The National Case for Water Conservation — Answers to Donald Trump

The National Case for Water Conservation — Answer to Donald Trump

We will show show below that some key states for Republicans and Trump have records of drought, including of course, California, but also his largest state, Texas.  Nothing motivates more than political self interest.

But in this case, we have to remember that Trump runs hotels where he may have to upgrade bathrooms to water conserving toilets, showers, and sinks, when remodeling, and where clients want bountiful showers.  Trump also has 17 golf courses, which require lots of water, while neighbors in drought have to give up watering their own lawns.

States cannot be left to impose water conservation alone in areas where resources are shared by seven states, as in the Colorado River Basin States.  Throughout history, governments have had water sharing compacts with other states or nations.  Even when a state overall may not be in severe drought, their are regions of the state that are in various stages of drought, and still sharing multistate resources.  Just because a state gets a lot of falling water in some regions, which Trump tells us he calls “rain”, doesn’t mean that it is captured in reservoirs, or occurs with snow in winter, and is stored in snowpacks. Also, the records show that droughts can occur at any time, and it is best to do long-term plumbing with such periods in mind.

We now present the California drought record from year 2000 from http://drought.gov/

First we present the drought scale, with numbers that apply to California today.

Here is California’s drought history from 2000.  Most of the state was in Severe Drought, D2, from 2013 through 2017.  California has 55 electoral votes.

Now for the second most populous state, Texas, with 38 electoral votes, and with recent drought from 2011 to 2015.

Now we present Florida, which is Trump’s new residence, and home to his palace and club at Mar-a-Lago, and home to his Trump National Miami golf resort.  Florida has 29 electoral votes, tied with New York.

Next is Nevada, where Trump has his Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.  The drought periods match those in neighboring California.

Arizona borders California and Nevada, which is a Republican state.

Here is the drought record from the key Senate Climate Change denier, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, where Trump’s first head of the EPA Scott Pruitt was from.

Posted in California Water, Climate Change, Donald Trump, Irvine Water | Leave a comment

The Clever Real Estate Study of the Cost of Commuting, and California Cities

I drove on the freeway on a weekday, for two hours, yesterday, so it is timely to report on another study on the cost of commuting.  This one, by Clever Real Estate, lists the top 50 cities in terms of the basic auto commuting costs, and the time spent at the average salary of each city.  The costs exceed those of a previous study by about $2,500 to $3,000.

With the list, there was a very disturbing number for the average commuting mpg, which is only 21.1 mpg.  The average mpg on the CAFE standard course has moved up from 25 to 26 mpg.

Paul Krugman has been discussing life expectancy in different regions of the country.  This survey showed that the percent in poor of fair health varies, with the South having 19%, the Midwest 15% and the Northeastern at 15%, and the West 16%.  Krugman associated this with the states that have not embraced state dependent Medicaid.

The Western states have an average fuel and maintenance costs from $1200-1250, Southern states are $1300-1350, North Central states are $1150-1200, and Northeastern are $1200-1250.

The national average cost of commuting is $6,449, and uses up 200 hours a year.

We list the top cities including enough to contain the California cities, the time to work in minutes, and the yearly cost, rounded off:

Washington, D.C.   37.04   $12,016

San Jose, CA            31.05.  $11,853

San Francisco, CA  32.46   $11,377

New York, NY          35.47   $10,569

Seattle, WA               30.70   $10,132

Boston, MA               30.66   $9,716

Baltimore, MD          31.66   $9,206

Phoenix, AZ               28.40   $9,190

Denver, CO                31.34   $9,056

Sacramento, CA        26.63   $9,006

Richmond, VA          30.95   $8,690

Riverside, CA            32.00   $8,666

Los Angeles, CA        29.15   $8,651

Houston, TX              30.91   $8,609

Atlanta, GA                31.73   $8,583

Minneapolis, MN     27.82   $8,462

Dallas, TX                  30.37   $8,333

Hartford, CT              25.13   $8,159

Chicago, IL                29.97   $8,108

Detroit, MI                29.28   $8,043

San Diego, CA           25.70   $8,021

Las Vegas, NV          24.50   $8,050

These 22 cities include all those with a cost over $8,000 a year, ordered by cost.  There are 6 California cities in the top 50, at ranks 2, 3, 10, 12, 13, and 21.

