Most of the time God,Pratt & Whitney or General Electric, will give you another turn in the Barrel.

These are my opinions and my opinions only they do not reflect the opinions of any of my family members or their employer. Note we NOW have NO employers.

Back from a 5.5 Year PCS from the confines of the far Southwest corner of Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The Federal Republic of Germany and Retired.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unwind Royal Bank of Scotland part 2 (Or the hits just keep on coming)?

First there was everything stated in the first post now there is the report that RBS will need to come up with another 1 Billion Pounds to pay for their improper derivatives sales to various and numerous small businesses.
So on top of the 500 million pound fine associated with Libor, and 250 million pound of bonus, now we have the 1000 million pound to cover the cost of this transgression.
Does it take a bus or lorry to fall on the government to act?  If this is not enough would the right honorable gentlemen please enlighten us what it will take.
The money pit just double in size, and the question is what else is out there.
In the mean time just to give the rest of a fighting chance pleas change the name to Criminal Royal Bank of Scotland (CRBS).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

April Fools

How appropriate that Aubrey McClendon, will step down/retire from his position of Chief Executive Officer and board member of Chesapeake Energy on of all days One April 2013.
Now that Carl Icahn is the largest shareholder in the company, and Carl has already starting to put his mark (Some would say the mark of Cain) on the company will individual who are either an employee of his holding company or close associates.
The question will be when will the employee’s, the stockholders, and the rest of the market start to actually see Carl’s thumb on the scale, to actually see Carl as the man behind the Curtin, when will Carl come out of the shadows?  I will bet that it will be pretty soon.
Carl is only interested in “Shareholder Value”, as long as that shareholder is Carl, a few crumbs may fall off the table for the rest of us, but no more than actually have to.  This feat of Financial Engineering will be accomplished either through increased dividends (highly unlikely, even with QDI the tax is still too high for him), more likely through stock price appreciation (I smell company buy back) (Tax treatment for long term Capital Gains much nicer).  Carl has a whole entourage to pay.
In the period 19 April 2012 to 24 May 2012, Carl spent 785.3 Million Dollars (a little over 3 quarters of a Billion Dollars to purchase some 50.08 Million shares of Chesapeake Energy (According to SEC filings as of 30 Sept 2012 Carl still reported that he own the shares) (Carl’s reported average cost per share is  $15.68).
Carl will just have to wait until after 25 May 2012 to start his selling spree, buy that time I bet that Carl is at least on the board or a consultant, and he is getting and exercising $0 dollar stock options, with no vesting requirements (Is this a great country or what?).
Chesapeake Energy closed at $18.97 per share 29 January 2013, and its after hour trading price jumped to $20.69 per share.  Based on the closing price Carl is up 20.98 percent.  Based on the after hour price Carl is up 31.95 percent (He shoots He scores).
So far Carl rate of return to date is somewhere between 30 and 46 percent on every dollar that he borrowed to purchase the stock.  All of that gain has to come from somewhere, and the employee’s of Chesapeake Energy and their various suppliers and contractors are about to find out where that where is.
The current board of directors in their press release stated several that the Company was not for Sale (of course not it had just been bought by Carl, he will sell it later) and that many of the employee benefits are going remain intact (in an effort not to spook the employee’s), but folks we all know that it is a pile of horse manure at the very least.  Things will have to change, Chesapeake Energy is being mined and company costs will have to be reduced, and profit’s increased as they will be pulled out the company as fast as Carl’s minions can run the spreadsheets.  Expect a whole series of unnatural sex acts.
The employee’s may be at risk, but the employee has always been at risk (whether they knew it or not).  The herd will be thinned, the weak, and the old (typically they are one in the same) will be offered up to altar of profit.   As far as the board of directors is concerned, all that matters for now is that the board members are safe and secure.
Carl could not have not done this with out the very special help of a very special individual, that individual is none other than Aubrey McClendon.  Aubrey McClendon actions over the past few years were key to this situation.
As one of my favorite television show character would say, “Sherman turn the Way Back Machine to fall of 2008, location Headquarter Chesapeake Energy”.  Here we will find Aubrey McClendon having to sell 33.4 Million shares of Chesapeake Energy because of margin calls.
Aubrey had been for at least the previous year purchasing Chesapeake Energy stock with borrowed money, and with the stock market in free fall, and it repercussion in the economy Aubrey got creamed (I know it is a very technical term).  Chesapeake Energy stock price suffered a 54 percent reversal between August 29 2008 and October 30 2008.  Chesapeake Energy stock had closed as high as $69.40 in the preceding 12 months.  Chesapeake Energy closing prices in October of 2008 were the lowest for the preceding 12 months.
Aubrey McClendon, that captain of industry had been caught in two of the most basic errors that an “Investors” can make.  First borrowing money to purchase stocks (Leverage, great going up but a real bitch coming down.)  Second and fundamentally much worse buying high and sell low (granted Aubrey was forced to sell low, but a sale is a sale, think of the capital loss that he gets to carry forward on his tax return, will he ever be able to use it all to offset any capital gain, and at $3000 dollars per year of dividends offset it will take a long time to reap the rewards of the loss).
A few questions for Aubrey McClendon, since you were the CEO, why oh why did you not get more $0 stock options with zero vesting?  Why were you in your capacity as CEO not raping or at least slightly pillaging the company?  I think Aubrey that you actually have feeling for the company and it employees.  Aubrey you may be comforted by the fact as Carl Icahn has demonstrated on numerous occasions in the past that he will have no such compulsions against performing any of these actions.  Carl is only concerned about and for Carl.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is it time to unwind Royal Bank of Scotland?

With the latest round of scandal (Libor rigging) and it fines for misbehaving and or lack of adult supervision (500 Million Pounds to date more fines are expected), and now the specter of bonus (250 Million Pounds) being paid to the employees some of whom are in real need adult supervision.  It should be apparent and well past the time for someone in the Government of Prime Minister Cameron to end this mess.  Perhaps the Right Honorable George Osborne should lead this endeavor, after all this mess is in his portfolio, come to think about he might already have been dusted up by this situation.
I would have hoped that somewhere someone in the ministry would have developed a plan to take the beast out into the field and put it down, or was it the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the members of their staff and the Bank of England’s plan just to pour money down the hole until it filled up?
From the outside it appears that most if not all of the issues with the Bank lie on the commercial/investment side of the house.  If that is the case, then this operation should be removed from the rest of the group.
The commercial/investment banking part could be sold to some other unsuspecting buyer with the condition that any and all future liabilities (Criminal or Civil) for past actions are the responsibility of the buyer.  The other condition is that the buyer cannot be on life support from the crown.  That just moves it from the pocket on your right to your pocket on the left, you still have the stinking mess in your pocket (Mother would not approve).
Maybe the problem can be exported to either the Germans (they have lots of money) or possibly the American (they did not learn the first time around), who knows after all a sucker is born at least once every minute, even a stop clock is correct at least once a day.
If the commercial/investment entity cannot sold off whole, or possibly sold off piece by piece.  If is not possible to sell off the old sod then it certainly can and should be scrapped.

