Sierra Rayne

Sierra Rayne holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and writes regularly on environment, energy, and national security topics. He can be found on Twitter at @srayne_ca

Most Recent Articles by Sierra Rayne:

Trump’s campaign enters dangerous territory

Jun 27, 2016 — Sierra Rayne

Donald Trump’s campaign is now nearing the event horizon of a political black hole, or more crudely, beginning to circle the toilet bowl.

If Trump thinks he can win the general election by continuing to go forward with what has gone on over the past week, the Hillary Clinton machine is about to teach him a lesson of epic proportions.

On Saturday, Trump uttered more incoherent statements regarding his immigration policies:

Corrected polls show Trump had large lead over Clinton just before Lewandowski was fired

Jun 22, 2016 — Sierra Rayne

In contrast to the “pants on fire” claims by liberal and faux conservative journalists, there hasn’t been a single poll in recent weeks before the firing of Corey Lewandowski that, once corrected for known bias, shows anything other than a Trump-Clinton tie, or even a Trump lead.

Polling data last week were staged by the uni-party so the GOPe could use the data as leverage to take control—at least partially—of Trump’s campaign. This required the apparent use—if we believe the “sourced” rumor mill—of bad polling data to justify Corey Lewandowski’s unceremonious firing. This was a campaign coup d’├ętat on trumped-up charges. Nothing more, nothing less.

More evidence of the actual position Trump’s campaign was in as of Monday comes from two new polls.

Time to take the F-35 program by the horns

Apr 5, 2016 — Sierra Rayne

When the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) competition was awarded to Lockheed Martin in late 2001, there was much excitement. The time was right to begin with a next generation fighter program to replace aging fleets in the U.S. and among its allies abroad, and—of equal importance—to keep the defense advanced technology base moving forward and avoid the risk of an international brain drain and military-industrial complex atrophy.

The F-35 program that emerged proposed to build a dual-role tactical aircraft capable of both air-to-ground (strike) and air-to-air (fighter) combat operations. It is a fifth-generation aircraft designed to incorporate the most modern technology such as thrust vectoring, composite materials, stealth technology, advanced radar and sensors, and integrated avionics to greatly improve pilot situational awareness.


Mar 12, 2016 — Sierra Rayne

After debunking the supposed racial bias against blacks at the Grammy Awards and in the Billboard Top 100, as well as at the Oscars and generally across the top films of recent years, the next target for realism are the American Music Awards (AMAs).

The AMAs are “an annual American music awards show, created by Dick Clark in 1973 for ABC when the network’s contract to present the Grammy Awards expired.” Apparently, “unlike the Grammys, which are awarded on the basis of votes by members of the Recording Academy, the AMAs are determined by a poll of the public and fans.”

Pew Research Polling: Most Republicans support Trump’s hard line on immigration

Mar 5, 2016 — Sierra Rayne

Polling data released earlier this week by the Pew Research Center shows most Republicans strongly supporting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hard line stance on immigration.

According to the surveys conducted by Pew, more than half (53%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters believe that immigrants burden the country by taking jobs, housing, and health care. Just a little over one-third (36%) view immigrants as strengthening the nation via hard work and their talents.

A far larger (43%) proportion of GOP voters say they would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who wants to deport all illegal immigrations than the percentage (30%) who would be less likely to support a candidate that adopted this stance.

More than two-thirds (68%) of those polled want a fence along the entire length of the US-Mexico border. Only 27% oppose this policy.

Coming as bad news for supporters of establishment Republican presidential candidates such as Marco Rubio and John Kasich, just 38% of survey respondents like elected officials who make compromises. The vast majority prefer politicians who stick to their positions. Similarly, more than half (54%) say the American economic system unfairly favors powerful interests.

Polls: Trump increases already massive lead in Michigan, poised to also win Kansas

Mar 5, 2016 — Sierra Rayne

Based on the latest polling data, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump appears certain to win the upcoming March 8 Michigan primary and is likely to also take the corresponding race today in Kansas.

A FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell poll released on Friday shows Trump increasing his already massive lead in the Michigan primary.

In the survey of likely GOP voters, Trump was picked by 42%, putting him 23% ahead of—and more than double—his nearest competitor, Ted Cruz, who sits at just 19%. Marco Rubio placed third at 15%, in a statistical tie with John Kasich.

A new Trafalgar Group poll shows essentially perfect agreement with the FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell data. In this second Michigan survey, Trump again came out on top at 42%, ahead of Cruz at 20%, Kasich at 18%, and Rubio at 14%

In Kansas, a separate poll by the Trafalgar Group has Trump at 35%, well ahead of Cruz at 29%, Rubio at 17%, and Kasich at 13%.

The Trump Ban: As the U.K.‘s Parliamentary Petition Data Turns

Dec 13, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

First-hand evidence of data manipulation now exists from the U.K. parliamentary petitions site.

On Friday, anyone could go to the website of the “UK Government and Parliament” and look at the infamous petition to “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry.”

