A Flame War With Dumb Americans

Below, you will find transcriptions of a back-and-forth that’s taking place betwixt myself and some good ol’ ‘Murican boys on a YouTube video – and it really does shed a light on how ill-suited Americans are to the global influence they wield abroad.

NOTE: The video on which we are commenting is someone’s copy of a National Geographic video about an Ohio-class ballistic submarine (SSBN), whereas the video is titled in such a way as to make you think it’s about a Los Angeles-class attack submarine (SSN) – which has raised the ire of people familiar with naval assets like myself.

— Here… we… go! —

Grandpa The Grey: However, when they launch their Trident Multiple Warhead Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, they’re ATTACKING someone… right? So in reality, even a boomer is used as an ATTACK sub. lol

Stormcastle: Boy… that’s some special kind of stupid. No wonder this internet is getting dumber.

John Ruggles: @Grandpa The Grey, let’s educate you a little bit. The US Navy (not combined with the Army as in the title of this video) currently has 3 types of submarines yet only 2 COMMON names for them. they have SSN, SSBN and SSGN. The letters stand for (in order as listed prior) Submersible Ship Nuclear, Submersible Ship Ballistic Nuclear, and Submersible Ship Guided-missile Nuclear. SSN’s, being the smallest are referred to as Fast Attack because compared to their big brother, they are small and agile like an attack dog. The SSBN and SSGN are called Boomers because the weapon they carry on board, in the past, made very big booms at very long ranges. The SSGN is the new type converted from older SSBN’s and refitted to carry a different type of weapon but since they are still the same type of hull, they keep the name.

Stormcastle: Or just make it simple for the ignoramus: if it’s named after a U.S. state, it’s a boomer… if it’s named after a U.S. city, then it’s probably a 688 fast attack… if it’s named anything else, it’s probably a Seawolf or Virginia – which, being small and agile, are ‘faster’ fast attack subs that can patrol shallower waters. I guess that wasn’t as simple as I figured in my head, LOL

Michael Rocker: Whatever the size of the Submarines in the fleet are they are still very capable of kicking the shit out of any ones Navy especially the Russians. Our tracking capabilities are second to none.

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Typical American bullshit: there are quite a few subs out there that could sail through the middle of a USN carrier group and never be noticed – a Russian-made Kilo, for example. FFS, y’all need to stop being so full of yourselves. Also, unless you’re in the trade, don’t make grandiose comments you know nothing about save for what you’ve seen from watching The Hunt For Red October on Netflix.

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – essentially saying diesel/electric boats are crap, which is why American boats are better]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, You don’t know what you don’t even know – and yet, you still like to spout off. While, yes, diesel/electrics have a range that’s somewhat limited compared to a nuke – “extremely limited” is pure stupidity on your part: a Kilo (which is pretty much the gold standard for the type, and is why I make note of it again) has a submerged, non-snorkel range of about 800 kilometers at prowling speed. You think I’m anti-American? No… I like you lot just fine when you’re not acting like you’re the greatest country on Earth – which just happens to be 99% of the time.

Yeah… your military tends to have most of the nicest toys – but there are areas where other countries will gladly hand you your asses on a platter.

I mean… you’ve lost in both Iraq and Afghanistan because all of your high tech weapons were beaten by cavemen who haven’t progressed much beyond the Bronze Age.

So, please… put your Yankee Doodle soapbox away and go back to the vids about deep frying turkeys and NASCAR where you belong.

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – asking where I live and what makes it so great – before assuring us he knows everything about naval matters because he has a “relative” in the service]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, Someplace without rampant racism… someplace with top-notch education (America doesn’t even rank in the Top 20)… someplace with free healthcare that doesn’t require citizens to sell their cars just because they have a broken leg… somewhere where cops are 95% less likely to outright murder people in the street… someplace where there aren’t more people in prison than there are people in school… someplace that has proud military traditions while also spending money on being actually human… someplace with a clean environment… someplace where corporations aren’t people nor can they effect the government… someplace that isn’t #1 in preventable child poverty.

Where could that be? Oh… about 20 or so countries around the world.

You have a “relative” in the USN? That’s nice. Apparently, I have a long-lost uncle who’s a Nigerian prince who needs someone to launder millions of dollars for him. Would you help?

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – asking why I’m scared to say where I’m from if it’s so great]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, Not scared at all: CANADA… I was just pointing out that there are many places better than the U.S. of A. as far as quality of living is concerned. Yes, you Yanks have just about everybody outgunned – except for the Chinese, of course… and Americans gladly subsidize the Chinese military by shopping at Walmart. But, what’s the point of having the best military when it guards a shit way of life?

You asked why people move to America? To get rich, of course – as that’s what you export to the world, and is also why so many groups want you all dead: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness money.

Personally, I love all your military toys… but I just wish they were at the disposal of someone with a better sense of what it is to be human.

If – somehow – y’all elect Donald Trump as president, my point will be proven: given your “freedom”, the majority of Your Fellow Americans chose a greedy, racist, dumb-as-a-brick, narcissistic douchenozzle to have his finger on the launch button.

I only love your military because it generally keeps the worse guys in check – except for when there’s nothing for the U.S. to gain… like when Russia invaded Georgia (the country, not the state) or the Ukraine.

But, by God, if either of them had oil to make gasoline for your SUVs, y’all would have thrown a nice little war for each.

So, yeah… I love the U.S. Navy… just not a fan of the country from which it sails until you fix all of your problems.

motorcop505: @Stormcastle, The envy of the US is real with you. You rant and rave about others in an attempt to belittle them without success. BTW, if you ever actually traveled to Afghanistan or Iraq (or most 3rd world countries), you’d see how the people in those countries are so thankful for the US ejecting dictators like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and for the billions of dollars of equipment, food, and assistance we provide them with. That would actually entail putting your ass on the line to help others, and we all know that isn’t about to happen. Stick to your hockey and… Sorry, my mistake. I thought there was something else Canada was famous for (you know, like how the US created the Internet), but there isn’t anything.

Stormcastle: @motorcop505, To “belittle” would mean I was being less than honest – but I was being 100% truthful.

America is: someplace with rampant racism… someplace without top-notch education (America doesn’t even rank in the Top 20)… someplace without free healthcare – practically requiring citizens to sell their cars just because they have a broken leg… somewhere where cops are 95% more likely to outright murder people in the street… someplace where there are more people in prison than there are people in school… someplace that has proud military traditions while not spending money on being actually human… someplace without a clean environment… someplace where corporations are people and unfairly affect the government… someplace that is #1 in preventable child poverty.

If you disagree with any of those things, you’re both delusional and a moron.

I’m all for you having the best military, though… really I am.

Please, continue spending more than half of every tax dollar on warfare while your children starve and whole section of your society are legally mistreated.

Us here in Canuckistan will play our hockey and then go to the hospital and have 100s of tests done just for shits and giggles – before going back to school and learning more than any Murican who doesn’t have a diamond-encrusted trust fund.

Make fun of Canada all you want – it really doesn’t bother us in the slightest since we know our lives are better than yours.

Seriously… I came here to talk about subs, but man, y’all got me sidetracked with your JESUS LOVES ‘MURICA bumper stickers.

Michael Rocker: @KriegProductions [who’s tried to get the thread back on track a few times] What Stormy Boy leaves out about Canuck health care is that if you need surgery they can make you wait for months and a great deal of Cunucks come south of the border for health care if they can’t wait and their government will pay for it. One reason is if they need a transplant they would get put on the same list as an American rather than not get one at all up there. They also don’t have the same quality of surgeons like we have here.

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Someone’s been drinking the GOP koolaid, LOL. About 5 years back, I was in a motorcycle accident and broke my left leg in 6 places – which required 2 rods and a whole Home Depot worth of screws… and within 2 hours of reaching the ER, I was in surgery getting it done. Being the curious sort, I looked up how much the whole ordeal (including tests, x-rays, MRI, etc) would have cost in the U.S…. and it topped $400,000!

In 2 hours flat, I had a surgery done that would have cost you nearly half a million dollars – and I never had to pay a red cent… not even for the ambulance ride.

Yeah… Canadians do travel to the U.S. for EXPERIMENTAL treatments that haven’t been scientifically proven to 100% deal with whatever issues they have.

And, yes, some Canadians do have to wait for specialized surgeries as there are shortages of some types of surgeons because the unethical medical types prefer to make millions of dollars in the U.S. instead of helping the people where they were born (as I pointed out up-thread, greed is your #1 export).

Nothing you can say about Canada hurts our feelings (we can have those checked by a medical professional for free, after all).

Well… you CAN poke at our Navy and it might smart a bit – leaky British subs and all – but it’s nothing we don’t know, and we generally accept it as a trade off for not being born into debt like our ‘Murican neighbors.

We’re healthier, smarter, and happier… while we read about American cities that are being straight up poisoned by their city officials just to save $100/day – and whose elected government in Washington won’t help them because most of the people in Flint and other similar places are black.

By all means, keep the marching band going and salute the Stars & Bars while thanking Jesus for your iPad (made in China).

I’ll sit here and cheer your Navy on as it stares down the Iranians. Oh, wait… the Iranians can just grab your guys whenever they want.

KriegProductions: I’m quite pleased with myself. 5/10, +2 for unintentional troll.

Stormcastle: @KriegProductions, Oh, I know. I do hate being suckered into this sort of thing – but patriotism isn’t just for Americans 🙂

KriegProductions: @Stormcastle, Eh. I was in the US Army. Interesting, but it wasn’t that spectacular. In fact, you could pretty much say it inspired certain criticisms that I have with it’s command structure.

Michael Rocker: @Stormcastle, Give it a break Stormy. Canada is not exactly perfect. First off Sorry that you fell off you bicycle and got hurt but the job of any hospital is to get you in and treated in a timely matter. I was talking about people who need transplants or who have cancer as well as knee or hip replacements. I know a couple of people who died while waiting for cancer surgery or a transplant because it wasn’t a medical priority. I was in an accident in my car when a guy with a Harley was on my side of the road going around a curve and if I tried to get out of his way I would not be here right now and over the side of a mountain. I wasn’t hurt but the guy who hit me lost his left foot. My car insurance paid for his surgery and amputation of his left foot. His leg was also broken in 3 places and he needed a ton of hardware CT’s and MRI as well as X-rays and I saw the medical bill sent to the insurance company and it was just a bit over $50,000 and nowhere near the $400,000 you were talking about.

Born in Debt. What a laugh. Canada is just as bad if not worse. Canada sends your tax money over to the UK to keep your Queen living high on the hog. The US took care of that during the revolution. Therefore the saying “No taxation without representation” came from. The UK didn’t represent us so why should we send our tax dollars there.

As far as the GOP Koolaid I don’t go anywhere near it. Why don’t you fix that province in your country that feels they don’t need to be a part of Canada and should only speak French. Most of the Francos like you hate the Anglo’s especially the ones from the US but never complain about taking US money which right now the USD is worth $1.40 and the CAD is only $0.72. Who is in Debt?

Your politicians are no better then anyplace else so don’t even think you are better than us. And who is this Jesus guy you are talking about? Is he your next door neighbor from Mexico?

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Wow… you just had to go full retard, didn’t you? ZERO Canadian dollars go to Britain unless they’re in our pockets and we buy a chocolate bar at Heathrow. Canada has been a separate, sovereign nation since 1867 – but we remain part of the Commonwealth… and organization many countries continue to join even now.

We use a parliamentary system like Britain because it’s by far the most effective way to govern – and looking at your completely dysfunctional system only proves that by a factor of at least 100: your government can’t get anything done at all because of the constant Dem Vs GOP bullshit that’s caused how many government shutdowns in the past decade? Yeah… don’t throw stones since you live in a glass house.

An MRI alone costs $15,000 in the U.S. – and feel free to check that on your National Institutes Of Health website, where they track such things.

“Fix” Quebec? While, yes, they are a constant annoyance to the rest of Canada, they have every right to be here as much as us Anglophones – and that’s another way we’re better: we teach acceptance… where as Americans demand assimilation.

Exchange rates? Puhleeeeeze! That only affects us if we go to your side of the border, thanks… and we can do without Cheezits from Target (as we have all the Walmarts and Costcos we could ever need right here at home).

As for your insurance paying for surgeries, yeah… but who pays for the insurance? You! HMOs in your country are a nightmare to any civilized nation – as they’re happier when you’re dead. Oh… and how many millions of Americans don’t have any insurance thanks to idiot state governors refusing to use the evil Obamacare? How many are denied care because they’re poor (also a massive problem in the U.S. – no food stamps here, son).

Trying to assault the facts that I lay out just makes you look more stupid with every word you type.

Michael Rocker: @Stormcastle, Wow. Full Retard huh. I have never been called a retard more or less a Full Retard. Is that the best you can say. You sound like Pee Wee Herman saying I know you are but what an I.

So you have Walmart and Costco and now you are getting Loews Home Improvements just took over Rona. Now you have a new place to fix your leg.

LOL “Fix” Quebec? While, yes, they are a constant annoyance to the rest of Canada, they have every right to be here as much as us Anglophones – and that’s another way we’re better: we teach acceptance.” Is that why every year or so they want to vote to secede from the rest of Canada and be their own nation? The provinces east of Quebec have already have made plans to ask to become part of the US rather than having to drive through  Quebec because the only way they can make money is to charge outrageous tolls and taxes for truck driving through to go east or west.

You said it “we teach acceptance.

As far as taxes going to the UK

Queen costs us more than the Brits pay – Over the past 10 years, the Canadian cost of supporting the monarchy has more than doubled

http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/queen-costs-us-more-than-the-brits-pay/

Do I have your full on RETARD yet?

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, 1) Obviously, you’re not a movie buff – or you’d get the ‘full retard’ thing. 2) Still harping about the Quebec minority that wants to live with France? As I recall, there’s quite a vocal minority in Texas that thinks the state should leave the Union. 3) You didn’t read the Maclean’s article – or, if you did, you were unable to properly decode the English language used therein due to your inadequate education: it describes the cost of our parliamentary system that has offices duplicating the ones in Britain – which does indeed make it a trifle more expensive than theirs since Canada has a smaller population (37 million to the U.K.’s 64 million). The article does not indicate we pay for the monarchy – since we only do that when Queen Elizabeth is actually in Canada for state visits… something that even the U.S. does when she visits you.

Look, Mikey… don’t show up to a knowledge war when you’re woefully unarmed, mmkay?

This is why America is laughed at around the world: you think you know shit, but the stuff you know is *actually* shit.

For further proof, go over to Google and type in (with quotation marks for subject clarity) Ignorant American. Even Your Fellow Americans agree that the majority of you are idiots… even if they’re well-meaning idiots.

As I said pretty much all the way at the top of this flame thread, I like Americans just fine… just not when they pretend to have a brain. Y’all serve a purpose for us Canucks, after all: you kept the Ruskies from coming through Canada to get at you during the Cold War – which we really appreciate since nobody likes borscht.

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Anyhow, I’m sure Michael Rocker will be back to spout more clueless ‘Murican jingoism, but I’m done battling someone with such an obvious handicap.

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The Frayed Ends Of The Nuclear Cord

For all it’s faults (byproducts that have to be sequestered for half a million years, for instance), nuclear energy is amongst the best ways to generate electricity known to mankind at this time – discounting any future advances in fusion or solar power generation.

Nuclear doesn’t generate the greenhouse gases that spew forth from coal and natural gas power plants… isn’t effected by cloudy days or winter seasons like solar… has no problems when the air is still and fails to turn the windmills… and it doesn’t reroute entire aquatic ecosystems like hydroelectric dams.

But yes… there is that need to protect humankind and all our friends in the wild kingdom from the nuclear waste on scales of time that are longer than civilization has existed on the face of the planet.

Regardless, nuclear energy’s benefits are vast and every facility constructed to harness the power of the atom is a boon to society as it generally means there are less coal-burning plants toxifying the air we breath.

The problems with nuclear energy fall into two categories: environmental, which I’ve touched on above… and political, which I’m going to talk about below.

Nuclear reactors can be harnessed for electricity generation, yes… but they also can be used to create fissile material like plutonium or enriched uraniums that are necessary to create an atomic weapon.

Generally speaking, the technology required to build a nuclear power station is only affordable to nations that are more or less responsible enough to be trusted with any nuclear weapons that they might create – countries with governments that subscribe to the reality that deploying such weapons in anger would not be in their best interest.

Even the two most volatile neighbor countries that have nuclear weapons – India and Pakistan – realize that exchanging atomic potshots at each other would never be a small, localized engagement… that other nuclear powers greater than their own would most likely intervene with punishments of either military or political varieties.

With India being aligned with the Western superpowers like the United States, Great Britain, and France (don’t laugh… nukes can be dispatched from Parisian bunkers), a marginal country like Pakistan – who’s alliances aren’t clearly defined – would likely be struck with thermonuclear warheads carried by ICBMs or cruise missiles fired by New Delhi’s friends in the event Pakistan somehow came out on top.

The biggest check in the nuclear weapons business is that both the United States of America and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to end human civilization as we know it (or possibly altogether), with China, Great Britain, and France following behind them… and this is clearly enough to discourage smaller countries from developing any sort or atomic weapon.

There would assuredly be dire consequences for launching any sort of nuclear attack – no matter how much you hate the guy you’re pointing them at.

However, reality isn’t a universal concept in some corners of the globe.

There are a few governments that are so removed from society that they have become pariah states – the ones that nobody ever invites to the New Year’s celebrations at the United Nations, and ones that are perfectly happy with their status.

In the context of this discussion on smashing atoms, I’m focusing purely on the communist nation of North Korea and the middle eastern country of Iran.

Both countries eschew the global community (and the realities embraced by it) and have created unto themselves their own version of reality… one that generally places themselves at the center of the universe and deludes the ruling parties into thinking they’re untouchable/invincible.

In the case of North Korea, Kim Jong Il and his buddies (I use ‘buddies’ loosely since there isn’t a person in the country he wouldn’t shoot – including family members) rule the land in an almost empirical manner that really hasn’t been seen since the great dynasties of history: it’s taught to every North Korean child that Kim Jong Il is in fact a God.

In fact, North Korea barely qualifies as a communist state, and it can be argued – I’d imagine quite successfully – that it’s more in line with the leadership of Egypt’s pharaohs… just without the bountiful empire: North Korean citizens are probably the poorest out of any of the developed nations.

Kim Jong Il is so crazy that even his biggest (read: only) supporter at the United Nations, China, keeps him at arm’s length… and even then, they barely touch Pyongyang with their fingertips while wearing eight gloves on each hand.

The fact that this nutbar has access to nuclear weapons is entirely indigestible – and quite hard to fathom when you take into account that North Korea has no real money to speak of to pay for any sort of research program… but I suppose you can afford just about anything when you don’t actually have to pay the people who work for you.

Kim Jong Il is a god, remember? Don’t do what he wants and he’ll smite your ass… and probably your entire family while he’s at it.

If there’s any consolation, it’s that his atomic weapons are very basic and shoddily constructed: when testing them, they have a tendency to fizzle – more of a runaway nuclear chain reaction than an actual detonation.

These North Korean atomic bombs are barely in the same class as those deployed by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II… and nowhere near as advanced as even Pakistan’s.

But even the most rudimentary nuclear weapons are devastating… either through their explosive force (see photo below) or through the mass radioactive contamination of the target area.

Click Me

Click Me

In  terms of instability, North Korea is like the guy who was arrested for killing his neighbor because he though the neighbor was telepathically raping his wife.

Nothing said by Kim Jong Ill or his government makes any sense, and North Korea has no qualms about threatening anyone with total and complete destruction… promising a war that will end Western civilization – despite lacking any way to follow through on these threats, even when including the estimated 5 to 8 nuclear weapons that Pyongyang possesses.

The North Korean military may have one of the largest standing armies on the world when compared to it’s national population, but the equipment they are outfitted with is barely any more advanced than it was during the Korean War in the 1950s – at best, it’s equivalent to Soviet designs from the mid to late 70s.

This irrationality is alarming for two reasons:

1) Technically, North and South Korea are still in a defacto state of war since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire treaty – a truce that’s been in place ever since… if only barely on some occasions – and that war could pick up at any time, and that becomes more and more likely as North Korea becomes more and more impoverished.

2) Pyongyang has made no secret of it’s willingness to help political entities that have similar designs to destroy the West… and has routinely shipped weapons and military equipment to those ideological comrades, and it’s not a stretch of the imagination that North Korea would share nuclear weapons technology – or even a finished atomic bomb – with those same comrades.

The only silver lining in the North Korean situation is that ships leaving North Korean waters are some of the most scrutinized vessels afloat: any tub that can carry anything bigger than a refrigerator is fair game for random inspections by South Korean and American naval assets – which makes shipping nuclear weapons, fissile material, or technology to create either of those things by water not really a winning strategy.

This of course doesn’t rule out shipping illicit weapons by land or air…. but similar searches are carried out against trucks leaving North Korea by Chinese and Russian agencies (how effectively, nobody in the West can say for certain), and all air cargo from North Korea is thoroughly screened at airports abroad.

There is only one destination outside of North Korea that North Korean ships and aircraft are welcome – and it also happens to be the other rogue nation with nuclear ambitions: Iran.

I’m sorry, Tehran… were you hoping I’d forgotten you?

Nope.

In many ways, you’re worse than those nutjobs in Pyongyang – mainly because, even though you’re batshit crazy, you’re also very focused on the destruction of those you hold in ill regard.

In Iran’s case, that’s most notably Israel.

There isn’t a day that goes by that Iran’s puppet government and it’s religious masters don’t call for the total destruction of the Jewish state, and it works on a daily basis towards that goal by funding terrorist organizations that operate in Palestinian territories.

If that wasn’t problematic enough, the Ayatollah also sends money to terrorist outfits – including Al Qaeda – that attack other Western nations that are allied with Israel.

And while the Ayatollah isn’t necessarily as committed to destroying the West as Osama bin Laden was, his plans call for weakening the resolve of Israel’s allies by hopefully making it more bother than it’s worth to the United States, Britain, and others.

It’s this fanatical devotion to destroying every single Jew in the Middle East (and everywhere else in due time) that makes Iran more dangerous.

While North Korea is more reactive – as in it puffs itself up and makes threats when it perceives itself to be threatened – and can be calmed down with offers of candy (financial and food aid), Iran is completely proactive in it’s plans… spending nearly all it’s money on weaponry and armed forces.

It should be noted than Iran has a lot of money to use for it’s own military and the funding of terrorism around the globe, and that money comes from the export of oil to the countries that need it – both the export of Iran’s own oil assets, and money from neighboring countries’ oil sales who are agreeable to the Iranian way of things… primarily certain factions inside Saudi Arabia.

While Western nations don’t conduct a lot of oil business with Iran, countries like Russia and China don’t make that distinction and gladly take any oil Iran can send their way to fuel their own economies.

Russian and Chinese weapons technologies have also readily been made available to the Iranian government, and this is why the Iranian military possesses weaponry that’s equal to the West’s technology of the late 1980s to mid-1990s.

You may not think weapons circa 1989 to 1995 would be all that dangerous to Western targets using weapons made in this millennium… but keep in mind, those Iranian weapons are equivalent to what the U.S. defeated Saddam Hussein with in the first Gulf War – so they aren’t to be ignored by the wise.

With all that oil money, Iran has been able to afford a fairly modern nuclear energy program – one that Tehran insists is for purely peaceful purposes and that they’re not at all interested in making fissile material for making atomic weapons.

You know what? Put a kid in a room with both a dart gun and a target to shoot at, he’s going to shoot those darts at the target the second you turn your back – no matter how much you tell him not to, and how much he denies his intention to do so.

The fact of the matter is that Iran has far more centrifuge units required to enrich uranium than are needed for the modest civilian-purposed nuclear reactor that Tehran claims is the only beneficiary – and these enrichment facilities are spread far and wide throughout the country, with some of them located underground in hardened facilities that would be problematic to destroy.

If you’re producing far more enriched uranium than you could possibly use in your nuclear electricity generation reactor(s), then that surplus uranium has to go someplace… and the two options that come to mind aren’t acceptable: a covert weapons program, or for export to other political entities that also have covert nuclear ambitions – Al Qaeda, for example.

The nuclear situation in Iran puts Israel – and by extension it’s Western allies – in a bind: while Iran potentially acquiring nuclear weapons capability is completely unacceptable, unilaterally attacking Iran in a pre-emptive strike would be heavy-handed and most likely to ignite a war that would spread like wildfire across the entire Middle East – and the forces of the Western allies are already exhausted from a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Which leaves Israel to act on its own – and one must also keep in mind that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons of it’s own if the situation got out of hand.

However, while Israel might have enough thermonuclear devices to level Tehran and a few other Iranian cities, the fact is that Iran is the 2nd largest country in the region… and Israel is the smallest, and therefore extremely susceptible to being destroyed in a single nuclear strike.

There’s also the small matter of delivering those nuclear weapons to Iran as – as far as anyone in the West knows – all of Israel’s nuclear devices are in the form of gravity bombs and not mounted on long-range missiles, meaning that Israeli attack planes would have to fly through potentially hostile Lebanese, Syrian, Turkish, or Iraqi airspace before even getting to Iran.

The same holds out for any non-nuclear intervention raid Israel might want to stage against Iran in hopes of derailing the Iranian nuclear program like they did when they pounded Saddam Hussein’s atomic facilities into dust back in the 1980s – there’s just too much territory to cover from Israeli airfields to targets in Iran unless those Israeli pilots commit to a one-way suicide mission… and I wouldn’t put that past the Israeli people as they know the value of sacrifice and are a hardened people after decades of being under attack from all sides.

And yet… all the logistics of attacking Iran pale in comparison to the destructive potential of either the Islamic Republic Of Iran Army, The Army Of The Guardians Of The Islamic Revolution (the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard), or any other Iranian military body – or any paramilitary body the Ayatollah deems satisfactory enough to share with – possessing nuclear weapons when they are ideologically tuned towards destroying Israel and the Western world.

The situation is untenable and will need to be resolved prior to Iran developing nuclear weapons technology – and that time isn’t all that far into the future.

Am I being an alarmist?

No.

Everything I’ve said here is absolutely true and cannot be argued by anyone outside North Korea and Iran.

The world has been under the illusion up until now that only the big players could afford nuclear weapons, and to be honest, global opinions should have changed once India and Pakistan developed the Bomb.

But we’ve fooled ourselves into complacency again… that we can send strongly worded letters to Tehran and Pyongyang and they will simply throw up their hands with a smile, saying “Well…  it was worth a try, right?” before packing their whole nuclear infrastructure up in crates and shipping it to Russia for disposal.

