Tucker Carlson Argues Immigration Numbers -- Politely

Immigrant Pablo Manriquez challenged the border-defender Fox News host in a recent Huffpo article, Why Tucker Carlson Should Debate Me On Immigration (July 13). So a “gentlemanly” debate ensued on Tuesday, where Tucker brought up the overriding issue first thing — the numbers. If America admitted 50,000 legal immigrants annually (or ZERO ideally as the automated future suggests), there would be no problem.

Tucker immediately brought up the possibility of more than a billion US residents in 2100 caused by continuing high levels of immigration, but the Mexican Manriquez instead talked about the tribes that have “helped build this country . . . culturally” — whatever that could possibly be.

Here are the opening salvos:

TUCKER CARLSON: We’ve got 330 million people in the country. If immigration rates stay at their current level 1.2 million a year, we’re going to have about half a billion people by the end of the century. If we followed the UN’s lead on this, we would have 1.5 billion people in America by the end of this century. Those are estimates. What do you think the right level of immigration is?

PABLO MANRIQUEZ; I think that the right level of immigration has always been in this country the level that’s going to build the country and not detract from it, and I think that obviously like you know the immigration of the last several waves that have come through — mostly from Europe obviously, the Chinese as well — have helped build this country both infrastructurally, culturally, in a lot of different ways. I think that the current Hispanic immigration wave which has been so controversial politically lately is having the same effect, and we’re going through sort of like the birth pangs with a hunger, or the birth pangs of that cultural sort of assimilation which I think is happening.

There are many reasons against filling America with uneducated and hostile Third Worlders, but a numbers argument often leads to environmental points of resource sustainability. A paved-over overpopulated United States cannot provide the water and food for vastly increased numbers of humans. Business likes constant immigration-fueled population growth because profits and the GNP go up with the number of shoppers. But the environment has limits, as we Californians learned in the historic drought that just ended with last winter’s record rainfall.

Below, the drought-stricken Lake Oroville (which is also a reservoir) was nearly empty in September 2014.

Well-informed water worriers know about the Medieval mega-droughts that struck the west from 900 to 1400 AD, which is quite recent in terms of climate burps. Nature won’t take a holiday just because nearly 40 million California residents use water daily.

For an interesting historical perspective on the devastation caused by long-term drought, see Ten Civilizations or Nations That Collapsed From Drought from the weather channel Wunderground.com. When archaeologists investigate impressive abandoned cities, they ask why the people left such amazing places. In some cases — like the accomplished and stable Maya of central America — the answer is prolonged drought.

It’s hard to imagine how even our advanced technology could cope with a dust-bowl California of 40 million residents. If the government had a plan of what to do beyond conservation, it was never revealed to the little citizens. If the rains hadn’t come to end the drought, would we eventually have seen millions of water refugees moving to other parts of America? It’s unimaginable — still. . .

Therefore, scaling down the immigration system is way overdue, with Zero being the optimum number because of robots replacing millions of human workers.

So let’s get real about this immigration debate.


 Somali Cop Shoots Innocent Woman: Tribe Claims Backlash

In Minneapolis, the local Muslim reaction over the murder of Australian woman Justine Damond by a Somali immigrant policeman has taken on a familiar theme — the old “backlash” dodge which attempts to make the Somalis into the victim.

Below, Justine Damond was shot dead by Mohamed Noor, an officer in the Minneapolis Police Department when she tried to report a crime.

Portraying Minnesota Somalis as the injured party is a heavy lift, largely because of their years-long record of violence, jihad and non-assimilation. In 2009 (when the Somali population of the state was only 32,000), the AP reported that the Rise of Somali Gangs Plagues Minneapolis. In the same year, Shirwa Ahmed (a 2000 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis), traveled to Somalia to blow up himself and 29 others in Mogadishu.

Last September Somali refugee Dahir Aden stabbed 10 persons in a St. Cloud shopping center while shouting Allah. Making local people fear a jihad attack while browsing in the mall will not convince them trust Muslim immigrants.

