Cheeseburger Gothic

The legendary journeys

Posted April 23 by John Birmingham

I was going to blog at Blunty about that 12 year old boy from Sydney who had a fight with his mum, lifted her credit card, tricked his nan into handing over his passport, and booked himself on a fight to Bali, via Perth.

But I decided not to, since there's no way they'd let me write: WHAT A FUCKING LEGEND!

Seriously, this kid had to pull off some Jason Bourne level subterfuge and intrigue to make this happen. He researched which airlines would carry him with just a passport and student ID, and he booked himself into a swank hotel at the other end, telling them, he was 'checking in early' and his sister would be along to join him soon.

He's done a six hour flight across the continent, plenty of time to rethink, and he's landed in Perth, gone, "Nah, fuck it," and powered on to Indonesia. I've done that flight. You land after midnight in third world madness. This kid has shrugged it off and stayed on mission.

If ASIS don't have him signed up for an internship yet there is something wrong.

Seriously glad he's not my kid... and yet, you have to admire his opsec and mad org skillz.

12 Responses to ‘The legendary journeys’

WA n'ker would have you know...

Posted April 23
Bravo!

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WA n'ker has opinions thus...

Posted April 23
Bravo!

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jl ducks in to say...

Posted April 24
Wow. Balls of brass.

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24
JB sez: "Seriously glad he's not my kid." I second that motion.

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jason ducks in to say...

Posted April 24
And they say this generation are lazy narcissists. This kid has more can do attitude than almost anyone I know. He should be doing seminars on how to get stuff done.

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Leftarc has opinions thus...

Posted April 24
He is actually on his way to Vegas for a series of TED talks.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted April 24
I'm rofling.

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted April 24
In my day he'd have just lifted the car keys and rolled the family commodore wagon halfway down the first road.

International flights, however, shows much more elan. Definitely worth a tip o' the hat.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted April 26
With my parents, if I made that trip, I'd best disappear for good.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 27
Off topic, but you need to watch the EXPANSE on Netflix....Space wicked, guns, hot chickes, Aliens yeah baby. Just completed ep8 of season 1. NOT FKN BAD!

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted April 29
Way ahead of you.

Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2
Worth it? Havock says yes but lets face it hot chicks and guns alone encourage chubby to make an appearance...

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Robbing the Dead

Posted April 20 into Writing by John Birmingham

Every now and then I let one out from behind the pay wall. Felt like todays bit on the banking royal commission needed to run free. As a companion piece, Michael Pascoe (recently let go by Fairfax and immediately snapped up by The New Daily) has a really good column on the exclusive club which runs corporate Australia.

But I do swear more:

Sheesh. It used to be that the only two certainties in life were death and taxes, and the former freed you from the burden of latter. But it turns out that even in death there’s no escape, at least not from the big banks or AMP, because those greedy motherfucking crooks will crawl into the grave with you for one last chance to go through your pockets. It’s no surprise that racketeers and bottom feeders are attracted to the money business, but after this week’s raging karmageddon at the banking Royal Commission colour me faintly dumbstruck that there seem to be so many fuckin’ corpse robbers trousering performance bonuses for shaking down the dead.

I’m a little less surprised that the government is claiming credit for an inquiry they tried to strangle in the crib. They have no choice. It wasn’t just the ALP and Greens demanding for years that the banks be dragged into the town square and given a solid kicking. Apostate backbench Nats like George Christensen and Barry O’Sullivan were even more vocal. But former banker turned impotent chuffnut Malcolm Turnbull and his grinning scab collector Scott Morrison, did not just resist but actively and aggressively trashed the idea of an inquiry for years.

Morrison ignored the demands from his own right flank, preferring to shitcan Bill Shorten as a Leninist bomb thrower imperilling the economy with his political opportunism and callous disregard for the feelings of everyone who was ever paid millions of dollars a year for running a bank.

Again, not surprising, because the Liberal Party is nothing if not a hand-tooled Louis Vuitton clutch of apologists and pimp daddies for corporate malfeasance. But it has been fun watching them trying to recast their long history of cock-blocking any threat to the banks as somehow leading the peasant revolt which now threatens to turn Martin Place into a mass grave. It’s like they’re standing in front of the whole country, wearing only novelty plastic Viking helmets, and power wanking while singing ‘The Ride Of The Valkyries’… but they’re telling us it’s the best version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle you’ll ever see outside of the legendary 1937 performance at Berlin’s Haus Vaterland featuring the massed Choir of the Waffen-SS with a rare cameo by Hermann Goerring as Wotan.

