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This is the thread where you can never be off topic! Well, almost never. The rest of the Comment Policy applies, though. No chair-throwing, please.

Please put YouTube links in parentheses like so:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvlTG4yVByY)

Scroll down a bit to see the links to the archived open threads.

638 Responses

  1. New Open Thread!

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  2. OMG that artwork!!!

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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  4. I read about a homeowner in Colorado who has been forced to file a lawsuit for full compensation of his destroyed home. In 2015, a man suspected of stealing a shirt and two belts was pursued by police to “a random house”. The police employed a military option retrieve the thief. According to the Free Thought Project, the police decided to:

    “…respond to one man barricaded in a home and armed with a handgun by employing 50 SWAT officers and a host of expensive technology, destroying the majority of the home, before they found their suspect in a bathroom and arrested him.

    The National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) described the strategy used by the SWAT officers as “calculated destruction,” in which they launched explosives throughout the house, room-by-room, in order to isolate [the suspect] Seacat.”

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/fifty-swat-cops-tore-down-house-shoplifting/

    The owner and occupants of the home had no connection to the suspect. The homeowner describes the aftermath:

    “They came and they destroyed the house. It was condemned, it had to be torn down, and they offered me $5,000,” Lech told the Denver Post, noting that his son’s family, who was renting the house from him, had all of their personal belongings destroyed, and were never compensated.

    Although Lech’s house was declared “a complete loss” following the raid, the City of Greenwood Village offered him just $5,000 for temporary living arrangements.”

    Demonstration project? Practice for something?

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Happy National Day of Mourning – if that makes sense

    Liked by 2 people


  6. @ Afrofem

    If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Like


  7. @ Afrofem

    Not only do US police departments overuse SWAT teams, the US government overuses its military.

    Liked by 2 people


  8. To me, the overuse of violence is seductive to people who lack other forms of effective influence and power. The erosion of soft power can lead to a dependence on hard power——-and a perverse vulnerability that such a dependence reveals to others.

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  9. Even when we learn what the real history of Thanksgiving is about we can still enjoy good food and drink and family and friends and always give thanks.

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  10. Cracking up at the art work.

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  11. @ Mary Burrell
    @ Abagond

    Yes, it can be a very conflicted holiday once you realize what it signifies to many Native Americans.

    It’s good to have some type of Harvest Home holiday to gather with the people we love for a feast, to give thanks and count our blessings.

    It’s not good that this particular holiday has been tied into a false narrative of peaceful fellowship between the original inhabitants and the people who all but destroyed them.

    Liked by 1 person


  12. @abagond,
    Do you think you can write something about the “discovery” of an ape/human woman in Russia named Zana back in the late 1800’s? The most recent development in 2015 said that her DNA was 100% Sub Saharan African. While some people think she was the child of escape slaves the published opinion is that she was part of an isolated group of Africans who migrated out of Africa before Neanderthals. The issue here is that such an improbable story is preferred over the more likely story of the mistreatment of a black woman who locals described as ape like.

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  13. I thought this line in the Guardian article about Meghan Markle’s Black neighbors response to Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was interesting:

    “If anything, some felt it was the royal family that had lucked out…”

    Appropriate for the area.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/27/meghan-markle-los-angeles-prince-harry

    Like


  14. This site is so boring now. Abagond posts a boring article, his cronies comment leaving responses much the same as his original post. With all the opposite blocked – both white and black – this site has lost its charm. Snore fest.

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  15. @ Bulan

    Speaking for myself, this blog needed to be taken down a few notches after the craziness it was becoming. Maybe kicking off Nomad was a mistake, but Resw and Mirkwood had to go. They were straight-up trolls. I do agree it has become something of an echo chamber, but I doubt that will last for long.

    If you have any post suggestions (or suggestions in general), I am all ears.

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  16. I may be in the minority here but I don’t need conflict to expand my point of view. Especially if it is being used as a means of “divide and conquer”.

    Liked by 1 person


  17. So now that Daniel Blazer died by the hands of coward cops -will there be police reform? That’s how it works right, once it affects the white population, things change. #ugh…. #itsabrokenrecord

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  18. @Abagond: Net Neutrality is becoming a reality are you going to do a post on it? And will it affect the content of your blog?

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  19. Correction: Net Neutrality was just repealed.

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  20. @ Mary

    Yes, I will be doing a post on net neutrality.

    Strictly speaking, it will be no worse than before 2015, when Obama put his net neutrality rules in place, but we shall see.

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  21. So now that Daniel Blazer died by the hands of coward cops -will there be police reform? That’s how it works right, once it affects the white population, things change. #ugh…. #itsabrokenrecord

    You’d think so. But I think brutality is such an embedded fixture of policing that Shaver’s death won’t do much, if anything, to change it.

    Maybe replace Shaver with a highly influential politician or, better still, a well-known CEO/financial investor worth billions. Maybe that’ll finally provoke police reform. Or maybe the cop responsible for pulling the trigger is singled out, made an example of and disposed of, allowing the rest to go back to Business as Usual, minus targeting anyone of actual power or importance.

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  22. This story is months old, but scary as heck!

    Facebook researchers had to pull the plug on two artificial intelligence (AI) robots after they found out the robots had developed their own private language and were communicating with each other in that language.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/08/02/facebook-shuts-down-ai-robot-after-it-creates-its-own-language_a_23058978/

    Did these researchers ever see the Terminator movies? Colossus: The Forbin Project? Crack open a science fiction book?

    Liked by 1 person


  23. it has become something of an echo chamber, but I doubt that will last for long.

    M-m-m-h. That’s not going to happen by itself.

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  24. Joyeux Noël 🎄☃️🎅🏿⛄️🤶🏾🎁❄️

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  25. Peace on the earth and goodwill to all men women boys and girls and all the animals and plants. 🕊🕊🕊

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  26. @Abagond and all the faithful posters: Happy 2018🎉🎇🎆

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  27. To Gro Jo: Happy New Year And Independence Day.

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  28. I was looking for Abagond’s post on transracial adoption, then I noticed that he still has never done it (albeit promised 4 years ago).

    Anyhow, I was curious about Asian-American parents who adopt black children, and all I could find was the following. It is a bizarre story, and I remember reading about it a couple years ago, but I had forgotten about it.

    Their black daughter died but they still have 2 black sons.

    I wonder how people feel about this kind of thing.

    The bizarre case of an Asian couple who adopted African children
    https://rollingout.com/2015/07/20/bizarre-case-asian-couple-adopted-african-children/

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  29. @ Jefe

    There was a link in the article you provided that goes into much more detail:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/07/gloria-huang-qatar-court-case.html

    Personally I don’t see why this should be considered any more bizarre or unusual than white people adopting black or Asian children. There have been suspicious deaths in some of those cases as well.

    I don’t know whether these specific parents were innocent or hiding severe child abuse, but I seriously doubt they adopted the children in order to murder them and traffic their organs, as they were accused of doing.

    Also note the racism inherent in the Qatar investigator’s reasoning that parents only want to adopt beautiful children, but these children were black.

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  30. @ jefe

    Transracial adoption is one of my favourite posts I never wrote. So is the gentrification of Harlem. So were James Baldwin and Erykah Badu before I wrote them.

    Liked by 1 person


  31. @solitaire

    Thanks for the link to the article.

    Personally I don’t see why this should be considered any more bizarre or unusual than white people adopting black or Asian children.

    I don’t think the adoption part is the bizarre part, but the imprisonment and the judicial process in Qatar following the death of the daughter and the removal of the sons from the parents. Not bizarre exactly, but a nightmare.

    They do seem a little naive, not doing some research about the prospect of bringing adopted kids into a country where such adoption is illegal, and not registering their kids with the local police (for their protection). But it should also be a wake-up call to Asian Americans who might be assigned to work overseas in places that have no concept of Americans being Asian and transracial adoption.

    Normally I like to follow Al Jazeera, but I am happy also to learn how they screw up too. But this story has the perfect fodder for a documentary or even a movie. this time, however, it should not be a documentary from Al Jazeera.

    It is unfortunate that I could not find any articles or stories of Asian families adopting black children that did not end up so bizarre and tragic.

    I found articles about whites adopted into black and Asian families, but could not find any about Asians adopted into black families (ie, apart from the movie “Catfish in Black Bean Sauce” (1999).

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  32. @Abagond

    Transracial adoption is one of my favourite posts I never wrote.

    You once made a pledge to knock off 3-4 of the promised posts per month until they were done. But it seems that that pledge got siderailed a couple years ago. Maybe if you took the pledge back it might help the trajectory of this blog a bit. It helps generate anticipation and trust in your blog’s direction.

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  33. Happy New Year Mary Burrell. Thank you.

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  34. Sitting here eating an egg omelet with scallions, mushrooms and Balderson’s extra-old cheddar cheese! Thought I’d share. Discuss!

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  35. @ Herneith

    I’m envious. I had to cut way back on dairy. I really miss harvarti, cheddar, muenster and brie cheeses.

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  36. @ Afrofem

    Have you experimented much with vegan cheeses?

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  37. I’m envious. I had to cut way back on dairy. I really miss harvarti, cheddar, muenster and brie cheeses.

    How about Limburger and Muenster cheeses. You are envious? So you should be! It’s worth the excess gas and runs. Just joking. I’m in a constant state of jocularity more than usual for some reason.

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  38. @ Solitaire

    I went through a phase of eating alternative cheeses, but they never seemed to have the depth of flavor or melting quality that dairy cheeses possess. So now I limit myself to sheep’s milk Feta in the summer (topping Greek salads and as part of a Mezze table). The rest of the year, I eat a bit of imported Havarti, Brie and Cambozola on special occasions.

    My favorite dessert is a seasonal fruit, cheese and nut platter.

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  39. @ Herneith

    Your jocularity is always appreciated. It lightens the heaviest conversations.

    Thank you.

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  40. @ Afrofem

    Have you tried making your own?

    For example, I just this moment found a recipe for dairy-free Brie:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-16/features/sc-food-0111-veggie-cheese-20130116_1_coconut-oil-brie-vegetarian

    I haven’t tried this myself, since I do eat dairy. But I suspect if it piques your interest, you could play around with different recipes and modifications to see if you can get closer to the qualities you’re looking for.

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  41. Actually, after old, sharp cheddar, feta is my favourite. I mix it in with a spinach salad with red onions and homemade dressing. Sometimes I will throw in tuna or chicken to make the meal more substantiative.

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  42. @ Solitaire

    Thanks for the link. Imaginative minds abound!

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  43. @ Herneith

    Feta in a Horiatiki salad is my favorite. No lettuce, just cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, parsley, oregano and olives. A simple dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and herbs. Garnished with shrimp and a sharp, salty Bulgarian feta.

    So good!

    Liked by 1 person


  44. I have recently discovered how good dried fruit can be in a salad. This winter I’ve been making a spinach/red onion/feta salad similar to Herneith’s with the addition of dried cherries and pecans or walnuts.

    Sometimes I don’t even put dressing on it because the cherries are both sweet and tangy enough to serve much the same purpose.

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  45. @ Solitaire

    Not even enough EV Olive oil for a glisten? Hmm.

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  46. @ Herneith @ Solitaire

    I’ve been experimenting with using kale and/or chard as the greens base for salads. I found a kale salad recipe that is so good that even my kale-hating husband will eat it and go back for seconds.

    https://www.pccmarkets.com/recipe/pcc-artichoke-and-greens-salad/

    The secret to making this salad is to massage the greens after chopping them, then add the vinaigrette, artichokes and red onion. Let that marinate at room temperature for up to three hours. Then add the feta and red peppers, toss and serve. I usually add shrimp as a garnish or use the salad as a side dish to chicken or fish.

    Liked by 3 people


  47. @ Afrofem

    Nope, 100% dry.

    I know it sounds odd. It was one of those things that happened by chance. I normally would never have thought to make it without dressing — too much like rabbit food. But one meal I felt like maybe the dressing was too strong and overpowering the cherry flavor. So I tried a bite that had no dressing and realized to my utter surprise that it was fantastic that way.

    YMMV

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  48. If someone say this

    ”Remember, you have a voice through a medium created by white people, While you complain, others get on with things, there’s a lesson in that. Nobody is intelligent for finding problems. Convincing yourself that you’re angry at the system that sustains s you is contradictory. I think, in life, people use up too much energy being angry at things that don’t really affect them, from a position of comfort. Meanwhile people are out there struggling and nobody is offering solutions”

    Do you this this person has a point? We are talking about white racism through a medium some would claim were created by whites. I would love see read your response to this..

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  49. @ Rabab

    The same person who said that is expressing him/herself through a medium — writing — that was not created by white people.

    I doubt that we will ever know exactly when spoken language arose, but my guess is that it must have been back when all of humanity was in Africa, before white people even existed.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_language#Evolutionary_timeline

    This part is also questionable:

    “Convincing yourself that you’re angry at the system that sustains s you is contradictory. I think, in life, people use up too much energy being angry at things that don’t really affect them, from a position of comfort.”

    This writer thinks if the system sustains the existence of people of color, then it cannot simultaneously be hurting them in other ways or holding them back from reaching their full potential. The writer wants the system to remain static instead of constantly working for improvement and progress.

    The writer also assumes people are complaining about stuff that doesn’t really affect them and that the complainers are actually living comfortable lives. This is someone who is willfully ignoring people of color when they talk about how racism and white supremacy affect them.

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  50. Solitaire

    Thank you so much for that insightful response.. xxx

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  51. Abagond. New topic. Black Race Realists. Just check Youtube.

    This is not a LULZ. Repeat. This is not a LULZ

    Liked by 1 person


  52. Think about doing some audiobook readings. Give some suggestions. I’m thinking 3rd world and economics. Stuff like Supercapitalism by Michael Hudson, Black Jacobins, Capitalism and Slavery, etc.

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  53. @Afrofem: Thanks for posting about Leonce Gaiter

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  54. @ Mary Burrell

    I will definitely have to buy his book.

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  55. RIP to the 17 students and teachers who perished in the shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida. Gun violence in America will continue as usual.

    Like


  56. I couldn’t resist:

    “[The] McGhee[‘s] welcomed sextuplets in 2010. The family became known for a sweet photo featuring the newborn babies sprawled across their father’s back in front of their mother.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/parents-adorably-recreate-photo-with-sextuplets-six-years-later_us_575aea23e4b00f97fba8234a

    This is the family six years later.

    Chocolate angels….

    Liked by 2 people


  57. @Afrofem:

    They are quite adorable.👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾

    Like


  58. @ Mary Burrell

    It is so rare to see images of normal Black families in this country. I just couldn’t resist.

    Liked by 1 person


  59. https://abovethelaw.com/2018/02/you-realize-arming-teachers-is-going-to-lead-to-black-students-getting-murdered-by-their-teacher-right/?rf=1

    “…Black and brown students should not have to die because disgruntled white boys are shooting up their schools….”*

    And the follow-up article:

    https://abovethelaw.com/2018/02/wherein-white-people-prove-my-point-and-send-me-hate-mail/?rf=1

    “…You’ll note that the people I’ve pulled out of the pile here don’t even argue that teachers WON’T SHOOT MINORITY CHILDREN. They accept the fundamental premise of my post. All these people are arguing is that dead children will have done something to deserve their fates. And somehow I’m racist for pointing out what it seems we all know is going to happen….”

    Like


  60. Folks, I failed my driving test for the fifth time. I failed on the parallel parking. However, the tester said he would have passed me for everything else which was excellent. Oh well, next time. This is starting to feel like a comedy sitcom! It didn’t help that he instructed me to parallel park up the hill! Onwards and forward!

    Liked by 1 person


  61. @ Herneith

    Don’t give up just yet. Practice some more and try again. You will make it soon.

    Fingers crossed….

    Liked by 1 person


  62. @ Solitaire

    I finally had time to read both articles. I wish I could say I was shocked or even surprised. The sadness is there (but that never really goes away).

    A lot of virulent anti-Black people seem to be having a field day with them term “Black racist”. They love slinging it around. They seem to find a lot of satisfaction in projecting their hatred and genocidal fantasies on Black folk.

    I think they do so because they want to feel completely justified in their own minds that murdering a group of people is:

    ➽ unavoidable

    ➽ the right thing to do

    The process of labeling Black people as “racist” will also be used as part of the denial process when they are done with their atrocities. Makes me think of Abagond’s post about how to deny a genocide:

    9. Blame the victim – say the victims started a civil war. Overlooking the fact that there is no military reason for the mass killing of women and children.

    10. Dehumanize the victim – “They’re Africans. They do these sorts of things to each other.” They are not like us. Their lives do not matter. Why do you care? Overlooking the fact that everyone’s life matters, not just those who are like us or live nearby.

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/how-to-deny-a-genocide/

    Thanks for sharing those articles.

    sigh

    Liked by 1 person


  63. Correction: with the term “Black racist”.

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  64. I sympathize with the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida and the teenagers are lighting a fire under the current administration and they are getting attention, they are even getting comfort animals to help them through the trauma, but black young people (BLM) are seen as thugs and terrorist.

    Like


  65. Anyone attending the March for our Lives in Washington, DC on March 24?

    Like


  66. Hey, what’s the national media like when it comes to the shooting at CMU? The local news has been very careful not to vilify James Eric Davis Jr. from the beginning. When very little was known, they did mention that he’d been acting strangely and that he was taken to the hospital by campus police for what may have been a drug-related issue, but they phrased it in a medical way, not a criminal way if that makes sense.

    I’m sure I’m just being foolishly optimistic that the media is getting better about such things…

    Like


  67. @ Open Minded Observer

    Davis, Jr. seems to be getting uncharacteristic treatment for a Black male teen. For example, Time.com lead with this:

    ” A suburban Chicago couple whose 19-year-old son allegedly shot them to death at his college dormitory in Michigan raised him and their two other children well, a family friend said Sunday.

    James Eric Davis Sr. — who went by his middle name — and his wife, Diva, were “doting parents” and raised James Eric Davis’ Jr. “phenomenally,” said Jordan Murphy, who worked from 2004 to 2008 with Davis Sr. in Chicago as Illinois Army National Guard recruiters.

    […]

    “I’ve known him since he was 4 or 5,” Murphy said of Davis Jr. “From knowing the family … something out-of-character occurred. Something external affected the situation that caused this unfortunate tragedy to occur.”

    http://time.com/5185713/james-eric-davis-jr-central-michigan-university-good-kid/

    Some of the usual suspects have taken to calling Davis, Jr. a “thug”.

    a thug? really.. really. https://t.co/WgxjaOc9n3— 𝓓𝓻𝓲𝔃𝔃𝔂𓅓⁶ (@KGilder8) March 2, 2018

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    The corporate media is handling this one differently, that’s for sure.

    Like


  68. Wonder how this link will work?

    Liked by 1 person


  69. @Afrofem
    “The corporate media is handling this one differently, that’s for sure.”
    That was my take too, from the local news at least. I dropped most social media a while back, so I haven’t seen the stuff from “the usual suspects”… unfortunate, but predictable.

    Like


  70. I came across an article in Engadget that described the ways Best Buy’s Geek Squad has been working with the FBI. According to the article, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) got its hands on FBI documents that show a close working relationship between Geek Squad technicians and the FBI. The article notes:

    “…the two entities worked so frequently together, that they’ve developed a process for reporting suspicious content…

    […]

    The FBI classifies the Geek Squad technicians who call in the reports as informants, but some of the documents in EFF’s possession suggest they sometimes do more than report something they find. One [document] shows that the feds paid at least one tech $500…The EFF says that by paying informants, the agency is encouraging technicians to actively look for content.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/07/eff-geek-squad-fbi-relationship/

    Like


  71. @Afrofem
    I read about that last week! Pretty crazy. I mean, on the one hand, shame on you if you’ve got child porn. But, the idea of a Geek Squad employee planting evidence in order to earn an extra $500, or worse yet, at the direction of the FBI itself in order to entrap/discredit someone, is a very real possibility. That’s one of those things where the accusation ruins lives, even if you’re ultimately exonerated in court. Just another battlefield in the tug-of-war between freedom and safety.

    Liked by 1 person


  72. @ Open Minded Observer

    Snooping on customers hard drives is bad enough. Best Buy also has a restrictive returns policy that penalizes customers if they return items “too often”.

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/best-buys-bait-switch-returns-policy-reveals-yet-creepy-consumer-monitoring.html

    It harkens back to Blockbuster’s excessive video late fees that drove people crazy in the 1990s, before Netflix.

    Seems some companies fail to heed lessons from the past. They treat their customers like suspects and collapse in spectacular fashion at some point.

    Like


  73. I did see a new story on that Retail Equation company a few days ago. Just more creepy use of big data.

    As for Blockbuster… I had a rule in my apartment; I’d pay for the rental but someone else had to handle the returns! The number of nasty letters I used to get before that was ridiculous… of course, I traveled a lot for a living back then and I may or may not have been known to leave movies in long-term parking for weeks at a time.

    Like


  74. Rest In Peace Stephen Clark gunned down in his grandparents backyard. Shot 20 times he was unarmed with only his iPhone.

    Like


  75. @Abagond:

    Do you think it is because what happened to Marielle?

    Like


  76. @ Mary

    In the sense of “See, even the US has brutal police!”

    Like


  77. @Abagond: Will you please expound on your last response to me?

    Like


  78. They are doing the March For Live rallies and this is very important, and it’s gotten the attention of everyone from Hollywood celebrities to even a sit down with Trump, but black people have been protesting and marching for their lives from the brutality of police shooting unarmed black citizens and its perceived a nuisance and black young men and women are labeled as thugs and terrorist. This is the effed up double standard here in America.

    Liked by 1 person


  79. Shout out to 11 year old Naomi Wadler she is Black Girl magic and she spoke eloquently about young black girls who are killed by gun violence that never make the news. Her family must be so proud of her today. She is black excellence.

    Like


  80. To be fair there was lots of inclusivity in the March For Our Lives rally. Lots of black and brown faces. It’s even fair to say that the young kids did it better with their protest and march against guns and gun violence, there’s a lot to say in “And a little child shall lead them.”

    Like


  81. @ Abagond

    The Brazilian media is heavily White and therefore pro-police. I think they like the police brutality stories coming out of the US because it makes their own police look less bad: “See, even the US does it!”

    So I think Stephon Clark would have been news even without Marielle. But since there is a good chance she was killed by police (the bullets match those used by the federal police), that increases the importance of the story.

    Liked by 1 person


  82. @ Mary

    “This is the effed up double standard here in America.”

    I agree. Black Lives Matter is seen as a threat to the social order, not as an example of democracy in action.

    Liked by 1 person


  83. @Abagond:

    Remember when Obama called the Ferguson protesters or was it the Baltimore protesters thug, that was very hurtful. I then understood he had blind spots in regard to the brutality and economic and social disparities in America.

    Like


  84. Rest In Peace Linda Brown of Brown versus Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas.

    Like


  85. @ Mary

    “Remember when Obama called the Ferguson protesters or was it the Baltimore protesters thug, that was very hurtful. I then understood he had blind spots in regard to the brutality and economic and social disparities in America.”

    I remember that distinctly:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/cvsmatters/

    It was way worse coming from him than from a White person.

    Liked by 1 person


  86. @ Abagond

    Thanks for the link. That was a powerful speech.

    Like


  87. In the sense of “See, even the US has brutal police!”

    so, Brazil uses the USA as a moral standard in a way similar to how white Americans use “Take Japan, for Instance.”.

    Like


  88. Just saw this video about Facebook: 10 Ways Facebook Spies On You

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=LGhTppIIf7Q)

    Pretty chilling.

    Liked by 1 person


  89. LAPD harrases families constitional right to free speech and assembly.

    (https://www.facebook.com/blmla/posts/1888607891211519)

    Like


  90. Afrofem said,

    “Just saw this video about Facebook: 10 Ways Facebook Spies On You”.

    There is a new social media platform called
    MeWe that is suppose to be private. I’m still researching it but it looks promising.

    Like


  91. @ michaeljonbarker

    Thanks for the link.

    This goes on in the USA and there are still people blathering on about “our democracy”. They haven’t gotten the memo yet. The Rivera family certainly know the truth about the type of society we live in now.

    There are several promising alternatives to FB. I will find the article that discusses them and post a link soon.

    Like


  92. @ michaeljonbarker

    I finally unearthed the article about FB alternatives and other platforms that mimic Twitter. As the writer of the Wired article noted:

    “Facebook collects arguably the most private information, but plenty of other popular social networking apps like Snapchat and Twitter collect your data too. That’s their entire business model: When you’re not paying for a product, you are the product.

    Even your internet-service provider is likely collecting your personal information. In fact, through its expansive ad network, Facebook even collects info from people who aren’t even on the platform.”

    https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-alternatives/

    Liked by 1 person


  93. @ michaeljonbarker

    Slashdot also had a selection of FB and Twitter alternatives:

    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/18/03/25/0039218/ask-slashdot-is-there-a-good-alternative-to-facebook

    Liked by 1 person


  94. One intriguing platform is Mastadon:

    https://joinmastodon.org

    Here are the guidelines for one Mastadon group:

    Liked by 1 person


  95. Sitting here eating left-over salmon and tuna sushi for breakfast, jealous?

    Like


  96. Oprah did a 60 Minutes segment on this over the weekend… I missed that, but they referenced it on the news this morning… I wasn’t sure how well known it is and thought I’d share: https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/

    Also, on a related note, Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy” is a worthwhile read.

    Like


  97. @ Open Minded Observer

    I heard Bryan Stevenson talk about plans for the memorials years ago when I still listened to Democracy Now. Thanks for the link.

    The museums really fill a void.

    Like


  98. @Herneith: Rappaport is vomitus and fecal matter who is a vampire of black culture. He is so disgusting and he’s bitter about his stalled acting career. He makes me nauseated 🤢🤮🤢🤬

    Liked by 1 person


  99. @ Herneith: The problem with Michael Rappaport is that black people give problematic white people like him a pass and Rappaport thinks he’s not a racist because he knows Q-Tip the rapper and he can use words from the urban dictionary thinking he’s down with black culture and black people.

    Liked by 1 person


  100. The problem with Michael Rappaport is that black people give problematic white people like him a pass and Rappaport thinks he’s not a racist because he knows Q-Tip the rapper and he can use words from the urban dictionary thinking he’s down with black culture and black people.

    I have never understood that either.

    Liked by 1 person


  101. https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/sheriff-rochester-hills-man-chased-black-teen-who-asked-for-directions-into-yard-fired-gun-at-him

    Thankfully he wasn’t injured… need to put a BLM sign in the yard or something so kids know where they can ask for directions without getting shot.

    Like


  102. So, I read that the teenager actually chose that house because it had a neighborhood watch sticker… I’d say we need a different sticker, a fist or something, but I would just worry that would be as useless as the safety pin “movement”. Anyway, the press is finally treating the shooter as the villain and the victim as the victim for once: https://detne.ws/2qOuusb

    Like


  103. @ Open Minded Observer

    Something like the Safe Space stickers that the LGBTQ community and allies use?

    Like


  104. @Abagond

    This has come to light recently in the UK – thought it might be interesting to you and your readership some of who may have relatives from this generation who ended up in the U.S instead of the UK

    (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/20/the-week-that-took-windrush-from-low-profile-investigation-to-national-scandal)

    Like


  105. RE: ^^^^^^^^^My post above….

    Basically, this is about the ‘Windrush’ Generation. Those individuals who came to Britain as a result of losses during the war to help rebuild Britain. People who were encouraged to come were from countries that were part of the British Empire and commonwealth to provide labour for shortages in the job market. This British Nationality Act of 1948 apparently gave UK citizenship to people living in England and its colonies and ‘full rights of entry and settlement to the UK’. I believe these individuals are called the Windrush generation as the first few waves of them came over on a ship called the Empire Windrush. Many skilled labourers from the West Indies came to the UK for better opportunities and there was active recruitment in many Islands for roles in transport and within the NHS. You probably know the rest, they came believing that the UK streets were paved with gold and that they would be welcomed after all they came to help but they experienced hostility, racism and violence.

    Fast forward to recent times where this has now come to public attention and this generation who have contributed to society and lived and paid taxes in the UK are being told that they are not citizens of the Uk and denied the ability to work due to not having the right documentation, the right to claim benefits or to receive medical care on the NHS. Many were threatened with deportation – back to a land where some were not even born or many have not returned to for decades.

    Signing off now – writing this much has taken a lot out of me lol, I’m ususally a man of few words but didn’t know how to make this any shorter

    Like


  106. @Solitaire
    Right. The entire premise is ridiculous though because, as the teen’s mother stated, “If I have a question, I should be able to turn to my village and knock on a door and ask a question.”

    Between George Zimmerman (Trayvon Martin) and Jeffrey Zeigler (this incident) , I guess we need to interpret Neighborhood Watch stickers to mean, “Caution! Unstable racist inside.”

    Like


  107. @ Open Minded Observer

    I guess we need to interpret Neighborhood Watch stickers to mean, “Caution! Unstable racist inside.”

    Huh, you’ve just triggered some memories about the people I’ve encountered over the years who were either the most interested in getting a Neighborhood Watch program going or the most involved in an existing program. They were always white conservative racist control freaks who were known for prying into other people’s business and constantly reporting their neighbors to official entities like Animal Control or Lawn Complaints (for things that usually turned out not to be infractions) instead of talking to them first. These people weren’t truly neighborly at all.

    Now, your mileage may vary; I don’t want to cast aspersions on anyone who’s ever belonged to Neighborhood Watch. It’s just that your comment made something click in my head. I’ve run into those types far too frequently.

    I can understand why the high school kid thought a Neighborhood Watch sticker was a sign of safety and assistance. That’s what it should be. But in my experience, the white people who are most personally invested in those programs are the same ones who will call the cops if they see a black person out walking their dog.

    Like


  108. ^ Neighborhood Watch programs would be a good topic for a post.

    I wonder if there has ever been a study on how many Neighborhood Watch programs are really Neighborhood watch out for black and brown programs.

    Like


  109. @ Jefe

    That’s a good idea for a post.

    Once I left home, I’ve always lived in racially mixed areas, so I do wonder with these characters whether part of their goal was to make the neighborhood uncomfortable enough for the non-white residents that they would move.

    Like


  110. @ Open Minded Observer

    Apparently someone’s already had a similar idea:

    https://cldc.org/product/anti-racist-neighborhood-watch-sticker/

    Liked by 1 person


  111. More:

    https://portlandassembly.com/anti-racist-neighborhood-watch-manual-resource-toolkit/

    It’s not quite the same idea as “This is a safe space for black teens to ask directions” but probably would convey that sense.

    Like


  112. @ Solitaire,

    After all, George Zimmerman was out doing his Neighborhood watch. At the very least, we should require them not to carry a gun.

    re: your latter link, they said this:

    building strong relationships with local established antifa chapters

    Strong relationships with community groups are good, but antifa might be borderline too political and even a little violent.

    Liked by 1 person


  113. @ Jefe

    Antifa is such a loosely connected movement that I think it may be best to judge each group individually. Note that one of the two organizations that created this anti-racist watch initiative is the Pacific Northwest Anti-fascist Workers Collective, an antifa group.

    Like


  114. @Solitaire,

    It is always best to judge each group individually, which is probably why it would be better not to label them all with a collective descriptor such as “antifa” which has various connotations associated with it.

    “Workers Collective” also might sound a bit communistic to persons who may be quick to judge by labels, not deeds. “Anti-fascist Workers Collective” could sound very ultra left-wing to the general public.

    Maybe they should just call it “Non-violent anti-racist Watch Initiative” and not use anti-fascist and communistic labels in order to gain community support. Make this separate from antifa movements.

    Like


  115. @ Jefe

    Your points have merit, but consider that if an antifa group is the co-founder of the initiative, then it makes sense that they would recommend coordinating with local antifa groups just like their own group. If they had instead been a BLM group, should they have refrained from recommending coordination with local BLM groups because some people “who may be quick to judge by labels, not deeds” might think BLM is too violent, radical, and divisive?

    I’m sure that if this idea begins to catch on in a big way, it will eventually lose its connections to the radical left as mainstream Americans water everything down to meet their comfort level.

    Like


  116. I think it would be best to partner with other movements which are found at different points of the spectrum, but who agree on this issue. They do not have to label it antifa, Workers collective, or BLM. Call it a different movement (simply a anti-racist neighborhood watch program) which is supported by various antifa, BLM and other groups.

    Like


  117. @ Jefe

    “Call it a different movement (simply a anti-racist neighborhood watch program) which is supported by various antifa, BLM and other groups.”

    Um, that’s exactly what they are doing. The movement itself is called the Anti-Racist Neighborhood Watch Program. It says so in the link.

    I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Like


  118. James Shaw Jr. the hero of the Nashville Waffle House shooting gets no recognition from the POTUS. I shouldn’t be surprised and shouldn’t expect anything better from him. James Shaw Jr. is a great American in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person


  119. A big two middle fingers on both hands to Kanye West for his stupidity.

    Liked by 2 people


  120. Jocularity aside, what is actually scary is the people who will reference this goof when discussing slavery.

    Liked by 1 person


  121. He’s campaigning. Taking a page right out of 45’s playbook. Controversy = free media. Keep the controversy coming fast enough and some people forget what you said or assume you didn’t mean what you said in the context you said it. Media never gets the chance to say, “remember what he said before?” because there’s always something new to talk about… nothing gains any real traction and everything becomes noise. Then, you follow up with some over the top, “play to the base” promises in the home stretch and the voters turn out for you.

    Liked by 1 person


  122. Oh, and I don’t have a clue if he meant what he said or not. But, the fact that he thought it was OK to say makes him despicable in my book.

    Liked by 1 person


  123. Has anyone found a good discussion of Donald Glover / Childish Gambino’s video “This is America”?
    Every one I found seems to focus on different things or maybe even contradict the other.

    Maybe a post on it would be good.

    Liked by 1 person


  124. So these last couple of months calling the police on black people just trying to go about their daily lives is a thing now? I am paraphrasing but that quote by James Baldwin “ To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

    Like


  125. @ Mary Burrell

    Yes to that Baldwin quote.

    Few people think about the amount of energy it takes to not react and show the rage that many Black people carry inside.

    The things Black folk do to stay alive in a country that wants to destroy them.

    Liked by 1 person


  126. Folks, I am going for my driving test again. I failed the first few times due to nerves. Pray for me!

    Liked by 1 person


  127. @ Herneith

    Will do.

    Liked by 1 person


  128. @ Herneith: Will do.

    Like


  129. Passed the driving test after 8 tries!

    Liked by 3 people


  130. @ Herneith

    Yay! Congratulations. It was because I prayed for you 😉

    Liked by 1 person


  131. Congrats!! 👍🏾

    Liked by 2 people


  132. Thanks! As fate would have it, the same tester at the centre was the same one who failed me the first time at that place, passed me this time. He was very kind both times and realized I was a little nervous. The test started an hour and forty-five minutes late. I just wanted to get the hell out of there as I was starving and parched. Anyways an all in all valuable experience in regards to sticking things out.

    For those who prayed for me thanks! The 60 million jackpot for the lottery is coming up on Friday. I bought a ticket. Please pray for me again it seems to work!

    Liked by 1 person


  133. @ Herneith

    Hooray!!! 🎉

    If you win the jackpot, what dream car will you buy?

    Like


  134. I don’t know much about cars. My main requirement is that the car has four wheels, actually drives and is good on gas, not one of those Flintstone cars. Jocularity aside, can’t help it, I am in the process of purchasing a fully loaded Kia Soul 2018. It is the best bang for the buck. I am just waiting for my driving school info to come through so I can get the steep discount on the insurance.

    Liked by 2 people


  135. @Herneith, I am so happy for you. Perseverance is key👏🏿👍🏿🙏🏿

    Like


  136. @ Herneith

    The Kia sounds like a great choice for now…

    But if you hit the jackpot, we need to have a talk about Lamborghinis, limos, and chauffeurs. 😀

    (especially the chauffeurs 😉😉😉)

    Like


  137. @Herneith: “Those who keep trying cannot be defeated.”

    Liked by 1 person


  138. I’ve been following the news stories about BBQ Becky (BB). I made a comment about BB last month in the White Women’s Tears thread:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/white-womens-tears/#comment-396871

    It seems Black Twitter has created a meme around BB and run with it. This is one Twitter Account that features photoshopped images of BB inserted into a variety of Black situations.

    Like


  139. The BBQ Becky hashtag on Twitter is eyeopening:

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBQBecky?src=hash

    Liked by 1 person


  140. The root cause.

    Liked by 1 person


  141. Mariah Parker is awesome!

    26 year old, elected as a county commisioner for Athens-Clarke County, GA by a margin of 13 votes. The images of her taking her oath of office are simply outstanding. Left hand on a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X and right hand, fist in the air… you just have to google it.

    Liked by 1 person


  142. Rest In Peace Anthony Bourdain.

    Like


  143. @Afrofem: BBQ Becky memes and SNL did a funny one too. I hope she feels humiliated for a long time.

    Like


  144. @ Mary Burrell

    Nah. She will play the victim till the end of her days. White women’s tears and all.

    Notice the police are still shielding her identity.

    Liked by 1 person


  145. I am sitting here eating a delicious egg omelet with cheddar cheese(old), mushrooms, and red onions coupled with a wholewheat English muffin. Jealous? I had to share!

    Like


  146. @v Herneith

    How is the new car?

    Liked by 1 person


  147. @Afrofem:

    Great! Thanks for asking!

    Like


  148. @ Herneith

    Congratulations on your new car

    Like


  149. @ Abagond

    I was posting some medical advice on a pet-related internet forum earlier today, and I wrote, “Have you ever done [this human medical test]? It is like that.”

    And then I thought, “Wait, ‘It is like that’? I sound like Abagond!”

    I guess your writing style has started rubbing off on me!

    Like


  150. @ Solitaire

    LOL.

    Like


  151. I came across this New Yorker piece on the Igbos’ role in the slave trade and the aftereffects: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/my-great-grandfather-the-nigerian-slave-trader

    Like


  152. Today I am sad. The legendary and iconic Queen of Soul has transitioned. May she Rest In Peace. Respect to her memory.

    Liked by 1 person


  153. Notes from the other side – 4

    Mozambique seen through outside eyes

    I recently watch the testimonies of two tourists who visited Mozambique this year for a short time. Both filmed some moments of their stay in the country and later they left some video-clips registered in Youtube.
    These video-clips are an excellent window on the reality of the country, especially its capital, the city of Maputo. And being also different views, somehow they complement each other.

    The first testimony comes from a woman, citizen of Canada, who, during the last 3 to 4 years, has traveled the world accompanied by his 3 daughters. See the link:
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z22HjyLjsw)
    (Discover Maputo, the capital of Mozambique | 90+ Countries With 3 Kids)

    The second testimony comes from another woman, a citizen of Nigeria, and who visits the capital of the country integrated into a tour group sponsored by Google. See the link:
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGYmpybjjLo&t=11s)
    (MAPUTO | DISCOVER MOZAMBIQUE | AFRICA TOURISM)

    In both cases the tourists after the visit to Maputo move to visit another place before leaving the country. Look
    (Unlocking the Treasure of Ponta Do Ouro Mozambique | 90+ Countries w / 3 kids)
    and
    (MAPUTO | WHAT TO DO IN MOZAMBIQUE | AFRICA TOURISM)

    If someone here on this blog thinks about one day visiting Mozambique, I think it’s good to review these testimonies because they give us a multifaceted, if incomplete, picture of this country.

    Besides that I think also that other video-clips that both women posted in Youtube are also interesting in themselves.

