#ethics

What do we really want from an army?

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It is a serious question. What do we really want from our armed forces? We pay billions in taxes to hopefully arm them to the teeth with the best technology, skills, training and capabilities to win wars should we ever find ourselves in one. Victory is the only choice in war. The ideal scenario is to make the enemy fear you enough such as you won’t end up in battle. However the military should never be a place that is used to test social experiments.

Then why the push for making the military or any other emergency service anything other than the best? Gender balance and diversity are irrelevant. News has resurfaced that the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) are being set gender recruitment targets. It is insanity. Merit should be the only criteria. If 100% of them happen to be women based on merit then so be it but setting gender targets as a slated goal is obtuse. If more women wish to join the armed forces through desire, hunger and passion than men then that is expressing a clear will.

Eligibility standards are being lowered to help hit diversity targets. You can see the standards difference in these two charts posted by the ADF.

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Recruiters at the ADF have been told they must hire women or face relocation if they don’t comply. The recruiters say there are no jobs available for men in the in the infantry as a rifleman or artilleryman. But these positions are marked as ‘recruit immediately’ if a female applies. If a 50kg woman is in the artillery a 43.2kg M-107 shell is over 80% of her weight. An 80kg man would be lifting the same shells at around half of his weight. This is basic physics.

The West Australian newspaper reported one recruiter who said, “This is political correctness gone mad. I don’t care if it is a man or a woman – I just want to get the best person for the job.”

Yet the political correctness is promoted from the top. Defence chief, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, stressed the importance of diversity for the ADF. “A diverse workforce is all about capability. The greater our diversity, the greater the range of ideas and insights to challenge the accepted norm, assess the risks, see them from a different perspective, and develop creative solutions.”

Let us not confuse diversity with skills. In WW2, the US Army employed Native American Indians to work in intelligence. The idea that their native tongue was next to impossible to decode if transmissions were intercepted by the enemy. The US military wasn’t making a diversity play to even out race, gender or religion. It was employing a clear tactical advantage to help win a war. Such intelligence is vital in planning battles and tactics. The enemy wants to know our plans in advance such they can ambush or counter. The Navaho language meant the Japanese intelligence forces were completely flummoxed and suffered huge losses as a result. The merit was the rarity of the Navaho language, a skill no one else had. Think of how hard the British worked at breaking the codes of the German Enigma machines at Bletchley Park. Skill is is the defining factor.

It gets more ridiculous. One senior retired military contact has said that those who are recruited are now allowed to raise a red card in protest if a drill-sergeant is offending their sensitivities. Seriously? Surely an army is as strong as its weakest link and if leaders can’t drill discipline into his or her troops what hope have they in battle? Perhaps they can just disobey orders and avoid a court martial because they deployed a red card on the battlefield. Surely no one joins the army expecting it to be a life of late morning lie-ins, frequent recreation and late nights at the bar.

The military should never be a social experiment. It is off limits. This is not to say women should not have a chance to join it. In fact the desire to serve one’s country is indeed an excellent trait to have but putting in place a system that excludes Victor, a fitness freak with a black belt in martial arts from joining the infantry, for Victoria, a lady with a BMI of 30 makes no sense. If Victoria is the black-belted gym junkie and Victor is a slob then of course it makes sense to recruit her.

At the end of the day with bullets whizzing around and artillery shells exploding around them it is not hard to envisage that every soldier looks to the person to the left or right of them wondering only about their capability to do the job, not celebrating the army’s pro-diversity drive. Anything that potentially damages morale should be avoided at all costs. Dropping standards for both genders is fraught with long term risks and turning the ADF into an organization that puts more emphasis on feeling warm and cuddly versus a gung-ho group of steely-eyed effective combat troops lowers our capability to defend.

We must move on from this politically correct nonsense because in the end it will literally kill us. Then again we are getting our submarines built in Australia, not because they will be better built but because our defence capability took a back seat to buying votes. Don’t think our enemies aren’t always keeping on top of our (growing lack of ) capabilities.

Honey, can we shrink the kids?

