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Sabre Rider

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Everything posted by Sabre Rider

  1. Smart lad, nice to see flippant sarcasm isn't lost on everyone. Basically when we here in North America speak of "terrorist", we really mean Arabs or Muslims or other "Darkies" and conveniently forget that terrorism and terrorist come in all shapes, sizes, colours and religions. There's the Catholic IRA and their Protestant opposites in Eire and Northern Ireland, the Basques in Spain, the various groups in the former Yugoslavia, the Jewish Zionist Groups of the past and our own homegrown groups. Sadly though, we tend only to focus on Islamic Terrorist. I knew a second generation Irish Canadian who took great pride in donating a hundred dollars each year to the IRA, but called for the heads of Muslims after 911.......he couldn't see his own hypocrisy.
  2. Never heard of the IRA? Got most of its funding from Canadian and American Irish.........so lets boot out the lot just to be safe eh?
  3. Too right...................lets start with the filthy Irish..................
  4. ..or how about the Intuitive Dynamic Immersion Optical Telephonic Behavioral Orientation Xperience device?
  5. That was bloody good......now where do I send the bill for my coffee soaked keyboard?
  6. Don't mean a thing to me.......the telly has been gathering dust now for over a year and the net connection is ADSL...Had both cable and satellite in the past, and don't miss them at all.
  7. Lets see, good ole Nixon ® popped in and paid a visit to Chairman Mao, and he first visited the USSR as the Vice President in 1959 and meet with Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow in 1972 as President. And lets not forget Ronald Reagans ® envoy, Donald Rumsfield (R-Neocon) meeting with with Saddam Hussein numerous times in the 1980's. To quote Sandy "What the hell is wrong with these people???". Can it be that they have never met a dictator or tyrant or despot that they didn't like? I find it truly amazing that America's right still gets its panties in a royal twist over a small and basically insignificant powerless nation such as Cuba and Castro, and yet turn a blind eye to the selling off of American economic and national interests to power houses like China. One truly has to wonder where their minds are at or what psychotropic substances they have been over indulging in.
  8. Well actually you can, but usually only after you hit something big.......or gone from riding your motorbike to sliding down the tarmac on your leather clad backside....
  9. ahem, Mr. Harper? Pot, kettle, black sir, pot, kettle, black.
  10. Well there are sillier ideas out there...........there are those who really want to build the Bering Strait Crossing to connect Alaska with Russia...problem is, they only expect it to be usable 4 to 6 months out of the year.
  11. Like to try this again in English?
  12. The BC LINO Party, errr I mean the BC Liberals have already started their attack ads against Carol James and the NDP......give what is going on with the BC Rail Scandal, they should remember the old adage about people who live in glass houses and stones.
  13. Look at the last three rows, that is where you find tolls/traffic projections.....tolls @ 2 Million crossing per week, one way crossing required at a toll of $100 & $75 to break even, its all there if you just look. And I know tolls are based on the type, size and even weight of the vehicle, but for simplicity sake, the calculation are based on a base line of your average car, tractor-trailers and buses can be tolled at 1.5, twice or even three times the rate of your average car.
  14. Sigh, look at my spreadsheet figures....better yet, do you know how to use excel? If so I will send you a spreadsheet that you can play with and you can see for yourself how the numbers work. As for a major challenge, try the biggest engineering challenge going. Nothing like it has ever been attempted, never has such a depth of water and sediment been spanned, never has a crossing across such a length of open water been attempted. Yes it could be done, but at what cost? 12 Billion? More like 25 Billion.
  15. I stand corrected on that point, however they have not broken down the numbers by routes and that is important. Now have you look at the rest of my post? The numbers quoted come directly from a Ministry of Highways report based on a number of independent studies commissioned to look at the viability and cost of a fixed link crossing and I have posted the link earlier, but since you show no sign of looking for it, I'll post it again. From you own link it states that BC Ferries generated a total revenue for that year of $490 million, at best with 100 years to pay off the fixed link you would need $661 Million in annual revenue and that is if all cost remain fixed and that is a short fall off 171 Million. Realistically you would be looking at 25 years to pay off the debt and that would require a yearly revenue of $900 Million or almost twice the revenue that BC Ferries generated ON ALL ITS ROUTES. And again this is only if the best case scenario happened and all cost remained locked for the life of the debt. Focusing on one error on my part does not refute my case that such link is not economically viable nor is it needed. You sadly are not looking at the real numbers in terms of costs and required revenue. The closest crossing that matches the challenges of the fixed link was built in Greece in 2004 at a cost of $1.213 Billion and it was just 2.8 kilometres long. You do the math.