    Liked by 1 person


  154. “The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war, when the facts are, that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South – When ‘the bottom rail was on top’ all over the Southern states, and to-day, as a consequence the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States – Praise God.

    “I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

    Julian Carr’s speech at the dedication of “Silent Sam,” UNC, June 2, 1913

    http://hgreen.people.ua.edu/transcription-carr-speech.html

    Like


  155. On the topic of Black Music and White Music I present: Gloria Jones!

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViWAVwY7LtU)

    (Posted it in the open threat, to prevent it from stealing the thunder of Aretha Franklin (if possible))

    Like


  156. @abagond

    Were you aware that Trojan Pam has died? They have obituaries posted in the comment section.

    Like


  157. I duuno. Pro Malcom but against Black leftist.

    (https://youtu.be/pf_LQhcIO4g)

    Like


  158. @Solitaire

    When I first came to abagond’s blog many women would point out the fact that black men were oppressive or hated black women. I was naive to this and often viewed it as false. However, over the years I have found it to very true for certain black men. I can’t fully attest to the issues that black LGBT face, but as a black woman I can give insight on my experience.

    Over the years I have ran into verbally abusive black males. This is not all of them, but a certain category of straight black males who feel that black women have no place to speak. Yet these same men feel we are required to support them. If we speak, then we are the angry black woman and are only expected to be silent and let them lead. I have witnessed exchanges were women were told they must be single or don’t have a man in response to her speaking her mind on a topic about women.

    ARN would have certainly passed for a black male had he not repeatedly made clear he was white. Thing is other races see this oppressive nature from black men and lavish in the turmoil and divide. Unfortunately, some black men naively play int o the divide, while blaming black women for it. There are certain black men that truly hate black women achieving and take steps similar to white men to hinder. They don’t have the power in the since of which supremacy, but of the privileges they have they use it to their advantage.

    I was once on a thread about Serena Williams and a black man said “black women only care about themselves and having a mixed baby” also “ black men date out, but black women started it.” Yet he seemed to ignore black women on the front line fighting for them. They are as oblivious to our hardships as certain whites are to racism directed at black people. I dare say they can be racist and sexist as well.

    Liked by 1 person


  159. @ Sharina

    One of the things that I think is part of white privilege is to be able to talk about sexism in terms of “men” and “women” instead of in terms of “white men” and “white women.” Guess it is the white default again?

    I understand what you’re saying. There’s a lot of intersectionality involved — I don’t doubt that. But I know when I read what you wrote, a lot of what you said still resonates with my own experience with sexist white men — or really, any sexist men.

    At the same time, though, I don’t feel the type of disappointment in white men that I hear in your words and in the essay you shared on the other thread and from so many other women of color. I think white women don’t have an expectation that white men are going to be better than that or to get it, whereas black women often do have that expectation, especially when the black men in question are woke on racial issues. It’s hard to be treated that way by a man but harder still when you feel they should know better because of the similar sh’t they’ve gone through themselves.

    One thing I’m not clear on, though, is whether sexist black men tend to be more oppressive towards black women and less so towards white women? And if so, do you think it has to do with the white privilege that white women hold — that either those white women utilize that privilege in some manner or that sexist black men are aware of that white privilege and therefore hold back to a degree that they might not otherwise?

    “ARN would have certainly passed for a black male had he not repeatedly made clear he was white.”

    True, but he’s not the only white man to say the type of sexist stuff he does, either. The only distinction I’ve noticed is that ARN likes to set up a dichotomy where the movement for black civil rights is a very worthy undertaking while feminism is an abomination that tries to copy the former but with no valid purpose. On one hand, I’ve heard black men make the same type of statement — but on the other hand, knowing that ARN is in fact white, it seems to me more like he is seeking to divide people and create dissension (which you have pointed out appears to be his motive overall, because he has tried to exploit other divides).

    Like


  160. What happened to Afrofem’s comment?

    Like


  161. @ Solitaire

    It was deleted upon her request.

    Like


  162. @ Abagond

    That’s too bad, but it’s good to know I didn’t hallucinate reading it.

    @ Afrofem

    I hope all is well. I’ve noticed you haven’t been commenting much this summer, and I miss reading your insightful observations.

    Liked by 1 person


  163. @ Solitaire

    Just busy as heck with studies.

    Like


  164. @ Afrofem

    Glad to hear that. Well, I’m sorry you’re busy but glad it isn’t anything worse.

    I thought that was a good comment on your part. I almost replied to it, but I didn’t have much to add, and since it was directed to Sharina, I thought it would be best to wait for her response.

    However, she is too busy tilting at windmills over on the Oriana Farrell thread at the moment.

    It’s a pity, as I was rather looking forward to an in-depth discussion about the presence of sexism on this blog after Sharina and I were literally told not to speak unless we were spoken to.

    Not sure what prompted you to ask for your comment to be erased, but that is of course your prerogative.

    Like


  165. @ Solitaire

    “…Sharina and I were literally told not to speak unless we were spoken to.”

    I’ve only taken a few glances at that thread. Would you be willing to share a link to that specific comment?

    It seems that we are living through extremely reactionary times. Groups with power are feeling a shift. They are lashing out at perceived adversaries with a great deal of rancor. They seem to think that is the way back to terra firma.

    I think they will be proven wrong.

    Liked by 3 people


  166. @ Afrofem

    This is the link:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/crazy-rich-asians/#comment-403713

    And then there is more downthread, including the speculation that Sharina is really a man.

    It’s not by any stretch the worst sexist comment that I’ve ever had to deal with, don’t get me wrong.

    But it was still disconcerting.

    Like


  167. Abagond: Are you going to do a thread on the cop in Dallas, Amber Guyger? She shot a black man in his own apartment, claiming she thought she was entering her own apartment. I can’t believe that the media and law enforcement is buying this garbage.

    Like


  168. @ Solitaire

    Thanks for the link.

    Not terribly surprised by who made the comment or who constituted his “amen chorus”. A character who frequently punches above his weight.

    Sharina had the most appropriate response. (Bravo Sharina!)

    It is hilarious that one commenter would attempt to censor another commenter on a semi-public forum. The only person with the final say on this forum is Abagond.

    It may have been disconcerting, but you have to consider the source. (LOL!)

    Liked by 1 person


  169. @ Afrofem

    “It may have been disconcerting, but you have to consider the source. (LOL!)”

    That’s true, but while I will stand up for myself with that source, I try not to be too disrespectful or combative with him and remain mindful of my position as a non-POC guest in this space (his buddy is another story). I’m not exactly sure what I did that he’s been riding my ass for several months now.

    Also, that minor incident started to widen into a broader discussion that I was finding of interest. Definitely more interesting than this nonsense about common law that I’m currently embroiled in.

    And also what just happened at the U.S. Open raises similar questions about sexism, racism, and the intersectionality of both.

    Liked by 2 people


  170. @ Mary

    Yes, I will be doing a post on that shooting.

    Liked by 1 person


  171. @ Solitaire

    “I’m not exactly sure what I did that he’s been riding my ass for several months now.”

    I tend to see this particular “source’s” abrasive comments as attention getting ploys. This source uses the same ploy with other erudite commenters. Try not to personalize the source’s behavior.

    For this source, punching above his weight means that he is not ignored.

    Liked by 2 people


  172. @ Afrofem

    Good advice, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person


  173. @ Afrofem: Hey Sis, been missing your astute commentary. This past Summer I have been reading up a storm. Just finished Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and a huge assortment of anthologies by black authors from The Harlem Renaissance to the Present. I am doing double duty reading W. E. B. DuBois The Souls of Black Folks and Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery.

    Like


  174. @Solitaire: I appreciate you as a commentator.

    Like


  175. @ Solitaire

    And also what just happened at the U.S. Open raises similar questions about sexism, racism, and the intersectionality of both.

    I’m also interested to see what will come out of that episode.
    As a member of the species homo sapiens sapiens who happen to be male and Black, I found interesting to see how Serena Williams chose to complain about a possible discrimination against her based on gender but remained mute (or, at least, didn’t say anything in that direction!) regarding any possible discrimination based on race!
    Is she colorblind?
    Anyway, one related question: how do members of the homo sapiens sapiens family, who happen to be female and Black, feel, concerning the pain of discrimination? More pain as female or as Black? Or is it more like a pain that can’t be dissolved in parts?
    Food for thought!

    Like


  176. @Solitaire
    “nonsense about common law that I’m currently embroiled in.”
    …and yet we cannot look away! I tried… I really really tried.

    Like


  177. @ Mary Burrell

    Wow! That is a slew of reading.

    Invisible Man really tears at your heart. That book also reminded me that Black folk are largely invisible in the USA. When other Americans see Black people, they tend to superimpose images from the media and other parts of anti-Black culture (their parents, community and what they learned in school) on Black people.

    So in effect, Black people as people are largely invisible and ignored in the USA.

    In a few months after you’ve had time to digest DuBois and Washington, I would love to read your critical analysis on both authors books. I have not read Up From Slavery. Perhaps I will get to it after this period of study.

    P.S. Hope you are doing well, Mary. I know you had to travel through a valley of grief recently. Hope you are beyond it now.

    Liked by 3 people


  178. @ Afrofem

    Happy to see your thoughts again in this forum!
    May I ask you if during the interregnum did you become a mere observer or left the forum completely?

    Like


  179. @ Open Minded Observer

    …and yet we cannot look away! I tried… I really really tried.

    Frankly, in my case – of a not native speaker/writer of the language of Albion and also a layman concerning law matters – I cannot say, for sure, what is the substance of the discussion going on in that thread!

    Like


  180. @ munubantu

    During the past couple of months, I had time to glance at some posts, but no time to comment.

    There is a bit more time, but not much.

    Thanks for asking.

    Like


  181. @munubantu

    Oh, I’m pretty certain substance has gone out the window. One individual made some pretty extreme statements and others tried to explain why they were ridiculous. However, I suspect the extreme positions were simply intended to light a fire and get the conversation going because since then, the goalpost continuously moves, there’s a lot of willful ignorance, name-calling and attempts to denigrate his opponents. It is as if every response is intended to offend some sensibilities and generate more conversation while simultaneously shifting the topic so that no “debate” gets settled against him. It’s almost as if someone wrote an artificial intelligence to respond and debate like the perfect troll.

    Liked by 2 people


  182. @ Mary Burrell

    Thank you (blushes) 😶

    Afrofem alluded above to a recent grief in your life. My sympathies. I hope you are surrounded by healing, light, and love.

    Liked by 2 people


  183. @ Munubantu

    “As a member of the species homo sapiens sapiens who happen to be male and Black, I found interesting to see how Serena Williams chose to complain about a possible discrimination against her based on gender but remained mute (or, at least, didn’t say anything in that direction!) regarding any possible discrimination based on race!
    Is she colorblind?”

    I would like to hear her speak to that. I can think of a couple different possibilities, but I don’t know which one is actually the case.

    Certainly there is a lot of footage of white male tennis players acting far worse on the tennis court and yet not receiving the penalties she did.

    Like


  184. @ Open Minded Observer

    “…and yet we cannot look away! I tried… I really really tried.”

    Same here….

    Liked by 1 person


  185. @ all

    For all the participants of this forum – moderator, commentators and lurkers alike – who happen to live in the USA East Coast or to have relatives or friends there, I hope sincerely that the Hurricane Florence does not hurt!

    Liked by 2 people


  186. I have been through 4-5 direct hits by typhoons in my 23+ years in HK, but this Typhoon Mangkhut was by far the worst. You can look at this link to get an idea of the effects. My windows nearly blew off too. The window of the office tower directly across my narrow street and parallel to my floor blew right off.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=711285622560601&id=355665009819

    Anyhow, before Typhoon Mangkhut pummeled the Philippines and lashed Hong Kong/Macau, it struck Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) first. Last time I checked, that is part of the US and the residents are Americans. The most powerful storm of 2018 (nearly double that of Hurricane Florence) strikes the USA, and you hear nearly nothing from either the US government or US media (of both political persuasions).

    Like


  187. @ jefe

    I heard nothing about it hitting Guam or the Northern Marianas, just the Philippines.

    Like


  188. I had to go to foreign media (Radio New Zealand) to check to see if the governors of Guam or the Mariana Islands had applied for FEMA assistance

    US President approves emergency funds for Marianas
    The US president has approved the Northern Marianas governor’s request for an emergency declaration following the impact of Typhoon Mangkhut.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/366221/us-president-approves-emergency-funds-for-marianas

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA is authorised to provide emergency assistance for the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

    Specifically, FEMA is authorised to provide emergency protective measures under the Public Assistance Program at 75 percent federal funding.

    Earlier, the Marianas Governor Ralph Torres wasted no time in sending a request for assistance to US President Donald Trump.

    Guam’s US congresswoman asks Trump for help with typhoon fallout
    Guam’s delegate to the United States Congress has written to President Donald Trump, asking for assistance with the fallout of Typhoon Mangkhut.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/366374/guam-s-us-congresswoman-asks-trump-for-help-with-typhoon-fallout

    On Tuesday, Madeleine Bordallo told Mr Trump she expected Guam Governor Eddie Calvo would request federal assistance soon.

    However, I could not find any news anywhere stating whether the US government has actually provided, or has pledged to provide any assistance to Guam.

    However, I found tons/heaps/loads of articles stating that Federal money was immediately released to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, not to mention Maryland and Georgia even before Hurricane Florence approached the US mainland.

    Guam is lucky to have a few US military bases which can mobilize cleanup and emergency assistance in the absence of direct Federal Aid.

    Why have the US media nor Federal government officials not mentioned anything about the USA being struck by the world’s most powerful Category 5 level tropical storm system this year?

    Like


  189. “I heard nothing about it hitting Guam or the Northern Marianas, just the Philippines.”

    Same here! This is literally the first I am learning about it.

    Honestly, you would think Trump would be tweeting it from the rooftops that he approved aid so quickly.

    @ Jefe
    Glad you are physically ok… Hopefully the other impacts of the storm are mitigated quickly!

    Like


  190. @Open Minded Observer

    Thanks for the additional article. I suppose that local Guam news counts as “US” news media.

    However, nothing stated from the US mainstream media nor the Trump administration.

    This typhoon made like a bull’s eye from Guam to Hong Kong via the Philippines and the next day, was declared the most intense typhoon to affect Hong Kong on record.

    Typhoon Mangkhut officially Hong Kong’s most intense storm since records began
    Hong Kong Observatory said sustained winds reached 250km/h, while security minister John Lee calls damage to city ‘serious and extensive’
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2164523/its-official-typhoon-mangkhut-was-most-intense

    On Wednesday, they announced that the number of toppled trees was around 15,000 not 1500, and there was still tree toppling still going on.

    To see some video of the impact to Hong Kong, here is a good summary:
    https://shanghai.ist/2018/09/17/here-are-the-craziest-videos-of-the-havoc-wreaked-by-supertyphoon-mangkhut/

    Like


  191. @Jefe

    Sorry, I didn’t mean for my link to be taken as evidence of US media coverage. I never saw anything mentioned here. I just shared the link because I found it and it had some information.

    Those videos are scary. The trees snapping off and blowing sideways before falling is crazy!

    Like


  192. With the Indonesia’s tragedy of powerful earthquakes and tsunamis killing many, many human beings my thoughts and indeed my prayers are with this people.
    Let better days come and in the meantime accept our words of comfort!

    Like


  193. @ abagond

    A few days ago I discovered a young lady who posts in YouTube thoughts that seems to stand in an opposite direction from what you post here in your blog.

    Wow, I thought, abagond should be informed about this.
    Her name is Desi-Rae and her YouTube’s user name is Desi-Rae Thinking. She is smart and clearly an independent thinker, as far as I can see, from watching a few of her posted video-clips. Maybe, a little bit full of herself… just maybe!
    And…
    … I almost forgot: she is Black!

    What does she post? Here is an assorted list of titles (search in YouTube):

    The Truth About Racism In America
    Can My Children Be Friends With White People ? – Ekow Yankah
    Why I Still Don’t Like Black Lives Matter (BLM)
    Taking a Knee? Stop Wasting My Time.
    My Honest and Sincere Message to Black Americans

    Maybe you should look at the first one following the link:
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKAaOzeIbwE)

    Interesting! I could summarizes those trains of thoughts as coming from somebody that is a believer that racism (in USA) is essentially a thing of the past! A believer also in one’s personal responsibility in the outcomes if life!

    I think that the woman is articulated and probably is maturing in some kind of reborn Thomas Sowell!

    But being her a Black woman, I ask myself how long it will take that somebody reminds her, that she is neither beautiful nor intelligent but just another ugly creature that probably shouldn’t be there in the midst of a White nation! (as oft racists tell Black human-hood).
    Food for thought anyway!

    I challenge you to post something about those kinds of Blacks, who despite being reasonably smart fail to see the facts of racism around them. Is racism so subjective?

    Like


  194. @ munubantu

    Thanks! I will check her out.

    Like


  195. @ Open Minded Observer

    Hope you see this. I was just reading one of your blog posts from last spring, and I can’t comment on your blog without creating a Word Press account (which so far I have preferred not to do). Hopefully Abagond won’t mind my using his Open Thread to make a brief comment about your blog.

    In the particular blog post, you wrote:

    “I don’t know if it’s because I’m introverted or self-absorbed or what, but I just don’t process people that way. I meet new people, and promptly forget them.”

    Have you heard of face blindness?

    https://www.testmybrain.org/do-you-suffer-from-face-blindness-seven-signs-and-symptoms-of-prosopagnosia/

    Like


  196. @Solitaire
    Thanks! I added name & email option to comments… hope that helps. I also commented on the post to move the conversation out of Abagond’s blog.

    Like


  197. @Afrofem

    I also wish you hadn’t had your commented deleted. I would have love to read it. It is great having your insight.

    Like


  198. @Solitaire

    “One thing I’m not clear on, though, is whether sexist black men tend to be more oppressive towards black women and less so towards white women?”—That is a good question. I feel that it they are more oppressive towards black women in that those men feel they are or have to tame the rowdy black women. Often times the rowdy white woman is overlooked. Granted it is fair to say white supremacy has brainwashed many to believe and look at white women as docile in nature. So it makes sense, though not acceptable.

    “ knowing that ARN is in fact white, it seems to me more like he is seeking to divide people and create dissension (which you have pointed out appears to be his motive overall, because he has tried to exploit other divides).”—Agreed.

    Like


  199. @ Open Minded Observer

    Your reply box is still demanding a social media login. I will try again tomorrow.

    Like


  200. @ Sharina

    That comment was a skeleton of an idea. I need to flesh it out more before re-posting.

    Liked by 1 person


  201. https://dala.org/

    Dala is a cryptocurrency that is currently being used in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

    The average monetary transaction amongst users is .27 cents as it is used to buy minutes for cell phones. That may not seem like a lot but it is relative to the economy’s that this token crypto is being utilized in.

    What’s important is that it allows its users to save on transactions costs like moving money across boarders and banking fees.

    http://intocryptonews.com/23999-old-meets-new-in-uganda-as-ancient-royal-family-champions-crypto-revolution.html

    Like


  202. @ Sharina

    “Granted it is fair to say white supremacy has brainwashed many to believe and look at white women as docile in nature.”

    When I first found out about that stereotype held by some black men, it blew me away because white women are constantly getting the message from white men that we are exactly the opposite, especially compared to the supposedly docile Asian women. It was a mind-twister to find out that white women were to sexist black men what Asian women are to sexist white men.

    Like


  203. @ Open Minded Observer
    @ Afrofem

    Same here. It wants me to either log into Word Press or Google.

    Like


  204. @ Solitaire

    The email login option seems to be working now.

    Like


  205. @Solitaire

    The trick for certain black men is that it can be any woman of another race and they are all viewed as docile or treating their men better than black women. I advocate brainwashing, but sometimes I wonder as it appears that more strides are being made away from those standards or ideas.

    @munubantu

    You asked a great question here:

    how do members of the homo sapiens sapiens family, who happen to be female and Black, feel, concerning the pain of discrimination? More pain as female or as Black? Or is it more like a pain that can’t be dissolved in parts?
    Food for thought!

    I had to really ponder on this as it was indeed great food for thought. Growing up I was female first and black only when it was pointed out. I never noticed a difference in treatment from once race to the next or really from one sex to another. This may attribute to why I was so naive regarding the treatment some black men display towards black women. Years later and I feel the discrimination and pain can not be dissolved into parts as it is the combination of the two that brings about the most disdain. If I am silent and say nothing then I become the apple of certain black males eye, but the moment i speak up and display my educational background (never mentioning a degree or anything) and I am angry, don’t belong in this conversation, or worse. When they are not shaming me into silence with the angry black woman thought, I have been told i have no place in the conversation as I am not black. A dig at my Hispanic last name. Granted as a male I would likely be considered angry, a hotep, etc. However, the angry tag is what white men use, but for black women angry is used by everyone. Now to be fair I generally get the most disdain from other black women which is a whole other story.

    Like


  206. @ Afrofem
    @ Solitaire

    Yep. I think I got the settings sorted out. Thanks!

    Like


  207. For whoever resides in Florida (USA) or have friends or relatives there a word of comfort in these difficult days that the Hurricane Michael is hitting the place.

    Like


  208. The new study, led by researchers at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, looked at the premature birth rate in New York City among US-born women and immigrants before and after the 2016 US presidential election.

    The researchers decided to focus on preemie rates because they’re an important and objective way to take a reading of population health. Early births are tracked at the state level and encoded on birth certificates, so they’re not a health outcome dependent on self-reported data. Stress and trauma are also risk factors for early births, and researchers in the past have seen birth outcomes worsen after events like 911 and immigration raids….

    The most dramatic increase happened among Latina women born in Mexico and Central America: Their rate of preterm births jumped from 7.3 percent preelection to 8.4 percent after the election.

    Moms from Middle Eastern and North African countries also saw their preemie birth rate rise from 5 percent to 5.4 percent, but they represented such a small group in the study, the researchers said the finding was suggestive but not statistically significant….

    “[This] is an outcome that can be affected by psychosocial stressors experienced during the pregnancy,” Krieger explained. Catastrophic life events or upheavals, as well as racism, during pregnancy are believed to mess with women’s hormonal and immune systems in ways that increase the risk of premature births. Unlike other potential drivers of prematurity — like environmental changes or socioeconomic shifts — “it is possible to observe [the] effects [of stress] in a short time span.”

    The study is observational, meaning the researchers did not prove there was a cause and effect. They also only focused on one city, and Krieger hopes to see more research to analyze the problem more broadly.

    But for now, the conclusions were pretty stark.

    “Often in the US, people talk about the healthy immigrant effect — that people who are able to immigrate here are in better health and have better health outcomes than non-immigrants,” she said. “But when you see something that starts to rise among immigrants, that’s a noteworthy finding.”

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/10/16/17979996/immigrant-mothers-preterm-babies-trump

    Like


  209. @ Solitaire

    Interesting study.

    The high rate of premature births among Black women has been blamed on everything from poor diet to lack of prenatal care. While those may be contributing factors, stress seems to be a constant.

    It seems being on the receiving end of social pain and stress has physical consequences.

    Liked by 1 person


  210. Access to the ballot box in November will be more difficult for some people in Dodge City, where Hispanics now make up 60 percent of its population….

    [T]he city … has only one polling site for its 27,000 residents. Since 2002, the lone site was at the civic center just blocks from the local country club — in the wealthy, white part of town. For this November’s election, local officials have moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop….

    A Democratic Party database compiled from state voter data shows Hispanic turnout during non-presidential elections is just 17 percent compared to 61 percent turnout for white voters in Ford County in 2014….

    Some local voters and the American Civil Liberties Union have long criticized the use of a lone Dodge City polling site even before its move just weeks before the midterm election.

    That single polling site services more than 13,000 voters in the Dodge City area, compared to an average of 1,200 voters per polling site at other locations, said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU in Kansas.

    Dodge City voters sometimes have to wait more than an hour in line to vote, and freight trains frequently block intersections at railroad tracks that split the town….

    Kansas is not the only state that has closed polling sites. Polling places across the country have also been shuttered since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. A 2016 research report from the civil rights coalition Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights found local officials had shuttered 868 polling places in the three years after the court’s ruling.

    https://www.google.com/amp/amp.kansas.com/latest-news/article220286260.html

    Like


  211. North Dakota is home to one of the most important Senate races of 2018, and less than three weeks before Election Day, it’s embroiled in a fierce battle over who will be able to participate.

    On Oct. 9, the Supreme Court allowed a new state voter identification requirement to take effect, meaning North Dakotans will be voting under different rules than in the primaries just a few months ago. The change disproportionately affects Native Americans….

    The stakes couldn’t be much higher. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, is in an extremely tough re-election race in a state that President Trump won by 36 percentage points. If she loses, Democrats’ chances of taking the Senate, already pretty small, become minuscule. She’s behind in the polls, and if turnout is low among Native Americans — who helped elect her in 2012 — it will be all but impossible for her to come back.

    That’s where the new law comes in. Under the requirement the Supreme Court just allowed to take effect, North Dakotans can’t vote unless they have identification that shows their name, birth date and residential address. Many people on Native American reservations don’t have residential addresses; they use P.O. boxes, and that’s not enough at the polls anymore.

    Native Americans are about 5 percent of North Dakota’s 750,000 residents, and according to the Native American Rights Fund, they’re more than twice as likely as other voters to lack a form of identification acceptable under the new law. The district court that ruled earlier this year found that about 5,000 Native American voters did not have the necessary identification, and that about 2,300 of that number also lacked supplemental documentation.

    In 2012, Ms. Heitkamp won by fewer than 3,000 votes.

    Republicans in North Dakota have been trying to make this change since 2013. In fact, the state legislature began debating a voter ID law within months of Ms. Heitkamp’s victory. Democrats say the change is a politically motivated attempt to suppress the Native American vote.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/us/politics/north-dakota-voter-identification-registration.amp.html

    Like


  212. …And this is the heart of the problem. Even TRIBAL HEADQUARTERS don’t have addresses, at least not ones GPS can find….

    So yes, addresses can be assigned. County 911 coordinators can assign them. Tribal officials are assigning some too. One tribe printed so many IDs with newly assigned addresses that part of the ID machine literally melted.

    The sheer scope of the lack of addresses tells you what a huge task it is. It can be done—it’s technically possible and the tribes are determined to make it happen—but coupled with the very short amount of time before the elections, it is a BIG ask.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MaggieAstor/status/1055138652618141697

    Like


  213. RIP Ntozake Shange

    Like


  214. Abagond will you be doing a post on the mail bomber?

    Like


  215. @Abagond: Will you also do a post on the Kroger Supermarket shootings in Kentucky where two elderly black people were killed, And the shootings in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Trump and his hateful rhetoric has emboldened these unhinged fiends.

    Like


  216. @ Mary

    I will do a post on the synagogue shooting.

    Like


  217. The shootings in Pittsburgh was horrific but the shootings in Louisville, Kentucky at the Kroger where two elderly black people lost their lives. And the white racist shooter went to a black church first but was unsuccessful in entering, then went to the supermarket and shot and wounded people inside the supermarket and went outside in the parking lot and another shopper who was armed with a weapon, the shooter said “ other white people don’t shoot other white people. Since white folks in America want to fight for the right to carry their guns, why didn’t he use his gun to take down this killer?

    Like


  218. @ Abagond: Are you going to do a post on Jamal Khashoogi and his murder. Or the Caravan from Honduras 🇭🇳

    Like


  219. @ Mary

    I am doing a post on Honduras, especially with an eye to providing context for the caravans. Khoshoggi probably not, but maybe. I should have done a post on him the other week when I could have done it in my sleep.

    Liked by 1 person


  220. “ Biology gives you a brain, Life turns it into a mind.”

    Like


  221. So the hero, Dominic Rozier, who stopped a racially motivated shooting, gets left out of the main stream news because he is black.

    (https://youtu.be/jAOoblKDitE)

    Liked by 1 person


  222. I was just about to suggest we may want a post on Jemel Roberson.

    Maybe police dispatchers need to state that, “Oh, by the way, the good guy with the gun is a black guy”.

    Liked by 2 people


  223. @jefe I was going to post that but I am so tired. And for all these gun lovers where is the NRA on this? I will not hold my breath waiting for them to care about this.
    @Lunar

    Like


  224. @ Lunar @ Jefe @ Mary

    I will be doing a post on Jemel Roberson.

    Liked by 1 person


  225. @ Abagond

    Would you consider writing a post on the 14th Amendment and the issue of birthright citizenship?

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person


  226. Happy Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving to all.🦃🍁🍽

    Like


  227. re:

    Would you consider writing a post on the 14th Amendment and the issue of birthright citizenship?

    Yes, good idea.

    Maybe split into 2-3 posts:

    1) The original 14th amendment and its purpose
    2) relation to Dred Scott decision
    3) US v. Wong Kim Ark
    4) 14th Amendment and Native Americans
    5) Dual Nationality
    6) Basis for key Supreme Court Decisions, eg, Yick Wo v. Hopkins, Brown v. Board, Loving v. Virginia, Roe v. Wade, etc. esp. re: Equal Protection Clause and how it was ruled not to apply to Plessy v. Ferguson (and others, such as Lum v. Rice) as well as the one that weakened the Voting Rights Act (Shelby v. Holder).
    7) 14th Amendment under Donald Trump

    Like


  228. birthright citizenship needs a post big-time.

    Like


  229. yes, and the 14th Amendment more generally.

    @ jefe

    Thanks for the possible breakdown.

    Like


  230. It seems Black conservatives don’t have a home.

    Part of Mia Love’s concession speach:

    “The president’s behavior towards me made me wonder, what did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican?” Love said. “It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it something else? Well, Mr. President, we’ll have to chat about that. However, this gave me a clear vision of his world as it is — no real relationships, just convenient transactions. That is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy.”

    “Because Republicans never take minority communities into their home and citizens into their home and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats and bureaucrats in Washington because they do take them home or at least make them feel like they have a home,” Love said. “I’ve seen the cost of conservatives for not truly taking people into their hearts.”

    “Democrats saw newly elected black members and women into Congress this election,” she continued. “This is a matter of fact that Republicans lost in this regard. However, minority communities need to ask themselves this question also: At what cost? What is the cost of staying with the Democrat Party that perpetually delivers exactly what you need to stay exactly where you are?”

    Like


  231. on Tue Nov 27th 2018 at 12:46:41 Alberto Monteiro

    Chinesa e scientists manipulated the DNA of a human egg so that it would be HIV resistant. This egg became two baby girls. Gattaca has become true
    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/26/670752865/chinese-scientist-says-hes-first-to-genetically-edit-babies

    Liked by 1 person


  232. @ Herneith

    I heard an audio interview on Black Agenda Report with Robin Maynard about how anti-Blackness plays out in Canada. She gave a brief historical overview of anti-Black bigotry in various Canadian provinces, including the Canadian institution of African slavery in Ottawa and Quebec.

    Maynard then discussed current anti-Black violence by police. She talked about the challenges and rewards of organizing disparate African descent communities, from Canadian slave descendants, to the progeny American runaway slaves to recent immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean.

    I really had to chuckle when Maynard described how self-congratulatory Euro-Canadians are when it comes to race. They perceive themselves more “tolerant” and “enlightened” than their American cousins while behaving toward Black folk in similar fashion.

    The interview is around 16:00. Here is a link to the interview on SoundCloud:

    Liked by 1 person


  233. Yes, white supremacy with a smile!

    Like


  234. The black populace is very diverse here. In the States, the majority of black people are multi-generational.

    Like


  235. Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford shot and killed by cops because they thought he was the shooter and then they discover they say they made a mistake.

    Like


  236. @ Mary Burrell

    I suspect in the minds of the police and their supporters there are no Black people killed by “mistake”. We are all just two-legged prey to them———big game who happen to speak and behave like “real [White] humans”. If they thought they could get away with it, they would pose over our dead bodies as trophies.

    Liked by 1 person


  237. Correction: “…the progeny of American runaway slaves…”

    Liked by 1 person


  238. Correct me if I’m wrong, butisnt modern day policing developed from slavery?

    Liked by 1 person


  239. @ Herneith

    In the US the police, the Klan, and gun clubs all grew in part out of slave patrols.

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/slave-patrols/

    Liked by 1 person


  240. Is anyone getting falling snow on their WordPress blog? If so, what did you do to get it to fall?

    Like


  241. @ jefe

    Thanks for the possible breakdown.

    After watching this

    Illegal Immigration and Birthright Citizenship | America Uncovered
    (https://youtu.be/z9o4AE9FEpI)

    Maybe we should also add a post about “Birth Tourism”.

    Like


  242. on Sat Dec 8th 2018 at 03:57:15 Patrick Thomas

    I’m not trying to compare Meek Mill to Malcolm X. I’m comparing the white interviewer in the 1960s to the one in 2018. WILLFUL IGNORANCE! I commend these brothers for their patience.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz1qyKSjWD4)

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRm7cpDSKHI&t=331s)

    Like


  243. on Sat Dec 8th 2018 at 13:34:07 Patrick Thomas

    Is there anyone in the comment section who is knowledgeable of African spirituality? Do you know any good places I can visit on the internet or the New York city area to get more information?

    Are there any Africans who can tell me if African spirituality is incorporated into the Islam and/or Christianity that you see in West African nations today or were those beliefs largely thrown away?

    -Formerly known as ‘The Cynic’

    Like


  244. @herneith really?

    Like


  245. @ Solitaire

    I ran across this local article and video re: the Filipino community in Seattle. A brief history plus insight into ethnic jostling for recognition in one district some locals refer to as Chinatown.

    https://crosscut.com/2018/12/how-filipino-community-took-root-seattle

    Like


  246. @ Afrofem

    Thank you for the link. I knew Seattle had one of the oldest continuous Filipino communities in the continental U.S., but I didn’t know about there being attempts to erase their presence from the historic Chinatown. I wish the video had provided more information about that.

    Like


  247. @ Afrofem

    Also, did you notice in the redlining map, there were sections designated for Negroes, Orientals, Jewish, and Italians?? The last one surprised me, although I guess it shouldn’t have; this must have been before Italians “became white.”

    Like


  248. @ Solitaire

    Italians in Seattle did not become fully “White” until the late 1950s. That coincided with the election of Washington State’s first Italian-American governor, Albert Rosellini.

    http://www.historylink.org/File/5156

    Prior to that time, the bulk of Italian Americans lived in the Rainier Valley, nicknamed “Garlic Gulch”. The Scandinavian and Protestant majority held them at arms length. They were considered too dark and too accepting of vice, especially when it came to alcohol.

    The areas labeled Negro and Jewish on that racial map became solidly Black by the 1960’s. Asian-Americans of many ethnicities (including many refugee populations) and Black people purchased homes in the Rainier Valley during the 1970s.

    The Italian Americans and the Jewish population did the “White Flight” thing by moving en masse to Mercer Island. It is now one of the most affluent zip codes in the Seattle area.

    With recent gentrification, the area is now heavily Asian and White hipster. The Black population has been pushed out to the southern suburbs, where they dread the sight of the Microsoft busses. Microsoft or other tech workers in an area can cause property owners to jack up rents, the cities to increase property taxes and more police harassment of young people.

    Like


  249. Seasons Greetings 🤶🏾🎅🏿⛄️❄️🎄

    Liked by 2 people


  250. Bah Humbug! Sincerely, Scroogess.😁😎😎😘

    Liked by 2 people


  251. Happy New Year to Abagond and all the posters.🎆🎇🎊🎉🍾🥂

    Liked by 1 person


  252. Here’s to an a new year of learning with Abagond.

    Like


  253. Happy 2019 to all of the commenters!

    @ Mary Burrell @ Herneith @ Solitaire

    Thanks for all of your lessons.

    Liked by 2 people


  254. @ Afrofem: Thank you I value your commentary so much. I learn so much.

    Like


  255. Merry belated New Years, or is that Xmas?

    Liked by 1 person


  256. Happy New Year to Herneith and Solitaire have enjoyed you as commenters.

    Like


  257. Thank you for those kind words, Afrofem and Mary Burrell. I feel the same way about your commentary.

    There are so many people here whom I have learned from and whose thoughts and ideas I value. It would be a long list, and I’m afraid of accidentally leaving someone out…

    So I will just say thank you all — and to everyone best wishes for happiness, justice, and peace in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person


  258. I’m probably late to the party, but I activated CNN2Go over the weekend so I could stream a History of Comedy episode someone told me about…

    What I discovered instead was W. Kamau Bell’s United Shades of America series! I didn’t binge them all in order, I just picked a bunch at random but needless to say, I didn’t get much of my to do list accomplished.

    I didn’t even know CNN was producing content like that.

    Like


  259. White teenagers wearing MAGA hats taunted Native Americans taking part in the Indigenous Peoples March in D.C.:

    https://www.theroot.com/the-next-generation-of-maga-hat-wearing-bigots-besiege-1831894971

    Liked by 1 person


  260. @ Solitaire: I saw this and it’s disgusting and it’s my hope these disrespectful little a…holes and their school get shamed and drug on social media. I hope all of them and their parents are embarrassed and exposed for The hateful POS that they are.

    Like


  261. @Solitaire: And the hypocrisy of them being racist and hateful to people who kneel during the National Anthem but yet these pus bags are being disrespectful to an elder who is a veteran.

    Like


  262. MAGA hat wearing bigots being racist and disrespectful to a Native American and he is a Veteran of the United States military. And they had chaperones encouraging them. So another generation of racist will continue to be cretins and monsters and they have no shame.

    Like


  263. @ Abagond: A post should be done on Covington Catholic School and those racist teenagers in MAGA hats harassing that Native American Veteran.

    Like


  264. Not a huge stretch from the residential schools what with the colour-blind racism whites teach their kids.

    Liked by 1 person


  265. Although almost all of the boys in the video are white, the short kid dancing to the left (in the blue Covington Catholic State Champions sweatshirt) appears to be black.

    Really been thinking about him a lot, wondering if his parents believed enrolling him in this private Catholic school would be in his best interests educationally, and so here he is, surrounded by toxic whiteness and racism.

    Liked by 1 person


  266. It’s being reported that this incident started when the Covington students confronted a small group of African Americans:

    Prior to what is seen on the now-viral video, [Nathan] Phillips said he was in D.C. attending a Native American rally. Near the end of rally, he said he tried to keep the peace between a group of mostly white students attending a March for Life event and a gathering of about four black members of a religious group known as the Black Hebrew Israelites.

    Phillips, a former Marine, said the incident started as a group of Catholic students from Kentucky were observing the Black Israelites talk, and started to get upset at their speeches. The Catholic group then got bigger and bigger, with more than 100 assembled at one point, he said.

    “They witnessed these individuals on their soapbox saying what they had to say,” Phillips said. “They didn’t agree with it and got offended.”

    Then, things got heated.

    “They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillip said. “I was there and I was witnessing all of this … As this kept on going on and escalating, it just got to a point where you do something or you walk away, you know? You see something that is wrong and you’re faced with that choice of right or wrong.”

    Phillips said some of the members of the Black Hebrew group were also acting up, “saying some harsh things” and that one member spit in the direction of the Catholic students. “So I put myself in between that, between a rock and hard place,” he said.

    But then, the crowd of mostly male students turned their anger towards Phillips.

    “There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that…”

    The crowd of students, some of whom wore MAGA caps, mocked Native Americans while chanting “Build the Wall” and using derogatory language. The students had a “mob mentality” that “was scary. … It was ugly, what these kids were involved. It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary.”…

    Phillips said he recalled “the looks in these young men’s faces … I mean, if you go back and look at the lynchings that was done (in America) …and you’d see the faces on the people … The glee and the hatred in their faces, that’s what these faces looked like.”…

    Phillips said the students who derided him Friday were motivated by fear of different people.