Good luck with that, lads.

In just one week of what is currently scheduled as a year long investigation, we learned that AMP lied to ASIC the corporate regulator more than twenty times about charging customers for services they never received. The company then ratfucked an independent report into their ratfucking of ASIC. The Commonwealth Bank made millions from the same scam, but found a way to squeeze even more money out of their victims, by charging the accounts of dead customers, in some cases for years. And Westpac’s money managers are industry leaders at managing to turn your life savings into a small, charred pile of ashes and tears.

One week.

AMP’s chief executive, Craig Meller, announced he was stepping down this morning. He was paid $8.3M last year, which is probably less than AMP stole from their customers, so in one sense he was a bargain. The Board will be sorry to see him go, but a generous multi-million dollar severance package will almost certainly ease the pain of parting.

2 Responses to ‘Robbing the Dead’

FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted April 20
I (cough) used to work in this (cough) sector. I was hired to help them clean up their act. It would scare the pants off of you how loose rules were around things like investments and super were. And this was for three companies in a row. I gave it up and now live in the country working on a vege patch. I've read these apocalypse books! :)

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24
In one of my previous lives I interacted tangentially with a different regulator. Industry pays money to fund the regulator, usually based on a bunch of sliding scales of risk and number of interactions with the regulator.

The major banks thought this was a bit unnecessary and convoluted. So like a bunch of good chaps who knew that good chaps such as themselves could be relied upon to know what's best, they told the regulator that they'd just much prefer to divide the bill by 4 and be done with it. Like splitting the bill down at the local indian, they didn't want to have to worry about who had the starters, and that the other chap drank all the wine. What's a lazy few mill each to avoid such unpleasantness?

The regulator did what they were told and split the bill 4 ways.

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Kids today and their terrible musical choices. I tells ya

Posted April 18 into Music by John Birmingham

... Although it’s not so much the music as the box it comes out of. I just sat and suffered through some terrible song Thomas was playing on his iPhone speaker as he cleaned up the kitchen.

It might have been punishment for making him clean up the kitchen, but I think probably not. I’ve noticed both kids, and all their friends seem perfectly comfortable playing their music loud though phone speakers that really weren’t meant for broadcast.

They do this even when there’s a nasty cheap ass Echo a few feet away. It would sound a helluva lot better than that tinny phone, but they go the phone.

I didn’t think taking the time to plug into a stand alone speaker, or hook up to a bluetooth box was an old man thing, but apparently it is. Because of my little problem (I can’t stop buying headphones and speakers) we have an embarrassing number of options for play thru all over the house.

But no. Both kids prefer to just flick on the phone and jack up the volume.

Where have I gone wrong?

12 Responses to ‘Kids today and their terrible musical choices. I tells ya’

insomniac reckons...

Posted April 18
Give up on your own children and wait for them to have children. I'm sure they will think you're cool.

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Dirk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 19
Well there are a few things at play here:

1. Automation: kids nowadays things happen automatically. It starts with feeding, going to and from school, cleaning of cloths etc.

It goes further with internet connectivity and play back. If it ain’t coming out of the box, it’s ment to not come out of the box. And if the wifi doesn’t kick in, well then their gemoungous 4g datapacket kicks in. Hell is to be payed only when when connectivity is somehow not possible. But that tends to happen with genetically implanted implements.

So you need giving them training and grooming. I recommend Pavlov on that subject and, needs be, jumper cables and a car battery.

2. Medical: the human brain is finished about the 21st year of life. Girls are quicker, boys slower. Girls generally speaking have less interest in music though. And boys learn that porn doesn’t need a soundtrack nor a plausible storyline.

3. When I was young, me only looking at a hifi system, was a precursor for grievous bodily harm administered by my old man. Ok I’m spicing that up a bit: he was a great guy, with a lousy taste in music. For your average CIA blacksite, I recommend the complete works of James Last. The war on terror can be over in 6-12 hours.

