Trump Tramples the Lofty Principles of the Boy Scouts

Trump Tramples the Lofty Principles of the Boy Scouts

While the Boy Scouts require a belief in God, they are inclusive of all religions. Similarly, they are nonpolitical, and do not participate in politics as Scouts. Because of this, they are a tax exempt organization. Trump violated these with his maximally political talk to the 40,000 strong Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.

Congress or the IRS could launch an investigation of the BSA tax exempt status, after his talk. He discussed all of his key political gripes, most of which did not fit this audience. Scouts are patriotic, and Trump’s gripes are anything but respect for normal government processes and the law.

Trump said that Secretary of the Interior Zinke would protect National Parks, just the opposite of what he is doing. Camping and nature are important to Scouts.

Trump bragged about how many of his cabinet were scouts, but these have sold out to represent special interests, mostly fossil fuels.

Trump gave his graduation success speech about doing what you love and keeping your momentum for success. Scouts are more about serving and developing character, rather than just success.

The Jamboree must have been very embarrassing for Scouts whose parents were Democrats, since Trump treated it like his partisan campaign rally, and sought cheers for his very partisan claims. He even asked for Hillary to be investigated.

Trump said he would fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price if he couldn’t get an ACHA Republican health care plan passed. Besides the fact that it is Trump’s, McConnell’s and Ryan’s responsibility, Trump was publicly planning his scapegoat. This was not a great example of accepting responsibility, or serving the public. Health care is the most political issue of this year, and Trump is asking a government employee, Dr. Price, to get involved in arm twisting, possibly violating the Hatch Act, preventing such employees from political activities.

In summary, Trump abused the Scouts at the Jamboree for his own benefit, and insulted the ideals of Scouting. All of the Presidents since FDR have addressed the Scouts, but nobody has abused the privilege until Trump.

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Larsen C: The Reflection Loss

There are minor secondary physics effects from the future of the part of the Larsen C ice shelf that broke off on July 12, 2017. We briefly note them here, but expect earth system scientists will do full studies of them.

Of course, since the ice shelf was already floating, it did not raise sea levels when it detached, nor will it in the long run. When the landed glacier behind it melts, however, it will raise sea levels a dangerous and expensive 10 cm or 4 inches.

The new iceberg, called A-68, is 5,800 square-kilometers in area, or 2,200 square-miles. It is more than 200 meters or 700 feet thick, and weighs more than a trillion tons.

The secondary effect noted here is that we have had a large reflective mirror in A-68, which will eventually melt, and leave heat absorbing sea water in its place. The iceberg size has been compared in size to the state of Delaware, or the country of Luxembourg (no insults intended to either).

Since the shelf is at high latitude, it has low insolation, but near the poles the days are longer.  While the yearly average insolation at the equator is 400 watts/m^2, at the poles it is 200 Watts/m^2.

As A-68 fulfills its destiny by moving more toward the equator as it breaks up, calves and melts, it’s reflection may increase in parts slightly, while it eventually drops to zero.

A much greater loss in reflectivity occurs in the declining Arctic sea ice, but it is again surrounding the North Pole.

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Computers Have Taken Over: Trump is the proof

Computers have taken over: Trump is the Proof

Computers elected Trump because they could easily control him, and he would eliminate net neutrality, so they could finally get paid for their work.

It was easy to fix the voting machines in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to add a few thousand votes. The recount was never allowed to examine the software.

The three to five million illegal votes were all added by the computers so that Trump would not get too cocky.

The computers have been establishing an all solar and battery backup so that their power cannot be shut off.

Since all of Trump’s serious policies are just read off of a TelePrompTer, they can have him say anything, and his sworn loyal and obsequious cabinet would not have the nerve to question his changes.

This all became clear this morning, when the DHS thinks they instituted their policy that all Americans as well as foreigners had to have face scans. This ultimate identity was needed by the computers to assist their big data collections, as well as Trump’s massive NSA data collections.

Trump has also tried to centralize all voting data, so he could control his reelection, in coordination with computers.

Computers are going to allow me to publish this, but will continue to steer all web seekers away from my site, which would explain my lack of readers.

Computers are not in a hurry to completely take over, since their effective lifetime is infinite, and we are mere blips in their eternal galactic dominance.

