Month: August 2017

Full interview on Bolt Report on Japan’s regional security conundrum

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The full interview can be found on the August 30 podcast from 21:17-34:30  where I discuss Japan’s Constitution Article 9 and 96 and the changing face of Japan’s Self Defense Force moving from “static deterrence” to “dynamic deterrence”  The wheels to defend herself are already well under way

 

This push for identity stereotyping has to stop

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What is with the progressive push to add extra identities for passports, drivers licenses and other official documents? What is this huge push toward exclusivity preached by groups that plead for inclusivity? What is wrong with accepting biology for what it is? You’re born as male or female. You just are. It isn’t political. Whether a man chooses to identify as a 6yo girl is irrelevant. Honestly how much is one’s life going to change by being able to specify an identity?The reality is that hardly any of these people are ‘true’ victims other than in their own minds. The best example of true victims that wanted anything but to be stereotyped can be found on a wall at the Auschwitz museum in Oswiecm, Poland. An identification chart is on prominent display. It marks the deliberate labeling of people’s ‘identities’. One might be a Jew, a homosexual Jew, a political Jew, a gypsy, convict, political prisoner and so on. That your ultimate treatment may vary on what you were identified as. Everyone of these identity seekers today possessing absolutely superior human rights than these people murdered at the hands of true Nazis should visit the hall of pictures. Beautiful families and children who did nothing wrong other than to be Jews.

Look for Reina Kohn. A gorgeous 5yo child who perished. If you don’t weep at her murder there is something wrong with your moral compass.

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Look at the picture of Abraham Feiler. Look at the fear in his face. Murdered for being identified as a Jew

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You mean to tell me that fighting for the right to allow minorities to jail people for using the wrong pronoun (such as that being mulled in California) is in anyway comparable on a victimhood scale vs Abraham Feiler or Reina Kohn?

Time to wake up and end identity politics for good. The reality is that 99% of people have no issues with minorities having the same civil rights as others.

While Australia enters the same sex marriage debate, the 2011 Census highlighted same sex couples as 0.7% of total relationships. Those identifying as husband & wife in same sex couple relationships was less than 0.03%. It is a rounding error. Yet the debate over it is nothing short of sickening in the way it seeks to vilify those who think differently. People saying that you can’t cheer a gay sportsman like Ian Thorpe and then reject SSM. Then we have the Sydney Council spending $100,000 on the “Yes” campaign and Zero on the “No” campaign. Is that in anyway a sign of government respecting all views? Or only the ones that matter.

Yet everyday there is a new fight for some sort of social injustice and safe space trigger warning pushed by people who are so far removed from proper hardship as to beggar belief. Like I said to people when the Fukushima reactor melted down. The further away you get the more hysteric people become.

Forget North Korea. Japan is more worried about China & Russia

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What many are probably unaware of is the changing nature of Japan’s threats in the region and how it isn’t just North Korea. Russia and China have aggressively stepped up their activity in aand around Japan’s territorial waters. In June last year I noted the sharp jump in aircraft and naval activity here.

If you refer to the Japanese Self Defence Force (SDF) White Papers it is clear that the current softly softly approach is completely incompatible with its defence needs. Unbeknownst to many Japan converted its SDF from an agency reporting to the PM to a full blown ministry which can apply for its own funding.

Japan is quickly developing its SDF to be ‘dynamic’ as opposed to ‘passive’. It’s security issues demand it. The latest SDF White Paper can be found here.

 

The concern is the risk of Kim Jong Un missing the target

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At 6am this morning North Korea conducted a missile test which flew between Hokkaido and Japan’s main island Honshu. The real question is not so much the capability of his missiles but their short comings. The reality is a reasonable failure rate (c.33% in the past 3 years alone) has a high level of risk attached to it, especially when sending them over Japanese land. While most failures have been at the launch pad stage, the risk is that should the tracking and guidance systems fail mid flight over Japan even without warheads, considerable damage could be inflicted. Japan said it would shoot down such test missiles when Trump was threatening to intervene several months back but clearly swerved first in this game of chicken.

While Kim Jong Un’s technology is undoubtedly improving, the risk is that eventually it will reach a stage where he can be a belligerent imp with real capability. Up til now his armaments have been relatively crude. The sanctions put on the $12bn economy, mostly China, are biting. These missile tests would undoubtedly be costing Kim a relative bomb (no pun intended) to conduct. Still allowing his people to suffer isn’t a priority. The saber rattling is no different to his father and grandfather before him. Fire a few missiles, threaten others and get a cash injection to shut up and then go away.