So to answer your question: where did you go wrong?, I have to respond with the words of the famous philosopher J. Rabbit: I’m not bad, I’m just drawn this way.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted April 19
Tell me more about these jumper cables and car battery. I am interested in these ideas about parenthood and would like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

Dirk mutters...

Posted April 19
Well for one the use of jumper cables should be in every curriculum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBElaWZwpcY

Dirk mumbles...

Posted April 19
This video also teaches the inherent dangers of prolonged inbreeding; making this a worthy educational tool.

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jason asserts...

Posted April 19
I am old, no doubt about it. Old enough to have a good knowledge of music. So now when my girls play a song to me that isn't quite right i delve into the back catalogue of CDs and play them the band who played that song or style first and who played it better. Sadly my girls now like Hall and Oates and I am mad for My Chemical Romance.

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balri would have you know...

Posted April 19
My 14yo daughter does exactly the same thing. Despite the iPod dock on the stereo six feet away and the nearby Bluetooth Bose speaker

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 19
These children will end us.

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted April 19
Kids aren't *supposed* to be comprehensible to their parents. If they are actually in step with you on everything, then's the time to worry that you're raising young fogeys.

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Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted April 19
Luckily my youngest tends to use headphones, which has its own issues. His musical tastes vary wildly between death metal, 70s/80s classics, honest to god classics like David Bowie or Led Zep, trashy dance music and Russian Hard Bass...so the headphones spare me the bits of that list that aren't to my taste. Problem is he is utterly deaf with headphones on and only responds to visual cues or occasional physical cues like a pillow to the head.

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Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 19
My kids , rather weirdly , have been telling me to turn down my music for years. Minstry, too loud, Butthole Surfers, too weird, Sepultura, too metal. 'Can you not play Danzig's Twist of Cain again, for the 100th time on your crappy 200 dollar les Paul knockoff Dad ...'

I showed them though, I made them to go to the pub with me and then proceeded to buy them beers, and then I sang 'The ballad of Chasey Lain ' by the Bloodhound Gang, at Karaoke that night.

Kids these days, I tells ya.

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Brother PorkChop would have you know...

Posted April 23
Mine use speakers and all 3 have asked for over ear headphones for birthdays etc. I guess this is because the boys listen to classic rock more than anything and genuinely appreciate music. We have rather awesome conversations about music.
The girl has no taste and listens to ever changing popular crap that 10 yo girls listen to and it hurts ALL our ears. The constant refrain is, "Moo, put you headphones on or turn that crap off!" It works.

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Cricket Australia's billion dollar score

Posted April 17 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Sharp-eyed punters will see a subtle difference between my original opening par for today's Blunty (below) and the published version after the link.

The draughty feeling between your legs? That’s a lack of pants down there, my friend. And the soft kiss of a gentle breeze wafting over your pink bits is a natural consequence of the sweet nothings being whispered into your arse by the executives at Seven and Foxtel, and their enablers in the Federal government who just let Cricket Australia drop the nation’s summer sport behind a pay wall.

Seven and Foxtel’s joint billion dollar deal for the broadcast rights to Test and limited overs cricket, is about as clear a breach of the anti-siphoning legislation as you could hope for… if you had a lazy billion dollars lying around and you wanted to spend the next six years gouging millions of punters for all they were worth.

1 Responses to ‘Cricket Australia's billion dollar score’

spankee is gonna tell you...

Posted April 18
Struggling to find any major differences. Is it the font? Did you use Sans Pants?

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Lost In Space remake. First thoughts

Posted April 16 into Telly by John Birmingham

I used to watch Lost in Space every day after school. It was on after Gilligan's Island and before Hogan's Heroes. I loved it.

Naturally I jumped right into the Netflix reboot as soon as it dropped. I'll cut to my take now; I enjoyed it hugely. But I can already see there are some who don't.

Over on the Book of Face, Cam Rogers, elbowed his way through all the Russian trolls and adverts for colostomy bags (I told the Zuck I was born in 1901) to lay the following smackdown on the reboot:

What is it with so many current generation TV shows being populated with characters I don't want to spend five minutes with?
The Lost In Space reboot: flat scenes, irritating characters you wanna see die ASAP, minimal sets and locations, boilerplate structure, hacky as fuck, the Dad is yet another stoic soldier-as-father-figure agitprop cliche, the kids are entitled and self-aborbed brats, boring, or talk like a middle-aged LA writer - all without telling us anything about them *at all*.
Just die already.

