September 3, 2016

The Toronto Air Show, a poignant reminder of what an invasion sounds like

Every year the sounds of military jet engines breaking the sound barrier while flying over the city of Toronto serve as advertising that the Toronto Air Show is once again upon us.

As Toronto's oldest annual air show, it isn't going to disappear any time soon. The base tickets bring in thousands of people, but they also offer VIP tickets which have staggering prices of upward to $1519 per ticket, and include a lot of interesting perks...

But, here is the thing... We live in Canada.

The Royal Canadian Air Force isn't exactly brimming with brand new technology or lots of planes.

As of 2013 the RCAF only has 258 manned aircraft. Only a fraction of what we would need if we were ever in a major war.

The RCAF also only has 14,500 regular soldiers and 2,600 reserves. Peanuts compared to many other countries.

But the most crippling problem is that Canada doesn't even build its own warplanes any more. They are all built in the USA. We are completely dependent upon United States factories to be building our planes.

Imagine a scenario for example in which an enemy of NATO bombs and destroys all of the American factories... and back in Canada we cannot get parts to repair our planes because the American factories have all been destroyed.

But if we built our own planes here in Canada we would instead have some military and economic benefits...

#1. Building our own planes in Canada means more jobs for Canadians.

#2. Building our own planes and replacement parts in Canada means we are more independent, and are responsible for protecting our own chain of supply.

#3. Having the designs for building our own planes, if anything happens to the factories we can simply have other factories build the parts according to the specifications.

#4. If a major war ever broke out, Canada would have the ability to build its own planes to meet the demand required for new planes so we can keep on fighting on the land, on the sea, and in the air.

#5. Money spent on building those planes would stay in Canada, as opposed to being outsourced to Americans and shipping the money south of the border.

At present much of Canada's warplanes are actually just large transport vehicles and helicopters. They range from tactical transport vehicles like the CC-130H Hercules, to the CH-124 Sea King helicopters (which take a ridiculous number of hours to repair and maintain for every hour they are in the air).

Much of Canada's air force are antiquated planes that have been used since the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

For example the CF-18 Hornet fighter jets that you might see zooming over Toronto during the Toronto Air Show, they have been protecting the skies over Canada since 1982.

That is 34 years of service. Over a third of a century.

Back in 2010 the incompetent Stephen Harper announced that he was going to purchase 65 new Lockheed Martin F-35...

The resulting scandal wasted hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars and all Canada got to show for it was a wooden mockup of what the plane should look like. The Harper government ultimately never bought the planes, instead they promised to buy them, but never signed the paperwork or contracts for $16 billion, and instead wasted hundreds of millions on empty promises.

Below is a photograph of a fake wooden F-35 purchased by the Harper government. It looks nice. But it doesn't fly and is absolutely useless. Just like Stephen Harper.

Fake Wooden F35

Anyway, let us get right back on topic...

Canada is basically ripe for invasion. Our air force is a joke. An "air farce" if you will.

Someday, possibly sooner than we hope, enemy jets will be flying over Canada and we will realize that we are so weakly defended it is laughable. (We might have a lot of guns per capita, but military training isn't common place in Canada so many Canadians wouldn't even know how to load a rifle, let alone clean it.)

Investing in Canada's military doesn't have to be a huge expense. But we should be spending perhaps 5% of our total annual budget improving Canada's chances. 5% doesn't seem like much, but it would make a difference. It would allow us to upgrade our out of date hardware and invest in new technology.

It would also allow us to be building new planes, drones, helicopters and transport vehicles here in Canada.

And while we are at it, we could invest in more submarines and aircraft carriers. (For those wondering, "battleships" are obsolete and have been ever since aircraft carriers became available.)

Canada's reserves could also be dramatically improved. The 2,600 air force reserves mentioned above is a pittance. We should have 8 times that, at least.

Investing in Canada's military hardware may seem like a waste of money when we are currently at peace, but if don't invest in it on a regular basis our old obsolete equipment will be useless when the day comes that we are at war and we are wondering how we are still using old tech from 1960s that nobody knows how to repair.

And that investment will create jobs for Canadians, on the provision that we realize the opportunity to build and maintain our own equipment here in Canada, instead of begging for scraps from the Americans.

This way in the future when we hear warplanes passing over breaking the sound barrier, we can be a little more confident those are our planes protecting Canada and not some invasion force which has overwhelmed Canada's defenses.

June 2, 2016

Our Official Position on Global Warming Vs Global Cooling and what is causing Climate Change

By Suzanne MacNevin and Charles Moffat.

We are writing this together because both of us have changed our minds about what we think is causing climate change.

