War

That sinking feeling?

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We are often told how robust the world economy is. Global trade tends to be a good indicator. Looking at the latest Clarkson’s December 2018 annual review, we can see that the number of shipyards that make the vessels (20,000dwt+) that look after global trade has slid from a peak of 306 in 2009 to 127. Newbuild orders have slid from 2,909 vessels to 708. Wärtsilä is anticipating a gradual recovery in contract new builds as high as 1,200 ships by 2022. Wishful thinking?

According to Clarksons, the global fleet of all types of commercial shipping is 50% larger than it was before the GFC despite the World Trade Organization saying growth in global trade for 2019 is expected to fall 2.9%. The WTO has fingers crossed for 2020. The charts in this WTO report show the sharp slowdown in freight in Q4 2018 and Jan 2019.

Germany’s five leading ship financiers reported outstanding ship-related loans of 59 billion euros at the end of 2016 with an average problem loan ratio of 37%. In recent years they have been busy reducing or selling off shipping portfolios. HSH Nordbank required a 10 billion euro bailout by its 85% owners, federal states Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. It ended up being swallowed by private equity and renamed Hamburg Commercial Bank. Nord LB was looking to bail in Bremer LB beyond the 54.8% it already owns. Bremer LB had to write off  €400m of its shipping portfolio.

China has been aggressive, filling the void left by the Germans with high leverage financing to support the longer-term objectives of the Belt & Road Initiative. One wonders whether China plans to spoil the market by squeezing a damaged sector further. It wasn’t so long ago that South Korea’s  Hanjin Shipping went bust.

BTIG reported that ship scrapping in Q1 2019 was up 35% to 107,000dwt. Ship owners tend to scrap ships if the cost of idling or operating them exceeds this. Note Capesize shipping rates have fallen to around $9,000/day well below the $25,000 breakeven rate. The bellwether Baltic Dry Index is 27% down year on year and 85% below the peak levels seen in 2009.

The shipping industry has been sick for a decade. The majors have been busy merging, cutting debt and right sizing. Unfortunately it is  still in a pickle. A global slowdown will only exacerbate the issues in the industry.

The one area that looks interesting is the scrubber makers (eg Alfa Laval, Valmet, Fuji Electric). There has been a sharp uptick in growth for retro-fitting pollution equipment to existing ships instead of buying new equipment. Sometimes the best investments come when industries that require massive consolidation hit breaking point.

She should be demoted with immediate effect

And so should her superiors. Our armed forces are being turned into a joke. Commanding Officer of HMAS Albatross, Captain Fiona Sneath, has deemed the 500m walk to the Anzac memorial on Anzac Day too dangerous citing occupational health and safety. These are our brave and proud military personnel who are trained to shoot back in anger if required. CM is sure they’ll cope.

In recent years our armed forces have pushed hard on gender balance (despite strong evidence from the ADF’s own internal audit to say it is dismally failing even more so when targets were lowered), discouraged the words ‘him’ and ‘her’, we’ve banned death symbols, painted finger nails pink for diversity and the Air Force is being asked to think of the roles of women when bombing enemy targets.

The Navy has just raised the white flag of stupidity again. Are our able seamen so poorly trained they can’t walk down a well lit trail?

What do these military chiefs think China must make of all this? To invade Australia, all they’ll need is a couple of terra-cotta warriors and we’ll surrender. Our military chiefs need a major clean out. They are disgracing the proud soldiers that served and continue to serve.

The European Muppet Show

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The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit till October 31st. This will give more time for PM Theresa May, undoubtedly the most incompetent PM in British history, to dither and faff around with another 27 versions of a plan that will still resemble the initial deal.  No amount of lipstick on this pig will sell it to the British public. How she hasn’t resigned given the lack of authority is beyond comprehension? Opinion polls already show an overwhelming preference for No Deal.

