No Minister

Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Generational Toxicity

with 3 comments

Over on the Bowalley Road blog Chris Trotter has really been letting the words flow wildly in relation to the news of the AUKUS pact that has been announced, with two articles in one week on the subject.

They’re the usual combination of themes one would expect from his Lefty age group: pro-China, anti-US, anti-nuclear, fears of a new Cold War, fears of NZ getting sucked back into another “Anglo Saxon Imperialist” world and so forth.

But it was actually this passage that intrigued me:

It is also quite possible that, by 2023, the United States will be embroiled in domestic strife bordering on civil-war. 

Followed by a lot of ignorant guff about the USA and the Republican Party. Now I’m not averse to the arguments about a possible second Civil War in the USA: it’s increasingly being discussed in non-fringe circles on both the American Left and Right. Even in popular culture I saw the “comedian” Sarah Silverman talking the other day about the nation splitting up because Democrat and Republican voters increasingly cannot stand dealing with eachother.

But there’s another aspect of this that should be taken account of: the growing war between the generations. Specifically between the Baby Boomers and … every other generation: Gen-X, Millennials and Gen-Z. Admittedly this more of a US thing than elsewhere: I don’t think NZ Baby Boomers ever fitted the label of being the “Me Generation” after Tom Wolfe’s famous 1976 article.

I’ve already covered some of this in two posts, Ok Boomer and Hand over the $35 trillion, you old fart, but a recent article by a Baby Boomer in the New York Post should be more of an eye-opener for Boomers, Millennials’ extreme hatred for Baby Boomers is totally unjustified:

Baby boomers who cried “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30” during the Vietnam War should be scared to death of millennials. Because, at least among the Twitterati, they hate us — they really, really hate us.

Last week I took a beating from younger readers over an essay I wrote lamenting the decline of the “power lunch.” Although it only partly blamed the phenomenon on millennial habits — e.g., preferring avocado and kale to beef and baked potatoes — hundreds of thousands on Twitter either posted or retweeted such insults as “Old man yells at lunch table” (I’m 69), “What’s it like to be an antique?” and “We’re the ones doing the actual lunches while you’re having three-martini lunches.”

Millennials (and to some extent their Gen-X and Gen-Z brethren) hate their elders with a ferocity never before seen in our culture.

Generation gaps will always be with us. Historian Marc Wortman found a generational split over sending young men off to war way back in 1941. But unlike those of us who came of age in the 1960s-early 1970s, who merely disapproved of our elders’ “colonialist” wars and shag rugs, millennials (born between 1980-1994) can’t stand the air we boomers breathe.

Young hippies outdoors.

To some extent? This guy should go to some of the chat areas of Reddit and other non-FaceTwit Social Media.

He’ll quickly discover that Gen-Z are right up there on bringing the hate and Gen-X even more so given their proximity in time. Few things piss off X’rs more than being pegged as Boomers by being born in the 1960’s, as if we remember Woodstock and “Free Love”.

Unfortunately the article then delves into the reasons why and thus demonstrates even more how Boomers just don’t get it.

But if they spent more time studying actual history, which can’t easily be found on iPhones, they’d know that boomers were, and remain, the most socially and environmentally conscious generation America ever has ever known.

FFS. He thinks this is because of Greta Thunderhead and her influence on 16 year olds re Climate Charge.

Oh no, dear fellow, there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s only one sentence where he alludes to just one thing stemming from that wonderful “socially conscious” generation:

Maybe too much so — our universities’ overwhelmingly “progressive” agendas originated in the 1960s and have become more dominant ever since.

That’s because the Boomers who were the radical students of the late 60’s/early 70’s now dominate those universities as professors and administrators, and are hard at work teaching the next generations the same stuff, without any opposing arguments or ideas.

Being “the most socially and environmentally conscious generation America ever has ever known” isn’t an excuse or a defense, it’s an unwitting confession of guilt.

What this guy and the millions of Boomers like him miss is that this shite has now spread into every other part of the USA: the MSM, entertainment, government, bureaucracies and even corporates and the military.

I know of no American member of the younger generations who thinks that Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid will be there for them in their dotage of the late 21st century. Or a military that can actually win a war either. Not to mention housing costs, energy costs, career progression, jobs in general or the chance of getting married and raising a family because it’s so bloody expensive in more ways than just dollars.

What he also misses is that these younger generations, or at least a good chunk of them, might be objecting to having had these institutions trashed by the ideas of a generation that aggressively devalued the traditional things on which they rested, even as there are members of Gen-X/Millennial that have learned from their forebears and joined in with the trashing, as this guy points out:

As a college professor for over 35 years, I’ve gotten to know three generations of students: Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980), the Millennials (1981-1996), and now Gen Z (1997-2012). And because I teach rhetoric, I’ve read thousands of their papers, providing substantial insight into the way they think.

