Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yet another reason to love Starbucks

Most of the rants on this site are written from the Starbucks at Hulen and I-30, just south of the Central Market.
Almost every morning of my life, I buy a double espresso, access their wireless, and pound caffeine-fueled frustration into the laptop. I can stay there all morning, if I choose to.
The espresso shots at the I-30/Hulen Starbucks are extracted in 20 seconds, the way God intended. Coffee bars all over America go bankrupt because they can't do this one simple thing correctly.
Starbucks plays interesting music in their stores.
And there's this, from The Mercury News website, apparently someplace in Silicon Valley:

Starbucks has brushed aside a request from a gun control advocacy group to ban the display of guns in its retail locations, saying it will abide by laws that allow patrons to openly carry unloaded weapons.
The national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence made the request in the wake of a series of meetings in local restaurants over the past few months by Bay Area Open Carry, a group that hopes to make it legal to carry loaded guns in California. Peets Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen responded to similar requests by banning displays of weapons in the companies' coffeehouses and restaurants.
"Starbucks does not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding this issue," Starbucks' customer relations department said in response to the Brady Campaign's request.

It is a strange world we live in, when a Muslim extremist can shoot up a U.S. military base because no one on duty is carrying a weapon.
This might not be the case at the I-30 and Hulen Starbucks, where they want the world to be a safer, more polite place.

Bay Area Open Carry chapter hailed Starbucks' approach.
"We definitely applaud Starbucks for allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and we will continue to patronize them as long as they do," said Brad Huffman, who is also a National Rifle Association-certified instructor and member of Bay Area Open Carry, which lists 610 members on its Facebook page.

Huffman said Open Carry advocates often visit Starbucks displaying unloaded weapons, either during formal events or informally. The Antioch chapter of the group has had about six meetings at a Starbucks there, he said. Other meetings have taken place at a Peet's in San Ramon and in Livermore at Panama Red Coffee Co.
Open Carry has a scheduled an event today in Walnut Creek, but has not announced a location.

That's not my oversized rear end sitting in a Starbucks. The pic came from here.


Dr Ralph said...

Rather than buying more guns, these "law-abiding citizens" ought to see if their doctors will just write them a prescription for Viagra. I suspect it would address the real issue, and an accidental discharge of their weapon would be a lot less calamitous for the rest of us.

The Whited Sepulchre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Whited Sepulchre said...

You're confusing the role of the guns with the role of the trucks.

Dr Ralph said...

I stand corrected.

What about trucks *with* guns?

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Dr. Ralph - I know probably as many women as men who are gun toters. I don't think that has anything to do with the 'my gun is bigger than your gun' mentality. It does, however, ensure that people who would like to kill cops in coffee shops, like in Washington state earlier this year, doesn't get away as easily.

In fact, the person who had a large role in our 'concealed weapon permit' laws was Suzanna Hupp who was present at the Luby's massacre in Killeen. She was upset afterwards that she left her gun in her car rather than taking it in with her - to abide by the law at the time. Both her parents were killed without the threat of anyone firing back.

BTW, Starbucks is actually a really great company that seems to espouse libertarian and free market ideals - pretty frequently.

Nick Rowe said...

Tell me more about Bay Area Open Carry.

I'm pretty dismayed, living in San Francisco, that the local police won't even consider a concealed-carry permit unless you are a diamond dealer or a female US Senator.

Can you carry a firearm, unloaded, in the open in California?

In Colorado you could carry a loaded weapon unconcealed but, ironically, you needed a permit to carry it concealed.

Oh, Dr. Ralph, everything works fine for me without Viagra despite owning and operating numerous firearms.

I suggest, though, that we lock you in a room with a loaded firearm for as long as it takes for you to realize that inanimate objects pose no threat to you. After that, we'll deal with your irrational fear of people with butter knives.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Nick - when San Francisco issued it's toughest laws re: guns a while back, I thought that I would get a pedestal in my bedroom, put a gun on it and fix a spotlight on it. Gun? Oh, no, officer... it's a sculpture. From found objects.

