Friday, 22 October 2021

Hugh White - Without America

Hugh White is always provocative, and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticising current defence policy.

In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence in the Department of Defence. During that time he was involved in the preparation of the 2000 Defence White Paper, entitled Our Future Defence Forces, published by the Howard Government. 

He has since admitted that many of the assumptions that paper was based on, particularly as they apply to the rise of China, and the balkanisation of the United States, no longer hold.

Given that the US has shown us that it has the capacity to "elect" dangerously incompetent and unstable Presidents, we may at some stage be on our own when it comes to defence.

In the light of that recent history, and AUKUS, this is worth watching.

The essay* he refers to is also a good read if you can get hold of it.

*Hugh White, Without America, in Quarterly Essays Issue 68 2017

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Monday, 18 October 2021

A Pinch of Common Sense


I found this posted in Facebook a few weeks ago, when the faux outrage about mandated vaccination first began to appear in local and overseas media.

Unfortunately, I didn't take note of the poster's identity, so can't attribute it.

Anyway, after looking at it again, I've decided that it's worth posting, as it reeks of real common sense, which trumps faux outrage every time -

Vaccination history has long been required to travel (if you have been in countries where some of those ‘old’ diseases still persist) and they’re also required when you enrol your children in most kindergartens and  schools. 

When I was studying in the 90s, I had to show proof that I had been vaccinated for hepatitis B too. We can be stopped by police at anytime and asked to submit to a test to prove that we are not intoxicated and we carry licences to prove that we have passed our driving test, library cards, club cards, reward point cards, train/bus passes, credit cards etc.

 All of these cards are required to prove something at different times and places, and many of them track where we go, what we buy etc. (For the insidious purpose of making us buy more of the same usually too). Not to mention phones which record where we go (by GPS tracker no less), our heart rate, our bank balance, where we shop, what we listen to, what we read, what we look at online etc., AND we live with CCTV pretty much everywhere these days. 

So, we have not lived in a ‘free’ world for a long time, and I personally, don’t really have a problem with carrying a card which shows that I’m happy to help keep my community safe and limit my use of hospital resources should I happen to get sick. 

I’m just really grateful that I live in a country that can afford to vaccinate everyone for free, and also that I’m not living in Afghanistan or any other country at war (civil or otherwise). 

There are a huge number of people out there who are living through traumatic experiences every day and experience limitations on their rights and freedoms that we cannot even begin to imagine. I imagine that they would be astounded that we’re kicking up a fuss about government regulations which are being put in place to protect our lives and limit the spread of illness.

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A Talent for Disinformation

Image courtesy This post is an exercise in fact-checking. I'm addressing the claims made (most recently by individuals such...