    “The Black Israelites, they were saying some harsh things, but some of it was true, too,” Phillips said. “These young, white American kids who were being taught in their Catholic school, their doctrine, their truth, and when they found out there’s more truth out there than what they’re being taught, they were offended, they were insulted, they were scared, and that’s how they responded. One thing that I was taught in my Marine Corp training is that a scared man will kill you. And that’s what these boys were. They were scared.”

    https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/01/20/native-american-leader-nathan-phillips-recounts-incident-video/2630256002/

    The mother of one of the white boys is blaming “black Muslims” for the whole thing:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/maga-hat-donald-trump-native-american-covington-catholic-nathan-phillips-black-muslims-a8737186.html

    Liked by 1 person


  267. In regard to the incident with the red MAGA hat wearing teens and the Hebrew Israelites and the Native American Veteran context is everything and the lesson for me is get all the facts before getting emotional.

    Like


  268. @ Mary Burrell

    There’s a lot of different claims and videos and opinions coming out right now. It may take awhile to sift through it all. But apparently there have been other racist incidents at this school or involving its students in the recent past.

    One thing I know is that even when people are right there on the scene when an event like this happens, their accounts may differ widely depending on where they were in the crowd. Some people may have heard and seen some things that others didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person


  269. @Mary
    “…the lesson for me is get all the facts before getting emotional.”

    Yeah, but that shit-eating grin on the MAGA hat-wearing kid sure evoked an emotional response in me. Just the photo alone, before reading the headline or seeing any video. This is certainly a situation that was more complicated than it seemed at first glance, but I gotta say, my bias remains a strong influence in my interpretation of these events.

    Liked by 1 person


  270. @ Mary

    “A post should be done on Covington Catholic School and those racist teenagers in MAGA hats harassing that Native American Veteran.”

    Yes! I will be doing a post on them, but first Black Israelites….

    Liked by 1 person


  271. I still think those cretins wearing MAGA hats are rancid jars of mayonnaise. And i am not surprised 45 said that Nicholas Sandmann the jerk in all the videos with that smirk on his punchable face is the victim. I am sure he will probably get an invite to the White House.

    Liked by 2 people


  272. Folks, stop calling these miscreants racists. They are an intrinsic part of the society which they aid in holding together, white supremacists. Replete with colour blind racism no less.

    Liked by 1 person


  273. @Abagond: What are your thoughts on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the racist photos from his college yearbook?

    Like


  274. @ Mary

    I am doing a post on it.

    Liked by 1 person


  275. 1984 was when that disgusting photograph of the Virginia Governor was taken. A picture speaks a thousand words and that photo tells the story of an aversion to blackness and and acceptance of white supremacy that still continues today in 2019.

    Like


  276. I was very disgusted with Liam Neeson this week. Between the Governor of Virginia in blackface and all the political shenanigans in our government from the orange hobgoblin I have to say I am tired and exhausted.

    Like


  277. Racism is a daily reality. There is only one thing we can do about it and that is step over it. If we are bigger than the problem from a social perspective then we are less vulnerable. It’s not easy to remember that when someone full of bigotry and stupidity is freaking out pointing a gun at you and screaming at you to “Get the fxxk out of the car!!!”. Talk to the man slowly and stay calm as you stand a better chance of surviving. We have got to be big enough to roll with the punches because as long as we keep our heads on a level then we shall defeat their fear which makes them so aggressive. Communication is always on a subconscious level and we don’t even understand what is going on sometimes. Keep it cool and joke with the crazy fool as long as your brain tells you to. Fear is one of the worse things to show. We’ve all got to go sometime haven’t we and I was on the way there once and I can tell you it is a beautiful thing indeed. I’m not saying kill yourself as we are all here for a reason and that is to spread understanding and love. It is the only way to break down racism.

    Like


  278. Trump never calls out white supremacist. The domestic terrorist Christopher Hasson could have done some serious damage and many deaths but when this was presented to Trump he said nothing. But then again I remember the beast from Charlottesville where Heather Heyer was murdered and he called them good people.

    Like


  279. on Mon Feb 25th 2019 at 22:53:35 Alberto Monteiro

    Has any of you watched the movies of the protesters in Venezuela and the minions of the narcofascist dictator Maduro shooting at them? I wasn’t aware that Venezuela had so many dark skinned people like those Maduro tried to murder, since most venezuelan stars are either european or at most half native american

    Like


  280. @ Alberto Monteiro

    You should have known better since Brazilian media is hyper-white (as is US media).

    Liked by 1 person


  281. on Mon Feb 25th 2019 at 23:08:22 Alberto Monteiro

    @abagond
    But the other South American countries have very few black people. Chile, Argentina, Uruguai, Paraguay, Bolívia and Peru are 99%+ white and “red”. Maybe Ecuador, Colômbia and Venezuela are exceptions

    Like


  282. @ Alberto Monteiro

    Venezuela is on the Caribbean. The Caribbean’s islands and coast lands, on the whole, have high numbers of Black people, even in places where you might not expect it, like Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

    Liked by 2 people


  283. Can you make posts about allegations of Chinese colonialism in Africa??

    Liked by 1 person


  284. @Alberto Monteiro:

    Maduro believes in slave reparations and is himself part black–like MOST south Americans. Both he and Hugo Chavez happily and proudly admit that. He is NOT murdering black people–or any people. You have fallen victim to propaganda.

    Hey, Abagond: How about posts on Venezuela, Maduro and Hugo Chavez?

    Like


  285. @ Lunar

    I hope to do a post on Venezuela soon. It seems like it is becoming the new Vietnam/Nicaragua/Iraq. They even brought out Elliot Abrams from under his rock. He also needs a post. And William Barr.

    I am not keen on doing a post on Maduro, at least not yet. Any other chavista president would have pretty much done the same under the circumstances.

    I did a post on Hugo Chavez shortly after his death:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/hugo-chavez/

    Liked by 1 person


  286. 2019 February Black History Month was bizarre. It was like a bunch of jokes that wrote themselves.

    Like


  287. on Mon Mar 4th 2019 at 16:56:47 Michael Barker

    Facebook is coming out with it’s own crypto currency tied to major fiat currencies from around the world. It is what’s known as a “stable coin” meaning that it being pegged to fiat value somewhat eliminates the volital nature of decentralized cryptos like Bitcoin.

    Crypto Lark is a sjw left libertarian who lays out an argument showing how something like this creates a more dystopian society.

    It is an interesting take that we should be aware of though some of what he says may be speculative.

    (https://youtu.be/MtTCd0kBp6I)

    Like


  288. @MB

    2019 February Black History Month was bizarre.

    In prior years Abagond did a Black History Month theme, or a white history month instead of Black History Month.

    Maybe this time he can do a 2019 Black History Month recap.

    Liked by 1 person


  289. @ Abagond

    Would you please consider doing a post (or a series) on recent black immigration to the U.S. and the African/West Indian brain drains?

    Like


  290. Hello everyone. I’ve been away from here for a long time. How are you all?

    Like


  291. @ Zoe Jordan

    Wow, just a couple hours ago I was reading some of your comments in an old thread from 2016 and wondered if you would ever wander back this way. That’s some kind of cosmic deja vu!

    So how have you been?

    Like


  292. @Solitaire

    Synchronicity!

    I’ve been real good. Recently got fired from my job but happily looking for a new and better one. Went to Peru last year, It was sooo amazing.

    How are you? 🙂

    Like


  293. @ Zoe Jordan

    Pretty much infuriated or flabbergasted every single day by the Trump administration. It’s the new normal in the States.

    Sorry to hear about your job. Good luck in your search!

    Like


  294. College cheating scam and corruption among Hollywood celebrities. Who knew? (Turn on sarcasm button). I don’t feel any sympathy for these privileged twits. Stupid rich kids are expensive.

    Like


  295. @Mary Burrel: They will not see any jail time–the white power structure will guide them towards freedom.

    Liked by 1 person


  296. @abagond, please do a post on the recent college bribery scandal. Truly interested in your perspectives on this

    https://www.npr.org/2019/03/13/702973336/does-it-matter-where-you-go-to-college-some-context-for-the-admissions-scandal

    Like


  297. I’m currently looking at Andrew Yang as the possible Democrat presidential canidate.

    I like most of his positions and am personally more comfortable with his capitalist view as opposed to democratic socialism which, maybe because I’m older, makes me nervous. lol

    That said his UBI and social stances are comfortably leftist for me.

    Liked by 1 person


  298. I’d hold of on 杨先生. After all, where was 杨先生 when Peter Liang was rightfully tried and convicted for Shooting and killing Akai Gurley and Asians all around the country rallied to his defense and got him off? Where is 杨先生 when Korean shop owners beat up and even kill black patrons of their stores? Nowhere to be found. He will not help black people–none of the Dumbocrats will.

    Like


  299. @ Lou Nar

    Who is 杨先生 ?

    Like


  300. @ Lou Nar

    Do you mean Andrew Yang?

    Like


  301. @ Lou Nar

    If you mean Andrew Yang, then call him by his preferred name. Everything I have read about him states that he is not even conversant in Mandarin, much less fluent. His native tongue is American English. By using 杨先生 instead of Andrew Yang, you are pushing the stereotype of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners.

    Please note that — just like whites, blacks, and everyone else — Asians are not a monolith and do not all hold the same opinions or beliefs.

    I haven’t been able to find anything so far where Andrew Yang expresses an opinion one way or the other about the Peter Liang case, but his platform includes a number of policies that could drastically reduce police brutality and unwarranted shootings:

    Authorize federal funding to pay for a body camera for every officer in every police department in the country.

    Have the DOJ compile accurate composite measurements, including from private sources, of police-related incidents and deaths to establish baseline rates.

    Provide federal funding for training of local police officers in the latest techniques.

    Encourage community-based policing and reward departments for a combination of low complaints and continued efficacy.

    Re-establish the ban on distributing surplus unnecessary military-level artillery gear to police departments.

    Invest in new non-lethal weaponry that can be used to de-escalate conflicts at range and handprint signature guns so that weapons can only be used by their officers (‘he reached for my gun’ will no longer apply).

    https://www.yang2020.com/policies/every-cop-gets-camera/

    I don’t see any specific platform plank on Yang’s website that deals solely with racism, nor any issue specific to African Americans, such as reparation for slavery. I do consider that a fault. He does, however, bring up racial concerns in at least one place:

    Push for a reconsideration of the harshness of our felony laws, including an investigation into any civil rights issues raised by the disproportionate amount of minorities convicted of these crimes

    https://www.yang2020.com/policies/reduce-mass-incarceration/

    I haven’t paid a lot of attention to his campaign so far, and admittedly I could have missed something. If you can actually point me to a link where Andrew Yang expresses support for Peter Liang and murderous Korean shop owners, I would appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person


  302. @Abagond: Yes. Yang XiengShang. I apologize. I take every opportunity to speak and/or write Chinese

    Like


  303. @Solitaire: I did not imply that Yang was directly in support of these people, but then, complicity is a form of support. I said that he was no where to be found on these issue. Most “progressive Asians” of his ilk were silent–even when the media went and made Peter “the liar” Liang out to be some kind of victim. On to the rest of your post:

    On “Every cop gets a camera”: What Yang proposes for the police will not stop killer cops from killing innocent Black people. What I’d like to see is actual, harsh, consequences for killer cops. They should be prosecuted, added to a database of bad cops (so they can’t find a job somewhere else) and sent to jail, not “Trained.” I don’t see that on his web page.

    On “Reduce mass incarceration”: Once again, I don’t see any real, tangible benefits for black people. For instanceStates like Colorado have completely legalized Marijuana, and black people still get arrested at the same rates for the same crimes. What I’d like to see is:

    1) Restore the right to vote to ex-cons.
    2)Complete repeal of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Crime bill, which caused the problem that he seeks to fix.

    Also, here’s the big one: He needs to support reparations for ADOS.

    Like


  304. @ Lou Nar

    “I did not imply that Yang was directly in support of these people, but then, complicity is a form of support. I said that he was no where to be found on these issue. Most “progressive Asians” of his ilk were silent–even when the media went and made Peter “the liar” Liang out to be some kind of victim.”

    I don’t know that he was silent. I haven’t combed through his Twitter feed or spent hours trying to dig up a quote. What I do know is there were “progressive Asians” who spoke out and who protested for justice for Akai Gurley, but the media barely covered it (especially broadcast news), so it was like it didn’t exist.

    There also doesn’t appear to have been any type of poll done to ascertain where the majority of Asian Americans stood on the issue. There does seem to have been a generational split, with Asian immigrants more likely to support Liang and U.S.-born Asians more likely to believe Liang should be convicted.

    The white-controlled media always promotes stories where “the model minority” appears to be in agreement with white supremacy but downplays stories where Asians are working in solidarity with blacks and other POC.

    “What I’d like to see is actual, harsh, consequences for killer cops. They should be prosecuted, added to a database of bad cops (so they can’t find a job somewhere else) and sent to jail, not “Trained.” I don’t see that on his web page.”

    I agree with you on all of that. I do think Yang makes a good point about how the stats aren’t required to be kept, so that we don’t even have a firm estimate of how many people in the U.S. are killed by the police each year. He wants the DoJ to start keeping an accurate count, which is a beginning step that could lead to wider reforms. It could also help identify bad cops to keep them from being rehired elsewhere and perhaps increase the likelihood of their serving time. However, it’s true that Yang doesn’t call outright for harsh consequences in his platform policies, and I do agree with you that he should.

    “On “Reduce mass incarceration”: Once again, I don’t see any real, tangible benefits for black people. For instanceStates like Colorado have completely legalized Marijuana, and black people still get arrested at the same rates for the same crimes.

    “What I’d like to see is:

    “1) Restore the right to vote to ex-cons.
    “2)Complete repeal of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Crime bill, which caused the problem that he seeks to fix.”

    Yang does say, “Our criminal justice system is particularly punitive toward blacks and other minorities” (https://www.yang2020.com/policies/reduce-mass-incarceration/) and wants a thorough investigation into any disparities, with an eye to civil rights reforms. He also says that he wants to reform “harsh felony laws that prevent those who have served their prison term from reintegrating into society,” which, although not specifically stated, probably includes restoring the right to vote. So he does appear to support at least some of what you are calling for — although it isn’t as clear as it could be, and I would prefer a candidate who is much more direct and outspoken.

    “Also, here’s the big one: He needs to support reparations for ADOS.”

    I agree 100% with this.

    Liked by 1 person


  305. Solitaire, you make a fair point about how Asian Americans felt about the Akai Gurley scandal–and White Supremacy’s response to it. I’d love to hear Mr. Yang’s view on it.

    Like


  306. I think Asian-Americans were all over the map regarding the Peter Liang case.

    Thanks Solitaire for pointing this out:

    The white-controlled media always promotes stories where “the model minority” appears to be in agreement with white supremacy but downplays stories where Asians are working in solidarity with blacks and other POC.

    And also thanks for pointing this out to Lou Nar:

    you are pushing the stereotype of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners.

    I am sure that Andrew Yang will address many of these issues more thoroughly as his campaign develops.

    Re: Lou Nar’s statement:

    Yes. Yang XiengShang. I apologize. I take every opportunity to speak and/or write Chinese

    4 questions/comments:

    Is “Yang XiengShang” supposed to be the PinYin transliteration of “Mr. Yang” (杨先生)? If it is in HanYu PinYin, then it should be “Yang Xian Sheng”.
    If you want to call him by his actual Chinese name, then use his actual name, ie, 楊安澤 (Traditional Chinese) or 杨安泽 (Simplified Chinese), pronounced “Yang2 An1 Ze2” in the PinYin Romanization system.
    Why are you using simplified characters, when his parents were born in Taiwan (and likely educated in traditional characters)? Besides the US government legally must use traditional Chinese characters when it publishes any document in the Chinese language for domestic purposes (eg, US government forms or correspondence with US citizens and residents).
    You are welcome to write all your comments in Chinese or any language that you desire. However, to avoid having your comments deleted, you should follow Abagond’s comment policy and translate them all into English.

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/

    Indeed, you can even refer to Abagond in transliteration as 亞巴岡 or something similar, but you must advise this blog that that is what you are doing. By translating only “Mr. Yang” into Chinese, but not, say, “Abagond”, then you are indeed pushing perpetual foreigner stereotypes which we have condemned many times on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person


  307. Jefe: No, I’m not. I’m just typing in Chinese, because I know how to. the “xiengsheng” was a typo.(楊先生) The characters were simplified because that’s all I have installed on my computer. Why are you nitpicking? Do you even have a point to make? I already apologized about writing in Chinese. I doubt that Yang–or any of the democratic contenders will clarify their views on anything. They will make a bunch of speeches and sound bites, that sound pretty, but ultimately will mean nothing–all of this in lieu of offering anything that is tangibly beneficial to Black people. I predict that President Tangerine will be re-elected.

    By complaining about my reluctance to translate Abagond into Chinese, you are jumping to a ridiculous and egregious conclusion that I harbor some kind of racism towards Asian Americans, when in reality I’m simply inquiring as to what Andrew Yang brings to the table as a presidential candidate–which nobody seems to want to discuss head on.

    Like


  308. @ Lou Nar

    “I’m simply inquiring as to what Andrew Yang brings to the table as a presidential candidate–which nobody seems to want to discuss head on.”

    I’m willing to discuss it head on. I just don’t know much about him. His platform seems very interesting in many respects, but I have my doubts that he is a viable candidate.

    I’m also willing to believe that your intent was good — that you were just practicing your Chinese. But intent and impact are two different things. I appreciate that you apologized earlier, and as far as I was concerned, I considered the matter closed.

    Michael Jon Barker seems to know more about Andrew Yang’s candidacy than I do, so perhaps he will chime in.

    Speaking of which…

    Like


  309. @ MJB

    So you don’t consider Yang’s UBI to smack of democratic socialism? I’m sure that’s going to get him called a communist in this country!

    Seriously, I’m interested in what you see as the distinction between democratic socialism and Yang’s proposals. Is there more state control in democratic socialism?

    This isn’t something I’m well-versed on, so I’m sincerely interested in learning more from you.

    Like


  310. By “What he brings to the table” I mean What tangible benefits will he provide for black people specifically? A UBI is a capital idea, and I whole heartedly support it, but I doubt it will come to fruition–or if it does, it will be watered down so much as to be useless (Then killed if/when a republican takes over again, like with Obamacare).

    Also, he hasn’t come out in support of full reparations for ADOS–and any candidate against that is no Candidate for me.

    Like


  311. Helen Hai, Africa and crypto.

    Bianace is a Chinese owned crypto exchange run out of Malta who has a foundation set up too “invest” in Africa.

    At issue are two things. A foundation where donations appear to be largely a scam. Helen Hai’s exploitation of African workers.

    Malania Trumps high end clothing line was at one time manufactured through one of Helen Hai’s “factories” where workers are paid 45 dollars a month in a country where 100 dollars a month is considered a living wage.

    (https://youtu.be/tpt-RkmzaTM)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-17/chinese-entrepreneur-trying-to-bring-shenzhen-miracle-to-africa

    Like


  312. Hey, Abagond: How about a post on Hannah Payne?

    Like


  313. RIP to the victims of the shootings in the Municipal Building in Virginia. Gun violence is becoming to prevalent in this country.

    Like


  314. RIP to the Salvadoran father and his young child who died trying to seek asylum in United States. 🕊

    Like


  315. Just heard that that the new Captain America will be played by Anthony Mackie. I’ve never been into comic book superheroes but the CA movies are pretty good. I simply can’t wait to watch all the heads explode when a handsome black actor like Mackie puts on the clothing and picks up the shield of The Captain.

    Like


  316. I’m really curious how the people in the USA and overseas see the protests in HK that have been going on for the past month.

    I looked at over a dozen international media websites, and the HK protests was the top headline on each of their front pages. So, i cannot believe that no one knows about it. But no one commented on it anywhere.

    Like


  317. @ jefe

    I know about the HK protests, but mainly from you, the BBC and The Economist. I also saw a France 24 clip on it. I cannot remember any stories in the US media other than the Daily Stormer, though I assume they must be covering it. I mean, it is a US plot after all 😉

    Like


  318. @abagond,

    I saw that yesterday it made the top headline on the webpages of CNN, the Washington Post, NY times and even was put on top temporarily on some others (eg, I sometimes look at Vox and several others). So, I know it has been top headline news in US papers, even if just for half a day.
    Last week protesters raised money to put full page ads in a couple dozen papers in over a dozen countries, including the New York times, etc. to raise awareness of the proposed law in advance of the G20 summit. I don’t know if readers of this blog saw those.

    I was worried about what was happening Monday night at the Legislative Council (Legco) building after the large scale peaceful protest march ended earlier in the evening (July 1).

    After 9pm, protesters broke into the building, and the policemen guarding the entrance retreated and disappeared just before they broke in. Hundreds, maybe a couple thousand entered (a couple hundred press persons were inside already, some probably entered with the protesters) and some 20-30,000 remained outside. The police all suddenly disappeared.

    At first some pro-democratic legislators speculated that it might be some sort of trap. The police probably could have prevented it, but decided simply to let it happen. At minimum, a way for the government to blame the problem on protesters, or it could be much worse.

    Then people were circulating around images and videos of PLA vehicles heading towards HK island. I was panicking, thinking that it could turn into something really tragic.

    Then after 11pm, it was announced that a few thousand police were on the way and would surround Legco by midnight. A few minutes before midnight all the protesters cleared out of Legco and police patrol of the building revealed no protesters left. They used teargas to disperse the remaining protesters outside.

    A huge sigh of relief – no deaths or serious casualties. The PLA did not appear.

    The government tried to used this to turn sentiment against the protests (I don’t think it is working, because people who would hold a viewpoint about it have formed it already), but I do think the student protesters also can claim some “victory” if you want to call it that.
    ie,
    – Legco will be shut down for weeks, at least. No legislation will make it through for the rest of the summer.
    – HK events made top headlines around the world (or at least so it seemed)
    – the guerrilla tactics of the protesters will mean that 99.9% of them will never be identified or charged with any crime and they appeared to have intimidated the police (although this may have been designed as a trap as mentioned above). The police chief stated at the hastily arranged press conference at 4am that the police retreated because they were afraid! I was thinking that such statement would never work in the US – that police were afraid of a few unarmed protesters? really?

    Anyhow, the Legco building was definitely seriously vandalized, but during all the peaceful protests and the not so peaceful ones, there was NO looting or theft – the protesters took drinks at Legco, but left money behind saying that they do not steal, and there was no loss of life or injury from the recent incident. I have not seen any report of any business vandalized or looted during the whole entire past month, even during the 2 million strong protest which passed by hundreds of high end shops.
    I used to live in Wanchai and Causeway Bay and passed by my old buildings in the peaceful marches and it was perfectly safe and civil. Restaurants and stores remained open.

    There has been loss of life associated with the recent protests, but not in any of the protester clashes.
    Most of the serious injuries from a couple weeks before resulting from police violence towards protesters, not the other way around.

    However, protesters now are no longer reporting to the hospitals, after police made the rounds of hospitals recently, looking for patients who had injuries that may have resulted from the protest events (and arresting them on the spot while they were in the hospital). They have circulated a list of private doctors who may treat them without reporting them to the police.

    These protesters have broken off from Joshua Wong and his followers – they are avowed to remain leaderless and not set in any fixed place or associated with any organization. They do not communicate online in social media.

    Like


  319. I typed the above, then saw this article, which is probably a better more journalistic summary of the event on July 1.

    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/07/03/taking-back-legislature-happened-inside-3-hour-occupation-shook-hong-kong/

    Like


  320. @ jefe

    I asked my sister, who has a US-only media diet, what she knew about the HK protests. She had a good overall knowledge of them.

    Like


  321. I suspect that your sister’s US-only media diet is probably repeating the same things, based on Reuters or AFP (or NY times or CNN, etc.). They probably assume a sympathetic stance towards the protesters as the fugitive extradition bill is seen as being supported by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), and not favourable to US business and political interests.

    What concerns me to some extent is the Chinese language media in the USA (which I also consider to be US-based media, albeit not mainstream). In the past 20-25 years, about 80-90% of it has come under the control of the CCP. The largest Chinese language publication in the USA and outside Asia, the World Journal (世界日報) started out in the 70s as a Taiwan-friendly paper in New York City, and until the 90s referred to the PRC as “Communist China” (中共). Now, following the KMT’s cozying up to the CCP in the early 2000s, it has become very supportive of the CCP’s stance. They repeat how the extradition bill is “necessary” and how the protesters (even the millions of peaceful ones) are terribly misinformed and condemns their stance.

    Gee, the people in HK (even the lawyer groups) are more clueless about the effect of the bill on them than ethnic Chinese in NY, many who have never been to HK, or who have not been there for a very long time!

    Like


  322. Happy July 4th 🇺🇸🦅🎆🗽

    Like


  323. @Jefe: I see those people in Hong Kong in the street in the street being in resistance to their government. And I shake my head while sitting in my living room thinking how here in the USA folks are too frightened or apathetic to stand up to the corrupt government and administration.

    Like


  324. @MB,

    You have to be careful comparing US to HK based on the scale of protests in the streets. The environment between the two is quite different.

    If you recall the Umbrella Movement that started with Occupy Central in 2014, that resulted from the refusal of the Central Government in Beijing to allow citizens to freely stand for election and elect their chief executive. Since then they have further clamped down on free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, civil society (ie, NGOs), independent judiciary, and disqualified duly elected representatives to Legco (Legislative Council), etc. This would be like the Attorney General suing to disqualify AOC, Ro Khanna and dozens of other house members so that they can reduce the opposition force. Then they rammed many bills and projects through the rigged Legco, even if they technically violate the law or the One Country, Two Systems principle. (eg, allowing mainland PRC customs and immigration officials to operate withing the territory of Hong Kong).

    This Fugitive Extradition law was the last straw. But if you cannot vote for your leader, you cannot vote them out. IF they disqualified your representatives, then there is no one to advocate your position in the Legislative Council (Legco) and you will never have enough votes in Legco to keep something from passing. If they clamp down on Freedom of the press (eg, by penalizing companies that advertise in opposition media), then there is no voice. IF the government is deaf, then the only way to express your idea is to do a mass protest. That seems to be the only way to communicate your message.

    Can you believe that 2 million (out of a total of 7.5 million) flooded Central HK! I was there (the peaceful protest, not the radical one) and I can tell you that the people are angry.

    Sometimes, that does not even work. After 1 million marched on June 9, the government vowed to read the bill on june 12. Now the protests have split into the large peaceful ones and the smaller targeted more radical and aggressive ones. They are used in tandem to force the government to take action. That is the only way left.

    In the USA, there is large grassroots push back to the various forces in society. There are many avenues to express and influence public opinion, and eventually choose and impact your representatives in the government. I have been inspired by what goes on the USA and think it might be time to go back. There are things that I think I can do there that I cannot do here. I feel nothing but hopelessness in HK. Those protests are not to push for new rights but to keep from losing the ones previously being enjoyed. You might argue that the same thing is happening in the USA, but you can vote for your Congressman, and if he/she wins, she will not be arbitrarily removed from office before the next election.

    If someone like AOC were in HK, she would have been removed from office and thrown in jail.

    I do not normally support vandalism, but I find the radical student protesters in HK to be utterly amazing. Legco will be completely shut down until October. At least the bad destructive bills they have been ramming through will not be tabled or passed. They have more or less rendered the Chief Executive powerless.

    Imagine if a few hundred protesters (most of them TEENAGERS) in the span of 1-2 hours manage to shut down the entire US Congress for over 3 months! and rendered Trump powerless to boot! It is nothing short of amazing. Even if they try to catch these protesters afterwards, they cannot identify most of them – they show up in masks and helmets and gloves, show up briefly and dissipate quickly. Besides, they will fight this until their death if necessary.. They have been following the “Be Like Water” mantra of Bruce Lee, and congregate and dissipate in a very short time, like a flash mob, but have managed to shut down many sections of the government. There is no leader and they do not communicate via social media. Joshua Wong does not speak for them and he has no influence over what they do.

    The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) could even shoot and kill hundreds, even thousands, and that will only cause thousands more to emerge and take their place and continue the protest. This protest would be much harder to kill than the Tiananmen massacre, even if they decided to go down that route.

    It is not like in Mainland China where the govt can simply grab them and send them to a cell thousands of miles away with no contact with lawyers or relatives. At least not yet. This is what they are fighting for.

    I guess China could shut off the water, the food, the electricity if HK people do not behave. Another reason why HK may need to consider becoming less resource dependent on the Mainland. Still they will not punish 7.5 million for the actions of a few hundred. Or will they?

    Another protest will occur on Sunday.

    Like


  325. @Jefe: Thanks for the lesson.

    Like


  326. @Mary Burrell
    I just started listening to a podcast that I think you may enjoy… well, enjoy is the wrong word but maybe find interesting…. the “It Could Happen Here” podcast starting with Episode 1: “The Second American Civil War”

    Liked by 1 person


  327. Events in Hong Kong took a very horrific turn tonight.

    While police were deploying tear gas, firing rubber bullets at nonviolent protesters, and beating them with police batons in the Sheung Wan district on Hong Kong Island, groups of hired CCP thugs made the rounds in several train stations in the New Territories (the mixed residential and semi-rural area north of the central urban areas around the harbour, but south of the Shenzhen border) and just started beating passengers with clubs wreaking havoc and terror. Police at the station walked away and disappeared and did nothing to stop the male gangs from attacking and beating the passengers. Some journalists and legislative councillors also got beaten and treated at hospital.

    Police attacked nonviolent protesters in the urban area, but did nothing to stop club bearing thugs from beating hundreds of passengers in trains and stations. This is NOT the Hong Kong I know. One reason why I did not like the US was because of all the random street violence there. Now, we have lawless thugs roaming around Hong Kong beating up innocent people and the police do nothing.

    This is a CCP tactic used for social control on the Mainland (ie, the use of hired thugs to beat or harass people while police turn a blind eye). Not sure it will make Hong Kong people “behave” as they wish. It will just create more resentment and defiance.

    Chaos and bloodshed in Hong Kong district as hundreds of masked men assault protesters, journalists, residents
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/07/22/just-chaos-bloodshed-hong-kong-district-hundreds-masked-men-assault-protesters-journalists-residents/

    If I can make a plea to people overseas, it would be to contact your local leaders and politicians not only to condemn such tactics, but to take real action. The EU has already passed a resolution not to sell riot control and military gear to HK any more. They can do more. International sanctions help.

    The US congress has revised a bill called the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” which will give the US the mechanism to sanction individuals in HK which have broken the Sino-British Joint Declaration and require the US State department to complete an annual report on HK. I encourage everyone to read the bill and ask their Senator or Congressman about it.

    Commissioners Reintroduce The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act
    https://www.cecc.gov/media-center/press-releases/commissioners-reintroduce-hong-kong-human-rights-and-democracy-act

    Yes, there are US citizens in HK who can no longer feel safe here, with or without any China extradition law. Now that the thugs are loose, we can expect to see them more often.

    I was saddened by Trump’s recent attack on the “Squad” and the issue of telling them to go back where they came from. Apart from the violence in the USA, I was also sick and tired of hearing day in and day out (and sometimes getting beat up for it) about how I needed to go back to “where I came from” (I am from Washington, DC), and how they fought in (name the war) so that YOU people (finger pointed at me) would not come to THEIR country (I have ancestors in the USA dating back to the Revolutionary War, unlike people like Trump). These are 2 of the reasons (among others) why I finally got the courage to pack up and leave.

    But Hong Kong has taken a very horrible and violent turn. This time, I cannot simply pack up and leave and hope it will go away. Even if I went back (and the USA is “back”), I cannot just turn my back on this.

    Like


  328. “U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) delivered a speech this past week in support of the millions of Hong Kong people protesting against Chinese efforts to erode their autonomy and calling for greater democratic freedoms.”

    That was BEFORE the violent episode earlier tonight.

    In full: US Senator Pat Toomey says Hong Kong protesters deserve American support
    (https://youtu.be/Z-YGkwf4Egw)

    Like


  329. @ jefe

    That is so sad and so terrible. And horrifying. I hope it blows up in their face and they back off. The US is not moving in a good direction itself.

    I had assumed the CCP would not go this far, not wanting to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. But China is fully capable of shooting itself in the foot. And of far worse than letting loose some thugs.

    Like


  330. Yep, they are willing to let HK go to pot just so that they can show who is boss.

    The US is not moving in a good direction, but HK’s turn has been rapid and more shocking. What is happening in the US was already there, and I have known it for decades. But HK was never like that.

    And not a single white-shirted thug was arrested. Over 50 innocent people sent to the hospital, and the police were not there and when they got there, they made no arrests.
    IF someone dies from these attacks, then I can assure that all hell will break loose.

    UK is the joint signatory to the Sino-British joint declaration, which is equally binding on both parties until 2047. Can they really sit by and watch the attacks on people, many who were born British nationals, and do nothing? If they are worried about the divisions in their society, this is something that they can unite around.

    far worse than letting loose some thugs.

    The people know. Where is the only place on PRC controlled soil where hundreds of thousands honour the dead from June 4th 30 years ago? They travel often to the Mainland. They know what they are capable of.

    Liked by 1 person


  331. More scenes of terror in Hong Kong.

    Chaos in Hong Kong MTR station as mob assaults passengers with sticks
    (https://youtu.be/oiNxfUNlpYQ)

    Some of the scenes hark back to the period when KKK members terrorized civil rights protesters, where police beat and attacked peaceful protesters, yet turned a blind eye when white clad terrorist thugs attack and beat protesters, yet police fail to arrest a single person.

    These are terrorists, pure and simple.

    However, at least in the 1960s, the US federal government knew that the violence was wrong. Some reforms came.
    But in 2010s, the central government in Beijing is giving these terrorists free reign to commit this terror without fear of any real consequences.

    I wish I could say that things will get better, but they will not. It will most likely escalate. I expect more tragedy.

    I hope that the USA and other western countries will also finally admit their role in creating these and other situations, that they were wrong in the prior policies and need to take corrective action.

    Maybe Abagond can discuss more about things like the WTO and the UN and how the current arrangements have led to more extremist and authoritarian regimes to take hold and dominate.

    Like


  332. @ Herneith

    I’m in the beginning stage of creating a website design company. I have a lot to learn, so not as much time for other things. Even my gardens get dribs and drabs of my time now.

    I’m glad you are mobile (as in driving). How did you make it without a car for all of those years?

    If you go back to school, what do you plan to study?

    Liked by 1 person


  333. @ Mary Burrell

    What led you to Edwidge Danticat? I’ve read that she is quite a wordsmith. What do you like about her writing?

    Like


  334. @ v8driver

    “not sure…” ???

    Like


  335. @Afrofem: I listen on Audible and read the books. My brain is just weird that it processes information this way. Plus I like that she’s a good storyteller, and I like that voice narrator Robin Miles, she is in my opinion the queen of voice actors. Plus, I am also actually reading Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas In America. It’s about a history of how racist ideas are built and how they created a system of racial disparities in America.

    Liked by 1 person


  336. @Open Minded Observer: I will give it a listen. I really like your blog.

    Like


  337. @Mary
    Yeah, I finished that podcast yesterday. It’s has a bit of a “conspiracy theory” vibe, but there’s also some interesting thought starters / subjects worth learning more about. I just know you like podcasts too and thought you might be interested.

    re: my blog… I appreciate that. I tried to be consistent for a bit and then got too busy to research/fact-check some of the topics I’ve wanted to write about. I’ve started several posts and they remain in draft-mode for now.

    Liked by 1 person


  338. @Afrofem
    Nice to see you back!

    Liked by 1 person


  339. “These are terrorists, pure and simple.
    However, at least in the 1960s, the US federal government knew that the violence was wrong. Some reforms came.
    But in 2010s, the central government in Beijing is giving these terrorists free reign to commit this terror without fear of any real consequences.”
    Jefe, can you back your claim with proof? The central government in Beijing claims they want business to return to normal. How would it benefit them to sponsor street thugs, and how do they maintain contact with them?
    Which reforms put an end to the KKK? In other words, how many years did a guy like David Duke spend behind bars as opposed to leaders of the Panthers or BLA?
    “Yep, they are willing to let HK go to pot just so that they can show who is boss.” Based on what evidence?
    “But Kong has taken a very horrible and violent turn. This time, I cannot simply pack up and leave and hope it will go away. Even if I went back (and the USA is “back”), I cannot just turn my back on this.” Are you going to organize a self-defense militia to counter the alleged CCP thugs?
    “The US congress has revised a bill called the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” which will give the US the mechanism to sanction individuals in HK which have broken the Sino-British Joint Declaration and require the US State department to complete an annual report on HK. I encourage everyone to read the bill and ask their Senator or Congressman about it.”
    So, both Jefe and Abagond back US extraterritoriality under the guise of defending ‘human rights’. Can’t say I’m surprised.
    “I do not normally support vandalism, but I find the radical student protesters in HK to be utterly amazing. Legco will be completely shut down until October. At least the bad destructive bills they have been ramming through will not be tabled or passed. They have more or less rendered the Chief Executive powerless.
    Imagine if a few hundred protesters (most of them TEENAGERS) in the span of 1-2 hours manage to shut down the entire US Congress for over 3 months! and rendered Trump powerless to boot! It is nothing short of amazing. Even if they try to catch these protesters afterwards, they cannot identify most of them – they show up in masks and helmets and gloves, show up briefly and dissipate quickly. Besides, they will fight this until their death if necessary.. They have been following the “Be Like Water” mantra of Bruce Lee, and congregate and dissipate in a very short time, like a flash mob, but have managed to shut down many sections of the government. There is no leader and they do not communicate via social media. Joshua Wong does not speak for them and he has no influence over what they do.
    The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) could even shoot and kill hundreds, even thousands, and that will only cause thousands more to emerge and take their place and continue the protest. This protest would be much harder to kill than the Tiananmen massacre, even if they decided to go down that route.
    It is not like in Mainland China where the govt can simply grab them and send them to a cell thousands of miles away with no contact with lawyers or relatives. At least not yet. This is what they are fighting for.
    I guess China could shut off the water, the food, the electricity if HK people do not behave. Another reason why HK may need to consider becoming less resource dependent on the Mainland. Still they will not punish 7.5 million for the actions of a few hundred. Or will they?”
    So much confusion here. You don’t back vandalism except when it’s your side doing it. If this movement has no leaders, what’s to stop agent provocateurs from leading a substantial portion of it to their destruction? Don’t be silly, the water and food will flow as they did when the ccp ‘thugs’ refused to lift a finger to force the Brits out in 1967. The ccp ‘thugs’s’ plan for HK is to gradually intergrate it to the rest of China by peaceful and profitable means. Bullets cost money, they don’t make it.

    Like


  340. @ Open Minded Observer

    Thanks. Hope you find the time to resume your blog soon.

    Like


  341. @ Mary Burrell

    Listening to audio books is quite a popular thing right now. I’m glad you found a way that fit your learning style.

    I listen to a lot of podcasts. Perhaps I should jump on the audio book bandwagon, too. 🙂

    Like


  342. @Afrofem: Listen to tons of podcast.

    Like


  343. @Afrofem: Which podcasts do you listen to? Open Minded Observer suggested a podcast called It Could Happen Here. It’s kind of conspiracy theorist, but it doesn’t seem too far fetched. With the current political climate, I can see a second civil war or race war happening in America.

