Canada

Montreal Bans New Restaurants to Protect Incumbents

'Montreal has one of the highest restaurant per-capita ratios in North America and the amount of places to eat is worrying local politicians.'

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Tallent Show / CC BY-SA

About fifteen years ago, my girlfriend Roxanne and I drove from my parents' house in Massachusetts to Montreal for a weekend vacation. We'd both been to Montreal previously, but had never traveled there together.

While in the city, we spent some time seeing the great sights—Mont Royal, Tim Horton's, Canadian Tire—and ate a bunch of great food, including what Roxanne to this day insists is, hands down, the best filet mignon she's ever eaten.

We also checked out the colorful turf at Olympic Stadium, where we took in an Expos game. I picked up one of the team's great T-shirts—which I still own, and which features the 'Spos logo atop this team's perennial question: "Why not us? Why not now?"

When the year ended, the World Series again wasn't theirs. Why not the Expos? Why not now? As had always happened, they simply weren't good enough. (A 1994 baseball strike—when the Expos most certainly were good enough—dashed the Expos' hopes for a World Series victory. But that's a story for another day).

Soon after we saw the Expos play, the team left Montreal for good, settling in Washington, D.C., where it's continued to be a talented and perennial also-ran.

Sadly, the restaurant where Roxanne ate her legendarily great steak, Sans Menu, also closed in recent years.As with the Expos inability to compete, perhaps competition from Montreal's vibrant dining scene was to blame for Sans Menu's closure. If that's the case, then it's possible, as recent reports indicate, that Sans Menu may have closed too soon.

That's because lawmakers in Montreal have moved to crack down on new restaurants, in an odious attempt to protect existing ones.

"Montreal has one of the highest restaurant per-capita ratios in North America and the amount of places to eat is worrying local politicians," reads a Canadian Press piece from earlier this week.

If that sounds awful and weird, that's because it is. Studies of the best places to eat often conclude that the more restaurants a city has per-capita, the better its restaurant scene. It's no surprise that the more choices a consumer has, the better off that consumer is.

Montreal does have an impressive number of restaurants. Data shows Montreal trails only New York City in terms of restaurants per capita in North America. As in New York City, that competition is great for Montreal's consumers. But it puts pressure on incumbent restaurateurs. So lawmakers have decided to side with the latter.

The worry expressed by lawmakers has turned into a ban on new restaurants from opening within 25 meters of an existing one along the city's Rue Notre Dame, the street the now-shuttered Sans Menu once called home. Notably, the action comes as "a number of commercial and retail properties remain empty" in this same part of Montreal.

The law "risk[s] turning the city's restaurant scene into a heavily bureaucratized nightmare like the province's construction industry," says the head of Quebec's restaurant association, who notes that real threats to the industry come from "road construction, high property and licensing taxes, as well as the potential for a $15 hourly minimum wage."

Predictably, though, some protectionist restaurateurs support the measure.

"In Montreal you can apply for a restaurant permit and get it immediately—that's a problem for me" says David McMillan, a supporter of the restrictions, whose high-end restaurant, Joe Beef, is an intended beneficiary of the ban.

He's not alone.

"I don't believe in the free market anymore," says restaurateur Carlos Ferreira. "We have to protect the good restaurants."

Ah, yes. The "good" ones. That's clearly an objective question upon which government can and should rule.

This reprehensible backlash against competition in the restaurant industry is, I believe, the logical conclusion of years of so many dumb arguments against food trucks. For years, many restaurateurs have claimed that they should be protected against competition from food trucks. To that argument, food-truck supporters often respond that, well, shucks, Mr. Restaurateur, how come you're trying to get the government to prevent a food truck from operating nearby you once in a while but you're not trying to get that same government to bar another brick-and-mortar restaurant from opening up next door to you and competing against you all day, every day?

Speaking of food trucks, Montreal recently ended its decades-long ban on food trucks, with a twist. Food trucks can't park within 60 meters of a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Also: "For food safety," reports a Canadian news service, "the trucks chosen will have to be associated with an already established restaurant."

VICE referred to this ass-backwards plan to pretend to allow food trucks in Montreal as "a Symbolic 'Fuck You' to Poor People and Immigrants."

"Why not us?" Montreal's baseball team once asked. "Why not now?"

The Expos lost because they weren't good enough to best the competition. When it comes to Montreal's restaurant scene, laws are trying to make sure the inability of some restaurateurs to compete doesn't get in the way of their winning.

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  1. How many ways are there to make poutine?

