Matt Hartwell comments

Posted in: Xi reappointed as China's president with no term limits See in context

What could possibly go wrong...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Hollywood director Gilliam hits out at #MeToo 'mob rule' See in context

"I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon who is a decent human being. He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!"

Matt Damon is moving to Australia apparently. Byron Bay. He says its to be closer to friends here and to get away from the Orange loon, but I would not be surprised if it was also to get away from the #metoo madness.

In a place like Byron, its not something he is likely to be exposed too very often.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Stalking, revenge porn reports on rise in Japan See in context

Or you could just teach boys to obey the laws that exist about distributing photos of people without their permission and stop pretending that just because the photos are nude and some people like seeing nude photos, that magically makes a crime stop being a crime. You could do that.

Why young boys? Are women saints? The law applies to both genders or get rid of it altogether.

Seems that alot of people think it's only men who are stalkers or behave in a bad way.

Women can do no wrong these days. You know that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP to urge gov't to possess capability to strike enemy bases See in context

Matt: Finland is doing some really smart things with their defense in response to Russia’s recent belligerence. Modest troop increase, planned ship and aircraft modernization, and a re-emphasis on cooperation and interoperability with and between European allies and the US.

Japan faces a much different and more threatening environment than Finland. Three hostile nuclear powers to the west. An unsteady almost forced alliance with South Korea and a primary ally in the US that is a declining super power and itself a bit unsteady under the weight of 80 years of global leadership responsibilities. China is slowly but steadily assuming regional dominance in East Asian.

It is obvious that Japan will need to step up and do much more to defend itself as they become more isolated and it must learn to fend for itself. Domestic politics and a strong streak of pacifism in Japan makes it difficult for responsible people in government to take the forward looking steps to meet future defense needs. In fact hat sense, more gradual improvements in defense of the sort Finland is undertaking may be a good way forward for Japan.

Totally agree. Japans situation is even more precarious. Not just one, but 2, potentially 3 nuclear powers and somewhat geographically isolated from their main ally. Of course that's part of the purpose of having U.S bases in Japan. To make that isolation less acute. You can overcome some of that isolation further by being far more active in ASEAN and I see that happening already. Japan is already a big economic investor in ASEAN and ASEAN is keen not to be reliant on China or anyone else for their future prospects.

The next step is a lot more military cooperation. It really should be the task of Japan, Australia, India and yes South Korea to present an equally weighty, democratic alternative to the status of Chinese client state. Those 4 countries combined, especially with India's rise in future, represent a sufficient counterweight to China. In terms of the U.S becoming a declining superpower, its more like both China and Russia are becoming genuine competitors, militarily. The U.S is spending more on defence than ever and is still creating leading technologies, its just that China and Russia have caught up and exceeded them in some areas, but Russia is really quite poor economically and their ability to influence through economics long term is very limited. That's why the E.U is attractive to Eastern European countries despite the cultural ties they have with Russia. Because the E.U is far wealthier and of no military threat. China is the real problem long term.

In terms of the total defence concept. Here's why I think its a great concept for Japan in a couple basic points.

  • The concept is to be implemented in a country with a strong democratic tradition, not dissimilar from Japan, so it therefore serves as a template of what can be achieved in a democracy, rather than an authoritarian state.

  • The Scandinavians are still very homogeneous in terms of culture. Japan is even more so. This makes it far easier to implement (no language barriers, few cultural barriers) and again serves as a good template

  • The Japanese have a strong, group based culture, even more so than Finns or Swedes which are more individualistic. This should make it even easier to implement in Japan.