    Like


  344. @Open Minded Observer: It Could Happen Here podcast you suggested has my anxiety ratcheted up. I can see how Alex Jones can be a dangerous thing. I used to laugh at him and dismissed him as a kook, but all of his madness is what drives those unhinged Trump supporters. Just like people get radicalized and become terrorist.

    Like


  345. @ Mary Burrell

    Most of the podcasts I listen to are about general business, marketing and web design. I also listen to Black Agenda Radio and Project Censored.

    Being able to listen to podcasts in my car means I don’t have to put up with mediocre radio stations anymore.

    Liked by 2 people


  346. @Mary Burrell
    I know right?!? It calms down, but yeah, just knowing that Jones has a following of any size is kinda scary.

    Liked by 1 person


  347. @Mary Burrell
    I’m in the middle of a couple books at the moment, but based on your post above, I snagged “Stamped from the beginning” and just read the prologue. Thanks for the recommendation! (Even though you didn’t realize you were making one)

    Liked by 1 person


  348. Citywide strike and transport disruption.

    Nearly all the metro lines disrupted today with 5 million commuters coming to a standstill.
    Air traffic controller strike cancels 250 flights today.
    cross-harbour tunnels blocked.

    If people still have no idea the scale of this impact, imagine the following:

    if in New York,
    – bridges and tunnels to queens and brooklyn blocked
    – nearly all subway lines blocked, except maybe for those like the Staten island railroad
    – Kennedy and la Guardia airports almost completely shut down, with not only air traffic controllers on strike, but also the transportation to them blocked.

    or if in DC
    – 14th street bridge and key bridge blocked.
    – all metro lines shut down
    – Reagan national and Dulles essentially shut down.

    At the same time there are 8 mass rallies around the city now.
    The chief executive has not done anything for 7 weeks. Legislative council has been shut down for 5 weeks. This would be akin to both the white house and Congress shut down for the whole time (And getting absolutely nothing done in the meantime).
    The only thing operating is the police. We have a police state now with no functioning government.

    6 rallies across the city yesterday, including 3 at police stations, which were greeted with tear gas, sponge bombs and batons.
    8 rallies going on simultaneously now. I expect half of them will result in police violence.

    I read rumours that the PLA is amassing forces across the border. Pray to god that we will not have June 4th incident.

    I strongly suspect that the CCP will not want to do it before the 70th anniversary on Oct 1. Any incident like that will surely upstage their grand anniversary gala. But I am not optimistic.

    I also think that a crackdown like the June 4th one will not quell this one like it did that one. These kids are willing to go to their deaths. Really. It will only make them more resolute in a PLA crackdown.
    Air traffic controllers brought HK to a standstill. Even if PLA came in, they could do nothing about that.

    And forget about Taiwan. They might as well declare independence if HK is invaded. Status quo will no longer be a tenable option.

    Like


  349. ” I read rumours that the PLA is amassing forces across the border. Pray to god that we will not have June 4th incident.
    I strongly suspect that the CCP will not want to do it before the 70th anniversary on Oct 1. Any incident like that will surely upstage their grand anniversary gala. But I am not optimistic.
    I also think that a crackdown like the June 4th one will not quell this one like it did that one. These kids are willing to go to their deaths. Really. It will only make them more resolute in a PLA crackdown.
    Air traffic controllers brought HK to a standstill. Even if PLA came in, they could do nothing about that.
    And forget about Taiwan. They might as well declare independence if HK is invaded. Status quo will no longer be a tenable option.”
    As usual, a fine but impressionistic take on what’s going on in HK. The question to ask is who will rule? Can “… protesters… avowed to remain leaderless and not set in any fixed place or associated with any organization. They do not communicate online in social media.” run anything? You’ve “read rumours “, glad to see that you’ve acclimatized your spelling to HK standard. War is the alternative to the untenable “Status quo”. Are you making preparations to fight the PLA if it does come in? What did Reagan do to the US Air traffic controllers? Is the PLA devoid of Air traffic controllers, or have you convinced them of the justice of your cause? I know you’re allergic to Global Times, but you might find these articles of some use since they reflect the current thinking of your nemesis, the CCP. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1159256.shtml, http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1159774.shtml, http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1160287.shtml

    Like


  350. @ jefe

    “I read rumours that the PLA is amassing forces across the border. Pray to god that we will not have June 4th incident.”

    My gut feeling is that this is going to end very very badly, worse than June 4th. I hope (and pray) I am wrong.

    Like


  351. You guys want to take on the second most powerful economy on earth with prayers and ‘leaderless’ rioters???? What a joke based on the lie that HK was some kind of ‘democracy’ under British rule. These poor people are being led to the slaughter with you guys as ‘cheerleaders’. I hope Jefe will have the courage to stay and fight for his seemingly hopeless ‘independent’ HK, if not, it would reflect badly on his character.

    “My gut feeling is that this is going to end very very badly, worse than June 4th. I hope (and pray) I am wrong.” You’re not that dumb for you to claim that this situation can end in anything but disaster for the people of HK or the militant wing of the HK separatists. If the PLA intervenes, the one country two system deal will be dead and the only course to recover Taiwan will be war. The best scenario would be if the HK populace tires of the tactics of the separatists and withdraw their protection for them and lets the HK cops deal with them, that way, everybody goes back to the fiction of one country two systems. Everybody will be fat but unhappy, if Xi’s plans work.

    Like


  352. With Jeffery Epstein dead are all the high end big rollers on his list including Trump safe.

    Like


  353. @ Mary Burrell

    This CNN article maintains that the opposite will happen — that the cases will continue as civil suits against Epstein’s estate, that his death will relieve the fears of victims and make it easier for more women to come forward, and that allegations against his accomplices will be pursued:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/08/10/us/jeffrey-epstein-legal-cases-live-on/index.html

    I hope they are right. It is very easy to suspect he was murdered and it was made to look like suicide in order to protect his high-powered associates.

    Liked by 1 person


  354. He should have been on a constant watch if for no other reason than his celebrity status. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but some smells, especially as he ‘attempted’ suicide two weeks previously.

    Liked by 1 person


  355. If, indeed, Epstein is truly dead. His death could have been faked.

    It is not out of the realm of possibility considering who stood to be unmasked by his trial.

    Liked by 1 person


  356. Something is not right!

    Liked by 1 person


  357. Now the British royal family is implicated as well. I really hope the truth is uncovered.

    Liked by 1 person


  358. Is it really surprising that celebrities, overpaid academics, politicians and royalty were cavorting with underage sex slaves? I mean really…

    Like


  359. “Is it really surprising that celebrities, overpaid academics, politicians and royalty were cavorting with underage sex slaves? I mean really…”
    No. Being prominent and powerful does not equate with being ‘moral’? One of the reasons people crave power is to be able to do things the ‘average Joe’ can’t get away with. I was under the impression that he paid these girls, if he did, how are they ‘sex slaves’? isn’t the correct appellation “under age prostitutes”?

    ““We just wanted money for school clothes, for shoes. I remember wearing shoes too tight for three years in a row,” one unnamed woman, who said she was abused and recruited by Epstein at age 14, told the Herald. “We had no family and no guidance, and we were told that we were going to just have to sit in a room topless and he was going to just look at us. It sounded so simple, and was going to be easy money for just sitting there.””
    I don’t buy the ‘innocent victim’ bit, most of these girls had a pretty good idea what they were signing up for.
    On the bright side for them, they stand to get ‘residuals’ from ‘work’ they did all these years back if the forfeiture proceeding against the Epstein estate is successful. White women’s tears, powerful stuff.

    Like


  360. gro jo, please!

    Those girls were young and naive. They didn’t know they were “signing up” for anything. I read a Rolling Stone article this morning about Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s recruiter-in-chief. Her methods were typical for a commercial pedophile procurer:

    “Depositions in the case expose Ghislaine Maxwell’s alleged crimes: Giuffre was fresh out of foster care and a rehab runaway when Maxwell allegedly started grooming her 20 years ago. Giuffre’s lawyers also deposed other girls who accused Maxwell of procuring and grooming them for sex with Epstein and other men, backing up and expanding on Giuffre’s trafficking story. Their depositions, and those of butlers, house managers and private pilots suggest an almost industrial-scale operation.

    […] one Manhattan billionaire’s butler recalled encountering an unnamed 15-year-old Swedish girl who told him Maxwell took her passport after she refused to have sex with Epstein while on Jeffrey’s private island. The girl was “shaking uncontrollably” and couldn’t remember how she had gotten off the island and back to the U.S, he said.

    […] cruising — with a chauffeur behind the wheel — South Florida strip-mall massage parlors, “spas,” and tiny Christian college campuses hunting for teen girls with bad families or just out of rehab or in foster care…. “

    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/jeffrey-epstein-ghislaine-maxwell-recruiter-history-871182/

    Maxwell and Epstein were very strategic in who they targeted for their operation. White girls with no close family ties, crisis prone or oversheltered religious college types (for virgins, because they commanded a higher price from their jaded customers).

    Like


  361. I agree with you about White women’s tears. Hundreds of thousands of Black and Native girls go missing every year. The silence around them is deafening. Some of them are killed, however some of them are press-ganged into forced sex work.

    I wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the Black and Missing problem until I came across a website in the early 2000s called Black and Missing but Not Forgotten. It seems they have morphed into a non-profit called the Black and Missing Foundation.

    http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad/index.cfm

    Still fighting the good fight.

    Like


  362. He wasn’t only preying on troubled girls from foster homes or rehab, but also talented girls attending art camps and performing arts high schools where he established himself as a donor and mentor:

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-had-his-own-lodge-at-interlochens-prestigious-arts-camp-for-kids-in-michigan

    This isn’t very different from Jerry Sandusky and his athletic youth organizations that enabled him to find young male victims. Why is it that we never hear the argument that those boys knew what they were signing up for?

    Also, though it is terribly naive to believe that all you have to do is take off your top and let him look at your breasts and nothing else will happen, young girls are terribly naive. And agreeing to one thing does not mean you give carte blanche to everything. Agreeing to being looked at topless does not mean you’ve implicitly agreed to any other activity.

    Like


  363. @ Afrofem

    According to this, the majority of victims of child sex trafficking in the U.S. are POC:

    Unsurprising to us, the vast majority of child victims are black and brown girls, including gender non-conforming youth and LGBT youth. These are some of the most vulnerable children in our society. From the work that we’ve done, we know that many of them, if not most of them, have childhood histories of sexual and physical abuse, many of them have experienced some type of involvement with child welfare and many of them have come in contact with the juvenile justice system….

    I think first of all, it’s one of those issues that is largely hidden in plain sight. People don’t often recognize the signs or what they’re seeing around them oftentimes gets mistaken for adult prostitution, people play it off as if it’s a victimless crime….

    When you look at the vast majority of children who are impacted by sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, the vast majority of them are people of color. For instance, in places where even the percentage of people of color is incredibly low, they are over represented among victims. When you’re looking at somewhere like King County, Washington, for example, where black people only comprise 7 percent of the general population, they are 52 percent of all child sex trafficking victims.

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/its-an-uncomfortable-reality-an-expert-on-how-jeffrey-epsteins-case-isnt-all-that-unique/

    Like


  364. I know about the details in your links. The fact remains that the majority of them were not coerced therefore, calling them “sex slaves” is false. They did what they did for cold cash.
    Were they dumb, naïve, if you prefer? Yes, but substituting a French word for an Anglo-Saxon one doesn’t change the reality. Employers lie and abuse employees in every industry after “grooming” them to come work for them. In this case, the girls were ‘groomed’ to recruit other girls so claiming that Epstein and Maxwell were spending their days looking for fresh meat sounds like journalese to me. The idea of a ‘sugar daddy’ is powerful incentive for the ambitious as well as the not so ambitious, male or female, underaged as well as adult.
    “I wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the Black and Missing problem until I came across a website in the early 2000s called Black and Missing but Not Forgotten. It seems they have morphed into a non-profit called the Black and Missing Foundation.
    http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad/index.cfm
    Still fighting the good fight.”
    Afrofem, please! Such naiveté is unbecoming of you. Praising such organization is like watching Sisyphus roll that rock up the hill and praising him for it. The main beneficiaries of such ‘charities’ are those who run them.

    Like


  365. The autopsy on Epstein states his neck was broken in several places. Similar to the person who commits suicide by shooting themselves in the back of the head.

    Like


  366. Many of Epstein’s known victims did not “come forward” but were identified by police investigators:

    Epstein’s scheme first began to unravel in March 2005, when the parents of a 14-year-old girl told Palm Beach police that she had been molested by Epstein at his mansion. The girl reluctantly confessed that she had been brought there by two other girls, and those girls pointed to two more girls who had been there.

    By the time detectives tracked down one victim, there were two and three more to find. Soon there were dozens.

    “We didn’t know where the victims would ever end,” [retired Palm Beach Police Chief Michael] Reiter said [who supervised the 2005 police probe].

    Eventually, the girls told them about still other girls and young women they had seen at Epstein’s house, many of whom didn’t speak English, [Palm Beach police detective Joseph] Recarey said. That led Recarey to suspect that Epstein’s exploits weren’t just confined to Palm Beach. Police obtained the flight logs for his private plane, and found female names and initials among the list of people who flew on the aircraft — including the names of some famous and powerful people who had also been passengers, Recarey said.

    A newly released FBI report shows that at the time the non-prosecution deal was executed, the agency was interviewing witnesses and victims “from across the United States.” The probe stretched from Florida to New York and New Mexico, records show….

    One lawsuit, still pending in New York, alleges that Epstein used an international modeling agency to recruit girls as young as 13 from Europe, Ecuador and Brazil. The girls lived in a New York building owned by Epstein, who paid for their visas, according to the sworn statement of Maritza Vasquez, the one-time bookkeeper for Mc2, the modeling agency.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825

    There are about 80 victims identified in court papers, according to the Miami Herald, which has located about 60 of them. But one of those victims who took other teen girls to Epstein’s place estimates that she alone brought 70 to 80 girls to him. The actual number of his victims is likely in the hundreds if not thousands.

    Like


  367. It’s hard for the public to know how to evaluate these claims when so little about Epstein’s crimes has ever come to light, due to pressure from his lawyers and acquiescence from prosecutors. Epstein’s money and influence have protected not just Epstein but anyone who might be connected to him, a disturbing example of power perpetuating itself.

    The girls and women who reported abuse by Epstein, meanwhile, were markedly powerless. Most of them “came from disadvantaged families, single-parent homes or foster care,” [Julie K.] Brown reports [in the Miami Herald]. “Many of the girls were one step away from homelessness.”

    Their youth and poverty may have made it easier for Epstein and his alleged recruiters to lure them in with promises of cash, easier for investigators to intimidate them, and easier for prosecutors to discount or disbelieve them when the time came.

    Epstein’s case is also one of all too many instances in which victims of sexual misconduct are ignored or brushed aside when they come from marginalized groups. Women who have come forward to say that singer R. Kelly abused them have faced a similar kind of erasure. As Vox’s Constance Grady notes, Kelly has been “accused of creating an abusive ‘sex cult’ of very young women, whom he allegedly isolates, brainwashes, and abuses physically and emotionally.”

    Girls and young women are routinely seen as unreliable narrators of their own experiences, including abuse, and it typically takes the testimony of many women for a powerful man to face any consequences. For example, young female athletes had been reporting abuse by Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics team doctor who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison earlier this year for abusing more than 100 young athletes, since 1997. For more than a decade, officials at Michigan State University, where he worked, did nothing.

    https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/18116351/jeffrey-epstein-indictment-arrested-trump-clinton-acosta

    Like


  368. @ Solitaire

    “Why is it that we never hear the argument that those boys knew what they were signing up for?”

    Good point.

    Thanks for those enlightening links.

    Like


  369. @ gro jo

    “Employers lie and abuse employees in every industry after “grooming” them to come work for them.”

    LOL! The meat of that argument is stretched so thin, I could make pastrami sandwiches with it…add plenty of mustard and toss in an extra pickle.

    Nice try though.

    While I agree that most non-profits are personal hustles, not all are mercenary in nature. I’m willing to give Black and Missing the benefit of the doubt, since I have followed their evolution for years.

    As for the Sisyphean efforts of the Black and Missing Foundation, better someone than no one.

    Like


  370. @ Solitaire

    “…in places where even the percentage of people of color is incredibly low, they are over represented among victims. When you’re looking at somewhere like King County, Washington, for example…”

    Agreed.

    That over representation is quite glaring on certain local streets that function as sex markets. Add to that the regular busts of young East Asian women forced into sex slavery in local “massage” parlors and phony “foot reflexology” shops that cater to tech workers. (Something is flexing in those shops and it’s not feet.)

    Like


  371. “LOL! The meat of that argument is stretched so thin, I could make pastrami sandwiches with it…add plenty of mustard and toss in an extra pickle.
    Nice try though”
    I got to the heart of the relationship between Epstein an his employees and you just couldn’t see it.
    Perfectly legal businesses exploit their workers, even causing their deaths (black lungs, cancer, etc.) but no one claims these victims of capitalism are slaves, but once the conversation turns to sex work, hyperbole is the order of the day.
    The great evil in all these situations, in my opinion, is the cash nexus. Show your tits and you to can afford comfortable shoes. Go deep into the bowels of the earth, to dig for coal and you’ll be able to afford a ‘nice’ house.
    No, the meat of my argument is thick.

    “As for the Sisyphean efforts of the Black and Missing Foundation, better someone than no one.”
    To each his/her own. I’ve always enjoyed watching dogs chase their tails, they go round and round until boredom sets in an they move on to something else, great fun but not much use.

    Like


  372. How come all my comments go to moderation?

    Like


  373. @ gro jo

    tits.

    Like


  374. @ Gro Jo

    “Perfectly legal businesses exploit their workers, even causing their deaths (black lungs, cancer, etc.) but no one claims these victims of capitalism are slaves”

    But we’re talking about children and young teens, who the U.S. government no longer allows to work in the coal mines. Modern labor laws prohibit the employment of underage youth in dangerous jobs.

    Prostitution is a hazardous job, so even if it became legal in all 50 states, it would remain illegal to hire underage workers.

    “once the conversation turns to sex work, hyperbole is the order of the day”

    In the case of people being trafficked from overseas, like the Asian women who Afrofem mentioned above, it often isn’t hyperbole. They come here believing they have legal jobs awaiting them, decent jobs that don’t involve immoral behavior. But when they arrive, their passports, cell phones, etc. are forcibly taken away from them. They are locked into a room and their movements are tightly controlled so they can’t escape to get help, which would be difficult anyway because of the language barrier. They are often beaten into submission. Early on, they are often drugged up into semi-consciousness and raped, which is a calculated move to break their resistance. They typically don’t receive any money for their work. They aren’t free to just walk out the door and leave, and if they try and are caught, they will be beaten. Some women are killed by their “employers.” What else would you call it when someone is forced to work for no wages, kept captive in one building, and is beaten for perceived misbehavior or attempts to escape?

    Like


  375. You’ll get no argument from me that people trafficked for sex who are not paid are captives forced to do sex work. Other captives are people who do domestic and other types of work under the compulsions you described. It is still hyperbole to call them slaves since, as you noted, if they walk out and inform the authorities in any modern nation that puts an end to their plight, at least in theory. A slaveowner’s right to his slaves is backed by the full force of the state. All kinds of exploitations occur in the modern world but slavery is dead. The girl who was willing to show her breasts for money to buy comfortable shoes was exploited but she wasn’t a slave. As I pointed out above, she stands to gain residuals for her performance, with the help of the government’s forfeiture procedure against the Epstein estate. Contrast that fact with the fact that slaveowners were lavishly compensated for loss of their property by the British government when the West Indian slaves were emancipated.

    Liked by 1 person


  376. @ gro jo

    Slavery is not dead. Slavery has mutated for the modern age, but the extraordinary violence and suffering that form the core of slavery are still very much alive.

    Slavery today is found in underground domestic workers in D.C. suburbs, Eastern European sex slaves, Ivorian children tending cacao fields, SE Asian men forced to work on shrimp boats, American prison laborers, intergenerational debt slavery in India and kidnapped children mining coltan in the Congo. Those are just a few examples of modern slavery. There are many more.

    Like


  377. My dear Afrofem, if you are going to contradict me you need to take into consideration the State’s relationship to the practices you list. Show me one government that condones the practices you listed and I’ll concede to your claim.
    “Slavery is not dead. Slavery has mutated for the modern age, but the extraordinary violence and suffering that form the core of slavery are still very much alive.”
    The first part of your statement is nonsense. Even US jails recognize that prisoners have rights and once out of jail they regain most if not all the rights of a citizen in most states. Nowhere do they become the property of the State or individuals. Exploitation predated slavery and survived its demise. All the examples you provide is proof of that fact, nothing more. You might have missed the argument I was making so I’ll capitalize it for you: SLAVERY IS A LEGAL CONDITION FULLY ENDORSED BY THE LAWS OF A NATION. Anything else is a form of exploitation that comes up short of slavery. In the modern world slavery is as dead as the Dodo.
    If you and sharinalr had not sabotaged the conversation on Malik Ambar, you might have learned that slavery doesn’t require “…extraordinary violence and suffering…” in every instance. This black genius was able to fully develop his many talents, while a slave in the Muslim world of the 16th and 17th centuries, to the point that he was able to marry one of his daughters to the sultan of the state he ruled and even killed and replaced said sultan with one more to his liking. He wasn’t the only slave who pull off this reversal of fortune.

    Like


  378. My dear gro jo,

    Your contention that, “SLAVERY IS A LEGAL CONDITION FULLY ENDORSED BY THE LAWS OF A NATION.” is an overly narrow intepretation of slavery. An interpretation that skirts reality.

    Slavery in its myriad forms has at its root, coercion. Our current legal system is a form of coercion. Our tax system is a form of coercion. Patriarchal marriage is a form of coercion. The treatment of working people is often coercive.

    All of that coercion rests on unequal power relationships, which are prevalent in most human societies. That inequality is less oppressive in hunter-gatherer societies because of their flat social heirarchies. Yet, even hunter-gatherer cultures are not free of coercion and power plays.

    On the other end of the coercion continuum are highly stratified and hierarchical societies like present day America where nearly every human relationship is tainted by coercion. Some of the coercion is consensual. We collectively abide by laws that proscribe everthing from what we wear in public to revenge killings.

    We even accept unacceptable behaviors and conditions if those behaviors and conditions are defined differently and the segments of society most affected are a few de jure ‘rights’. In that way, some people can make the argument, “…US prisoners have rights…” with a straight face while knowing full well that what they are describing is slavery.

    In one of Solitaire’s comments upthread, is an apt description of all forms of slavery:

    “… ➤when they arrive, their passports, cell phones, etc. are forcibly taken away from them.

    ➤They are locked into a room and their movements are tightly controlled so they can’t escape to get help, which would be difficult anyway

    ➤because of the language barrier.

    ➤They are often beaten into submission…

    ➤they are often drugged up into semi-consciousness and raped, which is a calculated move to break their resistance.

    ➤They typically don’t receive any money for their work.

    ➤They aren’t free to just walk out the door and leave,

    ➤and if they try and are caught, they will be beaten.

    ➤Some women are killed by their “employers.” “

    There is no material difference between that description of extreme coercion against NE Asian women forced into contemporary sex slavery and what my own ancestors experienced. In fact, those coercive methods seem universal. All of the enslaved groups I mentioned upthread— undocumented domestic workers in the D.C. suburbs, Eastern European sex slaves, Ivorian children tending cacao fields, SE Asian men forced to work on shrimp boats, American prison laborers and kidnapped African children mining coltan in the Congo— all face those same features of de facto slavery.

    As for the role of the State in legally determining slavery, as long as the powerful (who run the State) can concoct laws to their liking it does not matter whether slavery is called a prison sentence, exploitation or trafficking. As my grandmother would have said, “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck”.

    Turning a blind eye to the coercion of others is another form of endorsing that coercion and the resulting harms.

    Like


  379. “Turning a blind eye to the coercion of others is another form of endorsing that coercion and the resulting harms.”
    Only in your imagination. I have no intention of following you in labelling every form of oppression ‘slavery’.
    “SLAVERY IS A LEGAL CONDITION FULLY ENDORSED BY THE LAWS OF A NATION. Anything else is a form of exploitation that comes up short of slavery. In the modern world slavery is as dead as the Dodo.”
    If you can prove the contrary I will concede your claim. You will need to show that traffickers of Asian women are congratulated for their business acumen instead of being thrown in jail and that prosecutors are busy suing Epstein’s victims instead of trying to get them ‘residuals’, etc. I don’t think you can.

    Like


  380. Only in my imagination? chuckle

    The definition of ‘slavery’ you are clinging to is out-dated. Perhaps you didn’t get the memo, but the European Powers That Be decided state sanctioned slavery was way too messy an institution. Don’t get me wrong, they were not ashamed of their behavior. They just decided the optics of State endorsed slavery did not fit their “Free World, First World” propaganda.

    Slavery features a specific set of criteria. Those criteria are listed upthread. In this day and age, State endorsement of slavery is implicit, not explicit. When nation-states create arbitrary barriers to human migration, they are knowingly encouraging human smuggling, trafficking, kidnapping and sexual slavery.

    When Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment that featured prison as an exception to the abolition of slavery, they were fully aware of how that exception would be used to expand, exploit and yes—enslave—Black and White citizens ensnared by the Convict Leasing Industrial Complex. That was an implicit State endorsement of slavery.

    Local traffickers of Asian women are usually given the standard drug bust treatment. The on-site enforcers and managers are arrested (and serve minimal sentences), but the the executive level criminals, the C-Suite types are unscathed. They merely find new enforcers and mangers, deceive more unfortunate young women and set up shop elsewhere in the Seattle Metro area. There may not be public congratulations for their ” business acumen”, but they also don’t face any negative consequences for their scurrilous business model. They face no public naming and shaming.

    In that way, the Powers That Be get to continue slavery by other names (and the profits derived by slavery). The cherry on top is that they have successfully convinced some people that slavery is a legal condition fully endorsed by the laws of a nation-state.

    Like


  381. Afrofem, you make some good points about impunity of higher ups in crime syndicates, but the rest is subject to your alimentary criticism of one of my comments above. The meat of your argument is stretched to the max. Apparently you are a mind reader who can tell what hundreds of legislators, long dead, were thinking when they passed the laws you refer to. Bravo. No, that won’t do, I’ll buy your claim when you produce the transcripts showing that morphing ‘slavery’ was their main concern. Slavery was a form of property ownership because slaves could be insured like houses and cattle. As far as I know, none of the C-Suite types you mention have ever gotten insurance to protect them from loss in the pursuit of their businesses, if you know different, please provide the proof.

    Like


  382. gro jo,

    We will have to agree to disagree and my time is limited.

    If you want to stick to an extremely narrow and legalistic intepretation of what constitutes “slavery”, that is your privilege.

    I prefer to stick with reality and facts on the ground. When you or yours is caught up in de facto slavery that fits the criteria listed upthread, the fine points of State endorsement and insurability are moot.

    De jure or de facto, slavery is slavery. The methods of violence and confinement are identical. The profit motive remains the same.

    I say tomato, you say tomahto….

    Like


  383. Afrofem,

    Thank you for seeing the error of your way and admitting defeat. (joke)
    Your ‘reality’ left out parts that don’t accord to your claim that slavery was unrelenting violence against the slaves instead of a property right of a given period in human history. If you had seen it my way you wouldn’t have had to do violence to historical facts. Even gilded slavery is still slavery because, (drum roll) “slavery is a legal condition fully endorsed by the laws of a nation-state.”
    As always, it was a pleasure to ‘lock horns’ with you. Take care.

    Like


  384. gro jo,

    Quack, Quack. smile

    Like


  385. @ Abagond: Will you be doing a post on the New York Times 1619 Project?

    Like


  386. @ Abagond

    The Red Summer of 1919 was 100 years ago this very summer.

    Saw this article about that summer, in Teen Vogue of all places:

    https://www.teenvogue.com/story/the-red-summer-of-1919-explained

    Have you done a post on the Red Summer? I saw posts about East St. Louis and massacres in general, but not the Red Summer.

    Liked by 1 person


  387. @ Afrofem

    No, but I will be doing one.

    Like


  388. @ Afrofem

    Teen Vogue had a Black editor, Elaine Marie Welteroth, from 2016 to 2018. I do not know if they still do.

    Like


  389. @ Abagond

    That may explain why such a forceful article re: The Red Summer was in such a weird place (Teen Vogue).

    Looking forward to your Red Summer post….

    Liked by 1 person


  390. I am disappointed that the New York Times 1619 Project is all sold out. I am on a waiting list.

    Like


  391. Perhaps some of those young teenagers will get an education on the Red Summer massacre.

    Like


  392. I found a podcast of The New York Times 1619 Project. I am thankful for this. I am on a waiting list to get an actual magazine copy, so this will have to do. Nikole-Hannah-Jones is quite brilliant.

    Like


  393. Excited about Popeyes chicken sandwich 😋

    Like


  394. Excited I will be receiving my New York Times 1619 Project copy.🙌🏿👍🏿

    Like


  395. @Mary:

    How do you get that? Can you order it?

    What Popeye sandwich are you referring to? I like their Red Beans and Rice (instead of chips).

    Liked by 1 person


  396. @ Mary

    Let me know how you like the 1619 Project – and the chicken sandwich.

    Like


  397. @Herneith
    I had to go the New York Times to order my copy. It’s $6.00 with a sky high shipping tax. Altogether it is $17.00

    Liked by 1 person


  398. @Herneith

    The traffic trying to get to Popeyes is insane. And they keep running out of sandwiches. The chicken sandwich

    Like


  399. Thanks! I must order the New York copy online.

    Liked by 1 person


  400. @Herneith:
    Hurry because they sell out quickly.

    Like


  401. It would seem incontrovertible that unpaid prison labour is slavery. It is sanctioned by the state and the person under involuntary labour cannot go to the authorities about his predicament and expect any legal action.

    Liked by 1 person


  402. The Amazon rainforest is burning this is very tragic.

    Like


  403. All these wildfires is this a climate change issue? And the orangutan occupant in chief wants to buy Greenland.

    Like


  404. Aren’t there indigenous people in the Amazon? I wonder how the wildfire is affecting them?

    Like


  405. @Mary:

    Please, don’t insult Orangutans, they’re cuter and more intelligent!

    Like


  406. Abagond,

    It has been over a month since I commented on developments in HK, but there is so much new development every day that, even though I live here, I cannot even keep up with it myself. Moreover, the constant barrage of these developments can be very stressful and depressing. Sometimes I even have to tune out.

    I can say that, as someone who can remember as far back as segregation and the civil rights movement and the DC riots following MLK Jr’s death, as well as living in the county in the US that once had the nation’s highest police brutality, and also as someone who follows what is going on in the USA daily and planning to go back (hopefully sooner than later), I find the events in HK far more overwhelming than anything or any problem I ever was aware of or foresee now in the US. In other words, this alarms me more than, say, ongoing police brutality in the US or the rebirth of white nationalism, migrants detained in concentration camps or even climate change or whatever (basically, what you tend to post on). Why? Because even though I feel that these things have exacerbated under the current administration, I see so many points of optimism. Not only is there massive grassroots pushback, I think it has forced the US to have conversations that it desperately needed to have, including stark economic inequality, health care, education, white supremacy, sustainable living and infrastructure, reparations for slavery, and America’s place in the world. The prior status quo stance with tiny incremental, if any change, was not taking us where we need to be.

    However, I do not feel this optimism regarding Hong Kong.

    It feels like it is going in one direction – bad. I kinda knew it was heading in a bad direction for years, but I was somehow hoping that it wouldn’t erupt like this. And there is no such thing as a national debate like there is in the US (which is something that makes me feel good about the US). Hence the need to take it internationally.

    It also looks like, starting last week, the situation in HK has now entered the US-China trade talks.

    I know you disdain mainstream media, but I found this summary in Vox to be pretty good. It has left out a few things, but they do update it every few days, so I think it has summarized it as well as any other summary I have seen.

    9 questions about the Hong Kong protests you were too embarrassed to ask
    Why is Hong Kong protesting? What do protesters want? And what might China do?
    (https://www.vox.com/world/2019/8/22/20804294/hong-kong-protests-9-questions)

    I am glad that you did not fall for the straw man argument earlier about how you or I are somehow voicing support for a band of separatists trying to push Hong Kong Independence or something. That is a counterargument that no one made, and that narrative is not only NOT voiced in western media, it is also not voiced at all in local media either, whether classified as “opposition” or “pro-business” (which tends to be pro-government) or even those media which are reliably pro-government. It is also not a narrative pushed by pro-government legislators. There may be some extreme fringe who thinks this is an independence or separatist movement, but I have not encountered it in any of the peaceful protests that I have attended and do not know anyone talking about that. The only place where I see that narrative being pushed is in State Media or by Party mouthpieces (such as the Global times, People’s daily, CCTV, etc.) or maybe sometimes in the local HK media (Ta Kung Pao or Wei Wen Po) which are nakedly pro-CCP. They are the only ones who also push the black hands of Foreign forces fueling the protests (when it is the CCP which is funding the disinformation campaign and pay protesters to stage things for their media image bites).

    In fact, you may have read recently about how Twitter stopped advertising from nearly 1000 accounts and closed 200,000 accounts of followers due to the disinformation campaign waged by forces across the border, in particular about the HK protests. Facebook has followed suit, and so has Google / YouTube. I don’t know how much dent this will make to the 50 cent army bots outside mainland China, but the disinformation campaign is very real.

    ******>
    In light of this, I would like to know if you would consider doing two posts (or series of posts) that you have been promising for years but have never done yet.

    1. Logical fallacies used to make arguments

    You said that you would do several of these so that we can use them in comment sections, and you have done a few (eg, willfully obtuse, Roissy syndrome) but there are many you have not done yet, eg, “Straw man Argument” whereby some commenter restates your argument into something perhaps tangentially related but really quite different, and then goes on to attack that. Then you could link to all your posts that point out the fallacy in other straw man arguments so that your reader can recognize when they pop up here.

    There were a few others you said that you would do too.

    2. PRC state (or party controlled) media diet

    You have done posts on Breitbart, Fox, as well as RT media diet, but you said that you would try a media diet based on PRC state media or party-backed media and see what viewpoint of the world that leads you to. Would you still consider doing that?

    I look forward to your doing these posts.

    Finally, someone rebutted to me above that the alternative to status quo is war. I staunchly disagree. I think there is something called “political reform” which is a way that we can move away from the status quo without going into war. It would be great if you were interested in doing some posts discussing how a society may go about social change.

    Liked by 1 person


  407. @ Abagond

    I second a “Straw man Argument” post. It is much needed.

    Liked by 1 person


  408. @ Jefe

    Thanks for your excellent suggestions.

    Yes, a post on logical fallacies is long overdue.

    Social change is a big, woolly subject. I will have to think about that.

    Yes, now would be an excellent time to go on a Chinese communist news media diet. I will do that from August 30th to September 6th (to match the period to be covered by the September 7th 2019 issue of The Economist for easy comparison).

    I have been wanting to do a post on the Hong Kong protests. I will do one based on communist sources, and then another based on Western ones. Thanks for recommending the Vox article.

    What are the trustworthy Hong Kong English-language (or even Chinese) news outlets these days in your opinion? I cannot read Chinese, not even kind of, but might be able to glean something from a Google translation – would that be a waste of time?

    Like


  409. Hey Abagond,

    A-a-a-hh, a long reply, but there is so much to say about this.

    There is so much to know about the background and status of the HK protests, that I think a single blog post will not do it justice. Even if you read overviews like that the Vox article I shared, there is a lot left out and a few things that are technically not 100% accurate (like the bit about the requirement to return all of Hong Kong to the mainland – only the New Territories were part of that 99-year lease and Hong Kong island was ceded outright to the British in 1841-42 and Kowloon was ceded in perpetuity a couple decades later, well before the 99-year lease thing – under the treaties, UK was never obligated to return those territories to China and those treaties have never been rescinded or repealed – they are dependent on the current Sino-British Joint Declaration. What’s more, the PRC is technically not the succeeding government of China to the Ching dynasty (the ROC on Taiwan is), and until Britain recognized the PRC in the 1970s, there was no requirement to return HK to the PRC at all).

    It also leaves out all the stuff that has happened since the 2014 Umbrella movement protests that have not captured too much attention in the Western press but have dealt serious blows to Hong Kong’s Rule of Law and violates the Joint Declaration (eg, the border control co-location arrangement). The current batch of protests did not erupt in a vacuum. A series of very disturbing events have emerged over the years, and the extradition bill was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    It also fails to talk about key senior figures in the Opposition movement. You may have heard of Joshua Wong already, but 4 older people (Martin Lee, Anson Chan, Albert Ho and Jimmy Lai) have been branded a Hong Kong “Gang of Four” by CCP media. There is belief that the CCP would sweep in and do a Gang of Four style treatment like what they did to the original ones alleged to plot to overthrow Mao in the cultural revolution. They are probably targeted as they have the highest contact with the West.

    CNN posted an article about Jimmy Lai yesterday:
    Why pro-democracy troublemaker Jimmy Lai is the only Hong Kong multi-millionaire standing up to China
    (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/27/media/jimmy-lai-hong-kong-protests-intl-hk/index.html)

    However, that will do nothing to stop the movement in Hong Kong, as a large portion of the protests are being led by young people, from high school to recent university graduates, who have remained leaderless and anonymous (ie, akin to Bruce Lee’s “Be Like Water” mantra about how to resist your opposition). And as there are tens of thousands of young people, maybe hundreds of thousands willing to die to stand up to the CCP encroachment, a Tiananmen style crackdown will hardly quell the movement. It will go on for many decades even if they kill tens of thousands. But such a crackdown would certainly be the end of Hong Kong as the world has known it.
    The HK police have arrested children in the protests as young as age 12.

    Certainly, the Uighurs and the Tibetans have been fighting for decades, and the battle has never ended. But Hong Kong is quite different. It is very much in the international sphere and involves the West and the rest of the world to a great extent, a global city like New York or London. And 15% of the population have foreign passports (most of the people “running” the place) and another 50% wish they did. The foreign countries will try to airlift their citizens out if the PLA invade HK.

    Before you do your CCP media news diet, I think you need to try to get updated on the HK protests and the US-China trade war first. The mainstream US media that you follow tends to present one side of it. You need to look at more sides to the issue. Once you are more or less up to speed, then do your CCP media diet.

    I know you have done some scathing review of Steve Bannon (and I happen to agree with your stance on his alt-right rhetoric), but of all the talking media heads, he is probably more up to date with China and Hong Kong than most of the other media talking heads as well as US Congressional leaders. I advise you to check out some of the things he has said in the past week or two about these matters. He refers to the CCP as a “gangster” organization, and based on what I have observed over decades, I happen to agree that that is an apt way to refer to them. Even the US consulate referred to the CCP as a “thuggish regime” after the Global times published the personal details of a consular officer and her family after she had a meeting with Joshua Wong a month ago.

    I know that some media which had anti-CCP stances have, in a way, glommed over to becoming Trump-friendly over the past few years because his is the first administration to take a more confrontational posture (as opposed to a conciliatory posture) towards the CCP in the 30 years since the TianAnMen massacre. It has spilled over into US media now. For example, I saw The Young Turks blast The Epoch Times recently for its Trump friendly stances and tried to undermine its credibility as a cult organization. But, prior to 2015, The Epoch Times was in no way a Trump-friendly media organization. It has only slid in that direction as the administration took a confrontational posture towards the CCP. And I am quite disturbed that none of the 2020 Democratic candidates have taken any firm posture towards the CCP (although I think Bernie does harbor some sentiment towards them as “thuggish” regime as well). Still, what is their policy? Think – Trump campaigned against Hillary for his anti-China rhetoric and WON!

