Customer Service

 A recent experience (last night, actually) in the northern suburbs, but repeated elsewhere with alarming frequency.

My family traveled to our friendly local neighborhood Culver’s for dinner. We arrived at 6 p.m. We could see people sitting in the dining room and customers at the counter, so we assumed the restaurant was open for dine-in.

We got to the door and saw a sign mentioning that the restaurant would be closing at 8. This is a typical scenario — we are all getting used to labor shortages causing a variety of businesses to curtail their hours or even close on certain days. But as we attempted to enter the restaurant, the door was locked.

At the time of our arrival, four other groups were converging on the location. I knocked on the door, hoping one of the workers would hear it. They didn’t, but a customer did and came to the door to talk with us. “I think they’re closing the dining room,” the customer said.

A woman on the outside said, “but the sign on the door says they are closing at 8. It’s 6. Why are they closing?”

Another potential customer said, “this is ridiculous. It’s not 8. They should change the sign.”

“Perhaps they think they’re in Nova Scotia. It’s 8 there,” I offered. That got a chuckle out of yet another customer.

After a moment, a manager who appeared to be a year out of high school appeared at the door. “We’re very short staffed so we’re closing the dining room because we can’t provide the expected level of customer service.”

The woman who had noted the sign on the door said, “well, if you aren’t open, you should have a sign on the door.”

“I’ll go get a sign for the door,” the manager said. Then, reading the faces of the customers he was turning away, said “do you want me to get the general manager? I’ll go get the general manager.” He walked back in to the restaurant, but by then all of us decided to take our business elsewhere.

A few observations:

  • As a rule, it’s never optimal to maintain a level of service by providing no service at all. I would guess the people who departed without a meal last night would have spent between $150-200 at the restaurant. Turning away customers is always a bad idea.
  • At the same time, what could the manager do? He was trying to protect his workers, who were clearly getting swamped. If the workers who are willing to show up get abused, they will quit. The poor kid was caught between Scylla and Charybdis. 
  • I have never worked in a restaurant — a desultory semester of work-study in the college cafeteria is my closest experience to that. I have family members who have spent many years in the hospitality industry and they have many, many stories to tell.
  • Many restaurant jobs are entry-level work and the pay is generally not great. I see plenty of signs around town with fast fooders offering $15/hour or more, but most locations find themselves short-staffed anyway. People respond to incentives, and most of the incentives are pointing away from the hospitality industry. That could be changed, but the folks who could drive that change are responding to different incentives.
  • Our MSM supremos are trying to spray paint the turd. A WaPo columnist tells us to lower our expectations. It’s just this pandemic and that lying son of a bitch, Trump! They would never hurt you. You know that.

Let’s Go Brandon, You Logistics Whiz

There are so many potential ways to begin to address resolving the logistics bottleneck on the West Coast.

Overriding city rules about stacking cargo containers (the biggest part of the bottleneck right now is, literally, no place to put more of them).

Or maybe barring the port facilities from barring nonunion truckers.

Or, girl, I suppose you could just impose fines on ships that are waiting in line, so they go… Elsewhere?

A Long Train Of Abuses And Usurpations

If society can’t trust its public institutions to do their jobs fairly and impartially, self-government is impossible.

We’ll come back to that.

In the generally outstanding Danish TV program Rita – about a middle school teacher fighting burnout – there was one particularly jarring moment, if you were an American parent; the eponymous teacher was discussing problems with a particular student, and reacted with derision and a little muted disgust to the idea that the kid’s parents knew better about how to deal with the situation than her and the rest of the school staff.

It’s not an uncommon view in Europe; German schools have a similar point of view, but the Scandinavians have taken it to what seems to libertarian Americans an absurd extreme.

I say libertarian Americans, with a small “L”, as opposed to more-communitarian Americans. I once ran into an American – a DFL ward heeler from Saint Paul – who said loudly and proudly in public that he was happy to leave his kids education to “the experts”. I was never sure if that was entirely because that’s what he believed, or if he knew he’s get thrown in the stocks by the teachers unions that control so much of the DFL.

But it’s worth a reminder that the sentiment – not just of my DFL friend, but of a good chunk of America – probably jibes more with “Rita” than with most of the people reading this blog.

