Sunday, 31 March 2013

British Interests

What are British Interests in Syria?

There are none.
There are Turkish Interests, Kurdish Interests, Lebanese Interests, Israeli Interests, Jordanian interests ect ect ect.  But there arent really British interests in Syria.
The UK, allegedly, has interests in Jordan, although buggered if I can find them, it appears we had them once, and we have just kept on as if we still do.

The FSA is winning the war, so is far from desperate.  They would no doubt accept our help, for a price, but they have plenty of suitors, and its a sellers market, so that price is unlikely to be a high one.

The only vague interest the UK has, is a poorly defined war on international terrorism, but the terrorists we fight in Afghanistan, we are thinking of arming in Syria.
At little cost to ourselves we could arm Assad, and turn the FSAs victory into a bloody affair, tying up "international terrorists" for years in a protracted and costly conflict against an enemy that will fight to the death, because as they have learnt, to surrender is to die.  The alawites are fighting a desperate war for survival, and they are losing.
The Alawites, and the Christians, and the Kurds, and the Druze, are all facing extinction within Syria, if Iraq is a valid template, they will be all but extinct a decade after Assad falls.
They are desperate, for a few plane loads of small arms, they will do anything we ask.  Its literally our way or extinction.

Now, thats not to say we should help them.
I have little belief in the great terrorist conspiracy, and dont see what a compliant Syria gains the UK, beyond demonstrating to the world that we can turn anyone.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

**** me, has Ambrose ever predicted a war before?

Not being funny like, and I fully accept china is a rising power, but right now, today, if it picks a fight with Japan, it goes nuclear or it gets its arse kicked.
20 years from now, maybe, today?

The Chinese Airforce is of course massive, and unlike Argentina, I have no doubt it keeps them all operable, but two thirds of the PLAAF are Q5s, J7s and J8s.  I must point out, these aircraft are older than me.
The 750 pilots who go up in those aircraft are going to die.  The F15/16 variants they face will fucking slaughter them.
If we were playing Command and Conquer, its very easy to send your shit units in first to eat missiles for what follows behind, but in real life, I'm not sure that many pilots will be happy about being sacrificed so the J11 pilots can follow on behind, attain ace status and fly home to land ball deep in a horde of willing 20 year olds.

The Argentine Airforce went on strike during the Falklands war, and they were winning!

And thats before the Americans get involved, or India, or Vietnam, or Taiwan, or any other regional power that doesnt want to be eaten next.

Lets face it, "peace in our time" didnt last long, and if Japan is reduced to ashes, it'll be months until Hanoi is a disputed territory.

It might happen, but its only going to end one way if it does

Friday, 22 March 2013

Qualty Costs.

Its that simple, quality costs

The Good doctor berates "The Corporations" for making products designed to fail.
Now, there may be one or two cases where that is genuinely the case, but, the reality is, quality costs.
A "discount" Kettle bought today will fail after a few years, whereas a discount kettle bought twenty years ago will be going strong.  The reason is not some secret conspiracy, its that today, a discount kettle costs £3, less than half the minimum wage, twenty years ago, a discount kettle was £20, five or six times the de facto minimum wage.
Yeah, the kettle that costs twelve times as much will last twelve times as long, call the papers.

manufacturers build weaknesses into the designs and use materials of poor quality to ensure that their products break or wear out faster.
Do they use poor quality materials becase they break quicker?  Or because they are cheaper?
Well, did my readers pick wood and laminate kitchen worktops as an excuse to replace them? Or because they couldnt afford granite?

Electric toothbrushes were another example. They often contain batteries that cannot be replaced and the charging function is rapidly exhausted. The device must be discarded and a new one purchased.
What are the legal ramifications of having user serviceable electrical parts?  What are the cost implications?

With laptop computers, the researchers found that housings and built-in components were often glued, making repairs so difficult and expensive that they were largely uneconomic or impossible.
Again, glueing is quicker, therefore cheaper, than screwing.  And given the failure rate of laptops, its cheaper to write off a few failures that would be border line antiques anyway.

For most products, it would be relatively simple to ascertain a reasonable life, and if manufacturers were obliged to replace short-life machines, free of charge, we might see a change of attitude.

All electronic items come with a three year warrenty, and the SOGA allows some clawback up to six years.
Its easy to just buy another £3 kettle than keep the receipt.

