Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Trillion-Plus Heist


By Sylvia Bokor

Government produces nothing. It creates no wealth. Yet the District of Columbia is ranked as the richest area in the nation.

Politicians and bureaucrats shriek that business people are "greedy." But facts show differently. Imagine voting yourself a raise and millions of dollars in allowances. Imagine 5-figure bonuses. Lifetime pensions to which you contribute only 1.3%. Imagine opening 3 or 4 offices around the state for which you pay not a dime.

Politicians and bureaucrats are diseased with avarice -- and complain with self-righteous indignation when CEOs arrive in private jets for a White House meeting.

D.C. is the richest area in the nation not only because an annual salary of $174,000 is paid to congressional members, 261 of whom are millionaires, not only because most of the appointed cabinet secretaries are multimillionaires, but also because federal employees are paid salaries over three times what the average taxpayer earns.

The source of all that money is taxes levied on production.
Business people -- both employers and employees alike -- produce all of the services and products that provide our as well as politicians and bureaucrats' comfort, health, safety and pleasure. Business people create the nation's prosperity. They are the nation's wealth -- and are regulated by those that produce no economic values whatsoever.

What are the total federal salaries business people are forced to pay those that produce nothing? Here is an estimate.

The executive branch is the most profligate. The White House staff numbers 460 bureaucrats. Their annual salaries vary from a few at $42,000 to hundreds between $75,000 and $174,000, and some as high as or over $200,000.

The executive branch includes the cabinet, which consists of 15 departments. The annual salary of each Secretary is $200,700. The number of bureaucrats comprising cabinet staffs range from 15,000 to 240,000. Annual staff salaries average $100,000. Some are higher. For example, the Department of Homeland Security has a staff of 240,000. Of this number 9,525 are "titled" and paid an average of $133,486 annually. Of the remaining 230,475 bureaucrats, the average annual salary is $120,000. Total DHS salaries is $27,657,000,000.

Adding in the Secret Service, chief executive, vice president and White House staff, the total executive branch numbers 6,546,673 employees that are paid an estimated $549,126,870,330.

The legislative branch has 12,835 employees. The total paid in salaries is $1,568,131,700. A 2009 report stated that 2,043 staffers were paid an average of $168,000 The remainder of 5,787 staffers average $100,000 annually. "Assistance" and allowances for Senate and House members comes to $3,682,468,080. The total for the legislative branch is an estimated $5,250,599,780.

For the judicial branch, the total number of employees is 1,324 and $199,418,700 in salaries. The judicial branch includes the Supreme Court (9), the Courts of Appeal (179), district judges (677), international trade (9) and their staffs (450 -- estimated).

As for agencies, although the actual number remains in dispute 491 is used here because that is the number of agencies -- minus cabinet posts and military services -- shown in a government listing. These 491 agencies employ 5,148,867 individuals. Total annual salaries: $569,886,700,000.

These numbers -- of agencies, employees and salaries -- are hugely underestimated. Many federal agencies subsume dozens of agencies and bureaus that are not listed. The National Institutes of Health, for example, consists of 47 separate bureaucracies, the number of their personnel and salaries unstated.

The number of employees and salaries of some agencies is classified, such as the CIA and the NSA. An example is the NSA, which experts estimate employs between 100,000 and 200,000 employees with a budget of "at least $40 billion." This sum is included under agencies with an estimated 150,000 employees averaging an annual salary of $100,000.


Executive -- 6,546,673 employees; salaries ..... $ 549,126,870,330.
Legislative -- 12,835 employees; salaries ....... 5,250,599,780.
Judicial -- 1,324 employees; salaries ....... 199,418,700.
Agencies -- 5,298,867 employees; salaries ....... 569,886,700,000.
Total = 11,859,699 employees; salaries .... $ 1,124,463,588,810.

The consequences of these stupefyingly large numbers are far more devastating than can be seen directly. To grasp the extent of that destruction, consider the level of prosperity that employers and employees achieve today despite regulations, taxes, permits, fines, and wasted time on government paperwork.

Because of government confiscation of producers' time and money, gone are the businesses that would have been started with that income. Never to be recouped is the time that would have been spent on innovations, inventions, discoveries and products that would have been made. Never to be retrieved is the prosperity that would have inevitably raised the standard of living, elevated the destitute and eventually wiped out poverty.

