Russia

If we’re so keen to stick to Paris should we feel guilty about nuclear power?

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Australia seems keen to stick to the Paris Accord. Despite knowing whatever we do on saving the planet through following the politics of Paris will result in no palpable change in world temperatures at considerable economic cost to overstretched taxpayers. If we seem so keen to do our bit for tokenism, why not copy so many signatories and build nuclear plants? After all if we don’t want to be censured for abandoning the accord should we feel any sense of guilt if we adopt the very same CO2 limiting measures of others? Safety in numbers – literally.

CM was privy to a meeting with a former US Navy officer who was speaking about how negative PR can create false narratives. Nuclear power was one of them. He argued that the US & Japan were losing the PR war hence technological leadership on civilian nuclear power. The likes of Toshiba-Westinghouse are now shrinking minnows whose dwindling order book looks like the victim of a sunset industry when in reality it has been terrible program management. However why should it?

Nuclear power is set to be 14% of global electricity generation by 2040 from 11% today. Emerging Asia get the practicalities of nuclear power. Affordable and sustainable baseload with virtually no emissions.

Of course the horrible outcomes of poorly managed nuclear plants has come at great financial cost as experienced most recently  with Fukushima but the safety record of nuclear power is astonishingly good. Quantum levels more people die in coal mine accidents every year than the combined deaths from radiation from Chernobyl or Fukushima meltdowns since either occurred.

The misplaced fear of Fukushima was so high at the time that Americans across the Pacific were stocking up on radiation masks and Geiger counters in preparation of impending irradiation. It seemed the further one got away from the reactor the more hysteric people became. Deaths in the US as a result of the Fukushima meltdown? Zero!

As it stands, the US has two nuclear plants under construction at present which are saddled with delays and costly overruns based on incompetent execution. The Chinese have twenty in the build phase. India 7. Korea and the UAE 4 each. Russia 3. Even Bangladesh & Pakistan have two in the pipeline using technologies outside of the US/Japan.

There are about 150 power reactors with a total gross capacity of about 160GWe on order with about 300 more proposed. Where are the former world leaders in power technology? Next to nowhere. Cowering in a corner and allowing themselves to be beaten up senseless over false statistics. Where is the PR reporting reality? It’s as if they’ve given up. Where is the media lambasting China, India and other nations for putting our lives at risk? That’s right – nowhere.

What probably escapes many people is that for all the negative news cycle around nuclear power and the thirst for renewable alternatives, many Americans are already surrounded by active nuclear plants. While they visit a zoo or the beach they are blissfully unaware that at all the naval ports dotted around the mainland (e.g. California, Connecticut, NY, Florida, DC, Texas, South Carolina etc) and islands (e.g. Hawaii, Japan) there are 100s of nuclear reactors sitting safely in close proximity to millions of civilians. Yet where is the outrage? Not a peep.

Shout from the hilltops at the efficiency of renewables all you want. Then explain why those with higher levels of renewables as baseload power end up with the highest incidents of blackouts and steepest prices.

South Australia is the case in point. Australia is home to the cheapest materials (gas, coal and uranium) to make affordable electricity but we have caved to the green madness and saddled ourselves with punitive power prices to meet goals based on unproven and often whistle blown manipulated science. If climate scientists were subject to the same punitive damages that players in the financial industry are then it is likely the “targets” leading to our ecological disaster would be pared back to such a degree we’d just keep calm and carry on. Yet because there is no risk of jail sentences the tax dollars get misappropriated, funding an industry whose survival and growth depends on fear. Talk about a lack of ethics.

Even worse we want to double down on this inefficient renewable technology (where claims are often made on 100% capacity rather than the 20% they truly operate on) despite having empirical evidence of its all too obvious shortcomings. Virtue signaling actions such as blowing up old coal fired power stations has ironically proven the stupidest of moves in that all the while demand hasn’t changed reductions in reliable baseload supply makes us vulnerable.

Throw on the desire to electrify the automobile  and we already know that existing base load won’t cope with the increased demands. Take a look at Britain as an example. Apart from the risks of losing massive fuel tax levies (around 5% of total government revenue) the power industry’s current projections of new electricity generation additions can’t meet the expected demand if we all plug our EV in overnight.

So Australia should quit worrying about what others think and act in its own best interests. Maybe Canberra needs a PR agency more than the nuclear industry does. High time to look at real data and sustainability.

 

Do arms suppliers have a moral compass?

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40 murdered children in Yemen.  The Saudi logic behind the attack was that the Houthi rebels were training these kids as soldiers. A far-fetched claim. Yet where has the condemnation of Saudi’s role on the UN Human Rights Council been? Countless civilian deaths in Yemen at the hands of the Saudi military are nothing new. Where was the outrage then? The decades long proxy war has only accelerated since the assassination of former Yemeni dictator President Ali Abdullah Saleh in December 2017.