I recall having to spend several hundred pounds replacing an undamaged windscreen wiper assembly, simply because a small but vital rubber grommet had perished. 
So look up the reliability surveys before you buy a car.
Or buy a kia with a seven year warrenty.

Then there was the computer monitor which failed because a simple component overheated, but which cost more to replace than the cost of a new monitor. When I took it to a specialist in the hope of repair, he guessed what was wrong, before even opening it up.
Assembled buy a guy earning $3 an hour, repaired by a guy charging £50.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bank runs

A vocal minority are speculating on whether or not someone should withdraw their funds from the bank to prevent a Cyprus like seizure.

Wont work

The problem is, its a simple matter for the law to be, 10% of the highest balance in the last five years is sequestered.  If you dont have the money in your account, you go overdrawn and the bank can seize and sell property to make up the difference.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

What cost the carrier?

ThinPinstripe has linked to an interesting article on the US carrier fleet
Not had chance to read it yet.

I cant be arsed at the moment, I shall read it properly tomorrow.

Anyway.  That said.
I am of the opinion that the US should operate 9 carriers as it does now, but with three in reserve/refit./refuel.
The remaining six split in to an east and a west fleet.

With 6 full airwings.

The US can maintain six active carriers, in an emergency, it can activate 9 carriers with reduced air wings, and if a carrier is lost, well, a replacement is in port awaiting deployment, and a crew of course.

With a bit of forethought, the USAF could operate C's rather than A's, and then it all it takes is carrier certification.

Anyway, I'm off.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Shareholders, Bondolders, Creditors!

The order in which civilised states apportion losses following bankruptcy.

The EU has changed that, and inflicted a 9.9% loss on depositors.
Have shareholders been wiped out?
Bond holders?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Are we trying to lose wars?

20 seconds to 36 seconds.
Cheap disposable rocket set up.  UK calls in strike using fuel, munitions and time costing in excess of £60,000
Doesnt pursue the rocket team and kill them, so they are free to set up another rocket tomorrow.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Margin Call

If you have sky movies on demand, its on there now.
I'd grab it.

Its not a perfect film, but by a long way, its the best film there is ever going to be on the bank collapse.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Whats the risk of scrapping the Desert Rats? Exactly?

This is a map of the UK.
See that blue stuff around the UK, thats water.  Tanks cant cross water, either to invade the UK from elsewhere, or invade elsewhere the UK.

The Bay Class landing ship can carry 24 tanks.
We have three of them, so, 72 tanks.
The Albion Class can carry 6 tanks and 36 APCs
We have two of them, so 12 tanks and 72 APCs

Thats 84 Tanks and 72 APCs.

A British Armoured Brigade consists of 58 tanks, 24 SPGs (84, so transportable), but it also consists of 145 IFVs, and 320 APCs.  465 in total, of which we can carry fewer than one in six.
One top of that we have the 60 trucks for Logistics, and another 60+ for the engineers, and god knows how many for the AAC detachment, the provost, REME, Recon Sqn, medical unit ect.

I would be impresses if the UK could actually deploy one tenth of its armoured brigade without begging for logistical support.

So whats the risk of scrapping the formation?
We dont need it to defend the UK, and we cant deploy it overseas without begging for logistical aid anyway.

Monday, 4 March 2013

SyFy needs to be taken out back and shot.

Over the last few months, SyFy has taken the decision to go where no network has gone before* and show the Star Trek New Generation** in glorious HD
Series Three of TNG starts tonight

Guess what else starts tonight?
The first episode of DS:9
The first 3 or so minutes of episode 1 of DS9 take place between the last episode of TNG S3 and the first of TNG S4
DS:9 Episode 1 is set around S6 of TNG


Sure, spinoffs and originals never get shown in order all the time, because its too difficult to co-ordinate, but surely for the first EVER showing in HD they could have ran TNG, DS9 and Voyager in order?

**Next Generation, DS:9 and one assumes voyager?

Friday, 1 March 2013


Who gives a shit?

The Lib Dems and Tories both got shafted, hardly unsurprising.
What matters is, Labour.
There vote share went up 0.22%
There vote went up down 1,065

Does that sound like a government in waiting?
Labour is serious about winning in the south

Its a hard day to draw lessons from, the Coalition is clearly unpopular, but Labour are simply not viewed as an alternative.  Farage must be kicking himself, or perhaps not, I'm not convince he actualy wants a seat in westminster.