Should UPS worry about Amazon buying 25,000 vans?

Last week brought the news that had ordered 20,000 delivery vans from Mercedes-Benz. CNN reports that this deal is a big leap from the Seattle-based e-commerce company’s first order of 5,000 vans. Amazon will lease these to third-party partners, who will operate them for last-mile delivery — basically, getting packages from a shipping hub to your house.

This is yet another step in Amazon’s plans to build its own delivery service, and it’s worth watching to see how it will affect United Parcel Service Inc. Amazon also is allowing allow people to use their personal vehicles for delivery in some cities…

…20,000 shipping vans is modest, as Market Realist points out. It notes that UPS has 119,000 vehicles and FedEx has 160,000 vehicles that do last-mile delivery.

And the United States Postal Service has 190,000 vehicles in their total delivery fleet. The sum of those three = 469,000 vehicles. While, Amazon may get some play for its portion of the gig economy popular in current culture, the sum of those two purchases = a little more than five percent of the rolling stock of established carriers.

Coal ash pits, hog manure lagoons — what could go wrong in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to 31 coal ash pits where Duke Energy stores an estimated 111 million tons of toxic waste produced by coal-fired power plants. The state is also home to thousands of manure pits, known euphemistically as “lagoons,” which hold approximately 10 billion pounds of wet waste generated each year by swine, poultry, and cattle operations.

A handful of news outlets are reporting about the danger of coal ash and hog manure spilling into North Carolina’s waterways in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Bloomberg covered the serious environmental and public health risks and the Associated Press warned of a potential “noxious witches’ brew of waste.”

Don’t worry, be happy! Our Fake President is so confident after being reassured by his coal pimp buddies that he relaxed the rules regulating coal ash pits. Before Hurricane Florence arrived.

And the Hog Manure Lagoons? Hey, there’s only 4,000 or so. Not much of a problem if, say, only 5 or 10% of them overflow. Right? Ain’t any Senators or Congress-critters living nearby.

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in the Irish Sea

Click to enlarge

Orsted A/S unveiled the world’s largest offshore wind farm, an 87-turbine complex in the Irish Sea covering an area more than double the size of Manhattan.

The Walney Extension off the coast of northwest England has a generating capacity of 659 megawatts and is capable of powering 590,000 homes, according to Danish company Orsted, the world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms.

The only functioning wind farm in the United States exists at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

American Self-Deception: A List of Wars and More

❝ There is a reason that most countries polled in December 2013 by Gallup called the United States the greatest threat to peace in the world, and why Pew found that viewpoint increased in 2017.

But it is a reason that eludes that strain of U.S. academia that first defines war as something that nations and groups other than the United States do, and then concludes that war has nearly vanished from the earth.

❝ Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed or helped kill some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 84 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. The United States is responsible for the deaths of 5 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and over 1 million just since 2003 in Iraq.

For the past almost 16 years, the United States has been systematically destroying a region of the globe, bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria, not to mention the Philippines. The United States has “special forces” operating in two-thirds of the world’s countries and non-special forces in three-quarters of them.

❝ The U.S. government as of 2017 provided military aid to 73% of the world’s dictatorships.

The emperor not only has new clothes since the end of World war 2. He and his peers kindly provided the whole cloth to both of the political parties we’re allowed to have – to cut and sew matching outfits for the whole nation.

Expect a Text from the Fake President Declaring Himself Emperor

❝ …Next week, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be testing the Emergency Alert System, which gives the President the ability to “address Americans via text message in the event of a national emergency.” What exactly will constitute a “national emergency” to a man who is pretending that nearly 3,000 people did not die in Hurricane Maria is unclear.

❝ As Talking Points Memo reports, the test alert is slated go out at 2:18 p.m. ET on September 20…The message will reach any cell phone that’s within the range of a cell tower.

Yes, of course, there are “controls” and “safety systems”. There are also supposed to be checks and balances built into the operation of Congress based upon our Constitution. When you have a party in power like today’s craven version of the Republican Party – that’s meaningless. When you have a third of the electorate convinced Trump is a messenger from God – there is no reason for confidence in civil liberties.

So, get ready for the world’s Number One Fake President to Declare a state of emergency, martial law and place himself in charge of the military, all police.

I’m only joking, right now. Do you believe the thug in the White House isn’t thinking of every possible way to save his incompetent butt?

Photographing America’s Manmade Wastelands

Click to enlargeAtlas Asbestos Mine, Fresno County, California

❝ There are currently 40,000 EPA-monitored toxic waste sites that blot the landscape across the United States. Nearly 900 are regulated under its “Superfund” program, which aims to clean contaminated sites.

That’s the subject of a Waste Land, a new book that comes out September 25th. In the late 1980s, photographer David Hanson traveled to 67 of these Superfund sites to capture the deep scars they have placed on the landscape. The resulting exhibit showed some of the more dramatic examples.

❝ …Hanson thinks it’s important to publish the full set now—30 years after he first took the photos—[because] not much has changed.

An example of how much the two old parties tend to agree with each other more than disagree. They both allowed this devastation.