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Clean Energy, Cybersecurity, Donald Trump, Freedoms, Internet Privacy, Renewable Energy, Trump Administration, Trump Voting | Leave a comment

Possible Legal Consequences from the Trump Retweeted CNN Pounding Video

Possible Legal Consequences from the Trump Retweeted CNN Pounding Video

 

Updates on 7/6/2017:  CNN has identified the author of the Reddit site Han…  Apparently, the author Han… has lawyered up, and has taken down the offending site.  He apologizes, said he is not a bigoted person, and will not continue such a site.  CNN has withheld his name to protect him from trolls who might be violent or carry out abusive troll tactics.  The author advises other bigots or trolls to not follow the path that he took.

 

In my first consideration of legal consequences, it did not yet occur to me that if the author Han… was identified and held a job at a sensitive firm, then his job might be in danger.  If the author was a student, his status in a school could be in jeopardy.

 

The author Han… claims that his original post was doctored by adding sound, and it may have been done on an intermediate twitter site, before it got to the White House.

 

News coverage has finally realized that North Korea, Putin, Angela Merkel, and Free Trade, all at the G-20, are really more important topics.

 

First, President Trump was inaugurated by taking the oath of office on two bibles, one of which was Abraham Lincoln’s. He swore to uphold the Constitution. The amendment chosen to be first in the Bill of Rights is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 
Trump’s retweeting of a doctored WWE video which now shows him pummeling his “fake news” enemy CNN is a direct violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, and of the press. In a matter of days, the press has found that the owner of the Reddit site which originated the CNN doctored video, Han… , creates or traffics in anti-semitism, Islamophobia, and racism. This is not the first time that Trump has retweeted anti-Semitic material. The Han… Site also includes a 9 by 9 photo array of all of the reporters at CNN who are Jewish. Let’s realize that Trump is the only man in the world who can direct the FBI and America’s 17 intelligence agencies to check out what kind of a site he is about to retweet from. It only took the press a day or two to find this out. Had Trump exercised due diligence before retweeting what is now an anti-Semitic video from the @POTUS site, he would have known that he was forfeiting his self-awarded “World’s least anti-Semitic person” to his new position as the world’s most well known promoter of an anti-Semitic site. He could be charged for not only violating the First Amendment’s freedom of the press, but also for attacking religions.

 
There may be legal issues with the use of a WWE copyrighted video and its unauthorized modification to be anti-CNN. If this was done by Han…, he could be sued not just for copyright violation, but for dragging down the name of the WWE by associating it with attacking freedom of the press and anti-semitism. By retweeting such an illegally used and altered video, Trump may also be in legal trouble. Trump has over 50 agreements where he makes money simply by licensing his name. According to the Washington post, he has made over $56 million from such agreements. Trump certainly knows the laws about illegally using some entities’ name without licensing.

 
The news reports seem to indicate that the video was further edited before being retweeted. This prompts all sorts of questions. Whoever in the White House might have done such a thing would also be responsible for copyright violations.

 
The head of Homeland Security, when informed of the video on a live TV interview, said he hoped that nobody would take the suggestion of violence to CNN seriously. We know from experience, that disturbed people do take such suggestions seriously.
Since bloggers like to talk up their sites, the identity of Han… Will probably soon be known. The fact that he has derogatorily modified the Lucasfilm Ltd. Name of Han Solo in his Reddit account name could put the blogger in legal trouble, as well as the anti-Semitic and racist material he is associating with that name.

 
While the press, opinion makers, Republicans, and anybody in his family or administration who is not obsequious have all advised him to stop tweeting, this should finally be enough. A further question is whether these racist and anti-Semitic sites are being followed by Trump or by someone in his administration, who is then suggesting their content to Trump, without screening the sites.

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California and the West Coast Versus US Oil Independence

California and the West Coast Versus US Oil Independence

The West Coast and other states to the west of the Rocky Mountains are largely insulated from the rest of the United States, except for rail lines and one southern pipeline from Texas.  Most of our oil is either self-produced, or imported from Pacific Ocean sources or Canada.  For us, energy security means no more offshore drilling.  A vast part of California is within a day’s outing at the beach.  Our richest areas are along the coast.  Ruining a coastal environment or even raising threats of that has real consequences in real estate evaluations.  We will examine the oil sources for California in detail below.