Friday, January 25, 2013

580 Million Dollar oh crap moment at Caterpillar

580 Million Dollars, that was the total right down this last reporting quarter that Caterpillar Corp, of Peoria Ill announced.
This was after they had already purchased for 690 Million Dollars (475 Million of Cash) ERA Mining Machinery Ltd of Hong Kong, and more particularly their Zhengzhou Siwei Mechanical and Electrical Manufacturing Co subsidiary in China.  This was after allegedly performing their pre acquisition due diligence.
By my count there are at least 31 individual who to some extent on the Caterpillar Corp. side could have failed.  Since we really do not know which individual are to blame.  We must blame them all, and we should blame them equally.  Except for the Chairman and CEO, everyone of these individual owes the corporation $18,125,000.00 Dollars.  The Chairman and CEO is special he hold two title and therefore he should pay the corporation $36,250,000.00 Dollars (Twice what everyone else), it only fair, he fail twice, once as the CEO and once as the Chairman, rank has it privileges.
As a shareholder I for one am willing to vote for the corporation to accept from each and everyone either a certified check the amount or their resignations as settlement of the debt that they owe the corporations.  I will not name names you can go to the Caterpillar Corp web site for the Officers and and Board Members see for your self, but I will name positions.
Chairman and CEO, CFO, Group President Caterpillar, Group President Construction, Group President Resource, VP Earth Moving, VP Excavation, VP Manufacturing, VP China Operations, VP Mining Sales, VP Procurement, VP Asia Pacific, Chief Accounting Officer, Corporate Controller, Treasurer, Chief Audit Officer, Corporate Secretary, Board Member 1, Board Member 2, Board Member 3, Board Member 4, Board Member 5, Board Member 6, Board Member 7, Board Member 8, Board Member 9, Board Member 10, Board Member 11, Board Member 12, Board Member 13, Board Member 14, Board Member 15 (In order as shown on the corporate web site).
I know that when you have annual net revenue of approximately 5.0 Billion Dollars of net income a screw up of .5 Billion Dollars appears to be rather small, its only 10 percent of annual net revenue.  Some how after Caterpillar had purchased the puppy they were able in a rather short amount of time to figure out that not only did it have heart worms, but it had pin worms, or just about everything else short of schistosomiasis, but not for the lack of trying.
So when does the other shoe drop and the shareholders here from the board that not only did they agree to the purchase of sick puppy, but that the puppy was so sick that it did not survive.  Right now 84 percent of the purchase price has been written off, when do we hear about the other 16 percent.
A few more of these maneuvers and a company that prides it self on building equipment for moving dirt can it self be turned into dirt.
This certainly calls into question the competency of the Senior Management, and the Board of Directors.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


POT, not the controlled substance, but Plain Old Transportation, but it did get your attention.  Another post containing unsolicited advice for my son.  What is the best car to own?  That is the question, and the answer is easy.  One that is paid for.
Automobile manufacturers and automobile dealerships are not going to like what I write after this point (for that matter neither are the banks, credit unions, or finance companies), for they are in the business of producing and selling automobiles that return them the highest unit profit for their unit cost (For that matter the Bank, Credit Union or Finance Company wants you to purchase a high end vehicle, you borrow more money, the collateral with worth more, if you default they have a better shot of getting rid of it for more than you owe).  High end/up scale automobiles are the vehicles that fit this criterion.  The low end/down scale vehicles are usually the vehicles that have the lowest profit for their unit cost (it has been reported that a few manufacturers sell some vehicles for less than it cost to build them). 
For the massed produced automobiles, the production costs for a low-end vehicle compared to a high-end vehicle are not that significant, say on the order of maybe 10 to 20 percent higher.  Yet the price differential between a low-end mass-produced vehicles to a high-end mass produced vehicle typically are on the order of 200 to 400 percent, some can be as high as 800 percent higher (Mercedes A Class to S Class).
That is quite a difference for something that has an engine, a body, some seats, doors, windows, headlight, tail lights, and four wheels in contact with the ground, whose real requirement is to move you and yours, and possibly some limited amount of materials from point A to point B in a safe, reliable manner, with a modicum of comfort (not too hot, not too cool, and dry).  About as a utilitarian mission as one can define.
It is important to remember that an automobile is a tool.  The purpose of this tool is stated in the preceding paragraph.  An automobile is not a fashion statement; it is not a net worth statement (whether real or imaginary).
The automobile dealer wants and needs you to fall in love with beast.  He wants and needs you to be emotionally and irrationally tied to that vehicle.  That vehicle being the one that he has in his show room, not the one back at the factory.  Yes it has just a few items on it that you do not want, and he will sacrifice just a little profit so that you will not have to wait for the one that the factory has not yet built that will have only the features that you require.  You can move off your requirements just a little and he will move off the price just a little, it is a win/win situation (at worse it is a lose/WIN situation, more times than not it is (win/WIN situation), and you can drive it home today (With Approved Credit).
An automobile should be looked at with no emotions, you do not look longingly on an open-end wrench, or a blade tip screwdriver, or a belt sander, or a nail gun (if you do then serious professional help is indicated and rather quickly I might add), why should you do the same for this tool.
The most salient fact for you to remember about an automobile is as follows: At the end of the day it is sum of all of the money that you have spent on the bloody thing (total cost) to drive all of the miles that you have driven that is important.  For many of us, those not so fortunate to be in the upper 3 percent of income or net worth, how much it cost to operate a vehicle is fundamentally important.  For many it will be the second largest purchase that we will make in our life, our house being are largest, so it is a big deal.
Like many things in life the basic equation is simple how much have you spent to date on the car divided by the total number of miles driven on the car.  But we all know that the devil is in the details.
The picture gets even scarier if you do not limit the calculation to just one vehicle at time but accumulate all of the costs and miles driven over each vehicle that you have owned.  Every time you replace an existing vehicle you add another significant step increase to the cumulative cost term of the equation.

