American Elephants


Technology and Us: Can We Learn How to Adapt? by The Elephant's Child

tigerstone@2xWhat people pushing for a higher minimum wage don’t get, is that there are hundreds of people with no, or low skills who want to work for money. They are easily replaced. But when they have learned how to work and have skills, they can take that resumé on to a better job.

When government decides what businesses must pay their workers, they run into the problem of costs. A business exists only if it can make a profit over and above the cost of doing business. When the costs become excessive, the business adapts or goes out of business. It’s that simple.

We have written about Momentum Machines, and about McDonald’s new cashiers. Now comes news of a new San Francisco Restaurant in the financial district named Eatsa (?) that is fully automated. Customers will order from an iPad, sending the meal to the kitchen. When the order is ready it appears in a small glass compartment.  (awful name)

In Japan, the Nanna-na hotel, which opened in July, is completely human-free, using robots for every task, from cleaning rooms to managing check-in to check-out.

The machine pictured above is resurfacing streets in Europe, and here is a new bricklaying robot, or SAM —semi-automated mason. It is a robotic bricklayer being used to increase productivity as it works with human masons.

In this human-robot team, the robot is responsible for the more rote tasks: picking up bricks, applying mortar, and placing them in their designated location. A human handles the more nuanced activities, like setting up the worksite, laying bricks in tricky areas, such as corners, and handling aesthetic details, like cleaning up excess mortar.

Even in completing repetitive tasks, SAM still has to be fairly adaptable. It’s able to complete precise and level work while mounted on a scaffold that sways slightly in the wind. The robot can correct for the differences between theoretical building specifications and what’s actually on site, says Scott Peters, co-founder of Construction Robotics, a company based in Victor, New York, that designed SAM as its debut product.

“In construction, your design will say that a window is located exactly 30 feet from the corner of a building, and in reality when you get to the building, nothing is ever where it says it’s supposed to be,” Peters says. “Masons know how to adapt to that, so we had to design a robot that knows how to do that, too.”

Somewhere in the archives I have a video of an automobile factory in Germany — all as elegant, or more so, than the dealer’s showroom, where robots do almost everything and the workers aid and assist the machines. I think it was a Volkswagen factory, but it may be Mercedes, which is probably why I can’t find it.

The point is that robots are continually going to take over simple repetitive jobs. Once you have the machine, it doesn’t have sick days, no problem of getting along with co-workers, spending time on the phone talking to friends, doesn’t ask for raises or days off. We are going to have to learn how to adapt in a changing world.



The Difference Between Republicans and Democrats: by The Elephant's Child

OLD STORY, WORTH REPEATING:

A Republican and a Democrat were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. The Republican gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his business for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person.

The Democrat was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided to help. He walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the welfare office. He then reached into the Republican’s pocket and got out twenty dollars. He kept $15 for administrative fees and gave the homeless person five.

Now you understand the difference between Republicans & Democrats.



Here’s The Difference Between Republicans And Democrats Spelled Out Clearly! by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a post from the archives, from about the same time last year. I repost it because nothing essentially has changed.Treasury-Secretary-Jack-Lew-seeks-rational-budget-approach

Here’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans —clear and simple.

President Obama has nattered on about “Economic Patriotism” and what they call “Corporate Tax Inversion.” Some corporations are finding it to their advantage to locate their headquarters in a country with significantly lower taxes. Medtronic is acquiring the Irish company Coviden and moving its corporate headquarters to Ireland.

The problem is American corporate taxes — which are the highest, at 35 percent, among the advanced economies in the world. Not only that, but the U.S. also taxes the income that American corporations earn overseas — something no other country does.

Democrats are up in arms. How dare they pick up and move? It’s not even patriotic to not pay taxes in your own country. Democrats intend to make “Economic Patriotism” a major issue in the fall campaign. (Good Democrats all hate big business).

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who should know better, has advocated “anti-inversion legislation.” Democrats are afraid that if a few companies do this it will open the floodgates and all sorts of American companies will locate abroad. Corporations who operate in the United States would still pay taxes on all the income earned in the U.S. but they won’t be paying double taxes to a foreign country and to the U.S. That gets very expensive, very fast.

There is, of course a very simple solution. You cut the corporate tax rate back to a rate more in line with other nations — or, gasp, even below. Yes, this is a Republican thing. Republicans like to cut taxes. The result would be a burst of activity from business, hiring, expanding, growing. The economy might even actually recover. It is how we have recovered so quickly from past recessions when Republicans are in charge.

Burger King has purchased Canada’s Tim Horton chain of coffee and donut shops, and plans to move their headquarters to Canada, where tax costs will be 46.4% lower. Canada has lowered their corporate tax rate from 43 percent in 2000 to 26 percent today. How much tax revenue did Canada lose by the dramatic reduction in their corporate tax rate? None. The lower tax rate raises more money.

For Democrats, this simply does not compute.

Secretary Lew said the corporate tax moves would mean that “all other taxpayers —including small businesses and hardworking Americans—will have to shoulder more of the responsibility of maintaining core public functions that everyone, particularly U.S. businesses, depends on.” Sigh. This man is the Secretary of the Treasury!

Lew’s remarks, delivered at an event hosted by the Tax Policy Center in Washington, came the same day Bloomberg News reported that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will soon introduce a bill that would slash the amount of interest an inverted firm can deduct from its U.S. income from 50 percent to 25 percent.
That will fix everything. Cut their deductions. Maybe they will lay off a few more people, and Obama’s recession will go on and on and on.
When we are considering all the potential candidates for the presidency, don’t doze off when one of them talks about taxes. It’s one of the big reasons why the economy is still in the tank, and why none of Obama’s efforts will provide the new jobs that are needed.


We Are Starting to See a Dramatic Cooling in the Arctic. It Will Be “Extremely Cold” From 2025 to 2050 by The Elephant's Child

David Dilley has spent 20 years as a National Weather Service meteorologist at NOAA, and another 20 years as a meteorologist before that. He says Employees “Were cautioned not to talk about natural cycles.” He has now spoken out in a just released 40 minute video that looks at climate change and what lies ahead.

The recent cold winters and expanding polar ice caps are ominous signs of a global cooling that has already begun, maintains David Dilley, now President and Founder of Global Weather Oscillations, Inc. Claims of warming have not been properly founded.

He indicates that trillions are being spent on the completely wrong scenario. Instead of warming, we need to worry about the coming 125-year cool period which has already begun.

Dilley has forty-two years of professional experience in meteorology and climatology and has written many publications. He accuses the federal government of fiddling with global temperature data with the aim of producing a false picture of what is going on.

The information is essential, the video production values leave something to be desired. Enlarging it to full screen may help. Climate people talk with graphs, which are often hard for the rest of us to follow.. Have courage, stick with it.

Here are the points he makes in the video:

1. The 18+ years temperature pause is real. (4.09)
2. Natural cycles are behind the current pause.
3. Ice cores show CO2 lags temperature. (5.00)
4. 7000 years ago there was 50% less Arctic ice. (8.20)
5. The 1000-year cycle is real. (9.20)
6. Planet has been cooling over past 10,000 years. (9.34)
7. Natural cycles are driving our climate. (10.04)
8. Shows cooling from 2023 to 2150.
9. Current warming is perfectly natural.
10. Milankovitch cycles driving large-scale cycles. (13.00)
11. Gravitational forces can bulge Earth’s core by 1.4 km (15.35)
12. Gravitational forces impact global temperature (17.20)
13. Warming and cooling both begin at the poles (17.48)
14. Arctic warming/melt was caused by warm ocean pulses (19.50)
15. “Now starting to see a dramatic cooling in the Arctic“. (22.50)
16. “Arctic is cooling rapidly now. Rapidly!” (24.06)
17. Both poles are cooling rapidly now. (25.05(
18. Poles don’t show signs of warming. (26.30)
19. Western drought and Eastern cold due to 26-year cycle. (27.55)
20. Polar vortices due to Arctic/global cooling. (29.25)
21. Lunar cycles correlated with warming/cooling cycles. (31.30)
22. Rapid global cooling by 2019. (32.00)
23. “Temperature fiddling” are “more political than anything”. (32.56)
24. “Could be the biggest scientific scandal ever”. (33.20)
25. IPCC using “estimated temperatures”. (34.00)
26. How the government manipulated, rewrote data. (36.00)
27. “This is temperature fiddling.” Not the truth. (36.45)
28. NASA, NOAA’s “politically driven press releases”. (37.00)
29. Met Office calls NOAA’s 2014 claim untrue. (38.00)
30. Major data fiddling, cheating by NOAA. (39.50)
31. “The 97% consensus is bogus”. (41.00)
32. John Cook cooked the consensus data. (41.30)
33. 85% meteorologists say climate change is natural. (42.20)
34. Global cooling is the real danger. (43.20)
35. Volcanoes and cooling often correlated. (44.00)
36. Crop failures from cooling “very likely”. (45.45)
37. “Extremely cold” from 2025 to 2050. (46.36)
38. Global cooling next 125 years. (47.00)
39. “The cooling is coming”.



Obama Went to Alaska to See a Glacier, Make a Speech, And Talk a Lot of Nonsense. by The Elephant's Child

www.usnews.comPresident Obama likes to make a speech or two in appropriate places to give him a little more authenticity for whatever program he is pitching. In this case, there was a Conference on Global Leadership on the Arctic, in Anchorage. As a sign of  the importance the United States placed on the Alaska forum, the president attended.  He used the conference as a platform to urge swifter action to combat climate change.

Our understanding of climate change advances each day.  Human activity is disrupting the climate, in many ways faster than we previously thought.  The science is stark.  It is sharpening.  It proves that this once-distant threat is now very much in the present.

In fact, the Arctic is the leading edge of climate change — our leading indicator of what the entire planet faces.  Arctic temperatures are rising about twice as fast as the global average.  Over the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed about twice as fast as the rest of the United States.  Last year was Alaska’s warmest year on record — just as it was for the rest of the world.  And the impacts here are very real.

Thawing permafrost destabilizes the earth on which 100,000 Alaskans live, threatening homes, damaging transportation and energy infrastructure, which could cost billions of dollars to fix.

The president is an ideologue, and he knows many things that just aren’t so. The globe is actually cooling. Arctic ice is growing and has been in greater extent this year than last, as has Antarctic ice. There has been no warming at all for the last 18 years. There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” He referred to our forest fires here in Eastern Washington, and said “even the rainforest is on fire.” Oh?

They had a big signing ceremony affirming “our commitment to take urgent action to slow the pace of warming in the Arctic.” But Russia, China and India refused to sign. A bit embarrassing.

Obama added:

“If we do nothing, Alaskan temperatures are projected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century ”

Climate politics, a religion, is one thing, climate science is something quite different. It’s actually expected to get somewhat colder.

Obama also announced that he is changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali, the Inuit name for the mountain. He really has no authority to do so. The name of the mountain was created by an act of Congress, and can be re-named the same way. The president is feeling cocky, and intent on overruling Congress at every opportunity.

 




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