In general, however, I found that Millennials presented unique challenges. They were, as a group, the most entitled, judgmental, and arrogant of all the students I’ve taught, often basing an inflated sense of self-importance on scanty evidence.

Essentially, they are the “participation trophy” generation, the unwitting victims of countless artificial “self-esteem building” experiments by the education establishment, not to mention their own parents.

Ouch. But there is hope:

There is another generation of bright young people — Gen Z — following right on their heels and therein may lie our temporal salvation.

In comparison to their Millennial predecessors, my Gen Z students tend to be more open-minded, more interested in facts and logic, more inclined to question the status quo…

That partially explains the Fuck Joe Biden chants that have swept across college football stadiums in the last few weeks and even spread to the Yankees-Mets game in NYC of all places.

They also take a more nuanced view of history and are inherently distrustful of ideologues on either side. 

Let’s hope so, and that inheritances will add up to avoiding a different type of American Civil War.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 21, 2021 at 1:09 pm

This is why Generals don’t do Foreign Policy

leave a comment »

The other day I did a post on General Milley’s breach of the US military chain of command and interference in US foreign policy in the waning days of the Trump Administration, Seven Days in January: why General Milley must resign.

Because of the incredibly toxic politicisation of every aspect of life in the USA, this breach has been condemned only by retired military officers and the Republican Party. The Democrats apparently see no problem with something that they have always supposedly been in terror of for decades – the military ignoring or going outside the civilian chain of command.

President “Softserve” Biden apparently has no issue with Milley, presumably because he can’t imagine a situation where a Milley might pull the same stunt on him. Biden is completely fine with his constitutional powers being usurped. If Milley sought to substitute his judgment for that of Trump, what stops him from doing the same thing with Biden? Yet, Biden professes not to care, which shows Biden’s incompetence, yet again.

But aside from the seriously bad constitutional problems raised by all this inside the USA, there’s also the fact that Milley’s intervention may be having unintentional consequences in foreign policy, even aside from the weakness that Biden has exhibited with the Afghanistan rout.

First of all, here’s Milley’s telephone counterpart in those now-infamous calls, senior General Li Zuocheng, making himself very clear back in May of this year:

Li Zuocheng, chief of the Joint Staff Department and member of the Central Military Commission told Beijing’s Great Hall of the People: ‘If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to resolutely smash any separatist plots or actions.’

Then on September 9 came this from the editor of China’s state-run media Global Times:

The latest came just the other day from a senior Chinese government official.

Milley’s phonecall should be put into the perspective of this speech he made in 2015:

Perhaps in 2015 I would have agreed with Milley, but they obviously view themselves as the enemy of the USA, otherwise we would not be seeing flexing shit like this. “Friends” don’t address each other the way they are talking to other nations and threatening them, including obviously now the USA.

The theory of deterrence applies not just in the realm of nuclear warfare, but to conventional warfare. Right now, between Biden and his incompetent and deluded Administration, including obviously the senior levels of the Pentagon and intelligence services, China is not being deterred.

They might well fail in a military adventure against Taiwan or in the South China Sea. But stopping them from trying in the first place is perhaps more important, and simply announcing something like the new AUKUS pact, which will not become practicable for perhaps five years, is not be enough.

On that note I did appreciate this pushback. Nice to see there are still Navy boys with a spine.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 19, 2021 at 6:00 am

Posted in China, Military, US Politics, USA

Tagged with

Concrete Planning

with 6 comments

There have been many reports over the last few years about China’s “ghost” cities, monuments to China’s vast consumption of concrete and steel over the last decade as it indulged in a Keynesian effort to reduce the fallout of the GFC to its national economy.

China’s massive spend up certainly made a lot of other countries like Australia very happy as they exported iron ore and other basic commodities to the Chinese economy. It certainly helped them move out of the shadow of the GFC.

The country has used more cement in its construction of new cities between 2011 to 2013 than the entirety of the United States in the 20th century.

But the problem with all of this was always the hobgoblin of statists everywhere and for all time; the mismatch between what central planners thought the economy needed and actual economic demand from the people who make up an economy.

Those ghosts cities remained empty of people as the years ticked by. So we come to the inevitable:

Fifteen skyscrapers that were part of the Liyang Star City Phase II Project just demolished after sitting unfinished for eight years due to no market demand.

