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.