When Will Trump Resign?

When Will Trump Resign?

 
Trump is all about winning and showing that off. He was striving, and still is, for the most spectacular first 100 days. He has accomplished little more than getting a conservative supreme court Justice, which any other Republican would get, anyway. The Justice he appointed will have two scars on his appointment. These are that he is occupying a chair that should have been filled by President Obama, and that he only got in by evoking the nuclear option of squeaking by with a majority vote.

 
The other major thing that Trump got across was to sign executive orders to remove regulations that were not yet solidified by the Obama Presidency, many of which were held up in court anyway. I will not call these accomplishments, since they violated the clean air and water guarantees that he made, which are still popular with the public.
He did not understand the Affordable Care Act, and how popular it is becoming. He did not understand that the Republican AHCA would price out 24 million people. He did not understand that was the only way to milk a tax break for the rich out of it.

 
He is finding that it is very hard to get wins in our wars.

 
He has not set up any renegotiated trade policies with the 200 countries in the world.
The press is not praising him. His administration is making a series of mistakes because he is not connecting with his department’s.

 
His skinny budget was not well thought out, and will be dead on arrival in the Congress.

 
The press and the FBI are getting close to uncover whatever the ties to Russia are.

 

With the Freedom Caucus and Democrats not cooperating, Congress is very difficult.
So Trump has found how difficult it is to win or accomplish things, both domestic and foreign.

 

Eventually Trump may get a tax cut, and a modified health plan, since Republican legislators want that.

 
Oddly, Sarah Palin just visited the White House. She retired while still Governor of Alaska. President Obama just just finished a fabulous and active three month vacation.
Trump will soon have his young son and wife in the White House with him. But he still prefers Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago. He is transferring from a cold winter to a hot and humid summer.

 
He has been following policies to keep the coal and rust belt voters.

 
He doesn’t look like he really cares about the welfare of the common man, but he does care about increasing the wealth of his fellow billionaires. So would any other Republican.

 
Since Trump was not a politician, this has to be very frustrating. He is never going to be a real winner as things crawl along, instead of following his instant schedule.

 
We know nothing about his health, but considering his oldest starting age and the stress of his office, he may well have some difficulties during his term.

 
So Trump will get little adulation, which he craves, and won’t easily accomplish his goals.

 

VP Mike Pence could probably accomplish the same things more smoothly, using the full resources of the administration and departments, and congressional connections.

 
Ivanka and Jared Kushner are young parents to three children, and they are overloaded and won’t be successful stretched so thinly.

 
With such frustrations, with little finished in the first 100 days, Trump still has 2,820 days left in an 8 year term. That’s 28 times more than what he has already struggled through.
Who wouldn’t quit?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Case of the Missing Armada

The Case of the Missing Armada

 
There are several possibilities for the case of the missing Armada, that Trump claimed to have sent to North Korea. (Just to clear myself with the FBI, the intelligence services, and the Navy, this article is written for humor.)

 
To be sure that I knew how many ships were accompanying the aircraft carrier, I looked up “Armada”. Oddly enough, so did many other people, so much so that it was at 1% of lookups at Miriam-Webster.com. And what to my wondering eyes did appear as Related to Armada? Trump’s picture with the phrase: “We Are Sending an Armada”. Trump has literally become the poster boy for “Armada”.

 
The entry also says that in Spanish speaking countries, Armada means their entire Navy. For comparison, the Spanish Great Armada that England and storms defeated in 1588 was composed of 120 ships.

 
Since the TV showed the aircraft carrier with only four destroyers, instead of a complete carrier fleet, I can see why people had to look it up.

 
As you noticed, I haven’t yet named the aircraft carrier. I was born just before we entered WWII, and was taught that “loose lips sink ships”, so I won’t name the carrier, even though all of the TV stations have.

 
Here’s my first theory. In a recent TV interview, Trump said that he had sent missiles to Iraq. He was immediately corrected to Syria. Is it possible that Trump told his Security Council or Generals or Navy, that he wanted the carrier sent to South Korea as a slip? I assume that they did not want to correct Trump, since he doubles down on all of this mistakes anyway, rather than admit he was wrong. It wasn’t until they heard Trump saying that the Armada was off North Korean coast, that they realized their error, and they repositioned it.