As of Friday morning, at about 10:30 am Central Standard Time (CST), the raw data file (.json format) could be downloaded from the “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry” petition website. At that time, the total signature count was 527,669, with the total signature count from the U.K. at just 253,966. The sum of the individual signatures for each of the 650 MPs was 250,168.

Parliamentary Petition to Close U.K. Borders and Halt Immigration Already at 450,000

Dec 12, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

A parliamentary petition to stop all immigration and close the U.K. borders until ISIS is defeated is now at 450,000 signatures and growing.

The petition was started by a copywriter, Tina Reeves, who lives in Plymouth.

According to the petition—which was created on November 28,

AP Poll: Majority of Americans Believe U.S. Accepts Too Many Immigrants from Middle East

Dec 9, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

A new Associated Press poll shows that a significant majority of Americans believe the United States accepts too many immigrants from the Middle East:

Massive Worldwide Support for Sharia Law Among Global Muslim Community

Dec 8, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

In the aftermath of the uproar caused by Donald Trump’s press release “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” the Pew Research Center released some truly astonishing polling data on the support among Muslims worldwide for Sharia law.

Time to Trade Turkey for Russia in NATO

Nov 24, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

When Turkey joined NATO in February 1952, there seemed to be a purpose to the expansion into traditionally Islamic territory. Proponents of Turkey’s membership argued that the West needed this country as an ally to prevent Soviet expansion in the region. But this was a deal with the devil.

Fears of Soviet aggression may have been understandable at the time, but never to the extent that rationalized allowing Turkey into NATO. Other routes existed for NATO to thwart perceived Soviet ambitions throughout this area, including temporary military and economic support for Turkey and the further strengthening of conventional and nuclear forces in Western Europe. The spastic response in Turkey’s NATO membership was short-sighted and unforgivable, and will ultimately lead to more problems for the West than it was intended to solve.

Poll: Voters Concerned Over Country’s Direction and Impact of High Immigration Rates

Nov 9, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

A new poll by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Times paints a gloomy picture of how registered voters view the direction of the country and the role of immigrants in their family’s financial situation.

Among California voters, 63% think the country is headed in the wrong direction. At the national level, this jumps up to 70%. Similar percentages are “mainly worried” about changes in the economy and declining public morals during the past few years.

Poll: High Levels of Support for Shariah Law and Violence Among American Muslims

Jun 24, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

The Center for Security Policy (CSP) has released the results of a poll showing alarmingly high levels of support for shariah law and violence among the American Muslim community.

China’s Increasing Unpopularity Within the West

Jun 24, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

A new poll by the Pew Research Center paints a dim picture of China’s popularity in Western nations, whereas views of the United States have either remained constant or improved over the past decade.

In the U.S., the percentage of the population viewing China favorably has declined down to just 38 percent in 2015, while those seeing China as unfavorable has increased from 35 percent in 2005 to 54 percent today. Similar trends in China’s unfavorability rating during the last ten years are clear for the United Kingdom (16 percent to 37 percent), Canada (27 percent to 48 percent), Germany (37 percent to 60 percent), Japan (71 percent to 89 percent), and Spain (21 percent to 50 percent).

Venezuela’s Economic Troubles Leading to False U.S. Asylum Applications

Jun 23, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

A report from El Universal documents skyrocketing asylum applications from Venezuelans seeking to enter the United States in recent years.

According to American immigration authorities, the number of applications from this South American country tripled between 2013 and 2014. The U.S. government is becoming increasingly concerned about immigration fraud from this region, likely linked—at least in part—to Venezuela’s economic decline.

Mexico Straddles the Fence Between the West and Russia

Jun 22, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

As the United States and Canada struggle with geopolitical challenges abroad, the potential weak link in continental defense sits at the U.S. southern border. For too long has Mexico forged a political path that often acts at cross-purposes to the goals of its democratic northern neighbors. And the problems run far deeper than just Mexico’s internal difficulties with the drug cartels. The nation’s true allegiances remain undefined.

Christianity’s Demographic Challenge in the United States

Jun 19, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

The Pew Research Center’s latest report on America’s religious landscape highlights the significant demographic challenges that Christianity is facing in the U.S.

RAND Expert: American Ground Forces Needed Against the Islamic State

Jun 19, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

“This article explains why US ground forces are not just a better option than the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces], but absolutely necessary for achieving US policy objectives against the Islamic State,” argues David Johnson (US Army, Ret.)—a senior historian at the RAND Corporation—in a special commentary article from the current issue of US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters.

Poll: Only One-Third of Republicans Support Same-Sex Marriage

Jun 18, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

New polling data from the Pew Research Center shows very low levels of support for same-sex marriage among Republicans.

The Pew Research Center survey, conducted May 12 to 18 among 2,002 adults, found just one-third of Republicans support same-sex marriage, in contrast to 65 percent of Democrats and Independents.

Pegida Exceeds Expectations in Dresden Mayoral Contest

Jun 18, 2015 — Sierra Rayne

The German anti-Islamification party PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West)—founded in October 2014 over growing concerns about the increasing presence and influence of Muslims in Europe—has received a surprisingly high 10 percent of the vote share in the Dresden mayoral election.