    1. I came up with about 20 different styles. Haven’t implemented them yet. It’s my backup life plan.

      1. Just don’t try implementing your backup plan in Montreal..

    2. The easier question to answer: How many good ways are there to make poutine?

      A. Zero

      1. Uncultured Philistine.

        1. Philistine cuisine is certainly superior to poutine.

          1. Poutine is food of the Gods.

          2. It’s comfort food for when it’s cold outside.

            It’s the people’s choice!

            1. I thought “cold outside” was code for date rape?

              No thank you!

              1. Well I really must go…

            2. Do you know what else was the people’s choice?

  2. So,their trying to be as French as possible?

  3. Will this be the only post this weekend?

    1. It would be nice to have one last “feel good” post to carry us to Boxing Day, instead of something about outlawing restaurants or cops’ wrong-house raids. Where’s Stossel?

  4. Rufus hardest hit.

    1. Meh. Not really. Restaurants against competition, the government and Revenue Quebec all deserve one another for a myriad of reasons.

      A place like Joe Beef or any other place better treat every single person like gold if they’re going to take that attitude and I’m not convinced that they do.

      1. But the Joe Beef guys areally so cool and hang out with Anthony Bourdain!

        1. Pi? J’men fou!

          1. Why I never, how uncouth! This has been the worst experience I’ve ever had on vacation!

            1. Smile. Trump just saved Christmas!

      2. Ah, but normal people don’t deserve any of this.

  5. Can’t Canada do something original? What about a war on bacon. Isn’t there just one Canadian who is offended by bacon so that they can just ban bacon and wage a war on it? What about a refugee? Can’t Canada import one refugee who would be offended by bacon? I want to see a war on bacon, I’m getting bored of all these boring wars.

    1. Canadian bacon is not worth fighting over.

      1. Because it’s sliced ham.

        1. That makes it one of the greatest abuses of English by the French since forever.

        2. That’s what Eastern Canadians (or Central, to the pedants) call back bacon.
          In the West, bacon is bacon, just like in America.

  6. Best meal of my life was at Joe Beef.

  7. I don’t believe in the free market anymore…

    Yeah, I’m guessing the only time you may have was when you were planning to start your own restaurant.

  8. “”Montreal has one of the highest restaurant per-capita ratios in North America and the amount of places to eat is worrying local politicians,” reads a Canadian Press piece from earlier this week.”

    Bernie Sanders approves. Colonel Sanders not so much.

    1. Nobody needs 23 different places to eat when children are starving. Wait a minute!

    2. The author (or the author’s sources) compare Montreal’s numbers to New York’s, thus raising the specter of overregulation in a crowded field. But that unique to such cities. A reason that the restaurant market in Philadelphia has exploded in recent years, for example, is the overregulation of the Big Apple, and all I see there (for all the city’s other progressive failings) is support for that growth. If Montreal curbs new establishments, it just means that a similar other city within two hours will suddenly develop into a new culinary scene.

      1. Hello Ottawa!

      2. You should see the explosion of new restaurants in Detroit (and no, I’m not kidding). Wall-to-wall hipsters–cocktails, weird food combinations. We try to check them out as quickly as they open, but it’s a losing battle. Just a few (in case you’re in the neighborhood):
        Parc, Farmer’s Hand, Grey Ghost, Gus’s, Rock City Eatery, Pie-Sci…
        And these are only the ones that opened in downtown in 2016–not counting new ones in all the suburbs.

    3. Do you refer to the Colonel Sanders of PFK fame?

      PFK = Poulet Frite a la Kentucky

      http://citynoise.org.uk/articl…..ontreal@qc

  9. Smells like rent seeking to me.

    1. Perhaps the owners of vacant buildings will get involved now to stop this law. If so it will be……..wait for it………..LITERALLY rent seeking.

  10. The wife just pointed out that this could come back to bite existing restaurants that are already located close to another. If they fail and need to sell the space other restaurants are now out of the market.

    1. Individual tragedies must be accepted for the greater good.

    2. Hey,the restaurant next door just shut down because of government regulations, let’s expand, seems like a poorly thought out plan. If it happened to them, it can happen to you.

      1. But if it didn’t happen to us, we must be the right people.

  11. About fifteen years ago, my girlfriend Roxanne and I drove from my parents’ house in Massachusetts to Montreal for a weekend vacation….

    Yikes, for a few seconds there I thought Reason had decided to serialize a Warty story.

    1. They could ditch Chapman and reprint SF’s stories and AC’s musings, I’d have no problem with that.

  12. What’s everyone having for dinner tomorrow? I have a roast that I rubbed down Thursday. Going to roast it medium rare with stuffed braised mushroom caps ,roasted hand cut garlic and herb potato wedges and a nice salad with olive oil,balsamic vinegar and blue cheese. Plus some Sam Adams lager.

