted. Imagine how pissed off Brother Brad would be if he were a barista at this Starbucks and on May 29 was told it was his fault what some Philly broad did clear across the country. Believe you me, often despite my better judgment, I could not just sit still and take that bullshit.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Lessons learned from the Starbucks incident:

    + Blackness still trumps gender (the Starbucks woman was apparently a solid Left-winger but was quickly thrown under the bus).

    + When someone in your establishment walks away in handcuffs for not purchasing your over-priced coffee, you have a public relations problem.

    + No matter the actual events or motivations (which likely can’t be known for some time), most people (left or right) parse events like this as primarily a factor of race. And they are most ungenerous in their thinking and attitude. What a vile mob we have become.

    + The police increasingly lack common sense.

    + People increasingly lack common sense.

    Legalistically, Starbucks has (had….I’m not sure they haven’t turned themselves into a Mecca for the “homeless”) the right to restrict their seating to paying customers. Just this very minute I had to shoo away someone who was parking illegally in my parking lot. This happens frequently. But I did not call the cops and would not call the cops even if they just flipped me off (something similar has happened before) and kept on walking. I would take down their license plate number, take a photo of the car, and place a “Do not park here or you’ll get towed” sign on it. A second infraction would have me immediately calling the towing company.

    Am I soft on vagrants? Am I afraid to face them down? Hell, no. My brother has often counseled me on being a bit in-the-face in regards to all the vagrants, bums, drug addicts, and just monstrous yutes who now populate our land like the Walking Dead. They’re everywhere. I’m fearless in my pursuit of property rights….probably more than most of you “nice” people are out there who get all outraged over such incidents such as the Starbucks one and then, in your own lives, do very little to protect your own rights.

    Had I been the Starbucks manager, I could spot a protestor or grievance-monger from a mile away. Even so, there is always doubt. Who knows who is waiting for a friend to show up before ordering and who is not, especially if they are sitting there quietly and passively. My first job is to defuse the situation, perhaps even turn it into my advantage.

    If the two gentlemen weren’t going to buy a cup of coffee right then and there (for whatever reason…and, again, in Starbucks it is specifically meant to be a loosey-goosey atmosphere) I would have given them both a small black coffee and said something like, “Have this as compliments of the house until your friend arrives.” I’d then give them the bathroom code they asked for. Not only is this the smart business thing to do, it’s the Christian thing to do. Grinding people’s face into the ground on legalisms is just what this Leftist c-word manager did to those men.

    But had they been hassling other customers, creating a scene, damaging property, peeing on the floor — whatever — I’d call the cops in a heartbeat. But there are different degrees of behavior and thus different degrees of responses necessary. It requires a process called “discernment,” let alone a process whereby you don’t approach people with a chip on your shoulder full of legalistic vigor. Several books have been written on how society has turned into a spider’s web of fine-grained legalistic rules instead of teaching people the skills of discernment based on principles and moral virtues more deeply rooted than those created by some faceless HR department dumbass.

    Well, Starbucks has caved to political correctness and grievance, despite whatever was in the minds of the two gentleman who decapitated the two kittens in a public place. I mean, who threw bricks through the windows of that Starbucks. I mean who knifed several customers . . . I mean who simply sat there and declined to buy a cup of over-priced coffee in liberalville.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It might be the Christian thing to do, but what does that have to do with a manager at Starbucks? And remember, leftism is about holding politically correct views, not about behaving decently. There’s much we’ll never know about this tempest in a coffee cup, though we no doubt will hear several versions.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        It might be the Christian thing to do, but what does that have to do with a manager at Starbucks?

        I’m going to assume you read what I wrote, Timothy. It seems pretty clear that what I’m saying is that the manager had many other choices other than to call the cops and thus escalate the situation. And one’s general worldview, beliefs, and general disposition matter crucially in this regard. Isn’t this fairly crystal-clear and something that applies to most situations?

        Where are we headed? If the vending machine in some hotel lobby eats my quarter, should I call the cops? There are more and more people who think just like that instead of using their own brains to work out a situation. For god’s sake, there must be a better use of the police than to make them servants of a Starbucks employee who doesn’t know how to truly handle the diversity of working with the general public despite her likely avowed commitment to “diversity.”

        This “zero tolerance” baloney is turning our society into Nazi Germany (or, really, Stalinist Russia). If we can’t keep a sense of proportion (let alone understand how our basic beliefs and worldview effect how we treat other people), then we are indeed lost.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Excellent way to handle a problem like this. In our increasingly authoritarian culture defusing a situation before it becomes necessary to call the police is becoming rare. Altogether too often the presence of police is used to replace common sense with a gun and a badge. If I was a beat cop called in for this kind of nonsense I might be tempted to arrest the manager for wasting my time with a false police report.

      In a place that prides itself on being a hangout; singling out people who are hanging out seems—well, just bad business practice.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        If I was a beat cop called in for this kind of nonsense I might be tempted to arrest the manager for wasting my time with a false police report.

        That’s exactly the attitude they should have. “Ma’am, either show me where the fire is or I’m going to cite you for wasting police time. Here, buddy, here’s two bucks for a cup of coffee.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Something like this happened a little while back at my rehab center. One night a hot-headed patient across the hall from me apparently provoked the nurse into saying “I’m warning you” — and he decided that was a threat and called the police. They came, briefly, obviously decided there no police business there, and I suspect were unhappy at being called in.

  6. pst4usa says:

    I’m not going to boycott Starbucks. The proper thing to have done (if the facts I read are true) was to fire the store manager. That happened. Still undone is to reprimand the cops for acting like Nazis and Starbucks managers for feeding the flames of victimhood and grievance.
    I wish I drank coffe so I could boycott starbucks, but Sandy boycotts them already, so we are good. I really do not care if one store in a chain of dirty hot water places has a moron for a manager or not, that is not a good reason to boycott any chain. But when the CEO tells me that if I believe in traditional marriage that they do not want my business, well it becomes less of a boycott and more of an attempt to follow his wishes, but we will not buy anything with a Starbucks label on it ever again. Thank you for that because his crap is way over priced and it has saved us money.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Pat, the story is bizarre and crazy. I, of course, believe in the right of businesses to restrict the benefits of an establishment to paying customers, barring an emergency or unusual circumstances. There’s no argument there. And I believe the Starbucks manager was not motivated by race but by the store policy in what is apparently a very busy location. That everyone has rushed to make this a race issue is par for the course.

      Whether the two black guys were there for a meeting or to create a staged scene, I don’t know. What I do know is that when two blacks go out of a Starbucks in handcuffs for not ordering their over-priced coffee, you’ve got a public relations problem.

      Give Starbucks upper management credit for recognizing that. However, a less zealous store manager could have easily solved this problem without it getting out of hand. She didn’t and the rest is history. Now she (and others) will likely have less discretion on how to handle problems. The cure could likely be worse than the disease. Does any Starbucks manager in the nation think the upper management will have their back if they want to expel bona fide bums from their store?

