Monday, November 12, 2018

How Propulsion Nozzles Work

This article applies to anything that thrusts from a subsonic chamber through (at least) a sonic throat.  It is intended to give readers a means to compute accurate and realistic thrusts.  This plus a knowledge of chamber characteristic velocity c* is sufficient to do very elementary rocket ballistics.

Most (but not all) nozzles that have a sonic throat also have a supersonic expansion bell.  Scramjet is excluded as being without a sonic throat:  the feed to the nozzle inlet is already supersonic,  and there is no contraction in flow area to a throat. 

Rockets of any type are typically high pressure ratio PR chamber-to-exit,  and high area ratio AR exit-to-throat.  These can be ablatively cooled,  or actively liquid-cooled.

Gas turbine engine nozzles are typically low pressure ratio PR chamber-to-exit,  and low area ratio AR exit-to-throat.  These are usually air-cooled,  and variable geometry:  anything from convergent-only to a mild supersonic expansion bell.  Lower turbine inlet temperatures require lean mixtures and cooler flames,  making air cooling possible,  as long as the air itself isn’t too hot.  That high speed air heat effect limits the flight speeds achievable with gas turbine engines.

Ramjet engine nozzles are typically low pressure ratio PR chamber-to-exit,  and low area ratio AR exit-to-throat.  Modern missile designs are usually ablative.  Some of the oldest designs were air-cooled,  similar to gas turbines,  but this approach is severely limiting in a modern ramjet design,  which can run far richer,  and at far higher flight speeds,  where the air itself is far hotter.   


Conservation of mass:  the same massflow exists throughout the nozzle (any air cooling bleed effects or other injections or leaks are ignored,  if any exist at all).

Conservation of momentum:  a control volume drawn about the rocket engine is pierced by the exit stream exactly at its exit area,  and the momentum of the propellant feeds are either inconsequential,  or perpendicular to the thrust axis,  or they come from tanks inside the control volume.  This could be any combination of those situations,  or even all three.  Balancing stream momentum and the pressure forces against a restraining force,  leads to evaluating the thrust.

Conservation of energy:  the drop (from chamber to exit) in enthalpy,  as measured by the drop in static temperature,  equals the increase in kinetic energy of the stream,  with essentially zero kinetic energy inside the chamber.  There is an accompanying drop in static pressure,  in an amount defined by the ideal gas assumptions and the corresponding equation of state.  See Figure 1.  All figures are at the end.

We use enthalpy “h” instead of internal energy “u”,  because it includes the effects of pressure change upon energy content,  and internal energy does not.  Enthalpy difference Δh is essentially the temperature difference ΔT,  multiplied by the specific heat at constant pressure cp.  (Internal energy change uses the specific heat at constant volume cv.)

Book-keeping:  this is done the easiest way in Mach number-pressure-temperature variables,  instead of the primitive variables,  as long as the ideal gas assumption applies.  That last means we may use as our equation of state P = ρ R T,  and we may use as the change in enthalpy Δh = cp ΔT. 

In this book-keeping scheme,  we make good use of total (or stagnation) pressures Pt and temperatures Tt.  Assuming no appreciable friction losses,  flow is “isentropic”,  meaning total pressure and total temperature are constant through the nozzle,  a very good assumption in almost every conceivable case. 

The ratio of specific heats γ = cp/cv becomes a very useful value to relate totals to statics.  At a location where the Mach number is M,  the total/static temperature ratio TR = 1 + 0.5*(γ – 1) M2,   and the total/static pressure ratio is PR = TRexp,  where exp = γ / (γ – 1).    