Up until now we were stern advocates that carbon dioxide (CO2) was causing global warming and climate change. We are here now because we are not officially changing our opinions on the topic. We are changing our opinions because we have both become convinced that it is Solar Cycles that caused global warming during the 1980s and early 1990s.

And caused the reverse, brief global cooling during the 1970s.

Our opinions have been changed because we started taking a closer look at the data concerning Solar Cycles and how solar activity from the sun effects the climate here on Earth.

It is actually fairly simple.

The sun goes through Solar Cycles, periods lasting years during which there are higher numbers of sun spots. Now that sun itself gives off a constant amount of heat - that never seems to change. Sun spots however, fluctuate wildly, but they do follow a set pattern, which looks a bit like waves.

The current solar cycle, Solar Cycle 24, starting in 2009 and is expected to end around 2020. Possibly sooner because it is slowing down faster than expected. See the chart below.

In the chart below it shows Solar Cycles 22, 23 and part of 24. As you can see they are getting weaker and weaker. What you don't see in the chart below is all of Solar Cycle 21, during the height of the 1980s global warming period. And likewise Solar Cycle 20, which was a lot point - and the result of global cooling during the 1970s.

In the chart below you can see Solar Cycle 20 beginning in 1965 and ending in 1976. That was the period when scientists first started talking about the possibility of Global Cooling. (The Pink marks on the chart below show years during which there was an El Nino effect, which also warms the planet.)

The high points of Solar Cycle 21 (1977 to 1986) and Solar Cycle 22 (1987 to 1996) was the period during which the Global Warming discussion started to heat up. Unfortunately, solar physicists were largely ignored and the finger pointing turned to CO2 and greenhouse gases, which admittedly do warm up the atmosphere, but does not effect the temperatures any where as much as solar emissions do.

Solar Cycle 23 (1997 to 2009) coincided with a period known as "the Global Warming Pause", a period that started in 1993 during which the global average temperature (GAT) has fluctuated up and down, but hasn't made any remarkable increase or decrease.

Now we should note that some environmentalists deny the existence of the Global Warming Pause, ignoring the raw data that shows that GAT numbers are fluctuating up and down with no real increase or decrease in global temperatures.

We should also note that in recent years, 2010 to 2015, that the polar ice caps are actually expanding, regaining ice coverage in comparison to previous years.

Now we understand that people are going to send us hatemail about this. But to be fair, we've already been called all sorts of names previous that were worse with respect to our leftwing political beliefs. So don't bother. We've heard much worse before.

And admittedly it does feel weird, being devout leftwingers and making an about-face and reversing our position on the issue of global warming. We have not however changed our position on the issue of climate change.

Climate change is still happening. The big difference now is that we now assert that instead of global warming, that we should see a period of global cooling. According to a team of European solar physicists they are predicting a period of global cooling that will last from 2020 until 2070. This period will be similar to the Maunder Minimum that lasted from approx. 1650 to 1700, a period which was known as the "Mini Ice Age". They made this prediction by discovering the sun has a double dynamo magnetosphere which effects sunspots, and consequently made a computer model which predicts with 98% accuracy the rate of sunspot production. The computer model estimates that Solar Cycle 25 (approx. 2020 to 2031) will be so weak that it will cause a noticeable cooling in the earth's temperatures. Solar Cycles 26, 27 and 28 (approx. 2032 to 2065) will be so weak that they are practically non-existent, a period during which we can expect to see record colds, famine, food shortages, and wars over resources.

Historically, periods of extreme colds have been known to topple empires. Or make new ones.

So what about CO2?

Well, it still effects the weather and does contribute to global warming, but does it really effect the weather as much as we think it does?

Lets do the math.

In 1980 the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were 337 parts per million (PPM). Or 0.0337% of our atmosphere.

In 2015 the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were 388 parts per million. 0.0388% of our atmosphere.

That is a 15.13% increase in CO2 over a 35 period. Or a 0.0051% increase compared to our entire atmosphere.

So lets talk about why that number is important. A 0.0051% increase in CO2 compared to the entirely of the air we breathe. How much does that 0.0051% increase actually effect the temperature?

What we really need is a lab test.

1 jar filled with "modern air" from 2015. 388 PPM CO2.

1 jar filled with air from 1980 (or comparable to 1980 air). 337 PPM CO2.

Set both jars in front of a heat source, equal distance from the heat source and leave them for 10 hours, with no other sources of heat nearby. Wait the 10 hours and then measure both jars and see if there is any temperature difference.

For fun we should also have 1 jar that is filled with 100% CO2 and see how much of a difference that makes. And while we are at it, other jars filled with 100% other kinds of greenhouse gases.

