The Automat

We just celebrated one of the biggest days for food…Thanksgiving……and the pandemic has made our family meals a thing of the past…..at least the large gatherings….well for those people that do not drink the poison kool-aid about “nothing to fear”…..

In these days of automation and the attack from the virus….is it possible that an old form of food distribution could make a re-appearance?

The Automat……

It all sounds so futuristic: a restaurant without waiters, without workers behind the counter, without any visible employees whatsoever, where you simply feed your money into a glass-enclosed kiosk, remove a steaming plate of freshly made food, and carry it to your table. Welcome to Horn & Hardart, circa 1950, a restaurant chain that once boasted 40 locations in New York City and dozens more across the U.S., at a now-distant time when automats served hundreds of thousands of urban customers every day.

The automat is often considered to be an exclusively American phenomenon, but in fact, the world’s first restaurant of this kind opened in Berlin, Germany in 1895. Named Quisisana—after a company that also manufactured food-vending machinery—this high-tech eatery established itself in other northern European cities, and Quisisana soon licensed its technology to Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart, who opened the first American automat in Philadelphia in 1902.

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-automat-4152992

For those that are too self-absorbed to read…a short video…..

Look at vending machines today each machine generates about $100 a day…..and that is a $20 billion business a year……I bring this up because the vending machine is basically an automat….the pandemic could get this expanded….

There is a lot of money to be made in vending, and it shows in the current state of the industry. There are around 5 million operational vending machines in the US right now and they rake in over $7 billion in annual sales for their operators. As far as profits go, the snack niche alone generates $64 million in annual profits for vending machine operators.

As long as people eat and drink on the go, there will be a need for well-placed, well-stocked vending machines. But like any business, it is possible to have great success in vending machines, to fall in the middle of the pack, or even to fail. The key is having the right support, the right strategies and the right pricing structures in place to ensure a vending machine business makes money.

https://www.naturals2go.com/are-vending-machine-profitable/

I present this short history lesson because of the pandemic…..what is the possibility that the Automat could make a comeback?

Before there were fast food jingles on TV and drive-thrus seemingly on every corner, there was the automat. In the first half of the 20th century, this system of vending hot meals to diners through a series of glass lockers seemed like the wave of the future. But over the past 40 or so years, automats have existed as little more than dated literary references.

But with restaurants still struggling to survive amid a pandemic that’s forced them to both drastically scale back and overhaul their operations, there are some early signs that automats could be positioned for an unexpected comeback. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that two automats, one in Manhattan and another across the Hudson River in Jersey City, should be opening up before the end of 2020.

In the case of Jersey City’s Automat Kitchen, the pandemic didn’t birth the idea for proprietor Joe Scutellaro. In fact, it pushed back its scheduled opening from April to December. “In the Covid-19 environment, it’s actually the right concept,” he told the Journal. “We didn’t go into this anticipating a pandemic, but here we are.”

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/coronavirus-automats-return/

Whatcha think?

Could this make a return?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–25Nov20

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and with the pandemic there are a few things that need doing to be sure that the day is for fun and food and not the virus……

I live in Mississippi and our health department has issued some guidelines for a healthy day…..

Mississippi’s top health official delivered dire news last week about the state’s COVID-19 status, noting the “severe surge” that’s been stressing its health care system, with very few beds left in ICUs around the state. “Our fall surge is going in very much the wrong direction over the last week or so,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said during a virtual Mississippi State Medical Association meeting on Thursday, per the Clarion-Ledger. In the wake of that news, Dobbs and other health officials are also looking with a wary eye toward Thanksgiving weekend, pleading with the public to keep their gatherings tiny—read: nuclear family members only—and warning that Christmas may not be so merry if they don’t. “We know this is the perfect milieu, having young folks and old folks and folks with chronic illness around the table—and then death,” he said on the video call, per the Mississippi Free Press.

MA President Dr. Mark Horne concurred, noting that “you’re going to say hi [to Mamaw] at Thanksgiving, it’s so nice to see you, and you’re either going to be visiting her by Facetime in the ICU or planning a small funeral by Christmas.” Mississippi State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers also warned people to stay away from in-person Black Friday events, noting they would be a “disaster for potential transmission.” For those who choose to have even small Thanksgiving get-togethers, Dobbs implores them to adhere to social distancing and gather outdoors, if possible. If anyone does get sick, “our resources are tapped out,” he said Friday, per WLBT. As for the fatality numbers? “We’ve become a little bit numb to the deaths,” he noted in the Zoom call. “And it’s coming for a lot of people.”

Please enjoy your days of fun, family and food.

Be Well…..Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, you Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden And Health Care

I will be doing a series of posts dealing with the choices of president-elect Biden for people and policies.

