Wednesday 31 July 2019

What do ordinary Hong Kongers think?

Mind the Gap: insanity continues …
One doesn't have to be a pro-Beijing stooge to be fed up with the shocking violence on our streets. Violence perpetrated by a loud minority.
Where is the poll of Hong Kongers to find out what our quiet majority thinks? In 2014 you commissioned a poll which showed an "overwhelming majority" (83%) wanted the Occupy protests to end
Our own straw poll suggests the same overwhelming majority today are sick and tired of the violent protesters and their inchoate aims. 
And no wonder. 
Just look at the news in your own paper: retail sales plunging, property transactions tumbling, business confidence eroding, local and international commuters hindered. This can't go on. 
The protesters say they are concerned about Beijing's tightening rule. If they keep going with their violent protests they're about to find out. 
Let's have a new poll and be guided by the HK majority, not the minority, the self-deluded and increasingly violent protesters. 
PF etc. 
Published 2 Aug

Monday 29 July 2019

State Council’s rare presser on Hong Kong

Yang Guang, spokesman for State Council HK Office
We just watched the State Council presser.  One off, we believe, never done before on the subject of Hong Kong, though I’m not fully sure about that.
We were a touch concerned, though J had predicted it would be about supporting the HK government and the police, and so it turned out to be.
Yang made three points:
1.  Oppose violence
2.  Uphold the rule of law
3.  Focus on development and livelihood issues.  i.e. get back to making money.

Not much to be too worried about, though the violent protesters won’t like being called “criminals”. (Even if that’s what, to be precise, they were and are).  But at least no talk of the PLA being brought out of their barracks. The one question on what conditions would be needed for them to be put on the streets, Yang parried by saying “it’s in the Basic Law”.

Yang is young. And steely, behind the bland smiley face. We can just imagine the amount of time the went into crafting the message, and Yang has been given a high responsibility of delivering it to the world. J notes Yang has some grey in his hair.  A new trend amongst the leadership, who till now have been sternly blackly black-haired.  But Xi Jinping started the trend to letting it go natural....

Other reports 

Trivia: Yang Guang is also a Sui dynasty emperor, b. 569 CE.

“No Deal” is a good deal!

There’s much huffing and puffing on the Remainer side.  If Britain “crashes out”, at the very best we simply don’t know what will happen, but likely it will be terrible, major chaos in the economy, major problems in every area of life: aviation, shipping, shopping, fishing....
But there’s never any detail and it’s all “could be”, “might be” and “calamity”.
Never have I seen such Henny Pennies.
Here I look at some of the likely outcomes, based on a summary of pros and cons, courtesy iNews, which is, far as I can see, an anti-Brexit site (as are all good Lefties and les bien pensants).

“Doom and gloom”?
The EU charges 4% on average to non-EU members.  That’s already balanced by the over 4% devaluation in the GB pound. And in any case is minimal.  Minimal.
From Eurostat, using World Bank figures

The iNews article says that the price of goods in the UK will rise, but that’s only if the UK decides to apply the same level of average tariff as the EU does, and it doesn’t have to do this.  in any case, around 70% of EU imports are at zero or reduced tariff, as noted above, so the impacts will be minimal. Minimal. Not “doom”. Not “gloom”. Trivial.
“The UK would be free to set its own controls”.  Well, good, then.  As to Europeans in the UK, Boris has already said that they could stay. Worst case: nasty Europeans don’t reciprocate.  By why would they not, other than to be vengeful?  Also: more Europeans in UK than UK people in Europe, so there’s leverage should the UK need to use it.
"Relevant EU laws would be transferred over so there would be no black holes in Britain’s lawbook.
Britain would no longer have to adhere to the rulings of the European Court of Justice ....”
So, again, good then. I recall a number of cases where the UK had decided to deport a criminal or islamist, and the EU courts had overturned the UK decisions.  That insult will be history.
“The Government would not have to pay the Annual £13 billion to the EU budget.  Again, good, then. However, Britain would lose out on some EU subsidies” of about £ 3 billion.  Well, so what? If all made up by the UK government, theyre still £10 billion in front.
The Irish Border.  
Well, I’m not going to get into this, save to say if it turns out that Northern Ireland decides to leave the UK and join the Republic, well good on them.  And I say that as one with way back Irish connections to County Antrim, in Northern Ireland, which I’m just about to visit for the first time.  Does anyone really think that would be such a bad thing? A united Ireland?  Well, I guess I’ll find out.
Anyhoo, the above is my comments drawing on a site that’s clearly anti-Brexit. And it doesn’t really seem so bad at all, does it?
Compared with the cleanness of getting out in one go. Done and dusted.  Be done with it. No need to wait 21 months of “transition period” that would happen with a Brexit with a deal.
So, get on with it Boris!  No Deal, is a good Deal!
LATER: [Just hearing the BBC quote the Confederation of British Industry apparently saying that everyone, every shopper will be affected.  Again, so what? What sort of effect?  Much or most is likely to be trivial.]
Related: No deal Brexit would not be a disaster. Spectator, July 2019

