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Immigration, Amnesty, and other matters; There Will Be War Volume XI open for submissions; clarity on amnesty

Chaos Manor View, Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Chaos Manor Mail Box

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.

bubbles

This will catch up on mail, particularly that in response to items from Saturday’s lengthy items including “amnesty”; it will likely make no sense to those who have not read that View https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/noonan-on-trump-trump-and-america-first-conservatism-on-immigration-and-other-matters/   Very likely it is at the end of this in the window you are already looking at this with.

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There Will be War Volume XI

Now open for submissions at twbw@castaliahouse.com. Publication will be in late November or early December of this year. Reprint anthology, but original works are eligible; three original fiction stories in Volume X were nominated for Hugos; winners will be announced at MidAmericon II in August. Although unpublished works will be considered, there is no additional payment beyond payment for reprint rights, and first publication rights remain with the author (until, of course, they expire at publication of this volume).

Payment is $200 on acceptance. This is an advance against royalties. Royalties are a pro rata share of 50% of all royalties due from the publisher (the other 50% is to the editor). We buy non-exclusive anthology rights.  Publisher is Castalia House, which will make advances and royalty payments directly to the contributors. Again, payment is the same for previously published and previously unpublished works. Story selection is by me (the editor).  Editor’s contribution will include a volume introduction and introductions to each contribution, and may include more as I judge necessary.

Submissions can be fiction or non-fiction of under 20,000 words relevant to the future of warfare.  Previous volumes have included stories of ground combat, interplanetary and interstellar naval engagements, “space opera”, terrorism, a major essay in asymmetric warfare by a professor of military history, and articles from military journals. Most works to be included have been previously published. Submissions accepted until October, 2016, or until announcement that the volume is filled. Two classic stories by well known award-winning authors have already been accepted, others are expected. I emphasize that payment of an advance against royalties is on acceptance.

 

 

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Jerry,

A few comments regarding minimum criteria for addressing the immigration problem.

1.  Stop the flood: Do everything possible to prevent new illegal immigrants from entering the country. If there must be a focus in this prevention due to resource limitations, make particular efforts to identify any who have nefarious motives (e.g. ISIS sympathizers, drug cartel “mules” – through drug legalization might go a long way towards rending that problem irrelevant, it’s beyond the scope of this note, etc.)

2. Stop the subsidies: Verify that federal cash benefits are limited to US citizens only. Verify that no US government funds – federal or state – are sent as payments from US residents – legal or not – to persons in other countries. It can be done – I know of one person who recently had a background investigation in which twenty year old international wire transfers were questioned.

3. Stop the criminals: Any immigrant with a criminal record in the US is sent back – at the end of their sentence if currently incarcerated, upon discovery if returning to the US. That certainly includes identity fraud (e.g. stolen social security numbers) if knowingly used by the immigrant to pretend to legal status.  (Any domestic enablers to such actions should also be persecuted for – for accessory after the fact to criminal actions, for actual identity fraud, etc.)

4.  Stop the vote fraud – Criminalize illegal immigrant (or other non-citizen including legal foreign residents) voting in US federal elections, and treat as any other illegal act. (Also criminalize their domestic enablers.  State elections would be the responsibility of the states to clean up, but the consequences are on their heads.) Yes, this means positive voter ID, coordination between states and within states to prevent voting in multiple jurisdictions, etc. And it may be a matter of enforcing laws already on the books.

5.  No citizenship by fiat, decree, or amnesty. Adults and minors entering the US as illegals are only permitted to become citizens by going through the entire five year wait and naturalization process, including the oath of citizenship and renouncing of their original citizenship and fealty. This is an irreducible minimum; additional conditions might apply and should be debated – ranging from Trump’s “go home and come back if you want to be considered” to some nominal fine for the illegal action, and prohibition of any convicted violent criminals from ever being considered for citizenship. Cruz has expressed the opinion that Birthright citizenship is the only way to interpret the Constitution, Mark Levin has disagreed; that needs to be resolved, but clearly it would only apply to the actual child or children born in the US; the rest of the family would need to apply for legal resident status or for citizenship as appropriate.

I respectfully submit that application of those five principles would solve 80%+ of the problem, frequently by self-redeportation.

J

This represents the view of most Trump supporters, and in the abstract the ideal situation. Whether or not it is practical is another matter. Certainly any attempt to deal with the situation must stop the bleeding before anything else. The borders must be controlled, and until that is done, any adjustment is an amnesty; Mr. Reagan was induced to support his amnesty on condition that the borders would be closed, and the result was an enormous increase in the traffic across the border; as could be expected. Until the borders are effectively under control, including a much better handle on visas and those overstaying them, with some form of disincentive to overstay: stiff fines at a minimum, collected under conditions such as wearing an electronic locator while earning the money to pay the fines, and other tolerable but not attractive inconveniences – the point being to stay within reason while being effective. A twenty dollar a day fine for the first thirty days overstayed might be reasonable. We are not trying to make tourism in the US a frightening experience. After the first thirty days the fine per day doubles monthly for a period and then begins to double weekly? Something like that.