This particular op-ed in the WaPo, written by a couple of teachers union shills, titled “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t“, has been drawing a lot of ire on the cultural right.

The thesis of the article shows us part of the problem:

In their search for issues that will deliver Congress in 2022, conservatives have begun to circle around the cause of “parents’ rights.” …curtail the established rights that Americans have over the educational sphere. Yet what’s actually radical here is the assertion of parental powers that have never previously existed. This is not to say that parents should have no influence over how their children are taught. But common law and case law in the United States have long supported the idea that education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of parents.

And there’s a decent point in there, actually. To be educated is, in fact, to have the basis to think for oneself, to stake out one’s own beliefs in the world, to figure out who one actually is and what one really believes. By historical accident or design, my own education more or less fit the bill; I’m sure if my parents had had full sway over everything I learned and how I learned it, I may have become a conservative much later, if ever.

So. yeah – “education” in the classical sense of the term is one of the things that enables a child to become a separate, autonomous adult…

provided that the schools actually teach critical thinking.

And that’s a big caveat:

 When do the interests of parents and children diverge? Generally, it occurs when a parent’s desire to inculcate a particular worldview denies the child exposure to other ideas and values that an independent young person might wish to embrace or at least entertain. To turn over all decisions to parents, then, would risk inhibiting the ability of young people to think independently. As the political scientist Rob Reich has argued, “Minimal autonomy requires, especially for its civic importance, that a child be able to examine his or her own political values and beliefs, and those of others, with a critical eye.” If we value that end, “the structure of schooling cannot simply replicate in every particularity the values and beliefs of a child’s home.”

Which would be a perfectly legitimate idea…

provided the schools weren’t doing exactly what they “worry” about the parents doing.

Can you honestly say modern state schools teach critical thought?

The authors of the piece seem to think so – but I suggest they are describing an education system that has existed since the 1980s only in their fantasy.

If society can’t trust its institutions do do their job, fairly and impartially, self-government is impossible.

Can we trust public education to do the mission the authors claim it has?

I think you know my vote.

Either Way…

If this sign is a Democrat campaign sign…

…(and it’s likely not, since it includes none of the mandatory “Paid For By…” subtitles) then I’d love the DFL to get honest and bring it here.

And if it’s a false flag GOP parody?

Then I hope someone brings it here even more

Fake Victory?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Fake victory.

The Illinois Supreme Court struck down a tax on guns and ammunition. Hooray for the Second Amendment? No. Because the reason they struck it down was the Illinois Constitution’s ‘uniformity’ clause. The justices said, “Under the plain language of the ordinances, the revenue generated from the firearm tax is not directed to any fund or program specifically related to curbing the cost of gun violence. Additionally, nothing in the ordinance indicates that the proceeds generated from the ammunition tax must be specifically directed to initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence. Thus, we hold the tax ordinances are unconstitutional under the uniformity clause.”

Any ninny can see the work-around. Money is fungible. The taxing authorities simply dedicate all gun/ammo tax revenue to gun violence prevention programs, shifting existing funding elsewhere.

If our rights depend on how the bookkeeping is done, gun owners lose.

Long way to go.

Joe Doakes

Especially in places like Illinois.

Meet The Petard

Barack Obama found a low-key culture war – including a racial divide that had largely settled down – and fanned it, deliberately and to his electoral benefit.

And now that the wind seems to be changing?

From 2009 – when Obama started peddling the story of the impending wave of “white supremacist terror ” that was going to “dwarf 9/11” – to the exploitation of every racially-tingled incident, Obama was the Erwin Rommel of the Culture Wars. The right is still waiting for its Montgomery.

And I’d like to remind our DFL friends – the “phony trumped-up culture war’ he’s talking about is the cover-up of sexual assauilts in the Loudon County, Virginia schools.

So. .#MeToo.

The culture war, at least in terms of issues affecting the 2022 mid-terms, seems to be blowing in the Dems faces.

They’re Always Loaded

The number one story in the world this past three days: Alec Baldwin accidentally shot a cinematographer on a movie set in New Mexico.

It’s easy to feel Schadenfreud for someone who’s wallowed in so much of it himself:

I try to remain above that…

…but I’m only human.


