Defence

Japan aggressively steps up its Space investment

It wasn’t so long ago that the mainstream media went into a frenzy over the Space Force logo mimicking Star Trek’s Starfleet Command. Never mind that the US Army Air Force had used the delta symbol since 1942. Never mind that the Air Force Space Command has had the following insignia since it’s inception in 1982. As you can see the delta and globe shapes comes from that. We run through the history here. Such is the chronic nature of Trump Derangement Syndrome that no cure has yet been found.

Of course, the Trump-haters bashed him senseless over the moves to grant Space Force an independent status on the basis that he was indulging his immaturity. We have written for over a decade that the US has held deep concerns for its space assets given the astronomic (no pun intended) rise in China’s home-grown space technology which jeopardizes America’s ability to manage its huge military arsenal that relies so heavily on satellites.

China established the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) at the end of 2015 with a mission responsible for outer space, cyberspace, and electronic warfare. Where was the media bashing President Xi for this petulant behaviour?

Space investment has grown globally. In 2018, China launched 29 military satellites, exceeding six for the United States and eight for Russia.

So it made perfect sense to give the US Space Force proper recognition to counter the growing threats in orbit.

China to Launch 3 Astronauts to Chinese Space Station in June

Japan has raised similar concerns as the US. It will expand its own space investment under the name of Space Operations Squadron.

Janes Defense Weekly reported

The new squadron, which will now conduct personnel training and system planning in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and US forces, will be in charge of operating a space surveillance system designed to track space debris and the position of satellites in order to avoid collisions in space…The system, which includes a network of ground radars, has also been designed to monitor the activities of satellites of countries that may seek to disrupt Japanese and/or US satellite operations through, for instance, the use of anti-satellite missiles, laser irradiation, communication jamming, or so-called ‘killer satellites’.

Japan’s 2019 Defense White Paper openly states the growing risks in space.

There is no concept of national borders in outer space, meaning that the utilization of satellites enables the observation of, communication at, and positioning on any area on the Earth. Thus, major countries make efforts to enhance the capabilities of a variety of satellites and launch them for the purpose of enhancing C4ISR functions. Such satellites include image acquisition satellites for reconnoitring military facilities and targets, early-warning satellites for detecting the launch of ballistic missiles, for gathering radio signals, communication satellites for communications between military units, and positioning satellites for navigating naval vessels and aircraft and enhancing the precision of weapons systems. In outer space, various countries are thus rapidly developing their capabilities to ensure their military superiority.

From the viewpoint of ensuring their military superiority, various countries are also rapidly developing their capabilities to impede each other’s use of outer space.

So before the mainstream media pillories Trump over Space Force, if the most pacifist nation on earth is stepping up its investment substantially, know that there is a method in the madness. Weaponizing space isn’t about indulging childhood SciFi TV programs but navigating unchartered waters in military defence capability. It is nothing to be scoffed at.

Sheepishly downloading the COVIDSafe app is a warning for all of us

NSA raises significant concern to Government abattoir proposal ...

We have no problem with people individually choosing to sign up to the COVIDSafe application launched yesterday. After all, it is voluntary and we believe in personal freedom. However, we are perplexed why so many people feel compelled to post their newfound compliance on social media feeds. It is this blind obedience that worries us.

It is hard to see such self-promotion on social media as anything more than the same virtue-signalling mindset of those who drape their social media avatars with the flag of the country where innocent people were slain by terrorists. Comments such as “I’m doing my bit” reign supreme. Why do people so sheepishly comply to sign up to this when the data is seriously unconvincing to warrant its introduction? Should we report our friends who haven’t publicly declared their status? Admitting one has signed up to COVIDSafe is borderline accepting to become a slave.

The most important point people need to consider is that there is absolutely zero downside for the government during and after this crisis. Remember that number – ZERO. If the economy goes into a prolonged recession or depression, our politicians can simply play the “we did it to save lives” card and tell us it was all for our own good. They can claim they couldn’t have done anything else. Unfortunately, we bear all the risk no matter what the outcome. That is a bad equation in any language. Why would anyone willingly sign up to it?

