Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids play “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MQ10Dq410I

September 30, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids play “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7evJQKNKUBw

September 30, 2021. Tags: , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Parkway Central student who admitted to racist graffiti is Black, district says

https://www.kmov.com/news/parkway-central-student-who-admitted-to-racist-graffiti-is-black-district-says/article_0502ed04-1d88-11ec-b152-073c66b59b31.html

Parkway Central student who admitted to racist graffiti is Black, district says

By Caroline Hecker

September 28, 2021

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — A Parkway Central High School student has admitted to writing racist graffiti on the walls of a bathroom, according to district officials.

The student was identified through an investigation and later admitted to the vandalism, according to a letter from principal Tim McCarthy sent to parents Friday evening. Monday, the district said the student responsible for the incident is Black, but said in a letter, “however, this does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact it has had on our entire community.”

The announcement comes days after graffiti was found in bathrooms at both Central High and North High on Wednesday. On Friday, several hundred students at Parkway North High School walked out of school, demanding change and accountability for those responsible.

“We were all just listening to people talking and hearing what they had to say and what we wanted to change and listening to people’s voices being heard,” said Christian Willis, a freshman at Parkway North.

Students who were involved in Friday’s walkout said it was peaceful, as they took time to listen to each other and school administrators allowed students to voice their concerns.

“I think there’s quite a bit of decency in people, most people that I can tell you of, they’re really good people, especially deep down in heart,” said senior Tyler Thomas. “Even if they don’t like certain things, they’re good people at heart.”

Aisha Goodman Hamilton has a sophomore son at Parkway North and stopped by the school to watch the walkout from afar.

“My hope is that there’s action that comes out of this. I hope the students aren’t left with lip service, I hope there’s an actionable plan to deal with these issues, I want zero tolerance,” she said.

She admitted she’s worried about what is going on inside the school and hopes her son and children like him can remain safe.

“I’m just very angry that they have to continue to do these things, that they’re thrust into this,” she said. “My parents marched in the 60s and 70s and its 2021 and we’re still doing these same things.”

The investigation into the racist graffiti found at North High is ongoing, according to the district.

The two incidents this week are not the first time similar vandalism has been found inside a Parkway school. Many students said they feel nothing is being done to stop it from happening.

District officials, however, said disciplinary action is taken, but privacy laws prevent other students from learning about what happens to those involved.

The student held responsible for the graffiti at Central High School will be subject to disciplinary measures as is outlined by the district’s discipline policy, which could range from suspension to expulsion.

September 29, 2021. Tags: , , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. 2 comments.

Western Washington University establishes separate housing for ‘diversity of Black and African American’ people

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/university-western-washingtion-black-affinity-housing

University establishes separate housing for ‘diversity of Black and African American’ people

By Luke Gentile

September 28, 2021

A Washington university established a housing program for black students to examine their culture separate from the influence of other races, according to the program’s description on the school’s website.

Western Washington University transformed the fourth floor of its Alma Clark Glass Hall into Black Affinity Housing, the website states.

“The program explores and celebrates the diversity of Black and African American people and culture , with historical and contemporary context,” its description reads.

The Alma Clark Glass Hall was chosen for Black Affinity Housing because it was named after the first black student to attend the university .

“All Western students residing in the program help foster a warm and vibrant community supporting social, personal and academic success,” the website states.

Residents of Black Affinity Housing can expect to engage in intermittent community programming, according to the website.

September 29, 2021. Tags: , , , . Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power is causing an increase in the use of fossil fuels, which is causing more than 1,100 additional deaths each year

This is a quote from a scientific paper on Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power:

“Put another way, the phase-out resulted in more than 1,100 additional deaths per year from increased concentrations of SO2, NOx, and PM. The increase in production from hard coal plants is again the key driver here, making up roughly 80% of the increase in mortality impacts.”

Source: Page 25 at this link https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w26598/w26598.pdf

Either the people who support this phaseout are extremely illiterate when it comes to science, or they are deliberately killing these people. I wonder which one it is.

