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Technicalleigh
9 days ago
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Vancouver BC
jad
6 days ago
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By Nanukthedog in "How dollar stores became magnets for crime and killing" on MeFi

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Alright. I've done a fair amount of work in retail strategy and understanding the business model of dollar stores is extremely important to me.

Dollar stores do not exist everywhere - they exist where they can fill a niche and where they can steal market share. I use the presence as a leading indicator of surrounding economic health, and the expansion as an indicator of economic instability. I shit you not: if dollar stores are expanding there presence where you are, your communities 3-5 year prospectus just got a little bleaker.

How does this work, and why is this the case? Dollar stores rely on extracting *every* available dollar from their customers at transaction time; they erode a consumer's ability to plan, and they put a customer in a cycle which increases their dependency on the dollar store. Holy shit! that's a lot of burden to put on a bottle of shampoo that costs a dollar - and that seems nuts at face value!

Let's say you have $10 (plus tax-ish) in your pocket. In a traditional grocery store you're going to have to pick and choose carefully to spend it. More than likely you'll walk away with 2-3 items, possibly some of which would be milk, bread, and some sort of spread (peanut butter, tuna, etc). That loaf of bread will stretch for a few additional meals, and you'll slowly mix and match additional spreads and nutrients - canned soups and veggies, meaning that your money is 100% focused on dietary intake and the give and take forced on someone means planning and reusing to extend each purchase. Compound on that lose change, and while it isn't a lot - a customer has an ability to save a small portion for either additional supplement or for planning a reward

Now let's take that same $10 (pus tax-ish) at the dollar store. You are going to walk away with 10 items. 10 > 3 - so you must have done better! Except, all your items were designed to give you the absolute minimum acceptable amount of product that could possibly be given for a dollar. This means that the product is astronomically high for $ per ounce comparative to the same product in a grocery store. That can of tuna is now a single serving of tuna, the jar of peanut butter is now 6 ounces instead of 16. Food gets smaller, and more shelf stable. Fresh is confined to american cheese singles and quarts of milk...and if it says 'Kraft' instead of generic, there are 6 slices instead of 8 in the packaging. But you've got 10 items! You've collected a veritable feast! You deserve better. So let's trade out that 10th item that you don't really like and get a candy bar instead. Oh and you don't need two packages of tuna, so you can get the trial size bottle of Tresemme instead... So we've gone from 10 items of food, down to 8 while 'rewarding' our self and buying maybe two day's worth of shampoo for 250% markup. The dollar store took every dollar you had - there is nothing residual.

At the dollar store the customer got 10 items that they were ready to consume immediately, and they were packaged for individual consumption - no planning or preparing necessary. Delivery of goods to customer were provided on time at time - you know, how toilet paper and hand sanitizer were shipped and prepared during the early phases of a pandemic - meaning that you are at a daily risk of a supply chain interruption. Goods at a dollar store are given a 'parity' in packaging - you can see exactly how far your dollar will go, but the value comparison is removed. you can't discount a dollar store. Questionable goods are sold alongside brand names in a dollar store with the only indication that there may be a health risk or quality risk that you may ask your self whether you are getting too much value.

So yes. You can go in with $10 and every time you will spend your full $10. You will get less, you will have to come back and repeat the cycle, moving a greater share of money from you to the store over the same period of time. And while you get the value, you will be eliminating the need to stock as much at the grocery store you used to go to - slowly eliminating staff there, who will now have to shop at the dollar store - while they too try to over-stretch their unemployment and similar assistance...

Dollar stores are the 8th plague.
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jad
6 days ago
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#1517; In which a Visitor proves a Nuisance, Part 2

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Then, since it's the future, they disintegrate the statue into atoms and hover them into a volcano. The future is lousy with volcanoes. Maybe THAT was your fault?

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jad
17 days ago
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By cortex in "Where are the first-person stories on abortion in this scenario?" on Ask MeFi

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[This is an answer from an anonymous commenter.]