That paragraph got away from me: the point of it all was to say that until the borders are under control – not just “going to be controlled” – it is gross folly to have “comprehensive immigration reform” or anything else; the alternative to “control the borders first” is a draconian “Deport them all, deport them now, and do not be gentle about it” policy.  We’re not going to have that; but the pro-migrant faction will always delay, halt, protest any border reforms while the migrants who do not intend assimilation pour across in anticipation of “reform” which is always amnesty if there is no border control. We should halt all immigration; every jot and whittle of it; until the borders are controlled.

As for those who have already illegally crossed the border, surely there ought to be a penalty beyond deportation, although I may be underestimating the misery of present detention conditions.

As to conditions for remaining in the US, I would certainly add honorable discharge from the armed services – not general or anything but honorable – as a giant step toward not only a green card, but eligibility for citizenship; indeed I have no objection to overseas enlistment, as the Navy used to allow in the Philippines after that nation’s independence.

As you state: until the borders are closed, none of this is worth discussing.

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On Amnesty

 

One rhetorical ‘trick’ that those who seem to oppose Trumps horrifying rhetoric on immigration is to constantly bring up the logistical difficulties of deporting ‘twenty million people’.

This is a cheap ploy to take ANY deportation off the table. There are nuanced views to illegal immigration, starting with ‘let’s staunch the bleeding’. Then you can add a layer of ‘and if you fall into our boat, we will get rid of you.’ Instead, to discredit the very idea of deportation, we get the constant box car analogy with Fascist overtones.

If you oppose deportation, say so. If you strongly support amnesty, say so. I do like the idea of ‘legal but not a citizen’ but very much on a case by case basis. Assimilation is very important and reading your works, you should get that there is such a thing as unsustainable amounts of immigration.
If so, it is not coming across in your recent comments.

Perhaps I have been unclear, although I think not to all my readers, so I’ll try again.

First, I do not think I have ever been unclear on this, but I’ll state it straight out:   any illegal immigrant convicted of a felony should be deported; I’ll leave it to a cost-effectiveness analysis whether before or after serving sentence for the felony, although perhaps no discretion at all about serving time in a maximum security institution for violent felony. If he “migrates” back after that, he serves the sentence if he had not previously done so, plus a punitive addition, and serves it again if he has not. We really want to discourage such people from coming here.

As to amnesty, nothing until the borders are actually under control including better control of those overstaying visas. Once that is clearly done, we can discuss the twenty million who are already here but who do not appear to be engaged in criminal activities. That is a matter worth discussion, and I for one believe discussion is desirable.  If you did not read my previous essay – and I suspect you did not – I refer you to the question, do we want police routinely asking for “your papers, please?” How will they determine who to ask? Must everyone obtain, from the bureaucracy, documents proving they are legally here? Must we all produce “our papers” when asked by local or federal police upon demand simply because they are demanded?  Do we want that kind of police?

Same with mass deportation of non-criminal (other that illegal status) persons.  You say that use of boxcars makes you think of Fascists; of course.  I intended that phrase to make you think of forced movement of millions of people. How is it to be done? Railroads are probably the best way, and it will be expensive to move ten or twenty million people, by force, several hundred miles. It can be done, but it will not be cheap; and once again I will remind you that it will be done in full view of the media, which will daily feature no end of stories about Maria, brought here at age five, now an honor graduate of Andrew Jackson High and recipient of some kind of civic award, now locked in a railway day coach  or a leased Greyhound Bus and headed for Laredo to be conducted across the border by armed men. If you think the media will not run that story and a thousand like it, I suggest you rethink the question.

And I will again ask you: do we want police who will bring Maria to that day coach or bus and thrust her aboard, then go home to his family and sleep peacefully? If he will not sleep peacefully, do you want to do that to our policemen who guard us while we sleep?  I ask seriously.

I do not favor amnesty for violent criminals. I do not favor amnesty for recent migrants, if only because amnesty encourages others to follow their example. I also do not favor ignoring some laws while enforcing others, for obvious reasons; while I think there are cases where police need a certain amount of discretion, giving them blanket permission to overlook some laws until it is convenient to enforce them is, in my judgment, not wise.

I do not favor empowering police to demand our papers and otherwise harass our citizens at will for no obvious reason other than they want to do it while stating that “they may be” illegals.

In other words, the cost of deporting the otherwise law abiding illegal aliens already here may be higher than I am willing to pay. As to what to do about them, apparently any attempt to discuss that will be termed a trick; and thus we can have no serious discussion. For those who genuinely seek a rational remedy, there are many suggestions.  Mr. Gingrich has suggested a path to legal status but not citizenship. It would be open to those who have been here a reasonable time – say as a beginning ten years? – and have no record of law breaking.  The path to citizenship would be much more difficult.  Non-citizen residents would have different and fewer entitlements than citizens.  I do not intend to draft a bill here.

I do intend to emphasize that “Deport them all, and deport them now, by any means necessary” sounds simple but requires measures that may be highly undesirable; and that rational discussion of an issue is not “a trick”; it is the foundation of a reasonable answer to real problems.

 

I do not know how to say more clearly that immigration, legal or not, without the intent of assimilation is invasion.

 

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Amnesty

I was just wondering if the 20 million illegals were allowed to stay without penalty of deportation, how long would it take for that number to reach 50 million or even 100 million? Wouldn’t that get out of control quickly?

