Washington Redskins and Political Correctness

Those offended by something as frivolous as a sports team name or logo really need to grow up.

Washington Redskins Logo

On June 18th, 2014, The U.S. Patent Office announced that it was stripping the NFL’s Washington Redskins of their trademark registration.  Nevada Senator and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that now the Washington Redskins would have to change their name.  This was something that the liberal “Politically Correctness Police” had been championing for sometime now.  But a Federal Court threw out a identical ruling 5 years ago so it seems very likely that the Redskins will retain their name and their trademark.

So what brought about this latest ruling?  The case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five “Native Americans”.  I use the quotes because there is no such thing as a Native American.  No humans evolved on the North American continent.  Those being called such in today’s politically correct world just had ancestors that arrived a few thousand years before mine did.  Most would prefer you call them by their tribal name but have no problem being called American Indian.  Regardless, the case was filed “on behalf of” those five individuals because the liberal groups wanting to enforce Political Correctness needed to have some sort of legal standing to file the case.

The reality is that many if not most of those referred to as Native Americans don’t really care.  They honor their culture but are too mature to be offended by the logo of a sports team.  They worry more about how the Indian Health Service (IHS) provides terrible healthcare where their kids wait years for glasses and dental work.  The worry more about how Indian women are 5 time more likely to be the victims of sexual assault and murder than the national average.  They worry about their high teenage suicide rate, which is more than twice the national average.  And they worry about how their substance abuse and unemployment are 10x higher than the national average.  It is mainly just the Politically Correct on the Left that have any problem with the Redskin name or logo.

Political Correctness is one of my pet peeves.  I am offended by those that are so easily offended.  I am a bald white guy and wouldn’t care the slightest if the NFL had a team called the “Bald White Guys”.   Or the “Bald Honky’s”, “Bald Whitees” “Follicle-Challenged Pale Dudes” or whatever.  When do we tell those who are so easily offended to grow up?  When do we tell them that there’s nothing in the Constitution that says you have a right not to be offended?

And what is next if the Redskins lose their legal fight?  Will the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” have to lose their iconic Leprechaun if a few people of Irish descent decide they’re offended?   Will the Florida Seminoles or the Atlanta Braves be the next target?  The liberal Huffington Post published a list of teams it found most offensive and I frankly found most of them rather amusing.  Talk about not taking yourself too seriously when you name your team the “Butte Pirates” or the “Nads”.   Some might call team names like these childish. I find being offended by something this frivolous to be even more so.

Beyond his Ideology, President Obama is an Empty Suit

President Obama’s ideological disconnect from reality leaves him incapable of providing the leadership America needs.

President-barack-obama-empty-suit

On Fox News’s “O’Reilly Factor” on June 13th, 2014, Bill O’Reilly said:

“When Putin invaded Crimea, the Administration was “surprised”.  When terrorists killed 4 Americans (one a U.S. Ambassador) in Benghazi…the Administration was surprised.  When the VA Scandal came to light…the Administration was…caught by surprise.  When thousands of illegal children started crossing the border…the Administration was…caught by surprise.   Now Baghdad is failing and the Administration…is caught by surprise.”

Bill O’Reilly was talking about the President having an incompetent team that was not advising him on important matters.  I believe the problem is much worse that that.  I believe President Obama is so committed to his ideology that he only listens to those in his Administration that share that ideology and together they make an echo chamber that makes them deaf to the realities that crash up against that ideology.  I believe that he and his core followers within his administration believe that it is best for America for them to implement the far left agenda as much as possible during his time left in office regardless of Constitutional restrictions or other laws of the land and regardless of how bad their actions hurt the average American taxpayer.

There are many examples of the President putting his ideology ahead of the law and America’s interests:

The Keystone XL Pipeline:  His ideology tells him that opening up this pipeline will just enhance our use of carbon-emitting fossil fuels and that it is better for America not to get the benefits of the Keystone pipeline, which would add tens of thousands of jobs and reduce our dependency on Middle Eastern oil.

Releasing the 5 Taliban from Gitmo:  Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl being released in exchange for 5 Taliban despite the law requiring Congress to be notified 30 days prior to any such release.