CNN looked to put the blame of this latest tragedy at the feet of US defence companies. Surely the Europeans are just as blameworthy for selling the Tornado or Eurofighter aircraft that likely dropped the American ordinance on these kids? Mattis has openly criticized the Saudi attack in this instance.

Arms deals are a dirty business. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Unfortunately these dangerous toys rarely come with a “please use responsibly” section inside the box of instructions. Some might argue that in certain cases users are not of the appropriate age bracket to play with them. Bribery scandals (aka incentives) are often more notable than the weapons deals themselves. Yet have there been incidences of arms suppliers turning down multi-billion dollar contracts?

If we go back in history, the Americans refused to release the source codes to the Saudis in a potential multi-billion dollar US jet fighter sale that would have allowed certain weapons (the US weren’t prepared to supply) to be fired. Even if the Saudis bought the US jets and sourced the banned weapons on the black market they wouldn’t be able to be fired.  Instead the Saudi’s bought the Panavia Tornado because the Europeans were happy to sell a similarly capable platform that the US refused to sell. UK defence contractor BAE Systems won a long term maintenance contract known as Al-Yamamah as a result of this Tornado deal. Why not bash the Brits for taking advantage of the US putting regional security ahead of arms sales in Saudi Arabia?

Perhaps we could question the moral fibre of the US refusing to sell the F-22 Raptor attack fighter to the Japanese. The Japanese top brass pleaded for the plane but US Congress refused to approve it claiming the billions required to redo all of the computer systems and source codes to ensure it had a lower capability than the USAF plane. The reality was more likely to prevent a leakage of its capability (something that had occurred when the Japanese ordered Aegis destroyers). The result was Japan didn’t get them even given its peaceful history post WW2.

Should we bash the Russians for supplying military hardware has been behind the deaths of over 100,000 Syrians? Or Ford for making the car that ran down people in Westminster?Or should we question the operators of these tools?

If we really want to get petty the Paveway Mk-82 bombs responsible for killing these kids were sold to the Saudi’s in a deal made in 2013 under the Obama administration. Was it Obama’s fault in allowing the sale? CM doesn’t believe he is but interesting that CNN left the period of sale out. Easier to attack the $110bn arms sales going forwards.

40 dead children is a tragedy. Arms deals are far from if ever holy. The instruments of death are sadly not always deploy in manners which are either moral or ethical. The Iranian backed Houthi almost sunk a French made Saudi frigate in the Red Sea at the beginning of last year. Several Emirati patrol boats have been severely damaged by the Houthi in the same area, the most recent incident occurring  last month. There are countless skirmishes along the Yemeni/Saudi border.

Unfortunately the Saudis and several other gulf states are key allies of the US in the proxy war against Iran/Russia. Do not expect a wholesale change in US arms deals with Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future.

In closing perhaps people might question China’s new interest in the Middle East? Many may have missed it has deployed 5,000 troops (including special forces) in Syria since 2017. Geopolitics seldom look to protect the rights of anyone other than the home side. Don’t pretend it does otherwise.

Pathetically Priceless

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Double standards are a strong feature of the liberal elites and Hollywood. Instead of living up to the Chanber of Commerce’s view that it does not remove stars over public backlash by citing  historical landmark status., when it comes to Trump all bets are off. While Bill Cosby, a convicted rapist, keeps his Hollywood star, Trump’s disturbing treatment of women (locker room talk and allegations of paying porn stars) is deemed a more heinous crime. Liberal logic.

The response to Trump

The resolution on which the West Hollywood City Council voted urged the removal of Mr. Trump’s star “due to his disturbing treatment of women and other actions that do not meet the shared values of the City of West Hollywood, the region, state, and country.

The Washington Time reports, “Among other things, the council’s staff report cites Mr. Trump’s border-security policies [an Obama era policy], his stance on climate change [Paris is non binding and the biggest polluters are doing next to nothing], the Vladimir Putin summit [since when did the Hollywood City Council enforce foreign policy?], and policies on transgenderism.”  

In effect, the Council endorses vandalism and destruction of public property.  Why not burn down Trump Tower or run an excavator  over the pristine greens of Mar-a-lago?

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The Response to defacing of Bill Cosby’s star

In response, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released a statement politely asking fans not to deface anyone’s stars, no matter how many rapes they may be accused of: “When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways. 

Probably stands to reason for an industry that turned a blind eye to decades of  #MeToo antics because it self-served their careers would vote for someone that has outed them for the blatant hypocrites they are. Bill Cosby’s star will likely be defended with the fervor of the NYT backing Sarah Jeong. Why not replace Trump’s star for Jeong? Strike will the pick axe is hot!