September 29, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

House Passes EQUAL Act to Erase Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

https://reason.com/2021/09/28/house-passes-equal-act-to-erase-sentencing-disparity-between-crack-and-powder-cocaine/

House Passes EQUAL Act to Erase Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

The Senate now has the chance to finally end one of the most disastrous legacies of the drug war.

By C.J. Ciaramella

September 28, 2021

The House of Representatives passed legislation today that would finally erase the sentencing disparity between federal crack and powder cocaine offenses.

By a wide bipartisan vote of 361-66, the House passed the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act, H.R. 1693. The legislation would reduce the penalties for federal crack cocaine offenses to the same level as those for powder cocaine offenses, and it would make those changes retroactive, meaning federal crack offenders currently serving prison sentences will be eligible to have their sentences reduced.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), where it faces a less certain future. The White House endorsed the legislation in June, and if it passes Congress, the law would close the book on one of the most regrettable pieces of President Joe Biden’s legacy.

In 1986, then-Sen. Biden (D–Del.) co-sponsored the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, one of the most disastrous laws passed in the 1980s by lawmakers posturing as tough-on-crime. The law created a 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenders, the former of whom were predominantly black. The result was that someone possessing five grams of crack cocaine would receive the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as someone with 500 grams of powder cocaine, despite there being little to no pharmacological difference between the two substances. 

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that black people made up nearly 77 percent of all federal crack cocaine convictions in fiscal year 2020.

Criminal justice advocates have lobbied for decades to roll back the law. In 2007, Biden endorsed legislation that would have completely eliminated the disparity. A compromise bill, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, reduced it from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1.

In 2018, the FIRST Step Act made the Fair Sentencing Act’s reductions retroactive, leading to the release of roughly 3,000 federal crack offenders. 

One of the first to receive a sentence reduction under the FIRST Step Act was Matthew Charles, who was released from prison in 2019. Charles was sentenced in 1995 to 35 years in federal prison for a crack cocaine offense.

“If crack and powder were treated the same, my sentence could have been 15 years, not 35,” Charles testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this June. “But the 100-to-1 disparity was in place at that time, and I honestly didn’t seem like someone who deserved a break.”

Inside prison, Charles found religion, turned around his life, and became a model inmate. He is now a criminal justice reform advocate.

The EQUAL Act, introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D–N.Y.), benefited from broad bipartisan support in the House. Conservative Rep. Louie Gohmert (R–Tex.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a letter supporting the legislation that the federal sentencing disparity was “unfair and unnecessary for public safety.”

“I never saw a need for a cocaine sentencing disparity in Texas, and I see no need for a cocaine sentencing disparity federally,” said Gohmert, a former Texas state judge.

However, the legislation faces a much tougher road in the Senate. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Sioux City Journal last week that there’s not as much Republican support in the Senate for eliminating the sentencing disparity. He doubts that he and Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, can muster the 60 votes needed to get the Equal Act to the Senate floor.

“Does that mean that there’s not some possibility for compromise? I would be open to that, but I’m going to have to get enough Republicans to go along to make sure we don’t scuttle the other good provisions we have,” Grassley told the newspaper.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.), of the staunchest defenders of mandatory minimum sentencing in Congress, wrote an op-ed in National Review last week suggesting that the proper solution to the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity, if it must be changed, is to raise the sentences of powder cocaine offenses to match those of crack.

Criminal justice groups and civil liberties advocates applauded the passage of the bill in the House.

“For 35 years, the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, based on neither evidence nor science, has resulted in higher sentences that are disproportionately borne by Black families and communities,” Aamra Ahmad, ACLU senior policy counsel, said in a press release. “We applaud the House for passing the EQUAL Act, which will finally end that disparity, including for thousands of people still serving sentences under the unjust disparity who would now have the opportunity to petition courts for a reduced sentence.”