    1. Best BBQ joint in town smokes Hams and Turkeys. Wife picked up our ham yesterday. She’s also doing potatoes au gratin.

    2. Christmas Day at my in-laws house. My father in law is from the swamps of Louisiana, so we get a feast. Turkey, bbq, traditional holiday dishes, as well as southern dishes. Its kind of awesome.

      I’ll be sipping Jim Beam, with and without eggnog.

      1. I have some wild goose jerky I’m going to munch on with Sam tonight. I’ve smoked a whole goose a few times for Christmas and was very good. The rib roast just sounded good this year.

        1. These euphemisms are getting really abstract.

    3. Oddly enough, sushi. If I can be bothered, I’ll make some toll house cookies.

    4. Rib roast, corn parfait, chestnut dressing made with brioche. Soaking raisins in rum right now, and not sure if I’ll make banana bread, or zucchini bread. Maybe both.

      Going to use the reverse sear method on the rib roast.

      1. Where do you live, and what time should we show up? I’ll bring a bottle and some champagne.

      2. I rubbed my rib roast with sea salt,crushed black pepper corns,garlic powder and smoked Hungarian paprika . Been in the fridge since early Thursday morning. I like the reverse sear. I use it for steaks with a large iron skillet. Never did it on a roast. That work well?

        1. Yea you can reverse sear a rib roast.

          By reverse sear in the roasting process, that would be cooking low and slow at first to doneness, resting the meat completely, then roasting at high heat to develop a crust. Not sure if is worth the effort.

        2. I do reverse sear on medallions of pork loin, but on all sorts of other stuff. Works great, and if you have the grill running anyway for other food, well worth the effort.

    5. Tonight is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner – eggs, mushroom and cabbage soup, babalki (little dough balls) and cabbage, church. My parents insist on having non-peasant food, so they are making Maryland crab soup and chocolate pecan pie, too.

      Tomorrow is at the in-laws, and it’s ham. Also apple pie with homemade vanilla bean gelato and my homemade salted caramel sauce.

    6. What I usually have on the 2nd night of Chanukkah, latkes and leftovers from whatever Thai dishes my wife is making for tonight.

      1. Thai is my favorite Jewish food.

          1. Oh heavens, now I have something great to use the balance of an open tamarind pulp patty. Thanks!

          2. That looks yummy.

      2. We’re ripping your meal off tonight because that brisket recipe seems really excellent. Gonna do the latkes with a hipster douche twist of throwing parsnip and red beet into the tuber mix.

    7. Christmas Day is for the kids, Christmas Eve is for the adults so we do Christmas Eve up, not Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is a ham, plus several kinds of cold cuts (turkey, salami, roast beef) with a wide variety of breads and rolls, tons of snacks, cheeses, crackers, chips and dips, pickles and olives, nuts and chocolates, fruit and veggie trays, pies and cakes and cookies. And everybody brings a couple of bottles and mixers and we get nicely toasted. Then we play spoons.

      When you’re drunk and competitive, spoons is a full-contact sport.

      1. Bone in prime rib roast and a ham smoked in pecan on the pellet grill. Also a slab of salmon brown sugar cured and cold smoked.

        Oyster cornbread dressing. Numerous veggie dishes.

        Lots of rum and red wine. Salmon done this way will stand up to a red.

        Pecan and punkin pies with Blue Bell ice cream.

        A glass of Messina Hoff port.

        Coma.

        1. Nice spread. I love rib roast. Unfortunately my parents won’t eat rare or medium rare meat. I’ll do the rib roast after they go to Florida in January.

          1. Two words for your parents: microwave oven.

            1. Yeah, it’s pretty sad

    8. Half my family is going to spend New Years in the Bahamas, so my mom and I decided to combine Christmas with our traditional New Year’s dinner, so I’ll be eating corned beef and cabbage plus some black eyed peas.

    9. We’re on a cultural appropriation mission, and eating at an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.

    10. Grilled filet mignon with lobster salad and twice baked potatoes, and some sort of gluten free chocolate yule log roll my wife is doing.

      1. Thanks to Suell’s meal suggestion in the 2016 Post I will be going for a sunset swim at the beach followed by ciopinno and a nice red. America’s Polynesian outpost has some issues, but winter weather is not one of them.

    11. Don’t be jealous, guys, but I’m thinking of trying out all three sizes of the new Big Macs.

    1. Damn, I didn’t realize the new conspiracy scene had moved to single-pane/meme format. Can’t wait for the Moon landing nuts to grab onto this style!

  13. “I don’t believe in the free market anymore,” says restaurateur Carlos Ferreira. “We have to protect the good restaurants.”

