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The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet

The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet


The number of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly, but at great human cost.

You probably have not heard anything other than praise for electric cars in the mainstream media. They are sexy and environmentally friendly too, we are told. The first may be true, but not the latter. Batteries are not good for the environment, and their raw materials are mined at the expense of human health.

Rare Earth Metals

Rare earth metals are needed to make efficient batteries. The minerals are found in low densities in the earth’s crust, and tons of rock need to be mined, filtered, and transported in order to find the amount required to make a vehicle battery. Typically, the energy needed to create them exceeds the amount that they store during their lifetime. That is why they are so expensive.

Congo

Mining for cobalt in the Congo.

Cobalt is one of the ingredients needed to make batteries. In 2018, 70% of this mineral came from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. The metal is mined by poor Congolese people who work under conditions that would have been unthinkable and highly illegal in any Western country. Accidents are common, sometimes killing the miners.

Little attention is given to those who toil to make wealthy Western environmentalists happy. It is not uncommon for green ideals to be at odds with human health. DDT is a miracle chemical that was used to eradicate malaria in America and Europe, but environmentalists were able to de facto ban it in the 1970s, resulting in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths in developing nations.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deepfake News The Next Frontier In Phony Journalism

Deepfake News The Next Frontier In Phony Journalism


Computers can now imitate human writing. Is it the start of a fake news avalanche?

Fake news may be the issue of the day, but what about “deepfake” news – that is, articles written by an artificial intelligence (AI) machine only pretending to be human? OpenAI, a company backed by several Silicon Valley heavyweights, claims it has developed a software that can mimic human writing so convincingly that those who invented it are too scared to divulge the full details. After being fed an initial sentence or question to start the ball rolling, the AI program GPT2 generates text in either fiction or non-fiction genres, matching the style of the initial human-input prompt. 

“…it’s possible to generate malicious-esque content quite easily.”

“Deepfakes” are phony content created by “deep learning” (artificial intelligence) computers. This is a quickly developing field, but the researchers behind GTP2 have refused to release the full version of the product, due to concerns about it “being used to generate deceptive, biased, or abusive language at scale.” In other words, fake news and objectionable material can now be composed at speeds beyond the capabilities of human writers and sent out to spam the world.

Breaking News: Scientists Discover Unicorn!

Previous attempts at such technology stumbled when the bots were unable to “remember” details of the story and context; the GPT2 program, however, can compose a narrative without losing track of these elements. After receiving one or two lines as a prompt, the technology went on to write convincing fake news stories about nuclear material being stolen in Cincinnati, scientists discovering a unicorn (albeit one with four horns), performer Miley Cyrus being caught shoplifting, as well as Lord of the Rings fan fiction and an essay on why the American Civil War occurred – of which the first paragraph reads:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Coffee Tree Extinction And The Caffeine Blues

Coffee Tree Extinction And The Caffeine Blues


Is man’s second-best friend at risk of extinction?

What lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, boosts your brain cells and adds years to your life? Health experts will tell you that would be coffee. A morning cup of Joe not only gives many of us the jolt we need to face the day ahead but it’s just plain damn good for you. Perhaps this is why scientists are issuing a dreaded warning: coffee tree extinction is on the horizon.

For the last 20 years, scientists have been studying the coffee bean which really does grow on trees. But research now shows that 60% of the coffee trees around the world are rapidly leaving the planet due to disease, deforestation – and dare we say, climate change.

Even if you throw out that last one – the climate change business – something is definitely going on with coffee trees that is rather distressing. While this news may come as a tragedy to those of us who live quite happily with our caffeine addiction, there are other worrisome aspects to this news.

Coffee Is Big Business

Widely consumed, coffee is a multibillion-dollar business. As of 2015, coffee represented a $225.2B industry in the United States. American consumers spent $74.2B on coffee in that calendar year which supported 1,694,710 coffee-related jobs. The National Coffee Association also estimates that the government rakes in $28B in taxes on coffee products.