We have seen this test on YouTube before. But the problem with the test is that in the youtube video they used 1 jar filled with 100% CO2 and 1 jar with normal air. What we really need is a test showing the difference between a jar with 337 PPM and a jar with 388 PPM.

How big is the sun's effect on the Earth's climate?

Well lets put this in context. The sun is GIGANTIC. The sun is 1,300,000 times the size of the Earth and is responsible for 99.9999999% of our surface heat. Without the sun the Earth would be a frozen wasteland. The molten core of the earth would also eventually freeze without the heat from the sun, so don't expect any help from the molten core.

Life as we know it would cease to exist if the amount of heat we get from the sun dipped a mere 0.1%.

Heat isn't the only thing we get from the sun either. The sun also has a double dynamo magnetosphere and behaves like a gigantic electro-magnet, with its magnetosphere reaching to the edges of the solar system. The magnetosphere protects the earth from cosmic rays which effect cloud cover. The sun's magnetosphere shifts constantly, as does the earth's own magnetosphere. During these shifts there are periods which cause the earth to be exposed to larger doses of cosmic rays, which cause more cloud formation and colder temperatures. It is theorized that these magnetic fluctuations and increased cosmic ray activity plays a major role in the creation of large scale ice ages.

The last ice age ended about 22,000 years ago and we are currently overdue for a new one, as interglacial periods usually only last about 10,000 to 15,000 years. We are currently 7000 years overdue for a new ice age.

The fact that the Earth's magnetic north and south poles are starting to rapidly move has many scientists worried that we could see a dramatic shift in the earth's magnetosphere. The north pole is currently moving at a rate of 64 km per year (40 miles per year). The south pole meanwhile is also moving - zigzagging its way north towards Australia.

As the sun's double dynamo magnetosphere fluctuates, so does the earth's. The magnetosphere effects sun spots and the amount of heat the sun gives off (which effects the earth's temperature), and a shrinking magnetosphere lets in more cosmic rays to the earth (which increases cloud cover and colder temperatures).

Unlike the Maunder Minimum (1650 to 1700), which saw the poles barely even move, the poles are currently accelerating as they move, which suggests something new is happening that scientists haven't seen before.

So we could actually be facing a double whammy of lower temperatures from the sun, and increased cloud cover from cosmic rays. The first we already know is happening, as solar physics is a well-established science that has been around for centuries. The second, cosmic rays, we know comparatively little about. Scientists simply have not had enough time to study the effects of cosmic rays on weather.

So to all the people worried about global warming and rising sea levels, we are sorry. We apologize. We made a big whoops there. Our next big worry is global cooling, energy shortages, and food shortages.

That means it is ever more important that we invest in energy technology, such as wind turbines and geothermal energy. Solar energy is too unreliable. The sun and clouds are too unreliable.

On the plus side, as the poles get colder it will result in stronger winds. More storms too, but the wind means wind turbines will be a wise investment for homeowners. For governments, geothermal energy is the wise choice.

May 24, 2016

Federal Prison Rehab Program Reduces Sentences

Federal Prison Rehab Program Reduces Sentences

According to studies and statistics, a large portion of the federal prison population suffers from alcohol and drug dependency. Many offenders have major alcohol and drug problems before they are arrested and convicted for their crimes. To address these problems and help rehabilitate inmates, the Bureau of Prisons initiated a drug treatment program over 20 years ago. Over the last two decades, the program has helped thousands of inmates to turn their lives around before they are released from prison.

The Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program, RDAP, is an inpatient program mandated by federal law. For qualified prisoners who enter and complete the program, their sentence can be reduced by as much as one year. This reduced sentence time is in addition to the 54 days per year that inmates can earn if they remain infraction free while incarerated.

The exact amount of time that can be cut from a sentence depends on the initial sentence:

* Inmates sentenced to 37 months or more who complete the program will receive the full 12 months of early release.

* Inmates sentenced to 31 to 36 months can receive a nine month reduced sentence.

* Inmates sentenced to less than 31 months can receive a six month reduced sentence.

RDAP is the Bureau’s most intensive treatment program for alcohol and drug rehabilitation. It is held in a modified therapeutic community atmosphere where inmates experience living in a pro-social community, rather than in the general prison population. Inmates participate in a half-day of treatment programming and a half-day of school, work or vocational activities. The treatment program lasts nine months and takes approximately 500 hours to complete.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Bureau of Prisons have conducted numerous studies on the treatment program over the years. Research findings show that RDAP participants are significantly less likely to relapse with alcohol and drug problems after release than non-participating inmates. According to criminal defense attorneys of Michigan, the RDAP makes a significant difference in inmates' lives and helps them to return to normal life with greater success.