    But the free-market was just fine for you when you made money, right?

    What a stupid, insipid, moronic statement. Hello, you were once a *new* restaurant. The mould didn’t break with you. To stop future restauranteurs from coming into the market is wrong and irrational.

    I love how all these assholes, once entrenched and making money, suddenly have a regressive, anti-market attitude.

    Sorry Carlos. I want choice and you ain’t all that. Put on your big boy pants and compete and stop thinking like a pampered civil servant or Taxi driver.

    1. Perhaps, just maybe, he counts wise government regulation as part of the free market.

      Same way some count reasonable regulation as not gun control.

      Or the repeal of Glass-Steagal as a deregulation of financial markets.

      Shorter version: Words mean whatever he wants them to mean at the moment.

  14. Merry Fuckmas every one. I hate u all equally. And i hate some of u more equally than others. Now get off my lawn.

    1. I don’t know why, but you made me think of this song.
      I am Santa Claus.

      1. “How many people here are drunk?”

        “How many people here are stoned right now?”

        Awesome!

        1. Ricky’s got a good take on the holiday

    2. I don’t hate you. 🙁 Don’t really love you either. But Fuckmas indeed.

  15. “About fifteen years ago, my girlfriend Roxanne and I drove from my parents’ house in Massachusetts to Montreal for a weekend vacation. We’d both been to Montreal previously, but had never traveled there together.”

    Maybe it’s because it’s Christmas, but none of the commenters have made any Sting jokes. Good work, and stay classy!

    1. Well I probably would have made a Ben Folds joke if I read the article.

      1. Too busy drowning slowly?

        1. Sort of. I only have a few days out of the year when I can add whiskey to anything I drink and not look like an alcoholic. This is one of those days, and I intend to abuse the privilege.

  16. “”Montreal has one of the highest restaurant per-capita ratios in North America and the amount of places to eat is worrying local politicians,” reads a Canadian Press piece from earlier this week.”

    Another way they tried to bring the number down is to introduce a black box to basically eliminate cash business. Rev. Que (a place that needs to be eliminated) knows everything in real time.

    1. Fuckin A, this SRM thing is some seriously creepy stuff, I am sorry about that you poor bastards.

  17. “secular/agnostic Californian” is “officially tired of the type of people who have surrounded me my entire life….

    “I am tired of their unexamined snobbery and condescension.

    “I am tired of their name-calling and virtue-signaling as signs of supposedly high intelligence….

    “I am tired of their shallowness….

    “…they seem two-dimensional, as if they believe that being a nice, well-socialized person who holds the correct political views is all there is….

    “Right now, I am struggling to accept the basic Christian doctrines (virgin birth, resurrection, second coming) because I feel the Christian tribe may be the right tribe for my family….I want to prepare my kids to live according to some unchanging truth, not subject to every passing trend, and this felt like a start. But I worry that an inability to believe in the supernatural aspects of the faith will limit my ability to be a “real” Christian.

    “Last Sunday’s sermon mentioned 1 Peter:18-19, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors.” This may be obvious to you, but secular liberalism does seem empty in some way, despite all the things my educated, middle-class tribe has to be grateful for. If that’s what’s been handed down to me, I want more, especially for my precious kids. I’m trying.”

    1. But I worry that an inability to believe in the supernatural aspects of the faith will limit my ability to be a “real” Christian

      That was an issue for me as well. My religiosity has gone through cycles throughout my life. I’m currently starting back on an upward trajectory. But I have almost always chosen to live my life as if the supernatural elements were true (and sometimes I even sort of believe that they are) while simultaneously realizing that they are probably not true. I think it qualifies as a type of doublethink, but it’s doublethink I choose to engage in because it brings value to my life.

      I think a lot of religions suffer from seeming like an all or nothing proposition. Many of the greatest religious thinkers explored doubt in profound ways, but it almost never gets meaningfully discussed during the one hour on Sundays that constitutes most people’s exploration of their religion.

    2. Let’s face it, I’m tired.

      1. Classy Madeline Kuhn reference!

        1. She was so awesome. RIP MK.

          1. One of the funniest dames I’ve seen.

  18. “In Montreal you can apply for a restaurant permit and get it immediately?that’s a problem for me” says David McMillan, a supporter of the restrictions, whose high-end restaurant, Joe Beef, is an intended beneficiary of the ban.

    15 years ago, I moved out here to a nice new subdivision in this bucolic rural county to get away from all the assholes in the city and now everywhere I look there’s subdivisions being built for assholes from the city moving out here and they’re ruining this lovely, peaceful place. We really need the county commissioners to enact a law to restrict development before we’re overrun by hordes of assholes from the city. Signed, Some Clueless Asshole From The City

    I may be paraphrasing a bit, but that letter to the editor appears about once a week in the local paper. Doesn’t matter which local paper, I’ll bet every local paper from a town on the fringes of every metropolitan area in the country has that exact same letter.

