Tag Archives: Government Accountability office

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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What possessed them?

The LA Times brought us the article ‘The Navy’s newest destroyer, the Michael Monsoor, is as much an experiment as a ship-killer‘ (at https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-michael-monsoor-zumwalt-20190126-story.html) a few days ago. My personal view is that it is the ugliest vessel I have so far ever seen. Now, for a functioning being pretty, pleasing or even appealing is not a requirement. It needs to be the killer that scares every other killer and even there it falls a little flat.

The initial consideration for laughter is seen when we consider the line “In the end, what was once intended to be a class of 32 destroyers will now be only three — making for a per-ship cost of about $4.4 billion, according to a December 2016 estimate by the Government Accountability Office, the most recent cost estimate available. Including development costs, that number balloons to $8.2 billion, the GAO said“, so basically the US gets three dinghies for a mere twenty four billion dollars (aka $24,000,000,000), or twenty four thousand million

Three mechanical driven rowboats that amounts to one third of the entire US national budget on education, how perverse is that? Well, it is their tight to choose of course. Yet when we learn that “Despite the higher price, the two advanced gun systems have no ammunition, cancelled because of cost“, a smart bullet system that costs $1,000,000 per round. With the added “The gun’s shells were to be rocket-propelled, guided by GPS and loaded by simply pressing a button“, we are treated to a system that congress will not fuel with ammunition. That is the foundation of a failed and sunk project whilst the vessel is for now still afloat. It was even more fun to learn that optionally the system I designed to sink the Iranian fleet could also be used here, giving us an optional $135,000 solution to drown a $8,300,000,000 mishap, how is that not return on investment? On my side that is!

Do not get me wrong, the US is our ally and I have no such inclinations, my focus was sinking the Iranian ego trippers, I merely found it interesting to know that for a stealth boat, any stealth boat has a similar weakness and mine was set to kick the Iranian dinghies a little, so I take no pleasure that my solution is likely to work there too and it shows the failing of a design and project to be much larger than anyone considered, giving us all a lot more to ponder, because some elements should have been clearly seen on the drawing table and it seemingly was overlooked to such a large extent.

The second part in the mishap is seen when we consider that the design was awarded in 2008, laid down in 2011, launched in 2013, christened in 2014 and repurposed in December 2017 with ‘New Requirements for DDG-1000 Focus on Surface Strike

When USNI News gives us (at https://news.usni.org/2017/12/04/navy-refocus-ddg-1000-surface-strike) “The Navy is revamping the Zumwalt-class destroyer’s requirements and will morph it into a focused surface strike platform, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) told USNI News today” Are you kidding me? After 8 billion and change, a path that spans 10 years (with all the fiasco’s on the internet), we see the calling of ”revamping’ instead of loudly calling the entire Zumwalt class a failure? Did the $1,000,000 per shot not give a clear indication that something extremely weird was afoot? Was there no quality calculation showing us that some implementations were not realistic and that a system like this having a flaw that might be swallowed by a $135,000 could spell a lot of trouble in any direction?

I feel particularly concerned with Rear Adm. Ron Boxall when we see: “I was very pleased with where we came out because some of the decisions were much more about the concept of what we’re getting instead of the actual platform we’re getting“. To him I would go (off course in an informal way) with: “Robby, pal, when the betrothed concept is too far from the begotten actual, we need to consider, ‘product fraud’ (you did not get what you ordered), we can go with ‘failure’ (they did not deliver what was promised) and we certainly need to go with ‘fiasco’ (congress will not allow you to purchase the bullets that the dinghy fires)“, so overall there are three levels of non-success to consider on a whole range of issues that these three puppies have and lets not call them ‘ship-killers’ ever, OK?