Phil

Not long, as the Reagan amnesty proved. Without control of the borders, any “general and complete” immigration reform is merely an invitation for more “migration”. I doubt that any intelligent person could think otherwise, but I find some still do. The this time for sure theory.

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Deporting XX million Illegal Aliens

Dr. Pournelle:
The hundreds of thousands of unneeded TSA “workers” could be TDYed to the ICS or any other agency to forward the deportation prior to their termination if they want a few more months at the federal manger to stuff their retirement nest and suck up some benefits before returning to reality.
Instant Army sized semi-trained law enforcement,(key shakers) E-1-3 rank MPs/SPs.
The soon to be unemployed Pro Standing Around former ‘workers’ would be highly motivated to to clear the labor of millions of competing job candidates….
Congress could purchase a wing or two of new USAF transport planes, Or just lease some aircraft. Maybe a call up of pilot veterans and logistical staff if needed to assist the Homeland Insecurity failures.

Offer the early self deportees a bounty if they leave after getting a Biometric I.D. and checked against open criminal cases, a DNA sample for criminal and family issues of course. And short affidavit regarding who employed them, Big Data being used to fine the large and long term Criminal employers to pay some of the deportation War effort.

After a short time, a small escalating botany could be at first to LEO and their employing organization for arrest of alleged illegals. The second stage could be offered a small sum to decline any administrative hearing and of course seizure of any funds earned while working illegally.

Again honest testimony listing the aliens employers combined with IRS data should yield billions of $ of fines and unpaid taxes.

At some time when numbers are low in system, Any unemployed non-felon US citizen ought to be granted Illegal Alien bounty hunter status similar to existing law, where the bounty hunter would get 10-20% of the deportation cost, the Bounty Hunters privilege to be suspended if he or she detains with out probable cause a legal resident….

I think 95 % could be cleared out in year with less then one in thousand erroneous deportations, allowing for the Iron law 2 to 3 years might by required.
The first million deported will force labor prices up nationwide, the full Monty would eliminate any need for minimum wage laws for a decade or more.

That a very simple version. but the base ideas are sound.
Illegal immigration like any other type of invasion while cost a lot to reverse to the status quo.
Sincerely, Peter

Well I suppose it is something to think about, but again. Realistically, do you think this realism?

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Illegal Aliens

Fairly simple answers:
Felony to hire them(employer not the poor innocent illegal aliens)
Felony to house them (Landlords not the precious illegal aliens)
No Government Aid at any level of Government.
NO WORK, NO HOUSING, NO WELFARE—-Go Home Like You Got Here!!

A fairly simple solution. I wonder why it has never been tried? Constitution, perhaps?

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Again, a comment on yesterday’s publication, incomprehensible if you have not read it. https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/noonan-on-trump-trump-and-america-first-conservatism-on-immigration-and-other-matters/

National review parties

Dear Dr. Pournelle,

I read with interest your comments on the national review party which you did not wish to attend.

I would like to point out that the column Frum wrote was written in

2003 – 13 years ago. Frum himself has been gone from the magazine since 2008 – 8 years ago.

So far as I can tell National Review has never repudiated the Iraq War, and Victor Davis Hanson continues to write articles and books explaining why it was a a good idea. But I think most conservatives now recognize that Iraq was a mistake on a number of levels and you did have a point.

For some reason , reading this, I am reminded of Legolas and Gimli’s scene in the original book “Fellowship of the Ring”, in which past crimes made it difficult for them to band together against Sauron.

Gandalf responded that if all the past crimes of elves and dwarves were to be brought up now, they might as well end the council immediately.

I’m not saying National Review doesn’t have problems and I’m not saying they didn’t do you and your fellows wrong — they did. But I am saying that when you’re proven right it might be wise to give them a chance to eat humble pie and reconcile, rather than continue to remain at odds which serves no one but the liberals, I should think.

What was it Ben Franklin said? “Hang together or hang separately?”

Respectfully,

Brian P.

First, note the date on the story of the party and my comment on it. It was years ago. I continue to subscribe to National Review, and I read their reviews, and most of their political commentary; I no longer feel compelled to take much of it as seriously as I did when Buckley was in charge. In particular, I note that they seem often indistinguishable from Weekly Standard on many of their policies regarding the middle east. I do not urge anyone to cancel their subscription, and I would probably go to that party today. I do not consider them the enemy, but I do not believe the United States should go to war over ideologies. We should as Disraeli urged, enter into wars not from passion, but from reason. It is reason to defeat a Caliphate that has declared war to the knife on us. It was passion to destroy the only active opposition to Iran in that region, and it was folly to declare all those who did not support that action anathema.

I note that Buckley himself regretted going into the Iraq war.

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Who Will Debunk The Debunkers?

Jerry

Who would have thought that the story of the persecution of Ignaz Semmelweiss was a nationalist myth promulgated by the government of Hungary in the late 19th century? And other bits about the myths of debunkers:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-will-debunk-the-debunkers/

It makes critiques on Snopes to be a little tame.

Ed

Astonishing. I never had any doubts about the Semmelweiss story. I am not sure I do now, but doubtless there is more to be learned.

