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Belarus Dictator Lukashenko Threatens to Flood Europe With ‘Migrants and Drugs’ In Retaliation for Sanctions Imposed for Ryanair Hijacking Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko has threatened to flood Europe with migrants and drugs in response to western sanctions over the Ryanair flight hijacking. The strongman leader told parliament that he plans to weaken border controls designed to catch drug and people smugglers after EU leaders cut off air travel with his country and threatened further sanctions. ‘We were stopping migrants and drugs — now you will [have to] catch them and eat them yourself,’ he said.
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UK: Scalped: National Trust Chairman Resigns Amid Push to Oust Him for Woke Agenda The woke chairman of Britain’s National Trust has resigned ahead of moves to oust him at the heritage organisation’s upcoming annual general meeting. The Restore Trust group, formed in response to soon-to-be-former National Trust chairman Tim Parker’s efforts to inject the ethos of Black Lives Matter and other social justice left style causes into the work of the massive state-backed conservation charity — the largest in all Europe — had prepared a motion calling for his removal amid claims that “morale among volunteers and members is at an all-time low”.
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Beware The Rise Of Scamerica Scams, frauds, flim flams, and grifts are nothing new to America. In fact, confidence games were old hat when Clifton Wooldridge published his 1906 classic, The Grafters of America: Who They Are and How They Work, which describes common cons in fin de siecle Chicago. The recent death of notorious investment scamster Bernie Madoff should remind Americans that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As America descends into policy disarray, the scamming of others is increasing. Wire fraud is rampant, as is the impersonation of government workers, apparently because Americans now expect government officials to accost them for quick cash at least occasionally. I focus here on a much more insidious type of scam that also seems to be on the rise, something that I will politely refer to as “substandard work,” but that in informal adult conversation usually goes by a fecal four-letter word followed by “job.” Much of the substandard work being conducted across the country right now ultimately is the government’s fault, specifically a set of policies seemingly deliberately designed to induce Americans not to work: extra unemployment pay; major school systems remaining virtual until fall; bizarre summer camp masking requirements. The first entices lower income people to stay out of the labor market and the latter two make parents think twice, or thrice, about returning to work. As a result, many usually reliable businesses cannot find any workers, much less good ones. Robin Jones, a regional manager for a major fast food chain in the Upper Midwest, recently told me that April and May of this year have been the tightest labor market he can remember in his 43-year restaurant career, which includes stints in Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. His back is giving out because his desk job has turned into a role as a stopgap line worker in the cheap taco wars. While he does what he can, he is only one man. The extreme dearth of workers means much longer wait times than usual and substandard service overall. A restaurant in a resort town in New Jersey recently purchased a robot called Peanut to deliver food to customers. It reportedly “can open kitchen doors, deliver orders to tables, and bus the dishes when everyone is done eating.” It works until it breaks down and doesn’t demand tips. The labor shortage is hardly restricted to food services. The pool business pictured below, for example, had a good reputation until recently, when it charged a friend of mine $260 to remove the cover from her pool. Just a regular cover. U.S. dollars, not Zimbabwean ones. Inflation is relatively high, but it ain’t that high! If the company had added some suddenly hyper-expensive chlorine to the pool, maybe it would have been okay but it appears the workers were inexperienced newbs flummoxed by simple problems. They removed and stored the cover successfully (bravo!) but couldn’t figure out how to get the pump pumping, got frustrated, and left. But they didn’t want to tell their new boss about their pathetic failure so they charged for the full spring opening service even though they didn’t provide it. Not so smart. All manner of employee malingering and moral hazard appear to be on the rise because every low wage worker knows that they can get fired one morning but hired elsewhere that same day, usually at higher pay. Although full official statistics are available only through 2019, it appears that sexual harassment and other types of employment-related complaints have increased of late. Some of the increase is due to stricter laws and enforcement and more awareness of workplace harassment issues but some may be due to employees hoping for a quick, lucrative settlement, confident that they will be able to find work elsewhere even if their claims are found meritless after investigation. Even remote workers are pressing harassment claims. Unwarranted harassment complaints are simply a more sophisticated type of pilfering than taking home office supplies or using Zoom rooms for personal use, which is also likely on the rise. Unlike the hapless pool company described above, some companies deliberately overbill lots of their customers less flagrantly, in the hopes that many won’t notice or care enough to complain. When some inevitably ask for refunds, such companies stall repayment or simply credit customers on the next bill and thereby finagle free loans. Investment bank Morgan Stanley got spanked for overbilling in 2017 but if inflation increases nominal interest rates will rise along with it, or if lending tightens due to various new banking regulations now in the works, more companies may give in to the temptation of cheap short-term financing by overbilling.
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UK: Scalped: National Trust Chairman Resigns Amid Push to Oust Him for Woke Agenda The woke chairman of Britain’s National Trust has resigned ahead of moves to oust him at the heritage organisation’s upcoming annual general meeting. The Restore Trust group, formed in response to soon-to-be-former National Trust chairman Tim Parker’s efforts to inject the ethos of Black Lives Matter and other social justice left style causes into the work of the massive state-backed conservation charity — the largest in all Europe — had prepared a motion calling for his removal amid claims that “morale among volunteers and members is at an all-time low”.
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