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54 minutes ago, onetrack said:

...I knew the old Pugs were pretty reliable, but the last 2 or 3 decades seems to have seen a major decline in French car design and quality - along with massive parts rorts.

That’s probably true, OT. All car brands seem to have a shorter design life. Anyone who relies only on official dealers is getting fleeced- Toyotas included.

There is a thriving aftermarket in parts. After the 407’s climate control played up, repair shops quoted astronomical prices. A bit of googling and time on You-Tube University tracked the problem to the display screen (without which you can’t control it) This screen had been degraded during 15 years parked in the sun. $180 for a new one (made in Bulgaria) and it took me less time to fit it than to type this paragraph. Good modular design.

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Commentators are saying that the French have good reason to be furious with Australia for abandoning the sub contract, and the way it was done. The French are saying nasty things about our country bre

When the government started looking for new subs, they had several to choose from. from memory there was Japan, a Scandanavian country, France and the US all lined up. So we decided to go with diesel

These guys are just gold:  

Posted Images

I got off here at 9:00 am this morning to go out an change the spark plugs in my Hyundai-engined car. I came in for smoko at 11:00 am and have only changed the three front spark plugs. The rest of the time I have been trying to get the plenum off so I could get to the back three. It's not that the bolts are hard to undo, it's just that it's near impossible to get to some of them. This problem arises from the assembly line practice where major components are assembled on one line, then when completed are moved to the main line for fitting. Little things like hose clips are put on during engine assembly with no thought of providing access during later maintenance.

 

When I was enquiring why my car was running so badly, the mechanic told me to change the spark plugs and fit a new gasket - about $140's worth of parts. When I asked him his hourly labour cost he said $100, which I thought quite fair in this day and age. Can you imagine to labour cost for changing six spark plugs, even if the mechanic was very familiar with the engine and could get the plenum off more quickly that I can?

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Re the subs, I'm not technically informed enough for qualified comment, but I'll give it a shot. It seems that the only major issue with a nuclear sub is potential safety issues, although they have a fairly good track record overall (USSR/Russian Federation excluded). If the safety was of a high enough standard, it seems a no brainer to never have to refuel and to have the ability of long periods submerged. There is talk of them being expensive and complex and making slightly more noise than a diesel sub under battery power.

 

As far as the politics go, they will probably spend a fair bit of time keeping an eye on the South China Sea and working with our big buddy. On the one hand, some question what business a small nation like Australia has in prowling the Dragon's back yard and poking it in the belly. The other side of the coin is that international waters should always remain free to unmolested navigation by any country. China has the future naval and air potential to close off the whole region if they needed to. But are we like Don Quixote tilting at windmills? Are we shadow boxing or addressing a serious potential problem before it gets too far out of hand.

 

There will be more of this to come. The U.S. has spent too much blood and treasure in the Middle East and West Asia and they cannot sustain their previous goal of ruling the entire world. They need to prove themselves as a still credible super power to prevent the other two from completely filling the vacuum. Australia and the Brits will be tagging along with the U.S. in the East Asia region for some time, as it might be the only show the U.S. can afford for some time. I don't think the U.S. needs Australia and the U.K. from an operational point of view in the region. It's more like a token thing to give the Americans some political legitimacy. They think it shows the world that they have like minded mates and are not just some unipolar force. In an ideal world, Australia would be a rich, neutral country with a highly effective defence capability, and we could stay home and mind our own business. But as pigs will fly before that ever happens, are we getting the balance right and should we be stepping up to the plate?

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2 hours ago, nomadpete said:

All very well, but would you trust them to make a nuclear submarine, for a foreign buyer?

Good question, but I doubt they offered nuclear powered subs to us.

 

21 minutes ago, red750 said:

image.thumb.png.4dafaeab47a3f5aa40e77eeda5e252ee.png

As usual, it takes a cartoonist to nail it!

A picture is worth a thousand words.

 

 

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They have used us many times to make it look as if they have people on their side. They do but those are brown nosing politicians.

What they are getting is a welcome to make Australia the main US base for the Western Pacific and Asia area.

We will have arms stockpiled here and we will not be allowed to know what they are. We will have US troops stationed here and any that transgress our laws will be untouchable by our judicial system. They will of course have full control of most of our political system. (While I was typing that it put two "O"s in political and immediately saw it, but as it stood it described our politicians.)

The USA is failing, they are losing the influence they once had and also they are losing the moral high ground that they always tell us they have.

For all their money spent on arms, have they ever achieved anything since their last win which had Australia, England, France and all the British Empire fighting for the same cause.

They caused Britain to lose their little foray into Suez with the French. They were dead set against Britain turfing the Argentinians out of the Falklend Islands after they invaded. They took us into Vietnam, which was a debacle. They took us into Korea, which after 70 years has still not been sorted out, but has caused N Korea to become a nuclear state. They have ruined Iraq by going in the second time and having no idea what they were trying to achieve. They have demonstrated in Afghanistan that their intelligence is similar to that of a fox. But we still want to be their assistant school bully.

