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North Korean Bomb Tilts Asian Balance of Power

This a guest post by Ray Hunt…

The balance of power throughout Asia is rapidly changing.

China and India are industrialising and accumulating wealth at break-neck speed.

Indonesia is morphing, Viet Nam is successfully forging a socialist development path different to China’s, while South Korea and Malaysia are becoming affluent middle-class societies.

In the past three years, North Korea has detonated two nuclear weapons and fired missiles over Tokyo, and the main Japanese island, Honshu.

North Korea’s big bangs are a frightening development for a country that had two cities destroyed by nuclear weapons.

But China’s growing economic and political strength, the historical grudges and Chinese maritime disputes with Tokyo and every Asian neighbour with an adjacent coastline, are much bigger Foreign Affairs problems for the clumsy Japanese Government to manage going forward.

Some informed sources say China’s military build-up and increasingly assertive foreign policy are primary reasons why Japan could change direction.

In the Sea of Japan Chinese submarines have been playing Art of War style games with the Japanese navy for the past four years. There are hotly contested claims over various bird-shit covered islands and potentially oil-rich waters. And, of course, there’s a hateful history of hundreds of years of bad relations between Japan and China.

From 1945 until recently, Japan was happy to shelter beneath America’s nuclear “umbrella.” A subservient defence alliance with the US minimised diplomatic friction with the neighbours and allowed Japan to invest more in productive economic infrastructure and building the world’s second largest economy.

However, given shifty behaviour by Cheney and Bush, US forces stretched by two slow-burn wars, America’s economic problems and a relative decline in its regional capacity to project power – coupled with China openly flexing its muscles – Japan is not longer so sure about the validity of its military insurance policy from “Uncle Sam.”

For these reasons Japan – which has everything it needs to assemble accurate nuclear warheads in months – could may deploy nuclear weapons in the next few years.

If this happened, South Korea would also acquire nuclear weapons, that’s assuming they aren’t already motivated by the Dear Leader’s fireworks to be quietly manufacturing deployable warheads now.

A number of other major Asian countries would then follow suit. China would build more nukes. Then the wheel would turn again.

So what can we do to prevent the region’s two superpowers assuming a nightmarish “mutually assured destruction” nuclear posture?

Step one, sort North Korea. Easier said than done but there are some available levers. Without Chinese energy supplies, the Dear Leader’s regime has no future.

What specific role might Australia play in helping our neighbourhood peacefully chart the stormy seas that lie ahead?

Well, we could employ some enlightened self-interest and push for increased regional political interaction. At an institutional level.

The Asia Pacific Economic (Community), among other established Asian institutions, could help. The Hawke-Keating government, supported by quiet Japanese diplomacy, built APEC from the ground-up.

Maybe now is the right time to update APEC’s 20 year-old institutional mandate? Consider making APEC a diplomatic talk shop?

A place where serious Asian disagreements could be sorted behind closed doors without anyone losing ‘face?’

We should explore all plausible options. Looming on the horizon is the ominous spectre of mushroom clouds and Australian officials who know the APEC fine-print back to front.

Ray Hunt


Friday Footy!

Friday Footy with Tom of Melbourne…

What a week.

Kevin Rudd apparently he prays to God, perhaps he could coach Richmond , as nothing else works.

This weeks games…

Fremantle vs Richmond.

What a vital game. Early in the season it looked like the Freo coach, Mark Harvey, was a goner. The press had him nailed as ready for a quick but humiliating dismissal. He was crushed, finished, toast, his glory days as a premiership champion forgotten. But amazingly Freo started to win a couple of games, and the attention turned… to Terry.

Aficionados of lengthy humiliation (culminating in dismissal) of any coach don’t simply enjoy the end result.

No, we savour the high drama and the crushing degradation of a once proud man in the lead up to his execution. We should all appreciate these highlights of the football season; it is what the game is all about. I’m tipping the tigers to win. That will provide another week of agony for Terry.

Dogs vs Sydney.

This is the biggest and most exciting thing to happen in Canberra since Miglo was reclassified to Senior Clerk (Class 16). Miglo will be there with a team of hilarious and fun loving public servants. They’ll have their cardigans buttoned up, to protect against the cold. Miglo will have a bit of a push and shove/fight with a dogs supporter during the first quarter. Miglo will prevail and by three quarter time she will give Miglo her phone number.

Dog lovers will be well satisfied with the result of this encounter.

Adelaide (aka Snowtown/Truro United FC) vs Hawthorn.

Hawthorn will win. But… the Snowtown/Truro United people are sore losers and have their own means of extracting retribution. So Hawthorn President/failed politician Kennett should hire extra security. Though as perhaps as a service to the Victorian public we should let them loose.

Collingwood vs Port Adelaide

The feathers will fly as these 2 hopelessly underachieving clubs compete for the title of “the most pathetic Magpie team in Australia ”. On our footy thread last week we had an interesting discussion about the favourite drinks of football teams (great idea baraholka1). I suggested that Collingwood supporters weren’t particularly choosey; they just stole whatever was handy at the bottle shop. Port, on the other hand, only steal their preferred drop, and this is usually stocked by hardware suppliers.