The streamtube area model is more complicated than the simple mass conservation-derived relation in incompressible flow,  and is based off of sonic conditions at the throat area At.  If you know the Mach number M at another station where the area is A,  you can find that area ratio AR = A/At as easily as the total/static ratios TR and PR.  If you know instead the area ratio A/At,  finding the Mach number M is inherently a transcendental (iterative) solution: 

                A/At = (1 / M) [TR / const1]const2
where TR is defined as above,  const1 = 0.5 (γ + 1),  and const2 = 0.5 (γ + 1) / (γ – 1)

Heat transfer:  this is driven not by static temperature but by recovery temperature!   We must do this because the supersonic flow in the nozzle is both highly compressible,  and highly dissipative.  At any given Mach number M,  recovery temperature Tr is very nearly the same as total temperature Tt.  How it varies depends upon laminar versus turbulent flow,  and the gas property Prandtl number Pr:

                Tr = T + r (Tt – T)  where the recovery factor r = Pr0.5 laminar,  Pr0.33 turbulent

Only the heat transfer film coefficient h responds significantly to the varying Mach number,  pressure,  and temperature down the nozzle profile.  It does this in a very empirical way.  Multiple models exist for this,  not covered here.  The local heat flux at any station is of the form:

                Q/A = h (Tr – Ts) where Ts is the material surface temperature

For heat transfer purposes,  failing real data,  you can estimate Prandtl number Pr = 4 γ /(9γ – 5).

Conventional Nozzle Thrust Coefficient CF

Your ideal gas model of the gas flowing through the nozzle comprises its constant specific heat ratio γ,  and its constant molecular weight MW.  These can come from thermochemistry calculations,  and need to reflect the high temperatures involved. 

The thrust F of an idealized nozzle evaluated at its exit plane is the momentum of the exiting gas,  plus the exit area Ae times the difference in pressure between the exiting stream static pressure Pe and the ambient backpressure of the surroundings Pb.  Ideally,  all the streamlines are parallel to the thrust axis.  

In the real world,  they are not.   This streamlines-off-angle effect is modeled with the nozzle kinetic energy efficiency factor ηke.  It applies to the momentum term in thrust,  but not the pressure term,  as long as the exit plane is perpendicular to the axis.

                F = ηke m Ve + (Pe – Pb) Ae where m = mass flow rate and Ve = exit velocity

To convert this to compressible flow variables,  we make use of the m = ρe Ae Ve massflow definition,  the ideal gas equation of state Pe = ρe R Te with R = Runiv/MW,  and the exit plane speed of sound for an ideal gas ce = (γ gc R Te)0.5.  The variable gc is the “gravity constant” to make the equation consistent with inconsistent mass and force units.  If those units are consistent,  gc will be 1.

                F = ηke (Pe / R Te) Ve2 Ae + (Pe – Pb)Ae using massflow,  then equation of state
                F = γ ηke Pe Ae Me2 + (Pe – Pb)Ae  using speed of sound

Note that the first term in the equation just above is the momentum term,  and the second term is the static pressure difference term.  Distribute the Ae so that there are 3 separate terms,  and regroup. 

                F = Pe Ae [1 + γ ηke Me2] – Pb Ae  recombining terms such that Pe Ae factors out

Here,  inside the bracket,  the 1 now corresponds to the exit static pressure term with Pe Ae factored out,  and the γ ηke Me2 corresponds to the momentum term with Pe Ae factored out.  The backpressure effect is still a separate force term,  with the recombined bracket-containing force term really just being thrust into vacuum.

Now we introduce the definition of thrust coefficient CF = F / Pc At with the understanding that the Pc is the total (stagnation) pressure feeding the nozzle.  If the contraction from chamber to throat area is large enough,  there is no measurable difference between total and static pressure at the nozzle entrance.

                CF = F / Pc At = (Pe Ae / Pc At)[1 + γ ηke Me2] – (Pb Ae / Pc At)
                CF = (Pe/Pc)(Ae/At)[1 + γ ηke Me2] – (Pb / Pc)(Ae / At)    regrouping P’s and A’s together
                CF = (AR / PR) [1 + γ ηke Me2] – AR / PRop     (the thrust coefficient equation)
    with PRop = Pc/Pb using the actual design Pc and Pb
                with PR = Pc/Pe = (1 + 0.5 (γ – 1) Me2)exp = TRexp   where exp = γ / (γ – 1)
                and AR = Ae/At = (1/Me)[ TR/const1]const2
    with const1 = 0.5 (γ + 1) and const2 = 0.5 (γ + 1) / (γ – 1)

This last formulation is particularly convenient when one wants a certain exit Mach number Me,  because AR = Ae/At and PR = Pc/Pe are easily calculated from Me using the ideal gas γ.  Otherwise,  if conditions at a certain AR are desired,  one iteratively tries Me values until the desired AR obtains,  then computes PR.  Essentially,  Me and Pc/Pe are “locked in” by the AR value regardless of the value of Pc,  although they are not most conveniently figured in that order. 