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Andrew Bolt has posted an interesting video which highlights a loony who thinks that climate change can be abated by growth stunting hormones and other chemical cocktails which would allow mental conformity to more climate change friendly activity. The article states,

People unwilling to act on the climate-crisis narrative should be assisted with drugs that improve and promote conformity, according to eminent bio-ethicist Professor Matthew Liao, of New York University, who also wants to see parents dosing their children with hormones and diets to keep them shorter and less of a burden on the planet.”

It would be funny if it was a joke. Sadly it isn’t.

America IN or OUT makes no difference to a dud Paris Climate Accord where 75% aren’t onboard anyway

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Across social media there are dozens of posts from Americans apologising to the world for abandoning the Paris Climate Accord. “There are millions more like me.” Yes you are probably right but there are millions like him too. What people should question is the ‘real’ commitment to the accord. If we were to replay the video tapes of the Paris COP summit we were hearing wails and gnashing of teeth that there was no agreement pending. Then in the final throes we were led to believe that an agreement was reached. The joy! The triumph! We did it! Here is the catch! It was agreed by ‘politicians’ not ‘scientists’. Politicians are renowned over the millennia to making compromise and commitments way beyond the scope of their likely hold on power.

Climate commitments are the ultimate level of virtue signaling and tokenism. Politicians can say in their legacies that they tried to save the planet for their great grandchildren even if nothing is achieved. Remember how the long held 2 degree upper limit target was  heralded as a no quid pro quo line. At Paris it became 1.5. In order to accelerate alarmism the upper band had to be cut to get countries to redouble their efforts. All of a sudden, decades of climates science that told us that 2 was acceptable (bearable) became 1.5 degrees with the stroke of a pen.

As I wrote yesterday, the garage of your neighbour was more telling of individual climate commitment. In Australia one energy company offers a service which gives you the opportunity to pay a premium over fossil fuel based power to source your energy in green form. Take up rate? Less than 5%. Who elects to tick the carbon offset box when they fly commercial? I don’t think many airlines even bother with this such is the low take up. Not to mention carbon calculators are so inaccurate. A passenger has no idea what the load factor, headwinds/tailwinds, holding patterns and conditions en route are that the figure you pay would be more accurate if spewed out of a bingo wheel.

Let’s check reality of the climate game. 75% of the evil gas that helps plants grow are caused by 4 countries – America, China, India and Russia. Let’s tackle them one by one.

America. Well the commitment to the Accord was so flimsy to begin with, It was laced with out clauses such as being exempt from being sued for any environmental damage caused in the past or future. Obama decided to tick the box himself after lawyers breathed on the fine print – remember the US was the last to commit.

China. China, China, China. The commitment is so robust they don’t have any intention to  get serious until 2030 (likely peak emissions). China has explicitly said it will raise the coal share of power to 15% by 2020 from 12% and this will keep climbing. China’s pollution problems have stuff all to do with global warming but public health however it can virtue signal under the banner of climate change mitigation and win brownie points.

India. The construction of 65 gigawatts worth of coal-burning generation is under way with an additional 178 gigawatts in the planning stages in India will mean they’ll not achieve Paris targets.

Russia’s commitment at Paris would have been more serious if drafted on a hotel napkin such was its lack of substance. 4 pages of nothing.

The accord is worthless. It was rushed at the end by bureaucrats not scientists. If it is really such a binding pact there will be no need to have 50,000 climate pilgrims kneel at the altar of the next religious cult meeting. They should thank America for its action because it will guarantee the hypocrites get to keep the junkets in exotic tourist locations going.

To double up on the stupidity, hearing virtue signaling politicians blather about remaining committed to a target that is now so fundamentally broken shows how untenable it is. Think about it. If America (at c20% of the supposed problem) quits then the remainder of countries have to fill in the gap not stick to existing commitments, Sure Merkel said she’d up Germany’s targets to offset the evil Trump which is pretty unachievable given the already high level of renewables.  China said they’d chip in but don’t think those comments are any more than empty platitudes trying to puff up the image of commitment when economic resuscitation is priority #1.

The irony is that Trump said he’d consider another deal. Another deal is what is needed. Because as it stands, the Paris Accord has all of the hallmarks of political manifestos across the globe – uncosted  broad based promises made against flimsy but overwhelmingly positive/negative assumptions.

