Tuesday, March 12, 2013

God Save the Queen, Dr. Robot, and Tax Burgers

Things worth musing about today:


We Prefer the Queen

So it is no surprise that the Falkland Islands folks prefer to British rather than Argentinian. The thing that struck me when I read this was the attitude of the Argentinians. Consider this:
"They're British, we respect their identity and their way of life and that they want to continue to be British. But the territory they occupy is not British"
 The hubris there is a bit stunning. Essentially what they are saying is these people have lived there for almost 200 years, and Argentina accepts they are British, but we want them to give us their stuff and go away because we were there briefly back before 1822. Yeah - I think not.

I think most Americans don't pay too much to this and don't understand the dispute. I admittedly only have a surface understanding of it. In Virginia we have a little island (Tangiers) between us and Maryland that identifies with neither state, and to some degree, not the US either. The statement above shows that this kind of 'identity crisis' is not what this is about. They (the Argentinians) want not just the resident's obsequence, but their exit. The spoils? Not even on the islands - it's the rich oil fields they are really after...


Dr Robot - Report to Surgery

After reading this I thought 'Yes!' - this is exactly the proper use of robots - or more accurately, telebots. In theory, the surgeon doesn't even have to be in the room. Highly skilled surgeons can perform their work from remote locations, simulators can be constructed to allow them to safely hone their skills or even dry run tricky procedures from models constructed from scan data. too cool!


Back when I thought my body as good enough to eat anything, this was the go to place for burgers and fries - mostly LOTS of fries. I had two takeaways from this article. First, the owner went to a lot of trouble and expense to organize his stores as separate entities to avoid the Obamacare employee penalty. This is a successful businessman, surely following the best available advice of his attorneys and tax advisers only the find out that even organized that way, he was still stuck. Remember 'we have to pass it to know what's in it'? Now we see that even professionals whose job it is to know what's in it couldn't tell until it's actually implemented. This is not rule of law - it is something very different.

The second thing I got from this is is admiration for the owner. He didn't indicate he would 'cut cost', i.e. produce a cheaper product for the same price or start cutting back on the amount of fries that constitute a 'regular' order. Nope - changing the product that brought him success was not an option. He is going to walk the tightrope of price and number of employees. It's a congressional manufactured dilemma that no one should be facing.

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