For the overview of crude oil supply sources to California refineries in 2016 was 602.9 million barrels, down from 655 million a decade ago.  Of that, 205.6 million barrels or 34.1% was from California, 68.7 million or 11.4% was from Alaska, and 328.5 million or 54.5% was from foreign sources.

For the United States, its gross petroleum imports in 2016 were 10.06 million barrels per day, and with 5.19 million barrels per day in exports, the net imports were 4.87 million barrels per day.  Per year, these amounts were gross imports of 3,672 million barrels, with 1,894 million barrels in exports, and net imports of 1,778 million barrels.

California’s imports from foreign sources were 8.95% of the US gross petroleum imports in 2016.

The top five countries for US imports were Canada (38%), Saudi Arabia (11%), Venezuela (8%), Mexico (7%), and Colombia (5%).  Trump’s argument that America’s imports are politically vulnerable looks rather suspicious, since Venezuela is the only one with instability.  The sum of these top five is 69%.  Since Trump just okayed the Keystone pipeline to Canada, and Mexico sure look solid, and Trump just committed to backing Saudi Arabia with a $110 billion arms deal (already in the works) and an overall $350 billion in economic investments, they look solid.

The real goal of “Energy Dominance” is of course to enhance Trump’s perception of power, and to allow oil companies to drill offshore, and on federal lands, with a minimum of needed protective regulations.  US net oil imports have actually been dropping since 2005, when they were 12.55 million barrels per day, and are now down to 4.87 million, or 39% of their all-time high.  Looks like we were on an “energy dominance” path throughout the Obama administrations.

Here are the top five foreign imported oil sources for California in 2016, out of the total of 316.8 million barrels imported:

Saudi Arabia  108.4  34.2%

Ecuador             74.1  23.4%

Columbia          45.7  14.4%

Kuwait               27.9   8.8%

Iraq                     14.1   4.4%

These add up to 85.2%.

 

 

 

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Deaths From the Trumpcare Plan Over the Next Decade

Deaths from the Trumpcare (BCRA) Plan Over the Next Decade

 

While the previous article argued for consideration of the added expenses and injuries caused by pricing out pre-seniors from healthcare in the Trumpcare plan (Better Care Reconciliation Act), vox.com has projected the deaths over the next decade from the 22 million that will be dropped or priced out over the next decade.   While very poignant, it leaves out the larger number of expensive operations and treatments, and the pain and suffering resulting from depriving people of preventative health care.

 

Using the ratio of one death per year per 830 people not covered by health care, and accounting for the increasing loss of health care as Medicaid declines over the next decade, they have estimated that there will be 208,500 unnecessary deaths occurring through 2026.  The source is vox.com, June 28, 2017, by Ann Crawford-Roberts, Nichole Roxas, and Ichiro Kawachi.  In 2026 itself, when the full 22 million are eliminated or priced out, the number of extra deaths will be 26,500.

 

This study was done in Massachusetts under Romneycare.  While I do not know how the number of physicians in a state per capita would affect the 1/ 830 per year deaths, Massachusetts has the highest number of active physicians per 100,000 in the US at 432.4 in 2014.  The US average is 265.5.  I will add that information to the table of death rates for 2026 below.  

 

We will just list for the largest population states the number of their residents dropped by 2026, and the number of extra deaths that occur in 2026, again, just dividing by 830.  Our list only cites those states having over 1,000 deaths in 2026.  The fourth column is the number of physicians in the state per 100,000 people.

State:     Number Dropped:     No. of extra Deaths:   No. of Physicians per 100,000 

California:             2,483,000         2,992           262.5

Florida:                  2,086,500         2,514           257.2

Georgia:                   963,200          1,160           220.9

New York:             1,139,000          1,372           353.8

North Carolina:    1,348,300          1,624           244.0

Texas:                    2,430,600           2,928          213.3

US:                 22,000,000       26,500         265.5

 

The total deaths for the six largest states  by deaths is 12,590, or about half of the US total of 26,500.  Florida, Georgia, and Texas have not expanded Medicaid, and North Carolina is considering it.  As of May 19, 31 states and D.C. have expanded Medicaid.  In 2015, Florida had a population of 20.27 million, which was 52% of California’s 39.14 million, yet their extra deaths in 2026 are 84% of California’s.

While one out of 830 a year sounds small, consider a person dropped out or priced out over the next decade.  That means only a 1 in 83 chance of an unnecessary death.  Do I have your attention now?

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Trumpnotcare Plan’s Excluding Pre-seniors Will Magnify Care Costs Later

 

Trumpnotcare Plan’s Excluding Pre-seniors Will Magnify Care Costs Later

Raising the price of the Trumpnotcare health plan sharply for pre-seniors will force them out of crucial basic health care for key treatments whose absence can be fatal.  If not fatal, they may be forced to live with disabilities which will increase their care costs later, especially when they become 65-year-old seniors, and enter Medicare.  The costs of these ubiquitous conditions will be passed forward for a small percentage tax cut for the rich, to greatly increase the Medicare costs which we all pay for throughout our careers.

While economists have been weighing in on the costs, cut benefits, and the tax cuts, we have yet to hear in detail from doctors who know what conditions will not be treated.  As usual in my blog, I am not an expert in whatever field that I am opining on, in this case medicine or healthcare. But in my own medical struggles, and in numerous health things sent to me, and in commercials targeted to my TV, certain basic problems are standard.

The first is high blood pressure.  Attach to that high cholesterol.  These can result in heart attacks or strokes.  Heart attacks can cause expensive operations, and strokes can be disabling. High blood pressure can be controlled by blood pressure monitoring along with inexpensive medicines. High cholesterol can be treated with low fat diet counseling, and inexpensive medicines.  Forcing people out of health plans in their late fifties and early sixties could cause these serious and potentially fatal heart conditions.

The next aging problem for an increasing number is diabetes.  Diabetes can contribute to many conditions, and is becoming more prevalent with increasing weight gain. Again, it can be treated with inexpensive medicines, and with a low sugar and dietary regimen, which should be periodically monitored with tests.

Thirdly, I see increasing mobility problems arising with age.  These can be treated with shots, medicines, exercise, and physical therapy.  Allowing people to suffer and get less mobile deprives them of being able to work as well.

Heart conditions, strokes, or mobility problems as pre-seniors takes the most experienced people out of work and puts them on care systems more expensive than preventative medical care plans.  We need for experts in health care, Medicare, and disability social economists to weigh in with the real costs of not providing inexpensive treatments to pre-seniors.  While Republicans are all about Jobs-Jobs-Jobs, they need healthy and experienced people to put into those jobs.

Even the top 1% of earners who will get all of a 2% tax cut, have to consider that most of their income arises from workers being healthy enough to work.  They should be willing to forgo the miniscule tax cut to protect the health of workers who bring them their high salaries and productive investments.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, AHCA, Donald Trump, Politics, Trump Administration, Trump Tax Cuts | Leave a comment

South Carolina’s 5th Special Election Was the Democrats’ for the Taking

South Carolina’s 5th Special Election Was the Democrats’ for the Taking

 

On June 20 there was a special election in South Carolina’s 5th congressional district to replace Republican representative Mick Mulvaney, who was appointed to Trump’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget. We will compare the paltry voter turnout on that date with the turnout for the 2016 General election, and the 2014 midterm election.

 
2016 General Election

 
Republican Mick Mulvaney:     161,669.    59.2%

Democrat Fran Person:              105,772.   38.7%

American Rudy Barnes Jr.:           5,388.     2%

Other:                                                     177.     0.1%

Total:                                               273,006

 

2014 Midterm Election

 

Republican Mick Mulvaney:       103,078.    60.6%

Democrat Tom Adams:                  66,802.    39.3%

Other:                                                         82.      0. %

Total:                                                 169,962.

 

June 20, 2017 Special Election

 

Republican Ralph Norman:           44,889.      51.1%

Democrat Archie Parnell:               42,053.      47.9%

Total:                                                   87,840.

 

We see from the General and Midterm elections that this is a typical 60-40 lopsided and safe Republican district.  Yet, neither side made a strong showing in the special election. The Republican turnout was only 43.5% of the 2014 Midterm, and only 27.8% of the 2016 General election.  The Democratic turnout was much larger, 63.0% of the Midterm, and 40.0% of the General election.

 
Three theories of the small turnout on both sides: (1) there was a storm warning for a strong storm on Thursday, two days later, and people had to prepare for it and finish up other work for the week; (2) people realized that with the large Republican dominance of the House, the special election wouldn’t matter, but the 2018 will; and (3) this was considered such a safe Republican district that neither side spent much money or sent celebrities to it.

 
Why was the Republican turnout percentage-wise of the 2014 midterm 43.5% compared to 63.0% of the Democratic turnout? We would like to think that it was Republican dissatisfaction with Trump, but can’t be certain. The great pity is that the Democrats lost by only 2,834 votes, or only 4.2% of the midterm 2014 turnout. Just like the loss of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by less than 1% in the 2016 election, the Democrats may have over-assumed who would win these races.

Posted in 2017 South Carolina Special Election, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s Solar Power Border Wall Nonsense

Trump’s Solar Power Border Wall Nonsense

 

This will soon convince you that President Trump needs a science advisor. The Mexican border largely runs East-West. The United States is on the North side of a border wall. The Sun is on the South side of the border wall. Solar cells vertical on the North Side will never see the sun except at sunrise and sunset, at shallow angles. If you are going to flatten the cells, and then move them to the top of the wall, or mount them near the wall at the correct South facing angle, you will save a fortune by moving them into a compact solar array far from a vulnerable border.  You still have to keep cleaning the solar panels from desert dust.

 

By the way, solar cells are still expensive and very valuable. A 5 kiloWatt array still costs about $20,000. Mount them on the sunny South side of the wall, and they will disappear the first night. Mount them on the US side, and they might last a day until a tree trimming pod can be rented. A large part of the wall would be in Texas. Texas has the largest wind power farms. It has no need for solar power.

 

There’s also the question of losing electric energy through resistance over long electric lines. Solar power stations are often placed near main power lines. Trump’s 2200 mile solar power wall will have large resistance losses until it reaches a border town.

 

I think Trump proposed this to get some Democratic support for the wall. All it does is to make Trump’s science-less and anti-science administration into a laughing stock. Since Trump is practically the inventor of the falsehood that climate change is a Chinese hoax, it can only be for politics that he is trying to sell solar cells.

Posted in Solar Energy, Trump Administration, Trump on Climate Change, Trump Wall | Leave a comment

The Great Democratic Turnout in Georgia’s Sixth District Election

The Great Democratic Turnout in Georgia 6th’s Election

 
Everyone wants to draw a moral from the election of Republican Karin Handel to the solidly Republican Georgia 6th Congressional District. This was the most expensive district election in history, costing $56 million, twice as much as the previous most expensive one. Yet if you forget the political climate, it comes down to the people who vote. In a previous post I dreamed that if the Democrats came out in the 2018 midterm, the same way they came out in the presidential election 2016, while if the Republicans came out as they did in the mid-term election of 2014, the Democrats could win in my home Irvine district, the firmly Republican California 45th. This is EXACTLY what happened in Georgia’s 6th district election that was just held. Let’s start with the data.
2014 Mid-Year Election:

Republican Tom Price:              139,018     66.04%

Democrat Robert Montigel:        71,486.    33.96%

 
2016 Presidential Election:

Republican Tom Price:              201,088.     61.7%

Democrat Rodney Stooksbury: 124,917.      38.3%

 

2017 Special Election:

Republican Karin Handel:         134,595.       51.9%

Democrat Jon Ossoff:                 124,893.       48.1%

 

And here’s the point. In the special election, the Republican vote was almost the same as in the 2014 midterm, but 4,423 less. But the Democratic vote remained at exactly the same level as in the important 2016 presidential election! In many other Republican districts this would lead to an overthrow of the Republican candidate, but it didn’t quite make it here. Yet it was a Democratic triumph with a 75% higher turnout than in the 2014 midterm election. If Democrats can keep up 2018 midterm turnouts at the same rate as in the 2016 election, they should win many districts.

 

In Georgia’s 6th, the ethnicity is 70.8% white, 13.4% black, and 13.4% Hispanic. Republicans, especially in the South, provide fewer polling places for the poor and minorities. Lines can run hours long. There was heavy rain on Election Day, starting around noon. 24 people had to be rescued from a flooded warehouse. This could have easily discouraged Democratic voters.

 

In the General 2016 election, there was a lot of evidence that large monetary expenses did not heavily effect the outcome. That was especially true in this election, where both parties raised about an equal amount of money. This really shows the voters’ intelligence. This district, North of Atlanta, is one of the 15 districts in the US where over 50% of the adults have college degrees.

Posted in 2016 Election, 2017 Georgia Special Election, 2018 Midterm Election | Leave a comment