The EPA Mandates-by-Decree:   The liberals have given up the idea of using the Constitutional process to enact laws to force America to accept their Man-Made Global Warming ideology on America.  They realize that too many Democrat Senators and Representatives will vote against that type of legislation because it would cost them their jobs come the next election.  So now they just put fellow ideologues in positions of power within the EPA  and have them issue decrees such as new carbon emission requirements for coal power plants that Congress has always refused to pass.

Using the IRS as a political tool:  It has been proven now that the Obama Administration used the IRS to prevent groups opposed to his reelection from completing their registration process as a non-profit.  This prevented them from doing the activities they wanted to do during the 2012 campaign.   Meanwhile, the IRS processed many pro-Obama nonprofits so they could assist with his reelection efforts.  Using the IRS as a weapon against political opponents is as bad or worse than what was done during Watergate.

Dozens of Changes-by-Decree to Obamacare:  He has unilaterally made numerous changes to the law without any regard to what the disasterous law he pushed through actually says.  Regardless of how horrible the law is for America, it is a law passed by Congress.  A president that can take a law and enforce what parts he chooses and make unilateral changes to it without bothering to follow the Constitutional process is a danger to our country’s future.

The Benghazi Cover Up:   The administration is covering up their attempts at portraying the attack as protests over a video other than a large, coordinated Al-Qaeda linked terrorist attack. They knew from the moment it was happening that it was a terrorist attack…but that would have undermined Obama, who was in the middle of his reelection campaign and was saying in speech after speech that he’d beaten Al-Qaeda.  It wouldn’t do at all to have to admit that a major Al-Qaeda terrorist attack had killed a US Ambassador and 3 SEALS.  So the Obama Admin began the cover up while the attack was still going on..,not even allowing the military to try to save them. THAT is the true cover up.

It  is expected that presidents, the highest level of a politician, act political.  It is expected that they decide that they were put into office by those that felt they were the best candidate to lead our country.  But there is also an expectation that a president will surround themselves with capable staff members who will provide them with the information they need to lead.  It is expected that the president will have those on his staff who can go up to the president and tell him that what he is doing is actually harming the country regardless of what their ideology tells them.  It is expected that the president will take the lead in international affairs to ensure America’s best interests are met.   Several recent polls show that pretty much everyone other than those that share his far left agenda have concluded that President Obama is incapable of meeting these expectations.  And America and many other parts of the world are being hurt by his inability to be an affective leader.

The world cannot afford to have an American president that is incapable of leading efforts of both war and peace on the world stage.  It makes that world a much more dangerous place and hurts America in many long-lasting ways.  Beyond his ideology, President Obama is an empty suit, incapable of leading and uncaring of the consequences of his agenda.

At this point, all we can hope for is a Republican House (and hopefully Senate come November) that can limit the amount of damage caused by this failed leader.  Let us hope that the voters of 2016 are not so enamored of a “cool” candidate that they forget to see if the candidate is actually capable of the job.

The State of Nanotechnology in 2014

They are the tiny machines with unlimited potential.  Read one story and you’ll come away thinking they are the savior technology.  The technology that will cleanse our brains of the plaque of old age; the technology that will build new materials unimaginable today.  But read another story and they are our doom.  They will replicate uncontrollably and destroy humanity.  They are at once seen as the technology with the greatest promise and the greatest peril known to man.  And yet, ask most people what nanotechnology is or where it is going and most will tell you they’ve never heard of it or have only heard of it on a science fiction show or movie.

I don’t know if it will save us or destroy us.  But I do know that some fascinating advances over the past year or so have taken the technology out of the realm of science fiction and presented us with a much clearer picture of what we will have as scientific fact in the very near future.  So rather than write another droll article about whether nanotechnology will save us or destroy us, I thought it better to show exactly where the technology stands in the middle of 2014.

Before I begin, a simple overview of nanotechnology.  The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative defines “nanotechnology” as anything smaller than 100 nanometers with novel properties.  A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, roughly the width of three or four atoms.  The average human hair is about 25,000 nanometers wide so this gives you an idea as to how small we are talking about when we say nanotechnology.  To me, the definition is correct but a bit vague and of little help to those trying to understand its use in the real world.  For the purposes of this article, let’s agree that nanotechnology consists of tiny, even microscopic, technology that presumably has some designed function other than the destruction of humanity.

There is a branch of nanotechnology that deals more with nano particles (gold nanoparticles and quantum dots for example) that do not have much if any function beyond their material properties.  But this article centers more on nano-sized machines, often called “nanoprobes”, with functionality one would expect from machines.  For this technology to have any utilization capability, it has to have a few functional requirements.  These can be broken down as:

a)  They need to be tiny;  And I mean real small.  Small enough that they can cruise through your veins without you even noticing.   As I mentioned above, the word “Nanotechnology” technology refers to technology that is 100 nanometers or smaller.

b) They need to be able to maneuver;  Such technology would have limited use if it just floated around in an uncontrollable manner.  There are some applications that do not necessarily need guided probes so this is a requirement dependent on usage.

c) They need to be able to communicate;  Again the technology would be of limited use if it could not be given commands and preferably also have the capability of communicating with those around it to coordinate actions.  The ultimate goal would be to create probes with built-in wireless telemetry, so they could communicate information to each other and to their human operators.  I include nano-scale data storage in this category.

d) They need to be able to perform a function; The nanoprobe is presumably designed for some function.  That function might be assembly, disassemble, exploration, reproduction or other functions.  The nature of each unit’s functionality would dictate the structure (scaffolds, motors, pincers, delivery capsules, sensors, cameras, etc) of the unit.

e) They need to be powered;  Nanoprobes must have a power source if they are to have movement, communications and functionality.

There are many very interesting nanotechnology systems that have been proposed or are in development.  Examples include:

  • Medical Nanoprobes:  Probes small enough to be steered through the body.  They could find and clear cancer cells, treat or possibly even cure Diabetes and scrub our brains of the plaque responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease.  They could deliver drugs to specific parts of the body at a cellular level.  Therapeutic probes could be used to restore eyesight or hearing by repairing or rerouting nerve paths.  The technology could even be used to enhance sensory capabilities and strengthen bone and muscle mass.  Implanted biosensors could manage glucose levels, monitor vital signs and signal emergencies before you’re even aware you have a problem.  Nanotechnology could even be used for gene therapy, manipulating DNA to fix genetic issues.
  • Electronic Nanotechnology: 3-D Holography with no glasses that looks like something out of Star Wars; Clothing with nanofibers batteries, super-efficient lighting and photovoltaics and many other nano-technology related advances will be seen in the electronics industry.   Semiconductor nano particles known as “quantum dots” are now being used in flat-panel TVs and light bulbs.  Micro-Satellites that are 90 percent smaller than today’s systems will soon be taking advantage of the greatly reduces size of electronics.  They will also have much smaller power requirements meaning that solar arrays, already becoming more efficient, will be able to power capabilities far beyond most of today’s satellites.
  • Military:  Micro-drones that look like insects, Ironman-like armor and superstrong materials able to withstand blasts and even self-heal.
  • Material production:  While the main focus of this article is on nanoprobe technology, it is a fact that nanotechnology machines are enabling the production of new materials that will have a large and varied impact on our lives.  Nanotechnology can allow us to make multiwall carbon nanotube material at what amounts to 100-gigapascal tensile strength, which is 20 times stronger than the strongest carbon fiber made today.  Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, Carbon sequestering filters, Hyperbolic metamaterials and many other materials that don’t mean much to the average reader in today’s world are going to be real game changers in the future.

There are many technological challenges and discoveries that will have to happen before many if not all of these systems become reality.   Significant advances have been recently made in the nanotechnology field that bring this technology much closer to fruition.

Nanoscale Production:  Producing uniform-sized technology at the molecular level is a necessary feature of producing nano machines but the techniques for doing so did not until recently exist.   Several advances are leading us towards this capability.  North Carolina State University recently revealed how they had developed a new method for making carbon nanofibers of specific sizes.  And the University of New York and the University of Melbourne have created a technique for using DNA strands to create specific 2-D shapes.   Arizona State University and University of Michigan scientists  have developed a similar 3-D artificial enzyme technology.  Georgia Institute of Technology researchers announced in an April 2014 study how they have developed a technique for the development of gear-like molecular-scale machines.  And recent advancements in molecular self-assembly advance our capabilities to produce molecular wires, memory units, etc.   So you can see there are some great strides being made in how to build the structure of nanotechnology machines.