The “operating pressure ratio” PRop = Pc/Pb depends directly upon your design choices for Pc and Pb.  One had to choose a Pc to do the thermochemistry,  and Pb is set by the altitude,  or else 0 if vacuum.

Once γ,  Me,  PR,  AR,  and PRop are all known,  evaluating CF is easy,  per the above equation.  If you have used a value of c* to size a throat At elsewhere in your fundamental ballistics,  then the nozzle thrust is easily obtained as F = CF Pc At.  From ballistics,  choked nozzle massflow w = Pc CD At gc / c*,   see Figure 2 below.  CD is the nozzle throat’s discharge coefficient (or efficiency).

If all the hot gas generated in the engine workings upstream of the nozzle entrance goes through the nozzle,  then Isp = CF c* / gc.  If not,  you must ratio down your calculated Isp,  F,  and At by 1 + f,  where f is the fraction of generated hot gas massflow that does not go through the nozzle.

Example Problem:  Conventional Nozzle,  Sea Level and 20 kft Designs

I automated these calculations into a spreadsheet,  and verified the numbers with hand calculations.  An image of the spreadsheet for the sea level design is given in Figure 3.  In the spreadsheet,  items highlighted yellow are the user inputs,  and items highlighted blue are the principal outputs from the sizing calculations.  These are used to generate the performance table versus altitude,  which is not highlighted. 

For this example,  I assumed Pc = 1800 psia,  and a conical nozzle of 15 degree half angle.  I used specific heat ratio γ = 1.20,  and a c* = 5900 ft/sec so that specific impulse would be near 300 sec,  similar to LOX-RP1.  I used At = 1.0 square inch,  with a nozzle CD = 0.99 to size flow rate.  The resulting design is a nominal 3000 lb thrust design,  completely immune to backpressure-induced separation,  since it is never over-expanded.  How the nozzle kinetic energy efficiency is calculated from half angle is discussed below.

Keeping all the data the same except for the design backpressure,  I ran the spreadsheet again for perfect expansion at 20 kft instead of sea level.  The effect is to increase the expansion ratio for a higher momentum term,  and then accept the negative pressure difference term reducing thrust below 20 kft altitude.  The gas generating chamber and throat are exactly the same.  An image of the 20 kft design spreadsheet is given as Figure 4.  The spreadsheet includes a separation backpressure estimate (see that discussion just below),  which shows the risk starts at pressures about 9 psi larger than sea level air pressure.  So,  this design is also very likely immune to backpressure-induced separation risks.

Flow Separation Risks

These can only be estimated empirically.  There are many correlations.  My preferred one uses the inverse of PR = Pc/Pe.  Psep is the estimated backpressure,  at and above which nozzle flow separation is to be expected.  It is empirical,  and it is a rough estimate.  The designer should allow significant margin. 

                Psep / Pc = (1.5 Pe/Pc)0.8333

For the 20 kft design example just above,  Pc/Pe = 266.3,  so that Pe/Pc = 0.003755.  Thus Psep/Pc = 0.013355,  and for Pc = 1800 psia,  the expected Psep = 24.04 psia,  quite a margin above sea level pressure.  We can conclude that there is no risk of separation in the example nozzle,  all the way down to sea level,  where Pb is only 14.7 psia.  The risky backpressure is even higher at about 45 psia for the sea level design.

KE-Efficiency Correlations

Most conventional nozzles are axisymmetric.  Those streamlines near the axis are aligned along that axis,  so that the cosine factor for off-angle alignment is cos(0o) = 1.00.  Those near the nozzle wall are aligned at the angle of that wall off the axis.  For a conical nozzle,  this is the half angle of the cone.  The cosine factor for off-angle alignment is cos(a) where “a” is the half angle of the cone.  See Figure 1 again.