Back in college, I worked as a stage hand (as well as acting in a few shows). The lady who ran the theater department had a long history working in show business of all kinds; she had been the first female theatrical producer in Los Angeles, had worked as a make up person on the original “Planet of the Apes“ (and had one of the masks in her office to show for it) and on and on.

We had two productions back then that involved some sort of weapons work; in one, one of the actors (and a classmate) “shot“ someone. The “prop gun“ in this case was a starter pistol, borrowed from the track and field team. The chamber was only big enough to hold starter gun caps. The barrel was not a barrel; there was no hole down the middle for a bullet.  The only way to kill someone with that pistol would’ve been to beat them over the head with it – and even then, it would have been a long, slow process. Professor Lavin drilled us – the whole crew, not just the actor doing the shooting, since anyone onsince anyone on the crew might have to handle the starter pistol – on the safety rules like everybody’s life depended on it.

The absolute ironclad rule was “don’t point the gun at a person, even during the scene when you are “shooting” someone.  The scene was “blocked out” (actors arranged about the stage) so that it would look like the gun was being aimed at the victim – but was in fact, pointing to a spot offstage with no cast, crew or audience. [1]

That was a piker, by the way, compared with all the things I had to learn to do a sword fight, when I played Henry II in “Lion in Winter“.

This was all emphatically nonunion.  Professor Lavin relayed all sorts of stories about how universal this knowledge was among Hollywood crews.

So while I am minding Berg’s 18th Law on waiting for the facts, I find it less than completely convincing that *someone* on that set – the armorers, the prop people, the day labor on a set in rural New Mexico, and even Baldwin himself, who has engaged in gunplay in at least one movie in his career (chasing the spy through the “Sherwood Forest” of missile tubes in Hunt for Red October, a Union shoot if there ever was one) hadn’t been through the four basic rules of gun handling at the very least.

I can imagine why someone would put a live around into a “prop gun“; it looks more realistic when it fires.

Why someone would do it when they were apparently checking the blocking on the scene (I have to imagine the fact that the director and the cinematographer were standing directly in the line of fire meant they were setting up a camera shot) when the prop master/armor was yelling “cold gun“ (which tells me someone knew something about proper procedure on that said) is completely beyond me.

So I’ll keep following Berg’s 18th Law.

 [1] That’s one of my dirty little secrets among conservatives; growing up in a anti-gun household, I learned all of my gun safety from a Democrat theater professor :-).  I literally learned three of the four essential rules of gun safety – they are always loaded, never point them at something you’re not willing to destroy, and never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot – doing theater.

Poetic Justice

Ilhan Omar, Jeremiah Ellison and Phillipe Cunningham – the three biggest champions of the “Defund the Police” madness – had a campaign rally in North Minneapolis yesterday.

It was apparently sparsely attended.

But it was the people nearby that drew the attention; audio tweet below::

The MPD apparently doesn’t respond to shootings that don’t hit anyone anymore (although I have a hunch that’d change around Omar, Ellison, Cunningham or Lisa Bender’s houses), so the media will feel no obligation to cover it. Although that might also have something to do with the fact that the “machine guns” involved are utterly illegal, have been for eight decades, and are still everywhere.

It’s enough to make you wish there were a viable politifal opposition in Minneapolis. Because this’d be a great opportunity.

When He’s Right…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In which I find myself nodding as Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the decline of Western Civilization, and wondering why America can’t find leaders who talk like that.

Joe Doakes

In Paul Johnson’s classic history of the 20th century, Modern Times, the pivotal chapter, about the moral collapse underway in the 1970s, combined with the peak of communism‘s fortunes around the world, was called “the Suicide of the West“.

The first edition of the book was written just as Reagan had been elected, and after Margaret Thatcher had been on the job for about a year at trying to fix things, so that 80s as we know them today were just the faintest wisp of hope as Johnson wrote the history at the time.

And as awful as that era was, things are far worse today. I don’t think the term “suicide of the west“ is inappropriate.


Yesterday, The DFL-controlled Minnesota House announced that it will be conducting it’s 2022 session under the same, Covid-addled rules that they used last session.

Committee meetings via zoom, State office is closed to constituents, etc., etc.