Hong Kong protesters now a violent rump

Des Voeux Rd, last night. What it doesn't show is that there were just a few hundred
Your reporting just now on BBC World Service Hong Kong was grossly biased. 
You gave voice to only one side of the argument: a young lady who talked of the "heroic" protesters lined up against a cruel and uncaring government. They are fighting for a "just and fair society" she claims; well, that's what we have already and the irresponsible actions of her and her violent comrades endangers it.
The fact is the days of large peaceful demonstrations with a clear aim (anti extradition treaty) are past. That aim was achieved. Now we are left with a rump of demonstrators who do everything to provoke the police for nebulous ill-defined aims. They deface our streets with vile graffiti like "We are not China" written 我们不是支那 using the offensive Japanese imperial term for China (支那), and, in English, "Fuck Popo" (Popo = police). Yet when the police don't immediately jump to their beck and call (Yuen Long two weeks ago), they protest. And when the police do turn up (Central, last night)  the protesters are enraged. 
The majority of Hong Kongers are sick and tired of their shenanigans. We have spoken to a wide variety of the average resident: manicurists, dentists, shop owners, building contractors, doctors, lawyers. It's pretty unanimous: support for the initial peaceful anti-extradition treaty demos. But no support for the ongoing violent protests. 
We have also seen numerous signs on our island of Lantau expressing support for the police and for the government to implement the rule of law for the stability of Hong Kong. None of those signs is defaced and all are in prominent positions in the various villages in our island, indicating local support. 
The result is deep concerns that the violent protesters will bring about — deliberately or otherwise — the very thing they claim to be against: greater Beijing intrusion into our city's affairs. There's already credible talk of the PLA interfering. 
About time you interviewed some of these ordinary HK folks. Ordinary Hong kongers. Not just  the self-serving violent activists. Who are now just a rump. 

PF, etc
(43 years in the city as Australian diplomat, business executive and business founder/owner)

PS: have a look at Yonden Lhatoo's article in yesterday's South China Morning Post.  Lhatoo is no conservative or friend of Beijing. [WayBack]

