France: New Years Car Burnings Up, Along with Arrests

The big New Years Eve festivities are now a few days past in the rear-view mirror, so it’s probably safe to go with the current stats reported: 1,031 French cars torched, with 510 arrests. Which works out to around one arrest per .5 vehicles hit by arson jihad.

Here’s a French tweet straight from the streets: The translation is “New Year: 1,031 cars burned in 🇫🇷 during New Year’s Eve. It will be difficult for the scum to evoke the need to warm up. Police and weather were fine.”

The press likes to hide the perps identity rather than naming them as largely Muslim youth.

The hopelessly politically correct Pollyannas at The Local have even tried to normalize the violence this year with the headline What’s behind the famous French tradition of torching cars? Good grief.

A mass crime performed on a regular basis does not make it a national tradition — yet. Hopefully the French won’t be wishing one another “Happy Arson” any time soon.

However, it is true that New Years car burnings occur regularly in diverse France, as noted on this blog:

● 2017 In Multicultural France, Officials Hide Extent of Annual New Years Car Burning

● 2016 France New Years Car-B-Cue: Number of Burned Vehicles Is Reduced

● 2015 In Diverse France, New Years Means Hundreds of Burned Cars


Over 1,000 cars torched across France as New Year’s Eve arrests rise, AFP/The Local, January 2, 2018

France saw a jump in arrests on New Year’s Eve as well as an increase in the number of cars torched by vandals, a ritual among revellers in the country’s high-rise suburbs.

The number of vehicles set alight on the night of December 31st climbed from 935 a year ago to 1,031, while arrests rose from 456 to 510, the interior ministry said on Monday.

Violence also marred celebrations in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne, where two police officers were attacked by a large group of people at a party.

French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to denounce the “cowardly and criminal lynching of police officers doing their duty” and warned that the culprits would be “found and arrested”.

“I regret that incidents like yesterday can happen but overall people were able to enjoy New Year’s eve in a peaceful manner,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Monday.

Some 140,000 security and emergency forces were deployed across France on New Year’s Eve.

The country has been on alert following a wave of jihadist attacks that have killed 241 since 2015.

So why do the French burn cars anyway?

The custom of setting vehicles alight on New Year’s Eve reportedly began in the east of the country, around Strasbourg, in the 1990s, in the the city’s poorer neighbourhoods.

It was then quickly adopted by youths in cities across the country.


Crime Victim Dad Fights California State Sanctuary for Illegal Aliens

Don Rosenberg has been a tireless voice for immigration enforcement since his son Drew was killed in a San Francisco traffic crash by an illegal alien Honduran in 2010. Killer Roberto Gallo struck Drew on his motorcycle and ran over his body several times. The charge was initially vehicular homicide, but was reduced to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Time served by the killer was only 43 days and it took two years to get him deported back to Honduras.

Below, Don holds a picture of his late son, who was only 25 when he was killed by an illegal alien.

So it’s not surprising that Rosenberg was infuriated by California Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of a bill declaring the entire state to be a sanctuary zone, at least partly to insult President Trump’s tough immigration enforcement.

Rosenberg appeared on Fox News on Wednesday to discuss the unlawful sanctuary state designation and how he intends to fight it, namely with an initiative to be put before California voters.

Sanctuary is a policy against public safety which is supposed to be government’s top job — although Democrats don’t value it. To that point, Rosenberg observed, “In 2016, there were over 52,000 illegal aliens in prison, and collectively they committed about 400,000 crimes, not all in 2016, That’s a major, major problem, and they need to do something about it.”

You can check out Rosenberg’s initiative at, although a citizen shouldn’t have to go to such lengths to make a state obey federal law — that’s Washington’s job. Where is Attorney General Jeff Sessions on this? The Sanctuary State bill was signed into law October 5, so it’s not like the AG hasn’t had time to prepare — where’s the pushback??

We need serious federal law enforcement in California where public safety has been greatly reduced because of illegals allowed to run wild and the crime magnet that sanctuary creates.

California Rolls Out Over 800 New Laws for 2018

California legislators used the last year to expand state government still further, and the more than 800 new laws taking effect in 2018 will raise the extent of liberal meddling in people’s private lives as well as extending the redistribution of free stuff to favored groups, financed on the backs of the overtaxed residents.

The big news is the legalization of recreational marijuana which will tend to increase the general left coast haze. Sacramento will collect a 15 percent tax on weed purchases, and local governments can tax at will, so the money bears watching.

Some new laws are harmless, like naming a California dinosaur to go along with the state bird, flower, fossil and fabric.

Behold, the Augustynolophus morrisi, a duckbill plant-eater that lived 66 million years ago in Fresno County.