And when we see “at the same time look at some of the challenges we’ve had. It’s no surprise, we have some very expensive bills still outstanding with the LRLAP (Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile)” so is that a way to state that invoices were unpaid, or that paid invoices have not met practical delivery? The question is out in the open, because we can go in a few directions. It becomes a larger issue when we see the NY Times Magazine (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/magazine/navy-gunfire-ammunition.html). Here we see: “All three of the failed projectile programs had similar design features and shared a fundamental conceptual problem. “When you try to make a rocket-boosted projectile that can steer itself to a target, you basically have built a guided missile,” said Tony DiGiulian, a retired engineer who has studied all these weapons“, with the added “So why not just build missiles in the first place?” he said. “That’s what you’ll end up with anyway” at the very end, yet leave it to an engineer to apply common sense to an optional working solution. What stopped you guys? Too much outstanding issues with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman? I could have told you that part and I am certain that the navy has scores of common sense people around, still the eight billion was spend and congress will not foot $600 million for a full armory of shells, is anyone surprised?

So not only are we confronted with “the Navy then spent $700 million to have BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin develop the Long Range Land Attack Projectile for the Zumwalt deck gun. It also came to nothing” with an added “rivaling the cost of the Tomahawk cruise missile, which has a 1,000-mile range“. And now we are treated to: “they are evaluating a new shell, called the “hypervelocity projectile,” that is lighter and narrower and could potentially be fired from the upgraded five-inch guns at targets 40 miles away. The program is experimental and in its early stages, and it is unlikely to produce a viable weapon soon“. So not only is the US Navy in a phase where they have nothing, they have been in an 11 year phase of denial and unsupported science fiction ideas that went nowhere with an optional total bill of $256 billion, averted to a mere twenty four billion by scrapping 29 (ugly) vessels.

The fun part is that there was an option to consider, weirdly enough it was not DARPA or the US Navy who came up with the idea; it was film director Jon Favreau who had the brainwave in 2009. Yes, it was a drone used in the movie Iron Man 2. Yet the idea is far less weird and less science fiction then you might think. The air force has its drones, yet the navy could have deployed its own drones, vessel drones are not a myth and even as they are not stealth, they are small enough to get in quick, fire and get out, with a Zumwalt cruiser as a home base. So when we see: “We just doubled the range of our artillery at Yuma Proving Ground,” Gen. John Murray, Commanding General of Army Futures Command, told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium“, we see that the Army has one part of the equation and that droning that solution might have saved the US treasury a few billions. The drones will not endanger manpower, the drones do not required oxygen and can approach submerged and all that at a fraction of the cost, was that so hard to figure out?

Now we get that the brief was never about drones, yet when you try to find a 2010 solution for a 1988 version of smart bullets (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfGnUzGRIuY) we need to consider that someone spending billion to not get there was a terrible idea from the moment the first invoice was paid.

Did I oversimplify the issue?

Let’s also realise that the road to triumph is paved with failures, that makes sense, as not every solution is the breakthrough we aim for, more precisely the failures tend to contribute to future success, yet in this case there seems to have been a lack of common sense on a whole spectrum of issues (or so it seems). And it is there where we see the issue in the larger field, especially with all the failures that seem to define the Zumwalt class, especially as the bulk will be shoved under the carpet through ‘revamping’.

In addition, when we revisit General Murray and consider the quote: “A 70-kilometer target range is, by any estimation, a substantial leap forward for artillery; when GPS guided precision 155mm artillery rounds, such as Excalibur, burst into land combat about ten years ago – its strike range was reported at roughly 30 kilometers. A self-propelled Howitzer able to hit 70-kilometers puts the weapon on par with some of the Army’s advanced land-based rockets – such as its precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System which also reaches 70-kilometers“, what would stop us from adding a drone part in there? Not in the launch, but in the shell itself. Consider the simplicity, when there is one shot, there is a lot less cyber security needed, that whilst the vision for the drone operator is merely the need to adjust the trajectory and there are accurate low expense solutions there. The initial cyber part is not too expensive and merely requires a 240-300 second fail-safe on hacking, there are plenty of solutions there. When we consider that an artillery round could be adjusted, the enemy needs to know the frequency, the codes and the option to interfere, the drone operator might not have to do anything and merely need to lock out changes at some point. An optional 12% increase on a 89% certain hit, making every shot a hit, a better result could not be asked for, so when you consider my ad-hoc idea (open to loads of scrutiny at present), we are still left with the ‘what on earth possessed them in the first place‘, we get it, the defense gravy train is very lucrative, but to revamp the brief on a 24 billion fiasco that was 10 years in the running is taking the mickey out of the entire train ride (staff, fellow travelers and equipment).

