Saturday, 31 August 2019

Hong Kong Protests: From Kill the Bill to the ‘Revolution of Our Time’


This is a photographic timeline of the protest movement, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal







Although note that the evidence seems to be that the police
had nothing to do with this sad accident















Although note that this is a poll of the protesters.  Other polls
suggest a large majority of the general population has had enough


With thanks to the Wall Street Journal

Thursday, 29 August 2019

A “no-deal” Brexit is exactly what was voted for


How did we get to the stage where everyone, on both sides, seems to accept that a "no-deal" Brexit is the worst of all worlds, a calamity, a disaster?  If we really do need to go ahead, say the Remainers and anti no-deal Brexiteers, if we really must, the only way is with some kind of deal.
How did we get to that understanding of things, with the anti no-deal people saying that there's no authority for no-deal.
The opposite is the truth. 
Have a look at the question asked in 2016:
"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"
Seventeen million British, 52% of the voters, ticked the "leave" box in 2016. They did not tick "Leave, except for staying in a customs union and the ECJ and… and …". They voted to leave
Therefore a no-deal departure is the only one that is a pure expression of the Leave vote. 
No-deal is the deal. 
It's sickening to see the Remainers on cable news prattling on about how awful, how dire, how disastrous no-deal will, allegedly, be. 
It's all scaremongering, as I showed in an earlier post
The fact is they're doing anything they can to delay delay delay so that in the end Leave doesn't happen. And yet they bleat about Boris's proroguing parliament, it's "anti democratic", a move by a tyrant, whereas it's they who are trying to frustrate the will of the people. It's they who have so frustrated what needs to be done to get out of the EU that proroguing is needed. 
Hypocrites. Hypocrites all. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Pearl-clutching prorogue casuits (Brexit Bleatings)


Watching BBC parade of talking heads act shocked — shocked, I tell you — clutching their pearls… Boris has prorogued parliament, to give him a chance to push on with Brexit. How can he, they bleat! He's stopping debate on a Brexit Bill! He's hijacking democracy, goddamit! It's a dictatorship! 
What?! They've only been debating Brexit non-stop for three years! Everyone knows what everyone else thinks. It's up to the government now to deliver. And that's what Boris is intent on doing. 
Mind you, there are good arguments against governing by public referenda. But the point is, once you have had a referendum, misguided as it might be, you have an obligation to implement it. The Commons were determined to thwart this one. That was the betrayal of democracy. Not this proroguing. 
No.  Bugger them. Prorogue them to hell. 
By the way, what on God's good earth is the vile little Speaker, the egregious John Bercow, doing hammering the prorogue. Surely it's not his job?
On a better side: John Redwood, MP. Sound, logical. 
Watching with baited breath. 

“A-deal Brexit is in no one’s interest” | SCMP


LETTER TO SCMP:
Quite why the South China Morning Post should opine on Brexit from these distant shores is a mystery. But if you are going to do it, at least get your facts straight. ("A no-deal Brexit is in no one's interest", 28 August).
You say "A British government report recently warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to shortages of food and medicines, job losses, and chaos at Britain's ports". Presuming that your reference is to the leaked "Yellowhammer Report", you fail to mention that each of these is clearly labelled as "worst case", and that much planning to avoid exactly these outcomes has already been done. 
The French port of Calais has stepped up the number of checkpoints, employed 700 customs staff, and bought scanners to check lorries as they drive past. The president of the Port Boulogne Calais has said 'there will not be any delay' in shipping food and drugs in a no-deal Brexit. 
On the UK side, government has installed computer systems to cope with new customs controls. It has set up an inland clearing site for lorries in Milton Keynes, to keep them away from ports. Major supermarkets have reassured ministers they have diversified supplies enough that food will remain on the shelves. Despite the concern about car manufacturing, one of Britain's best-known car companies has told government it can cope. NHS stockpiling ensures that even if the border preparations failed, patients still get drugs. Drugs companies say they have two years' of supplies. 'The scare stories about food and drugs are completely unjustified,' a government planner has said. 
There is then the issue of tariffs with the EU — about 4 per cent on average. They would clearly be (marginally) bad for trade. But on average they are less than the depreciation of sterling, so exporters would still be more competitive than they were before the referendum.
Scare stories about "crashing out" are precisely that: scaremongering. 
Meantime any deal that Britain may able to get before October 31 can only be a mutant of Theresa May's failed efforts, and thus worse for Britain than Remaining. But Remain is not an option as it would be a betrayal of democracy. 
And so, to PM Johnson, with apologies to King Henry:
Once more unto the breach, dear Boris, once more…
When the blast of Brexit blows in your ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood…

