business news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB reader John Moffitt wrote:

I enjoyed your article on Amazon’s logic behind betting on bricks and mortar which appeared 10/24.
The quote by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is so true with regards to companies staying relevant … “I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at  Literally.  What matters is companies that don’t continue to experiment or embrace failure eventually get in the position where the only thing they can do is make a Hail Mary bet at the end of their corporate existence.  I don’t believe in bet-the-company bets.” 
Reminds me of another saying … “Companies often fail because they’ve been operating in denial far too long.”

Regarding the potential of self-driving tractor trailer trucks, MNB reader Frank S. Klisanich wrote:

Thousands of pounds in a truck trailer going down a highway.... driven by a computer. Not sure if I should be alarmed or relieved?

Another MNB user wanted to weigh in on the stories about CVS taking tobacco out of its stores as a way of positioning itself as a purpose-driven company:

Taking the cigarettes out seems a strong start for a Health Focused Company - but also potentially a slippery slope as who decides what is actually Healthy.....?

Cola's, Candy, Salty Snacks, Alcohol, etc.... what will be next....?

We asked this not long ago to high-level CVS management - their answer was very satisfying ... Any product that is bad for a person's health from the first moment of use will be their target.

Items taken in moderation - like all the items I listed - will continued to be carried....

And though I am quite sure there will be people saying most these items are bad from the start, we can all agree that cigarettes fit their model well....

Commenting on MNB's broader sports coverage, one MNB reader yesterday asked if I'd ever consider referring to the Washington Redskins as "Washington" and not the "Redskins" because so many people find the latter word to be offensive. The same person argued that Blazing Saddles is offensive because of its language ... though I argued that it, in fact, is one of the funniest movies ever made because it mocks the words that many find to be offensive. (I also wondered if the debate would be talked about during the World Series, since the Cleveland Indians are playing.)

MNB reader Jeff Gartner wrote:

Kevin, there's a big difference between Redskins and Indians. Look up the origin of Redskins and how it refers to the bounty put on bringing in scalps of Native Americans.

True. Though I think the use of "Chief Wahoo" as a Cleveland team mascot is the thing that troubles some folks.

That's the point made by MNB reader Mary Schroeder:

The main difference between the two is that one is a pejorative.  Redskins is a word used by bullies, not at all dissimilar from the n-word.
While Indians is only a little less-worse, Chief Wahoo is awfully offensive.
Go Cubs.

Another MNB user wrote:

On the comment calling the NFL team Washington instead of Redskins, give me a break on that writers thoughts. Do we not refer to all NFL teams by name and not town, New England or Patriots? Forget the World Series starting up, look into collegiate sports teams names. Where does it end? You are correct, Blazing Saddles is an American classic and a mockery. Like other things, it is usually one of us aging white guys complaining about the words used. I suggest the writer looks up what the American Indians think on the sports names they have shown support for, not what some politician or over sensitive politicly correct band wagoner thinks! You cannot re-write history, learn from it yes, but erase it, not.

And, from MNB reader Mike Sommers:

The MNB reader who compared Westboro Baptist Church protesting at funerals of fallen service men and women to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem is making a ridiculous comparison.  Those two actions are in no way comparable (not today, and not tomorrow) and it is arguments and stances like this are dividing people.  It seems that people think NFL players can only do things they agree with, like wearing pink to support Breast Cancer research, stand during the national anthem, or support the United Way.  But if they dare kneel during the special song, or what if instead of wearing pink to support breast cancer they all wore rainbow colors to support the LBGT community or took a stance against the Dakota Access Pipeline which is threatening Native Tribes in North Dakota’s clean water supply, I’m sure another uproar would occur.  If this country claims to stand for free speech and people are willing to die for it, then those same people need to understand people unlike them have views that are different than theirs, and they are just as right to support and protest as anybody else is, whether we like and agree with it or not.  That is supposed to be part of what makes America, America.

Which I think is where I started out on this - saying that it always kind of bothers me when folks who normally embrace the notion of freedom of speech have a problem when folks with whom they disagree actually practice it.
KC's View: