Technology

Stop Complaining About That Flying Car. You Have Amazon.

Getting stuff gets more awesome every day.

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In the 20th century, flying cars expressed the ultimate dream of personal autonomy, the power to propel yourself anywhere. In the 21st century, the stuff we want comes to us. For customers in a handful of cities who pay an annual $299 fee, Amazon promises same-day delivery of 500,000 items-everything from groceries to office equipment. "Place your order by 10 AM and have it by dinner," Amazon's website advises.

Soon you might only have to wait until lunch. In January 2014, Amazon patented a process it calls "anticipatory package shipping." Essentially, this involves predicting what items specific customers might buy, shipping those goods to nearby fulfillment centers, and possibly even loading them onto AmazonFresh delivery trucks before an actual order has been placed. This way, they'll be near at hand when the last remaining bottleneck in the company's increasingly efficient distribution chain-the slow-witted customer-finally realizes he has an urge to obtain a digital bath scale post-haste.

What Amazon is moving toward with such capabilities, Wired recently suggested, is a "21st-century version of the milkman and the mail carrier combined." And perhaps when it attains that status, it will attempt an even grander feat: Equaling the convenience of the 20th-century ice-cream truck.

In 1926, the citizens of Youngs­town, Ohio, could get a Good Humor bar delivered to them without lifting a finger. In the tradition of 19th-century peddlers, ice cream entrepreneur Harry Burt introduced a new technology of predatory retail, equipping a dozen Ford trucks with freezers and going out in search of customers wherever he could find them. A few decades later, the Good Humor fleet had grown to 2,000 trucks and was generating the bulk of the company's sales.

Rising gas prices and a shift toward the less dense suburbs ultimately undermined the power of this mobile distribution network. In the 1970s, Good Humor sold its vehicles to individual private operators. But conditions are shifting again. Our cities are packed with consumers who believe that atoms should arrive on their doorsteps nearly as fast as bits. Pick-up and delivery services proliferate in these places, and bulky and costly physical retail storefronts are beginning to feel like printing presses-obsolescing infrastructure that often adds little value.

Traditional retail won't disappear completely. In a bit of sales theater, Amazon itself is opening a bricks-and-mortar store in New York City that will give its customers there an opportunity to engage in heritage shopping. But if customers still do appreciate the instant gratification you can get at 7-Eleven, not to mention the opportunity to comprehensively assess a peach before purchase, why not combine such functionality with the convenience of mobile?

Amazon has yet to travel this particular last mile. Uber hasn't either. Over the last couple of years, the ridesharing service has dispatched local ice cream trucks to its customers one day each summer. While these events are intended to promote the convenience of Uber, they also complicate the traditional ice cream truck experience in a couple of ways. First the customer has to place an order to initiate a delivery. Then he has to stay chained to a specific address until the truck shows up. This is a step backward from the ultra-convenient approach Harry Burt pioneered in 1926, not a bold leap forward.

Imagine if Amazon's growing fleet of delivery vehicles functioned like true mobile retail units. With its deep knowledge of what people in various neighborhoods are buying, it could turn its trucks into rolling, demographically tailored convenience stores. If you were on the street as one was making its daily rounds through your neighborhood, you could hail it like a cab and purchase the latest model of its Fire Phone with a click of your old Fire Phone. If you were inside your house as a truck approached, your phone would alert with you with a signature jingle (or a well-timed SMS) and you could go outside to greet it.

It's not just that most delivery trucks don't act like truly mobile retailers these days. Most mobile retailers don't either. In the wake of the food truck vogue, other forms of truck-based entrepreneurism are starting to show up in cities around the country. There are flower trucks, dog-grooming trucks, skincare studios, clothing boutiques, even a mobile cigar lounge.

For budding entrepreneurs, the appeal of a truck is obvious. Because these other forms of mobile retail don't need kitchen equipment, they're generally much cheaper than a food truck-operators pay an average of around $20,000, according to a poll conducted by the American Mobile Retail Association (AMRA). A lease does not have to be secured. With only 50 to 200 square feet of floor space to fill at any one time, you don't need much inventory either. A mobile retail truck offers micro-entrepreneurs an inexpensive and flexible way to test new concepts and to determine where demand for such goods and services is strongest.