Sunday 28 July 2019

Add oil, Hong Kong, as our beloved city burns with ugly hate

I rarely agree with Yonden Lhatoo, chief editor on the South China Morning Post, but I do here. [WayBack] I do agree with him 100%.
I never thought I'd live to see the day. I've warned about it many times, but always assuming sanity would prevail and that day would never come.And yet here we are, talking about a complete breakdown of law and order in Hong Kong, once one of the safest cities in the world.For months now, this protest movement and its supporters have systematically stripped our police force of its authority and credibility, demoralised frontline officers with constant abuse and bullying, and urinated all over the rule of law.
We are now paying them price. Want to add some more oil to this bonfire of hatred?
If the police are present (Government HQ), they are vilified. "What are you doing here, stopping us from destroying property?"  If the police are not present (Yuen Long) it's "why weren't you here?"
Count us amongst the majority of Hong Kongers who are sick and tired of the weekly violence. And who side with the police. And the government. The demonstrators now are not for Democracy, but simply against the police. They won the case against the extradition law. So, stop already! But they don't. And people's livelihoods are being affected. 
Most Hongkongers know this: that we have freedoms unavailable on the mainland. The only way it's going to go is backward. If these young extremists keep on, its bad news for Hong Kong. The dragon will strike back. 
Who have we spoken to? Uber and taxi drivers, manicurists, doctors and dentists, shop owners, renovators. They all say the same. They're sick of it. Some call the demonstrators  "shitholes". That very word. 
And on last weekend we saw signs all over this island of Lantau, to the west of Hong Kong island, and twice its size, that supported the police and the government in maintaining the rule of law. Not a one of these had been vandalised. Indeed people pointed them out to us. But you won't see these in the western media, because they're in Chinese only and not in Cemtral. 
So when you watch the news of CNN, ABC, MSNBC, BBC, and the rest, all sympathetic to the "movement" bear in mind two things: 1. It's not the majority.  2. it's dangerous for the freedoms we already have. 
By the way "add oil" is the direct translation of the Chinese jia you  加油, which is usually used to mean "speed up". It's also a term of encouragement. But it also has the word "oil" in it (油) so can raise the spectre of oil being added to flames. Or as Yonden suggests in his article, oil on the slippery floors of Hong Kong airports arrival hall. 
Oh dear Great Spaghetti Monster: we pray for Hong Kong. 

Is China headed for a clash of cultures as Xi Jinping fuses Confucius and Marx?

Goodness me, something right on point for a discussion of Asian Values, aka China Values. Which is stronger in China, Marxism or Confucianism? Spoiler: it's the C word wot stronger. Been around much longer, more strongly internalised.
I recall when I arrived in China in 1976 there was a political campaign going on called Pi Lin Li Kong (批林批孔), or "criticise Lin Biao and criticise Confucius". 
I remember being bit baffled about the juxtaposition of Mao's ex right-hand man, putative successor to the old rogue, who had been accused of turning on Mao and been killed in a suspicious plane accident while fleeing to the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and an ancient philosopher on the other.
Turns out most Chinese were too. For when I asked about it, they were embarrassed and didn't want to talk about it, especially the "criticise Confucius" bit.
And any state that roots itself in the rites of Confucius is going to be a much better country than one that daubs itself in the doctrines of Krazy Karl. 
Soon after becoming general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping revealed his vision for a more distinctly Chinese direction for his country and has strongly encouraged a renaissance of Confucianism in China. Yet Marxism – a European import – remains the ideological framework of the government. It would seem, then, that China is headed for an internal clash of cultures.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Germany tries to destroy the world; Part 4

Part I, World War I.
Part II: World War II
Part III: Open Borders 2015
That's three efforts to destroy the world. Not even counting Germanic machinations in the European project.
And now... and now...
Part IV: The Environment.
Let's destroy the environment. Decide Merkel and the Greenies.
Mad Mutti Merkel decides to close all of Germany's nuclear power. This is rather like you scrap your Merchant Navy because the Titanic hit an iceberg.
And so Germany has increased its carbon emissions.
No worry, renewables will take up the slack. Oh wait... people - environmentalists mainly - are against wind power because they kill birds and are noisy.  Oh horrible irony. (And recall that when the Right made these exact critiques they were dismissed as "climate deniers").
Meantime there are reports that if Germany had spent the same amount of money it has spent on renewables on nuclear instead, it would BY NOW, be carbon neutral in electricity production.
So go figure.
It's a "climate crisis" but you don't use your single most potent weapon - nuclear - to fight it.
You're in a War, but only use your pop guns. Because you're afraid of your big guns.
Pathetic Germany. Pathetic Mad Angela.  Pathetic German Greens.

Friday 26 July 2019

Spectator - ‘Is China really the enemy?'