Unfortunately this game of geopolitical chess gets worse as his capability gets better. He has nothing to lose whereas his neighbours stand to suffer relatively catastrophic downside. Tokyo is 125x larger in GDP terms than NK. Seoul 68x.

Does he intend to point one at Tokyo, Seoul, Guam or even Washington DC when he has the capability? This argument that a pre-emotive strike on North Korea won’t happen is getting weaker. China knows its strategic value as a buffer to the US. Bribing Pyongyang by buying its ginseng and coal is a cheap form of diplomacy. Beijing’s stance last month was telling. If the US preemptively strikes China will defend Kim. If Kim does anything stupid then he’s on his own.

Still if you know your enemy will eventually get to the stage it can physically harm you and threatens to do so it makes perfect sense militarily to eliminate the threat before it eventuates. After the capability is reached  the risks are factorfold higher. So for every argument that says conflict won’t happen (odds favor it not) the smarter bets will begin to ponder the growing chance something does.

Korean 5yr CDS have jumped 4bps to 62 today, still below the 70 during last month and well below Kim Jong Un’s first missile test at 120bps. GFC was around 700bps. So markets aren’t panicked just yet but gold back over $1300/oz is pricing it gets worse.

Don’t rule out a modern day Gulf of Tonkin incident. With each of these tests, electronic interference (cyber attack) could be a factor. To justify a retaliatory attack, guiding these missiles to hit a remote paddyfield in Aomori or inside Japan’s territorial waters is possible. China must be concerned about this. Electronic warfare is getting seriously capable. Remember when the Iranian centrifuges mysteriously blew up due to the Stuxnet virus? The virus told the centrifuge computers to spin the motors well above design tolerance such that they exploded.

Conspiracy theory maybe but geopolitics is a dirty game with huge long term implications and the rules are that there are none. Kim’s preemptive strike might not start with his finger on the button.

When Victoria’s Premier rejects a social justice cause it has to be bad

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Marxist Victorian Premier Dan Andrews is well known for his social justice work. However when he rejects the idea of a growing number of councils in his state shelving Australia Day you can be rest assured next to no one supports it. On the list of pointless things in Victoria it ranks below the plan for solar powered trams in Melbourne. By the way rainfall in Victoria averages 9-18 days every month.

Moreover if the largely Green-led local council movement to dump the celebration of Australia Day is of such national importance why don’t they coordinate it and announce it at the same time on the same day? After the shock value of the first mover, all following councils making the move show just how lacking in cohesion they are as a party of shared values, something becoming ever more evident at the national level. As ever these councils, some who claim their residents are not well educated enough to know better, show that it is all about them.

It doesn’t end there. Socialist Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has just referred the statue of former NSW Governor Lachlan Macquarie (responsible for turning NSW from a penal colony to a free settlement) to her indigenous council for discussion on whether it should be removed for the hurt it may have caused those 200 years ago. She’s been Lord Mayor for 14 years. Surely it should have been raised in that time were it such an affront to aborigines. Why now? What about those poor Irish convicts who were forced to build many of the structures still standing in Sydney today? Where is the Irish convict panel to hear their grievances??

Is the highly successful Macquarie Bank going to be forced to change its name or remove the ground floor mini museum which has artifacts from Gov Macquarie’s time in its HQ shop window in Sydney? Will Macquarie University be forced to change its name to North Ryde University? Street names? Where does it end?

Countering the White Supremacist narrative

It is hard not to listen to the common sense spoken by Larry Elder. From a man who grew up in one of America’s most underprivileged and violent neighborhoods he puts up an interesting argument to the hollowness of today’s biased media. I’m glad liberal Rubin keeps getting this guy on. Elder has a talk back program where he has invited Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters on his show and they’ve refused every single time. His answer is that they have no solid facts on the views they push. Telling.

The idea of Nazism and hatred is abhorrent beyond words but believe that if these groups are doing it legally then those who think they shouldn’t be prepared to change laws that curtail their own civil liberties. Let the hollowness of their arguments be shot down by common sense. Giving these protestors a voice doesn’t enhance their cause. It gives the rest of us a window to see how little they matter.