      I mean, really. If I’m a manager of a Starbucks, unless a guy is wielding a knife or a gun or perhaps defecating in the middle of the store, why in the world would I call the cops or otherwise act to expel him or her? And if they had first actually bought a cup of coffee, what do I do if the guy basically then sets up shop in the place for the day?

      By not backing the policy of “To use the restrooms or sit at a table, you must order something,” and doing so in a reasonable manner (which I think the manager did not do), Starbucks has backed themselves into a corner. Yes, I know. Everyone involved is just doing what they think they have to do to avoid the wrath of Social Justice Warriors and Black Lives Matter in the immediate future and hoping the problems then sort of goes away long term. We’ll see.

      But this is another instance of the ratchet moving leftward another notch. Next time there is an issue, Starbucks will probably be giving a million dollars to the Black Lives Matter movement for accidentally giving someone incorrect change. There’s no end to this unless people (including businesses) stand up for their reasonable rights and just for reasonableness and a sense of proportionality itself.

      But the atmosphere and strategy, of course, is hoping to be the last one eaten by the crocodile.

      By the way, I’ll not be boycotting Starbucks. I’m going to expand my business by setting up small sales offices in various Starbucks. Whether or not I first buy a cup of coffee, I’m not sure. That seems like an unnecessary expense at the moment.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Their solution undoubtedly will make the problem worse, as leftist solutions usually do. So many problems come down to a lack of common sense at the wrong moment, as was the case here, and you just can’t come up with any sort of rule to provide common sense. The leftist mindset can’t handle that, and neither can the managerial or bureaucratic mindset, because they all require some sort of rule that “solves” the problem “forever”.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          My store policy:

          Just Testing

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Good one. I’m sure most customers of either sex would like it, though some feminist activists and others of the professionally outraged would find an excuse to complain about it.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Actually, Timothy, if I had to describe the rules for my business (which is more of a small office….it’s certainly not a general walk-in type of business, but that does happen frequently enough):

              + No dogs

              + The kids you bring cannot just run wild. I try to be polite about this, but it’s an iron rule. And I always have a dish of candy at hand to offer ruly kids, if that’s the opposite of “unruly.”

              + If you want to talk your goofy socialist or libertarian politics, don’t expect me to sit here and smile. Pat well knows my smile limit is about 5 minutes or so. Perhaps I am too ill tempered, but at least twice I have asked people to leave my office.

              + No, you can’t use the bathroom if you just walk in off the street.

              + You can’t park in my lot unless your excuse is a good one. But only once or twice did someone actually have car trouble (and I helped them best I could). Other times people said they did but it was probably only to cross the street to sell drugs or to park where the husband couldn’t see his car.

              + Zero loitering by the yutes at the “skills center” across the street. One of these yutes may indeed someday shoot me or knife me. But I start out polite and then quickly progress to a sterner stance if given any lip. I’m totally fearless in this regard, often taking on a whole flock of them face to face. My brother warns me about this. But damned if I’ll back down to moochers.

              + 100% courtesy and help will be given to all who genuinely need it. A guy was visiting from Montana last summer and there’s no place at the nearby apartments to park his mobile home. He seemed like a good old boy, an honest midwestern sort of person. He said it was just for one day and I gladly let him, with the direct and unambiguous caveat that if it was there for two days, it would be towed.

              I try to be a good neighbor and regularly help when I can. But I’m not a pushover for moochers and liars.

      • pst4usa says:

        Well Brad, another example of not making my point very well. I agree that I would not boycott Starbucks or anyone else for something like this. I really could not care any less about this Company. I was just pointing out why I would boycott this company, if I drank coffee, (or why Sandy and I do boycott them). I think all business should have way more freedom to do as they please; if the CEO or owner, (I do not remember), of Starbucks does not want my business because I support traditional marriage, then I am happy to ablige. As John Kerry put it, “People have a right to be stupid”.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Indeed, one of the most basic rights is the right to be wrong. If we don’t have that, then who decides which is which? If we’re talking about whether 2 + 2 equals 4 or 5, that might seem obvious (and poor Jethro Bodine), but there are so many cases that aren’t so clear.


        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I was just pointing out why I would boycott this company, if I drank coffee,

          I’m not disagreeing with you, Pat. I’m more or less summing up my case outside the crazy confines of The Daily Drama.

          I haven’t visited the local Starbucks lately but I wouldn’t expect anything to look different. The employees there are always friendly and the atmosphere was already so laid back, I probably could have stayed there all day working on my laptop even sipping from my own thermos. But it will be interesting to see if vagrants start taking advantage of their new Starbucks rights as they, and others, will no doubt gauge this whole issue.

          I try to boycott Target (no Salvation Army Santas) and Home Depot (SJW-friendly). I think Lowe’s is better, but it’s hard to keep up with corporate caving.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Not to mention that the coffee is bitter and foul tasting. I have had better made in a helmet and strained through a dirty sock.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Steve, I take my mother out about once a week or so to coffee at the nearby Starbucks. It’s a sit-down joint with a nice view and she likes it. I may do that today if I get a chance. I don’t expect anything will look different inside the place but it will be interesting to see if anything has changed. It is a fine line between a civil society and the degradation produced by mob rule. Making it more interesting (perhaps ultimately terrifying) is that we now mask the reality of mob rule with these increasingly tortuous-logic mea culpas, such as the one given by the Starbucks upper management.

        There’s a central issue here that transcends both the zealotry of the Starbucks manager to protect her business and the two black dudes who refused to buy coffee but wanted to use the restroom: Let’s not be useful idiots and be driven toward the race war that one side wants and the other side seems content to allow, if only by reinforcing the framing of the issue with mindless reactions.

        I told a friend once that “Everything the Left says is a lie.” I stand by that. I don’t believe for a moment they are for “diversity,” “tolerance,” or even just feel-good vibes. We’re talking about a monstrous-child ideology that primes some people to smile a lot at absurdity while the others angrily create the absurdity.

        That Starbucks’ Executive Chairman Howard Schultz is a fool remains to be seen. He actually may be doing the right short-term thing in regards to making sure the SJW/BLM crocodile doesn’t eat him. So he’s throwing his entire stock of employees to the wolves, blaming them for a problem that no one can still say for sure was anything other than a possibly over-zealous barista meeting possibly a couple black thugs bent on grievance (or waiting for the third party for their meeting…we just don’t know), all bookended by an increasingly PC police force that seems absent good judgment.

        That Schultz won’t stand up to the mob (and thus further feeds it) is beyond question. So the mob is fed once again, the hair trigger filed back just a little more. For instance, I read a report this morning that some black dude named Jesus Hoteps (What would Hoteps do?), armed with a camera and grievance, went into a Starbucks and said to a white female clerk:

        I heard y’all was racist, so I came to get my free coffee…I heard you guys don’t like black people, so I came to get my Starbucks reparations voucher.

        He apparently was given a free coffee. But what else could have happened?