Obliviously one wants to keep the numerator (Did not know it was going to be a test, remember that term from math class? Ok it is the top number) as small as practical.  One wants to keep the denominator (it’s the bottom number as large as possible).  If you can do this for a long time you get the lowest cost per mile driven.  It sounds so simple, yes?
Things that go into the numerator are Purchase price, Interest, insurance, maintenance and repairs, cost of fuel, and disposal cost.
Things that go into the denominator, well that is pretty simple miles driven.
From this basic equation four facts should jump out at you.  First you must control the initial purchase price.  Second is that one must keep the car you have for a long time.  Third is that the vehicle needs to extremely reliable or really cheap to fix.  Finally fourth is that the vehicle should be as fuel efficient as possible.  The order that they were stated is important.
One of the first things that I do when I (Your Mother) start to think that I need a new car is I build a little spreadsheet, yes I know I am so predictable, but it is a world of cold cruel hard numbers, and sometimes it is easier to let you mother argue with the spreadsheet.
I pick a likely candidate, perform some research on various items, list price, interest rates, bank terms (although you and I know from your mother that I have not finance a car in for quite a while, most of the time we just paid cash (the cars were that cheap, and the interests rates were high). This is typically the least cost effective path, although sometime it has not been the case (I miss those zero finance days), stated fuel economy, what grade of fuel does the vehicle require, what are the current cost per unit volume of the fuel, insurance costs, cost of replacement tires, cost of scheduled maintenance, and that is just the first pass.
I also pick at least 3 other likely candidates, remember I am not in love with the car it is just a tool.  I gather the same data for these vehicles.  I put all of this into a spreadsheet and let the numbers fall where they fall.
There is a short cut, and that is if the reported (EPA) mileage numbers are close, within 5 percent, and the fuel grade is identical, and the tire sizes are the same, insurance cost are within 5 percent, and cost of schedule maintenance are with 5 percent, then the only real driver for the study is the initial purchase price, since all of the other variables are not really variables between the candidate vehicles.
If they are not close then a little more work will be required, but not that much more.
I typically base this on the assumptions that I will own the vehicle for at least 60 months (5 years, people will actually allow terms on an automobile for that long), and that I will drive 20,000 miles per year, or 100,000 miles total.  That I will have at least two complete tire replacements, that I will have replaced the battery once, that I will have the scheduled maintenance perform at the recommend interval, for at least as long as the vehicle is cover under the manufacturers warranty.
One of the candidate vehicles will win.  If it is a tie, then I will let Doctor Nickel decide. The win may not be by much, but it is like Golf, the vehicle with the lowest cost per mile driven is selected, as I said earlier it is a world driven by cold cruel hard numbers, and that is why I do not drive a Mercedes-Benz SL500, although you mom would look great in one.
And now you know why I drive a car that is 11 years old, that is very reliable, with a better than average gas mileage (The Honda Civic HX), and when it does need something replaced I go ahead and have the work done.  Your mom also looks great in the civic also.
Every now and then you will hear a discussion between your mother an I about getting a new car, especially when mine needs to have a repair performed, and in the end I just end up spending a few hundred dollars to repair the car versus ten thousand plus dollars to purchase a new one, and the ride down the cost per mile curve, why add any most costs to the system then you absolutely need to, besides your mother has lost the argument with the spreadsheet.
Here is the part that makes it all better, for every dollar in cost that you do not incur is a dollar that you can invest into something that will return your capital to you, granted at first it is a little, but you are starting to harness the most powerful force in the Universe, and before you know it the ripple is brook, the brook a stream, the stream a creek, the creek a river.  It just takes times and patients.  By the way at the end of 30 year and 300,000 miles the difference between owning just one car and owning 3 cars is on the order $100,000.00 Dollars with out any compounding interest.
So build your river, not some other guy’s.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

May the Circle be Unbroken

Maj. Gen. James T. Ruebeor was one of my first posts on this site, and from time to time I go back and see just what has happened to these plucky few individual that I have written about.
Maj. Gen. James T. Ruebeor (Ret) must be a cat.  James just keeps landing on his feet, even though the Letter of Reprimand he received in January 2011 did end his active duty career it just took 9 months.  Maj. Gen James T. Ruebeor retired rather quietly no formal announcements, one day here, the next day gone.
I guess that James was just not that promotable with that letter in his 201, and the very limited number of Flag Rank position available, how would CSAF, SECAF and SECDEF explain his promotion, well at least he did not shoot down one our own (like some Navy admiral want a be), granted it would have been extremely difficult if not impossible doing it with a C-5.  No all he did was ruin another officer career, in such a capricious and wanton manner that even the Inspector General of the Air Force was shocked.
Maj. Gen. James T Ruebeor was allowed to retired (rather quietly mind you) with 33 years of service (1978 to 2011) at the rank of Major General, with a before tax retirement salary of 103K$ per year, another year and he could have been bring home 108K$.
He then just dropped off the face of the earth, but not for long.
But rejoice just like Lazareth he has risen, courtesy of SKAB (Sky King Academy Brotherhood), in August 2012 he assumed the position of Deputy Chief of Safety, U.S. Air Force, and Executive Director, Air Force Safety Center, Kirkland AFB, N.M.  I wonder who signed off that.  Good thing this position does require congressional oversight, or maybe it should?
Maybe James could not get a position with a defense contractor?
Guess it was tough living on that retirement pay.  Please do not worry about James, for in addition to his retirement pay, he now draws another salary for the People of the United States some where between 119K$ and 179K$
James T. Ruebeor is now bring home before taxes somewhere between 222K$ and 282K$, he has made it back into the 1 percent club.
That is just amazing.  Only in America, you just have to love this place.  Truth is stranger than Fiction, cannot make the crap up other people just actual do this for real in their every day lives for us.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Phil Mickelson plans “drastic changes” over taxes

The last time I checked becoming a profession golfer was a personal choice, provided one had the talent and you could play well enough to earn a PGA Tour card, by one of three methods.  Which Phillip did back in 1992.  Atta-boy Phillip.
But at the end of the day no one forced Phillip Alfred Mickelson to become a Professional Golfer.  No forced Phillip Alfred Mickelson to continue to be a Professional Golfer.  No one forced Phillip Alfred Mickelson to make San Diego California his home (he could have stated in Arizona).  Nor did any one force Phillip Alfred Mickelson to continue to call San Diego California his home, or for that matter to call any city in California to be called his home.  No one has forced Phillip Alfred Mickelson to continue to be an American Citizen.
Phillip Alfred Mickelson had no choice in the beginning of being an American Citizen, which was just an accident of where he was born (San Diego, California).  But after is 18th birthday Phillip Alfred Mickelson did have the choice to determine what country he wanted to be a citizen of, and as of this writing 21 Jan 2013, Phillip Alfred Mickelson is still a citizen of the United States of America, just how lucky can America be?
Phillip Alfred Mickelson life to this point has been hard, difficult, exhausting, excruciating, and an exercise in sheer mental terror earning as of the 2012 season $67,644,698.00 Dollars.  This ranks him as number 2 among professional golfers for earnings.  Phillip could you have made this kind of money lets say in the Afghanistan Professional Golf Association?
Phillip Alfred Mickelson made all of those choices by his own free will.
Now Phillip Alfred Mickelson quoted as because of the high taxes he is going to make some “drastic” changes.  Now Phillip could also be that at 42 year of age you are on the backside of your golfing career?  Since January 2010, you have only had three tournament victories.
Phillip Alfred Mickelson if is all too much for you then by all means quit, quit the PGA, quit San Diego, quit California, quit the United States of America, by all means just quit.  But most importantly quit whining.
To paraphrase Nike, “Just Quit”

