2020: A Retrospective From 2025

2020: A Retrospective From 2025

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 23:40

Authored by Tom Trenchard via AmericanMind.org,

Donald Trump and the Altogether True and Amazing Origin of the United American Counties.

2020 marked an epoch in American history, standing alongside 1865, 1787, and 1776. First there was the COVID-19 pandemic, then there were the racial protests and riots throughout the summer, and then there was the disputed presidential election. Finally and most cataclysmically, though, 2020 witnessed the initial formation of the United American Counties (UACo) within the former United States of America. Five years later, it is only now becoming possible to assess the most important causes and consequences of this momentous development for American political society.

As with most politically revolutionary events, the Declaration of UACo Independence was almost entirely unforeseen before it occurred, but almost inevitable in hindsight. By the early 2010s two things were clear:

(1) Americans had become increasingly polarized in their worldviews and political beliefs; and

(2) These polarized halves of the U.S. were increasingly sorting themselves into either urban or suburban/rural areas.

Trump’s election in 2016 put a spotlight on these political realities; as Trump frequently boasted, the 2016 electoral map looked like a sea of red surrounding islands of blue. In 2020, that situation was essentially unchanged.

97% of land area in the U.S. constituted rural counties. Trump’s support within these counties was high and enthusiastic both in 2016 and 2020. Within the remaining 3% of the geographical U.S. – the big cities – anti-Trump sentiment was equally high and enthusiastic.

The 2020 election was the perfect storm for a confrontation between these two factions. It looked like Trump was winning on election day, and then the mail-in ballots handed an apparent victory to Biden. Although widespread electoral fraud wasn’t uncovered by the protracted legal investigation that followed, the die had been cast. Trump and his supporters thought the election had been stolen, and that Trump was the legitimate president of the U.S.

If it had only been the election dispute, tensions may have dissipated over time. Trump supporters may have learned to live with a Biden presidency, especially given GOP victories at the state level and in Congress. The problem was that the election dispute coincided with a deep polarization of worldviews and American historical narratives that had been building for decades. This polarization had proceeded to the extent of annihilating any possible common ground, rendering attempts at compromise or a “live and let live” approach impossible. We had become two Americas; and, as Lincoln had said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

In 1861, the outcome of this intractable situation was state secession. The division at this time was between slave states and free states. In 2020, the division was not so much between states as between rural and urban counties within states. In 1861, Lincoln was able to marshal the political will, the moral justification, and the economic and military resources necessary to maintain the original constitutional union by force. In 2020, none of these factors was present: Biden proved to be no Lincoln, and the country was too exhausted from the events of 2020 to muster an extended effort to compel union through force.

An America Altogether New

The rapid dissemination of the Declaration of UACo Independence in December 2020 provided the motivation and justification for the formation of a new political society within the former U.S.

Its “List of Principles” effectively encapsulated the worldview of American political conservatives and echoed the Declaration of 1776: it endorsed “the equal natural rights bestowed by God on all human beings,” “limited and local self-government,” “the traditional family begun in marriage between one man and one woman,” and “the free market economy.”

And its “List of Grievances” against the progressive liberal orthodoxy entrenched in corrupt urban areas supplied the relevant context for separation: chief among the complaints were “the suppression of freedom of speech” through cancel culture and thought policing, “the eclipse of local self-government by distant ruling elites,” “the replacement of equality under the law with identity politics,” “the rejection of the American political tradition,” and “the introduction of policies destructive of economic freedom.”

As the Declaration was supplying the inspiration, Trump’s team supplied the necessary perspiration by working quickly and tirelessly to rally support and official endorsement from the hundreds of counties that had supported his election to office weeks before. The rapidity with which this was accomplished was crucial to its ultimate success, and almost unbelievable in hindsight. They were aided by the establishment of efficient systems of communication running throughout the hundreds of rural and suburban counties sympathetic to the movement—the so-called “Town Crier Committees.” This system, working in conjunction with self-dubbed “Minutemen” vigilante groups, provided the coordinated resistance necessary to enforce the county endorsements of Trump’s leadership.

The preexistence of county government and law enforcement structures aided the transition as well. Early efforts by state governors to use state police and National Guard troops to compel adherence to state laws across vast UACo areas met with such resistance, both externally and internally, that they were quickly deemed impracticable. With the adoption of the provisional Constitution for the United American Counties in January 2021 by more than 500 counties—a number that would grow to nearly 2,000 by May of that same year—the stage was set for a decision by the newly-inaugurated Biden and the areas remaining under his jurisdiction. Would he go to war with Trump’s counties and attempt to compel union as Lincoln had?

A Separate Peace

Many factors weighed against this decision. There was, first, the lack of the kind of moral momentum that the abolition movement had supplied in the decades leading up to the Civil War. As Lincoln had long insisted, the controversy that brought on the Civil War was the question of whether slavery was right or wrong. The seceding states took a stand for its rightness, and the Union states took a stand for its wrongness. In 2020, there was no moral controversy that would come close to this kind of stark alternative; no higher ideal that would plausibly justify shedding the blood of fellow Americans.

Secondly, although Biden technically assumed control of the powerful U.S. military, he and his advisors were justifiably wary of issuing an immediate order to mobilize this force—a majority of whom had voted for Trump in the election—against such a widespread movement involving innumerable family connections and divided loyalties for military service members. There was the problem of supply chains for manufacturing and transportation; since these relied upon and ran directly through large swaths of UACo-controlled territory, they could be easily disrupted either by the withholding of necessary support or through sabotage.

There was also the immense practical difficulty of fighting a war against guerilla-type forces dispersed across more than 75% of the land area of the U.S. As the British had come to realize in the American Revolutionary War, such a conflict may well have been unwinnable, despite a large disparity in raw military and economic might.

In the face of these obstacles to compelling union through force, Biden had no choice but to negotiate with Trump. The American Friendship Accords, finalized on the anniversary of election day the year before (November 3, 2021), officially established two sovereign nations (the United American Counties and the United American Cities), averted large-scale violent conflict, and established the economic and military agreements necessary to maintain cooperation between the two new political entities at a level similar to what had existed before.

In 2025, just five short years after the tumultuous period of 2020-21, we seem to have entered a new era of American peace and prosperity. Relieved from the incessant tension of trying to reconcile fundamentally irreconcilable worldviews under a common government, polarized American society has achieved a kind of equilibrium. Common moral and political principles are once again able to provide the foundation for productive debate and coherent public policy within both the UACo and the UACi. The freedom of economic exchange and personal movement between the two has facilitated the growth of new ties of continental friendship where before there was polarization and enmity.

It may still be too early to pronounce judgment on the new political situation in the former U.S. But so far, looking back on 2020 seems to confirm the old proverb: It’s always darkest just before the dawn.

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Chaos & Suspicion: The Killing Of Iran’s Nuclear Scientists

Chaos & Suspicion: The Killing Of Iran’s Nuclear Scientists

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 23:20

New details are emerging about an attack that killed Iran’s most senior nuclear scientist last Friday. Initially, it was thought that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s car was attacked by undentified gunmen armed with automatic weapons and explosives. However, a Fars news agency report on Sunday evening states that Fakhrizadeh was actually killed by a remote-controlled weapon mounted in a vehicle that subsequently exploded. Iran has blamed Israel and an opposition group in exile called Mujahedeen-e-Khalq for the attack. A senior Iranian security official has described it as “highly complex”, adding that it was carried out with “electronic devices”.

While Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is the most senior nuclear scientist to be killed in mysterious circumstances in Iran, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that he is by no means the first with Tehran holding Israel accountable for at least five assassinations.

Infographic: Chaos & Suspicion: The Killing Of Iran's Nuclear Scientists | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The first high-profile killing happened in early 2010 when Masoud Ali Mohammadi died after a bomb was detonated on a motorcycle when he left his home. The pattern of targeting nuclear scientists during their commute repeated itself in subsequent incidents and Majid Shahriar died when a motorcyclist attached a bomb to his car in November 2010. It remains unclear whether Darioush Rezaeineja was connected to the nuclear program but he was shot dead regardless by two gunmen on a motorcycle in July 2011. Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed a year later when assailants on a motorcycle attached magnetic bombs to his car while he was on his way to work.

Alongside the assassinations, a chain of mysterious blasts and fires at various facilities associated with the nuclear program have added to the chaos and suspicion. These have been happening for years with reports of major incidents emerging in 2011. That year, an explosion was heard at a nuclear facility in Isfahan and a blast occurred at a steel mill linked to the nuclear program in Yasd, killing seven people. They have become more frequent in 2020 with a major explosion rocking a missile-production complex in Khojir in June, followed by a blast that destroyed a building developing advanced centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility in July.

The fact that a presidential transition is imminent in Washington D.C. has added to the tension, particularly as Joe Biden has pledged to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal. It is unclear whether Tehran will be receptive given recent events, however, and it has already promised to push on with its nuclear program in addition to vowing to retaliate for Fakhrizadeh’s killing. Friday’s incident is also almost certainly going to fan the flames of Iran’s regional conflict with Israel which has been going on for years, particularly in Syria. Israel has carried out airstrikes against Iranian proxies in Syria as well as against Iran’s military directly. The latest killing of a nuclear scientist may lead to a dangerous escalation in that (relatively) covert conflict.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/33LaP0O Tyler Durden

NDAA Seeks To Halt Trump’s Troop Withdrawals From Afghanistan & Germany

NDAA Seeks To Halt Trump’s Troop Withdrawals From Afghanistan & Germany

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 23:00

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

The version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) agreed to by the House and Senate, known as the compromise version, includes provisions to block President Trump’s planned troop withdrawals in both Afghanistan and Germany.

For Afghanistan, there is language in the bill that would block funding to reduce troop numbers in the country before the Pentagon, State Department, and the director of national intelligence assess how the drawdown would affect US security. The assessment would be required before troop numbers could drop lower than they are when the NDAA becomes law, and again if they drop below 2,000.

Via Zuma Press/Xinhua

President Trump’s current plan is to bring troop numbers in Afghanistan down to 2,500 by January 15th. The US-Taliban peace deal signed in February paved the way for all US and other foreign forces to be out of the country by Spring 2021.

Another troop drawdown President Trump’s Pentagon is planning is a reduction of forces in Germany from about 36,000 troops to 24,000. Congressional aides told The Hill that the compromise version of the NDAA includes language that would block the drawdown.

“There is language that prevents reduction in the number of US forces stationed in Germany below 34,500 until 120 days after the secretary of Defense submits an assessment and planning regarding the implications for allies, costs, military families, deterrence and other key issues,” one of the aides said.

The provisions to block Trump’s withdrawals could add to the controversy that is already surrounding the NDAA. On Tuesday, President Trump said he would veto the spending bill if it did not include an amendment to repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 gives tech platforms immunity from liability for content published by third parties. Trump doubled down on his call to include the provision in a tweet on Thursday after some Republican senators voiced their objection to the idea.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/36GrR1G Tyler Durden

Black Google Researcher Claims She Was Fired Because She Discovered AI Is Racist

Black Google Researcher Claims She Was Fired Because She Discovered AI Is Racist

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 22:40

A well-known artificial intelligence researcher at Google tweeted Wednesday that she was fired over an email expressing dismay with management over the censorship of new research. 

Timnit Gebru, a technical co-lead of Google’s Ethical A.I. team, who researches algorithmic bias and data mining, has been an outspoken advocate for diversity in technology, claimed, in a series of tweets, she was fired for refusing to retract a research paper that outlines how A.I. discriminates against minorities and also due to a complaint in an email to colleagues

Expressing her frustrations in an email to an internal company group named Google Brain Women and Allies – Gebru criticized Google’s hiring of minorities and not doing enough to promote “responsible A.I.” 

The email was shared by Platformer’s Casey Newton:  

Hi friends,

I had stopped writing here as you may know, after all the micro and macro aggressions and harassments I received after posting my stories here (and then of course it started being moderated).

Recently however, I was contributing to a document that Katherine and Daphne were writing where they were dismayed by the fact that after all this talk, this org seems to have hired 14% or so women this year. Samy has hired 39% from what I understand but he has zero incentive to do this.

What I want to say is stop writing your documents because it doesn’t make a difference. The DEI OKRs that we don’t know where they come from (and are never met anyways), the random discussions, the “we need more mentorship” rather than “we need to stop the toxic environments that hinder us from progressing” the constant fighting and education at your cost, they don’t matter. Because there is zero accountability. There is no incentive to hire 39% women: your life gets worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people, you start making the other leaders upset when they don’t want to give you good ratings during calibration. There is no way more documents or more conversations will achieve anything. We just had a Black research all hands with such an emotional show of exasperation. Do you know what happened since? Silencing in the most fundamental way possible.

Have you ever heard of someone getting “feedback” on a paper through a privileged and confidential document to H.R.? Does that sound like a standard procedure to you or does it just happen to people like me who are constantly dehumanized?

Imagine this: You’ve sent a paper for feedback to 30+ researchers, you’re awaiting feedback from P.R. & Policy who you gave a heads up before you even wrote the work saying “we’re thinking of doing this”, working on a revision plan figuring out how to address different feedback from people, haven’t heard from P.R. & Policy besides them asking you for updates (in 2 months). A week before you go out on vacation, you see a meeting pop up at 4:30pm PST on your calendar (this popped up at around 2pm). No one would tell you what the meeting was about in advance. Then in that meeting your manager’s manager tells you “it has been decided” that you need to retract this paper by next week, Nov. 27, the week when almost everyone would be out (and a date which has nothing to do with the conference process). You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company.

Then, you ask for more information. What specific feedback exists? Who is it coming from? Why now? Why not before? Can you go back and forth with anyone? Can you understand what exactly is problematic and what can be changed?

And you are told after a while, that your manager can read you a privileged and confidential document and you’re not supposed to even know who contributed to this document, who wrote this feedback, what process was followed or anything. You write a detailed document discussing whatever pieces of feedback you can find, asking for questions and clarifications, and it is completely ignored. And you’re met with, once again, an order to retract the paper with no engagement whatsoever.

Then you try to engage in a conversation about how this is not acceptable and people start doing the opposite of any sort of self reflection—trying to find scapegoats to blame.

Silencing marginalized voices like this is the opposite of the NAUWU principles which we discussed. And doing this in the context of “responsible A.I.” adds so much salt to the wounds. I understand that the only things that mean anything at Google are levels, I’ve seen how my expertise has been completely dismissed. But now there’s an additional layer saying any privileged person can decide that they don’t want your paper out with zero conversation. So you’re blocked from adding your voice to the research community—your work which you do on top of the other marginalization you face here.

I’m always amazed at how people can continue to do thing after thing like this and then turn around and ask me for some sort of extra DEI work or input. This happened to me last year. I was in the middle of a potential lawsuit for which Kat Herller and I hired feminist lawyers who threatened to sue Google (which is when they backed off–before that Google lawyers were prepared to throw us under the bus and our leaders were following as instructed) and the next day I get some random “impact award.” Pure gaslighting.

So if you would like to change things, I suggest focusing on leadership accountability and thinking through what types of pressures can also be applied from the outside. For instance, I believe that the Congressional Black Caucus is the entity that started forcing tech companies to report their diversity numbers. Writing more documents and saying things over and over again will tire you out but no one will listen.


Gebru was apparently in talks with management over a possible resignation if certain conditions regarding her research paper were not met. She said those conditions, which by the way, were not stated in the public domain, were not met. The company did not give her a chance to respond with immediate termination. 

“Apparently my manager’s manager sent an email my direct reports saying she accepted my resignation. I hadn’t resigned—I had asked for simple conditions first and said I would respond when I’m back from vacation. But I guess she decided for me 🙂 that’s the lawyer-speak,” she tweeted.

She continued: “I said here are the conditions. If you can meet them great I’ll take my name off this paper, if not then I can work on a last date. Then she sent an email to my direct reports saying she has accepted my resignation. So that is google for you folks. You saw it happen right here.” 

Here’s a quoted email response from Gebru’s manager about her termination: 

“Thanks for making your conditions clear. We cannot agree to #1 and #2 as you are requesting. We respect your decision to leave Google as a result, and we are accepting your resignation.

“However, we believe the end of your employment should happen faster than your email reflects because certain aspects of the email you sent last night to non-management employees in the brain group reflect behavior that is inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.

“As a result, we are accepting your resignation immediately, effective today. We will send your final paycheck to your address in Workday. When you return from your vacation, PeopleOps will reach out to you to coordinate the return of Google devices and assets.”

In another tweet, Gebru called out Google’s A.I. chief, Jeff Dean. She said Dean is likely the one who signed off on her firing. “He didn’t like my email to a mailing list for women & allies at brain,” she added.

Gebru’s tweets about her termination came after the U.S. National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Google, accusing the company of violating labor laws. 

The company was allegedly “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday. 

Since Gebru’s termination, Google employees are standing in solidarity with the fired researcher due to “unprecedented research censorship,” read the website Google Walkout For Real Change.

“We call on Google Research to strengthen its commitment to research integrity and to unequivocally commit to supporting research that honors the commitments made in Google’s A.I. Principles,” the website said. 

This is just the latest incident showing Google is getting too powerful.

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Chief Medical Officer Says Canadians Who Refuse Vaccine Won’t Have “Freedom To Move Around”

Chief Medical Officer Says Canadians Who Refuse Vaccine Won’t Have “Freedom To Move Around”

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 22:20

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer says that those who refuse to take the COVID vaccine won’t have “freedom to move around” and will have to continue to wear masks.

Dr. David Williams was asked if he “would make some sort of mandatory vaccination recommendation.”

Williams acknowledged that “we can’t force someone to take a vaccine,” but when on to explain how people who didn’t take it would have their freedom of mobility severely restricted.

“What we can do is to say sometimes for access or ease of getting into certain settings, if you don’t have vaccination then you’re not allowed into that setting without other protection materials,” said Williams.

“What may be mandatory is proof of…vaccination in order to have latitude and freedom to move around…without wearing other types of personal protective equipment,” he added.

Williams also suggested that people would be prevented from entering certain settings without having been vaccinated if there was a “risk.”

As we previously highlighted, governments do not have to make the vaccine mandatory, they can simply make life unlivable for people who refuse to take the vaccine.

If bars, restaurants, cinemas, sports venues, airlines, employers and others all make the vaccination a mandatory condition of service, anyone who refuses to take it will be reduced to a personal form of de facto lockdown with their social lives and mobility completely stunted.

*  *  *

New limited edition merch now available! Click here. In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. I need you to sign up for my free newsletter here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Also, I urgently need your financial support here.

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Citi’s Corbat Concerned Working-From-Home Could Harm ‘Long-Term Productivity’ As Bankers Pull 7-Day Weeks

Citi’s Corbat Concerned Working-From-Home Could Harm ‘Long-Term Productivity’ As Bankers Pull 7-Day Weeks

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 22:00

As Wall Street deal flow continues to rage and top JPM executives inform M&A analysts that they won’t be getting much of a Christmas break, outgoing Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat has just become the second top banker to express doubts about the shift to working from home vs. the office – at least, as far as Wall Street is concerned.

As bankers wonder what the future might hold as far as when they’ll be returning to the office for good (if they haven’t already), Bloomberg has published a wide-ranging interview with Corbat on Friday as he prepares to hand over the reins to Jane Fraser, set to become the first woman to ever lead an American megabank.

During the interview, Corbat addressed reports that WFH has – counterintuitively – led to a surge in productivity as the bank’s workers pull long hours and 7-day weeks. He added that productivity like this could come with serious long-term drawbacks.

“People talk about the productivity that comes with working remotely,” Corbat said in a televised interview for a Bloomberg Invest Talks event that aired Friday. “Well, if I worked seven days a week, 15 to 16 hours a day and I don’t take any holidays, at least for a period of time I’m going to be more productive.”

Although he’s concerned about the “hollowing out” of workers’ skill sets, Corbat says Citi should take its time to assess how WFH impacts productivity over the long term, arguing that a final decision about WFH policies shouldn’t be made in hast.

“I don’t want to wake up as an industry and have hollowed out our skill sets,” Corbat said. “We’ll absolutely continue to accelerate the move toward digital and, where appropriate, more remote. But I certainly wouldn’t want to see us move too quickly.”

While Citi “absolutely” prefers its workers in the office, Corbat insisted the bank wouldn’t ask workers to come in if there safety might be in jeopardy.

“We absolutely like to have our people in when we can have them in, but we’re not going to put them at risk,” Corbat said. “We’ve got to stay flexible and obviously we’re going through a bit of resurgence in parts of the world right now. We’ve been in the phase of tapering back.”

But if Corbat’s comments about the long hours Citi’s bankers are pulling at home, then that would suggest that the bank has stumbled on what could be a major productivity breakthrough: how to get all of its bankers to work 1st year analyst hours.

If what Corbat says is true, maybe JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon should rethink his rejection of Work From Home. In actuality, it might afford his bank even more opportunities to cut costs – not only space, but head count – wringing out even greater profits.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3gdhzcP Tyler Durden

“Texas Has A Lot Going For It” – Bay Area Residents Agree

“Texas Has A Lot Going For It” – Bay Area Residents Agree

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 21:40

Submitted by Market Crumbs,

While California’s Silicon Valley is the epicenter of all things technology, companies based out of Texas played an important role in the rise of the personal computer as well.

Christopher Cantwell was even inspired to create the hit television series Halt and Catch Fire following his childhood in North Texas’s Silicon Prairie, where his father was employed as a software salesman in the 1980’s.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced on Monday in its fourth quarter earnings release that it will be moving its headquarters from San Jose, California to Houston, Texas.

“HPE’s largest U.S. employment hub, Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent, and is where the company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus,” HPE said. “The Bay Area will continue to be a strategic hub for HPE innovation, and the company will consolidate a number of sites in the Bay Area to its San Jose campus. No layoffs are associated with this move.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott thanked HPE for relocating to Houston while explaining why more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state.

“Hewlett Packard Enterprise joins more than 50 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Lone Star State, including 22 in the Houston area alone,” Abbott said. “That is because Texas offers the best business climate in the nation. Our low taxes, high quality of life, top-notch workforce, and tier one universities create an environment where innovative companies like HPE can flourish.”

HPE’s announcement comes as a number of technology founders and executives make the same move from California to Texas. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Splunk CEO Douglas Merritt and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale are just a few of the high profile names reportedly set to make Austin their new permanent home.

“Texas is a lot like going to California 40 to 50 years ago,” Lonsdale said. “It’s very welcoming, it’s a dynamic economy, it’s affordable. Texas has a lot going for it.”

Even Elon Musk, who reportedly changed his driver’s license to a Texas license, has floated the idea of moving Tesla’s headquarters from Palo Alto to Texas. Tesla’s headquarters remains in California but the company announced in July it will build its next Gigafactory near Austin.

“I guess a lot of people from California, if you ask them what’s the one place you would move outside of California, it’s Austin…,” Musk said. “I went to our team and said, ‘Where do you want to spend time? And where would you potentially move?’ And they were like, ‘Well, Austin is just the No. 1 choice.'”

Data from moving company moveBuddha.com shows Texas is by far the most popular destination for those leaving the San Francisco Bay area. So far this year, 16% of outbound Bay Area residents moved to the state. That’s more than the combined total going to next two most popular states—Washington and New York, which accounted for 7.9% and 6.5% of the outbound total, respectively.

Austin is attracting the bulk of the new Texas residents as 7% of outbound Bay Area residents are moving to the city. Two additional Texas cities made the list of the top 15 most popular destinations as Dallas and Houston ranked 8th and 12th, respectively.

Their report shows Austin’s median value of owner occupied housing is $312,300 compared to $746,211 for all Bay Area counties. Their report shows Dallas’ and Houston’s median values stand at $169,400 and $161,300, respectively.

Texas is cementing itself as the go-to destination for companies and individuals who want to escape the Bay Area for a lower cost of living and friendlier business climate.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3qxES5B Tyler Durden

Around The World In Two Hours? Chinese Scientists Test “Revolutionary” Hypersonic Engine

Around The World In Two Hours? Chinese Scientists Test “Revolutionary” Hypersonic Engine

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 21:20

Chinese scientists have built what they claim is a “revolutionary” hypersonic engine that could one day propel an airframe as fast as Mach 16, or about 12,300 mph, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), citing a new paper published in the Chinese Journal of Aeronautics. 

The flight test of the hypersonic engine was conducted in a wind tunnel in Beijing suggested unprecedented thrust, fuel efficiency, and operational stability. Scientists believe the engine could operate at Mach 16, propelling an airframe across the world in just two hours. 

The Chinese paper, titled “The criteria for airbreathing hypersonic propulsion and its experimental verification,” says the sodramjet (short for “standing oblique detonation ramjet engine”) is an “airbreathing propulsion” system “for future aerospace flight.” It has no moving parts and uses the plane’s speed to ram air into the engine, then blended with hydrogen fuel and detonated, discharging out of the back of the engine as thrust. 

“The Sodramjet engine model is developed with several flow control techniques and tested successfully with the hypersonic flight-duplicated shock tunnel. The experimental data show that the Sodramjet engine model works steadily, and an oblique detonation can be made stationary in the engine combustor and is controllable. This research demonstrates the Sodramjet engine is a promising concept and can be operated stably with high thermal efficiency at hypersonic flow conditions,” the scientist wrote. 

Sodramjet uses the sonic boom as combustion: 

“Turning the shock wave from their enemy to their friend helped them sustain and stabilize combustion at hypersonic speed,” SCMP said. “The faster the engine flew, the more efficiently the hydrogen fuel burned. The new engine was also much smaller and lighter than previous models.”

Researchers noted, “the US government shifted the bulk of hypersonic research from Nasa to private companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and Morrison’s idea was largely if not completely forgotten by the American defense industry. The contractors put all their resources into scramjet design and continued to suffer setbacks that eventually caused them to trail other countries.”

All commercial aircraft today have turbofans or turboprops. The introduction of hypersonic engines for commercial aircraft might not be seen until after 2030. 

“With reusable trans-atmospheric planes, we can take off horizontally from an airport runway, accelerate into orbit around the Earth, then reenter into the atmosphere, and finally land at an airport,” the scientist wrote. “In this way, space access will become reliable, routine, and affordable.”

A couple of years ago, China released a rendition of a hypersonic plane that could fly from Beijing to New York in 2 hours.

Could the sodramjet technology be used in this future plane?

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3gefkpx Tyler Durden

San Francisco Bans Smoking Inside Apartments Unless It’s Weed

San Francisco Bans Smoking Inside Apartments Unless It’s Weed

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 21:00

Authored by John Vibes via TheMindUnleashed.com,

San Francisco city officials have banned all tobacco smoking inside apartments, due to concerns about secondhand smoke, but cannabis smoke will be permitted under the new guidelines.

The proposal was originally drafted to include a ban on smoking cannabis as well, but the cannabis ban was later removed from the law after pushback from activists who pointed out that the only place they are legally permitted to smoke is in the privacy of their own homes, considering that it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public. If this law passed with the cannabis provision, it would have effectively made the substance illegal in the state all over again.

“Unlike tobacco smokers who could still leave their apartments to step out to the curb or smoke in other permitted outdoor smoking areas, cannabis users would have no such legal alternatives,” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who wrote the amendment to exempt cannabis said, according to the Associated Press.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors for San Francisco voted 10-1 to approve the ordinance for the ban on smoking tobacco products inside of apartments. There are now 63 cities in the state of California with a ban on smoking inside apartments.

Under the new law, the city’s Department of Public Health will first help to provide resources to help violators quit smoking, but repeat offenders could be fined up to $1,000 a day. Technically, the law does not allow tenants to be evicted for smoking violations, but a $1,000 fine would be enough to disrupt a poor person’s rent, which could get them legally evicted.

The mayor is expected to sign off on the ordinance next week, and the new law will go into effect 30 days after it is approved.

The fact that tobacco products would be banned while cannabis would be allowed seems strange for many of us who grew up in an era where cigarettes were ubiquitous and cannabis was perceived as a dangerous and illegal drug that was thought to only be consumed by criminals, addicts and perhaps sometimes musicians. We now know that cannabis is actually far less dangerous than tobacco, and in the context of smoke in a shared living space, it also dissipates much quicker than cigarette smoke as well.

Smoking is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the world. Carcinogenic, poisonous chemicals and toxic metals can all be found in modern tobacco products. These chemicals are present for many reasons ranging from taste and preservation to being purposely addictive.

There are over 4000 of these chemicals in cigarettes and all of them are actually not even revealed to the public, they are protected under law as “trade secrets”. This means they can be putting anything they want in there without our knowledge.

The global tobacco business is valued at over $849 billion and the World Health Organization estimates that cigarettes could kill 1 billion people in the 21st century if the current trend continues.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2L9GnH7 Tyler Durden

‘A Slap In My Face’: LA Bar Owner Livid In After City Lets Hollywood Studio Set Up Dining Tents

‘A Slap In My Face’: LA Bar Owner Livid In After City Lets Hollywood Studio Set Up Dining Tents

Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/04/2020 – 20:46

A viral video is making the rounds which perfectly captures the anger, frustration and contempt people have for our elected officials, who flagrantly break their own COVID-19 rules when it suits them – and, as you’ll see, grant well-connected ‘elites’ privileges as regular Americans continue to be devastated by what seems like a two-tiered set of lockdown restrictions.

In this latest example, the owner of the Pineapple Hill Grill & Saloon in Sherman Oaks, Angela M, offers heartbreaking commentary as she walks through her parking lot – revealing that while her own outdoor dining has been shut down due to heightened pandemic restrictions, a movie studio was granted permission to set up outdoor dining tents for a production.

“I walk into my parking lot, and obviously Mayor Garcetti has approved – this being set up for a movie company,” says Angela – who came to work to gather materials for a lockdown protest she’s organizing.

I’m losing everything,” she adds. “Everything I own is being taken away from me. And they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio.

People wonder why I am protesting and I have had enough. They have not given us money and they’ve shut us down. We cannot survive. The staff cannot survive. Look at this,” she says – gesturing to her patio. “Tell me that this is dangerous, but right next to me is a slap in my face.”

“This is dangerous… We need your help. We need someone to do something about this,” she says in closing.


The restaurant is sponsoring a Saturday protest in front of LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s house in Santa Monica.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2JFVfMO Tyler Durden