        At this point, it’s probably dangerous or fatal to try to meet belligerence with kindness. That’s too bad. That leaves only power to adjudicate our social interactions. There is no room for common courtesy, common sense, or common decency. There were a million creative ways to have initially diffused this situation. (It would have, for example, been the most profitable two free coffees Starbucks had ever handed out if the manager had used a more creative approach to the problem. They stand to lose millions from the one-day shutdown.)

        Now all we’re left with is a ticking time bomb and dumb masks of “niceness” to pretend that all is well, and that we are good. But such masks are powerless in the face of organized bad blood and bad faith. The crocodile is now even hungrier.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Treating that belligerent black as he deserved wouldn’t have been allowed to work, of course. But the barista could have pointed out that there was no free coffee or reparations even for blacks with large chips on their shoulders — but they’d be glad to sell him something at its normal price just as they would anyone else. Even the SJWs might have a hard time going wild over that, though they certainly would try.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Treat people equally? That’s a novel idea.

            • pst4usa says:

              How completely intolerant and bigoted of you to suggest such a hateful thought Brad. You need some serious diversity training. Kick any puppies lately? 😉

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                No puppy-kicking, Pat. But there’s a cat who sort of lives around the place who I scare the hell out of just by showing up. I’ve never mistreated the cat. It just runs like hell whenever it sees me. That’s not a bad trait to have in and of itself.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I believe it was Rush who mentioned that Jesus Hoteps is a comedian and that his bit in Starbucks was to point out how far the idiocy of racial guilt has gone in this country.

          Here is an article in Taki’s giving a little info about the “Hotep” group, to which Jesus Hotep belongs.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            A very sensible article, though Taki should have known a long time ago not only that liberals are less likeable than most people, but why this is so (leftists are full of hate and rage). Hotep showed up in the names of some pharaohs (e.g., Amenhotep and Sobekhotep), which makes it a little off that blacks would use it (I believe ancient Egyptians were Hamitic, and thus more related to the Semites). But they sound quite interesting.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Sounds good.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          My complaint of Starbucks quality of coffee existed long before the current fluff-up. I admit I may be a traditionalist–(conservative) but I grew up with coffee flavored coffee, no cream, no sugar.

          I have always thought the coffee shop concept was aimed at pretentious wanna-bes who could be served a cup of excrement in a cup, charged $5.00 for it and because its got a fancy European name call it great. Long before they became a national chain I was avoiding coffee shops like Starbucks. I still do.

          In terms of the two customers. I think the manager errored. I don’t know all the facts; if the men were singled out while others were not then they have a valid complaint. In all respects, it could have been handled better. The men could have just purchased some of their dreadful coffee and defused the situation and the manager might even offer a courtesy cup of their crap.

          Closing down an entire restaurant chain because of this is just—-crazy. But, that is what pretentious jerks do and in our world today there are millions of them.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Steve, I believe your complaint is genuine. Real NW coffee aficionados (not just anti-Starbucks anti-corporate libtards…and we knew Starbucks long before anyone else did) have long noted some of the shortcomings of their coffee. The Seattle’s Best brand was considered superior. Starbucks bought them out at one point and that brand disappeared.

            There is no doubt that coffee shops are at least partially a conceit-boutique item. It’s crazy to pay $5.00 for something you could make at home for maybe fifty cents. This isn’t baked Alaska or a complicated French sauce. It’s coffee.

            I frequented a coffee shop a while back that used to do business with us. But they moved on to other methods so didn’t need us anymore. I sort of then melted away and never used another drive-thru with any regularity. But I did love their hot chocolate.

            I’ve yet to hear what I think is a reliably summing-up of the Stargate. (Why not a gate?) I doubt the men were singled out. But I’m also not sure if they were there to hate-whitey or hate-corporations. They may have actually been waiting for someone to show up. Whatever the case may be, let’s save the perp-walk-in-handcuffs to more pressing crimes than spending too much time in a Starbucks cafeteria-style restaurant — one that is marketed more or less like a college bookstore or library — without immediately buying their over-priced, over-rated coffee.

            The local Starbucks is literally just a couple hundred yards down the hill from me. I’ll try to remember to look in the window during May 29’s White Guilt Day.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I suppose this was inevitable: Starbucks chairman announces free bathrooms and table space for the homeless.

    My good friend, Pat, had noted here that he has long boycotted Starbucks. I go there only because it’s a place my mother likes to visit. The branch closest to me has a nice view of the Olympic Mountains.

    But these places will now become a health hazard. I’m not going to boycott Starbucks, per se, any more than I “boycott” a restaurant where I observe an employee not washing his hands in the restroom. I’m just going to take my business to someplace healthier and safer. And I now consider Starbucks to have rung the dinner bell for every bum, drug zombie, and moocher to come and infest.

    We do not help “the poor” by punishing those who work hard and play by the rules. “The poor” indeed need our help. But that help must be humane. It is not humane to make it easy for them to stay in their state of degradation. There are all kinds of quotes in the Bible about helping the poor. But one must remember that these were given in a time when there was no other avenue to escape poverty. Now we have many avenues in our modern economies to work.

    But we condemn these “poor” to their desperate drug- and alcohol-addled lives when we treat them not as souls to be nurtured and recovered but mere tokens to be used in a political or economic game. If Howard Shultz really cared for the poor, he would start a franchise of coffee stands specifically staffed with people who were taken from the “homeless” and trained to do a job.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I just answered my own question: “What would Jesus do?”

    A bum just now came to my office door (traveling acoustic guitar in hand) and asked for a glass of water. I told him we don’t have any but that there’s a Starbucks just down the street.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      That’s cold man, yet somehow poetic.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, free table space probably comes with free water, so he was indeed giving the bum what he wanted. Just indirectly.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          If he goes into Starbucks (and this guy obviously looks like a bum…aka “homeless”) there’s no way in Howard’s Hell that they would deny him a cup of water.

          The die have been cast. I’m not sure if Humble Howard knows what kind of a moocher-storm he has unleashed.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’d seen this guy before. There is a class of people out there who treat the rest of us like their personal resources and servants. I do not wish to incentivize this kind of mooching. Let billionaires like Howard Schultz play that game.

        I told my brother about him and about the situation in general: If someone comes in bleeding from an obvious auto accident, do everything you can to help him. If someone’s car breaks down and they need help, help them. But anyone looking for…

        + the bathroom
        + water
        + aspirin
        + telephone
        + money

        ….send them to Starbucks just down the road. And they are indeed just a two minute walk (if that) downhill from us.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I took my mother to Starbucks today as part of her Mother’s Day stuff. I’ve used the bathrooms in the past. They were always unlocked. On the way in, I noticed that the both bathrooms had a keypad entry and both had small signs that said “Bathrooms are for customers only.”

    Those signs, and that keypad lock, may have always been there and I just never noticed them. But then why have I always been able to use the restrooms in the past without asking for a passcode?

    No homeless were staking the place out as of yet. This is a bit of a different type of Starbucks. Prominent on the main interior wall is a collage of military-friendly art. Maybe this local Starbucks is not owned and operated by libtards. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      If many Starbucks coffee bars are franchised rather than company-owned, then it’s inevitable that some owners will be sane people rather than corporate weasels. I wonder what their plans are for Hyper-Sensitivity day.