But like food trucks, most mobile retailers aren't that mobile. They drive to a designated spot, stop, and wait for customers. And in the current regulatory landscape, even this limited mobility is problematic. As soon as you start engaging in commerce on a truck, most municipalities require licensing of one sort or another-one reason why Amazon might be happy just to stick with delivery for now.

In addition, the rules and regulations for how mobile retailers can operate vary from city to city. "In Los Angeles, mobile boutique businesses are restricted to operate on private property," says AMRA president Stacey Jischke-Steffe. "Other cities, such as Santa Monica, have a peddler's permit which allows mobile boutiques to operate on public streets."

Jischke-Steffe says she has only heard of a few cases where cities do not allow mobile retailers to operate at all. "I just talked to a mobile boutique owner in South Florida that said some of the smaller towns in south Florida have denied allowing her to operate in any capacity."

Complying with multiple municipal codes undermines some of the flexibility and convenience that makes mobile retail an attractive venue for micro-entrepreneurism. "Here in the Bay Area, you could have an entrepreneur who's trying to sell in five different municipalities as they go to different festivals and outdoor markets," says Sarah Filley, executive director of Popuphood, a small business incubator based in Oakland, California. "As much as they would like to comply, they can't."

To make it easier for California's mobile retailers to operate more mobile-ly, Popuphood advocated for something it calls Standard Popup Regulations Zones, or SPURZ. A bill introduced in the state's legislature last year would have created model guidelines that cities across the state could adopt to regulate mobile retailers and other forms of temporary retail in a more streamlined way. But Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill in September 2014, so now Filley is trying to fund the development of a model ordinance through private sources, then encourage cities to adopt it once it exists.

In the meantime, technology is blurring the lines between retail and delivery in intriguing ways. If the transactions that occur on a truck are consummated by phone, with no actual cash changing hands, is it delivery or mobile retail?

In Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, a food company called Spoonrocket is now offering something that almost qualifies as a 21st century ice cream truck. Every day, its central facility produces a small number of meal choices, and these meals are loaded onto its cars, where they're stored in heating units. Then the cars simply head out to various neighborhoods and wait for customers to order. This way, there's always a car nearby in the areas that Spoonrocket serves, which allows it to deliver orders in 10 minutes or less.

Customers are expected to go out to the curb to complete the meal hand-off. Payments occur in advance online, so there's no other business to slow down the transaction. You just grab your food and go. The service has an app as well-and while you have a default address, you can enter others as well. So if you're walking down the street and you see a Spoonrocket car, you can place an order, provide a local address, and potentially get your meal in seconds rather than minutes.

For the moment, such functionality is limited to Mac & Cheese Italiano with Creamy Pesto or Grilled Chicken Apple Sausage with Chipotle BBQ Sauce. But imagine if Amazon were to embrace this approach. Suddenly, we'd be able to make hundreds, maybe thousands, of staple items appear at our curbs, at speeds that would even make George Jetson jealous.

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  1. Must be a glitch in the matrix

  2. Did we just fold time backwards again?

  3. You might have also mentioned some specialized auto repair services. For example, Safelite Auto Glass will replace your car’s windshield in your office parking lot, usually the next business day. There’s a fellow who comes by once a week offering car washing and detailing services; the receptionist pages everybody “Ramon is here to wash your car!” He stays busy enough that he keeps coming back.

    1. I might have brought this up here on H&R before, if so, excuse my redundancy. But one of my Korean friends just arrived back from a visit to Seoul and he was telling me about the city while showing me his photos from the trip.

      Anyway, apparently you can have anything delivered to you at any time, anywhere. You’re camping and want alcohol, propane for cooking, food, etc? It’s just a cell phone call away. Seriously.

      1. One thing I still miss about Bangkok is the fact that McDonald’s delivers.

        1. You’re missing out on the on-site experience.

          That’s what you’re paying for.

          1. You’re right.

            BTW, I thought about you as I went with the family to the Butcherie today.

            1. Did you get some good stuff?

              I’m all meated out after last week. I got a smoker, and went a little overboard.

            2. Speaking of which, my SIL flies in today. We had to go all the way to Pico to get all of the Kosher stuff. NOT VERY CONVENIENT. AND NOT VERY DELICIOUS.

              1. We picked up a bunch of deli meat, knishes, and such for New Year’s. My wife also insisted on calf’s liver.

                1. Outstanding choice.

                  I’m going to attempt pastrami from scratch soon.

                  Soon.

