Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Trump Cult Warning

The following is the text of a signed letter I sent to PBS's NewsHour at their "viewermail" address.  The letter is a warning about the threat of a coming dictatorship in the US.  I am shouting from the rooftops about this threat!  As for the image,  some "peaceful tour or demonstration" that was!


A much-edited version of this appeared as a column in the Waco,  Texas,  "Tribune-Herald" 30 January 2024


I am still astounded that no one trying to responsibly report the news seems to understand where all the rabidly-loyal Trump voters are coming from,  and why they persist in their support,  despite the serious criminal trials of Trump that are coming.  They so very clearly want him,  even if he is in jail!

That’s because it is a fearless leader cult built around Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election,  from roots in the “Qanon” on-line conspiracy.  Cults are cults,  belief outweighs the importance of any facts!  They operate by brainwashing,  and the Trump cult has been brainwashing GOP voters since 2015. 

Our cowardly GOP politicians know this,  which is why they cravenly do whatever the brainwashed crowd wants,  no matter how nonsensical or evil.  They still outnumber the true Trump cultists in the GOP,  and yet they are utterly subservient to them,  because of those brainwashed voters.  That is what “primarying” really means!

The GOP has morphed from a largely corporate-friendly membership 3+ decades ago,  to a major percentage of uneducated blue-collar membership today,  precisely because uneducated people are far easier to brainwash!  The brainwashing is done by both the politicians themselves at their rallies and events,  and by the “social media” on the entirely unregulated internet,  which freely spouts all sorts of lies,  and even Russian (and other) propaganda!  If you don’t believe me,  go look for yourself! 

That unregulated lying mess is where most GOP voters get their “news” and their “facts”.  If you don’t believe me about that,  go ask any of them!  But that unregulated lying mess is also why they don’t believe any of the “mainstream media”,  which is you,  the responsible journalists still left in this world!  And I think you do know about that!

Political cult,  religious cult,  or some of both,  it does not matter.  All have a purpose,  and a top-of-the-list thing they want to do.  These are usually initially secret,  but they always come out.  Trump’s former advisor,  retired General Flynn,  spilled the beans in public about the Trump cult’s purpose,  some years ago during Trump’s term in the White House:  a dictatorship over the US,  with Trump at the top.  This was to start with the military being ordered to confiscate voting machines,  then re-running the election to get the outcome the Trump cult wanted.  (Updated in red 1-27-2024.)

Trump himself has made clear what his top-of-the-list priority is,  once he takes power: to kill all his opposition,  just not in those exact words.  His word is “retribution”.  But that’s what it ultimately means!  If you look at the Qanon roots of the Trump cult,  “the storm” is where they round up all who oppose them (termed “deep state”),  maybe (or maybe not) try them by a military tribunal,  not a real court,  and execute them.  That intent has not changed on the internet since 2016;  I have watched it.

Liz Cheney was,  and is,  correct:  this nation is sleepwalking its way into a dictatorship!  The GOP has absolutely no business running a multiply-indicted (and likely convicted) felon for the office of President,  or anything else!  Especially one so evidently guilty of fomenting an insurrection!  That they are running him is proof that the craven-coward politicians,  and the Trump cult members of Congress,  are together in total control of the Republican party,  which clearly is no longer a responsible entity!

All the responsible media,  NewsHour included,  should be screaming about this abomination from the rooftops!  I certainly am.



I have written articles before,  on this site about the Trump cult.  The best one is "Beware of Leader Cults",  posted 16 February 2020.  Use the navigation tool on the left to find it quickly.  All you need is the date and the title.  Click on the year,  then the month,  then the title if need be. 


Update 1-27-2024:  add another image as proof of roots.  Look at caps,  then at sign.

Update 6-6-2024:  Well,  "Teflon Don's" teflon now has at least one big hole in it:  he is now a convicted felon,  with 3 more felony trials looming!  And it's by a state court,  not federal,  so even if he becomes President again,  he cannot pardon himself of this!  He is a convicted felon who now wants to you all to re-elect him,  so he can become dictator over you.  Like he almost did before,  with the Jan. 6 insurrection he incited.

I reiterate:  the Republican Party has absolutely NO business running a convicted and multiply-indicted felon for President!  The President is supposed to be a role model for our children,  among many other things.  Donald J. Trump is NO role model of anything good!  That alone should disqualify him in the minds of all but the most brainwashed voters!  Not to mention his wannabee-dictator ambitions!

Monday, January 8, 2024

Immigration Crisis?

Yes,  there is one.  No,  it is not the fault of Presidential administrations of either party.  It is primarily the fault of a dysfunctional Congress not doing its sworn job.  See the figure.

This has been neglected since right after the end of World War 2,  except for one ineffective change that George W. Bush got through Congress about 20 years ago.  The public has become aware over the last 2 decades that there is a problem,  but Congress lies about whose fault it is,  instead of doing something constructive about it.

The guest worker quotas have always been set too low,  since 1945.  Congress sets the maximums for the worker visa quotas.  Administrations may issue less,  but not more. Those visas cannot be tracked effectively,  because Congress never appropriated the money to hire the people to do the tracking job.  Why should anyone be surprised that,  after decades of this mismatch,  there are something like 10 million illegal residents in the US?

Until about 2 decades ago,  the number of guest workers we had to deal with was very much greater than the number of asylum seekers we had to deal with.  Under federal law,  asylum seekers must be granted a hearing before an immigration judge.  The number of these immigration courts and their infrastructure depends upon what Congress funds.  They were barely adequate 2+ decades ago. 

The smugglers of drugs and people were only as numerous as they were 2 decades ago,  because of the illegal guest workers to be smuggled.  Our border patrol was roughly adequate to the task then.  No longer.

Since then,  a large number of failed states in South America,  the Caribbean,  and elsewhere have produced vast numbers of refugees seeking asylum,  far more now,  than we ever saw 20+ years ago!  The US has absolutely no control over the conditions forcing those people to flee.  And under federal law,  they are guaranteed a hearing before an immigration judge;  not entry,  just the hearing.  That law says nothing about how they crossed the border to come apply.  

Administration policies requiring deportations without that hearing are the Executive Branch literally violating federal law instead of enforcing it.  The wait time for an immigration hearing now is a few to several years,  because Congress has not funded an increase in the number of immigration courts to address the vastly increased demand.

Walls and barriers demonstrably do not work nearly as well as claimed.  Even when they do work,  their actual effect is to deny asylum seekers the hearing they are entitled to,  under our laws.  That denial is a violation of our laws.   So are the stay-in-Mexico policies,  and similar stuff.

What we need is a Congress that will update those laws and fund the infrastructure that enables Presidential administrations to enforce them faithfully. 

What we have is a long history of dysfunctional Congresses blaming administrations of the opposite party for the crisis,  just to drum up votes.  Playing politics is so very clearly prioritized way higher than actually doing the jobs they swore to do.  It also shows up in Congress not having passed a proper budget in almost 20 years!  Oath-breakers!

And bear in mind,  your own Congress has been lying egregiously about this immigration crisis (and many other things) to you,  the citizens,   for some decades now.  Both major parties do it,  but one is currently worse than the other about that.  I’ll let you readers guess which one. 

Hint:  the one that wants the border walls everywhere.

There is a “fix” for this,  and it is coming up this very November!  Throw the bastards out!  All of them!    They certainly deserve it for playing hardball politics instead of doing the jobs that they swore to do!  Try somebody new,  it does not matter who. 

You cannot do any worse than what you have now.  But you might do better.

Update 1-12-2024:  It nauseates me to see the House GOP controlled by Trump-cult extremists who freely abuse any lever of power to get what they want,  when they have not the votes,  all the while lying so egregiously about what they are doing.  My article above makes abundantly clear that the immigration crisis is the fault of Congress's dereliction of duty over many decades,  and not the fault of the current President or any of his predecessors.  Yet blaming Biden is the loudest noise being made by the Trump cult extremists dominating the House GOP. 


Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Airplanes on Mars?

In a word,  probably not. 

The mechanics required for steady flight are illustrated in Figure 1 below.  Basically,  lift must balance weight,  and thrust must balance drag.  For clarity,  the moment balance about the center of gravity is not depicted. 

Lift and drag are both proportional to the wind pressure and the wing area.  The coefficients of proportionality are the lift and drag coefficients.  Control of lift is by angle of attack (AOA),  and the usable lift coefficient only varies between zero and the stall value (a bit over 1).  For control purposes,  the same basic lift coefficient values must be used on Mars as on Earth.

The wind pressure (q, the dynamic pressure) is proportional to density and to velocity squared.  The density can be calculated as a density ratio (σ) multiplied by a standard density value (ρo).  Earth sea level density on a standard day is the usual value used for that standard density.  Values are shown. 

Under ideal gas assumptions (P = ρ Runiv T/MW),  the density ratio pretty much anywhere is the pressure ratio to Earth standard pressure,  multiplied by the molecular weight ratio to standard,  and divided by the absolute-scale temperature ratio to standard.  For typical pressures and temperatures on Mars,  density ratio is near 1% of Earth sea level,  but this is quite variable since the “air” pressure there is quite variable.  An average value is shown.  Surface gravity on Mars is 38% that on Earth.  

To design aircraft for Mars,  we need the surface density ratio divided by the surface gravity ratio.  The net effect is that the levels of the aerodynamic forces acting on a reduced weight on Mars, are about factor 35 smaller than here on Earth,  at otherwise the same AOA’s!  That factor can increase either the wing area or the square of the velocity,  or some of both,  to get the same balance for steady flight on Mars. 

Note that if you make the wing bigger,  it will be more massive in proportion to that increased area,  and therefore heavier,  even in the lower gravity of Mars.  The weight increase of more wing area will act toward overcoming any lower speed benefit.  That is because the density effect is much larger than the reduced gravity effect,  on Mars.

Velocity squared factored up by 35 is the same as velocity factored up by almost 6.  Example:  if landing and takeoff speed for some airplane design was about 100 mph on Earth,  it would be almost 600 mph on Mars for the same wing area as on Earth.  Such speeds that close to the surface are quite dangerous.  That is just not something to be attempted voluntarily. 

Double the pressure to 12 mbar in the Hellas Basin,  and the over-100 density reduction factor halves.  That density ratio divided by the gee ratio is now closer to 17 than 35,  and its square root is a velocity ratio a bit over 4.  It’s still a bigger,  heavier (and impractical) wing by a factor of 17 on wing area,  or else a speed near the surface exceeding 400 mph.  Or something in-between,  with an impractically-large wing and a speed that is still too high close to the ground to be safe.  Not at all safe to attempt. Plus,  you cannot fly it anywhere except down in that basin.

The same basic aerodynamic and weight-carried factors act on helicopter rotors in pretty much the same way.  This is why I think the use of airplanes (or helicopters) as we know them here on Earth,  at a size scale suitable for transporting freight or people,  are simply not technologically feasible in the extremely thin “air” of Mars,  despite the lower gravity. 

Not absolutely impossible,  but a practical design configuration is pretty much unimaginable. 

Figure 1 – First Cut Exploration of Aircraft Design Requirements for Mars

Second,  Closer Look:

Now,  looking at this issue a bit more closely,  let us explore landing and takeoff speeds that are practical,  and at lift coefficients that are high,  but with adequate stall margin,  sort of like what is required by the FAR’s here on Earth.  For that,  I presume 120 mph = 176 ft/sec = 53.6 m/s,  and a max lift coefficient at takeoff and landing of 1.0.  I also looked at high altitudes on Earth,  and at higher pressure in the Hellas Basin on Mars.  I did this with a spreadsheet,  as illustrated in Figure 2 below.

Those numbers for Mars might not seem too bad,  until you try to sketch what that kind of a change to an aircraft design might look like.  I did that in Figure 3 below,  holding the fuselage size constant,  and just up-sizing the wings and tails.  There is no way to get the required tail arm lengths for stability and control,  without also up-sizing the fuselage,  which drives up mass even further!  It would be the same with a swept-wing design for higher cruise speeds:  you still have to land and take off!  

That should indicate just how impractical it will always prove to be,  to design conventional airplanes capable of safe and practical flight on Mars,  regardless of the propulsion.  That “air” is just too thin!

Figure 2 – Sizing Wings for 120 mph Takeoff/Landing Speeds on Mars

Figure 3  -- Upsizing Aerosurfaces for Fixed Fuselages For Mars