Without total regime changes in North Korea and Iran, localized or global nuclear attacks aren’t just probable – they’re an almost forgone conclusion because both countries stand today as spiteful (in Pyongyang’s case), hateful (Tehran), and wholly irrational states.

Kim Jong Il and his son to follow him will continue to develop their primitive atom bombs into more effective hydrogen bombs by working their researchers to death at gunpoint while the citizens throughout North Korea – who depend on the government – starve to death in the streets (while Pyongyang’s resident god drinks Hennessy and collects expensive toys).

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss, the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will continue on their path to nuclear weapons while they continue to hate on the Jewish people and deny the Holocaust – which was the reason the state of Israel was formed in the first place from land ‘donated’ from the surrounding Arab states – in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

To me, that’s the sure sign of Tehran’s insanity and the reason they can’t be trusted: to completely deny the Holocaust when it was thoroughly documented by both the Allies when the camps were liberated, and by the Nazis themselves with their meticulous records of the methodical extermination of the Jews who they deemed as sub-human… and the continued existence of facilities like Auschwitz  and Dachau to remind humanity that the Holocaust was real.

It’s the equivalent of Ahmadinejad looking up and telling the world that the sky is in fact purple and that we’ve been duped by the Jews into thinking it’s blue… which I’m pretty sure he’s already claimed once or twice in his hateful stand-up comedy routines at the United Nations headquarters.

Folks… these are people who can not EVER be trusted with the nuclear genie.

You should be alarmed… you should feel a sense of panic.

These people aren’t going anywhere and won’t change their ways unless we make them.

And believe me… they’re not going to blink when we send them angry emails from the United Nations’ Gmail account.

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Invisible Planes & Your Shopping Cart

With the Canadian federal government once again chugging along after a year of elections on both the national and provincial levels, certain issues are coming up again from the previous edition of Parliament Hill.

Many of the issues are crime related… but there has been some renewal of opposition grumblings over the F-35 Stealth Fighter.

I’ve written all about the technological benefits of the F-35 previously, but I really didn’t touch too much on why we need a stealth fighter in the first place beyond the vague (but real) threat that Russia presents to our borders.

Currently – in the year 2011 – there is only one player in the global military arena that has a fully functional, deployable  stealth aircraft asset… and it’s to our benefit that we happen to be best friends with the U.S.A. and their F-22 Raptor squadrons.

However, other nation states around the world are progressing towards testing their own stealth aircraft – and those nations aren’t always on the up and up… and yes, I’m looking straight at China and the former Soviet Union.

With Russia, the situation is fairly predictable: just as in the days of the Cold War, Russia can be relied upon to act solely in it’s own best interests – even if those interests are counter to what the rest of the world finds acceptable.

One poignant example of this would be the Georgian War of a few years ago where Russian military forces invaded the territory of another sovereign nation… and then subsequently told the world it could collectively go fuck itself if we didn’t like it.

At the end of the Georgian conflict, it was practically the Cuban Missile Crisis all over again – except in microcosm – as American troops stood almost toe to toe against Russian counterparts as they brought aid and supplies to the stricken Georgia.

The only differences were that Georgia was a former Soviet communist state instead of Castro’s newly communist island, and there weren’t at least 3,000 nuclear weapons ready to be shot at the other side with the push of a button.

However, the situation was fairly typical when you study the long term behavior of Russian military commanders and their political overlords in Moscow – so, it’s not too far of a leap in logic that (when Sukhoi or MiG gets a stealth plane into full production) their behavior will change  much in the stealth era.

The only wrinkle in that observation is that Russia will export it’s military hardware to virtually anyone with deep enough pockets – and I would only assume that would apply to future stealth aircraft produced for the Kremlin.

Despite the appearances of – and the lip service towards – democracy, Russian politics is really the bastard son of Mr. Communism and Ms. Democracy… and has been placed into the foster care of Mr. & Mrs. Capitalist-Autocracy – and that autocracy needs money to pay out hush money as well as distribute infrastructure contracts to political allies.

This money comes from those sales of military hardware to the highest bidder.

You know who’s the main beneficiary of Russia’s sales of military hardware and technological know-how?

The People’s Republic of China.

Believe me when I say that this is a bad thing.

Why?

It’s not that big of  a secret that Beijing would like to fully control their political area of influence – essentially every island between Australia and Japan, and a few more going in the direction of India – and have been steadily building up their army, air force, and navy with hardware that was either manufactured in Russia, or designed there.

The most dangerous of these military assets are Kilo-class attack submarines… which are damn near impossible to detect in their newest configuration.

Why are they dangerous – aside from the obvious?

Because the Chinese have always intended for them to be a very real threat to American carrier groups – the very U.S. naval assets that keep China from unilaterally invading Taiwan… the island nation that Beijing maintains is Chinese territory and has simply been ‘misbehaving’ since the 1950s.

Ask your average Taiwanese citizen, and I’m sure they’d have a different opinion… and it’s that fact that the U.S. government counts on to maintain it’s political influence right off the coast of the world’s largest communist nation.

With these political tensions constantly at play, it’s very probable that the next global military conflict will start in the South China Sea – possibly by the sinking of a U.S. aircraft carrier by a Chinese Kilo using a conventional or nuclear torpedo.

What does this have to do with Canada?

The Chinese are developing a stealth fighter of their own, independent of Russian researchers.

And yet we in North America overlook all of these alarming facts because nearly everything at Walmart is made in China – so it’s not to our economical advantage to call China on it’s various sins… not least of which is Beijing’s abysmal record on human rights and dignities that allow for factories in China to pay their workers with dust bunnies and a few grains of rice so that Chinese manufactured goods are the cheapest.

Things are considerably more complicated for our American neighbors: a lion’s share of American debt is owned by Chinese banks, and if those debts were suddenly called in – and if Washington didn’t put up a fight – up to 25-30% of all sellable real estate in the U.S. would become Chinese owned… on top of  industrial land which is already owned by Chinese corporations.

All this means is that there are conflicts coming – and those conflicts will have air wars fought with stealth planes.

Even in small, isolated conflicts that will be resolved by NATO or the United Nations in the coming years could be fought with stealth air assets – and if you haven’t noticed, those type of wars are where Canada steps onto the word stage.

Libya’s skies were patrolled by Canadian warplanes this year.

We need the hardware that will allow men flying for the Royal Canadian Air Force to go forward into the future and not be held back by legacy military hardware designed with attitudes from the 1970s (which is where the CF-18 design originated) or the 1980s (where most attack jets available on the open market were designed).

The F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) is that tool – a plane designed for the 21st Century, and for the air combat of 2020 and beyond.

The Canadian opposition parties are saying we should buy the Eurofighter Typhoon or the SAAB Gripen to replace our aging and rapidly failing CF-18s – but those planes are legacy designs from the 70s/80s/early 90s.

Yes, the Typhoon and Gripen are fast and agile aircraft… but they simply don’t bring to bear the warfare technologies that will be required in the future.

So… when China is no longer satisfied with just being an industrial power – and that’s coming, whether we like it or not – which planes do you want Canadian fighter pilots screaming through the skies in?

I know that I personally want them up there kicking ass and chewing bubblegum… long after they’ve run out of bubblegum.

How about you?

Dear Bell Canada: We Hate You

All of us across Canada have been taking part in a mass experiment for the past 17 days or so.

This experiment was called The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Why is that an experiment and what does it have to do with Bell Canada?

Dear reader, I will tell you ‘cuz that’s just what kind of blogger I am – always looking out for those who don’t know.

For those of you out there who live in countries that are not named Canada, a little background is needed here.

The official Canadian network of the 2010 Olympic Games was CTV – one of only 3 national Canadian networks – and was the only Canadian source of Olympics broadcast over it’s hydra-esque collection of stations: CTV, TSN (The Sports Network), MuchMusic (the Canadian alternative to MTV), and MTV Canada (the Canadianized MTV).

CTV was formerly owned wholly by Bell Canada (now about 20%), and now you’re up to speed.

(UPDATE: Bell Canada has repurchased the entirety of CTV as of September 10th, 2010)

On the whole, the CTV broadcast of the Olympics was completely and totally shit – I’m not gonna mince words here.

The fact that the Canadian-origin Olympic broadcasts were shit is endemic of Bell Canada’s general attitude towards the Canadian public and none of us should have been really surprised at the epic failure of the endeavor.

The technologies employed for the Olympics broadcasts were seriously lacking when compared to the station most Canadians turned to when comparable programming was on offer: NBC.

Why is that?

The answer – to put it simply – is competition.

In the United States of America, NBC had the sole rights for broadcasting the Olympic games to the entire country – but they had to deal with new shows or counter programming from their two rivals, namely ABC and CBS.

NBC was in a position where they had to use absolute top notch video, audio, and graphical technology to make the Olympics palatable to the average American to ensure good Nielsen ratings performance against shows like CSI and LOST.

I give a tip of my metaphorical hat to Mr. Zucker, the president of NBC, for making these strong decisions and reaping the benefits.

However, the corporate masters at CTV didn’t really see the need to go all out on the technical standards because they had the Canadian viewers by the balls – so to speak.

Why?

Two things.

Patriotism and lack of choices.

If a Canadian wanted to watch the games, they (at least in the heads of CTV masters) would have no other option than to watch the CTV family coverage.

And what Canadian DIDN’T want to watch the Olympics hosted in Vancouver, British Columbia – which happens to be in CANADA?

What Canadian citizen didn’t want to watch our Canadian Olympians win more gold medals than any other country in the history of the Games?

There was simply no choice for a lot of Canadians out there across our great land (2nd largest country in the world, by the way) who only got two or three channels on their televisions due to lack of cable or satellite service.

You see, CTV’s corporate masters give it lots of money to spend on licensing of the lion’s share of top rated American shows – meaning that even if you wanted to watch American Idol or other supershows instead of the Olympics, and you didn’t have cable, you were stuck watching the Olympics because your feeble rabbit ear & coat hanger setup can’t pull in an American network.

These are the facts of the previously mentioned experiment.

I’m not really aware of the total ratings breakdown of the CTV broadcasts, but from what I gather, it was a resounding success for the big wigs at Bell Canada’s broadcast division.

Which only serves to reinforce the way that Bell Canada operates throughout our vast country.

You see, Bell Canada used to be a complete and total monopoly of the Canadian telephone system – that is up until the past fifteen years or so where the CRTC (the Canadian telecommunications authority) opened up the phone market to other companies.

Bell had to deal with outside companies all of a sudden competing with them for the Canadian telecom dollar.

American companies came in and tried to run services for a while – specifically Sprint and AT&T (both of which eventually folded their Canuck operations into the Canadian telecom company Rogers).

With the fear of losing massive monopoly sized profits, Bell Canada decided to buy CTV and it’s associated networks to shore up it’s bottom line through the often mystical art of television tradecraft.