  16. Wilber, I am not even sure where to begin to be honest as it has become blatantly clear you have little idea about how transportation tariffs/tolls, capital cost, or debt servicing works. To put cruelly and bluntly, you maths are based on simplistic thinking that has no grounding in the real world. However, all is not lost. My background is in transportation along with capital and operational cost analysis, so let me educate you a little. First off, you 4 Million figure is based on erroneous assumptions. BC Ferry's did not transport 8.3 Million vehicles last year but 8.3 Million passengers which included those that drove on, walked on and arrived by bus. This is an extremely important distinction and cannot be over looked or ignored. To move 4 Million vehicles per year among the three major routes would require moving 11,958.9 vehicles every single day of the year. But lets consider bus passenger for a minute as they make up a fair percentage of BC Ferry passengers. For argument sake lets assume that the average Ferry bus carries 30 passengers and that on a an average sailing there are 6 buses and that there are 16 sailings per day on each of the three main routes. Multiply 30 * 6 * 16 * 3 * 365 days and you get a figure of 3,153,600 foot/bus passengers or approximately 79% of your 4 Million figure. Keep this in mind because in is important for the next section. BC Ferry's rates excluding taxes and it's Fuel Surcharge are based on two separate but complementary components, freight or cargo rates and passage rates. The freight or cargo rate is the fee you pay to move your vehicle from Port to Port. This a fixed rate and is independent of the number of passengers in the vehicle. Passage rates are the fees you pay to move a person from Port to Port and are completely independent on how you embark or disembark the Ferry. A car arriving at the terminal with one person in will be charged one freight/cargo fee and one passage fee, a car arriving at the terminal with two or passengers will pay the same freight/cargo rate as the first car plus the passage rate multiplied by the number of passenger in the car. A foot passenger pays the same passage fee as a passenger arriving by a vehicle. Highway and Bridge Tolls work differently, in that they are generally based only on the vehicle crossing the tolled section irregardless of how many people are in the vehicle. It does not matter if you are driving alone in your car when you get to the toll gate or if you have a full load plus a couple in the trunk and one in the ashtray, you will pay the same fee as if you were alone. Now this is very important to remember when it comes to calculating the tolls for a fixed link to Vancouver Island, because you will no longer be counting passenger fees, just cargo or vehicle toll fees. The numbers come a Ministry of Highways report to which I have posted a link to earlier in this thread. However, again your maths are simplistic. For a giggle, I crunched the numbers on a spreadsheet to see what the costs would be and how much the tolls would have to be service the debt required to build a fixed link and to maintain it. The results are not pretty. In my analysis, I made some pretty broad assumption and the numbers generated are what is known as "Best Case Scenario" aka Pie-In-The-Sky forecasting. If you or anyone is interested, I can email a copy of spreadsheet to them, just PM me. The assumptions are as follows: 1- We can actually build the silly thing for 12 Billion and not go over budget. 2- The Government does not opt for a 3P scheme, thereby doing away with then need to generate profit for the private partners. 3- The government funds the construction by selling a coupon type bond paying 5% per annum, paid out monthly, instead of the 9% listed in Ministry's on-line report. 4- The Government can actually sell 12 Billion Dollars worth of bonds in time. 5- The Engineering Gods smile upon us and the fixed link would be finished on time and generating revenue before the first coupon is due to be cashed out. 6- All operational costs including maintenance and insurance fees are locked in for the life of the bonds. 7-Tolls are the same irregardless of the type or size of the vehicle crossing the fixed link. As I said, Pie-In-The-Sky forecasting but it gives us something to work with. Here are the results: (sorry it so hard to read, I had them saved as a jpg but I guess we are not allowed to post images here) Capital Costs And Debt Payment Schedule ----------------------12 Years-------20 Years----------25 Years-----------50 Years----------100 Years Capital Costs: $12,000,000,000--$12,000,000,000--$12,000,000,000--$12,000,000,000--$12,000,000,000 Monthly Bond Rate:----0.416667%-----0.416667%-------0.416667%--------0.416667%--------0.416667% Term of Bond (Months):----144-----------240-------------300---------------600----------------1200 Monthly Service Cost:$110,986,849.63--$79,194,688.71--$70,150,804.98 --$54,496,652.29--$50,342,748.76 Yearly Service Cost:$1,331,842,195.54--$950,336,264.47--$841,809,659.77--$653,959,827.50--$604,112,985.09 Total Interest:$3,982,106,346.49-$7,006,725,289.44-$9,045,241,494.29-$20,697,991,375.03-$48,411,298,508.71 Tariff Schedule Till Bond/Debt Paid Off ----------------------------12 Years-------------20 Years-----------25 Years----------50 Years--------100 Years Yearly Bond & Ops Costs:$1,388,842,195.54--$1,007,336,264.47--$898,809,659.77 --$710,959,827.50--$661,112,985.09 Round Trip Toll At 2Mil X-ing:-$694.42------------$503.67-----------$449.40----------$355.48-----------$330.56 1 Way X-ing At C$100:-----13,888,422----------10,073,363-----------8,988,097---------7,109,598-----6,611,130 1 Way X-ing At C$75:------18,517,896----------13,431,150----------11,984,129--------9,479,464-------8,814,840 And there you have it, the projected tolls on the Ministry page closely reflect the ones I generated. The tolls on any fixed link are going to be prohibitive and will kill off any tourism or business opportunities on Vancouver Island. Day trips will decrease instead of increase, the cost of life's basics will skyrocket and instead of opening up the Island, a fixed link would actually close it off. And remember, I only looked at the cheapest option.