Peter Forsythe
Discovery Bay 
9308 0799
********

Sent from my iPad

Monday, 26 August 2019

We must not introduce new blasphemy laws

The UK schools exam board OCR recently disqualified a GCSE student for making what it called 'obscene racial comments'. It turned out the student had called halal slaughter disgusting, and OCR ruled that this act of 'Islamophobia' constituted a 'malpractice offence'.When it was brought to OCR's attention that the criticisms were made from the student's perspective as a principled vegetarian, it promptly apologised. But what is truly chilling is the implication that it would have been less merciful had she been criticising an Islamic practice in its own right. 
Indeed, OCR seems relaxed about policing students' opinions, saying it 'takes all incidences of suspected offensive material against a religious group in exams very seriously'. Apparently, there are 'rules which are set out for all exam boards in such cases'.
Do we want students to be afraid of applying their own critical thinking to anything and everything? Surely, in an academic context especially, religious practices and beliefs should be freely discussed?
https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/08/26/we-must-not-introduce-new-blasphemy-laws/

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Brollies, Bombs and the Bogside

"The Petrol Bomber". Derry, 1972

It's odd to be sitting here in Ireland watching the demonstrations in Hong Kong. 
Here, in Northern Ireland's Ballymena, where my great-grandfather saw the home birth of my grandfather in 1866. Here in Ireland, watching the students in Hong Kong wave the symbols of their resistance, the simple brollie. And sometimes get violent.
Here, where fifty years ago last week, began the sectarian violence, begun in Derry's Bogside, the beginning of a bloody thirty-year conflict that became "the Troubles". 
And so, as we are asked — by a gate keeper in the depths of the green fields, by a barkeep in Belfast, by a cabbie in Coalisland —  where we are from and we say "Hong Kong", we get a mordant look and "ah, so yez have your own Troubles now, eh?"
And the BBC talking heads mention, in passing, on the way to another point about Brexit, that the demos in Hong Kong are about "freedom and democracy". 
And sure it's tempting to see the parallels, the Irish struggles for Civil Rights, the Hong Kong struggles for... well, for what, exactly?
As we watch the storming of Legco from the lawns of Stormont, a billion brollies from a baleful Bogside, we realise that it's not at all the same. There's no equivalence, no matter how alluring the thought.
Take the "freedom" word for a start. In Hong Kong we have every freedom going: freedom of speech; freedom of assembly; freedom of religion; freedom of conscience; freedom of movement; freedom to watch and use any social media we wish. I can only think of one freedom we don't have and that's to marry someone of the same sex.  But as far as I know the demonstrators aren't making that an issue. The basic point here is that Hong Kong already has all the freedoms of a modern liberal, open, tolerant society. Whereas what started the Troubles were deep and entrenched iniquities.
Then "democracy". Not widely known outside Hong Kong is that we do have broad democracy at the grass roots. At the district council level, where all the minutiae of a modern economy are debated and decided, we can choose amongst a slate of candidates, in free and secret elections. I have personal 
experience of this. Some years ago I was dragooned into being the campaign chairman for a local guy running for a seat in the New Territories electorate. It was down and dirty. Like all good elections. I was calumniated in social media, so much that I considered suing. 
We lost. 
But it was a good tough fight and in the end local citizens made their choices unpressured and unencumbered. 
