23 September 2018

How do you spell RICO?

That part is not a surprise, but the specifics, that they colluded with ticket scalpers in order to raise the price of the tickets:
Music fans’ ire toward Ticketmaster for expensive concert tickets may be somewhat justified, according to a fiery investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star on Wednesday detailing a secret scalping scheme run by the ticket sales company itself. The two outlets sent journalists undercover as scalpers to a live entertainment convention this summer, where Ticketmaster reportedly pitched them on its underground professional resale program, through which it takes a cut of profits.

Ticketmaster, which is owned by live entertainment juggernaut Live Nation, enlists resellers to grab batches of tickets from its site and then flip them for higher prices on a Ticketmaster-owned, invite-only platform called TradeDesk (touted by the company as “The most powerful ticket sales tool. Ever”), according to the report. Ticketmaster gets extra fees from the pricier resale tickets on top of its fees from selling the original ticket. CBC and Toronto Star journalists were told that despite the existence of a Ticketmaster “buyer abuse” division that looks for suspicious online activity in ticket sales, the company turns a blind eye to its TradeDesk users. A sales representative told one of the undercover journalists that there are brokers with “literally a couple of hundred accounts” on TradeDesk, and that it’s “not something that we look at or report.”

Ticketmaster has sued groups in the past for using bots to grab up live events tickets from its site, which prompted counterclaims that Ticketmaster was itself supplying scalpers with bot software — which, per this week’s investigation, TradeDesk appears to be doing. “This is going to be a public relations nightmare,” popular Canadian radio program host Alan Cross told CBC upon seeing the findings, noting of previous “whispers of this in the ticket-selling community, but it’s never been outlined quite like this before.”
I knew that Ticketmaster sucked, but this sucks like a thousand hoovers all running at once.

Seriously, if someone at the DoJ's antitrust division wants to hit some low-hanging fruit, this kind of crap is clearly out of line, even by the standards of the, "Strict Constructionist," judges who hate antitrust enforcement.

Schwer zu Sein a Yid*

It is so much fun to assemble a sukkah in the pouring rain.

At least I did not fall off of the step stool and dash my brains out on the patio.

*Yiddish for, "It's tough to be a Jew."

The Internet of Sh%$

Internet connected appliances are a f%$#ing menace.

22 September 2018

Hint: It's called pay, benefits, and job security

Aviation Week & Space Technology is wringing its hands over the shortage of Aviation and Defense (A&D) workers.

Given that there is little job security, and pay and benefits have been declining for years, it's not surprising that people are loathe to enter the field:
Uncle Sam’s contractors want you—and your sons and daughters. And at this rate, they could be eyeing the family dog. But perhaps they should expand their search.

From 737 gliders parked around the Seattle area to a $2.5 billion merger and acquisition (M&A) among Beltway Bandits orbiting Washington, headlines in the aerospace and defense sector lately have been replete with examples of workforce constraints manifesting in money terms. What is more, the Pentagon soon will unveil a review of the defense industrial base (DIB) that will spotlight concerns over talent recruitment and retainment.

The need for more technology-oriented workers and the difficulty in getting them is the talk of industry. Just this month, word came that Boeing was rehiring some of its retirees to help alleviate 737 production issues.


At the Farnborough Airshow in July, senior executives pondered how to recruit talent, especially managers, from other industries such as automotive. “Discussions at the air show confirmed concern about supporting an upturn in activity with the correct personnel in this competitive hiring environment,” ZRG’s report notes. The traditional approach of recruiting from the same sector has huge limitations, it was noted.

But Foster tells Aviation Week that the truism “Companies do not want to spend the time or money training new workers” ultimately holds for upper management as well as the factory floor. Everybody wants you to already know their industry, their company, she says.

Also, companies want managers in 45-55-year-old range, she says. Seasoned, but with growth potential. However, there is a deficit in that age range because not a lot of prime candidates were entering then. At the same time, older workers are eyeing the exits. “If there was ever a time to retire, it is now.” For starters, look at the stock markets. Besides, it can be increasingly hard to live a high-travel business life, Foster notes.
You spend 30 years sucking the marrow out of your workforce, and then you are surprised when your workforce goes away.