Ok. Thanks Cam. I can see you have issues. And some of them are even nudging legit. The structural critique is spot on, but so what? It's like trashing an old Saturday matinee pirate movie for inadequate consideration of inequities in the maritime labour market which predisposed underclass workers to unauthorised redistributive tactics.

It's Lost in Space, not Twin Peaks, or even Battlestar Galactica 2.0. The teenaged characters are indeed often self absorbed and bratty, which just makes them very accurate portrayals of teenagers.

Toby Stephens' John Robinson is totally another stoic soldier-as-father-figure, but there's not much agitprop there. He's a much deeper and well realised character than Guy William's jump-suited Mike Brady Brand hunk of beef. The pilot dips its toe into cliche, with some early family flashbacks to happier days, and then it all turns to shit, much more interesting shit, as Stephen's absent marine loses contact with his family, and then almost loses the family altogether.

I have no probs with the sets or scenery. I used to build out my own imaginary Jupiter 2 in a cubby house in our back yard as a kid, and if I had a couple of million bucks to reimagine it today, it'd look pretty close to the Netflix version. I'm only three eps into the series, so I don't know where they'll end up in future story arcs, but given the restrictions of actually filming on Earth, I thought the mash-up of Hoth and every bucolic Stargate forest planet ever was a pretty reasonable start.

Parker Posey's Dr Smith is a fantastic gender swap, and she's so far done a great job of making her Smith every bit as creepy and villainous as Jonathon Harris's character was campy and ridiculous. The original Smith was a pantomime villain. Posey is way more dangerous.

Each episode appears to pose one major problem for the colonists to solve, within a larger meta narrative, and I'm cool with that. I've enjoyed it so much so far that I'm having to stop myself rushing through the whole series in one or two sittings. Instead i'll probably do a slow binge. One ep a night until I'm done.

20 Responses to ‘Lost In Space remake. First thoughts’

Bangar reckons...

Posted April 16
I've only watched the first ep, I'm willing to give it a go, Anyone else pick up the cameo?

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted April 16
Caught the first episode, really enjoyed it, the family dynamic felt very contemporary. (Which it never did in the original) The intro of 'Dr Smith' and I think Major West at the end of the episode was wonderful. Bangar I spotted Lennier from Babylon 5 if that's what you mean.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 16
I think the Don West character is going to be much ore interesting than the original.

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Bangar is gonna tell you...

Posted April 16
Well done sir

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 16
I never would have got that.

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Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted April 16
I don't have netflix...but my folks do. I might be paying a visit to have a look at this. Heaven knows that I was a HUGE Irwin Allen fan as a kid - Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants and of course the best was Lost in Space! I do hope they do the show justice. Do they get to fit a few Jonathan Harris alliterative lines in giving the robot a rev up - 'bumbling booby' and the like?

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WA n'ker puts forth...

Posted April 16
I like your take on the bratty teenagers being teenagers.
Reminds me of some critisicms of annakin in ep 2 and 3. I mean if i was a 13-16 yr old who had full on jedi powers and a big boner for the delectable padme, what do you reckon would happen?

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insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted April 16
I used to watch it as a kid too but I doubt I'll get a look in with the anti science fiction vibe going on in the TV/Netflix environment in the household. Makes Toned Abs look like Professor Poindexter.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted April 17
Original Lost in Space is a Rhino fave.

Have watched the first 2. Am also slow binging.

Am suspending disbelief on wonky science ... and economic disbelief around building individual spaceships for colonist families (as opposed to prefab shelters that could be dropped, etc.).

Love me some Parker Posey.

This is provisionally Rhino Approved.

My main quibble is that I’m dying to hear the opening theme.



FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted April 20
The opening theme gets a look in. Maybe ep3? I'm liking it. In my household i need an escape from the dearth of crime/murder mystery eps

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted May 2
Just to revive this thread: after bingeing it myself and finding it good i sat down and gave it another run with the kids. They love it (as kids used to love the original). So it gets 5 stars from me.

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jl has opinions thus...