But not everything is closed:

Courtesy Torey Van Oot (Star/Trib) via Andrew Wagner

Clearly, all those masks stop the spread enough to do the important stuff, I guess:

The right constituent can still get face-to-face.The right constituent can still get face-to-face.

Lies Corrected While You Wait

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

America funded virus gain-of-function research in the Wuhan lab? No, we did no such thing, certainly not.

Oh, THAT gain-of-function research? Oh yeah, we funded that. Our bad.

I’m borrowing Sarah E. Hoyt’s new hashtag, seems appropriate for this situation: #headsonpikes

Joe Doakes

“No, it wasn’t gain of function research. It was research about increasing function. Different thing all together)”

Of Platforms And Campaigns

I speak only for myself. That’s pretty much a given

But speaking for myself – and, I suspect, not a few conservatives – I’m going to give Republicans a little unasked-for advice on approaches not to take in the upcoming midterms.

Covid is a Hoax” – Of course it was ineptly handled by two different presidents and one unbroken chain of public health “experts”. But most of us have had someone in our lives die of it, so no, it’s not a “hoax”. Try again.

Masks Are The Beach To Die On – Like most people, I suspect, I hate them, and I ditch them everyplace I can. One of those places I can’t is the nursing home where one of my very, very vulnerable family members lives. Quote your Ayn Rand elsewhere. Change policies that matter.

“The Election Was Stolen” – Was there fraud? Yep. But Sidney Powell was worse than useless, and the extent to which Giuliani squandered his legacy last year was a national tragedy. Bring the actual evidence – not Alex Jones guests, actual hard evidence. We’ve got enough issues with actual evidence to deal with – like the MN Secretary of State defying court orders on turning over info on registration fraud.

Same with the endless recounts and audits. Do them if you can justify them – but shut up about ’em until you find something actionable. Otherwise it’s nothing but fundraising fodder – and if conservatives can’t raise funds in this climate on real issues, they shouldn’t be in politics.

Defending January 6 – Let’s be clear – Big Left is trying to turn January 6 into a bigger assault than Pearl Harbor. It was a riot, at a place and time that was very symbolically fraught – but that was never going to affect the constitutional process, never going to overturn the election, never going to directly affect our democracy (as opposed to the indirect effects of the ramping up of surveillance and the politicization of law enforcement and the turning of the Capitol Police into a Congressional Praetorian Guard with national scope).

But the rioters themselves? Especially the ones that made serious threats, and did serious actions? Don’t be defending their actions (beyond the Fifth Amendment duty to give them a solid defense in court, naturally). And do not run your campaign around it, Miss Taylor Greene.

Hopefully that helps.

Heroes Are So Hard To Find

It wasn’t that long ago, really. We had heroes among us. Now they are so hard to find:

These days, the men and women who worked through the whole pandemic are being shamed and patronized by the very people whose cushy existences they facilitated for a year and a half. The liberal elites who holed up in the Hamptons and didn’t have contact with the outside world for a year are ready to get back to their SoulCycle classes, even if it means firing a few people they once called “frontline heroes.” The irony of the same people who screamed in the faces of policemen at the height of a pandemic turning around to demand that these cops now shut up, stop asking questions, and get vaccinated is almost too much to bear.

Hamptons, Bryn Mawr, North Oaks — wherever. As Bridget Phetasy notes in Tablet, it’s the same dynamic we’ve known for decades now: limousine liberals, parlor pinks, trust fund Trotskyites, living their Best Lives and dancing among the ruins:

While normal people tried to figure out how to juggle work, child care, and living under the same roof for 24 hours a day, celebrities were having a ball. Locked up with only their phones and without their handlers, the public was treated to an unfiltered parade of narcissism on fire. Distraught about the postponement of Coachella, Vanessa Hudgens took to Instagram Live to lament that “like, yeah, people are gonna die.” Gal Gadot talked about how “we’re all in this together” and gathered a celebrity cast to sing a horrifying version of “Imagine” from their sprawling mansions.

