Monday, September 8, 2014

People who were not born when the financial crisis began are now old enough to read about it. Tim Harford.

Luck of the Draw: “Buried within the bankruptcy of Detroit is a fundamental political and moral question: Who are 'we,' and what are our obligations to one another?”

Growing Pains: Remember back in 1972 when a bunch of scaredy-cats from The Club of Rome published The Limits to Growth, predicting that within 50 years our industrial civilization would run up against natural resource limits that would trigger a gradual but inevitable collapse? Remember how everyone laughed in disbelief at their naiveté? Well, it has been 40 years and their forecasts are turning out to be accurate. Expect the expected, any day now. If you're a bit hard of hearing, check out the graphs.

Black Out: The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment – the famed Night Stalkers – spent four nights recently practising black operations in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The unit spokesman said that practising military operations against US cities was “ actually a very important part of military operations, national security,” and that the public was not notified because they don't need to know.

Economical Truths: Kansas Gov. Brownback continues to claim that cutting taxes brings in more tax revenue. Don't let falling state revenues shake your faith in the holy writ. Facts don't bother him, they shouldn't bother you, either.

Unstoppable: A rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has passed the point of no return, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. These glaciers already dump as much ice into the ocean annually as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. They contain enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet and , of course, are melting faster than expected, which means that the current predictions of sea level rise will be revised upward. 
Promises, Promises: Nevada is shelling out $1.3 billion to lure the new Telsa plant and its promised 6,000 jobs. Perhaps they should have talked to the folks in Clarksville, Tennessee about their Hemlock Semiconductor plant first.

Can I Borrow The Car? Each B2 bomber costs $2 billion, so there aren't a lot of them sitting around. There are so few that the typical B2 piolt gets but one flight a month to keep up the skills necessary to keep from flying the thing into the ground. Tell me again what a $2 billion B2bomber can do that a cruise missile can't. Or one of those long-since paid for B52 thingys.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the B-2. If Gdubya had not cancelled the program the cost of the B-2 would have been 1/2 bil each...not 2 bil. The 2 bil price tag includes all the development costs...development that moved us into the 21 st century.
You can't call a cruise missile back once you launch it.
If you count all the development and upgrade costs for the 60 year old B-52...the cost of each one far exceeds 2 bil. Additionally, each B-52 (or B-1) mission requires 23 additional aircraft. Air refuel tankers, radar jamming aircraft, and escort aircraft. So lets factor in the real cost of any B-2 alternative.

Tulsatime said...

If I recall, the B2 has some pretty signiificant per hour operation costs, mostly related to 'stealth' maintenance. These craft have some refueling needs too, so they don't operate independently. There is no need for a replacement manned bomber, except that one of the contractors will go belly up if we don't pretend to build one like we are pretending to build the F-35.

kwark said...

Don't be so sure Tulsatime. Democrat or Republican, Obama's replacement will probably insist on bombing someone somewhere. Probably more than once. Besides keeping the flight crews trained-up you gotta keep both the smart and the dumb bomb manufacturers busy too. I know! Maybe our fearless leaders are planning on ridding us of the MINNESOTA THREAT and THAT's why the Night Stalkers are softening-up Minneapolis!