What we don't have, yet, is the right to freely choose the head of Hong Kong, the Chief Executive. There are elections but from a small group chosen by Beijing. I could go on to suggest that the American system with its money and electoral colleges may not be much better But I won't. I will say that the Basic Law Hong Kong doesn't require that the free election of the CE needs to be by any particular time. But still. No substantive movement forward has been made since 1997 and since the  Occupy movement of 2014, and for sure that's a major irritant to the demonstrators. 
But is this — the constant demos with sporadic violence — the way to get movement on it?  I don't think so. Rather, as former Court of Final Appeal Henry Litton has argued — and I've said the same — it is only likely to have the opposite effect. He suggests a better aim would be to convince Beijing that the "one country two systems" formula is working and that it ought to be extended beyond 2047, a date once distant, now looming. ("It was your idea, Beijing. And brill it was, too! Let's extend it").  This at least has the virtue of being possible. As against air-headed, vapid, stupid, dangerous and simply impossible notions of "independence".  [1]. 
Meantime, even if there are no perfect parallels between the struggles of the Troubles and the struggles of the Students, there are things we can learn from our eyrie in Ireland. 
In Belfast we went on a "different stories" walk. First 90 minutes you walk around with a guide who used to be in the IRA. In the second 90 minutes you're accompanied by a former soldier in the loyalist UDF. The latter, a hard man called Garry, had spent 8 years in jail for multiple murders (of the IRA).  In jail he got a degree and went on to teach mathematics after his release as part of the Good Friday agreement. Twenty years ago these guys were trying to kill each other for their different stories. And now they do guided walks.
I'm not minded to believe that "there are two sides to every story". That's too much of a post-modern moral equivalence gig for me. But here in Northern Ireland there most certainly are two sides to the story. Murals tell both sides of it. All untouched by the opposite side. 
And so in the Middle East. Could they ever do "different stories" walks? An Israeli Jew and a Gazan Muslim? 
And so too in Hong Kong? Can Carrie walk with students and share "different stories"? I dunno. I suspect it's too early. And for now it's she who must make a move. But at least she must make a metaphorical walk with them. 
Please Carrie. Make a move. Don't let these challenges turn into real Troubles. We need our own Good Friday agreement. 
With best wishes from Derry and the Belfast. From the Peace Walls in Bogside. From the Freedom Walls in Belfast. 
20 years of peace attest that even the most bitter battles can be shelved. Let's shelve this one before there are deaths. The police have already found bombs. God help us if we go down that wretched route.

“The petrol bomber” Hong Kong 2019
--------
* You say "Derry" if you're a Republican, likely living in the Republic. You say "Londonderry" if you're a Unionist. Pro-British. Likely living in Northern Ireland.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Hong Kong protests to Uygur camps: how Chinese students became a subject of scorn. ASIAN VALUES


This is not going away soon. The protesters numbers may be dropping but the divide between Mainland and Hong Kong and Mainland v the west is deepening and not at all nice.  At heart it's a question of values. In its focus on preventing "chaos", Beijing under Xi Jinping has inserted its murky hand across the global sinic diaspora. 
I cross fingers and hope for some sanity. Afraid it'll be a while coming. 
/Snip
Wu, who declined to provide his real name, is among the 1.5 million Chinese students studying outside the country who have found themselves thrust into the spotlight at university campuses from Australia to New Zealand to Canada. Hong Kong's extradition bill protests, sometimes unruly, have rocked the city since June and have renewed international scrutiny of Beijing's policies.

[btw if you followed this blog you would know about the Muslim Uighur issue and Chinese mistreatments there at least a year ago. Only now it's getting some mainstream coverage].