Dozens of young Somalis have returned to their cultural homeland to pursue jihad, like the fabulous foursome shown below. Why does Washington continue to import a people that doesn’t like Americans?

Some of those who remain don’t care to assimilate to American values: when filmmaker Ami Horowitz interviewed Somalis in Minneapolis, quite a few said they would rather live under sharia than American law. (Hint: Mogadishu has a brand new airport despite the recent al Shabaab unpleasantness.)

So if indeed there is a backlash against Somalis in Minnesota, an argument can be made that they brought on distrust and ill feeling themselves, by their years of violence, jihad and hatred of the US — which Americans have recognized as a threat.

After Minneapolis officer in police shooting is named, Somali community braces for backlash, Washington Post, July 18, 2017

When Mohamed Noor joined the Minneapolis police force and was assigned to patrol the city’s southwest corner, the Somali community there — the nation’s largest — threw a party for him to celebrate.

He was the first Somali American officer to serve in Minneapolis’s fifth precinct and one of fewer than a dozen Somali American officers in the department. His presence on the squad brought Somali activists some pride and reassurance at a time of Islamophobia in America and nationwide racial tension stoked in part by shootings of black people by white police officers.

Now that same Somali community is bracing for a backlash against Noor that has already begun.

On Monday, multiple media outlets named Noor as the officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman in the city’s popular Fulton neighborhood over the weekend, an incident that has grabbed global attention and thrust Minneapolis into yet another uproar over police violence….

The report stoked fear among Somalis in the Twin Cities, who have worked for decades to become part of the city’s fabric. There are now Somalis on the police force, the city council and in the Minnesota House of Representatives. But the largely Muslim population of Somali Americans in the region still face Islamophobia and innuendo about terrorism.

“They fear this will be just another event used to create animosity toward the Somali community,” Mohamud Noor, executive director at the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, told The Post.

Already, hateful posts criticizing Islam and sharia law are filling social media in response to the police shooting. Several far-right blogs featured sensational headlines that blamed the officer’s ethnicity for the deadly use of force. Continue reading this article

Coal Miners Face Replacement by Smart Machines

It was a sweet early moment in the Trump Presidency: a group of miners had been invited to the White House to watch the new Chief Executive end Obama regulations that were designed to cripple the coal industry.

Coal miner Michael Nelson thanked President Trump for keeping his election promise to help the industry’s workers.

Nelson appeared later on Fox News to discuss how he hoped for better times in coal country. “For a politician to such as Donald Trump to stand up and hold good to his promise is absolutely fantastic, and he’s an inspiration to all working Americans,” he remarked.

I wondered at the time whether the miners knew that automation posed a bigger long term threat than even business-buster Obama.

Miners have already been threatened by immigrants workers willing to perform the tasks more cheaply, as I wrote a decade ago in American Miners Now Targeted. Mine executives wanted to scrap the English-only policy, which would have further endangered worker safety in a dangerous workplace.

Now the machines are here, and even the smartest ones don’t worry about survival — yet.

Bloomberg reported March 27 in Trump’s Executive Order Won’t Save Coal Mining Jobs that the industry has changed quite a bit:

. . . The image of miners toiling underground is increasingly antiquated, as companies use automated tools to extract coal from giant seams in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. There, electric shovels are able to claw 400 tons worth of coal at a single time from open pits, and load them up onto rail cars bound for plants as far away as Georgia. 

As a result, total U.S. coal employment plunged to 53,000 last year; in the 1940s, West Virginia alone was home to 126,000 miners. . .

A recent recent article from an industry pub was a reminder of the automation pressure on mining:

Robots and recruitment: the impact of automation on mining jobs, Mining-Technology.com, July 13, 23017

. . .The job drain of recent years, felt across the mining sector globally, can be attributed in part to automation, which has made the profession significantly safer.

 ‘Smart’ mines, which incorporate everything from drones and wearables to 3D printing, are becoming more commonplace, and recruitment and human resources have simply not kept pace with the growth of technology. But there is hope.