Indeed, saving lives should be congratulated, not censured. Still, at what point will we realise that the draconian measures put in place are leaving a disproportionate drag on the economy? As we wrote yesterday, if we take the JobKeeper support package alone, it presently costs $1.5 billion per death. Or $19.5 million per infection. The $130bn JobKeeper program is almost as much as the annual federal expenditure on education, healthcare and defence spend combined, three of the four largest budget items. Is this sustainable? If we stay in lockdown beyond the date of the package, this universal income will undoubtedly be extended.

There is a snowball’s chance in hell that we will have a V-shaped recovery. Our central bank might send us comforting lies to maintain the illusion that they are competent but it simply won’t happen.

Our authorities have suggested that the domestic economy comprises 75% of GDP which will provide a great cushion but on what planet do they believe that a crushed export sector which employs so many can be airbrushed to give us a V? Double-digit unemployment, at levels double or treble the present figures will all but guarantee a slower recovery. With household debt exceeding 180% of GDP, any future spending will be directed at rebuilding the balance sheet, not consumption. We’ll be lucky to get an L!!

There will be no normality after COVID19 abates. So much of our domestic future will be driven by the rest of the world’s approach to their own economies. Our neighbours will undoubtedly pursue more nationalist policies which prioritise domestic production. They will also need to contend with the likely aggressive reset of their own relative risk weighting, currency and fiscal positions. For anyone to believe that the magic pixie dust sprinkled by Canberra will avoid any calamity is dangerously naive.

Australia faces a $1 trillion deficit. Await the raft of new taxes on housing, inheritance and income to pay for it. We will absolutely hate what is coming. The sad thing is that we could have taken the pain over a decade ago yet we put short term expediency ahead of rational principle and now await the consequences. We are reaping what we sowed.

Much of the reasoning given by Aussies to sign up has been this belief that it will accelerate the government’s ability to reopen the economy sooner. If the government requires this sort of overlaying safeguard on top of the 99.98% of Australians that don’t knowingly carry the coronavirus or the 99.9997% who haven’t died from it, we should worry about our lawmakers’ ability to manage risk. Seriously.

Why are governments using future hard dates to consider reopening the economy? If today is the best day to do so, why wait till May 30th? Our own experience is that people are broadly respecting the social distancing guidelines. Sure, some might hang out in a park to break the monotony of staying indoors, but we are falling for the taglines from the government to #StayHome a bit too literally. The government should be rebuilding confidence. It isn’t. This app is unlikely to do much given the law of already minuscule numbers. It is all a feel-good measure.

With more than one million COVIDSafe app downloads in the first hour, many have proven that we are willing to conform to guidelines at a moments notice without considering the underlying facts. We saw this during the bushfire season. People blindly donated millions to the rural fire services when we proved their administrative skills were so severely lacking that these monies would unlikely be spent wisely.

In closing, many citizens have sent a wonderful signal to the government that they can easily strip more freedoms away by using panic as a tool to achieve it. The longer the economy is left to rot, the easier it will be to drown obedient plebs in even more regulations and restrictions because we failed to stand up and question the methodology. We will continue to do so. After all, former US President Ronald Reagan once said,

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”

Obama vs Trump – Gallup Poll

Gallup has released the following poll which compares America at the end of the Obama-Biden second term to the Trump-Pence presidency to date.

Under Trump-Pence, the economy is better (+22 points), the country is more secure against terrorism (+18), the military is stronger (+15), the streets are safer (+9 points).

Race relations advanced 14 points, from 22% at the end of the Obama administration to 36% this month. Blacks and other minorities are recorded 9 points better off under Trump than Obama.

Decreased satisfaction vs Obama for the Trump team was as follows:

Abortion -7%

Immigration -6%

Environment -6%

All in all, the net satisfaction of the 27 categories saw the highest number since 2005.

As all politicians know, “it’s the economy, stupid!

The survey was conducted across 1,014 people. How representative of 330 million? What needs to be pointed out is that the survey is consistent in the number polled over the years. The numbers are so strong that some might question whether there was a large Republican bias.