Biden is not a fan of Medicare For All (hence forth will be known as M4A)…….

This pandemic could give Biden the prefect opportunity to use a Trumpian ploy of Executive Order to make M4A a tool to fight this virus and all health issues in the nation.

Journalist David Dayen presented a convincing case Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden, once sworn into office come January, would have the legal authority to immediately provide complete Medicare coverage to everyone in the country via executive action due to the Covid-19 pandemic—though the very serious question remains: would he?

During the primary season in March, Biden said he would veto a Medicare for All bill should one ever reach his desk, but with the coronavirus infection rate surging—and some scenarios projecting an overall death toll as high as 360,000 by the time the inauguration takes place—is it possible that conditions on the ground could move him on the popular demand for a single-payer solution to the nation’s public health crisis?

“I do not expect Joe Biden to use this power on Inauguration Day to instantly turn the United States into a single-payer country,” Dayen wrote in The American Prospect. “But there’s nothing in the law that would appear to prevent him from doing it.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/17/pandemic-national-emergency-biden-could-enact-medicare-all-executive-action-will-he

This would be the perfect way to get the “progressives” on his side from the first day of his administration.

Sadly he is too deep in the pockets of the health industry and Pharma……they will never let M4A from ever becoming policy……their strangle-hold on health care is too profitable to ever see it broken.

I have said all along that the EO would be the perfect way to get many of the democratic policies enacted.

Biden is in the process of trying to re-create the Obama years…..we need fundamental change not the reform minded lunacy of the Obama years.

I now await all those that think the Obama years changed things.

Be Smart!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Walking The Dog!

Nope not that hit from the 1960s by Rufus Thomas…..I am talking about my daily exercise when MoMo and I go for our stroll in the early morning hours.

A Spanish study has shown that dog walks and home deliveries are high in the chances of infection…..

The study, published in the Environmental Research journal, by the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health looked at the main risk factors of coronavirus transmission during the first national lockdown in Spain.

Dog walking was said to have increased the risk of getting Covid-19 by 78% during the period studied, March to May.

Supermarket home deliveries increased the risk by 94%, according to the research.

And the risk if someone else in a person’s household tested positive for the coronavirus was 60 times higher, the study found.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dog-walking-list-everyday-activities-23035842

Screw that!

My buddy needs her walk….and we go really early and seldom see anyone……and that is why we do it so we do not have to deal with others.

I can see why this could be a dangerous time…..and then there is home deliveries…..I do not use…..for I know how to cook and do not like the idea of too many handling my food.

But that is just me.

Any thoughts?

Finally a stroll down memory lane…..

A final thought about pets……this time it is the perfect Christmas Card…..not just any pet but those pets of the Presidents…

Image

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pandemic Board Game

We all are well aware just how catastrophic this Covid-19 has been on the world……in the US the totals so far…..Cases–11+ million…..Deaths–

This is the weekend and for those that are still in isolation…..maybe playing board games…..

This game is from 2017 and is very telling…..

A game?

2020, for reasons we don’t have to specify, has seen a big resurgence in pandemic-themed entertainment. Films like Outbreak and Contagion have found new life, as has anything else that depicted a viral pandemic in a fictional context. This includes board games. Specifically, we’re talking about this Pandemic board game from Z-Man Games. It’s only a few years old, but it’s newly relevant, thanks to, uh, current events.

Everyone in the world’s now learning the hard way how important it is for governments to be prepared for the possibility of a global pandemic. But players of Pandemicalready knew this. That’s because the game is all about letting players cooperate as members of a team, devoted to fighting worldwide outbreaks. Here’s the official synopsis of what the game is all about:

“Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example the operation specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are outbreaking fast and time is running out: The team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.”

https://futurism.com/pandemic-board-game

Even a dunce could have found a  way to defeat this disease but not our fearless leader….he was too busy being a douche to protect the people and find a cure….

Be well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will ACA Survive?

The program fondly titles as Obamacare has proven to be popular and yet the GOP seems Hell bent on its destruction…..as it comes before SCOTUS yet again.

Once again the ACA (Obamacare) comes before the Supreme Court….and once again it looks like the GOP will be beaten into submission…at least until next session…..