The money that politicians and bureaucrats have looted has gone and continues to go into the pockets of the nonproductive. Vying with one another to ingratiate themselves with the most politically influential, politicians and bureaucrats toss around their loot to raise the height of the soapbox before which others rush to kneel. None of that money creates wealth. It stops dead, going no farther.

If the electorate is concerned about the destitute, they should demand radical and permanent deregulation that closes three-quarters of the agencies and cuts federal salaries by 50%. The result would free producers to create more goods and jobs, raising the standard of living for all.

If the electorate is concerned about the unemployed they should recognize that only those with savings can create jobs. If the electorate is concerned about the young or the elderly, the sick, disabled or abused, they should recognize that only the able, the competent, the thoughtful -- in other words, producers -- can alleviate and solve such problems.

Government cannot do it. "The Government" is only a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians that obstruct those who can.

The individual business person's right to life and property is being brazenly violated. Today's politicians and bureaucrats are the self-appointed plutocrats of this nation. And they have forced business people -- employers and employees alike -- to be their feudal serfs by means of how much of their income earners are allowed to keep.

When Obama or some other Retrograde (AKA "Progressive") complains about the growing "gap between the rich and the poor" they expect one to understand that the "gap" referred to is between the productive rich and the non-productive poor.

But knowing something about the mammoth amounts of money that bureaucrats and politicians routinely rip off from taxpayers paints a different picture. The actual gap is between the nonproductive rich -- politicians and bureaucrats -- on the one hand and on the other the productive of our nation that are the victims of over a trillion dollar heist.

Sylvia Bokor writes a newsletter for New Mexico residents on state issues, and a National Newsletter, which discusses different political issues from a broader perspective.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Liberalism vs Blacks (Thomas Sowell)


Thomas Sowell (2013.12.26 )

There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?

San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city’s total population has grown.

Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.

Liberals try to show their concern for the poor by raising the level of minimum wage laws. Yet they show no interest in hard evidence that minimum wage laws create disastrous levels of unemployment among young blacks in this country, as such laws created high unemployment rates among young people in general in European countries.

The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state. Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time but most grow up with only one parent today.

Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities. But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count.

The two most recent books that show this with hard facts are “Mismatch” by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., and “Wounds That Will Not Heal” by Russell K. Nieli. My own book “Affirmative Action Around the World” shows the same thing with different evidence.

In all these cases, and many others, liberals take positions that make them look good and feel good — and show very little interest in the actual consequences for others, even when liberal policies are leaving havoc in their wake.

The current liberal crusade for more so-called “gun control” laws is more of the same. Factual studies over the years, both in the United States and in other countries, repeatedly show that “gun control” laws do not in fact reduce crimes committed with guns.

Cities with some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation have murder rates far above the national average. In the middle of the 20th century, New York had far more restrictive gun control laws than London, but London had far less gun crime. Yet gun crimes in London skyrocketed after severe gun control laws were imposed over the next several decades.

Although gun control is not usually considered a racial issue, a wholly disproportionate number of Americans killed by guns are black. But here, as elsewhere, liberals’ devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology.

One of the most polarizing and counterproductive liberal crusades of the 20th century has been the decades-long busing crusade to send black children to predominantly white schools. The idea behind this goes back to the pronouncement by Chief Justice Earl Warren that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Yet within walking distance of the Supreme Court where this pronouncement was made was an all-black high school that had scored higher than two-thirds of the city’s white high schools taking the same test — way back in 1899! But who cares about facts, when you are on a liberal crusade that makes you feel morally superior?

To challenge government-imposed racial segregation and discrimination is one thing. But to claim that blacks get a better education if they sit next to whites in school is something very different. And it is something that goes counter to the facts.