  17. Actually you when combine the max water depth of 365 metres with the max sediment depth of 450 metres, you get a total depth to bedrock of 815 metres or 2,673.88 feet. However there are anchouring systems for bridge spans take can be used on soft sediment footings and do no require a bedrock foundation. However, these are complicated and very expensive to construct and no one ever done it in such water depths before. Also, due to the sediment thickness, building a tunnel such as the UK to France Chunnel is not a viable option, the pressures exerted on such a structure are just too immense.
  18. What you are forgetting is that BC Ferries operates 25 separate routes out of 47 ports, many of these are what you call commuter routes such as the Horse Bay to Gibsons run, the Brentwood Bay run plus the various Gulf Island and mid/northern island runs and the Queen Charlotte Island runs. They did not haul 8.3 million vehicles on the three main Vancouver Island run. Also to pay for building a fixed link, even with a 3P scheme, they will have to "borrow" money. This means a large portion of the toll income will have to go to servicing the debt and to pay profits to the private partners. And a combined return trip tariff of C$520 will greatly diminish the amount of cross Straight traffic, thereby reducing revenue and increasing the time it will take to pay off the debt. As for modern aids to navigation, well to be blunt when it comes to ships, shit has a nasty way of happening. Once while traversing through Active Pass aboard the H.M.C.S. Chignecto (Bay Class Sweeper PFL160) we had a total shut down of both engines that left us adrift unable to move or change our heading. We were slowly being pushed towards the rocks but luckily got the engines fired up again. Cause of the shut down was due to a very experienced Engine Room Petty Officer accidentally kicking a main circuit breaker shut while cleaning up some oil that spilled on the deck. All it would take to destroy a fixed link to the Island is for one bulk carrier to lose power or steerage and plow into the structure, especially if we went with the floating bridge option. And remember, even though freighters and other large vessels may have pilots on board, they are not escorted through the Straight by tugs. And given the water depth of the Straight, dropping ones anchor is not an option when you lose power or steerage, you would run out of anchour cable before you hit the bottom of the seabed. Also, we have had freighters dragging or snapping their anchours during storms and ended up being run aground or beached. Most people really do not know how rough and nasty it can get out there at times. 90% of the time the waters are as smooth as a baby's bum, but that other 10% can be a right bitch of a killer. As for the bridge across the Columbia not being hit yet, well a few years back our own Knight Street Bridge which spans the lesser arm of the Fraser was hit by a barge and was closed down for weeks while repairs were made. Other spans across the world have been hit, it just a matter of time of when and how badly a span gets it. And don't forget we live in a seismically active zone and Kobe, Tokyo and San Francisco have shown us just how vulnerable bridges can be to earthquakes or a tsunami. I for one would not want to be in the middle of a 26 kilometre bridge with 300+ metres of water beneath me when either struck. So yes, while a fixed crossing of Georgia Straight is technically feasible (anything is technically feasible if you throw enough money and resources at it), the cost in capital and risk are just too high to justify at this time. One last thing, the deepest water depth spanned so far is some 80 metres, about 1/6th that of the Georgia Straight.
  19. Funny thing is, most people don't realize that oil itself was originally an alternative energy source that only got going when the then current energy source became scarce. Prior to cracking oil for fuels such as petrol or diesel, oil was cracked to produce kerosene to be used in lamps. (yes this pre-dates the electric light bulb) Gasoline was an unwanted by-product which apart from small quantities begin sold as a solvent, was flushed down the drains. Prior to using kerosene to light lamps, we used whale oil and as demand for whale oil increased, so did the hunting of whales right up to the point where the source was all but depleted. (Sound familiar?) Today we are again starting to face the same problem, an increase in demand for a diminishing supply of hydro-carbon fuels. And while current alternative energy supplies are not yet able to fully replace current hydrocarbons, it is in our best interest to start developing them now then to wait to the last minute.