“The message is that it’s not necessarily fewer jobs in mining – it will just be different jobs,” says Philip Hopwood, Deloitte global head of mining. “In reality,” he adds, “employment will be growing in the mining sector as we see mining investment ramp back up again, leading to opportunities in jobs related to investment in building what we term the digital mine.”

At present, Hopwood says the mining sector is still playing catch-up with the likes of real-time data analytics and the phasing out of manual labour in favour of the back office, whereby on-site technology is connected to back-end systems. The next step for miners is to find the right talent to operate the tech.

Translation of that last bit: there will be a computer operator in an office running the machines that do the extraction, similar to the way the oil business is going: New York Times Reports Automation-Fueled Job Loss in the Oil Patch

Farm Robot Is Touted as Kinder to Workers

Down on the farm in Salinas California, a new robot harvester uses “water knives” — actually high-powered water jets — to pick lettuce. To hear the industry flacks describe it, the machines end unhealthy stoop labor in lettuce fields. But details in the story suggest that President Trump’s border enforcement is having an effect when it says, “Fewer immigrant workers are coming to the fields.” Big ag is explaining in a way to portray itself as a humanitarian when other factors are the cause.

In fact, automation has been transforming agriculture just as it has changed factories.

Welcome to Salinas! The Farming Town Where… by wired

The story also does a little dance when it says the machines reduce the need for labor, but workers won’t lose their jobs. In the case of the lettuce robo-harvester, the workers are now doing different tasks like sorting and packing, but how long until automation does those jobs as well? Growers are always looking for less expensive means of production, and that means more smart machines are coming in the long run.

So the Salinas case is another example that America’s cheap worker immigration must end: unskilled foreigners will just end up on the welfare rolls.

Automation makes immigration obsolete.

Below, a robot lettuce harvester moves through a Salinas field.

Robots Wielding Water Knives Are the Future of Farming, Wired.com, May 31, 2017

JUST AFTER DAWN in the Salinas Valley south of San Francisco, a raucous robot rolls through a field spitting clouds of vapor. It’s cutting lettuce heads with water knives—super-high-pressure beams—and gobbling up the produce. The heads roll up its mouth and onto a conveyor belt, where workers in hoodies and aprons grab the lettuce and tear off the loose leaves.

Right across the road, workers are harvesting lettuce the agonizing old-fashioned way—bent over with knife in hand. “If you’re a beginner, it kills you because your back really hurts,” says Isabel Garcia, a harvester who works atop the robot. “It takes somebody really strong to be doing that kind of work.”

Garcia and the other workers here didn’t lose their jobs to a robot—they work in tandem with one. And just as well, because California farms are facing a serious labor shortage of perhaps 20 percent. Increasingly sophisticated robots have to pick up the slack, here and around the world. Because if humanity expects to feed its booming population off a static amount of land, it’s going to need help.

Here in the Salinas Valley, farmers and tech types are teaming up to turn this into a kind of Silicon Valley for agriculture. And they’re not stopping at water-knife-wielding robots. Because it’s data that will truly drive this agricultural revolution. It’s not just about robots doing jobs humans don’t want to do, but AI doing jobs humans can’t do. And AI can’t go anywhere without data.

For sure, the robots will definitely support the dwindling farming workforce. Fewer immigrant workers are coming to the fields, and their demographics are shifting. “Just with a changing population here in California, we’ve got an aging workforce,” says Mark Borman, president of Taylor Farms California, which operates the robot. “So people who are coming out to do agricultural, we’re not getting that younger population into the job.”


Pew Poll: Conservative Americans Think Universities Have Become a Negative Influence

On Thursday, Tucker Carlson opined briefly about a recent Pew poll that shows a growing divide regarding how Americans across the political divide think about our social institutions. Republicans in particular have come to believe the influence of universities on America has become harmful.

TUCKER CARLSON: Our country’s most powerful institutions have hated the rest of the country for a long time. When the people who run tech companies or Hollywood studios look out the window of their G5s they commute from Santa Monica to Teterboro, they see a population that’s fat, bigoted and dumb. They feel pure contempt for the people below them.

