Living in a Self-Service World: Fewer Workers Means More Automation

With 2.2 million fewer people working in the hospitality and restaurant industry, it’s no surprise restaurants are turning to automation or asking customers to serve themselves.

We recently went to a restaurant where we came in, picked up your menu and stood in a large “holding pen” while trying to decide what to eat. Once we made our selections, we walked up to the counter and placed our order. They charged my card right then, and the tablet asked for a tip–even though we did not know if the server would be any good. They handed us cups and a number and suggested we pick up our silverware and condiments. A server brought our food, but we had to clear our own plates. I might as well have stayed home.

It was like a Give Guys Burgers and Fries or another fast-food restaurant, but they didn’t yell out your number, they had a broader menu selection, and it was a nicer atmosphere.

Because all they had to do was bring out our food and wipe down an empty table, they managed somewhere around 50 to 60 tables with just two servers. The restaurant started this “hands off” service during COVID-19, supposedly to reduce infections. They kept it going because it is difficult to hire skilled employees.

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Why Independence Day Matters

I celebrate Christmas, not December 25. I celebrate Veterans Day, not November 11. Why should Independence Day be any different?

People who want you to celebrate the “Fourth of July” rather than “Independence Day” don’t want you to remember why the United States declared “In the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies…. That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”

They don’t want you to be free. They don’t want you to think that all men are created equal or that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. No, they want to take away your rights because they want you to be dependent, helpless, controlled and enslaved. They don’t want you to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness because they want you to be oppressed and miserable so that they can more easily manipulate you.

Those in government doesn’t want to earn their right to govern by the consent of the people. Instead, they want to do what they feel is “best” for us because they supposedly “know better” than we the people. They don’t want us to remember that it is the people’s right and duty to throw off an abusive government.

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Hiring More Police Officers is Neither Easy Nor Quick

As a result of the defund the police movement and last year’s riots and protests, there are fewer police and more murders and serious crime. That’s not a coincidence.

A judge in Hennepin County on Friday ordered Minneapolis to hire more police officers, a decision detailed in this article in the Epoch Times.  They are supposed to have about 55 more active officers by June 2022 than they have today.

I doubt the judge realizes what a very difficult task this is. I do, but only because I’ve worked with law enforcement and seen 15 to 20 academies in different agencies, including large sheriff departments, state police agencies, departments serving large cities, and academies run by community colleges.

Let’s examine why this is an enormous task, and what this means for the future of the country.

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Prepper Diary April 18: Spring Means We Get Busy

The weather cannot make up its mind: Warm one day, chilly the next. We get some work done but keep the fire lit at night for warmth.

The weather has turned even chillier, reminding us that we have weeks yet to go before our average last frost date.  We’ve been keeping the fire going 24-7 since we got back in town.

Based solely upon my observations this month, I have determined that our altitude has more of an impact on keeping temperatures cool during warm weather than it does in winter.

For example, in the winter, we may be only three or four degrees colder than it is in the valley below us.  In the spring, we’ve been as much as eight degrees colder.  In the valley, the apple trees are in full bloom.  Up here, there are no blooms yet.  Spring seems to reach the mountain a couple weeks later than it does 1,000 or 1,500 feet below.

I guess we’ll have to see what summer holds.  I know that when we visited in June it was in the 50s at night and we had to add more blankets to the bed.

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Bridges, new Bridges, Get Your Fresh Infrastructure Here

A trillion here, a trillion there; pretty soon you’re talking about some real money. Money we don’t have, but don’t worry, you’ll eventually pay for it.

On the heels of a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that spend far more money than necessary of dozens of things that have little or nothing to do with COVID-19, we are now getting a look at the next piece of over-laden spending bill the Biden administration will try to shove through Congress and down the throats of the American people: The $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

I am not against the idea of rebuilding our roads, bridges, damns, locks, ports, airports and trains. For example, I think the interstate highway system is one thing that made this country great and continues to aid commerce and transportation.

But…

What happened to all the money allocated for those so-called “Shovel Ready” projects during the Obama administration? Before we allocate more money for infrastructure, I’d like to get a report on how the last chunk of change was spent and whether we, as a country and as taxpayers, got what we expected out of it. If private industry said, “We’re going to spend $662 billion on capital improvements over the next 8 years,” then you can bet shareholders would want a detailed accounting of how that money was spent and how it benefitted the organization. So before you rush to spend more money, Mr. Biden, how about accounting for the last project? How well did you spend those funds?