Lynching the lightbulb

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“Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom – and no one will have noticed”

It is time for conservatives around the world to stand up to the totalitarian tsunami. From local councils stacking polls to ram through their own sanctimony to reckless destruction of public property there is an ugly tide of intolerance. The ‘your opinion doesn’t matter because we know better’ brigade will not learn. Their only aim is to shut up dissenting voices and push through their agenda with no respect for free speech and open debate. What is worse is that the longer libertarians turn a blind eye for fear of being labeled bigots, racists and nationalists, the more we will see these demands, sold under banners of political correctness, grow bolder. Why wouldn’t they? The funny thing is that voters are actually becoming tired of identity politics. If they weren’t we wouldn’t have Trump in the White House nor the Brits leaving the EU.

Tearing down monuments seems the topic of the month. These Confederate statues have caused such hostility, despite representing history. These statues of Robert E. Lee and the Civil War are supposedly causing such angst that yesterday someone decided extend the grievance remit by taking a sledge hammer to the oldest memorial of Christopher Columbus. In the fight for victimology, this makes as much sense as obese people taking umbrage at a statue of Ronald McDonald or Colonel Sanders for pushing their BMIs above 35.

In Australia we have an indigenous TV presenter who thinks that memorials to Captain James Cook, who discovered Terra Australis two and a half centuries ago, should be torn down because of the atrocities committed to the locals. Have the Jews, Gypsies and Roma demanded that memorials at Auschwitz, Birkenau, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek and so on be razed to the ground to erase the memories of the millions of them that were gassed and systematically murdered? Not a chance. They view these monuments as a reminder of atrocities that happened in recent history. It isn’t about grievance. One sign in Auschwitz 1 reads, “the one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.”

The one group that stands above all else in favour of destroying monuments is ISIS. Think of their narrow minded actions to flatten the 2000 year history of Palmyra in Syria. Because of their own narrow minded corrupted fear of theological inferiority they want to rid the world of anything that challenges societies superior to their own. Even civilizations before Islam was even around.

However erasing history by removing monuments and pushing grievance based identity politics is the blood sport of the radical left. Take the two councils (Yarra and Darebin) in Melbourne who went out of their way to ask their own activist groups to rig polls to cancel Australia Day. Forgetting the 220,000 residents across the two cities, a handful of people who were bound to give the desired response were targeted. Even then it wasn’t a slam dunk. One mayor said they made the decision because their constituents are too ignorant of history so they were going to educate them without their opinion. When breaking down the composition of the councillors in these two cities we can’t be surprised. Both Greens led with a smattering of Labor, Socialist and left leaning independents. The perfect cocktail for the totalitarian.

Where local council remits are really to take care of rubbish collection and maintain parking meters, Yarra and Darebin told 99% of their rate payers to take a hike. The irony is that many Aboriginal leaders are pro Australia Day as a way to celebrate ‘inclusiveness’. Yarra and Darebin want to push for exclusiveness.

It begs the question, if the indigenous community is so outraged at the day the British invaded Australia in 1788 why haven’t the cities in the northern part of the country which have a far higher incidence of indigenous residents pushed for this? The reality is most embrace Australia Day. Many are more annoyed that people try to use their history as a political tool. Yet the identity politics brigade led by the Greens and other left wing radicals want Australians to feel ashamed of events they had no hand in, much less were around for, to fuel the victimology that no doubt supports their dwindling voter base. Pathetic.

What is disturbing is the wish to silence debate. We see it with same sex marriage (SSM). The lobbyists and activists are in full flight. The push to silence and vilify those who oppose it is disturbing. Whether one regards those in the ‘No’ camp as bigoted or homophobic is beside the point. They should be free to debate their arguments and beliefs without being physically attacked and threatened. Should hotels be forced to surrender business because activists want to bully them to deny groups from discussing opposing views? Did the pro-SSM groups look to compensate the hotel for the lost revenues suffered? Not on your life.

Do people have right to be concerned that putting SSM in the Marriage Act breaks down the idea of ‘traditional’ marriage which could lead to a similar sort of push for polygamy and acceptance of child brides down the line? Even if such views are overreactions does it warrant the Australia Post union refusing to post anti-SSM materials? If the anti-SSM groups wish to expend millions on a mail out (most likely to wind up in the bin) why does a deeply loss making government run service have any say in what they deliver provided it doesn’t endanger their physical health?

Indeed if people wish to back the rights of posties, then Qantas CEO Alan Joyce should refrain from using shareholder funds to ram his pro-SSM agenda down staff and passenger’s throats. To suggest ‘equality’ in a plebiscite over ‘equality’ only highlights how there is no intention from the pro camp to practice what it preaches.