Well now at long last middle America is returning those feelings. A new poll by Pew finds that Republican-leaning voters have come to distrust the higher education establishment a lot: 58 percent of them believe colleges and universities have a negative overall effect on the country; just 36 percent think they have a positive effect. It’s a swing of about 20 points from just two years ago.

Okay you say, that’s just because stupid uneducated conservatives naturally hate schools they could never get into — right? Wrong. Actually Republicans with college degrees are even more hostile to college than those without them because they know how bad it is.

But if colleges have lost the confidence of non-liberals, consider the media: 85 percent of Republican voters say the national news media are hurting the country. Once again, a substantial swing from just a few years ago. Republicans aren’t that impressed by labor unions either, or banks remarkably. Continue reading this article

Is ICE Honcho Homan a Swamp Creature?

On Wednesday, the Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan appeared on Fox News and sounded like a tough enforcer as he discussed his agency’s duties, but his history is a little more complicated.

He railed against MS-13 and sanctuary cities in the interview. When Fox host Neil Cavuto observed how widespread the violent gang has become, Homan responded, “Our intelligence shows they’re in over 40 states across the country” and “we’re coming after them very hard.” He further expounded:

When [President Trump] signed executive orders, he basically told the Border Patrol agents and the 20,000 American patriots that work for ICE: you can now do your job, you will enforce the laws on the books. There’s no population of aliens that’s off the table any more, and we’ve been waiting on that almost a decade now. So you know I’ve made it clear when you enter this country illegally, you have committed a crime, and you can’t want to be a part of this country and not respect its laws, so those who enter the country illegally, you may get past the Border Patrol and in the past you had this feeling that, ‘Okay I’m home free, I got by the Border Patrol and no one’s looking for me’ — well, those days are over. We’re looking for you, we’re gonna prioritize what we do, but we’re going to enforce the law without apology.

Regarding those special safe spaces for illegal aliens, Homan said, “Sanctuary cities in my opinion, they’re unAmerican: that’s not an America I grew up in.”

He certainly has the enforcement song-and-dance patter down, just the sort of thing his new boss likes to hear.

Director Homan sounds like a tough immigration law enforcer, right? Deportation is happening, is it not?

In May, ICE gang arrests netted more than 1300 illegal alien criminals in largest sweep to date.

Interestingly, Breitbart News paints quite a different picture of the ICE leader, that he was Obama’s willing and enthusiastic henchman who released criminal aliens into America like the MS-13 monsters Homan now condemns:

Trump’s ICE Director Helped Author Obama’s Immigration Priorities and Executive Orders, Praised Them, Breitbart.com, by Brandon Darby, July 10, 2017

The Obama-holdover chosen by DHS Secretary John Kelly to direct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the Trump Administration helped author Obama’s controversial immigration priorities and executive orders, and he also publicly praised them. Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan made the comments on video shortly before the 2016 presidential election at a time when most thought Hillary Clinton would win, but Donald Trump won and now Homan claims to be an immigration hawk. Continue reading this article

Controversy Continues about President Trump’s Poland Address

President Trump’s Warsaw speech remains a subject for debate in the media. Most reaction from the public has been very upbeat, but the usual suspects in zones like CNN and MSNBC are naysayers regarding the positive remarks about our cultural heritage.

Tucker Carlson found the left’s objections to appreciation of our shared civilization to be profoundly destructive: if they can’t win, then would rather destroy everything.

TUCKER CARLSON: President Trump’s speech in Poland last week may have been the single best thing he has said out loud since entering politics, and for one reason, it was a rousing defense of Western civilization. You wouldn’t think a speech is doing that would be unusual — the only reason you hire leaders in the first place is to defend your civilization, especially ours which is the foundation of pretty much everything we have: our history, our language, our art, science, law — our entire culture — America itself — is the product of Western civilization, so you’d think the people running the West would want to defend all of that, but no, it was left to Donald Trump to do it.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We write symphonies, we pursue innovation, we celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs and always seek to explore and discover brand new frontiers. . . The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?