  20. Problem is, it wont be as cheap as five time the cost of the Confederation Bridge, the closest crossing that matches the challenges of spanning the Straight is Greece’s Rion Antirion Bridge which cost 23% more then the Confederation Bridge and is only about a quarter the length. And that is in 2004 dollars, god knows what it would cost today. A floating bridge is not a viable option for the Straight, given that it is a major international shipping lane seeing 45,000+ vessels of all shapes and sizes plying its waterways annually. All it would take is for a bulk carrier or even a Panamax class Container vessel to plow into a floating section to sever the connection for months. Plus I've sailed those waters while serving on the old Bay Class Sweepers the Navy use to have, believe me when I say the sea conditions out there can rival those of the open Atlantic or Pacific when a strong gale hits. Other shorter floating bridges in more sheltered waters have been destroyed or sunk in what would be considered as moderate conditions on the Straight. Sadly the tolls would not be that cheap. Here is the toll schedule from a BC Government study on the subject, it's not pretty. As I said, not pretty, makes spending C$72 seem like the bargain of the century. Also, the proposed routes terminate in either Nanaimo or Duncan, so not only would you be spending more in tariffs, but also would be incurring additional fuel cost, especially if your destination is Victoria, and these are cost you do not incur while on a ferry. A fixed link crossing of Georgia Straight is one of those ideas that look good at first glance, and if built, would give BC the bragging right to arguably the number one engineering wonder of the world, the truth of the matter is that its a silly idea on both engineering and economical fronts. Right now Canadians are getting their panties in a twist about the Harper Governments plan to spend C$36 Billion on economic relief and infrastructure improvements, can you just imagine the out cry if the BC Government announced it was spending C$12 Billion or more on building a fixed link to the island. It would be pitch forks and torches in the streets of Victoria.
  21. Would they want or take him? After all they are still pissed at us for sending them Celine Dion. Sending them Harper may just push them over the edge.
  22. Sadly, you are comparing apples to oranges here. The C$1 Billion Confederation Bridge to PEI is just under 13 kilometres long with its foundations sitting 35 metres below the waterline on a fairly seismically stable rock bed. Whereas a fixed link crossing of Georgia Straight would be twice as long and need to address the following engineering and geographical issue: * length of a crossing could be up to 26 kilometres That's twice the distance * water depths are up to 365 metres That's 10 time's as deep * deep, soft sediments of up to 450 metres on the ocean bed With its rock bed sea floor, this is an issue not faced by the PEI crossing * potential marine slope instabilities along the eastern side of the Strait could result in future underwater landslides again, not an issue faced with the PEI crossing * extreme wave conditions (4 to 7 metre waves, with 6 metre tides and 2 knot current) * design wind speed of 115 kmh with gusts up to 180 kmh * passage of major ships through the area; and * the need to protect a crossing structure against ship impact (a floating bridge could not withstand the impact of a tanker vessel). While these issues could be addressed, the costs would be prohibitive and the tolls on the crossing would make current Ferry fares seem like the bargain of the century. As it is, there is no fixed link crossing in the world that addresses the engineering issues that a Georgia Straight crossing has. The closest comparable crossing would be Greece’s Rion Antirion Bridge, which was finished in 2004 at a cost of $1.23 Billion and only spanned 2.8 kilometres (that's two point eight k's), or just over 1/10th the distance needed to span across the Straight. As for the Islanders expecting us Mainlanders to subsidize their lifestyle, how are they any different then say those who choose to live in say Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm? After all, we in the Lower Mainland subsidize the highways that connect them to the rest of the Province and nation. The Ferries are part of our Highway system and most likely one of the most ecologically friendly parts of it, and for the time being, they the cheapest and most economical viable option we have.
  23. Possibly and probably. I get the feeling that the knives within the Conservative Party have long been drawn and have been tickling his back ever since he threw away the chance of securing a majority government during the last election. About the only thing that saved the CPC from opposition status was that the liberal leader was such a drip. Many Progressives within the party have never been easy with the Harperites Social Engineering agenda to begin with, and now the latest budget with its unprecedented spending has caused many of the party fateful to question just how Conservative is the Conservative Party really is. I figure the Smirking Chimp is planning on jumping before he is pushed.
  24. To be perfectly honest, I trust the North Koreans about as much as I trust the Americans, about as far as I can throw them with my currently broken arm. One thing I do note is that for all their bluster and sabre rattling, the North Koreans haven't started a war against any of their neighbours since the Korean War, which was my late fathers war, the same however cannot be said of the US. Since the Armistice was signed, how many other nations has America invaded or been to war with? I very much doubt the North Korea would start something, and if they did, it most likely be China and the PRC who would bitch slap them down. In the meantime, North Korea's on again-off again nuclear programme and attempts at rocketry play right into the hands of both western and Chinese Military-Industrial Complexes and we the dumb tax-payers end up footing the bill.
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