      There’s a lot of nice military-oriented art. I’d love to see a nice print of the painting of the last stand of the 44th Foot at Gandamak (the end of the retreat from Kabul), which is more or less the title.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Again, I may simply have not noticed those locks before and the sign stipulating that bathrooms are for customers only. But I have used those bathrooms more than once before and they were never locked.

        The presence of the locks and signs, of course, is either a preemptive store policy or was a reaction to ongoing abuse of the facilities. Whatever the case may be, after May 29 it will be interesting to see if anything changes. I’ll also sneak down there and peak in the window and see if I can see what’s going on that day.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    More good news for Starbucks: Starbucks Facing More Racism Allegations After Latino Customer Receives Cup With ‘Beaner’ On The Label.

    It’s not at all clear to me that this isn’t just a misunderstanding or a setup. Still, as soon as a major franchise abides by the principle that any isolated incident is a black mark on all its employees who get it right ever day, you’re doomed to being manipulated and caught in a reactive black hole. Black beaner hole, in this case.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Since coffee comes from grinding coffee beans, I can see where the label comes from. I suppose the Hispanic complaint is that they’re associated with eating beans, though I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a pejorative name for them coming from that. But once the complaint is made, usually by someone with a big chip on her shoulder, it must be true (as with “water buffalo”, “black hole”, and “picnic”).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m assuming “Beano” is considered offensive to Hispanics (illegal or otherwise) and that if he or she had written “Cracker” on the cup of a white person it would be laughed off.

        One commenter used logic and framed the situation:

        I never got why a whole organization is labelled “racist” because one idiot barista did something racist. That is like calling an entire race of people criminals because one (or a lot of them) commit crimes. The former is done all the time these days and embraced by the race baiters while the latter is considered a racist comment… doesn’t make much sense.

        Ultimately it comes down to“”four legs good, two legs bad.” White people are bad just because we say so. That’s, of course, a racist attitude. But its also not racist because white people don’t count as people.

        I remember the “water buffalo” incident, vaguely. But remind me again why it is offensive to go on a picnic. Yogi and Boo-Boo did it all the time.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I don’t recall the details, but after someone used “picnic”, a professionally outraged black claimed the term was racist. Of course, Yogi and Boo-Boo relied on tourists’ picnic (pickanick) baskets. Since the picnickers would be assumed white and the bears aren’t, this would please leftists today.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Who knew that Yogi and Boo-Boo were social justice warriors? Yikes. He was indeed smarter than the average bear. Perhaps he was there first with “Bear Lives Matter.”

  11. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Today is “Let’s Turn Starbucks into a Public Restroom Day.” I was down at my local one yesterday taking my mother out for a treat. They had a sign posted on their front door noting that they would be closed May 29 so that they could all learn “how to be even more friendly,” or something like that.

    We wish Starbucks well as they try to figure out how a for-profit business can redefine their business model to accommodate non-paying customers. Good luck with that.

  12. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s an interesting article on Starbucks at Hot Air today. It seems they’re closing 150 stores over the next year, 3 times as many as usual. One oddity is that they apparently have 8000 stores that underwent the racial re-education camps, but 14,000 stores — so perhaps licensees didn’t have to undergo Hate Whitey Day. This makes me curious as to how things went (and are going) in Brad’s local store.

    As for why the extra closures, it seems they’re mostly in large urban areas. Some of this is the minimum wage and regulatory increases of leftist city governments (which the corporate management at Starbucks support, at least in theory). Part of this may be excessive density, as in the joke that the next Starbucks will be located inside the previous one. And part of it no doubt is their foolish commitment to social justice, especially on racial issues, since 2015. Being a hobo refuge no doubt won’t help, either. The link is:

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      There is a licensee Starbucks at our local Tom Thumb. They did not have to go through the nonsense of Hate Whitey Day, which is good as the young lady who is behind the counter is white.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      One oddity is that they apparently have 8000 stores that underwent the racial re-education camps, but 14,000 stores — so perhaps licensees didn’t have to undergo Hate Whitey Day.

      I read something similar linked from Drudge this morning, Timothy. But I don’t know that it mentioned the 14,000 stores (I was skimming) that didn’t have to undergo Hate Whitey Day. That’s interesting.

      The local store just down from my office did have a Hate Whitey Day. It seems to be doing well. I would guess 80% of its business is from drive-through. The drive-through is always packed while the store inside is often very casually 1/4 full (if that).

      Apparently the $2.00 McDonald’s espresso campaign is cutting into their business significantly. For half the price (or less), people can get their frappuccinos (which I think was one product that the article said Starbucks was losing out on) from The Golden Arches (and perhaps other fast-food joints as well).

      I took my mother to Starbuck’s last week. There was no noticeable physical change but I felt like I was in a bad movie. It’s hard to describe. I don’t necessarily freak out being in a libtard joint. But after this Hate Whitey Day, the context has changed. Where once I might have indulged a little of this nonsense, now Starbucks just seems like plastic smiles pasted over an evil empire. It’s not just an ideological thing or protest thing. I find the place now just a little creepy.

      This particular store is convenient as a place to take my mother. It’s nearby and she enjoys it. But I can’t help feeling I’m on the set of either The Wicker Man or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        As Hamlet says of Claudius, “A man can smile, and smile, and be a villain.” Rex Stout recycled the line for the title of one of his best books (which was retitled in Britain, oddly enough).

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pat will be pleased to hear today that I have completed my separation with the evil corporation known as Starbucks. They can suck MLT. Never again.

    Instead, I took my mother today to McDonald’s for coffee.

    It’s a recently-remodeled McDonald’s. They have ordering kiosks now. It’s a bizarre thing because you could just walk right up to the counter and order from the cashier as we did. But if you want, you can stand in front of a slab of floor-mounted plastic and then pick your order up at the pick-up counter when your number is up (up in a good way, I guess).

    I’m not altogether sure how this is more convenient for the customer. However, if there is a phone app for this, that would make sense. Perhaps there is.

    Anyway, it’s a lot easier to get to McDonald’s from my mother’s place than to the Starbucks. That was part of the reason for the change. I figured she’d hate my suggestion of McDonald’s but she liked it. She thought the seats were more comfortable and that (surprise) the coffee was much better.

    Also, she expressed some discomfort with the hoity toity atmosphere of Starbucks. I couldn’t agree more. But it surprised me that she thought so. Another benefit was that it cost just $2.13 (including tax) for her coffee and my iced tea. I usually spend 8 or 9 dollars for drinks at Starbucks.

    Again, Howard Shultz can GFH. I urge everyone to find some other place to go. Do no patronize that creepy place.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’ve never had coffee at MacDonald’s (or anywhere else — my beverage at every meal at St. Matthews Healthcare is hot tea, though I may switch to iced tea for at least some meals as summer drags on. But it seems to be well-liked coffee, and obviously people don’t go there for the atmosphere or for status. I suspect the difference between S & M (I just had to do that) is the difference between milk with coffee and coffee with milk.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Obviously the selection at McDonald’s isn’t as extensive. For example, they have no decaf anything. And obviously McDonald’s is another big, “Progressive” corporation that would sell America out in a millisecond to protect itself from Social Justice Fascists. I hope I have no illusions about that.

