Should restaurants deduct credit card fees from server tips, the story behind 'Occupy Wall Street,' kids learn how to play in Duluth, cities in the gun business, and the real lesson from a Nobel Prize winner.
It is alternately a depressing and exciting day for people who need to own the latest gadget. The new iPhone 5 is being unveiled. Your formerly-latest-gadget that you paid dearly for in exchange for all the admiration that comes with it, is now a liability that singles you out for shame. You might as well walk around with the Easy Bake Oven.
Apple is holding the unveiling at noon (CT) at the "Apple Town Hall" at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. For this event, however, Apple is not providing a live video stream on its website.
And Vertex says it will provide some sort of narrated video stream and pregame "show."
But, the Wall Street Journal says, the iPhone may be losing its "cool factor."(1 Comments)
The Centers for Disease Control says drunk driving is down. In a report released today, the CDC says a nationwide survey of adults shows 1 in 50 acknowledged driving drunk in 2010, for a total of about 112 million instances of drunk driving.
The report says most of the drunks were men, who were responsible for 4 of every 5 episodes, and men ages 21-34 were responsible for about a third of all instances, even though they make up just 11 percent of the adult population.
Guess what section of the country is the poster child for drunk drivers?
The Midwest Census region had the highest annual rate of alcohol-impaired driving episodes at 643 per 1,000 population, which was significantly higher than the rates in all other regions (Figure 2). Excluding 12 states and DC with small sample sizes and potentially unstable rates, four of the seven states with rates of alcohol-impaired driving that were significantly higher than the U.S. rate overall were in the Midwest (Table 2). The Midwest also had the highest prevalence of binge drinking at 16.5%, which was significantly higher than the prevalence in the Northeast (15.1%), West (14.3%), or South (12.6%).
This isn't surprising, considering that the upper Midwest is the biggest binge-drinking section of the country and binge drinking is responsible for a large share of the drunk driving episodes, according to the CDC.
The agency also reported that people who say they don't always use seatbelts are four times more likely to drive drunk.
Seventy-six percent of persons living in states with a primary seatbelt law (which allows police to stop drivers and ticket them solely because occupants are unbelted) reported always wearing a seatbelt, whereas 58% of their counterparts living in states with a secondary law (which only allows police to issue seat belt tickets if drivers were stopped from some other violation) or no seatbelt law (New Hampshire) reported always wearing a seatbelt.
Minnesota has a primary seat belt law, although there was an effort in the Legislature this year to repeal it.
The CDC report on lower instances of drunk driving corresponds to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's statistics for 2010, which showed a drop in drunk driving deaths in the state to the lowest number on record. Last year, 131 motorists were killed in alcohol related crashes, a 21-percent drop from 166 deaths five years ago.
But the percentage of total traffic deaths in Minnesota related to alcohol has not budged much, according to the Department of Public Safety.
One in seven current Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record, and one in 17 has two or more DWIs, according to the DPS.
Why the drop? The DPS says stronger DWI sanctions for all repeat offenders and for first-timers who blow .16 on the tests for alcohol-concentration level is part of it. "Under the new sanctions (effective since July 1), these offenders must use ignition interlock for at least a year or face at least one year without driving privileges. Interlock requires the driver to provide a breath sample in order to start the vehicle," the DPS said in a news release last month.
If there's one thing Hank Williams Jr., did last night that's far more damaging than comparing a sitting president to Hitler, it's comparing Hitler to anybody, thus diminishing the shock value of the word, "Hitler."
Williams obviously isn't the first to travel down this road. If he had been, it'd be far more shocking than the general shoulder shrug a comparison to Hitler elicits these days. Godwin's Law -- as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 -- recognizes the overuse of the comparison to "shock" someone involved in a discussion.
The irony is that in the constant comparison of Hitler to people who clearly aren't in his evil league, it is the Fuhrer who is being redefined.
The chances are that Hank Williams Jr., knows nothing of the 1919 Gemlich
letter, which Hitler wrote while a soldier. Let's just say it is nothing like playing a round of golf with a political opponent.
"What began as a private letter, one man's opinion, twenty-two years later became the 'Magna Carta' of an entire nation and led to the nearly total extinction of the Jewish people. This is an important lesson for future generations," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder. "Demagogues mean what they say and given the opportunity, carry out what they promise," he concluded.
Today, the letter went on display for the first time at the Museum of Tolerance in California. It's considered the most significant document in the Simon Wiesenthal Center's history.
We're always looking for economic signs and signals in this business. Here are some of the favorites we've spotted from the Occupy Wall Street protest in the last two days.
(via Flickr. David Shankbone)
(Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images)(2 Comments)