The Los Angeles Times helpfully reported on the new laws by general category, including Immigration:

● Local law enforcement officials across California have new, strict limits on how much they can help federal immigration authorities — a law that pushes back against President Trump’s policies on illegal immigration. [LTG note: This is the Sanctuary State legislation to protect illegal alien criminals from the feds.]

● A landlord can face civil penalties for threatening to report a renter to federal immigration authorities.

● It now takes a warrant from a judge for federal agents to come to someone’s workplace on an immigration raid, and employers can be fined for not giving workers a 72-hour notice that those agents will be inspecting employee records.

● State agencies that provide help to juveniles and the developmentally disabled no longer have to report immigration violations to the federal government.

So California is about to become even friendlier to illegal aliens. It’s hard to imagine that being possible, but open borders extremists are creative in that perverted way.

Even the dependably liberal San Francisco Chronicle noted the busybody aspect:

California spreads its liberal wings in 2018 with a slew of new laws, San Francisco Chronicle, December 29, 2017

SACRAMENTO — Whether you cross the street, head to college or apply for a new job, one of the hundreds of new laws that California will add to the books on New Year’s Day is likely to affect you.

The biggest change, however, is that licensed dispensaries can legally sell recreational marijuana to adults 21 years and older starting Monday. About four dozen dispensaries are licensed by the state to sell marijuana for recreational use, with many other retailers expected to receive licenses in 2018.

Another significant state law bars local law enforcement officers from cooperating with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency on deportations except in cases in which immigrants had been convicted of certain crimes. Officers also will be barred from asking about a person’s immigration status.

The 800-plus laws passed this year show that California and its Democratic-led Legislature are flexing their political power in a state that has stood up to President Trump’s conservative policies. Democrats took the first step in making community college free, to address knee-buckling student debt: The first year will be tuition-free for new students. State lawmakers approved long-sought reforms to boost housing production, and approved new fees to pay for it.

Pedestrians will no longer face jaywalking fines for entering a crosswalk after the countdown signal starts, a law that few people knew about unless they had received a ticket. Those looking for a higher-paying job in the new year will no longer have to justify their current salary after lawmakers banned employers from asking what prospective workers make.

“It’s full-speed ahead for liberal Democrats in California,” said Larry Gerston, an emeritus professor of political science at San Jose State University. “I think the state will continue on this liberal trajectory into 2018.”


Europe Strategizes for Safety during the Holidays

Over the holiday season, a new concern has grown in prominence, namely “security” — accompanied by a big display of well armed police in large cities. Curiously, we never hear the dollar costs for the extra officers with expensive technology. Also what goes mostly unspoken is the frequent cause — muslim immigration which has allowed mass-murder-minded jihadis to enter the west easily.

Although America has certainly been harmed by allah’s helpers, Europe is orders of magnitude worse off because of its enthusiastic pursuit of open borders, encouraged by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a complicit European Union.

France has been a popular jihad target, with its culturally significant buildings like Notre Dame Cathedral.

All the major capitals of Europe are taking extensive security measures for New Years to protect the people from the diversity the governments allowed:

The Berlin strategy of creating “safe spaces” for women (after the New Years mass sex assaults by muslims against women in Cologne) has become controversial after the criticism by Rainer Wendt. A former police officer, Wendt believes that all of Germany’s public space should be safe for German women, otherwise freedom and equality will have been lost.

Of course, muslim immigration is the cause of European women’s reduced freedom. The US should avoid the same mistake.

Security the top priority for New Year’s Eve in European cities, Euronews, December 30, 2017

A look at security preparations in some of Europe’s major cities, where thousands are expected in the streets to see in the New Year.

Cities across Europe are on alert in the run-up to New Year’s Eve, as the threat of terrorist attacks continues to hang over the continent. Here is a look at plans in some Western European nations.

[. . .]


Germany is on high alert a year after a deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.

Barricades around the Brandenburg Gate will reassure revellers. And there will be a safe zone for women at the site after hundreds were molested and robbed in Cologne on New Year’s Eve two years ago.

Berlin police say the safety area in the capital’s “party mile” around the gate will feature tents, with German Red Cross staff including psychologists on hand for women feeling harassed.

The move has proved controversial. The head of Germany’s second-largest police officers’ union said a women’s zone planned for Berlin sent a “disastrous message”.

“With this message, you’re saying that there are safe and unsafe zones,” Rainer Wendt told the Neue Osnabrücher Zeitung newspaper. He said the move would amount to “the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination,” adding that women had a right to be safe everywhere.

In Cologne, police say 1,400 police officers are to be deployed on the central railway station plaza and around the adjacent cathedral. Fireworks are to be banned, while there have been plans for more video surveillance cameras and improved lighting.

The events in Cologne made worldwide headlines two years ago when groups of young men of North African appearance molested hundreds of women in the city centre.

Will There Be Amnesty in the New Year?