China is a nation with values deeply at odds with the West. The Chinese spy, steal and bully. They don't really care about human rights yet are getting disgustingly rich, and — well, I'm sure you've heard the rest. The western media likes to depict China as the new enemy — both morally and politically. It seems as if a new iron curtain is coming down, with my country (and family) on the wrong side of the divide.
Of course, Britain is my country too: I've lived here longer than I did in China. But I have to confess that this fundamental 'clash of values' — described in such vivid terms by Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State — is one that passed me by. To be British–Chinese is not to be torn in two by competing value systems. Like Brits and Americans, the Chinese are family-oriented, go-getting and law-abiding with a love of learning and a sense of humour. So why are we falling out?
Just over two years ago, David Cameron was toasting a golden era of Anglo-Chinese relations over a pint of bitter in a Buckinghamshire pub with Xi Jinping. The consensus then was that Britain should get to know China better. To Chinese Brits, this was cheering. China has long been thought of as an unknown, opaque, homogeneous lump (something about dragons and tea) and the language barrier was partly to blame. But in the early Noughties, there was an increased exchange of ideas, culture and people: British people began teaching and travelling throughout China, while the Chinese came to the UK to study and work. My family moved here in 2004. Back then, it felt as if our countries were getting to know each other better.
But things have changed pretty fast in the past few years. I've noticed that conversations about China (I end up having quite a few of them) are now morally charged. British people seem angry with the regime and quick to accuse anyone who defends it of being in the pocket of the Chinese embassy.  So, how to handle such situations? Even though I'm — sadly — not in receipt of a penny from the embassy, I usually make a self–deprecating joke about receiving orders from high command, to defuse some tension and draw some nervous laughter.
Things have changed in the past few years. I've noticed that conversations about China are now morally charged
There's no doubt that Beijing has done its bit to mess things up. The former president Hu Jintao's 'peaceful rise' narrative has been supplanted by Xi's more assertive, ambitious projects. These include the Belt and Road Initiative, 'Made in China 2025' which aims to transform the country into a tech superpower, and social credit.
We can add to that the detainment of up to a million Uyghur Muslims for what's euphemistically called 're-education', and the consistent erosion of 'one country two systems' that's causing such anger in Hong Kong. All this has contributed — justifiably — to the biggest reputational damage to China since Tiananmen Square.
But some of the backlash goes too far. Take social credit, for instance, which aims to use technology and surveillance to give citizens a social credit score. Most of the stories about it fail to acknowledge that the system (as it currently exists) is a patchwork of rudimentary trials across the country.
China has always been hard for westerners to understand. For Donald Trump, there was nothing to agonise about: CHAI-NA was the enemy. Those who once mocked his China-bashing now try to outdo his hawkishness. 'The Commies are back' — but this time, we are told, they are Chinese rather than Russian.

'How much does this have to cost to be ethical?'

But China is not one-dimensional and the Chinese people are not the Chinese government. I've met many cynical Chinese who have a healthy level of scepticism for the government, no different to us in the West. Every year when I visit my family in China, my journalist uncle and his wife, a professor of film history, take me to see a student play at her college. The themes are invariably edgy. One play was about the failed Hundred Days Reform, a forgotten attempt to create a constitutional monarchy out of the Qing dynasty; another was about the lives of ordinary people during the Cultural Revolution.
In general, there's little appetite for democracy in China. The Chinese look at Brexit and see a bemusing mess. Chaos is anathema to them, and stability tends to matter more than lofty ideals. Who can blame them? They had enough idealism during the 20th century.
China is evolving fast and it still wants to get to know Britain. It remains a communist one-party state, but the China that people wanted to make friends with a few years ago — whose language so many British parents wanted their children to learn — is still there. It is a country where old ladies meet in the evenings to dance and exercise together in public squares; where the young dye their hair cobalt blue or strawberry blond, inspired by Japanese anime and Korean pop music. In the evenings, 150 million viewers tune in to watch Jin Xing, a talk-show host who has become a national treasure, who happens to be a trans woman. It would be a shame to lose sight of all of this, and replace it instead with a Trumpist caricature of an evil empire, out to hack the world.
Perhaps it's too late. Trump is now joined by most senior American politicians of left and right in talking as if a new Cold War is beginning. If this is the new script, Britain may have no choice but to follow it. Meanwhile, those of us who want to talk about a more nuanced China, home to a billion and a half very different people, should resign ourselves to being laughed off as spies or apologists.

Cindy Yu is The Spectator's broadcast editor. This article

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Defining Politics Down - The Wall Street Journal.

