Tag Archives: GAO

IP in the balance

This weekend, roughly 25 hours ago, the Washington Post released a story regarding the F-35, now there are a few stories about that crazy bird in circulation, yet this one was particularly fetching. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/11/16/power-struggle-over-f-fighter-jet-comes-head-lawmaker-threatens-hold-up-contract/) called ‘A power struggle over the F-35 fighter jet comes to a head as lawmaker threatens to hold up contract‘ starts with “the complicated IT system supporting the fleet’s maintenance infrastructure still falls far short of expectations” is an eye opener, but it is not the IT systems (no matter how defunct they are) that is the issue, it is the ownership of certain IP systems in the plane, the patents themselves that are now the issue. It is not “some lawmakers criticized the terms of Lockheed’s arrangement with the government, saying overly generous intellectual property agreements threaten to lock Lockheed into a wasteful long-term profit machine with limited accountability” even though it is certainly an issue that is the setting, no it is “Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) threatened to hold up a multibillion-dollar contract if fundamental questions aren’t resolved” that is the issue, yes having multi billion dollars in sales held up is one part way to go, for some of these buyers with a few billion in their pocket, looking at alternatives will be the coarse course they could be sailing, this gives additional problems for Lockheed Martin and the US government is setting the stage as it has the inner lane in this skating race, the problem for Lockheed Martin is that the opposition they face are Russians (who are coming with the Su-35 and the Su-57), apparently NATO sees the Sukhoi Su-57 as a bit of a felon, so anything can happen. China is coming with the J-31, according to some it is a copy of the F-35 (source: Business Insider) yet it comes without IP and Patent battles, so the copy will be out without a politician stopping production on elemental questions not being answered. In addition, its unit cost is $70 million, whilst the F-35 is between $77 million and $108 million, the cost price of the more expensive version implicitly states ‘including engine‘, so there is that to consider as well.

There is however a more serious note to the F-35 and the Washington Post gets there when we see: “Carolyn Nelson, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman, said the government is working on a new technical data package that was not a part of the initial F-35 contract, as well as a separate “performance-based” contract for logistics support“, you see the issue we see here is not merely IP and patents, it is the situation where government is yielding the floor to local business. If we accept the mess that the US has made in regards to 5G and Huawei, whilst we accept the words of Alex Younger (MI-6) “Alex is giving us the national need and the premise that another government should not have ownership of infrastructure this important“, something I mentioned in ‘Tic Toc Ruination‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/06/tic-toc-ruination/) almost a year ago. That setting is crucial, as such when you have a national product called ‘Defence‘ why on earth would you let that reside with a global player like Lockheed Martin? I get the idea that the avionics are a bit of a call, yet the IT systems are a larger debate, basically America has large needs with Lockheed Martin, so what happens when the well dries when the US debt becomes a noose around the nations neck? Do you think Lockheed Martin is sitting still? I do not expect that Russia or China ever having a piece of Lockheed Martin, but the UAE, Saudi Arabia? If we take premise to the situation ‘the premise that another government should not have ownership of infrastructure this important‘ the point of view I am taking is a lot less theoretical, is it?

And when we consider: “Air Force estimates that most of a given aircraft’s long-term cost actually comes from keeping it flight worthy. Manufacturers are keenly aware of this, with companies such as Boeing launching whole business units focused on maintenance and repair” we should be wondering why the Air force is striking out, not out like in ‘too bad, let’s try again‘ but in the way that the batsman asks ‘where on earth is the playing field‘, I get it, some jobs are too specific, but is that not the Air force focal point? That in light of the procurement: “the Pentagon has been buying jets in greater quantities in order to get the average price down. They recently finalized a $34 billion agreement that defense officials described as “the largest procurement in the Department’s history.” The deal brought the F-35’s price per plane below $80 million ahead of schedule“, so when you consider that buying 2400 planes (at the very least) got the price down, what math was done on fixing and maintaining these birds? 2400 planes imply 100-250 squadrons, it implies no less than 200-500 repair and maintenance teams, it implies that these people need to be schooled and as they come up short, the move of Boeing starts making sense in a real way, so how much additional costs are involved there? Let’s not forget that the US is currently at minus $23,000 billion (-$23 trillion), we might see the victorious ‘Yohza’ on them reducing the price of a bird, but how much debt, interests and cost of maintenance was seemingly overlooked?