War never changes, the technology does but at some point we are confronted with the simplicity of common sense and adjusting the view towards another direction would not have been considered and preferably before the ship was launched might not have been the worst idea. If an optional solution to force a reactor meltdown is seen in a snow globe, what other ideas have not been looked at? Even when we look at it from a complete non-military way, what other options have we never investigated?

It is the same for 5G, when we consider that not the telecom operator but the consumer is at the heart of it all, we see a whole new range of solutions that brings new technologies, and new innovation and they can lead to new services and new foundations of income and profit of course.

 

 

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17 or 70 trillion?

Even though we see so many ‘stories’ on how well the US is doing, we must ask ourselves on what value these numbers are trying to convince us of.

The thoughts I am about to phrase started a little after the following had been released (at http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/06/06/standard-poors-is-concerned-about-the-u-s-debt-burden/). “Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services put out research Friday confirming the AA+ rating of the U.S.“, so the US has dropped a notch on the credibility scale. This in itself should not be a reason for direct concern. The one part that does worry is that S&P was the only one doing this. The other part we should notice is the quote “The federal debt was $16.1 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2012, according to the Government Accountability office.” why are we not seeing a 2013 number, which according to some is over 17 trillion? How interesting is it to see the numbers game whilst the numbers quoted are not up to date?

The next part is the article from Bloomberg on April 29th 2014. Here we see the following “The drop in net marketable debt will be $78 billion in the April-June period, $38 billion more than the pay down projected three months ago, with an end-of-June cash balance of $130 billion, the Treasury said today in Washington. The improvement will be short lived — net borrowing of $169 billion is projected next quarter, with $130 billion in cash Sept. 30th“. Can anyone see the issue I have with this? The debt of well over 17,000 billion is getting met with a quarterly pay down of less than 0.4588%. How is this progress and even though we see that the US still has a high credit score, is the likelihood of a continued credit score even realistic?

That part can be seen in the Market watch quote “We believe that renewed debate over the debt ceiling could resume after the midterm elections in November 2014 under certain scenarios. While we expect the discussions about the debt ceiling to be ultimately resolved as they have been, we still see risks that these debates entail.” So, not only is there no solution to the current debt levels, the chance of any serious solutions occurring within this current administration is close to zero, which means that the next administration will inherit a debt closer to 20 trillion. I do find the headline about ‘US debt level concerns‘ hilarious. Many with me had raised these dangers for well over 2 years and now as the game is up, some are ‘raising’ concerns, whilst those in charge and those on the watchdogs of economy had long known that any level of lowering the debt had been a mere myth for over 2 years.

There are of course other views. One is from Chad Stone who wrote in US News (at http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/05/16/too-much-deficit-and-debt-reduction-too-soon-will-wreck-the-recovery) “now about $17.5 trillion, found on the ‘debt clocks’ that are so popular with debt hysterics. Gross debt (and its close cousin, ‘debt subject to limit’) is debt held by the public plus debt internal to the government“. This is fair enough, yet there is no information, not even any indication when this debt will start to lower. There is another side to consider. When we look at the IRS data book (at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/13databk.pdf), consider that the IRS collected a net value of taxation of 2.4 trillion dollars. A slightly more accurate number is 2,490 billion.

