Wednesday, February 9, 2011

China Bidding on US Defense Contracts

China Bidding on US Defense Contracts

Sometimes the insanity is just too hard to take. An unprofitable California company and the maker of China's new stealth fighter jet has teamed up to try to bid on U.S. defense contracts, possibly including one to supply Chinese helicopters to replace the aging Marine One fleet used by the president.

Given mounting (thankfully) U.S. concern about China's military power and long-term strategic goals, any Chinese bids for contracts under discussion should be certain to meet intense political resistance and would appear to have very little chance of success.

However, the fact that state-run China Aviation Industry Corp., known as AVIC, is even considering bids for these contracts, reflects the rapid development and lofty ambitions of China's aerospace industry (which is, of course, closely tied to their military).

AVIC has been in talks for more than a year with California-based U.S. Aerospace Inc. about offering the AC-313—China's largest domestically produced helicopter—as the next generation of Marine One. They also say the two companies have been discussing putting forward AVIC's new L-15 trainer jet as a candidate to replace the U.S. Air Force's fleet of Northrop T-38s, which entered service 50 years ago and on which American fighter pilots learn skills such as how to fly at supersonic speeds.

That contract is expected to be one of the most lucrative military aviation contracts this decade, with the U.S. likely to buy about 400 and other allied countries about 600 more as the jet will become the standard for training pilots to fly the U.S. F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.

AVIC already supplies civilian aircraft components to U.S. companies, but U.S. officials and lawmakers have expressed concern about U.S. technology being diverted to AVIC's military arm through such cooperation.

I can not understand how we could even consider bids for these important aircraft from any non-American country –even when an American company is partnered with a foreign company, especially when the foreign country is one who is building up it’s military specifically to challenge ours.

The Death Penalty

Here is a story in today’s on-lie ABC News that brings up a good question:

The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a man convicted in the brutal killings of an elderly Riverside County couple. Albert Jones hogtied, robbed and stabbed to death 82-year-old James Florville and his 72-year-old wife Madalynne in their Mead Valley home in 1993. Lawyers for Jones, who is African American, argued that his death sentence should be overturned because prosecutors tried to bar African Americans from serving on his jury. The court voted 5-2 that Jones should be executed. 

I have been struggling with trying to decide on if I support the Death Penalty or not for several years. Growing up I was a supporter but as I have grown older I have begun to question the morality of taking a human life when the person is in custody and no longer a threat. 

Then I read a story like this one where the crime is so vile and cruel that I feel there is just no punishment to fit the crime. When a person acts so violently, especially against defenseless people who have done them no harm (particularly children and the elderly) it simply demands the harshest possible punishment.

Then there is also a more practical question: How do you justify the public being required to pay the costs of feeding, caring and guarding this person for the rest of his life (10, 20, 30 maybe 40 years)? To say nothing about the risk of his escaping or being declared “rehabilitated” by some panel of bureaucratic psychologists and released back into the public to threaten innocent people once gain.

One major argument is the question of executing a person who may actually be innocent. It has happened more than once. A saying in the justice system is that "it is better to let 10 guilty people go free than to convict one innocent person." That sounds like a good rule to go by -but what if the 10 guilty people are rapists, child molesters and murders? Yeah, I don't know either....

As I said, it is basically a moral question I still struggle with because I can see both sides of the question. I would be interested to know how some of you feel about this.

Live Long and Prosper....


Barco Sin Vela II said...

We could just brick him into a sound proofed room with no connection to the outside. No food and no water or light.

Leave the criminal in the room for 40 days and 40 nights, not concurrently measured. Open the access eighty days later and see if God has forgiven the criminal.

Gary said...

I like it, I like it. But let's make one small change. Let's give him one bare light bulb, always on, and paint the walls and ceiling with big pictures of his victims and their families staring at him.

madhu said...

Barco was well said...

Sample Contracts

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Ok, I'll split the difference. He gets light and pictures of victims for his entertainment. But we still have to wait the period specified to see how the perp is doing.

Gary said...

Sounds like a plan.....