You have already hit upon the reason you don't see more of these stories, of people who choose to terminate after prenatal testing that's positive for Down Syndrome: "I know abortion in this scenario is very controversial." That's why. There is incredible stigma even among people who are pro-choice in other circumstances.

I have heard many, many pro-choice people idly and blithely proclaiming that although they support a pregnant person's right to choose if someone terminated because of a lethal or painful fetal anomaly, they do not support abortion after a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. I've also heard and read comments from pro-choice people who support the choice of abortion in circumstances where the pregnant person simply doesn't want to be pregnant, but not in the case of a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome because they feel it is discriminatory. And these are comments from people who are *pro-choice.* Obviously anti-choice people are opposed to any abortion in most circumstances, and make similar comments, but the anti-choicers tends to be vitriolic, threatening, and hateful on top of judgmental. All I can say is, it's impossible to really know what choice you'll make until you are in that situation.

After my abortion following a prenatal diagnosis for Down Syndrome, I joined a parenting forum discussion group specifically for termination for medical reasons. This group, in turn, has a thread specifically for people who have chosen/are considering choosing to terminate because of Down Syndrome. When I was emotionally ready, I shared my story in that thread. I checked it recently and there are nearly 2000 comments between the two threads on this topic, so...this is indeed a common reason to choose TFMR. In these threads, I saw many instances where posters from other parts of the site would come in and tell people they were cruel and wrong for choosing abortion in the face of a Down Syndrome diagnosis. Some would send harassing private messages to the people who had not yet had their abortion, trying to shame them into cancelling their appointment.

But you have expressed interest in hearing abortion stories from people who terminated for Down Syndrome, so I will tell you mine.

I tried to become pregnant for many years, to no avail. There were medical interventions. No one could say what the problem was for sure. I was an older mother when I finally, to my shock, became pregnant. My partner and I were thrilled, though I was worried about miscarriage. We told people around the 3 month mark. We chose to do prenatal testing because we had agreed before even trying to conceive all those years ago that we would like to know and that termination was on the table depending on what the diagnosis was. An ultrasound turned up some markers that were possible indicators of health problems related to T21 (Trisomy 21, the medical term for Down Syndrome), or another chromosomal anomaly. The doctors, who were excellent and compassionate, gave us information on the possible chromosomal conditions it could be, told us about all the options available if there was indeed a problem (carry to term, terminate the pregnancy) and encouraged us to get a confirmed diagnosis with amniocentesis—which comes with its own risks of miscarriage.

We did choose to have amniocentesis, and a genetic counsellor met with us afterwards to explain in more detail what the range of outcomes was for each of the possible trisomies: T21 (Down Syndrome), T18 (Edwards Syndrome) and T13 (Patau Syndrome). By far the one with the widest range of outcomes is Down Syndrome. The genetic counsellor was warm and compassionate, understanding of our stress and anxiety, but also factual and nonjudgmental—there was no encouragement to either terminate or not terminate. She provided a lot of information, including that children with Down Syndrome can have a range of outcomes that affect quality of life, with some having very few if any physical health problems, and others with severe problems with their hearts or multiple major organs. She said some children would be verbal, able to read, and able to do most activities of daily life independently, while others would be nonverbal, with severe cognitive issues that meant they would be at the developmental stage of a newborn infant their whole life. People with Down Syndrome are also more likely than those in the general population to develop dementia, and more likely to develop it at a younger age. The important thing for us to know, she said, is that while it's possible to anticipate some physical issues before birth (it turned out our baby did have some of these indicators for organ failure, specifically the heart), it's not possible to know whether the baby's cognitive capacity would be that of an infant or higher. From what she said, we understood that if the prenatal diagnosis was Down Syndrome, it would be a total roll of the dice as to what quality of life our child would have.

The results confirmed that the baby did have a chromosomal anomaly and it was T21. Given what we had learned during our research and from the genetic counsellor, we chose to terminate the pregnancy. Because of the length of time testing had taken, I was well into my second trimester, and geographical access issues meant I was pretty far along by the time I was able to begin the process at the one hospital in my region that does late term pregnancies.