In all this, the Government Accountability Office was seemingly not heard clearly enough, we get this when we consider “the program is having trouble keeping the F-35’s mission-capable, an odd problem for a brand new fleet. The overall F-35 fleet was capable of performing all of its tasked missions only about a third of the time” and that is before we consider the maintenance staff, their training and the setting of spending money before the elements are all adjusted for. So as the article ends with ““if we are missing parts and can’t get our jets airborne, our ability to deliver combat effects on this aircraft is significantly diminished,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive“, I merely wonder what other options were overlooked, that’s fair is it not?

You see when we are considering the upgrades and the adjustment to technical flaws in the hardware, the IT systems become a very real part of it all, oh and any person telling you that the IT is OK and there are not issues, will be my reason to introduce you to a liar. For that you merely have to look at DELL and their setting of laptops, I have had two laptops, both delivered on the same day, and both needing separate upgrades before I got them delivered to their respected users, not different systems, no identical systems! So when we see “we are missing parts and can’t get our jets airborne” in light of software glitches, it becomes a very real thing, the F-35 might be the final straw of short sighted management, whilst asking for the moon. Even as in the past operators like Boeing and Saab decided not to play along in light of bias towards the F-35, we see an evolving matter where they will grasp the events that surround the F-35 as a way to show nations that they have what it takes, in addition, there are outstanding offers from France (Dassault Aviation), it was the initial offer to a much larger degree to train technicians in the fields of service, training and operations that might swing previous missed hits, and no matter how we slice it, Lockheed Martin might be looking at the US as a sole customer soon enough, what a change IP and IT systems can make, even in two-seater planes.

I believe that the over grasp in the 2004-2014 era is now coming back to bite the eager who signed certain agreements. In light of the fact that the F-35 fleet is mission capable only 30% of the time should worry Lt. Gen. Eric Fick a little.

And even as the F-35 might be the odd duck out, the words of Loren Thompson stating “The struggle over IP between the government and defense contractors is likely to go on indefinitely. If you own the information, you can largely shape the future of the system” might be valid in the commercial world, but Lockheed Martin is in the defence world, the rules are a little different there, feel free not to believe me, but in light of The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and their push to “prevent a future situation like the one now facing the F-35 program — and by extension, American service members and taxpayers“, here we see that the letter to congress by POGO executive director Danielle Brian might become a swing and a Jack, so whilst POGO seeks the optional “It would also allow the government to seek alternative suppliers should the original contractor fail to live up to expectations“, we see more than a victory, the entire Huawei issue might push for this solution, which would make several nations queasy on the F-35 solution they heralded.

The F-35 is showing me the one solution that mattered to the wrong people, it was greed overjoyed and that is about to gain the sunlight and limelight others wanted to keep out of consideration.

 

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How America loves mass shootings

Yup, there you have it, there we see the elephant in the room, the media loves mass shootings, they love the limelight that families bring when they look at the cadavers of family members. It is basically that simple.

Did you take offense? Good!

You see, it is time for you all to wake up. It is time for you all to realise that there is a power struggle and the media has other interests. If that was not the case, how would you know?

