Viral Video Shows Chinese Warehouse Where Humans Were Replaced By Robots

Even as talk about robots taking over low-(and not so low) skilled jobs has been all the rage in recent months, few Americans have been faced with the imminent threat of being displaced by Johnny 5. Not so in China, where a viral clip released by the local TV broadcaster shows an army of little orange robots sorting out packages in a warehouse in eastern China, the latest example of how machines are increasingly taking over menial factory work in the world’s most populous nation.

The People’s Daily shared the behind-the-scenes footage of the self-charging robot army in a sorting centre of Chinese delivery powerhouse Shentong (STO) Express. The video, also released by the SCMP, shows hundreds of round Hikvision robots,  each roughly the size of a seat cushion,  swivelling across the floor of the large warehouse in Hangzhou. A worker is seen feeding each robot with a package before the machines carry the parcels away to different areas around the sorting centre, then flipping their lids to deposit them into chutes beneath the floor.

The robots identified the destination of each package by scanning a code on the parcel, thus minimising sorting mistakes, according to the video.

The army of robots can sort up to 200,000 packages per day and are self-charging, so they can work 24/7, although they are presently used only for about six or seven hours each time from 6pm according to a STO Express spokesman.

An STO Express spokesman told the South China Morning Post on Monday that the robots had helped the company save half the costs it typically required to use human workers. They also improved efficiency by around 30% and maximised sorting accuracy, he said.

“We use these robots in two of our centres in Hangzhou right now,” the spokesman said. “We want to start using these across the country, especially in our bigger centres.”

Manufacturers across China have been increasingly replacing human workers with machines, for one simple reason: Chinese wage growth is soaring with average wages in China’s manufacturing sector rising above those in countries such as Brazil and Mexico.

Meanwhile, the output of industrial robots in the country grew 30.4% last year. In the country’s latest five-year plan, the central government set a target aiming for annual production of these robots to reach 100,000 by 2020.

Elsewhere, Apple’s supplier Foxconn last year replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots. The Taiwanese smartphone maker has several factories across China, with the bulk of the hundreds of thousands of employees set to be rep[laced by robots.

“The System Itself Is Beyond Repair”

Authored by Antonius Aquinas,

The Cost Of A Trump Presidency

Last Thursday’s wanton attack on a Syrian air field by the US and its bellicose actions toward North Korea have brought to the forefront the real cost of candidate Trump’s landslide victory last November.

Unlike most laymen, accountants, and financial analysts, economists look at cost differently.  For economists, cost or more specifically, “opportunity cost,” means “a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action.  Stated differently, opportunity cost represents an alternative given up when a decision is made.”

Such thinking can be roughly applied to the political realm.  In the case of last fall’s US Presidential election, the cost of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory was not the money spent on the campaign, but the diffusion (hopefully, only temporary) of the growing anti-Establishment groundswell that was percolating not only in America, but across the globe.

The Trump phenomenon, Brexit, Texas secession talk, anti-immigration gatherings, central bank scrutiny, the exposure and decline of the lying, dominant mass media, and other populist movements and causes were symptoms of the masses dissatisfaction with their exploitation by the ruling elites. Trump’s triumph has squashed and defused many of these populist uprisings since a number of his campaign themes empathized with these trends.

A similar situation occurred after Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 election as the great anti-government wave, which swept him into power, dried up almost immediately since Ronnie was perceived as “one of us.”  Of course, Reagan was a disaster and fulfilled none of his anti-government campaign rhetoric, but instead went on to become, for a time, the biggest Presidential spender in US history.

A Clinton victory, although certainly tyrannical in the short run, would have, no doubt, furthered the anti-Establishment fires and inspired more.  For example, Texas may be now on the road to independence from the Federal Leviathan.

The ills that plague the US and, for that matter, the Western world, will not be solved through a Trump Presidency in “making America great again,” but will only come about through political decentralization and the abolition of central banking with a return to sound money.  Concomitant with political decentralization and secession is military contraction, as smaller political jurisdictions will have lesser pools of wealth to tap from while the absence of an inflationary central bank will make military adventurism extremely difficult to conduct.

Yet, before such a transformation can take place, an ideological foundation must first be established.  A Hillary Clinton Administration would have provided fertile ground for such change.

Since the groundwork for a depoliticized world has not been laid, a Trump Presidency made sense as long as he kept as close as possible to his campaign agenda, the most important of which was foreign policy.  His condemnation of the neocons’ policies which have bankrupted the nation, murdered thousands of innocents abroad, and heighten tensions everywhere was crucial in his shocking victory last November.  It is apparent that he did not understand how important this support was or he would have never undertaken such an utterly stupid decision.

With the strike on Syria and seemingly more military action in the offering, Trump’s Presidency is now the worst of all possible worlds, at least in the short run, for those opposed to the New World Order.  Most serious observers, however, understood, especially after the appointment of so many Goldman Sachs cretins, Israeli Firsters, and nutty warmongers to his administration, that Trump would eventually succumb to the pressure.  More importantly, Trump was never fully grounded in an America First mindset, probably not knowing where that term originated or its gallant founders.