Thus,  there is a distribution of local off-axis alignments for the streamlines across the exit plane.  While the “correct” way to determine the effective cosine factor for the distribution would be to integrate them for an average,  there is an easier model that is just as good.  Simply compute the arithmetic average of the centerline cosine factor value (1.00) and the wall cosine factor value cos(a),  and call that the nozzle kinetic efficiency factor:

                ηke = 0.5 [1 + cos(a)]  where “a” is the effective average half-angle of the nozzle wall

For a conical nozzle,  “a” is the cone’s geometric half-angle.  At 15 degrees,  ηke = 0.983.  For a curved bell,  there is a local “a” near the throat,  and a smaller local “a” at the exit lip.  One simply averages the two local a’s,  and uses that average as “a” in the kinetic energy efficiency formula.  For most practical curved bell designs,  that average “a” won’t be far from 15 degrees.  See again Figure 1.

Free-Expansion Designs By “Last Point of Contact = Perpendicular Exit Plane Model”

There are multiple techniques and geometries by which a nozzle can be made self-compensating for perfect expansion at any altitude backpressure.  They all share two features:  (1) a free streamtube surface unconfined by a physical shell before the “exit plane”,  and (2) a point of last contact with physical structure that is wetted by the propulsion stream that locates the exit plane.   We want the components of the actual distribution of exhaust velocities,  that are aligned with the engine axis. 

Most,  if not all,  these free-expansion designs can be analyzed for expected performance using the very same ideal gas compressible flow techniques used for conventional nozzles.  It is just that the order in which things need to be done is revised.  Note that the very same gas-generating chamber and throat area serves as the feed to the free-expansion “nozzle” at all values of Pb. 

Conceptually,  we are interested in an effective planar exit area located at the “point of last contact” (just as the exit lip is the “last point of contact” with conventional bell nozzles), and oriented perpendicular to the engine axis.  This is shown in Figure 5. 

Unlike conventional nozzles,  these are always perfectly expanded,  so that Pe = Pb,  as long as Pb is not exactly zero!  Once a Pb is known,  then PR = Pc/Pe = Pc/Pb is known.  One solves the PR equation for Me at this value of PR,  which is not a transcendental iteration,  just a simple direct solution:

                Me =  { 2/(γ – 1) [PR(γ-1)/γ – 1]}0.5

With Me now known,  find the area ratio from the streamtube relation,  and use it with the throat area to find the effective value of the exit area Ae:

                TR = 1+ 0.5 (γ – 1) Me2
                const1 = 0.5 (γ + 1)
                const2 = 0.5 (γ + 1) / (γ – 1)
                AR = (1 / Me) [TR / const1]const2
                Ae = AR At

Referring again to Figure 5,  there is obviously a distribution of streamline directions at the exit plane,  which is different for each backpressure.  Each geometry is different,  but the idea is to find the largest half-angle off of axial and use it as “a”.  This goes into the correlation for kinetic energy efficiency.  That correlation is generally for “a” < 30 degrees,  so we are misusing this here!  But,  it is the best I have at this time to offer.  Any such “a”-dependent model,  even if flawed,  is better than no model at all!

                ηke = 0.5 [1 + cos(a)]

Instead of a thrust coefficient,  we estimate thrust directly from the calculated exit plane conditions,  remembering that Pe = Pb,  and from that thrust,  the thrust coefficient (to use with c* for Isp):

                F = ηke γ Pe Ae Me2
                CF = F / Pc At

One should note that neither Ae nor ηke are constants here,  as Pb changes.  At high backpressures (low altitudes),  “a” is small,  ηke is high,  and Ae and Me are lower.  At low backpressures (high altitudes),  “a” is quite large,  ηke is lower,  and Ae and Me are high.  Exactly how “a” varies is quite geometry-dependent. 