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The Foolishness of Attempts to Ban So-Called Ghost Guns

Attempting to ban or regulate Ghost Guns is a useless motion gun grabbers are going through. Criminals will get guns no matter what, just like the got alcohol in the 1920s and drugs in the 1990s.

On Friday, the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATFE or just ATF) met with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and multiple gun manufacturers to discuss ghost guns. (EDIT: See our note at the end of the article.)

For those of you wondering how a gun comes back from the dead to become a ghost, let me disabuse you of that notion. The term “Ghost Gun” refers to a gun without a serial number, usually made at someone’s home. These days, many ghost guns are made using something called an “80 percent receiver.” In other words, a hunk of metal that looks like a gun part is sold to a hobbyist who uses either a mill or a drill press to finish the hunk of metal into the receiver for a gun

Once the metal is milled, drilled out, or filed into a finished receiver (not an easy task), the home builder must acquire and fit all the other parts to the gun, like a barrel, trigger, stock, etc. Because there are lots of manufacturers selling repair and replacement parts for popular firearm platforms—like the AR-15, the Glock 17/19, and the 1911—home builders can source the other parts and turn their fished receiver into a gun. Because these guns don’t have serial numbers, they are called “ghost guns.” 

While 80 percent receivers appear to be the gun grabber’s biggest concern, anyone with a decent 3D printer can also make a ghost gun. There are also molds into which you make a plastic receiver in just hours.

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Inflation Strikes Again and Energy Prices Spike due to Polar Vortex

Our market disruptions continue, resulting in more supply-and demand imbalances and rising inflation. Cold temps exacerbate the problem and send natural gas prices soaring

We wrote recently about COVID-19 causing shortages, which in turn cause prices to rise, giving us inflation.  About a year after COVID-19 hit these shores, it is still interfering with the supply side of the supply-and-demand equation.

As this story reports, container ships are piling up at sea off Los Angeles and Long beach due to logistics issues on shore, many of which are caused by the coronavirus, including more than 800 members of the Longshore and Warehouse Union who have tested positive.  The slow unloading has repercussions down the line because it ties up ships. Ships at anchor waiting to unload are not delivering goods to the next port or available for another sailing.  As a result, imports slow and store shelves don’t get replenished. 

To put this in perspective, if all the boats could be unloaded, it would represent 190,000 truckloads of goods. 

In addition to finished goods, many of the containers have parts destined for U.S. manufacturers.  The global connectivity of means U.S. manufacturing is slowing down thanks to things happening off our shores.

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Shortages and Inflation Grow; New Policies not Helping

First it was guns and ammo in short supply. Now its computer chips. This is causing inflation and Biden’s policies are making it worse.

We’ve talked about shortages before. We’ve talked about inflation before.  And we’ve talked about how the ammunition shortage is driving up prices.  Now we learn that computer ship shortages are causing prices to increase.  For example, components from smartphones, for example, are up 15 percent in the past six months.

The chip shortage is causing repercussions in the automotive industry where ship shortages shutting down automotive production for companies liek GM, Ford and Nissan.  When production shuts down, the economy takes a hit, both on a national level and on a local leave as people get paid for fewer hours worked.

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How to Fight Back Against the Elites

Marie-Antoinette, who famously said “Let them eat cake,” is a good example of the attitude the elite have today.

We’ve talked about “the elites” before, and it raises the questions, who are the elites and how do you identify them? What can we do about them? (More on that later.)

Some would say that the elites are defined by money, but I would argue that.  Was Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart at elite?  I don’t think so.  And I’m not sure that Warren Buffet is an elite, yet he’s one of the richest guys out there.

While having money is an ingredient to being one of the elite, you can have money and not be elite.  Wealth, if you flaunt it and wield it like a weapon, can give you privilege, and it is the privileged who are among the elite.  People like Sam Walton and Warren Buffet didn’t assume the mantle of privilege and acted like regular guys.

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Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money: WallStreetBets Shows us how to Fight CW2

Are we witnessing the first shots fire in anger of CW2? Will it be fought with money and words, instead of guns?

When historians in the year 2072 look back and the Second Civil War (CW2) in America, they may well consider the implosion of GameStop Shorts orchestrated by the Reddit sub WallStreetBets the first killing blow struck by regular guys fighting back against the elites.  The January 6 invasion of the Capitol was just a warning shot across the bow.  Taking down the shorts is the first true shot fired in anger.

There has been much written about GameStop, the trading platform Robinhood, the hedge fund Melvin Capital and the roll of Citadel, so I am not going to repeat it.  Instead, I will refer you to this article by Andy Serwer and Max Zahn that ran last week. 

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