    1. What if you are an asshole who lives in the city and loves fellow assholes?

    2. The magic in these cases is that everyone who moved there up to and including you were not assholes, but the very next person who moved after you was.

  19. From the Star article linked to.

    David McMillan, co-owner of Montreal’s renowned Joe Beef restaurant, laments that virtually anyone, regardless of experience, can open an eatery in the gastronomical city.
    “I can’t decide tomorrow to practise plumbing, to practise amateur electricity,” he muses in an interview with The Canadian Press. “In Montreal you can apply for a restaurant permit and get it immediately ? that’s a problem for me.”

    “The opportunity to introduce raw food and animal protein into people’s bodies is not to be taken lightly. At a minimum, there should be some kind of certification.

    All you people who are making your families Christmas dinner are going to kill them unless you have Government permission to prepare food. You monsters!

    1. I’m ever worse,I have killed,cleaned and cooked WILD GAME that does not have a government stamp for many years. Even fed them to friends. Also and fish and sea creatures ,caught and eaten.

      1. You know what happens to poachers found on the King’s land, don’t you?

        1. Omelettes instead of poached eggs?

      2. You’re basically worse than Hitler.

    2. What a pompous dolt.

      My mother can run circles around half these guys.

      It’s not that hard.

      And some of the BEST restaurants I’ve been to in my life were exactly the ones run by non-professionals.

      1. What’s his beef anyway?

        A local Vietnamese restaurant I go to is run by a mother, her son and daughter. She came off the boat and did what she knew best: Cook.

        What does this guy want? To shut her down? Does he feel he’s superior to her? I know they like to charge a premium for their name brands but I fail to see how new entrants can hurt them if they stick to doing their jobs. Tell you what, I’d sooner give my money to her than to people who feel smug enough to feel entitled to my coin. I’ve been to my fair share of what were considered to be ‘the best’ restaurants and usually left shaking my head.

        So let the market determine if you survive pal. Like I mentioned above, don’t be complacent, respect your customers and keep those big boy pants on.

  20. Look, as long as all the restaurant’s signs and menus are in the French language, what’s the problem?

    1. Shh… I ate at an Irish pub in Montreal when I was there several years ago. I was greeted in English before I had a chance to butcher the pronunciation of “Bonjour” and the menu was in both French and English.

      1. The Irish and the French used to be buds, so it’s OK.

        1. True. Also, a lot of Irish emigrated to Montreal. Enough that there is a clover on the Montreal city flag and coat of arms.

  21. “In Montreal you can apply for a restaurant permit and get it immediately?that’s a problem for me”

    I mean, you don’t have to slip the bureaucrat a little gratuity or anything. It’s weird.

    alternatively

    “- that’s a problem for me.” It means I actually have to work on maintaining my restaurant’s quality, and I was planning on starting to change the tables on the wine, water the whisky, and slip people cheaper cuts of meat.

    When was the last time a politician actually said, in public, “This legislation is really none of our goddamned business.”?

  22. With the assumption that this will likely be the only thread for Christmas eve, I’d like to say something to everyone out there who cares about Hanukkah. While the news excoriates Donald Trump for whatever he tweets this weekend, please take note that Barack Obama is throwing Israel under the bus.

    Barack Obama’s irresponsible refusal to veto the UN resolution condemning Israel is simply a personal temper tantrum he’s throwing because he hates the Israel lobby and because he hates Netanyahu.

    Personally, I prefer anybody from Matisyahu to Yahoo Serious, but undermining our closest and best ally in the region because they won’t play the politically correct posturing game is outrageously incompetent.

    Who cares if Israel historically acts as our proxy–striking at America’s enemies in Iran, Iraq, and elsewhere without us having to get involved directly? Who cares what’s in the best interests of American security?

    The important thing is that Israel responds to the demands of social justice warriors on American college campuses?! With a UN resolution, now the anti-Israel, divest and sanction lobby has all the ammunition they need. They’re going to treat Israel like they treated South Africa.

    1. One of my grade-school classmates once wrote a story about the Grinch Who Stole Hanukkah. The kid was a regular Nostradamus, predicting Obama!

      1. When we want to see what somebody is really like, watch what they do when they’ve got nothing to worry about. Now Obama is in Westworld, where he can do anything he wants without fearing the consequences. Watch what he does now that he has his Ring of Gyges. Bill Clinton started pardoning his campaign donors!