The Supreme Court heard its third challenge to ObamaCare on Tuesday, and a decision won’t be out until next spring. But the early assessments after oral arguments wrapped up should give backers of the Affordable Care Act some comfort—it looks like the law will survive again. Coverage:

  • “Most of the Affordable Care Act appeared likely to survive,” writes Sam Baker at Axios. He notes that Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh “suggested they’re unlikely to throw out the entire health care law, as Republican attorneys general and the Trump administration have urged. Their votes would be enough to save it.”
  • That assessment is a common one. “The bulk of the Affordable Care Act … appeared likely to survive,” writes Adam Liptak in the New York Times. He, too, concluded that Roberts and Kavanaugh would join the court’s three liberal justices in saving the bulk of the law, even though Republicans scrapped a key component of it, the individual mandate. “In legal terms, they said the mandate was severable from the rest of the law,” writes Liptak.
  • At the AP, Mark Sherman agrees with all of the above. It’s possible the court will determine that the mandate itself is unconstitutional, but it doesn’t appear that Roberts and Kavanaugh would be willing to kill the entire law if that’s the case. He quotes Roberts: “Would Congress want the rest of the law to survive if the unconstitutional provision were severed? Here, Congress left the rest of the law intact. That seems to be a compelling answer to the question.”
  • John Kruzel of the Hill agrees, too, and he quotes Kavanaugh to make the point: “Looking at our severability precedents, it does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the act in place, the provisions regarding preexisting conditions and the rest.”
  • Ditto at the Washington Post, whose story is written by multiple reporters. They note that Roberts wrote the 2012 opinion keeping the law intact and say he (and Kavanaugh) seem inclined to do that again. Another Roberts quote, in regard to the individual mandate: “I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act,” Roberts told Texas solicitor Kyle Hawkins. He suggested lawmakers wanted the court to do that for them, “but that’s not our job.”

How long before the next challenge comes?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Biden’s Stimulus Plan

Our newly elected president has offered up his team to handle the pandemic that is sweeping our country and the world.

In case you have not heard of Biden’s pandemic team…..https://lobotero.com/2020/11/10/biden-and-the-pandemic/

Now he wants to assist those people that this disease has effected monetarily…..we have had a couple of stim plans and some even did some good…but in the long run they mostly helped the bastards that are showing massive profits thanks to the Covid-19 virus……but not to be out done Joe Biden has offered his plan…..

Biden is also expected to share more details of his coronavirus response plan this week, including more stimulus aid for Americans. Negotiations on the eventual bill between Democrats and Republicans will be likely, though they may not be smooth. In fact, the route to passing another stimulus package before and after the inauguration is projected to be rocky, contentious and extremely partisan.

Biden’s initial plan — which we sum up below — pulls some elements from the CARES Act, such as stimulus payments for eligible Americans and more unemployment benefits, while also suggesting new measures to provide additional financial help. Here’s what’s in it.

The CARES Act, passed in March, was the first stimulus package intended to help people financially affected by the pandemic. One of the most popular aspects of the act was a stimulus check of up to $1,200 sent out to more than 160 million Americans. That direct aid caused a jump in household spending, helped millions at risk of slipping into poverty and allowed others to save

Biden’s plan, like the one President Donald Trump is backing, will include more direct stimulus payments, but it doesn’t specify how many or for how much, or if any of the qualifications would change. Democrats and Republicans are currently negotiating for more stimulus relief that would include another round of direct payments, but the clock is ticking to get a bill passed.

…..read more……

https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/bidens-stimulus-plan-heres-whats-in-it-including-a-second-check-unemployment-benefits/

We will see how far this will go in the Congress…..a GOP Senate and a House with a slim majority…..my guess is that it will hit major snags along the way….

This will not be where the nation’s healing will begin.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden And The Pandemic

Biden promised that he would attack the Covid-19 on “day one” (I have always hated that statement)…..and he has been president-elect for a couple of days and he has already announced his Pandemic team…..

As coronavirus records are smashed across the US, Joe Biden isn’t wasting any time in starting to address “one of the most important battles our administration will face.” On Monday morning, the president-elect announced a 13-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board to “help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations,” per an emailed statement from Biden cited by Axios. Three co-chairs will helm the panel: Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general; ex-FDA Commissioner David Kessler; and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. “I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in his release.

Axios notes the “wealth of experience” on the panel, which will inform Biden’s team on how to tackle the COVID-19 problem once he takes office. Other members on the board include vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower who said he was forced to resign in October from a high-ranking Health and Human Services position because he refused to flood the New York area with hydroxychloroquine; infectious diseases expert Eric Goosby, who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations; and Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. ABC News reports Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a briefing from the board Monday. Biden’s plan to go after COVID-19 includes increased testing and contact tracing, more investment in vaccines and treatment, possible mask mandates, more PPE, and rejoining the World Health Organization, per CNN. Check out who else is on the panel

He has taken the bull by the horns but that does not make the pandemic go away because we now have competent leadership in this time of need…..it does make the new prez look decisive…..let’s hope that is enough to beat this damn disease.