Friday, January 18, 2013

Advice to my Son

This is the first in what I hope to be a series of post to and for my son.  The purpose is to distill some of the hard lessons that your mother and I have learned over the past 50 some years, alright in my case it is so close that we can call it 60+ years, you came late into our lives, and in my case much later.
At this time in your life you live in a house that is paid for (this will not always be the case when you start out), you attend a school that is rated to be in the upper 10 percent of school (Your Mother and I have the means and ability to do this, we both took less when we were young in order to have something when we were older).  Your mother and I live well, but more importantly we live well but well within our means.  I drive a car that is over 10 years old (that is another lesson for another post).  Your mother’s car is 6 years old.  We eat health meals, nothing too expensive, and in moderation.  We both have saved much of our salaries, we have what many would consider to be a high net worth, and yet our incomes are not excessive.  Your Mother and I have put a great emphasis on being educated, on exercising self-restraint, on self-reliance, we expect this from you.
Order of Precedence’s of things in my life, first is your mate, then your children, then your parents, yourself, and your aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  It is an unfortunate fact of life that you will have to do a great many things that you really do not want to do, hopefully there are more sweet days than there will be sour days, but there will be sour days.  The test is how you handle the sour days.  Your attitude will determine just how bad these task can be, do not make them any worse than they already are by having a poor attitude, push through them, move on, and do not dwell on them, you will be happier in the end.
You may think that it sucks, but you do not need to say it.  You are not required or expected to point out the obvious.  Use the 10 second rule, before you respond to a question, it is better to be thought be slow rather than to actually be slow.
Where we are as a family, where you are as an individual did not happen by accident.  This has been our (your mother and my) plan from the beginning.  Granted many things are and were not in our sphere of control, and therefore the plan had to adapt to the changing situation.
When you were young you were told many times about the story of the Grasshopper and the Ants, and unlike the Walt Disney version that you watched many times as child, my version of the story was a darker version.  The ants eat the hapless grasshopper as their first meal of the winter, thus saving their reserves for the up coming winter.  The ants do not know how long or hard the winter will be and they have planned for the worse.  It is better to have excess at the end of the winter then to be wanting.
You have heard this story so many times that you roll your eyes when it is mentioned, followed by those words that many a parent has heard in that exasperated tone that only a teenager can muster “Dad, I Know!” but what it teaches is important to your success in the future.
I always told you that you had a choice in life, you can be a Grasshopper, or you could be an Ant.  Your sister made her choice to be a Grasshopper, although lately it seems that even she is starting to become an Ant, time and children will do that to some individuals.
Your mother and I made our choice to be mostly Ants.  We all must live with our choice.  Only you know what your choice will be.  Both have their good points and both have their bad points.  Ants live for the future, Grasshoppers live in the moment.  You need balance.  From my limited observations, it appears easier for an Ant to sometime live in the moment, rather than a grasshopper to live for the future.  It takes a long time to save and build a nest, it takes almost no time to spend it and destroy it.
Along with the story of the grasshopper and the ant was the story of the little bird that decided not migrates with the rest of the birds, until it was too late.  Your response is pretty much the same as with the Grasshopper and the Ant story.  The salient points of this story being, that not everyone who craps on you is your enemy, not everyone who digs you out of the crap is your friend, and when you are covered in crap it is really nothing to sing about.
I tried to teach you what I called “First Thing First”, and what I meant by that was that you needed to provide for the basics first; Food, Clothing, and Shelter, and the nice to haves second, and wants to have third and last.  The trick is determining what is a nice to have and what is a want to have.  Along the same lines was the requirement to complete your assigned task as soon as possible, so as not to be tripped up by the unexpected or to interfere with a special day (Crusade Project your Birthday, enough said).
We have tried to teach you caution, to keep your mouth closed, to listen to what is actually being said, and who is actually saying it, and why are they are saying it.  Not to infer or assume facts that are not in evidence.  To ask your self silently what is in it for them, what is in it for me, and can you afford it.  Is too good to be true? Does it defy reason and or logic?  To know how much something is going to cost you, and whether you can afford it is important and in many case very difficult to know, but know it you must, cause you are one who will have to pay the piper.  That to a much more certain extent you can exercise somewhat more control over what you own, you cannot control something that you do not own.
You heard me tell the individuals of the various groups that I commanded and managed that their first responsibilities was to be true to themselves, to be true to other members of the group, to be true to their leaders, to be true to company/organization, but if and only if the they were true to you.  That their first job was to be looking for their next job, because no job is forever, employment with the company was at best semi-permanent, and at worst temporary.
Another lesson that was taught to you while you were in our house was PAO, to persevere, to adapt, to overcome.  Live and things are hard, and just because they are hard is not a reason to quite.  With practice comes mastery with mastery comes success.  On other occasions you have been instructed to “RTFM” and to look in the index first.
As you were growing up you were also told the story of the Horse and the Rider.  That in life you do have the choice of being either the Horse or the Rider.
The Horse is big and powerful, but is driven only by emotion, is purely reactive to the situation.  The Horse first instinct is to panic and run, or to strike out.  The Horse is contented to just wander around with no purpose.  The Horse in not capable of planning for the future, the Horse only lives in the moment.
The rider on the other hand is driven by thought, knowledge and purpose.  The rider is capable of controlling the Horse.  The rider is capable of using the Horse to accomplish the rider’s purpose, but he must understand and control the horse.  The rider knows the difference between the windy cold rainy field and a warm dry barn, and acts accordingly.  It is hoped that in your life you should choose to be the rider rather than the horse.
In less than 4 year you are going to be leaving for College, it will be a wonderful adventure and a challenge, and I am sure that it appears to be scary.  If you’re mother and I and your teachers have done our jobs correctly you will succeed.
It is acceptable to be apprehensive about this journey that is normal it is your inner self-saying, “be alert and remain alert”.  It is not acceptable to be afraid (Horses are afraid), all this will do is cause your to freeze up and become an easy target.  From the words of one of your favorite books “Do Not Panic”.  Untold numbers of others have made this journey and many more have succeeded than failed.
I can see by many of your daily actions that most if not all of these lessons that were taught to you early have stayed with you.  They have grown to the point where they are muscle memory.  But the lessons still need to be reviewed from time to time to keep the memory sharp.
One incident that still stands out in my memory is when the minister asked you who was your favorite person or story from the bible when you were in the Fourth grade.  She was floored by your answer (JOB), in the many years that she had been a minister she could not remember any other child naming this individual, much less the reason (He never quite believing in God) you told her why this individual made such an impression.
As I said this is the first of several posts.
Have a health, happy, and productive life.  Find a profession that you truly enjoy, and that will provide you and yours with the material needs that you require to live rather than exists.  It is the journey, and how you conduct your self that is important.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