                  This recipe.
                  http://www.chefsteps.com/activ…..e-pastrami

                  1. Nice. Still, I can’t see sous vide and not think of my friend who poisoned himself and his family with his makeshift sous vide cooker last New Year’s. Funny thing is that the dude’s a chemist. You’d think if anyone could pull it off it would have been him.

                    1. There’s a very important ingredient in that recipe: Curing salts

                      I use mine once a week, and I’ve never had a problem.
                      It helps to know what to look for, though.

                    2. You misspelled that. It isn’t ‘sous vide’, its ‘suic ide’.

                    3. Problem was, he didn’t have a machine. He went all DIY and repurposed lab equipment.

  4. just before I saw the bank draft 4 $8792 , I did not believe that my cousin could realy earning money parttime on there computar. . there neighbour has done this 4 only about nineteen months and resently took care of the morgage on their appartment and bourt a top of the range Alfa Romeo . more tips here……….

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  5. 22 Examples of Thin Privilege

    7. You can expect to find clothing in the latest styles and colors instead of colorless, shapeless and outdated styles meant to hide your body.

    Maybe the reason you can’t find clothes your size is because really fat people tend to be fat in different ways, which makes it difficult to make stylish clothes for the morbidly obese.

    8. You don’t receive suggestions from your friends and family to join Weight Watchers or any other weight-loss program.

    And non-smokers don’t have people tell them to stop smoking. Smokeless privilege!

    10. You don’t get told, “You have such a pretty/handsome face” (implying: if only you’d lose weight you could be even more attractive).

    Well, I don’t get told I have a handsome face because I am hideous. HANDSOME PRIVILEGE!

    12. You’re not the brunt of jokes for countless numbers of comedians.

    I’m Irish. Oh yes I am.

    18. Your body type isn’t sexually fetishized.

    See, if people don’t find you attractive, it’s thin privilege. If people do find you attractive, it’s thin privilege.

    Also, I’m pretty sure lots of thin people have their body types sexually fetishized. In fact, it’s probably more common among thin people than fat people.

    1. Number 16 is the most disturbing. Who buys donuts at a gas station?

      1. Asking that question makes you guilty of fatshaming, you cis-white het-female.

      2. “Who buys donuts at a gas station?”

        You have never been to Texas, have you?

        My brother moved over there. Texans are donut fanatics. There is a donut counter everywhere you look. I asked about it. The explanation was “This is Texas, hunnee!”

        Also, they don’t know how to make or spell Boudin. Goddamn Texans.

        1. It becomes “boudan” just as soon as you cross the Sabine River.

    2. It’s pure bullshit. It’s just extremely toxic people trying to blame all of their woes on others.

      No matter what you look like or who you are, you can find friends and even a special person to share your life with if you are not an insufferable asshole like most progressives and feminists.

      Stop blaming and projecting your self inflicted misery on others and get a life, femiprogtards.

      1. This website is a goddamn goldmine.

        Here’s a motherfucking spoken word poem about race.

        An actual paragraph from the article:

        These laws are a violent reclamation for hegemonic power, a form of legislative oppression, a continuation of colonization’s vicious legacy, and an effort to protect and sustain white privilege.

        This person knows 0 words she did not learn from gender studies courses.

        1. In case you’re wondering how to have totally radical comebacks to that racist Rethuglican at your Christmas celebration.

          Unfortunately, for some of us that also means spending time with those family members who aren’t so culturally sensitive, racist. So I decided to put together five comebacks for that racist relative this holiday season.

          You can always use sarcasm. “Whoa, is it 2014 or 1814 up in here?” “I mean what’s next, the right to vote, integrated schools, a black president?” Wait what?

          Progressive ‘humor.’

          Then there’s always the good old fashioned smack down. “As much as I’d like to discuss how African Americans and people of color have been marginalized throughout history resulting in the normalization of their oppression and mistreatment through laws and social norms meant to uphold white supremacy, these sweet potatoes aren’t going to eat themselves. Let’s dig in.”

          This person knows 0 words they did not learn in an African American studies class.

          I also want to encourage you to reach out to that person or family member afterwards away from the holiday, on the phone, at a coffee shop, in an email, and let them know why what they said was problematic and how it hurt you so that they can learn from the situation.

          ^ What the spam filter was invented for.

          1. I am going to contend that the limousine liberals and SJWs are just as appallingly racist as the old time Bull Connor crowd, it just gets expressed in a different way.