Yet the 77% of remainer MPs inside the Commons somehow think they know better than the peons. What these elected officials are failing to grasp is that their constituents are questioning the respect shown to the very democratic processes which gave them the privilege to serve in the first place. Many existing members will see their employers sack them at the next election. May has destroyed the Tories.

At the same time, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will romp home in the EU elections in May and add to the already rapidly rising trend of populist eurosceptic parties across the continent.  While the EU thinks the extension will just provide a path to keep the UK inside the union bar the nameplate, it actually significantly raises the risks of further revolt within the ranks. His party, not a month old is already polling 3rd, behind Labour and the Tories.

The Britons are being viewed as a calm, placid and polite people but when pushed the lion will roar. What we are witnessing is a complete rewriting of the rules. That all of the legalities surrounding the treaties are being ignored to get a different result to that originally agreed. It is shameless.

Perhaps the UK should look at it this way. If Westminster passes a result that locks the UK into the EU, requiring the latter’s unilateral approval to leave, maybe Brits should show the same exact disdain for legal process and choose to ignore it when it suits. What will the EU do? Invade?

A guide to gender-sensitive bombing

Apparently, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is being asked to consider “the role of gender” while bombing under ‘Gender in Air Operations‘ guidelines. It stems from the risk that should a sortie damage a bridge it might cause the local women to have to walk further to perform daily necessities such as gathering firewood or water supplies. Perhaps they should drop leaflets instead of bombs that tell the males on the ground to ditch their toxic masculinity and do their bit for equality!

Isn’t the point of having air superiority one that gives the home side a tactical advantage in warfare against an enemy sworn to kill? Are we funding our military to win wars or assist the enemy to gain tactical advantages against our own ground troops? What next? Shall we supply the enemy with surface-to-air missiles to even out the fight for the sake of battlefield equality?

Our military has lost the plot. Only last week, a ban was put out to stop the use of death symbols. Camouflage Helly Kitty here we come. Seriously though, if such patches make soldiers feel 10 foot tall then surely the morale-boosting benefits outweigh getting in step with the times. As General Patton once said, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”

Why?

What often surprises CM is the need to openly show one’s abhorrence to the now 50 people senselessly murdered in Christchurch. On the contrary, if one didn’t find the events appalling that would say something in itself. There is nothing ‘woke’ about publicly showing one is against what happened. Of course the overwhelming majority of us are. Yet moral preening does nothing to help stem the flow of such terror. Neither does capitalizing on tragedies such as this to pit division via unhinged political activism.

Social media has been whipped into a frenzy since the cold blooded crime. Ad hominem attacks against the usual culprits for being complicit does little to help the grieving process. There must be no words to understand their pain. So why resort to cheap shots and big noting on Twitter? Survivors and families of the dead will hardly find solace by reading the bile of ignorant apparatchiks making a bad situation palpably worse.

CM has often questioned the purpose of lighting up monuments and splashing avatars with national flags of where those atrocities occurred. Does anyone in their right mind think that would-be-perpetrators pay the slightest mind to such appeals? Might as well keep the lights on. Because unless proper action is taken, nothing will change. Instead of stifling debate, we need to engage in it. Tackle the issues burning the fabric of our society.  Social and mainstream media continue to push false narratives, making people even more afraid to speak their minds. Some countries like Canada have laws that jail those that dare to.

If we accept the vast majority of people in the world are decent no matter what their background, why is it activists expect certain groups to self-flagellate when such events occur? The background of the victims or the villains should be irrelevant. It is despicable beyond belief to murder innocent unarmed people whatever their race, skin colour, religious beliefs or sexual proclivity. No one should question this. Yet tougher and tougher legislation restricting freedoms ends up being the by-product. Unfortunately newly introduced laws end up causing the opposite of intended effect. It only emboldens these extremists to go deeper underground. It exacerbates resentment.

