What would happen if the president of the United States goes insane?

 

“For a president not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to, the myriad intelligence agencies, from defense intelligence to the CIA, is absolutely mindless.”

“The idea that you may know more than the intelligence community knows – it’s like saying I know more about physics than my professor. I didn’t read the book, I just know I know more.”

Vice President Joe Biden referring to Donald Trump during a PBS interview on January 5, 2017

If Trump ultimately becomes erratic and irrational while in office, what can be done?

Quora.com

There is a very clear procedure in the US Constitution for this (the 25th Amendment):

 

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

As such, upon such notification, the Vice President would assume the duties of the office until the President submitted a notice that he was able to resume them.  If at that time, the VP (and a majority of the Cabinet) disagrees, then Congress must vote.  It’s not *technically* an impeachement (no criminal issue), and critically, *BOTH* houses must vote via a 2/3 majority (as opposed to an impeachment, where the House is only a Majority vote to refer charges to the Senate) in order to remove the President.

Trump’s tweets keep getting more buffoonish and crazy by the day. This man is not necessarily insane. But Trump’s reality is not evidential reality. He lives in his own fantasy world, and believes the swirl of false thoughts in his mind is the real world. He takes misinformation to a whole new level, he believes untruths, or does he? Maybe this is just a fun roller coaster ride for Donald, and he really just doesn’t give a crap. As president of the U.S. this is very dangerous.

Actual Trump quotes:

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The Secret History of the First Cat in Space

Gizmodo.com

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On October 18th, 1963, the Centre national d’etudes in France was set to send a small cat named Félix into space. After lagging behind its Soviet and American competitors, France was eager to stake its claim in the space race—with cats, for some reason. But on launch day, the mischievous little beast went missing—and an accidental heroine stepped in to take his place. Her name was Félicette.

From the streets of Paris, this tuxedo kitty—nicknamed “Astrocat”—would reach heights never achieved by feline kind. On October 24th, 1963, Félicette jetted 130 miles above Earth on a liquid-fueled French Véronique AG1 rocket, soaring high above the Algerian Sahara Desert. She returned just fifteen minutes later, already a decorated heroine for her nation.

 

After her landing, French scientists at the Education Center of Aviation and Medical Research (CERMA) studied Félicette’s brain waves to see if she had changed at all since her voyage. While not much is known about their findings—or about Félicette’s eventual fate—the CERMA said she had made “a valuable contribution to research.”

Unfortunately, Félicette’s story has been lost in the sands of time; A victim of our puptriarchal society that favors the achievements of dogs above all others. But France’s place in the overall space race—or lack thereof—could explain her erasure.
“I think it may be a matter of how history played out,” space historian and editor of the space history site collectSPACE Robert Pearlman told Gizmodo. “The effort that led to launching humans into space—and then ultimately, to the moon—was the space race between the United States and the Russians.”

The pioneering efforts of brave pups, monkeys and other animals paved the way for humans in the US-Russia space race to the moon. Scientists used animals as test subjects to see how a lack of gravity would impact them, and in effect, humans. If animals could survive the harsh conditions of space, so could we. At least that was the idea.

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A Trip to The Forks in Winnipeg: Skating Trail is back open and a surprise, a Crokicurl Ring!

Due to the unseasonably warm weather in southern Manitoba the last couple weeks, The Forks skating trail turned into slush and was closed. But with some cold air blowing down from Hudson Bay the trail is back in business.

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Some open water from melt runoff

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The skating trail always has new creative features. This is a huge orange wall made up of plastic orange strips, the sun reflects on it creating what looks like neon lights.

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There is always people learning how to skate. Assisted by chairs with skis.

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Then I came across the Crokicurl Ring.

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Crokicurl combines two iconic Canadian pastimes, crokinole and curling.

Crokinole is a dexterity board game similar in various ways to pitchnut, carrom, marbles, and shove ha’ penny, with elements of shuffleboard and curling reduced to table-top size. Players take turns shooting discs across the circular playing surface, trying to have their discs land in the higher-scoring regions of the board, while also attempting to knock away opposing discs.

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The Forks in Winnipeg

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Are Two More Pipelines Going To Have A Negative Impact On The Environment?

The anti-pipeline protesters have been stirred into a frenzy again by Trump’s recent announcement that his administration wants to go ahead with the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Everybody is concerned about the environment, at least most people, but these Standing Rock protesters and others don’t seem to be looking at the big picture.