We had previously reported a similar cost of commute study by Lending Tree, which also included smaller California cities.  We compare the costs of the Clever and Lending Tree estimates for the six California cities.

City                     Clever    Lending Tree    Difference

San Jose             $11,853.  $8,782             $3,071

San Francisco    $11,377   $11,719           -$342

Riverside             $8,666   $6,079             $2,587

Sacramento         $9,006   $5,694             $3,312

Los Angeles         $8,651   $6,108.             $2,543

San Diego            $8,021   $5,769              $2,252

Except for San Francisco, the added costs of gas and maintenance run from $2,252 to $3,312, including differences in data sources.  There isn’t much difference in commuting time between the two estimates.

Posted in Autos, CAFE Standards, Transportation | Leave a comment

“You Can Fool Some of the People All the Time” — Has Trump Won?

“You Can Fool Some of The People All the Time” — Has Trump Won?

President Lincoln might have said this, but Trump, and his cohort, and his Party, and his Fox News, live it.  As long as 90% of them stay loyal to him, no Republican politician will abandon Trump. 

It seems true, as I think Adam Schiff said, that if we let Trump get away with this cheating on foreign influence in our election, for the second time, he will just go on doing it.  But what we didn’t learn until today, was that Rudy Giuliani is still in Europe seeking dirt on the Bidens.  Trump hasn’t even paused a blink.

Trump’s cohort now includes Acting Chief of Staff and head of OMB Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Rep. Devin Nunez, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, and George Washington law school’s highly partisan Professor Jonathan Turley.  

Turley was rhetorically asked if he knew of any reason why Hunter Biden was qualified to be on the board of directors of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings Limited.  Initially, I thought this was odd also.  However, there are many reasons that Burisma would want him, which Trumpians are forced to be blind to.  For one thing, the Bidens believe in Climate Change, which is a long term threat to natural gas companies, since a major fraction of their resources will have to remain buried in the ground.  In the near term, natural gas is needed to replace coal, to balance fluctuating renewables, and for heating.  Strategically, Ukraine has been invaded by Russia, and needs someone who can reassure them that the US is committed to support them.  Burisma has had other board members from the Bush administration and the Kerry campaign.  When Russia seized Crimea, it inherited drilling rights to offshore oil in the Black Sea worth a trillion dollars.  The eastern Ukraine was captured by Russia since it is the source of rich mines.  Also, many people are on boards because they have significant contacts, not because they have personally built autos, or drilled for oil or natural gas.  

It turned out that Trump has said during the campaign that Russia deserved Ukraine because they had once taken it before.  Or that people in Crimea spoke Russian.  Trump blocked crucial defense money to Ukraine to get them to denounce the Bidens.  That is the basis of the impeachment hearings.  Trump believed Putin that Ukraine hacked the DNC, not Russia.  Republicans are still trying to defend these actions and Trump’s Putin obeisance.  They have no right to complain about the Biden’s support of Ukraine.

The judiciary questioner referred to Hunter Bidens recompense of $600,000 a year.  This is peanuts to Trump’s family, who have gotten $600 million dollar loans while he has been in office.  Also, Trump’s weekend visits to his golf courses and properties, which is also advertising, have cost US taxpayers $110 million dollars, so far.  The questioner also mentioned the impropriety of nepotism.  Ka-boom for Trump’s family, with two very unqualified members in the White House, Ivanka and Jared, both doing foreign policy.  Has Jared ever built a border wall?  Negotiated a peace treaty?  Remember, Trump defeated a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  And is unexplainably indebted to Putin.