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China Awakens

This Rand article on China and Xi’s designs with the People’s Liberation Army is confirmation of a wake up call given time and time again from the 1980’s. Well, now we’ll reap the whirlwind. China has the strongest leader it’s had in decades, this articles points out the

details:

<.>

Importantly, despite some speculation to the contrary, Xi’s assertion of control over the military in the form of the anti-corruption campaign and organizational reforms is more likely to enhance than it is to impede the PLA’s ongoing modernization efforts.

Part of Xi’s “China Dream” is to produce a strong military capable of deterring, or if necessary taking on powerful potential adversaries, including even the United States.

Xi wants a PLA that demonstrates utmost loyalty to the party, but he also wants a far more competent and operationally capable PLA by 2020, one that is commensurate with China’s status as a major world power and capable of protecting China’s regional and global interests.

If his aspirations are realized, Xi’s reformed PLA will soon be capable of posing an even more potent challenge to China’s neighbors, and to U.S. objectives and strategy in the region.

</>

http://www.rand.org/blog/2016/04/xis-purge-of-the-military-prepares-the-chinese-army.html?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=rand_social

And we’re looking at Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump after 28 lost years, politically. I can just feel Russia, China, and others sharpening their teeth.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Another monster to destroy? Certainly this is no time to disarm.

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Dinosaurs

Jerry:

My theory on how the dinosaurs were wiped out is simple.

First, some Proglodyte invented a time machine.

He then went back to the age of dinos, because a place where the dominant form of life has a brain the size of a walnut is the perfect place for the spread of “Progressivism.” He immediately formed a committee, elected himself Chairman, and got to work creating his Utopia.

After a few years of the benefits of “Progressive” policies on the environment, diet, hunting, defense, etc., the only life form which would likely survive would be the cockroach.

Keith

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“I am a senior civil servant, and I should really be a defender of Norway, and normally I am, but here it is something extremely wrong.”

<http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36026458>

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Roland Dobbins

Yes, There is. See The Road To Serfdom. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0048EJXCK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&amp%3B%3B%3Bbtkr=1&amp%3B%3Btag=chaosmanor-20

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West of Honor

Thanks for a great read!

http://www.amazon.com/WEST-HONOR-Jerry-Pournelle-ebook/dp/B005Z5IGHY?tag=chaosmanor-20

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http://venturebeat.com/2016/04/28/samsung-and-ibm-show-how-watson-has-improved-conversational-speech-recognition/

Samsung and IBM show how Watson has improved conversational speech recognition

IBM has made a big leap forward in the ability of its Watson artificial intelligence computer to recognize conversational speech. Last year, IBM was able to hold conversations in which the AI recognized English conversational speech with an 8 percent word error rate. Now IBM’s Watson team has been able to knock the word error rate down to 6.9 percent.

Above: IBM Watson logo

The achievement shows that AI is getting smarter and smarter — and that we’re all going to be replaced by robots some day. IBM Watson general manager David Kenny announced the breakthrough in Watson’s conversational capabilities for developers at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco today.

The Watson team included Kenny, Tom Sercu, Steven Rennie, and Jeff Kuo. Watson had its finest moment in 2011 when it beat the reigning human champion on the “Jeopardy” television quiz show.

To put this result in perspective, back in 1995, a “high-performance” IBM recognizer achieved a 43 percent error rate. Spurred by a series of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency evaluations in the past couple of decades, IBM’s system improved steadily. Most recently, the advent of deep neural networks was critical in helping achieve the 8 percent and 6.9 percent results, Kenny said. The ultimate goal is to reach or exceed human accuracy, which is estimated to be around 4 percent on this task, dubbed the Switchboard.

IBM said it made improvements in both acoustic and language modeling.

“On the acoustic side, we use a fusion of two powerful, deep neural networks that predict context-dependent phones from the input audio,” Kenny said. “The models were trained on 2000 hours of publicly available transcribed audio from the Switchboard, Fisher, and CallHome corpora.”

Kenny added, “We are currently working on integrating these technologies into IBM Watson’s state-of-the-art speech-to-text service. By exposing our acoustic and language models to increasing amounts of real-world data, we expect to bridge the gap in performance between the ‘lab setting’ and the deployed service.”

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Further thoughts on republic and democracy

Dear Mr. Pournelle,
As I understand it, most 19th century political philosophers were convinced that a free representative government, whether republic or democracy or pink with blue spots, was an unsustainable fantasy. Lincoln’s question at Gettysburg was by no means rhetorical: “whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” The prevailing notion at least in England was that the government with the best chance of stability would be “mixed”; combining monarchy, aristocracy, and the commons. That is, much like England. We saw how well that worked out in France.
I’m not persuaded that the Founders imagined that *any* form of government was in itself free from suicidal tendencies. One interesting argument from that era was that creating and maintaining a free government (of any description) required a population with widely distributed civic virtues; but that a free government was likely to nurture prosperity, which would in turn tend to *undermine* these civic virtues.
Autocracies, I fear, can have a very long shelf life indeed. Egypt, China… That does not mean I want to live in one. As St. Augustine observed, “without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers?” I do not believe that any form of government, in and of itself, automatically ensures justice, liberty, or anything else I value.
Neither a republic nor a democracy ensures liberty or justice. I suspect that a free, representative government will be either a remarkable accomplishment of human virtue or else a miraculous gift of Providence. In either case, maintaining that a particular *form* of government will do the job is likely to be a distraction. Freedom, I think, is somewhat more like riding a bicycle. Stable only from moment to moment; and likely to fall over if you don’t pay attention.
Yours,
Allan E. Johnson

The commonwealth, or “mixed form” of government was present in everyone’s mind; they had all read Cicero, generally but not always in translation. They settled on an elected executive, but not one appointed by Congress; sort of monarchical. Hamilton wanted an actual hereditary element in it, but had not enough backing for it.