A side note–A thought on health care……Every Dem that supported Medicare For All won re-election…..As Common Dreams reported Friday, while corporate-friendly Democrats have continued to go to bat for the for-profit healthcare system that lavishes billions of dollars each year on insurance companies, for-profit hospitals, and pharmaceutical giants, a new poll this week—put out by Fox News no less—shows that 72% of all U.S. voters would prefer a “government-run healthcare plan.” And the poll is far from an outlier, with numerous surveys in recent years showing this trend.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/07/every-single-one-ocasio-cortez-notes-every-democrat-who-backed-medicare-all-won

Just a thought for this pandemic thing…..72% want M4A….and yet the Dems will work to axe that idea in favor of for profit health care……now you tell me just who these slugs truly represent.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Remember The “Havana Syndrome”?

GOD I am bored with the lack of news…..I gotta move on to something more realistic…..A diversion while you wait for the elusive tally of votes counted……and the incessant BS from pundits on how pleased they are with the vote.

Of course the original outbreak was at the embassy in Havana….so the Cubans were to blame and it fit nicely with the Trumpian horse manure of trying to demonize Cuba…..

But what is it?

The first theory that was publicly handled, which gained rapid media relevance without having been proven by science, was that of alleged sonic attacks. The hearing conditions reported weighed more on the balance than other symptoms, to the point that today, many months later, these health incidents continue to be called that way by some people and the media, even though the researchers have already rejected that first hypothesis.

After the original attacks it same sort of thing began popping up all over…..

Remember “Havana syndrome”? That’s the term often used to describe the weird, inexplicable ailments that began affecting US diplomats in Cuba in recent years. Now two investigative pieces, one by the New York Times and the other at GQ, seek to shed more light on what’s happening. Both make clear that these incidents haven’t been confined to Cuba, but have been happening around the world. Some takeaways:

  • All over: The apparent attacks have taken place all over, including in China, Russia, Poland, Georgia, Australia, Taiwan, and even inside the US, per the GQ story. It focuses on the case of now-retired CIA official Marc Polymeropoulos, who fell ill with what he initially thought was severe food poisoning in his Moscow hotel room in late 2017. Ailments including debilitating headaches, which continue to this day, forced his early retirement.
  • The culprit? Evidence points to Russia, with GQ noting that CIA investigators were able to conclude (using location-tracking data) that Russian agents were in the vicinity when CIA officers were afflicted in some of these cases. The Times story: “Some senior Russia analysts in the CIA, officials at the State Department, and outside scientists, as well as several of the victims, see Russia as the most likely culprit given its history with weapons that cause brain injuries and its interest in fracturing Washington’s relations with Beijing and Havana.”
  • The weapon? GQ suggests that consensus is settling on some kind of “directed energy weapon,” possibly using microwaves. Russia has a history with such weapons, both stories note. Forbes spins off the Times story with an explainer on these. “A minuscule but rapid rise in tissue temperature, resulting from the absorption of pulsed microwave energy, creates a thermoelastic expansion of brain matter,” an expert tells Forbes, which likens the result to an “acoustic shock wave in the brain.”
  • Different treatment: The Times story points out that the Trump administration referred to what happened in Cuba as “targeted attacks” and evacuated personnel. But it took a much “softer” approach when cases surfaced in China, eventually labeling them as “health incidents.” For those affected, it meant they had to burn through their sick days and use unpaid leave while they recovered. No formal investigation was opened into the China cases
  • Why: “Critics say disparities in how the officers were treated stemmed from diplomatic and political considerations, including the president’s desire to strengthen relations with Russia and win a trade deal with China,” per the Times. The GQ story reports that CIA chief Gina Haspel rebuffed intel reports suggesting Russia was to blame and didn’t bring them to the White House, given President Trump’s reluctance to go after Vladimir Putin. Haspel may have found the evidence lacking, or she may have feared retribution in the form of cutbacks and wanted to protect the agency, according to the story.

Is this fact?  Or is it just another “blame Russia” moment?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–21Oct20

Remember all those horror stories coming out of the old USSR where the KGB was installed in all branches of the government to keep track of it’s people?

Well thank god that does not happen here in the good old US of A, right?

Or does it?

The White House planted two political officials with no public health experience at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep tabs on the agency and its scientists, according to The Associated Press.

Nina Witkofsky was appointed as senior advisor to CDC Director Robert Redfield at the agency’s Atlanta headquarters in June and within weeks had been promoted to CDC acting chief of staff.

The second political arrival, Chester “Trey” Moeller, is Witkofsky’s deputy. 

Witkofsky, the AP said, played a small role in Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Her CDC profile also says she has worked in governmental affairs for 20 years, including at the State Department. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-planted-political-operatives-cdc-control-narrative-ap-2020-10

Has the US now created a KGB like section for spying on governmental officials?

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”