Turley said that the impeachment is rushed, and that they need to interview more witnesses.  Even the newscasters caught the insincerity of this, since Trump has forbidden all witnesses to testify, or for any document requests to be granted.  Trump is dragging their feet by slowly progressing through as many courts as possible, with the hope that his Supreme Court will save him from impeachment.  In fact, the unprecedented blockage of Congressional oversight may be one of the impeachment charges of obstruction.  I especially liked the statement that George Washington would not have favored impeachment based on a single phone call.  I don’t think that that would have been George’s response.  I think it would have been: what is a telephone?

Since not a single Republican has indicated that they would support impeachment, since his Republican voters are totally supporting him, and since he may still be supported by his court, Trump has really won.  Even if Trump’s cohort is forced to testify, they will all take the 5th, since they are all guilty.  And Republicans will still not be swayed.

Posted in Affairs of State, Climate Change, Climate Education, Congress, Congressional Investigation, Constitution, Donald Trump, Equal Treatment Under the Law, Fifth Amendment, Fossil Fuel Energy, Impeachment, Oil, Politics, Russia, Supreme Court | Leave a comment

Completely Nuking Threatening Asteroids, and Star Wars

Completely Nuking Threatening Asteroids, and Star Wars

Recently, simulations showed that blowing up a very large asteroid would only result in the asteroid reconstituting itself by gravitational attraction.  The asteroid only took hours to reconstitute itself.

We can put a constraint on this without using simulations by just calculating the gravitational potential energy which binds the asteroid together in units of megatons of TNT.  That would show what size nuclear explosions would be needed to totally break it apart such that its components reach escape velocity.

Oddly, while contemplating what to write about the continuing Star Wars series and its conflicts, I realize that this could also be applied to the presumptuousness of a Death Star. 

The gravitational potential energy of a solid sphere of uniform density and mass M and radius R is:

U = (3/5) G M^2/R.

The mass M = (4/3) Pi R^3 d (g/cm^3), where d is the density number in g/cm^3.  The density d has three values for different sets of asteroids, d=(1.38, 2.71, and 5.32) for Carbonaceous asteroids, Rocky silicone based, and Metallic asteroids, respectivly.  With M^2, we will be using 

d^2 = (1.90, 7.34, and 28.3), respectively.

A megaton of TNT equals 4.18 petajoules, or 4.18 x 10^15 joules.

Converting to the asteroid diameter D = 2R, and conveniently scaling that by 7 km, we get:

U = (0.168, 0.645, 2.45) (D/7 km)^5 megatons, for the Carbon, Silicon, and Metallic cases.

The power of D^5 come from:  three powers from each M, and divide by R.  This greatly scales up the megatonnage needed with increasing D to totally disintegrate the asteroid.

In terms of launching a nuclear weapon to an asteroid, a 1.2 megaton weapon was given as weighing 1,100 kg, or 1.2 tons.

The largest diameter near earth object on the JPL risk list at Sentry:  Earth Impact Monitoring, has a diameter of 1.3 km, a cumulative impact probability off 1.2e-4, and is not expected until 2880.  The next largest is 0.49 km.

Of course, the destructive power of an asteroid collision with earth involves the asteroid’s kinetic energy in the earth’s frame upon collision. 

The Chicxulub impactor in Mexico which ended the age of the dinosaurs and 2/3 of life 65 million years ago was 11-81 km or 7-50 miles in diameter, with a mass of 1.0×10^15 to 4.6×10^17 kg, and was a rare carbonaceous chondrite.  Even at a 14 km diameter, the 0.168x (14/7)^2 = 0.168 x 32 = 5.4 megatons, would have required multiple simultaneous weapon hits.

The nearly mile-wide Meteor Crater in Arizona was made by only a 30-50 meter diameter iron asteroid, around 50,000 years ago.

The Tunguska event in 1908 was supposed to be an air explosion by a meteoroid of 50-190 meters in size.

The Chelyabinsk meteor of 2013 was about 20 meters in size.

The asteroid deflection strategy is considered the safest method, and at the sizes we are considering, they should now be detected at a great distance.  Still, we need a defensive preparation for such possibilities.