        But first things first: Let’s bankrupt Starbucks.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Many QSR, quick service restaurants, will be installing kiosks for ordering in the near future. there are two excellent reasons. The first is the unemployment rate at below 4% means that the surplus of trainable entry level employees has just about been exhausted. Secondly, as states and cities raise the minimum wage to over $15 hour the cost of labor demands either raising prices or reducing labor cost. Restaurants of all types have very slim margins, typically 3-5%. Cutting labor cost is the most direct method to hold the bottom line.

      Its likely that in a few years QSR will have few staff and they will be like service stations are now. If you want someone to pump your gas/take your order you are going to pay extra.

      The typical McDonalds has 30-40 employees in the future I believe that number will be reduced by at least half, most of them in production. It is entirely possible that a customer may order food, pay, receive their order and leave the restaurant without ever conversing with an employee. Even complaints could be handled at a terminal.

      Needless to say, the McDonald brothers would be horrified, as would Ray Kroc.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Thanks for your thoughtful analysis, Steve, of the self-serve kiosk situation. Frankly, I can get used to them very quickly if only because the minimum wage help from yutes these days is spotty at best. However, the young girl behind the counter at McDonald’s yesterday was cheerful, helpful, and efficient. But she is becoming an exception.

        Steve, it was a bizarre situation at McDonald’s yesterday. It was about 2:45 and no one was at the counter. I walked right up and ordered what I wanted from a friendly human being. Easy peasy.

        At the back wall of what you could call the main lobby are a couple kiosks in sort of a dark corner. With the counter completely open (that is, no line), there were some yutes ordering from the kiosks. I asked one of the yutes how it all worked. Basically you punch in what you want there, pay for it, you’re given a ticket with a number that is spat out from a machine, and then a reader board at the counter lets you know when your number is up and your order is ready. (Hopefully a bug isn’t squished on the number, defacing it, getting one into a “Buttle” vs. “Tuttle” situation at the front counter.)

        I’m not saying that kiosks don’t have utility. But I think this further goes to show how “social media” and other gadgets are actually anti-social media. We’re more comfortable dealing with a computer screen than a real person.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Not surprisingly, I prefer dealing with real people. That way I don’t have to figure out how to work the machines, which can vary from place to place. Not that it matters, since I don’t go out anymore anyway.

          At some pick-up places (W. W. Cousins, for example) they call out the numbers for each order as it becomes ready to pick up. But even they have waiters taking the orders. So far.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            McDonald’s had a newfangled touchscreen self-serve drink dispenser (for carbonated beverages). The interface was not particularly user-friendly but I get what it was trying to do. It was like Apple’s magnifying dock on its computers. There were no separate buttons but just one panel of drink choices that you could scroll through horizontally. But the panel itself is so hires it looks like a printed label. I wasn’t immediately aware that it was a touchscreen at all. I can’t find an example of it online.

            The $15.00/hr minimum wage will do more for automation than any other factor.

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            Darden restaurants, Olive Garden and Red Lobster, have wireless terminals at the table. They still employe servers to take orders but the patron can use the terminal to examine their check and make payment. This means that after you receive your food the server can devote their time to other patrons. This increases the turn and does not seem to reduce the tips left for the server.

            It won’t be long until patrons are taken to a seat, order their meal and only see a server when they get their drinks and food.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          Back in the Stone Age 1960s just out of high school one of my first jobs was at McDonalds. I think I started at $1.05 hour, which was what a little skilled 17 year old was worth. Ultimately I went to university, Stanford, and Joined the Marines. However, the skills in work ethic and people management I learned at McDonalds have stuck with me over the last 50+ years.

          So many of our youth disparage “burger flipper” jobs and seem to believe they deserve a “living wage” without skills necessary to earn the wage. They have not learned basic economics. If you ask the average minimum wage worker how much their employer makes, the response will scare you. Anyone who has ever run a business knows the difference between gross sales and net profit.

          The young lady you encountered seems to be one of the rare types who will work for a while and move on to another, better job. Someday, in the future some bright boy will introduce real people to take orders at the counter, and be hailed as a marketing genius.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Whenever I go to Winco (the local mega-grocery store), I use self-serve. This is so because there is no full-serve anyway. You can choose self-serve (ring up your own groceries and bag them) or the line with cashiers. They’ll scan the groceries for you but you still have to bag them yourself, so it’s by no means full-serve.

            So self-serve just turns out to be easier. And recently the store doubled its self-serve machines. I know that code for bananas and cauliflower. That’s about it. But I’m capable of learning more.

            When out in the general public these days, it’s very difficult to maintain the idea that we are all God’s children. Many of these children are atrociously unkempt. A ran into a yute the other day at Winco who seemed to have done his best to look slovenly. Plus he had a pair of those idiotic African-tribe earlobe rings. Many people believe in evolution, especially in terms of the idea of things always getting better. But I find many cases where it’s clear that we are devolving.

            That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a nice guy. He very well might have been. But more and more what I see is younger people who seem to be carrying around the look of alienation. I suppose it is possible that some Kroc-like entrepreneur will tap into this and instead of giving people faceless kiosks will treat them as human beings. But I’m not holding my breath.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              The oil companies were the pathfinders on self-service. I believe all of us at ST are old enough to remember gas stations where a pleasant young man would fill up your tank, check your oil and wash your windshield.

              The first oil crisis put the knife in that business model and it is almost impossible to find a full service station today. But gas is cheaper.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Some places, such as New Jersey, kept up full-service longer simply by requiring it. But that was a few decades back, and I have no idea if that’s still the law. But knowing what I do about the state’s politics, I wouldn’t bet against it.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Self-service at grocery stores isn’t so convenient for Elizabeth and me. We bring in lots of tote bags and use them for as much of our groceries as we can. This freaks out the self-service devices.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Ah yes, the 1960’s.

            I started mowing lawns when I was 12 years old. I also worked part-time in a restaurant named Jamie’s, busing tables, when I was 12. My father knew the owner who would bring me home after closing on Friday and Saturday nights.

            I then worked for a while at Target, and finally ended up at Sears where I earned enough money to fund my first trip to Europe after graduating from high school.

            My father said that I was not to work during college, but to study.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I sometimes think of asking these advocates of high minimum wages how they plan to require that those employees’ labor actually be worth $15.

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    A SNL parody of Starbucks. I didn’t find this particularly funny. Nor does it address the current controversy. SNL are a bunch of wimps. They should have had a skit where black man walks into a Starbucks and all the employees rush out to greet him. One gives him a cigar and lights it. Another starts giving him a foot message. Another hands him a couple hookers. You get the picture. The opposite of being arrested. Or they could have shown a Starbucks being turned into a homeless shelter. But SNL are a bunch of unfunny wimps now.

