“In all, about 50,000 people were arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession; some 30,000 of these came after police stops.”—Counterfactual: What if those 50,000 people were left alone and those 50,000 arresting officers did something else?
As part of its wellness program, QBP offers a few inducements for employees to commute by bike: The company provides secure parking and showers at work, and it pays employees $3 each day they ride to work. The cash payments add up to about $45,000 each year.
While the study doesn’t isolate the impact of bike commuting on lower health care costs, the program seems to be paying off. HealthPartners reported that participants in the “Bike to Work” program (about 100 of QBP’s 464 employees) cost the company approximately $200,000 less per year in health care claims annually, based on a comparison with employees who don’t participate in the program.
I prefer to shower at home, but the small cash payment for cycling to work is genius. A small, undisguised subsidy for cycling is the perfect antidote to the “free” parking subsidy for sedentary commutes to most workplaces in the country.
QBP is a great company. They treat their employees well, their products are top-notch, and they continually add better ones. They have great prices (it’s a wholesale distributor)., and ordering with them is almost easier than ordering with Amazon. Finally, they ship orders extremely quickly.
I believe they phased out the product catalog (as in two giant 400-page hard-cover books) for environmental and practical reasons, but each year the catalog would have sidebars featuring employees who ride to work every day in Minnesotta. If I remember correctly, the record is on the order of 20 years. Yes, someone has ridden to work through 20 Minnesottan winters. I think they designed the Pugsley, a bike with 4” wide tires, simply for their employees.
“It’s too simplistic to say - as many people have done - that I am condemning the inhuman industrial world which oppresses the individuals and leads them to neurosis. My intention… was to translate the poetry of the world, in which even factories can be beautiful. The line and curves of factories and their chimneys can be more beautiful than the outline of trees, which we are already too accustomed to seeing. It is a rich world, alive and serviceable… The neurosis I sought to describe in Red Desert is above all a matter of adjusting. There are people who do adapt, and others who can’t manage, perhaps because they are too tied to ways of life that are by now out-of-date.”—Antonioni on Il deserto rosso
“I didn’t go home and give her classified cables, but I told her what I was doing,” said the former officer, who worked for the CIA from 1982 to 2005 and now lives in Virginia. “You can’t be a CIA officer and hide your entire life from your spouse. Sometimes, the agency brought my wife in on stuff. They taught her how to shoot rockets and throw grenades.”—CIA divorces
Just been following the latest developments in Syria … in all honesty – looking at the tide of history and the escalation of recent events – we’ve seen two results – leaders stepping down and getting political asylum or leaders being brutally attacked. I honestly think this is a good opportunity to leave and re-start a normal life.
I only pray that you will convince the president to take this an opportunity to exit without having to face charges. The region needs to stabilise, but not more than you need peace of mind. I am sure you have many places to turn to, including Doha.
”—An email from Mayassa al-Thani, the daughter of the Qatar Emir to Asma al-Assad, the First Lady of Syria.
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”—
I personally believe that Khamenei is telling the truth. It’s always lost in the noise, but the United States Intelligence community does not believe there is an active Iranian nuclear weapons program. There’s no doubt that there’s an active uranium enrichment program, and I have to believe that Iranian leaders will push the limits of nuclear breakout capacity. As far as I can tell, that means that that capability would imply another year of work to produce a nuclear weapon. That year can happen any time in the future. I’m sure it will happen eventually. Meir Dagan, the former Mossad chief, believes that a nuclear Iran is an inevitability and is not an existential threat to Israel. I agree.
The calculus will have to change. Israel has had hegemonic power and nuclear capability in the Middle East for decades. Just like the American hegemony, this period is over. At this point, only negotiation and detente will work.
Daniel Levy’s article in Foreign Policy also gives hope that we will not see another catastrophic Middle Eastern war. Levy concludes that Israel’s strategy is:
to checkmate the United States by locking it into a logic of confrontation down the road. Israel’s position has, after all, been relatively clear in preferring a “stars and stripes” rather than a “blue and white” label on the military taming of Iran.
If Obama pursues such a formula and this helps avoid war in the tricky months ahead, it is not to be sneezed at. But at the same time, there is a very real downside to this approach. It carries the promise of greater problems and escalation ahead — making a negotiated solution ultimately less likely, possibly provoking Iran, and placing Israel in the very unwise position of cheerleading America into a war.
I have to believe that the economic and geo-political costs associated with another Middle Eastern war would stop any rational American President. Or we might just be that dumb.