The first piece is seen in the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/09/im-gun-owner-nra-member-i-support-red-flag-laws-help-stop-mass-shootings/). It is here that we are introduced to: ‘I’m a gun owner and NRA member. I support red-flag laws to help stop mass shootings‘, which is fine. If I was an American in America, I would be on that same part of the highway. Yet when we see: “I am a gun owner, a member of the National Rifle Association and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. But the horror of Parkland demanded a swift, practical legislative response to try to prevent future such nightmares“, we also see another part and it is not given here. Even as Rick Scott tells us “The steps we took in Florida, in addition to committing $400 million to increasing school safety, included a “red flag” provision. Properly constructed, the extreme risk protection order, as its known, is a common-sense public safety measure“, the part he is not giving us, because he is not doing the part that matters. The one part that can and will make a difference, Rick Scott is not giving us: “We have given the ATF serious teeth and the ability to bite“, that part is not given, or ever enabled for that matter. So let’s take a next step, let’s go to the Washington Post competitor, namely the New York Times. The article (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/us/politics/trump-atf-nra.html) gives us: “The agency, which has not grown significantly since its founding in 1973, is about to confront a staffing shortage and is set to lose its tobacco and alcohol enforcement authorities. President Trump has yet to nominate a director to oversee the agency, which has been without permanent leadership for eight of the past 12 years“, what the New York Times ignores is that in the last 3 years of the Obama Administration that nomination was not done either, so the problem is with both sides of the political isle and the New York Times might make that clear next time around. So when we see: “One funding provision, for example, forbids the A.T.F. from using electronic databases to trace guns to owners. Instead, the agency relies on a warehouse full of paper records“, what the NY Times seems to be ignoring to some degree is the part they gave us in 2012 (at https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/us/legislative-handcuffs-limit-atfs-ability-to-fight-gun-crime.html) where we see: “The bureau’s tracing center performed 344,447 gun traces in the 2012 fiscal year, but its staffing is no higher than it was in 2004, according to its chief, Charles Houser. Still, he added, the center manages to complete urgent traces in about an hour, and routine traces are done within several days“, in addition there is: “The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, for example, prohibits A.T.F. agents from making more than one unannounced inspection per year of licensed gun dealers. The law also reduced the falsification of records by dealers to a misdemeanor and put in place vague language defining what it meant to “engage in business” without a dealer’s license“, so when I am calling the Washington political players nothing more than hypocritical pieces of shit, I am not kidding. If they REALLY wanted a safer environment, the ATF would have had been given a much better stage to do something about this. I mentioned this 5 days ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/08/05/capone-syndrome/), where I gave the premise “If these people who are crying and shouting ‘Gun Control‘ actually wanted any of that, then the ATF would get the needed budget of $3.8 billion, they are trying to get done what they can with a 30% budget, in addition, to properly overhaul second hand firearms an additional 1500 agents would be needed“, as I see it, the stage is clear. Any American that is shouting on gun laws and does not demand from their elected official that the ATF charter is updates, upgraded and with an actual serious budget. These Americans have no rights to complain and they can watch their children die, it is that simple! (OK, that was not very subtle)

And to those who take offence I say: “Hip Hip Hurrah!“, now get a clue and make changes that actually work! Oh and before you think the politicians are alone, as far as I can tell it has only been the New York Times who has taken a serious look at this, more than once. It is followed by the Washington Post who took some look at matters, but who has taken a look at ALL the senators and Congressman who voted in favour of restricting the ATF? It gets to be worse when we take a look (at https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-552) and we take a look at the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) and we are shown the following: “Multiple Sales (MS) includes firearms information from multiple sales reports. FFLs are required by law to report to ATF sales of two or more revolvers or pistols during 5 consecutive business days. ATF policy requires that certain information in MS be deleted after 2 years if the firearm has not been connected to a trace“, so there is ‘two or more revolvers or pistols during 5 consecutive business days‘, implying if I buy one gun a fortnight, I do not show up, so in a year I would have enough to arm a small army. Then there is ‘certain information in MS be deleted after 2 years‘, traced or not, if someone has more than 4 guns there is a decent reason to keep that person registered for life! Not because he has 4 guns, but if that person gets robbed, the data mucst be handed to that region immediately, now there is a danger if the records become incomplete, and that danger is very realistic. We see: “MS complies with the restriction, but ATF inconsistently adheres to its policy when deleting MS records. Specifically, until May 2016, MS contained over 10,000 names that were not consistently deleted within the required 2 years” This claim whilst the report stems from Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2016, whilst in that same time we get:

  • June 12, 2016, a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub (Orlando, Florida).
  • July 7, 2016, a shooter killed five police officers and wounded nine other officers and two civilians (Dallas, Texas).
  • July 17, 2016, a gunman killed three law enforcement officers and injured three others (Baton Rouge, Louisiana).
  • July 30, 2016, a student at the University of Washington killed three people and injured one other in a shooting at a party (Mukilteo, Washington).

Between publishing and going public we see no evidence that any congressman or Senator demands any hearings to upgrade the abilities and powers of the ATF. In addition the Media did not propagate this stage in any way, so when we see that Americans are so anti-Gun and so desperate to resolve it, what was done to make a decent start in resolving the issue?

