Closing Thought–29Aug19

I have not been a fan of the newest super jet fighter that the defense industry is making and selling around the world….personally I think it is a worthless waste of money and I have written as much…..https://lobotero.com/2016/11/03/f-35-the-flying-turd/

After $1.45 trillion….. yep that is trillion with a “T”….and this brick still cannot get off the ground….

The fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying in the critical operational testing phase is struggling to stay airborne, which could delay the troubled program’s great leap forward into mass production.

As I recently reported for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a document from the program’s test force shows that the fleet’s test aircraft, housed at California’s Edwards Air Force Base, have netted an average 11 percent “fully mission capable rate”—the key measure of how often an aircraft can perform all of its assigned missions—since the process began last December. 

Why the $1.45 Trillion F-35 Still Can’t Get Off the Ground

This plane is the state of the art in electronic devices and weaponry….and yet we let the Chinese make parts for the “super fighter”…..

On Jun. 14, 2019 Sky News reported that a Chinese-owned company has been manufacturing key circuit boards for F-35 Lightning II fifth generation fighters flown by the U.K. and U.S.

Exception PCB, based in Gloucestershire, southwest England, which produces the parts was acquired in 2013 by its Chinese parent, Shenzhen Fastprint.

The circuit boards control many of the F-35’s core capabilities, including its engines, lighting, fuel and navigation systems, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a press release.

However the MoD said Exception PCB is an established manufacturer and presents no risks to the fighter F-35’s supply chain.

Chinese-owned company produces parts for F-35 Fifth Generation Fighters

Let me get this straight….on the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world and we out-sourced the production of needed parts?

Seriously?  We go to the Walmart of the defense industry for the top secret parts?

Wonder why NO infrastructure then look no further than this piece of crap…..now ask why?

Where were the so-called “deficit hawks” on this one?

God I love this stuff!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Mississippi Makes The News (Again)

I live in the state of Mississippi and from time to time we make the news….usually it is some disaster like a hurricane or tornado but we seldom make the news when it comes to voting because the state is so red it feels like a smothering heat.

But recently we had an election for governor and our new touch screen machines made your choice for the voter….

Facebook user in Mississippi has posted a video showing touch-screen voting machines changing votes during Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for the governor’s race. The video shows a voter trying to cast their ballot for Bill Walker Jr., only for the machine to change the vote to Tate Reeves.

Some citizens, however, are having trouble making their vote. Voting machines in at least three precincts have rejected votes for Waller, selecting Reeves instead. The error does not appear to have affected all of the machines.

According to the Clarion Ledger, a machine at the Burgess precinct in Oxford — the machine in the above video — refused to register a vote for Waller. Before the error was detected, 19 votes had been cast on that particular machine.

https://www.newsweek.com/touch-screen-voting-devices-are-automatically-changing-votes-mississippi-1456445

Not to worry it was only a “glitch”….but how many “glitches” does it take to swing an election?

The more I see stories like this the more I feel that the US voting is becoming more and more like some third world dictatorship…

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

2019–Another One Bites The Dust #5

There is one less candidate on the Dem side for 2020…..the crowd running for president is getting thinner by one….

Shortly after news broke that Kirsten Gillibrand likely wouldn’t meet the requirements for the next Democratic presidential debate, the New York Times reports the New York senator is dropping out of the 2020 race. Gillibrand, 52, tells the paper that missing the debate cutoff was a pivotal moment: “I think being able to have a voice on a debate stage, when other candidates have that, is really important,” she says. “And without it, I just didn’t see our path.” She added that she will eventually endorse someone else, though she hasn’t decided who yet, and while that person could be male or female she said: “I think that women have a unique ability to bring people together and heal this country. I think a woman nominee would be inspiring and exciting.”

There may be more departures after the next debate in Houston for some of the donor cash should dry up for some.

As Newsweek reports, the other 2020 candidates who have not yet qualified are: Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Tim Ryan, John Delaney, Bill de Blasio, Marianne Williamson, Joe Sestak, and Wayne Messam……

Wayne Messam?  Who the Hell is Wayne Messam?

AS per my tradition I shall let Queen show them the stage door exit….

The DNC has succeeded in allow only those corporatist candidates to qualify….Warren and Sanders are in because they are newsworthy…..the voter is getting fewer and fewer actual candidates.

Now the media will set about making the voter think that only the chosen few for Houston are capable of winning….that may be true but it is not the place of the media to decide whom the candidates will be.

The 10 candidates that have made the field for Houston are corporate shills…what is being packaged and sold as “centrists”.

Please do not let the media pick your candidate for you!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Social Security 2100

As an old fart I am always watching to see what measures are proposed then taken by this government that would effect us elderly people.