 
My second theory, is that the Navy was very upset that Trump had wasted 60 expensive and advanced Tomahawk missiles, worth $96 million dollars, to knock out a handful of Korean War fighter planes, and knock out a runway that would be repaired the next day anyway. So to prevent Trump from launching them on a whim overnight or to entertains guests at his dinner party, they sent the carrier in the opposite direction, to the tip of South Korea. They may have also been afraid that the attack would lead to a war, and did not want to act before the largely invisible state Department was consulted.

 
In Trump’s world of deciding to learn Chinese—North Korea history from his opponent, Chinese President Xi Jinping, instead of our 70,000 person State Department, maybe Xi told him that the aircraft carrier was too aggressive a move, and to send it South. Trump may have diverted it on his own, but never told America that he had backed down.
Since Trump is fairly paranoid, and fears the “deep state” of Obama leftovers spying on him or undermining him, he must be searching for who controverted his orders, without realizing, it may have been himself.

 
Was the press footage with only four destroyers just stock footage, and not covering the present reality?, in which case a full carrier group might have been sent? Did the carrier need a delay to catch up to the full fleet? Now I am treading on possibly security matters, and will end this enquiry. We’re pretty sure that Trump is going to look for someone to take the blame, and fall on their sextant.

Posted in Affairs of State, Donald Trump, North Korea Nuclear Threat, Trump Administration, Trump's First Armada | Leave a comment

March for Science, the Climate Program

March for Science and Earth Day 2017, Washington DC, Climate Program

 
In short, it is going to take a lot of work by a lot of people on all levels to move forward the funding of science and progress in preventing climate change. Calling your congress people, and voting are crucial. I like the local approach of finding science funding and environmental threats in your district to communicate with your representatives. For those of us in Universities or Labs, the whole system has to speak out, in order to take the pressure off of individuals. You can also speak out through funding environmental and science organizations. And individual actions, and community education and action are a necessary part of the whole.

 
Derek Mutter was the master of ceremonies to introduce the speakers. Here are short descriptions of the speakers, and some key motivations of their talks.

 
Prof. Michael Mann, an inventor of the Hockey Stick graph of CO2 and world temperature rise, seemed to still be in good humor. He was one of a few climate scientists that had to bear the brunt both as a scientist and personally of the cruel anti-climate science forces, which are well funded by the fossil fuel oligarchs.

 
James Balog, who sets up cameras at major glaciers around the world and records their melting. He says that we have an inalienable right to clean air and water. He added, that “we will never, ever surrender”.

 
Mark Tercek of the Nature Conservacy spoke. Today’s cars are 99% cleaner than when the clean air act was passed. Scientists have to get engaged in politics and to speak up. Call your congressman. (I would add that educating people is a multiplier, when they then speak up.)

 
Heidi Cullen serves as Chief Scientist for Climate Central, and started the first Climate show on the network.

 
Brook Bateman of the National Audubon Society spoke. (I saw a documentary on Audubon’s life and dramatic paintings of American birds. During his lifetime, the destruction of the American forests into fields was very disappointing to Audubon as he saw the destruction of birds and other wildlife.)

 
Julia Olson of Our Children’s Trust is suing the government to guaranteeing our children a decent environment. This will happen by reducing our greenhouse gases to 350 ppm CO2 equivalent. In the court, they will point out that “alternate facts” are perjuries.

 
Rachel Kyte of Sustainable Energy for All said that renewable energy is now available to the poor around the world who earn less than $2 a day. We should have energy access for all.

 
Snowboarder Elena Hight of Athletes for the Earth showed a movie o the importance of watching the effects of climate through snow.

 
Dr. Joe Romm, a physicist and founding editor of climateprogress.org spoke. That is an excellent source for scientific treatment of climate science issues. He talked about “Nerd Power”. He pointed out that the countries founders were scientists. Washington started as a surveyor. Jefferson said that “Science is my passion, but Politics is my duty”. He ended with the “live long and prosper Nerds” Star Trek salute.