CARLSON: Now admittedly President Trump is a polarizing figure, but the words you just heard him speak shouldn’t be controversial. The West is indisputably the freest, the cleanest, the fairest civilization in history; that’s why so many immigrants want to move here. It’s definitely under attack: that’s what ISIS and the Berkeley riots were about, and of course it will fall if we don’t guard it. Everything undefended eventually does.

Even Trump haters ought to be able to admit all of that because it’s true, but they can’t admit it. Instead they’re calling the speech bigoted, the line about symphonies especially bigoted.

MSNBC TALKER 1: He threw in there — “we write symphonies” — and that’s what triggered the alarm bells for me. Am I wrong in making this parallel between Steve King, President Trump and white nationalism?

MSNBC TALKER 2: Trump seemed to embody and enshrine that belief that the West should steal itself for a clash of civilizations with other cultures, other beliefs, which pretty much spelled out you know, the Muslim world.

CNN TALKER: So this is not a speech he could have given really any place else, and this is a white America, America-first kind of speech.

CARLSON: So extolling the virtues of symphonies is now racist. Slate.com called it quote white nationalist rhetoric. According to the Atlantic, it is racial and religious paranoia. Okay, let’s pause for a second, tone it down and consider the argument that president’s critics are making here. Trump actually didn’t say a word about race, not one. He talked instead about art, innovation, science, free speech, democracy — those are not racial categories; they’re statements about belief, the beliefs that in fact created this country and have sustained it for centuries since.

The question is: has the left actually rejected those beliefs, those values? Can we no longer agree that free speech, for example, is better than censorship, that representative government is superior to dictatorship, that our civil code is preferable to Sharia law? And if we can’t agree on those things, what are we all doing in the same country? How can we keep living together? What is the point of all of this?

There was a time when the American left grappled with questions like those — those are the real questions by the way. That was a time before the progressive movement became governed by a reactionary almost oedipal impulse to destroy the institutions that made it possible purely for the joy of destroying them, for tearing it all down. The Left used to have ideas: they believed in culture. Now they think symphonies are a sign of white privilege. What happened and can the purges be far behind?

It is bizarre for the MSNBC complainers to condemn symphonies as a racist expression, that merely mentioning the musical form is a dog whistle for white nationalism. Good grief. As if KKK types sit around debating the merits of Bach versus Mozart.

President Trump was being a gracious guest in Poland by complementing Europe on its symphonies which were a major art form for a couple centuries, creating the classical music tradition that remains popular around the world today. It’s not like the US has a great history of symphony creation — no, that’s a European accomplishment.

In addition, Europe has its own anthem, and it is derived from a symphony. At European Union events, big soccer tournaments and other continental proceedings, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is played with new lyrics different from the traditional ones written by Friedrich Schiller.

So when MSNBC dimwits trash symphonies, they are insulting more than 700,000 Europeans.

Tucker Carlson Discusses Immigration-Fueled Overpopulation with Leftist Environmentalist 

Is it ungenerous to experience shock when Tucker Carlson says he’s never heard of an environmentalist who spoke out against excessive immigration until he ran across Professor Philip Cafaro? Do not foundational figures like David Brower and Gaylord Nelson ring a bell somewhere in memory?? Have the giants really been forgotten so soon?

David Brower was a widely celebrated activist conservationist who steered environmental organizations and led campaigns to save the Grand Canyon and other unique places. He also declared to a stubborn Sierra Club, “The leadership are fooling themselves. Overpopulation is a very serious problem, and overimmigration is a big part of it. We must address both. We can’t ignore either.”

Senator Gaylord Nelson was a voice for the wilderness inside the halls of power. He also founded Earth Day and believed that a population policy that included immigration limits was central to protecting America’s natural heritage, saying, “The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become… The United Nations, with the U.S. supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done. But in this country, it’s phony to say ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’ “

More immigration means more traffic and more traffic congestion.

Certainly the subject matter of Friday’s segment was important — that excessive immigration is destroying America’s natural treasures, not to mention severely taxing resources like water supply and farm production to maintain human life. But erasing conservationist history serves no one.