For the Death Star, we now know that the Earth is one of the lower range of masses for rocky planets.  If we take its radius R = 6,400 km, and density of d = 5.51 gm/cm^3, we get for its binding energy, using an intermediate result:

U=1.68 x 10^(-4) d^2 (R/km)^5 megatons,

U = 1.68 x 10^(-4) (5.51)^2 (6.4×10^3)^5 megatons,

U = 51.0×10^(-4)x10,737×10^15

U = 5.48 x 10^16 megatons to disintegrate an earth sized planet.

Clearly, the Death Star is not able to generate and hold that much energy, in order to release it in a few seconds.  Whew!

Another problem for the Death Star, is that instead of the momentum going like the square root of the energy in non-relativistic physics, in the relativity of electromagnetic radiation, momentum is linear in energy:  P=E/c.  So the Death Star firing radiation at the planet, is going to cause a massive recoil, probably breaking it apart.

Posted in Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Weapons, Space Travel, Star Wars Physics | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving for Environmental Actions

Thanksgiving for Environmental Actions

While many (most) environmental articles are negative, there is yet an abundance of research, knowledge, education, plans and commitments to solve these problems, especially climate change.  We can celebrate these for Thanksgiving.

First of all, the system of life, which has covered every niche of the planet with amazing adaptations and changing chemical processes, has a resilience and capability to repopulate that can be drawn upon.  While mankind has been deforesting and altering the planet for hundreds of years, we have only been seriously generating greenhouse gases and changing the planet for less than a hundred years.  With the explosion of population and polluting fossil fuel growth, we can’t continue for another hundred.  

We have a growing wealth of climate scientists around the globe, and the younger generation is developing ecologists and concerned citizens to support and solve these problems.

All of the nations have been gathered together in the Paris Climate Accords, with only a few going through hopefully temporary conniptions.  Most nations are reacting negatively to population flows of refugees caused by climate change.  Somehow, this will eventually lead to awareness that climate change must be slowed and halted.  The increasing costs of natural damage being enhanced by climate change is also a strong motivator.  Eventually, the world economic and insurance systems catch up with this, and price them in appropriately.

Many of the countries committing international ravages (Rio and the Amazon rain forest) depend on tourism for income and support.  Even without international action, climate concerned world citizens can vote with their airline tickets and tourist dollars not to go to these nations.  We are evolving to a labeling system for all food products, which can allow us boycott food grown or grazed on Amazon farms.

COP 25 on Dec. 2-13 in Madrid, Spain, will discuss new goals, and countries will decide on their new commitments next year.  Their focus this year is on the oceans.

Worldwide, most people in cities are exposed damaging air pollution, dominated by coal fired power plants.  As people strive for better health as well as economic advancement, coal plants will be replaced by renewables, natural gas, and nuclear.

The advancement in research, development and production of renewables solar and wind power is driving down their prices remarkably, and they are becoming competitive with coal in price.  There is nothing like economic competition to drive progress, independent of good will.  This has led to the rapid decrease of coal power in the US.  

When people realize that the long term cost savings of more efficient electric motors and electric cars, we will see shifts to 50 mpg hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all electric cars.  With low interest rates, the higher initial cost of hybrids or electric cars can be financed to give the overall financial savings.  This has already become available with rooftop solar.

Even in the temporarily derailed federal efforts in the United States, the California and New York led coalition of 23 states, almost half, contain a majority of electoral votes and therefore population, dedicated to efforts to match the Paris Accords.  They are fighting in the courts for their own advanced CAFE fuel economy standards, which will heavily influence the entire auto industry.  Transportation is the leading greenhouse gas and air pollution source.  In addition, many of the cities in Republican states are also committed to cleaning up greenhouse gasses, as well as the population, and companies concerned with their reputations.

These states and environmental organizations are suing all of the anti-environmental and exploitive actions of the current US administration to restore clean energy plans, as well as true science standards in regulations, as required by law.   

The many US and worldwide environmental non-governmental organizations have a large role in education and actions to forward progress on conservation and climate actions.