 
Anousheh Ansari, astronaut and CEO and co-founder of Prodea Systems, who came from Iran, emphasized that science does not discriminate on the diversity of who practices it. She said that our planet is so beautiful from space, and that you see no borders. We have to protect it.

 
Rush Holt, CEO of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), was a Congressman for four terms. He was a Physics Professor, and an Administrator for a National Lab. He said that science needs ample public funding to thrive. Scientific evidence is the only way to make public policy. Science is our governments best friend.

 
Amy Purdee of Athletes for the Earth showed the beautiful scenery of snowboarding.

 
Christiana Figueres was the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. She is the convener for Mission 2020, and is concerned with food security. We know that climate change is here. The US just achieved that ½ or our energy is renewable. (I’m not sure that I heard that right.). India’s goal is 60% renewable in 10 years. China closed their last coal plant around Beijing. We have to bend the curve of emissions by 2020. Our kids may ask us “what did you do?”

 
Pope Francis sent out a tweet:
Lord, bring healing to our lives,
That we may protect the world
And not prey on it,
That we may sow beauty,
Not pollution and destruction.

Posted in Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Science, Conservation, Fossil Fuel Energy, March for Science Washington DC, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Trump Administration, Trump on Climate Change, United Nations | Leave a comment

Impressions from the March for Science in Washington, DC

Impressions from the March For Science in Washington, DC.

 

Many of the speakers are young, and they speak with emotion and fervor, which is not something that an old and calm blogger like me. That is what the movement needs.
The success of women, minorities and handicapped and their appeals for giving equal opportunity to all to rise in our educational and scientific system.
It was exiting to hear of the important developments in many sciences other than the physical sciences that I usually hear about. They include biology, anthropology, ecology, and medical sciences, who face some of the strictest cuts in the NIH.
The children with signs, who would also present their messages, were also touching.
While the speakers were mostly maintaining the theme of the importance of science without politicizing it, there were still some speakers who fortunately brought it up, and the importance of civic involvement at all levels.
A Dr. Jarvis was the best of the political speakers, but his conclusion was cutoff by the band.
Since I am all about Science and Politics in this blog, I relish that I am retired and not government funded, so that I can speak out freely, and that is one of my motivations in writing this blog.
We understand that the oil oligarchs have bought up the Republicans and the Trump with campaign contributions, who are loyally removing climate science and scientists from the government. What is surprising to naïve me, is that all the other industrial lobbyists are having all healthy regulations removed in food, medicine, clean air, and clean water. Also on protective areas such as gun sales to people who are not competent to make out their own taxes.
It is well past the time to reflect that Secretary Clinton lost the electoral college vote by less than 1% in three crucial rust belt states. She could have vetoed these cancellation of regulations. However, as Trump and the Congress remove them, we are reminded that a lot of them were just put in by Obama’s executive orders, and a lot at the last minute. The last minute ones were easily cancelled by Trump’s executive orders. A lot of the other ones were held up in the courts by Republican states. The CAFE standards were being reviewed on schedule to determine if they were still technologically and economically feasible, and Obama had been accommodating to the industry.
Clinton might have gotten a middle of the road Supreme Court Justice placed, which is really the most important thing.
Reflecting on Science and the Election, better pollsters and political scientists might have increased realization of the importance of the Rustbelt states. Also, better computer security techs could have prevented the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s computers.

 

Trump put out a message that his is a science administration. I polled my friends at lunch at UCI and none of them remember Trump visiting a National Lab, or any lab, or the NIH, which he is cutting by 18%, nor meeting with any scientists. Yes, I remember him meeting with Al Gore, but he certainly didn’t change Trump’s belief that climate science is a Chinese plot. Actually, I first became interested in climate change when I heard a panel with Senator Al Gore talk about it at the Aspen Institute, when I was attending an Aspen Center for Physics summer workshop. Trump also met with a physicist who thought that more CO2 was beneficial, since greenhouses were cranked up to 1,000 ppm, greater than our atmosphere at 400 ppm. That argument has been torn down by climate scientists.
Al Gore and the IPCC UN Climate Panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Trump does not yet have a Science Advisor, nor has he filled the Office of Science and Technology. Trump also retired Obama’s Surgeon General today.
The list of eight teach in tents have dozens of very interesting talks today.