Emotionally, it was a horrible experience. However, the care I received was stellar. No one on the medical team judged me; I was treated like anyone who was undergoing a traumatic pregnancy loss, which to my mind I was. Like with any traumatic pregnancy loss, especially one that is not followed by a living child, I have been permanently changed. Epanalepsis' comment rings true: it has been the hardest and saddest experience of my life to date. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I never was able to have a living child, and I regret that I'm not a mother. But I do not regret having tested and terminated my pregnancy after a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. For reasons that by now are probably quite clear to you, I rarely tell people even that I terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons—most people who were not close family or friends who knew I was pregnant were just told we had lost the baby because of a fetal anomaly, but not that we had initiated termination. Even for people who knew we had terminated for medical reasons, we rarely disclosed exactly what the diagnosis was. Even telling you this, anonymously, I feel like I need to state that I fully support the rights of people to carry any pregnancy to term. I support lifelong care, with dignity, for any person with a disability. I don't think society does enough to support parents who do choose to carry a pregnancy to term when the baby has a disability, nor to care for and respect people with disabilities. But I am grateful to have had the prenatal diagnosis and the ability to choose to terminate my pregnancy, because that was what was right for my family.
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jad
21 days ago
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By srboisvert in ""Being open right now is dangerous, miserable, and borderline abusive."" on MeFi

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The public health crisis is in part an effect of the public education crisis that began in the Reagan years when school budgets & curricula began to get slashed. The behavior talked about in the article is square on the shoulders of those she sought to keep the public as ignorant as possible by destroying public education. As ye reap...

It's more than that. Since the Reagan/Thatcher era there has been a sustained outright intellectual attack on goodness and community. Somewhere along the line the idea of even trying to be a decent human being got replaced with the idea that it was always an asphalt path to the underworld to have good intentions and try to do something positive. The elevation, celebration and deification of assholery is what gets us to the point where everyone who shows any kind of visibly decent behavior, like wearing a mask in a pandemic, is instantly derided as "virtue signaling" and every adult toddler believes they are a Randian ubermensch for throwing a tantrum. Basically, I think the right wing in America burnt down the notion of a responsible American community working together to achieve goals and replaced it with comically selfish individualism (like a hypertrophied muscular comic book hero) in order to win the ideological cold war and then when there were no actual boogeymen left to fight the anti-communists turned on every communal action they could find. Now we need a sense of community to fight a pandemic and.....there isn't one.
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jad
21 days ago
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By deadaluspark in "do not talk to cops" on MeFi

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How often do you think that is likely to be?

So currently there is this huge unaccountable group known as cops, who are effectively above the law and are white supremacists.

When they are out of jobs, they are going to be angry. There is not going to be a force to "police" them and they are used to being able to violently put people down.

Worse, most of them own personal weapons. I mean, they're white supremacists and right wing nutjobs and all.

Meaning it could happen a great deal initially, and would be the very same people currently causing the current riot: cops.

When they lose their jobs, mark my words, this isn't over, and them and the people who support them are heavily armed and regular citizens and the new citizen policing organizations will potentially not be well armed enough to deal with them.

Unless the new President is willing to label them terrorists and enemies of the state and mobilize the military against them... well, I mean, I just don't know how long the violence will last but it will be a long time.

This isn't over by a long shot, these people will not go silent into that good night. Which is fucking horrifying. All I want is for them to go silently into that good night. They will not relinquish their power without a long, bloody fight.

I mean, this article is all about how lawless they are. You don't think they're going to just steal all the weapons and body armor and ammo from each precinct and take them home and act like they have no idea what happened to them all? Who is going to march in and arrest them and enforce it?

I mean, there's actually a whole shitload of these dudes, even though there's more of us. We were already having regular incidents of white supremacist terrorism long before any of this.

Does anyone think that is going to stop because we disbanded the police? If anything, they'll use it as opportunity.

I say this as someone who is 100% on the side of police abolition. But yeah, I think this guy is right that a specialized force of some kind might still be necessary to contain psychotic assholes with high powered weaponry and a history of being lawless pricks.
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jad
27 days ago
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