            1. There is no need to contend fact, Suthen.

          2. let them know why what they said was problematic and how it hurt you so that they can learn from the situation

            Absolute, total self-absorption. This isn’t even malignant narcissism, it’s almost a combination of it and sociopathy. Other’s people’s entire purpose is to not make this person feel bad, and nothing else.

    3. I’m short.. I knew I was being held back by all those people with tall privilege!

      1. Inch High Fission Guy?

      2. Dammit, he’s on to us!

      3. I have experienced severe mental trauma over being left-handed. I demand a formal apology from the government for centuries of abuse and a subsidized computer mouse.

    4. What about us tall and thin people who can’t ever find pants long enough in our waist size?

      It’s a burden that we shouldn’t have to bear.

      /sniffle

      1. Oh, now the ectomorphs want special privileges?

        1. Ectomorphonism

      2. Oh yeah? Try finding rubbers with a little dick!

    5. Goddamn, I am sick of the spoiled brats, grievance mongers and true believers.

      And yes HM, I saw that on her twitter page when I looked her up to see if she is fat herself. Her article is pure projection.

      I trace the root of this blight on humanity called progressivism to the oceans of taxpayer money that have enabled swarms of useless idiots to go to university and become ‘useful idiots’.

    6. As to #7, my wife is 5 ft tall, weighs 100lbs and wears a size 2/petite/short. Try finding jeans for her.

      I think part of what is going on here is that the grievance mongers have run out of genuine things to bitch about. Our society has slain all of the true ogres decades ago. We have made more progress in a couple of hundred years than any society in history, yet these people continue whining. Now they just sound like spoiled brats complaining that life isn’t fair.

      1. Try finding jeans for her.

        Land’s End fit petite size really well.

        http://www.landsend.com/produc…../id_271024

        1. And they hem trousers to any length.

          http://www.landsend.com/produc…../id_274270

          1. Thank you.

            My wife has a Phd in shopping. She does shop at Land’s End, but complains that retail stores don’t carry her size so she can get that instant gratification and not have to wait for it to arrive in the mail.

            What she is missing, and what I have noticed, is that the endless, endless, endless (repeat 100x) shopping around and examining things and comparing prices is a very important part of the shopping experience for her. I love taking her shopping but more than once, after 8-10 hours of driving store to store and walking around I ended up crawling around behind her in tears begging to go home.

            1. That’s torture.

              I get all of my clothes for 2 years in one 15 minute trip to the outlet mall.

      2. My wife is 5′ 2″ and about 120 lbs, size 4. When she weighed 150 and was size 8, I didn’t like her any less, I always tell her, although she is gorgeous now, I miss my plumper more curvy wife. She actually doesn’t like that I tell her that. Women are strange critters.

        1. Women are strange critters.

          I was recently in a conversation with three women. Woman #1 informed me that women like men who mistreat them. Women #2 and #3 agreed wholeheartedly. Woman #1 then informed me she did not like her husband because he was nice to her. After sitting in stunned amazement for a few seconds, I got up and left the room.

          Some things I will never understand.

          1. This weekend one of my cousins was telling me about one of her friends who flat out lied about being on birth control so she could get pregnant without her boyfriend consenting to be a father.

            People are fucked up. There are men who are evil enough to commit sexual assaults. There are women who are fucked up enough to lie about sexual assaults for attention. There are men who abandon their children. There are women who purposefully get pregnant without the man’s consent in an attempt to entrap him into a relationship.

            The primary problem with modern feminism is that it’s comprised of narcissistic sexists who are unwilling to admit that women are capable of depravity just as horrible as any man. That’s where they come up with the ludicrous idea that women never lie about rape. Of course they do, and for a million reasons – just like people lie about every other conceivable subject.

            Women are human beings and therefore just as prone to the commission of evil as everyone else.

            1. So, what you’re saying, if I can summarize accurately, is that human being regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religious identification, or favorite sports team are prone to human behavior of the human kind? both for good and evil?

              Well, fuck me. Who’d a thunk it?

            2. Women are human beings and therefore just as prone to the commission of evil as everyone else.

              Yep. Can’t disagree with any of the points you made.

              I think I’m allergic to the irrational or hyper emotional.

            3. My brother’s wife did this 30 years ago. The other brothers (3 of us) knew it, though bro in question in still married to this shrew.