For the average Canadian, nothing really changed on television – save for the inclusion of Bell’s corporate logo at the bottom of CTV’s original local programming credits.

And in the years since the CTV takeover, nothing has really changed either – aside from some graphical makeup applied to the CTV brand.

Why?

Bell Canada loathes Canadians – or, at the very least, holds Canadians in total and utter contempt.

For all the water that has passed under the bridge since the monopoly breakup, Bell Canada still operates as a monopoly.

An alarmingly large amount of Canada’s telecom assets are still owned and operated by Bell Canada – including (and the most troubling of all) the entire Canadian internet backbone system.

Bell Canada owns the Canadian internet – despite not having a monopoly on how people subscribe to internet services.

Independent internet service providers have to buy their backbone access through Bell’s infrastructure wholesale.

A Canadian citizen might get their internet through a local company, but that internet is ultimately controlled by Bell.

To borrow something from the Matrix movies, Bell Canada guards all the doors and they hold all the keys – at least as far as the internet is concerned.

That local ISP may not have restrictive content filters that would slow down internet applications like BitTorrent or other P2P programs – but your data traffic cultivated by those apps will still suffer speed delays because Bell Canada does filter.

So in the end, no matter who you’re signed up with, Bell Canada still controls what you do on the internet.

Also, your internet is going to suck when compared to other developed nations.

According to a recent study by eggheads at Harvard University, Canada is 18th on a list of internet service quality.

Why eighteenth?

Because Bell still operates as if it’s a monopoly – and it is the one true  internet God in the realm of Canada’s cyberspaces.

In countries like Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Sweden, or the United States (among many other countries ahead of Canada on the afore-mentioned list), internet services improve over time due to market forces in a wide open internet marketplace.

Let’s use the United States as a working example, shall we?

In the U.S. there is a plethora of companies offering internet access via their own, wholly owned data networks that are in direct competition which each other for American customer dollars.

In hopes of attracting new customers, American networks are constantly upgrading themselves to offer bigger and better products.

Case in point, Verizon has wired large portions of America with a fiber optic transmission network so they can offer blazing data speeds when compared to their competition (AT&T, Sprint, etc.) who are still relying on century-old metal wire network technology.

Competition is the heart of progress in all systems on the planet – both technological and biological.

For something to become better, it has to have incentive to do so – and as it is, Bell Canada has ZERO incentive to improve itself.

I’m sure that somewhere in Bell Canada’s executive building(s), there’s a large brass plaque that reads in bold letters WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

Until the CRTC grows some balls and forces Bell to divest itself of the Canadian internet backbone, Bell Canada will not invest one measly dime in network upgrades than it has to – and believe me, it doesn’t spend one penny that it isn’t forced to.

Except…

Except for internet service via cellphone.

The cellphone service sector is wide open in Canada with many competitors vying for 34 million Canadian’s hard earned cash.

Rogers, Telus, Koodo, Virgin, Wind Mobile – all nipping at Bell’s subscriber base, which forced the company to innovate and try to offer a technological edge to it’s customers that wouldn’t be available to other services.

If there weren’t other cellphone service providers in the Canadian market, Canadians would not have access to 3G or the oncoming 4G.

Bell users now have the opportunity to use the vaunted iPhone (gag me with a spoon) because Bell was forced to upgrade it’s network to compete with Rogers who was already offering iPhones.

That’s the process of competitive evolution in action.

The dinosaurs went through this hundreds of millions of years ago in our planet’s distant past, but the dinosaur that is Bell Canada simply refuses to evolve because there isn’t another corporate beastie big enough to take a bite out of it’s gnarled hide.

For this, we Canadians are in the technological third-world – which really, really sucks.

As much as we love to brag to our quarrelsome American neighbors about how we have superior, free healthcare and how we mopped the floor with them in the 2010 Olympic gold medal count, we must continuously hide our shame in regards to how friggin’ slow our internet speeds are.

I sit here in envy of whichever American cities get selected for Google’s internet service experiments that promises speeds of 1GB per second: yes, one gigabyte per second compared to my 300 kilobytes per second as I write this blog.

No, 300kbps isn’t a national average in Canada.

The average data speed in high-speed enabled communities throughout Canada is 10 megabytes per second via DSL service, 12Mbps via cable internet service – and I’ve enjoyed connection speeds of up to 5Mbps via DSL in the past, but those were anomalous and based on living in the right areas where Bell spent some extra money on their wiring .

Yes… I could subscribe to my cable company’s (Cogeco) internet service and get that 12Mbps, but there’s a gigantic catch to that blissful speed: a solid 60 gigabyte data cap – which is fairly standard amongst North American cable companies.

60GB isn’t enough by far for my demanding usage as I regularly move 200GB or so a month via gaming, uploading to social media sites like YouTube and Flickr, and downloading music/TV shows/movies.

So I’m stuck on this crappy Bell-supplied architecture.

And we, as Canadians, were stuck with the crappy, Bell-managed CTV Olympics coverage when we couldn’t turn to NBC for the same event – which was sporadic at best since NBC’s coverage was very focused on American Olympians and would skip events where the U.S. wasn’t competing, and completely blanked the Canadian cultural portion of the Closing Ceremonies.

AARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! @$#%&!

Seriously, Bell Canada… what the hell?

The next time I stop to use a pay-phone, I hope you choke to death on the two quarters.

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Oh… and that experiment and it’s purpose?

To figure out how much shit we as Canadians are willing to put up with.

And by the looks of it, Bell Canada will continue to use the Canadian market as it’s own personal outhouse.