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Pipelines will spring leaks, no doubt. But it is much safer than transporting oil by rail. When all is said and done the oil will be moved, basic economics. When leaks hit rivers, they can be controlled within a short period of time with today’s technology. The water of North America will not be permanently contaminated. Check out the North American map of current pipelines across the United States and Canada.

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With a leak reported every few months or so considering the number of pipelines out there, I don’t think that two new pipelines will make much of a difference.

Why ‘The Great Wall of Trump’ will never be built

Trump and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled their meeting next week over Wall dispute.

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BBC

Donald Trump’s Mexico wall: Who is going to pay for it?

President Donald Trump has set in motion his plan to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” between the US and Mexico. An example above.

The border is about 1,900 miles (3,100 km) long and traverses all sorts of terrain.

Mr Trump says his wall will cover 1,000 miles and natural obstacles will take care of the rest.

But how much will it cost and who is going to foot the bill?

What is the estimated budget?

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I build them very inexpensively.”

Mr Trump claims the total cost of the wall will be $10bn (£7.5bn) to $12bn. But estimates from fact checkers and engineers seem to be universally higher.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell estimated it will cost between $12-15bn, as he addressed reporters at a Republican conference in Philadelphia.

Another model:

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The 650 miles of fencing already put up has cost the government more than $7bn, and none of it could be described, even charitably, as impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful or beautiful.

There are other reasons the costs would be likely to escalate beyond Mr Trump’s price tag – his plans require extending the wall into increasingly remote and mountainous regions, raising the building costs substantially.

Adding even more to the expense, the new 1,000 miles would crisscross private land, which would have to be purchased, perhaps by legal force, or financial settlements made with owners.

A study by the Washington Post estimated the cost of the president’s wall would be closer to $25bn.

The row over payment

President Trump has always insisted Mexico will pay. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has been equally insistent he will not.

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Needing to fulfill his election pledge to start building on day one, Mr Trump has signed an executive order setting it in motion.

He has accepted that US taxpayers will have to cover the initial funding.

Congressional approval would be needed and Republicans have suggested a supplemental appropriations bill could be fleshed out over the next two months.

So, how would that money be recouped from Mexico?

There are a number of options, but nothing has been officially spelled out.

1. Remittances. Two possibilities here. President Trump could try to use laws aimed at preventing money-laundering to halt Mexicans working in the US from wiring money to families back home. The sector is huge – about $25bn a year. The hope is that the threat would cow Mexico into coughing up for the wall. The second option is to tax the remittances. Either a flat tax on all, or a far more punitive tax on those who cannot prove legal residence. But Mexicans affected by remittances might simply avoid using the wire companies and find undocumented third parties to transfer the cash.

2. Levying a “border adjustment” tax. House Republicans propose lowering corporation tax from 35% to 20% but base it on the place of consumption, not production. Imports would be taxed but not exports. A 20% tax, given the $60bn trade deficit with Mexico, would raise $12bn a year. Mexico could do little, the Washington Post reports, because border adjustments would apply to all US trading partners and would not therefore be seen as a singling out Mexico.

3. Raising tariffs on imports. Would raise income but, Forbes argue, existing duties on Mexican goods would have to be quadrupled to pay for the whole of the wall, even if its cost were spread over 10 years. US companies would also almost certainly source products from elsewhere, reducing the revenue. The Mexican government could respond by removing tax benefits for US foreign investment. The investment totalled $101bn in 2013.

4. Increasing travel visa and border crossing fees. Targeting countries that have a bad record on illegal immigration, including Mexico, for higher visa fees would be popular among many Republicans. Along with increasing the fees on cars and individual people crossing the border it would raise revenue, but would probably not be enough alone.

Asked whether any of his solutions were realistic, he told the Washington Post: “It’s realistic if you know something about the art of negotiating. If you have a bunch of clowns negotiating, it’s not realistic.”

Saturn’s Moon Resembles the ‘Death Star’

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A new image from NASA’s Cassini probe is raising eyebrows among sci fi fans for its eerie resemblance to the infamous Death Star from the Star Wars films.

The unsettling celestial body, dubbed ‘Tethys,’ is one of Saturn’s icy moons and measures about 660 miles across.

With its enormous crater positioned in just the right spot when photographed by the spacecraft, the moon looks remarkably similar to the monstrous weapon at the center of the epic space opera.

While it is almost certainly not a fabricated space ship designed to destroy planets and wreak havoc across the universe, who knows what creatures could lurk in the deep deep depths of the moon?

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Popsci.com