They’re Back

The Amityville Horror, AKA F-35B is back in the news.  “Rick, there are Cracks in the Fuselage, I tell you, I am shocked, shocked I tell you”.
Another structural failure observed and reported in the continuing saga of the certification of the airframe to it (Sic) operational design lifetime of 16000 Hrs.  And they were so close, well closer than the last time structural failures were observed and reported.  This time the observed failures were report around the 7000 Hrs. mark.  Back to the drawing board for that part, that has got to hurt LockMart bottom line (probably not LMT executive will present some argument as to how and why it is the DOD fault, and that DOD should pay for it), after DOD has already paid to fix this problem once before, and given the United States Budget issues, and especially the DOD portion of the budget issue, are we the people going to be asked to pony up for this error (Yes).
On a side note it is a very challenging engineering problem, to design and build an aero structure that will meet the reliability requirements and yet still be light enough to not make too big of a dent in the performance envelope of the aircraft, it will be a trade off between the two requirements, one gives you an under performing airframe that will last for a long time, and the other givers you an airframe with an excellent performance envelope but does not hold up to the daily grind, and becomes a maintenance whore.  But either way at the end of the day it will be a very expensive airframe to operate and maintain.
This latest development begs the several question about the F-35 program and its two most troubled variants F-35B (Marines) and F-35C (Navy), not that the F-35A part of the program is a thing of beauty and a cakewalk.
F-35B cannot seem to get pass the 8000 Hrs. mark, without a cracks in the bulkhead flange, and mind you this is the redesigned bulkhead flange, aka the Mark 2 design.  So I guess it off to redesign and we try it a third time, aka the Mark 3 design.  Mean while the aircraft being produced are with the Mark 2 design bulkhead, the prototypes had the Mark 1 design bulkhead.
Questions abound about this latest issue.  One question concerns just how good is the software that was used to design the Mark 1 and Mark 2 bulkhead flange, and possibly the Mark 3 bulkhead.  Maybe the third time is the charm.  Or it could just be the definition of insanity, you know doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.  Lockheed has now done it twice and the results were pretty close to being the same.
Just how good is the finite element simulation software that was and is being used in the design and development.  It might be that simulation software is acceptable but that the tuning parameters were in error.  It might be that the simulation software is not acceptable and the tuning parameters were in error.  Could it be that the aero structures engineers just do not have a very good handle of the stress, strains and vibrations that this particular part of the airframe is experiencing, or has Lockheed just run out of Unobtainium.
The program is very quite on the F-35C front, and the continuing efforts to carrier qualify this variant.  Not very many if any successful traps, something to do with the arresting hook location on the airframe (too far forward relative to the main landing gear, due to the main landing gear being placed so far aft on the airframe and the of the general absence of any significant load bearing flight elements aft of the main gear, and the high angle of attack required to get the arresting gear to project below that of main landing gear).  All of these many-failed traps have been at the hands of some of the hottest sticks in the service; God knows what it will be for the average Naval Aviator.  Will the F-35C become the Navies new F7U-3?
Night traps were called by many practice bleeding, Day traps were exciting, but nothing compared to a night trap.  Given the very unique flight profile for the F-35C currently being used in the attempts to make a trap, I suspect that day traps in this airframe will become the practice bleeding exercise, and night traps will be just exercises in pure terror.
As said before this program is looking more and more like the TFX/F-111 program.  It is time to cut our losses.  This will be one of the great legacy problems that the out going SECDEF will leave to the incoming SECDEF.  There is a need, for some type of Stealth attack aircraft, more so since the United States Air Force decided to retire the F-117A.  (Yes I know that the F/A-22 can do some of the mission, and the B-2 maybe kind of sort of adapted to parts of the mission, but you really would not want to.)
Given what we do know about the program the question is do we need 2000 plus of the jewels?
The service that is going to be hurt the most if the F-35B is a failure is the United States Marine Corp, the Royal Air Force will be a close second.  There is not follow on for the AV-8B, which are getting pretty long in the tooth, parts are becoming a major issue for this aircraft.  It might be a time for the Marines to start to rethink their doctrine on VSTOL.  Other than in exercises have the Marines been forced in any significant military operation to operate the AV-8B in VTOL mode only, or have they had the luxury of operations from CTOL facilities?
If the issues with the F-35C continue The United States Navy still has a plan B, in the FA-18 E/F/G.  The United States Air Force could continue with the F-35A, but limited the number of airframes purchased to a few hundred, produce a new block variant of the F-16 and or an uprated F-15E.
It comes down to a basic question, which I just have not seen discussed much anywhere, and that is “Just how many stealth aircraft are really needed after you have obtained control of the battlefield airspace”?  Given that the past few major actions would at best be characterized as High versus Low and Stealth is not a predominate factor for a majority of the engagement, it does have it place early in the engagements in the SEAD mission, but once the air defense system have been render ineffective either by being destroyed or due to lack of replacement parts and reloads, stealth does not play any role in the continuing engagement.
An aircraft system that tries to be everything to everyone in the end typically becomes nothing to anyone.  The F-35 is beginning to look that type of weapon system, a veritable Swiss Army knife, it looks good but for many situations, however it is just not that good and for the most part impracticable if not impossible to use in any meaningful way.  Given the total program costs to date that first bomb dropped in anger by the F-35 will be very expensive.
I was taught that war is the application of violence to achieve a desired outcome in an effective, and efficient manner.  Will the F-35 meet this definition?  It should be effective; the question is will it be efficient?
The F-35 is thought of as some type of magic silver bullet.  Stealth will protect it in combat.  The problem is that stealth will only get you so far, yes can delay detection, and yes it can mitigate interception, but once the darkness has been pierced it will not stop holes appearing in the airframe from bullet, or shrapnel.  Just like the British and German night bombers of World War II once you were caught in the spotlights you were shot down no matter what you did.
If the ultimate mission for the F-35 is to penetrate and either destroy or render a high tech oppositions Command, Control and Intelligence infrastructure and systems ineffective we might possibly want to look a cheaper can opener.   Instead of a magic silver bullet, we might want to think about a swarm of a thousand of unmanned or autonomous not so magic silver bullet to do the heavy lifting with a much smaller fleet of manned aircraft to clean up the surviving enemy assets.
You can only swat a few down at any one time, while you are concentrating on the few, the many have already delivered packages, and completed their mission.  They would be the Divine Wind on grand scale.  This is especially true with increased uses of Cruise Missiles, UCAV, and armed RPV.  That is the order that you would use them in.  These systems were either design to make the initial penetrations of enemy airspace or have been adapted to make the initial penetrations of enemy airspace.  When used in significant numbers these systems are capable of the destruction of an enemy’s fixed based ground assets (fixed radar sites, offensive and defensive systems sites, power generation and distribution facilities, communication switching facilities, POL, Logistics and transport facilities, and air defense/operation facilities), and to a limited extent mobile ground based offensive and defensive system.
These various unmanned or remote operated systems are about as exciting as paint drying.  They are cheaper to develop than the current manned aircraft system.  Provided they are developed with either a single mission type or to a few limited mission types their development costs can be easier to control.
It is to be expected that significant numbers of the vehicles will be loss in combat.  In the case of the cruise missiles 100 percent will be loss, therefore they should be the some of the cheapest to produce.  In the case of the UCAV and the RPV initial combat losses rate in excess of 50 percent should be unexpected.  In the cases where damaged UCV and RPV do return, the operational philosophy should be to salvage and then scrap.  Forward field repair should not be an option.  Forward field repair is too expensive.  Salvage and scrap would only be performed at depot levels.
The goal should be to reduce logistics footprint of the forward operational units, it will also reduces the intrinsic knowledge and training level required of the system for the forward deployed personnel (when forward operational loss do occur the pipeline for the replacements are significantly reduced).  On one side it will place more slightly more strain on the logistics system to get fresh rounds/systems out to the forward units and to recovered damaged round/systems.  But on the other side it will significantly reduce the sustainment requirements for the forward units, they are just not going to be that big, food, fuel, water requirements will be significantly reduced.  It takes a great deal of pallet space to support a forward deployed soldier, so every one that you do not have to forward deploy is significant savings.
These systems should be cheap to produce even to the point of reducing reliability of the individual round, and they should be produced in large numbers.  They should be thought of much in the same way as any ammunition round be it a bullet or an artillery shell.  One could argue that in many ways they are nothing more than artillery rounds with greater range (I know that this will hurt the feelings of members of the various services aviation communities, but you all are big boys and girls and you will get over it), with more smarts, but no more smarts than is required to perform its designed function.  But just like the artillery round once it is fired it is on its way.  In the situations where the environment is hostile to the performance of the mission due to counter systems you must put enough of these rounds on the target to overwhelm the defensive system and destroy the target.  The round does not care if it hits a target that has been render ineffective or destroyed by the previous round.
The Israel Iron Dome system is a very nice system, but I am sure that given the right conditions even it can be overwhelmed.  The Iron Dome system is not cheap, and its rounds are not cheap.  You are basically destroying a dumb cheap round with a very expensive smart round.  Economics are not on the defenders side.
Israel has been lucky that to date the opposition forces have not massed enough weapons for such an attempt, or maybe they were just trying to get a handle on the systems performance envelope?  One question that the IDF should be asking is what did the opposition forces learn about the Iron Dome system from their last demonstration?  I suspect that various interested parties were watching and watching intently, observing, and cataloging the various events as they unfolded, and that today they are formulating new tactics and test scenarios.
At the end of the day the winner will be the guy with the last round and the ability to put it down range on the target.  On the surface it appears that it is easier to be the offense (your systems do not have to be that smart, and for that matter that accurate, and if they not accurate you just put a larger war head on it).  The defense has the more difficult problem to solve, and he has to keep solving the problem with a high degree of accuracy and consistence in order to be successful.
The Offense just has to throw enough projectiles at a single target within a limited amount of time to succeed (One big Time on Target problem, with multiple threat axis if possible).
To the new SECDEF, reduce the F-35 Program, it will bankrupt the United States, there are other options available.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What a Wonderful Open and Free Country, and soon it will be even better to Invest in.