    By the way, the Epoch Times found its birthplace in the USA by people who fled the Fa Lun Gong crackdown in Beijing in July 1999. Curiously, I was in Beijing on that very day attending a training seminar, and I remember the next day how all non-PRC newspapers at the airport had clipped out all info about the crackdown. I did not find out about it fully until I got back to HK.

    With the knowledge that the Epoch times takes Trump-friendly stances (which you can filter out), they do talk the most about China than any other US media that I am aware of. And whereas Chinese language media in the US has slid comfortably into the pro-CCP side (eg, the World Journal) the Epoch times and NTD remain an outlier.

    I think Americans in general, even POC, need to take a much stronger concern for the implications of a strong gangster regime like the CCP in regard to the US. It alarms me, to some extent, even more than the growth of white nationalism in the USA. I think the white nationalism movement in the USA will be countered by a strong resistance, but the resolution will be relatively peaceful in comparison (sure there will be more mass shootings and confrontations, but not on the scale of that between nations, or mass genocide of one’s own people). Not so with the CCP. I think the US could easily drawn into a major war and tens of millions will die, mostly Chinese. It will be WWIII for the US.

    I thought Hong Kong was in a way, the “best of both worlds”. It offered western style institutions, legal and financial system, and supported western ideological thought, and modern conveniences, but in a society with a diverse, but majority Chinese cultural background where you can find a space to shield yourself for the onslaught of white supremacy. (Although, I have seen some abuse meted towards those of South Asian descent here, but it is not as brutal as the anti-black violence in the US). And it was largely shielded from the gangster regime across the border. Well, that shield has partially lifted and it ain’t pretty. I am very much enthused about how the conversation about white supremacy has emerged back to the frontlines of US national discourse. I feel that I would feel optimism about the future there than here now.

    Regarding English language media, there are 3 main sources that I find in HK:

    Hong Kong Free Press – founded shortly after the Umbrella protests as a completely independent (no corporate advertisement) English language media alternative to the SCMP. It tends to take a stance that is coming from Liberal western media bias, but as they operate on a shoestring, they don’t cover everything.

    South China Morning Post – the premier mainstream English language newspaper in Hong Kong that has been here for decades. It became more pro-CCP in the early 2000s after being bought by a Malaysian-Chinese tycoon Kuok, but after purchase by Alibaba in the Dec 2015, it first became a bit more brazen in their pro-CCP op eds. However, they have toned that down quite a bit, and I think that they do try to hold up a journalistic neutral stance in their basic reporting. I would say that multiple sides are presented in both their news stories and their editorials, with the occasional nakedly pro-CCP op-ed, but an occasional oppositional one too. I would read it to get basic news stories.

    ejinsight.com a website that basically selects Chinese articles from the Hong Kong Economic journal and translates them into English. It is pro-business, and its main editorial stance tends to be government friendly and somewhat Beijing friendly, although, there are some staunch opposition columns, eg, from Veteran journalist Stephen Vines, a local renowned British journalist who has been here since the 1980s.

    There is also the Hong Kong Standard, although this is basically used to make English language announcements that are required to be published in newspapers. Not much news there.

    There are of course the CCP-backed non-HK English language publications from the People’s Daily and the Global Times, as well as any paper that takes news from Xin Hua (ie, China’s Reuters or AFP). The Global Times is by far the most tabloidish.

    You can follow CGTN too, the overseas arm of China’s CCTV. Their fact-checking is not too bad, but they are unmistakably pro-CCP. You may have read about the lawsuit in the UK trying to get CGTN banned from their country after their parent company forced Europeans, including Britons, into make coerced false confessions on their parent CCTV in the PRC.

    Regarding using Google Translate to read Chinese language articles, if the article is written in a mainland Chinese expository style (or in a HK newspaper that follows that style), I think Google translate can manage about 80% of it and you can get the gist of it with a few mangled sentences. But if you want to read local Hong Kong Chinese language newspapers, then they tend to insert a lot of local Hong Kong terminology, sometimes even multiples quotes and passages written in Cantonese vernacular. This will come out in Google Translate as pure gibberish. This is especially true with the Apple Daily. If you really need to read any of those, let me know, maybe I can help.

    I didn’t put media links in this comment, as it tends to go to comment purgatory until you read it and it comes out. If you need them, maybe I can find another way to send.

    Like


  410. @ Jefe

    Wow, thanks for your detailed response! I will take your advice and get up to speed on the protests and trade war before going on a CCP-only news diet.

    Like


  411. Abagond,

    Regarding the use of Google Translate to read Chinese, here is an example of what I mean.

    Here is an op-ed in Chinese from Tuesday evening from the Global Times, the tabloidish State media paper. They have an English version which sometimes takes even more extreme positions. As with all mainland PRC media, it is written in simplified characters. I would classify this article as one in a mainland Chinese expository style (ie, in a style that should be easily understood by a wide audience across different geographical regions, but using mainland terminology).

    I never rely on this paper to tell facts about anything, but it is still useful to try to decipher Party thinking on various topics.

    Some of the translation is OK, but some is just wrong.

    It is a criticism of how Chief Executive Carrie Lam has handled the protests. Just a month ago, the Global Times had been praising her. So, by reading between the lines, we can glean that the tea leaves have changed recently and the CCP is planning an impending action. What? We don’t know. Some pundits opine that they are planning a crackdown in HK (perhaps a non-violent one) by removing protesters off the streets, and replacing key govt personnel (including Carrie Lam) and police commanders to swipe the slate clean.

    http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2019-08/15368277.html?agt=15425
    社评:就维护香港高度自治说些大实话
    Google translate: Social Assessment: Telling the truth about maintaining a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong
    My translation: Editorial: Telling some truths about maintaining a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong
    1st paragraph:

    香港发生的骚乱已经持续十多周,无论是香港还是内地舆论都大多围绕具体发生的事端以及相关的急迫话题开展讨论。我们想回到香港高度自治的原点,谈谈与它相关的几个基本问题和内地公众的基本看法,我们认为这样的停顿和回顾对为整个局势注入冷静很有必要。

    Google translate: The riots in Hong Kong have lasted for more than a decade. Both Hong Kong and mainland public opinion have mostly discussed the specific incidents and related urgent issues. We want to return to the original point of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and talk about several basic issues related to it and the basic views of the mainland public. We believe that such pauses and reviews are necessary to inject calm into the whole situation.

    My translation: The social unrest in Hong Kong has been going on for more than ten weeks. Whether we are talking about public opinion in Hong Kong or the Mainland, most of it revolves around specific incidents and related urgent topics. We would like to return to the starting point of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and talk about related basic questions and the basic viewpoints of the public in the Mainland. We believe taking a pause and review is necessary to inject some calm into the whole situation.
    – – – -> apart from translating “10 weeks” as a “decade”, the translation is pretty good. Opposition and western media has loathed to term the protest actions as “riots”. This is a mainland view interpretation (and a term used by the Hong Kong Government).

    Now let’s compare another newspaper.
    An article yesterday from the Apple Daily (HK’s leading newspaper written in traditional characters, and the only main one which takes oppositional stands). It describes that after the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) had received a rejection notice from the police, to hold a peaceful rally in Hong Kong to commemorate the 5-year anniversary (on 31 Aug) of the white paper from Beijing ruling out universal suffrage in HK prior to the Umbrella protests in 2014, he emerged from a restaurant with a friend and was attacked with men carrying sticks and rods who prepared to beat him. He escaped with minimal injury, but his friend got beaten bad and taken to the hospital. CHRF is the body that organized the million-strong and 2 million strong peaceful protest marches this summer and have advocated only peaceful rallies.

    https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/realtime/article/20190829/59986029

    1st paragraph:

    民陣召集人岑子杰今早(29日)與「聲討民陣」集會人士「對話」後,下午近1時在佐敦德興街的餐廳內,被兩名手持棍的蒙面男子襲擊。岑的朋友隨即挺身保護,左手中3棍,送院治理,其手臂大幅腫起並瘀青。岑於警署落口供後見記者,指他早於7月在佐敦一帶已被貼街招,如今他和「光復元朗」申請人鍾健平均遭伏擊,明顯與反送中運動有關,主使施襲者恐嚇在此運動露面的人,反映特首林鄭月娥和中央政府以法治以外手段解決問題。他坦言心存恐懼,但「港人只能堅持下去,若一時退縮,將是萬無止境的恐懼。」

    Google Translate:
    The convener of the FDC, Zhai Zijie, was “talking” to the “Discussion FDC” assembly this morning (29th). At about 1 pm in the restaurant at Dexing Street in Jordan, he was attacked by two masked men with sticks. My friend immediately stepped forward to protect himself, and the 3 sticks in the left hand were sent to the hospital for treatment. His arms were swollen and bruised. After seeing the police station in the mouth of the police, he said that he had been posted in the Jordan area as early as July. Now he and the “Kuangfu Yuen Long” applicant Zhong Jian are ambushed on average, obviously related to the anti-send campaign. The insults were intimidated by the attackers, reflecting the Chief Executive Lin Zhengyue and the central government to solve the problem by means other than the rule of law. He confessed to fear, but “Hong Kong people can only persist in it. If they withdraw from time to time, they will be endless fears.”

    My translation:
    After the convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit had a dialogue with a group denouncing the CHRF in the morning, at around 1pm at a restaurant on Tak Hing Street in Jordan (a district in Kowloon), he was attacked by two masked men with sticks. As Sham’s friend stepped forward to protect Sham, his friend received three blows to the left arm and was sent to the hospital for treatment. His arm was seriously bruised and swollen. Sham met the press after making his statement to the police and stated that he has been followed around the Jordan district for a while since July. Similar to how Max Chung, the applicant for the (rejected) “Restore Yuen Long” march, was ambush attacked, it is obvious that both attacks are related to the “Anti-extradition” movement. The attackers mainly intimidate the more visible faces of the movement and this reflects that Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the Central government take extrajudicial means to solve the current problems. Sham frankly expressed that he did harbour fear, but “Hong Kongers can only continue to persist, once they draw back, there will be endless intimidation”.

    This google translation of the Apple Daily article is actually better than most, as there is not much colloquial Cantonese wording in this paragraph. Some articles translate into just pure gibberish.

    Both the SCMP and the Hong Kong Kong Free Press have an article about both Jimmy Sham’s and Max Chung’s attacks, so you can still find out about it.

    I will finish this by a question that I would like to ask you and everyone else for that matter. I have never understood why Americans in general (and this includes all POC) don’t learn to read and understand Chinese, at least at a basic level. It is the most widely spoken language on the planet, and the 3rd most widely used language in the United States (behind Spanish, but ahead of French and Tagalog and Vietnamese). China is also the US’s largest trading partner, and I have traveled to 25 different countries across 5 continents and never failed to find opportunities to use it. Chinese is the 2nd most widely used language on the internet. I think we should be seeing tens of millions of Americans learning Chinese. China certainly has hundreds of millions learning English.

    I didn’t understand it in the 1980s-90s and I still don’t understand it today. When I was in the US, I made serious efforts towards English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), French and Tagalog (plus Japanese, as that was popular in the 80s / early 90s). These are simply the top 5 languages of the US, I never think of them as “foreign languages”.

    If I go back to PG county, one of the first things I will do is try to promote it more among the local black and Latino residents. This is something that we all simply need to know. I am trying to see now if I can use both English and Spanish to explain how it works.
    And when I go back, I will also try to join the local group to learn Lenape. I actually feel bad that I don’t know much about the Native languages of the USA.

    Like


  412. Abagond, there is something seriously planned for tomorrow, Saturday Aug 31.

    Many of the visible faces of the protest movement were arrested today, and the night before last, the central government made a replacement of the troops at the PLA garrison in Central in the middle of the night. Since Jimmy Sham of the CHRF had his protest march rejected by the police (and their marches have historically all been massive, but peaceful), There could still be hundreds of thousands doing the march any way.

    I am afraid that there will be a rumble. and maybe some kind of crackdown.

    (https://youtu.be/MyUV3hIL-G0)

    Like


  413. Whew, a very long winded series of comments from “Jefe”. He obliquely refers to my characterization of his activities as “strawmen arguments” that Abagond, the resident ‘logician’ of this blog will slaughter without pity. I can’t wait for it, it will be fun.
    “Jefe” calls the CCP ‘thugs’ and not the ‘legitimate’ government of China, yet, he absurdly claims he wants to ‘reform’ it!!! Really ‘boss’ use some of that ‘logic’ you write of to evaluate your statements. I have accused you of pushing a ‘regime change’ agenda vis-à-vis the PRC, I stand by that accusation. China is a very violent country where social changes have come at the price of massive effusions of blood. The PRC won’t be overthrown by people who babble on about “Lennon Walls” and nonexistent “Hong Kong democracy”. British rule was violent and racist from start to finish. If you know different, please enlighten me. POC have no dog in this fight. Support for nostalgia about the perfect balance between “East and West” should be of interest to you and your friends, no one else. A balance made possible by defunct British imperialism and PRC desire for a place to do business with the rest of the capitalist world. The future of HK is to be incorporated into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, making it part of one of the drivers of innovation in the 21st century.
    ‘Boss’, what have you got in your bag of tricks to compare? Oh, right, nostalgia for the ‘good’ old days of British supremacy. Unfortunately for you the Japanese destroyed that HK when they conquered it on 12/25/1941. The UK coughed up the territories it extorted from China ‘in perpetuity’ for a simple reason that has escaped your ‘logical’ mind, the growth of the ‘thuggish’ PRC, economically and militarily vis-à-vis the UK. I’m disappointed but not surprised that you plan to decamp from HK now that things are heating up. You absurdly claimed that HK was a ‘police state’ but now that the real police state is threatening to take over you want to return to the ‘good ole USA’. SHAME.

    Like


  414. A lot of new developments today in the run-up to tomorrow.

    Hong Kong activists arrested: Joshua Wong and others charged
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49520025

    BBC has some summary links at the bottom of the article with some more background information.

    Like


  415. Reading the reviews of the New York Times 1619 Project. Lots of white folks in their feelings calling it race baiting and revisionist trash. Pretty typical responses from the dominant culture.

    Like


  416. We had a horrendous evening tonight.

    A reign of terror has hit Hong Kong.

    We had a major crackdown.

    The police made a sweep of arrests all over the place in many districts, and it affected many people indiscriminately. The government wants to depict an image of chaos in HK

    Here is a video of an American who has lived in HK for 24 years just after he was charged by the police on the MTR system. He might look a little drunk during his tirade, but I think he is more traumatized after just being attacked by a dozen police officers for asking them why they were doing what they were doing.

    I understand that, after he left the train, he got arrested.

    (https://youtu.be/TIBR8jp8mQ0)

    the caption:

    8月31日晚上,警察衝進多個地鐵站,無差別打市民和搜捕,有列車到荔景站有警察衝進車廂,有外國人衝前質問警察為什麼北京這樣對香港,他說自己在香港已經20多年,他不斷反問,(香港人)受到這樣的對待,為什麼他們要信任一國兩制,最後被警察按在地上拘捕。

    Translation:

    On the evening of August 31, the police charged into a number of MTR (subway) stations. They indiscriminately beat and searched citizens. When a train arrived to the Lai King station (NW side of Kowloon), police rushed into the subway cars. A foreigner (this guy apparently) stepped forward to ask the police why Beijing was doing this to Hong Kong. He said that he had been in Hong Kong for over 20 years, and he repeatedly asked why Hong Kong people have been treated like this. Why should they have to trust “One country, Two systems”, and finally he got penned down on the ground and arrested by the police.

    The video of his subsequent arrest has been shared, but I haven’t found it on youtube.

    Here is the Hong Kong Free Press article about some of the events that happened earlier this evening:

    Violence erupts across Hong Kong as police fire ‘warning shots,’ MTR closes 5 lines and officers storm train carriage

    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/01/violence-erupts-across-hong-kong-police-fire-warning-shots-mtr-closes-5-lines-officers-storm-train-carriage/

    There is widespread speculation that the whole chaos was staged by the police so that they can get enough evidence to justify the Chief Executive Carrie Lam to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance and declare martial law. Multiple evidence has surfaced that undercover police dressed as protesters even threw Molotov Cocktails (ie, petrol bombs) at the police in many districts (to make it look like it is the protesters who are being violent).

    Like


  417. ^ following the post above in moderation

    (https://youtu.be/C5XCXOBk2_I)

    Like


  418. ” There is widespread speculation that the whole chaos was staged by the police so that they can get enough evidence to justify the Chief Executive Carrie Lam to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance and declare martial law. Multiple evidence has surfaced that undercover police dressed as protesters even threw Molotov Cocktails (ie, petrol bombs) at the police in many districts (to make it look like it is the protesters who are being violent).”
    If what you wrote isn’t a lie, why are you shocked, didn’t I warn you something like that might happen?
    “If this movement has no leaders, what’s to stop agent provocateurs from leading a substantial portion of it to their destruction?”
    “We had a horrendous evening tonight.
    A reign of terror has hit Hong Kong.
    We had a major crackdown.”
    Really? The curfew is from when to when?
    “The police made a sweep of arrests all over the place in many districts, and it affected many people indiscriminately. The government wants to depict an image of chaos in HK”
    So, setting fires, blocking traffic, attacking the cops and preventing the government to function isn’t chaotic? Before you deny that the ‘protesters’ aren’t responsible you need to square your denial with what you wrote above:
    “I do not normally support vandalism, but I find the radical student protesters in HK to be utterly amazing. Legco will be completely shut down until October. At least the bad destructive bills they have been ramming through will not be tabled or passed. They have more or less rendered the Chief Executive powerless.
    Imagine if a few hundred protesters (most of them TEENAGERS) in the span of 1-2 hours manage to shut down the entire US Congress for over 3 months! and rendered Trump powerless to boot! It is nothing short of amazing. Even if they try to catch these protesters afterwards, they cannot identify most of them – they show up in masks and helmets and gloves, show up briefly and dissipate quickly. Besides, they will fight this until their death if necessary.. They have been following the “Be Like Water” mantra of Bruce Lee, and congregate and dissipate in a very short time, like a flash mob, but have managed to shut down many sections of the government. There is no leader and they do not communicate via social media. Joshua Wong does not speak for them and he has no influence over what they do…”
    An unintended consequence of the actions of those you found “utterly amazing”, could be to bring about the very law they wanted withdrawn because the central government deems their actions a threat to national security, and therefore falls under its jurisdiction. “Be Like Water” you say, water can be made to change course and even dammed.

    Like


  419. “Here is a video of an American who has lived in HK for 24 years just after he was charged by the police on the MTR system. He might look a little drunk during his tirade, but I think he is more traumatized after just being attacked by a dozen police officers for asking them why they were doing what they were doing.
    I understand that, after he left the train, he got arrested.”
    Attacked!? ‘Boss’, I forgot that you are a comedian, thanks for reminding me.

    Like


  420. I got some reports that the guy was actually drunk.

    I think he did get a little arrogant with the police. Hard to say nowadays due to the heightened tensions.

    Like


  421. @ gro jo

    I deleted one of your comments.

    Please address commenters by the name they give themselves or some non-insulting short version thereof.

    Thank you.

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/

    Like


  422. @ Abagond & All

    Enjoy your Labor Day Holiday.🗽🇺🇸

    Like


  423. @ Mary & all other North American commenters and lurkers:

    Happy Labour Day!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day

    Liked by 1 person


  424. ” @ gro jo
    I deleted one of your comments.
    Please address commenters by the name they give themselves or some non-insulting short version thereof.
    Thank you.
    https://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/
    How is it insulting to translate “Jefe” to “Boss”, one of its English meanings? Surely, you’re not saying that English is insulting, are you? Jefe, boss, what’s the difference? I was having a bit of fun imagining myself as Tattoo from Fantasy Island. “Ze plane, Ze plane”. Why should Jefe(Boss) be the only one to display a sense of humor? He cared so little about telling your audience the truth that he pretended that some white wino was ‘attacked’ by the HK police when anybody who looked at said video could see that they tried and failed to send him on his way so he could sleep it off.

    Like


  425. Here is a more authenticated depiction of what happened in the MTR (metro) this past Saturday night.

    I have attended seminars held by the Hong Kong Free Press and met the chief editor once, so I strongly believe they are very much committed to high journalistic standards and integrity.

    Hong Kong riot police & tactical officers storm metro train and beat, arrest protesters
    (https://youtu.be/xG8zzs3KWbw)

    As some of the kids had changed from their protection gear into normal looking street clothes, police stormed the station and the trains, indiscriminately beating passengers and shooting them with pepper spray. They admitted in a press conference the next day that they could not adequately distinguish between protesters and other passengers, but that their level of violence (sorry, “force”) was justified.

    They did this to multiple stations on Saturday night and also on Sunday.

    Today (a normal work day) many of the stations had police on guard donned with full riot gear, even on the platforms. Starting to feel like a police state.

    Meanwhile, tens of thousands of students boycotted classes today and several other protests occurred today (eg, medical personnel at a dozen public hospitals protesting against excessive police force).

    It has become very stressful to live in this environment. We never know when some violent clash will occur.

    Like


  426. @ gro jo

    “…white wino…” deep chuckle

    How dare you! Don’t you know that only Black people are ‘winos’?

    Certainly White economic migrants expats are not to be manhandled by lesser folk, especially when they misbehave in public on foreign soil.

    White ‘winos’ called on their behavior. Really, what is the world coming to, when White privilege is not globally enforced?

    LOL!

    Like


  427. Afrofem,
    The whole HK thing is a massive case of some Chinese imbibing the ‘white privilege’ ethos. These kids are claiming, in effect, that they are too ‘white’ to receive the Chinese treatment.
    The HK government has plenty repressive laws dating to the nonexistent halcyon days of British democracy to repress them. Mind you, it was a time when Chinese seamen were getting paid 75-80% less than foreign seamen for doing the same job. They went on strike and forced the bosses to raise their pay by 20%. http://libcom.org/history/1922-the-hong-kong-strike. The CCP and people like Jefe don’t like to remember the revolutionary past of HK because they both made their peace with capitalism. Jefe and his friends babble on about an independent HK while the CCP wants HK for its expertise in financial matters as part of their Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. They aim to rival such areas as Japan’s Tokyo Greater Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York metropolitan area in the US. It’s a technocratic approach that they are having trouble selling to the youth of HK. People who have reason to fear a capitalist China have a vested interest in sabotaging such plan. If and when the Chinese pull off their plans, the people of HK will do very well for themselves.

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  428. “I have attended seminars held by the Hong Kong Free Press and met the chief editor once, so I strongly believe they are very much committed to high journalistic standards and integrity.
    Hong Kong riot police & tactical officers storm metro train and beat, arrest protesters
    (https://youtu.be/xG8zzs3KWbw)
    As some of the kids had changed from their protection gear into normal looking street clothes, police stormed the station and the trains, indiscriminately beating passengers and shooting them with pepper spray. They admitted in a press conference the next day that they could not adequately distinguish between protesters and other passengers, but that their level of violence (sorry, “force”) was justified.”
    Jefe, do you watch the videos you link to? The train car the cops rushed into and beat people was full of passengers with umbrellas and masks. Was it raining heavily and was there a smog alert obliging passengers to carry umbrellas and wear masks?
    Your unintended comedy is giving old ‘Baghdad Bob’ a run for his money. Keep up the good work. I need the laugh.

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  429. @ gro jo

    “… the Chinese treatment.” Therein lies the rub.

    Hong Kong is full of Chinese people (and others) who harbor a great deal of bitterness toward the CCP. Many of the protestors are descended from people who slipped out of China with just the clothes on their backs in the years after 1949. No love lost there.

    You are correct about so-called ‘British democracy’. Hong Kong was hardly a democratic paradise before 1997. The hubris and brutality of the British colonial system is well known. Yet, the Brits seemed to have wisely stayed out of the business of micromanaging the daily lives of Hong Kongers. As long as everyone was making money….

    The ‘Chinese treatment’* as you so aptly termed it is quite different. It includes quite a bit of State intrusion, constant surviellance, ‘social scores’ and other extrajudicial and extralegal features. Raw fear replaced simmering resentment as the dominant feeling toward government. That is quite a change in the emotional atmosphere of a place.

    From what I’ve read, raw fear is more a driving force behind the protests than
    ‘whiteness’ or the CCP’s supposed ‘technocratic approach’. I wonder how different the mood in HK would be if the CCP had made an attempt to sell the people on the vision and benefits of a thriving Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area?

    A sales approach might have gone down a lot smoother than the hamfisted, authoritarian approach of the CCP over the past 22 years. Sweet oil vs. broken glass…and everyone would still make money.

    For the record, the ‘Chinese treatment’ is not that different from the ‘US treatment’ with its vast internal gulag, constant surveillance and corporate intrusion into the lives of its citizens and residents. It is just a matter of optics and the propaganda that supports those optics.

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  430. “A sales approach might have gone down a lot smoother than the hamfisted, authoritarian approach of the CCP over the past 22 years. Sweet oil vs. broken glass…and everyone would still make money.”
    Please expand on the “hamfisted, authoritarian approach of the CCP over the past 22 years.”? What are you referring to specifically? The CCP established an alliance with the governing elite of HK and pretty much left them to run things on their behalf. That’s the way the British did it. Talk of ‘democracy’ was the joke of Chris Patten on the CCP.

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  431. Abagond, why the hell do you keep sending my comments on Jefe being the new “Baghdad Bob” to your damn moderation hell? I called him by the name he wants to go by didn’t I?

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  432. @ gro jo

    I moderate YouTube links to prevent videos from getting embedded.

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  433. The police held a press conference on Monday, and they admitted (or at least did not deny) that they had charged into the train and beat people and pepper sprayed them whether they were actual protesters or not. When asked by journalists about it, the police spokesperson said that they situation had become chaotic and they could not control what happened.

    Anyhow, they should not have beaten protesters and pepper sprayed them like that anyhow.

    And they charged into multiple stations the next day.

    On Monday, they charged secondary schools in addition to metro stations.

    I certainly do not base my observation on a single video. These events were covered very widely by all sides of the journalistic and political spectrum and these actions were even confirmed by the police themselves. However, the police refuse to allow an investigation to determine whether their actions have been excessive or not.

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  434. No one is babbling about an independent Hong Kong.
    That is a straw man argument.

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  435. Jefe, I don’t know or care about what the cops said, what other videos show, or your opinion whether even if they were protesters, they shouldn’t have been beaten.
    I only care about the ‘evidence’ you chose to present. The people in the car were carrying umbrellas and had masks on.
    It wasn’t raining and you didn’t say there was a smog alert that day requiring such accoutrements.
    My conclusion was that they were ‘protesters’ caught in the process of shedding their ‘superman’ suits.
    I’ll concede that it was sadistic of the cops to mercilessly gas and beat them. I guess that calling them minions of a ‘police state’ made them feel like acting like it.
    “No one is babbling about an independent Hong Kong.
    That is a straw man argument.”
    If wishes were horses, Jefe, beggars would ride.
    Jefe, I like your “Baghdad Bob” routine. Take a look at the stuff you wrote about the CCP and how wonderful HK is. Why wouldn’t you want an independent HK?

    Ok, just to humor you, I’ll pretend you aren’t lying and ask your opinion on China’s plans for their Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to rival such areas as Japan’s Tokyo Greater Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York metropolitan area? How will such plan hurt the people of HK? I’ll understand if you choose not to answer, you probably find it beneath your dignity to talk about such practical things.

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  436. Jefe, now that the bill has been withdrawn where do you go from here?

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  437. Robert Mugabe has dies at age 95. He refused to be a stooge for white supremacy, and actually stood up for Black people, thus making him a threat to white power. The white media demonized him, but he went out on his own terms.

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  438. It was raining here on Aug 31 and as the summer is the rainy season, there is rain forecast on about 3/4 of the days, often heavy. On Aug 31, there was a tropical storm in the South China sea and a couple of squally thunderstorms passed by on that day with large ocean swells. I am scuba diver instructor, and I pay attention to the weather, especially on weekends.
    It is normal to carry umbrellas with you when you go out, at least from mid-April; to mid-Oct. Most people do. Many also carry umbrellas on sunny days to protect from the sun when it is not raining.

    Wearing masks on the MTR (metro) has become fairly common since SARS in 2003 when nearly everyone wore them. Some wear it in urban areas due to the pollution. They are required of all visitors to clinics and hospitals and certain other public facilities. Schoolchildren often carry masks with them. And another reason more common recently is residual teargas in various neighbourhoods. Nobody thinks wearing a mask in public is strange or unusual.

    The extradition bill has not yet been withdrawn. There is merely a proposal to make a motion to withdraw the bill.

    There is no indication that the protests will end anytime soon and especially not before any independent investigation is launched to evaluate whether the level of police brutality (or if you prefer, police force in social control methods) is commensurate with the scope of civil action. About 90% of HK residents support this action (even more than actually support the withdrawal of the extradition bill).

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  439. @ Lou Nar

    Mugabe was a complex figure.

    His reclaiming land for the indigenous people was laudable. Doing that incurred the extreme wrath of Britain and the USA. They have punished the Zimbabweans with crippling economic sanctions for years because Mugabe had the guts to do what South Africa’s ANC have been unwilling to do.

    On the other hand, Mugabe has acted like the typical revolutionary turned despot. Like most people who embrace armed struggle, Mugabe grew fond of using that particular hammer after he ejected the Rhodesians. One of Mugabe’s lowest points was the slaughter of an estimated 20,000 Ndebele during the 1980’s.

    One Harare citizen summed up Mugabe’s legacy this way:

    “He was a hero when we needed him, like during the liberation struggle and during land reform. Sadly, a hero who lived long enough to see himself turn into a human being, with flaws and dictatorial cravings that led into pitfalls that ultimately hurtled him into villain hood, just like the ordinary person.”

    https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/world/africa/2019-09-06-conflicted-feelings-in-zimbabwe-over-robert-mugabes-death/

    Liked by 1 person


  440. Saw an article in Der Spiegel online today re: the Greater Bay Area Initiative. Adds some context to gro jo’s argument. “Pearl River Delta: China Experiments with a New Kind of Megalopolis”

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/china-tries-building-a-new-kind-of-megapolopolis-a-1285094.html

    About a 20 minute read.

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  441. Jefe, If any of the claims you make are true, then I withdraw my comments on your video ‘evidence’. I seriously doubt they are.
    Let’s not dwell on minutia, the article Afrofem links to says your hero Joshua Wong opposes the Pearl River Delta Megalopolis. What is he offering?
    How will he fix the lowering of HK’s security rating from AA+ to AA due to the ruckus you both promote?
    How long will it take for the people of HK to realize that people like you are selling them snake oil?
    What will happen if and when Carrie Lam starts building affordable housing in HK? Will you and J. Wong oppose that as well? How will you guys convince the people of HK that you have their best interests at heart?
    If Lam, backed by money from the dreaded PRC opens a dialogue on the future of HK as part of this megalopolis, will Wong accept to participate, or will he shun it based on the illusion that HK is ‘superior’ to the rest of the delta?
    I appreciate the fact that you deigned to answer some of my questions, but your lack of good manners, by not addressing me directly, is off putting.

    Afrofem wrote: “Adds some context to gro jo’s argument.” How so? I provided ‘context’ as far back as on Mon Aug 5th 2019 at 13:24:37
    gro jo.

    “On the other hand, Mugabe has acted like the typical revolutionary turned despot. Like most people who embrace armed struggle, Mugabe grew fond of using that particular hammer after he ejected the Rhodesians. One of Mugabe’s lowest points was the slaughter of an estimated 20,000 Ndebele during the 1980’s.”
    The 20,000 figure grows and shrinks according to the teller of the tale. It happened while his party was safeguarding White farmers from Nkomo’s guerillas, in rebellion because they didn’t like how the vote for office turned out. To his credit, he and Nkomo made an uneasy peace that lasted long enough to allow improvements to take place in a number of fields.

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  442. gro jo,

    Really? A person as well versed as you about your own Haitian revolutionary history would question why the majority of people in Hong Kong prefer self-determination and some measure of democracy to golden handcuffs courtesy of the PRC?

    “…Joshua Wong opposes the Pearl River Delta Megalopolis. What is he offering?”

    What was Toussaint l’Overture offering the Haitian people in 1791? What was Jean-Jacques Dessalines offering the people of Haiti in 1804? Should they have taken French, British and American bribes to behave and sold their people to the highest bidder?

    I’m not naive to the reality of the use and abuse of power. Nor are you. Pragmatism is a good thing, but it has its limits. There is a time and a place for people of vision who are willing to push the boundaries of pragmatism. People who are willing to disrupt the status quo and make positive transformative change in their societies.

    When I was growing up a family friend marched, rallied and spent her summers risking her life on voter registration drives in Mississippi. My father was a pragmatist like you and bashed her activism. He’d go on about how her marching and organizing was futile. A total waste of time….blah, blah, blah.

    A few years later he was able to get his dream job of selling new cars in our Southern city. He was the very first Black car salesman in our city. He had been qualified to sell cars for years, but until our family friend’s activism he had been locked out of that opportunity.

    Her activism, multiplied by the efforts of thousands of other activists made a positive and lasting change in our family and hers. Presently, one of her daughters sells cars. There was a time when a Black female making a good living selling cars would have been unthinkable.

    It is not unthinkable to me that the majority of people in HK want something other than what the PRC is determined to shove down their throats. There are things in life more important than mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money.

    Liked by 1 person


  443. “It happened while his party was safeguarding White farmers from Nkomo’s guerillas, in rebellion because they didn’t like how the vote for office turned out.”

    Thanks for the additional detail.

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  444. Afrofem,

    What are you defending, freedom? The people of HK never had the right to vote and were subject to a number of repressive laws under the British. When a substantial number of them rebelled in 1967 in the belief that they would get the support of the PRC, they were left to twist in the wind.
    To reiterate: HK was a colony stolen from China at gunpoint. The rights people talk about are due to the struggles of the HK proletariat in 1967, inspired by the Maoist Cultural Revolution. HK police brutally repressed them and PRC didn’t move a finger to liberate the territory because they found it a convenient gateway to Western capital. HK wouldn’t survive long without the benevolence of the PRC.
    You are mouthing anti-PRC propaganda. The PRC could have taken HK back if they wanted to in 1967 by cutting off the water supply and opening the border to HK residents. HK would have fallen within a matter of days after the reservoirs ran dry. Jefe’s fantasies notwithstanding, here are a few facts about HK that makes it unviable outside of the PRC.
    1) Without PRC water HK would die of thirst
    2) HK is just a gateway to PRC for foreign businesses.
    3) HK’s role in PRC’s GDP has shrunk from 16% to 3%(2016), 2.81% (2019) since 1997 and will continue to fall as PRC grows.
    4) The PRC spiel about “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” is a bombastic way of saying that capitalism will be reintroduced to China as a whole by starting with the Pearl Delta. The goal is to make China more cosmopolitan by attracting top talent worldwide. Do you imagine they can do so by repressive means? The people of HK will enjoy the same rights they have now if not more because China can’t be a magnet for talent from all four corners of the world if it is perceived as this repressive place. To be sure, it won’t be a Western style ‘democracy’ anymore than Singapore is, but nobody is bothered by Singapore’s repressive aspect, are they?
    “What was Toussaint l’Overture offering the Haitian people in 1791? What was Jean-Jacques Dessalines offering the people of Haiti in 1804? Should they have taken French, British and American bribes to behave and sold their people to the highest bidder?” Afrofem, thanks for the laugh. HK is not being re-enslaved is it? L’Ouverture in 1791 was an aide to Georges Biassou not a leader in his own right. His leaders were willing to end the uprising if the Saint Marc convention had been willing to compromise. Haitians were not a people prior to 1804. Prior to 1793, the colony was made up of French citizens and their slaves, from 1793 until 1/1/1804 everybody was a French citizen In 1802, L’Ouverture didn’t decide to cut ties with France. He had a constitution written that declared slavery abolished forever on Saint Domingue and forwarded it to Napoleon. The latter was making noises about enacting “special laws” to govern the colony, i.e. a return to slavery. Napoleon’s reply was the biggest invasion fleet to sail to the Americas from Europe. The Haitian Revolution’s success was predicated on France being at war with the British empire. Do you want the U.S. to start another of its wars for ‘democracy’ with a power that can nuke it? You should give this subject more thought than you have. HK ‘democracy’, ‘independence’ is just a variation of “ghost dancing” i.e. pining for something that no longer exist. In two decades, some of the youth protesting will look upon their activities as youthful exhuberance.

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  445. exhuberance should be exuberance.

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  446. @ gro jo

    Upthread you asked, “…expand on the “hamfisted, authoritarian approach of the CCP over the past 22 years.”? What are you referring to specifically? “

    Specifically, I’m referring to four major political protest movements in recent HK history, including:

    ☛ 2003 Anti-Article 23 Protests

    ☛ 2012 Anti-National Education Movement

    ☛ 2014 Occupy Central aka The Umbrella Movement

    ☛ 2019 (the current) Anti-Extradition Bill Protests

    In addition, the people of HK hold annual protests on the anniversary of the return of Chinese rule. According to the South China Morning Post’s multimedia article, “History of Hong Kong protests: riots, rallies and brollies”,

    ”Large-scale protests have been held on July 1 every year since 2003. The anniversary of the handover has become an annual opportunity to vent disaffection with the government.”

    https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/hong-kong/article/3016815/hong-kong-protest-city/index.html

    ◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎◎

    “The goal is to make China more cosmopolitan by attracting top talent worldwide. Do you imagine they can do so by repressive means?”

    It is dependent on who is being repressed. The USA is and has always been repressive to particular populations—to talented economic migrants, not so much.

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  447. How are these protests proof of “hamfisted, authoritarian approach of the CCP over the past 22 years.”? Has the army moved in and put an end to such protests or have they gone on year after year with minimal repression? Did Joshua Wong vanish into the Chinese equivalent of Soviet gulags? How many of the protesters have been killed by the police so far? None. Some members of HK society don’t like the government of the PRC, is it the only government on earth disapproved of by some of its citizens? Let’s take the U.S.A in the 1960s when armed soldiers were sent to repress the ghetto uprisings, after calm returned programs were put in place kill off or jail some militants while other programs were used to pacify others. By the late 1970s those militants who weren’t killed or incarcerated morphed into respectable citizens or gangsters. Geraldo Rivera, formerly, attorney of the Young Lords,
    became a tv tabloid ‘journalist’, Eldridge Cleaver became a ‘pants designer’, Bobby Seale, a BB-Q chef/author and Huey P. Newton, some kind of Godfather figure. What makes you think the Chinese won’t do the same to the HK protesters?
    “It is dependent on who is being repressed. The USA is and has always been repressive to particular populations—to talented economic migrants, not so much.” We are in agreement here. The only conclusion I draw from the facts is that HK will be part of the greater bay area and those who oppose it will either be crushed or incorporated into the system as occurred in the good old USA.

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  448. @Afrofem

    Saw an article in Der Spiegel online today re: the Greater Bay Area Initiative. Adds some context

    Thank you very much for sharing some sources where you are getting your ideas and impressions. It helps to know what is shaping your viewpoints.

    I know that Der Spiegel is a respectable news media organization. However, the article that you posted reads to me just like an advertorial. It has the trappings of balanced, objective reporting, but it is anything but. It is akin to the articles in the China Daily inserts that you find in the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post. They look like news sanctioned by the publication, but actually, the insert is a paid advertisement.