Thursday, 8 August 2019

“Peaceful” nature of Islam belied by inconvenient facts

Screenshot of today's Google Alert on "Islam"

I haven't written about Islam for a while, so here goes. 
I subscribe to Google Alert for "Islam" which tosses up a couple dozen articles a day. 
Above is a screenshot of today's Alert. Note this — right next to an article on the "peaceful nature" of Islam there's a story about a Somalian apostate from Islam who, it turns out, is in danger of his life (at the hands of his family) for leaving the religion. 
And then an article about the "true image" of Islam, which the article informs is is "peace and tolerance", right after which is one about forced conversions to Islam. 
What's going on here? Is it a case of you say potaito and I say potahto? Each to their view? One's terrorist is another's freedom fighter?
No, it is not. 
For the statements about the "peaceful" and "tolerant" nature of Islam are just that. Statements. They are ipse dixit statements. That is assertions, with no sound basis. Wishful thinking, if you like. Attempts to convince by repetition. (And hasn't "the religion of peace" become so repetitive that it's a joke, a mordant meme?). 
Whereas the apostate's punishment and the forced conversions are actual facts. Facts that belie the peaceful-tolerant assertions. These factual happenings are, moreover, supported and encouraged in the core tenets of Islam: the Koran, the Hadith and the Islamic sacred law of sharia. 
Apostates from Islam are to be killed. And non-believers in Islam are to be converted. 

Donald Trump’s WTO move is a feeble answer to the China challenge


I'm posting this article not really because of its main point, interesting as it is, but because it has a dear sweet and sad little film embedded about half way down. An SCMP film by Lea Li about Xiaoguancheng village (小关城). (pron: siao gwan cherng… more or less).
Just three hours southwest of bustling Beijing it's as poor as can be. As poor as China was when I first arrived in the seventies. People,getting by, or not, on a few hundred dollars a year. 
We noticed this when we took a car trip around south-west China. You just have to wander a few hundred yards off thebrand new multi-lane freeway and you're in a different world. Poor villages, more Xiaoguanchengs. 
Of course China has made huge strides in lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. But there are still the left behinds. The Xiaguanchengs. 


LATER: I googled "Xiaoguancheng" and note that this film made a bit of a splash, on YouTube and elsewhere. Just that I missed it. Oh well.
Also, just as it's true that China is not all high speed trains, motorways and skyscrapers (and pollution ), so it's also not all xiaoguanchengs…

Sent from my iPad

Hong Kong gets it marching orders yesterday in Shenzhen


Hong Kong police given carte blanche to suppress arrest. 

I was bored by the first press conference of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) in Beijing last week. I am scared by the latest one held on Tuesday.
Clearly, there will be a serious escalation in the application of force across the city, but it will not involve PLA troops. That may actually be worse for Hong Kong.
HKMAO spokesman Yang Guang said: "Police's resoluteness and preparedness deserve the greatest respect and admiration."
My guess is that Hong Kong police have been given unconditional support and carte blanche to suppress unrest and protests without the fear of subsequent punishment. That means more arrests and unrestricted application of non-lethal force. That is a boost to police morale but a danger in encouraging excessive use of force.
We saw the results on Monday. Police fired more than 800 rounds of tear gas, 140 rubber bullets, and 20 sponge-tipped rounds, which almost equalled their total uses throughout June and July.
The number of arrests has gone up drastically, and the laying of serious charges such as rioting more frequent. A Baptist University student leader was arrested for weapons possession after being caught by police carrying 10 laser-beam devices.
Yang said: "Respect the administration of justice to harshly punish all those guilty of violent [acts]."
Again, we have seen the results already. It's now enough for the secretary for justice to give police verbal assent on prosecution, such as those 44 protesters arrested and charged with rioting that carry sentences of up to 10 years. Their cases have reportedly prompted a protest from a group of government prosecutors.
It appears that besides the normal administrative work of the civil service, the Hong Kong government has been shrunk to just the police and the Department of Justice, so far as Beijing is concerned.
Yang said Beijing was firmly behind Lam and her government. In reality, Lam is now no more than a figurehead. She is not allowed to quit; it's a signal to the protest movement and the opposition that there will be no more compromises, only harsh measures from now on.
About 200 local deputies of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference were ordered to meet HKMAO chief Zhang Xiaoming in Shenzhen on Wednesday. It's a not too subtle message that they have been given the party line and must follow it.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Thread by @hradzka: "Looking over the El Paso perp's reported manifesto (which, despite early uncertainty, does not look like a hoax) and an archive of the Dayto […]". ACCELERATIONISM


