Sky Links, 12-29-18

An introduction to Jordan Peterson, for kids

The biggest fake news stories of 2018

Johnson, Obama, Nixon, F.D.R., Wilson, Adams, and Lincoln were rougher on the press than Trump
The president was frustrated with the media coverage of him and his policies, swearing that 85 percent of all newspapers were against him.
“Our newspapers cannot be edited in the interests of the general public,” the president griped. Then, almost derisively, he said: “Freedom of the press. How many bogies are conjured up by invoking that greatly overworked phrase?”
So, he opted to bypass the traditional media he was convinced was unfair and speak directly to America.
And President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats on the radio, beginning in 1933, proved to be a successful political move.

Sound familiar? Mueller team deletes evidence

The Justice Department's internal watchdog revealed on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller's office scrubbed all of the data from FBI agent Peter Strzok's iPhone, while his FBI mistress Lisa Page's phone had been scrubbed by a different department, according to a comprehensive report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released on Thursday.

After Strzok was kicked off the special counsel investigation following the discovery of anti-Trump text messages between he and Page, his Mueller's Records Officer scrubbed Strzok's iPhone after determining "it contained no substantive text messages," reports the Conservative Review's Jordan Schachtel.

-Tyler Durden

Was the fake news press colluding with terrorists?
The Washington Post has caused itself a major scandal since it has come to light they and their martyred “reformer” Jamal Khashoggi were publishing anti-Saudi propaganda for Qatar. They tried to bury this in a pre-Christmas Saturday news dump, but that can’t stop the damage this will do to their reputation.

The persecution of the church in China

In an op-ed published on Washington Post on December 27, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey calls on the world to let the Chinese government know that their effort to erase religion and culture of their people are destructive, shameful acts that will not be tolerated by the community of nations.
Under President Xi, he said, Bibles are burned, churches destroyed, crosses set ablaze atop church steeples and now, religious leaders are required to install facial-recognition cameras in their places of worship. New regulations expand restrictions on religious expression online and prohibit those under age 18 from attending services.

-International Christian Concern

A story of forgiveness and grace

One man’s choice to forgive has forged an unimaginable friendship, rooted in a tragic accident that started at the end of a 24-hour work shift...
...“I remembered somebody said this in a sermon — in moments where tragedy happens or even hurt, there's opportunities to demonstrate grace or to exact vengeance,” Fitzgerald said. “Here was an opportunity where I could do that. And I chose to demonstrate grace.”
-Robin Sindler and Eun Kyung Kim

Women's oppression by... women
For all the feminist complaints that fairy tale princesses are victims of the patriarchy, it’s really the women — rather than the men — in fairy tales that are mostly trying to control the princesses. The Evil Queen tries to murder Snow White in a fit of jealous rage. Cinderella’s wicked stepmother forces her into servitude. A wicked witch kidnaps Rapunzel and locks her in a tower. And on and on. It’s women telling other women what they can and can’t do, what they can and can’t wear, what they can and can’t think. Which, funnily enough, is pretty much exactly what’s happening in real life within the movement that’s hellbent on demonizing fairy tale princesses: feminism.
While the term “feminism” simply means “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes,” there are many within the movement’s current iteration who feel that this can only be achieved if all women follow a prescribed set of values and behaviors set forth by . . . feminists. Women don’t need men. All mothers must work outside the home. A “strong” woman is a “badass” warrior. And on an on.
It’s not that all — or even most — feminists feel this way. It’s just that this is the “feminism” covered most frequently by the media and therefore it’s the philosophy that has become, through osmosis, the “feminist” agenda. Women telling other women what to do. Just like in fairy tales.

The movie that you did not see and did not hear about, this year

It’s easy to make an argument as to why the film is vanishing from screens or just hasn’t been discussed by reviewers and the media, but it’s equally as easy to dismiss them. Maybe it’s an economic question and the film didn’t do so well? Well, it was never going to topple Halloween, but it still broke into the top 10 on its opening weekend, making $1.2 million (which, for an independent film with little in the way of marketing, is an incredible amount). Factor in the anecdotal evidence that cinemas didn’t have any posters up for it and showings being cancelled or empty rooms being advertised as sold out and it’s all the more amazing. It’s really unheard of for a film with this economic performance to be pulled so quickly.
Maybe the audience didn’t enjoy it – look at Rotten Tomatoes, and it has a 98% approval rating. Perhaps it’s just that the film didn’t receive a wide-enough release, and so the media couldn’t cover it – well, the same day, The New York Times reviewed Beautiful Boy (screened in four cinemas) and Over the Limit (just one). Gosnell debuted in 673 cinemas, and attracted only one review in any major newspaper. The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Rechtshaffen wrote: “You can say one thing for Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer – it will never be mistaken for having a liberal bias… the film adopts a sanctimonious tone that’s anything but subtle.”
I think that this review goes some of the way to explaining the media blackballing of the movie. It is noticeably a right-wing movie (to quote Rechtshaffen, “the film never loses sight of the choir to which it is plainly preaching”), but why should that be a problem? An awful lot of Hollywood movies and stars freely and openly advocate left-wing messages, and award ceremonies are frequently derided as opportunities to spout progressive politics (even more so since the election of President Trump).

The opioid crisis
More than 700,000 Americans died from drug overdoses from 1999 to 2017, about 10% of them in 2017 alone, according to a new report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In total, there were a staggering 70,237 drug overdose deaths last year, which is more deaths than all US military fatal casualties of the Vietnam War. Opioids were involved in 67.8%, or 47,600 of those deaths. Of those opioid-related overdose deaths, 59.8% of them, or 28,466, were due to synthetic opioids.

The report, which was published online in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), also examined drug overdose deaths from 2013-17. During that time, "drug overdose death rates increased in 35 of 50 states and DC, and significant increases in death rates involving synthetic opioids occurred in 15 of 20 states," the report said adding that the rapid increase was driven by fentanyl.
Of the 35 districts reporting data, 23 states and DC noticed increased rates of death directly linked to synthetic opioids. Fentanyl overdose deaths surged 150% from 2016 to 2017.

-Tyler Durden

Abundant energy in the future
Fossil fuels have amply repaid their energy cost so far, but the margin is falling as we seek gas and oil from tighter rocks and more remote regions. Nuclear fission passes the EROEI test with flying colours but remains costly because of ornate regulation.

Which brings me to nuclear fusion, a process potentially with a wildly positive EROEI (it fuels the sun and the H-bomb) but that so far has proved impossible to control. Fusion’s ever-receding promise suggests caution, but a British company, Tokamak Energy, is increasingly confident it can generate electricity by 2030, ahead of its American rivals. It forecasts ten large (1.5 GWe) power plants a year being built by 2035, and a hundred by 2040. It is a cheeky, private-sector upstart challenging the slow, international, public-sector collaboration on fusion.

The new fusion optimists base their confidence on yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO), a novel superconducting material that allows smaller, less cold but more powerful magnets. Britain is a world leader in YBCO technology, so it is not impossible that we could see a breakthrough here in the next two decades comparable to Thomas Newcomen’s steam invention of 1712.

Suppose fusion does make the “too cheap to meter” breakthrough that fission failed to make. We could then stop worrying about carbon dioxide, but what would we do with all this energy? We could make as much fresh water as we fancied, through desalination, to water the deserts. We could grow food indoors to release the countryside for nature. We could electrify all transport. We could enable Africa to become as wealthy as America.