It is a pleasure to live in California, which is a leader in the US for environmental action.  Our goals even exceed those advocated by the UN Environmental analysis to keep global warming to 1.5ºC over per-industrial times.  We also have the solar, wind, and hydro sources, as well as neighboring state plants, to accomplish this.  Natural gas is still needed to balance fluctuating renewables, as well as eventual neighboring nuclear for base power.  Our natural gas plants are almost all the highest efficiency combined cycle plants.  

While we in California are able to provide an example of decreasing air pollution and greenhouse gas pollution, we are only about an eight of the US population, and therefore solving only 1-2% of world greenhouse gas emissions.  We also have to develop solutions for the developing and undeveloped areas of the world.  Then we have to balance our remaining emissions with contributions to worldwide emission credits.

Posted in Affairs of State, Air Quality, CAFE Standards, California Smog, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Education, Climate Science, Coal, Energy Efficiency, Fossil Fuel Energy, Global Climate Action Summit, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mayor's Climate Action Plan, Paris Climate Accord, Paris Climate Agreement, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Transportation, US Climate Mayors, Wind Energy, World Smog | Leave a comment

UN Data on Emissions and Needed Goals

We start with emission data from the UN Environment Report, and show the areas in which emissions can be sharply cut with existing technologies.  The current Paris Accord agreements are just keeping up with business as usual, given rising economic growth and population growth.

New goals are expected soon.  The global mean surface temperature has already risen 1º C or 1.8º F above pre-industrial times.  The new goals would have to be three times the present cuts in order to hold global warming to 2º C, or 3.6º F above pre-industrial levels.  They would have to be increased to five times the present to hold the temperature to 1.5º C or 2.7ºF above pre-industrial levels.  The current commitments will cause around 3.2ºC warming, which is 5.8ºF.

Below, on the left, are the history of emissions of the top six greenhouse gas emitters.  Also shown at the bottom are emissions due to international air travel and shipping.  In about 2005, China surpassed the US.  The UN units of emissions are in Gigatons or Billions of metric tons of CO2 or equivalent emissions, abbreviated as GtCO2e.

Current 2018 emissions are 55.3 GtCO2e.  To hold the temperature rise to 2ºC or 3.6ºF, emissions must fall by 15 Gigatons by 2030, or a 2.7% yearly decrease.  To reach only a 1.5ºC temperature rise, a 7.6% annual decrease is required, and a reduction of 32 Gigatons by 2030.

California reached its goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels in 2016.  SB32 now has the goal of reducing emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) will take place in Madrid from Dec. 2-13.  This will focus on the oceans, and nations adding the ocean to their climate plans.  See the Ocean Conservancy here.

On the right are the emissions per capita, in metric tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), with the US at about 20, and China about 10.  Russia is second at about 17, and Japan slightly exceeds China at about 11.  A metric ton is equal to 1.1 US tons, so per capita, we have emissions of about 22 US tons per year of CO2e  or equivalent greenhouse gases.  Global per capita emissions are about 6 metric tons.  While India is often thrown in with China in terms of emissions, we note that India, at about 2.5 units per capita, is only about an eight of the per capita emissions of the US.  The EU is about the same as China, at about 8, which is less than half of that of the US.  Both the US and EU per capita emissions have declined over the three decades shown.

The graph on the left are the contributions of the various greenhouse gases, topped by the total with or without LUC, which are land use changes.  In 2017, the total was 53.5 GtCO2e.  Next, in the orange, is total CO2, and in pink is methane, with LUC next, and then N2O.  The graph on the right is the same as the left one, above.

It is often said that China’s assignable emissions have to be lowered, by the emissions incurred in producing products that are exported and consumed in other countries.  These must be the most reliable estimates of that.  On the left, China’s total emissions of about 10 are reduced to about 8.5.  The US emissions of about 5 are increased when emissions elsewhere that give products consumed by us are added, to about 5.5.  The EU-28 add more for consumption, from about 3.8 to 4.2.  More accurate numbers will be used when I find them, but the general idea is well indicated in the graph.  On the right is the per capita emissions in a territory, with exported subtracted or imported consumption added.

Below is a list of emission reduction potentials by category, achievable by 2030.  They add up to about 30 units.  They add up to about 31 units, and are shown subtracted from total emissions on the left of about 60 units in 2030.  That means that the emissions in 2030 would be reduced to about 30 units.  So I suggest that the graph on the left might be mislabeled, and the vertical labels should be 0, 30, 60, and 90.  Or, I might be confused.  While the transport sector can be reduced in emissions by switching to electric vehicles, the electrical power needed would have to be supplied by clean energy.

 

Posted in Air Travel Emissions, CAFE Standards, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Education, Climate Science, Conservation, Electric Cars, Electric Power, Energy Efficiency, Equivalent Electric Car Emissions, Fossil Fuel Energy, Global Climate Action Summit, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mayor's Climate Action Plan, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Paris Climate Accord, Paris Climate Agreement, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, World Steel Production | Leave a comment

Trump’s Wall Wall.

Trump’s Wall-Wall, or Double Wall, or Kushy Wall, or Jared’s Wall, take your pick, or create your own.

A hundred dollar saw has now defeated Trump’s 2,000 mile, most beautiful 30 or 40 foot high wall ever, all concrete, impervious to tunneling, concrete and steel, see through, picket fenced, covered on top, electrified, non-electrified, doubled, photo-monitored, helicopter intercepted, access roaded, Jared boosted, Wall.

It has suddenly been revealed that it is a double wall, because it only takes minutes to saw through and then bend a single steel and concrete column to allow people to go through.  Actually, thin tubes of drugs could have been pushed through without much fuss.  So now a second wall had to be built to slow down the crossers by a few more minutes.  Then, a real time photo monitoring system has to be installed along the length of the wall.  I don’t think that I am violating national security to point out that the electrical system along the length of the wall is now a vulnerability.  Then a road had to be built between the walls to allow border agents to instantaneously intercept smugglers or refugees or asylum seekers.  This would also mean having armed garrisons every few miles along a well paved and level road.  I might be breaking national security if I mention road spikes.  Or instantaneous helicopter availability.

The second wall immediately doubles the cost.  Plus the road, border patrol stations, helicopter, monitoring system, and instant repair services.  So the $25 billion dollar wall is up to what, $50 billion plus!

Why is the royal, I mean, President’s son-in-law being deployed to head the project to build some 475 miles of wall by Election Day?  Jared is an excellent go-in-debt property financier, but a builder?  Is it because Jared has failed at his primary task, to bring the impossible dream peace to the Middle East?  Is it because then Trump will not be directly blamable when the goal is not achieved?  Is it to enhance Jared when it is time for him to take over as the next Trump Dynasty President, or Emperor?  Is it for Jared to fail at, and allow the much more popular Trump Daughter, Ivanka, to then be the next Dynastic Leader?  (Sorry, Donald Jr., tweet as hard as you might.)

Since you can’t take vehicles through the walls, all smugglers would have their cohorts at the US side of the Wall at the same place, also armed with a $100 saw, and cutting their wall access at precisely the same time, so the second wall is absolutely useless!

I had initially assumed that the fast build walls would be built without seizing property with eminent domain.  I was totally wrong.  Almost all of the 166 miles in Texas are on private property, and will have to be seized and compensated for.  This won’t go over well in the largest Republican state of Texas, nor among Republicans who hate government interference.  Rather than saying outright it is to prevent illegal immigration, the administration starts with terrorism, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.

We have just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  This stood for 28 years from 1961 to 1989.  It was essentially a double wall, with a no-man zone between East and West Berlin.  It went up after 2.5 million East Germans fled to the West.  The Great Wall of China kept out raiding forces.  It also had a road on top so that Chinese troops could rapidly move to intercept the raids, and also had forts imbedded in it.  The Maginot line between France and Germany was penetrated in the Blitzkrieg, as well as through neutral Belgium.  The problem with a wall, is that once penetrated, it is open for business, while the rest of the wall is useless.

When Trump is finally replaced by a Democratic President, and the low unemployment rate calls out for more immigrants at all educational levels, as well as seasonal farm workers, the walls will become useless.  The double wall will now cost twice as much to dismantle.

Whoever built the wall will become a pariah, Jared.  You will also become involved with the National Emergency and Congressional Power of the Purse disputes over the Wall’s funding.

Posted in 2020 Election, 2020 Primaries, Affairs of State, Congress, Donald Trump, Trump Budget, Trump Wall | Leave a comment

Trump’s Impeachment Shorts

Trump Shorts, Going Far Back in Time, for a Whole Week

As usual, Trumpworld moves too fast, into realms beyond imagination.

Was it Rick Perry’s corruption in Ukraine that Trump knew about and used to force him to say that Trump was “ordained by God” to be President.  Trump is “the Chosen One”.  Well, Rick Perry was two times Governor of Texas in the Bible Belt.  What gives one the shakes is that Rick Perry is Secretary of Energy, and more than half of their budget goes to developing and managing our nuclear arsenal.  It also runs nuclear reactors, and funds much scientific research, including national labs.  These are all secular fields.

This, plus watching the CNN special hour on Trump’s lies, plus speculation on Trump’s perhaps emergency hospital visit, all converge in my wish that doctors and psychiatrists should be more worried about Trump’s brain and mental health.  A single letter by Einstein to President Roosevelt on the dangers that the million-fold increase in energy release by nuclear fusion as opposed to chemical processes could lead to an atom bomb led immediately to the Manhattan Project, involving hundreds of our best scientists and unmatched dedication to pursue the project.  Yet Trump’s lack of guilt in lies, conspiracy theory fantasies, obeisance to Putin, narcissism, kingly actions, lack of guilt in cheating in elections, et cetera, has not called forth a massive investigation of Trump’s mental health by responsible psychiatrists, mental tests by psychologists, and brain scans by neurologists, before he is allowed to be the sole human who could launch us into a nuclear annihilation.  Not only do we and Russia now have 4,500 nuclear weapons each, but they are tens of times more powerful than the WWII atomic weapons.  The framers of the 25th Amendment on replacing a President had to have had something like this involved, in 1965.

Last week I attended an inaugural presentation of UCI Brain, uniting many UCI brain research institutes.  They mentioned the Compassion Institute at UCSD, a Kindness Institute, and Prof. Loftus’ studies on creating false memories.  UCI also has the Institute of Learning and Memory.  You can make your own association of these to The Mind of Trump.

I was going to joke that I hope Trump didn’t accidentally drive by a windmill and catch a cancer.  However, things immediately turn much more serious when Trump is involved. 

As a surprise beyond imagination, the Ranking Republican Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, who has done a lot of the nasty name-calling to patriotic government servants in the impeachment investigation, was hiding his own efforts to find dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine, even a year ago.  He not only must recuse himself but should withdraw or be withdrawn from this committee, if not all of his committees.  Trump’s corruption and self-aggrandizement is a Plague that infects all those loyal to him. It’s vaccination is a dedication to country, instead of to a corrupt President.

I have always been upset about Stephen Miller guiding racist and religious bigotry and persecution from the White House, but felt like a voice in the wilderness.  Now, with the revelations of his 900 Breitbart emails which show him clearly to be a white nationalist, he must be immediately kicked out, and all the policies which he set in motion be revealed and corrected.  I am very happy that several Jewish organization called for Miller’s resignation.  To add insult to injury, Trump’s press secretary called the attacks on Miller anti-semitism, since he was born to a Jewish family.  To me and others, being a Jew is a high moral commitment, involving humanitarianism, sympathy, and empathy.  We are deeply embarrassed by a Jewish born person who is perfidious, and can be used to bring great discredit to real Jews.  Miller is not a real Jew, and Trump’s press secretary was very insulting to real Jews.

The Republican lack of response or responsibility to Trump’s impeachment actions remind me of the reason sheep flock together, the safety herd.

