Victory Lap

I was happy and relieved at the verdict yesterday in the Rittenhouse trial. Of course you have plenty of ridiculous takes on the trial out there like this:

I have spent an inordinate amount of time following this trial and spent my evenings watching the proceedings. Which reminds me that we need to start having cameras in federal courtrooms, but that is a different subject.

It’s breathtaking how none of the screaming loons like Newsom looked at one minute of these proceedings, looked at not one exhibit of evidence or even bothered to look at all of the video that is out there everywhere. Why are there even sides on the right to defend yourself?

This is a great time to have conversations about prosecutorial misconduct, the Constitution and self defense and instead it is just all rank bullshit. Imagine all of the innocent poor people rotting in jail because they took the deals due to prosecutorial misconduct. Kyle had people setting up defense funds or he would be there too. Especially if there wasn’t video.

The left in this country are absolute trash. I hope Kyle is able to somehow get on with his life and live it in a somewhat normal fashion after this all blows over. Oh and also after he is done suing everyone who called him a white supremacist, murderer, and all the rest. He could start with “Biden” but there is probably lower hanging fruit out there for some quick settlements. I’m sure there are a lot of people scrubbing their social media as I write this, but the internet never forgets. Just ask Nick Sandmann.

For Anyone Who Might Be Interested

We’ve discussed some of the findings and recommendations made by Ryan Petersen of Flexport with regard to the West Coast seaport snarl-ups.  I see that the company, which defines itself as a digital freight forwarder, is going to be hiring quite a few people–list of openings at their website:

https://www.flexport.com

The company says that many of the jobs, especially those in sales and software development, do not require specific logistics experience.

Supply Chain and LTL

LTL means “less than load”. For those not in the know, a “load” means a full truck. Full trucks in the USA can be those huge 53 footers, or something smaller.

In industrial distribution for most products, we utilize LTL for the majority of our inventory. It’s a serious disaster right now.

I have been carping for the better part of a couple years about the issue. As with most things, there are several factors at play.

1) No new entries in the truck driving industry – we simply have a driver shortage, and have for a very long time. From what I am reading we are around eighty thousand short and the problem is only getting worse. All trades have this same issue. Kids growing up simply don’t want to do actual work, and would rather spend time making their money in front of screens or doing “soft labor” as I call it. Not that “soft labor” such as cutting hair or being an accountant are necessarily bad in and of themselves, mind you.

2) Nobody gives a f – this is harsh, but there it is. The work that is getting done, when it gets done in LTL is slow and sloppy. We have record amounts of damage and missing freight. It is absolutely maddening when you wait with these extended lead times for a specialized piece of equipment, and it finally arrives with a fork passed through the center.

3) I firmly believe that the cops, Teamsters and insurance companies have teamed up into a strange cabal to “slow roll” driverless vehicles. This is a bit of tinfoil had stuff I will admit but it is a theory I have had for a while. If we had driverless trucks a lot of these problems would be solved almost overnight, however there would be no speeding tickets to write, labor contracts to negotiate or premiums to collect. Well, virtually none anyways. This wouldn’t solve the issue of a lack of mechanics to service the vehicles, but that is grist for another post.

4) Lack of sense of urgency in government. As I have pounded the table on before, we need a “port team” or “transportation team” to get industry experts together, and start solving problems. Flying into LA and waving a magic wand over the ports, like has been done so far, is getting less than nothing done.

So the result is that we have this insane mess across the whole country. I have been trying to figure out ways to pick up freight that is within a reasonable range and trying other ideas such as even partnering with competitors or people outside of my industry to come up with a full truck to get a non stop delivery to the area.

A few anecdotal stories to end this rant.

I have a manufacturer that is 45 minutes from one of my stores. They sent out five pallets of stuff to me last Friday and it still isn’t here. The reason is that the trucking company has it parked at some sort of re-sorting facility as they lack drivers and need to consolidate their shipments. Meanwhile, people are getting cold.

This is an interesting article I spied the other day about a local chocolatier waiting forever for a skid of chocolate. I would bet a large amount of their extended lead time is transportation. It affects everything.

Duly Noted

A marked increase in the number of rude, rotten, and outright dangerous drivers is a local thing that my daughter and I, and a scattering of friends have noticed over the last several months. It has been, as my daughter noted, an increased number of Third World drivers, on our local roads. A lot of near-misses, carelessness in lane-changing, ignorance of use of the turn indicators, and a fair amount of road rage… including a shooting on a stretch of the IH-35 on the South Side of the city. While the South Side is largely and traditionally Hispanic, and has neighborhoods in it which have a reputation for being violent, especially after dark, I used to drive clear across town on my daily commute, from the largely Anglo, or white north-east side of town, to the Southside, and I often noticed that the drivers on the South side were a hell of a lot more courteous about allowing merges and lane changes on the IH-35.

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The Microprocessor is 50

Andy Kessler, writing in the WSJ, notes that the Intel 4004 microprocessor was introduced to the market on November 15, 1971.

Here’s a history of the project, and here’s an article which describes some of the related projects that were going on at other companies.

Busicom’s decision to give Intel the rights to sell the 4004 for non-calculator applications in exchange for a break on prices–rather than royalties or equity or warrants in Intel–has to rank as one of the most expensive business mistakes ever.