It is certainly the case that they knew that most governments were not stable over long periods of time; that is why a Union, not a nation. One model they looked at was Venice, still in 1787 a Republic and the oldest known Republic at that. (It was not destroyed until the French revolutionary army destroyed it as they invaded the various territories making up what is now Italy. They would say they liberated it, which is how so much Italian Renaissance art ended up in Paris; liberation came at a stiff price.)

It may well be that the days of our Republic are numbered, as government grows larger and stronger. See The Road to Serfdom. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0048EJXCK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&amp%3B%3B%3Bbtkr=1&amp%3B%3Btag=chaosmanor-20

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Russia and Russians like Trump’s foreign policy speech

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/28/politics/donald-trump-russia-putin/

Phil Tharp

They generally favor realism.

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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Election Grinds on; Good news from ARPA; Data on Global Warming; Aliens among us? And a lot of mail

Chaos Manor View, Tuesday, March 08, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.

Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.

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The Republican Establishment, having alienated at least two thirds of its base – those who participate in primaries, anyway – has decided they must do something. They aren’t going to do much about the issues that have alienated their voters; they’re going all out to Stop Trump. So far they haven’t noticed, or pretend not to notice, that the only non-Trump candidate who might be able to appeal to the Trump voters is Texas Senator Cruz, who is not part of the Country Club establishment that is content to stay in the minority so long as their positions are safe, or that he is a great a threat to their sinecures as anyone.

They’ll learn. First stop Trump. Then woo Cruz, get him to join up with the insiders, win him over, make him grow in office. It worked in the past.

There’s a good chance that it’s too late. As it stands, an open convention would present them with a choice between Trump and Cruz. Mr. Trump scares people, and probably doesn’t really want the splendid misery of the Presidential office. It really is hard work, and it is unrelenting. An advisory post would better suit him, so long as he trusts the actual candidate.

We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Hillary’s problem grow: http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/email-scandal-hillary-clintons-last-defense-just-blew-up/

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0045 AM 

Trump and Cruz have wiped out Marco, so it’s pretty well a contest between them; and Trump’s ahead, but being surprisingly blasé about the negative campaigning against him.  The Establishment country club Republicans don’t really have a viable candidate.  We’re in uncharted waters with no pilot.

 

 

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And now for some good news.

Reusable spaceplane tops DARPA’s budget request, again

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WASHINGTON — For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s top-funded space program is an experimental spaceplane intended to make frequent trips to orbit.

DARPA asked for $50 million in the Pentagon’s 2017 budget request for its Experimental Spaceplane 1, or XS-1 program. That’s up from a $30 million the agency asked for during the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle.

XS-1 aims to develop a reusable first stage that could carry an expendable upper stage capable of placing payloads weighing up to 1,800 kilograms into orbit. DARPA said the vehicle could ultimately fly 10 times in 10 days and boost payloads into low Earth orbit for less than $5 million per launch.

Three industry teams are working on the program: Boeing and Blue Origin; Masten Space Systems and XCOR Aerospace; and Northrop Grumman and Virgin Galactic.

In July, all three teams received funding to continue design work and risk reduction activities in preparation for a production contract.

DARPA said in 2014 it intended to pick one team in 2015 to work toward demonstration flight in 2018, but now it is unclear when such a downselect will occur.

DARPA said in budget documents that it plans to complete system and subsystem designs later this year, as well as coordinate with the Federal Aviation Administration for preliminary flight test planning.

A critical design review is planned for fiscal year 2017, the documents said.

In October, the Government Accountability Office said none of several Defense Department efforts to field quick-reaction launch vehicles, including XS-1, have advanced past the development stage.

In its 2017 budget request DARPA asked for $175 million for its space programs and technology office, significantly higher than the $127 million budget for 2016.

In addition to $50 million for XS-1, next year’s budget would also include:

  • $45 million for the RadarNet program. an effort to design a deployable lightweight, low-power and wideband-capable communications antenna for cubesats.
  • $33 million for Robotic Servicing of Geostationary Satellites, which would establish a robotics operation in geosynchronous orbit to perform servicing tasks.

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And some good news for geeks; at least some of us:

Florida Senate approves making coding a foreign language (USA Today)

Madison Iszler, USA TODAY 3:07 p.m. EST March 1, 2016

Florida senators approved a bill allowing high school students to take computer coding classes in place of foreign language requirements.

The bill (SB 468), introduced by Sen. Jeremy Ring’s (D-Parkland), won by a 35-5 vote. It will take effect during the 2018-19 school year. Technological skills are a necessity “for every industry,” Ring told USA TODAY.

“It’s ahead of its time, but in reality, it’s in its time,” Ring said. “If you don’t have an understanding of technology, you will be left behind. It’s a basic skill, as much as reading and writing.”