  15. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This makes sense.

    Here’s a mildly amusing parody of coffee.

  16. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I read an article the other day on Drudge about Starbucks management lamenting that their growth had slowed to 1%. Yes, I guess I understand now that the goal of any business is to completely saturate the market until you can’t walk outside without bumping into their product.

    But Starbucks just about has that now. I’ve constantly been astounded that any business can survive when their competitor (if only another one of their own stores) is a hundred feet away or less.

    I’m not rich because I don’t think big. Okay, I get that. Those who do got together the marketeers and bean-counters to find away to build these liberal coffee patches as if it was Scotch broom growing wild. And they’ve done that. But there just seems to be an odd hubris attached to lamenting their own success. Oh, poor babies, only growing 1%. Perhaps try building one on top of the other.

  17. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Starbucks Bans Plastic Straws, Winds Up Using More Plastic

    Another reason not to visit Starbucks. If environmental fetishism takes real aim at plastics (instead of the real problem which is third-world countries dumping their trash into the ocean), we’ll all revert to living as they did on Gilligan’s Island. Without plastics, the modern world is not possible.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That would please the more radical leftists immensely. Rand predicted this in Atlas Shrugged. I didn’t believe it at the time, but it’s coming true now.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I call it “environmental fetishism” because that’s what a large part of it its. It’s about psychology or virtue signaling, not practical effects. Thank God for plastics. Can and should we recycle them? Sure. But fashionable environmentalism is better than Jesus Christ Himself for absolving people of the sins of living a materially-abundant modern life. This kind of nonsense will be hard to stop.

  18. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This article reminded me of the Starbucks cops who helped to escalate a situation….if only by not telling the Starbucks manager to take a hike and quit wasting police time:

    Georgia police tased an 87-year-old woman — and they stand by the act: ‘She still had a knife’

    This is a difficult area to talk about on a conservative site because we’re supposed to be pro-cop. But I’ve long noticed that our police are becoming politically correct weenies of dubious ability to apply moral reasoning or just common sense. If the basic facts are correct in this article, is surprises me although it doesn’t surprise me. Let’s taser an 87-year-old woman out cutting dandelion greens.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      While I have respect for the police, I have never believed they were any better than the rest of society. I am convinced the police force of any particular city or municipality will, over time, reflect the politics of that city or municipality. It is doubtful that the police in the USSR were free-market libertarians.

      To that must be added the fact that police have amazing power in any society and being humans, a certain percentage are bound to abuse and mis-use their positions. There are simply too many cases where police have over-stepped the line and done unnecessary damage to others. I am not talking about Black Lives Matter. Given they have such powers I am of the opinion that they should be under a very powerful microscope all of the time.

      I saw this story about the 87 year old woman and have little doubt that the police involved were either robotic drones who are unable to use their mental powers (if they have any) to try and discern between a very dangerous and somewhat uncomfortable situation or outright idiots or thugs. I don’t know if your link shows a picture of the woman but I saw one and I am at a loss as to how the idiot cops who tased her could feel in danger. Did she run up to them screaming with knife raised? No.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        While I have respect for the police, I have never believed they were any better than the rest of society.

        Well, rightly or wrongly, I have always believed that the police were better than most people. But I noticed the other day that our local police force does not have “To protect and to serve” on the side of their squad cars. In fact, they are very minimalist and Orwellian. There is no mission statement whatsoever, only a logo, the word, “Police,” and the number of the car.

        Although police work is ultimately a job, there had always been an Esprit de corps — a civil, civic, and moral standard that, at least in theory, was to be upheld, and you knew when someone had fallen short. These were the Good Guys despite all of them ever only being human.

        Now I increasingly see the face of Orwell’s troops. I do not see kind and sympathetic cops. I see us-vs.-them. Traces of humanity are somehow being expunged from the forces.

        And in very many cases now, they are ordered to stand down while mobs rampage. True, they may just be following orders, but what kind of a moral framework does this instill in them?

        What we saw at that latest school shooting may not be such an exception. The rot of the Left is deep as it marches through the institutions.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Increasingly, workers for the Behemoth can’t think. In this case, the woman was armed and not responding, so depending on her movements one might understand their behavior. One good lesson is that it’s very dangerous integrating people who don’t know the language into society. It can be dangerous to all concerned, such as a Hispanic woman who was killed in a fire because all the people running away from it were calling “Fire! Fire!” and not “Fuego! Fuego!” (This was many years ago, I think in a Florida trailer camp.)

    • Patrick Tarzwell says:

      How can we ever recover? Cops are human too but need to be held to a higher standard because of the power we give them. But what I noticed was the Boys and Girls club employee that called the cops because an old lady was cutting down some of the weeds on their property? This is what links this to the original post for me. What the hell is wrong with us? If this employee did not want her cutting down weeds, she should have gone and talked with this lady. Just handle it! Do we really want cops having there time consumed by this? They should have tased the employee for wasting their time. (not really, but it would be more appropriate).

  19. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    If this employee did not want her cutting down weeds, she should have gone and talked with this lady. Just handle it!

    Ditto, especially about tasing the employee for wasting their time.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It sounds like their policies of allowing loitering and open bathroom have a lot to do with the scale of the problem. One suspects that there was a lot of this already in those shops that already had a drug problem. Now this is a threat everywhere and a problem wherever intravenous drug use is relatively common.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes. And I think a good, ol’ “I told you so” is in order to the libtards. Come to think of it, I haven’t been to a Starbucks in forever…and don’t ever plan going back.

  20. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    When I lived in Switzerland in the late seventies, Zurich had a policy of allowing open drug use without any police intervention. I don’t recall the exact reasoning behind this policy, but I believe it had to do with the idea that if drug users didn’t have to hide there would be less crime. This policy attracted druggies from all across Europe.

    One park in Zurich became so famous for drug use that it gained the nick-name, Needle Park. One could walk around and see discarded needles and drug paraphernalia. Children could not walk through the place without the danger of hurting themselves on needles.

    Things got so bad that the city of Zurich had to admit the failure of its experiment and revoke the policy and clamp down on drug use. As I recall, it was many years before they admitted their failure.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      You have to set limits. You have to be able to say “This far, and no farther.” You have to be able to say no.

      And, really, that is the problem of liberalism.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        It’s what happens when you reject the idea of moral limits. If this is allowed, then why isn’t that. And so homosexual marriage can lead to polygamy, bestiality, transgenderism, pedophilia, and no doubt worse things. A Virginia Demagogue wants to legalize postnatal abortion (i.e., infanticide). And once you accept that the life of the instant has no particular value, why not? Probably by 2024, it will become the leftist standard to approve it.

  21. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Starbucks continues to turn their stores into homeless shelters. How long will customers put up with their “no borders” policies?

    Starbucks Employees Challenged to Serve Even Those Who Aren’t Buying

    One store handed out a “friend breakfast” to a vagrant instead of asking him to leave.