September 29, 2021. Tags: , . Racism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

“Equity” is being cited as a reason to ban white people from getting the vaccine for COVID-19

https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-hampshire-resident-files-discrimination-175506783.html

White New Hampshire Resident Files Discrimination Suit after Being Denied COVID Shot over Race

By Brittany Bernstein

September 28, 2021

A white New Hampshire resident who was refused a COVID-19 vaccine by the state earlier this year because he is not a person of color and thus did not meet its “equity” requirements has filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) and Boyden Gray & Associates filed the complaint on Tuesday on behalf of the unnamed 28-year-old man, who was unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in April despite having diabetes and therefore being at “elevated medical risk to COVID-19,” according to the complaint.

When the man called the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley in Lebanon, N.H. to schedule a shot, he was informed that they were “only serving people of color” at that time, in line with the state’s equitable vaccine distribution policies.

Meanwhile, the complaint says appointments at a vaccination clinic held by the Public Health Council were reserved for people who identify as “Black, Indigenous or people of color,” regardless of whether those individuals were at an elevated risk for severe COVID-19. The Dartmouth college newspaper reported that the clinic provided vaccinations to young Asian college students despite denying vaccination to those at high risk.

“No one seeking medical care should ever be sent to the back of the line because of their race, but that is exactly what the state of New Hampshire did with COVID-19 vaccinations. HHS must investigate and hold New Hampshire accountable for its blatantly illegal discrimination,” said Rachel Morrison, an attorney and policy analyst for EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

The complaint notes that the state has received “substantial funds” from the federal government, including over $500 million from HHS to administer its health programs and $43 million to support vaccination specifically.

“Using these funds in a discriminatory manner is a violation of federal law, as New Hampshire is well aware,” the complaint reads. “The state’s official COVID-19 resource website linked to HHS’s March 2020 Bulletin which states that civil rights laws are not suspended during the pandemic and that ‘our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life.’”

It notes that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibit racial discrimination in HHS-funded programs and argues that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights has a responsibility to investigate the complaint.

The complaint asks the Office of Civil Rights to “seek a binding voluntary resolution agreement with all the guilty parties.”

“This agreement should include appropriate remedial action, training, and ongoing monitoring of respondents by your office,” the complaint adds.

It demands that HHS stop funding the state and the public health council until it receives a written guarantee that they won’t discriminate on the basis of race.

“Although it is unclear if the state continues to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin, at least as late as June 27, 2021, the state’s main COVID vaccine website continued to state that ‘appointments are limited’ and ‘dependent on [vaccine] supply,’ which left open the door to state discriminating against whites,” the complaint adds.

Attorney Michael Buschbacher said the state’s “racially discriminatory vaccination program is a disaster.”

“The health officials responsible have done grave harm both to the vulnerable people forced to wait for a life-saving vaccine because of their skin color and to the practice of medicine,” he said. “New Hampshire’s guilt is gin clear, and HHS needs to take prompt and aggressive action to ensure that such illegal discrimination never happens again.”

September 28, 2021. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids play a Rolling Stones Mini-Concert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlAAx3f6WKM

September 27, 2021. Tags: , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids play “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFeWJ-SMWWM

September 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Glenn Case covers “Your Imagination” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn9RSyDzyHQ

September 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

This is hilarious! Environmentalists are against drilling for the lithium that’s necessary for electric cars.

Lithium is a necessary component of the batteries for electric cars that environmentalists are always claiming to be in favor of.

However, after lithium mining was proposed in California, environmentalists objected to the proposal.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

The drilling request has generated strong opposition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife, who say the drilling project would be an initial step toward the creation of a full-scale lithium mining operation. They say lithium extraction would bring industrial sprawl, large and unsightly drying ponds and threaten a fragile ecosystem that supports Nelson’s bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and the Panamint alligator lizard, among other species.

“A lithium mine would destroy these spectacular panoramas,” drilling opponent Tom Budlong said recently as he and fellow activists buzzed over the Panamint Valley in a chartered Ecoflight aircraft.

Absolutely hilarious!

September 27, 2021. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. 2 comments.

In California, some public schools are designating some rooms as prayer rooms for Muslims

https://www.kqed.org/news/11889134/california-schools-prepare-for-thousands-of-afghan-refugee-students

California Schools Prepare for Thousands of Afghan Refugee Students

By Diana Lambert

September 21, 2021

In California, home to the largest number of Afghan refugees in the country, school officials are preparing for an influx of students who fled Afghanistan with their families after the Taliban seized power in the country last month.

Schools are especially busy in Sacramento and Fremont, which have two of the largest Afghan communities in the state. Over 40% of the nation’s Afghan refugees have resettled in the Sacramento region in recent years, according to Jessie Tientcheu, chief executive officer of Opening Doors, a resettlement agency based in Sacramento.

Elk Grove Unified School District began offering culturally appropriate meals and setting aside rooms in many of its middle and high schools for prayer during Muslim holidays in preparation for the additional Afghan students it expects in the next month. San Juan Unified is offering Saturday school for English learners, and Fremont Unified is planning to hire more translators.

September 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Immigration, Islamization, Religion, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Travis Bigwood, Aubrey Mullins, and Skylan Bracey cover Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBvtiRHz_VU

September 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

ACLU changes abortion quote by Ruth Bader Ginsburg to make it gender-neutral

In 2018, Time magazine published the following quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The bolding is mine:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

Original source: https://time.com/5354490/ruth-bader-ginsburg-roe-v-wade/

Archived source: https://web.archive.org/web/20180803070425/https://time.com/5354490/ruth-bader-ginsburg-roe-v-wade/

In 2021, now that Ginsburg is dead, the American Civil Liberties Union has taken it upon itself to change her words in order to make the quote gender-neutral. This is the gender-neutral version that was tweeted by the ACLU. The bolding mine:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity… When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”

Original source: https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1439259891064004610

Archived source: https://web.archive.org/web/20210920003532/https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1439259891064004610

Here’s a screenshot of the ACLU’s tweet of the gender-neutral version of Ginsburg’s quote:

aclu

This is exactly the kind of thing that George Orwell warned us about in his novel 1984.

I never thought that the American Civil Liberties Union would do something like this. On the contrary, those of us who truly support civil liberties tend to be very much opposed to this kind of thing.

Shame on the ACLU.

September 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Abortion, LGBT, Political correctness, SCOTUS, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

YouTuber Not Just Bikes: We Have No Garbage Day in Amsterdam!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JtoSafhvLM

September 25, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Sanitation. Leave a comment.

House panel backs requiring women to register for the draft

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/01/women-register-military-draft-house-panel-508781

House panel backs requiring women to register for the draft

The House Armed Services Committee vote follows a similar vote in the Senate to expand the Selective Service System to include women.

By Connor O’Brien

September 1, 2021

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday voted to require women to register for the military draft, making the change one step closer to becoming law after senators endorsed the move this summer.

During late night deliberations on the committee’s annual defense policy bill, lawmakers voted 35-24 to adopt an amendment from Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) to expand registration for the Selective Service System beyond men.

The move caps off a contentious debate and could stir up conservative opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes defense spending and lays out military policy.

Several Republicans broke ranks to help Democrats to adopt the amendment.

Calls to broaden the pool for a potential draft to all Americans, not just men, have grown as the Pentagon opened all military combat roles to women in 2015. Advocates of the change also contend the current system is discriminatory.

“It’s past time,” said Houlahan, an Air Force veteran. “Women make up over 50 percent of our population, and not including them in the Selective Service is not only a disservice to these women, but also to our nation as a whole.”

If the provision remains in the defense bill and passes on the House floor, the change has a high chance of becoming law. The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted a similar provision in its defense bill, which awaits a floor vote.

Current law requires that American men register for the Selective Service when they turn 18, though there hasn’t been a military draft in more than four decades. The law, however, remains on the books should the U.S. need to conscript men into the service in a time of war.

One Republican supporter, Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida, a former Army Green Beret, warned that the military would need a much broader pool of recruits in the event of “a national emergency so grave” that it requires a draft.

“If it’s so grave that we have to go to a draft, we need everybody,” Waltz said. “We need man, woman, gay, straight, any religion, Black, white, brown. We need everybody, all hands on deck.”

Despite bipartisan support, conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups have nonetheless assailed efforts to expand the draft to include women.