Social Security has been a battlefield for generations…..the big lie that seems to surface with every election is that SS is going bankrupt…..

Arguably the biggest Social Security lie is the idea that the program will soon be bankrupt and not able to provide a benefit to future retirees. This lie is perpetuated by the latest annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, which calls for a major shift come 2022. In four years, the program will begin paying out more in benefits than it’s generating in income for the first time in 40 years. This shift is a result of a growing number of baby boomers entering retirement and thus lowering the worker-to-beneficiary ratio, an increase in longevity over many decades, and growing income inequality that has allowed the rich to live substantially longer (and collect a bigger Social Security check) than lower-income folks.

By 2034, a dozen years later, Social Security’s approximately $3 trillion in asset reserves is expected to be completely exhausted. It’s this excess cash depletion that has 51% of Americans, according to a 2015 Gallup survey, confident that they won’t receive a dime from the program by the time they retire. Thankfully, more than half of all Americans are wrong. 

Social Security has three funding mechanisms, and one of those funding sources ensures that the program is incapable of going bankrupt. Social Security’s lesser funding sources are the interest earned on its asset reserves ($88.4 billion in 2016) and the taxation of Social Security benefits ($32.8 billion in 2016).

(The Motley Fool)

Rep. John Larson has put forth a plan to strengthen Social Security…..it is called Social Security 2100 Act…..
Bill Text  | Full Press Release | Fact Sheet

For millions of workers, Social Security is all they have to keep them from destitution in old age. Even with Social Security’s guaranteed benefits, they struggle to make ends meet. Fortunately, Congress can easily strengthen retirement security by expanding Social Security. Congressman John Larson (D-CT) has a bill to do just that: The Social Security 2100 Act, which is supported by 90 percent of Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Nearly four in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In 2018, the Federal Reserve Board found that four in ten Americans could not afford $400 for an emergency expense. Low wages combined with the high cost of health care, housing and education prevent people from putting aside funds for retirement. The Government Accountability Office reported earlier this year that almost half of households headed by Americans aged 55 and older have no retirement savings.

Equally concerning, most companies no longer offer pensions to their workers—a guaranteed monthly income. Instead, if they are lucky, workers get small financial contributions toward their retirement that do not amount to a whole lot. 401k plans and other so-called “defined contribution” plans do little good if workers are forced to spend their income on basic needs and have no money to save.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/13/social-security-2100-path-protecting-americas-elderly-communities

A good plan but as long as Moscow Mitch has a strangle hold on the Senate this will probably go no where.

Read the act over and if you like what you see then let your representative and senators know…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Those Private Armies

I have written many times of my dislike for private armies…oh my bad……security consultants….a rose by any other name is still a mercenary.

What got my creative juices flowing was the news that an ex-Blackwater operative has been sentenced to life in prison…..

A former Blackwater security contractor was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq that left 14 people dead, the AP reports. Federal judge Royce Lamberth issued the sentence after a succession of friends and relatives requested leniency for Nicholas Slatten, who was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December. Prosecutors charged that Slatten, 35, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. In all, 10 men, two women and two boys, ages 9 and 11, were killed. The defense had argued that Slatten and other Blackwater contractors opened fire only after they saw what they mistakenly thought was a potential suicide car bomber moving quickly toward their convoy.

Defense attorney Dane Butswinkas described Slatten as “a person of high integrity” whose family members had served in the US military for four generations. Several of Slatten’s supporters openly accused prosecutors of scapegoating an innocent man in order to placate Iraqi public opinion. The shootings strained US-Iraqi relations and focused intense international scrutiny on the extensive use of private military contractors in Iraq. Slatten himself told the judge that he was a victim of an “unjust prosecution” and that government lawyers cared more about producing a conviction than uncovering the truth of what happened in Baghdad 12 years ago. But Judge Lambert, in issuing the life sentence, dismissed much of the family’s claims that Slatten was a scapegoat for international political considerations. “The jury got it exactly right,” he said. “This was murder.”

AS I said I do not think these people should be fighting our conflicts…..that is the job of our military…..but there is an assassment of the industry…..

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required the support of the private military industry. However, the United States government’s increased reliance and dependency on private military firms has not been without controversy. In fact, the lack of accountability that has allowed certain sectors of the private military industry to act with impunity have arguably complicated the U.S. military’s already difficult missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/05/an_assessment_of_the_private_military_industry_and_its_role_in_the_iraq_and_afghanistan_wars_114638.html

This is the armies of the future…mostly civilians with guns…..time for the military to depend on themselves to fight these wars if they truly need fighting.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”