If Pb = 0 (vacuum of space),  PR = infinite,  leading to infinite Me and Ae.  There can be no planar exit plane,  and Prandtl-Meyer expansion says “a” > 90 degrees by a small amount.  There is no point trying to use this compressible flow analysis technique on a free-expansion nozzle in vacuum,  quite unlike a conventional nozzle!  (Which means this free-expansion design approach is inappropriate in vacuum!)

However,  for an axisymmetric center-spike design (aerospike nozzle),  one could estimate a = tan-1[(Re-Rt)/Lspike].  For this,  Re = (Ae/pi)0.5,  and Rt = approximately (At/pi)0.5.  Lspike is the distance from throat plane to exit plane.  Longer is lower effective “a”,  but higher weight,  and a tougher cooling design.

I made another worksheet in the spreadsheet for axisymmetric aerospike nozzles,  embodying the above calculation techniques,  and I verified it with hand calculations.  It lays out differently,  since the sequence is different,  and more items vary with altitude.  The same grouping of design point data vs altitude performance is maintained,  and the same color-coding for highlighted items.   However,  the volume of data is larger,  requiring two figures (vs one) to display herein.

Example Axisymmetric Aerospike Problem

The fairest way to compare this type of nozzle design with any conventional nozzle design is to size both with the same Pc,  At,  and γ.  If thrust is the issue,  and it usually is for launch vehicles,  then the preferred performance variable to examine is thrust. 

For the example problem,  we use Pc = 1800 psia,  At = 1.0 in2,  and γ = 1.20,  same as the conventional nozzle examples earlier.  The same c* and nozzle throat CD are used.  In effect,  this engine shares the very same gas generator as the two conventional examples.  The same altitude backpressures are also used,  so that this design can be compared directly to the earlier examples,  except that vacuum performance cannot be included.

The spreadsheet results are given in Figures 6 and 7 below.  The two figures together provide the image of the spreadsheet.  I have repeated the altitude data in Figure 7 for convenience. 

Comparisons Among the Example Nozzle Designs

How these designs compare,  especially as regards altitude performance,  does not “jump off the page” from tabular data.  That takes plots,  something this spreadsheet software offers.  I used the same altitudes and air pressure data for all 3 examples.  Copying selected data from each worksheet into yet another worksheet provides a way to directly plot performance from all 3 nozzles on the same page.  I did this for thrust,  specific impulse,  thrust coefficient,  and nozzle kinetic energy efficiency. 

Bear in mind that all three share the same gas generator at Pc = 1800 psia,  At = 1 square inch,  γ = 1.20,  chamber c* = 5900 ft/sec,  and nozzle throat discharge coefficient CD = 0.99.  All three are roughly the same 3000 lb thrust at their design points,  within a percentage point or three. 

The thrust comparison is given in Figure 8 below.  The conventional sea level design has slightly better thrust at sea level ( by about 82 lb out of a nominal 3000 lb) than the conventional 20 kft design.  This reflects the effects of the negative pressure difference term at sea level,  for the slightly-overexpanded 20 kft design. 

The 20 kft design has about a 107 lb thrust advantage,  above 100 kft,  over the sea level design.  This reflects the larger expansion ratio of the 20 kft design,  and the fact that the exit momentum term dominates by far over the pressure difference term,  in thrust.

The axisymmetric aerospike design is “right in there” with the other two,  up to about 50 kft or 60 kft altitude.  Then its performance drops dramatically with increasing altitude,  something the free expansion is supposed to compensate!  It is a little better than the conventional sea level design at sea level,  and it remains superior all the way up to about 55 kft.  It is equivalent or very slightly better to the conventional 20 kft design at sea level,  and remains essentially equivalent to about 20 kft.  Its downturn in thrust performance is quite dramatic,  and starts at about 40 kft or 50 kft. 

It should not surprise anyone that the specific impulse trends in Figure 9 tell the same tale as the thrust in Figure 8,  since all three share the same gas generator with the same propellant massflow.  Nor should it surprise anyone that the thrust coefficient trends in Figure 10 also tell exactly the same tale,  since all 3 designs share the same gas generator operating at the same chamber pressure. 

The reason for the dropoff in aerospike performance,  versus the conventional designs,  traces directly to the trends of nozzle kinetic energy efficiency,  something that in turn depends upon the effective average half-angle of the propulsion stream bondary.  This is really nothing but the cosine factors of streamlines that are aligned off-axis.  Kinetic energy efficiency trends are given in Figure 11.

Remember,  for the conventional designs,  half-angle is locked-in by the physical bell,  right up to the exit plane.  Downstream of the exit lip,  gas expands laterally into the vacuum,  but this happens downstream of the “last point of contact”,  where thrust is actually calculated.  This is implied by how we draw the control volume about the engine and nozzle,  something shown in the lower right corner of Figure 1,  touching at that last point of contact.

For the axisymmetric aerospike free-expansion design,  the last point of contact is the tip of the spike.  The free expansion surface of the plume is inside the control volume,   as is the bell of the conventional nozzle.  At high altitudes where the air pressure is low,  the plume boundary must expand quite far laterally,  between the throat,  and the “exit plane” at the last point of contact.  This is precisely how large AR and Me are achieved,  in order to match Pe = Pb.  Since the length of the free-expansion zone is fixed,  the boundary half-angle must be quite large at high AR.  That reduces kinetic energy efficiency. 

The two conventional designs share a constant kinetic energy efficiency of 98.3%,  as shown.  The aerospike starts out slightly better at 99.1% (due to the choice of Lspike used),  but drops below conventional at about 20 kft,  and falls ever more rapidly to only about 77.7% at 100 kft.  This traces directly to the effective half-angle of the plume boundary between the throat,  and the exit plane at last point of contact. 

That is why I included a plot of the axisymmetric aerospike half-angle vs altitude as Figure 12.  Looking at this,  please remember that half-angle is constant-with-altitude at 15 degrees for the two conventional designs.  At 100 kft,  cos(56.335o) = 0.5543.  Averaging that with 1 inherently produces ηke = 77.7%.


I don’t see any significant advantage to the free-expansion nozzle approach.  The small performance improvement is restricted to the lower atmosphere,  and this design approach is entirely inappropriate for use in vacuum!  The complications with cooling the spike outweigh any tangible performance benefits,  which are low (unless you cheat by not accounting for the streamline divergence effects).  

 Figure 1 – Nozzle Fundamentals

 Figure 2 – Modeling Nozzles with Compressible Flow

 Figure 3 – Spreadsheet Image for 15 Degree Conical Nozzle As Sea Level Design

 Figure 4 – Spreadsheet Image for 15 Degree Conical Nozzle As 20 Kft Design

Figure 5 – Analogous Procedure for Free-Expansion Designs

 Figure 6 – Example Axisymmetric Aerospike Nozzle Results,  Part A

 Figure 7 – Example Axisymmetric Aerospike Nozzle Results,  Part B

Figure 8 – Thrust Comparison Among the 3 Designs vs Altitude

Figure 9 – Specific Impulse Comparison Among the 3 Designs vs Altitude

Figure 10 – Thrust Coefficient Comparison Among the 3 Designs vs Altitude

Figure 11 – Nozzle Kinetic Energy Efficiency Comparison Among the 3 Designs vs Altitude

Figure 12 – Trend of Effective Half-Angle “a” for Axisymmetric Aerospike Design

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Recommendations for Election 2018

It is time to hold the president accountable for illegal actions.  If Congress will not do this,  they are complicit in the illegalities.  Which means they,  too,  are unfit to hold their offices. 

Border Troubles

The only real chaos on our southern border is that created by the Trump administration.  Claims otherwise trace to conspiracy theories and outright lies coming from far-right websites and outlets.  Anyone with internet access can verify this for themselves.

Refugees have the right under federal law to apply for asylum.  The president wants to deny them that right,  which is therefore an illegal act under federal law.  He does this for purposes that can only be described as racist,  and which are therefore are both illegal,  and abusive,  under the Constitution which he swore to uphold.  Failure to uphold the Constitution is an impeachable offense.   

Due process for illegal aliens is a gray area under federal law,  something Congress has failed to rectify.  But summary deportations and arbitrarily-presumed guilt justifying family separations is definitely a denial of any concept of due process.  Such procedures therefore violate the Constitution,  which the president swore to uphold.  Failure to uphold the Constitution is an impeachable offense.

The president wants to nullify part of the 14th amendment to the Constitution,  by presidential executive order!  Specifically,  he wants to end citizenship-by-birth for the babies of immigrants.  This issue has not before been a problem,  not since the adoption of the amendment right after the Civil War.

Amendments to the Constitution may only be modified or nullified by the Constitution’s amendment process itself:  proposed by 2/3 supermajorities in Congress or by 2/3 of the states,  and ratified by ¾ supermajorities in Congress or by ¾ of the states.  This is subversion of the Constitution by the president,  a very serious impeachable offense indeed!

Incitement to Violence

Despite what the president claims,  the newsreel footage available on-line clearly shows the president using very inflammatory rhetoric at his political rallies,  and in multiple cases encouraging his followers to beat up hecklers and news reporters.  This is clearly incitement to violence,  which is certainly not at all civil behavior,  even if legal.    

“Incitement to riot” laws exist in all the states,  which may make this presidential exhortation to violence an illegal act.  Even if not,  such probably qualifies as a “misdemeanor” under the constitution’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” definition for impeachable offenses,  particularly since the recent mail bomber and the recent synagogue shooter seem to have been far-right wing extremists.  Such are commonly Trump supporters. *** Update 11-1-18:  The mail bomber is known to be both an extremist and a Trump supporter.  The synagogue shooter is most definitely an extremist,  but reportedly not much of a Trump supporter. 

This is all the more serious,  since people died at the synagogue shooting.  The president didn’t do this,  nor did he specifically order this.  But he certainly inspired these criminals to commit their acts.  Inspiring others to commit crimes might well be an impeachable offense.  It is certainly worth considering.

Possible Treason

For two years,  the president has been damaging our alliances by insulting our allies and starting trade wars with them.  These alliances have kept the peace and forestalled our enemies for 7 decades.  While doing this,  our president has treated most of our worst enemies (Russia,  North Korea) better than our allies. 

This very probably qualifies under the “aid and comfort to the enemy” definition of treason in the Constitution,  and it was witnessed by millions,  if not billions,  on television right up to the Helsinki meeting.  The Constitution requires only two witnesses.

Whether actually treasonous or not,  this is serious enough to qualify under the Constitution’s “treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors” definition of grounds for impeachment.  One public figure did call this “treasonous”,  and suffered retaliation at the hands of president for it.  That act alone bespeaks of a very real disregard for the Constitution and federal law. 

Where Is Congress On This?

The Republicans have control of the House,  the Senate,  the White House,  and now, the Supreme Court.  However,  Republicans as we have always known them have mostly left the party,  or been thrown out of it,  by right-wing extremists and Trump supporters.  The party,  as we knew it,  is no more.

Thus there is no chance of a House impeachment or Senate trial under these circumstances,  since this new version of the Republican party has repeatedly demonstrated itself to prioritize party advantage over the good of the country.  

In a very real sense,  the Trumpist Republicans as they now exist in Congress are complicit in Trump’s offenses,  since they do absolutely nothing to restrain him. 

What to Do About It

The only way around this dilemma is to vote them out as quickly as you can,  starting November 6. 

It really doesn’t matter so much who the opposition actually is,  or what they claim to want to do.  I literally don’t see how any such change at all,  could be any worse than the status quo.

So that’s my recommendation:  vote ‘em out!  Elect anybody but Trumpist Republicans!

Then insist the new ones stop Trump from doing any more damage to this country.  Contact them and tell them so,  in no uncertain terms.

Final Remarks

I do not make these recommendations lightly.  I am a long-time fierce independent voter,  who over the decades voted for more Republicans than Democrats,  all of it split-ticket.  Misbehaviors like these have reversed that trend in recent years. 