It is just a star but symbolic of the radical left’s standards that it’s the side that matters, not the principle. We should be happy that the left champion victories like this. Ever more sanctimonious preaching of the highest moral standards to the masses who already have such low opinions of them most are suffering from vertigo – remember this?

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a national health crisis. Perhaps POTUS should direct billions to help fund a cure. Otherwise poor old taxpayers will need to fork out for even more property damage.

The NY Times lectures Americans about child rearing

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Ahh, The New York Times. No sooner had it justified the hiring of a white/male/cop hating (torn asunder if one should be all three) and newly discovered NYT loathing editor in Sarah Jeong, it went out to lecture Americans on the importance of enforcing morals when raising children.

Should we pay attention when the openly homophobic NYT, a paper whose masthead endorses everything it claims it isn’t, points fingers? So who in its view would it prefer as a role model to have American parents instill such virtues in their kids? As opinion writer/photographer Damon Winter wrote, “What is it like to see young people exposed to so much anger? Heartbreaking.

While the tear-jerking article is best read to a sorrowful violin, let’s see some of the positive role models and people of integrity the paper rarely calls into question. Those from the left which the NYT might champion as possessing the higher moral code somewhat missing in Trump voters. Here are 15 options they may consider…

1. Sarah Jeong – white, male, police, NYT hating racist ? As a NYT employee she’s been vetted.

2. Peter Fonda – who thought Barron Trump should be locked in a cage with pedophiles?

3. Samantha Bee – who is comfortable calling Ivanka a feckless c*nt who should sit in a short skirt on her daddy’s lap to change his policy?

4. Johnny Depp  – who said it’s been a while since an actor assassinated a president?

5. Madonna – who threatened to blow up the White House?

6. Michelle Wolf – who thinks its funny to celebrate abortion or characterise Sarah Huckabee Sanders (SHS) as a fat softball playing lesbian Uncle Tom for white women? Say what happened to being PC?

7. Kathy Griffin – who held a bloodied decapitated head of Trump and then complained it was unfair that Trump ruined her career? Apologised, retracted it and complained again that she wanted pay equality despite her self inflicted stupidity causing her career to be in the dumps.

8. Maxine Waters – who suggested Americans should openly attack Trump admin officials in public after SHS was kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant?

9. Snoop Dogg – who shot POTUS in a music video?

10. Robert DeNiro – who wants to punch Trump in the face? Or the standing ovation he received for saying “F*ck Trump

11. Joy Behar – who is comfortable suggesting devout Christians are mentally ill?

12. Whoopi Goldberg – for supposedly calling Jeannine Pirro a “sand n*gger”?

13. Jim Acosta – CNN reporter who can’t take a fraction of what he dishes out and expects SHS to apologize for someone else’s beliefs? Or for asking inappropriate and irrelevant questions during the Kim summit?

14. Joe Biden – former VP who threatened to punch Trump behind the school shed?

15. Or perhaps put forward all the Hollywood celebrities who threatened if Trump became president to leave America but never did?

There is no question there are some highly unsavory characters on both sides of partisan politics. Yet to sandbag all 63mn who voted for The Donald as racist, bigoted and uneducated deplorables with questionable child raising children abilities re-inforces why liberals will have such a hard time convincing people they actually stand for something. If the Dems lose the mid-terms then it must be Russian meddling again, not their unhinged lunacy.

Until the left acknowledge they have a major problem with their image (especially as they go ever more socialist) they’ll struggle to convert many to their side. Last week even Maduro in Venezuela said socialism has been a massive failure.

There is a certain hollowness to Trump celebrating  his 50% approval rating (higher than Obama’s at the same stage). Reality is that Macron, May, Merkel, Trudeau and Turnbull dwindle in the mid 20-30s.

Despite such constant overwhelmingly negative media bias dished out to POTUS, just how badly can the mainstream media be misreading the mood of the people? The more negatives they hurl, the higher his support. The more effusive praise breathed on other world leaders, the more damage is done to their popularity. What gives?

It isn’t that Damon Winter doesn’t make a valid point about the importance of teaching all children good manners and ethics, it is a bit rich coming from a paper that has virtually no moral compass whatsoever. When The NY Times walks the talk it maybe worth paying attention.

No reason why it shouldn’t convert from a broadsheet to a tabloid to keep up with its new found image of ignoring every aspect of ethics it so willingly pushes on the rest of us.

Putin’s puppet?

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Not surprising from Rasmussen overnight:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 65% of Likely Democratic Voters believe critics of Trump’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin truly believe he is a treasonous Russian puppet. Just as many Republicans (67%) disagree and think those critics are only making the charges for political purposes, a view shared by a plurality (47%) of voters not affiliated with either major party.”