 

There are over 600 Marches for Science around the world.
In the diversity aspect, we have to recognize that 47.5% of our PostDocs are from foreign countries.

 

I can see the oil oligarchs fighting climate change science and the EPA, but I think we all want to know who is trying to shut down the medical advances of the NIH, and Public Health.
There was still a massive turnout in Washington DC, despite the rain.
Bill Nye had a stirring talk. Here are some excerpts:
Science is for our Health and Prosperity. It builds our cities, our transportation, and has allowed us to explore the cosmos. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, requires us to Promote Science, and the Useful Arts (Engineering). Science gives us clean water, electricity, and global information. We must understand the natural laws that are in play. Lawmakers have to realize that Science serves every one of us, around the world. Science must shape our policy. With Science, we can Save the World.
Denis Hayes spoke. He was National Coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970, in the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. The US demonstrations of 20 million people was the largest ever. This is now the 47th Earth Day. He cited the cuts to EPA research of 42%, of safe drinking water by 1//3, and to environmental work on our largest bays, and the Great Lakes. He said that this March for Science is just the beginning. Losing is not an option!
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, pediatrician from Flint Michigan, proved that the water from Flint was poisoning their kids with lead. She said that the scientists had to make themselves heard.
The speaker’s host is Dan Abrams, formerly of the EPA, who is the Global Director of Earth Day.
Artist Maya Lin showed part of her final, multilocation exhibit called “What is Missing”. This covers the “6th mass extinction”, showing the disappearing species, and fighting for the restoration of our forests, wetlands, and other environments.
Christie Goldfuss worked with President Obama to protect the largest area of ocean, ever, around Hawaiian islands.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife spoke on protecting species.
Mustafa Ali, past EPA environmental justice chief, resigned in outrage and dismay over the White House’s proposed budget cuts.
Sam Droege reminded us that bees are an essential part of ecosystems, and said that we have to delawnify the world.
It’s three hours into the amazing talks. Jon Batiste is playing “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Time for me to take a break and finish this another day.

Posted in Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Science, Congress, Conservation, Donald Trump, Education, Endangered Species Act, Energy Efficiency, EPA, Federal University Funding, Fossil Fuel Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, March for Science Washington DC, NIH, NOAA, Renewable Energy, Trump Administration, Trump on Climate Change, University Funding | Leave a comment

UC Irvine Return on Investment by Major for Your College Degree

PayScale has put out its Return On Investment (ROI) results for twenty years after graduation for 2017.  It computes an overall graduate ROI, and separate ROIs for eight majors or groups of majors.  The PayScale ROI website is http://www.payscale.com/college-roi

The ROI is the total household income over 20 years after graduation, minus the total cost of the college, and the household income level from before college.   The comparison high school only graduate has income for 24 years.  This survey only covers those who have a bachelor’s degree, and who did not go on for an advanced degree.  It also only includes those with a regular or yearly salary.  With all of the approximations, the rankings to the three figure accuracy of the ROI are only indicative.

For UC Irvine, the four year cost for in state students is $124,000.  The four year cost for out-of-state students is $218,000.  The average outstanding loans are $21,300.  PayScale gives rankings in all categories or majors, but they are just indicative.

The ROI for all UCI graduates after 20 years is $498,000.

We list the majors from highest to lowest ROI, which are all positive, and do not imply any value judgements.  The UCI ranking is in parenthesis.

Computer Science and Math (21):  $862,000

Engineering  (110):  …………………… $816,000

Economics (101):  ……………………..  $571,000

Business (159):  …………………………  $482,000

Science Majors (45 tie):  …………….  $385,000

Psychology (41):  ……………………….. $293,000

Humanities (49 tie):  ………………….. $282,000

Arts (136 tie):  ……………………………  $150,000

Update:  In the New University student newspaper of March 14, there is an article by Megan Cole, titled “ICS and Engineering Enrollment Up as Humanities and Biological Sciences Decline”.  Also under Humanities, over 10 years, English and History majors have fallen by half, and Art History declined by 2/3.