        Presidents rarely do what we think they’re going to do anyway.

        America voted for George W. Bush because they were sick of Clinton era scandals–not because they wanted to invade Iraq.

        America voted for Barack Obama because they were sick of neocon wars–not because we wanted to launch a cultural revolution by social justice cadres.

        Now we voted for Trump because we don’t want the kulturkampf anymore. What fresh hell awaits us, I don’t know, but I’m sure it’ll be something we do. not. want.

        The best thing about representative democracy is that we get a chance to kick our leaders to the curb every so often, but it is not about the will of the people. Yeah, that’s the true message of Christmas: The American people do not get what they want from Grinch Presidents like Barack Obama. The American people get what they want from Amazon.com–with free, two-day shipping if you’re a member of Amazon Prime.

        1. It’s almost as if they think they have a mandate.

          1. They don’t.

            Amazon has a mandate!

            1. We need an edit button. I meant a man-date.

              https://youtube.com/watch?v=fbGkxcY7YFU

    2. But every Jewish voter in NYC voted for Obama and Hillary and right on down the line except for my ex and her father who I got to both vote for Gary!

      1. I understand there’s a cultural connection there. I guess it’s like that with Irish-Americans, too.

        I don’t know if their aversion to Republicans has to do with the immigrant experience as a reaction to Nativism back in the 19th century or maybe it goes all the way back to their experience in Eastern Europe–where the opposite of a strong czar was a pogrom.

        But it is amazing that even though they’re the party’s donors and movers and shakers, the leadership is so openly hostile to Israel–especially when there are so many Republican leaders who are openly supportive of Israel.

        How obvious does it need to get?

        It’s as if the pro-life movement were supportive of Planned Parenthood, like if the anti-gun lobby were openly supportive of the NRA.

        Wake the hell up!

        1. Funny you mentioned the Irish-American experience too. My Dad was Irish Catholic in Chicago who hated FDR, voted for Nixon three times and wound up just being straight Republican. It was practically blasphemy on the south side. But he set a pretty good example about thinking independently. And although he was working class and not college educated, he put the WSJ in my hands in HS and said, ‘make sure you read the editorials.’ Thanks Dad! RIP.

          1. Cool. Merry Christmas!

      1. At least it’s tasteful. Not.

    3. I don’t really give a shit about Israel and Netanyahu is frankly a douchebag who deserves worse than UN condemnation.

      I’m not about to cry a river for the likudniks.

    4. Also ‘striking at our enemies’ is more liking exacerbating animosity with countries we have no business meddling with.

      I really do t get this. How can anyone who purports to favor non-Intervention sympathize the Likudniks? They’ve been a bane to their country and a headache to us.

      1. Whether you like Israel, whether Netanyahu is awful, etc. is fine as a private person.

        If you’re the President of the United States, letting your personal preferences override concerns for American security is childish and undermining our allies and American security interests for the benefit of Palestinians or any other third party is treasonous.

        And when the Israeli defense forces took out Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program in 1981 or Syria’s nuclear program in 2007, whether it exacerbated animosity was beside the point. The question was whether they were acting in our security interests.

        Why do you think Hezbollah has been loathe to target Americans specifically for so long? Do you think it’s out of the goodness of their hearts?

        I think it’s because they know we’d take Israel’s leash off if they ever targeted us specifically. I think it’s because their paymasters in Iran and Syria know we’d take Israel’s leash off if they ever targeted us specifically.

      2. An alliance is among the most effective means of self-defense ever devised. Having a strong ally in Israel has made an important contribution to American security since the early days of the Cold War–and with Iran’s ongoing missile program, Obama’s capitulation to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and Iraq no longer a meaningful counterweight to Iran in the region, our security relationship with Israel is more important now than ever.

        And there isn’t anything libertarian about capitulation. The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and the legitimate purpose of the military and foreign policy is to protect our rights from foreign threats. To the extent that our alliance helps protect our rights from threats in that region, it is a libertarian alliance.

  23. The progressives and social justice warriors who run the Democratic party were astonished that the white, blue collar workers that they’ve demonized for the last eight years would turn against them and vote for Trump. How could they be?

    Maybe the Democrat leadership was led to believe they could abuse their own core constituencies that way since it doesn’t matter how much contempt the left shows for the interests of American Jews–American Jews keep supporting the progressives anyway!

    Whether there’s anything Trump could do that would win the support of Jewish-Americans is an interesting question. An even more interesting question is whether there’s anything the progressives and the Democratic party could do that would endanger their support progressives?

    Read this link:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ob…..1482533330

    Memo to American Jews:

    I hate you.

    I hate Israel.