Update 10-31-18 for Texas races:

Our governor and lieutenant governor have led the charge to destroy the Texas public schools by underfunding them and promoting tax-funded vouchers at private schools.  This underfunding forces local tax entities to raise their revenues to compensate.  The governor and lieutenant governor then point at "out-of-control local tax offices" for political gain.  

This perfidy outweighs any good either man has done.  So I recommend you vote for the "other guys",  it really doesn't matter who they are or what they advocate.  How could we possibly do worse?  Update 11-7-18:  statewide,  we re-elected them,  not by large majorities.  

Our state attorney general is a 3-time-indicted felon for bribery and corruption,  just not yet tried in a court of law.  This way far outweighs any possible good he could have done.  Vote for the other guy.  Update 11-7-18:  statewide,  we re-elected this one,  for which I am ashamed of my state.

Our commissioner of agriculture has made trips at taxpayer expense to compete in the rodeo in Arkansas,  then Oklahoma to get a pain shot for injuries suffered in that rodeo.  He said he would do state business while on those trips,  justifying traveling at taxpayer expense.  

But the records indicate he did no state business on those trips,  and did not reimburse the state for the expense.  That's actually a crime.  Vote for the other guy. Update 11-7-18:  statewide,  we re-elected this one,  for which I am ashamed of my state.

The rest are not quite so egregious.  You must decide whether they prioritize party advantage over good of the people.  (The correct priority is the other way around.)  If you think they do value party advantage over good of the people,  then I recommend voting for the other guy.  I did,  because that's the conclusion I reached,  for my senator,  my rep,  and a bunch of others.  

Update 11-1-18:  I voted early,  because next week (election day is next week),  my dementia-afflicted mother is being moved to a nursing home,  and I am undergoing (hopefully-minor) cancer surgery (Update 11-7-18:  they got it).  I wanted my vote to count,  no matter what!!!  Split ticket as usual,  biased in favor of the opposition,  in large part. 

Please,  get out and vote yourself !!!  Make your voice heard !!!   If your opinion about any given race is not too strong already,  I recommend you try to determine which candidate might prioritize the good of his constituents above the advantage of his party.  Way too few do. Update 11-7-18:  clearly too few did.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Taking a Knee Is Way Over-Politicized

I see too much influence of sometimes-vicious political propaganda regarding football players protesting by taking a knee (or locking arms) during the national anthem.  That propaganda says they are disrespecting the flag and the nation by not standing;  I disagree.

I don’t see any of that supposed disrespect.  None of these players are talking or laughing,  unlike many in the stands!  Their attention is quietly focused on the anthem ceremony,  just as it should be.  Only their posture is “wrong”,  and that is the attention-getting item that makes the protest successful. 

Protest is indeed as American as apple pie.  This nation was quite literally born out of protest!  The most famous of these protests was the Boston Tea Party,  but there were many over several years,  before the shooting started that became the American Revolution. 

The protest issue itself aside,  what’s different here is the utter lack of any real collateral damage!  Most protests as we have known them lead to people getting hurt or property damage being done.  Nobody is hurt,  and no damage is done,  when these players kneel! 

I applaud that;  it’s the most beneficially innovative form of protest I have ever seen.  Of course,  it’s television showing it,  that makes it as effective as it is. 

As for the protest issue,  the statistics verify that something is indeed wrong with equality-of-justice in this country.  It’s probably a lot more complicated than any one explanation,  things usually are.  

But if there’s a problem,  simple ethics demands we investigate and try to correct it. 

The protest exists because we haven’t been paying attention to this problem.


To support my point,  here are two photos taken during the anthem ceremony at a couple of football games.  The first is fan behavior,  which is largely pretty good.  Most are standing,  some are singing. 

I see some crossed arms (usually symbolic of disapproval of,  or impatience with,  what is going on),  a few talking instead of singing or paying attention,  and at least one individual paying attention to a cell phone instead of the ceremony (dead center,  about 3/4 of the way down the photograph). 

The second is of players,  which are kneeling in protest.  All are quiet,  and all are focused on the ceremony.  Other than the “wrong” posture,  where is the disrespect?  No one is laughing or talking,  no one is focused on anything but the ceremony.