The Squad. Omar, AOC, Tlaib, Pressley 

As I was saying [sigh] … democrats had been doing a fine job of shooting themselves in the foot, what with AOC suggesting Pelosi is a racist, and all. Then along comes T. "Me too!"  Look st me, I'm a bigger racist than you lot!
As Shapiro has repeatedly said, all Trump has to do is shut up and point at the inanities of the Dems. But he can't do it. Even republicans and conservatives can't defend his tweets …
We're op­ti­mists about Amer­i­can democ­racy in the long run, but nowadays the long run looks longer all the time. The bon­fire of inani­ties in the last two days between Don­ald Trump and De­moc­rats over who's the bigger racist, or real anti-Semite, or greater dis­grace to the na­tion is a new low even by re­cent standards.
Mr. Trump started the bon­fire, as he so of­ten does, with a Sun­day Twit­ter bar­rage telling "'pro­gres­sive' De­mo­c­rat Con­gress-women" who are critical of the U.S. to "go back" to the coun­tries from whence they came. He seemed to be tar­get­ing the four hard-left Mem­bers of Congress, all mi­nor­ity women, who've been brawl­ing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the di­rec­tion of the De­mo­c­ra­tic Party.
Con­ser­v­a­tive jour-nal­ist Brit Hume of-fered a suc­cinct summary in call­ing Mr. Trump's com­ments "na­tivist, xeno­pho­bic, coun­ter­fac­tual and politically stu­pid." Three of the four women were born in the U.S., and "go back" is a taunt im­mi­grants have heard in Amer­ica for more than two cen­turies. It was used against Catholics, against the Irish, Germans and Ital­ians, against Chi­nese and Ja­panese, and in our day most of­ten against Mex­i­can-Amer­i­cans. A Pres­i­dent of the United States shouldn't sink to such a crude na­tivist trope, but then we re­peat our­selves.
Sent from my iPad

Monday 15 July 2019

Those tweets about Omar, Tlaib, and co…

not a great idea!
WTF is he thinking?! Doesn't help those who could-maybe-might-perhaps vote for him, and who he needs in 2020…
His base is secure. He doesn't need to keep feeding them this sort of nasty meat…
(So says me, brilliant political strategist that I am). Not.

Call Iran’s Bluff With an Offer of Nuclear Power - The Wall Street Journal.

Bushehr Nuclear power station, southern Iran, 2010
Some of the drawbacks of the Iranian nuclear deal, and there's more at the link below. 
So Trump could have been getting out of it because it was flawed. And Lindsay Graham, not a T supporter, backed the pull out. Which the British ambassador has called "an act of vandalism" to spite Obama. There's more to it…
Graham has a positive suggestion…
Un­der the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion, the Ira­ni­ans could ramp up quickly and eas­ily from the en­rich­ment lev­els nec­es­sary for peace­ful nu­clear power to lev­els needed to make a bomb. The 10-year sun­set clause al­lowed Iran to go back to en­rich­ing ura­nium at any level.

Sent from my iPad

Mind-reading mandarin

The British ambassador to the United States says Trump ditched the Iran deal because he "wanted to spite Obama" in an "act of vandalism". How does the good ambassador know this? Did Trump say this in tweet or to his officials? No, he did not. 
Trump said he was getting out because it was a bad deal. Many supported him in this assessment. 
(Me, I don't know. And I doubt anyone not intimately involved knows if it's good or bad.  And no, not even Trump). 
So the ambassador was simply reading Trump's mind. Or thinking he could. And he has the gall to call Trump's action "personal". And the MSM repeats the slur. 
And no, I'm not a Trump supporter. Just that this is dishonest reporting. Or at least ignorant. No one can read minds. 

Saturday 13 July 2019

Can Ilhan Omar Overcome Her Prejudice? - The Wall Street Journal.