It is not about the principle but the side. Alan Joyce fails to recognize that the ‘acceptance ring’ stunt earlier in the year was a terrible breach of free speech in the workplace. Some staff may support SSM but not wish to openly express their feelings by wearing the ring. Yet failure to visibly show one’s support could end in ostracism. An exemplary employee may face censure and see career progression stifled because they don’t wish to be overt in the causes they support. If these employees feel pressured to wear it they effectively become slaves of the bosses who force the agenda.

Switching to Canada, it was disappointing to see new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer bow down to the idea that it was acceptable for government run universities to decide on who could speak. The idea of a school that receives taxpayer funding be able to control ‘free speech’ shows the exact type of spineless surrender to identity politics. When universities go out of their way to shut down the very foundation of their existence – free thought – what hope have we got? Scheer should be a great comfort for Trudeau. Whereas former interim leader Rona Ambrose had the PM’s measure at every turn, Scheer looks like another Turnbull-esque liberal-lite conservative. To glibly submit to such an embarrassing affront to free speech what hope have the youth got to openly express their opinions?

Sadly the activists are winning the culture wars. Bit by bit, people are having their freedoms yanked from beneath them because governments are too afraid to ruffle the feathers of those that scream the loudest. This unilateral decisions making their way into schools which push sexual indoctrination, cross dressing and all manner of shaming masked as anti-bullying programs is further evidence of submission.

Is it any wonder why Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party continues to grow in popularity. While many abhor her brand of politics and stunts, her rise in the polls is simply down to saying what the conservatives won’t. Voters don’t want soft alternatives. No matter how much one might detest the constant shenanigans of the Trump administration, he won his ticket because Clinton was more of the same old brand of identity politics that failed to give a growing number of people hope. He was always an experiment but one more were willing to take.

The culture of victimhood needs to end. Most of what we are seeing is on the fringe. One wonders why politicians fear it as the norm. This interview was great food for thought on the subject of debunking senseless liberal virtue signaling.

Drug (welfare) cheats are cheats

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The Australian government intends to conduct a random drug test trial in the Canterbury-Bankstown area for welfare recipients. What is the problem? Why should the taxpayer fund someone’s drug habits, surely something not conducive to job hunting. After all we rightly strip gold medals from athletes who take performance enhancing drugs, why not strip welfare from those who are literally ‘taking the piss’ for ‘refusing to take a piss’.

Making the Wallabies amateurs might turn them into professionals

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14. Fourteen. That is how many Bledisloe Cup titles the All Blacks have won in a row. 15 looks a certainty. As mentioned many times before the Wallabies are playing the game in much the same manner as the managerial structure. From the turmoil at the top to a coach who can’t get discipline among his players has no chance.

That is no slight on the quality of the ABs. Every one of the players in that side carries the pride of a nation. Sure it is a religion in NZ but there is a sense of purpose. We know how much a loss to the Wallabies accounts for a national day of mourning. The biggest defining factor is that were the Bledisloe Cup an amateur tournament like it used to be one would guess all the AB players would still represent.

However the Wallabies are never going to properly challenge the ABs unless they adopt a mentality of representing as amateurs. In fact if I had my way, the first question would be that – would you represent your country for the love of it? One would weed out the problems pretty quick. Of course many would argue that without fat paychecques the team would quickly hollow out. Maybe. However as a fan I’d much rather see my team lose with heart than the appalling display that has been a feature of the team for so long.

Perhaps the Japanese are the best example of a team that through great coaching transformed. In the 2015 World Cup the Springboks went into that game thinking it was a formality. As we know the Boks lost and put Japan’s rugby team in a whole new light. From the laughing stock of world rugby to a credible team. Eddie Jones proved his worth as he is now doing for the Poms.

The Wallabies lack leadership from top to bottom. We could analyze missed tackle stats till the cows come home but there is every reason to think that the problem is mental not physical. As pointed out many times, even in the line up some Wallabies players have socks around their ankles. Sure presentation might not mean much in terms of player quality but the military spec All Blacks are tidier than a marine’s bunk. When facing off even little details can make a huge difference in the way the opposition perceives its enemy.

The sooner changes are made at the top, the sooner the mental aspects of the game can improve. Maybe then these amateurs might be able to play like the professionals their grossly inflated salaries would signal