Local groups are not pleased. The NAACP’s Florida Conference and Miami-Dade branch, the Florida chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Spanish American League Against Discrimination (SALAD) released a joint statement disputing the bill, reports The Tampa Bay Times.

“Our children need skills in both technology and in foreign languages to compete in today’s global economy,” the statement reads. “However, to define coding and computer science as a foreign language is a misleading and mischievous misnomer that deceives our students, jeopardizes their eligibility to admission to universities, and will result in many losing out on the foreign language skills they desperately need even for entry-level jobs in South Florida.”

Under the bill, which has undergone several revisions, high schools may offer students the opportunity to take computer coding courses. Originally, the bill said that high schools “must” allow students to do so. [snip]

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‘NOAA’s best data shows no warming for 60 years.’

<http://realclimatescience.com/2016/03/noaa-radiosonde-data-shows-no-warming-for-58-years/>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

Yet one more data point. I am sure it has warmed since the times the Hudson froze over hard enough to walk on, and there were market stalls on the Thames ice; beyond that I’m not so sure. It seems to be warming, but I recall in the 70’s at AAAS meetings the news was full of The Genesis Strategy and other means of coping with the coming Ica Age.

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‘The influence of the CO2 warming theory built into computer models is so strong that the climate science establishment does not believe the data until the data has been manipulated to agree with the computer models.’

<http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/yet_another_hottest_year_on_record.html>

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Roland Dobbins

Yet one more instance; if the data do not fit the model, adjust the data.

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“We are saying there is incontrovertible evidence that Alzheimer’s Disease has a dormant microbial component. We can’t keep ignoring all of the evidence.”

<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/12188092/Alzheimers-disease-could-be-caused-by-herpes-virus-warn-experts.html>

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Roland Dobbins

But surely we can; it is becoming increasingly common to ignore evidence. Excuse my cynicism.

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What could go wrong?

China Is About to Get Even Better at Predicting Dissent

 

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China Is About to Get Even Better at Predicting Dissent

Turns out, “Minority Report” should have been set in Beijing.

 

View on www.defenseone.com

Preview by Yahoo

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Is “Common Core” rotten…to the core?

http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/education/item/17809-common-core-architect-now-dumbing-down-sat

“In addition to dumbing down the important [SAT] test, one of two main standardized exams generally used by colleges for admissions, analysts say the revisions will play a key role in imposing Common Core on all American students — even children who are homeschooled, private-schooled, or in states that have officially resisted the widely criticized national standards.”

“Among the biggest changes are the removal of the essay requirement and an end to penalties for incorrect answers aimed at discouraging guessing. Also sparking alarm among experts concerned about the ongoing dumbing down of American education is the fact that the SAT will be drastically scaling back and simplifying the vocabulary and math requirements.”

Charles Brumbelow=

And they need know no history other than we once had slavery.

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Mysterious repeating signals arriving from deep space

(NEWSER) – Researchers just announced the discovery of radio signals from beyond our galaxy that are behaving in strange ways. Fast radio bursts—or FRBs—are very rare, very quick blasts of radio waves originating billions of light years away, Popular Science explains. It’s unclear where exactly in the universe they’re coming from and what’s causing them. Since the first one was discovered in 2007, scientists have found only 17 total, and none of them ever repeat, the Verge reports. At least that’s what everyone thought. According to a paper published this week in Nature, researchers at Cornell University have found evidence of FRBs that do just that.

Scientists used to think FRBs were caused by “cataclysmic events,” such as neutron stars colliding with each other and exploding. Repeating FRBs means that can’t be the case. “This research shows for the first time that there can be multiple FRBs from the same place in the sky,” researcher Shami Chatterjee says in a press release. “Whatever produces the FRB can’t be destroyed by the burst, because otherwise, what would produce the next pulse?” And the mystery deepens: “We’re showing that whatever battery drives FRBs, it can recharge in minutes,” astronomy professor James Cordes says. “The energy of the event becomes very problematic.” Researchers hope to next pinpoint where the FRBs are coming from in order to figure out what they’re coming from, and they’ll be helped by three massive radio telescopes that start operating next year. (Speaking of space mysteries: “Alien megastructures” have scientists baffled.)

But see what’s next. Aliens among us? See Freefall http://freefall.purrsia.com/default.htm

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Octowow

This is interesting news:

<.>

A scientific study has revealed that the DNA make up of octopuses is nothing like any other living being on the planet Earth, hinting that they are more alien than Earthly.

Octopuses are present in all of the Earth’s oceans, and have shown a great sustainability among the other aquatic life that share the seas.

Their large brains and ability to solve complex problems with little observation have mystified researchers for years, coercing wonder of their true intelligence and cognitive abilities. The reveal of their DNA has researchers wondering more about the tentacled creatures, their origins, and why they are unlike any other animals on the planet.

It was found that the genome of the cephalopod mollusc, according to the Huffington post, is quite complex. Over 33,000 protein-coding genomes were discovered during recent research. In comparison, humans have approximate 20,000. Although the information is intriguing and will lead to further research, the findings have created more questions than answers.