When we consider all the numbers thrown at us, like the ‘% of the GDP’ and so on, even if we accept that the 17 trillion dollars debt is held on multiple level, compared to what the IRS collects, we see a number that reflects the tax collected, compared to the total debt. The US gets through taxation a mere 14% of where the debt is at. How is any of that realistic? So, the total collected taxation, before any other cost is taken into account (like paying government staff and utilities), it only amounts to 14%, after all that is done 0.1% is left if the US government gets a fitting budget (something that has not been achieved since president Clinton was in office).

My issue is not just with the US debt levels, it is also about the ‘blasé’ approach economists are throwing at the people stating that things are not that bad and that it will all work out. That part is a figment of THEIR imagination, because for things to resolve, actions must be taken and none are getting taken at present (or in the near future for that matter). My biggest issue with the Article of Chad Stone is seen at the end. His quote “Lowering the debt ratio comes at a cost, not only risking the recovery if it’s done too fast but also in burdening businesses and households with larger spending cuts, higher taxes or both to stabilize the debt ratio“. There is truth in that statement, yet the issue that the money should have NEVER been spent is an issue that is ignored. The culprits of this dangerous endeavour are not named, not held accountable and many of them walked away with millions in bonuses.

We are however nowhere near the end of this debacle. The articles give another view on the matter. An article was published in 2013 stating an entirely different matter of debt. The REAL total debt is set at 70 trillion (at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/15/california-economist-says-real-us-debt-70-trillion-not-16-trillion-government/). The quote that matters is “Hamilton believes the government is miscalculating what it owes by leaving out certain unfunded liabilities that include government loan guarantees, deposit insurance, and actions taken by the Federal Reserve as well as the cost of other government trust funds. Factoring in those figures brings the total amount the government owes to a staggering $70 trillion

Now we are off to an entirely different race, this only gets worse if we take the Bloomberg article into account from March 2014, which headlines as ‘Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion as Governments Binge‘ (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-10/debt-exceeds-100-trillion-as-governments-binge.html). Make sure you realise that this last article is about global debt and not about US debt.

This was already on my scope for another reason, but I will return to that shortly. I need to return to the Fox News article where it stated the view of Professor Hamilton, an economics professor from San Diego. The reason for this is because I try to stay fair and balanced (statement plagiarised from Fox News) and as such, as I found additional views from the professor, it is only fair that I mention that too. This all is linked to a paper he published in 2013 (at http://econweb.ucsd.edu/~jhamilton/Cato_paper.pdf), it is the starting quote “This paper examines the growth of federal liabilities that are not included in the officially reported numbers” which should grab your attention. Yes, we are talking about ‘off’ the book liabilities, which should make us all wonder whether ANY government should be allowed to be part of liabilities that are not on the books to begin with. If our job is to stem the tide of irresponsible spending, then keeping things ‘off the books‘ as the ‘kids’ seem to state, should not be allowed under any condition. If we look at the quote that was found in the Econ browser by professor Hamilton, we see “Similar calculations from the trustees reports for Medicare report Medicare’s net unfunded liabilities for current program participants to be $27.6 trillion. For more details see Table 4 and the accompanying discussion in my paper.” The floor should open to an entirely different debate and soon. I think it is high time that these events are properly mapped out and as such ALL governments need to adhere to a different level of ‘accounting’. Their books can no longer remain silent in regards to unfunded liabilities. Is it any wonder books are not in order in a massive amount of nations?