The new year in Congress will probably include immigration legislation in January, with the DACA pests propelling the amnesty issue forward. The president has stated that he wants a wall and an end to the Diversity Visa and chain migration in return for DACAs getting amnesty.

Keep in mind that chain migration has been spiraling upward and added significantly to numbers leading to 2016’s record total of 1.8 million new foreigners. That total is a sobering 53 percent higher than just five years ago. Chain migration allows today’s immigrants to choose America’s future immigrants, and the math is brutal:

It’s also troubling that the media and others use the terms DACA and Dreamers interchangeably when there is a big difference in the groups: DACAs are comprised of around 800,000 specific people who signed up for Obama’s unconstitutional program; while Dreamers are any youngish illegal aliens and would number in the millions.

Here’s Mark Krikorian being interviewed by Fox News on December 31:

Spare audio of the interview:

MARK KRIKORIAN (0:50): In the Senate there’s still the filibuster; there’s a kind of parliamentary rules where you can move financial measures through with only 51 votes. This would require 60 votes in the Senate, and so they’re gonna need some Democrat buy-in, but the reason for this package is not just horse trading, it’s not the White House saying ‘Okay, Democrats, you want the amnesty, we want this, let’s make a deal.’ Laws are made like that all the time, nothing wrong with it, but that’s not what’s happening here.

You need to have enforcement elements like the wall and other things and get rid of the chain migration in order to limit the damage caused by an amnesty because if you amnesty people, first thing that happens is more illegal immigrants want to come because they say ‘Hey, look you know these people made it, we want to as well.’ The other thing is a few years down the road the former illegal immigrants then can sponsor their family members, and that’s what chain migration is.

So you need to fix those two things as part of the deal as damage control because if you just amnesty these people with DACA, you’re gonna end up with more illegal immigration and more chain migration now unless you do something about it.

Asked how he thought the congressional debate would play out, Krikorian responded:

KRIKORIAN: We’re gonna see. The question is are they gonna stick to their guns or are they gonna cave when Senator Schumer in the Senate says ‘No, no deal.’ The real question is, well two questions — will the president stick to his guns? I think he will. But are the Democrats willing to let these DACA work permits expire and these people become illegal immigrants again rather than give in to some of these pretty reasonable demands?

I think the Democrats may be willing to just play politics with this issue and let all of those people lose their work permits and lose their jobs when the Republicans in the White House are saying ‘Look we’re actually okay with amnesty in this special group of people in exchange for things to limit the damage.’ So it’s gonna be the Democrats maybe who will sink this potential amnesty for these DACA work permit people.

Socialist Sweden Finds Automation Unthreatening

The New York Times had an interesting cultural analysis about automation in Sweden, where the workers appear not to fear they will be made unemployed by smart machines. Americans, by contrast, are suspicious about the effects of automation according to a recent Pew poll, with more than 70 percent admitting they worried about job loss, social disruption and worsened economic equality.

The Times put the story on its front page December 28, including a photo of a modern miner using a remote control to run a loading machine.

Socialism looks like a good fit with the automated future if governments adopt the program of a guaranteed basic income, as recommended by Martin Ford, the author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. The lefty countries are already set up to distribute free stuff, so the transition to a robot economy with cash for all would be no big deal. Certainly the Swedish miner Persson was agreeable and comfortable with the change. Still, the Times reporter seems to have become a little beguiled by Swedish socialism.

Curiously, the story had only one bland mention of the violent muslims who have made parts of Swedish cities no-go zones and transformed the once safe nation into the world rape capital:

Yet as Sweden absorbs large numbers of immigrants from conflict-torn nations, that support may wane. Many lack education and may be difficult to employ. If large numbers wind up depending on government largesse, a backlash could result.

“There’s a risk that the social contract could crack,” said Marten Blix, an economist at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm.

That’s one way to describe the civil war that’s brewing.

The Times story was reprinted in the Anchorage Daily News:

The robots are coming, and Sweden is fine, Anchorage Daily News, By Peter S. Goodman, The New York Times, December 28, 2017

GARPENBERG, Sweden — From inside the control room carved into the rock more than half a mile underground, Mika Persson can see the robots on the march, supposedly coming for his job here at the New Boliden mine.

He’s fine with it.

Sweden’s famously generous social welfare system makes this a place not prone to fretting about automation — or much else, for that matter.

Persson, 35, sits in front of four computer screens, one displaying the loader he steers as it lifts freshly blasted rock containing silver, zinc and lead. If he were down in the mine shaft operating the loader manually, he would be inhaling dust and exhaust fumes. Instead, he reclines in an office chair while using a joystick to control the machine.

He is cognizant that robots are evolving by the day. Boliden is testing self-driving vehicles to replace truck drivers. But Persson assumes people will always be needed to keep the machines running. He has faith in the Swedish economic model and its protections against the torment of joblessness.