  • Japan has serious natural resource problems. It is totally reliant in many cases on imports of basic resources. Its a more acute problem than the Scandinavians have. It is absolutely essential that Japan stockpile extensively and really focus on overcoming the struggle that would come with some sort of naval blockade by China or others. Japan is very open to blockade and that is a serious concern.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump picks camera-proven Kudlow as top economic aide See in context

The U.S is running debt at 105% of GDP, probably stepping up to 110 - 120% in the not too distant future. I sure hope those tax cuts translate into a very significant increase in, company profits and therefore more company and income tax revenue. If not, it will have been a massive mistake. Jury is out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. blames Russia for cyberattacks on energy grid See in context

Much greater use of renewables is part of a total defence policy. Really crazy to rely on centralised electricity generation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: The gorgeous portraits of these Japanese women aren’t photos or CG, so what are they? See in context

Beautiful. Incredible talent. My uncle is a painter. Oils and water colours. He also does a lot of metal sculpture work and more practical work like big iron gates for driveways. His paintings are mostly Australiana outback paintings and he takes commissions for portraits etc. Several thousand $ to commission him.

Getting a bit older now though, slowing down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump tired of hearing 'no' for an answer See in context

*and no longer capable

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump tired of hearing 'no' for an answer See in context

One of the best presidents the U. S. has ever had. Get things done, otherwise get out of the way!

The Republicans control both houses. It shouldn't be hard for him to get things done with a more reasonable approach. The fact he has decimated what passes for the civil service in America is not going to help to get things done quickly. I know Republicans like small government, but surely there is a difference between small are no longer capable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP to urge gov't to possess capability to strike enemy bases See in context

Japan needs to develop a policy of "total defence" similar to Finland and now Sweden re-incarnating a policy they had in the past. Japan could learn a great deal from the Nordic countries.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Posted in: Stalking, revenge porn reports on rise in Japan See in context

NEVER allow ANYONE to take compromising pictures of you. That's not a healthy relationship

Or you could agree to take equally terrible naked photos of each other to serve as a deterrent lol ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump has decided to remove his national security adviser: Washington Post See in context

Don't forget to turn off the lights at the White House, cheers, thx, bye!

Honestly, its like a kids day care center with all the supervising adults removed.

I can't believe Republicans are letting the situation slide into abject craziness. Its embarrassing for a lot of decent conservatives surely. Is Mike Pence the devil incarnate? He can't be any worse than Trump.

Its time the Republicans fulfilled their duty and got things back in order.

Trump has to go.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't considers abolishing political fairness clause in broadcasting law See in context

Take one look at the totally dysfunctional American media to realize this is a very bad idea.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats over spy poisoning See in context

Speaking about appeasement, how about Jeremy Corbyn? If you didn’t know, he is British and the leader of that country’s Labour Party (main opposition to the Conservative party) and he just repeated himself once again by saying the other day in Parliament, that Britain should not antagonize Putin further, but rather follow a policy of appeasement.

Corbyn knows the U.K has under invested in its nuclear deterrent for decades, a policy he supports, and he also knows Russia has a stated policy, unlike anyone else on Earth, of use low yield strategic nuclear strikes at the start of a potential conventional conflict to de-escalate that conflict. Many people fear there is no clear line in the sound in terms of Russia's use of nuclear weapons at this point. He recent speeches make it clear he wants the West to think exactly that.

I'm not even sure China has the policy of outright nuclear aggression that Russia has right now.

I don't want to come off as some lunatic warmonger but the fact is Putin's recent announcements demonstrate an increased willingness to use nuclear weapons to solve geo-political disputes and may be used to rebuild the USSR. We all know thats the goal. If he was attempting to do that solely through cultural, economic and diplomatic means I don't see why the West should resort to military means to prevent it given that the E.U holds most of the aces apart from perhaps culture. But its not clear Putin would shelve aggressive military action in his quest. Certainly Ukraine makes you worry.

Hate to say it, but its time for the West to pull its collective finger out and start working together on hypersonic nuclear warheads and A.I. We should not leave it to the U.S alone. There is no luxury of time. France, U.K, even non nuclear states like Germany and Australia have to step up. We need this technology yesterday. Need to treat this like it could spiral out of control towards WW3 and do everything in our power collectively at a diplomatic and economic and cultural level to prevent that from happening.

Its a two pronged strategy and both require total commitment imo.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Abe denies involvement by himself, wife in discount land sale See in context

Is it just me or Abe sounds more and more like Trump ?