According to a Bloomberg article
It seems that someone, somehow, and somewhere proposed legislation in Hong Kong to amend the current laws and regulations to obscure the residential addresses and full identification numbers of company’s director.  This legislation would also block this information an any and all historical filings.  This was proposed back in November 2012, but it is just now seeing the light of day.
The various agencies and governmental departments are silent, as I expect them to be, and it would not be too much of a stretch for them to remain so, after all they know who butters their toast.
In the past this information has been used by member of the media and hedge funds to either show how the many and various off springs (Children, Grand Children and even Great Grand Children) of the “Immortals” have prospered and grown to become the uber rich of the Peoples Republic of China, or to show how various individual with less than sterling character are connected to various business with questionable reporting practices.
In both cases it has cause a great deal of embarrassment for these individuals as they have been asked to explain how they have achieved so much success.  Additionally it has caused much embarrassment to various government officials, as they have had to explain how such a thing could have happen on their watch.
The parties involved, the Communist Party and the uber rich want the spotlight turned off, and they want it turned off quickly.
Corruption has been an ongoing and increasing issue in China, especially as the stakes have become greater.  It has reached the point where it was even reported as a main topic of discussion at the recent 10-year party meetings.   Part of the party faithful are so concern that this issue may be the one item that will end their control of the country, and they are bring pressure on the party leadership to address the issue before the issue address them.
For at some point, at some time, Horton will hear a Who, and then there will be some significant portion of the 1.6 Billion Chinese’s that will be pissed off enough to change the system.  The Communist Party via the government should be able to keep a lid on this problem for a few years, but in the end I suspect that this will be one of the main issues that will tear the country apart, eventually the toothpaste will find the weak spot in the container.
Mean while all of this should give significant pause to any and all investors in China.  Yes it is true that there is a potential for great profits to be made in this country.  The question is does any body really believe that Mrs. McGillicutty of Sandusky Ohio, or for that matter Mrs. Feng Shui of Lijiang will make it.  It will be made by individuals on the inside, and not by some Laowai. (For those more familiar with Japanese the term is Gaijin, or those familiar with German it is Ausländer)
There have been several instances where the accounting practices in some of their companies has at best been or is questionable, at worst criminal, and the shareholders, at least those unlucky enough not to get out early have been financially wiped out, strange the Directors of the companies never seem to be in this group.  I guess the directors are a lucky lot.
With this proposed rule, now it will be even more difficult to track the various questionable players through their various companies.
It has been obvious that the Communist Party, and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, would like to hide the problem, rather than deal with it in the light of day.  Why else would they even entertain such a change to the registration of Company Directors?
So as they say Caveat emptor.  Invest/Risk some money in China, but please do not bet the farm.  Invest only what you can afford to lose.  Take profits early and often.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

WTFAH (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Alpha Hotel)

My apology to all this is a long rant.
The good news is that the Senate Armed Services Committee of the 112th Congress failed to act on the appointment of Captain Timothy W. Dorsey USNR.  Therefore Captain Dorsey will not be advance to the rank of Rear Admiral (Lower Grade) for the time being.
Captain Dorsey nomination for advancement will have to be reposted for consideration.  The Department of the Navy via the Secretary of the Navy will have to forward his nomination to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, for the Secretary of the Defense to forward to the Office of the President, for the President to forward to the Senate Armed Services Committee of the 113th Congress for their consent.
Some have said that the Senate Armed Services Committee of the 112th Congress balked at his nomination, I think otherwise since they were strangely silent on the subject.  I suspect that the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee just decided to let his paper work set in the corner until it would just evaporate at the end of the term of the 112th Congress, it is easier to explain that time ran out, or that there were more pressing issues versus the committee stating that this individual is not acceptable.
Captain Dorsey was dragging some pretty ugly chains.  These chains (the actions of Captain Dorsey when he was a Lt. Jg.) were made known by parties outside the Department of the Navy (who had material evidence), to members of the Senate in early 2012.  This event does call into question the process, and procedures that the Admiral selection board uses for selecting candidates, at least there is some public review of the proposed promotion.  This public review (Congressional) for Field Grade/Mid Grade Officers is missing; otherwise I suspect that Lt. Jg. Timothy W. Dorsey would have had his career in the United State Navy end earlier.
It must be noted that inclusion of Captain Timothy W. Dorsey name on the  Reserve Restricted Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Line Selection for FY-13 did not originate in the Office of the President of the United States.  The inclusion did not originate in the Office of the Secretary of Defense,  The inclusion did not originate in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.  The list was created by a process within the Navy Personnel Center.