“I’m not really worried,” he says. “There are so many jobs in this mine that even if this job disappears, they will have another one. The company will take care of us.”

In much of the world, people whose livelihoods depend on paychecks are increasingly anxious about a potential wave of unemployment threatened by automation. As the frightening tale goes, globalization forced people in wealthier lands like North America and Europe to compete directly with cheaper laborers in Asia and Latin America, sowing joblessness. Now, the robots are coming to finish off the humans.

But such talk has little currency in Sweden or its Scandinavian neighbors, where unions are powerful, government support is abundant, and trust between employers and employees runs deep. Here, robots are just another way to make companies more efficient. As employers prosper, workers have consistently gained a proportionate slice of the spoils — a stark contrast to the United States and Britain, where wages have stagnated even while corporate profits have soared.

“In Sweden, if you ask a union leader, ‘Are you afraid of new technology?’ they will answer, ‘No, I’m afraid of old technology,'” says the Swedish minister for employment and integration, Ylva Johansson. “The jobs disappear, and then we train people for new jobs. We won’t protect jobs. But we will protect workers.”


Foreign Flood into America Hits New High

We shouldn’t be surprised that the anti-American President Obama’s last year brought a record level of foreigner influx, as a major part of his destruction derby against the United States. He disapproves of the American people — particular the conservative ones — and used his presidency to overwhelm the traditional culture demographically and import a new people more accepting of liberal big government.

The Center for Immigration Studies analyzed the numbers and found that the legal and illegal immigration for 2016 was a record 1.8 million persons.

Chain migration grew alarmingly during the last decade and added to the catastrophic numbers. Steve Camarota of CIS remarked, “Our generous legal immigration system allows in a huge number of immigrants and then permits them to sponsor their relatives causing a multiplier effect. This chain migration has contributed to nearly 14 million immigrants settling here between 2006 to 2016.”

Increasing immigration is not the direction America should be going today — quite the contrary for many reasons.

The enormous number of foreign people residing here (more than 43 million) makes it possible for immigrants and illegal aliens to get by without speaking English. America has historically been good at assimilating immigrants, but the excessive numbers of foreigners are defeating cultural incorporation.

And while the human economy is booming today, the smart machines are coming on strong over the next few years, making immigrant workers worse than obsolete. If indeed the Oxford scholars’ automation forecast is correct and nearly half of jobs will be done by smart machines by 2033, then the unskilled, non-English-speaking immigrants may well become an angry underclass, susceptible to engaging in anti-social behavior. The optimal number of immigrants for the automated future is ZERO.

Here in California, an extremely dry start to the winter rainy season has been disturbing. Last year saw record rainfall ending the severe five-year drought, so the possibility of a return to the bad old days looks all too real. While much of the water supply goes to agricultural uses, the state population of 40 million — with over 10 million, or 27 percent of residents being foreign-born — is far higher than can be sustainably supported by a region that suffers periodic drought. In fact, the west experienced a series of Medieval mega-droughts from 900 to 1400, which is recent climatically speaking. California is FULL, and then some.

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

Large numbers of poor immigrants threaten America’s founding principles of limited government. As Ann Coulter has emphasized repeatedly, we shouldn’t be legalizing undocumented Democrats because it increases the growing welfare-prone sector who vote for big government every time (Let’s Start by Deporting the DREAMers!, Dec. 25)

Here’s a Fox News video report about the increased stream of foreigners:

WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: I’ll tell you the findings will certainly be part of an upcoming debate in Congress over DACA and immigration reform. So the numbers include legal and illegal immigration, and it is based on the US Census: it shows 1.8 million new immigrants settling in the U.S. in 2016, highest level in US history and 53 percent higher than just five years ago, when the recession hit and many went home because they couldn’t find a job.

Now this is for 2016, the last year of the Obama administration, when there was virtually no interior enforcement or worksite enforcement, no visa overstay prosecutions, and the border saw that surge of Central American women, children, families. The increase was also driven by more guest workers, more foreign students and a change that allowed the spouses of visa holders to work, which of course encouraged more relatives to join green card holders here in the US.

The original CIS report is here: 1.8 Million Immigrants Likely Arrived in 2016, Matching Highest Level in U.S. History.

Jorge Ramos Gets Trumped

Elections have consequences so they say, and open borders zealot Jorge Ramos is experiencing a big dose.

A recent Newsbusters post noted his unhappiness in the Trump Era. Apparently citizens now feel free to criticize the Univision star and his goal of Mexicans and hispanics generally overwhelming the US via legal and illegal immigration.

Jorge Ramos Says He’s Now Having the ‘Worst Time’ of His Life in U.S.,, December 20, 2017

Nearly a year into the Trump presidency, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos says he’s experiencing “the worst moment I’ve had in the 34 years I’ve been living in the United States.”