Port will win and their supporters will celebrate in their usual fashion – doing donuts/burnouts/wheelies all the way back to the border. Lock up the supplies of metho at the Horsham Mitre 10, they’ll need a refill by then.

Carlton vs West Coast

Old money club vs very new money club. Fevola will get drunk at that revolting , and typically Perth , casino . He will have a fight with a croupier after urinating without leaving the table. Daniel Kerr will follow suit. These teams have so much in common. Carlton will win.

North vs Brisbane

The hyenas will turn on Dean Laidley after this game. He will probably be coach of Richmond next year, but only for the first 5 or 6 rounds. They’ll then sack him. Brisbane usually win when playing talentless teams which are hopelessly coached, such as North.

St Kilda vs Melbourne

This is a genuine clash of cultures. St Kilda has a tradition of being the party club. Melbourne President Jim Stynes will have no parties and no fun. Melbourne is now the wowsers club.

Stynes is so far up himself and such a painful bore, I’m tipping that he will be Premier of Victoria within 5 years. Saints will win. Melbourne players will console themselves with some “diversity training”, run personally by the ever dull, the always pontificating, Stynes.

Essendon vs Geelong

Did I mention that Essendon supporters are very up market these days? They drink chardonnay, from 2 litre casks. In glasses!! They are very posh bogans. Geelong won last weeks because they were on the receiving end of lots of biased umpiring decisions. We can only hope that they win in a similarly dodgy fashion this week.

James is again contributing, he has agreed to resume his football reviews next week.

By the way … I also think we could solve the North Korean issue, but sending a “joint” force of Richmond and Port Adelaide supporters to deal with them. Those communists would be stuffed, the bogans would have their hoon cars in a pincer movement, smokin’ wheelies and all. The North Koreans would probably drop a bomb on them, but to no effect. Apparently cockroaches and the like can survive an atomic bomb.



Good afternoon and welcome to Frolykz!

Our end of the working week – dissolve into the weekend idle chit chat thread.

Now for those of you heathens that might not have been around at the time, a week or so ago, a few of us – a “select few” I might add – decided that we’d form our own religion.

I’d even go so far as to call ourselves “the chosen ones”. Not that we were “chosen” for any particular purpose, but really just for enjoying the feeling of being “special” in comparison to the “un-chosen” or as I like to call them “the un-worthy scum”.

Our religious ceremonies are a whizz-bang, no expense spared, miracle-a-minute extravaganza! See the Youtube clip below!!

Like most religions the main attraction is the fact that we can legally avoid paying tax help the needy through legitimate taxation structures, charitable philanthropy and self-sacrifice.

Let us rejoice!

But of course, having your own religion is no fun unless you’ve got a group of people to hate.

It helps a lot if these people are incapable of escaping their predicament, so race is a good place to start.

Poor people are also an easy target, but the risk there is that you don’t want to appear unsympathetic to the poor and impoverished, so it’s good to keep up a veneer of concern as you tramp all over them.

Besides, if they haven’t got any money what use are they really?

The problem is, that in today’s day and age there’s a hell of a lot of poor people, largely due to the GFC, also know as the Gullible Faith Conspiracy. So an easy way to keep that mob under control and to protect one’s rapidly accumulating wealth is to offer them something that’s easy to deliver – an abundance of wealth in the afterlife..!!!

Yes, people do actually fall for that!

Tell them that money is the “root of all evil” and you’ll have them signing over what little assets they have left in no time. Trust me. It is as easy as it sounds!

Throw in a doomsday scenario and you’ll have them singing your praises while your bank balance blossoms!


So break out the new nike’s grab a cup of orange cordial and let’s all settle back and wait for the UFO to take us all home.

Don’t forget to leave your credit card at the door…

Happy Frolykz!!

Stunts, Punts and Politics…

Things have descended into a bit of “show and tell” this week in the engine room of democracy.

Earlier on in the week, we had Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, holding up laminated pictures of tractors and diggers ostensibly to demonstrate that tangible work was indeed being carried out on the infrastructure spending that the Government has allocated as part of its nation building strategy.

Mr Rudd pointed out, much to the chagrin of the Opposition, that while the Opposition were determined to oppose much of this expenditure in Parliament, local members of the Liberal party were quite happy to be photographed on-site where the on the ground developments were taking place.

Happy snaps of Liberal members attending launch projects were presented by Mr Rudd which sent the Opposition into a frenzy of howls of derision, clearly miffed at being unequivocally caught out.

There are around 35,000 of these building projects across the country, so this show-and-tell thing could go on for a while.

Wads of “evidence” of these tangible projects were waved in the air by Mr Rudd, while the Opposition became increasingly frustrated with the whole idea that they were beginning to look obstructionist and immature.

Nevertheless, and not to be outdone, Joe Hockey also turned up to school with his show and tell homework, being an oversized laminated “Ruddbank credit card,” and then later in the week a multiple page chart, held loosely together with sticky tape apparently illustrating the level of Government debt that is expected in the years ahead.