A tale of two Somali refugees to America.
1.  Professor Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee, was taken in and protected in the United States when she was forced out of Holland by death threats which the supine and pusillanimous Dutch government refused to protect her against. She is now a scholar at Stanford university. She regularly expresses gratitude for a country that has protected her and given her access to the highest offices in the academy.
2.  Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Also a Somali refugee to the United States at age 12 and now elected to the House of Representatives in the US Congress. A Congress which, by the way, passed a special a law to allow her to wear the hijab. Until that time even Jewish skullcaps had not been allowed. Is Ms Omar the least, just st the least bit grateful? Why, no, she is not. She constantly rails against the United States: it's racist,  bigoted, misogynist and xenophobic. The 4th of July for her was not a celebration of the establishment of the country which had given her succour and opportunity. No, it was time for another tweet calling out racial inequity. She has a particular animus for Jews, and especially American Jews, who, she says, are "all about the Benjamins, baby!"
Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently criticised Omar and praised Hirsi Ali. Two high achieving Somali born women. For that Omar called him a "racist fool". Carlson pointed out he was criticising views, not race, hence contrasting with another Somali woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  Omar ignored this, of course, because it's easier to smear with the word "racist".
Omar has become a well known anti-Semite in her short time in Congress. Ayaan Hirsi Ali tries to explain that in an excellent article below.
Short version: she was brought up to hate Jews.
In any event, I am liv­ing proof that one can be born a So­mali, raised as an anti-Semite, in­doc­tri­nated as an anti-Zion­ist—and still over­come all this to ap­pre­ci­ate the unique cul­ture of Ju­daism and the ex­traordinary achieve­ment of the state of Is­rael. If I can make that leap, so per­haps can Ms. Omar. Yet that is not re­ally the is­sue at stake. For she and I are only two in­di­vid­u­als. The real ques­tion is what, if any­thing, can be done to check the ad­vance of the mass move­ment that is Mus­lim anti-Semi­tism. Ab­sent a world-wide Mus­lim ref­ormation, fol­lowed by an Is­lamic enlightenmemt, I am not sure I know.

Friday 12 July 2019

Nader Calls for Warren-Sanders Ticket - The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Nader is per­haps best known for his 2000 cam­paign, which some De­moc­rats blame for si­phon­ing votes away from then-Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore and cost­ing him the elec­tion against then-Gov. George W. Bush (R., Texas). Mr. Nader ran as a Green party can­didate that year in part because he be­lieved that Mr. Gore and his De­mo­c­ra­tic party colleagues were in­suf­ficiently com­mit­ted to the en­vi­ron­men­tal agenda.
"Some Democrats"??  [....blame Nader for Gore losing the 2000 election].
More like anyone who could do simple maths. Nader took ~93,000 votes in Florida in the 2000 election. Gore lost Florida by ~95 votes on a dubious recount and dubious SCOTUS decision. Given that Nader was representing the Green Party, and that if they hadn't participated those Green votes would have gone to the Democrats, there cannot be a shadow of doubt that Nader cost Gore the presidency. Winning Florida meant taking all its Electoral College votes and that meant winning the national election.
I've written elsewhere that this Nader decision to run in Florida did harm to the environment. Gore would have done more than W Bush to tackle climate change.
And Gore would not have started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gore had said that the response to 9-11 should have been sending in the Special Services to hunt down Bin Laden. He said that at the time, not in retrospect. Can we doubt that that would have been a better policy than Bush's endless wars?
And now Nader is advising the Democrats?!  They should tell him to take a long hike in the woods he so loves.
Take a hike, Ralph!

Sent from my iPad

22 nations condemn China’s Uygur detentions

 Video here
And I’m glad to see that my own country Australia, is among those 22 who have condemned China for imprisoning innocent Uygur. I say “innocent” save for the fact that they’re Muslims. Regular readers will know my views in Islam, but even I, stern critic of the ideology of Islam that I am, can’t condone this gross violation of basic human rights.
I think China is just thumbing its nose at the world when it calls these detention camps “vocational training centres”. It doesn’t care if we believe them or not. They’re going to do it.
And shame on the 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference. Not one has called out China. Money having something to do with it, no doubt. 