“With Donald Trump there, I have never been treated so badly. I have never been insulted so much. We’ve never been attacked so much. They have never tried to run us out as much as now,” Ramos vented in an interview with the Spanish radio network Cadena SER. . .

“Now the social media networks are terrible,” Ramos told his Spanish radio interviewer, Javier del Pino. “Before if someone wanted to insult you, they had to do it in person or by sending you an anonymous letter. Now they do it through the social media networks and the daily insults – you can enter my Facebook or Twitter – and they are there all the time,” lamented Ramos.

In the interview, Ramos continues to contend that Trump “was speaking about me” “he insulted me” along with the entire immigrant community in the U.S. on June 16, 2015 when during his presidential campaign announcement speech Trump slammed the lax border security that had permitted criminal elements from Mexico and other countries to illegally enter the United States.

“Donald Trump was blaming all of us for being rapists, criminals and drug traffickers,” said Ramos of Trump. Throughout much of the interview, Ramos also recounts his infamous encounter with Trump during the summer of 2015, when he was kicked out of a Trump press conference for failing to wait for the candidate to call on him as a questioner, and was only allowed to return to the press conference after agreeing to wait his turn and be called upon by the candidate.


So Mr. Special Ramos was miffed in 2015 when candidate Donald Trump didn’t fawn over his Mexican diversity in a news conference and told him to wait his turn. Ramos continued to interrupt, and Trump had him ejected.

Ramos made clear his ideology of hispanic expansionism in a 2006 discussion with Bill Maher when he chirped happily, “Latinos are not only the largest minority right now, but eventually we will be the majority in the United States, and the process is well underway.”

And in February, Ramos declared in Spanish to a Spanish-speaking audience. “This is our country, not theirs” –“theirs” meaning American citizens who oppose unlimited immigration:

Jorge Ramos: America Is ‘Our Country, Not Theirs’—‘And We Are Not Going to Leave’,, Feb 27, 2017

. . . “I am an immigrant, just like many of you,” Ramos said in Spanish, as translated by the Media Research Center. “I am a proud Latino immigrant here in the United States. My name is Jorge Ramos, and I work at Univision and at the Fusion network.”

“And you know exactly what is going on here in the United States. There are many people who do not want us to be here, and who want to create a wall in order to separate us,” he said.

“But you know what? This is also our country. Let me repeat this: Our country, not theirs. It is our country. And we are not going to leave.

Tucker Carlson grilled Ramos on those hostile, anti-American statements a couple weeks later:

So it’s understandable why the Univision reporter is unhappy with a pro-American president in the White House, and #JorgeRamos also doesn’t like getting smacked around on Twitter — tough for him but fun for us!

What Jobs Will Today’s Young People Have in the Automated Future?

It’s getting harder all the time to be a parent with all the negative influences in society and media today. But a new problem is how to provide guidance to a young person considering a career in a future that looks to have profoundly different work opportunities because of automation, advanced software and robots.

A few decades ago, a kid might follow his father into a decent paying manufacturing job in a Ford or Chevy plant, but then many factories were outsourced to cheap-labor Asian countries. Now some production is moving back to the US to save money on transportation costs, but with automation added which means fewer workers are needed.

Generac Power Systems, which shifted some of its work from abroad, can now make an alternator with one worker in the time it took four workers in China. Above, an employee at its Whitewater, Wis., plant.

The economy is cooking along right now because the businessman president knows how to make it work, unlike his predecessor. However, one estimate says that the effect of automation will begin to be felt in five years or so.

The main strategy for future employment is to choose a career that is creative and non-repetitive, according to Martin Ford, quoted later in the article posted below, who wrote Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future — an excellent, eye-opening book.

Many prestigious professions will be greatly effected by smart machines: law, for example will no longer need legal researchers because of advanced software technology. Those attracted to a medical career should forget about specializing in anesthesiology because the machines will have that covered.

Certain blue collar jobs have a bright future though, such as carpenters and plumbers.

The recent New York Times article about the jobless future from the parents’  viewpoint was thorough and sobering:

Parents wonder: Will robots take our children’s jobs?, By Alex Williams (New York Times News Service), Las Vegas Sun, December 18, 2017

When it comes to kids and careers, what’s a parent to do when the robots are coming for all the jobs, anyway?

Like a lot of children, my sons, Toby, 7, and Anton, 4, are obsessed with robots. In the children’s books they devour at bedtime, happy, helpful robots pop up more often than even dragons or dinosaurs. The other day I asked Toby why children like robots so much.

“Because they work for you,” he said.

What I didn’t have the heart to tell him is, someday he might work for them — or, I fear, might not work at all, because of them.

It is not just Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking who are freaking out about the rise of invincible machines. Yes, robots have the potential to outsmart us and destroy the human race. But first, artificial intelligence could make countless professions obsolete by the time my sons reach their 20s.