</>

http://www.inquisitr.com/2336412/scientists-claim-octopuses-are-aliens-dna-study-finds-they-are-unlike-any-other-living-being-on-earth/

So, it may be the alien invasion began a long time ago? All I can say

is: Ia ia, Cthulu ftaghn; ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. The seas are churning….

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

This is the first I have heard of this; informed comments welcome.

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Want that Apple II experience? Now you can run over 500 rare 1980s programs in your browser (ZD)

A group of hackers skilled at breaking Apple II copy-protection schemes is helping save old education and productivity software.

By Liam Tung | March 8, 2016 — 14:21 GMT (06:21 PST) |

After creating a living museum for ancient Windows games, apps, and malware, the Internet Archive has reached a new milestone in its Apple-related preservation efforts, now hosting a rare collection over 500 Apple II programs from the 1980s and 1990s.

The 500-plus set of programs have been supplied to the Internet Archive by a group of hackers known as 4am, which aim to crack rare Apple II programs and preserve them as closely as possible in their original form minus copy protections.

The group hosts cracked games on the Internet Archive, which through an emulation program allows people interact with the programs through a modern browser.

The 4am-cracked programs are a subset of the Internet Archive’s much larger Apple II software library. But as archivist Jason Scott explained in a blogpost, the 4am collection plays a special role in balancing out a library that is skewed towards popular arcade games.

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http://www.attitudellc.org/ibms-automated-radiologist-can-read-images-and-medical-records/?utm_content=buffer91531&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

IBM’s Automated Radiologist Can Read Images and Medical Records

HomeBig Data and Analytics › IBM’s Automated Radiologist Can Read Images and Medical Records

I have been optimistic about the potential for voice recognition for many years. In my 2001 book, Net Attitude: What It Is, How to Get It, and Why Your Company Can’t Survive Without It, I discussed the ability to translate languages. Adoption was slow for a decade, but is now accelerating with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Now, Microsoft Cortana, and the Skype Translator. Listening to a voice and converting it to meaningful text is one of many forms of artificial intelligence. IBM Research has developed another form of AI called Avicenna. The Avicenna software can read medical images, structured data, and electronic health records. The result is a productivity boost for radiologists. [snip]

And the robots get better and better…

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“You can’t really get caught up in the cartoon because it’s a serious business.”

<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pursuit-in-mystery-machine-scooby-doo-20160307-story.html>

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Roland Dobbins

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Defense Secretary Takes Position Against a Data ‘Back Door’     (nyt)

By NICOLE PERLROTHMARCH 2, 2016 

SAN FRANCISCO — Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter assured an audience of computer security experts Wednesday that he was not in favor of a “back door” that would give the government access to data that is protected by encryption.

Speaking at the annual RSA Conference, Secretary Carter sought common ground with companies worried by Apple’s fight with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over access to an iPhone.

“Just to cut to the chase, I’m not a believer in back doors or a single technical approach,” Secretary Carter said to loud applause during a panel discussion at the conference. “I don’t think it’s realistic. I don’t think that’s technically accurate.”

Apple is resisting a court order that would require it to create software to break the password mechanism in an iPhone used by one of the assailants in the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. [snip]

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She Had an Abortion at 15. How It Changed Her Life.

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After a free pregnancy test came back positive, showing that then-15-year-old Nona Ellington was five weeks pregnant, she went forward and scheduled an abortion.

Read More

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‘Who really owns a Tesla? Not the title holder, that’s for sure.’

<http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/is-tesla-building-throwaway-cars.html>

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Roland Dobbins

I find that interesting…

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: NHS to harvest babies’ organs in proposals to mums pregnant with damaged babies | Daily Mail Online

Jerry:

Niven might recognize the similarities to his organ banks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3478477/NHS-harvest-babies-organs-Bombshell-new-proposal-mums-pregnant-damaged-babies.html

As long as the possible organ recipients are limited to infants, demand will be limited. What happens if fetal tissues can be used to treat life threatening illnesses in adults? Will the government run healthcare system start exaggerated the alleged fetal defects or even lie to expectant mothers so that their babies can be harvested? Will a certain quota become mandatory? Will aging voters mandate that access to contraception be regulated to ensure an adequate supply of spare parts to extend their lives?

James Crawford=

Indeed. In unrestrained capitalist societies you will find human flesh for sale in the market; in other, it will be a government monopoly.

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‘Were there sympathetic pre-board screeners in Boston and New York who ignored the X-ray images of weapons on September 11?’

<http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/so_you_want_to_privatize_the_tsa.html>

I don’t agree with the main thrust of this article, but it poses an interesting question, nonetheless.

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Roland Dobbins

I think box cutters were not forbidden prior to 9/11.

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A famous IBM employee took her baby to an IBM conference and had to deal with a smart aleck

Lisa Seacat DeLucaIBM super inventor Lisa Seacat DeLuca.

Lisa Seacat DeLuca is among the best-known women who work for IBM.

She’s a mobile software engineer and one of the company’s most prolific master inventors. She has close to 400 patents and patent applications under her belt as part of IBM’s massive patent-creation machine.

She’s often on the speaker circuit, including a TED talk she gave a few years back.

She’s also a new mom.

So on the last day of the IBM Connect Now conference, the ghost day when most people have cleared out, DeLuca married her two passions together. She loaded her 5-month-old daughter into a baby carrier and went to the conference.