I note that one of the buildings remains leaning at an angle. All of this should be a stark reminder that China is not the all-enveloping economic beast that people expect it to be in the 21st century. It’s going to get old before it gets rich, and Xi Jinping is actually trying to force it back to a more communist approach to many things, including a bigger state role in planning.

As an addition, check out photos of these ghost cities.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2021 at 6:58 pm

I want a pet Panda – and a Kakapo

There are some animals that do not justify their apparent cuteness.

Koala Bears being a great example. They’re as dumb as planks, quite likely to become extinct because they’re so picky about their food, and not nice to cuddle for the most part. Back in the 1980’s I recall some Australian Minister of Tourism getting in trouble when was caught off-guard by a reporter and recorded saying that Koala’s were nasty, scratching, biting little beasts that piddled all over you!

But there are some animals that really do conform to the myth, and the Panda is probably the best example, as can be seen in this video of a Zoo keeper trying to clean up the Panda area while dealing with a half-grown cub.

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand, we could take Kakapo off the endangered species list in a heartbeat by allowing private citizens to own and breed them. A collective of thousands of us who would become more fanatically devoted to the love, care and prospering than any government department ever could.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 28, 2021 at 6:00 am

Thank You Biden/Obama

The people of Taiwan will be watching events unfolding in Afghanistan like a frightened mouse watching the cat.

Emboldened China Warns Taiwan: ‘The Island’s Defense Will Collapse’ and the ‘U.S. Military Won’t Come to Help’

BY ROBERT SPENCER AUG 16, 2021 6:49 PM ET Share Tweet

(Jason Lee/Pool Photo via AP)

Global Times, an organ of the Chinese Communist Party (CPP), has learned a lesson from Old Joe Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe: Taiwan is in deep trouble, and the Americans won’t help it. In an editorial published Monday, the CCP sent a harsh message to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the ruling party of the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan: “The DPP authorities need to keep a sober head, and the secessionist forces should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams. From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the US military won’t come to help.”

Who needs enemies when they have Democrats for friends ?

Written by adolffinkensen

August 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Posted in China, USA

Tagged with

Dark Clouds cannot hide the light of the Sun

Former Labour Party MP Raymond Huo never got as much attention for his links to China as did his National counterpart, Jian Yang.

Naturally, given the state of NZ’s MSM, the focus, where it happened at all, was on the dreaded National Party potentially selling out to China.

Labour never gets those accusations or implications in public forums outside of blogs.

And so…

“I have never believed so firmly as I do now that the future is China’s!

While China and the Chinese people are putting all their concentration on developing the economy and lifting tens of millions out of poverty, discussing high speed rail, basic infrastructure, landing on the Moon and prospecting on Mars, on the other hand, a few western countries are being led along by a kind of new ideological Cold War, and using a White terror to oppress China and Chinese overseas.


Making fake news, saying a deer is a horse, democratic hypocrisy… this has already become a normal state of affairs, but I firmly believe, dark clouds cannot hide the light of the Sun:

“A thousand sails pass by the wrecked ship, and 10,000 saplings shoot up before the withered tree.”

No matter whether ethnic Chinese or Chinese citizens in foreign lands, when we live overseas we must be upright, proud people of China!”

That’s Huo speaking at a “study session of Xi Jinping thought” at Auckland’s Metropolis Museum on Saturday, July 10. He quit the Labour Party before the 2020 election, in a rumoured deal between Jacinda Adern and National’s then leader, Todd Muller, that saw Yang leave National also (“A Glorious New Dawn Has Broken Over Our Harmonious Society”).

Written by Tom Hunter

August 6, 2021 at 1:43 pm

NATURALLY SOME WILL NOT AGREE, BUT,

The media is not working because in so many ways they have been “BOUGHT”, not brought as many might use in error.

In a worldwide media offensive where the people who instead of getting real news from reputable journalists imbued with a belief their main mission is to “Keep the bastards honest”. In a major sellout of principles instigated by political and corporate pressure merely receive a carefully massaged stream of manipulation.

Today it has emerged that The New York Times, once regarded as a veritable source of the truth closed down all investigative moves into the growing consensus that the Wuflu originated in the Wuhan institute of virology then was released deliberately or inadvertently to embroil the entire world in a “pandemic”. Today the dam is cracking and slowly senior editors and journalists are admitting that in response to commercial pressure from the Chicoms their investigations became strangled at birth and then shut down entirely.