Nearly any version of “Imagine” is horrifying by definition, of course, but we’ll leave that aside. Now that we’re in our 19th month of two weeks to flatten the curve, the gyre is widening:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Yeats wrote that over 100 year ago. I don’t recall attending any innocence ceremonies recently, but his point stands. We may not have mere anarchy any time soon, either: most self-identified anarchists are totally cool with the State, as long as it does their bidding. But I sense the agents of the State may not be able to make it stick. Back to Phetasy:

In L.A. County, only 54% of the Black population and 62% of the “Latinx” population have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Despite all the resources the city ostensibly devotes to equity and inclusion, it’s clear that these minority populations will be most affected by the mandates. If Black lives matter to you so much, shouldn’t you care that Black people will be excluded from restaurants and movie theaters and nail salons?

Caring is overrated, especially among the best. I don’t know what’s next, but in a world where self-regard has more cachet than self-awareness the center will not hold.


I’ve taken a certain amount of flak over the years for saying things like “Democrat pols can say anything they want, because they know their voters just don’t think that critically”, and “the Democrat base are essentially intellectual herd animals”.

That seems…tart. Uncivil. Uncomfortably inflammatory, for a guy who tries to keep things as measured and “civil” (whatever that’s worth, these days).

But it’s accurate.

And we know this because Big Left tells us it’s accurate:

But the headlines above aren’t revelation. Just confirmation.

What If He’s Right?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Let’s Go Brandon is having a terrible first-year-in-office: virus rampaging, economy collapsing, domestic terrorist parenting, shortages looming. He claims he’s the victim of bad luck: he inherited all these problems from the Trump administration. What if Brandon is right?

The problem of backed-up container ships is blamed on everything from California environmental regulations (only special low-emission trucks allowed in the port) to sloth (laid-off employees staying home on unemployment instead of returning to work). None of those causes sprang into being during the Brandon Administration.

Lies about the Covid virus created widespread public fear which gave Democrats an excuse to change election procedures to ‘fortify’ the election. Fear of the Covid virus gave Democrat politicians an excuse to place their entire states under house arrest, ban religious worship, prohibit political assembly. Customers’ fear of the Covid virus gives employers motivation to impose employee vaccination mandates, mask requirements, and social-distance rules. The Covid virus panic did not begin during the Brandon Administration.

Parents standing up for their children has been going on for decades. The trans-gender movement and Critical Race Theory gave it a big push. The father yelling at the school board for covering up his daughter being raped in the Girls Bathroom by a young man wearing a skirt got all parents branded as domestic terrorists subject to investigation by the FBI. But the trans-movement and CRT didn’t start under the Brandon Administration.

President Trump may have been the most conservative President since Andrew Jackson, better than Ronald Reagan, but even Ronaldus Magnus had to choose his battles. The problems facing the nation today may have begun under earlier administrations and festered under Trump as he fought with Russia, China and Congress only to explode under Brandon. He might be right about that.

But it doesn’t excuse him. Hold-over problems and surprises happen all to everyone (9/11 happened nine months into Junior Bush’s term). Nobody forced Brandon to leave behind Americans in the retreat from Afghanistan. Nobody forced him to decimate the workforce through vaccine mandates. Nobody forced Brandon to embrace stagflation as economic policy. Nobody forced him to leave the borders open. The Brandon Administration could deal with angry parents by telling the Attorney General to sit down and shut up, by telling local school boards to remember who they serve. Brandon could deal with a labor shortage by demanding Congress make working more profitable than couch-surfing. Brandon could deal with the ship backlog by telling Mother Pete to find a solution or find a new job.

Or he could have another pudding cup and take a nap. Brandon inherited all these problems, they’re not his fault, why not let Kamala deal with them in her First Term?

Joe Doakes


Unless “not dealing with the problems“ is, actually, the agenda…

Told You So, Part MLVI

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“If you ban guns,” we said, “criminals will simply use another tool.  It’s a basic principle of economics of scarcity,” we said. “People find substitutes for items they can’t buy.”

“No,” we were told by all The Smart People.  “It’s guns.  Guns are the problem.  Ban guns, problem solved.”

A member of Parliament was just murdered but fortunately, he was not shot.  Britain has banned guns.  The MP was stabbed to death.  There’s already a movement in Britain to ban knives.

And now this.  Five dead qualifies as a “mass shooting.”  I’ll bet you a brand-new nickel The Smart People will call for bow bans and one-per-month purchase limits on arrows.  Really, how many arrows does one person need? [sarcasm tag off]

Oops, too late.  Australia’s already on it.