The threat of the Senate calling Hunter Biden as a witness in the impeachment Trial, is a biting self-indictment of the Republican Party and their Senators, in joining the conspiracy with Trump to smear the Bidens.  It says that the unpatriotic action is not just Trump and those who he directs, but that it is now the entire Republican Senate, as well.

Clearly, our ancient and revised Constitution is being severely tested by a highly corrupt President, who has surrounding himself with acting governing sycophants or unscrupulously ambitious men and women, and who is politically blackmailing his party legislators with threats of his control over his core constituency.

Posted in 2020 Election, 2020 Primaries, Affairs of State, Congress, Congressional Investigation, Constitution, Donald Trump, Equal Treatment Under the Law, Freedom of the Press, Freedoms, Impeachment, Mueller Report, Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Weapons, Steve Bannon, Trump Administration, UC Irvine | Leave a comment

The Whistleblower Saved Trump from Fulfillment and Impeachment

The Whistleblower Saved Trump From Fulfillment and Impeachment

If the Latin don’t rhyme, there was no crime.  

The Republican dodge on impeachment is that no crime was committed, so you cannot impeach the President.  Of course, attempts to commit crimes and plotting to commit crimes, and being part of an organization that commits crimes are all criminal offenses.  But not in the Republican world of cabinet and lower level grifters and grafters, as well as some Congressmen, perhaps starting with “Moscow Mitch” himself.

Even the President himself, the career master of plausible deniability,  is saying in giant font, No Quid Pro Quo.  

As in the OJ trial line:  “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit”, I am proposing the new line for no “Quid Pro Quo”:

“If the Latin don’t rhyme, there was no crime.”

Of course, keeping Trump in office and perhaps re-elected is worth billions to his oilgarch backers.  They ought to at least give a billion dollars to the whistleblower as his or her fair share.  Since the inspector general knows the identity of the whistleblower, it can be transferred discretely.

Who am I kidding?  Even if a miracle of conscience and patriotism struck the Senate, then VP Pence would take over, and follow the same corrupt path to oilgarch backing.

Trumps conspiracy beliefs about Ukraine reminds us from the line from Hamlet “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

The admittance of Quid Pro Quo by Rudy, Mick Mulvaney, and now Gordon Sondland reminds us of the Shakespearean line “Et tu, Brute?” From Julius Caesar. 

Trump is in such desperate straits though, that “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” from King Richard seems appropriate.

 

Posted in 2020 Election, 2020 Primaries, Affairs of State, Donald Trump, Impeachment, Politics, VP Pence | Leave a comment

The Times Higher Education World Ranking of Physical Sciences in California Universities

Today, the Times Higher Education came out with their world rankings of Physical Sciences Schools in world universities.  As usual, we cite the world’s top 15, and then just the California Universities.  Three of the top 10 Universities are in California:  Stanford, Cal Tech, and UC Berkeley, with UCLA coming in at number 13.  Repeated numbers are ties, and we don’t otherwise note ties in the rankings.  The third column is the overall performance score.

1 Princeton 95.8
2 California Inst. of Tech 95.7
3 U. Of Cambridge 94.6
3 Stanford U. 94.6
5 Harvard U. 94.2
5 Mass. Inst. of Tech 94.2
7 U. Of Oxford 93.8
8 ETH Zurich 92.4
9 UC Berkeley 90.8
10 U. Of Chicago 89.7
11 Imperial Coll. London 89.3
12 Yale U. 88.1
13 UCLA 87.3
14 Columbia U. 86.7
15 Cornell U. 85.7
28 UC Santa Barbara 77.9
30 UC San Diego 77.2
64 UC Davis 65.3
67 UC Irvine 64.6
77 UC Santa Cruz 62.3
126-150 UC Riverside 53.8-56.3
126-150 USC 53.8-56.3

In Physical Sciences, the category scores for UC Irvine are:

Research 43.2
Teaching 41.2
Citations 96.7
Industry Income 53.9
International Outlook 82.1

 

Posted in Education, Physics Departments, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA, University Rankings | Leave a comment