We have to ask ourselves why? It seems most of the political class is asleep at the wheel given the trend of rising nationalism, especially throughout Europe. Instead of having deep transparent discussion addressing the problems and issues driving these movements, our leaders think it prudent to bury their heads in the sand. Hiding behind the spineless guise of political correctness, they legislate against certain groups with ever harsher penalties in ways which seem only to underpin the popularity of those that seek to defend them. If the political elite think believe they understand the will of the people they are woefully out of their depth at selling messages of unity. For if they understood the layman, populist parties would remain on the outer.

Think about it. Alternative for Deutschland, Sweden Democrats, The Dutch Freedom Party, Lega in Italy, the Freedom Party in Austria, Vlaams-Belang in Belgium, Order & Justice in Lithuania, Law & Justice Party in Poland, Fidesz in Hungary, True Finns, Front National in France…the list goes on. From fringe parties (or not even in existence) a decade ago to Top 3 in many cases. Have more Europeans become racist bigots in the last decade by chance or do they feel their lot changing for the worse?

Take a look at the poverty statistics across Europe. There were 78mn living below the poverty line in 2007. At last count, Eurostat noted that number was 118mn  (23.5% of the European population). In the Europe 2020 strategy, the plan is to reduce that by 20 million. Fat chance.  37.5mn (7.5%) are living in severe material deprivation (SMD) , up from 32mn in 2007. 40 million extra Europeans are suffering in poverty in a little over a decade. No wonder these nationalist parties have gained traction. It is easy to whip up a disaffected mob by claiming their futures are being undercut by mass migration. Whether the arguments are sound or not is frankly irrelevant. People want their lives back. Seeing the inaction among incumbent parties, many are willing to chance those that supposedly feel their pain. Macron still faces yellow vest protests for four consecutive months. Is it any wonder nationalist Marine Le Pen polls higher than the young President?

Perhaps we should question the authorities in playing their part in firing up the discontented. After reading 200+ pages of the Rotherham Inquiry into grooming gangs, it was revealed that the police and local council turned a blind eye to the systematic rape of 1,000 minors over two decades because they feared being thought of as racist were they to target the perpetrators based on their ethnicity. It was political correctness gone mad. Now the scandal has broken out across the country, the courts are finally throwing the book at these criminals. Read the above link at your peril. It is utterly distressing. 1,000s of lives senselessly ruined because leaders were too gutless to stand up for principle. One does not have to be an extremist to be outraged at such cruelty going unpunished for so long.

Politically correct law makers or activist judges do not justify murdering 50 innocent men, women and children. Let us be perfectly clear on this point. However it is not hard to see how those on the fringes use such incidents to fuel their resentment.  Social media allows for such obscene behaviour to be normalised because of the echo chamber dynamic.

What do the statistics of extremism say?

According to the Australian Crime Institute, “understanding the precise nature and scale of the far-right in Australia is made difficult by a lack of empirical information and research. Gaining reliable data on the far-right is firstly complicated by debate over exactly what constitutes violence motivated by far-right ideology…Moreover, Australia does not have any formal monitoring systems for this form of violence, such as that of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ‘Hate Crime Statistics’ (something CM did earlier this month)

In America, Anti-Semitic hate crimes are around 5x the level of Anti-Islamic hate crimes which are around 1.5x Anti-Christian hate crimes. Overall hate crime is lower than two decades ago.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Interior (BfV) updated its fact book on the size of left and right wing groups and the rise of Salafists at home. To summarize:

In 2017, the BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office) registered 39,505 offences in the category of politically motivated crime, an increase of 20.4% over the 2014 figure, but 4.9% down on the 2016 number.

Right wing extremist party membership has risen from 22,600 in 2015 to 24,000 in 2017.

There were 1,054 (2016: 1,600) registered cases of violent criminal offences with a right-wing extremist background, a fall of 34.1%. The number of violent crimes directed at foreigners came in at 774 (2016: 1,190, the highest level since the current definition of politically motivated crime was introduced in 2001) down 34.9%. The number of violent crimes against actual or supposed left-wing extremists dropped by half 98 (2016: 250) remained about the same. Attempted homicides fell from 18 in 2016 to only four in 2017.