You do not exactly need to be Marty McFly to see the obvious threats to our children’s future careers.

Say you dream of sending your daughter off to Yale School of Medicine to become a radiologist. And why not? Radiologists in New York typically earn about $470,000, according to

But that job is suddenly looking iffy as AI gets better at reading scans. A startup called Arterys, to cite just one example, already has a program that can perform an MRI analysis of blood flow through a heart in just 15 seconds, compared with the 45 minutes required by humans.

Maybe she wants to be a surgeon, but that job may not be safe, either. Robots already assist surgeons in removing damaged organs and cancerous tissue, according to Scientific American. Last year, a prototype robotic surgeon called STAR (Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot) outperformed human surgeons in a test in which both had to repair the severed intestine of a live pig.

So perhaps your daughter detours to law school to become a rainmaking corporate lawyer. Skies are cloudy in that profession, too. Any legal job that involves lots of mundane document review (and that’s a lot of what lawyers do) is vulnerable.

Software programs are already being used by companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co. to scan legal papers and predict what documents are relevant, saving lots of billable hours. Kira Systems, for example, has reportedly cut the time that some lawyers need to review contracts by 20 to 60 percent.

As a matter of professional survival, I would like to assure my children that journalism is immune, but that is clearly a delusion. The Associated Press already has used a software program from a company called Automated Insights to churn out passable copy covering Wall Street earnings and some college sports, and last year awarded the bots the minor league baseball beat.

What about other glamour jobs, like airline pilot? Well, last spring, a robotic co-pilot developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, flew and landed a simulated 737. I hardly count that as surprising, given that pilots of commercial Boeing 777s, according to one 2015 survey, only spend seven minutes during an average flight actually flying the thing. As we move into the era of driverless cars, can pilotless planes be far behind?

Then there is Wall Street, where robots are already doing their best to shove Gordon Gekko out of his corner office. Big banks are using software programs that can suggest bets, construct hedges and act as robo-economists, using natural language processing to parse central bank commentary to predict monetary policy, according to Bloomberg. BlackRock, the biggest fund company in the world, made waves earlier this year when it announced it was replacing some highly paid human stock pickers with computer algorithms.

So am I paranoid? Or not paranoid enough? A much-quoted 2013 study by the University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science — surely the most sober of institutions — estimated that 47 percent of current jobs, including insurance underwriter, sports referee and loan officer, are at risk of falling victim to automation, perhaps within a decade or two.

Just this week, the McKinsey Global Institute released a report that found that a third of American workers may have to switch jobs in the next dozen or so years because of AI.


Here’s more information about the McKinsey report mentioned in the last paragraph above: Study: Robots could soon replace nearly a third of the U.S. workforce.

Maryland Community Lives in Fear Because of MS-13 Gang

A few years ago, President Obama opened the southern border to illegal aliens from Central America, thereby inviting the ultras-violent MS-13 gang into the United States.

(Is it a stretch to call the gang “ultra-violent”? Try this headline from the New York Post (Nov. 22): Decapitated MS-13 victim stabbed 100 times, heart ripped out of chest.)

As Judge Jeanine Pirro remarked on a televised interview:

If you recall they came into this country in 2014 under the Obama administration policy of allowing in those from Central America — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. I was one of those people saying look, as a DA, MS-13 is from El Salvador; they are without a doubt the most violent gang where initiation involves beating someone to death in front of others. . .

They came into this country, they told Border Patrol — “I’m MS-13, I’m a gang member” — and the Border Patrol could not stop them. They’ve got all of the indicia of being gang members, all the tats, and they have been allowed into this country. The Obama administration flew them all over.

In the April 2017 video below, Tucker Carlson said that ISIS is “nothing compared to MS-13 . . . unlike ISIS, MS-13 makes it hard to live in certain neighborhoods here in this country. Also unlike ISIS, there are a lot of them. ISIS may have a significant passive support in the U.S. and a lot of us suspect it does, but true active ISIS members — pretty small, maybe a few hundred at most. MS-13, by contrast, has at least 6,000 members.”

There have been arrests of MS-13 gangsters, like the 200 rounded up this fall. But with thousands of them in the country, thanks to Obama, getting rid of the crime monsters will take a while.

MS-13 members are apparently into tats.

The Washington Post highlighted the crime crisis on Thursday, with a sob story photo of a crying immigrant, Abigail Bautista — oh wait, she’s an illegal alien, as the reader learns later in the article. The Post can’t bother to find a citizen who has been harmed by the gang, although there is no shortage.

Here’s the original full story in the Washington Post: ‘People Here Live in Fear’: MS-13 Menaces Prince George’s County Community.