Everyone knows Trump is one of a kind....thank god.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan surprised at Tillerson's dismissal as U.S. secretary of state See in context

Who in their right mind would work for Trump? Tillerson obviously didn't know who he was dealing with. I've never seen a more chaotic approach to government than under Trump. Firing people over twitter. So incredibly weak and lame.

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Posted in: Pressure grows on Abe; opposition boycott Diet debates See in context

Mario was at the Rio olympics


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Posted in: Pressure grows on Abe; opposition boycott Diet debates See in context

Abe, and more importantly, his cronies, are just in hibernation - waiting for their chance to show their true colors.

Unfortunately the climate is ripe for this type of hateful person the world over right now. Nationalism is on the rise. People on the right ignore or fail to see what happened the last time nationalist sentiments took control of the world. Slap me sideways how people on the right think their methods will bring better times. They never learn, but everyone else pays.

After it all goes down, they'll make comments how they were against it all and tried to warn people what would happen...

I don't see any Nazi's in European or the U.S government. What I do see are politicians reflecting the popular will of the people on immigration reform. Immigration is bordering on out of control in some places. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep immigration numbers moderate so you can actually cope with it.

Even in Australian media over the last 2 weeks there has been a huge upswing on discussing the population question. Australia has the highest immigrate rate in the developed world (not talking raw numbers, talking % rate to population) and many Australians are saying enough is enough. Even Bob Carr, who I have accused of being a CCP fanboy in the past actually argued for a 50% cut to immigration last night.

I happen to believe a "Nationalist lite" PM or President is a good thing. You get somebody that promotes the culture, the talks it up, you get somebody dedicated to making the country better, hopefully. And at the same time you avoid the massive pitfall of a full on nationalist, ie warmongering. Abe is not a warmonger and to say different is really just dumb.

Lets look at Abe's record shall we:

  • 1.5% - 2% growth rate in sight. Keep in mind the best Japan has achieved in the last 40 years was 3.2% in 1990 and the last 20 have been terrible.

  • Managing to slowly but surely bolster the SDF without inflaming any tensions with China and still managing to deter China's desire on the Senkaku islands. Currently investigating the possibility of F35's on their helicopter carriers. Despite some low key rhetoric from China, nobody has spoken loudly about the threat from "Imperial Japan" which is more than you can say about China....

  • Big export $ increases to China and elsewhere and gradually rebuilding a decent Japan-China relationship while still maintaining their U.S alliance and getting stronger and better defense relationships with Australia, U.K etc.

  • Managed to play a steady hand with North Korea while be very vocal that pressure is to be maintained. He has never backed down on that for a moment and that is absolutely in Japans interest. Japan is not served well by a nuclear armed rogue North Korea.

  • Steady relations, if not brilliant with South Korea, but the South Koreans are being dogmatic and stubborn on the comfort women issue so there is not a lot he can do.

  • Building a great relationship with India, which will be the next global superpower. Just a matter of time. Japanese companies are going to do very well out of that relationship. Fast rail links etc

  • Successful resurrection of the TPP. Abe and I would add Australia are directly responsible for that and it puts Japan in a great position in the region.

  • Mario at the London Olympics. Whats not to like about that? ;)

Overall, he has been the best PM in ages and I really cant see how anybody could argue differently.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan, S Korea agree to maintain 'maximum pressure' on N Korea See in context

Kono also said Japan would be willing to provide money for International Atomic Energy Agency inspections if needed.

My advice to Kim do not trust any offer by Japan - IAEA Director is Japanese, this is a sneaky way for them to gain entry to your nation.

I would not trust the North Koreans one inch. They are plenty of places you can hide this stuff and so it will literally be a case of combing the entire country for as long as that process takes. It would be wise if none of the inspectors were Chinese, Russian, Korean or Japanese imo.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Pressure grows on Abe; opposition boycott Diet debates See in context

Hang in there Abe... you've held Japan together and moved the country further forward than any other PM for the last 30 years.

That's actually a pretty fair statement. Certainly Japanese politics for the last 20 years has been dire up until Abe's current run.