Modern American MBA mismanagement.

Saw a Toothpick Dispenser Tonight

I was in a restaurant, and there it was, right next to the cash register.

Discretion being the only part of valor here, I did not try to check out how it worked.

Made me think of my dad, and a family story.

Let's just say that this 14 year old had some serious egg on his face.

21 September 2018

Think About this at Pledge Time

NPR's Morning Edition chooses think tank experts of a seriously right wing bent.

I am not surprised.

It is the rule, rather than the exception, that they choose a right wing flack to discuss the issues of the day with a studiously impartial journalist.

That, and their jihad against low power radio stations, are both good reasons not to give at pledge time.

Quote of the Day

It is hard to overstate how deeply these Americans despise the Obama response to the 2008 financial crisis. Many saw the values of their homes, the largest investments they will ever make, dramatically decrease. They don’t own much stock outside of flaccid IRAs, and so they benefited little from a recovery that first bailed out Wall Street. Obama’s decisions still aren’t done with them 10 years later, because their retirements are dependent on home prices rising enough so downsizing sales can cover them late in life.
Peter Van Buren
It is an interesting take on why the so called, "Deplorables," support for Trump is so resilient.

The conventional wisdom does not serve them, so they want to burn it all down.

And Kavanaugh is Now a Regular on The Young and the Restless

And now we have a right wing stalwart, Harvard Law and former Bush Administration official, claiming that there is a doppelgänger what actually tried to rape Christine Blasey Ford.

It appears that either Republican operatives are so stupid that they believe that the real world works like Telenovellas, or they think that the rest of us are even stupider than that,


Too cute:

20 September 2018

Tweet of the Day

Economics is not the dismal science, it's just dismal.

Fort Trump???? Seriously

Yes, the Poles want a permanent US base in Poland, and as a sweetener, they offered to name the base after Donald Trump.

It's a pretty lame and obvious kiss ass move, but it will probably work:
President Donald Trump said the U.S. is looking “very seriously” at establishing a permanent military base in Poland -- and Polish President Andrzej Duda, eager to secure a deal, suggested it be named “Fort Trump.”

Trump raised the possibility of a new U.S. base in Poland in a meeting with Duda in the Oval Office on Tuesday. He said at a news conference with the Polish leader that Duda had offered to pay more than $2 billion toward construction.

Also Yes

It appears that people screening Brett Kavanaugh's potential law clerks, spoecifically Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother author Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld, both of Yale Law School, advised women who applied to clerk for Brett Kavanaugh to try to look like models:
A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him, the Guardian has learned.

Amy Chua, a Yale professor who wrote a bestselling book on parenting called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was known for instructing female law students who were preparing for interviews with Kavanaugh on ways they could dress to exude a “model-like” femininity to help them win a post in Kavanaugh’s chambers, according to sources.

Kavanaugh is facing intense scrutiny in Washington following an allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford that he forcibly held her down and groped her while they were in high school. He has denied the allegation. The accusation has mired Kavanaugh’s confirmation in controversy, drawing parallels to allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in the 1990s.

Yale provided Kavanaugh with many of the judge’s clerks over the years, and Chua played an outsized role in vetting the clerks who worked for him. But the process made some students deeply uncomfortable.

One source said that in at least one case, a law student was so put off by Chua’s advice about how she needed to look, and its implications, that she decided not to pursue a clerkship with Kavanaugh, a powerful member of the judiciary who had a formal role in vetting clerks who served in the US supreme court.

In one case, Jed Rubenfeld, also an influential professor at Yale and who is married to Chua, told a prospective clerk that Kavanaugh liked a certain “look”.

“He told me, ‘You should know that Judge Kavanaugh hires women with a certain look,’” one woman told the Guardian. “He did not say what the look was and I did not ask.”
It turns out that Chua and Rubenfeld are, "Towering figures at Yale and were described by one student as being the centre of gravity at the elite law school," and also, "The Guardian has learned that Rubenfeld is currently the subject of an internal investigation at Yale. The investigation is focused on Rubenfeld’s conduct, particularly with female law students." (Karma, neh?)

Well, now we know why Yale reflexively endorsed Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him, the law school hip deep in his sh%$.