Posted April 17
As a kid I never knew hate until I watched Lost in Space and met Doctor Smith.

I really need to step into the 21st century and get Netflix. Altered Carbon is on my list, too.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted April 17
Hiya mates. It's been a while.

Didn't love it. Wanted dreck transformed into the best science fiction television I've ever seen, and that didn't happen.

This was not an unreasonable expectation considering the results of Altered Carbon and Jessica Jones. Netflix knows how to mine original content to make gold.

But I liked it a lot, for many of the same reasons thus far articulated. The update characters - including the Robot - and the expanded story free of ultra low budget considerations are all big fun. The first time the Robot said "danger Will Robinson" was thrilling. And although the \"bricks\" of touchy-feely dialogue are annoying, that is what the fast forward button on the remote is for. I look forward to the next season.

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted April 17
God forbid we have a soldier protagonist.

jl mumbles...

Posted April 17
Yeah, can't have that.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 17
Yeah, I'm not sure how Rogers got the agit-prop message. This John Robinson is a mess. There's a real cost to his service.

Vovchara mutters...

Posted May 4
Oh no, we can't have military protagonists on TV or in the Movies. And if we have some, we better make a mess of the rank structure and they better do not wear uniforms (hello Star Wars The Last Jedi).

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 17
POSTING FOR HAVOCK (WHO'S BOSS TOOK AWAY HIS COMPUTER AND XBOX PRIVILEGES):

Issues with him being an ex soldier / Marine / Jarhead returned serviuceman fkn been in the shit....OH FKN PLEEEEEAS!

What other backstory character fkn issues do you lot fkn have. I guess we could have made him a fkn woman, or transfkn genedr and more fkn PC post world fkn ending nothappy about character fkn developement instead of just fkn immersing yourself in the fkn show and the moment and having a bit of fkn fun. FKN ANT FKN FUN FK POLIC EFK ME!

Its great....and I've got a fkn thing for Mrs Robinson toooo and the fkn song and yeah shes in the HOUSE OF FKN CARDS WE SHOULD AHVE KEPT KEIN ON. FK...FK FK FK AND DOUBLE FKN FK!

insomniac reckons...

Posted April 17
I wish the Havock of old would make a comeback. This mild mannered muppet is FKN soft.

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Vovchara is gonna tell you...

Posted May 4
I was writing a measured response to this thread, but after reading havock's stream of consciousness I decided to forgo this attempt and say exactly what I am thinking. Here comes...
WTF wrong with you people? How can JB whose works are always a delightful mix of entertainment and common sense could find this piece of crap interesting? This stuff is so antiquated it hurts. All plot points have been done to death in the past. There is nothing original here, nothing thought out.
WTF is with all those plot conveniences? Water freezing right when it most inconvinient, a freaking space ship flooding despite an airlock which normally would not allow keeping both hutches open, so no flooding a hermetically sealed container which any freaking spaceship is.
WTF with Zero-G in the first scene during the deorbiting burn? In the times when "The Expanse" is paying attention to small things like Coriolis forces, the morons writing "Lost in Space" don't even understand simple Newton's laws.
WTF with a crash? They went into space expecting to land somewhere, right?

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"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."

Posted April 11 into Politics by John Birmingham

I keep reading this phrase, or variations on it in articles about China's purported interest in building a military base on Vanuatu.

The motives seem pretty clear to me.

And to the South China Morning Post too:

Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said that any future naval or airbase in Vanuatu would “give China a foothold for operations to coerce Australia, outflank the US and its base on US territory at Guam, and collect intelligence in a regional security crisis”.

Highlighting Beijing’s long-term maritime ambitions in the Asia-Pacific, a Beijing-based military expert, who requested anonymity, said the establishment of a dual-use station in Vanuatu would help China to counter the quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

One minor, enjoyable spin off from this story? The toy-throwing tantrum by News Limited because it got scooped.

16 Responses to ‘"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."’

insomniac mumbles...

Posted April 11
I understand the enjoyment although I would never soil myself by even thinking about looking at anything by News Ltd.

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jl mutters...

Posted April 11
China plays long ball. See also their activities in Africa and Central Asia.

jason has opinions thus...

