Thursday, December 22, 2011

If You Doubted The Country Was Under Attack...


I've commented on many different subjects in this space over the last few years, and many of those times were merely subjective rants.

The threat to national security and our economy presented by LightSquared is a different breed of cat entirely. The first time I saw a demonstration of GPS was probably 1986 or 7. At that demonstration multiple receivers were set up over both known and unknown points and then allowed to observe the GPS constellation for several hours over two days. This was because there were very few satellites up at that time, and solutions required at least four satellites in view.

It wasn't only the observations that took a long time. The tech rep running the demonstration had the first 286 PC I had ever seen, and it took him hours to reduce the raw data to positional information.

The GPS spectrum is a national security asset. It is as critical to our "just in time" national logistic system as is the internet. Real time, accurate ground navigation makes many businesses not only profitable, but possible.

LightSquared's technology is no different than any other cellular service. By being given access to the same frequency spectrum that GPS lives on LightsSquared avoids the costs paid for bandwidth any other broadband outfit has to pay.

But by being Friends of Democrats they are angling to enter the arena on the backs of the U.S. taxpayer. They (LightSquared) know full well their technology has been proven to disrupt GPS service (go back and read the article) but they don't care.

Solyndra wasn't about solar power. The GM/Chrysler bailout wasn't about jobs, and neither was the stimulus.

A coup. Not an administration.Link

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Back to the Future

When I was a newly minted Marine running around Camp Pendleton in 1980 I noticed you couldn't march ten feet in a straight line without tripping over a Chrysler Dodge vehicle. GSA cars, M880 pick up trucks, Ram Chargers in grim OD paint jobs...

But there were also dozens, scores, hundreds of D50 pick up trucks, and later K cars and Rampages. The Feds bailed out Chrysler in '79. 60K automotive jobs went away, never to come back, but Chrysler did return to profitability in the mid eighties and ran that way until the Great Recession.

The news that Chrysler "paid back" their bailout seven years early was no shocka to anybody working for the feds.

Now I find that the public (cost to you and me, whether we ever sit in a Volt or not) cost for each Chevy Volt works out to about $250,000 each, what with subsidies and current Federal purchases.

That's pretty spendy for a coal fired golf cart that sometimes bursts into flames three days after a fender bender.

I keep hearing "What cannot go on forever, won't" but I'm really beginning to wonder what that bubble is going to sound like when it pops.

Merry Christmas.