Thursday 11 July 2019

Most Tory members believe Islam is 'a threat to British way of life', poll finds

What this headline means is that "most Tory members" have been paying attention. 
Poll after poll shows attitudes of British Muslims are at odds with those of broader British society. A plurality of British Muslims want Islamic sharia law to replace British law. I'd say that's pretty much "a threat to the Bristish way of life". 
Just one poll's example: Trevor Philips, the ex chair of the Human Rights Commission, commenting on disturbing poll results, said that Britain risked having a "nation within a nation". A nation within a nation is surely a threat to that nation, is it not?
Yet to the compliant MSM, stating this clear and obvious fact, this poll-based research, is just so much " islamophobia". 

Tuesday 9 July 2019

“Palestinian Leadership Doesn’t Want a Deal”

Glenn Hub­bard is delusional if he thinks "The Prom­ise Of Trump's Mideast Plan" [1] will be suc­cessful. The Mar­shall Plan worked be­cause the recipients of the aid were will­ing par­tic­ipants. The Pales­tini­ans not only refuse to accept the aid plan but im­prison and ha­rass Arabs willing to lis­ten to the Trump pro­pos­als. The Mar­shall Plan as­sisted capitalist na­tions to re­build af­ter World War II. In the Mid­dle East we are deal­ing with ideology and re­li­gious fa­naticism  far more pow­er­ful than eco­nomic needs. We made this mis­take in Iraq and Pres­i­dent Trump is mak­ing the same mis­take. Many in Is­rael also be­lieve that eco­nomic needs will rule over re­li­gion. The 19 hi­jack­ers on 9/11 were mid­dle- to up­per-class Mus­lims. Poverty didn't mo­ti­vate their at­tack on New York and Wash­ing­ton.
While the eco­nomic con­di­tions in Gaza and the Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­tories are a dis­as­ter, fi­nan­cial as­sistance won't bring peace, and more likely will be used to fuel more ter­ror­ism.[2] 

Saturday 6 July 2019

Nike’s Betsy Ross sneaker own goal

Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) Tweeted:
The Betsy Ross flag is now a symbol of White Nationalism and slavery? Not defiance against a distant monarchy?

Really, Nike?

PC madness is accelerating just in time for 2020.
Trump feeds on your reflexive Wokeness.
Great job, everybody

Fareed: Trump wants INCREASED legal immigration

Trump is in favour of INCREASED immigration. 
Just that he wants it to be legal and focussed, not random and illegal. 
This is similar to Obama-era policy. 

(The reference here is your story about Melania's statue, and the comment that Trump wants to reduce immigration. It is clear he wants the opposite. Note also that Melania was a legal immigrant.)

PK etc

Friday 5 July 2019

”It’s the Cruelty, Stupid” NYT

“Tanks in HK? I’m on the lookout”..
"There are tanks in the nation's capital and concentration camps on its border."
Huh? Is this for real? Charles Blow on the front page of the New York Times yesterday.
This is TDS in extremis
Does Blow seriously think today's America is Germany in the thirties? If so, he should read up in what happened to Germans then who criticised the supreme leader. 
Blow would have been first into real proper concentration camps himself. 
What nonsense

Thursday 4 July 2019

The Reason Renewables Can't Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award Winner, and President of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Nature Energy, and PLOS Biology. His TED talks have been viewed over 1.5 million times.
And Der Spiegel is the largest circulation weekly magazine in Europe, known for its investigative journalism. 
For the proposed cost of $4 trillion on renewables, mention d in the article, which will actually not be enough to wean off coal, Germany could build twice as many reliable nuclear power stations, as it needs. In other words money left over, after installing clean and reliable long term energy.
But no. Mad Mutti Merkel has set Germany on a path to get OFF nuclear power entirely. This is insanity of the first order. 
Merkel's legacy: 
The dangerous and costly decision in 2015 to allow in millions of undocumented migrants, regardless of claims or background. 
The decision after Fukushima meltdown to take nuclear power out of the mix. 
Way to go Mad Mutti! Here.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