Still, if he has personally overseen something dodgy happening then it will eventually come out.

It will be a question of how intense his involvement was in that process. So far his wife looks more complicit than he does. Can the LDP come up with a viable alternative candidate?

I suspect regardless of what happens the present path will be maintained in terms of Japans outlook on the world. The geo-political realities are what they are and Japan is on the right path anyway. The growth in the economy, albeit reasonably timid is a lot better anything Japan has achieved in recent memory.

People saying Abe is a Nippon Kaigi nationalist are correct, but hey you could get an awful lot worse in terms of Japanese nationalists, that's for sure. Abe is nationalist lite which is whats good about him.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Austria marks 80 years since annexation by Hitler See in context

What's even more worrying is so little is being done to slow the rise of 'neo-fascist and far-right ideologies'.

What some consider far-right, many Europeans consider protecting their European identity and all the fantastic elements of that culture, like the rule of law, like democracy, like secularism etc. The Japanese have the right idea. You only invite people that can integrate and value the culture.

Ask people from England what they think of the grooming gangs, or the Swedes what they think about Muslim judges trying to implement Sharia law or what the Germans think about having their women raped or the Italians and Greeks what they think of no holds barred immigration from Libya and Africa etc. Not to mention the increasing numbers of no-go areas.

Slowly, but surely the Europeans are waking up. Its long overdue. Unfortunately a lot of good people, including many decent Muslims won't be able to immigrate to Europe in future. That's the way things are. Always the innocent are punished for the acts of others. Unfortunately the acts of others are becoming far too common to ignore. That's why Merkel, the most successful European politician for generations, almost lost her seat at the table and is sure to lose it if she doesn't continue to tighten immigration policy.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents, removing name of Abe's wife See in context

Old Abe is going to need an extra layer of teflon to dodge this one. In saying that, its hard to see much of an alternative PM in the LDP and no other party has a prayer. I cant see the establishment in the LDP pushing Abe to leave. He does quite well on the international stage and there is no doubt Japans fortunes in general have been rising since he has been PM.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: How safe is Japan? New interactive map reveals reports of crime around the country See in context

I'd consider any politician that utters the desire for Utopia a good subject for assassination.

Utopia should be feared. The 20th century was filled with the desire for Utopia and it lead straight to nightmare. I fear China may end up going down the same path.

Total control and a complete crushing of the human spirit.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's new advanced fighter may be based on existing foreign design See in context

United States and Europe, with a separate, more detailed document delivered to London and Washington, according to the sources, who have direct knowledge of the requests.

The U.K has been hollowing out there defense industry for a couple decades. I think they will eventually come around to joining the new combined European military that is gradually being setup and contributing to research within that, even post Brexit.

In October this year, you can see Europe is going to formulate a new set of projects to build on top of the 17 they have initiated. Its an opportunity. They need to replace a lot of their fighter fleet as well. Not all are going to buy an F35 and its clear the desire behind the F3 is not to replace but compliment the F35.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Steel standoff: EU, Japan press U.S. for tariff exemption See in context

Because Australia has China as major partner, thats why. When china economy collapses very soon, Australia GDP will collapse, to similar too 3rd world nations

I cant see China's economy collapsing at any point. I can see a big correction in terms of debt levels, but they will push through it.

But lets assume it does happen, most of the impact would be on one Australian state. The rest of the country would keep on moving. Why?

You have to keep in mind though that the majority of what Australia exports to China is minerals, specifically iron ore, by a VERY large margin, approximately 50% of all exports.

Here is a nice graph -

This is a nice link, quite recent, about the industry in Western Australia -

Several things to note:

  1. Overwhelming iron ore is based in W.A. 53000 people employed. Any downturn in that industry will have marginal impacts in NSW, VIC, QLD - the most populous states, but impact W.A heavily.
  2. These companies are majority foreign owned, not Australian.
  3. Taxes, royalties etc - BHP - 4.7 billion, Fortescue 2 billion approx, Rio approx 3 billion. Total taxes collected by all Australian governments was around 440 billion in 2013-2014. Probably closer to 500 billion now. So your talking 2% of taxes for these companies.