    In response to the Philadelphia uproar, Starbucks now is training employees to treat anyone who walks in the door as a customer, whether they intend to make a purchase or not. The fresh take on Starbucks’ long-time goal of creating a “third space” — a public place for interaction and leisure away from home and work — offers a fresh set of challenges

    Put this next one in the “I told you so” section:

    With more than 14,000 Starbucks cafes in the U.S., there are lots of opportunities for incidents to arise with an open-door policy. One group of employees — which Starbucks calls partners — had to call for emergency medical aid after a woman gave birth in their store’s bathroom

    I think it’s a fine thing that Starbucks is turning themselves into a social services agency. But good luck getting anyone to sit down with vagrants in your “public space” while expecting them to continue to purchase over-priced coffee.

    Thank goodness they are taking hints from the public library:

    Many of the tough issues facing Starbucks stores are also front and center for public libraries, said Amy VanScoy, who teaches library science at the University of Buffalo. Some are training staff to use Narcan, which can revive a person who overdoses on heroin.

    Baristas used to be required to know how to foam milk. Now in their training will be using Narcan. Yeah. That’s an establishment where I want to sit down and relax and purchase some over-priced coffee.

    This was my favorite Orwellian line from the article:

    She offers a masters level course that helps librarians develop better cultural competency and identify their own biases.

    You mean like a bias against heroin addicts and stinking bums hanging around the library and setting up shop as if it was their home for the day?

    Here’s an interesting statistic quoted in the article. We knew liberals were a bit mental. We just never expected Bloomberg or Starbucks to admit it:

    One in out of every five Starbucks customers probably has a mental illness of some kind, he estimates, though few will display obvious or disruptive behaviors.

    I’m sure their Board of Directors will be quite proud when it is one-in-four, a sure sign of their “diversity,” “tolerance,” and “outreach.” This next bit could have only been written by idiots. They are basically saying “Don’t raise standards. Get people to become comfortable with lower ones.”

    “People can change the comfort level simply by saying ‘hello,’ treating them calmly, presuming that people are not going to be violent,” said Gionfriddo, whose son has schizophrenia and has experienced homelessness.

    Apparently there is someone at the USC Marshall School of Business who isn’t a complete flake. They quote a Susan Harmeling who says:

    Starbucks can’t afford to have people taking advantage of the free space crowding out too many paying customers

    It’s one thing to boycott a business for political or social reasons. As we see with the NFL, people want their coffee. They will come back. It’s always a case of “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” People want what they want and we’ve become such vulgar and shallow people that no amount of insults will keep them away.

    But in the case of Starbucks, it may become a matter of personal safety just to stay away from these “third space” public hangouts for vagrants and bums.

    Although heroin use may not be frowned upon, thank God Starbucks continues to take a firm stand against some things:

    certain behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and sleeping still aren’t allowed

    But having babies in the restroom is allowed. It would make for a comic adventure for them to post on their wall an explicit list of things allowed and not allowed:

    + Smoking
    + Alcoholic beverages
    + Sleeping

    Yes to:
    + Smelling like a urine-soaked yak
    + Taking heroin
    + Having babies in the restroom
    + Begging for free food or coffee
    + Vagrancy

    Who knows how that bottom list will expand if they can say “no” to only the top three things? I’d love to take on the role of an undercover journalist disguised as a bum and see what I could get away with….and film it all in the process. Hopefully someone will do that.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Perhaps Susan Harmeling can apply the next time they cast Captain Obvious. It clearly can’t be anyone at Starbucks, since they don’t even see the obvious. How about a coffee shop named Stubbs that’s basically a sane Starbucks? Or is that even permissible these days?

  22. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    In whatever place I was, I tended to have a soft spot for those who were out selling something like chewing gum, especially as many of these were handicapped. I respected them as they had the pride not to just stick out their hands. It got to the point where I regularly saw a couple in Hongkong and we would greet each other. (I crossed that pedestrian bridge pretty often) I didn’t buy chewing gum each time I passed and they didn’t seem to expect it, but we were cordial to each other over a period of a couple of years, or so.

    You describe the happy and multitudinous relationships that can happen between people of general good will, Mr. Kung.

    I must admit, though, I’m worn out by beggary. What would Jesus do? I’m convinced he would use the same whip he used to clear the Temple and thrash these beggars into the direction of wherever there was work to be done for hire.

    I’m worn out. I have almost zero sympathy left for those who are making a gigantic public toilet out of our country. It’s time to stop aiding and abetting this stuff.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      In all my travels I cannot recall coming up against a beggar like many one encounters here.

      A couple of months back I existed off highway 635 in order to get on to Garland Road. The light turned red so I stopped and there was some guy standing with a sign asking for money. On the ground next to him were several empty beer cans and as chance would have it, a woman crossed over in front of us and went up to him. She pulled out more beer. Little chance that I would give such a person a penny.

      Furthermore, the conditions are such in the USA that such begging is not even close to necessary. If one chooses to be a bum, so be it, but I don’t have to support it.

      It has probably been mentioned sometime before, but the Sherlock Holmes story titled “The Twisted Lip” is worth reading in this regard.

  23. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    And while Paul told Christians to treat such loafers as brothers, he also made clear that they needed to be admonished for their behavior and, if need be, shunned.

    That is the crucial element of Christianity that is all but lost, Mr. Kung. You don’t make life better for yourself and others by normalizing bad behavior. Sometimes shunning is necessary, not only as a motivation for others to meet standards that are not being met but to reward and encourage those who are playing by the rules.

    Look at the ghastly state of affairs we have today where the hard-working honest white man (and others) is castigated as racist, sexist, despoiler of the planet, etc., while the bums, vagrants and perverts are raised up and made saints.

    Something’s not right with that picture. It is perfectly right and good that you quote Paul, Mr. Kung, because those are the words to live by.

    Because someone is our brother (as Paul acknowledges they are), we should treat them seriously. First and foremast we treat them seriously by not treating them as playthings for virtue signaling, etc. We treat them as moral agents in their own right who are meant to live a life other than one of degradation. They have a great gift of life which they should not squander.

    And if they won’t reform, we must necessarily protect ourselves and our other brothers from the harm of normalizing bad behavior. This is why I unabashedly pronounce that most Christians are not Christians these days and most Jews are not Jews. Is the Pope Catholic? Quite honestly, not.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This may be why leftists don’t like Paul’s epistles. Shaw mocked them (“the silliest middle-class stuff on record”) in a letter purporting to be from one “J. C.” on the subject of Jack the Ripper. You’ll also recall Alfie Doolittle’s disregard for middle-class morality, and his regret that he ended up caught in it.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Elitists like Shaw and low-lives like Alfie hate “middle-class morality” as it consists of hard work, giving the other guy a fair shake and honesty, i.e. fundamentals of a strong culture and market economy.

