Sunday, 2 August 2015

Turkey, The Great Fools Hope

There is this idea floating around that, if the Turks "commit", the war against ISIS is won.

This seems, questionable.

Yes. on paper, Turkey has a vast military capacity, but in practice, it has fought in two wars, Korea, and Cyprus, the first mostly featured "moral victories", IE defeats, the second, was a war mostly fought by raping women and murdering children,

The near limitless hard power of the United States and allies has failed to quell the Taliban in 14 years of fighting, ISIS are a faction of the Iraqi resistance that the US failed to quell in Iraq.

The idea that Turkey can accomplish in a few months what the US was unable to in 14 years seems, unlikely.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Found a new toy

World Bank Funs

Hopefully thats a link to GDP per capita in dollars since 2005

Reaction Forces are back in vogue

They are stupid

The "Pristina Airport Incident" between Russian forces and the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps occurred on 12/06/99
The war began 28/02/98

Road March Speeds are something of an issue, but they pale in comparison to political decision speeds.
In the event of a Baltic flare up, Russia will be doing everything possible to avert a "Go Order" and NATO/EU appear to be doing the same.
Whether the EU reaction force can get to the fighting in 9 hours or 18 hours is going to be insignificant when compared with whether it takes the EU 9 days or 18 days to order the reaction force in to action.

Any force that isnt sat on real estate, armed to defend said real estate*, and that doesnt have broad permission to defend said real estate** is useless as a "reaction" force.

*Task Force Smith

**the 04 and 07 capture of Royal Navy personnel by the Iran being particularly humiliating incidents in which forces on site were under orders to "de-escalate" incidents, IE bend over and take it.

Any likely "Reaction Force" isnt a Reaction Force, its an Action Force.
It must be deliberately ordered in to action, and thats going to take many hours at best.

Friday, 31 July 2015

When you say urgent, please mean it.

Wonderful phone call wednesday evening.
Wednesday was my last day at one contract, so a phone call that a new contract was available Thursday morning was a nice surprise, but it was URGENT that I could start Thursday morning
I had shit planned, but paying work is paying work, so I cleared my desk so to speak.

So I arrive, and my manager waves, and then leaves the building, which was odd, and one of my co-workers informs me I should have IT access "soon".
Three hours later, still no I.T

And so I bounce, promising that once my IT is set up, they can ring me and I shall return

They were rather unhappy and requested I not return

Now, I can see why they would be unhappy with me announcing they suck balls and need to get their shit together before they try and engage people like me, but wtf about me says "I will happily sit in a corner and do fuck all whilst you stop sucking balls and start getting your shit together"

Fuck me I dont know why it surprises me that Billion $ turnover organisations are such amateurs.
Urgent means you need something doing and something can be done, not you need something doing but you want me to chill in a corner for two days before it starts, I can chill at home.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

What is the point of the labour party?

I realise its become fashionable to ask this question recently, but I'm bored.

Long ago, if you wanted an authoritarian, redistributative, bully/nanny state, you had one choice, Labour

Now though, thats not the case.

If you want an authoritarian bully state that takes from England and gives to Wales/Scotland, you have the Scottish National Party and the Welsh National Party.
If you want an authoritarian bully state that takes from everyone and gives to windmill owners (or the environment) you have the green party.
If you want an authoritarian bully state that takes from everyone and gives to "local folk" you have UKIP

Labour have become the party that taxes the worker to give to the immigrant.

They are simply unable to comprehend that a young couple, both earning minimum wage, paid £110 per week in wage taxation in 2009, pay only £60 per week now, and quite like the new arrangement

They have no wish to pay more in taxes so that they can get on their knees and beg for their own money back,

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Equality Myth Updated

Thirteen Million, Two Hundreds and Fifty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Four people bought a lottery ticket, or lottery tickets were bought anyway
Thats more people than voted for the Labour Party, The Scottish National Party AND the Liberal Democrats combined (and possibly the Welsh National Party, cant be bothered adding the small stuff) in the 2015 General Election

Some lucky bastard will be picking up cheque for over £5.5 million (tax free) and will be very disinterested in "equality"

*I play Euromillions when it gets over £60mn, dont judge me :P

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Labours Biggest Problem (One of Many)

Labour has set itself up as "the party of equality"

Reasoning that the average person wants equality, that is, to be given free stuff by the government, taken by force from people who earnt it.
Now, that sounds reasonable in theory.

In practice however....

The UK has a national lottery, well, many in fact, but we'll stick with "the national lottery" which above are the cash payouts for wednesday the 1st of july 2015

The ticket price is £2, 50% of the sales revenue goes in to the prize pool, 28% goes to "good causes", 12% direct to government coffers, 5% to retailer that sell the tickets and 5% to the company that runs the lottery

So, a prize fund of £7,597,484, on £2 tickets, and a 50% prize fund, means, well, that 7,597,484 tickets were sold.
That means around 7.5million people, in the lower income brakets, are so anti equality (in that "they" want to be stinking rich*) that they buy lottery tickets.