Not only that, but its not clear in that W.A report whether India will be able to supply all their needs domestically. From the article - "India accounted for 7 per cent (143 million tonnes) of global iron ore production in 2015, taking over from China as the third largest producer of iron ore. India exported 3 per cent of its iron ore production in 2015."

3% exports suggests there aint much room to move and they may need to import more iron ore if India maintains 7 - 8% growth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Steel standoff: EU, Japan press U.S. for tariff exemption See in context

Basically he just wants to put sanctions on China, but China hasn't done anything wrong

Is it April Fools Day already?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Steel standoff: EU, Japan press U.S. for tariff exemption See in context

Trumps simple and high uncomplicated logic is as follows.

China - $636 billion traded with a $375 billion deficit.

Canada - $582 billion traded with an $18 billion deficit.

Mexico - $557 billion traded with a $71 billion deficit.

Japan - $204 billion traded with a $69 billion deficit.

Germany - $171 billion traded with a $65 billion deficit.

I suppose if Mexico is exempted, you would also exempt Japan and Germany, but clearly not China.

The U.S runs a surplus with Australia, one of very few, so we should be auto-exempted ;)

This is a good, summarised article. Im hoping its accurate (probably not) -

hurting allies like the EU and Japan more than China, their main target.

And thats what makes this stupid. He should be using U.S allies to help offset the losses to the U.S economy of a trade war with China.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. eases way to more tariff exemptions under pressure from allies See in context

Looking after your own citizens is pathetic? Nonsensical.

Ridiculous. How does starting a trade war help your citizens?

Largest or second largest economy in the World. How is the U.S ever going to be irrelevant?

Take a look at the TPP. It went ahead without the US. Yes, the US can be irrelevant. If the rest of the world ignores it and just goes about their business.

Again, nonsenscal. And filled with spite.

I'm not the one supporting a trade war. Those who support trade wars are filled with spite.

You have misunderstood what I said.

It is nonsensical to suggest that countries clamoring to secure an exemption is "pathetic". It is perfectly reasonable. You can be sure that every country will be doing the same thing.

No country is going to ignore the biggest or second biggest economy in the world, even projecting 50 years out, the U.S will still be in the top 3, perhaps with India No.2. The U.S will have 320 million people, likely 400 million by that time. Other than China and India, nobody is going to approach that population level.

So I say again, how are they ever going to be irrelevant? Unless your predicting WW3 or some other catastrophe. I'm just looking at population and economic trends.

He has destroyed all credibility for US trade agreements - he has shown that at any given time Americans will suddenly decide they do not like the terms of an agreement and will stop honoring them. 

Are you sure thats the case? I know they are renegotiating a bunch of agreements, including NAFTA, but I haven't seen anybody suggest that the U.S is not honoring agreements as they stand right now.

There is a difference between Trump tweeting his anger at trade agreements and the U.S not actually honoring what is still in force.

I dont agree with the approach Trump is taking. I think its dumb. I dont think he has a strategy. We are also overlooking the fact that his approach is likely to be short term. Trump probably wont even serve a second term. Even less likely too once this blows up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. eases way to more tariff exemptions under pressure from allies See in context

This clamoring on by all these countries is pathetic

Looking after your own citizens is pathetic? Nonsensical.

Just circumvent the US into irrelevancy.

Largest or second largest economy in the World. How is the U.S ever going to be irrelevant?

Again, nonsenscal. And filled with spite.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Philippine president needs psychiatric evaluation: U.N. rights chief See in context

The true issue is why doesn't the UN do something other than pay lip service?

The U.N is only as strong as the commitment it has from member states to do something. Clearly they don't want to do anything about Duterte. Who's fault is that? The U.N or the countries involved?

I know its fashionable to beat on the U.N but it always misses the point. It simply allows a bunch of nation states to sit around a table and have a discussion, the real power resides in the hands of the those nation states, particularly the more influential and powerful countries.

Same as it ever was.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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