The link below has a substantial snip from that article:

‘People in fear’: MS-13 menaces a community 7 miles from the White House, December 20 2017

It took Abigail Bautista less than a month of living in Langley Park to learn that her new neighborhood in Maryland had its own set of laws, written not in statutes but in gang graffiti and blood.

The Guatemalan mother of five was pushing a cart of merchandise along University Boulevard one winter morning in late 2012 when three young men approached.

“Do you know who we are?” one asked her in Spanish.

Bautista shook her head.

“We are La Mara Salvatrucha,” he said. “And here, there are rules.”

Pay $60 “rent” per week or there would be trouble, he said. Undocumented and afraid of being deported if she went to police, Bautista began handing over the cash.

She had heard of the international street gang growing up in Central America, where MS-13, as it’s known, controls cities through brutality and corruption. But she had lived for the better part of a decade in the United States without crossing its path.

Now, she realized, she’d unwittingly moved into MS-13 territory a mere seven miles from the White House.

As the gang has grown in strength in recent years, so has its sway over communities across the country. From Boston to Northern Virginia to Houston, a string of grisly MS-13 murders has highlighted its resurgence, drawing a response from the White House.

“One by one, we’re liberating our American towns,” President Trump said this summer in Long Island, where MS-13 has been linked to more than a dozen recent killings.

Left out of Trump’s speeches, however, is the fact that most of the gang’s victims are not Americans but undocumented immigrants like Bautista. And when it comes to the gang’s infamous motto of “kill, rape, control,” it’s the third — enforced daily through extortion and intimidation — that defines life for some immigrants in places such as Langley Park.

“They are preying on the communities that they are living in,” said Michael McElhenny, a supervisory special agent for the FBI in Maryland.

More than a decade after a string of MS-13 killings shook the heavily Latino neighborhood, Langley Park is still struggling to shake off the gang’s influence. Despite aggressive policing, the area continues to be plagued by MS-13 drug dealing, prostitution, robbery, extortion and murder, according to court records and interviews with residents, activists, prosecutors and gang experts, as well as local and federal law enforcement officials.

Deputy Chief Sammy Patel of the Prince George’s County police said years of anti-gang operations have broken MS-13’s “stranglehold” on Langley Park and prevented the spike in killings seen elsewhere.

“We always target MS-13,” he said. “They aren’t running amok.”

Patel said there was a slight decline in violent crime in Langley Park between 2013 and 2016, although he acknowledged that the gang remains active in the neighborhood.

In fact, prosecutors consider Langley Park a “hub” of MS-13 activity and say the gang was likely responsible for all five slayings there in the past four years.

Bautista wasn’t the only one extorted by MS-13.

One of her neighbors was told to pay the gang or she’d find her husband’s body in a dumpster. Another said she was given days to come up with $1,500 earlier this year or MS-13 would k!ll her children in Central America.

2017 Was the Year When Robots Came Out

In late December, people starts making end-of-year lists and analyses, so it’s not surprising to see one about the progress of automation in 2017. A writer at Wired thinks it been a great year for robots, when they began to be seen walking around and interacting with their environment, rather than being bolted to the factory floor for repetitious tasks.

Below, a robot barista made its debut in the Cafe X of San Francisco, where the owner says that he uses the machine because it is more efficient and cheaper than human workers.

During the past year central aspects of robotics came together: the hardware become more dependable, and the brain power ramped up.

Now this is all great news from a tech progress viewpoint, but not so much when considering future job loss of humans to automation.

2017 Was the Year the Robots Really, Truly Arrived, Wired, December 19, 2017

THE WORLD SEEMED different this year, yes? Like something strange has been walking and rolling among us? Like we’re now sharing the planet with a new species of our own creation?

Well, we are, because 2017 was the year that the robots really, truly arrived. They escaped the factory floor and started conquering big cities to deliver Mediterranean food. Self-driving cars swarmed the streets. And even bipedal robots—finally capable of not immediately falling on their faces—strolled out of the lab and into the real world. The machines are here, and it’s an exhilarating time indeed. Like, now Atlas the humanoid robot can do backflips. Backflips

“2017 has been an amazing year for robotics,” says roboticist Sebastian Thrun, a pioneer of the self-driving car. “Why 2017? Why did it take us so long?”

Well, it was a confluence of factors, namely the cheapening of sophisticated hardware combined with better brains. “In the past, in robotics we had not-so-smart software with hardware that would break all the time, and that’s not a good product,” Thrun says. “It’s only recently that both computers have become smart enough and that robot hardware has become reliable enough that the very first products start to emerge.”

Perhaps the biggest leap in hardware has been sensor technology. To build a robot you don’t have to babysit, you need it to sense its environment, and to sense its environment it needs a range of sensors. Not just with cameras, but with lasers that build a 3-D map of the robot’s surroundings. These kinds of components have gotten both far more powerful and far cheaper.