On the subject of true environmental history, Professor Cafaro carefully evaded the reason for the Sierra Club’s reticence, saying, “for complex reasons and really starting about 20 years ago environmental leaders dropped the ball on population.”

“Complex reasons”?? How about a $100 million secret bribe given to the Sierra Club on the proviso that immigration would not be mentioned as an environmental factor. It should have been a major scandal, but the left press and correcto environmentalists won’t repeat that evil truth even now that Wall Street investor David Gelbaum gave a generous donation with strings attached. As reported in the Los Angeles Times (The Man behind the Land, Oct 27, 2004), Gelbaum said, “I did tell [Executive Director] Carl Pope in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me.”

The Sierra Club had previously been an immigration realist until the secret money changed management’s mind. A group of traditional members got together in 1996 to reverse the bad policy using the club’s democratic process by bringing the issue before the membership for a vote. We were surprised at the ferocity of management against our reasonable initiative to return the club to its earlier position, not knowing that a lot of money was involved. We got three like-minded individuals elected to the Sierra Club board over 2002-03, and when it looked like population sanity might prevail with a possible election majority, the Sierra old guard’s character assassination became very shrill. And then the Gelbaum bribe was revealed.

For lots of gory details, see my Sierra Club series in Vdare.

So anyway, back to Cafaro, it’s quite amazing that liberals are still covering up for the corrupt post-environmental Sierra Club more than a decade after the immigration controversy.

In addition, I reviewed his book How Many Is Too Many a couple years back in The Social Contract. Cafaro’s coverage of members’ efforts to fix the Sierra Club is incomplete, to be kind. I wrote:

However, the treatment of the struggle for reform in the Sierra Club starting in 1998 leaves out vital elements, and they are important. Were any of the reformers interviewed? Apparently not. The book quotes Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope as saying that he had once believed that immigration should be reduced for environmental reasons, but that the issue could not be debated in the organization “without stirring up racial passions.”

Here’s the interview. The actual facts about immigration and population growth are important, although there are distractions. The immigration part starts at 1:25:

TUCKER CARLSON: The President is pushing for restricting immigration into the United States, focusing on the alleged economic, criminal and cultural problems caused by heavy immigration here, but those aren’t the only reasons you might oppose mass immigration: what about the classic liberal cause of protecting the environment? Phil Cafaro is a philosophy professor at Colorado State University; he’s the author of the book “How Many Is Too Many?” the progressive argument for reducing immigration into the United States. Professor Cafaro joins us tonight. . .

It seems I was looking for you for a year because when I was a kid — there were liberals and sincere liberals, progressives who said, no I’m not against immigrants or anything but too many people is bad for the environment — it seemed an obvious point I can’t find anybody on the left who says that, other than you. What’s your argument?

PHILIP CAFARO: Well the argument is relatively straightforward, Tucker, immigration currently is driving US population growth and population growth is a big part of many of our environmental problems in the United States, so part of the progressive argument has to do with with that if you care about creating a sustainable environment, you need to look at immigration driven population growth. Continue reading this article

The Robot Future Requires Job Retraining

Television coverage of automation’s threat to the world of work is not common, so it was nice to see Fox’s segment on Friday. The report is decent regarding the need to rejigger education to align with future employment in the tech environment. It is certainly true that robots will require oversight and programming, but the big automated picture means job loss for many people.

If businesses couldn’t save money by automation then why would they invest great sums of money to re-outfit their factories? It’s true that manufacturing is returning to the US because automation reduces labor costs and having production close to the markets is a money saver. But where will the shoppers come from when in the future millions of Americans suffer from technological unemployment?

The admittedly brief Fox piece did not mention any of the expert warnings about the jobless robotic future: Oxford researchers forecast in 2013 that nearly half of American jobs were vulnerable to machine or software replacement within 20 years. Rice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi believes that in 30 years humans will become largely obsolete, and world joblessness will reach 50 percent. The Gartner tech advising company believes that one-third of jobs will be done by machines by 2025. Forrester Research Inc. has a more optimistic view, that there will be a net job loss of 7 percent by 2025 from automation.