This now grabs back to other observations I made and more important the small revelation my data implied. On March 22nd 2013 I wrote the blog article ‘60% confiscated and counting in Cyprus!‘, here I quoted “If this is what frightens the US, then consider the consequences of a system like LIBOR being manipulated through the total value of trade. If that would have been off by 11.2%. Out of $1000T (UK and US combined) then that difference would be $112T“, I implied to some extent that not only were the percentages messed with, I had some reason to believe that someone had messed with the total trade value that LIBOR represents. Perhaps my mistake (to some extent) was thinking that it was ‘just’ manipulation. In my defence, I came up with these findings before Professor Hamilton had finished his paper, so as a non-economist I was slightly in the dark to begin with. Consider that some politicians could be overspending, whilst using the options of unfunded liabilities within LIBOR to excuse themselves for accountability? What will other governments say, when such events are brought to light (if that would be happening). More important, if my number was closer to the truth then many considered, the global economy is playing high stakes poker with debts twice the size then most realise and our cost of living is based partially upon the irresponsible spending of both Washington and Wall-Street. How are the people ever to get a fair shake at a happy life, when a group of no more than 3000 people have been spending the dreams and futures of well over 1 billion people? Most do not realise that this goes way past the borders of the US, if there is indeed an established group editing the total value of trade considering the manipulation of the LIBOR percentage, the established setting of unfunded liabilities, as well as the breaking up on loans as they might occur. For this example, I would like to point you towards www.lsta.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2480, here we see a paper from Credit Suisse made by Julia Kingston in August 2006. The next part is just pure supposition on my side. Look at slide 35, here we see a term loan set in three parts. What happened when something falls over in 2 or 4 months? How many parts when Wall Street made its 8 trillion bungle was not written off? Is my consideration that the TOTAL LIBOR trade value has a massive amount of ‘entries’ that had remained hoping it would turn for the better? We have seen a multitude of financial advisors playing just such a card on many levels in the 2008-2011 periods. My question now becomes, was my implied 11.2% just the tip of the iceberg?

I am not claiming, nor do I pretend to have the actual answer here, My issue, as it was in the past is that ‘proclaimed’ Journalists sitting in the top newspapers have not taken a hard look at some elements. It is nice for them that Reuters does much of their work for them and many aspire, but will never come close to people like Paul Mason, Robert Peston or Deborah Hargreaves. Yet, how deep did they dig into LIBOR? Also linked (especially with the Guardian) was the claims that Jullian Assange made in regards to banking, they were never followed up (or so it seems), not even by the Guardian as far as I could tell. Consider the article the Guardian had on February 10th 2011 (at http://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/feb/10/julian-assange-wikileaks-book-claims). The quote “Asked about the ostensibly sensational bank leaks Assange keeps suggesting he is ready to release, Domscheit-Berg said the only banking documents he knew WikiLeaks had were ‘totally unspectacular’ is at the heart of this”. When it was ‘just’ about the US military there was some upheaval (especially by the US), yet when banking issues were raise (slightly mentioned in the Forbes interview in November 2010 at http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/wikileaks-julian-assange-wants-to-spill-your-corporate-secrets/). The interview gives us the following “Will we? Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a mega leak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it. Is it a U.S. bank? Yes, it’s a U.S. bank. One that still exists? Yes, a big U.S. bank.

After this the hunt for Jullian Assange really takes on additional energy. I have no idea what he found, or if it is even related, the issue is that there is a recorded atmosphere of unaccountability within the banks (on a global scale) which must stop, if not, not only will governments be allowed to continue in irresponsible ways, but the additional ‘myth‘ that banks and governments apply checks and balances need to be thrown out of the nearest window. A last quote from the Forbes interview is every bit as important “We’re still investigating. All I can say is: it’s clear there were unethical practices, but it’s too early to suggest there’s criminality. We have to be careful about applying criminal labels to people until we’re very sure.

This is the part I had written about for some time, it was not just that the issue with Goldman Sachs imploded the financial industry; it was the issue that they, in black letter law, basically had not broken any laws. The people lost well over 8 trillion and no crime was committed even though their money was basically gambled away. It is that part, especially in the LIBOR sight, as well as the issue raised by Professor Hamilton in regards to unfunded liabilities. No laws are broken, but we are all kept in the dark in regards to the debts inflicted upon us, which in itself is a massive wrong.

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