Something I did not know about: accelerationism.
The thread linked below [1] suggests a cognate in "increase the contradictions in society" of Marxism. And that I do know about from my studies in China in the seventies. 
And I wonder, by the way, if it has something to do with the demonstrators in Hong Kong. Chaos  ➡️  Destroy ➡️ Rebuild. 
My comment on reading the El Paso shooter's manifesto [2]. He hates both Democrats and Republicans. As well as Hispanics, of course. He makes no bones about that, but it's because, he says, they harm the environment and reduce the likelihood of universal health care. He is an environmentalist, an eco-warrior. He hates big corporates. He's surely as much a Leftie as the stated "Hard-Right hater".  And, yes, a white supremacist. He believes that “diversity” means keeping races separate. So all of that is hateful. But as much, arguably more, Leftist as Rightist.
He says explicitly that his views predate Trump and have nothing to do with Trump. And that's clear from the reading. 
But, to Democrats, it's all Trump's fault. "Orange man bad". And Republicans bad. Despite elevated condemnations of white supremacy from that party, the latest being Ted Cruise. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

City gripped by insanity

The South China Morning Post this morning, 6 August 2019
We wake up this morning to our morning newspaper blaring the headline “CITY GRIPPED BY ANARCHY”.
Insanity more like.
(BTW, for English readers, the South China Morning Post is a good and reasonably neutral source of information.  It is not behind any paywall. ie, it’s free to read it and has pretty good articles and interesting columnists).
We’ve had our views published in the Post, Jing and I, as have many others, with the tide running pretty solidly against the ongoing violence and chaos. Let alone “anarchy”.  We have our Chief Exec, Carrie Lam, talking about Hong Kong being “destroyed”, for goodness sake.
We were all on the side of the protesters when they were against the Extradition Bill (反送中). But now it’s not clear what they want. Their demands are -- if not inchoate -- already substantially granted, or else simply unreasonable.
What are the demonstrators after?
Alex Lo in his column My Take,  has done us a favour by summarising them. Alex Lo is no Beijing toady, no reflexive supporter of the HK government.
It’s a pretty good summary, I reckon.  Here’s what he says:
1.    The extradition bill is a moot point. It is “dead” and cannot possibly be revived any time soon. If protesters must insist on “complete withdrawal”, you have to wonder why they think it’s worth wrecking Hong Kong for just two meaningless words.
2.    The “riot” characterisation of protests. The police and government have conceded on that point. But that won’t stop police from charging suspects with rioting, as they have done with 44 protesters in the latest round.
3.    Discharge all arrested protesters. Here, we are in a vicious cycle. The more people protest, the more protesters will be charged, and the less likely all of them could be pardoned. A blanket amnesty is simply not on the cards.
4.    An independent inquiry. It hinges on the scope and nature of the inquiry. If it’s just to go after police misconduct, it’s a non-starter. If it’s a commission for truth and reconciliation, then that could have wide public support. But so far, the opposition has shown no interest in reconciliation, only criminalising the police.
5.    Universal suffrage. Beijing has always insisted any such reform must be based on the so-called five steps process, a constitutional procedure involving the Hong Kong government, the legislature and the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. My guess is that the protesters and probably most pan-dems would not agree to those five steps. How do we plan on getting past that?
Add to that two more:

