Norway to Become First Country to Only Allow Electric Ships Into Their Fjords


by Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Over the years, Norway has established itself as a leader of green initiatives. Now, the Scandinavian country is proving its commitment to the environment once again by establishing the world’s first emission-free zone at sea.

Norway’s parliament adopted a resolution that would require all vessels, ships, and liners entering their world heritage fjords to produce zero carbon emissions. The ban is set to be enforced “as soon as technically possible,” but will go into full effect in 2026.

This is a major step for Norway, which receives hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the country’s 1,160 fjords every year. Officials believe the resolution will not only benefit the environment, but support the health of the tourists and local communities.

“For the first time in the world there is a requirement for emission-free sailing in the fjords and their harbors,” said Marius Holm, head of the environmental foundation ZERO.  “Norway has long been a world leader in emission-free ferries based on sound political decisions on zero-emission requirements. Now the country is taking a step further in the maritime green shift that has global repercussions. At the national level, this will mean a welcome development towards emission-free solutions on many tourist ships, a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a halt to harmful local air pollution.”

Environmentalists are applauding the initiative, which is a welcome follow-up to the Norwegian Parliament’s decision in 2015 to require all ferries in new tenders to be equipped with zero or low-emission technology. Hege Økland, CEO of the maritime industrial cluster NCE Maritime CleanTech, commented on this when she said: “Norway has become a world-leading maritime supplier of low- and zero-emissions solutions. The decision on zero-emission fjords can secure our industry’s position in this area, so that Norwegian business will be strengthened and we can provide green solutions also to the rest of the world.”

Given the pace at which Norway is transitioning to a clean energy economy, it is possible the switch to zero emission sailing technology will take place much sooner than 2026. “Tourists come to see pure nature, not fjords full of exhaust. Norway also has an international responsibility to manage its world heritage sites. We have long been seeking concrete action, and are therefore very pleased with this decision on emissions-free fjords,” said Katrin Blomvik, director of the Geiranger Fjord World Heritage Foundation.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Source: GoodNewsNetwork Marine Log

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2018/05/14/norway-to-become-first-country-to-only-allow-electric-ships-into-their-fjords/

After Police Allow Confessed Pedophile to Flee, Mom Becomes Vigilante, Hunts Down Son’s Abuser

policepolice

Anyone who has ever dealt with law enforcement when they’ve been a victim of a crime knows that the wheels of justice move very slowly. For some, the waiting is too much to bear and when police—who are often more concerned with prosecuting people for possessing a plant—refuse to go after criminals, they take matters into their own hands.

When Lydia Lerma discovered that her son had been molested by a man who was living with her ex-husband, the crime devastated her. However, the insultingly low bail placed on her son’s abuser was equally devastating as it allowed him to walk free for very little money. When police allowed Andrew Vanderwal to walk free after posting $750 bail, the family was doubly impacted. Worse still, Vanderwal fled to Mexico, escaping justice and infuriating Lerma, who then made it her mission to become a pedophile hunter.

Vanderwal had fully confessed to molesting Lerma’s son. Yet even with a full confession, a judge set the bail so low he was able to get out of jail and go on the run. Vanderwal quickly found refuge south of the U.S. border, eventually settling in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, which is where Lerma found him, almost a year and a half after police let a confessed pedophile walk free.

“The only way I can explain it is, I hunt…And when you’re hunting and you see an animal, there’s that adrenaline rush — can I take this shot? Can I do this?”

Lerma’s comments clearly indicated the fury she felt seeing Vanderwal attempting to be a free man in Mexico. Her son was being abused by the confessed pedophile while the boy was visiting his father. The two men were roommates. Lerma’s ex-husband actually walked in on Vanderwal molesting the boy, which resulted in police arresting him and charging him with three felonies: sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of a child by someone in a position of trust and sexual assault of a child younger than 15.

Vanderwal had been a volunteer at a youth ice hockey league for boys eight years old and younger but no one had been molested at the ice rink—just at the man’s home, the same home where Lerma’s ex-husband lived. Assuming the role of a family member, the boy was subjected to calling the man, “Uncle Drew.” The abuse took place over a four-month period of time.

Upon his arrest, Vanderwal fled, but not for long. Lerma tracked him down like a hunter on a quest to kill a predator. One motivating factor driving Lerma was what she discovered in “Uncle Drew’s” room. It was a box with “Drew” written on the top of it. The Coloradoan detailed the contents of what Lerma considered to be his treasure chest:

“A big black boot box, taped shut. ‘Drew’ was scrawled on the top in cursive. Lerma’s hands trembled as she ripped off the packing tape. Inside was a boy’s baseball glove, a Nerf gun, a sneaker. All labeled with the same boy’s name. In plastic storage tubs beside the box, she found more: stacks of kids’ drawings, primary colors and marker stick figures. Sheets of notebook paper coated in the misshapen and misspelled words of children: ‘Dear Drew, thank you so much for evrything you do for me…’ ‘I am sorry for misbehaiveing.’ ‘Please forgive me.’ Then there were the photos: Boys smiling as Vanderwal clutched their shoulders. Boys peering from class photos, family photos, team photos. Boys Lerma had never seen before. She sat there, crying and shaking as she rifled through what she described as Vanderwal’s ‘trophy chest.’

Outrage, disgust, and bewilderment might be the only adjectives Lerma would use to describe her interactions with police during the subsequent investigation. Not only did they not seem interested in interviewing parents of the children displayed in the photos but they reportedly told the mother they would not go “fishing for victims.

The DA reportedly told her to cool off, but that was not something she would do. She took it upon herself to find each parent and see if their son, too, had been a victim of “Uncle Drew.” Three more boys had been molested but only one went to the police. But by then, Vanderwal was gone. He fled Colorado and left his vehicle in El Paso when he crossed the border.

Lerma used her knowledge of information technology as a data resource manager to track him to Mexico. And, possibly, she tapped into her Apache roots to track him down once she hit the ground running. Lerma is also a Lipan Apache tribal member. Find him she did, predictably, around more children—apparent proof pedophiles never change their ways.

The angry mother was not only incensed enough to kill the man, she was capable enough as well. As an NRA-certified firearms instructor, she could have dispatched the confessed pedophile with precision and ease. She refrained, preferring to let the wheels of justice catch up with him and bring him back to face his judgment in court. The Coloradoan writes:

“She pestered police, the DA’s Office and the FBI for updates that she says rarely came. She contacted a private investigator. When she found out about Vanderwal’s abandoned car, she took to Facebook, which had long been her preferred platform for activism.”

Here is the video Lerma posted about four months after her son’s abuse was revealed and after she realized Vanderwal had fled to Mexico:

Catch A Pedophile

Catch A Pedophile – Andrew Todd Vanderwal*Please share this video and my plea.

Posted by Lydia Lerma on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lerma detailed the very real feelings she had, knowing her son’s predator had fled the country, coming to terms with her own sexual abuse she endured as a child and the strange phenomena that occurs when a young victim accuses an adult of sexual abuse. She also had harsh words for her son’s pedophile and others like him:

“I know who you are, and i have confronted you…and you know what you did…And you will pay for what you did…you may not pay through the legal system but I will let people know in one way or another what you’ve done. And for all you sick pedophiles out there it will catch up to you, you will pay for what you’ve done…If I have to head to Mexico and find this an I will do it.”

Lerma attempted to deal with her anxiety, trauma, and frustration with the justice system. According to the Coloradoan, she tried a lot of things to alleviate the anger, depression, and anxiety associated with the failed justice system. They write:

“In the ocean of days between Vanderwal’s reported confession and his return to Fort Collins, Lerma struggled to stay afloat. She couldn’t sleep without her son by her side. Sometimes she’d end up on the floor, sobbing in the fetal position. She’d go to the sweat lodge, burn sage, cedar and pollen. She tried medication, but it made her feel like a zombie.”

Even after locating several more victims and their families, after encouraging them to file police reports, and after several months of Facebook messages, Lerma finally decided that after a year it was time to take action on her own. She planned to quit her job, cash out her retirement, and go hunting for Vanderwal in Mexico. But then she received an anonymous tip in an email.

Hello. I’ve seen you’re looking for Andrew Todd Vanderwal. I have some information about him if you’re still looking for him,” the email said.

After exchanging several emails with the tipster, Lerma learned that Vanderwal had been living in a German Mennonite community in Cuauhtemoc, using aliases such as “Charlie Harper Penner” and “Andrew Webster.”

The anonymous contact also gave Lerma the pedophile’s new cell phone number, his WhatsApp profile, and told her that “Uncle Drew” had taken up coaching a boy’s baseball team in the Mexican city. Lerma passed all of the new information along to FBI Agent Philip Jones, who reportedly told her in a text message:

“Lydia, I know your desire to get this guy, but DO NOT go to Cuauhtemoc. There’s nothing positive you can accomplish that is not already in the process of being accomplished.”

By the time Lerma received the message, she had already landed in Mexico with tons of cash in hand to get Vanderwal arrested and deported back to the U.S. for trial—but that plan was derailed by the FBI who told her Mexican authorities would likely tip off Vanderwal. Lerm’s new plan entailed getting close enough to take pictures to prove Vanderwal was living in Cuauhtemoc.

Armed with a camera, Lerma located Vanderwal and lured him to an Applebee’s parking lot in Mexico where she took his picture. He was wearing a shirt which read, “Live and Let Live.

She sent the pictures to the FBI station in Mexico and asked them to arrest him by her birthday, which was February 13. On February 19, she got a text message that said, “Happy Belated Birthday.” After his arrest and return to Fort Collins, Colorado, Judge Susan Blanco raised Vanderwal’s bail to $750,000. He remains behind bars, but it is just a small consolation in a yearslong ordeal.

“To me, that’s mental torture. To have to visit this every day, and think about it every day. And if you think about it too much, you go all the way back to what actually happened, and that’s the most devastating thought of all. Somehow we’ve got to get past it,” Lerma told The Coloradoan.

Lerma said she won’t be able to rest until Vanderwal is permanently behind bars.

“Death would be too easy for Vanderwal,” Lerma said. “I want him to wear that scarlet letter for the rest of his life. I want him to have to face those other inmates, I want him to face the court, I want him to face his parents, I want him to face his peers—knowing that he’s a pedophile. I want him to live knowing the world knows that.”

One mother’s quest for justice could have been much simpler. The authorities should have done a better job with the investigation, which would have uncovered a pattern of abuse and a story of a serial pedophile. Vanderwal could have remained behind bars awaiting trial, not given a chump change amount of bail. He could have been quickly arrested by the FBI when it was clear he was there in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico. Lerma’s determination should have been shared by the FBI and Fort Collins police. Instead, they sat back and let a mother do what they could have and should have done—taken matters into their own hands.

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Source Article from https://thefreethoughtproject.com/after-police-allow-confessed-pedophile-to-flee-mom-becomes-vigilante-hunts-down-sons-abuser/

Censorship is how those in charge control public discourse – and we allow it by not educating ourselves about the facts


Image: Censorship is how those in charge control public discourse – and we allow it by not educating ourselves about the facts

(Natural News)
Censorship is very much in the news, with the latest example being the effort by the progressive movement to silence pro-Trump Fox News host Laura Ingraham after a petty social media dustup with a Parkland high school student who champions gun control. Ingraham has apologized, but advertisers have been pressured and intimidated by a far-left mob and the predictable manufactured outrage from Internet trolls and are now pulling their ads from her show.

Apart from corporate censorship that is emerging in the cable news realm, Natural News readers are, of course, well aware that Silicon Valley is working overtime to censor independent online media and those perceived as conservative leaning. Techniques used by Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms such as outright bans, suspensions, shadow banning, throttling, de-monetizing, de-platforming, and manipulating algorithms to suppress legitimate populist-oriented voices, including those who support President Trump’s America First agenda, are all in play.

In an essay titled “Illiteracy Leads to Censorship,” journalist Jon Rappoport suggests that these so-called ministers of truth or gatekeepers are losing the war of ideas, however, but in the meantime, illiteracy is a way to manipulate the masses.

From The Waking Times:

When those who control public discourse, in a nation, see that they are losing to upstarts, that their flimsy ideas are being supplanted by much stronger ideas from these newcomers (who are actually traditionalists), the shocked controllers turn to the more direct strategy of censorship. …

Among their supporters are crowds of illiterates. …

Elite societal players welcome illiteracy. They love it…Ignorance is good. More than that, illiterate people are easy to convince that repressive censorship isn’t a problem. It’s just something that “happens.”…

Illiteracy is more effective than political correctness. Untold numbers of people can’t understand the sentences that are floating and flying by them every day. They register this by building up anger. Unfocused anger. They are perfect fodder for know-nothing social and political movements that require violence and repression.

Specifically in response to censorship by what he describes as the techno-tyrants running Google-owned YouTube, Health Ranger Mike Adams, the founding editor of Natural News,  has announced the creation of Real.Video, a p2p file sharing infrastructure for videos and other content such as audio files, PDF files, text files and HTML.

Earlier this month YouTube summarily deleted the entire 1,700 video catalog on the Health Ranger video channel.

Most, if not all, of the tech giants, by the way, support so-called net neutrality but they seem less enamored with content neutrality. (Related: Read more about Orwellian censorship and attacks on the Second Amendment at LiberalMob.com.)

Writing about the Laura Ingraham controversy, The Daily Caller noted that “The effort against Ingraham is only the latest example of the Left weaponizing corporate power to stifle conservative viewpoints.”

Parenthetically, worldwide web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee is among the luminaries calling for the regulation of the dominant tech giants so that free speech can be restored across the Internet.

“The Internet may have been invented with machine language, but the writers who have appeared on it are multiplying their own language. They are outdistancing the machine. They always will,” Rappoport concluded.

In the end, do you think that free speech will prevail?

Sources include:

WakingTimes.com

DailyCaller.com

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2018-03-31-censorship-is-how-those-in-charge-control-public-discourse.html

Will the Establishment allow a Trump-Kim summit?

Trump Kim Jong Un

    

Events in the US since President Trump agreed to South Korean President Moon’s proposal that he meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un show (1) the extent to which the US elite including large sections of the US government’s bureaucracy are willing President Trump to lose despite the huge damage this threatens the US; and (2) how President Trump’s foreign policy instincts are often superior to those of the foreign policy veterans or “adults” which whom he has become surrounded.

Firstly, it is now clear that President Trump’s decision to agree to President Moon’s proposal for a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un was his own.

Apparently when he was told of the proposal by the South Korean delegation which came to brief him about the talks the South Koreans had just had with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, he immediately and enthusiastically agreed to it without first consulting any of his advisers.

Moreover it seems his excitement was so great that he even let slip news of the big announcement which was coming at the Gridiron Dinner.

It seems that none of the key officials of the government – Secretary of State Tillerson (currently on a tour of Africa), Defense Secretary Mattis or National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster – were consulted.

Not only were key officials of the US government not consulted, but there is no secret about their concern and displeasure, whilst the US media is now united with expressions of concern that by agreeing to meet with Kim Jong-un President Trump has walked into some kind of trap. In his typical earthy way President Trump has even tweeted about it

Not surprisingly, there are already attempts to hedge the summit meeting with preconditions, with White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders already talking about unspecified ‘concrete steps’ North Korea must take place before the summit meeting can happen at all

The president will not have the meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea, so the president will actually be getting something

It is also being said – apparently in all seriousness – that President Trump’s agreement to meet with Kim Jong-un reverses a previously unknown US policy not to meet with North Korea’s leaders lest this might lend them ‘legitimacy’.

Apparently Kim Jong-un’s father Kim Jong-il had repeatedly sought a summit meeting with the US President, only for his requests to be spurned by the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

All I would say about that is that I have never heard of such a policy before, but that if such a policy does exist then it is wrong, has visibly failed, and should be immediately reversed.

Suffice to say that when Kim Jong-il apparently first requested a summit meeting with US President Bill Clinton in the 1990s North Korea did not have nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Now it has both.

In other words refusing to meet with North Korea’s leaders has not denied them ‘legitimacy’; it has merely made them pursue their strategic weapons programme more aggressively, resulting in the opposite outcome to the one intended.

If President Trump has indeed reversed a policy of not meeting with North Korea’s leaders, then he should be commended – not criticised – for reversing a policy which has utterly and completely failed.

In any event this criticism ignores the fact that this latest proposal for a summit did not originate with the North Koreans. It clearly comes from the South Koreans whose President Moon Jae-in is looking to President Trump for political cover so that he can press ahead with his dialogue with the North.

Refusing the proposal for a summit would deal a major political blow to President Moon Jae-in, quite possibly inclining him to cut the US further out of the steps he is taking to pursue dialogue with the North, which cannot be in the US’s interests.

US critics of the Trump-Kim summit need to understand that the US is not the only player in this game and that it is a mistake to see this as a one-to-one confrontation between North Korea and the US.

Not only are the South Koreans taking an active and independent role in the diplomacy, but President Trump himself has just got a call from a very powerful player with a big stake in the game who will have made it very clear that he wants the summit to go ahead.

That player was no less a person than Chinese President Xi Jinping, who took time off from a key meeting of China’s National People’s Congress to telephone President Trump in order to make clear China’s wish that the Trump-Kim summit takes place and that progress towards a comprehensive settlement of the Korean conflict takes place.

Here is how China’s Xinhua news agency reports the call

Speaking by telephone, Xi told Trump that he appreciates the US president’s desire to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue politically, hoping that the United States and the DPRK will start dialogue as soon as possible and strive for positive results.

Xi added that he hopes all parties concerned will show goodwill and avoid doing anything which might affect or interfere with the improving situation on the peninsula, calling on them to maintain the positive momentum on the Korean Peninsula issue.

Xi also told Trump that China and the United States should focus on cooperation, control differences, promote win-win economic cooperation, and push for new advancement of bilateral relations in the new year.

Regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Trump said the nuclear issue has shown positive development recently, adding that a high-level meeting between the United States and the DPRK meets the interests of all parties, hoping for an eventually peaceful solution to the nuclear issue.

It has been proved that President Xi is right to insist on a dialogue between the United States and the DPRK, Trump said, adding that the US side highly appreciates and values China’s significant role in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with China over the issue, Trump said.

Xi pointed out that China remains persistent in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and resolving the nuclear issue through talks.

At present, the positive changes in the situation on the Korean Peninsula are conducive to putting the denuclearization process back on the right track of settlement through dialogue, which is also in line with the direction set by UN Security Council resolutions concerning the DPRK, Xi said.

“I believe that as long as all parties adhere to the general direction of political and diplomatic settlement, we will surely push forward the Korean Peninsula issue in the direction that the international community has been looking forward to,” Xi said.

(bold italics added)

It is unusual for Xinhua to quote words Xi Jinping actually used in a telephone call with another world leader, yet this is what it has just done in relation to the conversation Xi Jinping and Donald Trump have just had with each other. Moreover the words which Xinhua has quoted make clear China’s concern that the dialogue be continued.

On any objective assessment the storm of anger and criticism news of the Trump-Kim summit has provoked is baffling.

The critics have no alternative to offer other than the same policy of endless confrontation that has failed so dismally up to now.

As for the summit itself, what exactly is it that they fear? President Trump is hardly in a position to give the whole US position away. No one is expecting a comprehensive settlement of the whole conflict emerging from a single summit, and it is absurd to talk as if that is what might happen. Months and probably years of hard negotiating lie ahead.

However if a negotiation is going to succeed the parties must at some point meet, and that is all the South Koreans and the North Koreans are proposing, and all that President Trump has agreed to.

Personally I cannot escape the feeling that the true cause of the alarm of at least some of the critics of the proposed Trump-Kim summit is that they do not want President Trump – who they have spent years ridiculing as an infantile narcissist – to prove them wrong by achieving a major diplomatic success. President Trump’s tweet which I have quoted above shows that he thinks the same.

However there is almost certainly a more sinister agenda at work as well.

It is difficult to avoid the impression that some people in the US do not want to see the confrontation with North Korea end, not just because they balk at the idea of the US making concessions and because the Korean conflict is for the US’s military industries highly lucrative but because they fear that an end to the Korean conflict might undermine the US’s position in the north east Pacific and might result in South Korea going its own way.

Some of the criticisms which have been made of the President Trump’s agreement to attend the Trump-Kim summit look suspiciously like the start of a campaign by these people to abort prospects for a Korean settlement.

Given the entrenched positions these people hold in the US government and in the US media, there is no guarantee they will fail, and no guarantee that in the face of the obstacles they are putting before it the Trump-Kim summit will take place.

It is to be earnestly hoped that President Trump this time sticks to his decision and presses ahead with the summit. As I have said previously, a great opportunity to make the deal of his life stands before him. In his own interests and in the interests of the US he should not spurn it but seize it.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/379744-Will-the-Establishment-allow-a-Trump-Kim-summit

Woman petitions San Francisco airport to allow her to open a sex shop

San Francisco  International airport

    

Nenna Joiner thinks a sex shop would be a perfect fit for San Francisco International Airport.

“When people get into an airport, and the plane is delayed, you got three or four hours to kill,” the owner of Oakland’s Feelmore Adult Gallery told the San Francisco Chronicle. “You’re going to need something. Not just a power cord – not just a sandwich. You’re going to need a vibrator, a condom, lubricant.”

Joiner says her proposed “pop-up” shop wouldn’t offer products banned by the Transportation Safety Administration, such as ropes or handcuffs, according to KGO.

And the shop would be discreet, she told the Chronicle.

“We have already started to work to make sure that people wouldn’t be offended, through high-end vibrators that don’t look like vibrators, and that don’t have disparaging detail on the boxes,” Joiner told the publication. “That (the products) support any person regardless of gender, sex, or color.”

But her bid for one of two spots opening in March has run afoul of an airport requirement that prospective retailers have at least $250,000 in annual sales, the Chronicle reported. Joiner has asked the airport commission to reduce the requirement to $150,000.

“It’s not to say I’m not looking for a handout, but it’s also looking for evening the playing field,” Joiner told KGO.

Grier Matthews, marketing manager for the airport, noted in a statement that the $250,000 requirement ensures “the retailer has a sufficient level of business activity and can operate in a high-volume airport environment,” KGO reported.

Matthews is not the first small business owner to run afoul of the airport’s requirements. Teresa Hagiya, a co-owner of Wink SF gift shop, applied for a pop-up retail spot in 2016, but was shocked to find her Noe Valley shop competing against the Exploratorium Museum Store for the space, reported the San Francisco Examiner. Hagiya said airport officials had told her the purpose of the program was to benefit local small businesses.

“Say I had a softball team, and you find you’re competing against the Giants,” she said. “You’d go, ‘Wow, hey, I didn’t know they were accepted into this league.’ ”

San Francisco International Airport served a record 55.8 million passengers in 2017, reported airport officials.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/379372-Woman-petitions-San-Francisco-airport-to-allow-her-to-open-a-sex-shop

California to Allow Testing of Self-Driving Cars Without a Driver Present






California to Allow Testing of Self-Driving Cars Without a Driver Present


February 27th, 2018

Thinking about the security side of this sends a chill down my spine.

We’ve all heard of botnets.

We’re probably not more than a couple of years away from the first botnet consisting of thousands of autonomous vehicles. I have roughly zero confidence that the security around autonomous vehicles will be sufficient to prevent this from happening.

Via: TechCrunch:

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles established new rules announced Monday that will allow tech companies and others working on driverless vehicle systems to begin trialling their cars without a safety driver at the wheel. The new rules go into effect starting April 2.

Until now, the DMV has allowed companies approved for autonomous vehicle testing to run their cars on the roads, with autonomous driving systems engaged, provided that there’s a trained safety driver behind the wheel ready and able to take over manual control. Now, the regulators are updating their rules to allow for fully driverless test, which is a key step along the route towards actually deploying self-driving vehicles in a commercial capacity.

This doesn’t mean test vehicles will be out there on the roads without any kind of human intervention backup – the DMV will require that those testing autonomous cars without a driver present have a dedicated communications channel that ties the car to a remote operator, who can take over if needed. The cars will also need to be hardened against cyber attacks and be able to provide their owner and operator info to any other parties in the event of an accident.















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State Takes Child from Parents Because They Refused to Allow Her to Become Transgender

transgendertransgender

There is a complex set of factors for determining if a person is transgender. While science hasn’t nailed down the exact physiological and neurological markers to determine what makes a person have gender distress, there is no doubt that it exists. If individuals identify with a different gender than they were born, it is no one’s right to prevent them from remedying it. That being said, should young children who feel they may be in gender distress be taken from their parents who chose to make them wait until they are adults to have procedures?

This is exactly what has happened in Ohio.

This month, Hamilton County Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon stripped custody rights from an Ohio couple because they refused to allow her to become a transgendered boy.

Prosecutors successfully argued that the child need to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible to prevent her from becoming suicidal. The state further argued that the 17-year-old girl was being traumatized by her parents’ unwillingness to call her by a male name. According to an earlier CNN story, the grandparents’ attorney, Jeffrey Cutcher, told the court that “even seeing [her] birth name on documents has caused trauma.”

The New American reports:

Perhaps worst of all — from the county’s perspective — the parents had the audacity to base at least some of their opposition to their daughter’s desires on their religious beliefs. “The teen’s lawyer, Thomas Mellott, said [her] parents had [her] enrolled at a Catholic school where [she] was made to wear dresses and answer to [her] birth name,” wrote CNN. The girl herself alleged that she felt unsafe in her parents’ home, saying her father had told her to kill herself because she was “going to hell anyway,” and that she was forced to attend “Christian” therapy that consisted of listening to Bible verses for hours on end.

The parents’ attorney, Karen Brinkman, denied the allegations and said the parents’ objections were not solely based on their religious beliefs. She maintained that they “have done their due diligence contacting medical professionals, collecting thousands of hours of research and relying on … their observation of their own child … that led them to the conclusion that this is not in their child’s best interest.” In fact, they believe hormone therapy “would do more harm than good,” she said.

“It does not appear that this child is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time,” Brinkman further argued. She added that granting custody to the grandparents “would simply be a way for the child to circumvent the necessity of parents’ consent.”

Now, the teenager is under the custody of the state while they grant her permission to temporarily live with her grandparents.

“We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will … make this sort of decision best for the child,” attorney Paul Hunt, who represents the guardian, told the court. “The parents have clearly indicated that they’re not open to it.”

As the state claims that the parents are wrong because they wanted to get her therapy instead of hormone treatment, under the terms of the court’s decision, that’s what has to happen anyway.

Although she can legally change her name, before undergoing the hormone therapy the child must be “evaluated by a psychologist who is not affiliated with the current facility where [she] is receiving treatment, on ‘the issue of consistency in the child’s gender presentation, and feelings of non-conformity,’” noted CNN.

“What is clear from the testimony presented in this case and the increasing worldwide interest in transgender care is that there is certainly a reasonable expectation that circumstances similar to the one at bar are likely to repeat themselves,” Hendon wrote. “That type of legislation would give a voice and a pathway to youth similarly situated as [the child] without attributing fault to the parents and involving them in protracted litigation which can and does destroy a family unit.”

While the judge may have her mind made up, there are many in the scientific arena who recommend children wait until they reach adulthood before making such life-changing decisions.

“These kids are not old enough to make life-changing decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. It’s unethical to pursue this line of treatment with children who cannot possibly understand what they’re doing,” Stephanie Davies-Arai, of Transgender Trend, a parent group concerned about the rise of children identifying as the opposite sex said.

But puberty itself, even for non-transgenders, is distressing. Some of these children may be misguided and not be transgender at all, but they are given these powerful drugs anyway.

Also, as psychiatry professor Paul McHugh points out, “most children who identify as the opposite sex will eventually come to identify as their biological sex.”

Until much more is known about gender dysphoria, and until controlled clinical trials of puberty-suppression are carried out, this intervention should be considered experimental.

Regardless of the good intentions of the physicians and parents, to expose young people to such treatments is to endanger them. 

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/state-parents-custody-transgender/

Jeff Sessions Rescinds Legal Doc to Allow Police to Jail People for Being Poor

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In addition to his “War on Cannabis,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently revealed that he is also in favor of a “War on Poverty,” when he rescinded a legal guidance document that was meant to end illegal debtors’ prisons.

While debtors’ prisons are labeled as institutions to keep people from failing to pay fines and debts, they have been used to take advantage of impoverished, low-income individuals. A simple traffic ticket can turn into months in prison, which results in even greater fines. As defined by the American Civil Liberties Union:

“Nearly two centuries ago, the United States formally abolished the incarceration of people who failed to pay off debts. Yet, recent years have witnessed the rise of modern-day debtors’ prisons—the arrest and jailing of poor people for failure to pay legal debts they can never hope to afford, through criminal justice procedures that violate their most basic rights.”

The legal guidance rescinded by Sessions was one that was implemented by the Department of Justice in 2016. It states that courts are required to follow constitutional principles and to prohibit the imprisonment of poor individuals because they cannot pay court fines and fees.

Sessions rescinded the March 2016 “Dear Colleague Letter on Enforcement of Fines and Fees” last week, along with 25 other legal documents dating back to 1975. In a statement, he claimed that he was “ending 25 examples of improper or unnecessary guidance documents” that had been identified by a DOJ task force:

“Last month, I ended the longstanding abuse of issuing rules by simply publishing a letter or posting a web page. Congress has provided for a regulatory process in statute, and we are going to follow it. This is good government and prevents confusing the public with improper and wrong advice. Therefore, any guidance that is outdated, used to circumvent the regulatory process, or that improperly goes beyond what is provided for in statutes or regulation should not be given effect. That is why today, we are ending 25 examples of improper or unnecessary guidance documents identified by our Regulatory Reform Task Force led by our Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.  We will continue to look for other examples to rescind, and we will uphold the rule of law.”

The guidance was originally put in place after a series of reports and lawsuits from the ACLU revealed that state and local courts were increasingly offsetting budget deficits by charging additional fees for public defenders, prosecutors, court administration, jail operation and probation supervision,” and that the courts were using “aggressive tactics to collect these unpaid fines and fees, including for traffic offenses and other low-level offenses.

As a result, the courts were then jailing people who fell behind on their payments, without holding a hearing to determine if the individual was able to pay the fines, or offering alternatives such as community service.

The ACLU argued that because the courts were imprisoning an individual based on the fact that he or she could not pay court-imposed fines or fees, the court was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees due process and equal protection under the law.

In one case, a man undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer in Sherwood, Arkansas, spent 90 days in jail and ended up owing a court more than $3,000 after he wrote a series of bad checks for small amounts ranging from $5 to $41, and his medical condition prevented him from earning money to pay for the fines associated with the checks.

Another case involved a veteran battling homelessness in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who spent 22 days in jail because he showed up to court with $25 out of the $50 the judge wanted him to pay as the first installment for the $2,600 he owed in restitution, fines and court fees after he was found intoxicated, on the roof of a building.

Ultimately, the only ones who benefit from debtors’ prisons are the prisons themselves, and the people who suffer are the ones who find themselves facing jail time on top of the inflated fees and fines they already cannot afford to pay.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/war-poverty-sessions-pushes-allowing-illegal-debtors-prisons/

University of New South Wales: Chip Design Will Allow Quantum Calculations to be Performed Using Silicon






University of New South Wales: Chip Design Will Allow Quantum Calculations to be Performed Using Silicon


December 17th, 2017

Disclosure: I have invested in technology related to quantum computing.

Via: zdnet:

A team of engineers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has unveiled the design of a working chip that can integrate quantum interactions.

According to UNSW, the design, which can be manufactured using mostly standard industry processes and components, comprises a “novel architecture” that allows quantum calculations to be performed using existing semiconductor components, known as CMOS — complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. CMOS is the basis for all modern chips.

“We often think of landing on the Moon as humanity’s greatest technological marvel, but creating a microprocessor chip with a billion operating devices integrated together to work like a symphony — that you can carry in your pocket — is an astounding technical achievement, and one that’s revolutionised modern life,” Andrew Dzurak, director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW, said.

“With quantum computing, we are on the verge of another technological leap that could be as deep and transformative. But a complete engineering design to realise this on a single chip has been elusive. I think what we have developed at UNSW now makes that possible. And most importantly, it can be made in a modern semiconductor manufacturing plant.”

The chip design, published in the journal Nature Communications, was devised by Dzurak alongside Dr Menno Veldhorst, who is the lead author of the paper and was a research fellow at UNSW when the conceptual work was performed.

“Remarkable as they are, today’s computer chips cannot harness the quantum effects needed to solve the really important problems that quantum computers will,” Veldhorst added.

Instead, a large number of working quantum bits (qubits) will need to work in tandem to achieve the processing power quantum computers are slated to deliver.

“Our design incorporates conventional silicon transistor switches to ‘turn on’ operations between qubits in a vast two-dimensional array, using a grid-based ‘word’ and ‘bit’ select protocol similar to that used to select bits in a conventional computer memory chip,” he added.

“By selecting electrodes above a qubit, we can control a qubit’s spin, which stores the quantum binary code of a 0 or 1. And by selecting electrodes between the qubits, two-qubit logic interactions, or calculations, can be performed between qubits.”

As a useful universal quantum computer will require a large number of qubits, the engineers at the university need to use error-correcting codes that employ multiple qubits to store a single piece of data.

“Our chip blueprint incorporates a new type of error-correcting code designed specifically for spin qubits, and involves a sophisticated protocol of operations across the millions of qubits. It’s the first attempt to integrate into a single chip all of the conventional silicon circuitry needed to control and read the millions of qubits needed for quantum computing,” Dzurak explained.















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Pentagon To Defy Trump And Allow Transgender Servicemembers




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The Pentagon will allow transgender individuals to enlist in the armed forces as of January 1st, 2018, according to a report by the Associated Press.

This is in defiance of President Trump who tweeted in July that after consulting with his Generals he had made the decision to restrict transgender people from serving in the US military.

The President stated the military must focus on decisive victory and cannot be burdened with the exorbitant medical costs and other hardships that undeniably accompany transgender men and women.

The new policy decision by the Pentagon comes amid mounting social and legal pressure to deny biological differences between males and females.

Two federal courts have ruled against Trump’s attempt at a ban on transgender recruits; however, one wonders at the validity of such motions after the Supreme Court ruled against the activist judges that attempted to block the President’s travel ban.

Regardless, the January 1st guideline will be executed as required, and should the Trump administration make any appeals against the decision it will not be reversed or put on hold until the final ruling is made.

The timing of this policy announcement signals that the Pentagon has little faith that any legal attempts to reinstate the ban will be successful, yet it is possible this issue also will be taken to the Supreme Court which should be expected to rule in the President’s favor as he has the utmost authority over the military as the Commander-in-Chief.

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