The list is the results of the Rear Admiral (Lower Half) selection board they actual create the list.  The list is approved by senor member of that board and forwarded to NPC, where the commander NPC where in theory it is reviewed and approved.  The list is sent to the Chief of Naval Operations where again according to theory it is reviewed and approved.  The list is then passed to the Secretary of the Navy.  Not really sure how much review if any is performed at this level.   The list finally is forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  Not sure how much review is done at this level, I suspect that it is felt that everything should be acceptable by the time it reaches this office.   For that matter I suspect that is also true for the Secretary of the Navy office.  The Office of the President gets it next, and finally it goes to the Senate.
Captain Dorsey continued career in the U.S. Navy more importantly calls into question the judgment and veracity of the members of the various promotion selection boards that have decided his fate over these past 20 plus years.  Just to be clear this is just not a Department of the Navy issue, it is an issue with Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force; they all use pretty much the same book.
The following is a link to the ALNAV 11/12
This is the official BUPERS-NPC document which announcement for Reserve Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Line Selection for FY-13.  This is the document where Captain Timothy W. Dorsey USNR name is forwarded to the Senate for confirmation.  One should pay particular attention to Remark number 2.  Remark number 2 states
It is just a fancy way of saying just because your name is on the list it does not mean that you are home free.  The requirement for civilian control of the United States military must be performed, and if and only if you have passed that hurtle will the Secretary of Defense consider to you for Frocking.
If the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense, and President of the United States are even half way awake, he will just bow to Senate and let this nomination disappear into a rarely cited footnote of history.  Captain Timothy W. Dorsey should be allowed to slip out of the United States Naval Reserves just as quietly as he slipped in.
If you want to know what is fundamentally wrong with the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy here is your poster boy Captain Timothy W. Dorsey USNR call sign “SMOKE”?
Some of it is reported in the Stars and Stripes

The Department of Navy forward this individual name to the Secretary of Defense for nomination for promotion to Admiral and the Secretary of Defense office forward his nomination for promotion to Admiral to the Office of the President of the United States, and finally to the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the Department of Navy did not inform the Secretary of Defense or his office that this individual had been involved in a incident in 1987 until after his name had been forwarded to the Senate via the Office of the President.
In 22 September 1987 while assigned to USS Saratoga (CV-60), Carrier Air Wing 17, Squadron VF-74, while in command of a F-14-70-GR (BuNo 162707) this individual in a willful and flagrant disregard for orders and procedures did intentionally fire an AIM-9 (Sidewinder) at and hit and destroy another aircraft (Vodka 51 USAF RF-4C-22 69-0381) in in a training exercise. 

The crew (Capt. Michael Ross (A/C), and 1st Lt. Randy Sprouse (WSO) of the Zweibrucken AB based (26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron) based RF-4C were able to eject from the wreckage of their aircraft.  Helicopter assets (HS-3) (SH-3H) off the USS Saratoga rescued the USAF crew and recovered them back aboard USS Saratoga (CV-60).

At the time the following individuals were in the Lt. Jg. Timothy W. Dorsey local direct chain of command.
James B. Busey IV, Admiral, Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR/CINCSOUTH) (Retired Admiral 1989)
Kendall E. Moranville, Vice Admiral, Commander 6th Fleet (Retired 1988 Rear Admiral Upper Half)
Jeremy M. Boorda, Rear Admiral, Carrier Battle Group 8 Commander
David E. Frosts, Captain USN (USNA 1963), Captain USS Saratoga CV-60.
Austin E. Chapman, Captain USN (USNA 1963), Commander Carrier Air Wing -17 (Retired Captain, 1993)
Michael F. Rioux, CDR, Commander Squadron VF-74. (Retired Captain, 1990)
An investigation was held, and report was publish (Not for release outside of the Department of Defense, sometime we just cannot stand the truth (wait that was another movie)) and recommendations were forwarded to the convening authority, the investigative report contained several items of interest, a few of which might have mitigated Lt. Jg. Timothy W. Dorsey culpability in this incident, but most beyond a shadow of a doubt reinforced his culpability and duplicity in this incident.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey initial mission on that day was Fleet Defense, which is why his aircraft was load with live ordinance.  Documented Rules of Engagement for the exercise clearly required that participating aircraft were not allowed to carry live ordinance.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey was re tasked to the training exercise while performing a normal Fleet Defense mission, thus bring an armed aircraft into the exercise.  Why the individual who authorized this action was not disciplined in unknown to this author.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey it is reported had only 245 hrs. Flight hours. Unknown number of hours in the F-14’s at the time of the incident. (He was a “Nugget”).
Lt. Jg. Dorsey upon locating the USAF aircraft asked for and received permission to engage the target.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey then proceeded to engage the target, where upon he brought up and armed the AIM-9 missile on the left side of the aircraft, after confirming that the missile is “GOOD”, and that the target has been acquired by the missile via tone lock, he then attempted to launch the AIM-9.  The AIM-9 failed to launch (Motor Failure).  After this event Lt. Jg. Dorsey sounds somewhat to be slightly confused when the missile fails to launch.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey continued with the engagement, he then selected the AIM-9 mounted on the right side of the aircraft.  He brings up the missile verifies that it is “GOOD” and then arms the AIM-9.  After confirming target acquisition via tone lock, he then launched the AIM-9.  At the time of the launch Lt. Jg. Dorsey is between 5000 and 2500 feet from the target aircraft (The F-14 is above, behind and slightly offset of the rear of the RF-4C).
All during this process the Radar Intercept Officer profanity filled screams asking Lt. Jg. Dorsey just what is he doing is being recorded via the HUD recorder.
All of this is not a matter of conjecture or debate, since the F-14’s HUD video recorder has captured all of the events. 

The RF-4C is visible in the HUD, and located within the Kill Box.  Lt. Jg. Dorsey is so close to the RF-4C that at 2500 feet the fire control system issue a break away warning.  The tail code for Zweibrucken AB (ZB) is clearly visible in the video for most of the engagement.
The missile was observed to impact slight forward of the tail of the RF-4C, which results in a large fireball, which destroys the rear of the aircraft, which results in a loss of controlled flight for the aircraft, the RF-4C proceeds to enter a flat spin as it starts to breakup.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey had to perform a break maneuver to keep out of the impact zone of the missile.  Both crewmembers ejects from the aircraft at approx. 5500 feet, at 550 Knots, in a -2.5 G environment. 

Both occupants are rendered unconscious by the ejection.  Captain Ross is partially out of the ejection seat due to the g load he is experiencing since he is further forward in the airframe.  Captain Ross is pinned to canopy and the cockpit side rail; it is a miracle that he survived the ejection.  The seat eqress command selector switch had been set to both, which mean that if either of the crew had pulled the egress handles both individual would be ejected. 