Despite claiming that Mr Rudd was playing with “silly props, and all sorts of antics which were quite demeaning of the office of Prime Minister,” Julie Bishop was quite happy to assist the not-so-avuncular Joe Hockey unfold his own “silly props.”

Eventually the Speaker decided he’d had enough and objected.

“Outrageous!” screamed an apoplectic Joe Hockey.

The Speaker signalled that posters on their own were acceptable, but posters taped together were not.

So a rather large pair of orange scissors was found and given to Big Joe, who, somewhat deflated (metaphorically speaking), set about hacking up his homework, while muttering something about economic incompetence and bitter and twisted old Speakers.

The Opposition is also hell bent on continuing its losing streak to nothing by focusing on another subject that no one else really gives a toss about.

That being the appointment or non-appointment of some guy called Hugh Borrowman who could or couldn’t be the ambassador to Berlin because he could or couldn’t speak German.

Who cares? The Liberal party apparently.

So much so, that when the PM was asked about this appointment, or non-appointment as the case may be, it compelled the Liberal leader for Bowman, Andrew Laming to yell out “You’re a bottom dweller..!!”

The relevance of the remark clearly lost on everyone else in the room.

Curiously the Opposition refuse to be drawn on precisely what figure the deficit ought to be, despite their relentless criticism of the Government’s spending.

Could it be that they’re bereft of any original thought, and have just returned to their traditional playground of fear and smear? It certainly looks like it.

No photos, please!

As we know from recent comments, Obama has decided to supress the photos from Abu Grahib because they might “put troops at risk”.

Now the Telegraph in London (which by the way is doing a splendid hatchet job on all MP’s in the UK) has a report that is quoting an Major-General Antonio Taguba, who led an investigation into the abuses.

“I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan. The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”

Some of his allegations of what when on are indeed horrific.

IMHO, I think that the US would gain more in the long run by being honest about what happened, and not by trying to hide. After all: Fear grows in darkness; if you think there’s a bogeyman around, turn on the light.

Former NRL Player slams The Footy Show’s “Absolute F**kin Morons!”

Oh dear,

Matty Johns is in strife yet again after being involved in a skit aired on the Footy Show which has been labelled as a clear case of anti-gay vilification.

According to news.com.au, the skit aired on May 7 saw Matthew Johns, currently on suspension from the show after a group sex scandal, play his and brother Andrew’s fictional sibling “Elton Johns”.

In the skit, “Elton” is taken to hospital for being gay, with Andrew saying “I’m so ashamed of him”.

Gay activist Gary Burns has lodged a complaint with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board.

Ian Roberts, the NRL’s highest-profile gay former player, came out swinging in support of the action.

He told SX he was “over the moon” about the complaint before declaring The Footy Show personalities “absolute f**king morons”.

“It’s about time someone did this,” Roberts said.

“Those blokes at The Footy Show – and you can quote me on this – are absolute f**king morons, and more power to Gary Burns for taking them to court.

“I will back him to the hilt on this 100 per cent. People like the Johns brothers need to be held accountable for their actions and their effect on others.”

A Nine spokeswoman had no comment.

You can view the clip here.

Midweek Mayhem!


Good Afternoon, and welcome to Midweek Mayhem, and this week it’s May *ahem* (Get it?)

Okay, never mind.

Do you ever have one of those moments when you realise how stupid you are in front of other people?

Naturally, this never happens to me, except perhaps for an incident earlier today.

This morning I had to go and visit an Orthopaedic Surgeon due to a problem I’ve been having with my right arm. Now, to be honest I’ve never actually been to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon before now, and up until now I didn’t have a clue what they actually do.

My GP explained a week or so ago that “oh, they look after arms and legs, that sort of thing”.

Fine, I thought. Given that we’d narrowed the problem down to my elbow, clearly the “OS” was the man (or woman) for me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I spent ten minutes this morning with the OS and after fannying about with my arm for a few minutes he suggested that I ought to have an MRI scan.

Now I had already had an X-ray and that other type of scan where they smother you in some sort of lube and then use that thing that looks like an electric shaver to show you what’s going on inside the other week. So why not have another scan?

Do these people just like referring people to each other, or what?

Anyway, “Any questions?” asked the OS. Nup I was fine and headed back to see Brenda at reception. In fact, I’d call her the lovely Brenda, because she was indeed lovely.

“I can book you in for the MRI scan now if you like” chirped helpful Brenda, and I jumped in with sure, why not.

“Brenda,” I said, “this MRI thing, is that where you have to lie down and they push you into that tube thing that looks like a big donut..??”

“Uh-huh,” said Brenda “Do you think you’re gonna be okay with that?

“Oh yes, sure, no problem” I said, while thinking about how much of a complete goose I must’ve looked like with the words resonating in my head – “the big donut thing”.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, it was the way Brenda looked at me over the top of her nice red-rimmed glasses as if was a little school boy afraid of his first injection.

“Are really you sure?” she asked again. “Yes, yes, yes”

So next week I meet the donut.

And here I was thinking life was dull…