    The viewpoint in the article looks like a rehashing of CCP talking points, together with potential benefits to German or other European entrepreneurs who seek to toady the CCP regime to help them open up more business opportunities for them. These are the only stakeholders being addressed in that article, and it excludes the myriad of other stakeholders.

    The correspondent is based in Beijing and has been spoonfed these talking points by the CCP propaganda departments.

    One advantage of being in Hong Kong is that we are exposed to these talking points all the time. After all, the CCP regime has to engage in a continuous, even relentless propaganda campaign to convince ordinary Hong Kongers about the benefits of such marketing blitz projects as “One Belt, One Road”, “Pearl River Greater Bay Area” etc. Even though Hong Kong’s share of the national GDP has fallen from almost 20% during the 1997 handover to just over 3% now, it still holds more foreign currency reserves than the rest of China and is still the largest source of foreign investment into the PRC. So, this campaign has to convince foreign businessmen of these developments as well. And after many months of unrest in Hong Kong, the CCP party mouthpieces have to frame the narrative about growth and prosperity in Greater China, and need to direct this towards European investors as well.

    However, in Hong Kong, we also have access to many other mouthpieces, from many sectors of local society as well as overseas sources not directly controlled or influenced by the CCP regime. By exposure to such a wide variety of viewpoints, we can see immediately see some issues in the “advertorial” that you posted.

    I will select a few just to illustrate my point (to do a full analysis will take many pages and hours of time, but may not make a huge difference to the point I am trying to make).

    voices selected
    First of all, notice the “quotes” that are chosen to support the talking points. They all represent people who were born and raised in the Mainland, and later moved to Hong Kong to develop business opportunities. They are a significant stakeholder to be sure, but they hardly represent the viewpoint of most HK residents, I doubt that even 10-20% of Hong Kong residents see things the way they do. They do select Joshua Wong as an “alternative viewpoint” but that is hardly a reasonable or representative way to do it (more about that later).

    Politically charged vocabulary
    Another is the set of politically charged words throughout the article. “China’s Economic Miracle”, “monument to rising world power”, “Beijing’s Great ambitions”, “Beijing’s wisdom”, “merging of three complex tax, legal and customs systems”, “integration of a global financial center and a gambling center into a single economy”, “China’s ambition and the rules of global financial capitalism end up rescuing Hong Kong”, “Greater Bay Area is the project that President Xi Jin Ping intends to be remembered by in the history books”, “a plan by the Chinese leadership to keep Hong Kong under its thumb”, etc. etc. etc.

    This should make it very clear whose viewpoint (not to mention false narratives) is being promoted here. This also does not mention that some of these initiatives are, prima facia, actually illegal.
    false narrative about the infrastructure projects, eg, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-

    Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, modern-day China’s most recent gargantuan building project, seems to end somewhere out in the open sea. But it actually spans the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, an area that has grown to become the world’s largest metropolitan region. The bridge crosses 55 kilometers (34 miles) of open water and has been designed to last 120 years and withstand the ravages of storms and typhoons.

    OK, yes, but, …. No.

    I would say that in Hong Kong, there was widespread opposition to this project. Not only were over 70% of HK residents against it, but so were the majority of the legislators that were democratically elected, and most of the professional sectors such as the legal sector. Also opposing it was a majority of NGOs concerned with Human rights and the environment. The other replacement terms would be

    gargantuan building project – white elephant project
    designed to last 120 years and withstand the ravages of storms and typhoons – a disaster waiting to happen

    There have been so many structural and environmental problems with this bridge, that it would take hours to list. A major problem is that the artificial islands built to support the pilings have continuously shifted, causing the bridge to lose its theoretical capacity in the original design. One such island shifted 7 meters, requiring the whole island and piling to be rebuilt. The project overran by years and cost HK taxpayers billions of additional dollars for infrastructure that 99% will likely never use. There is no confidence that the bridge could sustain a direct hit by a major typhoon.

    The bridge has also decimated the local iconic Chinese White Dolphin population in HK waters, which had a population numbering in the several hundred before the bridge was built (already bordering endangered), plummeting to about 40 last year and still dropping. It may be fully extirpated in 10 years.

    During the construction phase, the HK government paid mainland Chinese construction companies to build the bridge. Most of the money did not go to HK companies. So many billions of dollars were transferred to the mainland for a project that most HK people will never use.

    The actual usage of the bridge since opening is only a fraction of the projections. It is not paying for itself and probably never will, and the HK government is shouldering most of the cost.

    The bridge is a more a symbol of Hong Kong’s connection to the mainland, like a steel and concrete umbilical cord. That symbol is not endearing the majority of HK residents as they did not vote for it and most wish it weren’t there. They would rather spend the money to help fix serious problems with housing, healthcare, education, etc.

    This bridge, like all major infrastructure projects related to the mainland in recent years, also had to skirt the law to be built. The Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law clearly state that the laws of the People’s Republic of China are not to be practiced in Hong Kong. Yet, some exceptions have to be made to make these projects work as they were designed by the planners up north. The most egregious one was the mainland immigration colocation scheme in the Hong Kong terminus of the high speed rail, which allows mainland laws to be enforced within Hong Kong within the portion of the rail and terminal which is on the other side of mainland immigration. So in effect ¼ of the terminal and all of the rail line is fully susceptible to mainland laws even though it is entirely within Hong Kong. Such innocuous things as forwarding a link from your phone could cause you to end up in 15 days’ detention for no stated reason and confiscation of your phone. Just a couple weeks ago, a staff member of the UK consulate had already entered HK, but before he could exit the high speed rail terminal in HK, he was whisked back to Shenzhen and held in detention for a week, for alleged involvement in the protests.

    There is free movement of capital and freedom of the press in Hong Kong and Macao, while China has capital control and censorship.


    This is exactly what the extradition bill was designed to plug up (not fugitives from Taiwan). Beijing only needed to state a concern to the HK government and the HK govt could detain any suspect and freeze all their assets. Even if the suspect is never extradited, the HK government never has to release the assets. This is the main purpose of the bill, from the CCP’s perspective – seize personal assets and transfer them across the border. Of course, it is useful for the occasional practice of hostage diplomacy that they love to do.

    Using Joshua Wong as the opposition voice
    Joshua Wong has been vilified by the CCP media, and they use every opportunity to pin things on him, even when it makes no sense. For example, during the massive extradition bill protests drawing millions of people in June, Joshua Wong was actually in jail. It is just laughable that they blame him for inciting opposition when he can’t even talk to anyone.
    There is widespread opposition to Hong Kong’s role in the Greater Bay Area development, and it is wrong to use Joshua Wong as the figurehead, a 22-year old activist who has repeatedly been arrested and thrown in jail. Why not use Anson Chan, the Chief Secretary, the 2nd highest political office in HK, under both the colonial Patten administration and the post-handover Tung Chee Hwa administration? How about any of the democratically elected legislators? Why not the most senior representatives of the legal sector? No, they use Joshua Wong for just about everything to be the face of the opposition. Sad.

    But, the current protests against the extradition bill have no leader, and those in movement have repeatedly told Joshua Wong to shut up and how he does not speak for them. Yet the government continues to arrest him over and over again. His arrest and sitting in jail or detention has made no dent in the current spate of protests.

    Afrofem, this just scratches the surface of what is not being said behind that article, and it just goes to show me that we not only have look at CCP media directly to get the CCP talking points. Plenty of foreign media just take their reports and press releases and print them without really investigating or analyzing. I would be suspect of anything coming out of Beijing (including foreign media) describing about what is going on in HK. Or even the US for that matter. It may include viewpoints that are related to something factual, but they should be treated as a CCP narrative or propaganda, and nothing more. I have to acknowledge that the CCP is quite the mastermind of propaganda, but if I were a foreign businessman, I would be wary of anything they say. It would be like learning about black America through Trump’s twitter feed or Hollywood.

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  449. Jefe is proof what a burden being a ‘universal genius’ must be. With his vision firmly focused on the past, he knows that nothing good will ever come from present efforts to make the future better. As an expert on bridges he deems the $18.8 billion spent on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge a shameless squandering of money that the people of HK will never benefit from! Never mind that it is one step in a gargantuan plan to reorient the world economy back to the Orient as in the good old days before the 18th century. Our ‘genius’ objects to labelling such plans as “China’s Economic Miracle”, “monument to rising world power”, etc., because such vocabulary is “politically charged”. Our man is even the ‘editor’ of a newspaper he has no connection to! Hmmm, sounds like somebody has a Walter Mitty complex.

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  450. @ Jefe

    Thank you for those details! They are a lot to chew on. I will have a more substantial response later today.

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  451. @ gro jo

    One question? Do you actually believe your arguments or are you entertaining yourself with Devil’s Advocate positions?

    Liked by 1 person


  452. @Afrofem,

    You do know that Joshua Wong is in Germany right now meeting with senior officials in the German government, including the Foreign minister. I suspect that the article that you linked could be related somehow, eg, offering counter narratives in advance of the narratives that media may spin during and after his visit.

    China fury as Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong meets German foreign minister
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/10/china-fury-hong-kong-activist-joshua-wong-meets-german-foreign-minister/

    Beijing reacted angrily at their meeting during an event organised by Bild daily, saying “it is extremely wrong for German media and politicians to attempt to tap into the anti-China separatist wave”.

    I have never known Joshua Wong to be either “anti-China” or “separatist”. That is an argument pinned on him by CCP mouthpieces even though he has never espoused those positions. The political party that he helped form (Demistoso) never once advocated separatism and never said that they are against China (at least not in any general way).

    They do criticise a number of CCP policies and methods, and how they break laws and fail to honour agreements, but that is not the same as being anti-China. If you criticise Trump’s border wall or how migrants are being treated in detention centers, are you “anti-American” or trying to split off from the United States?

    Like


  453. @ Afrofem
    One question? Do you actually believe your arguments or are you entertaining yourself with Devil’s Advocate positions?
    I believe that HK as an independent entity is f*cked. I believe that Jefe is on a HK independence kick that will be beaten out of him if he persists, I detect a note of caution in his writings lately, the independence talk is now on the backburner.
    I believe that HKSAR would blow away Jefe and his friends to political oblivion by doing the right thing with a massive low cost housing program. I believe that Jefe and his friends ‘love’ China so much they want to see as many Chinas as possible. A unified China scares the bejesus out of them. I believe that you are being gullible by taking Jefe seriously. I believe I answered your claim about PRC being “hamfisted” toward HK denizens and even told you why. I you think I’m wrong just state your reasons why.

    Like


  454. @ jefe

    My inclusion of the Der Speigel article about Greater Bay Area Initiative was to flesh out gro jo’s mention of the project. I agree that many ‘respectable’ publications too often act as stenographers to those in power. That is evident in all countries, especially in this age of widespread authoritarianism and fascism.

    Your comments re: the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge were pretty easy to verify——if a reader was willing to go to page eight of search results. Only after seven pages of articles lauding the “engineering miracle” of the bridge was I able to find any articles that took a deep dive into the concerns you raised: massive cost overruns, environmental degradation and arbitrary restrictions on car traffic from Hong Kong and Macau.

    The CCP focus on Joshua Wong is a pretty transparent attempt to attack a leaderless movement. It must be pretty frustrating for the CCP to not have a charismatic leader to whack and therefore decapitate the current protest movement. It doesn’t help that Wong is something of a loose cannon.

    My view of Chinese propaganda efforts have been informed by China’s dealings with Australia. I have been reading about Aussie concerns over Chinese attempts to cleave Australia away from its membership in the Five Eyes (a spy network that includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). The Chinese have used a variety of tactics, from cajoling and seducing Aussie government officials to threats and coercion.

    Then there is Taiwan. Months ago, I read a deeply slanted article from an Australian news and opinion site, The Monthly. The author of the article went into great detail about CCP tactics and agencies that were being used to draw Taiwan completely under Beijing’s influence until 2014. According to the article:

    “…[Taiwan] has been the focal point of China’s external influence system since 1949. The Chinese bureaucracy has a ministry-level Taiwan Affairs Office that is responsible for integrating an enormous array of United Front [the CCP’s political warfare division] measures across different [Taiwanese] party platforms and down to local [Taiwan] government level. These activities were greatly intensified under a pro-unification Kuomintang president, Ma Ying-jeou.

    But then, in March 2014, the seemingly inexorable momentum towards integration on Beijing’s terms was derailed by a network of committed students. They occupied Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan for 24 days and filled it with sunflowers, symbolically bringing sunlight to the opaque world of cross-strait affairs. The students drew 500,000 people onto the streets in solidarity. The Kuomintang government was thrown out in a landslide, prompting Beijing to tilt the balance from co-option to coercion.”

    https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2018/august/1533045600/john-garnaut/australia-s-china-reset

    Another thing that struck me in that article was the author’s contention that the CCP’s United Front’s propaganda trades in three primary narratives:

    ➤ China is inherently peaceful and beneficent

    ➤ The growth of Chinese power is inexorable

    ➤ China is vengeful and dangerous if provoked

    According to the author, the purpose of these narratives was to create a sense of inevitability to CCP domination. These narratives are woven into gro jo’s argument that the CCP domination of HK will benefit the people of HK if only they would stop resisting the inevitable. Sort of like the sexist judge that tells a rape victim that the rape would not have hurt if she’d just ‘laid back and enjoyed it’.

    Taiwan’s experience shows that resistence is not futile. CCP absorption of HK is not inevitable. The CCP is no paper tiger, but it is not omnipotent, either. The protesters are not outliers. They represent the will of the majority of residents. Inspiring millions to hit the streets, including an elders march complete with folk in wheelchairs is no easy feat. If the CCP thought quelling the resistance in HK was something easy, they would have swooped in and done it by now.

    If that line of thinking is “gullible”, then so be it. I am just as gullible as the millions of HK residents that have flooded the streets over the past couple of months.

    Like


  455. “If the CCP thought quelling the resistance in HK was something easy, they would have swooped in and done it by now.”
    Being blissfully ignorant of their plans you would write this. The CCP signed an agreement with the UK allowing HK its separate form of government until 2047 or 29 more years, why do you think they agreed to wait fifty years after the treaty was signed to fully incorporate HK?
    HK has gone from representing 16% of PRC’s GDP to 2.81% from 1997 to 2019, what does it tell you about the viability of HK as it stands now?
    Have you found a new source of drinking water for HK?
    Do you know where the money will come from to solve HK’s affordable housing? How come all four fatalities due to the protests are suicides by protesters?
    Why does Jefe deny his wish for HK ‘independence’?
    Why have you not shown me the ‘evidence’ for your claim of “hamfisted” interference by PRC in HK?
    Taiwan exists solely due to the fact that the US navy was able to dictate terms in the sea separating PRC from Taiwan, how long do you think the balance of power in that area will continue to favor the USA?
    One good thing has come out of this debate, the fact that you and Trump finally see eye to eye on something.

    Like


  456. @Afrofem,

    Wow, what an intense article!

    Another thing that struck me in that article was the author’s contention that the CCP’s United Front’s propaganda trades in three primary narratives:

    It is good that you are trying to trying to update yourself on the activities of the United Front Work Department. Their relentless effort makes Trump’s gaslighting and alternative facts look like child’s play. However, prior to those 3 narratives, there was one earlier which they mentioned which form one of their main directives:

    Relentlessly, and through a thousand different channels, the Party was working to collapse the categories of “Chinese Communist Party”, “China” and “the Chinese people” into a single organic whole – until the point where the Party could be dropped from polite conversation altogether. From there, the Party’s critics could be readily caricatured as “anti-China”, “racist” or even “Sinophobic”. And it was only a short logical step to claim all ethnic Chinese people as “sons and daughters of the motherland”, even if that meant undermining the rights that ordinarily came with Australian citizenship.

    In other words, if you dare criticize the Party, that means you are somehow anti-China, or even anti-Chinese people. They have endeavoured incessantly to conflate these three concepts. To me, the CCP does not at all represent or equate with “China” and definitely not with the Chinese people. China is a civilization with 5000 year history. The CCP is a mere blip in that timeline, and it is not going to be around forever.

    In addition to the 3 narratives that you mentioned, this one also needs to be watched out for.

    If only there were only a senior world leader that could dismiss all this nonsense as balderdash. But the CCP would simply dismiss that world leader as not understanding China. The best would be if a world leader knew more about Chinese history and culture than the CCP leadership themselves and could correct their errors, or pointing out that something they claim as “Chinese” has nothing to do with Chinese culture or history, but about CCP politics.

    Or maybe, just thinking that if someone like Yang became US president if he could turn that nonsense on its head. Would a Chinese-American president of the US be accused of being “racist” towards China? or maybe for him it would be a “traitor to the Chinese race”. That would happen only if they failed to co-opt him.

    There are serious cracks in the CCP now, and as Xi has tried to concentrate his power to himself and made himself emperor for life, so that he can claim all successes, but any failure will be pinned on him as well. His opponents in the party are looking for things to pin on him, so opposition developments in Taiwan and Hong Kong are definitely much more problematic than the relative size would indicate, especially since they are overlapping with the Trade war.

    If Abagond ever decided to do a post on the United Front Work Department, it would follow nicely from his post on “2 + 2 = 5”.
    ESPECIALLY, the role of the United Front Work Department in the United States.

    Like


  457. Afrofem,

    Here are a couple of articles from the Hong Kong Free Press (this site is blocked in Mainland China):

    The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge:

    Explainer: Hong Kong’s troubled mega-bridge – counting the human, environmental and financial cost
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/10/23/explainer-hong-kongs-troubled-mega-bridge-counting-human-environmental-financial-cost/

    The bridge will take more than 72 years to break even. I am sure well before then, it will have been washed away in a typhoon.

    About the “gullibility” of Hong Kong people from Carrie Lam’s perspective:

    Dear Xi Jinping, Hong Kong people are quite gullible…
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/12/23/dear-xi-jinping-hong-kong-people-quite-gullible/

    I have been following Stephen Vines for over 20 years, and I think he is very good.
    To put this op-ed into perspective, it was published a couple months before the China Extradition bill was introduced into Legco (Legislative Council).

    Indeed, there are those in the CCP who hope that HK can be crushed to ashes so that the benevolent CCP can rush in and resuscitate it. But until then, it is more a matter of the CCP trying to suck HK dry of its reserves and capital more than the other way around.

    Like


  458. Afrofem,

    Something else you might find interesting.

    Listen to the Song That Hong Kong’s Youthful Protesters Are Calling Their ‘National Anthem’
    https://time.com/5672018/glory-to-hong-kong-protests-national-anthem/

    On Monday night, a new Hong Kong anthem was sung for the very first time in a local shopping arcade by young people.

    Today, on Wednesday, in less than 48 hrs. at least one video has gained over 1.2 million views on Youtube (and this is certainly not the only version circulating around). In less than two days, it is on the tip of the tongue of most young people in the territory.

    Both Cantonese and English versions exist, but none in Mandarin.

    Last night at a world cup qualifying football (soccer) match with Iran, when they were announcing the PRC anthem to be played, the whole crowd booed. When they started playing the music for the PRC anthem, the majority sang this anthem instead.
    School children have already refused to sing the PRC anthem in school since the school year started in the beginning of the month.

    Video: Hongkongers boo national anthem during World Cup qualifier against Iran
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/11/video-hongkongers-boo-national-anthem-world-cup-qualifier-iran/

    This has REALLY got to infuriate Beijing. In response to booing the PRC anthem in the past few years, the Legco has tried to fast track a National Anthem bill to punish offenders who disrespect the PRC anthem with fines and imprisonment. Such a law is already on the books in the mainland. But since protesters had stormed Legco on July 1 to delay the (already temporarily suspended) extradition bill, the National anthem bill, which was also on the docket, has been delayed as well.

    One thing is certain, that bill will never get a second reading. If they dare try to introduce it to Legco, a hundred thousand protesters will instantly show up at Legco and make sure it gets killed. Even 10,000 police showing up in riot gear will not be able to stop it, as a hundred thousand more will show up.

    It is a great shame that people have to express their will this way. But not only has the government refused to free up more of the legislature to open elections, but they have disqualified many legislators who were duly elected, and refused to let many more run. How to people have representation in government? They don’t. So they storm the legislature now.

    And on Oct 1, the 70th anniversary of the PRC, if they try to play the PRC anthem in HK and if international media captures hundreds of thousands, even millions singing this instead. what will those optics look like?
    Maybe they could shut the lights.

    Like


  459. @ gro jo

    “The CCP signed an agreement with the UK allowing HK its separate form of government until 2047 or 29 more years, why do you think they agreed to wait fifty years after the treaty was signed to fully incorporate HK?”

    Why? School me, gro jo.

    “Why have you not shown me the ‘evidence’ for your claim of “hamfisted” interference by PRC in HK?”

    Did you just throw that in as a Socratic kitchen sink?

    “One good thing has come out of this debate, the fact that you and Trump finally see eye to eye on something.”

    Hmm. Should I laugh or not?

    Like


  460. @ jefe

    Thanks for the links.

    The HKFP article re: the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. This passage makes very clear who the bridge really serves:

    “A limit of 10,000 private cars from Hong Kong are allowed to use the bridge. Applications are open to local, recognised high-tech enterprises or firms who have submitted total tax payments of at least RMB100,000 (HK$115,395) in Guangdong over the past three years.

    It is also open to Hong Kong residents who have made accumulative charitable donations of more than RMB5 million (HK$5.77 million) in Guangdong province, or Hongkongers who are members of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at national, provincial, prefecture and county levels of Guangdong province. According to a report in July, a permit to use the bridge was sold at a market price of RMB500,000 (HK$576,975).”

    “…the CCP trying to suck HK dry of its reserves and capital more than the other way around”

    Sounds like a familiar strategy from the neo-liberal playbook. It has been used to devastating effect in many US cities and globally.

    Like


  461. ^
    Yes, Afrofem, HK residents had to fork over well over 100 billion (paid to mainland PRC firms) and 99.9% of the people will never be able to use it. It is an environmental disaster and a future catastrophe waiting to happen.

    Basically the only HK residents permitted to use it are those who moved here from the Mainland. What kind of doubletalk is needed to claim that this benefits the people in HK? As I said before, its significance is mostly symbolic, to set in concrete and stone the connection of HK to “motherland”.

    Meanwhile, housing is the most expensive in the world and people have nowhere to live, and healthcare and education budgets are cut. What do we pay taxes for?

    So, you can imagine why the vast majority of HK people never wanted it, and why the article you posted from Der Spiegel feels like a CCP marketing blitz to European investors to benefit mainland conglomerates and the coffers of Guangdong province, while HK people foot the bill.

    Like


  462. Afrofem,

    After what you have read, it should be clear that this Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is a prime example of ““hamfisted” interference by PRC in HK”.

    And that is not even the worst example. They have broken the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law time and time again.

    The CCP has bribed Britain with trade deals so they do not dare declare that the PRC has broken the treaty.

    But the US can certainly go ahead and point out places where the treaty has been broken and take responsive reactions because US law requires that treaty to still be upheld for their laws to be followed. So far, the US has tended to look the other way, but that may change this month. It might look bad for Britain if the US reports that the treaty has been broken but the UK fails to do it.

    The CCP will benefit if it can convince the UK to break off from both the EU and the US, then it will be very happy. In fact, it would be great for the CCP image domestically, as they have been framing the relationship between China and the West as the “Century of Humiliation” with Britain as the main party that humiliated China, and if they can show images of the UK kowtowing to the CCP, then it makes the CCP look good back home. The CCP will portray themselves as the government that “saved” China from Western imperialism.

    Like


  463. “Why? School me, gro jo.”
    I’ve already done so, but you weren’t paying attention, so I repeat myself: “The CCP and people like Jefe don’t like to remember the revolutionary past of HK because they both made their peace with capitalism. Jefe and his friends babble on about an independent HK while the CCP wants HK for its expertise in financial matters as part of their Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. They aim to rival such areas as Japan’s Tokyo Greater Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York metropolitan area in the US. It’s a technocratic approach that they are having trouble selling to the youth of HK. People who have reason to fear a capitalist China have a vested interest in sabotaging such plan. If and when the Chinese pull off their plans, the people of HK will do very well for themselves.”

    “Did you just throw that in as a Socratic kitchen sink?”
    No, to remind you that you are on shaky ground. You, absurdly, take John Garnaut’s ridiculous claims at face value, ignoring that he is, very likely, an Australian spook spinning cold war bs in defense of his vulnerable “White Australia”, that has become economically dependent on the “Yellow Peril” i.e. the PRC. You ‘conveniently forget’ that the PRC is the recognized sovereign for HK and Taiwan. That’s why neither are recognized in any international forum. Two system one country is the tool to effect the unification of China peacefully. Since you’ve made common cause with the universal ‘genius’ Jefe, I’m sure the two of you have come up with a ‘brilliant’ alternative. I’m all ears.

    “Hmm. Should I laugh or not?”
    It’s entirely up to you. I call it the way I see it.
    You wrote: “From what I’ve read, raw fear is more a driving force behind the protests than ‘whiteness’ or the CCP’s supposed ‘technocratic approach’.” Raw fear of what? 51 million visits from the rest of the PRC to HK occurred last year, the number of visits to the rest of the PRC from HK was 28 million, or four times the population of HK even if 90% of 28 million were tourists transiting via HK, it would mean that a substantial (2.8 million) number of HK residents went to the rest of the PRC without fear, raw or otherwise.
    I was especially amused by your taking the nonsense Mr. S. Vines wrote about the bridge. So, limitations on its use, malfeasance and incompetence in its construction, delays in its opening along with the possibility that it will take longer for it to break even is enough to invalidate it as a white elephant, a boondoggle. Are. you. serious? How long did it take the Empire State Building to make money? A year, ten years, no over twenty years. F*ck ups that are perfectly normal in the “West” get exaggerated when somebody else does it, being a defender of ‘Western’ values you ‘innocently’ repeat nonsense without thinking. Before I let you go, let me remind you that only the USA was a democracy when it rose to power, a racist one. Mull over that fact and tell me what you make of it.

    Like


  464. “Afrofem,
    After what you have read, it should be clear that this Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is a prime example of ““hamfisted” interference by PRC in HK”.”
    Jefe, being the universal ‘genius’ you are, I know that ‘petty’ tasks such as research are beneath you, in this case it would have benefitted you.
    Wasn’t the bridge the brainchild of HK moneybags Gordon Wu? That’s the impression the Wikipedia gives: “”Hopewell Holdings founder and then-managing director Gordon Wu proposed the concept of a bridge-tunnel linking China, Hong Kong and Macau in the 1980s.[17] Wu stated that he got the idea in 1983 from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel. In 1988, Wu pitched the concept to Guangdong and Beijing officials. He envisaged a link farther north than the current design, beginning at Black Point near Tuen Mun, Hong Kong and crossing the Pearl River estuary via Neilingding Island and Qi’ao Island. His proposed bridge would have ended at the Chinese village of Tangjia, and a new road would have continued south through Zhuhai before terminating at Macau.[18] Discussions stalled after the Tiananmen Square massacre in mid-1989 “unnerved” Wu and other foreign investors, and caused Hopewell’s Hong Kong share prices to plunge.[19]
    The route proposed by Wu was promoted by the Zhuhai government under the name Lingdingyang Bridge. In the mid-1990s, Zhuhai built a bridge between the mainland and Qi’ao Island that was intended as the first phase of this route, though the full scheme had not been approved by either the Chinese or Hong Kong governments at the time.[20] China’s central government showed support for this project on 30 December 1997.[21] The new Hong Kong government was reticent, stating that it was still awaiting cross-border traffic study results, and Hong Kong media questioned the environmental impact of the project with regard to air pollution, traffic and marine life.[22]
    In December 2001, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong passed a motion urging the Administration to develop the logistics industry including the construction of a bridge connecting Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao. In September 2002, the China/Hong Kong Conference on Co-ordination of Major Infrastructure Projects agreed to a joint study on a transport link between Hong Kong and Pearl River West.[23]”

    “The HZMB links three major cities Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau, which are geographically close but separated by water. With the bridge in place, travelling time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong would cut down from about four hours to 30 minutes on the road.[60][61]
    The HZMB project is part of a Beijing-driven strategy to create an economic hub and promote the economic development of the whole area of the Pearl River Delta, which is also known as Greater Bay Area.[62] Hoping to leverage the bridge and create an economic zone linking the three cities, Zhuhai’s Hengqin area was designated as a free trade zone in 2015.[10]””
    Jefe, you whine about the limited number of cars allowed on the bridge, foolish Afrofem even echoed your plaint, did you know that buses run every 5 minutes? too high and mighty to travel by bus with the hoi polloi?
    Afrofem, it’s sad to see you, a woman of good sense, look so foolish because you chose to swallow Jefe’s bulls8.

    Like


  465. @ gro jo

    Take a chill pill and dial down the passion! Ad hominems about my perceived “foolish” beliefs don’t bolster your arguments, facts do.

    You generally serve up large dishes of factual information (albeit with sides of snark) when you make arguments. Why are your knickers in a twist about Hong Kong? Why would the drive for self-determination by masses of people half way around the world have you breathing fire?

    I suggest you re-read the comment I made that quoted John Garnaut. As I recall, I prefaced his assessments with these words:

    “I read a deeply slanted article from an Australian news and opinion site, *The Monthly.”

    I agree that the chances of , “…[Garnaut] Australian spook spinning cold war bs in defense of his vulnerable “White Australia” are great. Yet, who better than a Five Eyes spook to dissect the methodology of a feared adversary? Reading his article is also a window into the aims and methods of power grabbing and social control used by a variety of other entities, both governmental and corporate.

    Read carefully, that article reveals a template that many abusive powers use: fostering dependency, cajoling, coercion, lies, national myth narratives and counter narratives. Reading that article made me think of the manipulative narratives that shape American beliefs such as,

    ❊ The City on the Hill

    ❊ Yankee Ingenuity

    ❊ Manifest Destiny

    ❊ The Good War (WW2)

    ❊ Law and Order

    ❊ The Invisible Hand of the Market

    His article also hinted at the vigilance needed to not fall under the sway of external abusive powers (specifically how Singapore has remained independent). I wish Garnaut had gone deeper with that part of the article, even with the deep slant.

    The PRC is following a well worn playbook for how to erect an empire. Right now they are settling old scores and throwing their weight around regionally. They will move on to other stages soon. How long they last is another matter.

    What fascinates me most is the naked admiration that many US powerbrokers have for the PRC and its current government. They openly opine about how they wish they could exercise central planning and completely do away with ‘messy democracy’. They don’t care how very ‘Soviet’ they sound. To them and their counterparts globally, ‘democracy’ is just a quaint notion for fools.

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  466. “Take a chill pill and dial down the passion! Ad hominems about my perceived “foolish” beliefs don’t bolster your arguments, facts do.”
    It is my facts that revealed your foolishness for taking Jefe seriously.
    You bought his nonsense about 10,000 cars being able to use the bridge. The people who run the bridge said: “Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has seen over 10 million inbound and outbound passengers as of Thursday, 225 days after its official opening…He Feng from the bridge’s border control said the average daily traffic had reached 44,000, with the record high set on Feb. 7 with 113,000 passengers. He said the increasing passenger flow was due to the bridge’s position as a traffic hinge in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and its growing popularity as a tourist destination.”
    “You generally serve up large dishes of factual information (albeit with sides of snark) when you make arguments.” You know me well.
    “Why are your knickers in a twist about Hong Kong?” Why are yours?
    “Why would the drive for self-determination by masses of people half way around the world have you breathing fire?” Because it’s a bulls8 movement for reasons that I stated above.
    “I suggest you re-read the comment I made that quoted John Garnaut. As I recall, I prefaced his assessments with these words:
    “I read a deeply slanted article from an Australian news and opinion site, *The Monthly.”” I missed your slippery attempt to deny what you asserted by uncritically repeating his nonsense. You failed to notice that he was making an argument to repress political views he doesn’t like. Was that failure due to the fact that you agree with him?
    Are you now clear on the following facts?
    1- The bridge was not the CCP’s idea. Gordon Wu sold them on it, Zhuhai ran with it and they endorsed it. This shows that a process exist in the PRC that has nothing to do with paranoid anti-communist fantasies.
    2- Jefe knows next to nothing and is good only at repeating nonsense that Vines writes, and making you believe his bs.

    Like


  467. @ jefe

    Your point about a primary directive of the United Front Work Department, namely the conflation of China, the Chinese people and the CCP is well taken. That directive mirrors the propaganda effort to conflate international Jewry with Israel. Then the right-wing government of Israel labels critics of its policies as ‘anti-semitic’——a tidy semantic trick. No doubt that directive is part of their Greater China initiative, whereby the CCP seeks to absorb the populations of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. I suspect the United Front will ramp that effort up at some point in the near future.

    “…it was only a short logical step to claim all ethnic Chinese people as “sons and daughters of the motherland”, even if that meant undermining the rights that ordinarily came with Australian citizenship.”

    This portion of Garnaut’s article you quoted has produced pretty serious consequences for some business people of Chinese descent. I read a recent Asia Times opinion piece about how the CCP uses the “sons and daughters” idea in it’s program of political hostage taking:

    “At any one time there are dozens if not scores of foreigners being detained in China because their local business partners claim illegality and have used influence with the local police and courts to make it stick.
    The detained foreigners are usually ethnic Chinese who have emigrated to Australia, Canada, the United States, or elsewhere, and whose facility in China is seen as an asset to their companies.

    […]

    [these] emigrants … use their old People’s Republic of China nationality documents to travel into China, or they have not taken the precaution of renouncing their Chinese citizenship. In either case the result is that PRC officials insist the kidnappings are an entirely internal matter, and they refuse access to consular officials from the hostage’s new home.”

    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/canadians-tortured-while-red-princess-goes-shopping/

    I’ve read about the extremely cramped housing conditions some HK residents endure and the great need for affordable housing throughout the territory. 100 billion in tax dollars diverted from human needs like healthcare, housing and education and used for a bridge boondoggle sounds absolutely American. I see plenty of that in my city. Funding cutbacks in education, healthcare and housing while the local government squanders tax money on sports stadiums, toll roads, toll bridges and toll tunnels.

    Imagine how the residents of HK would feel about the CCP if they invested in the people instead of vanity projects.

    Liked by 1 person


  468. @ gro jo

    “It is my facts that revealed your foolishness for taking Jefe seriously.”

    You have stated some facts, but mostly you are expressing opinions. While you are entitled to your opinions, you are neither on the ground in HK, nor are you a long time HK resident. Jefe is both.

    I am curious as to why you think that disqualifies jefe from understanding local politics?

    Liked by 1 person


  469. “While you are entitled to your opinions, you are neither on the ground in HK, nor are you a long time HK resident. Jefe is both.
    I am curious as to why you think that disqualifies jefe from understanding local politics?”

    Big deal. Is a cancer patient the authority for dealing with such illness? No, a doctor specializing in cancer, an oncologist, is. I get my information from different sources, Jefe thinks that Stephen Vines and other anti-PRC journalists are the only credible sources.
    Did you know the following facts?
    1- “Guangdong is the most populous province of China and the 15th-largest by area. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 6th largest sub-national economy in the world with a GDP size of 1.47 trillion US dollars (9.73 trillion Chinese yuan) in 2018.[5]
    2-Taiwan’s estimated GDP for 2020 is $589.391 billion.
    3- HK’s estimated GDP for 2020 is $$363.031 billion.
    The combined estimated GDP of HK and Taiwan for 2018 was 64.79% what Guangdong’s was last year.
    Taking your cue from Jefe, you wrote the following: “100 billion in tax dollars diverted from human needs like healthcare, housing and education and used for a bridge boondoggle sounds absolutely American.” I give up, Jefe has you completely under his thumb. I congratulate him for doing such thorough job on you. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself!

    Like


  470. Afrofem (and Abagond et al)

    Unfortunately, about 90% of the local discussion and analysis is written in Chinese or in video clips in Cantonese (although I have seen a few with English subtitles). Veteran lawyer and journalist Simon Lau Sai Leung (劉細良) and broadcast journalist and writer Chip Tsao, among dozens of others do frequent and deep analysis of where things are heading. Chip Tsao does occasionally write in English or does English videos. His father was a chief editor for the local communist paper Ta Kung Pao, so I am sure he understands the differences in the narratives and can explain where each is coming from. These two and a few others are very highly respected in Hong Kong and do good analyses of stuff that is printed in the mainland newspapers v. what we actually experience locally on the ground. In fact, there are rumours that the CCP would like to make Simon Lau Sai Leung disappear (and would do so if the extradition law were passed).

    Over half of the English language analysis will not be prepared locally – that is why you find your sources overseas, but the SCMP is not too bad at giving multiple sides to an argument. Some op-eds look like they were lifted straight out of CCP propaganda, but a few opposing viewpoints from respected journalists and academics are included also. It is an improvement over a few years ago both before and after Alibaba bought it when the paper seemed to be sliding into a propaganda echo chamber.

    Articles written in Mainland Chinese basic expository style translate about 80-90% OK into English using Google Translate (with a few major errors, but enough to get the idea) but most stuff written in Hong Kong, which uses a lot of local expressions, and sometimes some vernacular Cantonese just translates into gobbledegook. It is obvious where most of the lexicon corpus for Chinese – English translation is drawn from.

    It helps to read both English and Chinese sources to get an idea of where we are, and some analysts are very good at reading between the lines of CCP propaganda.

    Like


  471. Jefe, et al,
    You clever devil, are you trying to blame “…Chinese – English translation…” for the false impression that your boy Stephen Vines gave unwary readers like Afrofem by this bit of lying by omission?
    “A limit of 10,000 private cars from Hong Kong are allowed to use the bridge. Applications are open to local, recognised high-tech enterprises or firms who have submitted total tax payments of at least RMB100,000 (HK$115,395) in Guangdong over the past three years.
    It is also open to Hong Kong residents who have made accumulative charitable donations of more than RMB5 million (HK$5.77 million) in Guangdong province, or Hongkongers who are members of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at national, provincial, prefecture and county levels of Guangdong province. According to a report in July, a permit to use the bridge was sold at a market price of RMB500,000 (HK$576,975).”
    How come ‘honest’ Stephen Vines failed to tell his readers that buses leaving every five minutes were available? Why did he omit the fact that over 10 million trips, inbound and outbound were made during a 225 day period? I had to go to that “dirty, lying commie rag”, the Global Times, to find out the truth. Good thing the internet exists and people like John Garnaut aren’t yet able to restrict the truth to what Vines and his rag pretend it is.

    Like


  472. @ jefe

    Thanks for the information. Reading between the lines of various publications and writers can be complicated by translation issues. I usually read English language publications based in particular countries such as India, Namibia, Ethiopia and Brazil.

    A lot of the time that forces me to read about a country’s history, major resouce exports, religion and culture to try to figure out the article’s orientation. It is not a good idea to simply lay an American template over the story. My view and an a culturally competent insider’s view can be oceans apart.

    SCMP and the Asia Times often come up in the links I follow. I’ve also read throught provoking analysis and opinion pieces through unlikely sources such as Rigged Game, edited by Don Quijones (formerly of the site Raging Bullsh!t).

    Last month, Rigged Game cross-posted an analysis of where some people think the Hong Kong protests are headed. Even more interesting were thoughtful comments from readers (on Consortium News). Some of the readers/commenters focused on the role of local tycoons in the immiseration of the local HK population.

    https://riggedgame.blog/2019/08/20/hong-kongs-inevitable-showdown/comment-page-1/#comment-17298

    Much of the media frames the HK protests as a struggle between the local people and the CCP over ‘rights’. Discussion of the role of the tycoons adds complexity and needed context. HK tycoons seem to be doing the same things US tycoons are doing: bleeding both government and ordinary people dry with their avarice. They stir up trouble and reap profits no matter who wins.