The press had no issue to exploit the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, they even went as close as possible to an 8K resolution to show the American people on how then President Obama paused twice during the address to compose himself and wipe away tears, perhaps the term ‘crocodile tears’ apply? Consider that in his reign the ATF was without a permanent director for 3 years. So as we were made witness to the stage of “Within 15 hours of the massacre, 100,000 Americans signed up at the Obama administration’s We the People petitioning website in support of a renewed national debate on gun control. Obama attended and spoke at an interfaith vigil on December 16 in Newtown, Connecticut“, which I regard to be a BS movement, if I was wrong the ATF would have had a massive increase in budget and an overhaul of what they were allowed to do and record, that NEVER happened. We see all the accusations towards Violent Video Games, and mentions by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (who enjoyed the privilege of getting shot at some point) on gun control, yet none have done anything to enable the ATF to get serious, and nobody seems to catch on that the largest danger is not the guns, it is who gets to be the second owner of a gun. That failing, as well as the limitations of the ATF is to a much larger degree why the dangers of mass shootings will not go away. We get that there is gun worship in the US and the largest part of that group has not broken the law, has not shown any aggression towards others, they merely dive deep into their passion and it keeps shooting ranges in business. So why not protect these people too and let the ATF hunt the actual problem?

It is not a short term solution, there will never be a short term solution, but the problem now is that there is no solution at all and it is never getting resolved, plenty of evidence on that front, yet when the limitation of visibility is just a few papers all whilst the US has over 1300 daily newspapers, so how come that Google Search does not show the largest numbers of these 1300 papers when we look for “ATF” “Newspaper” “Guns” “2019”?

It is high time people stop shouting ‘gun control‘ and start learning that as long as this is the only shout we hear, the issues continue ad infinitum, the first step is to properly equip the ATF with software, more draconian laws to allow the ATF to do their job and remove the restrictions, as long as that is not done, the situation is not likely to ever become any better.

When we are confronted with raffles where you can win a $9,000 Barrett .50 sniper rifle, we have a much larger problem and even as I am willing to move to the US to win this rifle, I would never object by being in the ATF database. I am not ashamed and I have nothing to hide. Yet, is that true for American elected officials who have been aware for over a year that: “The A.T.F. is also bracing for the departure of nearly a fifth of its roughly 2,500 special agents. Of them, 499 are at least 50 years old, according to the budget proposal, and face mandatory retirement at 57“, 20% who have dedicated themselves to keeping America safe and are unlikely to be replaced 100%. In 2017 “141 agents retired from the A.T.F., Mr. Jackson said, and only 117 were hired. An additional 24 agents left the bureau for other reasons“, the stage where a dedicated group of Americans cannot do their jobs keeping America safe, mainly because the resources available are no longer able to do the most basic functions of the ATF.

As such, can you really blame me for believing that America loves mass shootings, how can they not?

 