Our government made the decision years ago to use diesel subs and as they always do entered  very open ended agreement with the supplier, that would allow the supplier to rip off more and more money. France can see this lovely money trail going down the gurgler.  They must have been expecting over 100% profit margin by the way they are squealing.

All that comes out of this is that you cannot trust either the USA or Australia nowadays, but with scumbag as PM that is not news.

 

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If mankind wasn't so hell bent on killing each other off we'd have more money than we could poke a stick at!

Maybe after the next ice age when the next species inherits the Earth they wont have the need to blow each other up!:-(

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31 minutes ago, Yenn said:

The USA is failing, they are losing the influence they once had and also they are losing the moral high ground that they always tell us they have.

Throughout history, empires have risen and fallen. It used to take centuries for that rise and fall to occur, but with technology and greater awareness of Human Rights, the life span of empires is rapidly shotenting.

 

Do you think that by the mid-21st Century, the USA will have imploded into a number of smaller sovereign states just like the USSR did? 

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40 minutes ago, old man emu said:

Do you think that by the mid-21st Century, the USA will have imploded into a number of smaller sovereign states just like the USSR did? 

Could be anybody's guess. Certainly of late their society and nation show signs of cracking at the seams. Major civil upheaval is not so unthinkable there these days.

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Just been listening to a german political analyst being interviewed about his nation’s upcoming elections. There was little debate among the candidates about refugees, even though Germany has a small anti-immigrant movement.

If that has been America or Australia, things would have been very different.

Why? 

Doesn’t Germany have Murdoch media?

 

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All Australia does these days is dig holes in the ground and sell it and sell our best meat and Crays and wine overseas cheaper than WE can buy it here. WE MAKE nothing here anymore. It's all made in CHINA mate. and OUR dropkick chief Pooh Bah insults all and sundry  just because he thinks he can. Australia will not only have a $#1t name in France, it is crook everywhere now and getting moreso.. The only thing Scotty does well is muck things up  constantly. Nev

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2 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

Just been listening to a german political analyst being interviewed about his nation’s upcoming elections. There was little debate among the candidates about refugees, even though Germany has a small anti-immigrant movement.

Think a lot of Europe is questioning it's open borders approach, most won't say so publicly, but open borders doesn't get the outcomes they were designed for.

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10 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

Doesn’t Germany have Murdoch media?

I am not sure, but Germany's laws on the press and the nature of how they report things are pretty tight.. something to do with WWII, I understand. Of course, they are free to report the facts and provide opinion, but let's say Sky News (Australia) would have been shut down long ago for spreading disinformation.

 

Murdoch's empire is strong in Blighty as well, but Sky News doesn't go anywhere near the rubbish they spout in Aus, because the press commission or whatever they are called have teeth and can close them down. All the Aussie Press Council can do is recommend something, which the Murdoch media simply ignore, because anyone who follows their propaganda would not listen to what anyone else has to say.

 

36 minutes ago, pmccarthy said:

Scomo says he tried to call the French President. What nonsense! They had been planning this for many months, of course he could have set up a call. 

I agree.. absolute carp!

 

Mind you, over here, they are tying the whole thing to Brexit!! Can you believe it? Everything is obviously Brexit's fault.. They are saying because of Brexit, the UK has to choose between the US and China.. the EU doesn't count because it doesn;t have its own military.. and it is trying to be close to China and the US, which obviously is prohibited under the rules of the global chess game.

 

BTW, they had Alexander Downer on LBC (talkback radio - but different hosts have different political alignments, so, on the whole, it is surprisingly balanced - although each show obviously is somewhat biased). His two statements were:

  • Outside of Taiwan, China doesn't have territorial aspirations
  • That the contract with the French sub builder was progressing well. It was slightly delayed, and had a slight cost overrun, but was generally OK.

 

Thinking about it, I can believe the first claim (but only because it sounds plausible and I have not done any research). But there are many accounts that conflict with the second to the point that Australia had already made clear to France that they were not happy with progress and were already considering  their options.

 

When all the emotions and knee-jerk reactions to the decision with respect to the French subs have subsided, we can look at it a little more clearly.. 

 

But when are our subs coming.. will they come in time so they are still undetectable before technology catches up? And will they come in time for this:

https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/matt-frei/communist-loyalist-taiwan-invasion-destiny-of-chinese-communist-party-aukus/

 

Of course, the Centre for China and Globalisation is a non government think tank, but I can't believe they don't share the same views as the Chinese government..

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The basis for Mankind's warlike behaviour has always been economics. From stealing food from the person sitting beside you at a freshly killed antelope to the building of empires, people have used aggression to get more of what they value for themselves. 

 

I've said it before, why would China want to spill the blood of its people in war when it is doing fantastically well economically? Sure, it spends heaps on arms, but that's as much for bluff as for actual use. China has to keep up the bluff with the USA because the USA is losing the economic battle, and it's empire is failing - rotting from within.

 

I can only think of two civilisations that have lasted for millenia, but have not tried to create empires - Egypt and China. Egypt seems to have been happy concentrating on its religion, although sometimes it did make raids into the Levant. China relied on trade. It was the beginning and the end of the Silk Road. The Ming treasure voyages were the seven maritime expeditions undertaken by Ming China's treasure fleet between 1405 and 1433.

 

The Chinese did not seek territorial control, as they were primarily motivated by the political and economic control across space entailing a domination over a vast network with its ports and shipping lanes. The Ming treasure voyages are regarded as an attempt to reconcile China's need for maritime commerce with the government's suppression of the private aspects, representing "a deployment of state power to bring into line the reality of seaborne commerce with an expansive conception of Chinese hegemony. The trading centers along the maritime routes were kept open to other foreign people and remained unoccupied  by the Chinese in a joint effort to further promote international trade. Neither the pursuit for exclusive access nor the forceful integration of foreign countries' wealth (through exclusive exploitation by removal of natural or human resources) was a feature of the expeditions.

 

So, it is part of the makeup of the inscrutable Chinese to be economists rather than militarists. It doesn't matter to them whether they are governed by an emperor or  a one-party dictatorship based on the ideals of Communism.

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China will end up having to prevent it's own people wanting to leave.  A distracting war is common and China may see the use of it. as convenient. Armies aren't  there for show. China has historical scores to settle with the west and the populace is being wound up constantly on the theme. 

  Alexander Downer is a Richard Cranium  who bugged the Timor L' este  government which they are still trying to cover up  by imprisoning the whistleblower and his Lawyer. Nev

Edited by facthunter
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2 hours ago, old man emu said:

…I've said it before, why would China want to spill the blood of its people in war when it is doing fantastically well economically?

OME I hope you’re right, but history has shown that China’s leaders care little for the lives of their people.

In both the Korean War and their short border war with Vietnam, the People’s Liberation Army squandered the lives of hordes of their young people.

2 hours ago, old man emu said:

The Chinese did not seek territorial control, as they were primarily motivated by the political and economic control across space entailing a domination over a vast network with its ports and shipping lanes. 

The worry for our country is that the CCP has recently made it clear they expect total loyalty to China’s Communist government from all ethnic Chinese around the world- even the 4th generation. 

Australia’s Chinese media and business community has already been bullied into subservience. 

How much kow-towing would they expect from the rest of Australia?

2 hours ago, old man emu said:

So, it is part of the makeup of the inscrutable Chinese to be economists rather than militarists. It doesn't matter to them whether they are governed by an emperor or  a one-party dictatorship based on the ideals of Communism.

That’s the main worry.

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31 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

That’s the main worry.

Which? being economists or not caring who governs them?

 

32 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

China’s leaders care little for the lives of their people

Yes. I think that China's long history shows that. But perhaps modern Chinese have had the chance to look at the philosophies of other cultures over the past 50 years and seen how much better it is to concentrate on economics than militarism.

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It's not communism but a "benevolent" GUIDED DICTATORSHIP where the GOD EMPORER demands full control. That's the price you pay for being delivered from poverty and given all the goodies the west has had. It will result in a system where you have nothing private in your life and your rewards will be graded depending on how faithful to the cause you are assessed to be. I think the End Game of this will be something quite awful and  similar to the theme of  the book 1984.  What the end Game in the USA is, is also perhaps Pretty Awful too, and Brazil,  Mexico , and many African states. Nev

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I think we must have a God Emperor. First thing we knew about the ditching of the French subs was when it had all been done. We are supposedly a democracy, but I very much doubt that there was any discussion about cancelling the contract. It was a decision made by Scumbag. No democracy at all.

He has been pushing the China threat for some time now and trying to get the electorate scared so that he can become the hero.

The original idea to use diesel subs was ridiculous and to suddenly realize that and cancel a legal contract is very poor judgement.

Scumbag has only one aim, that is to look good to the electors by saying all the time how well he is doing things and declaring that black is white if it suits his agenda. His whole outlook on life is the same as an old stupid womans, not what we should expect from our supposedly top politician.

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7 hours ago, old man emu said:

Which? being economists or not caring who governs them?

The main worry is how few Chinese are prepared to stand up to their dictatorial government, which has near-total control over their lives and the news they hear.

 

A few years ago, when China started to open up to the west, Radio Australia had an enormous audience in China (with the blessing of their government) The ABC office in Beijing used to receive truckloads of fan mail.

 

What did our government do with this unique opportunity to put our side of the story and win friends in the world’s biggest nation? Closed it down.

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2 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

China is full of crisis and protests today. Floods, education, real estate, entertainment. The regime is on increasingly shaky ground and needs a war to divert attention.

Looks like most regimes are looking for some form of conflict to take the peoples eyes what is actually happening. China will either start a war very soon, or their leader will drop dead and they will have an internal power war, which may well fracture the chinese system. Actually it's hard to see one country that's not suffering from looming political and social upheaval.

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