    Like


  473. Jefe,

    Since everybody is busy thanking you, I feel obliged to do the same. Naturally, I’m not thanking you for telling the truth, something you are congenitally incapable of, but for letting me see how gullible people who hangout on this blog are. I feel obliged to enumerate your lies.
    1- Jefe’s lie: “Even though Hong Kong’s share of the national GDP has fallen from almost 20% during the 1997 handover to just over 3% now, it still holds more foreign currency reserves than the rest of China and is still the largest source of foreign investment into the PRC.” The truth: “China’s foreign exchange reserves rose by USD 3.5 billion to USD 3.107 trillion in August 2019, defying market expectations of a USD 4 billion fall to USD 3.100 trillion, as the country maintained a stable balance of international payments and generally stable economic growth. Foreign Exchange Reserves in Hong Kong decreased to 432800 USD Million in August from 448400 USD Million in July of 2019.” In Jefeland, 13.9%(0.4328 trillion/ 3.107 trillion) will always be greater than 100% (3.107 trillion/3.107 trillion)!
    2- Jefe’s lie: “The actual usage of the bridge since opening is only a fraction of the projections. It is not paying for itself and probably never will, and the HK government is shouldering most of the cost.” The truth: “Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge receives over 10 mln passengers
    Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/6/6 20:43:49
    Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has seen over 10 million inbound and outbound passengers as of Thursday, 225 days after its official opening.
    Construction of the world’s longest cross-sea bridge began in December 2009. It opened to traffic in October 2018.
    He Feng from the bridge’s border control said the average daily traffic had reached 44,000, with the record high set on Feb. 7 with 113,000 passengers.
    He said the increasing passenger flow was due to the bridge’s position as a traffic hinge in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and its growing popularity as a tourist destination.”

    “Macao’s visitor arrivals rise on opening of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
    Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/12/22 11:22:14
    Due to the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Macao’s visitor arrivals increased by 15.3 percent year-on-year to 3,266,283 in November 2018, the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR)’s statistic department said here on Saturday.
    The latest report from Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) said that overnight visitors (1,589,246) and same-day visitors (1,677,037) rose by 5.1 percent year-on-year and 26.9 percent year-on-year, respectively.
    The average length of stay of visitors held steady year-on-year at 1.2 days, with that of overnight visitors rising by 0.1 day to 2.2 days and that of same-day visitors staying at 0.2 day.
    Visitors from the Chinese mainland grew by 15.3 percent year-on-year to 2,283,628 in November, primarily from Guangdong province (925,414) and Hunan province (115,763). Visitors from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (591,077) surged by 25.6 percent.
    Meanwhile, visitors from the United States (22,538), Australia (8,435), Canada (8,261) and Britain (6,448) registered year-on-year increases.
    In the first 11 months of 2018, visitor arrivals totalled 32,233,838, up by 9.1 percent year-on-year; overnight visitors (16,751,684) and same-day visitors (15,482,154) grew by 7.2 percent and 11.1 percent respectively. The average length of stay of visitors stayed at 1.2 days, with that of overnight visitors (2.2 days) rising by 0.1 day and that of same-day visitors (0.2 day) remaining unchanged.
    Analyzed by source market, visitors from the Chinese mainland (22,811,627) and Hong Kong SAR (5,646,200) increased by 13.3 percent and 1.0 percent respectively from January to November.
    Visitors from the United States (182,199), Australia (80,263) and the Britain (53,396) recorded year-on-year growth, whereas those from Canada (66,377) saw a decrease.

    Across the sea
    By Li Jieyi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/10 22:01:18
    The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge: more symbol than construction feat?
    The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Photo: IC
    For the Spring Festival of 2019, Hongkonger Wesley Leung, 42, had a new way of visiting his friends and relatives in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province and Macao. Taking a bus and crossing a bridge over the sea, he left Hong Kong in the morning and returned at night. “I don’t think I could do this in one day without the bridge,” Leung said.
    Before its construction, taking a ferry was the main way people living in the three places visited each other, and it took much longer. Now, it only takes 30 minutes from Hong Kong to Macao. During his half-an-hour journey across the bridge, Leung shot videos and photos of the view with his gimbal and smartphone. “The length is beyond my imagination, and the expanse of the sea made my thoughts become much more open,” he said. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), the largest ocean crossing in the world, is 55 kilometers long, and includes a 6.7-kilometer long undersea tunnel. While most Chinese were inspired by the feat, some netizens expressed doubts, saying the bridge was no more than a symbol.
    Lingering doubts
    Reported by the China News Service, according to statistics released by the General Office of Transportation of Guangdong Province, about 657,500 trips were made across the bridge from January to May, generating a total toll of about 124 million yuan ($17.45 million), while the cost was over 120 billion yuan. According to the data, the skeptics claimed that it was impossible for China to make profits from the bridge to cover its tremendous costs in a short time.
    Some were also concerned about the different traffic arrangements – on the mainland, you drive on the right, while in Hong Kong and Macao, you drive on the left. The HZMB is not the first bridge to connect the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs). In 2000, the Lianhua Bridge opened to traffic, and was the first bridge between the mainland and Macao.
    The HZMB links Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao under the principle of “one country, two systems.” “To make full use of it, some measures are still needed to encourage people from the three parts to use the bridge,” said Chen Guanghan, a scholar at the Center for Studies of Hong Kong, Macao and Pearl River Delta of Sun Yat-Sen University, adding, “It’s a long-term strategy, which will bring some intangible assets to our country.”
    Intangible assets
    According to the Xinhua News Agency report, the bridge will slash travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from 3 hours to 30 minutes. As the key piece of infrastructure connecting the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, it gives cities on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta like Zhuhai an opportunity to boost their economy. “Cities on the east bank like Shenzhen have grown fast and one of the reasons is that they’re closer to Hong Kong,” said Chen, adding that at the same time, it also provides a good opportunity for areas in the west of Hong Kong like Lantau Island to develop their economy. The bridge deepens the blood ties between the compatriots from the mainland and the SARs, said Chui Sai On, former chief executive of Macao, at the opening ceremony for the bridge in Zhuhai. It seems that the bridge will not only connect economies, but also connect cultures.
    Li Tianxiang, a 19-year-old student from Zhuhai, said his grandmother is a Hongkonger who goes back to the mainland twice a year. “She told me that it has been more convenient for her to travel between the two places after the opening of the bridge,” said Li. During construction, Chinese engineers and related experts from the three places overcame many technical difficulties and created many patented technologies in the process. “It marks the highest level of bridge-building in our history,” said Chen. “All of these are intangible assets for us,” he added.
    When Li went to see the bridge with his parents, the achievement left a deep impression on him. “It’s not a bridge that can be easily built by any other country,” said Li.

    The HK government is shouldering most of the cost only in “Jefeland”, in the real world the cost is shared as follows: “To coordinate the project, the Advance Work Coordination Group of HZMB was set up in 2003. Officials from three sides solved issues such as landing points and alignments of the bridge, operation of the Border Crossing Facilities, and project financing.[24]
    In August 2008, China’s Central Government, the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau agreed to finance 42 percent of the total costs. The remaining 58% consisted of loans (approximately 22 billion yuan or US$3.23 billion) from the Bank of China.[25]
    In March 2009, it was further reported that China’s Central Government, Hong Kong and Macau agreed to finance 22 percent of the total costs. The remaining 78 percent consisted of loans (approximately 57.3 billion yuan or US$8.4 billion) from a consortium of banks led by Bank of China.[26]”. See the Wikipedia article on the bridge.
    I wonder what a “Jefeland” diet would look like? Maybe Abagond might want to try it after doing one on the CCP.

    Like


  474. @ gro jo

    ”I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself!”

    I’ll tell you what I see. I see you employing a variety of techniques to deflect, browbeat and mislead in this particular thread, including:

    Downplaying CCP Shortsighted Policy re: HK

    ”I believe that HKSAR would blow away Jefe and his friends to political oblivion by doing the right thing with a massive low cost housing program.” Tue Sep 10th 2019 at 23:37:03

    Yet, in your own words, ”The CCP established an alliance with the governing elite of HK and pretty much left them to run things on their behalf.” Tue Sep 3rd 2019 at 02:46:22

    Imagine how the residents of HK would feel about the CCP if they invested in the needs of the people instead of vanity projects. The CCP dropped the ball. The decided on a Nixonian regime of ‘benign neglect’ (putting the tycoons in charge) and now they have to deal with the fallout of that shortsighted policy.

    Presenting Irrelevant Facts As A Means Of Deflecting Arguments

    ”Taiwan’s estimated GDP for 2020 is $589.391 billion. HK’s estimated GDP for 2020 is $$363.031 billion.
    The combined estimated GDP of HK and Taiwan for 2018 was 64.79% what Guangdong’s was last year.”

    Fri Sep 13th 2019 at 15:23:05

    GDP is a measurement of overall domestic production (goods and services) in a country. Tax revenue is what the government squeezes out of the population. The two are different metrics. Neither metric has anything to do with how tax revenues are spent or who benefits from those revenues.

    Misrepresentation

    “Haitians were not a people prior to 1804… Napoleon’s reply was the biggest invasion fleet to sail to the Americas from Europe. The Haitian Revolution’s success was predicated on France being at war with the British empire.”

    In 2016, Pascal Robert wrote about the extraordinary feat of the Haitian people in not only being ‘people’ enough to kick Napoleon’s keister of their land, those “not a people” also did the same to British forces [in 1796] when they came to re-enslave Saint Domingue (modern day Haiti). Robert noted:

    ”…while Americans celebrate their independence victory in defeating the greatest of European Empires, the British recognize that former African slaves in Haiti did the seemingly impossible and defeated all three of the major European empires of that day [French, British and Spanish] to obtain their freedom….”

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/when_haiti_defeated_britain

    False Equivalency

    “I was especially amused by your taking the nonsense Mr. S. Vines wrote about the [Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge] bridge. So, limitations on its use, malfeasance and incompetence in its construction, delays in its opening along with the possibility that it will take longer for it to break even is enough to invalidate it as a white elephant, a boondoggle. Are. you. serious? How long did it take the Empire State Building to make money?”

    Comparing a publicly funded bridge that arbitrarily restricts car traffic from the very public that funded the bridge to a privately funded skyscraper is comparing apples to oranges. The lame deflection re: ”…over 10 million [bus] trips, inbound and outbound were made during a 225 day period…” does not negate the “pay to play” maze of restrictions the people of HK face to use a resource they paid for in tax dollars.

    ‘When In Doubt, Shout’

    I was struck by the overwrought emotionalism of your arguments, complete with name calling. I’ve found that when people resort to name calling in a discussion, they do so to cover weaknesses in their arguments. The ‘when in doubt, shout’ technique.

    Disagreeing with you doesn’t invalidate make my position. Seeing the world differently is ok. Reading different sources and drawing different conclusions is pretty normal. If you want to champion the CCP, fine. In my opinion, they are thugs who deserve no more respect than the button down thugs who run our own government. Or the thugs who run Haiti, Brazil, France or Equatorial Guinea ( a country run by a single family of thugs).

    Spindly Analogy

    “Is a cancer patient the authority for dealing with such illness? No, a doctor specializing in cancer, an oncologist, is.”

    HK residents are the oncologists in this situation. They are aware of the type of cancer they are dealing with far better than you. They have their own treatment protocols. Whether or not they are successful in combating the specific type of cancer they face remains to be seen. HK residents are the qualified experts, not people arguing on an internet forum thousands of miles away.

    The Long and Short of It…

    In short, you did a lot of cutting, pasting, digital “shouting and jeering”, but made very few valid points. You think of the CCP as a paragon of virtue and restraint. I think they are part of the problem.

    While you were lobbing digital flash bang grenades, two aspects of the protests you failed to broach were:

    ⇒ the role of HK tycoons and their political lackeys in squeezing the people of HK nearly dry

    ⇒ the role of Five Eyes neocons attempting to hijack the legitimate grievances of Hong Kongers for their own purposes. A comment on that particular wrinkle follows.

    The situation in HK is fluid and complex. There are many factions trying to advance their own agendas. It is a common story. In times of upheaval, some of the most reactionary elements in society (both domestic and foreign) will try to hijack the energy of a fed-up population to achieve their own ends.

    There are valid arguments to be made, both pro and con regarding the protests. Relevant facts and supporting documentation are more convincing than hyper-emotionalism, spindly analogies, deflections or name calling to make thoughtful and convincing arguments.

    Liked by 1 person


  475. Mnar Muhawesh of Mint Press News recently sliced and diced the involvement of an American front group, the National Endowment for Democracy or NED in the funding certain groups that threaten to hijack the legitimate grievances of the masses of HK residents. Muhawesh describes the NED as a phony charity that seeks to “ …[influence] thought and culture through covert means”.

    One group closely linked to NED is the Hong Kong National Party. One of the HKNP’s founders is Joshua Wong. Jefe wrote upthread about how many protesters in HK are concerned that Wong is acting unilaterally. Wong receives funding and support from neocons at NED. He is also in regular contact with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the most reactionary members of Congress.

    Of the situation in HK, Muhawesh writes:

    “[there] is the danger of a reductionist and simplistic media lens. The Hong Kong situation is far from black and white and not exactly David and Goliath.

    […]Thousands of Hong Kong residents, many motivated by genuine grievances, are being led by actors with their own agendas and affiliations, actors who are closely connected with foreign governments and intelligence services. 

    This reality warrants, at the least, a careful parsing, caution about a rush to judgment, and more than a grain of salt.”

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/hong-kong-protest-united-states-destabilize-china/261712/

    Like


  476. Afrofem,
    the mirth reading your confused ramblings bring me is priceless. I’m almost willing to forgive you but I can’t.

    1) “In 2016, Pascal Robert wrote about the extraordinary feat of the Haitian people in not only being ‘people’ enough to kick Napoleon’s keister of their land, those “not a people” also did the same to British forces [in 1796] when they came to re-enslave Saint Domingue (modern day Haiti). Robert noted:
    ”…while Americans celebrate their independence victory in defeating the greatest of European Empires, the British recognize that former African slaves in Haiti did the seemingly impossible and defeated all three of the major European empires of that day [French, British and Spanish] to obtain their freedom….””
    My compatriot Pascal Robert (Robair) like most Haitians is given to mythologizing the deeds of our noble ancestors. As much as I idolize them, I refuse to engage in absurd anachronisms by putting the cart before the horse. Before we became Haitians, we were slaves, then French citizens, and finally Haitians after T. L’Ouverture failed to dissuade Napoleon from attempting to re-enslave us. Robert’s claim that we were Haitian in 1796 is nonsense. L’Ouverture and Rigaud fought and defeated the British as officers in the colonial French army of St- Domingue, just as Henry Christophe, future king of Haiti served in the French force that participated in the battle of Savannah in 1779 under the command of French nobleman Charles Hector, Comte d’Estaing. I resist the temptation that some Haitians give in to by claiming the 500 soldiers from St-Domingue were “Haitian”. Calling the people of St-Domingue Haitians prior to 1804 creates the oxymoron “Haitian slave”. Calling Alexandre Dumas’s grandmother a ‘Haitian slave’ negates the heroic struggle fought to put an end to that institution on the land now known as Haiti.

    2) “False Equivalency…Comparing a publicly funded bridge that arbitrarily restricts car traffic from the very public that funded the bridge to a privately funded skyscraper is comparing apples to oranges. The lame deflection re: ”…over 10 million [bus] trips, inbound and outbound were made during a 225 day period…” does not negate the “pay to play” maze of restrictions the people of HK face to use a resource they paid for in tax dollars.”
    The comparison was between your boy Vines’s claim that it would take 72 years to reach break even, not to the number of private cars allowed on the bridge. If you knew what you were talking about, you’d know that Macao restricts parking due to lack of space because of the number of visitors it receives annually. Bus traffic is the most efficient way of handling things. Please explain what’s ‘lame’ about 10 million bus rides in 225 days?

    3) “‘When In Doubt, Shout’
    I was struck by the overwrought emotionalism of your arguments, complete with name calling. I’ve found that when people resort to name calling in a discussion, they do so to cover weaknesses in their arguments. The ‘when in doubt, shout’ technique.
    Disagreeing with you doesn’t invalidate make my position. Seeing the world differently is ok. Reading different sources and drawing different conclusions is pretty normal. If you want to champion the CCP, fine. In my opinion, they are thugs who deserve no more respect than the button down thugs who run our own government. Or the thugs who run Haiti, Brazil, France or Equatorial Guinea ( a country run by a single family of thugs).”
    My dear, we’ve agreed to disagree many times. I haven’t called you names, I said you were gullible for swallowing the Jefe/Vines bulls8 about the bridge, HK paying for most of it and people from HK being barred from its use. Since you continue to repeat their lies I take nothing back. you found my arguments overwrought with emotionalism, it maybe because of your patronizing tone that assumes you hold the moral high ground in this debate. I call things by their proper names. The protests are bulls8 and doomed as far as the nonsense of HK autonomy goes. The grievances around crappy housing are entirely legitimate and can be fixed as I stated in my comments. Can’t wait to see what kind of pants or BB-Q sauce Jefe, Wong and Vines will be selling(snark alert).
    “If you want to champion the CCP, fine. In my opinion, they are thugs who deserve no more respect than the button down thugs who run our own government.” Don’t be dense, I’ve not championed the CCP. I cooly compared their resources with the ones Jefe and his friends command and drew the conclusion that Jefe and his friends with their lies and confusions haven’t got a prayer, just as the Black Panthers didn’t have a prayer.

    4) “Spindly Analogy…HK residents are the oncologists in this situation. They are aware of the type of cancer they are dealing with far better than you. They have their own treatment protocols. Whether or not they are successful in combating the specific type of cancer they face remains to be seen. HK residents are the qualified experts, not people arguing on an internet forum thousands of miles away.” Are you including Carrie Lam and her crew as HK residents or are you reserving that title for Jefe, Vines and their friends alone? If you are I would agree with you. A dialogue between them can get HK back on its feet. It seems to me that’s what the CCP is working towards. Anyway, we weren’t speaking of HK residents in general, but of a specific HK resident, namely, Jefe. In his case I don’t doubt that I’m more qualified to write objectively than he is.

    5) “The Long and Short of It…
    In short, you did a lot of cutting, pasting, digital “shouting and jeering”, but made very few valid points. You think of the CCP as a paragon of virtue and restraint. I think they are part of the problem.” You are at liberty to think what you want but the facts speak loudly against you. The CCP is no paragon of virtue but tough and savvy political operators who know they hold all the cards and can afford to wait
    “While you were lobbing digital flash bang grenades, two aspects of the protests you failed to broach were:
    ⇒ the role of HK tycoons and their political lackeys in squeezing the people of HK nearly dry
    ⇒ the role of Five Eyes neocons attempting to hijack the legitimate grievances of Hong Kongers for their own purposes. A comment on that particular wrinkle follows.”
    My darling girl, you lie exquisitely. Didn’t I point out to you that HK is ruled by the Tycoons with the blessing of the CCP? I even told you that one of them, Gordon Wu, was the initiator of the bridge project. You should direct this criticism to your friend Jefe who neglected to tell you about him and champions Jimmy Lai.
    “The situation in HK is fluid and complex. There are many factions trying to advance their own agendas. It is a common story. In times of upheaval, some of the most reactionary elements in society (both domestic and foreign) will try to hijack the energy of a fed-up population to achieve their own ends.
    There are valid arguments to be made, both pro and con regarding the protests. Relevant facts and supporting documentation are more convincing than hyper-emotionalism, spindly analogies, deflections or name calling to make thoughtful and convincing arguments.”
    Fluid or not, the outcome is predetermined. Capitulation by Jefe, Vines and Wong.

    6) “One group closely linked to NED is the Hong Kong National Party. One of the HKNP’s founders is Joshua Wong. Jefe wrote upthread about how many protesters in HK are concerned that Wong is acting unilaterally. Wong receives funding and support from neocons at NED. He is also in regular contact with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the most reactionary members of Congress.”
    You and Jefe have much to talk about. What you wrote isn’t news to me but it may be to Jefe who wrote: “I know you have done some scathing review of Steve Bannon (and I happen to agree with your stance on his alt-right rhetoric), but of all the talking media heads, he is probably more up to date with China and Hong Kong than most of the other media talking heads as well as US Congressional leaders. I advise you to check out some of the things he has said in the past week or two about these matters. He refers to the CCP as a “gangster” organization, and based on what I have observed over decades, I happen to agree that that is an apt way to refer to them. Even the US consulate referred to the CCP as a “thuggish regime” after the Global times published the personal details of a consular officer and her family after she had a meeting with Joshua Wong a month ago.” Sounds like your friend is getting ready to get into bed with “sloppy Steve”. Will you and Abagond resist his siren song? I can’t say. time and money will tell. Given your penchant for name calling you are half way there.

    Like


  477. finis

    Like


  478. Good. Next time you feel like playing ‘lawyer’, make sure your ‘client’ isn’t bullsh*tting you. As always, it was a pleasure.

    Like


  479. ”Taiwan’s estimated GDP for 2020 is $589.391 billion. HK’s estimated GDP for 2020 is $$363.031 billion.
    The combined estimated GDP of HK and Taiwan for 2018 was 64.79% what Guangdong’s was last year.”
    I made a mistake when I wrote the above, it should have been as follows:
    ”Taiwan’s GDP for 2018 was $589.391 billion. HK’s GDP for 2018 was $363.031 billion.
    The combined GDP of HK and Taiwan for 2018 was 64.79% what Guangdong’s was last year.”
    Being honest, I felt obliged to correct my error and to correct the following false statement: “GDP is a measurement of overall domestic production (goods and services) in a country. Tax revenue is what the government squeezes out of the population. The two are different metrics. Neither metric has anything to do with how tax revenues are spent or who benefits from those revenues. ” Well and good, but, the PRC collects ZERO cents from HK.
    “Taxation in Hong Kong
    Under Article 108 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, the taxation system in Hong Kong is independent of, and different from, the taxation system in mainland China. In addition, under Article 106 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, Hong Kong enjoys independent public finance, and no tax revenue is handed over to the Central Government in China. Wikipedia”

    Like


  480. Amber Guyer guilty of murder!

    Liked by 1 person


  481. Amber Guyger got 10 years, and is likely to serve only a fraction of it!

    Liked by 1 person


  482. First NBA, then South Park.

    Americans, you WOKE yet?
    How about the rest you world?

    Like


  483. Do not envy Yao Ming at this moment.

    Like


  484. Another US company on fire:

    One of America’s biggest gaming companies is acting as China’s censor
    Activision Blizzard punished a pro player for speaking out on behalf of Hong Kong. This should be unacceptable.

    By Zack Beauchamp

    https://www.vox.com/2019/10/8/20904433/blizzard-hong-kong-hearthstone-blitzchung

    Like


  485. China Blows Whistle on Nationalistic Protests Against the N.B.A.
    (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/business/china-blows-whistle-on-nationalist-protests-against-the-nba.html)

    I think it is too late now. The cat is out of the bag.

    Now they are desperate to salvage the 2022 Winter Olympics. Good Luck.

    Like


  486. “First NBA, then South Park.
    ((Tomorrow The World?) 🙂 Jefe, you. are. funny. In the head. 🙂 )
    Americans, you WOKE yet?
    How about the rest you world?”
    Yes, yes, the Chinese tanks will soon be parading down your block any day now. The Yellow Peril is back. I’m petrified. It’s about time somebody shut up the South Park a–holes. I guess biting the hand that feeds you doesn’t fly in China either eh? Who knew?

    Like


  487. “Do not envy Yao Ming at this moment.”
    Do tell, what has or will happen to him? If you answer that question, don’t forget to start your answer with the opening line of all good fairy tales. “once up on a time”. That way, the naïfs on this blog won’t be misled.

    Like


  488. “Activision Blizzard punished a pro player for speaking out on behalf of Hong Kong. This should be unacceptable.”
    Ok, you are entitled to your opinion and they are entitled to make a beeline to the renminbi pot. James Harden ‘loves’ China. Jimmy, you ‘woke’ yet? 🙂

    Like


  489. ” I think it is too late now. The cat is out of the bag.
    Now they are desperate to salvage the 2022 Winter Olympics. Good Luck.”
    Oh, please, don’t try to ‘predict’ the future, you suck at it. Remember when you ‘predicted’ China was making a huge ‘mistake’ by ignoring calls for it to accept mediation over some islands coveted by them and the Philippines? Xi and Duterte are still the best of friends.

    Like


  490. A black woman in Fort Worth, Texas has been shot and killed in her home by police. A neighbor called for a wellness check because he saw the door open. If the cops are so frightened he should have called back up. This officer killed a 28 year old black woman.

    Like


  491. @ Abagond

    Just came across an eye-opening article about historical and current rates of police killing of civilians. The article, “Deadly Force: Then and Now” by Rajiv Sethi explores differences between rates of police killings during the 1930s and now.

    These passages jumped out at me:

    “According to Raper’s data, police killed roughly four times as many African Americans as lynch mobs did in the 1930s. In fact, police accounted for more African American deaths than all other white Americans combined. This remains approximately true even today.

    Many cities had much higher rates of killing in the 1930s than they do now. Denver, Covington KY, and Jacksonville had rates over fifty per million in the Raper data, and Atlanta, Nashville, Kansas City, and Chattanooga had rates above forty per million. In the Guardian data, only two cities—Miami and Stockton, CA—had rates in this range.

    […]

    One of the points that Dan and I have explored in our book is that fearsomeness and fearfulness are two sides of the same coin. Murder is the only major crime that can be motivated by pure preemption—people sometimes kill simply to avoid being killed first. This makes fearful people dangerous, and fearsome people afraid. When people can be killed with impunity, these effects are amplified and very high rates of killing can arise in a climate of fear. “

    https://rajivsethi.blogspot.com/2019/11/deadly-force-then-and-now.html

    Who is”fearsome” and who is “fearful” changes on your point of view.

    Worth a look. Especially when the deadliest cities for White people are discussed. A list of the deadliest states is enlightening, too.

    Liked by 2 people


  492. @ Afrofem

    Thank you!

    Like


  493. Abagond,

    This Al Jazeera video was posted only a few days ago, and tracks the movement of the Hong Kong Free Press team during the week of 9-16 June this year, the week of the mass protests (in the millions) and the surrounding of the Legislative council on June 12 which resulted in the Extradition bill being temporarily suspended. (It has since been withdrawn.)

    The clashes depicted in the documentary now look mild compared to what has been happening more recently.

    You had asked me about the state of the Press in HK and they do discuss it a bit here. It largely echoes how I feel about it, eg, the veracity (or lack thereof) of the state-backed media and self-censorship at the local business-friendly pro-establishment media.

    It discusses a few headlines later in June and July, but does not cover the recent developments. Basically, the violent clashes are no longer limited to weekend evenings, but now occur 24/7. Tuesday this week, there were violent clashes at 3am, followed by morning rush hour transport disruptions including the removal of track of the light rail trains and the spaces were refilled with concrete.Then lunch time business people in suits went marching in Central and were met by teargas from riot police. Protesters completely blocked roads with bricks and bamboo scaffolding. University students have formed barricades to their campuses and check each person entering to make sure they are not undercover cops. Students have made a stockpile of molotov cocktails and point bows and arrows at the entrances to the university in an effort to repel the police.
    Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a private university and technically police need a warrant to enter. However, they had just entered and started apprehending students for illegal assembly (but “assembly” is what university students do on campus). The university president tried to negotiate with the police, but the police told him that there was not to be any negotiation and they teargassed him.

    Just another Tuesday in Hong Kong now. Wednesday could be something else. Thursday, another surprise. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up.

    The video is a bit long (25 mins), but maybe it will help address a few of your questions.

    Fact and Friction: Reporting on Hong Kong’s Protests (Full Documentary)| Whose Truth Is It Anyway?
    (https://youtu.be/blUwA7NklTU)

    Like


  494. So, Jefe, have you packed your bags for the trek back to the USA?
    Based on the noise coming from Xi, a crackdown is about to start soon. If true, the body count is about to get exponential. A curfew with shoot on site of any black-clad, masked rioter will be the order of the day. The reign of terror by your friends will be replaced with the even more deadly reign of terror of the government.
    ” Protesters completely blocked roads with bricks and bamboo scaffolding. University students have formed barricades to their campuses and check each person entering to make sure they are not undercover cops. Students have made a stockpile of molotov cocktails and point bows and arrows at the entrances to the university in an effort to repel the police.” Is this wise? What happened to “Be like water”?
    Relax, it won’t be the police but special forces backed by armored vehicles, helicopters, etc. My advice to your friends is “Be like water” and disappear in the ground, unless they want to be martyred. They have been branded as “terrorists” so the people of China have been prepared for their massacre. I suspect that you won’t be too troubled by such outcome if you don’t get caught in the crossfire and make it out on time. I can see you feted and raking big fees to discourse on the “Horrors of Chinese Communism”.

    Like


  495. I know CNN is western mainstream media (with all their incumbent biases), but I do see their crew out on the streets and I think this pretty much summarizes where we are:

    “There however seems to be no obvious pathway to the restoration of anything resembling order in the city,” China analyst Bill Bishop wrote this week. “It appears Xi Jinping has decided to allow chaos to increase, believing that the growing contradictions inside Hong Kong society will ultimately lead to so much anger from most of the Hong Kong populace towards the ‘radical’ protestors that the protests will eventually end.”

    That tactic has been followed for months now — but while the violence has continued to grow, most anger remains focused not on protesters, but the government that started all this in the first place.

    Hong Kong’s government is being willfully blind to the chaos it’s creating
    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/14/asia/hong-kong-protests-public-opinion-intl-hnk/

    The government, both the puppet government in HK and the central one in Beijing, by both trying to control the narrative (ie, this chaos is caused by separatist terrorists, western forces are behind the chaos, HK youth need to be re-educated, etc.) and by beefing up police control and emergency orders that the people will get fed up and turn against the protesters. Well, we are in our 6th month, and it does not look like that is happening or moving in that direction at all. The overwhelming majority of the residents are upset with the violence in the protests, but their anger is directed at the government, not at the protesters. In fact, large swaths of the population (lawyers, finance, civil service, social workers, medical personnel, etc.) have protests of their own or join with some of the more radical protesters like they did in the central district this week. Even white collar managerial and professionals joined in with the more radical members, and some got arrested or pepper sprayed.

    There are people who are following the government’s lead and condemn the protests, and I do know many of them, who either have absorbed the narrative portrayed by state media or maybe they don’t exactly 100% accept that narrative, but feel that the CCP is just too large and powerful a regime to resist that it is not worth losing your life and property over this.

    But, this is at best 30% of the population. They mostly consist of either people working in managerial positions or commercial fields in operations dependent on mainland money, influence or connections, or in the local villages spread across the New Territories. I think over 50% of expats (both western and Asian) tend to side with the government, but I know almost as many exceptions to this. Same with the people who migrated from the mainland since 1997, who now make up 15% of the population. Most of the newcomers are still quite attached to their upbringing in the Mainland and do not understand why HK people resist the CCP “benevolence” (ie, are still running dogs of their former colonial masters), but I do know quite a few who have been here longer, say, at least 15 or 20 years who have come to identify and sympathise with the HK protests and support maintaining the distinction from the Mainland.

    I personally have moved away from regarding the CCP regime as representing all there is to the concept of “China” and criticizing the CCP does not mean one is anti-China, or anti-Chinese people. That is akin to a claim that criticizing the Republican party or the Trump administration to be equivalent to being anti-American or spreading hatred towards the American people. It is just ridiculous.

    Like


  496. So, the CCP is responsible for the chaos, how so? Is Xi the one leading these kids to riot? If you look at Chile, Bolivia and Iraq, the death toll has surpassed that of HK in a few days not six months. Global Times used to call for patience but now it’s labeling the riots as terrorism and the respectable types you mention as enablers of the rioters. The “c” word, as in curfew, is bandied about. A few more weeks or month of rioter terrorism will probably be tolerated to convince more people of their destructive futility, then the crackdown will begin.
    You seem to think that the opinion of HK is foremost in the calculations of the CCP, I doubt it.
    “I personally have moved away from regarding the CCP regime as representing all there is to the concept of “China” and criticizing the CCP does not mean one is anti-China, or anti-Chinese people. That is akin to a claim that criticizing the Republican party or the Trump administration to be equivalent to being anti-American or spreading hatred towards the American people. It is just ridiculous.”
    There you go displaying that comic ‘genius’ of your for making absurd claims. As long as I’ve known you on this blog, you’ve always been anti-China to the point of fabricating lies about the CCP, such as Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge(HMZB) being a ripoff, HK being bled dry by the CCP, when, as a HK resident, you knew that Beijing gets zero cents from HK, etc. So, no, you aren’t criticizing China, you’re using Trump-like lies to bend reality to your will. You even had this to say about Trump’s chief liar: “I know you have done some scathing review of Steve Bannon (and I happen to agree with your stance on his alt-right rhetoric), but of all the talking media heads, he is probably more up to date with China and Hong Kong than most of the other media talking heads as well as US Congressional leaders. I advise you to check out some of the things he has said in the past week or two about these matters. He refers to the CCP as a “gangster” organization, and based on what I have observed over decades, I happen to agree that that is an apt way to refer to them. Even the US consulate referred to the CCP as a “thuggish regime” after the Global times published the personal details of a consular officer and her family after she had a meeting with Joshua Wong a month ago.”
    How’s the “bromance” between you, Abagond and “sloppy Steve” coming along and how much will you charge to drone on about the ‘horrors’ of the CCP, assuming, of course, you make it out of HK when the shit hits the fan.

    Like


  497. Jefe, how about an assessment of the HK district elections where your friends won big? Now that they are in charge of most districts, how do they plan to deal with the riots and housing crisis?

    Like


  498. @ Origin

    “…when all the intermingled imbalances interact in such a way as to enhance their negative effects on the system it will be unable to function coherently.”

    Perhaps one reason the system continued on is because of the uneven effects on people within the system. The initial negative effects hit the poor, the dark and the uneducated—-the people at the margins of this society—-first. It was all too easy for groups closer to the center to ignore their agony and cries for help.

    Your writing about how two sectors of the system (the military and the media) worked together to paper over biological and chemical testing on the civilian population:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/joshua-brown/comment-page-1/#comment-430911

    has echoes in other sectors of the system.

    Structural adjustment policies finally came home to roost in North America and the Eurozone after destroying the living standards of people throughout the Global South. Post-NAFTA, the media sector downplayed the devastation of the working classes.

    The financial sector muscled itself into every industry, hollowing out the value of those industries and perverting their original goals. The media sector has simultaneously ignored those most affected by the financialization of specific industries and acted as cheerleader to the financial sector.

    One ‘industry’ twisted by the financial sector is the healthcare system in the US. I recently read an article that explored why there is a chronic nursing shortage in US hospitals. Over the years, I’ve read a lot of theories about where US nursing chokepoints are located:

    ◉ mediocre K through 12 education that leaves a dearth of US applicants

    ◉ lack of interest among potential US applicants; leading to the importation of foreign born (and trained) nurses

    ◉ underfunding of US nursing schools

    In an article curated by Naked Capitalism, Anne Peticolas explores another angle. Something Peticolas dubs Prasad’s Law explains what some feel lay at the root of the nursing shortage. Prasad’s Law holds that: Medical goods and services that concentrate wealth can be paid for; medical goods and services that disperse wealth are “unaffordable.”

    Prasad’s Law is distilled from discussions held by Dr. Vinay Prasad on the podcast Plenary Session. Dr. Prasad states in one discussion:

    “…in healthcare, we will pay for interventions [treatments] that consolidate or concentrate wealth in the hands of fewer parties than we would ever pay for interventions that disperse wealth, and one of the things that disperses wealth is if you have a labor force of people who would provide care, would go pick up my patients, and bring them here . . .and if we took all the money we spent on like marginal and useless and mediocre drugs, and we put all that money in that social system, you’re going to hire a lot of people and you’re going to spread wealth out, but you’re not going to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few investors…”

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/12/why-hospitals-never-have-enough-nurses-the-explanatory-power-of-prasads-law-of-wealth-concentration.html

    Anne Peticolas remarks on the need for systemic change by writing:

    “And to change it – ever – will, in my mind, require a lot of change, not tinkering at the edges. As long as those who control our system now (now including private equity investors) continue to control our system, it cannot change. Wresting control from their hands will undoubtedly be a hell of a fight, but it is a fight essential to alleviate the serious issues that cause so much suffering.”

    When doctors and academics finally notice “imbalances” and “negative effects”, the system is already incoherent. You can be sure patients, their families, housekeeping staff, maintenance staff, nursing assistants and nurses have been aware of the problem for decades. Doctors have been whistling past the graveyard, but now must also face the utter dysfunction of the system.

    When will people make necessary change? Only when their backs are against the wall. It seems that our backs are moving closer and closer to that cold wall of reality….

    Like


  499. @Afrofem
    You touch on an interesting point: that unfettering “the market”, which results in the ‘financial sector muscling itself into every industry’, can end up corrupting of the putative goals of said industries. Interestingly, a central tenet of the doctrine of neo-liberalism, which was behind the destruction of the middle class wrought by NAFTA et al, is that if the competitive market is allowed to function with minimal intervention or regulation then the best possible results will be achieved. In the case of healthcare, in particular, we can see how this isn’t necessarily the case. The goal of profit-making and the goal of maintaining human health don’t have to coincide.

    Actually, I’d say that it largely corrupts every institution with the additional result that the levers of power are removed from the hands of state – which is at least theoretically subject to democratic intervention – and placed in the hands of unelected plutocrats. Emphasizing the “free market” and profit-making over all else obviously gives the investor class a lot of leverage. So we see how lobbying essentially corrupts the supposedly democratic legislative process and how the media is corrupted into a propaganda tool when they’re theoretically supposed to inform the public with facts.

    And yes, the discussion in the Joshua Brown thread certainly took the scenic route, lol.

    Like


  500. An interesting rundown of the Curtis Flowers case:

    https://herneith.d.pr/TtPYY6

    Tried seven times, he was on death row for 23 years. Many of the ‘witnesses’ recanted their testimony. He was finally granted bail pending the outcome of a decision to re-try him. A Travesty of justice.

    Liked by 1 person


  501. R.I.P Kobe Bryant. You’ll be remembered forever!

    Liked by 1 person


  502. RIP Kobe.

    From Crypto Godfather on twitter:

    How media handled Kobe news:

    @TMZ reports before family knows
    @MSNBC reporter drops the N-word calling it “Los Angeles N—ers”
    @ABC reports 4 daughters on board wrongly
    @washingtonpost tweets a link to rape case right after
    @BBCWorld airs and shows Lebron instead

    Like


  503. @ Michael Barker

    And it seems that Pete Buttigieg does not know Kobe Bryant was a basketball player, talking about his accomplishments on and off “the field”.

    Like


  504. US State Department Travel Advisory

    January 30, 2020
    China – Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. On January 30, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html

    Like


  505. This is a very long open thread.

    Like


  506. @ Herneith

    I agree. though the graphics were a bit off. Thanks for sharing.

    Like


  507. In light of the Wuhan Coronavirus (Covid-19), a post on the concept of “social distancing” may be good, as well as how it operated during prior pandemics.

    Like


  508. I recommend watching Tiger King on Netflix. Nothing like a bizarre twisted documentary to get your mind off of the Coronavirus.