Many liberal ideas about race sound plausible, and it is understandable that these ideas might have been attractive 50 years ago. What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Greenfield: The Left is too Smart to Fail

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog ^ | Sunday, December 22, 2013 | Daniel Greenfield

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Left is Too Smart to Fail

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

The infrastructure of manufactured intelligence has become a truly impressive thing. Today as never before there is an industry dedicated, not to educating people, but to making them feel smart. From paradigm shifting TED talks to paradigm to books by thought leaders and documentaries by change agents that transform your view of the world, manufactured intelligence has become its own culture.
Manufactured intelligence is the smarmy quality that oozes out of a New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Frank Bruni and the rest of the gang who tell you nothing meaningful while dazzling you with references to international locations, political events and pop culture, tying together absurdities into one synergistic web of nonsense that feels meaningful.
There's a reason that there's a Tom Friedman article generator online. But it could just as easily be a New York Times article generator that sums up the hollowness of the buzzword-fed crowd that is always hungry to reaffirm the illusion of its own intelligence.
We all know that George W. Bush was a moron. And we all know that Obama is a genius. We have been told by Valerie Jarrett, by his media lapdogs and even by the great man himself that he is just too smart to do his job. And it's reasonable that a genius would be bored by the tedious tasks involved in running the most powerful nation on earth.
But what is "smart" anyway? What makes Obama a genius? It's not his IQ. It's probably not his grades or we would have seen them already. It's that like so many of the thought leaders and TED talkers, he makes his supporters feel smart. The perception of intelligence is really a reflection.
Smart once used to be an unreachable quality. Einstein was proclaimed a genius, because it was said that no one understood his theories. Those were undemocratic times when it was assumed that the eggheads playing with the atom had to be a lot smarter than us or we were in big trouble.
Intelligence has since been democratized. Smart has been redistributed. Anyone can get an A for effort. And the impulse of manufactured intelligence is not smart people, but people who make us feel smart. That is why Neil deGrasse Tyson, another obsessively self-promoting mediocrity like Carl Sagan, is now the new face of science. Sagan made science-illiterate liberals feel smart while pandering to their biases. Tyson does the same thing for the Twitter generation.
Self-esteem is the new intelligence. Obama's intelligence was manufactured by pandering to the biases and tastes of his supporters. The more he shared their biases and tastes, the smarter he seemed to be and the smarter they felt by having so much in common with such a smart man.
Obama Inc. built his image around the accessories of modern manufactured intelligence, premature biographies, global reference points and pop culture. This marriage of high and low with an exotic spice from the east embodies modern liberal intelligence. Take a dash of pop culture, mix it with an important quote, throw in some recent technological development that promises to "change how we all live", mention your time in a foreign culture and draw an insipid conclusion.
That's not just the DNA of every other New York Times column, TED talk and important book by an equally important thought leader sitting under the floodlights at your local struggling chain bookstore with its portraits of great writers on the wall and the tables groaning under unsold copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, Malcolm Gladwell, Candace Bushnell and Khaled Hosseini.
It's also the DNA of Obama Inc. It is its assumption of intelligence through compassionate self-involvement, progressive insights derived from an obsession with the self and the sanctification of Third World references, real or imaginary, invoking the spiritual power of the Other, the totem of alien magic, to transcend the rational and the pragmatic. It is upscale Oprah; egotism masquerading as enlightenment, condescension as compassion and soothing quotes as religion.