    Love,

    Barack Obama
    Social Justice Warrior in Chief

    He couldn’t write that memo while he was in office because he needed your support for his legacy by way of Hillary Clinton.

    Read the memo. Understand what is says.

    1. Man, I can’t wait until the Trump administration moves our embassy to Jerusalem.

        1. If wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry!

    2. “Read the memo. Understand what is says.”

      Paywall. But I think I know what it says: we are abandoning our only true friend and representative democracy in the ME for SJW reasons.

      1. Google the title.

  24. “…says restaurateur Carlos Ferreira. “We have to protect the good restaurants.”

    Do people like this ever read what they say?

  25. “At that time…Augustus decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. All returned to their own towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home.” (Luke 2, 1-4 New Living Translation). I’d love to see the quotes in the media of the day from the representatives of the Travel and Lodging industry that convinced/bribed the Romans to require travel to one’s ancestors’ birthplace. But I shouldn’t be giving them any ideas for how the U.S. 2020 census should be conducted, should i?

    1. Can you imagine the chaos??!!

      Highwaymen full employment act.

  26. Sig Sauer expanding American operations in Arkansas, not NH

    One of New Hampshire’s most successful companies is expanding out of state.

    Gun maker Sig Sauer, which employs more than 1,400 people in the Granite State, is expanding to Arkansas, where power is much cheaper than it is in New Hampshire. The company is building a 70,000-square-foot facility.

    “It’s energy supply. We don’t have enough of it,” Sig Sauer Facilities Director Jeff Chierepko said.

    During a taping of New Hampshire’s Business with Fred Kocher, Chierepko said New Hampshire was the first choice for expansion, but a look at the numbers changed the company’s decision.

    In New Hampshire, the cost of industrial power sits at more than 12 cents per killowatt per hour. In Arkansas, it’s less than half that price, an annual savings Chierepko puts at around $1 million.

    1. Not too long after I moved to NH, NH deregulated its energy market. This was about the time of the California “deregulation” (quotes because CA didn’t deregulate but the usual suspects called it deregulation). I remember reading about the details of NH’s deregulation and thinking, “Hey, this is similar to California’s mess!”

      NH required that, during a “transition period”, any other electric company that wanted to sell electricity in NH had to sell at below market rates. Or in other words, a new electricity supplier has to agree to lose money for a period of time in hopes that maybe they can make money.

      PSNH (now Eversource) remained the only electricity supplier for most of NH for many, many years. It’s only recently (three years ago I think?) that other suppliers came into NH. I switched off of PSNH (now Eversource) for electricity supply as fast as I could. Unfortunately, Eversource still gets some of my money because they own the lines and charge delivery fees.

    2. True, but they also buried the lede:

      Sig Sauer is also facing a problem finding talent. The company set aside space at its headquarters for a community college training program to give workers the skills they need in the company. Despite that effort, though, there are still 200 job openings at Sig Sauer in New Hampshire.

      I thought all our machining jobs were stolen by the inscrutable China-man.

      1. I saw that too, but I felt the need to bitch about PSNH/Eversource.

      2. A part of that is likely a drug test.

        I worked for a steel mill after I got out of the Army in the mid ’90s. They hired 300 or so out of 4,000 applicants for 800 positions. Everyone who passed the piss test got hired, with the cognitive tests getting waived for those drug-free applicants who failed them.

        1. Not sure they will get any better results on the drug test in Arkansas. Some other factor may be at play here …

    3. EXPORTING JOBS! Better get some prog juice on this toot sweet!

    4. Well, Remington decided to rebuild their manufacturing facility in Alabama about 3 years ago, and a bunch of the guys from the North East relocated. It’s where they’re building their new models like the RM380.

      I’ve spoken to their chief counsel a few times, and we’ve discussed the move. The opinion in Remington’s management is that absent a black swan event, there will always be difficulties placed in their way making boomsticks in the North East, and the more they develop in the ‘less expensive’ south, the less liklihood there is that they’ll ever even think about moving back once they’ve got a mature pipeline of experienced personnel.

      Furthermore, the industry is incestuous as hell, EVERYONE knows everyone else. Magpul, Remington, now Sig Sauer are out. And that’s just the big names. Many of those firms you thought were Yankee manufacturers aren’t anymore.

      Dan Wesson is now in Kansas City, and I’m sure Kimber are eyeing a move to the south. They’d be crazy not to. Ruger has been building guns in Arizona for a while, expect to see them moving out of CT soon.

  27. Government wants foreigners to provide social media information before entering US

    The headline at the CDT says foreigners “must”, but the article says providing the information is “optional”. However, this is the government.