Nanotechnology Controlled Movement: Several different methods have been developed or are in development to allow for controlled maneuvering of nanotechnology.  As with much of nanotechnology, many of the lines of research on how to give controlled movement to nanotechnology rely on copying what nature has designed.  Researchers at the American Institute of Physics (AIP) have designed a sperm-inspired micro-robots that have a sperm-like tail and whose forward movement is controlled with magnetic fields.  Another recently developed technique uses magnets to control the direct of tiny motors that can work within living cells.

Communication:  Nanotechnology needs to be able to receive instructions and, for certain functions, be able to transmit feedback to their human operator.

Maybe nanoprobes will have to use their movement capabilities to ensure they stay very close to each other so they can communicate with each other in a manner similar to neurotransmitters.  For example, a centralized small device the size of a pill could be either inserted or ingested and nanoprobes would then use that as a centralized processor and use their movement capabilities to ensure they stay with communication range of the device.  The micro-technology device would act as a network hub, receiving instructions from the human operator and the device would send that information out to the many nanoprobes.  The nanoprobes would communicate their location and functions to the device which would then be sent to the human operator.  This could also be an effective way of controlling nanotechnology within a body as they would have no functional capability without the hub device.

Nanoprobe Functionality:  The nanoprobes have to be able to provide some sort of useful functionality.   This functionality might include capabilities such as grabbing, cutting, sensing, video and transporting.  There are many recent advancements in this area including a very interesting development of nano-scale tools to include Biomolecular Tweezers, Optical Tweezers, Nanolasers.  Many researchers interested in creating functional nanoprobes have focused on Biomimetics, which takes advantage of the millions of years of refinement nature has put into the design of the functionality of plants and animals to design mechanical functionality that somewhat mimics natural designs.  This could include features such mimicking the gecko’s ability to walk up walls; waterstriders ability to walk on water; actuators and designer materials that mimic muscles; the photo receptive capabilities of algae; insect infrared sensing capabilities and other sensory functions.

Power:  Nanoprobes must have a power source if they are to have movement, communications and functionality.  Will they pull power from their surroundings in some electrochemical process or will they be battery powered.  Recent developments in nanoscale batteries make this a distinct possibility.  One awesome recent advance was announced by Vanderbilt’s Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory.  They have developed a supercapacitor that stores electricity by assembling electrically charged ions on the surface of a porous material, instead of storing it in chemical reactions the way batteries do.   Their supercapicitors can charge and discharge in minutes, instead of hours, and operate for millions of cycles, instead of thousands of cycles like batteries.  If this can be scaled down to nano-sized storage, then the probes will have their power source.  And if supercharged batteries aren’t the answer, there’s always the advancements being made in wireless recharging of nano-scale batteries.

There have been many other advances that don’t necessarily fall into the above categories but are important advances that take us that much closer to having nanoprobe technology.  And there are some big advances in nanotechnology that don’t relate to nanoprobes that are going to have as big if not bigger influences on our lives.  Advances like nanoscale imaging, that will improve our healthcare, antibacterial surfaces that will help reduce disease and water desalination that will give much of the world safe drinking water and eliminate the need for water wars.  Each are extremely important and will shape many aspects of our future.  As it stands now, nanotechnology seems much more likely to enhance our lives that it does to terminate them.   Let us hope that our ability to control these advances matches our ability to find innovative uses of this technology.

Ed Ruth

 

SOURCES:

http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=49616

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26136979

Biomimetics: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/ws-rul060514.php

Nanotechnology Energy Storage: http://www.myfoxorlando.com/story/25686820/nanotechnology-research-at-ucf-could-change-how-we-send-and-store-electricity

Nanotechnology-enhanced Human Bodies: http://www.policymic.com/articles/89803/here-s-a-surprising-look-at-how-nanotechnology-could-reengineer-our-bodies

Nano Particles: http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2014/05/21/house-science-space-and-technology-subcommittee-on-research-and-technology-hea-a-507699.html#.U5ODNHaaZQw

DNA Manipulation with Nanotechnology: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244972.php

Nanotechnology Targets Cancer Cells: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241875.php
And: https://gust.com/companies/medical_nanotechnologies

Nanotech Gears and Hinges: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140406162247.htm

Molecular Self-Assembly:  http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=35908.php

Military Nanotechnology: http://www.local8now.com/news/headlines/US-special-forces-advances-Iron-Man-suit-project-260158651.html