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for the RDAP, the inmate must have a verified alcohol abuse, narcotic drug or prescription drug problem that is documented in a pre-sentence investigation. If the sentencing judge recommends the inmate for the program, eligibility will increase. The inmate must be in a prison facility that offers the treatment program.

May 5, 2016

Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump Similarities

And the similarities don't stop there. Hitler and Trump have a lot more in common.

The context in which Adolf Hitler was elected is that he was first nominated and appointed as chancellor during a period in which multiple political parties were vying for power and there were successive minority governments and coalition governments.

At the time Hitler couldn't secure a majority because of a lot of the crazy/funny things he said. He was considered by many Germans to be a joke candidate, so far to the right wing that over half the population didn't even take him seriously.

In February 1933 the Reichstag building was set on fire (some say it was deliberately set by the Nazis, who claim it was set on fire by the communists). Whatever the cause, it led to a new election in March 1933.

After the fire suddenly the German people took Hitler more seriously. And it showed in the voting records.

Hitler and the NSDAP won 43.9% of the vote during the March 6th 1933 election, not enough for a majority, but enough that he was the clear victor.

Following the victory Hitler was given the power to create new laws for 4 years without needing the permission of the Reichstag. This unprecedented move allowed Hitler to have control over the government without having a majority.

Afterwards Hitler moved quickly to use police and military forces to secure his control over power, and to use new laws to slowly eradicate any opposition to his leadership. By August 1934 he became Fuhrer for life.

Now consider Donald Trump. He hasn't exactly won the Republican nomination. But he won enough that his political opponents eventually quit and Trump (original German name is Drumpf) became the de facto nomination of the Republican Party.

Trump didn't get a majority of party votes, although he did manage to get a majority of delegate votes (there is a difference). During polling of Republican voters Trump never got above 30% of the Republican vote. But he managed to get 1053 delegates of the 2473 delegates available before his opponents dropped out of the race.

As such Donald Trump doesn't even have the support of his own political party, let alone the support of the American people. Even his own political opponents within the Republican Party openly mock him.

Which brings me to my point, neither Hitler or Trump were taken seriously when they were nominated to take power.

Once he had power, Hitler never let go. He seized it, secured his power base, began waves of propaganda techniques to boost his popularity, he passed discriminatory laws to persecute the Jews (which ultimately led to the Holocaust, war crimes and genocide), he rounded up disabled people and had them surgically sterilized, and he gave the police unprecedented power to enforce Hitler's rule of law.

Trump in comparison has promised to ban Muslims from entering the USA, to deport Muslims, to pass discriminatory laws against immigrants (especially Mexicans, although anyone "brown" will do), and he has promised to give police more power and more guns (essentially rubber stamping the idea that "black lives don't matter").

Trump has not promised to sterilize disabled people, but he has openly made fun of a disabled person.

Okay, so here is the thing.

We need to take Donald Trump seriously.

Even though he is an idiot. An arrogant, entitled, moronic buffoon. We still need to take him seriously.

The President of the United States has access to nuclear weapons, and when asked about how he would deal with problems in the Middle East he responded by saying that nuclear weapons are on the table. This implies he intends to use them if the option is presented to him.

So really we are looking at a Hilter-esque presidential candidate, who if elected will have access to nuclear weapons... and he has implied that he would use nuclear weapons and risk nuclear war.

Now you might think "Oh Trump doesn't have a chance of winning."

Except that is what the Germans were thinking of Hitler in 1933. It didn't work out too well for Germany, their country was laid to waste 11 years later.

Interesting notes...

USA Voter Turnout in 2012: 54.9%

USA Voter Turnout in 2008: 57.1%

USA Voter Turnout in 2004: 55.7%

USA Voter Turnout in 2000: 50.3%

USA Voter Turnout in 1996: 49.0%

During the 2000 presidential election George W. Bush was elected with 47.9% of the people who voted... but only 50.3% of eligible Americans voted due to very low voter turnout. That means only 24.09% of Americans voted for Bush.

Meanwhile Al Gore got 48.4% of the votes (24.3% of the total eligible voters), but still lost because Jeb Bush and his cronies rigged the polling stations in Florida.

Voter turnout in Germany, March 6th 1933: 88.74%. The NSDAP got 43.91% of the votes. This means only 38.97% of Germans voted for Hitler.

History has shown that horrible leaders can be elected with just a small percentage of votes. If it happened to Hitler and Bush, it could happen to Trump.

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