6. “Free Hong Kong” 光复香港
7. “Revolution of our times”时代革命

Yesterday Carrie Lam, the CEO of Hong Kong, and a gaggle of officials, gave a presser, which was pretty disappointing.
Carrie Lam and officials, yesterday.  Don’t they look like a tired lot?
Nothing new offered, and predictably the reviews were damning. Jing and I watched it and thought it was pathetic, nothing more that repetition of “rule of law” and “please don’t be violent”.  After two months??  Couldn’t she/they have come up at least with a proposal to have a hearing on police actions -- and also including investigation of actions of the protesters.
They looked like a tired and defeated lot. And this is our leaders?!

As the the more recent demands:
What does “Free Hong Kong” mean?  If it’s that Hong Kong should be independent, then forgeddabout it.  It’s never, ever, never, never, going to happen.  And Beijing holds way too many cards (as in the whole pack), when it comes to means to stop that. So if they keep on about “Free Hong Kong” and they define it as independence, this is sheer stupidity and bullheadedness and failure to face reality.
I also note that the use of the Chinese characters Guang Fu 光复 relates to the liberation of Taiwan from Japan after WW2, and so is insulting to Beijing, no doubt deliberately so, just as the use of the word for “China" that the graffiti writers are using (Zhi Na 支那) is insulting to Beijing because it’s the word Japan used when it occupied ManchuKuo before WW2.
And what does “Revolution of our times”时代革 mean?  Does it mean a revolution to socialism, as in Venezuela?  If not, what? Revolution to do away with Chinese sovereignty?  Again, if so, it’s just not on.
The International MSM is covering this as if it were a major “democracy movement”.  Maybe it is. But there are aims here -- to the extent that they even have aims -- that are simply ridiculous and unattainable. Hong Kong independence being the  main one.  We ought recall that all our governments -- as in essentially the whole world -- recognise Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong.  No ifs no buts.
“Liberate Hong Kong and Revolution of our Times”
Huh?

“China’s ancient rituals…”. ASIAN VALUES

/snip:
"The Zhou dynasty is the origin of Chinese civilisation. The rite of passage means you have become an adult who should help the family and contribute to society," says Peng. "People have to have self-discipline and manners. If [the youth] keep pursuing only what is popular and have no life goals and value system, their old age will be filled with regret."

Monday, 5 August 2019

Palestinian leadership doesn’t want a two state solution

I’ve written many times that Israel has offered the Palestinians a state of their own, living in peace with Israel, but has been rebuffed time and again.
This article is yet another useful summary.
Those that push for BDS never acknowledge this.  That the aim of the Palestinian leadership is not for two states, but for one.  In which they will be the majority and jews will be treated as dhimmis.

Hong Kong’s silent majority is fed up of violent protests




My letter to SCMP was published today. After one by Jing was published last week
I sound like an old fuddy duddy here, which is because I am. Still, as Alex Lo pointed out the other day, seeking unattainable goals means you'll lose the fight. And it's true that most of the demonstrators' demands are unachievable. Or inchoate. Eg, "Free Hong Kong". What?! We're already very free. Much more so that all cities in China. Every bit as free as London, New York or Sydney. Or "Modern Revolution" (时代革命) Huh?  If you mean like Venezuela or Cuba, colour me out, as an old reprobate, a reactionary conservative, and a solid "no thanks". 

The letter: 

One doesn't have to be pro-Beijing to be fed up with the shocking violence on our streets, perpetrated by a minority.
Where is the poll of Hongkongers to find out what our quiet majority thinks? In 2014, a University of Hong Kong poll showed an "overwhelming majority" (nearly 83 per cent) 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 the Post: retail sales plunging ("Shops in Causeway Bay see sales hit by Hong Kong protests", July 30), property transactions tumbling ("Hong Kong property transactions drop by 48 per cent", July 30), business confidence being eroded ("Hong Kong protests, government 'inability to address concerns damaging business confidence", July 30) and local and international commuters hindered ("Extradition bill protesters cause rush hour chaos", July 24). 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 what that looks like.
Let's have a new poll and be guided by the Hong Kong majority, not the minority, the self-deluded and increasingly violent protesters.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay
********

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Why are mass killers young white males?