“I kind of talk about this finally being the golden age of robotics, and that means that for the first time in the last 12 months or so you see robots really becoming prolific,” says Ben Wolff, CEO of Sarcos Robotics, which makes the most bonkers robot arms you’ve ever seen. “And I think it’s because we’re finally at that crossover point, where the cost has come down of components while the capability of the components has increased sufficiently.”

Like, come down big time. One sensor cost Sarcos a quarter of a million dollars in 2010. Today, it’s $8,000—that’d be 3 percent of the cost just seven years ago. Other components like actuators—the motors in the joints of something like a robot arm—are also falling steadily in cost. Today, an actuator that once cost $3,500 is closer to $1,500. And it’s actuators, perhaps more than any other component, that promise to take robotics to the next level in the very near future.

Loaded with cheaper, supercharged sensors, robots are finally capable of tackling the uncertainty of the human world. Whether humans actually want that is another question. Take delivery robots, for instance. In San Francisco’s chaotic Mission neighborhood this year, a robot called Marble began picking up food and delivering it straight to customers’ doors.


Human Bumps along the Road Await Self-Driving Vehicles

Big automobile and tech companies are racing to dominate the coming self-driving revolution in transportation, but there’s a small hiccup in the plans — the public is not convinced that autonomous vehicles (aka AVs) are a good idea.

Below, a self-driving car navigates a Pittsburgh bridge as part of its testing process.

A poll conducted by the insurance company AIG a couple months back found that three-quarters of the 1,000 respondents thought there was a danger from hackers, and favorability was pretty evenly split on sharing the road with self-driving vehicles, with 42 percent generally positive and 41 percent had reservations (Hacking Risk Is What Worries Americans Most About Driverless Cars, Bloomberg, October 3, 2017).

A survey from AAA released March 1, 2017, found a more basic negative response — fear:  Three-Quarters of Americans “Afraid” to Ride in a Self-Driving Vehicle.

But not to worry! American advertising swung into action with a reassuring message about self-driving cars from hoops hero Lebron James, who went from doubt to acceptance in less than 30 seconds:

Remember that the whole enchilada of self-driving vehicles means huge job loss eventually, with 3.8 million Americans now working as drivers according to figures from the US Department of Commerce:

So America can end its outmoded program of importing foreigners via immigration to work cheap because the robots are cheaper than Mexicans, and even if some expressions of automation are viewed with suspicion by the public, in general the workplace revolution of machines replacing human workers is coming sooner than we think.

Are we going too fast on driverless cars?,, December 14, 2017

The automakers and high-tech companies spending billions of dollars on developing self-driving cars and trucks tout the idea that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society. Politicians aren’t far behind in their enthusiasm for the new technology.

“This is probably the biggest thing to hit the auto industry since the first car came off the assembly line,” Senator Gary Peters (D–MI) told a cheering audience of researchers and executives at a recent computing conference in Washington, D.C. “It will not only completely revolutionize the way we get around, but [AVs] also have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.”

Such predictions, however, turn out to be based on surprisingly little research. While developers amass data on the sensors and algorithms that allow cars to drive themselves, research on the social, economic, and environmental effects of AVs is sparse. Truly autonomous driving is still decades away, according to most transportation experts. And because it’s hard to study something that doesn’t yet exist, the void has been filled by speculation—and starkly contrasting visions of the future. “The current conversation … falls into what I call the utopian and dystopian views,” says Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

In the utopian view, she says, fleets of cheap, accessible AVs offer rides at the tap of a screen. Their ubiquity expands transportation options for everyone. Once AVs are commonplace, traffic accidents become a thing of the past, and enlightened government regulatory policies result in fewer traffic jams and parking problems, and less urban sprawl. Fleets of electric-powered AVs shrink fossil fuel consumption and reduce air pollution. Commutes become stress-free and more productive, as former drivers can now work, read, or knit while being whisked to their destinations.

In the dystopian view, driverless cars add to many of the world’s woes. Freed from driving, people rely more heavily on cars—increasing congestion, energy consumption, and pollution. A more productive commute induces people to move farther from their jobs, exacerbating urban sprawl. At the same time, unexpected software glitches lead to repeated recalls, triggering massive travel disruptions. Wealthier consumers buy their own AVs, eschewing fleet vehicles that come with annoying fellow commuters, dirty back seats, and logistical hassles. A new metric of inequality emerges as the world is divided into AV haves and have-nots.

A few scientists are examining these predictions—both the dire and the starryeyed. It’s too soon to definitively address some questions, such as the environmental impact of AVs, which will depend not just on the type of cars on the road, but also on how people will use them. Recent studies by researchers at two Department of Energy national laboratories, for example, have calculated that total energy consumption for transportation could drop by as much as 91%—or increase by 200%.


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