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Archive for December 13th, 2010

I’m Just Askin’…

I read today that it costs about $150 to $200 Million to build ONE F-22 Raptor aircraft.
I read today that we’ve built fewer than 200 F-22 Raptors (about 180 are deployed and in service).  The total cost of development (and purchase) is about $65 Billion.
I read today that the United States has 11, 12, or 13 aircraft carriers in service (depending on your source and what’s considered “in service”).
I read today that the average US aircraft carrier can carry about 85 to 90 aircraft.
Given the number of F-22’s we have in service and the number of carriers we have in service, that means we have about 12 to 15 F-22’s per carrier.  So the other 70 odd aircraft must be of some other type.
I guess 12 to 15 are enough to protect the carrier and do all of the other missions required of the F-22.  But it sure doesn’t seem like many fighter planes to me…
I read today that the US graduates about 700 computer and information security majors a year.
I read today that there are about 25,000 graduates in parks, recreation, leisure or fitness majors every year, and 55,000 English graduates.
I read today that it costs about $22 thousand dollars a year to attend college in the US.
Now, it seems to me that if we are really serious about getting ahead in information technology and computer security, we could trade one single F-22 for ALL the computer science majors four years of education and they would graduate debt free.
Now, it seems to me that if we are really serious about getting the best math and engineer graduates into our classrooms, we could trade one single F-22 for ALL the math and engineering majors four years of education and they would graduate debt free.
A “full and free ride” would encourage a lot more folks to go into technology and security (or math and engineering).
Now I don’t know if two F-22’s are worth 700 computer security graduates or 55,000 English graduates or “X” number of math and science teachers.  I just think about what the trade-off for an unnecessary war in Iraq and a continuing war in Afghanistan are costing us as a nation each year (and I’m not even talking about lives lost and injuries suffered) and I have to ask myself…
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Here are another couple of my own poems.  The first is titled: “For Those Still Here“, and comes from my musings about the cancellation of manned space flights to the rest of the solar system and beyond.
The second is titled: “Seasons Change“, and was written while I was stationed in Hanau, West Germany.  I was sitting on the window sill in my room, watching the snow fall on the street outside our kasserne and thinking about not being home for Christmas, missing family and friends – feeling lonely and sorry for myself.  But, I was also getting “short” (due to complete my term of service) and so it also seemed a hopeful time…
Enjoy.
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