Saturday, July 24, 2010

And you thought you were have a bad day

This is one lucky pilot, Capt. Brian Bews from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron ejected from his CF-18 which had engine problems during a low pass at the Lethbridge airshow. He suffered minor injuries on landing. More here


Pilot talks about his new "Best Friend"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reverse discrimination, the inconvenient truth

Followers of the headlines will know that there was recently a story of Sara Landriault a stay at home Mom that tried to rejoin the workforce by applying to the Federal government. She was shocked to learn she wasn’t “special enough” (read wrong colour of skin) What she learned is that she had been screened out thanks to the Employment Equity Act. Thankfully Sara is not taking this quietly and is busy embarrassing the government into dealing with this issue and Minister Kenny is listening.
The intent of this Act was well meant, but as they say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” The problems that it creates is that any person from a identified group who wins a position because of their hard work and merit is tainted with the suspicion that they only received it thanks to their race, language or sex. This sort thing poisons the workplace. Also in order to meet imposed “quota’s” Managers will hire under or unqualified people based on these imposed criteria leading to more issues down the road. If these same people become a Human resource issue, then dealing with them becomes a legal minefield for the department and managers. This leads to even more morale problems.
I work with a lot of people who would qualify for these programs and I think it’s safe to say they would look upon such an offer as a insult to their ability and integrity. If you want to help groups such as aboriginals get into the workforce, offer them useful training programs and repayable grants to start businesses. At the very most give out short term contracts so they can build a work history and the skills to succeed. The current system is badly broken and thanks to Sara the veil is lifting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Joint Support Ships explained

With all the Defense related contract stuff going on it’s understandable that people get confused and lost. Here is an excellent article explaining some of the issues and history regarding our painful attempts to replace HMCS Preserver and HMCS Protecteur our last two supply ships. The replacement program is called; “Joint Support ship” or JSS. To cut a long story short, we asked for to much and were willing to pay to little, sort of liking want Mercedes luxury and features, while willing only to pay a Pontiac Firefly price.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A whale of a tale

Pictures courtesy of BBC

So your out for a nice cruise when a near sighted whale leaps out of the water an lands on your boat, as the owner Paloma Werner says: "We were just the wrong boat, in the wrong place at the wrong time." I can imagine it must be embarrassing for the whale when his buddies ask how he got the scars.

After the crash landing

Rest of the story here

Simon's Cat 'TV Dinner'

This was my cat last night, Zeus is a great cat, but sure can be needy at times ad why do cats feel the need to stick their bums into your face?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why Obama Just Might Fight Iran

Another great read by Michael J. Totten. In this case explaining what might trigger Obama into war with Iran. My belief is that weakness by a US President encourages totalitarian regimes to carry out actions that increase the likelihood of war.
Sadly the people of Iran don’t deserve another war, they suffered enough, but the Leaders of Iran and the Revolutionary Guard care little of what the people think.

"The president is not likely to go to war with Iran for Israel’s sake. He’s even less likely to go to war with Iran on behalf of the Middle East’s Sunni Arabs. He’s not even all that likely to go to war with Iran to protect American interests in the Levant and the Persian Gulf. He just might, though, as Mead says, go to war to protect what he values most and hopes to accomplish as president."
Read the rest here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Déjà vu

So we have a sole sourced military contract for 65 of the F35 Jet fighter proposed by the Conservatives being opposed by the Liberals as it “to much of a Cadillac” are you getting that feeling that you been here before? That’s because we are doing a repeat of the Cormorant Helicopter fiasco again, this time with a slight twist.
You see the Liberals first hooked us to this horse way back in 2002. The idea was that all the countries involved would all share in the R&D and we would all get some of the contracts. Now being good Liberals I fully believe they never intended on buying anything and likely hoped they could just keep stalling while reaping the benefits of the contracts. Of course the Liberals also thought they would still be in power, because like they are the Natural governing party of Canada, right?
Now part of the complaint is that Conservative government is “sole-sourcing” the bid, in other words following through on the Liberal commitment since they must have done a lot of research prior to selecting this process, right? The idea of competitive bids is nice, the problem is execution. Most large defence related bids have as much or more to do with politics than with picking the right piece of equipment for the job. Most foreign companies hook up with a Canadian company to sweeten the bid and it helps if the Canadian company is right place for the maximum political gain. This is the way it works in most Western countries and why the bid process consistently fails to deliver on time, on budget and with a properly working piece of kit. The political aspect ends up mucking up the deal almost every time.
Another wrinkle in this story is that the F35 is a 5th generation fighter, there are just not that many options out there, so the only real question is do we want or need a 5th generation fighter. There are lots of very knowledgeable people arguing about this point and good arguments on both sides. My gut tells me that we should get around 40 of the F35’s and about 40 of the somewhat cheaper 4.5 Generation fighters like the Super Hornet or Silent Eagle, I suspect we could get around 80 fighters for about the same amount of money. Why do we need more, because we will lose some to training accidents and possibly combat. Also the cheaper fighters will still be able to take on anything we are likely to go against today and the F35’s cover off the unexpected threats that will show up.
Yes it is a lot of money, which is a great object lesson in making sure you spread your defence buying over many years and not letting all of your equipment rust out at the same time.