Packing heat in the Bay Area? Get a small NEA endowment (It's necessary!!) and now carrying a gun is now 'performance art'. Carry a camera and take pictures of yourself every so often.

I thought that a city that cherishes the arts, like SF, would be all about this!

Dr Ralph said...

Believe it or not, if everyone were as calm, level-headed and responsible as the Whited Sepulchre and TarrantLibertyGuy (I'm serious) I'd have no heartburn over any of this.

But they're not.

Everyday I make a 50 mile round-trip commute up I-35W and back, surrounded by a large cross-section of the citizenry. A significant percentage of them drive like complete dirtbags: they tail-gate, weave in and out of lanes with inches to spare, wipe past other cars on the shoulder - you get the picture.

If these people have no more regard for the safety of others while hurling through space in a couple of tons of potentially lethal metal, what sort of judgment are they likely to exercise while packing heat?

So, to respond to our mutual acquaintance Nick Rowe, I don't fear the inanimate object; I fear the hand of the smug, self-righteous, self-absorbed hot-head clutching said object.

An interesting statistic: according to the CDC the murder rate by firearm between 1999 and 2006 was 4.0 per 100,000. The rate for suicide by firearm for the same period was 5.8 per 100,000. You are more likely to die by your own hand than someone else's.

I realize I'm not ever going to change anyone's mind around here so I'll just shut up. Let me know when the bullets stop flying and the smoke clears.

Nick Rowe said...

Well, Ralph, believe it or not I've owned a firearm for 23 years and have never found a reason to launch a bullet in anyone else's general direction. In fact, after 21 years in the Army, I never fired a shot in anger.

Those crazy drivers you describe... guess what... we have them here in liberal San Francisco too along with strict gun control laws. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't see a reckless driver.

Your observation of violent tendencies behind the wheel of a car is NOT in any way, shape, or form associated with gun violence. In fact, I'd say that because people regard cars as transportation and not as a deadly weapon, the cars are much more likely to be used as such. They should be regulated as such.

The fact of the matter is that states with more guns and more permissive gun laws have less crime. And that's after controlling for all other demographic factors too. Your fear of guns is, in a word, irrational.

Your suicide argument is sophistry too. I am neither depressed nor suicidal. I am well-trained in the safe handling of firearms. The probability of me being injured or killed by my own firearm is near zero. Firearms may provide a convenient way out for depressed people, but here in San Francisco we have the Golden Gate Bridge to solve the problem of lack of guns.

The presence of guns is a stabilizing force. As I said, "More guns, less crime." The "Dodge City" shootouts you people always talk about are a fiction. MILLIONS of law-abiding gun owners carry every day and don't go shooting up someone who cut them off on the freeway or didn't put whipped cream on their mocha. An armed society is a POLITE society.

This country doesn't have a gun problem. It has a BLACK problem. Over 52% of our murders are committed by blacks who represent only 13% of the population. Over 95% of their victims are black. Their murder rate is over TEN TIMES higher than that of non-hispanic whites. Blacks kill whites at TWICE the rate that whites kill blacks. If we were to remove black crimes from our population, the USA would have crime rates comparable to Europe.

The problem with black crime is not poverty; there are poor communities, both black and white, with low crime. The problem is not with their race. The problem is their urban culture which is coddled and pandered to by liberal politicians. Their culture of glorifying murder, drugs, misogyny, crime, work, contempt for education and hatred for law is killing them and driving our crime rates up.

Research has shown that the number one deterrent to crime is LOCKING UP CRIMINALS and keeping them there. Once the criminal mentality has taken hold, very few are successfully rehabilitated.

Liberals have controlled the large cities of Detroit, San Francisco, Oakland, Milwaukee, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. for DECADES. They are bastions for gun control, welfare, midnight basketball, and all other leftist programs - none of which have provided even the slightest bit of social relief for their citizens.

I won't change my mind because I'm right, and I have the data and research to prove it. I won't change your mind because you live in a liberal fantasy land, 180 degrees from reality. You're a walking, talking example of all the lies and misconceptions about firearms.

Dr Ralph said...

So Nick, let me make sure I understand.

Are you saying: the problem with America is not guns, it's black people (and Liberals).

And your solution is: arm everyone and stuff our prisons full of even more black people. Do only the white people get to arm themselves in this scenario? And the cost of incarcerating all these folks will be paid for --how?

Anything else?

Nick Rowe said...

Dr. Ralph, why is it always the case that when someone says, "So what you're saying is..." that they NEVER properly characterize what one has said?

You see, that's the pathology of the liberal mentality. Words and ideas go in the eyes and ears, rattle around in your empty skull space, and come out distorted.

I stated myself quite clearly but let me type more slowly so you can understand:

Guns DO NOT cause crime. Having guns around DOES NOT cause crime. The vast, vast majority of gun owners have not committed and will not commit any violent crimes. Moreover, two million crimes each year are prevented by armed citizens, most of which involve only SHOWING the weapon. Citizens stop more crimes than police officers!

Black people have a serious problem with crime. The problem is NOT the result of their race, but rather the repugnant and self-destructive culture which they embrace and perpetuate. Such cultures of crime were common among the Irish, Italians, Chinese, and other ethnic groups. This particular group has failed to learn the lessons of negative consequences. The reason they have failed to learn it is that they have been protected from truth. they have been treated, by LIBERALS, as subhumans who are not responsible for their actions and capable of change. Their race has become their excuse for every failure. I can only thank God that I didn't have my race to blame my failures on, otherwise I would not have succeeded.

Black crime accounts ENTIRELY for the disparity between American and European crime rates. So the inference that "we have guns and Europeans, therefore guns are the problem" is fallacious.

The solution is NOT to "arm everyone." The solution is to allow law-abiding American citizens of EVERY RACE to exercise their RIGHT to keep and bear arms. As I stated clearly, 95% of the victims of black murder are black. When criminals are afraid of law abiding citizens, crime vanishes!

Gun control does NOT disarm criminals. It disarms law-abiding citizens.

Incarcerating criminals pays benefits far exceeding their costs. In typical leftist fashion you IGNORE the enormous costs of crime on society. A jail cell is MONEY WELL SPENT. But we needn't spend an exorbitant amount of money on these caged animals. There are many models of successful, low-cost prisons. They do not need cable television, premium medical care, unionized guards, expensive buildings, and gourmet meals. They should have minimal subsistence in isolated camps far from civilization. The US somehow managed to hold hundreds of thousands of enemy POWs and innocent Japanese in prisons at low cost during WWII. Why do you think we are unable to do so now?

Prisons are a public good, shared equally in consumption by all, and are properly provided by government and paid for through taxation. Paying for prisons is not a problem when we don't have runaway entitlement programs of private goods and redistribution to wreck our budgets.

The solution involves keeping more CRIMINALS in jail, regardless of their race. By virtue of the fact that blacks COMMIT far more crimes than whites, both in relative and absolute terms, this means the jails will be filled mostly with blacks. This is a problem with their behavior, not our enforcement of laws.

Next time read and learn before you try to "clarify" what I've said.

Dr Ralph said...

You obviously have this all figured out. Thank you for setting me straight.

I'm sure the calm certainty with which you hold your opinions is an inspiration to all who know you, and I appreciate the patience you have shown those of us who are not fortunate enough to share your world view.

Nick Rowe said...

Ralph, this isn't about MY world view. It's about seeing the world for what it IS. It's mostly about recognizing the liberal world view has FAILED miserably, everywhere it's been tried.

It's about recognizing that political correctness has obscured TRUTH which we find unappealing to consider.

I live in San Francisco where liberals have run the show since the late 1950s. This is no utopia. There is still rampant crime, drug use, gun violence, depression, disease, hatred, racism, spouse and child abuse, environmental damage, poverty, illiteracy, homelessness, labor complaints, crazy driving, malnutrition, high dropout rates. And SF is among the RICHEST cities. If liberal policies would work anywhere, they'd work here.

Here are the most liberal cities: Detroit, Gary, Berkeley, DC, Oakland, Inglewood, Cambridge, Newark, San Francisco, Flint, Cleveland, Hartford, Chicago, Philadelphia.

The most conservative cities: Provo, Lubbock, Abilene, Hialeah, Plano, Colorado Springs, Gilbert (AZ), Bakersfield, Lafayette (LA), Orange (Ca)

Seriously, Ralph, and I ask this with complete respect for your intellect: which of those cities have fewer social ills? What liberal policies have succeeded in alleviating social ills? Where?

Dr Ralph said...

Nick - I'd be a lot more inclined to give some credence to your statements if you'd actually cite the sources you claim to have that support your arguments. As it is, you expect me to take your word for it, something you'd hardly do for me.

Also, I get really tired of labels. They seems to denote a certain intellectual laziness. And you're obviously smarter than that.

One last question: given what seems to be your political persuasion and the fact you've include San Francisco in your list of "most Liberal" cities, why are you there instead of Provo or Abilene. Are you a native, a "grow where you're planted" kind of guy, or do you just enjoy being miserable?

...It's been an enjoyable exchange but I've got to get back to work.

Nick Rowe said...


I'd be more inclined to credit you with intellect and honest disagreement if you ACTUALLY DID YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.

The statistics on murder rates, including race, are freely available on the Bureau of Justice Statistics or FBI Crime in the US website. City crime rates and demographic information are available on the US Census Bureau website. Articles in peer reviewed journals on crime and gun ownership are available in EconLit.

YOU were the one who made the specious argument that people who drive recklessly cannot be trusted with guns. YOU made the unsubstantiated and offensive inference that people who own guns have problems with impotence.

Let's see YOUR research studies, you friggin Einstein!

As for labels, if the shoe fits wear it. Funny how you begin this "enjoyable exchange" with an insult and then call for civil discussion. Drive-by discourse is so typical of leftists. Looking at your other comments, you are long on insult and scorn and short on facts and logic. You are such a ankle-biter, Whited Sep. called you out by name in one post.

As for why I live in SF, it's none of your GD business. I can choose to live wherever I please for whatever reason I please. I need not accept the dominant local political aradigm nor "love it or leave it." I have lived in seven states and have, for the time being, found my home here. I laugh every day at the irony of this socialist utopia. John Edwards' "two Americas" are right here. Segregation is right here. Racial hatred is right here. It's called Schadenfreude!

I note well that you were UNWILLING to explain why cities dominated by liberals for decades remain wretched dens of scum and villainy while conservative cities are peaceful and prosperous... Oh, and they have LOTS of guns too.

From the FBI Offenses Known to Law Enforcement:

San Francisco murders in 2008: 98 (12.3 per 100K)
Detroit murders in 2008: 306 (33.8 per 100K)
Provo murders in 2008: 0 (0 per 100K)
Lubbock murders in 2008: 8 (3.6 per 100K)

SF violent crime: 6744 per 100K
Detroit violent crime: 17,428 per 100K
Provo violent crime: 184 per 100K
Lubbock violent crime: 2009 per 100K

Lubbock's crime problem is concentrated in the 25% of hispanics who live there.

Scurry along. Come back when you have something substantive to say.

Dr Ralph said...

Nick -- having a bad day?

FYI -- I happen to be friends with the owner of this blog (and several of his regular contributors). We disagree on a lot of issues (and agree on others, believe it or not). Regardless, we still manage to enjoy each others company. I even do occasional tech support for him.

You, on the other hand, show up snorting like a raging bull, ready to go off at the slightest trigger.

Get over it. You'll live longer.

If it will make you happy, I'll even give you the last word so you can do something else besides hammer out angry rebuttals to my specious and unsubstantiated drivel.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I'm glad you boys have been able to amuse yourselves while I've been away....

Doctor, this is Nick. Nick - meet Dr. Ralph.

As a temporary compromise, let's leave our guns in the lobby, and have a cup of coffee. Starbucks coffee. Mmmm, Mmmm, Tasty ! ! And worth the trip to the I-30 and Hulen Starbucks, where they always save me a corner seat.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Nick Rowe said...

Well, it's good WS is a tolerant and patient person.

I showed up on this blog and responded to your offensive and fallacious notion that people who own firearms are somehow deficient in their masculinity. Since it's a blog open to the public, my opinion is as welcome as yours regardless of your relationship with our gracious host.

Whether you were taking a cheap shot or actually believe your drivel, my first response was tepid. You might try reading it again. It's right up here ^ a few comments up. Go ahead and read it. I'll wait.


There was absolutely nothing which could be described as "snorting like a raging bull." YOU launched the first verbal attack, yet you react to my response with indignance.

Then you swerved into a completely fallacious comparison between drivers and gun owners and followed up with suicide statistics which are entirely irrelevant. I set you straight and that ignited your cognitive dissonance.

Instead of admitting the error of your logic, you proceeded to contort my words with a condescending tone into something which I did not say. Again, I set you straight with facts.

I gave you information I know from years of inquiry, then you questioned my source. I gave you the sources but you didn't respond about it. You just dragged a red herring. Not once have you directly addressed anything I've said as nonfactual or fallacious.

It's become clear I'm not debating an issue with a person - I'm speaking to a pre-recorded message.

A psychiatrist would have a field day with you:

- Projection of your own insecurity with insults
- Irrational fears
- Distorted perception of reality
- Inability to focus your thoughts
- Deflection and evasion
- Passive-aggressive behavior

Here's a tip for you: start reading our comments again from the first post and find all of the listed neuroses in your writing.

You've already offered me the "last word" once before. Can you find it above ^? I'll wait.


Yet you fired back again only 77 minutes after my reply. At the end of your game of Twister with my words, you literally invited further response.

Am I to believe you this time that you have concluded our "enjoyable exchange"? (that's a rhetorical question BTW)

Nick Rowe said...

Sorry WS. I didn't mean to post over YOUR last words. It wasn't there when I was typing my last comment.

It's nice to meet you Ralph. I'd love to join you both for coffee sometime. It's quite a long drive for me to Ft. Worth though.

When I make it out to our Dallas office, I'll let you know.

Best regards.

Dr Ralph said...

Nick -- I know I offered you the last word, but allow me to say if indeed you are in Dallas I'd be more than happy to buy you a cup of coffee, or a beer if that's your pleasure.

I'm told I'm not nearly as objectionable in person.

Nick Rowe said...

Ralph, I accept your gracious offer as intended. When I'm in your area we shall imbibe various nectars of choice and ruminate over matters great and small.

People are often more abrasive in the anonymity of the internet than they would be in person. In part, it liberates people to express the full range of their emotions without fear of reprisal. On the other hand it encourages unnecessary incivility. Now that I know you marginally better, we may be cordial with one another.

It has been observed (in research I shall not bother to cite) that people become more moderate in their expressed views when grouped with people of opposing or moderate viewpoints. They become more extreme when grouped with like-minded people.

I assert there are some benefits to intellectual diversity.

Don't ever feel, with me, that a discussion is over. We wouldn't be bloggers if we didn't get a thrill out of being challenged. Frankly, I find those who attack me on my blog far more interesting and satisfying than those who agree with me, although I have valued greatly when someone says, "You said what I always believed but couldn't express."

Blog on, my friend. If you're in the SF area, let me know. I have it on good authority that you are a good person.

Anonymous said...

Surely they can rely on the local police to protect them instead?