The future of grocery retailing?

Combine the ideas of Walmart and Amazon and the economies of technology will overwhelm the competition.

How Many Robots Does It Take to Fill a Grocery Order?

Walmart has the distribution system and pickup concept working and Amazon has the expertise with robots doing order fulfillment. The Achilles Heel at Walmart (for me) has been errors in the orders – usually leaving off items or occasionally the wrong item.

The flaw with the concept in the Bloomberg is the capital investment required. The perishable nature of food limits range over which people can be drawn to a supermarket to just a few miles. The investment to build a robotic food warehouse is substantial, and nobody could afford that in a low margin business.

Today, “order picking” in supermarkets is done be free labor – the customer. Some people actually even enjoy grocery shopping.

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Visiting Our Heritage

On Saturday [back in January], Countess and I decided to go visit the remnants of Heritage USA down in Fort Mill, SC. It is located just south of the border between North and South Carolina. After Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL Club went into bankruptcy in 1987, the site was mostly abandoned for about 20 years.

The Christian convention center and hotel is still active under different ownership, but the majority of the 2,300 acre site was sold off for developing condos and tract homes.

The 21 story Heritage Tower – that was going to provide 165,000 PTL members who paid $1,000 for an annual free 3 night vacation for the rest of their lives – has never been completed, and has been the subject of an ongoing fight with the city of Fort Mill – the city believes the building needs to be torn down as it is unsafe and the Owners cannot prove that the defects can be repaired.

While walking through the building that houses the Grand Ballroom, we noticed a row of pictures of evangelical leaders with a connection to Heritage International, the successor to Heritage USA. Curiously, despite everything that happened, Jim Bakker’s picture is on the wall

And this descriptive plaque:

With an ironic twist, the facility was hosting a training seminar concerning how to deal with sexual misconduct…

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The Conservative Mom

While helping Countess get her email under control, I noticed a curious item in my own junk folder in gmail – a missive from “the Conservative Mom”.

I could not think of any reason why I would be targeted, and the subjects looked a little dangerous, so I did not click on the first message. Google is fairly hard core about punishing senders of unsolicited emails – so being in the junk folder may have had more to do with complaints than the actual political content.

So here is a typical blog post


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Ray Lucia wins at Supreme Court

Supreme Court ruling

Ray Lucia is a syndicated financial advisor in a business full of bad stories. But he just got a 7-2 victory at the Supreme Court that will spread much wider.

The Government for at least 50 years created the concept of “administrative law judges” who decide if you broke an agency’s regulations, and the “judge” is an employee of the agency who is prosecuting you. That lack of independence is the problem – Lucia was barred by an ALJ from doing investment advising with an in-house “judge”. The Supreme Court has ruled that this is not “justice”.

It is true that the administrative law judges are much more familiar with the agency’s laws and regulations, but the lack of independence is a problem

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Puerto Rico update

Saturday Night was the deadline for Puerto Ricans claiming to still be homeless from Hurricane Maria 9 months ago to check out of their FEMA paid hotel rooms and to take a free plane ticket home.

Meet Richard Gonzalez, age 53. He has a job working at a Casino in Hollywood, Florida. His wife, adult son and daughter still live in Puerto Rico. His mother and brother live in Orlando from before the hurricane. He has nowhere to go. He has a car, apparently.

He has been living in an Extended Stay Hotel in Fort Lauderdale paid for by FEMA, about 10 miles from his job. He is being offered a free plane ticket home, but says there are no jobs in Puerto Rico. I guess we can assume he is Not skilled in helping restore electric power, carpentry or clearing storm debris.

There is a bipartisan effort in the last week to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st state, now that lower corporate taxes took away Puerto Rico’s advantage as a tax haven. Republican Governor Rick Scott of F!orida is significantly more popular among Puerto Rican voters than his Democratic opponent in the US Senate race, incumbent Bill Nelson. Democrats Have 24 incumbents up for reelection, Republicans only nine. No wonder Democrats are concerned.

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Et tu, Julyus?

Yet more randomness

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Is President Trump out to dismantle the NWO?

While it has been fairly obvious if you looked closely that the State Department and CIA are filled with Globalists, until today I was unaware of how Influential James Burnham was in the formulation of Conservative politics and the conduct of the “cold war”

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Unmasking AT&T

Just this week in a private discussion, I mentioned there is very little distance between AT&T and the US Government. The Intercept drops some information

Back from the FindAnISP days, I was fairly certain much of the infrastructure of the Internet, especially underseas cables were able to offer transit and peering because the US government was funding it in order to monitor international traffic.

In general, I trust the Federal government, but can you imagine the potential abuse of human rights if Maxine Waters was in charge of our government?

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If you remember King Friday and the Trolley and Mr McFeely, you might want to visit a local theater if you can find “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, An insightful and entertaining look at Fred Rogers and his PBS TV show. Arrive early before the wheelchair section fills up.

His show was based at WQED, channel 13 in Pittsburgh, PA. The film reminds us of the role Mr Rogers played in securing government funding for PBS by testifying in front of the US Senate in 1969

The movie tries to paint Richard Nixon and the Republicans wanting to smother the infant PBS, but Senator Pastore was a Democrat from Rhode Island. Keep in mind Democrats controlled both the House and Senate in 1969. Contrary to the widely repeated narrative, Nixon supported permanent funding of CPB by a 2% excise tax on radios and TVs, with a government match over $50 million. This proposal had two goals – to pry NET away from the Ford Foundation and keep the budget of CPB away from politics. The idea presented in the film that he wanted to kill PBS to spend the $10 million on the Vietnam war is a preposterous fabrication.

As a child, I watched the show for only one reason – to watch the trolley. As soon as the trolley went into the “Land of Make Believe”, I went outside to play in the Land of Reality.

It was quite the contrast going to my friend’s houses where Dad would come home from the steel mill, knock back a six pack of Iron City Beer, and beat up his wife. My Pittsburgh was very different than Fred Rogers’ and his land of make believe. I did not dislike him or the show, he just seemed unfamiliar with the world around him. Early in the film, it discussed his friendship with several childhood development psychologists, including Dr. Benjamin Spock and Margaret McFarland.

Rather than introduce responsible critics who look at Mr Rogers as the motivation behind telling kids they have to do nothing to earn love and respect and should earn self esteem trophies just for breathing, the criticisms are portrayed only as being the “god hates fags” protestors at the 2003 memorial service.

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Domestic Content protection in a global community

The BBC is having an identity crisis and has decided it can’t compete with commercial radio.

The BBC is funded by an unpopular TV tax – how do you sustain that model competing against streaming video to devices with no tuner?

But it goes deeper – “He [BBC radio head James Purnell] believes that the challenge to BBC radio from technology is not as urgent as the threat to British television from Netflix and others, where he ‘can see a world emerging in which children can only choose American content.’”

Utter nonsense. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube and a dozen others offer close to everything that exists. His complaint should be to look why Bollywood movies are more enjoyable than BBC episodic TV about the dull lives of the British aristocratic parasites.

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