Category Archives: Technology

Video: When astronauts rise from the dead

If you are 40 years or older, you may remember January 28th 1986. It was the day of a huge NASA catastrophe off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, where Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in a tremendous burst over the Atlantic.

Now, for a second time this matter leaves the world breathless. Though, this latest shock even surpasses the one of 30 years ago. At least six of the seven Challenger crew members are said to be still alive; four of them even under the same name.

Open the Video

Now, for a second time this matter leaves the world breathless. Though, this latest shock even surpasses the one of 30 years ago. At least six of the seven Challenger crew members are said to be still alive; four of them even under the same name.

Source of the video: NASA cant pass the van allen belt, yet many “astronauts” say that they have already passed it, but other “astronauts” say they’re working on getting passed it, it’s hard to keep up with all these lies.

The real reason they cant get through the van allen belt is because it doesn’t exist, the earth is flat and their is a dome blocking the above called the firmament.

Learn The Real Reason Why NASA Can’t Get Past Their FAKE Van Allen Belts – Research Flat Earth

We need to start wonder why they are faking the space, the flat earth and many more things to us? Do we really know the world that we live in? Is time to wake up people and make your own research because many things in our world are not like they have been told us.

Through pseudo-science books and programs, mass media and public education, universities and government propaganda, the world has been systematically brain-washed, slowly indoctrinated over centuries into the unquestioning belief of the greatest lie of all time.

The flat Earth population is increasing rapidly and have presented strong evidence supporting the flat Earth, while the round earthers just seem to attack the credibility or sanity of the individual creating the video without really presenting any real evidence of their own.

All oceans on Earth are demonstrably level. No curve exists. If the Water in the lakes and oceans is always level and it makes up 71% of our Earth, then how the Earth can be round? Air planes fly level and don’t account for the curve.

Earth is clearly level and motionless: The True World – Noiseless Flat Earth – The Truth Under the Firmament – Documentary

Use these videos as a tool to share awareness of the amazing, clockwork like designed, beautiful, level earth we live on.

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After “Hammer Blow” From Google, A “Paralyzed” Huawei Scrambles To Develop Its Own Operating System

On Monday, Beijing woke up to a new, and far more dire trade war reality for its flagship telecom company: Google which in 2005 bought Android, whose software has since become the most popular mobile operating system in the world, said it would stop supplying Huawei with Android software in order to comply with a US government ban.

Speaking to the FT, Tim Watkins, head of Huawei in Western Europe, said the company had been “astounded” by the ban, but said Huawei was “as well prepared as we could have been.”

Perhaps… yet even so analysts said being cut off from Android was what the FT dubbed “a hammer blow” to a company whose smartphone business has been soaring in recent years, and rose 50% year-on-year to 59 million in the first quarter, while its rivals Samsung and Apple dropped 10% and 23% respectively. In all of 2018, the company shipped some 200 million smartphones, most of them preloaded with Android software.

“Huawei seemed to have unstoppable momentum but with one single blow this could undermine their ambition to become the world’s largest smartphone maker,” said Ben Wood, principal analyst at CCS Insight. Another telecom consultant quoted by the FT, said that the move by Google was the clearest sign yet that Huawei’s partners are “abandoning ship”. He predicted that Washington would begin to “really squeeze the supply line properly now”.

Even without further squeezing, Huawei is in deep trouble: the world’s second-largest smartphone maker is already facing the prospect of being shut out of the world’s most popular smartphone operating system after being placed on a “banned entity” list by the White House, which forbids US companies to supply it with technology.

But with China reportedly being the party that instigated the collapse in trade negotiations in their late stage, surely Beijing, and Huawei was prepared for this contingency?

Not really.

According to a separate report by the FT, Huawei said “it will be able to roll out its own mobile phone operating system “very quickly” if its smartphones are cut off from Google’s Android software.”

Which they now are. And while Huawei is confident that it will have its own (reverse-engineered knock off) operating system “soon”, the bottom line is that the Chinese telecom giant has no Plan B available right now.

This is a major problem for the company which on Tuesday will launch its new flagship Honor phone in London. But, as the FT reports, “networks such as Vodafone and EE are reviewing whether they can press ahead with Huawei handsets at the heart of their launch strategy for 5G, the next generation of mobile internet.”

Scrambling to find alternatives, Huawei has promised its customers that their current phones would continue to work, and have access to Google’s Play Store to buy apps, although it is unclear based on what it can make such a representation. Indeed, as Tim Watkins warned: “The future is not so certain.” Huawei has cast itself as the victim of the ongoing trade war between the US and China, and Watkins said the company was “caught in the middle”.

Watkins also said the group had been preparing for the worst, after becoming a target for the US last year, and that it had been working on its own operating system, which “can kick in very quickly”. He noted that the OS has been trialled in some parts of China.

It was unclear if the name of the new OS will be iSpy 1.0.

Joking aside, creating a new operating system is not a trivial matter: China’s online retail giant, Alibaba, tried to build “China’s Android” but ended up locking horns with Google over just how different its Aliyun OS was from Android. Its successor, ALIOS, is based on Android. Similarly, Samsung has failed to gain much traction for its Linux-based Tizen operating system.

Plan B

Huawei, which in addition to Android on mobile phones uses Microsoft’s Windows on its laptops and tablets which will likely be targeted next, has long sought to develop its own operating systems. In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, and subsequently confirmed by Huawei, Richard Yu, chief executive of the consumer division, said the company would “be prepared” in the event of any blacklisting.

“That’s our plan B. But of course we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft,” he told the German publication in March. Microsoft declined to comment.

Adding to Huawei’s headaches, the company relies on chips made by Qualcomm and Intel and following earlier news that these US tech giants may be next to shut off supplies to Huawei, Watkins said the company has stockpiled five years of spare parts for its phones and one year’s worth of components.

That’s great, the only problem is that such a strategy virtually paralyzes Huawei’s future development. Worse, Citi analysts published a research report saying the potential software ban “could paralyse Huawei’s smartphone and equipment business.”

To be sure, the worst case scenario could result in a far more dire outcome: if Google blocks Huawei from Android, which is used on nearly three-quarters of the world’s mobile phones and offers more than 2.5m apps, the Chinese company will still be able to use the basic, open-source version of the software.

But its future smartphones may lose access to apps including YouTube, Gmail and Maps, and to the Google Play store and to security updates. This is likely to have a severe effect on their attractiveness to consumers outside of China, where many Google apps are already banned.

The hit to the company’s top and bottom line would be severe: while Huawei does not break out its smartphones business, last year it said that the consumer business contributed 48% of company revenue. Richard Windsor, an independent analyst, said losing the Google ecosystem “is very likely to cost Huawei all of its smartphone shipments outside China” — which, according to data consultancies including Counterpoint Research, is about half its total.

No wonder then that Huawei’s bonds are plunging at the fastest pace on record…

… as the company’s offshore creditors flee for both fundamental reasons, as the company’s cash flow is expected to grind to a halt, as well as concerns they may be forced to liquidate any securities belonging to the Chinese telecom.

Saxo Bank’s head of equity strategy, Peter Garnry, said Google’s move was “the starting signal of a technology cold war”, adding: “What we are witnessing is a potential reconfiguration of global trade.” Although, in an ironic twist, the strategist believes that “US companies with significant revenue exposure to Greater China (both the mainland and Hong Kong) are the ones facing the most downside risk from any further escalation of the trade war.”

If Garnry is correct, watch for China to do everything in its power to respond by hitting the US where it hurts the most: the sale and production of iPhones. We can only wonder if Tim Cook will be as unprepared as Huawei is, when China blocks not only the sale of iPhones and apps on the mainland, but also bars all the assembly of iPhones for the foreseeable future…

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We are on the verge of a no-win AI arms race, warns NGO

The close-in weapons system features many autonomous characteristics, which can inform policymakers about how to craft international treaties regarding any future developments towards lethal autonomous weapon systems.

When it comes to deciding to kill a human in a time of war, should a machine make that decision or should another human?

The question is a moral one, brought to the foreground by the techniques and incentives of modern technology. It is a question whose scope falls squarely under the auspices of international law, and one which nations have debated for years. Yet it’s also a collective action problem, one that requires not just states, but also companies and workers in companies to come to an agreement to forgo a perceived advantage. The danger is not so much in making a weapon, but in making a weapon that can choose targets independently of the human responsible initiating its action.

In a May 8 report from Pax — a nonprofit with the explicit goal of protecting civilians from violence, reducing armed conflict, and building a just peace — the agency looked at the existing state of artificial intelligence in weaponry and urged nations, companies and workers to think about how to prevent an AI arms race, instead of thinking about how to win one. Without corrective action, the report warned, the status quo could lead all participants into a no-win situation, with any advantage gained from developing an autonomous weapon temporary and limited.

“We see this emerging AI arms race and we think if nothing happens that that is a major threat to humanity,” said Frank Slijper, one of the authors on the report. “There is a window of opportunity to stop an AI arms race from happening. States should try to prevent an AI arms race and work toward international regulation. In the meantime, companies and research institutes have a major responsibility themselves to make sure that that work in AI and related fields is not contributing to potential lethal autonomous weapons.”

The report is written with a specific eye toward the seven leading AI powers. These include the five permanent members of the UN security council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the report details the artificial intelligence research of Israel and South Korea, both countries whose geographic and political postures have encouraged the development of military AI.

“We identified the main players in terms of use and research and development efforts on both AI and military use of AI in increasingly autonomous weapons. I couldn’t think of anyone, any state we would have missed out from these seven,” Slijper said. “Of course, there’s always a number eight and the number nine.”

For each covered AI power, the report examines the state of AI, the role of AI in the military, and what is known of cooperation between AI developers in the private sector or universities and the military. With countries like the United States, where military AI programs are named, governing policies can be pointed to, and debates over the relationship of commercial AI to military use is known, the report details that process. The thoroughness of the research is used to underscore Pax’s explicitly activist mission, though it also provides a valuable survey of the state of AI in the world.

As the report maintains throughout, this role of AI in weaponry isn’t just a question for governments. It’s a question for the people in charge of companies, and a question for the workers creating AI for companies.

“Much of it has to do with the rather unique character of AI-infused weapons technology,” Slijper said. “Traditionally, a lot of the companies now working on AI were working on it from a purely civilian perspective to do good and to help humanity. These companies weren’t traditionally military producers or dominant suppliers to the military. If you work for an arms company, you know what you’re working for.”

In the United States, there’s been expressed resistance to contributing to Pentagon contracts from laborers in the tech sector. Google workers complained after learning of the company’s commitment to Project Maven, which developed a drone-footage processing AI for the military,and then the company’s leadership agreed to sunset the project. (Project Maven is now managed by the Peter Thiel-backed Andruil.)

Microsoft, too, experienced worker resistance to military use of its augmented reality tool HoloLens, with some workers writing a letter stating that in the Pentagon’s hands, the sensors and processing of the headset made it dangerously close to a weapon component. The workers specifically noted that they had built HoloLens “to help teach people how to perform surgery or play the piano, to push the boundaries of gaming, and to connect with the Mars Rover,” all of which is a far cry from aiding the military in threat identification on patrol.

“It is, for a lot of people working in the tech sector, quite disturbing that, while initially, that company was mainly or only working on civilian applications of that technology, now more and more they see these technologies also been used for military projects or even lethal weaponry,” said Slijper.

Slijper points to the Protocol on Blind Weapons as a way the international community regulated a technology with both civilian and military applications to ensure its use fell within the laws of war.

In an April 25 hearing before the Defense Innovation Board, Pentagon general counsel tried pitching Silicon Valley on developing AI for the military as a way to make weapons more precise and more ethical. The argument received some public criticism, with one observer noting the difference between accuracy in hitting a target and accuracy in correctly identifying a lawful target of war before deciding to fire a weapon.

Slijper echoed that ethical concern, and used as an example the difference between a missile that hits a target five minutes after it is fired, versus a loitering munition that could stay aloft for two days before it selects a target.

“When you fire a missile, there is no unclarity about what the target will be,” said Slijper. “If there is a larger amount of time between the launch and the eventual impact, things can happen in between. Civilian targets may show up that are not recognized by that loitering munition as such. Other changes in the environment may take place to change the original target plan. The longer distance in time in this case makes human control insufficient to be in line with the requirements of international humanitarian law.”

The above scenario is ethically fraught in irregular warfare, and could have catastrophic implications if it involved competing weapons from multiple AI powers. Of the seven named AI-capable nations, only South Korea explicitly lacks a nuclear arsenal. Decisions made by machines that select targets without human involvement, and faster than humans can meaningfully oversee, could lead to catastrophic escalations.

Arms control treaties have been known to change the behavior, not just of the initial signatories, but of the nations that interact with them and shape the entire global arms availability. The ban on cluster munitions and treaties on landmines have led nations, including nations that that have not signed the treaties, to change how they employ weapons.

“In other arms control treaties that even where some states don’t cooperate, a stigma around those weapons develops,” says Slijper. “It has to start somewhere. It’s the only way to prevent the arms race.”

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Video: The Oroville Dam: What a Difference a Month of Snow and Rain Makes

Over two years after repairs to the main spillway of the Oroville Dam after a near catastrophic failure of the dams emergency runoff chutes the dam was put to the test for media and the world to see. They barely ran the spillway at full operation (understandable), but then they stopped using it and have started working on the inside of what appears to be a – still leaky – spillway.

In this video I use the reporting (fair use) of KPIX CBS Bay Area on the April 2nd re-opening of the dam and then I use the same news cast reporting of ‘rumors’ that the dam is not up to standards to hold massive water runoff if needed. In this video I report and reply to Viewers Comments on both news stories and find out that REAL people are REALLY concerned about the health and well being of the Oroville Dam. No fearporn here Juan. Just real reporting with real public concerns. Open the Video

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Oroville Dam Crisis Worsens-Last Ditch Effort to Save the Dam Is Underway

California faces a triple whammy in which millions of California residents are at risk for three major dam failures. Most readers are aware that the Oroville Dam is in crisis. The latter part of this report will provide a very grim update of the condition of the Oroville and the desperate measures being employed to delay the catastrophic failure of the dam. However, a second dam, the Prado Dam, which now threatens over one million resident of Orange County is in crisis.

CSS colleague, Alexandra Daley, sent a summation of a newspaper account, written by Ashley Ludwig, Patch Staff which was written on May 17, 2019 at 1PM Pacific time.

The Prado Dam is now at a high urgency risk characterization, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Federal engineers are stating that there is a good chance for a “significant flood event. and they upgraded the dam’s risk category from moderate to high urgency.”

According to Federal officials, strong Pacific storms, could produce conditions that could breach the spillway of the Orange County dam. A catastrophic failure has the potential to “drown out dozens of downstream communities, from Anaheim’s Disneyland to Newport Beach” according to the Army Corps of Engineers from the Los Angeles District.

Over 1.4 million people live and work below Prado Dam, with property valued at over $61 billion, including Disneyland and many high-end resorts and properties in Newport Beach.

The Dam has been near failure in the past. In 2005, a leak in the dam led to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in Corona.

Army Corps of Engineer spokesperson, Lillian Doherty told the LA Times that the spillway was a concern, but that repairs on the spillway won’t begin for at least two years. The obvious question jumps off the page: What if a hundred year storm should strike the area before repairs are completed? This damaged spillway is a clear and present danger to 1.4 million residents. However, farther north, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) won’t even admit the Oroville Dam spillway cannot be used
Ominous Update On the Oroville Dam

Spillway? Did someone say spillway? At least in Orange County, the federal government has a presence. The people of Orange County should feel good about this. For months, Paul Preston and myself have saying the spillway is damaged and cannot be used to handle the spring run-offs and heavy rains. The people that have mocked our warnings owe us both an apology. In a last ditch effort to save the dam, the DWR is attempting to divert water through the power plant by utilizing something called penstocks. This will allow the Oroville Dam to generate 13,000 cubic feet per second of water with regard to the outflow of water expelled by the dam. Presently the dam cannot generate more than 10,000 cubic feet per second. This process is now needed because the spillway is damaged beyond repair. This is what Paul Preston and myself have been saying, and showing with photos published on our respective websites, and we are now seeing the proof which is employing this desperate and last ditch attempt to delay the inevitable. From the inflow/outflow numbers at the dam, we figure they have an additional three days. The day of reckoning for Oroville Dam is almost here .

The Oroville Dam is less than 10 feet from overtopping. What happens when an earthen dam like the Prado or Oroville Dam has its water overtop the dam? Here is what Army Corps of Engineers Division Chief, Lillian Doherty says about this issue.

"Our concern right now is about the concrete slab of the spillway and how well it will perform if water were to spill over the top of the dam, We will determine whether or not it is as reliable as it should be."

At least the residents near the Prado Dam are being considered. Doherty stated that they are working to develop outreach strategies to alert the estimated 1.4 million people who could be impacted. The people, downstream from the Oroville Dam are being lied to by the DWS. They are being told there is no danger despite the fact that it is obvious for any to see that has eyes to see.

Doherty said her agency is working with a national team of experts to develop interim and permanent risk-reduction measures at the Prado Dam, as well as public outreach strategies to alert the estimated 1.4 million people who live and work in 29 communities downstream.

One may remember that in February 2017, Butte County officials evacuated 180,000 people from the Oroville Dam area because a concrete spillway was deemed to be ineffective. As the situation at the Oroville Dam disintegrated during heavy rains, an evacuation of more than 180,000 people commenced. Had the dam collapsed, all would have been caught in the resulting flood waters and would have all perished in their cars.

The head of the California Water Resources Department was removed after an independent probe found the failure was the result of a lax safety culture. Nothing has changed.

That same year, the Corps of Engineers discovered that the 60-year-old Whittier Narrows Dam, about 40 miles to the west of Prado Dam, was structurally unsafe and posed a potentially catastrophic risk to more than 1 million people in working-class communities along the San Gabriel River floodplain.

Engineers also found that the earthen structure could fail if water were to flow over its crest.

With less than 10 feet from overtopping, why isn’t the Oroville Dam attracting the attention of the Army Corps of Engineers? Why is the inept DWR still in charge? The Whittier Narrows is of concern because the Army Corps of Engineers used the phrase “catastrophic risk to more than 1 million people..”. This is exactly what we are looking at with regard to the Oroville Dam and nobody is saying anything. If the Oroville Dam suffers a catastrophic failure the following will happen with regard to the impact on human survival:

A 30 foot wall of water will escape the failed Oroville Dam
The water will be traveling at 75 mph
It would take a minimum of 72 hours to evacuate Sacramento and Stockton
A 20 foot wall of water would reach Sacramento within 45 minutes
Over 1 million people lie in the path of the water 
As with all these soon-to-be-failed dams, the spillways constitute the major reason for potential failure and we are not clearly seeing this condition at the Oroville Dam

From Agenda 21 Radio

Please note the enormous craines. This photo was taken on May 16, 2019. They are not holding back the water, they are checking for catastrophic failure potential. Not a word to the public, but the DWR is very worried!

The Latest Outflow and Inflow Reports From the Oroville Dam

Earlier in this publication I alluded to a new mitigation strategy being employed by the DWR as they are rerouting some of the water through the power plant. They are using the penstocks to accomplish this goal. The penstocks can mitigate flood waters to a certain degree and for only a certain time. The use of the penstocks stresses the dam in other areas and is only meant to mitigate a severe crisis. By using the penstocks, the DWR is admitting that the spillway is not usable. Again, the outflow that can be generated is about 13,000 cubic feet per second. The water approaching the dam over the next several days is peaking at 17,500 inflow. Eventually the dam is going to overtop and the dam will likely fail.

Below is a chart which shows the use of the penstocks is barely meeting the need. However, as it continues to rain and the snow begins to melt, catastrophe is likely.


Elevation: 900.0′ · FEATHER R basin · Operator: CA Dept of Water Resources/O&M Oroville Field Division

Query executed Saturday at 12:17:37

Provisional data, subject to change.
Select a sensor type for a plot of data.

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According to Paul Preston, some people are evacuating. However, many more are unaware of the danger. Both the federal and state governments are acting irresponsibly. Given how quickly the Oroville dam could unravel, evacuations should have already been underway.

"A troubling theme is emerging as the Corps reviews its portfolio of large flood control systems that were built a long time ago and are now showing signs of severe stress," said Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist told the LA Times. "Federal engineers are finding that these systems are not as resilient as they thought they were and that the frequency of what were regarded as once-in-a-lifetime storms is increasing significantly."

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White House initiative to hold social media to account for censorship and bias

In the last few years, president Trump has been the primary target of social media and search engine manipulation of the algorithms used for the social engineering of entire populations, as the DailyMail quantified a few days ago. The bias is between 2:1 and 3:1 to the advantage of leftist media, but unfortunately this is not being addressed.

What is, is equally important, is the silencing of individual voices and deplatforming, Facebook’s locking out Robert Spencer and shadow banning this site, as well as many others.

It’s the using of broken shields on websites such as ours, implying that in some way the site is unsafe, maybe malicious and not to be trusted.

I see it daily in the comments on this site, “I lost my Twitter account for saying…”. The right to free speech is being eroded rapidly. I don’t bother with social media accounts anymore, as they get mass reported because of my connection here. That’s just not right. Facebook, Twitter and Google are now monopolies and they have a duty to act fairly and without bias.

We have hundreds of articles on this site referencing free speech.

Amy Mek, is constantly and aggressively attacked online, and Twitter allows this.

It’s now fairly common for defenders of human rights and dignity to be threatened following complaints about the breaking of sharia law. I have seen dozens affected by Twitter enforcing sharia law at Pakistans request such as here at

Being unable to raise funds to generate content by Patreon or even have a credit card account is another attack on defenders of democratic values.

But back to President Trump (sadly not mine, I suffer under the government leadership of a little potato), the White House has launched a campaign to collect evidence from those affected:

You can fill out the details of how you have been affected HERE. We can only hope that they will use this evidence to hold these tech giants to account, and break the lie that they are unbiased. This defines behavior fascism. Fox news ran a great video piece on the recent mass banning by Facebook. Open the Video

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Toronto University Prof. Suspended By Twitter For Saying Transgenderism Is Mental Disorder

University of Toronto Professor of Psychiatry Ray Blanchard, PhD, a leading expert on gender dysphoria, was temporarily suspended by Twitter on Sunday after sharing his professional position on transgenderism after a lifetime of academic research in the field.

Here’s the full statement Blanchard made which got him suspended:

Earlier today I wrote this thread in response to a follower who asked me, “What is your actual position on transgender people?” It looks like my reply has not been delivered to a single person besides the original inquirer, so I am reposting it here.

My beliefs include the following 6 elements: 

(1) Transsexualism and milder forms of gender dysphoria are types of mental disorder, which may leave the individual with average or even above-average functioning in unrelated areas of life.

(2) Sex change surgery is still the best treatment for carefully screened, adult patients, whose gender dysphoria has proven resistant to other forms of treatment.

(3) Sex change surgery should not be considered for any patient until that patient has reached the age of 21 years and has lived for at least two years in the desired gender role.

(4) Gender dysphoria is not a sexual orientation, but it is virtually always preceded or accompanied by an atypical sexual orientation – in males, either homosexuality (sexual arousal by members of one’s own biological sex) . . . or autogynephilia (sexual arousal at the thought or image of oneself as a female).

(5) There are two main types of gender dysphoria in males, one associated with homosexuality and one associated with autogynephilia. Traditionally, the great bulk of female-to-male transsexuals has been homosexual in erotic object choice.

(6) The sex of a postoperative transsexual should be analogous to a legal fiction. This legal fiction would apply to some things (e.g., sex designation on a driver’s license) but not to others (entering a sports competition as one’s adopted sex).

Blanchard’s suspension was later lifted after widespread outrage.
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InformationLiberation reports:

Twitter’s “hateful conduct” policy mandates that users not “deadname” transgender people by referring them to using their birth name or “misgender” transgender people, which in this case means referring to them as their actual biological gender rather than the gender they’ve chosen to identify with.

Facebook came up with a similar speech mandate earlier this month after banning Paul Joseph Watson and others where they declared that users are no longer allowed to share links to Infowars unless they’re “explicitly condemning the content.”

Perhaps Big Tech could hold a conference in the future and bring all their “trust and safety” teams together to create a list of all the prog-globalist political beliefs we’re all mandated to espouse in order to keep our accounts on social media?

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Demystifying the AR-15: Why it’s such a great weapon for self-defense

Beloved by many, despised by many others, the AR-15 is the most controversial firearm in America. The gun’s notoriety primarily stems from its use in some of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas. Critics suggest that it is a military-grade killing machine that is too powerful for unrestricted civilian use, while the AR-15’s millions of owners suggest that its power is the exact reason why it is so valuable for self-defense and sport.

The frequent media coverage and controversy over the AR-15 have made it a symbol of the debate over firearms in America. But many people who are not members of the firearms community still know relatively little about it. What is it about the AR-15 that makes it so special—and so deadly?

The following article will give some background information about the AR-15, explain what makes it so effective, and point out some of the reasons why the gun has been wrongly vilified.

What is the AR-15?

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle (one shot per trigger pull) created in 1957 by a little-known firearms manufacturer named Armalite. Contrary to popular belief, the “AR” in AR-15 actually stands for “Armalite,” not “assault rifle.” The gun was originally designed to meet the U.S. military’s request for an automatic rifle that could effectively replace the rifles and submachine guns used during World War II, which had been deemed underpowered or otherwise outdated.

Studies at the time suggested that the nature of war had changed and that most combat was now being fought at close to intermediate ranges, rather than the long ranges that characterized World War I. To that end, the AR-15 was chambered in an intermediate-sized caliber (.223 Remington) that was well-suited for this style of combat.

Aside from its caliber, the AR-15 boasted a handful of innovative features for the time, including a straight-line barrel/stock design which helped reduce recoil and muzzle rise, making the gun relatively easy to shoot. The rifle was also constructed out of polymer and aluminum alloys, which made it significantly lighter than other comparably sized firearms (Most guns previously had been built with wood and steel.).

The AR-15 was first adopted for military use during the Vietnam War and was dubbed the M16. The M16 and its variants, which unlike the civilian AR-15 come equipped with either full-auto or burst fire capabilities, have become staples of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the original M16 was described by “American Sniper” Chris Kyle as one of the 10 firearms that changed United States History.

Nowadays, the name AR-15 is used as a catchall term for rifles built in the AR-15 style. Technically, the only manufacturer that produces an actual AR-15 is Colt, which obtained the rights to the gun from Armalite in 1959. However, countless manufacturers now make semi-auto AR-15-style rifles that can be purchased for civilian use.

Why is the AR-15 So Effective?

Without getting bogged down in the technical details, AR-15-style rifles are renowned for four primary characteristics: they are lightweight, reliable, customizable, and easy to shoot.

We touched on the AR-15’s lightweight build in the previous section. There we saw that due to its aluminum and polymer construction, the AR-15 is significantly lighter than many comparable rifles. In fact, the average AR-15 only weighs about 6 pounds while unloaded, which makes it convenient for both military and civilian usage, particularly for individuals with limited upper body strength including women, the physically disabled, and even children.

AR-15s have also become known for their reliability. The basic design has remained largely unchanged for the last 50 years (albeit refined), and a modern AR-15 can likely fire thousands of rounds using quality ammunition without any issues. AR-15s are also highly modular, meaning they can easily be taken apart and reassembled with replacement parts should anything ever fail.

Another important selling point of AR-15s is that they are extremely customizable. The AR-15’s modular design, in combination with its overwhelming popularity, means that there is a huge selection of AR-15 parts available from both gun manufacturers and companies specializing exclusively in parts and accessories. AR-15s can be equipped very easily with add-ons like scopes, red dot sights, flashlights, bipods and more. Some have even called the AR-15 the “Barbie doll for guys”— because you can accessorize it however you like!

Finally, the single most important characteristic of the AR-15 that has made it the phenomenon that it is today is that it is very easy to shoot. A quality AR-15 has a muzzle velocity of about 900 m/s and an effective range well over 400 meters. The high speed at which bullets are fired, along with the previously mentioned straight-line barrel/stock design, helps to make AR-15s extremely accurate. An experienced shooter can shoot groupings of 1-3 inches from 100 meters away, but even a novice shooter will be significantly more accurate with an AR than they are with a handgun. This feature alone has made the AR-15 extremely popular for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense purposes. The AR-15 is especially valuable for self-defense because almost anyone can use one effectively within the usual self-defense distances, regardless of shooting experience or physical ability (strength, age, physical disability, etc.).

Together, these characteristics help to explain why the AR-15 is so effective and so popular. It is simply a well-designed, time-tested firearm that is reliable, easy to use, and easily customized.
Too Powerful for Civilian Use?

There is no denying that the AR-15 is a highly effective and, if held in the wrong hands, a highly dangerous weapon. An important fact to keep in mind, however, is that the same could also be said of other so-called “assault weapons” with civilian semi-automatic versions available for sale today.

For example, not far behind the AR-15 in terms of notoriety is the AK-47, a Russian-designed firearm first created in the Cold War. Compared to the AR, the AK is less accurate at long ranges and a fair bit heavier, but it fires a significantly larger-caliber round and is equally if not more deadly at close to intermediate ranges. A prospective mass shooter armed with an AK would likely be able to do just as much damage as they would with an AR.

Point being, the AR-15 has gotten its reputation for being the “gun of choice” for mass murderers not because it is uniquely effective for committing such atrocities, but simply because it is the most popular semi-automatic rifle design on the market today. Thus, the vitriol directed at the AR-15 is somewhat misplaced.

Of course, many gun control advocates have suggested that all “assault weapons” are too powerful to be trusted in civilian hands. These critics ignore the fact that according to the FBI, rifles of all kinds, including both semi-automatic and bolt-action rifles, are used in an extraordinarily small percentage of homicides—just 2.5 percent in 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2015.

Instead, these activists are committing a logical error thoroughly examined by criminologist Grant Duwe in his seminal text, Mass Murder in the United States: A History. According to Duwe:

“…Claimsmakers [journalists, politicians, etc.] have used high-profile cases not only as indicators of trends in the prevalence of mass killings, but also as typifying examples…[However,] the high-profile cases are the most unusual and least representative examples of mass murder, which is precisely why they are more newsworthy. Consequently, in using heavily publicized cases as typifying examples, claimsmakers have presented a distorted image of mass murder. This is significant because the popular perceptions of a problem often help shape the policy recommendations to control it.” (Emphasis added)

Good public policy is rarely derived from snap judgments about the “least representative examples.” Firearms, like many other kinds of technology, have a direct relationship between their capacity to be used for good and their capacity to be used for evil; the same characteristics that make an AR-15 dangerous in the hands of a lunatic make it invaluable in the hands of a hero. It seems to me that the majority of Americans are good, law-abiding citizens who should not be wrongly punished for the horrible deeds of a few deranged individuals. Thus, a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 would likely do significantly more harm than good and make us less safe, not more.

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Oroville Dam in Big Trouble Again!

The new spillway is failing at exactly the same location as the old one did! The story and photos that follow the video are from Paul Preston at

Paul Preston article begins……

An engineer with 20-plus years experience working on dams fears the Oroville dam could be in trouble again. He says the same problem which led to the failure of the main spillway in 2017 is still happening. Open the Video

March 15, 2019 picture of the Oroville Dam spillway. Note water seeping from the same area where the original spillway broke apart on February 7, 2017. Photo: Robert Armstrong AENN Copyright 2019

The state has spent more than a billion dollars rebuilding the main and emergency spillways at Oroville dam. Now, expert Scott Cahill told News Radio KFBK, water can be seen seeping from the foot of the dam and dozens of points along the new spillway.

An hour later from the above picture taken on March 15, 2019 a second picture of the Oroville Dam spillway shows workers about to repair the water seeping from the same area where the original spillway broke apart on February 7, 2017. The workers are about to engage in what noted dam expert Dr. Robert Bea calls “patch and pray”. meaning “Patch” the leaking seams that are venting water under high pressure from behind the spillway roller compacted concrete and 2 1/2 foot thick steel reinforced structural concrete slab then “Pray”. Next to the seated worker is a “leaf blower” that is about to be used to blow water from a leaking seam so the workers can “Patch” the leak.. These high pressure water leaks are in the exact same spot as the original leak that caused the rupture of the main spillway on February 7, 2017. Photo: Robert Armstrong AENN Copyright 2019

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“That concrete spillway slab is now moving water, which is evolving up through the slab today,” Cahill told News Radio KFBK. “Very similar to what it did before the failure (in 2017).”

Workers prepare to use a leaf blower to dry leaking seams on the Oroville Dam main spillway. March 15, 2019.

Workers using a leaf blower to dry leaking seams on the Oroville Dam main spillway. March 15, 2019.

Cahill has seen this with his own eyes. He’s even more concerned with cracks in the gates along the crest of the dam, something he says is already in what he calls failure mode.

“The possibility exists that a cutback will occur there that will allow the pool to release,” Cahill insisted. “At that point we’ll no longer have control over the velocity or the amount of water that’s moved downstream.”

Cahill said he has sent his concerns to the California Department of Water Resources, but he claims those officials have not replied.

Paul Preston interviewing dam expert Scott Cahill April 23, 2917 at the Oroville dam. Note the credentials displayed by Paul Preston and the yellow vests and helmets worn by Preston and Cahill. Per Department of Water Resources policies at the time members of press and researchers were required to sign in and register at the DWR headquarters on Glenn St. near the dam on February 12, 2017. The Oro Dam location where the above picture was taken was a restricted area by the DWR and could only have been accessed with the approval of the DWR and anyone in this area were required to wear a helmet and yellow vest. These rules were strictly enforced by the DWR. Preston and Cahill both registered, wore the appropriate safety equipment and were given access to areas of the dam not afforded to to the general public. In comments to KFBK DWR spokesmember Erin Mellon “suggested Cahill may have never set foot the dam”. Overwhelming evidence suggests Mellon to be wrong.

The DWR issued a statement to a KFBK request for comment on Cahill’s claims.

“DWR is confident in how we have repaired and reconstructed the main and emergency spillways, using the best engineering practices available and with constant oversight by state and federal regulators to ensure the safety of the downstream communities the facility protects. DWR and its construction contractor Kiewit worked on the design and construction of both the main emergency spillways under the oversight and with the approval of an independent Board of Consultants and state and federal regulators,” said spokeswoman Erin Mellon. “DWR is aware and anticipated some water to seep through the main spillway gates this winter. As the reservoir surpasses elevation 813 feet (the elevation of the spillway gates), some water does seep through the gates onto the spillway as the gates are not designed to be water tight. We issued a press release anticipating this on March 5. It has also been reported on in previous years.

Mellon also suggested Cahill may have never set foot the dam.

A panoramic aerial view of the Oroville Dam main spillway taken Sept. 29, 2017 shows the gap in the middle where roller-compacted concrete was used, and work above and below it where steel reinforced structural concrete was placed. The entire center section was resurfaced with structural concrete. The center section shown above is where the roller compacted concrete was used and was the area of the original leakage that led to the rupture of February 7, 2017 This is now the same area where the leakage has reappeared in March 2019. (Kelly M. Grow — Department of Water Resources)

“DWR and Kiewit maintain records of visits to the dam and spillways and have no record of Mr. Cahill visiting the facility. As you know, the dam and spillway have been inaccessible to the public during reconstruction. I do have an email from a member of the public saying he visited the Oroville area at the end of April 2017 but as you know, that was well before reconstruction began.”

Erin Mellon Should Not Be Critical of Scott Cahill

Reconstruction was already underway when Cahill visited the dam in mid April 2017 and had already spent several days either at the dam or in interviews with DWR/dam personnel, federal, state, county and city officials.

Prior to his visits to Oroville Dam Cahill was actively engaged in the investigation as to the reasons for the failure of the dam system with federal officials and was making attempts to reach our and work with California state officials in the legislature, DWR and various local officials. Federal officials and several state legislators and local officials were more than happy work with Cahill. Not surprising the California state Department of Water Resources refused to entertain any relationship with Cahill.

The contractor Kiewitt was given $275 million contract to repair Oroville Dam Spillway in early April of 2017 and had been meeting with DWR officials to make the necessary repairs before the signing of the contract.

“Per the agreement, Kiewit is to begin reconstruction on Oroville’s failed spillways immediately, with the goal for the system to be operational before the region’s wet winter season that traditionally begins in November”.

Kiewitt did in fact make an immediate transition into working on the dam as early as April 12, 2017.

Cahill in early April before the Kiewitt contract was let made arrangements to fly from Virginia to California witness for himself the disaster first hand. Cahill through his own investigations and interviews knew all the intimate details of what needed to be done but also knew of the serious flaws in the DWR’s planning and execution of the necessary repairs needed to make Oroville dam safe.

Cahill has long been a critic and a pain in the side of the California Department of Water Resource’s handling of the Oroville dam disaster. In an August 2017 interview on the Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity podcast Cahill gave several warnings about what he saw at the dam were major issues and the subsequent irresponsible handling of the crisis by the DWR which have not either been addressed or mitigated still to this day.

“They’ve begun the repairs on the bottom half of the spillway, but the tragedy and loss from the bottom half of the spillway failing has already been realized. No one is worried about the bottom half of the spillway. On the other hand, they’ve done nothing yet with the upper half of the spillway — which is what would cause a catastrophic failure of the dam. It’s amazing how much money they’ve already spent, and yet their priorities are such that they haven’t abated the liability at all.

So yes, we’ve made the bottom of the principal spillway, the concrete slues, more sound. But it’s not the bottom of the dam that will fail, of course, it’s the crest — the top of it — where the gates are. That’s still highly suspect.

There are additional issues involving the unwanted moving of water through the dam — the so-called “green spots”. These are areas where water is migrating through the dam, probably through the indigenous soils adjacent to it. I’ve walked on these [at Oroville] and you can stick your foot down, and like your backyard after a torrential rain, water actually comes up into the footprint after you remove your foot. This is not a good situation. I believe there is a lot of movement of water through that dam, including at the structure itself that houses the gates that control the flow down the principal spillway.

There’s nothing wrong with embankment dams in general, they’re wonderful dams. But they rely on the mass of the earthen embankment itself to offset the forces that try to slide or rotate it into failure. When we see water migrating through a dam, it can potentially cause failure of the dam because it offsets the mass all that earth. Plus, there’s a lot of river rock and sand in this embankment. River rock, as we all know, is round. Anyone can understand how a pile of round rocks, if the fines have been washed out from between them by water and the rocks then vibrated, for instance, by seismic activity, weakens the system. These concerns are very, very serious. I believe that this situation is occurring in multiple places across the Oroville dam — and yet this is simply not being discussed”.

Why should Erin Mellon not be critical of Scott Cahill? Simple Erin Mellon has no credibility when it come to issues of dam safety or even dams in general. Mellon who inferred that Cahill had not been to the dam in her interview with KFBK falsely did so because she did not know the facts.

Mellon whose official title is Assistant Director of Public Affairs, California Department of Water Resources was not even employed by the DWR until August 2017 three full months after construction of the spillway was underway by Kiewitt.

Mellon had zero experience working on issues of dams when she was hired in August of 2017. Today following numerous town halls in the affected area of the dam and the inundation zone Mellon has shown herself to be a major liability. Trumpeting the false narrative associated with the safety of Oroville dam being pushed by the Department of Water Resources Mellon has become a good fit. Following a town hall in Yuba City, CA one walnut farmer stated: “She’s (Mellon) is a bald faced liar”. Unfortunately for Mellon the walnut farmer’s comment is what the public generally says about her and by extension the DWR.

The world of dam safety has the highest regard for Scott Cahill and others who have been critical of the DWR including Dr. Robert Bea from the University of California, Berkley. Dr. Bea, a co-author of a report warning of a green spot near the Oroville Dam in July 2017 is a professor emeritus of engineering at Berkeley called the complete repair of the Oroville dam spillway is nothing more than “Patch and pray operation”.

Its obvious we all need prayer as the “patches” are not holding.

An aerial photo of the Oroville Dam main spillway before the 21/2 foot steel reinforced structural concrete was placed over the top of the roller compacted concrete. Wet streaks on the roller compacted part of the chute, are evident but the Department of Water Resources said is was “expected”. April 6, 2018 Photo by Gonzalo (Peewee) Curiel. Les than a year later water is now seeping through both the roller compacted concrete and the steel reinforced structural concrete.

Below is a list of references The DWR and their spokesmember should consult:

‘Patch and Pray’ Crack Repairs on Oroville Dam Emergency …–and-Pray-Crack…’Patch and Pray

’ Crack Repairs on Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway: UC Berkeley Civil Engineer … and troweled it over,” Bea said. “I call it ‘patch and pray.”’ … who went to Oroville Dam in …
Cracks may offer clues to California dam’s troubles ……may…dams-troubles-2017-2″We don’t have details on the repairs, but they put cement into the cracks and troweled it over,” Beasaid. “I call it ‘patch and pray.’” Water gushing from the Oroville Dam‘s main spillway on Tuesday in Oroville, California. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
No More Patch and Pray—Privatize Oroville Dam: News: The … More Patch and Pray—Privatize Oroville Dam … (Oroville Dam main) spillway,” Bea said. … with its opaque patch-and-pray approach to maintenance and public …
California dam cracks were repaired by ‘patch and prey ……The Oroville Dam is to be soaked by a foot of rain by Tuesday, ramping up the pressure on engineers who are frantically trying to repair ‘patch and pray‘ quick-fixes which led to its near-collapse …
No more patch and pray — privatize Oroville Dam –…No more patch and pray — privatize Oroville Dam. … No more patch and pray — privatize Oroville Dam. … (Oroville Dam main) spillway,” Bea said.
Cracks may offer clues to California dam’s troubles ……”We don’t have details on the repairs, but they put cement into the cracks and troweled it over,” Beasaid. “I call it ‘patch and pray.’” Water gushing from the Oroville Dam‘s main spillway on …
Oroville – The More We Learn, The … – The Hugh Hewitt ain’t over yet: California’s crumbling Oroville Dam will be hit by a FOOT of rain as engineers race to repair erosion after years of ‘patch and pray’ quick-fixes. There is a lot of coverage out there with such attention grabbing headlines.
Report: State, Feds ‘Negligent’ in Oversight of Oroville Dam …–dam-spillway…Analysis accuses agencies of relying on a ‘patch and pray‘ approach that led to spillway crisis in February. … Oroville Dam‘s main spillway pictured on Feb. 13 …
Legislative Oversight Testimony Report: Oroville…E-MAIL: BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA 94720-1710 Legislative Oversight Testimony Report: Oroville Dam Dr. Robert G. Beaa Emeritus Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering University of California Berkeley May 11, 2017 Acknowledgements
Analysis Cites Flawed Management in Oroville Dam…/10/…oroville–dam-failures“A superficial ‘patch and pray’ approach is not an acceptable safety and risk management process for important public infrastructure systems,” Bea says, adding that state agencies should have upgraded the Oroville Dam facilities beforehand while also taking steps to update the design, construction, operating, and maintenance standards.
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