Left wing extremist party membership has risen from 26,700 in 2015 to 29,500 in 2017, +10.5%.

In 2017,  6,393 criminal offences were classified as left-wing politically motivated crimes with an extremist background (2016: 5,230), +22.2%, of which 1,648 were violent crimes (2016: 1,201), +37%. The number of violent criminal offences with a left-wing extremist background that were directed against the police and security authorities significantly increased 65.2% to 1,135 (2016: 687) exceeding even the level of 2015. The number of violent criminal offences against actual or supposed right-wing extremists halved to 264 (2016: 542).

Islamic Extremists

Salafist movements in Germany have risen from 8,350 in 2015 to 10,800 in 2017 with the BfV noting on the whole, that all Islamist following in 2017 amounted to approximately 25,810 individuals, up 1,400 on 2016. BfV did note

The threat situation has not at all eased. On the contrary: the shift towards a violence-oriented/terrorist spectrum has revealed a new dimension of the Islamist scene, which was also illustrated by the attacks carried out in Germany in 2016However, Salafism in Germany enjoys undiminished popularity. Its continuous attractiveness shows the importance of Salafism being subject to a debate in society as a whole and of intelligence collection carried out by the community of the German domestic intelligence services. This is even more significant as adherents of the jihadist tendency of Salafism not only reject the West – symbolised by the free democratic basic order – but also actively fight against it: either by travelling to so-called jihad areas or by mounting attacks in the West.”

In the area of politically motivated crime by foreigners, 1,617 offences with an extremist background were registered in 2017 (2015: 1,524), including 233 violent offences (2015: 235).  In 2016, there were two homicides and 13 attempted homicides by foreigners with an extremist background (2015: three).

A fall of 4.9% in total politically motivated crime is hardly something to celebrate when the number is 40,000 on an annualised. There are 6x as many politically motivated crimes in Germany than America with only 1/5th the population.

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If we take a step back, were suspect Tarrant’s atrocities any more reprehensible than Anders Breivik in Norway gunning down 69 unarmed teenagers on Uttoya island? Stephen Paddock murdering 58 concert goers in Las Vegas? Adam Lanza slaying dozens of small kids at Sandy Hook elementary? The gunmen inside the offices of Charlie Hebdo or the barbaric eviscerations inside the Bataclan? The truck drivers in Berlin, Nice, Stockholm or Barcelona mowing down 100s of innocent pedestrians? Where was the outrage in 2018 when a church was bombed by extremists in Indonesia killing 13 people? What about the Jonestown massacre in 1978 which claimed 908 souls? All of them are deeply sickening not only in total loss of life but the grotesque manner in which these heinous acts were carried out. 

No-one with a pulse can look at recent events without utter disbelief. When the suspect tells us the motivations behind the attack, we will see social media get uglier still. If we truly want to put an end to this type of disaster, we must open ourselves up to debate. Going on recent trends, we will continue to light up statues and point fingers instead of actively seeking to find solutions through reasoned discussion. When will we wake up from this nightmare of our own making and communicate?

In the meantime spare a thought for the victims and their families and allow them to grieve their losses in peace.

Hate Crime in America – in charts

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The FBI posts hate crime data going back to 1996. The trend has picked up since 2014 but remains well below the 1997 peak. The type of hate crime has shifted over the last two decades.

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Anti Black Hate Crimes have more than halved since 1996. Since 2014, hate crimes against blacks have risen 24%. As a % of the black population, Anti-Black hate crimes have fallen from 0.0131% to 0.0046% of their racial background.

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…or 13.15 people per 100,000 African Americans to 4.63 or -65%. Or 1.68 per 100,000 total population to 0.62 crimes per 100,000, or -64%.

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As a % of all hate crimes, African Americans have fallen from 51% to 28.1%. Anti-White hate crime has also slid from just under 16% to 10.3% between 1996 and 2017.

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Anti-white hate crime has fallen in absolute terms from 1,384 in 1996 to 743 in 2017, up from the low of 504 in 2011.