Over five years, undergraduate Engineering has grown 20% from 2,777 to 3,318.  ICS has increase a factor of 2.6 from 802 to 2,105.   Biological Sciences has fallen by 28% over seven years, from 4,341 to 3,142.

It’s evidence that the entering or progressing students are well aware of the compensation numbers.  That may be by this PayScale survey, or the Internet, or from word of mouth.  I don’t know yet if the surge of students from China has enhanced ICS (Information and Computer Sciences) and Engineering, but I suspect it has..

The difficulty in the Humanities enrollment drop, is that upper division or graduate speciality classes cannot be taught unless there is a given number of students.

Posted in California University Rankings, Education, Income, PayScale Return on Investment, UC Irvine, Upward Mobility | Leave a comment

Environmentalists Welcome Jeff Sessions’ Special Status for Water Bordered States

Thank you Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recognizing and defending the special status of states that are Islands, or on the Pacific or Atlantic or Gulf of  Mexico or Bering or Chukchi or Beaufort or Gulf of Alaska sea coasts, or on the Great Lakes, or bordered by our Great Rivers, the Mississippi, the Rio Grande, the Ohio, the Colorado, the Snake, etc.

In fact, Wikipedia lists 59 rivers that border states.

This recognition should help your Justice Department pay special attention to our protection of our oceans, our lakes, our rivers, our flyways, and our clean and well managed waters.

This is a wonderful gift from AG Sessions for Earth Day tomorrow.

The first thing Sessions can do for us is to “lock him up” to Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA, who is doing everything he can to ruin our clean water and air.

The next things Sessions can do are to:

1. Check the legal and ethics guidelines for Attorney Generals calling out federal justices because of which state they are from;

2.  Consult with the Justice Department attorneys who are going to argue the case if they want this handicap attached to them;

3.  and after doing the above, probably having to recuse himself from any connection with the case.

Posted in Affairs of State, Coastal States | Leave a comment

A Conversation With Edward O. Thorp at the Beckman Center

A Conversation With Edward O. Thorp at the Beckman Center

 
I watched a Conservation with Edward O. Thorp at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Science and Engineering in Irvine, California, on April 20, 2017.

 
He was also signing his book “A Man for All Markets”.

 

 

This is subtitled “From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market.”

 
Edward O. Thorp was a founding math professor at UC Irvine in 1965.

 
His interviewer was Rick Reiff of the Orange County PBS station.

 
Hopefully, the interview will appear on the Beckman Center lecture series on YouTube.
The interview seemed to be in three parts, first his math and practice on winning at roulette, baccarat, and poker (card counting).

 
The second part was his study of the math of the future projections of puts and calls, which became famous as the Black-Scholes equation, and of his development of the hedge company.

 
The third part was question and answer. Let me work backward. The really interesting question was last, and it concerned with market regulations. He answered that regulations were important to keep the market honest, and to protect people’s investments, including those of his investors.

 
In the market, he was asked by an investing company to investigate Bernie Madoff and find out how Madoff managed to get a consistent about one and a half percent profit every month, regardless of whether the market was going up or down. He concluded that Madoff was not on the level, but could not report it to the SEC since his client invoked client confidentially. They withdrew their Madoff investments. This was in 1988. In 1999, another investigator went to the SEC, and they turned him down.

 
He discovered the Black-Scholes equation and several variants, but did not publish them, before Black and Scholes became famous for them.

 
He had many gambling stories and study of the game theory of gambling. He started with predicting the endpoint areas of the roulette wheel, based on where the ball started. He, in collaboration with Claude Shannon at MIT, developed the first wearable computer, so that he could report the starting point, and receive the projected endpoint in a set of five connected numbers. It was amazing that he could beat the odds at 44% with Newtonian physics.

 
Throughout his life, he has very creatively investigated aspects of how math can be used to predict and game outcomes of things considered purely random.