Once upon a time, bright young American men went to Europe and wrote books about the world. That was our notion of intelligence. JFK did it and was widely praised for his intelligence. Today bright young American men and women go to the Third World and write their books about the world, mining the compost of their Flickr accounts, Tumblr updates and Twitter feed for deep thoughts.
Intelligence to a modern liberal isn't depth, it's appearance. It isn't even an intellectual quality, but a spiritual quality. Compassionate people who care about others are always "smarter", no matter how stupid they might be, because they care about the world around them.
An insight into how we live matters more than useful knowledge. Skill is irrelevant unless it's a transformative progressive "changing the way we live" application.
Obama and his audience mistake their orgy of mutual flattery for intelligence and depth. Like a trendy restaurant whose patrons know that they have good taste because they patronize it, his supporters know that they are smart because they support a smart man and Obama knows he is smart because so many smart people support him.
The thought never rises within this bubble of manufactured intelligence that all of them might really be idiots who have convinced themselves that they are geniuses because they read the right books (or pretend to read them), watch the right movies and shows (or pretend to) and have the right values (or pretend to).
Smart is surplus when you have Gladwell sitting under a full DVD set of The Wire prominently displayed on your bookshelf right alongside a signed copy of The Audacity of Hope.
Marxists thought that Marxism was smart. Progressives measure intelligence in progressivism. Its only two qualities are "world awareness" and "progressive future adaptation".
Obama hit both these qualities perfectly with his Third Culture background and the appearance of modern technocratic polish. Not just a politician, but a thought leader, he had the pseudo-celebrity quality of their kind, able to move smoothly from a celebrity panel about Third World microfinance, to a Jay-Z concert to a fundraiser for DIY solar panels for India to a banquet for a political hack.
Everyone who encountered him thought that he was smart because he made them feel smart. And that is the supreme duty of the modern liberal intellectual, not to be smart, but to make others feel smart. Genuine intelligence is threatening. Manufactured intelligence is soothing. And those intellectually superior progressives who need to believe that Obama is smart in order to believe that they are smart cannot stop believing in his brains without confronting the illusion of their own intelligence.
Manufactured intelligence isn't smart. It's stupid. It's as stupid as building windmills for sustainable energy in places where the wind hardly blows, as stupid as calling inflated budgets "investments" and as stupid as believing that a man is smart because he can reference poverty in the Third World.
It's easy to tell apart fake intelligence from the real thing. Manufactured intelligence fakes "smart" by playing word games. It constantly invents new terms to provide the enlightened elites with a secret language of Newspeak buzzwords that mean less than the words they are replacing. The buzzwords, Thought Leader and Change Agent, quickly take on cultist overtones and become ways of describing how the group's leaders would like to use power, than anything about the world that they describe.
Manufactured intelligence is a consensus, not a debate. It's not arrived at through a process, but flopped into like a warm soothing bath of nothingness. It's correct because everyone says so. And anyone who disagrees is clearly stupid and lacks awareness of the interconnected ways that the world synergistically works. And probably doesn't know science, Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson either.
Real intelligence is the product of constant debate. It is forever striving to overthrow the consensus and willing to challenge anything and everything. It uses a specialized vocabulary only to describe specialized phenomena, rather than replacing existing words with new words to describing existing phenomena in order to seem as if it understands the future better by going all 1984 on it.
Finally, manufactured intelligence is self-involved. It mistakes feeling for thinking. It deals not with how things are or even how we would like them to be, but how we feel about the way things are and what our feelings about the way things are say about what kind of people we are.
Liberal intelligence is largely concerned with the latter. It is a self-esteem project for mediocre elites, the sons and daughters of the formerly accomplished who are constantly diving into the shallow pools of their own minds to explore how their privilege and entitlement makes them view the world and how they can be good people by challenging everyone's paradigms and how they can think outside the box by climbing into it and pulling the flaps shut behind them.
Perpetual self-involvement isn't intelligence regardless of how many of the linguistic tricks of memoir fiction it borrows to endow its liberal self-help section with the appearance of nobility.
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.
That is why Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for having good intentions. His actual foreign policy mattered less than the appearance of a new transformative foreign policy based on speeches. Gore promised to be be harsher on Saddam than Bush, but no one remembers that because everyone in the bubble knows that the Iraq War was stupid... and only conservatives do stupid things.
Liberal intelligence exists on the illusion of its self-worth. The magical thinking that guides it in every other area from economics to diplomacy also convinces it that if it believes it is smart, that it will be. The impenetrable liberal consensus in every area is based on this delusion of intelligence. Every policy is right because it's smart and it's smart because it's progressive and it's progressive because smart progressives say that it is.
Progressives manufacture the consensus of their own intelligence and insist that it proves them right.
Imagine a million people walking in a circle and shouting, "WE'RE SMART AND WE'RE RIGHT. WE'RE RIGHT BECAUSE WE'RE SMART. WE'RE SMART BECAUSE WE'RE RIGHT." Now imagine that these marching morons dominate academia, the government bureaucracy and the entertainment industry allowing them to spend billions yelling their idiot message until it outshouts everyone else while ignoring the disasters in their wake because they are too smart to fail.
That is liberalism.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thirteen Years Of NASA Data Tampering – In Six Seconds (Real Science)


Posted on December 21, 2013 by stevengoddard


1999 version : www.giss.nasa.gov/data/update/gistemp/graphs/FigD.txt
2001 version : www.giss.nasa.gov/data/update/gistemp/graphs/FigD.txt
2012 version : data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.D.txt
2013 version : data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.D.txt

The animation above shows four versions of GISS 1930-1999 US temperatures – from 1999, 2001, 2012, and 2013. NASA has repeatedly tampered* with the data to hide the decline in US temperatures since the 1930′s. Each successive alteration makes the past cooler and the present warmer.

Earlier versions showed even more of a decline, but I can’t locate digital data for them.

*Mosher says these adjustments are all first rate science.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Things That Make You Go Hmmm... Like "Nothing Being What It Seems" (ZeroHedge)


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2013 20:47 -0500

    Investors all over the world are confronted by markets that have been dressed up for the amusement of the crew in charge of the ship, and nobody seems to recognize what they are looking at. Sure, they look like markets, but at the same time there is an unfamiliarity that is extremely unnerving to at least a few in the gathering crowd. The majority of the mob, however, have decided that they look enough like markets to charge in blindly in the expectation that all will be as it should. Things are not as they should be. Far from it.

Everywhere one looks are signs that the markets are just monkeys dressed up in fancy costumes...


From benign inflation, housing's recovery, improved unemployment, and sustainable profitability; Grant Williams destroys the myths of the disturbing disconnects between these "headlines" and the facts in his must-read letter...

Countries all seem far rosier when viewed through the prism of stock market performance and government bond prices than when examined realistically by means of a long, hard look at the underlying economies — particularly if the necessary adjustment is made to account for the extraordinary level of stimulus applied by all and sundry.

Which provides the perfect segue...

Raoul Pal and Remi Tetot of Global Macro Investor (one of, if not the, very best macro publications available anywhere) put this chart together for their most recent monthly and kindly gave me permission to use it.

It is without question the single best chart I've seen to explain the reality of all-time highs on the S&P 500 in relation to the application of trillions of stimulus dollars. This chart obviously applies solely to the USA, but no doubt we would find a similar pattern in just about all the major, QE-riddled markets.

The chart shows the S&P 500 deflated by QE — and it's breathtaking:

There's your all-time-high stock market, folks.

Just another primate dolled up like a sailor, I'm afraid.

Don't follow the crowd and dive into markets just because everybody else is doing so.

That's how monkeys end up getting hanged.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

21st Century - Reality Vs. Storyline (ZeroHedge)


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/07/2013 19:45 -0500

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog,

I’m baffled by the storyline portrayed by the dying legacy media, sponsored by Wall Street and the CEO executive suites of mega-corps, and supported by the propaganda data agencies of the U.S. government. The BLS, BEA,  CBO, CNBC, CNN, and a myriad of other government sponsored letters present supposedly accurate data that is designed to convince the ignorant masses everything is fine and their lives are improving.

For anyone willing to uncover the facts and think critically about the storyline being presented, an entirely different reality is revealed. The simple chart below obliterates the “official” storyline. Do you have the uncomfortable feeling that your financial situation has been declining for the first 13 years of the 21st Century?

Your beloved government puppets and their Wall Street puppeteers have used their control of the mainstream media to fully utilize Edward Bernays’ propaganda techniques to convince you that your household income has actually risen by 28% since 2000. There is a reason the government run public schools don’t teach children about inflation. They might figure out how badly they are getting screwed by their owners.

In reality, even using the heavily manipulated CPI numbers issued by the BLS, REAL median household income in the United States has FALLEN by 7% since 2000. Most households in the U.S. have less annual income than they did 13 years ago.

But it gets better. Median REAL household income is down 8% since the peak in 2008. Now for the government statistic reality check. According to the government and their media mouthpieces, the economy bottomed in 2009, with 10.3% unemployment and GDP bottoming at $14.34 trillion. Since the “official” end of the recession in 2009, the unemployment rate has plummeted to 7.0% and GDP has surged to $16.9 trillion.

If this government reported data is true, how could REAL median household income still be 4% lower than at the END of the recession in 2009? If all these jobs were created and the economy has truly grown by 18%, REAL median household income must be higher than it was in 2009. But it’s not.

Do you still believe the storyline? Do you still believe in the American Dream of a better tomorrow? If you do, you’d have to be asleep.