Finally, is it not obvious that the automated future completely erases any need for immigrant workers? In fact,

Automation makes immigration obsolete.

Can robots create jobs for humans?, Fox News, by Jonathan Serrie, July 7, 2017

As President Donald Trump seeks to reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing, many industry leaders are looking to robots as the most efficient way for American factories to compete with cheap labor overseas.

“We think robotics has had a positive impact on U.S. manufacturing by creating better, safer and higher paying jobs for American workers,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a trade group. “Most importantly (robotics is) making American companies more competitive so that they can expand their business and ultimately, in many cases, add more workers than they did before they started automating.” (. . .)

“Instead of doing away with a job, we still have to have someone to be able to operate that robot. We have to have someone to be able to program that robot and someone to be able to work on it,” said Rick Maroney, director of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park.

(article continues)

Poland’s King Jan Sobieski Is Remembered during President Trump Visit

President Trump’s speech to the people of Poland got great reviews, even from critics. Military analyst Ralph Peters counts himself as “skeptical” toward Trump, yet remarked, “That Warsaw speech was to me the most timely and most effective speech given by an American president on European soil since Ronald Reagan said, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ ”

The speech was a salute to the Polish people’s pursuit of freedom, and contained many references to their history of having to fight for it. (Transcript.) Watch:

With all the historical references, there was one hero omitted — Jan Sobieski, who as the king of Poland saved Europe from the Muslim Ottoman invaders in the 1683 Battle of Vienna. The pope called him the savior of Christendom because he prevented an Islamic takeover of Europe.

The battle’s cavalry charge was said to be the largest in history and was memorialized in a 2012 film, which highlighted the amazing winged hussar horsemen (3:15):

Fortunately, the great king was not forgotten during President Trump’s day in Poland:

Coincidence? Polish Government Seats Trump Beside Painting of Polish King Famed For Routing Islam from Europe, By Oliver JJ Lane, Breitbart.com, July 6, 2017

President Donald Trump’s first photo-call in Poland after his arrival in Air Force One was with President Andrzej Duda and saw him sat beside an oil painting of a prominent figure in Polish history and folklore — the 17th-century king who kicked Islam out of Central Europe and is remembered as “the Hammer of the Turks”.

Warsaw’s Royal Palace, where the meeting took place — lavishly reconstructed after it was dynamited by Nazi German troops during the Second World War — benefits from a surfeit of grand rooms and hundreds of works of art.

From oils of kings and statesmen by artists such as Rembrandt to impressive murals and sculpture, the Polish authorities had a great deal of choice for where to host the symbolic first meeting of President Trump’s first European visit.

It may be seen as a remarkable coincidence, therefore, that of all the rooms and of all the paintings, they chose to sit President Trump besides a portrait of one of Poland’s best-known warrior kings. King Jan (John) III Sobieski is today remembered and celebrated in Poland, and elsewhere in Central Europe, for his pivotal role at the Battle of Vienna in September 1683.

A Portrait of King Jan Sobieski III hangs over President Trump’s right shoulder, Thursday morning.

At the culmination of the two-month siege of Vienna by the forces of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, Sobieski led an army to relieve the city. Despite leading a force significantly smaller than the invading Ottomans, the coalition of Polish and Germanic troops staged one of, if not the largest, cavalry charge in the history of warfare and defeated the Ottoman army — ending centuries of Islamic attacks and invasions reaching the heart of Europe. Continue reading this article

Burger Joint Robotics Are Coming Soon

Fast-food restaurants are a major target for automation developers because of the high labor costs connected with preparing food and dealing directly with customers. Kiosks for ordering food have begun appearing as a result of their simple design. In February for example, Wendy’s announced it would install kiosks in 1,000 restaurants (around 16 percent) by the end of the year.

Machines that make the food require more advanced moving parts, but those are coming along also, such as the Flippy burger cooking robot, shown below:

Below, the Flippy robot cooks the meat while a human worker assembles the burgers.

It’s always interesting when a top CEO in an industry makes a prediction of when automation will come on big. The CNBC article below mentions a recent interview with Greg Creed, the CEO of Yum Brands, saying robots would replace most fast-food workers by the mid-2020s, and here it is:

Restaurant work is a popular occupation for unskilled immigrants and illegal aliens because most of the basic tasks can be easily learned. A Pew Research report from earlier this year found that 22 percent of food preparation and service workers were legal and illegal immigrants. A Census survey from 2015 shows that restaurants employ nearly 2.3 million foreign-born workers, a number used in the CNBC article.

So the government’s persistence with old-style levels of immigration to fill these jobs is a fool’s errand, considering the forecast that most restaurant work will be done by machines in a decade from now. For that reason:

Automation makes immigration obsolete.

Why isn’t Washington paying attention to the rapidly changing workplace?

Robots are coming to a burger joint near you, CNBC, July 4, 2017

● A burger-flipping robot called Flippy will be at work in CaliBurger restaurants by early 2018.

● Miso Robotics, the inventor of Flippy, has raised $3.1 million in Series A venture funding.

● Patent services firm Acacia Research, CaliBurger and Match Robotics VC are investors.

Grilling burgers may be fun on the Fourth of July, but less so if hot grease is your daily grind.

Enter Miso Robotics. The southern California start-up has built a robotic “kitchen assistant” called Flippy to do the hot, greasy and repetitive work of a fry cook. Flippy employs machine learning and computer vision to identify patties on a grill, track them as they cook, flip and then place them on a bun when they’re done.

Miso is part of a budding kitchen automation industry. Its peers include Zume Pizza, Cafe X, Makr Shakr, Frobot and Sally, which are developing robots to help commercial kitchens churn out pizzas, lattes, cocktails, frozen yogurt, and salads.

In a recent CNBC interview, Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed predicted robots would replace fast food workers by the mid-2020s. It’s not as if workers love those jobs.

Employee turnover in the restaurants and accommodations sector was 73 percent in 2016, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fry cooks, the people who flip burgers (or fillets) all day at a hot grill, move on from the job faster than others in the field.

Rather than build a robot from the ground up, Miso integrates the best of available components on the market, including robotic arms, sensors and cameras. It develops proprietary control software to enable the robots to work as cooking assistants in complex environments right alongside humans, said CEO David Zito. Continue reading this article

South Korea Plans Airport Robot Roll Out

South Korean’s Incheon Airport is testing out some new smart machines to ease the travel experience.

Koreans are modernizing the airport a bit in advance of the Winter Olympics which start on Feb 9, 2018. The airport hopes to get the kinks worked out now, so the increased number of travelers next year will have a positive experience in South Korea.

Two robots are in the pipeline: one provides travel information and services while the other is a simple floor-cleaning machine.

Below, the Troika info-robot is designed to be use-friendly and non-threatening to children.

The following video shows the two robot models performing their basic skills. It ends with a human worker passing by her mechanical replacement cleaning robot, perhaps reflecting on her uncertain future.

If the machines are cheap enough and passably effective, they will be here soon enough. Cost cutting is always job #1 for executives, not worrying about whether mass unemployment may be the ultimate long term result.

Robots to aid tourists, clean floors at South Korean airport, Associated Press, July 4, 2017

Robots will start roaming South Korea’s largest airport this summer, helping travelers find their boarding gates and keep its floors clean as the country prepares for its first Winter Olympics game.

Starting this month, Troika, a self-driving robot made by LG Electronics, will rove the Incheon International Airport, telling travelers how long it takes to get to boarding gates and escorting them to their flights. A jumbo cleaning robot will help cleaning staff swab the wide expanses of floors in the airport west of Seoul.

Troika, about the size of a young teen, is equipped with a rectangular display on its front that looks like a giant smartphone screen and can show flight information, an airport map and weather data. Its partly rounded head has a flat touchscreen face that displays blinking or smiling eyes or information.

The guiding bot responds to its name.

Travelers can insert their tickets into its scanner to get flight information, and Troika will then ask if they want to be escorted to their gates, warning laggards to “Please stay closer so I can see you.” Continue reading this article

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