So Who Wins in the Battle Between a White Liberal and a Native American Tribe?

My guess: the media is going to back the white liberal to the hilt. But I think the public won’t be fooled. ‘Inappropriate and wrong’: Cherokee Nation official throws cold water on Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test of Native American heritage.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. called the test cited by Warren’s report “useless” in determining tribal citizenship and alleged she was “undermining tribal interests” with her “continued claims of tribal heritage.”

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Hoskin said in a statement.

A quick survey of Bing News (11:45 PM on the 15th) shows that while a local ABC affiliate in Arizona picked up the tribal statement, the big media outlets are still trumpeting her “DNA test” results. Will check again in the AM at some point.

Just like the media is vilifying Kanye West, just like they attacked Dr Rice, when she became Secretary of State, under GW Bush, they will treat any minority with disdain, if that minority dares to question the Democratic position on anything. And the current position is that Elizabeth Warren has a Native American Heritage – regardless of the the DNA or the Native Americans say.

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Survey on Gun Culture From the (incredibly biased) Boston University

Too many questions that could lead to identification make actually taking the survey a problem Atrocious Study of Social Gun Culture Undermines Credibility of Public Health Research on Guns ‹ Gun Culture 2.0

In the first place, the study purports to be “designed to understand social gun culture among adult US residents (citizens and non-citizens) who currently use social media.” But few of the 77 total questions ask about participation in social gun culture.

The principal investigator is somewhat more honest in the flier put together to publicize the study, which makes clear the primary interest is in gun violence and gun control, not gun culture.

Which is fine, but don’t pretend you are studying something you are not.

As David Yamane mentions, the survey is poorly written and contains spelling errors. (Some that a decent spell-checker could have found.)

The actual survey can be found at this link. As I mentioned there are enough questions about identity, that it could cause some to not want to answer. I suggest use of a VPN (but I suggest use of the VPN always) and maybe fudging a few of those answers to remain anonymous. But then I subscribe to the Mike Royko school of survey questions – lie.

Predictions From 1970 – The First Earth Day

Are you surprised that they were wrong? 13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 | FreedomWorks

8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

Hat tip to 90 Miles from Tyranny.

Catch 22 – Medical Research Edition

An interesting story about the War on (Some) Drugs™ hindering efforts to help people break opioid addiction. Regulations Make Medical Tourism a Necessity at A Geek With Guns

About the use of psychedelic drugs to combat opioid addiction in other countries. It is illegal in this country because of the War on (Some) Drugs™.

But even with all of this information at hand, the United States government continues to claim that psychedelics have no medial application whatsoever. So long as they maintain that attitude, it is mostly illegal to experiment with psychedelics for medical purposes in the United States, which creates an impasse. A researcher can’t experiment with psychedelics to determine if they can be used in medical applications so they continue to have no medial applications, which prevents researchers from determining if they can have medical applications.

Because there is NOTHING bureaucrats can’t do, including predicting the future of medical research. Or at least interfering with future medical research. Click through for the details.

All of Our Bridges Will Collapse and Planes Fall Out of the Sky

Purdue University should fire this person immediately. Prof: Academic rigor reinforces ‘power and privilege’

Engineering is too hung up on rigor and doesn’t pay enough attention to the important things like social justice. Or something.

Bridges stand up because of rigor. Planes don’t fly because of social justice or unicorn farts.

The loading on the wings has to be calculated. The range based on takeoff weight isn’t a wish or a guess. If you really want to blow your mind look up how a high-bypass ducted fan gas turbine engine works. And is kept working in the face of exhaust temperatures hot enough to melt the metals used in construction.

Next up: Medicine spends too much time worrying about the intricacies of organic chemistry and biology.

[Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.]

Busted: Scientific (sic) Journals Publish Star Wars Spoof Paper.

Where would we be without peer-reviewed scientific journals? (I love it when stuff like this happens.) Predatory Journals Hit By ‘Star Wars’ Sting | Watts Up With That?

A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. I know because I wrote it.

This is a masterwork of snark, and the original spoof paper is beautiful, even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan. (The last movie I like was, “The Empire Strikes Back.”)

New High Tech Stuff Isn’t Always More ‘Environmentally Friendly’

Which is why the EPA won’t let certain things be manufactured in the US. (Not that shipping that manufacturing overseas is really ‘good’ for the environment. But NIMBY is a strong force in America.)

So first up is the whole electric vehicle craze. (And it is a craze.) The Silicon Graybeard: All-Electric Small Airplane

OK, so there’s an electric plane. Not the first. The thing that caught my eye…

Earlier this week, several outlets reported a study from the Swedish Environmental Research Insitute that the “carbon footprint” of producing the batteries for an electric car was equivalent to driving for 8 years. This ignored recharging the batteries for the life of the car, which is obviously coming from an electric power generating plant somewhere, so more than likely generating CO2 itself. I’m sure you’ve seen electric cars referred to as coal powered.

The report shows that the battery manufacturing leads to high emissions. For every kilowatt hour of storage capacity in the battery generated emissions of 150 to 200 kilos of carbon dioxide already in the factory. The researchers did not study individual brand batteries, how these were produced, or the electricity mix they use.

As Graybeard points out, battery researchers are struggling to come up with batteries that have 4% of the energy density of gasoline. (450 Wh/kg versus 12,000 Wh/kg.) And the “8 year” figure doesn’t include charging of the batteries. That is just the carbon cost of producing the battery.

This reminds me of the state of fusion power over the past few decades. Since before I graduated from college, fusion power has been “just around the corner.” And while the ITER (the current international attempt at fusion) might actually produce a reactor that generates more power than it consumes, no utility will ever build one. Imagining Fusion Power | Energy Matters

First off, fusion reactors based on the Tokamak design will produce large amounts of neutrons. These will turn all of the components of the Tokamak into radioactive waste. Large quantities of radioactive waste.

The Hirsch article tells you that worldwide fusion energy research is almost totally focused on a concept called the tokamak, a toroidal (donut) shaped system, which uses the deuterium-tritium (DT) fusion fuel cycle. You are reminded that the DT cycle is characterized by the copious emission of neutrons, which will result in the creation of large quantities of radioactivity, no matter what materials are used to build such a system. Opps! Managing large quantities of radioactive material raises a huge red flag with you, based on the experience with nuclear power plants. Not good!

So we would have EXACTLY the same problems with fusion reactors – storing radioactive waste – that makes the population hate fission reactors. Not a “clean technology.”

Then there is the likelihood of a regular explosion.

ITER-Tokamak reactors appear to be seriously wanting, in part because of the massive amount of radioactivity that will be produced and in part because its massive superconducting magnets could suddenly go normal, resulting in an explosion of the magnitude of a World War II blockbuster bomb.

So radioactive debris in the middle of something that could let go with the force of a VERY large conventional bomb. Yeah, sign me up for one of those!

While I’m not of the “let’s dump all fusion research” camp, I am aware of the fact that there are problems with the current design. And we’ve sort of put all of our eggs in one basket on that front.

On the electric vehicle front, I think that day will dawn, but it will take some serious developments in either battery or super capacitor research. I actually think some of the research being done in artificial photosynthesis to produce alcohol fuels has more promise. But that doesn’t get much press.