While she was there, a man in his late 50s approached her to berate her for bringing her baby to a professional conference, she told Business Insider. He told her that having her baby there was a “security issue,” reports fellow IBMer Anna Seacat, who was so annoyed about the incident that she wrote a LinkedIn post about it. (Both women reached out and shared the story with me, too.)

DeLuca did some sleuthing and discovered that the man was an IBM contract employee.

Lisa Seacat DeLucaDeLuca and Emily.

Yes, the man’s comments were rude and out of line. And it was annoying that he somehow felt compelled (and entitled) to share his unsolicited opinion with a stranger.

But what I liked about this story is this: DeLuca describes herself as #motherworking not a #workingmother.

“I’m a mom first, a technologist second, #motherworking not #workingmother #lifeisshort,” she wrote on an Instagram post that featured a picture of her daughter.

But the question I have is, who says you have to rank the different parts of yourself like that? A cranky older man without the grace to keep his sarcasm to himself?

Whether you’re a mother or a father, you can be a professional, a hard worker, and lots of other things — a cook, a maker, a student, a sibling, a spouse …

Or to put it another way: If the world really has to choose between procreation and work — and if work is supposed to win — then the human experience wouldn’t be long for this world, would it?

So bring your kids to work sometimes, just as you bring your work home. And if someone feels the need to tell you you’re wrong, smile and tell the person, “Life is short.”

I liked this story.

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I am Iron Man: That’s how these augmented reality goggles feel (USA Today)

A Silicon Valley augmented reality company called Meta, whose Meta 2 AR glasses go on pre-order this week, gives users the feeling that they’re superheroes able to manipulate holographic images with a simple hand gesture. Martin E. Klimek, USA TODAY

Marco della Cava, USA TODAY 10:17 a.m. EST March 2, 2016

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – I am Iron Man. At least for a few minutes here inside a small conference room at the headquarters of augmented reality company Meta.

With virtual reality goggles, you dive into worlds while blacked out from reality. With the clear-lensed Meta 2 headset, I am able to simultaneously see my host for this demo, Meta founder Meron Gribetz, as well as a range of hovering holographic images that are projected downward from the top of the device.

There’s a wide flat screen TV. A three-foot-high globe. A see-through human body. And even a Meta employee from down the hall who is rendered in three dimensions for a brief video chat.

But the real showstopper – the moment when the promise of augmented reality, AR, comes into sharp focus against the ongoing VR buzz – is when Gribetz tells me to reach my hand out and point an index finger at the translucent human figure floating in my field of view.

“When it appears to light up, make a fist and move your arm to the right,” he says.

When I do so, the body suddenly splits into four different images lined up one by one, each showcasing a different aspect of the anatomy. If I want to layer them back on top of each other, I simply reach out, make a fist, and move the image. Robert Downey, Jr., does the same action in Iron Man, only he’s not wearing glasses.

Although this aspect of the Meta 2 demo wasn’t operational during our visit, Gribetz says at a recent TED Talk demo in Vancouver he demonstrated how two Meta 2 wearers can pass a hologram between each other. This sales pitch is aimed at architects and other designers, who can use AR to jointly work on a virtual project as technology gets rid of physical models.

“Eventually, we’ll all be wearing a very light and inconspicuous strip of clear glass across our eyes,” says Gribetz, who has been working on his AR vision for the past six years, a passion he shares with those working on rival AR projects at companies such as ODG, Epson and Microsoft. “The goal is to make the operating system completely intuitive, and to replace computers.”

That’s where the Meta 2’s gesture control comes in. In another demo, I’m presented with nearly a dozen TV monitors in my wide field of view, stacked two high. By reaching out and “grabbing” one, I’m able to move it into a different position, much like one might move apps on a smartphone screen.

And you can interact with the screens, too. Gribetz hands me a physical keyboard, which I can see through the Meta 2 lens. I start to type a message and it appears on the computer screen in my line of sight, which of course isn’t really there.

AR BANISHES CLAUSTROPHOBIA

A particularly powerful aspect of Meta 2 is the fact that the images it presents remain anchored in space, which allows me to walk around them and enhances the sense that I’m really in front of a solid object and not just a hologram. This has the added effect of banishing the somewhat disoriented woozy feeling that can accompany heavy VR use.

Ultimately, what’s truly significant here is that – thanks to both a lightweight form factor and the see-through visor – AR provides a liberating sensation that contrasts with VR’s often claustrophobic feeling.

I’ve hiked across Everest ice fields and retreated from angry dinosaurs in VR thanks to the magic of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, products that are coming this year. But in each instance the experience was compromised by my mind never forgetting that I was in a real room and by my worrying about bumping into walls. By keeping us rooted in the real world, AR makes its mixed reality universe all the more inviting.

Meta 2 rolls out to developers soon priced at under $1,000 (you provide the computer to power it). There already are a range of enterprise customers for Meta’s wares, ranging from Nike to Airbus, and it will be a while before the average consumer will be living with AR on a daily basis.

But what Meta 2 clearly demonstrates is that the outsized predictions about augmented reality – it will account for 75% of a $150 billion AR/VR market by 2020, according to Digi-Capital – aren’t just justified, they’re as realistic as AR’s holograms are illusory.

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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