So before I read more garbage about Americans having an imperative to take power back, perhaps they should examine the realities rather than the figment of imagination floating around inside their heads. Millions more like you is actually the problem why the message never gets sold properly.

How unhinged does the left have to be to stage a mock beheading of Trump?

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No matter how much one might hate President Trump if this is the depth the left is prepared to dive is it really an alternative you’d want to vote for? Can you imagine the 24-7 media coverage if Obama, Hillary Clinton or any other pet favourite was subject to a televised decapitation.The outrage would be non stop. To call the President stupid is one thing but to act in such a manner is beyond lacking intelligence. Is this the way we treat democratically elected leaders we don’t like? Try an election. Ink is less messy than blood.

NATO Facts and why Macron’s arrogance is no better than Trump’s

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While social media splashes around a US contribution to total NATO spend of 73% it in reality is a third of that. Only the USA and UK spend over and above NATO commitments as outlined in the chart above. Even the Greeks meet half the requirement! Germany is below not only NATO guidelines but the media would never tell you that. Trump has a point. In fact the reason much of the military spending numbers below the requirement stems more from inefficiency than anything else.

What many fail to understand is that salaries and benefits (housing, education and healthcare) for military staff tend to consume 3/4s of the budget. Procurement is a dog’s breakfast and influenced by age of fleets, battalions, interoperability and so forth. While NATO isn’t exactly group buy the us wins by default of having access to the best cost/performance equipment allowing better bang for the buck. Little Estonia can’t get the same economies of scale.

The “contribution” (click here) question is clouded by two things. Under Obama, the US has cut its NATO contribution from 5.29% of GDP when he took office to 3.6%. NATO Europe had met the minimum expected contribution of 2% but this has slumped from the tech bubble collapse of 2000 to 1.47% today which has meant the only thing keeping NATO’s overall budget above target has been Uncle Sam!

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So once again social media muddles a message. It takes 10 seconds to go on NATO’s website and fact check.

Instead the media is more focused on pointless clickbait on whether Trump can hold Melania’s hand without being swatted away or who won the vigorous handshake contest – he or Macron. In fact Macron’s deliberate snub Of Trump when he met all the leaders spoke volumes. He made no conscious effort to shake his hand first. He made a point of sucking up to his EU cronies first and spent needless time making worthless chitchat before even acknowledging the leader of the strongest nation on earth. We shouldn’t be surprised. Best have Trump inside the tent p1ssing out than outside p1ssing in.

Even if they want to delegitimize Trump they play a silly game. Much like business leaders being bullied on social media to leave Trump’s business council (Uber chickened out), the EU plays a dangerous game of isolating Trump. If they want to prevent him from being the “unhinged” orange buffoon they think he is they’d do much better to be welcoming, accommodating and flattering his eminence. That way they can bring balance and find common ground. They show no signs of even beginning to try. By snubbing him they shouldn’t be surprised if he acts independently. Yet Macron acts no better than Trump and the media lavishes praise on the exact same antics they crucify The Donald over. Typical double standards.

Be careful what you wish for! The world needs a healthy US and stunts like this only fray the lines of trust and partnership further. Sure, the America First policy stance is affronting but if the EU want to expedite the process then keep up the Trump bashing. It doesn’t mean Trump bumping (hey Trudeau did it in Canada to a female member of parliament) other dignitaries shows good character but he knows he’s being ridiculed and the media sees it as their only form of attack. The problem is they forget 75% of Republicans STILL approve of his job performance.  He may only be doing a C+ on performance in office but he isn’t anywhere near the F- portrayed by the media.

Media proves they’re petrified of Tony Abbott

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It didn’t take long for the Tony Abbott haters to spring into action. The media naturally is panicked that this Labor-esque budget will kill off Turnbull if the polls don’t reverse and give rise to an Abbott return which they know would win back swathes of disaffected Lib voters who have abandoned the party since the betrayal. Abbott’s crime? Not applauding the Treasurer for the shameful budget presented last night. Spoilt brat, sore loser and against his own party are the accusations. One can only imagine had he clapped the headlines would have read ‘Sell out!’ or ‘Applauds the opposite of what he proposed!