Joe Doakes

In 20 years, I predict a movement to ban cinder blocks and curbs.


Jimmy Carter’s “Malaise” speech in 1978 – in which he seemed to be reaching through the radio and telling the adolescent me “I got my piece of the pie; you’re gonna get less. Deal with it” was one of many impulses that led to me eventually becoming a conservative.

I have to hope this bit here does the same to some kid today:

Now, I’ll be fair – I didn’t read the op-ed. What, me pay for a paywall? Are you nuts?

And so, informed only by the headline, my first reflex was “well, duh – that’s Stoicism 101. Don’t get cranky about things you can’t control”.

But I suspect this is going to become part of the dominant class’s messaging; gaslighting people that wanting life to be like it was a year ago is…

…privilege? Racism? Not forward-thinking?

Trying to make a society of dopamine addicts into virtue-signaling aescetics; what could go wrong?

I’m Old Enough…

…To remember when “insurrections against civil government” or a bad thing.

That’s “Anti”-Fa, projecting their emblem onto the wall of the Multnomah County courthouse in Portland.

It is literally no less objectionable than projecting a swastika, by the way. The emblem is directly descended from that of the German communist party’s version of the Brownshirts.

Somehow, the media never covers it that way…

All Things Must Pass

During the 2015 protests around the Fourth precinct in North Minneapolis, there was a shooting incident. A group of four young white men got into a verbal tilt with a group of the protesters, which led to a chase through the streets of North Minneapolis. Then one of the quite guys, Alan Scarsella, drew his legally permitted handgun and fired, wounding one of the men and ending the chase.

We wrote about this back when it happened. On the one hand, one could argue the fear of death or great bodily harm was reasonable; Scarsella used exactly the effort needed to end the attack, and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of anyone making a more reasonable effort to retreat.

On the other hand, he handled the post shooting process, and the optics that are so important to jurors, about as badly as possible, going into hiding from the police until they came and found him. and there was one other thing, which we will come back to below.

In the weeks following the shooting, the press lionized the shooting victim, Cameron Clark.

Who is, by the way, back in the news this week:

Cameron Clark was shot during a 2015 protest by a man named Allen Scarsella, who was being chased by protesters who were demonstrating after Clark’s cousin, Jamar Clark, was killed by police. Although Scarsella claimed self-defense, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a trial that largely hinged on his history of making racially insensitive remarks.

And there’s a note in there for Potential self-defense shooters; while a good lawyer could’ve potentially gotten the completely unrelated remarks suppressed from evidence, it would’ve been much easier had they not existed. As I tell people on social media I’ll start stressing about how they intend to treat burglars, “the first rule of armed self-defense as you never talk about armed self-defense”.

But we digress:

Following the shooting, Clark was uplifted by Minnesota media as a voice for racial justice. Now, he’s received a lengthy sentence of his own after he tried to murder his unborn child.

While the lionization was far from the most ridiculous I’ve seen coming from Twin Cities media – Clark was not an unsympathetic victim, profiler you left the whole “chasing people through the streets“ thing out of the story, and implausible as it seems, perhaps they learned some thing from the ridicule they suffered over this – perhaps the media should learn the real lesson; taking sides in these sorts of episodes never works well

Unintended Consequences

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This article claims the reason for container ship backlog is not a labor shortage, it’s a second-order effect of a California environmental regulation. Seems California will only allow certain low-emission vehicles in the dock area to cut back on air pollution, and there aren’t enough qualifying vehicles to meet the demand to unload the ships.

I have no idea if it’s true. But it sounds plausible, right in line with proposals to ban lawnmowers and cow farts, to derive the energy to charge electric vehicles from wind and sun without a single thought of what happens to civilization when that plan doesn’t work. SITD readers understand second-order effects; California officials, not so much.

I’m not worried, though. Mayor Pete will be back soon. Should be fixed in a jiffy.

Joe Doakes

Seems plausible – I’d be looking for some corroboration, but then so is Joe – but I suspect it’s a perfect storm of side effects from poorly conceived regulations.

Another one that I’ve heard blamed: California ports don’t allow trucks run by independent owner operators; they have to be unionized haulers. Who are a small minority of the nations trucking industry.