Posted in Mathematics | Leave a comment

Kim Jong-Un’s Tin Can Parade

Kim Jong-Un’s Tin Can Parade

 
The last place I want to be is in a reviewing stand with thousand mile range missiles filled with highly explosive liquid rocket fuel driving closely by. Especially if there are thousands of youth conscripted for ten years with sore backs and thighs from having to goose step all the time, and carrying long range fully automatic rifles.

 
A bullet or two would blow up any of those rockets. Or a concealed hand grenade or two. Or an angry driver who drives one into the review stands.

 
So consider the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, who has killed his brother and another relative because he is afraid that he might be replaced with one of his relatives. His family has carried out purges, and he sentences the families of protesters for three generations.

 
Kim surrounds himself with military leaders who have to move or clap in unison, so anyone who tries to attack him would stand out from the uniformity.

 
Kim grew up in Switzerland, where he was hidden from opponents, or from his own family.

 
The only foreign visitor we know that ever makes it to see Kim is a basketball player, and that is when Kim is surrounded by military.

 
So do we really think that that Kim let’s fully loaded liquid fuel tanks near him?
In the new long range missiles with small warheads have a dozen soldiers riding below the warhead. Of course we don’t think that there is really a Plutonium warhead on the missile. But in real deployment, these troops would ride around for years beneath a highly radioactive warhead.

 
Some of those white first stages even had base rims just like a tin can.

 
On top of that, there is a tell-tale evaporation plume from liquid fueled rockets that we see on every launch from Cape Kennedy. As the fuel heats up, it evaporates and has to be released so that the pressure does not build up. On just the short clips of the missile parade shown on the news, I didn’t see any evaporation plumes.

 
Sure, there are real missiles that look like the parade ones, and some have been tested and perfected. But I highly doubt that gigantic explosives are being paraded in front of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

 
Of course, I am not in Intel nor do I have any people to interview on it, so this is pure speculation on my part.

 
In contrast, it was reported that Donald Trump also wanted a missile parade at his inauguration, maybe to imitate Putin. I don’t know if the military refused because that is not their job, and because they did not have any tin can replicas. The secret service would have vetoed it because of the same security reasons. It would have been much worse in Trump’s case, since all of our missiles are solid fueled, so they could not be emptied out for the parade.

Posted in Affairs of State, Donald Trump, Korean Militaries, North Korea Nuclear Threat | Leave a comment

Dedication of UC Irvine’s Rowland Hall as a National Historic Chemical Landmark

On April 18, 2017, F. S. Rowland Hall at UC Irvine, our first Chemistry building, was dedicated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society.

Here, in 1974, atmospheric chemists F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina showed that ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs) used as a refrigerator coolant and as a propellant in hair sprays, were catalysts for the continuous breakup of ozone.  The CFCs rose into the stratosphere and destroyed ozone, which is crucial in filtering out ultraviolet rays from the sun, and protecting life on earth.

After a long and difficult fight of denial with the chemical companies, similar to the fossil fuel fights today, science won out.  The Montreal Protocols were signed in 1987 to ban CFCs.  In 1995, F.  Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina shared the Chemistry Nobel Prize with Paul J. Crutzen.

Our first Physical Sciences I building housing Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics was expanded, and named Rowland Hall.

The Dedication Speakers were:

Kenneth C. Janna, Dean of Physical Sciences;

Howard Gilman, Chancellor of UC Irvine;

Allison Campbell, President of the American Chemical Society;

Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board;

Donald R. Blake, Rowland’s later air research partner and successor;

James Nowich, Chair of Chemistry; and

Sandra Thompson, Chair of the Orange County Section of the American Chemical Society.

Unfortunately, Prof. Mario Molina, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, could not make it.

Chancellor Gilman praised Profs. Rowland and Molina, and noted that not only did they get the Nobel Prize, but they also got it for saving the earth.  He also noted another first that while Rowland and Molina won the 1995 Chemistry Prize, Professor Frederick Reines of UC Irvine Physics and Astronomy also shared the 1995 Physics Nobel Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Climate Science, F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina, Rowland Hall, UC Irvine | Leave a comment

Trump and Brain Drains

Trump and Brain Drains

Somehow, Dictators are associated with Brain Drains.  In historical cases, it is not just dislike for dictators, not just secondary effects of a dictator’s policies, but actual purges carried out by the dictator against academics and scientists.  Since this is not an historical or quantitative article, I will just refer to current situations.

Nobody is saying that Trump has yet reached Dictator or Supreme Leader status, since he is only beginning to discover that the US Government, with its checks and balances, still has some resiliencies.  Unfortunately, with Trump’s insane mistrust of anyone not a sworn loyalist, he is bumbling in all of his efforts, and blocking all knowledgeable and scientific inputs from Executive Departments, Congress, NGO’s, and Universities, except for conservative think-tanks, Goldman Sachs, and fossil fuel oligarchs.

Trump’s latest assault is the H-1B visa program, under which we admit 65,000 a year for three years, and a mere 20,000 a year for advanced degrees.  University and Hospital requests are granted in addition. 

70% of those admitted are from India, and work for US affiliates of Indian companies to aid in US outsourcing to India.  40% of the workers are entry level, and another 40% have only limited abilities and skills.  I agree with Trump that we need these reviewed to see if they are taking jobs that Americans can fill.

However, brilliant students, postdocs, and scientists from all countries are self-discouraging themselves from coming to the US because of travel bans, extreme vetting caused delays, inhospitality to family members, and well publicized inhospitalities to races and religions.

While the selling point of “Jobs for Americans First” sounds good, we are accumulating a massive deficit in scientific and technically trained people, as well as medically trained ones.  This means that American companies and internationals are going to be hiring outside of the US and outsourcing the companies and entrepreneurs that will produce future advances.

Students who are already here are even advised not to leave the US for family visits, from which returns might be questioned.  Even if courts have stopped travel bans, Republicans have not spoken out against any of these programs in numbers that would imply that the party itself would not uphold them.

Students aren’t going to come here, and those here are not going to plan to stay here, if they know that they won’t have the potential for staying.

The other part is Trump’s antagonism to science, which he has viciously inflicted on the administration and the country.  His attack on administration starts with his appointments to Department Secretaries and sub-leading positions the very Attack Dogs of Industries on the scientists and science in the various departments.  (And you thought that my other articles were acerbic.) 

Then there are the vicious and inhumane 10.5% average domestic budget cuts, which are very concentrated up to full cuts, or 20% cuts in the NIH case, in studying our damage to the climate and its subsequent damage to us, or in research that could cure our old age scourges, or diseases to which we are vulnerable.  When these cuts spread to Universities and Hospitals and Medical Labs, they will discourage anyone with foreign links to stay in the country, and further discourage any students or doctors from seeking to bring their knowledge and dedication to the US.

In the world of science, medicine, and international companies, great progress is made by international efforts.  We are not far enough in the budgetary process, but the Trump misperception that any internationl cooperation is foreign aid, threatens our scientific and economic growth from such cooperation, and involvement and interchanges with foreign scientists.

Nature Magazine is full of concerns and warnings of what Brexit will bring to Great Britain’s science, and other countries that are also entertaining ideas of exiting the European Union.

North Korea’s conscription of their youth for 10 years for men and 7 years for women destroys their technical growth by denying education during their children’s most formative and creative years.

Turkey’s granting (?) more dictatorial powers to President Recep Erdogan will further encourage his dictatorial and horrendous purges of tens of thousands, often from the Universities.  Trump’s congratulatory call to the dictator, is just the chocolate cake on Trump’s idiocy of not consulting with the State Department, and of his childish worship of dictators.

Much of the US scientific growth before and during World War II came from brain drains from Germany and Europe.  The Trumpian US is about to repay the favor by repelling or flushing scientists back to the rest of the world.

Posted in Affairs of State, Brain Drain, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Science, Congress, Donald Trump, Dreamers, Economies, Education, EPA, Federal University Funding, Fossil Fuel Energy, H-1B Visas, Immigration Ban, Iran, Middle East, NIH, Purge, State Department, Travel Ban, Trump Administration, Trump on Climate Change | Leave a comment