    It should be renamed “Stuff white people do”.

    Like


  509. Just found out my mother had covoid-19 after having a fever for four days. She was tested and cleared. Eightyone year’s old!

    Like


  510. @ Herneith

    How wonderful!

    Like


  511. @ Herneith

    That is great news!

    Like


  512. @ Herneith

    You really do come from a family of tough survivors! Very happy to hear the good news, and I hope the rest of your loved ones stay healthy and well.

    Like


  513. @ jefe

    In light of the Wuhan Coronavirus (Covid-19), a post on the concept of “social distancing” may be good, as well as how it operated during prior pandemics.

    Agreed.
    Why not Abagond?

    Like


  514. @ munubantu

    Yeah, Abagond, why not?

    Like


  515. Abagond. I would be grateful if you could you comment further to the following two tunes

    First one is from my country the UK but is very relevant to all my people around the world and is probably the British answer to the Gambino tune This is America.

    (https://youtu.be/mXLS2IzZSdg)

    The second tune is from the world’s famous band called the Fatback band – Is this the future

    (https://youtu.be/WCG926aQJcc)

    Like


  516. @ Anonymous

    Thank you for the suggestion.

    Like


  517. @abagond
    @ munubantu

    I made a comment about social distancing on this thread prior to seeing this comment.

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/coronavirus-glossary/comment-page-1/#comment-436726

    Maybe it might add some to the discussion. There is so much wide variety and perspective on what social distancing actually is.

    Another case that might be interesting is comparing how the social distancing measures differ from place to place. In Hong Kong, we have been doing social distancing since January, as well as wearing face masks daily, but we have never had a shelter-in-place order, and for the first 2 months, never had a closing of non-essential services. Even now, there are only a few specific services which are ordered closed. We can still go to dine in a restaurant, for example. We can get a haircut, but cannot get a facial. However, in every single case, we have our body temperature monitored.

    And HK has only recorded 4 deaths in the past 3 months and still fewer total cases than when HK faced SARS in 2003.

    Apart from social and physical distancing, another interesting comparison is the practice of wearing face masks, and how that varies around the world.

    Like


  518. on Mon May 4th 2020 at 02:05:37 Michael Barker

    Shot dead while jogging. Shooters not charged.

    Liked by 1 person


  519. ^
    A post on Ahmaud Arbery, the Georgia jogger who was shot and killed, might be good.

    Like


  520. on Thu May 7th 2020 at 17:19:14 Michael Barker

    The shooter use to work for the DA in that area.

    The original story they gave to their police friends does not match the video that eventually surfaced.

    Since the courts are shut down that also means no grand jury investigation until their county opens up again.

    The media is using “the alleged killing” and other ridiculous wording to describe what is obviously murder.

    Liked by 1 person


  521. RIP Ahmaud Aubrey

    Like


  522. RIP Little Richard and Andre Harrell. This week learning about Ahmaud Aubrey’s murder by two racist monsters has compounded with trying to still stay alive by a plague has been harrowing.

    Like


  523. Abagond, Remember Breonna Taylor who was murdered in her apartment while she and her boyfriend slept, when they went in the wrong apartment looking for a suspect who had already been captured. Black women never get attention when they are murdered. May she rest in paradise.

    Like


  524. @ Mary

    I am doing a post on her. Hopefully it will be up on Monday.

    Liked by 1 person


  525. Suggestion: Jaha Dukureh

    Like


  526. any chance for a post on Obamagate?

    Like


  527. @ jefe

    “any chance for a post on Obamagate?”

    Right after I do a post on whether Obama beats his wife.

    If it becomes a serious campaign issue, sure. Otherwise no.

    Like


  528. Added to the list of things black people are not allowed to do is ask a white person to follow the posted rules at a park:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/central-park-karen-calls-cops-black-man-leash-dog/?intcid=CNI-00-10aaa3b

    BTW, in the article it says Central Park Karen has surrendered her dog to the rescue she adopted him from, but I didn’t realize why until I watched the video. She is outright committing animal abuse the way she drags the dog around by the collar too high for the poor animal to get his front feet on the ground.

    Liked by 1 person


  529. RIP to George Floyd murdered in Minneapolis by the police. It’s been a stressful day seeing a racist white woman in Central Park, feigning fear of a black man bird watching in the park. She gets angry because he asked her to put a leash on her dog. He recorded her making a false report saying she and her dog are being threatened. She was hoping the police would come with guns blazing and kill this man. Thankfully this video went viral. She also has a dog that is also being abused in the process.

    Many white commentators on social media were more upset about the dog being abused. I too am an animal lover and I was appalled by the poor dog being abused. Many white commentators chose to be more upset about the dog. In the minds of many white people a dog’s life is more valuable than a black person’s life. It’s been reported she has been terminated from her job, and the dog removed from her home. Seeing a repeat of Eric Garner die from suffocation by Minnesota police. George Floyd dies pleading for his life suffocating because the cop has his knee on his neck and the other three cops do not intervene and people are watching in broad daylight.

    Liked by 1 person


  530. The four Minnesota cops have been fired. That’s not enough, they need to be prosecuted and sent to prison. I will not hold my breath.

    Like


  531. Amy Cooper the Central Park racist, is a modern day Carolyn Bryant Donham. Knowing her feigning fear and white woman tears would be a weapon to use against a black man. She literally was trying to set this man up to be killed by the police. She was angry because this black man had the audacity to tell her a white woman, what to do. White women crying wolf, have sent many black men to their death.

    Like


  532. It’s a good thing Christian Cooper recorded Amy Cooper making a false report to 911. This is evidence she is a liar and racist and animal abuser.

    Like


  533. @ Mary Burrell

    “Many white commentators chose to be more upset about the dog.”

    I spent much of yesterday arguing with three white posters on a pet forum who think he put the dog at risk more than she did. SMH.

    It did make me smile, though, to see that all of Black Twitter now wants to marry him:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/crissles/status/1265368720551161856

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ortile/status/1265375559246385167

    Like


  534. Still processing seeing video of two black men murdered, a young black woman EMT shot in her bed by trigger happy cops bursting in the wrong apartment, and a crazy racist white woman making a false 911 call to set up a black man to get him murdered. Seeing video two weeks ago of cowardly white militia with AKA rifles, go to the state house in Michigan, and confront police with no mask and no social distancing in the middle of a deadly pandemic. The white militia men suffered no consequences. Black people in Minneapolis protesting the horrendous death of a black man gets tear gas and rubber bullets. And they want to know why Colin Kaepernick kneels.

    Liked by 1 person


  535. It is interesting that the name “Amy Cooper” is being used as an archetype for all manner of noxious bigots that Black people encounter everyday:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/OccScienceBae/status/1265644600112316416

    Liked by 2 people


  536. Turns out Amy Cooper is a liberal based on her campaign donations.

    But then thats not really surprising. In her world she lived in this protected tunnel that never intersected with the people she imagined she identified with. She was blind to her own privilege but made herself feel good through her liberal worldview.

    Yet her default reaction was to weaponize her response when she put herself into that uncomfortable position of being told by a black man to leash her dog.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/amy-cooper-central-park-racist-dog-walker-trump-a9533581.html

    Like


  537. I’ve gotten an education in the ineffectiveness of respectability politics the last couple days.

    On forums and comment sections, there are white people who will go to any lengths to disparage Christian Cooper.

    I’ve seen white people cast doubt on whether he was really bird-watching, saying things like “his ‘so-called’ hobby” even though there’s proof he’s been an avid birder since his college days, when he was president of Harvard’s orinthology club; he’s long been a prominent member of NYC’s Audubon Society and appears in two documentaries on birds and birding, footage of which is circulating on social media.

    I’ve seen white people question why he was wearing a bicycle helmet in the park, even though the logical answer would be that he must’ve gotten to the park by bicycle — and in fact there are press photos from yesterday by the reporters who followed him to the park that show him with his bicycle.

    I’ve seen white people claim he could have used the bicycle helmet as a weapon.

    I’ve seen white people claim he had poison on the dog treats, with no evidence whatsoever.

    If he had any sort of arrest record, it would be all over the headlines by now.

    Liked by 2 people


  538. Thomas Paine on riots:

    “When the rich plunder the poor of his rights, it becomes an example of the poor to plunder the rich of his property, for the rights of the one are as much property to him as wealth is property to the other and the little all is as dear as the much. It is only by setting out on just principles that men are trained to be just to each other; and it will always be found, that when the rich protect the rights of the poor, the poor will protect the property of the rich. But the guarantee, to be effectual, must be parliamentarily reciprocal.”

    —Thomas Paine, 1792 #ArrestTheMurderers

    Liked by 1 person


  539. Ha ! The “rioters” are burning the St.Paul police station to the ground. .live feed

    Like


  540. Search under “unicorn riot” on FB to view live feed.

    Like


  541. This is the beginning of an uprising across the U.S.

    Like


  542. Riots have happened in countries where the elite ignore the plight of the lower classes. In Chile, Brazil, Tunisia, France, UK, all over the world. The absence of the illusion of justice leads to anarchy. Declaring martial law is not what Tangerine Trump thinks it is. It could lead to him being kicked out of the White House literally.

    Like


  543. on Mon Jun 8th 2020 at 02:58:02 Michael Barker

    So defund the police: copy and pasted from a Reason article.

    “Thanks to the civil asset forfeiture process, police are often able to keep people’s money, homes, and vehicles through complicated court proceedings simply by accusing the owners of having earned the money or purchased the property through illegal means—without having to actually get a court conviction.’

    “There have been some recent reforms to forfeiture, in part because during our last recession, when revenue collection in cities went down, many police dramatically increased the use of asset forfeiture to maintain their budgets. They weren’t taking money from rich people or leaders of drug cartels. The targets of asset forfeiture are frequently low-income minorities and immigrants who lack the resources to fight back.”

    “California adopted state-level changes in 2016 that make it harder for cops to keep people’s assets without a criminal conviction. But in many states, reform is still sorely needed. Just last month, an effort to change asset forfeiture rules in Arizona was killed by Democratic lawmakers—precisely because the change would deprive police departments of revenue.”

    “In addition, some cities are overly dependent on fines and fees, turning the local cops into an especially nasty sort of tax collector. In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, black residents in several St. Louis-area communities railed against these small regimes of petty fines for extremely minor crimes and the harsh code enforcement systems that tried to extract homeowners’ money over tiny violations.
    The Institute for Justice investigated and documented the harshness of these systems in Missouri and some other states, noting that some communities depend on fees and fines for as much as 30 percent of their budgets.’

    “If this is how your community is paying for police and services, you can’t simply redirect your policing budget. Presumably, cutting back on police will reduce the number of fees and fines being extracted from citizens. That would be good! But that means the local government will have less money, and if it isn’t willing to do without this money, the police will be pressured to find more reasons to cite and fine citizens for minor crimes.”

    “The police are being used to enforce a host of regulations that have fundamentally criminalized a lot of poorer people’s economic activities, entirely because the government isn’t getting a cut of the money. It’s all framed as a public health and safety issue. Who knows where those street vendor hot dogs have been unless the sellers obey expensive mandates and pay for the licenses that prove they’re following the rules? What horrible things might happen to your fingernails if you don’t go to a nail salon with licensed technicians?”

    “All of these systems serve as revenue for city government and are enforced by the police.”

    I suspect there might be some push back on defunding the police.

    There other aspect of this is some of that revenue collected from fees snd fines probably does go towards social services which benefits poor people.

    So it seems like social services for the poor aren’t really free if the poor end up paying for them.

    Like


  544. Black Lives Matter, is not an USA movement anymore. It became a universal movement!
    I hope our host here in this forum, considers to open a thread about it. It’s about time to do this.

    Like


  545. Suggestion: Olivia Pearson

    DA George E. Barnhill threatened her with 15 years in prison for voter fraud, yet declined to prosecute Ahmaud Arbery’s killers.

    https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2020/05/ahmaud-arbery-georgia-jogger-george-barnhill-olivia-pearson-voter-fraud-charges/

    Like


  546. Suggestion: The coronavirus and Asian Americans

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52714804

    Like


  547. Suggestion: Axe Handle Saturday

    “Trump will give his acceptance speech in Jacksonville on August 27. The date is the sixtieth anniversary of a brutal attack on Black Jacksonville residents by white mobs brandishing baseball bats and ax handles, an event known as “Ax Handle Saturday.””

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-11-2020

    Liked by 1 person


  548. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/08/andy-ngo-right-wing-antifa-protest-portland-bigotry?fbclid=IwAR2MzwjKZkmk-VtISIZIRCzlgeQ2J7HxSbCwVKUSLhmMCeFlXQz5IN8tXBM

    “The incident was an example of a disturbing media model for the Trump era: opportunists using biased reporting, social media, and wild accusations inflame vigilante and digital mobs to target “enemies” such as the media, Democrats, and left-wing activists. Figures like Carlson and Ngo reap followers, prominence, and income from the outrage and threats of violence. But to keep the ratings and the money flowing, the outrage machine must be cranked ever louder, risking greater violence.”

    Like


  549. Black people dying while sleeping in their cars. Rayshard Brooks, was in his car sleeping in the drive through at a Wendy’s and cops were called on him. He was pulled out of his vehicle, he and tussled with police. Brooks managed to get the officer’s taser, he resisted and ran. While he was running, he was shot in the back multiple times. In my opinion the cops handled this badly. They had his car with the license plates. Why did they have to shoot him. Sleeping in the car is not a crime. All these white people, and their protestations of he should not have resisted arrest. Are the ones who enjoy seeing Black people brutalized and killed.

    Law enforcement is not set up to protect and serve Black Americans because they see them as a threat. Police only protect and serve white communities.

    Like


  550. So Covid 45 decided not to do his hate rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Black Wall Street massacre was committed on Juneteenth. So he decided to change the date. That’s so big of him. Trump is a soulless beast, he has no moral compass. The cruelty is the point of it all. The country is divided and in crisis and he wants to pull these type stunts. Flush this 💩 on November third.

    Like


  551. RIP Rayshard Brooks.

    Like


  552. @ Mary Burrell

    They may never mention it in news reports, but it is a good guess that Mr. Brooks worked more than one job and was sleep deprived. Falling asleep at a drive-through is a dead giveaway that he was extremely fatigued.

    Large numbers of Americans never get enough sleep. That is especially true for Black folk. We tend to work longer hours at more jobs. We live in noisier environments (horns honking and sirens blaring at all hours). We have more people to take care of with extended families. All of that cuts into needed sleep time.

    I’m angry that Mr. Brooks was treated like a criminal and murdered by police for sleeping while Black.

    Liked by 1 person


  553. So should the cops be called because a Black man is sleeping in his car.

    Like


  554. The Wendy were Rayshard Brooks was shot by police was set on fire. Black protesters are being blamed for the arson. A white female was spotted with an incendiary device setting fire to the fast food restaurant. The media is not reporting this. The media wants to shape the narrative of Black protesters being shown in a negative light.

    Like


  555. Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled Rayshard Brooks’ death a homicide.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-killing-rayshard-brooks-atlanta-ruled-homicide-n1231042

    Like


  556. Rayshard Brooks was killed because he embarrassed those cops. When Brooks got that taser away from that cop he felt humiliated. Once the humiliation and anger kick in, they can’t stop themselves. Humiliation and perceived dishonor are a lethal combination. I bet that’s how a lot of killings by police happen.

    Liked by 1 person


  557. Would have been nice if one of those cops would have called an Uber for Rayshard Brooks.

    Like


  558. The lynchings in California are pretty ominous. So cowardly.

    Liked by 1 person


  559. @ Afrofem: Yes, those so called suicides of the Black men found hanging are ominous. We both know what is happening here.

    Like


  560. Beau the fifth column.
    On Trump, Facebook and cops walking out.
    (https://youtu.be/U2C8hUE7zVM)

    Liked by 1 person


  561. @Michael Barker: I like Beau of The Fifth Columb. He’s pretty insightful.

    Liked by 1 person


  562. @ Mary Burrell

    I miss you!! I am so glad your voice is so strong here.

    @Everyone

    I enjoyed reading your posts.

    Liked by 2 people


  563. @ Sharina

    I’m so glad to see you! I’ve been worried about you ever since this coronavirus thing started and was hoping you would drop by to check in. Hope that your family and loved ones are all doing well and staying safe.

    Like


  564. @Solitaire

    I am still fighting. When COVID hit I would peek in a bit but not comment. I saw you kicking a** so I was just cheering. Due to the mental stress of quarantine and working I kind of shut down a bit. Now I am being a full blown “I don’t believe in COVID” conspiracy theorist. The family is doing great and oddly thriving in this situation. How are things with your family and loved ones?

    Liked by 1 person


  565. The NRA for Black people.

    (https://youtu.be/GsTAkqWaI8A)

    Like


  566. @ Sharina

    I hear you about the stress. I think most people are feeling it to some degree. It’s great that your family is thriving in this situation. I’m hearing similar things from a lot of people with young kids, maybe because they’ve been spending more time together because of the lockdown.

    I think I remember that you were doing a lot of your grad school classes online even before all this started?

    We are all doing okay so far but it is rough on me being at a distance. I was supposed to go home for a visit at the end of March and that has been indefinitely postponed. I’m pretty much at the opposite end from conspiracy theorist — I want to shake everyone I see without a mask on and yell “Are you trying to kill us all?!?!”

    Like


  567. Rest In Paradise, Elijah McClain. 🕊🙏🏿

    Liked by 1 person


  568. The muder of Elijah McCain was so saddening. And the silence that happened afterwards is violence.

    (https://youtu.be/b-HPBqRm7qk)

    Liked by 1 person


  569. @ Mary B. @ MJB

    Elijah McClain’s murder really hurt. He was literally walking home with a bottle of iced tea. The police accost him and he is unconscious in minutes. His murderers still walk free.

    Liked by 2 people


  570. This was a good read.

    https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/what-i-learned-black-speaker-liberal-white-austin/

    “A Black American’s earliest learned tool is how to be likable. Likable enough to be an exception. You are to understand that white people mean it as a compliment when they distinguish you from other Black folks.”

    Liked by 1 person


  571. @ Michael Barker

    Wow. You are so right. That essay by Jade Fabello was powerful.

    I love how he sliced and diced the Democrats, especially Biden.

    Thanks for sharing that link.

    Liked by 1 person


  572. on Thu Jul 2nd 2020 at 04:12:10 Michael Barker

    A good read. The most in depth piece I have read on Woodrow Wislon.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/woodrow-wilson-was-even-worse-than-you-think

    Like


  573. There have been multiple hangings (read lynchings) reported over the past month (most recent incident in the story below) and the police are often quick to deem them suicides.

    The MSM has been largely silent but I think the frequency of these events and where some of the bodies have been found are alarming. Hoping to spread more awareness because I am concerned that there’s a coordinated effort underway to kill and send a message to Black people.

    https://www.newjerseyhills.com/morris_news_bee/news/20-year-old-man-amani-kildea-found-hanging-in-lewis-morris-park-in-morris-township/article_aaf49df8-299e-54cd-94b2-076b3ac727da.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR0Hzij8aHNEbYfDordJE43ztMQuOqaTtyTCMo2yTz3OHrrzdVbT0FAcIno

    Liked by 1 person


  574. @ Holly

    These passages in the link you provided caught my attention:

    “PedoGotCaught members pose online as minors, lure potential predators to stores and other public places, then shoot and post videos of them. […] The group claims it has outed 32 predators, including the son of a mayor.”

    Amani Kildea was a transracial adoptee. A Black father would have been a lot more suspicious of an outdoor hanging death. The symbolism would not have been lost on anyone Black.

    Moreover, pressure from local politicians and cops who did not approve of Kildea’s actions as part of a pedophile vigilante group could be contributing factors to Prosecutor Knapp’s rush to declare suicide and close the investigation.

    Officially declaring suspicious deaths “suicides” is one way to tamp down protests to those deaths. This case raises more questions than answers.

    Holly, thank you for sharing this article.

    Liked by 1 person


  575. @Afrofem

    That caught my attention too. Looks like there’s more to the story and I hope we get to the truth.

    I’m so disheartened by 2020 with everything going on. Something’s gotta give.

    Liked by 1 person


  576. “A Library Has Burned.” A Senegal Proverb when someone has died. Rest In Power, two Civil Rights icons have transitioned and become ancestors. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian.

    Like


  577. A Library has burned is Senegalese Proverb. Two Civil Rights activist and icons made their transitions on yesterday. Reverend C.T. Vivian and John Lewis. These elders are now ancestors and may they rest in power, may their memories be a blessing. Well done good and faithful servants.

    Like


  578. Yesterday was the anniversary of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot. Never Forget.

    Like


  579. on Sat Aug 1st 2020 at 19:41:01 Michael Barker

    Bundy on BLM lol

    He kinda gets though he’d like to defund everything.

    Like


  580. @ MJB

    WOW!!! Thanks so much for sharing that! LOL.

    Like


  581. on Thu Aug 6th 2020 at 01:02:27 Michael Barker

    The Feds arrest Jasan Charter and claim he is the leader of Antifa. He gave a news conference today with his attorney and takes questions.

    (https://www.facebook.com/N2Sreports/videos/647354689321817/?d=null&vh=e)

    Like


  582. on Thu Aug 6th 2020 at 01:05:46 Michael Barker

    This link for the Jason Charter news conference works. (https://youtu.be/8SypyezrJmw)

    Like


  583. Thanks again, Michael!

    Liked by 1 person


  584. @Solitaire

    Luckily my grad school courses were online. With me working I felt pretty disconnected from my kids. Our day was me getting off work, picking them up from school, making dinner, them doing homework, and off to bed to start it all over again. Now I come home and they are home. Homework is done so we get to do things together again.

    Do you mind me asking why you are away from your family? Not your husband right?

    Like


  585. on Fri Aug 7th 2020 at 04:48:24 Michael Barker

    The laws they pass get enforced on the people with the least amount of privilege.

    Liked by 1 person


  586. Okay so I recently watched Beyonce’s Black is king. I am Still in the process of understanding and taking in the “cinematic experience.” There has been some backlash. One is that it has demonic symbolism and another criticizes it as viewing African as a monolith.

    I was wonder if those blog goers who are continental Africans can share your thoughts on the film if you have seen it.

    Like


  587. @ Sharina

    Africa is a country!

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/africa-is-a-country/

    And Black people lack “diversity of thought”!

    Outgroup homogenization rocks!

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/prejudice/

    Like


  588. I came across this. White Supremecy comes in all forms.

    https://cvantifa.noblogs.org/post/2020/08/10/ruralnexion/

    Militant ruralism is an emerging American fascist tendency that has grown in popularity over the past several years. It is Eco-fascist in nature and emphasizes resistance to industrial society and a return to nature and traditionalism. Unlike more typical Eco-fascists, who tend toward stochastic terrorism, adherents instead focus on controlling remote plots of land, where they can homestead and live off the grid. They also seem to hold occult beliefs and see themselves as preparing for doomsday.

    militantruralism.com

    Like


  589. My son filming the health departs war on the working poor. Excuse hi language.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3657155587647633&id=100000596833677&d=null&vh=i

    Like


  590. Is “Caste” (2020) by Isabel Wilkerson any good?

    Liked by 1 person


  591. Hurricane Laura is about to strike South-western Lousiana as a more intense hurricane than Katrina was at landfall. As of the last advisory (7:00 PM CDT) the NHC is saying sustained winds are up to 150mph with the possibility of further strengthening before landfall. I hope all residents of low-lying coastal areas have evacuated. The storm surge is going to be catastrophic.

    Like


  592. Four years ago Colin Kaepernick took a knee to peacefully protest police killing of Black Americans.

    Yesterday, the Milwaukee Bucks protest by not playing basketball because of police shooting and killing of unarmed Black people. A couple of days ago Roger Goodell, NFL President, says he regrets that he didn’t understand what Kaepernick’s kneeling was about. I say a million middle fingers and a fist to him, and give Kaepernick his job back.

    Liked by 1 person


  593. The Republican National Convention is nothing but a glorified white supremacy rally. Even though, there are sellout, boot lickers like Van Jones and Tim Scott and Herschel Walker attending, and all those other Black minstrels called Black Voices For Trump.

    Like


  594. @Mary
    Are you watching it?!? I don’t know how you can stomach it. Politicians always irritate me when they’re spewing a warped version of reality that only they can save us from but, this kicks it up to a whole new level. I now long for the normal 70% reality / 30% spin instead of this 10% reality / 30% spin / 60% total made-up bullshit we’re witnessing right now.

    Liked by 1 person


  595. @Abagond: I too am interested in Isabel Wilkerson’s new book Caste. I really loved The Warmth of Other Suns so much. I have read good reviews and she was on an episode of one of my Podcast I believe it was NPR Code Switch discussing her book. I enjoyed the episode and that is what is making me want to read her book.

    Like


  596. @Open Minded Observer: It’s all over my timeline on social media. It’s pretty much a bunch of lies, and gaslighting and it’s just a bunch of MAGA nut jobs. For example that little 💩 from the Catholic school who was being a jerk to the Native Americans is a speaker, and the crazy girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. is screaming like some demented banshee. It’s so disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person


  597. @ Sharina

    “Do you mind me asking why you are away from your family? Not your husband right?”

    Sorry I missed this earlier. I need to start checking the Open Thread more often.

    No, I was talking about my parents mostly, who are in their mid-80s and not exactly following the safety guidance the way they should. For example, a few weeks ago my dad texted me that my mom had scheduled haircut appointments for them both and he was worried sick about it. My teenage nephew had told my mom that if my dad refused to go, he himself would drive her to the stylist. I ended up on the phone for over an hour talking her out of it.

    I feel like if I lived closer, I could do better in keeping them safe. As it is, I’m too scared to even go for a visit, afraid I might unknowingly bring the virus with me (they live too far away to just do a day trip). I also wish that particular nephew wasn’t being such a numbskull since he himself has a potential co-morbidity.

    It sounds like you finished grad school? I don’t remember you announcing it on Abagond’s blog, but I could have missed it at the time. Belated congrats on your graduation!

    Like


  598. @ gro jo

    You did a stellar job of researching and quoting me on the Trump 2020 thread about old business.

    Since I don’t want to hijack that thread to cover HK protest issues, I will reiterate my central question here:

    Why didn’t you present a strong counter with links to your source materials? Why didn’t you refute the official narrative instead of going on a namecalling jag?

    You seemed to take the easy way out. Namecalling is cheap. Sharing links to refute flawed arguments is far more difficult and costly. You settled for cheap when you didn’t have to do so. Why?

    Like


  599. My dear, what a convenient memory you have!
    As the quote I used on the Trump 2020 thread shows, you knew all about Wong.

    You rejected evidence that the CPC was not interested in ‘oppressing’ HK because they had big plans for it as part of their Pearl River Delta project.
    After you found evidence that I wasn’t lying to you, you decided to listen to jefe’s nonsense about ‘oppressed’ HK being persecuted by the CPC. You even managed to get into your head that HK paid for the bridge under duress!

    I provided plenty links to source materials, if you chose to ignore them don’t blame me.
    How come you weren’t the least bit curious about why the police reaction to the riots was so mild? Not one protester killed by the police!
    Being from the USA, where such thing is unheard of, you should have been asking questions.
    Is it because the Chinese are innate pacifists?
    Nonsense, the suppression of the1967 riots by the HK police and the Tiananmen Square military crackdown say no. Both events left thousands dead or in jail. The first was carried out by the British and the second by the CPC.
    I provided links on the militancy of the HK sailors during the 1920s, the struggle for voting rights by an Afro-Chinese lawyer and his friends for voting rights during the 1940s, etc.

    Like


  600. I remember a paucity of links and other material that backed up your claims. Revelations about ties some of the HK leadership have to rightwing US politicos and Ukrainian far right types came from my own reading and research, not any source materials you cited.

    If you did provide source materials (and that is a big IF) they were either not clearly presented, i.e. no links to articles, videos or pdfs or not very memorable.

    Then there is the question of relevance. Really gro jo, what do links to “… the militancy of the HK sailors during the 1920s, the struggle for voting rights by an Afro-Chinese lawyer and his friends for voting rights during the 1940s, etc.” have to do with a US backed attempted color revolution in HK circa 2019?

    What I’m really curious about is how HK residents on the ground view their own movement? Do they feel it was hijacked by the likes of Joshua Wong or are they in alignment with the direction of his leadership? Are they okay with ties to the global rightwing or see them as distractions to their demands?

    Are you willing to share credible sources that answer these questions?

    Like


  601. Your questions don’t interest me since it is pretty clear that people marching under the aegis of the US flag, the British or the colonial flags have already made their choice.
    “Really gro jo, what do links to “… the militancy of the HK sailors during the 1920s, the struggle for voting rights by an Afro-Chinese lawyer and his friends for voting rights during the 1940s, etc.” have to do with a US backed attempted color revolution in HK circa 2019?”
    Not much, but it shows the road traveled by HK society in a century. From militant fighters against racial discrimmination, to reformist civil rights type struggles, to a demoralized and debased people hankering after a past that didn’t exist.
    “Are you willing to share credible sources that answer these questions?”
    I didn’t sign on to provide you or anybody else with answers, like you, I state my view on a subject. I’m not out to change anybody’s mind. I deem Global Times, the mouthpiece of the CPC credible, I don’t think you do, but that’s not my problem is it?

    Like


  602. One source? Any others?

    The Global Times will give one perspective, maybe even a credible perspective. However all news outlets just give their audiences a piece of the elephant. To deliver the entire beast, multiple sources are needed.

    When you decide to stop imitating a porcupine, let me know of other sources you deem credible to read.

    Like


  603. Kansas City Chief fans booed, as the players took a moment of silence and locked arms to acknowledge racial inequality. Then after booing, preceded to become more offensive and racist by doing the Tomahawk Chop, which is offensive to Native Americans. Bernice King, the daughter of MLK tweeted, what I thought was a very profound tweet. “ There will never be an acceptable form of protest to racist.”

    Like


  604. RIP to RBG, she was an extraordinary woman and tough as nails.

    Like


  605. @ gro jo yes it seems ‘we’ ie americans have the EU and the UK (britannia remembers) on board vis a vis HK and Taiwan

    Like


  606. @v8driver
    You have them on board to do what? Free HK and Taiwan from the dreaded PRC?
    Ask yourself if the leaders and peoples of these nations are willing to go to war with the PRC, I don’t think so, do you? The US and EU recognize the PRC as the government of China, including Taiwan and HK. Have they repudiated such diplomatic stance? If they have, I’m not aware of it.

    Like


  607. Anyone have opinions about the idea of adding justices to the Supreme court? I’m just curious where the regulars here fall on that issue. Personally, I pretty much believe our elected officials should be expected to do their jobs during their entire terms and therefore I do think Merrick Garland should have been voted on and I think, other than the extenuating circumstances of the Senate catching COVID, that they should be working towards filling the current vacancy. I don’t love the idea of each party simply changing the court to suit their ideology every 4-8 years and I hate the partisan politics that took place which has led us to where we’re looking at literally scaling up the court every time a different party is in power. I’d be more in favor of something like 10-15 year term limits for justices so that there’s more motivation to nominate experienced justices with significant judicial track records and who can happily retire after serving while also not giving one president the power to sway the judicial branch for an entire generation.

    Like


  608. @ Open Minded Observer

    The Supreme Court is falling way out of whack with the US as a whole. Expand it and require 60% of senators to confirm a justice. The Supreme Court should be the voice of moderation, broadly in line with the US, not a screeching gallery of ideological ghouls. The size of the court has been changed nine times before. This is a warranted case, needed to preserve its institutional legitimacy.

    Also: impeach Kavanaugh.

    Liked by 1 person


  609. @ Open Minded Observer

    There were ten justices for awhile in the 1860s, so it’s not without precedent to go over nine.

    “Personally, I pretty much believe our elected officials should be expected to do their jobs during their entire terms and therefore I do think Merrick Garland should have been voted on and I think, other than the extenuating circumstances of the Senate catching COVID, that they should be working towards filling the current vacancy.”

    I wouldn’t have a problem with Congress establishing a rule as long as they stick to it. Let them decide how close to the presidential election is too close, codify it, and follow it in all cases. Add a provision that if the vacancy occurs before the cut-off date, the party in control of the Senate cannot do what Mitch did and refuse to hold nomination hearings.

    “I’d be more in favor of something like 10-15 year term limits for justices so that there’s more motivation to nominate experienced justices with significant judicial track records and who can happily retire after serving while also not giving one president the power to sway the judicial branch for an entire generation.”

    I could get behind this. I could even see making it 20 years. Just as long as they have to retire at a certain point, instead of waiting for them to keel over.

    Liked by 1 person


  610. @Open Minded Observer

    I’m glad you brought this subject up. I’ve thought and read about judicial reform for some time now. I knew we were headed for trouble in the 1990s when the Repubs refused to fill federal judicial vacancies. By the end of the Obama administration they managed to hold nearly a hundred federal judiciary vacancies open.

    Since Trump’s Electoral College victory, they have engaged in their own “court packing” spree in lower federal courts. They have nominated and (with considerable Democratic party help) filled the federal bench with scores of ideological extremists to the Circuit Courts. What’s worse, is many of those nominees were considered “unqualified” by their legal peers.

    A mess waiting to happen on several levels.

    One of the best articles I’ve come across about Supreme Court reform was written by Elie Mystal in the Nation magazine earlier this year. In the piece,
    “If We Don’t Reform the Supreme Court, Nothing Else Will Matter”, Mystal presents a range of reform proposals and does the work of picking apart his own arguments.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/reform-supreme-court/

    Mystal presents four primary reform proposals and their limitations:

    Court Expansion – defined by Repubs as “court packing”.

    Term Limits – no more lifetime appointments.

    Supreme Court Panels – instead of all cases heard by the entire court, most cases are heard and decided by three judge panels, with the option of a case going to the full court under clearly defined circumstances.

    Ethics Reform – according to Mystal,

    “The Supreme Court is the only court in the land whose judges operate under no ethical guidelines. The Constitution says the justices hold their positions while in “good Behaviour,” yet nobody has defined precisely what that entails for these nine people. […] the ethical rules that govern a random traffic court judge in Peoria do not apply to the Supreme Court justices.

    Simply subjecting the justices to the same ethical rules that govern all other lifetime-appointed federal judges would be a sea change in terms of how the court operates.”

    One thing Mystal and other writers overlook is the need for deep transformation of how the Legislative and Executive branches operate in tandem with any changes made to the Judicial branch. They were all set up to privilege a small group of people (namely wealthy White males) and have been impediments to true democracy for the entire time of this country’s history.

    Most “reform” proposals are merely tinkering around the edges of that central problem.

    One last thought, OMO: any system set up by one group of humans with good or ill intent, can be gamed or subverted by another group of humans. If the American people manage to make significant changes to the current system over the next few decades, there will always be groups and individuals seeking to twist that system to suit their own selfish agendas.

    That seems to be human nature. Malcolm X’s description of the those in power as “foxes and wolves” is applicable in all eras. The only bulwark against them is eternal vigilance.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/reform-supreme-court/

    Liked by 1 person


  611. @ Afrofem

    Thank you for pointing out that the Republicans have been stacking the federal courts as well, using the same delaying strategy as they did with Garland. I would like to see legislative reform to stop that tactic on all levels of the judicial branch.

    I’ve read several articles recently about the Senate which point out that the population of cities was relatively small when the Constitution was written. The difference between the most populated and least populated states was miniscule compared to now. The Founders never envisioned such an extreme difference as currently there is between Wyoming and the state of New York. It simply wasn’t possible to sustain such a large urban population then, and they couldn’t have forseen the scientific and technological advancements that made it feasible. They probably also never expected a new state to have the land mass of California or Texas. So the Senate’s structure is based on the Founders’ antiquated ideas of what would be fair representation for each state, which no longer works fairly because of the changes in the population distribution.

    This argument, of course, doesn’t even get into the other flaws in the Founders’ ideas of fairness, such as excluding people of color, women, and poor white men.

    The Senate was modelled after the House of Lords in the British parliament, except without the requirement for titled hereditary nobility. It was always going to be a problematic institution in a democratic republic.

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  612. @ Solitaire

    “The Senate was modelled after the House of Lords in the British parliament, except without the requirement for titled hereditary nobility. It was always going to be a problematic institution in a democratic republic.”

    The Senate was even less democratic in the beginning. Until passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, senators were appointed by state legislatures.

    The process of appointment was so flawed that from 1826 to 1913, numerous groups tried to get legislation passed to change the process. However, the Senate (surprise, surprise!) refused to vote on proposed changes.

    The states finally became so frustrated with the issue they turned to Article 5 of the Constitution which allows for a constitutional convention when two-thirds of state legislatures apply for the convention. In 1912, the House of Representatives sent a final draft of the amendment and sent it to the states for ratification.

    The 17th Amendment was finally ratified by three-quarters of the states in 1913. Congress had to be pushed into action by the states with lots of foot-dragging, pouting and politicking on their part.

    https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/17th-amendment

    A similar process is afoot to abolish the Electoral College. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact already has 16 states that have agreed to the compact. It will have the force of law once it adds 9 more states and delivers 270 of 538 electoral votes.

    https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/written-explanation

    Me and 61% of Americans look forward to the change.

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  613. Thank you all for responding!

    To be clear, I hate what the Republicans have done and I’m almost of the mind that we should just re-elect all new justices through preferential voting… even in the lower courts. Just as a basis for starting over while also defining and reforming how future judges are appointed… perhaps as a constitutional amendment to make it more difficult to simply do away with 2/3 majority vote, etc.. That would work towards resetting the court to what Abagond wrote, “…the voice of moderation, broadly in line with the US…“.

    @Solitaire
    I know there’s precedent for changing it… Just looking at how executive orders have become the normal way of legislating against partisan obstruction, I feel like each party will just expand the court as they have the ability to and then operate deliberately to force the court to decide policy… like suing over the ACA or the Wayfair sales tax issue or restricting access to abortion, etc…I guess it’s all just the same story repeating and maybe I’m just more attune to it right now.

    @Afrofem
    any system set up by one group of humans with good or ill intent, can be gamed or subverted by another group of humans.
    100% agree.

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  614. Today is Indigenous People Day. We should never celebrate Columbus ever again.

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  615. @ Open Minded Observer

    I understand your concerns. All of the political gridlock is frustrating, as are the sometimes questionable ways the executive and legislative branches are trying to get around the gridlock.

    But I don’t think “forcing the court to decide policy” is anything new. I think there is a fair amount of precedent for new legislation or even constitutional amendments being tested in Supreme Court cases. Consider how differently the Court decided in Plessy v Ferguson compared to Brown v Board of Education. Between those two cases lies not only many decades but other legal challenges that we aren’t as readily aware of. Most didn’t make it all the way to the Supreme Court, but they provided legal precedent for the justices to consider. Or there were the attempts by women to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment in the 1870s, one of which was heard by the Supreme Court (Minor v Happersett). I haven’t made a study of it, but I’m willing to bet there were all kinds of back and forth with court cases and legal wrangling on issues that we aren’t taught about, policies like the ACA which were controversial then but now aren’t taught in depth or detail. My guess is if the ACA stands, 50 years from now kids aren’t going to be taught about all the court challenges; it will be one line in a textbook saying what it was and when it became law.

    As a similar example, I’m embarrassed to admit that although I did remember U.S. senators were originally appointed rather than elected, I didn’t know until I read Afrofem’s comment above that there was almost a century’s worth of reform efforts culminating in the threat of a constitutional convention before it finally was changed.