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As a % of the total population, anti-white hate crimes have slid from 0.00052% in 1996 to 0.00023% in 2017, up from 0.00016% in 2011. The media would never run a narrative that hate crimes against whites have jumped since 44% since 2011.

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Anti-Asian hate crime has fallen from a peak of 527 in 1996 to 131 in 2017. In 2017, Asians were 0.00069% likely to suffer a hate crime relative to the Asian American population.

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Anti Hispanic hate crime has fallen from a peak of 636 in 1997 to a trough of 299 in 2015 to 427 at last count.

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Anti Native American hate crimes trended at a very low level out to 2010. Since then they’ve surged from a low of 44 cases to 154 under Obama and out to 251 under Trump.

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Anti-Semitic hate crimes remain the highest among all religions in America. They have drifted down to the low of 2014 from the peak in 1996 but in 2017 saw a resurgence to 938.

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Anti Islamic hate crimes really grew since the attack on the Twin Towers. From a trough of 22, hate crimes surged to 481 and have remained above 100 since. At last count there were 273 hate crimes against the Muslim community.

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Note Anti Catholic and Anti-Protestant hate crimes have remained below 100 each since 1996, although Catholics have suffered 27% more than Protestants over two decades.

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Anti-LGBT crimes rose steadily from 1996 (11% of the total) to a peak of 20.8% in 2012. This has dropped to 15.7% in 2017. In absolute terms this has fallen from a peak of 1,439 cases in 1998 to 1,130 in 2017. Were the policies of gender fluid bathrooms a driver of the rise in hate crime?

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One could make an argument for many crimes going unreported but the FBI data seems consistent from year to year. The trends are statistically robust in the collection. In absolute terms, the idea that America is deeply divided and hate crimes are “surging” doesn’t take into account the long term trends when based against relevant and total populations.

As mentioned in the previous article, Germany has way more Anti-Islamic hate crimes than America. Yet the mainstream media would have us believe that America is a hair’s breadth from going up in flames. Don’t believe your lying eyes or if that means that the FBI is not telling the truth…

Should we repeat history (the other way around of course) to save the planet?

Where do they come up with this garbage? According to researchers at the University College of London, (UCL) the main reason for a cooler planet was due to European colonizers murdering 56 million Native Americans. Who knew that the heartless barbarian settler thinking to reforest farmlands across North, Central and South America also assisted in a drop in CO2 levels which caused the mini ice age? Colonization had its flaws, no doubt, but can there be any credibility in mass murder as a catalyst For lowering temperatures?

UCL Geography Professor Mark Maslin said,

For once, we’ve been able to balance all the boxes and realize that the only way the Little Ice Age was so intense is … because of the genocide of millions of people,

By that logic, how come the 100 million+ people killed under socialism, not to mention the other 100 million or so that died in war over the past century have not led to similar cooling effects?

Why not destroy all of the medical journals and scientific breakthroughs which have reduced infant mortality, cured disease and extended life expectancy? Surely these brilliant minds are the first to be put to the stake. Prolonging average ages and improving survival rates of new borns. The heresy! They’re all closet climate deniers – the lot of them deserve public humiliation and re-education inside concentration camps. Got to get people dying sooner.

Perhaps we don’t just need renewable energy. We need history to repeat itself based on the in depth guess work of UCL. Why waste time trying to control bovine flatulence and force electric vehicle adoption to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees by 2030 when genocide (not war) has shown to be so effective in the past?

It is hard not to read the UCL piece as anything other than a stab at white supremacy over centuries. Presumably Europeans should be willingly prepared to give up their lives without complaint to atone the sins of colonialism at the hands of their forebears. A European cultural revolution?

In this day and age of identity politics, even genocide against whites has already been deemed acceptable to the apparatchiks. White South African farmers are Exhibit A.

No surprise that CNN chose to highlight the research. When the narrative is pre-formed, best find anything, no matter how absurd to push the alarmism.