“We don’t need to draft women in order for women to have equality in this nation,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.). “Women are of worth and of value right now and we are equal with men without having to pass a new law that would require 50 percent of this country — our daughters and our sisters and our wives — to have to be drafted.”

The Senate Armed Services Committee in July approved in a bipartisan vote a similar expansion of the draft. The change, offered by Armed Services Chair Jack Reed (D-R.I.), fired up conservative senators, though the bill still passed out of the committee with a wide bipartisan vote.

The full Senate is slated to debate the defense bill this fall.

An independent commission tasked by Congress with examining military and public service recommended requiring women to register for Selective Service last year, among other changes.

Several lawsuits have challenged the current law, alleging it’s discriminatory and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court declined to hear a suit brought by the National Coalition for Men challenging the male-only draft in June.

September 25, 2021. Tags: , , , . Military, Sexism. Leave a comment.

Scooters Are Replacing Biking, Walking and Taking the Bus [scooters cause a net INCREASE in pollution]

https://obrag.org/2019/11/scooters-are-replacing-biking-walking-and-taking-the-bus/

Scooters Are Replacing Biking, Walking and Taking the Bus

By Frank Gormlie

November 12, 2019

Joshua Emerson Smith, at the San Diego Union-Tribune, earlier this month asked the question, “how green are e-scooters?” He proceeded, of course, to attempt to answer his own query. Here below is a summary of sorts of his findings.

In general, he says – as reflected in the sub-head – studies do find that dockless e-scooters are more eco-friendly than driving – but buses, biking and walking remain the greenest travel modes.

According to studies, many people are currently cruising around on e-scooters as an alternative to cleaner forms of transportation, such as biking, walking and taking the bus.”

The scooter craze may not be as green as advertised; Smith summarizes that a growing body of research contradicts what scooter companies have been touting the last couple of years – that their devices are “not only convenient but a win for the environment.” Also, some local elected leaders have been promoting scooters as environmentally friendly. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called the devices “game changers” that can help the city realize its ambitious Climate Action Plan goals; Assemblyman Todd Gloria thought he was helping the environment by getting legislation passed that removed the helmet requirement for the scooters.

Why, just recently at a public hearing in San Diego, Lime’s director of government relations claimed to members of the City Council that scooters are what was getting people out of their cars.

Research and studies show that actually scooter rides are replacing biking and walking as travel options. Scooters are getting people off their bikes. Data from recent municipal surveys in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon show About 40 percent of scooter rides have replaced biking or walking trips. A Paris survey was worse – it found 85 percent of scooter rides replaced either walking, biking or public transit trips.

The scooter companies take user polls, and these have “found that on average about a third of scooter trips are replacing car trips, including a sizable 41 percent of the time in San Francisco. Lime said that figure is 35 percent in San Diego.”

The carbon footprint of scooters is very low, but not a net gain for the environment – given how people are now using them, according to a scientific study published in August from North Carolina State University. The first of its kind study, “measured the greenhouse-gas emissions per mile for a dockless shared e-scooter and then compared that against the the average car, bus and bicycle.”

Smith quotes Jeremiah Johnson, a researcher and co-author of the report:

It looks like an increase in environmental impacts … because about half of the scooter rides are displacing walking and riding bikes. If you are one of the riders who is displacing a car ride, you are almost certainly reducing your environmental emissions.”

Everything was taken into account for the lifecycle analysis for scooters; the emissions created

from manufacturing

from shipping

to disposal and

to the gas burned while workers drive around searching for scooters to charge and repair.

The study found, “more than 90 percent of emissions were from building the devices and shuttling them around by car.”

Making scooters last longer would go a long way toward shrinking their carbon footprint; the co-author of the study, Johnson, stated, “These are changes that are quite feasible. Extending the scooter lifetime, improving the efficiency of the collection and distribution system, those are achievable things. They don’t require new technology. They don’t require enormous changes in the system.”

Some scooter companies have been re-working their original models and have been regularly rolling out new ones. Scooter companies Bird and Lime claim their newest models on average last more than a year. The North Carolina study, however, used a lifespan of 15 months. For comparison, research shows the earlier scooters averaged “between a month to six months.”

Smith continues:

Some transportation researchers have questioned whether such tweaks to the scooter industry will lead to any significant environmental gains. While shrinking the carbon footprint of a device may improve a company’s image, that doesn’t guarantee it will lead to large cuts in greenhouse gas.

“Even if it can have lasting effects on daily travel, unless they connect to transit, the actual vehicle miles that are substituted are just miniscule,” said Dillon Fitch, a researcher who studies travel patterns and commuter behavior at UC Davis. “It’s just a drop in the bucket.”

More suggested improvements that could bring the technology to an overall bridge to greenland?

Increase personal ownership of such devices;

Get rid of the free-for-all collection systems “that employ gig-economy workers to compete with each other at the end of the day to scoop up as many devices as possible.” It creates a lot of needless driving around in vehicles. Some companies have begun “employing workers to round up scooters that need charging and maintenance. This costs more but allows companies to more efficiently deploy their collection fleets.”

invest in devices that log more miles before being scrapped for parts;

Establish charging stations – as they have in places such as Chicago, Tampa and Washington, D.C. “We believe charging stations can make our operations more eco-friendly, in that they’ll limit the number of trips our drivers need to make to pick up and charge scooters,” said company spokeswoman Maria Buczkowski. “Eventually these stations will be retrofitted with solar panels.”

Still, there is a promise the technology can improve enough to potentially overturn our reliance on vehicles with emissions and change the urban mode of travel.

September 21, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats 18 months before outbreak

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/

Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats 18 months before outbreak

Leaked documents reveal researchers applied for $14m to fund controversial project in 2018

By Sarah Knapton

21 September 2021

Wuhan scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show.

New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

Papers, confirmed as genuine by a former member of the Trump administration, show they were hoping to introduce “human-specific cleavage sites” to bat coronaviruses which would make it easier for the virus to enter human cells

When Covid-19 was first genetically sequenced, scientists were puzzled about how the virus had evolved such a human-specific adaptation at the cleavage site on the spike protein, which is the reason it is so infectious.

The documents were released by Drastic, the web-based investigations team set up by scientists from across the world to look into the origins of Covid-19.

In a statement, Drastic said: “Given that we find in this proposal a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, a review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted.”

The proposal also included plans to mix high-risk natural coronavirus strains with more infectious but less dangerous varieties.

The bid was submitted by British zoologist Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, the US-based organisation, which has worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researching bat coronaviruses. 

Team members included Dr Shi Zhengli, the WIV researcher dubbed “bat woman”, pictured below, as well as US researchers from the University of North Carolina and the United States Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Centre.

Darpa refused to fund the work, saying: “It is clear that the proposed project led by Peter Daszak could have put local communities at risk”, and warned that the team had not properly considered the dangers of enhancing the virus (gain of function research) or releasing a vaccine by air.

Grant documents show that the team also had some concerns about the vaccine programme and said they would “conduct educational outreach … so that there is a public understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it, particularly because of the practice of bat-consumption in the region”.

Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St Georges, University of London, who struggled to get work published showing that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) had been carrying out “gain of function” work for years before the pandemic, said the research may have gone ahead even without the funding.

This is clearly a gain of function, engineering the cleavage site and polishing the new viruses to enhance human cell infectibility in more than one cell line,” he said. 

Daszak was also behind a letter published in The Lancet last year which effectively shut down scientific debate into the origins of Covid-19.

Viscount Ridley, who has co-authored a book on the origin of Covid-19, due for release in November, and who has frequently called for a further investigation into what caused the pandemic in the House of Lords, said: “For more than a year I tried repeatedly to ask questions of Peter Daszak with no response.

“Now it turns out he had authored this vital piece of information about virus work in Wuhan but refused to share it with the world. I am furious. So should the world be. 

“Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) proposed injecting deadly chimeric bat coronaviruses collected by the Wuhan Institute of Virology into humanised and ‘batified’ mice, and much, much more.”

A Covid-19 researcher from the World Health Organisation (WHO), who wished to remain anonymous, said it was alarming that the grant proposal included plans to enhance the more deadly disease of Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

“The scary part is they were making infectious chimeric Mers viruses,” the source said. 

“These viruses have a fatality rate over 30 per cent, which is at least an order of magnitude more deadly than Sars-CoV-2.

“If one of their receptor replacements made Mers spread similarly, while maintaining its lethality, this pandemic would be nearly apocalyptic.”

EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been approached for comment.

September 21, 2021. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

TheReportOfTheWeek: Papa John’s Shaq-a-Roni Pizza is Back!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPvISx2pFbE

September 9, 2021. Tags: , . Food. Leave a comment.

In Search of… The Coming Ice Age (originally broadcast in 1978)

In Search of… The Coming Ice Age (originally broadcast in 1978):

https://www.bitchute.com/video/XRdppyW94gOx/

Also be sure to read: New York Times, January 5, 1978: International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30‐Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere:

https://web.archive.org/web/20161228140705/https://www.nytimes.com/1978/01/05/archives/international-team-of-specialists-finds-no-end-in-sight-to-30year.html

 

September 5, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

CORRECTION: Fact check: Deviation from Benford’s Law does not prove election fraud

Link to my original post: https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2020/11/07/joe-bidens-votes-violate-benfords-law-mathematics/

And here’s the correction, which I have also added to my original post:

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-benford/fact-check-deviation-from-benfords-law-does-not-prove-election-fraud-idUSKBN27Q3AI

Fact check: Deviation from Benford’s Law does not prove election fraud

By Reuters Staff

Social media users have been sharing posts that say a mathematical rule called Benford’s Law provides clear proof of fraud in the U.S. presidential election. However, research papers and academics consulted by Reuters consistently say that deviation from Benford’s Law does not prove election fraud took place.

Benford’s law says that in many naturally occurring sets of numbers, the first digits of these numbers (eg. the ‘1’ in ‘15’) are not evenly distributed. Measurements with a lower first digit occur more frequently: 1 is the first digit in a number about 30 percent of the time while 9 begins less than 5 percent of numbers. In certain data sets ranging from rainfall amounts to town populations, the numbers follow a Benford’s Law distribution. Deviation of data from Benford’s law has been examined in areas such as finance to detect if something is not right, for example fraud, mistakes or misstatements (here , here) .

The posts, such as those here and here , show graphs that compare candidate’s vote tallies by leading digit to the expected distribution according to Benford’s law in order to contend that Biden’s vote tallies do not follow Benford’s Law but Trump’s do. Posts state that Benford’s law is a test that has been used before to detect fraud (here) . Captions on the posts include, “Joe Biden’s votes violate Benford’s Law”; “It’s easy to win if you cheat”; “Statistically impossible odds […] now MATH doesn’t even agree with their faux victory.”

Reuters sought comment from experts regarding these claims.

Theodore P. Hill, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, cautioned that regardless of the distribution uncovered, the application of Benford’s Law would not provide definitive evidence that fraud took place.

“First, I’d like to stress that Benford’s Law can NOT be used to “prove fraud”,” he told Reuters by email. “It is only a Red Flag test, that can raise doubts. E.g., the IRS has been using it for decades to ferret out fraudsters, but only by identifying suspicious entries, at which time they put the auditors to work on the hard evidence. Whether or not a dataset follows BL proves nothing.”

Walter Mebane, Professor at the Department of Political Science and Department of Statistics at the University of Michigan (here) authored a December 2006 article (here) around the application of Benford’s Law to the US presidential election results. The article suggested some limitations of the process, but said in the Abstract: “The test is worth taking seriously as a statistical test for election fraud.”

Nevertheless, Mebane’s article also said, in the Discussion: “In any case, the 2BL test on its own should not be considered proof either that election fraud has occurred or that an election was clean. A significant 2BL test result can be caused by complications other than fraud. Some kinds of fraud the 2BL test cannot detect.”

On Nov. 9, 2020, in response to “several queries” Mebane published a paper called “Inappropriate Applications of Benford’s Law Regularities to Some Data from the 2020 Presidential Election in the United States” (here). His paper says, “The displays shown at those sources using the first digits of precinct vote counts data from Fulton County, GA, Allegheny County, PA, Milwaukee, WI, and Chicago, IL, say nothing about possible frauds” before examining the reasons behind this statement.

“It is widely understood that the first digits of precinct vote counts are not useful for trying to diagnose election frauds,” he writes.

Elsewhere, a study called “Benford’s Law and the Detection of Election Fraud”, published in 2011 by Joseph Deckert, Mikhail Myagkov, Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon (here) and Peter Ordeshook, Professor of Political Science at Caltech (here), found that Benford’s Law was “problematical at best” when applied to elections: “We find that conformity with and deviations from Benford’s Law follow no pattern. […] Its “success rate” either way is essentially equivalent to a toss of a coin, thereby rendering it problematical at best as a forensic tool and wholly misleading at worst.” (here)

Dr Jen Golbeck, Professor of the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland (www.cs.umd.edu/~golbeck/), said in a thread on Twitter (here) that the claims in the social media posts are false, citing the above article. She told Reuters, “There is just not solid evidence that Benford works in elections at all. The results are profoundly mixed. Which means it’s not evidence of anything.”

Golbeck points out that the numbers on some graphs being cited by social media users are not even labelled, whilst the law “works on very specific types of numbers”. She added that none of the research that analyzes the Benford Law is as simplistic as the analysis people are posting: instead, research uses “quite advanced statistical techniques”, often looking at the second digits which have their own expected distribution.

The specific case of the Milwaukee results was also examined by Professor Boud Roukema of Poland’s Nicolaus Copernicus University. Roukema considered the application of Benford’s Law to the 2009 Iranian elections (arxiv.org/abs/0906.2789) . He told Reuters by email: “A major flaw in applying Benford’s law to the Milwaukee results is that the logarithmic distribution – how many “powers of tens” there are – in the numbers of votes per ward in Milwaukee is very narrow. In other words, half of all the wards have total votes from about 570 to 1200, and the logarithmic average (mean) is about 800.

“Biden overall got about 70% of the votes in Milwaukee. So the most likely vote for Biden (in the simplest model, assuming no falsification) in a typical Milwaukee ward is something like 0.7 times 800, which is 560 votes. We expect about half the Biden votes to lie between about 400 and 850 in typical Milwaukee wards.

“So the most popular first digit of the votes for Biden should be 5 – the first digit of 560 – and 4s and 6s and 7s should also be reasonably frequent.

“This is just what we see in the blue vertical bars in top left figure in the diagram at (here). So Benford’s law reasoning, applied to the real data, shows no reason to suspect fraud here.”

The academic and digital research coalition Election Integrity Partnership also cautioned against the conclusion that deviation from Benford’s Law is evidence of election fraud (here). It pointed out that for the law to hold, all numbers must be equally likely to appear and the numbers must span multiple orders of magnitude (eg. Range from 100 to 10,000,000). They say that one of these conditions is not met in the election: “For vote tallies, all numbers are equally likely, but not all states meet the second assumption. In the state of Nevada, Esmeralda County has around 900 people while Clark County has over 2,250,000 people. In the state of Vermont, the bounds are much narrower.”

VERDICT

False. The degree to which Benford’s Law can be used as an indicator of electoral fraud has been debated by academics, but the application of the rule to the leading digit of local vote tallies is problematic and apparent deviation from the law cannot be used alone to prove electoral fraud, experts say.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

September 4, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Math, Stop the steal, Voter fraud. Leave a comment.

Investigators Have Video of 240 Leftist Operatives in Georgia Dumping Thousands of Ballots from Backpacks into Drop Boxes in Middle of the Night!

Article: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/09/breaking-got-caught-investigators-video-240-leftist-operatives-georgia-dumping-thousands-ballots-backpacks-drop-boxes-middle-night/

Video: https://rumble.com/vm1kkx-ga-officials-have-video-of-240-leftist-operatives-dumping-1000s-of-ballots-.html

 

September 3, 2021. Tags: , , , . Stop the steal, Voter fraud. Leave a comment.