Your cup of java is primarily made up of two types of coffee trees: Arabica (Coffea arabica) which represents 60% of the crop consumed. The other 40% is composed of Robusta (Coffea canephora). There are other smaller types of coffee species – a total of 124 to be exact – but these two represent the mother-lode of coffee that is farmed, traded and shipped to consumers worldwide.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Media To Trump: We’re Calling The Shots Here

Media To Trump: We’re Calling The Shots Here


Won’t they ever figure out that their own bias is what makes them ineffective?

A New York Times columnist has made a bit of a splash in the elites’ fetid swimming pool by proclaiming that his media brethren will not make the same mistakes with President Trump that they made in 2016. This open declaration of political bias is, of course, yet another major mistake, but these people are so far gone in their delusions that there is no point even trying to explain that simple fact to them.

…press is angry because their coverage of a major presidential candidate turned out to help him rather than harm him.

Frank Bruni wrote a defiant piece in which he vowed that the media won’t “let him set the terms of the 2020 presidential campaign.” We all know who “him” is. This sounds like the remark of a petulant child unhappy that he doesn’t get to run a playground game. But there is even more to be revealed by Bruni’s sour grapes than just a determination to spite a president. He is indeed displaying the foremost media trait that turns off so many Americans: The assumption that they get to set the agenda – that they get to decide what is and isn’t news. Instead of merely reporting as per their alleged job responsibilities, this elitist demands to be a player himself, and, it would seem, the starting quarterback.

Fooling Themselves

Bruni is so warped by his own vitriol that he finds it offensive that major press outlets were forced to cover an Oval Office address to the nation given by a sitting president. “We had to weigh a request in line with precedent against a president out of line when it comes to truth,” he obtusely writes.

Frank Bruni

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Are France And Germany About To Form An EU Superstate?

Are France And Germany About To Form An EU Superstate?


Inching ever closer towards an EUSSR.

As the fire rages on, the citizenry floods the streets, and political turmoil reigns supreme in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are telling everyone to please disperse because everything is fine and there’s nothing to see here.

Thanks to 2016’s historic Brexit vote, the European Union mandate is being threatened. Despite the denials emanating from left-leaning news outlets, other nations are interested in their own emancipation from Brussels, whether it is the growing Frexit movement or the Grexit push. It’s only a matter of time before this failed experiment enters the dustbins of history and will be remembered as fondly as the Ice Capades or Nickelback.

To stave off the eurozone’s inevitable demise, the bloc’s two biggest markets are in the beginning phases of forming a superstate, and it could present the next step toward global government. France and Germany will sign a so-called twinning pact at the end of January, an unprecedented policy maneuver that could serve as a blueprint for the future of the E.U.

Twinning

Under this new agreement, the two nations will share defense, economic, and foreign policies and unite in a diplomatic front.

Ministers from both governments will be permitted to sit in each other’s cabinet meetings, policies will be presented with the goal of moving towards economic convergence, and security forces will cooperate closely in tackling organized crime and terrorism. For now, the primary objective is to get Germany accepted as a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council.

Perhaps the most terrifying prospect of them all is the promotion of Eurodistricts. This will consist of the Franco-German partnership merging public transportation, water, and electricity networks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change Debunked: No Sign Of Warming In 900 Years

Climate Change Debunked: No Sign Of Warming In 900 Years


A new study finds no trace of modern-day global warming.

In a new study published in the journal Climate of the Past, a team of geophysicists at UMass Amherst have reconstructed the highest resolution temperature record for New England, stretching back 900 years to the Middle Ages. The temperature data set gives new insight into the climate in Northeastern U.S. – but what is conspicuously absent is any trace of manmade global warming.

A New Technique

…present day is the coldest period seen in New England in 900 years.

The study was conducted using a relatively new technique involving measuring the quantity of certain chemical compounds, called branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs), found in lakes and soil. They correlate well with temperature variation and can therefore be used as a form of thermometer.What is particularly advantageous about this method is that it allows for a more fine-grained resolution in time. The work, led by doctoral student Daniel Miller, resulted in a temperature measurement every seven years on average during the 900-year interval. This high resolution allowed them to discover a 50-to-60-year temperature cycle hitherto undetected in other studies.

Global Fingerprints

Although this study is only regional, covering a relatively small part of the U.S., one can still find the fingerprints of global climate events. Most notably, the Medieval Warm Period can be clearly seen. A millennium ago, the North Atlantic region was so warm that wine grapes grew in Scotland and Norwegian explorers were able to settle and farm in Greenland. In central Europe, the warm period caused a major economic boom and repopulation and it was during this time that the great cathedrals were built.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Libertarian’s Lament On The Government Behemoth

A Libertarian’s Lament On The Government Behemoth


As it turns out, we don’t really need the government to take care of us.

If it were not for the government, who would build the roads? Who would educate the children? Who would keep the parks clean? These questions usually are posed by progressives who think they have taken libertarians to task. We have already seen pizza companies maintaining the roads and private schools and homeschoolers doing an admirable job teaching students. Now, we’re learning that the free-enterprise system can keep parks, including government-run ones, clean.

These tourist dollars are essential to the survival of small businesses…

Keeping Yellowstone Clean

Because the government has been partially closed for nearly three weeks, several national parks have been pretty much abandoned. Without staff on hand, the trash is piling up, and bathrooms look like they’re managed by an uncouth teenager working at 7-Eleven. Access is now free since no one is available to collect the $35-per-car fee. The trade-off, however, is a dirty park.

Well, except if you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or Montana.

Yellowstone attracts roughly 30,000 visitors every month, even in the middle of winter, contributing $18.2 billion to the local economy. These tourist dollars are essential to the survival of small businesses, from restaurants to tour guides to snowmobile rentals. Just be careful of that guy in a wagon claiming that Yellowstone will be the epicenter of the apocalypse!

Residents near Yellowstone set up to help clean park during shutdown

In other words, private enterprises in the area have an incentive to ensure Yellowstone continues to be accessible to tourists. So, what are they doing? These companies, led by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, are gathering funds to ensure the roads are maintained, the restrooms are packed with toilet paper, and the trash bins are emptied. They are even paying staff to work in the park.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada’s Forgotten Man: Energy Workers

Canada’s Forgotten Man: Energy Workers

All over the world, the forgotten man is rising up, reminding the ruling elite of his existence. Fed up with leaders catering to the whims of 0.05% of society, or instituting policies that impact their pocketbooks, the working folks of America, Italy, Brazil, and France are making sure their voices are heard in the political arena. This uncomfortable fact is sending shivers up and down their masters’ spines, including those in the Great White North.

Ivory Tower

For so long, Canadians were passive and apathetic about how they were treated by their rulers. They just drowned their sorrows of excessive taxation and abuse of the public purse in a Tim Hortons double-double and a plate of poutine. That’s just the way it is, they cried. There’s nothing to do, they grieved.

It is this level of arrogance that puts Trudeau and his minions out of touch with typical Canadians.

But then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau happened.

The trust fund baby is a man who continually talks down to those who are not like him. By encouraging young people to use “peoplekind,” openly wishing that Ottawa would embrace a Chinese-style government, and suggesting citizens with real concerns about Syrian migrants are racist, Trudeau has begun to light the populist spark from British Columbia to Newfoundland.

To truly comprehend the left’s disdain for blue-collar Canadians who do not accept the premises of leftist dogma, you will need to travel to Calgary, Alberta. At a recent demonstration of energy workers, Liberal Mayor Naheed Nenshi treated the crowd like kindergarteners:

“Well, for those of you who are saying, ‘No I don’t believe in climate change,’ good luck changing hearts and minds because we have to be able to say that there is no difference between standing up for the economy and standing up for the environment.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Brief History Of Fake News

A Brief History Of Fake News


The biggest weakness of liberal editors is that they need to reflect their world view.

When news broke out of Germany that an award-winning reporter for Der Spiegel had been exposed as a serial fabricator, my first inclination, before delving into the details, was to assume a certain way the story would unfold. It would involve a writer reporting from a leftist viewpoint in a highly literary, as opposed to fact-driven, manner.

Check and check. Claas Relotius, honored in 2014 as CNN’s “Journalist of the Year,” was especially adept at a stylized form of “reporting” that read like good fiction. His articles often featured lazy anti-American stereotypes that serve as easy comfort food for European leftists: vigilantes on the Mexican border, death penalty eyewitnesses. Relotius provided himself a lively palette from which to paint his biased fiction.

Relotius will go down in shame with other famous journalist hoaxers, yet the people who most enabled his betrayal of the reader will likely avoid similar ignominy. Which is head-scratching because if a criminal profiler were to come up with a pattern for these kinds of frauds, they would find one constant: editors who were hoodwinked because their fake reporters were writing exactly what they wanted to read.

Janet Cooke

The original black eye to the mainstream leftist journalism machine came in 1980 with the infamous Janet Cooke caper at The Washington Post. Cooke, a 26-year-old reporter, won the Pulitzer Prize for an article on an 8-year-old heroin addict named Jimmy. The article featured that same literary style of reporting that reads like a good book instead of an informative news article. And it fit perfectly into a liberal editor’s wheelhouse with its stirring, highly-personalized account of a minority social crisis in need of a solution, as written by a black woman.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Amazon Goes Full Orwellian

Amazon Goes Full Orwellian


Bezos poised to become knower of all things, with strategic moves to collect info on individuals inside and out.

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it,” came a warning from George Orwell’s novel, 1984, that is rapidly, wickedly, becoming prophecy with new Amazon eye-in-the- sky technology and a dark and disturbing twist. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is poking that eye with a sharp stick.

And Jeff Bezos is not feeling the love.

In what appears to be Bezos’s latest strategic move in the quest to replace God as knower of all things is a hybrid monster of facial recognition software and a doorbell camera widget manufactured by Ring, a company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

In a gross assault on the right to privacy, a patent filed months ago essentially describes a product that captures information on people who as much as walk past a doorbell, sending real-time information to police databases.  It also will allow customers the ability to upload to law enforcement photos of anyone they deem might be a sketchy individual.

What does a non-sketchy, normal person wear when ringing a doorbell?

Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney for the ACLU, is fired up and fighting:

“It’s rare for patent applications to lay out, in such nightmarish detail, the world a company wants to bring about.  Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future … ”

Or perhaps Bezos dreams of ruling the world.

Biometrics Bastardization

But attaining an unlimited collection of facial snapshots is just the beginning. A deeper dive into the patent application reveals that Amazon is prepping to expand its unlimited munitions stash of photos with other biometrics.  And what it plans to extract from unsuspecting folks will horrify freedom-loving Americans.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe In Panic Mode Over Economy As USA Soars

Europe In Panic Mode Over Economy As USA Soars


The eurozone’s economic growth rate has slumped to a four-year low.

The eurozone could not borrow from the momentum of the U.S. economy in the third quarter as economic growth slumped to a tepid 0.2%, the slowest rate in more than four years. With the 19-nation currency bloc beginning to stagnate, and the heavyweights failing to post significant gains, Brussels is in panic mode, likely leaning on the European Central Bank (ECB) for further stimulus.

Economists originally anticipated growth of 0.4%. But global trade woes, tumbling business confidence, Italian distress, and the gradual dissipation of an accommodative monetary policy all contributed to the poor numbers in the July-September period.

…the eurozone is not prepared to contain a new financial crisis…

Italy fell into stagnation, failing to record any growth. Rome has been contending with a debt crisis, sending the yield (interest rates) on government bond prices higher. Officials are embroiled in a contentious battle with the EU because their borrowing plans violate the trade bloc’s rules. There is now talk of a Keynesian-style fiscal stimulus to rev up the national economy.

France, which endured a terrible first half, reported a 0.4% increase, lower than the market forecast of 0.5%. The economy gained on surging business investment, household consumption, and net trade. While the figures are commendable, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire did not help matters when he suggested that the eurozone is not prepared to contain a new financial crisis, adding that “it is in no one’s interest that Italy be in difficulty.”

Germany, the economic engine of the eurozone, will not publish its Q3 numbers until mid-November. But the Bundesbank has warned that growth might have flat-lined in the previous quarter. Researchers do predict a recovery for Berlin in the final quarter of 2018, driven by a resurgence in the automobile sector and falling unemployment.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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