    Foreign travelers will now be asked to provide links to their social media accounts before they enter the U.S. after the government implemented a new policy designed to identify “potential threats” on Tuesday.

    The request to provide links to accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn is optional. But privacy advocates and some technology companies oppose the move on the grounds it violates civil liberties and freedom of expression.

    The new policy, which was originally proposed this summer, was adopted Dec. 19 for people arriving via the visa waiver program. That program allows travelers from 38 countries to enter in the country without a visa. They apply through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which now asks about social media accounts in its online form.

    The funny thing is, I thought the NSA was listening in on the Internet? Doesn’t the government already have this information? A little “fuck you, that’s why”?

    1. “The new policy, which was originally proposed this summer, was adopted Dec. 19 for people arriving via the visa waiver program.”

      This can’t be right. Trump’s not in office yet and he’s the ‘fences’ guy.

    2. “You are very vigilant, Mr. immigration enforcement man, I am happy to provide you my social-media information.

      “Here is my I Love America Twitter Account.

      “Here are all the American flag icons I posted on Facebook.

      “You don’t speak Arabic, do you? Then I won’t bore you with my Arabic-language sites.”

    3. I gots news for you, pal. The border Gestapo definitely uses farcebook accounts to screen out low-IQ individuals, and study those accounts carefully when conducting interrogations. Some of the stupider farcebook users really DO post idiotic selfies of selves playing with guns and whatnot. Prohibition laws make excluding them all the easier.

  28. “Nigeria: Boko Haram is crushed, forced out of last enclave”
    […]
    “LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) ? The Boko Haram extremist group has finally been crushed ? driven from its last forest enclave with fighters on the run and no place to hide, Nigeria’s president declared Saturday.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/wor…..817144.php

    Certainly sounds like good news, but I seem to have heard this before.
    And then: “Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari meets the 21 Chibok girls who were released by Boko Haram last week, pledging to “redouble” his efforts to rescue those still being held.”
    If they ‘have no place to hide’, how are they still holding some of the kids?

  29. Last time I checked Montreal is in Quebec.

    The reason for economic insanity should be obvious.

  30. Dallas, Texas has more restaurants per capita than NYC. With the notable exception of Italian, where NYC truly excels, the restaurants here are just as good or better and much more affordable.

  31. Good restaurants are like Orwell’s most useful dog. Their owners jump through hoops, cough up taxes and smile approvingly as the cops shoot people in the back for victimless bullshit. You can count on them to snitch off their competitors and cackle if SWAT teams kick down the wrong door and end up killing everyone at TWO different addresses. Like all normative ethical adjectives, “good” is based on the code of values that guide your choices and actions. For looter altruists, that code calls for using the Political State to stiletto their competition.

  32. On the most important part of this article, filet mignon is THE most overrated cut of cow. Its like the skinless, boneless chicken breast of beef,but in addition to not tasting like anything its also really expensive. Meat’s always a tradeoff between texture and flavor (more active muscles have more flavor, but are tougher) so for steaks I like hanger ($$$) or flank ($), which are both medium activity. its a better balance between the two than petit filet or short ribs.

    1. Watching Good Eats a while back and I had to try the PSMO (PISMO? the primal cut the filets come from) he was demonstrating. Not too much trouble to break down, not too expensive (I think the cut was around $120 last time I looked, but turns into like 4-5 meals), and the scraps make great steak sandwich fodder.

  33. Quebec is an insular, myopic, backward-looking second- or third-tier nod to yester-century that emptied out over the course of 2-3 decades of separatist ascendancy, leaving behind the maple-suckers and dirt-poor immigrants.
    It has repeatedly given us our crappiest prime ministers, including our new Substitute Teacher in Chief.
    We are stuck with official bilingualism, even though French is a dying language by any reasonable measure.
    The are a parasitic tick on the productive remainder of the country.
    The sooner that province disappears like the Expos did, the better off the Rest of Canada would be.

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  35. “Montreal Bans New Restaurants to Protect Incumbents”

    A second meaning for “incumbent” would be the politicians who are creating the law. Linnekin misses this, I think because he hasn’t done the hard work. It’s harder to uncover the donations and favors to politicians, or perhaps the politicians who are invested in the business.

    It’s unfortunate, because too many blame corporate rent-seekers for this kind of crony capitalism, rather than those who sell the favors. It also creates a bad situation for ethical businessmen as to whether to participate in this unethical political extortion, or lose market share, profits and jobs to those who do.

    Powerful local governments are the really bad criminals here. It’s legalized extortion. And cities and those who live there will be losers because some governments don’t play these games.

  36. If this law persists the restaurants will slowly wither and die out. Their food will stagnate and decay in quality as competition is made illegal.

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