All, however, is not lost.

Trump’s capitulation makes it abundantly clear that the system itself is beyond repair.  Getting the right individual to salvage the American welfare/warfare state cannot be done.  Trump had many advantages that no future candidate will likely possess which means that anybody that follows will be an “insider.”  Much of his base, therefore, will no longer support a future Republican candidate or will give him only lukewarm support .  With no independent personality to rally around, the millions of disappointed Trumpians will seek new governing paradigms which hopefully will lead to the growth of secession movements.

Ultimately, however, a permanent American foreign policy of non intervention, peace, and free trade will only come about when there is a change in the prevailing ideology of society where all contenders for political office espouse such a notion and today’s warmongers are seen for what they are: enemies of humanity and its Creator.

Fox’s Bill O’Reilly Takes Sudden “Planned” Vacation; James Murdoch Reportedly Wants Him Gone

Amid a sexual harrassment scandal, Fox's Bill O'Reilly surprised viewers tonight and announced he will be taking a "planned" vacation until April 24th. The timing is interesting as over two dozen companies – including Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW and Allstate – have pulled advertisements and as NYMag.com reports, two highly-placed Fox News sources say 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would like O’Reilly to be permanently taken off the air.

As HollywoodReporter notes, O'Reilly assured viewers that his trip was planned long ago, as he takes a vacation “often around this time of year," in order to dispel any notion that it was a forced suspension. He announced that he’d scheduled his trip “last fall” – well before the New York Times reported he paid $13 million to settle harassment claims.

A Fox News source told NYMag.com's Gabriel Sherman that O’Reilly plans to return to his show on April 24. But according to four network sources, there’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show could be his last. Lawyers for the law firm Paul, Weiss, hired last summer by 21st Century Fox to investigate Roger Ailes, are currently doing a “deep dive” investigation into O’Reilly’s behavior. They’re focused now on sexual harassment claims by O’Reilly guest Wendy Walsh after she reported her claims via the company’s anonymous hotline.

O'Reilly previously dismissed the charges in a statement posted to his official site soon after the report was published.

"Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline," the statement read.

 

"But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children. The worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel. Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me."

But as NYMag reports, Fox News co-president Bill Shine has been working hard to keep O’Reilly, sources said. But O’Reilly’s future is in the hands of the Murdochs. “It’s up to the family,” the senior Fox News staffer said. The Murdochs are presently divided over how to handle it.

 Two highly-placed Fox News sources say 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would like O’Reilly to be permanently taken off the air, while his father Rupert and older brother Lachlan are more inclined to keep him.

(A spokesperson for the Murdochs declined to comment.)

Putin: “Idlib Was A “False Flag” Attack And We Have Learned That More Are Coming”

With Rex Tillerson on his way to Russia, moments ago Russian president Vladimir Putin shocked reporters when he said that Russia has received intelligence from “trusted sources” that more attacks using chemical weapons are being prepared on the Damascus region, meant to pin the blame on the Assad government.

“We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus. They plan to plant some chemical there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack,” he said at a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow

The Russian President announced that Russia will officially turn to the UN in the Hague for an investigation of the chemical weapons’ use in Idlib.  Moscow has dismissed suggestions that the Syrian government that it backs could be behind the attack in Idlib province.

“All incidents reminiscent of the ‘chemical attacks’ that took place in Idlib must be thoroughly investigated,” Putin said.

Damascus denied the allegations, noting that the targeted area may have been hosting chemical weapons stockpiles belonging to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) or Al-Nusra Front jihadists.

The incident has not been properly investigated as yet, but the US fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in a demonstration of force over what it labeled a chemical attack by Damascus.

Putin also pointed out that the latest US missile strikes in Syria bring to mind the United States’ UN Security Council address in 2003 that led to the invasion of Iraq, an address which has now been thorougly debunked as using flawed information to garner global support for an invasion.

“President Mattarella and I discussed it, and I told him that this reminds me strongly of the events in 2003, when the US representatives demonstrated at the UN Security Council session the presumed chemical weapons found in Iraq. The military campaign was subsequently launched in Iraq and it ended with the devastation of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the appearance of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] on the world stage,” he added.

The Russian president also slammed the Idlib attack, officially denouncing it as a “false flag” attack.

Putin also said that there is no meeting with Tillerson currently on his schedule.

Following Putin’s presser, Russian General Staff released a statement announcing that it has information of militants bringing poisonous substances to areas of Khan Shaykhun, West of Aleppo and Eastern Guta in Syria.

Chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said that the militants are trying to provoke new accusations targeted at Syrian government for alleged use of chemical weapons. The militants aim to incite the US to conduct new strikes, Rudskoy warned, adding that such measures are impermissible. He said that according to the Russian general staff new US airstrikes in Syria are unacceptable and that the Syrian forces posses no chemical weapons.