”Jared Kushner’s Middle East Development Project”. NYT

The headline above, of an editorial a few days ago is balanced and neutral, but as soon as you know that it's in the New York Times you know that it's going to be a smear job. Because the subject is Jared  speaking on behalf of Donald-in-law. 
And so it turns out.
Kushner's project is "slick" (if it'd been an Obama proposal it might've been "visionary"). It's a "fantastical New York real estate promotion" (and?…so…?) which "touted" (Obama version: "highlighted") what is "supposed" to be an economic foundation. "Supposed"? Why not "proposed" to be, as it indeed is?
The project's tone is "patronising " the editorial board worthies assure us. (Obama version: "provisional")
These worthies wonder why Trump is proposing $50 billion in projects when it has cut aid funding to Gaza. They wonder disingenuously as they must surely know that that cut was to funding for the crooked and corrupt UNWRA which supports Hamas in its war crimes, using human shields, often children, who fire rockets at Israelis citizens, dig terrorist tunnels… in short who use the funds for terrorism. This had to stop. 
Economic development could indeed lead to political solutions and even a two state solution. If only the Palestinians would take part and if only they would acknowledge the existence of Israel. But they haven't done so in seventy years. And have alr day rejected this latest proposal. Way to go Palestinian leadership. 
They love death more than life, as they say themselves. And they hate Israel more than they love a country of their own for their children to prosper in.
And shame on the New York Times for continuing to hammer the wrong side. 

Tuesday 2 July 2019

What Trump Did in Osaka Was Worse Than Lying — The Atlantic

Does Trump need to know the ins and outs of America's busing legislation? Well, I do, so why doesn't he? I know the policy, at least somewhat, and remember how controversial it was in the seventies, so surely so should he. He oughta know unless he was brain des at the time.
But he hasn't a clue. And he watched the testy debate exchange between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. If he didn't know what they were talking about, which seems the case, why didn't he ask?
This article is a damning indictment of Trump's lazy bullshit.
Sure, often it doesn't matter. But usually it does.

If you tweak the tail of the dragon…

Outside the trashed Legislative Council building, Central, Hong Kong

Garden Road, Central, HK
If you tweak the tail of the dragon…… eventually it will turn and bite you. Hard. Remember 1989. The troops held back, until they didn't.
It strikes me as dangerous and boneheaded for the demonstrators to storm Legco (HK's parliament) vandalise the interior and especially to fly British flags. Crazy, silly, juvenile, counterproductive and dangerous.
I hope we don't find ourselves in ten years' time saying "remember the good old days before 2019? How free, how open…", as we suffer under the dread heel of Beijing's baleful boot.
For the first time since I came to Hong Kong in 1976, I'm worried.
Keep up the demos, but for chris'sake stop the vandalism.

The rest, the peaceful, the many…

Monday 1 July 2019

Trump Steps Into North Korea - The Wall Street Journal.

An "unconventional detente". I like that… and I can't help thinking that Trump stepping across the line yesterday at the Korean DMZ into North Korea is a good thing. After all wouldn't we rather have a detente, unconventional or not?

"… an un­con­ven­tional de­tente be­tween the U.S. and North Ko­rea, long­time ad­ver­saries whose lead­ers have struck a per­sonal con­nec­tion. The pre­lude to Sunday's meet­ing was an ex­change of let­ters that Mr. Trump called "beauti­ful" and Mr. Kim de­scribed as "ex­cellent."

PS: I googled "trump North Korea" to get a pic.  You think you'd get the photo of him crossing into the DMZ yesterday. A photo that every media outlet carried. But no, it's some old photos. And so google " trump at DMZ" and I gotta say the selection is the worst of what I saw live yesterday. The one I chose above I had to search for. Even though it was the major picture on the front of the print editions this morning of the New York Times and South China Morning Post.
This straight after we've heard of the determination of google employs to swing the vote against Trump. In short, to hack the election. And YouTube has now taken down the video reporting this.

SCMP - With divergent values, it’s increasingly difficult for Hongkongers and mainlanders to understand each other

A thoughtful article by someone living on the mainland but understanding rather more about Hong Kong than the average citizen behind the Great Firewall.
As someone who calls Guangzhou — the Cantonese-speaking city neighbouring Hong Kong — home, it is heart-wrenching to witness the deterioration, bit by bit, of the relationship between the two sides over the past decade. The result is that cultural, emotional and information gaps have widened significantly.