The question on CNN in the wake of the latest mass shooting on El Paso Texas.
The reporter answering the question suggested it's because they are brought up as privileged white males, told to expect they will have a nice middle class life with a "house and white picket fence and a golden retriever". And if that doesn't pan out they blame others, immigrants, people of colour, etc. They lash out. Bam bam.
I dunno. Maybe. But the explanation strikes me as squeezed into the world view of the intersectional woke Left. I'll bet there are other explanations.
The CNN anchor added: it has striking similarities with the extreme Islamists who are promised the same things. Eerie parallels, according to him.
Well, apart from fact that they're entirely different. A jihadi suicide bomber is motivated entirely by aims that are in the after life. They are doing the work of Allah not for frustrated material greed. And they hate dogs.

SCMP - It’s not only law and order, Hong Kong’s protest crisis is taking a tragic toll on basic humanity and decency


Two weeks in a row I'm agreeing with Yonden Lhatoo of the South China Morning Post. 
We've seen the police in action ourselves. And then watched hours of live streaming protests on local channels. The single greatest impression is how softly the police treat the demonstrators. So the hate the demonstrators have for the police is inexplicable. At least from logic. It's clearly not logic driving the hate, but emotion. Amplified by social media. 
Have a look at the horrible hateful Facebook post (in the article here) by an academic wishing death to the children of police. Death!
Now we've had our dealings with the police over the decades. They're fair, decent and hardworking people. Society would be unimaginable without them. Wassup, demonstrators??
Really the government has to get on the front door in social media. It's current efforts are non-existent to pathetic. 
The majority of Hong Kongers want something done to stop the insanity. 80+% by polls. So get on with it. 

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Fusion energy in my lifetime? Maybe, just maybe


Fusion energy has always been "just a decade away", or "two decades away" or "just around the corner". But now, finally, it really is just around the corner. The first large scale experimental reactor (above) will switch on in 2025. Hey, that really is just around the corner!
And then there's the article linked here reporting the large amount of money pouring  into fusion energy research. Fusion energy will be as cheap as any current, with no carbon emissions, no shortage of fuel, and no waste. 
Hooray!

Friday, 2 August 2019

JING letter published: "Hong Kong protesters are far from superheroes despite how some media and politicians present them"



A protester in Captain America bloc
Belief in a liberal, open and tolerant society has long been a cherished world ideal.
However, ever since Francis Fukuyama declared "the end of history" in 1989, we have witnessed the deterioration of the liberal order, the rise of populism and great power politics, followed by trade wars.
We are still digesting these global instabilities. Compared with many places in the world, including the great cities of the West, Hong Kong remains a rich and prosperous place. However, Hong Kong's Achilles' heel is its identity crisis after 150 years of British colonial rule. It seems that a superiority complex has taken hold of some of its young people, making them vulnerable to being incited by radical ideas.
Taking advantage of an open and tolerant society, they have spent the summer creating an alternative reality on social media, playing superheroes on the street, flying foreign flags, carrying Captain America shields and wearing Batman-inspired black clothing. Hiding behind face masks and wielding umbrellas, they throw bricks at police, spray graffiti, vandalise government buildings and disrupt public transport.
This is not a fight for Hong Kong's future. It is misguided anger turned against its own people.
It is irresponsible for some sections of the media to cheer on the protesters and for some politicians to use the protests to pursue their vested interests. This political theatre in the name of democracy has brought chaos, tears and hopelessness to our city.
It is irresponsible for some sections of the media to cheer on the protesters and for some politicians to use the protests to pursue their vested interests. This political theatre in the name of democracy has brought chaos, tears and hopelessness to our city.
Jing Lee, Central