Luckily for the ruling class, they have successfully “educated” the masses to not understand inflation or revolution would be on the horizon.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”Henry Ford

Friday, December 6, 2013

As Fast Food Workers Go On Strike In 100 Cities, Applebees Unveils The "Waiter Terminator" (ZeroHedge)



Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/05/2013 22:55 -0500

    Today, in the latest escalation by minimum paid restaurant workers who demand greater wages, Fast-food workers and labor organizers are set to turn out in support of higher wages in cities across the country Thursday and walkouts are planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. While it's not clear what the actual turnout will be, how many of the participants are workers and what impact they'll have on restaurant operations, it is possible that your 99 cent lunch may be delayed or outright cancelled today.

Per the AP:

The actions would mark the largest showing yet over the past year. At a time when there's growing national and international attention on economic disparities, labor unions, worker advocacy groups and Democrats are hoping to build public support to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25, or about $15,000 a year for full-time work.

In New York City, about 100 protesters carrying signs, blowing whistles and beating drums marched into a McDonald's at around 6:30 a.m.; one startled customer grabbed his food and fled as they flooded the restaurant, while another didn't look up from eating and reading amid their chants of "We can't survive on $7.25!"

It seems trying to persuade these minimum wage workers to enjoy what they have - namley that corporations have all the leverage while unskilled, undereducated employees have none (the Service Employees International Union represents more than 2 million workers, on the other hand there are 91 million non-unionized workers out of the workforce) and that any increases in wages would simply be passed on to other consumers, and certainly result in broad terminations to keep the SG&A line flat - is probably a moot point.

So instead the strikers were met with something a bit more persuasive: brute Police force.

Community leaders took turns giving speeches for about 15 minutes until the police arrived and ordered protesters out of the store. The crowd continued to demonstrate outside for about 45 more minutes while a handful of customers remained inside. A McDonald's manager declined to be interviewed and asked that customers not be bothered.

Tyeisha Batts, a 27-year-old employee at Burger King, was among those taking part in the demonstrations planned throughout the day in New York City. She said she has been working at the location for about seven months and earns $7.25 an hour.

"My boss took me off the schedule because she knows I'm participating," Batts said.

Considering there are a few hundred thousand applicants for your position , Ms. Batts, we find that perfectly explainable. Then again, if you are unhappy with your position, you are welcome to quit and find a better paying job. Especially since in the very near future you may not even have the option of choosing, as it will be done for you. Earlier this week, restaurant chain Applebees unveiled what may soon be the "Waiter Terminator."

From the company's press release: "Applebee’s steps into the future to redefine and enhance the guest experience through the installation of 100,000 E la Carte Presto tablets, powered by Intel, on every table and multiple bar positions at more than 1,800 Applebee’s restaurants in the United States by the end of next year."

The LA Times reports:

The E La Carte Presto tablets – powered by Intel – will allow patrons to pay from their seats while also adding food and beverages to their existing orders. A pilot program helped customers save time, according to Applebee’s Glendale-based parent DineEquity.

Let’s face it, everyone who has ever been to a restaurant has been frustrated by waiting for their check,” said Mike Archer, Applebee’s president, in a statement.

Eventually, the gadgets will also feature an expanded lineup of games, video streaming capabilities, music options, gift card sales and social media interaction. The Presto tablets, which were developed at MIT, have been “ruggedized” to deal with the spills and rowdy children common in such restaurants, according to the company.

And the punchline:

In the pilot program, the Presto tablets not only significantly reduced transaction times for guests, but also provided them a better overall experience, based on their feedback. By simplifying the transaction process and allowing guests to control the timing, Team Members were able to provide better service and more attention to guest needs throughout the dining experience, rather than focusing on delivering a check.

Also, much more time to work on their resume. In other words, Applebees is already taking steps at outsourcing its minimum wage waiters with tablets. Which incidentally is a brilliant idea, especially in a cost-cutting environment. So brilliant in fact that others are already joining in..

DineEquity said it might consider introducing the tablets at its IHOP restaurant chain as well. The company joins many others in the industry that have begun incorporating technology into the customer experience, installing ordering kiosks, equipping servers with mobile devices and more.

In other words, a funny thing happened as fast food workers were striking across the land - they were all just made obsolete courtesy of iPads.