No free lunch

We can always count on John Stossel to put things in perspective. And you can always count on me to point out the rampant imbecilities that run amok these days among spoiled, clueless Americans.

In this video Stossel showcases Americans who think that loans do not need to be repaid, but those loans — especially government-guaranteed tuition loans — often are paid by blue-collar workers who have no choice in the matter.

I have been a blue-collar worker. I enjoyed it. I might still be one had I not been stymied by unions. I left the newspaper game in the early 1980s. I went to a trade school and studied electrical construction technology. I have an Associate Degree in that.

I worked for a while in commercial construction, helping build a massive Schwegmann’s supermarket in Metairie, Louisiana.

But I was less interested in commercial construction than in residential work, an area mostly controlled by the electricians’ union in New Orleans. In order to reduce competition, the union blocked new membership to anyone over 25 years old. I was in my early 30s at the time. I am not a fan of unions. I returned to newspapering.

Blue-collar workers should not be forced to finance university degrees for others, especially these days when universities are leftist indoctrination centers, and students build massive debt to get silly degrees.

This works.
This doesn’t.

Mind Control

Let’s move on to another subject. Let’s look at face masks. Here we have two examples. The one on the left is virus control. The one on the right is mind control.

Do what we say!

I wear neither voluntarily. I don’t need the one on the left, but I sport the one on the right when I have to enter a store that requires it, as many hereabouts still do.

In my town, I am constantly surprised and disappointed at the YUGE percentage of the population that wears masks, especially where it simply makes no sense whatsoever, such as driving alone in a car or walking alone in the open air down a sidewalk. The people who do those things have lost their ability to think rationally.

They have lost their minds.


(Note: I ate my first raw oyster in a Schwegmann’s supermarket bar. Yes, Schwegmann’s stores often included bars. It was a sweltering summer afternoon, and I was sitting solo on a barstool at the Schwegmann’s on Airline Highway in Metairie. After more than a few cold Dixie beers, I ordered a dozen raw oysters out of curiosity. I was hooked.)

Cobblestone cowboys

cobble 2
Looking uphill.

BEING A GUY, I like to watch construction. I prefer watching to actually doing,  It’s hard work, and I’ve done it.

For instance, I was a minor player in the wiring installation throughout an entire Schwegmann’s supermarket in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie in the mid-1980s.

Yes, I used to be an electrician.

But watching construction is more fun than participating in the work, and I’ve been watching this construction for weeks. It holds special interest because of two factors:

One, it’s a taco’s toss from our Downtown Casita.

Two, this is a wide, major street that was almost impossible to navigate due to its steep incline and mass of potholes.

Here’s the thing about cobblestones. They look cute and historic, but when they go bad, they are a nightmare. Give me a smooth, concrete, street surface any day.

Our downtown has more cobblestones than I like. It’s done because we are a tourist attraction, and it’s what people expect to see in a 500-year-old town in Mexico.

Laying cobblestone is labor-intensive. There’s no cobblestone-laying machine. It’s done strictly by hand.

If the street is long and/or wide, and you want to get it done with a minimum of delay, you better hire lots of guys, which is not difficult hereabouts because lots of guys didn’t see the value in finishing high school.

In this project, the stepped sidewalks on both sides also are receiving a makeover, at some points getting wrought-iron railings to reduce the chance of plunging from the sidewalk to your death on the cobblestones far below.

Yes, I enjoy watching construction. I never saw anyone laying a cobblestone street in Houston or even in New Orleans where you might expect to find them. But you don’t.

Maybe if someone invented a cobblestone-laying machine.

cobble
From top looking down. Cobblestones are new and smooth in foreground.