Of course there is a parallel and contemporaneous line of thinking that leaders throughout the globe have acted in a serious overreaction to the virus that has demonstrated a potential to hasten the ending of life for a few who were well on the road to eternity anyway. That said there are reports of a young male dieing in Sydney today but naturally in the gulf of incompetence I have zero information as to what degree The Rona contributed, , it just may be the unfortunate person was seriously compromised but that does not fit the narrative

A well used quote suggests the first casualty in war is truth and in this war being waged by socialism against wealth creators everywhere, that fact is a part of information dissemination every day.

Of course the fact that early in the emerging WUflu spreading Trump calling it ‘China virus”. and attempting to end cross border traffic from mainland China were lept upon by almost all MSM as reasons to support the information offensive from Xi and communist China. As always The truth tends to escape the net eventually and it appears in his nothing has changed.

Written by Gravedodger

August 4, 2021 at 7:31 pm

The undergraduate NRO

A couple of decades ago I read a SF story that had – as basically a throwaway commentary – a section on the future of private-sector Earth Observation satellites and national military security.

The concept was that in this future the planet was surrounded by so many such satellites generating vast quantities of imagery, that millions of people had taken up the hobby of scanning through the stuff looking for things that interested them, and that this included large numbers of people who simply loved looking to see what national militaries were up to around the globe.

The upshot was that in this future, national military forces found themselves more hemmed in than they had been in the days of military spying by the likes of the National Reconnaissance Office and their famous series of “KeyHole” spy satellites (plus whatever they have today).

That future is here now.

News recently broke that the Chinese were building new ICBM launch sites, adding to their nuclear arsenal for the first time in decades. While that was important news I just assumed that it had been discovered via the usual means of spy satellites and other intelligence gathering.

Not exactly:

The silos were spotted by Decker Eveleth, an undergrad at Reed College. He spent weeks poking around on satellite imagery until he happened upon the silos’ distinctive inflatable dome coverings. (Which, in turn, has led some people to describe them as “bouncy houses of death.”)

The reason he had something to “poke around” in was exactly as that old SF story described:

Planet Labs, however, created a new kind of small, low-cost imaging satellite and put up so many of them that it can take multiple pictures of every spot on Earth, every day. In this case, Planet had years’ worth of pictures of the area in question, and Eveleth was ready, willing and able to scour them pixel-by-pixel.

Moroever, once he had spotted this, he was able to get more detail:

Eveleth contacted Planet to see if they could use a larger breed of their satellites to take even higher-resolution pictures of the area with the domes. Planet could.

Lewis and Eveleth were able to log in to Planet’s service and see not just the domes but also trenches, for communications cables, leading out from underground facilities where the military likely has its launch operations. 

Naturally the Chinese denied the story, claiming it was a wind farm, until further evidence from Lewis and others shut down that propaganda. The US State Department said such a development was “concerning”. That comment made me wonder if they, the NRO and the US military and government already knew about this – given their spying capabilities and general interest in monitoring China’s military, you’d think they would – but had chosen to say nothing?

There’s more detail at the link, including a reference to New Zealand’s very own Rocket Lab company and the micro-satellite launches it has been doing. That last, in turn, brought me to this article; Rocket Lab launches secret payload from New Zealand:

After waiting out high winds, Rocket Lab’s low-cost Electron rocket launched a top-secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office from New Zealand, halfway around the world from the U.S. spy satellite agency’s headquarters.

That is just the latest of several such launches, which probably makes the Mahia peninsula a military target, as Paul Buchanan pointed out a couple of years ago in very interesting article on that subject, Launching Into Trouble?:

If the contract to deliver military payloads is solely and exclusively with the US, then Rocket Lab has painted a target on Launch Complex 1 in the event that the US becomes embroiled in a large-scale conflict with a major power. Even if it allows nations other than the US to launch military payloads on Electron boosters, Rocket Lab has made the Mahia Peninsula a target whether or not weapons satellites are launched from there. After all, the main use of smallsats is for surveillance, tracking, mapping and telecommunications, all of which are essential for the successful prosecution of contemporary wars. So even if smallsats launched from the Mahia Peninsula do not carry weapons on them, the site becomes a potential target.

In fact he questioned whether this was even legal under the Space Laws written up to allow RocketLabs to operate in the first place (New Zealand had no such laws because…. well, we’re NZ).

The question is whether there is a legal basis to permit or prohibit foreign military satellites, especially weaponised satellites, being launched from NZ soil with NZ technologies. I am unsure if that is the case one way or another and have heard of no parliamentary or ministerial discussion of the matter.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 20, 2021 at 12:52 pm

WHAT WOULD BE THE REACTION IF CHINA MOVED TO ‘LIBERATE’ TAIWAN?