Let’s think about what his actions truly showed in the context of ourselves. If you worked tirelessly and loyally for a company/party and dedicated almost three decades of blood, sweat and tears to an organization’s success let us just say that you have ‘invested’.  Even if you haven’t you may know someone in your firm who has but let’s assume its you. You are unfairly shafted from your leadership role and your conniving successor seeks to undermine you at every opportunity. You are not only demoted but stripped of dignity. Despite clear evidence you still wish to work for the betterment of all because of those years of investment, you are sidelined and black-balled. Any sensible contribution is ignored and those who once supported you start to realize that doing so risks them being tarred with the same brush in front of the new management. You see the fruits of your hard work get eroded even to the point where the damage impacts the core values of your customers. Even though you have sleepless trying to stop the boat you painstakingly and lovingly tried to build and maintain from sinking, management continues to play music on the deck of the Titanic. Some may call your cause futile but they can never deny it is built on trying to be true to the people you serve internally and externally. Then one day you realize that the damage is irreparable and you won’t appease your new boss on the basis of what you know to be the complete antithesis of your soul. People still respect you inside for not selling out. You’re the real deal and secretly people respect you way more than they let on. Secretly they know they are ashamed of their insecurity.

So while I read many social media posts telling Abbott to ‘go away’, ‘quit’, ‘do us all a favour and go‘ I would argue that many of you are playing the man not the ball. Was he flawless? No. Was he well intentioned? Yes. He is the man that volunteers for the rural fire fighting service. He didn’t do it for point scoring, It was dedication to the cause. If indeed it was for point scoring then why would he bother to do it now he is on the backbench? Perhaps ask yourself one question – would you prefer a person of principle to be your boss or someone that would sell you down the river if you ever got in the way of their ambition? If you choose the latter it says a lot more about you than Tony Abbott.  As Churchill remarked, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life”

The media is petrified. If they weren’t they’d see no reason to give him any airtime.

The best way to insult women is to enforce gender quotas

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What is it with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the plan to enforce gender quotas for private businesses bidding on government projects? What an insult to women. To imply that somehow women are so lacking in quality, intelligence or skill to be selected on their own merit that this quango needs to step up and address gender imbalance. Furthermore it suggests that men are clearly biased in their hiring policies. One of my best bosses was female. She now runs her own company in the UK and is connected better than almost anyone I know. She has never wilted in the face of a man’s world and has a work ethic that would put almost anyone to shame. She has made it by herself without the need for state sponsored free kicks. What is it with the interview  process now that we need to put gender or sexual orientation ahead of ability? Surely any rational company tries to hire the best possible candidate regardless.

I run a business where 50% of my staff are women. Nothing to do with gender but ability. I even pay them more than me. However as an independent business it survives on the ability to execute and I base all hires on that premise. I don’t care if they are LGBT, Muslim, Christian or atheist. Why is the AHRC trying to dictate who I hire for my business? Surely tax payers want the best return on their money so if my business can provide it why should my hiring practices be brought into question? All of a sudden my firm’s profitability may be impacted by having to hire less talented people to fill a pointless quota.

To apply it across industries is also kind of ridiculous. Looking at the table above I would imagine that the AHRC would view Education & Training and Healthcare & Social Assistance, two areas women totally dominate, as fair game. If men were to protest at the  gap in those industries they’d be laughed out of the AHRC offices.

88% of men employed in construction is likely down to the nature of the industry. Chippies, sparkies or brickies tend to be male. It isn’t due to sexism or discrimination rather, once would imagine, interest. Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins on the other hand has told the federal government to take “disruptive action’’ to enforce gender quotas.

Contractors would have to prove that they have “gender-balanced shortlists’’ for job ­interviews. “This means that the gender balance in the organisation would be 40 per cent men and 40 per cent women, with the remaining 20 per cent unallocated to allow for flexibility,’’ Ms Jenkins said.

However we live in a victimhood culture these days meaning we must pander to making everyone a winner regardless of whether they’ve actually made an effort. Every successful woman I’ve ever met got to where she is through her own talent, intelligence and ability.