              He is second in command at a state agency, very well situated and a real smart guy. He likes his tunes, bbqing, reefer and golf so I guess he has enough diversions to tolerate her.

              I’ve only seen her once a year over several decades and her shrewish victimhood has ramped up over time.

              Some shit you just can’t figure out, so if she works for my bro it’s not my place to judge, easy to hold your nose and ignore her bitchiness when I rarely see her. My other bro who is closer is another story.

      3. I’m imagining your wife with no pants on.

        1. I am not sure who you are referring to Warren, or that it really matters.

          *laugh*

          1. If you are referring to my wife you should also know, she has a world class ass. I mean….*bites lip* world fucking class.

    7. I assume that was satire. Right? Right???

    8. I’m Irish. Oh yes I am.

      Trust him, he is…

      …that red nosed, drunken, potato eating, bar fighting, bomb setting lush. They’re always after his lucky charms.

      1. Only he gets do drunk he ends up setting potatoes and fighting bombs.

    9. “Thin Privilege”

      Such bullshit. I have been both thin and slightly overweight. The only difference is the type of shallow comments you receive. There is no predominant bias, even with the opposite sex where you simply receive attention from different people depending on your weight. But if you think there is some type of conspiracy among thin people who secretly rule the world, then you’re easily one of the most shallow people out there.

        1. Someone’s been watching The Wire marathon on HBO this weekend.

    10. 3. When you’re at the grocery store, people don’t comment on the food selection in your cart in the name of “trying to be helpful.”

      Nobody who’s not related to the person in question does this, ever.

    11. 4. Your health insurance rates are not higher than everyone else’s.

      And your likelihood of, you know, imposing high costs on your insurance company are not higher than everyone elses.

      Obviously someone here doesn’t know how insurance works.

    12. I have to say, I am sick and tired (“‘and tired’ always followed ‘sick'”) of the “Obesity Epidemic” hysteria. So, fashion in body image is changing, and all the thin, shrill people are afraid they are going to be thought of as ugly. I have news for you, sweethearts, we ALREADY thought you were a bunch of ugly f*cks.

      But this “I’m a victim because I’m fat” rubs me the wrong way. So you’re fat. So what. Some people will like you, and some won’t. This is different, how? You get nagged, you say? Hell, the nags are all over all of us, every second of every day (well, not on ME, because I’m a nasty sonofabitch, but they are until they learn better). There is no lifestyle so healthy and virtuous that there won’t be some pillock lecturing you that you ought to be doing things HIS way.

      It really ought to be legal to shoot these people. Or at least, only punishable as Misdemeanor Littering.

  6. Twitter is truly the realm of morons. Facebook is stupid, but Twitter takes stupid to an entire new level.

    1. I’m so Instagraming that!

    2. I blame the entire internet

    3. Twitter is basically a modern CB radio.

        1. That brought a tear to my eye. Back when pigs were given the proper level of respect.

    4. There is no doubt about that. Twitter allows idiots to reinforce their idiocy.

      If the founders of Twittah were trolling media I’d give them a golf clap, I doubt that is the case. Twittah for twits.

  7. Goddamn HM how did you get the reply button to link to her Twitter page?

    1. A broken italics tag it seems.

  8. Fuck you, Reason. You’re not the boss of me, and I’m complaining about not having the flying car! Fuck your lowered expectations!

  9. Oh, Neil deGrasse Tyson! Your blissful self unawareness has no bounds does it? If you’re going to troll, at least choose someone whose scholarly output didn’t have at least a 2:1 ratio of Christian theology and alchemy to studies in calculus.

    1. This was the guy who voiced the Cosmos remake and had some line like “The church suppressed all sciences” while a picture of a cathedral appeared on screen. Yeah, because cathedral construction certainly didn’t require anything like advanced mathematics and engineering or anything. Tyson’s a complete historical illiterate.

      1. He is a proggie’s proggie and a solid gold prick. And a global warmer. He is the poster child for social activists masquerading as scientists. Truth and accuracy are alien concepts to him.

      2. Of course, the church didn’t suppress all science. Like all successful totalitarian systems, it pressed science into its service, both to make useful stuff and to try to justify its hideous ideology. Communism, socialism, fascism, monarchies, Catholicism, they are basically all the same.