        The elites and lower orders very often have similar morals, the one because they have the money and power to step on others, the lower classes…well that is one reason a person remains lower class, lack of character. The lower class is self-perpetuating, if one takes on “middle-class-morality” then one starts to move up the economic ladder, however slowly.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          William Hogarth, an English satirical artist 300 years ago who was in effect the first progressive, was a firm supporter of what Shaw attacked, an excellent example being his series of 12, Industry and Idleness. This features 2 apprentices, an industrious one who rises to the top, and a wastrel who ends up at the bottom.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Elitists like Shaw and low-lives like Alfie hate “middle-class morality” as it consists of hard work, giving the other guy a fair shake and honesty, i.e. fundamentals of a strong culture and market economy.

          This is where liberals and libertarians intersect: Both think they are too high above others to be constrained by values that pertain to the great unwashed.

          Oh, they’ll give lip service for how other people should live their lives. But they will not be constrained by such things. And often their money or fellow back-slapping groupthinkers allow this to be the case.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You’ll also recall Alfie Doolittle’s disregard for middle-class morality, and his regret that he ended up caught in it.

        I’m not altogether sure that Paul was talking about middle-class morality. He was talking about Christian morality. Middle-class morality can been seen clearly in various books by Theodore Dalrymple including “Life at the Bottom.” “Middle-class” equals “mass-class” equals ultimately “bottom class” without the infusion of virtues from above.

        Dennis Prager has talked and written extensively about this. He calls it “cut flower ethics” and he’s spot-on.

        Ethics without God is like cut flowers. Cut flowers will die when cut from their root. Just the same, ethics without God will die.

        We’ve come to think in terms of middle-class morality because we’ve heard the words so often. But there is no “middle class morality.” But there is cut-flower “middle class morality” which is like an Indy Car that loses its engine but can still coast at over 150 mph….for a little while.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          That may be true now, but Shaw was writing well over a century ago. There really was such a thing as middle-class morality, and it’s exactly what KFZ was talking about — though Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto did defend holding women in common on the grounds that the bourgeoisie already effective did so. I remember getting a giggle out of that, but of course they were in Paris at the time.

          (I read this when I was young, from a book my father had that included several such documents in order to fulfill the adage to “know your enemy”.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            There really was such a thing as middle-class morality

            Timothy, one of the problems in our culture is using words and phrases that seem to mean something but are inherently deceptive. I think “middle class morality” is one of those things.

            I just don’t believe it is a thing unto itself. I agree with Mr. Kung (if he were to say) that the middle class arose from an increasingly vibrant and (relatively) wealthy merchant class. Gone was the vast chasm between Lords and serfs where either you were in the elite (political or religious) or you were part of the poor and dirty rabble. One now had the ability (for various historic reasons and circumstances) to improve one’s lot.

            A new sort of libertarianish (by their words, not their actions) arose whereby “Don’t take my stuff” was the watchword. You respect my stuff and I’ll respect your stuff, and we’ll all get along being good neighbors with good fences (and lots of laws and lawyers).

            And I would agree with anyone who would note that “Christian morality” (as practiced) was quite often anything but enlightened and humane. It was often just a sword with which to keep the chasm between the elites and the peasants.

            Now, if you say “Protestant work ethic,” as Mr. Kung did, I’m there with bells on because that is a more specific thing, not a collection of fuzzy words. It meant that work was not only necessary but produced a physical and moral goodness as well — with a wide-eye acknowledgement of the ills of doing the opposite in idleness or beggary.

            Not all Christians believe in this. Catholics are pretty much dead-set against the idea, their religion now being about “social justice.” They won’t quite tell us what injustice exists. They just know that their religion is a gigantic poverty relief program. The Protestants, on the other hand, had (perhaps “have”) a much clearer picture. In their view, poverty does not have to be explained. It’s the natural state of man unless he acts morally and puts his nose to the grindstones. Charity has it’s place, but is not meant to be a replacement for these things.

            I could concede that “middle class morality” means something,..but it seems to mean something different to everyone….a good sign of a fuzzy group of words. I would say what we have today (rich, middle, or poor) is a “consumption morality” where the highest goods are choice, novelty, and entertainment — all at fairly cheap (even free) prices.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          But there is no “middle class morality.” But there is cut-flower “middle class morality”

          You might want to call it “middle-class ethos”, but there is no doubt that the middle-classes in Europe evolved out of the lower classes. They did this by dent of hard work joined with a Christian morality. There is a reason that someone came up with the term “Protestant Ethic” which is applied to those prosperous middle-class people who started appearing in the late 17th century. Of course there were ups and downs, but the middle-classes maintained this morality, by and large until the 1960s-1970s, in my opinion.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            That was Max Weber. My European history text had a short section on him, noting that by his logic Prussia should have been a lot like Sweden culturally. (Weber most likely was especially thinking of the Dutch, Swiss Protestants — Calvin was from Geneva — and the various Scandinavian countries. Protestant Germany was anti-democratic, but did have the work ethic.)

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I thought it was Weber.

              As to Prussia being an outlier, one of the problems with such observations as Weber made is that even though insightful they are not 100% true in every time, in every place.

              Why Prussia didn’t develop in the same way Sweden did is an interesting question. After all, Sweden had Gustav Adolphus and Charles XII. Perhaps it had much to do with the goal of unifying Germany.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Another reason may have been particularism. The Great Elector fought against the provincial diets, whose members cared nothing for the overall dynastic realm of Brandenburg-Prussia and its scattered territories. This was especially true in East Prussia itself.

              Then, too, Frederick the Great was an atheist, and his predecessors were Calvinists rather than Lutherans. (Prussia was Calvinist, Brandenburg and the Westphalian territories were Lutheran.)

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That probably wouldn’t be necessary if they hadn’t converted their coffee shops to unofficial homeless shelters.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The framing of the question goes to the heart of today’s divide. Instead of saying “no” to drugs, government (and some businesses) are moving heaven and earth to accommodate the most depraved or messed up. Decency is being defined down, ostensibly in the name of “safety” or “compassion.”

        This is the core essence of modern socialism (and why it is completely consistent with libertarianism): The cost of individual misbehavior is socialized and borne by all.

        How to stand athwart if you are a retailer? First off, lock the bathrooms if you have to, giving the code only to paying customers. Refuse to install needle boxes, noting that it is inappropriate to facilitate destructive drug use.

        Maybe in the case of Starbucks this is throwing stones in glass houses. People come to their establishment specifically to get their fix of caffeine. Et tu, Latte?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It’s been a while, but I’ve certainly encountered locked bathrooms, especially in service stations.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      When I saw this article, the first thing I thought was that this was a very strange play on the old cup of coffee with one’s cigarette. I guess that’s what we call progress in America.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        That brings a thought: Oh, god forbid these liberal nuts would never have a place inside their bathrooms to dispose of cigarette butts. But needles? Oh, yes. Think about how funny that is.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          That is a very good thought. It shows how dishonest the left’s program is and how bizarre it is for anyone to fall for the left’s dishonesty. Like being for PETA but against saving babies.

          The left is not really pro anything. They are simply anti West and traditional order.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Most cities these days seem to ban smoking in indoor public areas such as these. Of course, the needles probably come from illegal drug use, but for leftists that’s a different matter.

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