Posted April 16
Listen to this podcast and it demonstrates the level of thinking in China. They will wield the economic power first. The military is a secondary issue.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055y581

Best to be friends I reckon.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 11
Well, I guess this means a few things.

1 We will and should bail out Vanu we spent to much when the chinks coma claimin.

2 We extract a pound of fkn flesh for these dumb fks letting it happen. AFTER that though we start being good fkn neighbours and spend a little more and help a little fkn more too.

3 I see NO reason why we should not have small rotational detachments on some of these islands....and that includes PNG a INDONESIA CAN GO AND GET FKD!

Have a base or two...set it up, set up infrastructure and USE LOCALS...really get them engaged in the running etc.

I seriously think we should have more than 1 its more like 5 or 8 small bases dotted about our north. Some Army, maybe some nay and some airforce. Help protect them, EEZ and the likes.

Its onlt taken until I got home before I could log in...somthing fkn weird arse happening from the work lappy. FK KNOWS! really.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted April 12
Havock for Foreign Minister.

Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 12
I did a job in Samoa a while ago and whilst I realise American Samoa is right there, Australia via the senior service had a small presence. We had a Lt Commander and a CPO there to liaise and keep the provided patrol boat running. I spent quite a bit of time with the CPO and am still in touch. This type of thing would be all that was needed in Vanuatu, Solomons and the like.

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted April 13
I'm thinking and thats dangerous.

We do we not have a Pacific Defence Force?

I dont know, say perhaps a mini version of NATO, but here in the Pacific, southern part at least, tweak the charter of course. These Islands have very little income, and thats something that also needs addressing but I keep thinking that company sized groups from the representative islands into a Battalion or short regiment, underwritten by perhaps Britan, US, France and Australia, hell toss in the Kiwis too.

Set up several small bases, rotation deployment, training and all that sort of stuff, rotational command?

Money spend on wages will flow back, training in specialist fields will also flow back. There has to be a way.

Dirk would have you know...

Posted April 13
Hmm that PaTO thing. Where did I pick up that before, JB? :)

Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 13
+++underwritten by perhaps Britan, US, France and Australia+++

What if/when the others won't sign up?

Not trying for a gotcha here, I'm genuinely curious. What would your contingency plan look like if none of those other three came on board?

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted April 13
hmm. Well I think like most things when looking for investors, they need skin in the game so to speak. I'm wondering how the likes of Malayasia / Singapore / Brunei, plus the islands above would go. That would make an interesting consortium. But to be honest, I would go it alone, we waste BILLIONS lets face it and I could not see this being a billion dollar a year exercise.

Plus, what does it give us...barrier to entry, bring them further up to speed, start looking at what other industries items are possible.

Still not sure on a lot of things really, but fisheries and protection is a big one! that helps keep eyes on as well.

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted April 15
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia_Treaty_Organization

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 12
Speaker 1: those damned inscrutable orientals what are they thinking with offering funds to Vanuatu to build that airport/seabase

South China Newspaper: the.." establishment of a dual-use station in Vanuatu would help China to counter the quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

Speaker 1: I guess we will never know.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted April 12
The constant chatter between the Chinese bases and US aircraft on patrol in those environs is worth a listen.
"Foreign military aircraft, this is Chinese navy. You are approaching our military alert zone. Leave immediately to avoid misjudgement."
"I am a US military aircraft conducting lawful military activities outside national airspace. I am operating with due regard as required under international law."

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted April 13
You know how it is, you prop up one junta and an hour later you are hungry again.
@BPC I'd be very keen to know more of you're experience. I have a mate of a mate who was consulting on fisheries compliance in the South Pacific, his assessment was, uh, not hopeful.

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted April 13
AND another thing comes to mind. WHY THE FK do we still have an outdated, out fkn moded stupid as fk set up with the Security council and these fktards like china and russia or anybody on the council being able to VETO. ITS BULLSHIT. The UN set up needs to be canned!

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Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted April 15
The Chinese have studied their history, finally got around to reading up on Mahan's book concerning sea power, and realize that they need to dominate the sea lanes near their ports.

On a purely cynical, realpolitik level, they aren't doing anything that the United States didn't do to Central and South America. And it is what Japan attempted to do from contact with Perry all the way to 1945.

The big question is whether or not to do anything about it.

These days . . . I'm kinda meh on it.

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