        1. Communism, socialism, fascism, monarchies, Catholicism, they are basically all the same.

          The only two of those things that are even close to being ‘the same’ are fascism and communism. Most monarchies are vastly freer than either fascists or communists, most socialists in the social democrat meaning of the word are not communists, and I don’t know what on earth Catholicism has to do with any of those things.

          I’d rather be a Catholic in Boston or the subject of a constitutional monarchy than a serf in the old Soviet Union.

          1. To be fair, the Catholic Church does have a long history of treating its adherents as either Nobles to be advised or peasants to be treated like (dearly loved) farm animals. This has gotten it in trouble again and again with American Catholics, who are used to making their own decisions, and expect any organization that collects money from them to listen to their input.

            Father Andrew Greeley (lovely writer, even though a delusional Democrat) comes back again and again to the cardinal (and Cardinals’) error of buying into the “We mustn’t trouble the simple laity” mindset.

            Pity he couldn’t see it when the Democrats did the same thing.

    2. Neil seems historically rather unaware. For example, he gave Columbus’ voyage as an example of successful government funding of science, which is wrong on so many levels.

      1. Well, he was right in that government-funded science has had a habit of exploiting people and infecting them with disease.

      2. Neil seems historically rather unaware. For example, he gave Columbus’ voyage as an example of successful government funding of science, which is wrong on so many levels.

        Good God, that’s funny. Bonus points if he simultaneously hates what the Europeans did to the Native Americans.

        The Spanish enslavement of South American Indians was a tremendous government success story, Neil.

        1. YOU’RE ALL JUST A BUNCH OF RACISTS BECAUSE HE’S BLACK!!1!1!!!11

        2. Ignoring the idiocy of the comment in general, it’s not like there was a group of random Vikings who beat him to it, who certainly weren’t funded by a government and were just a bunch of guys looking for land to settle in a Lockean fashion. Does Tyson think that discovering something five hundred years after the fact equates to ‘successful government funding of science’?

            1. That’s what he told Isabella anyways. I still ascribe to the theory that Columbus (and Cabot) heard about lands to the West from drunken Portagee sailors in seaport taverns.

  10. You know, from 100 to about 30 years ago, they had mail catalog stores that were essentially like Amazon. You’d order by mail or phone and they’d deliver. Oh sure, you had a new catalog every season, but

    OTOH, if you wanted groceries, most local stores would deliver. AFAIK, that lasted until the 1950s, maybe later. My mother’s parents were drunks so they had their groceries delivered all the time.

    1. “Oh sure, you had a new catalog every season, but”

      Last year’s catalogs were re-purposable for use in a small outbuilding behind the house. My family operated that way until I was 12.

      1. Your family beat you with rolled up catalogs in the “whippin’ shed” too?

        1. Pretty hard to roll up a Sears and Roebuck or Monkey Wards catalog. The old man would just kick me once in a while.

    2. Higher mandated wages, higher taxes, and more regulatory costs have killed a lot of nice things in this country meaning we enjoy a much lower standard of living than it would be otherwise.

      1. The only reason we have a “lower standard of living” is because KOCHTOPUS And TEATHUGLIHADIST RACIST WOMYN HATERS.

        Otherwise, it would be nerdvana.

      2. We just need more bigger government. We just haven’t done enough of the right thing. As soon as government is big enough, we will achieve paradise.

    3. Oh sure, you had a new catalog every season

      It was like the pr0n of the day baby, 40 year old women in corsets, +100 boners.

    4. In college there was Sanso’s pizza wagon. Starting at 5:00pm the truck would be filled with pizza, ready to go. You had a choice of pepperoni, cheese, supreme and maybe one or two others. As the night wore on, the price went down. At 2:00 they’d park near the bars and sell out at bargain rates.

      1. Did they make pizzas on the truck or just keep them warm?

    5. In some alternate universe, Sears kept the catalog business running at a loss for another few years and then they put it online. Amazon never happened.

    6. Sears sold build-your-own-house kits by catalog. They came on a railcar.

  11. Don’t worry, comrades, we’re going to get our flying cars now. But they all have to be the same color and they can’t ever actually leave the ground, otherwise, racism and global warming, and rape, I almost forgot that part.

    1. Flying cars pretty much define “Rape Culture”, don’t they?

      1. A symbol of the patriarchy, almost as bad as that Nazi logo.

  12. OT:
    Obo gets us out of Afghanistan:
    “US, NATO mark end of 13-year war in Afghanistan”
    Yay! Hooray! Terrific! Uh………..
    “Beginning Jan. 1, the new mission will provide training and support for Afghanistan’s military, with the U.S. accounting for almost 11,000 of the 13,500 members of the residual force.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/wor…..981841.php

    See, it’s not a war-war, ’cause Obo has the peace prize!

    1. Just like how he doesn’t use the executive order.

      Words mean things.

  13. France dit taux d’imposition au revoir ? 75 %. (I got this from translation software and it may have no similarity to the actual French language)

    When President Francois Hollande unveiled a “super-tax” on the rich in 2012, some feared an exodus of business, sporting and artistic talent. One adviser warned it was a Socialist step too far that would turn France into “Cuba without sun”.

    Two years on, with the tax due to expire at the end of this month, the mass emigration has not happened. But the damage to France’s appeal as a home for top earners has been great, and the pickings from the levy paltry.

    Hollande and his government have since sought to relieve business of around 40 billion euros of taxes and other charges, as unemployment at over 10 percent drives home the urgent need to attract investment to the sickly French economy.

    Oops! The wondrous 75% uber tax appears to be headed into the dustbin of history.

    1. Two years on, … the mass emigration has not happened.

      Unless, of course, you’re Jewish.

      1. So….it’s the Jews’ fault?

        1. It’s ALWAYS the Jew’s fault.

          1. Well then they just need to get with the pogrom!

            Weirdly an anagram for pogrom is mo prog.

            1. I see what you did there.

    2. Ah! France discovers the Rieur curve.

  14. Don’t Panic: LA Times declares Barack Obama is aging at a normal human rate.

    But it appears neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can claim direct responsibility for the changes that Olshansky and his wife spotted on TV. His research found no evidence that presidents show signs of accelerated aging while in office or die sooner than other men.

    Presidents, including this one, appear to age at the same rate as the rest of us, he said. As evidence, he turns to technology that analyzes the wrinkles, spots, freckles, jowls and other insults to the face to estimate the approximate “face age.” The technology is available at facemyage.com.

    Obama’s face age regularly averages below his 53 years, he says.

    1. Yeah, I was really worried about that, given that Biden is a heart-beat away!
      Now I can sleep better.

    2. Bull, everybody knows that clones age twice as fast as the normal people.

  15. Communism is wonderous!

    That’s why Europe built a damn wall keeping their citizens from fleeing to the USSR!

    It’s why South Korea has to keep their citizens from escaping to the north!

    It’s why America has to keep people from visiting the wonders of Cuba!

    Americans fleeing for the wonders of Cuba

    The proggies are right, if only we could experience the wonders of the all encompassing state, we would see the light!

    1. It’s like a warm blanket on a cold night.

    2. Every proggie needs to be reminded at least once an hour that the Berlin Wall wasn’t built to the the westerners out.

      1. ..to KEEP the westerners out.

    3. I think it’s hilarious that the Daily Kos is calling Republicans hypocrites for being okay with illegal immigration from Cuba when the Daily Kos itself is on the side of the aisle where people are totally okay with a Communist police state since they have government run healthcare.

      Republicans are clearly hypocrites on this issue, but at least Republican hypocrisy regarding Cuba doesn’t require them to support one of the most oppressive countries on Earth. I think the various progs talking about how ‘authentic’ modern Cuba is are vastly more immoral than Republicans who are okay with illegal Cuban immigration for political reasons.

      1. When they say “authentic” I hear, “How we expect and want a Latin American country to look, poor and backward as fuck.”

        Every prog I’ve ever met has a weird obsession with primitives. Look at the uncontacted tribe movements. These people want indigenous types to live in some sort of bizarre menagerie to provide them with entertainment. They cry and moan about the “loss of ancient culture,” even when it’s pointed out to them that the peoples who are choosing to stop being hunter/gatherers are doing so for their own reasons and consequently see huge improvements in their longevity and quality of life.

        It’s sickening.

        1. See: Noble Savage.

  16. Is it alright, if I complain that we don’t have a space program?

  17. Screw you, Greg. I still want my flying car.

    1. Easy: Got a credit card?
      Go to a small airfield, buy a charter to where you wish to go. When you get there, rent a car! Do the same on return; beats any flying car ever imagined.
      You don’t even have to learn how to fly.

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