Saturday, 15 June 2013

That Bus Ride

It would have made for a great episode of Seinfeld.

To lay this out....from New Jersey....there's this Transit bus....Number 113.  It's an express bus which is supposed to make this 23 mile run, and end up in New York City down by the Port Authority Bus Terminal.  It stops a couple of times.

So it's making this run....which is to take forty-five minutes.  

On Thursday, the run took almost three hours.  The best that anyone can say is that the driver got disorientated, and just started making wrong turns...then correcting herself....making more wrong turns....and correcting again.

Passengers at some point got upset, and vented.  You can imagine New Jersey residents and New York residents....all hyped up.  They've been this way a hundred times in their life, and know the route by heart.  The driver?  She really didn't want their help.

The New Jersey Transit folks?  Well....they just say they are investigating the episode, and aren't sure of nothing. 

You can imagine Jerry and George in one seat....discussing the better route to correct the situation.  You could have taken such-and-such street over to west 16th, but it'd take you six miles out of the way, but it's better timing because of traffic.  Back and forth, Jerry and George would have argued this.

Elaine?  She would have been hyping up....no toilets on board.  She's pushing her limit.  Aggravated....she would have dumped onto the lady driver, and got a Jersey insult or two.  At some point, she would have contemplated jumping off the bus.  

Kramer?  He would have started a game show with other passengers on-board, convincing them this was all a fake trip and they had a chance to win $10,000 if they could just keep getting the right answer.   

The Carrier Concept

This week...it got out that the President's big trip to Africa....is going to cost in the range of sixty to one hundred million dollars.

The cause?  Well, there's the 56 vehicles which have to be transported over which support his entourage and support team.  Fourteen limousines are part of this group, along with three big trucks which carry around bullet-proof glass for the hotel.  There's also the hundred of Secret Service agents, the communications teams, and even a complete medical staff who can do just about anything required.

There's also talk that a carrier will be deployed and support the White House off the coast (South Africa, Senegal, and Tanzania).

After you look at this mess for a while, and the amount of cost....the question arises...why don't we just hire out the US Navy and one permanent aircraft carrier to take the President and his entourage everywhere they need to go.

You park the 56 vehicles onboard the carrier.  You park 200 AirStream RV's on-board...for the Secret Service guys to sleep and carouse.  You take the carrier from the Potomac....run it across the Atlantic and maneuver up in some bay.  You run the President back and forth off choppers.

The US Navy would keep it permanently anchored by Washington DC....always ready to steam off to the ends of the Earth....to cheaply get the President and his entourage where they need to go.

The President could get up at 3AM....run around the deck of the carrier....run down by the chow hall and ask for grilled cheese sandwiches, and jello.....getting it in just three minutes.  If the President's wife wanted videos to watch....the recreation guys would have thousands to loan out.  If the Secret Service guys needed a haircut....there's a Navy barber on-board.  Yes, we could do this and save the nation billions.

Details to be Explained

There are three things that you need to sit down and ponder through....to make some sense out of....because of the complicated nature.

First, the Nicaraguan government announced this nifty treaty with China.  The deal is China comes in...builds a new canal for mega-ships.....and gets a fifty-year lease on the thing.

Most engineers say it's not a big deal....the Panama guys are working on some extended locks and it's very capable of handling the world's traffic.

Well...here's the thing.  There are three simple categories of freighter in the world.  You've got the river-boat type.  Then you have the Panama Canal-sized freighters.  And then you have the mega-freighters.  The mega freighters go from the US east coast to Europe, and from China, Asia and Australia to the US west coast.  You save tons of money by using the mega freighters.

If you could find one decent canal, with no limits, then everybody in Asia and Europe would suddenly dump the Panama Canal-sized freighters, and overnight....the Chinese would own the manufacturing side of this, and the canal itself.  They can charge whatever they desire, and it's all profit.

It may take ten years to bring this into operation.....but this new canal would change industry in the world for the next fifty years.  China knows that.  And the US?  Just shaking their head....there's nothing they can do about it.

Second episode....this NSA hacker guy.  As each day passes, more and more people sit and pause over this guy, and there's just no way that he had access....legally....to all this information that he's put out.  So the belief is....someone set this guy into motion.

The hacker was probably active on several forums and chat areas.  Some Chinese guys looked at the naive guy, and eventually figured a second and third curve to drag the guy out into the open.  They lined him up with gamers, and some privacy act groups....probably from Canada and Europe....who have no connection to the Chinese.  Along the way....a third party stumbles into this guy, and gets him talked into getting peppy over privacy violations by NSA.  He is eventually convinced....at the right time....to pack up.  His buddy?  After hours of discussion, the buddy convinced him that Hong Kong was the free land that everyone dreamed of.

In a month or two....this hacker guy will wake up and begin to realize that he was used.  It'll be a depressing moment.  He screwed up.  He was taken in by people that he trusted.  And six to twelve months down the line....he'll likely commit suicide because of the stupid mistakes he committed.

Third episode.....finally, this Syria game that we will start to play out militarily.  The Russians are sitting there and gaming this entire event.  They likely have the air defense, missiles, and new technology to roll out and quietly put them into Syria.

The US will quietly expect this, but feel technology-superior.

So on a quiet day in July, there's likely to be this interesting event.  The US might actually establish air superiority and completely shut down air traffic in Syria.  The US might have 24-hour operations to provide drone imagery to the good guys.  The US might come off very successful in handling the Russians.

Or, the Russians might actually shoot down a couple of US fighters, come close to sinking a frigate or two, and have some new technology to whoop-up on the drones.

You don't want to be sitting in the White House situation room....if the second scenario occurs.  It'll be impossible to explain why we pushed around by a second-rate military, and there's likely this call from Putin....asking the President if he understands how to back down.  Reagan would simply double-down the situation for the next day....but it's hard to gauge this mess.