Adolf’s post on MAD/Flexible response (call it what you will) referenced Taiwan. Got me thinking. What would be the reaction of the ‘West’ should China move to ‘liberate’ Taiwan by force … something China has never ruled out doing. One suspects the days when the US 7th fleet acted as a trip-wire and shield against possible Chinese aggression have long gone. The rapid expansion of the Chinese Navy has put paid to that and then you need to factor into the equation that, in the United States, both major parties have become more isolationist in thinking and less inclined to act as the ‘worlds policemen’ as was their wont up until not so long ago.

Just look what happened when China moved to stamp out democratic protest in Hongkong … lotsa disapproving noises but not much more and right now Taiwan is increasingly isolated. The ROC government is recognised by only fifteen countries … the majority of them enjoying ‘tin-pot’ status of the likes of Haiti, Eswatini (never heard of it), Tuvalu, Nauru, Saint Lucia; Marshall Islands and Palau and, while a number of countries (including New Zealand) have trade or cultural links with Taiwan, the vast majority of the world (119 countries) recognise Beijing and have no representation in Taiwan (including non-political, non-diplomatic and non-intergovernmental representation).

The reality is that for all the bluster and rhetoric the US/China relationship is important to both countries and one suspects there is a growing body of opinion that would have it that the China/Taiwan question is an internal problem for China to sort out and, while the use of force is to be abhorred, there would be no repeat of what occurred in Korea when the North Koreans invaded the south … couldn’t happen anyway … in the UN China exercises the veto as a permanent member of the Security Council. Certainly Taiwan does not appear now to enjoy ‘line in the sand’ status with the United States as say Israel does.

No, all that would occur would be a certain ritual gnashing of teeth by the West. China will do what it has always said it was going to do at a time of its own choosing and that time may be closer than we think.

Pity the Taiwanese.

Written by The Veteran

July 18, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Posted in China, General Politics, USA

Tagged with

On The Doctrine of Immutable Doctrines

In a recent post Dr Wayne Mapp, one time Defense Minister for a tin pot Antipodean country whose military not long ago was scared shitless by Fiji, cited the doctrine of ‘mutually assured destruction’ as the prime reason Japan’s current Deputy Defense Minister was wrong to warn of a surprise Chinese nuclear attack on Hawaii.

Before dissecting his doctrine, let’s look at the background of the gentleman Dr Mapp tells us is wrong.

Yasuhide Nakayama is responsible for a military organization having 240,000 active personnel and an annual budget of US$50 billion. Let that sink in, dear reader. The total GDP of the aforementioned tin pot Antipodean outfit is US$193 billion of which less than one percent now is spent on defense. (Thanks to clueless Labour.) Further, it is worth remembering Mr Nakayama’s country has considerable first hand experience with both surprise attacks on Hawaii and nuclear attack.

Now for the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. This was the lynch pin of western defense strategy during the cold war and is credited with preventing hostilities between the Soviet Union and the United States over some forty years.

However, one must wonder how effective it might be in preventing major conflict between China/Russia and the USA/japan/India/Australia/Philippines in today’s climate.

Times change and doctrines which were thought immutable turn out to be illusory. Consider the much vaunted Maginot Line, Impregnable Singapore and poor old Admiral Phillips’ doctrine of battleships’ immunity from dive bombers.

The immutable doctrine on which Dr Mapp relies is flawed – indeed, fatally flawed.

First, it relies on both parties being competent and capable of reacting within just twenty minutes when attacked. In my view, one would struggle to have even 20% confidence the US has such capability. Their cadaverous president, clearly propelled fraudulently into office, can’t remember where he put the keys to the nuclear codes.

Second, it relies on both parties being unwilling to sacrifice large numbers of their own citizens to gain some perceived goal. Last week Xi wore in public the uniform of his hero Mao Tse Tung who killed over ninety thousand Chinese in his Great Long March. I believe Xi would not hesitate to make a similar sacrifice If he thought it would bring him significant advantage.

As each day goes by, China’s aggressive behaviour accelerates.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is china-nuke-japan-860x475.jpg

“When we liberate Taiwan, if Japan dares to intervene by force, even it if only deploys one soldier, one plane and one ship, we will not only return reciprocal fire but also start a full-scale war against Japan,” the video says.

“We will use nuclear bombs first. We will use nuclear bombs continuously until Japan declares unconditional surrender for the second time,” referring to the end of World War II and Japan’s surrender after the United States used atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Today’s message to Japan was the coup de grace for those relying on an old and obsolete doctrine.

Written by adolffinkensen

July 17, 2021 at 4:16 pm

Posted in China, New Zealand

Tagged with