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After the Chinese wall

You might have heard of the Chinese wall, it is an information barrier that prevents internal exchange of communication when there is the danger of a conflict of interest. This is not to be mistaken with the Great Wall of China, which was opened in 1644 and had been subject to construction for almost 275 years. It is 21,196 Km in length and if it would still be possible to walk it from end to end, it would take roughly 26,495,000 steps to do that (and make you lose plenty of calories in the process). The Chinese wall was a defensive border against invading nomadic tribes, a means for taxing the Silk Road, and let us not forget the option of it being a means for controlling immigration, it is the biggest construction achievement in history as well as one of the very few constructs that can be seen with the naked eye from outer space. It was built in a time when things were simple. today less so, so when you look at the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trump-wants-his-border-barrier-to-be-painted-black-with-spikes-he-has-other-ideas-too/2019/05/16/b088c07e-7676-11e9-b3f5-5673edf2d127_story.html) and see the images of what is supposed to be a solution to the American-Mexican border, we might focus on ‘Trump wants his border barrier to be painted black with spikes. He has other ideas, too‘. Yet that would be wrong. You see, when you consider the function of the wall and the fact that 2-3 M72 LAW(or Russian RPG-7) shots will make the wall passable and the fact that an M72 LAW is a mere $750, how much money is wasted whilst the US has a $22 trillion debt? So when I see: “Trump’s frequently shifting instructions and suggestions have left engineers and aides confused, according to current and former administration officials“, I roll my eyes and I recollect the issues that I am aware of regarding that naval failure called the USS Zumwalt. so when we see: “the GOA report finds that the Navy still does not have a suitable projectile for its two Advanced Gun Systems on the 16,000-ton destroyer, with the result that the surface combatants remain incapable of executing land-strike missions for now“, whilst we realise that project is the result from people who knew what they were doing, opposite the wall where anyone (knowledgeable or not) can give the idea “The bollards, or “slats,” as he prefers to call them, should be painted “flat black,” a dark hue that would absorb heat in the summer, making the metal too hot for climbers to scale, Trump has recently told White House aides, Homeland Security officials and military engineers“, all whilst the optional stage against that could be found by investing no more than $3,000 to take care of that ‘dilemma’ is laughable. Yes, there is a way to prevent my solution to work, yet that would increase the cost of that wall by well over 300%, that with $22 trillion debt? The fact that I designed a solution in less than 4 hours that could optionally sink the USS Zumwalt (as it is too ugly and too much of a failure to be allowed to exist) makes the entire stage debatable on several sides. So when we consider the Diplomat, through an article by Franz-Stefan Gady (at https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/us-government-report-outlines-problems-with-navys-zumwalt-class-destroyers/) giving us: “the Navy and General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard were also found not to have stabilized the Zumwalt-class’ design before the construction of the first-of-class USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) was kicked off in 2009, a major mistake according to the GAO report. “This approach contributed to numerous design changes after the fabrication start and significant cost increases and schedule delays,” the survey notes. “Nearly ten years later, development and shipboard testing of technologies continues, each of which could lead to discovery that could disrupt the design stability the Navy currently claims.”” one day ago, whilst my solution to take that bucket of bolts to the bottom of the ocean months ago. Initially (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/23/the-elephant-room/) in ‘the Elephant Room‘ and after that adding a few graphics (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/01/20/the-impact-of-insanity/) in the follow up ‘The Impact of insanity‘, where the easily designed solution was given, designed for the Iranian navy (as in sinking them) yes the stability issues (as I already noticed in 2018) might take that bucket of bolts (as good a label as any other) down too. You see the initial question that the Titanic raised was: ‘what if I screwed over the elements essential to the Archimedes principle?‘, if I change the essential part “equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces and acts in the upward direction“, what was buoyancy, now becomes weight and it will be bye bye USS Zumwalt. Actually, it was meant to be ‘So long Sahand‘ (as well as a few other names on the Iranian preferred to be on the sunken list). And in this it is not that I found a way, but that I found a way within a few hours. Merely by combining findings and creative adaptations from the 70’s (with one or two stealth adaptions created 25 years after that).

As we are given “Specifically, the board found over 320 serious deficiencies when the shipbuilder delivered DDG 1000’s HM&E in May 2016, and 246 serious deficiencies after the Navy conducted acceptance trials for DDG 1001 in January and February 2018,” according to the GAO. “This increases the likelihood that the ship will not be fully capable and sustainable when provided to the fleet” by the GAO (Government Accountability Office),

So when the GAO has that many issues, does it seem important for the Washington Post to note in addition, just how meaning less the wall is likely to be and the cost that the taxpayers will have to give up one way or another in light of $22 trillion already added to the cost of living for generations to come?

I wonder if the people realise the issues that will never be resolved and the wealth that construction firms gain (for services rendered mind you) to deliver an object that is unlikely to solve anything ever (at plenty of wealth towards the builders). Perhaps it is my pragmatic approach to solutions, perhaps it is my delusional state, I will let the reader decide which one applies to me, yet feel free to look at the Government Accountability Office report on a ship that cannot afford to fire its main guns (at $1,000,000 per shot), which is a $22.5 billion program and what was “A United States Navy guided missile destroyers designed as multi-mission stealth ships with a focus on land attack” and we now see: “with the result that the surface combatants remain incapable of executing land-strike missions for now“, so $22.5 billion designed and created for something it cannot do, what an executive treat to swallow.

Would you like to add a close to useless wall (for a mere $22,500,000,000) to that list of achievements?

 

 

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