And this is, beyond the "daily plays", the lowest played lottery, the Saturday lottery is played by roughly twice as many people, if it doesnt roll over I'll see how many tickets are sold.

*Yes I know, half a million pounds is hardly stinking rich but its a lot of money if your take home pay is under £1,000 a month, for a lot of people, ESPECIALLY the poorer people Labours likes to patronise,  its what they can reasonably expect to earn over their life time.

For US readers, our lottery isnt like yours, the UK's lottery winnings arent income taxable, and are paid in a lump sum, so three lucky buggers have just got quite the windfall

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Very High Readiness Joint Allied Rapid Response Task Battle Force Group

In response to, well, nothing specific, just the ongoing dicketry of Russia, NATO has announced yet another solution, and its another meaningless accronym backed up by a few headquarters staff seconded from other NATO task forces and not a lot else.

Narva to Sulwalki is 800km by road.
Thats literally the longest direct route according to google maps.
The T72 (according to wiki) has a road (possibly off road?) speed of 60km/h

800km / 60kmh is 13 hours and 20 minutes.

If a force hits across from Ludza in Latvia, thats 498km, or 8 hours and 18 minutes.

And these time frames assume Russia is making some attempt to keep Konigsberg and Belarus out of the war, forces pincering from there could seal the border in an hour
Or simply sit there looking threatening to prevent anyone moving in from Poland in penny packets.

At best, during a shooting war, we'll have 6 hours in which we can "reinforce" the area, past that, it will be "liberation", IE we'll be crossing the border guns blazing, so waiting for solid fighting formations to be ready to move.
That leaves only the forces already in the baltic states, possibly northern poland, and airpower, to actually intervene in the fighting.

The Estonian army is a reserve force, poorly equipped even for light infantry and border patrol duties, and thats even assuming the Estonian reserves can be armed, that little green men dont arrive at their weapons stockpiles first and confiscate them.
I'm sure they are very brave, but bravery doesnt help much when a tank company runs at you and you just dont have anything that can annoy one, let alone knock it out.

The Latvians are in much the same situation, somewhat better equipped, but a reserve force all the same, and with no real armoured punch,

Lithuania has exactly the same problem, mortars and machine guns and armoured cars, Russia will smash through them like a hammer through glass.

I know their plan isnt to face Russia in open warfare, its to delay them (best of luck with that) and to go to ground, attacking supply routes and awaiting rescue,
But what if rescue never comes?
The "War" will have been over for two days before NATOs land forces are ready to begin the liberation, longer even, the UN will be pushing a cease fire and "de-escalation".

NATOs overwhelming advantage in airpower would be a factor, but I think we can safely say that the thrusts in to the Baltics will be covered by the most over engineered air defence grid the world has ever seen, sites in Konigsberg, Belarus, mobile units with the advancing tanks, possibly even ships in the Baltic Sea.

Will NATO escalate the limited war in the Baltic States by bombing Russia proper?  Konigsberg?  Neutral Belarus?  Russian Ships in the Atlantic?  I wouldnt bet on it.

Without the political will to reopen the war, a new task force that intervenes after the fact is pointless.  All that changes anything, is forces that are committed RIGHT NOW, French, German, Italian, British and American Divisions camped in the Baltic states, fully manned and logistically supplied.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Assessment centres

Gods be good but I do hate bloody assessment centres.

I basically do excel stuff for businesses that are far far far too big to use excel.
I'm rather good at it.
I don't do meetings, or take phone calls, or generally behave like a human being.

So imagine my ire when I arrive for a pitch (suckers interview, I pitch) only to be given an irrelevant document packet, 20 minutes to draft a presentation, and then 20 minutes to present it.
'Why XYZs incompetent hr and recruitment team dooms them to stagnation and failure' was apparently not what they were looking for....
I maintain it was a valid response.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Greek "Rescue"

Greece in 2001-2005 was in a pretty good state debt dynamics wise
Things started to get ropey in 2006, and catastrophic in 2008, the 2012 "bail out" barely registering.

Pensions are the current target, and on first glance, they look excessive, but Greek GDP has been utterly devestated, if they hadnt suffered a 25% crash in GDP, their pensions would be 12% of GDP, high, but not even top 5.

And there are real concerns (and welfare concerns) here.
Firstly, Greek citizens paid in to pension funds for their retirement.  They are owed the money.
It is a pretty questionable legal argument that puts 5 year old bonds above 40 year old pension accounts in the debt hierachy
There are welfare issues as well.
The reality on the ground is that there are large numbers of families where a grandfathers pension supports a grand mother, their children, *and* their grand children.

Increasing the retirement age to 65 would have effects but not in the short term, unless you "de-retire" those currently 62year olds.  Who arent going to get a job, because there are none.