If the poll is remotely accurate, the Democrats must question how they tackle the mood over the coming 10 months given the impeachment saga and a field of disjointed candidates.

Adult candy dispensers

No photo description available.

Only in America. The Alpine Shooting Range has taken Walmart’s decision not to sell handgun ammo into its own hands. It is now selling it by the pound from a dispenser like we used to buy candy.

Yet what of the stats of gun crime in America?

There are 50,000 (mostly individual) gun stores in the US. 95% of firearm related murders are committed with handguns. Statistically, America would be better off banning sales of pistols rather than AR-15s. Say automatic rifles are banned from today. What will change? Handgun murders will move closer to 100%. Good luck buying back 300m+ guns in America.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, murders in US appear to be very concentrated: 54% of US counties (representing 11% of the population) in 2014 had zero murders, 2% of counties made up 51% of the murders, ironically in states with the strictest gun controls – Illinois, NY and California.

Yet America has had decades of periods where governments had majorities in both houses and nothing was done on gun control. We’ve experienced Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland, Fort Hood, El Paso, Dayton, San Bernardino, Virginia Tech, Geneva County, Aurora…the list goes on.

Moves by sporting goods stores like Dick’s to ban AR sales and raise the age limit to 21yo looked sensible from the outside. However, they had multiple massacres over decades to make that call. The current CEO has been in charge since 1984. Why the u-turn in his conscience? Indeed the company did temporarily suspend sales of ARs after Sandy Hook in 2012 but kept retailing them at the company’s Field & Stream outlets before selling them again at Dick’s. Inconsistent.

Recall the Parkland, Florida school shooting. At the time media outlets went all guns blazing on the National Rifle Association (NRA), CM warned that it most likely would cause a knee jerk reaction in the opposite direction. We speculated that the hike in membership fee likely reflected a surge in members. As tragic as the Parkland massacre was, CM said that ‘shaming’ NRA members en masse would only make them dig in deeper. As it turns out searches for NRA membership surged 4900% immediately after the tragedy. People are sick and tired of being bullied into feeling guilty about things they haven’t caused.

39,773 died from gun-related death in America in 2018. The highest number in 20 years. Statistically speaking ‘massacres’ accounted for only 106 deaths in 2018 or 0.27% of the total. Yet media attention focuses on it.

To put it into perspective the total number of overdose deaths involving heroin from 2002 to 2015 jumped 6.2-fold in the US. Automobiles killed around 32,000 people last year or a little over 2x that of heroin overdoses. When adding non-methadone opioids (illicit fentanyl) overdose that number surged to 20,000, a 33% YoY jump on 2014 and 5.9x 2002. Why is it happening? The problem for many prescription painkiller users is that once their bottle ends, the addiction doesn’t stop meaning many switch to heroin to get the same ‘opioid’ hit.

We armchair politicians can sit back and shake our heads at America. Yet until there is a will of the people to change the laws, expect more massacres to happen. Name an American politician that is willing to repeal 2A as a cornerstone election campaign policy. There is your answer. Will the Democrat nominees raise their hands for the repeal of 2A? Safer to raise hands at free healthcare for illegal immigrants. 2A is toxic to touch. Sadly innocent people are dying for no reason.

As for Alpine Shooting Range, it is doing the auld American thing of embracing capitalism within the law.

Mental Illness = Gun Violence?

As ever, the mainstream media are sensationalizing “mental health” and the connection to gun massacres. Let’s not forget that mental health can be categorized in a broad variety of ways – from mild anxiety, ADHD to PTSD and full blown bi-polar or schizophrenia. The mainstream media would have us believe that Trump wants the keys to the gun cabinet handed over to certified crackpots to go on white supremacist fueled mass rampages. It is easy to say that those who commit these atrocities must be mad. How easy is it to fall for that assumption? Yet the stats say otherwise.

First, what is this bill that has been repealed by Trump? Why is the media making such clickbait hyperventilating news of something that was already enacted c.2 years ago?

The previous Obama bill allowed gun retailers to get access to “mental health” related social security benefits paid to potential buyers. There are nine categories of mental disorders covered in the Social Security Blue Book. These include:

Affective disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Autism and related disorders

Mental retardation

Organic Mental Disorders

Personality disorders

Schizophrenia, paranoia, and psychotic disorders

Somatoform disorders

Substance addiction

The idea is that if one had claustrophobia or similar mild anxiety, it would be unlikely to be a factor in causing someone to shoot up a Walmart. In order to get mental health disability checks, the applicant must prove compliance to prescribed medication and that they seek regular treatment from professionals. Why do we automatically assume that mental health status is a direct trigger to mass murder? Simply because it is easy to categorize these events to unhinged crazies and presume that there was ‘illness’ involved.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in America showed,

Thirty-four subjects, acting alone or in pairs, committed 27 mass murders between 1958 and 1999. The sample consisted of males with a median age of 17. 70% were described as a loner. 61.5% had problems with substance abuse. 48% had preoccupations with weapons. 43.5% had been victims of bullying. Although 23% had a documented psychiatric history, only 6% were judged to have been psychotic at the time of the mass murder. Depressive symptoms and historical antisocial behaviors were predominant. There was a precipitating event in most cases–usually a perceived failure in love or school–and most subjects made threatening statements regarding the mass murder to third parties. The majority of the sample clustered into three types: the family annihilator, the classroom avenger, and the criminal opportunist.”

Recall Cuban Parkland, Florida student Emma Gonzalez admitted she’d bullied the shooter Nikolas Cruz. It doesn’t excuse his actions. Nor hers.

Take cyber bullying stats from the Association of Psychological Science in the US. In 2015 more than 16,000 young people were absent from school daily because of bullying. 83% of young people say cyber bullying has a negative impact on their self-esteem. 30% of young people have gone on to self-harm as a result of cyberbullying. 10% of young people have attempted to commit suicide as a result of cyberbullying.

So the stats tell us in 3 out of 4 cases, mental illness was not the culprit in mass shootings. A violent/bullying, substance abuse based environment was.

As mentioned in the previous post, how is it we can find out about the history of shooters within hours of the terror? Surely the powers at the FBI, NSA etc can monitor the traffic of hate – death lists, death threats etc and use that as the basis of background checks rather than rely on whether someone received mental health related disability cheques? Perhaps someone who is fully healed from a mental illness as a child poses no threat if wanting to hunt or fire at a supervised gun range. Perhaps that individual wants to be a security guard?

Dr Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral science at the Duke University School of Medicine believes that in the event of unlawful use of a firearm by those with mental illness, 95% likely to turn the weapon on themselves than commit homicide.

He also believes that those who are violent or been charged with assault make far better predictors of homicidal behavior than the outcome of a mental health diagnosis.

In Connecticut, almost 23,300 people were diagnosed with a history of serious mental illness. 7% were disqualified from owning a gun because of that mental record. 35% were banned based on a disqualifying criminal record that wasn’t necessarily linked to the mental illness.

Dr. Swanson closed with,

We need to think of violence itself as a communicable disease. We have kids growing up exposed to terrible trauma. We did a study some years ago, looking at [violence risk] among people with serious mental illness. The three risk factors we found were most important: first, a history of violent victimization early in life, second, substance abuse, and the third is exposure to violence in the environment around you. People who had none of those risk factors ― even with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia ― had very low rates of violent behavior…Abuse, violence in the environment around you ― those are the kinds of things you’re not going to solve by having someone take a mood stabilizer.”

Sadly such is the state of lazy journalism that ‘respected media outlets’ simply infer that those that commit mass murder are simply head cases and giving them access to guns will somehow create a bigger problem. That’s how the mainstream media is portraying a 2-yr old bill to whip up more misunderstanding.

Iran & the media vs Trump

So Iran has yanked the chain of the British. While a British ship prevented an Iranian tanker headed to Syria from reaching its destination in violation of sanctions, the Iranians returned the favour, albeit without legal pretense.

It is easy for Iran to take advantage of the political malaise in Britain but it would be unwise to risk antagonizing Trump beyond this because there will be no red lines with invisible ink unlike his predecessor.

To Iran’s benefit is the Trump hating media. No doubt they’ll make much noise saying that the ayatollahs are paragons of peace and defenseless against American might. If a saber is rattled then it’s nothing more than chest beating and Trump will only look to whack a ‘shithole’ country to please his base.

Pretend for a second it was Obama. If an ally had a civilian ship boarded by armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops in violation of international law, would we protest if Obama stood up and warned Iran to step off or face military intervention? The media would embrace it.

Iran is itching to push Trump’s resolve. It’s deep involvement in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq is not lost on anyone with their eyes open. This proxy war has been ongoing for decades.

Don’t be surprised if the Russians start shipping some more S-400 Triumf SAM systems to Iran in order to level the playing field a bit. The Iranians already have the upgraded P-270 Moskits and P-800 Oniks anti ship missiles. If you see America attack Iran, these batteries will be first on this list to be take out as they are virtually unstoppable once launched. Can one imagine the implications of a US carrier sunk in the Gulf? That would cause a massive reprisal which would move this beyond a skirmish. Buy Gold.

Don’t forget Iran is Rosoborenexport’s second largest export client. That will be proper collusion, not the nonsense dreamed up by the Dems at election time which even if true would wilt in the shadow of Google’s meddling.

This has the potential to turn very ugly. It all rests on Iran’s shoulders. It’s not the Iranian people who are a problem. It’s the regime.

800 Jewish grandparents shaking their heads

If these self-entitled brats had the first idea what their grandparents may have endured during the Holocaust, they would never seek to do this. Being Jewish doesn’t make one an expert on American border policy. Have they considered that these captives ran into harm’s way, rather than from it?

Do these kids know what the “sonderkommando” did inside real concentration camps during the 1940s? What about the “kapos”? Thought not.

Do these kids think ICE are subjecting kids to forced labour? Are they being led into gas chambers? Their bodies cremated in incinerators? Is their hair being shaved off to make clothes? Are their guardians gold teeth being pulled to fund the ICE/CBP effort ?

CM went to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2003. There is a room in the middle of a 3km x2km perimeter where photos of the Polish Jews who were murdered are posted in a collage.

One picture floored CM. It was – picture of this young girl, named Renia Kohn. She was 5yo when she was gassed. Tears still stream when I look at this photo. It puts one’s own life into perspective. She was systematically murdered. For what? For being a Jew.

Or maybe it is pictures like Abraham Feiler that shocked CM. The look of fear in that poor man’s eyes. It is sheer terror an one only knows what must have been going through his mind before he was killed in 1942.

CM was so taken back by the strength of character Bronislawa Bachleda had. She was murdered in April 1943 but her face is full of defiance. How could she hold up like that in the face of such tyranny?

Or when CM visited Majdanek. The camp is in tact much as it was in the 1940s. It is set at the bottom of a valley in Lublin, Poland. The wind whistles through the gaps in the wood of the crematorium. It is the most awful blood curdling whistle. It is creepy beyond all belief. Goose bumps are a given.

In one of the huts lie over 100,000 pairs of shoes. One cannot unsee the number of children’s shoes collected in the museum. Crows still squawk from the guard towers as if the evil spell has yet to be lifted.

Or Sachsenhausen in Germany where prisoners were hung by their arms tied behind their backs to a pole. The weight of their bodies would dislocate the arms from their sockets. Such inhumane torture.

Maybe these kids might learn about Berisz Dov Lemel who was the subject of medical experiments on his liver and stomach which continued until April 1945. He is still alive today with 7 grand children.

Border camps have become a necessary evil to be able to contain the tide of illegal immigrants. These kids would be better off paying attention to history than drawing a false equivalence to ICE behaving like the Waffen SS.

It is insane beyond belief to think that kids are being systematically murdered at the hands of US border officials. For if that were true activity would slow to such a trickle that US border patrols would only have to watch the grass grow in Mexico. As it stands many still prepared to take risks to move to the dictatorship which offers so much opportunity.

These kids should be forced to visit Yad Vashem and see what genocide truly looks like instead of running around with placards while sipping on Starbucks chai lattes as if they know what they’re talking about.