The ejection sequence would be for the WSO seat to activate first, and A/C pilot’s seat to sequence second.  This keeps the back seat guy from being killed (cooked and burned) by the front seat rocket motor exhaust.
Both crewmembers regain consciousness prior to entry into the water.  Both crewmembers then successfully deploy their water survival equipment.  They will spend 45 minutes in the water before being recovered by a SH-3H from HS-3.
Captain Michael Ross, at the time was found to have suffered a broken wrist, and two separated shoulders, and a compression fracture of his spine.  Lt. Col Michael Ross would later have to be medically retired six months prior to full retirement date. Lt. Col Ross now has a degenerative spinal condition.  It is also unfortunate that Captain Ross call sign was changed to “Squid Bait”.  At the very least the Department of the Air Force and the Department of Defense should review Lt. Col Michael Ross retirement situation, it has a funny odor, it might have be according to the regulations, but it does not appear to be just much less fair, and in certainly not accordance with all the crap that I see on AFN about how we take care of our own.
The ejection injuries and any long-term resulting conditions associated with the ejection by 1st Lt. Randy Sprouse are unknown to this individual.
As soon as the USAF RF-4C is hit the Lt. Jg. Dorsey's RIO transmits the following on the exercise and guard frequencies.
It was not Lt. Jg. Dorsey who called in the shoot down.
In his questioning by the accident (sic?) investigation board Lt. Jg. Dorsey was asked if he had intended to shoot a live missile.  Lt. Jg. Dorsey responded in the affirmative.
Most damming is the following statement from the accident investigation report.
“The September 22, 1987, destruction of USAF RF-4C was not the result of an accident, but the consequence of a deliberate act. His subsequent reaction [to the radio command] demonstrated an absolute disregard of the known facts and circumstances."

“He failed to utilize the decision-making process taught in replacement training and reacted in a purely mechanical manner. The performance of Lieutenant Timothy W. Dorsey on September 22, 1987, raises substantial doubt as to his capacity for good, sound judgment.”

Lt. Jg. Dorsey was not court-martialed.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey was permanently removed from Flight Status (Thank God for little favors)

Lt. Jg. Dorsey was placed into a non-flight assignment. (Shore Duty, keeping some other officer deployed at sea).
Lt. Jg. Dorsey is allowed to serve on active duty for another 4 years. (God only knows why, and she is to talking).

Vice Admiral Kendell E. Moranville as Commander 6th Fleet could have had charges preferred against Lt. Jg. Dorsey, but the Admiral was having some ethics issues of his own at the time.  He was under investigation for improprieties involving travel claims and use of government aircraft while he exercised command of the United States 6th Fleet, and as I will explain latter that maybe where Lt. Jg. Dorsey father may come to play in the story.
There were reports that some of the incidents involved allowing a female friend (Employed by the United Services Organization in Naples) to fly illegally on military aircraft, although the Department of Defense will neither confirmed or denied these statements.  What is known is that Vice Admiral Moranville received a Flag Letter of reprimand and was allowed to retire.  The Chief of Naval Operations (Admiral Carlisle A. Trost (USNA 1953) recommended to the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Navy concurred, that Vice Admiral Moranville would be retired at the rank of Rear Admiral (Upper Half) since the improprieties for which he had received a Letter of Reprimand had occurred while he held the rank of Vice Admiral.
Speculation on my part is that Vice Admiral Moranville knew that the train for him was coming down the track and that maybe by showing clemency for Lt. Jg. Dorsey, it might gain him favor with Lt. Jg. Dorsey father, Rear Admiral (Upper Half) James E. Dorsey Jr., who at the time of the incident on active duty in the United States Navy and leaving his position as Director of Operations (J3) Headquarter U.S. European Command to assume his new assignment as the assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations (N3/N5).

In 1989 James E. Dorsey would be advance to the rank of Vice Admiral and assume the command of the US 3rd Fleet.  James E. Dorsey Jr. at one time had commanded CV-66 America.
There is no indication that his Admiral Dorsey took any overt acts to mitigate his son’s situation, that being said it is highly likely that officer in the chain of command between Lt. Jg. Timothy W. Dorsey and Rear Admiral James E. Dorsey Jr. may have acted in a manner to curry favor. Vice Admiral James E. Dorsey Jr. retired from active duty in July 1991.
Lt. Jg. Timothy W. Dorsey graduated form the Tulane University N.R.O.T.C program and he entered the United States Navy in 1984, he subsequently left active duty in September 1991.
Lt. Jg. Dorsey then obtained slot in the Navy Reserves in 1991.  Is it a coincident that Lt. Jg. Dorsey decides to leave the United States Navy the year his father is scheduled to retire? 

How given his history he was selected this slot another question that should be asked? 

How given his history he is allowed to cross train into this new slot is also another question that should be asked?

His performance in acquiring this new designator is immaterial.  He has a history of performing well in training.  His performance in critical situations is a more pressing question.  How many officers who already held Intelligence designator while on active duty were passed over for this reserve slot?
Timothy Dorsey attended and graduated from University of Richmond School of Law in 1995.
There are reports that one of Timothy Dorsey mentor while at Law school Professor John Paul Jones is also a Naval Aviator,  this is close but it is no cigar.  Mr. Jones was not an aviator, but was a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) also known as the RIO, or GIB.  Mr. Jones also was a graduate of Naval Justice School (1970), U.S Navy Tactical Action Officers School (1976), and U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School.  Mr. Jones had served under Vice Admiral James E. Dorsey Jr.
There are just too many coincidences in this story.  In the words of Justice Brandeis “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”.  This is just not a Navy issue, it is present in all of the services to some extent, and it needs to be corrected.  We the people of the United States need sunlight applied to the various processes currently being exercised by the Department of Defense; to some extent they have become closeted and isolated.
We the people of the United States have been very lucky since World War II.  We the United States have not been forced to fight in active and protracted conflict where the very existence of country is in question.  The Cold War with the Soviet Union was a protracted conflict but the Soviets and we did not suffer casualties like we both experienced in WWI and WWII.  Yes casualties were suffered, but they paled in comparison. 
Our Officer Corps, and especially our General/Flag Officer Corp could and did allow the standards to slip.  Can we afford that now?
I am sure that Timothy W. Dorsey is a credit to his chosen profession of the Law.   As a lawyer, I suspect that he embodies everything that we have come to know about this profession.  I suspect that he is a very smart and clever individual.  I do not doubt that his wife and children love him.  I do not doubt that a great many people that he has causal contact with come away with a favorable opinion.  I do not doubt that his business associates admire him.
But this officer’s career just does not pass the smell test.  I would have grave personal doubt about following this individual into any situation, and entrusting the life and welfare of my children to him in a command position is completely out of the realm of probabilities.
People make mistakes, but there is a big difference in making a mistake by accident, and an individual who according to the accident investigation report, “demonstrated an absolute disregard of the known facts and circumstances” and who’s action “raised substantial doubt as to his capacity for good, sound judgment”. 

One is forgivable; the other is a clear indication that the individual needs to find another line of work in a completely different organization.
Well that is the rant, and I do feel better.  America can sleep better tonight in the knowledge that the system appears to have eventually partially worked, even if it took some 25+ years.