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"As society broke down, the police became warlords. The state police broke apart, and the officers were subsumed into the local forces of their communities. The newly formed tribes expanded to encompass the relatives and friends of the police."
You're not your embroidery. You're not how much money your father has set aside for your dowry. You're not the carriage you drive. You're not the contents of your reticule. You're not your fucking pelisse. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the Empire.
"All democracies eventually have to grapple with Europe’s Big Problem, that governments and social protection tend to grow until they choke the economies that pay for them."
If you can't make your dreams of Utopia real, at least you can import a few small objects from that dreamworld into ours. And that's just what Gillette did. Ultimately the scifi entrepreneurialism of The Human Drift paid off for him in real-world money. The Gillette razor empire made him very rich.
Suppose there were a heavily Muslim neighborhood in New York, with mosques, religious schools, and shops with meat prepared according to Islamic dietary rules. Suppose an evangelical church wanted to build a chapel there. And suppose local Muslims tried to block it as a flagrant insult to them. Would Sarah Palin urge the church to retract this "unnecessary provocation" in the "interest of healing"? Would her followers? Or would they scorn this disparagement of Christianity and champion the religious freedom on which America was built?
Let’s say you’re a teenager who’s just gotten his first car. The government is your Daddy, trying to set down rules that will make you a safe driver.
LIBERTARIAN DAD: You got a job and worked for this car. You can drive as fast as you want, but if you break it, you’ll have to fix it yourself.
DEMOCRAT DAD: I gave you $500 to help you pay for this car and I’ll pay half your repair costs but you are not allowed to drive it over 55 m.p.h. I can’t watch you all the time, so I’ll just have to trust you to obey the speed limit.
REPUBLICAN DAD: You used a tax refund check to pay $500 towards this car. You can drive as fast as you want and I’ll pay for all repairs.
Example #3 is called “Deregulation.”
I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear, he writes in a journal entry titled “Go Gently into That Good Night.” I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris. — Roger Ebert, from his Esquire Interview
I love the coffee shop at the Texas Tech Bookstore. They have these little designer sandwiches you can grab for breakfast or throw in the breakroom fridge for lunch.
There’s something terribly civilized about it, grabbing a latte and a panini on the way to work.
Last week I bought a breakfast sandwich and asked them to toast it for me. But I wasn’t watching to see if they put it in my bag and accidentally walked off without it.
I thought about going back for it a couple times but it wasn’t worth trudging through the snow and slush last week. This morning I went in again and had to decide if I would mention it or not.
I decided I didn’t want to be the kind of guy who complains about a $2 sandwich so I was just going to let it go. (It was basically my fault.) But the person behind the counter remembered me and immediately started toasting a replacement sandwich this morning, without me saying a word.
Such a tiny thing, but life is made up of tiny things, dozens of little transactions that can annoy you or make your day. I took a customer service class last week that encouraged people to bring up examples from their real lives.
People didn’t mention the time they had their mortgage held up for a month or the deal they got on their last car; they mentioned how they were treated at restaurants. The emotions we feel about customer service transactions aren’t related to how big the item is or how much money we spend.
If anything, we’re more critical of the little things because it should be easier to get them right.
The folks at Barnes & Noble got it right today and I’ll remember that $2 sandwich for years.