January 23, 2018

British Pistols of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special feat. C&Rsenal

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, WW1 — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

The Great War
Published on 22 Jan 2018

Check out Othais’ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/candrsenal

Othais introduces the standard British pistols and revolvers to Indy, including the iconic Webley series.

The unintended consequences of Ontario’s steep minimum wage hike

Filed under: Business, Cancon, Economics — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Colby Cosh on the unpredictable outcomes of Ontario’s recent minimum wage increase:

In Thursday’s edition of this paper, Marni Soupcoff wrote an entertaining column about how Ontario’s fairly aggressive minimum wage increase had suddenly raised the costs of labour-intensive goods and services for consumers — the ones, that is, who don’t benefit themselves from a minimum wage increase. Child care, which is a very pure purchase of labour, is the example that is being exasperatedly discussed this week. The headline did not have “duh” in it, but that was the spirit of the thing.

Soupcoff pointed out that this not only could have been foreseen; an explicit warning of it was given in the pages of the Toronto Star, by the paper’s social justice reporter Laurie Monsebraaten. Our Financial Post section could perhaps easily be called the Social Injustice Gazette, but anyone at FP who got such an early jump on an economics story would be rightly pleased with himself.

Soupcoff’s major point was that the broad-sense law of supply and demand is not some plutocratic swindle devised by the Monopoly Man and his fatcat pals; even believers in “social justice” have to take it into account, as they take gravity into account when they are moving an old couch to a charity shop or sending cosmonauts into orbit. This is obviously right as far as it goes, but the words “supply and demand” are not enough, on their own, to predict the precise market response to a change in a price control — which is what the minimum wage is.

That, perhaps, is the true key point amidst all the various ideological struggles currently in progress over minimum wage levels, which are being yoinked upward in Alberta as well as in Ontario. A minimum wage is a price control. The minimum wage is not really so much a labour standard as it is the abolition of labour bargains that feature a nominal wage below the minimum. And price controls are a blunt instrument. Most economists, whatever their political orientation, instinctively resist them.

The incidence of a price control — the precise place upon which the economic burden of it falls — is not, in fact, foreseeable without other information. In the market for hired child care, for example, it could turn out, with time, that the real effect of increasing a minimum wage is that some parents drop out of the labour market and tend to their own children. It’s just not what one would actually predict, because the need for professional child care is something that a family tends to plan for well in advance, with a longer time horizon than any government’s. (Also, we haven’t invented dependable babysitting robots yet.)

Women, in particular, organize lives and careers around whether they expect their own labour force participation to be able to cover care expenses. Indeed, couples adjust family size for these expectations. We can even imagine circumstances in which a province’s extreme, credible commitment to a very high future minimum wage influenced birth rates.

Day 8 Cuban Missile Crisis – Kennedy and Khrushchev face reality

Filed under: Americas, History, Military, Russia, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 20 Nov 2017

On October 23, 1962 as the blockade on Cuba is being prepared, US President John F. Kennedy and USSR Chairman Nikita Khrushchev question their own actions realising that they might have gone a step too far. By now the dice have been rolled and it’s too late to stop the wheels from spinning. Both leaders try to justify their decisions to maintain their political power.

Paul Sellers on the fascination of working with hand tools

Filed under: Education, Woodworking — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Snipped from a longer post by Paul Sellers, discussing how he developed his woodworking beyond just sharing skills in person:

When I’m working in my shop, picking up tools, flipping wood and twisting a plane to a more effective cut, the response to my working with my hands has been something I mostly took for granted. But I became gradually aware of others watching me. I mean sometimes you just catch someone innocently watching somewhere, perhaps in a cafe or something. You glance up and catch them and they, embarrassed, look away. I became ever more conscious that people watched me working with a sort of silent fascination you to me my work was just ordinary work that I did all the time. Suddenly I realised that, ah! they’ve never seen such as this before. I saw then that people in the past three decades would be most unlikely to see such things. Even carpenters may never see or have seem a man like me recess hinges or plane the edge of a door, let alone dovetail a box corner or shape a mould to the edge of a mantle shelf with a block of wood holding a blade. Whereas it is till hard for me to imagine such a thing, it’s become a reality that 99.9% of people living in the world have never in their life seen a man like me working with his hands and working with hand tools instead of machines. To them such a thing has become as if they were watching something, well, magic. A shaving rises from the throat of a plane as if from some secretive place and by some special device and it twists away as a ribbon might flutter in a gentle breeze. It’s a spell plucked from a sorcerer’s hand book causing ribbons of pine to rise skyward before their very eyes. I might take such things for granted because I do see hundreds if not thousands of these things happen in a given day or week. They on the other hand never saw such as this before. If you’ve watched an experienced chef dice up onions with a knife live you’ll know what I mean. So it is with a chisel cut and a smoothing plane, a plough plane and a router plane.

The birth of new-genre woodworkers

When I first began my work training others, my own apprentices, young students and such, children too, it wasn’t at all that I needed more staff but that I couldn’t help myself. It’s always been the same. I never taught to make income because I always earned my income and then taught from my abilities as a producing craftsman. That’s the truth. Because I responded to the yearning of others to become crafting artisans, the outcome led to a new life. Of course they were always adult men who approached me. They wanted me to help them become one kind of woodworker or another. They would stay working with or alongside me for a year or two until they gained a level of proficiency they needed to function well and then they’d move on. Mostly there was some reciprocal gain, mostly it was always tipped in their favour not mine. In fact I would always lose money on the deal because money and making personal gain was never the reason I did it. But it was when I began teaching smaller children through to teenagers that I began seeing the deeper issues. Remember, I wasn’t a teacher being paid for the many evenings I invested in holding classes year in year out. Hundreds of children came to my classes several nights a week for two decades. I never charged a penny and let them use my own tools and supplied the wood until they acquired their own. It was a lot of work but it was such fun too. Dads and lads stood at benches from 7 till 9.30 each night and it was here that I began to see more deeply into the future possibilities of the yet unborn woodworkers be that the kids or their parents. This was an unexpected trip up. A sort of punctuation mark in my history if you will.

Mostly it was dads who came with their boys and it was here that I began to see a latent penchant in dads as they helped their sons to sharpen up chisels or reset a bumped plane. Somehow it was the need of their sons that pulled something out of the dads. You know what it’s like: something goes wrong with your child and you just can’t help yourself but pull out all of the stops to make it right. I would see the dads struggle to find an answer knowing that they might not have the answer at all, but try they might! I had to find the solution and find it I did. I started holding classes for adults so that they could reach the children that I couldn’t. People came to classes from all over the US and then they started flying in from other countries too. On the one hand it was ideal to have face to face contact this way, but on the other I knew the audience was much wider but that I could never reach them without some exponential changes being made.

So anyway, in my own small way I became something of a solution. By the end of two decades I had personally trained 5,000 woodworkers from 5 year olds to ancients through hands-on classes in beginning woodworking. It was and always has been hand tool woodworking and no one else had done such a thing on so wide a scale at that time. I knew I could steer dads to guide their sons and be a bridge for them to continue growing closer through the work in hand. Something that in my view had become increasingly lacking and today is getting far worse. Ultimately, my teaching the children meant also that the dads were gaining the same insights the kids were. Their maturer years combined with experience and strength meant that they could stay ahead of their children to help them. The outcome is more evident today than ever.

Top Gear – lost in translation

Filed under: Britain, France, Humour, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Jean Girard
Published on 26 Feb 2009

James May and Jeremy Clarkson discover the perils of a literal translation.

QotD: Indoctrination

Filed under: Education, Politics, Quotations — Tags: — Nicholas @ 01:00

In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think … but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.

William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism, 1959.

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