Trump’s  unconventional (yet unsurprising) outburst of diplomacy against Iran (if it can be called that) on Twitter in capital letters does dispel this somewhat. To fire a social media salvo at Rosoboronexport’s second largest arms customer (one Russia has sold weapons to Iran  for 98 years) would somewhat dispel that myth of kowtowing to Putin’s every move. 85% of Iran’s military hardware is Russian. Syria is Russia’s #1 export client with the prize being the naval base in the Mediterranean port of Tartus.

In any event both Iran and Syria serve Russia’s ability to interfere with US policy in the Middle East. Israel now claims Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers have stepped up from being mere advisors in the Golan Heights to actively fighting. Israel has commenced day raids in Syria such has the threat escalated.

If POTUS is intending  to remove one or two of Putin’s clients (list here) then one suspects the Russian dictator should be pulling Iran’s strings to get them to arm in silence rather than pick a fight with the US.

Perhaps a more apt way to look at this is Trump’s hatred of Obama’s (foreign) policies far outweighs his supposed love of Putin. The evidence for that is not only obvious but entirely factual, backed with empirical evidence.

Koreans rake sour Krauts over hot goals

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Not a sight you see every day but hearty congratulations to the Koreans who defeated Germany 2-0 to send the reigning world champs to the bottom of their pool and out of the World Cup. The Germans looked wooden the whole match. The Korean goalie had a blinder. Korean defence seemed everywhere. Was it a case of Sth Africa vs Japan in the 2015 Rugby World Cup where the favorites treated the game as a formality? Certainly felt like that. When the German goalie left to play attacker the final goal summed up how embarrassing the match was. Not even 9minutes extra time could see the Germans penetrate the Korean goal line. It would have been nice to see the German side shake the hands of the Koreans to acknowledge the achievement rather than sit solemnly on the pitch and contemplate the lashing to be received in the press. Good sportsmanship is the sign of good champions.

Japan’s Defense White Paper 2017 – Chinese military jet incursions up 30-fold in 10 years

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Should Japan just close its eyes? The Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) has had to scramble jets almost 3x a day to intercept Chinese PLAAN aircraft flirting with Japan’s sovereign borders according to the 2017 Defense White Paper. Since 2007, the JSADF has seen an almost 30-fold jump in activity. With respect to the disputed Senkaku Islands, the PLAAN and PLAAF have been operating drones “inside” Japanese sovereign territory. While Japan can take some comfort with the US Forces stationed throughout the country, China’s increasing belligerence in the region is obvious.

With respect to China, the JMoD wrote,

China is believed to be making efforts to strengthen its asymmetrical military capabilities to prevent military activities by other countries in the region, denying access and deployment of foreign militaries to its surrounding areas (“Anti-Access/Area-Denial” [“A2/AD”] capabilities), and recently, pursuing large-scale military reforms designed to build its joint operations structure with actual combat in mind. In addition, China is rapidly expanding and intensifying its activities both in quality and quantity in the maritime and aerial domains in the region, including in the East and South China Seas.

In particular, China has continued to take assertive actions with regard to issues of conflicts of interest in the maritime domain, as exemplified by its attempts to change the status quo by coercion, and has signaled its position to realize its unilateral assertions without making any compromises. As for the seas and airspace around Japan, Chinese government ships have routinely and repeatedly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters, and China has engaged in dangerous activities that could cause unintended consequences, such as its naval vessel’s direction of fire control radar at a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyer, the flight of fighters abnormally close to SDF aircraft, and its announcement of establishing the “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)” based on its own assertion, thereby infringing the freedom of overflight.

In the South China Sea, China has continued to take unilateral actions that change the status quo and heighten tension, including large-scale and rapid reclamation of multiple features, establishment of outposts there, and their use for military purposes, based on China’s unique assertions which are incompatible with the existing international order, and has made steady efforts to create a fait accompli. In addition, a Chinese fighter is alleged to have flown abnormally close to and conducted an intercept of a U.S. Forces aircraft. These Chinese activities represent serious security concerns of the region encompassing Japan, and of the international community.

For this reason, China is urged to further increase transparency regarding its military and enhance its compliance with international norms. It is a key task to further strengthen mutual understanding and trust by promoting dialogue and exchanges with China, and make further progress on measures to build trust, such as measures to avoid and prevent unintended consequences in the maritime domain.”

Sadly Japan is unlikely to get the answers it wants to hear. So as trivial as submitting to Chinese pressure to change an in flight magazine map might seem to many, the bigger picture is what is happening on the security front. As Churchill once said, “you cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth!