“Good bye, Hong Kong. It was good to know you.”

Hong Kong from Victoria Harbor [Photo by Sandy from Travel on Cloud 9]

By JoeAm

Those of us who have been around a long time can tell of huge changes in the way we were until now. Black and white television is now streamed Netflix. The farm where I grew up is now city, so congested that I have trouble finding my way back home again for lack of identifiable landmarks. The farm is part school yard, part church property.

Cities don’t always change fast, but they invariably change. I remember Denver when the “Valley Highway” was being built, a deep trench skirting town, the first freeway in what is now a knitted network of metal movers.

Hong Kong has long had its exquisite glamour, its drama. It’s lighted skyline. Its ferries. Its red light district and shops for negotiating a good deal. It’s boisterous pushy people, its back alley grit, its mountain riches and wholesale jewelry outlets. Expressways now swoop across the skyscape, as dramatic as the city itself, leaving Disneyland to feel a little quaint out there in the boonies. But trains dump people off there. And what’s a few thousand more tourists in a city packed with them.

Well, that was a few months ago. In the passing of 14 weeks, we have seen Hong Kong die a death of a thousand cuts, an agony to watch as freedom and democracy pass to the borg mother ship, the Chinese Mainland, which demands control and obedience. Or you’ll get a club to the back of the head.

Old, young, innocent, guilty. A club to the back of the head.

That is Mainland China, is it not? Persistent. Impatient. Determined to exert her force on the irrelevant outer landscape. Brutal.

China knows no values, no laws, no respect. It is a heartless machine of a nation, an amoral, humanity-deficient monster chewing up the countryside like a gigantic killer transformer gone mad.

I miss Hong Kong already. I’ll never fly Cathay Pacific again. Never visit to ride the ferries or trudge the shopping districts. Never spend a starlit night on the open deck of a harbor cruise soaking in the glory of the surrounding sea of neon signs, shadowy hills, and cool clammy air.

Hong Kong is foreign now, the kind that does not like other people. It is not the place I care to spend time or money. I don’t care to pass through immigration knowing they are watching. Spying on my life, my lifestyle. Knowing they don’t trust me any more than I trust them.

“They” are the borg, the mothership, the controllers of all. From internet to religion to political loyalties. They are the Chinese bosses, the militaristic commanders who demand obedience. They are the force creeping into the Philippines, squeezing in through the cracks like a shape-shifting alien determined to suffocate freedom everywhere.

No thanks. I’ll take my freedom neat, thank you. No ice. Straight up.

Good bye, Hong Kong. It was good to know you.

Manila. You still have a choice.


292 Responses to ““Good bye, Hong Kong. It was good to know you.””
  1. karlgarcia says:

    We will always have Paris.

  2. chemrock says:

    “That is Mainland China, is it not? Persistent. Impatient. Determined to exert her force on the irrelevant outer landscape.”

    That seems to be the exact opposite of the status quo. China has tolerated the social disturbances in Hongkong thus far. It seems determined to sit out the remaining 27 years of the one-country-tow-systems arrangement. It has been hands-off so far and official commentaries from CCP has been few. The Chinese troops stationed in HK are still in their barracks. Under their agreement with the Brits, China only has responsibility for defence and security over HK. Local governance are left with the locals.

    It is left to be seen at what stage will the Chinese troop commanders view the chaos across the islands to threaten security. At which point, they will be activated to qwell the riots.

    The Chinese are holding back despite growing evidence that US agencies had a role in fanning the unrest.

    If there is US involvement, it is ill-advised. HK has no geo-political significance to the world, which is why nobody is raising a fuss. During the HK handover years, Bill Clinton made no demands, did not indicate support nor question British-China agreement on HK. He made no comments on democracy for HK. The only thing he rightfully asserted was for China to observe human rights in HK.

    The real cause of the HK unrest is not about democracy or China’s forceful encroachment. It is about economics. The living conditions for 95% of the ordinary people are simply unbearable and pent-up anger has reached a boiling point. The pots been boiling for decades, even when under British rule, and now the frogs can’t stand it no more. The failed extradition legislation was only the match that ignited the explosion.

    • karlgarcia says:

      They say EDSA was not about democracy nor was it a revolution.

      • chemrock says:

        I agree.
        Edsa was a spontaneous act. There was no organisation. The people had enough of Marcos. A spark was ignited and then it had a life of its own.

    • My, we certainly see things differently. I don’t think the US inspired the extradition bill, or the Hong Kong people’s massive objection to it, or the intransigence of Lam’s government in responding favorably to the ‘five demands’ (which seem reasonable and modest to me), or her own statement to the effect that she has no choice. Or the brutality of police acts, and the thuggish white-shirt attack early on. If US interests are inciting anything, it is in the context of a greater clash between democracy and the borg, and considerable US business interests in free Hong Kong (until the agreed date of 2047 when China has full authority).

      • chemrock says:

        – extradition bill — countries have extradition treaties to bring crooks to justice. HK is part of China, that they needed an extradition bill between them in fact says a lot of China recognising HK’s self governance rights. HK is a haven for crooks from the mainland. Sure everyone fears it may be abused by China. But that is a different matter. If China wants to abuse it, they could simply have done so without such a bill.

        – did US inspire the anti-extradition bill? — of course not. I did’nt say that. But there is evidence of US support of the demonstrations, probably encouragement. NED and Mike Pence have met with several key players. We know NED is US agency that champions democracy in other countries.

        – the 5 demands :
        1. The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill — the bill is dead.
        2. The government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests – it started as protests, but it’s turned into rioting.
        3. The unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped — non were arrested during the protest stage. Some were arrested for attacks on police and causing damages to properties.
        4. An independent inquiry into police behaviour – certain specific incidences, probably YES. Should there be inquiry into injuries of policemen?
        5. Implementation of genuine universal suffrage – Touchy touchy. Universal sufferage under the Basic Law yes, which means for the next 27 years. After that, it’s under China’s term. HK is part of China, whether we like it or not.

        Brutality of police act — I have some experience in a riot squad, but never faced real situations. You are a handful against a hundred thousand. Yet you are charged with the job of dispersing an angry crowd. Please tell me how to do it.

        White shirts — I don’t know where this is coming from. I don’t think they are outsourced by police. Probably by the business community. This often happens in HK.

        US interest — US has more economic interest in China, not HK.

        • No need to argue with me on the extradition bill. You’d have to argue with the millions who came out in Hong Kong to protest the extradition. Obviously, their trust in China is low, and there is a reason for that.

          1. Then declare it dead. Simple. One has to wonder why Lam is not allowed to do that.
          2. The riot tag was attached to peaceful protests as a way to facilitate brutality. Retract the name. Simple.
          3. The release is not the dropping of charges. The vandals and brutal protesters should be arrested and dealt with. But the demonization of a people who merely expressed objection to a bill is the root issue. Stop demonizing people who are protesting within the law. Simple.
          4. Good, we agree. Yes, of course, as I express in point 3, illegal acts warrant investigation and prosecution.
          5. The agreement with Britain is the standard by which people and businesses live their lives, make their commitments, and assess their risks. China’s declaring the agreement as irrelevant is the same logic as ignoring international laws on the rights to seas. What benefits China is the rule of the road and international obligations are irrelevant.

          Brutality. I can tell you how not to do it, and that is to rush into a train and pepper spray riders, whether protesters or not, and beat people for the sake of beating them. Or clubbing some poor guy because he shouted “have a conscience”. Again, you don’t have to argue with me. It is the Hong Kong people who are accusing the police of bad faith and bad acts. And a lot of commentators support the view.

          Business community. Hahahahaha. Okay, you are stretching for that one.

          US indeed has economic interests in China, and the current Administration believes China is not structuring a fair playing field. So the US appears willing to level the playing field. And keep the seas open. I’m always surprised when people think the US should not determine her own interests, and act on them.

          • Here is Heydarian’s readout directly from Hong Kong. It IS about democracy and freedom. It is not about US imperialism. It is about mistrust of China.


            • chemrock says:

              Much as I respect Heydarian’s view, I’m wondering how many people he spoke to. Seems like only one.

              Much as I respect the idealism of HK youth and their courage to fight for personal freedom, the extradition bill does nothing to restrict their freedoms. It is not the cause celebre. The fear of HK returning to China is understandable. But one needs to ask why are the people of Macau acting differently. Because Macau people’s needs are met. HK youngsters have no future. They will never be able to own, nor even rent a decent house on their own. Many hold on to 3 jobs. The frustration is beyond understanding which is why they are prepared to loose everything, because they have nothing.

              But to say the outburst of frustration is the aspiration of freedom of HK people is incorrect. Millions of others never took to the streets. When peaceful protests turned into civil unrest and violence and rioting, the youths lost much mass support. The Hokkien community put up a stand against the violence and was prepared to be attacked by the Youths. For a while there was fear of a Hokkien-Cantonese civil war.

              I am sympathetic to their ideals but not in full support of the all-or-nothing approach to demand a solution. But I am in full support of the calls for the govt to address the inequalities in HK and the housing problems.

              • Macau has its own reasons and I read somewhere that those who could, left, as will those of Hong Kong if China takes away their liberties and police become enforcers of government rather than a protector of the people. As for democracy, I read what you say and follow the Hong Kong protests regularly. I don’t hear the same thing from you and from protest leaders.

              • I would add, the five demands are not unreasonable. China’s position is. So I think the characterization of ‘all or nothing’ is an inaccurate take on the protest position. An all or nothing approach would not seek an independent investigation of police acts.

              • chemrock says:

                It’s there Joe.

          • Breaking news a few minutes ago. Lam will announce withdrawal of the extradition bill. Only four demands left.

        • chemrock says:

          The 5 demands do not address the ultimate desires of the HK youths for true democracy even after returning to China.

          When the youths raise the freedom flag, it kinda cloud the situation as if China is persecuting them when in fact China has been hands-off all the while. The only important interference has been the election of the Chief Executive. But if you were China, why would’nt you want to have a say in at least who the CE should be. Why should China have Chris Patten for ever and after?

          Just something to make my point here. China has never interfered in HK internal governance and a look see at the names of higher ups in the judiciary should be eye opening:

          Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal
          The Hon Chief Justice Geoffrey MA, GBM
          Permanent Judges of the Court of Final Appeal
          The Hon Mr Justice RIBEIRO

          Non-Permanent Judges of the Court of Final Appeal
          The Hon Mr Justice BOKHARY, GBM
          The Hon Mr Justice STOCK, GBS
          The Rt Hon the Lord HOFFMANN, GBS
          The Rt Hon the Lord MILLETT, GBS
          The Hon Mr Justice Murray GLEESON
          The Rt Hon the Lord NEUBERGER of Abbotsbury, GBS
          The Rt Hon the Lord WALKER of Gestingthorpe, GBS
          The Rt Hon the Lord COLLINS of Mapesbury
          The Rt Hon the Lord CLARKE of Stone-cum-Ebony
          The Rt Hon the Lord PHILLIPS of Worth Matravers
          The Hon Mr Justice James SPIGELMAN
          The Hon Mr Justice William GUMMOW
          The Hon Mr Justice Robert FRENCH
          The Rt Hon Lord REED
          The Rt Hon the Baroness HALE of Richmond
          The Rt Hon Madam Justice Beverley McLACHLIN

          Justices of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of the High Court
          The Hon Mr Justice MACRAE, V-P
          The Hon Mr Justice BARMA, JA
          The Hon Mr Justice McWALTERS, JA
          The Hon Mr Justice ZERVOS, JA

          Judges of the Court of First Instance of the High Court
          The Hon Mr Justice FUNG, GBS
          The Hon Mrs Justice BARNES
          The Hon Madam Justice POON
          The Hon Mr Justice HARRIS
          The Hon Mr Justice BHARWANEY
          The Hon Mrs Justice CAMPBELL-MOFFAT
          The Hon Madam Justice D’ALMADA REMEDIOS
          The Hon Mr Justice COLEMAN

          Recorders of the Court of First Instance of the High Court
          Mr Anthony Kenneth HOUGHTON, SC
          Mr Charles Peter MANZONI, SC

          District Judges
          Her Honour Judge MELLOY
          Her Honour Judge LEVY
          His Honour Judge DUFTON
          His Honour Judge SHAM
          Her Honour Judge WOODCOCK
          His Honour Judge CASEWELL
          His Honour Judge Simon LO

          (Locals are not included in the list)

          The fact that China is a dictatorial regime and the evil Fu Man Chu is not the issue here. It is not a fight for freedom because HK people are being persecuted which is not the case.

    • Francis says:

      “…despite growing evidence that US agencies had a role in fanning the unrest.”

      The CIA is not omnipotent. I am no expert but my gut tells me—assuming that there is a role played by “foreign actors,” it nonetheless still “takes two to tango.” Which is to say—without firewood, no fire.

      You can’t have the “general strike” atmosphere in Hong Kong without an enormous *organic* sentiment of unrest, a genuine and deep-rooted sense of frustration.

      This is why Maduro stays and Lam wants to leave; for all the craziness Chavez (and his heirs) have brought upon the Venezuelan economy—the Venezuelan opposition remains limited in their appeal, or at least limited enough that all US assistance still couldn’t put Guaido into power. If the CIA—or any US op—is as powerful as people say it is, why is Maduro still in power?

      The “people” have many limitations which frankly liberal democrats tend to gloss over and ignore—incoherence, apathy, tribalism—but there remains a little bit of agency, contrary to those who suppose that “elites” or “elite institutions” run everything. That “little bit” cannot be underestimated.

      The organic sentiment of the people still matters. And in Hong Kong—it is the anger of an entire generation. I saw a survey noting that “identification as Chinese” (as opposed to “identification as Hong Konger” or “identification as Hong Kong and Chinese) as plummeted to nearly zero; “identification as Hong Konger” is now the overwhelming majority in that age range.


      “The real cause of the HK unrest is not about democracy or China’s forceful encroachment. It is about economics.”

      And I agree.

      And the French Revolution occurred in part, because people didn’t want nobles with huge tracts of land lording over them.

      And Marcos was toppled because he was frankly—pardon the language—a goddamned shitty ersatz wanna-be Park Chung-Hee; he failed to bring the “goods” that authoritarian developmental state (which the Philippines was so, so, so terribly not) was supposed to bring.

      Hong Kong has had an extremely unequal society; a huge factor being their real estate market essentially captured by virtual oligarchs—whom Beijing has co-opted to maximize control over Hong Kong. Beijing has enabled the inequality of Hong Kong—an inequality which Hong Kongers cannot even resolve by themselves because they don’t even control the political system: they can’t fully hold their business and political elite to account, if they lack the mechanisms to.

      All of that does not reduce the value that liberal democracy has played in the HK protests.

      At the very least—liberalism has given HK the *language* to articulate its economic frustrations, much as the “pasyon” (Christian religious epic—Jesus’ life) had given even poor Filipino indios the abillity to articulate and grasp their frustrations, their identity vis-a-vis Spain. And that’s worth something, I like to think.


      I agree with you that (sadly) these protests will likely fail in the face of China.

      Yet, an event like this (even if it fails in actuality) will nevertheless still yield ripples. Even failed revolutions succeed, in a sense. The generation that they will raise the consciousness of—the ideas they will imprint—that won’t go away, even if they fail.

      It will go somewhere…who knows…


      I’ve noticed as a young man online that the hip thing these days is claiming the “death” of liberalism—in the West, certain circles are already talking of “post-liberalism.”

      Which is why Hong Kong makes me smile. Don’t get me wrong. I’m plenty disappointed with liberalism—and I have many, many issues with it. However, this is what these people claiming “liberalism is dead,” or that “liberalism is unnatural” fail to see.

      Yes, it is useless to many in the West now (because it won—and it was insufficient in many ways, i.e. atomisation of society, inequality) but it is useful—

      —when tyranny is the problem at hand. Before social democracy, socialism, nationalism, there was liberalism—that (now) old man of ideologies. A lot of people forget this. It is ironic that I say this as a millennial but on liberalism: don’t count this old man out just yet.

      • chemrock says:


        You brought up Maduro. This is interesting. I had lengthy discussions with my brother and long before there was talk of CIA involvement he pointed out to me the signatures of US meddling there. I believed then that he was wrong and jumping to conclusions. As it turned out, he was spot on in many instances.

        So why did Maduro stay and Guiao not installed? It was the Venuzuelan people. Most were initially anti-Maduro. But when it became apparent that the US was in cahoots with Guiao and perpetrating all the dirty tricks against the country, their battles took on a different perspective. They viewed foreign interference, thus national sentiments kicked in. In their eyes, Guiao turned from hero to traitor. Guiao was actually working with CIA to hurt the already sick economy and deny essential services to the people. Any revolutionary taking on foreign aid and assistance always walk a thin line.


        Liberalism is a great ideal when Socrates, Plato and company sit down and chat whilst sipping tea and taking in the fine Mediterranean breeze. Put in practice and human nature pulls the ideals in all directions. Eastern societies, under the influences of Hinduism, Islam, Confucianism & Buddhism never had the exposure that Western societies had for over 500 years to the cauldron of Enlightenment philosophies of anarchism, naturalism, Darwinism, social liberalism, libertarianism. Easterners are far backwards in progressivism compared to western counterparts.

        Neither will understand the other truly well.


        “At the very least—liberalism has given HK the *language* to articulate its economic frustrations, much as the “pasyon” (Christian religious epic—Jesus’ life) had given even poor Filipino indios the abillity to articulate and grasp their frustrations, their identity vis-a-vis Spain.”

        Great quote. That’s exactly what it was.


        • If there’s meddling I ‘m sure it’ll be in cyber rather than on the streets, and in boardrooms rather than with kids in Guy Fawkes masks.

          though if you read CIA’s history, the backing of wrong political candidates is still very much their meat & potatoes. Whether in Latin America , Africa and the Near East. they won’t be the CIA if they didn’t.

          HK seems from inside, no candidates to be backed by outside, like chemp said China’s ownership of it just finally got realized and HK Chinese also just realized it recently. They’re China after all, go figure.

          Now the question is, can China do the same to Taiwan? And why nothing similar from Macau? Do Macau Chinese just not give a fuck?

          • chemrock says:

            Macau residents have a better standard of living than HK. They are not living under pressure cookers like HK. If the economics are OK, people have no interest in politics much less abstract concepts of liberalism.

            Most tourists in HK are like Joe — ride the ferries or trudge the shopping districts, starlit night on the open deck of a harbor cruise, soaking in the glory of the surrounding sea of neon signs, shadowy hills, and cool clammy air, tsim sha tsui or Ocean Park. They don’t go places like Sham Shui Po districts and see how 10 people cram into a living space the size of our decent living room. Nor do they understand what it is like to pay rent that takes up to 70% of median salary, where wages have not kept up with inflation for years, where owing a house is dream cast aside long ago. The average guy has no future. Tell them China is gonna take over in 20 years time, and they go berserk.

            The British left behind civil service infrastructure and good judiciary system . But the British bureaucracy, pay scant attention to many other areas, one of which is housing. Ditto in Singapore. The British and current admin maintain a framework which made it easy for the wealth accumulation by capable and privileged elites. There is great inequality and poor redistribution.

            Was there US meddling? The NED and Mike Pence have met up with certain protest leaders on quite a few occasions. There was money trail of fund transfers. During the demonstrations there were many points all over the streets where one can pick up things like water bottles, gas masks, etc. Who do think paid for all that?

            “China do the same to Taiwan?” – Do what exactly? Like what they did to HK? But what exactly did China do to HK? As what Kasambahay said — the “terrors” — but what terrors?

            Your question perhaps should be will China move forcibly on HK, and forcibly recover Taiwan? I have no idea. Their forceful actions in the northern states need not be the fait accompli. In Tibet and the Ughurs there are different existential security threats — Indians, Russia, Islam, there are none in HK and Taiwan.


            • I guess a slush fund can easily be dished to the protestors, chemp. But what is the purpose, to see if big China will invade??? but then again, like the extra large (unrealistically large) condoms being strewn about in the fields of Vietnam, a little funding can germinate some amateurish ill thought out ideas, i suppose.

              But I’m now more interested in Macau, chemp, so the Portuguese were better administrators??? Interesting.

              re HK and Taiwan , yeah, whether thru force or carrots, i’m talking about eventual consolidation.

              • It seems that China’s HK policy is scaring Taiwan into the military arms of the US. Is that US meddling, I wonder, to sell arms to Taiwan that Taiwan wants?

              • I wouldn’t call that “meddling”, just strategic reality, Joe. A bunch of Taiwanese here too, and they hate mainlanders. So i’m sure, monetarily speaking there’d be support from rich Taiwanese in the West.

                Was there support from rich HK’ers in the West towards HK? I’m wondering how much outside influence truly was there, I agree with you, no more HK bye bye. US Navy port there were the funnest.

              • Agree. The definition of meddling is in the same realm as opinion. Everyone has a view of it shaped by their own interests.

              • chemrock says:

                Is meddling an opinion? It needs to be seen in a proper perspective.

                With regards to HK:
                We can all agree HK belongs to China. If a foreign entity takes park in agitating HK residents, is this meddling? Certainly.
                Would Malaysia be considered meddling in Philippines affair if it proactively supports the Muslim ground in Davao and physically promotes agitation against Malacanang, would this be considered meddling? Certainly.
                Let’s say Philippines pivots away from China and the Chinese begins hostilities. US and other western nations pour in arms and trains Filipinos. Is this meddling? Of course NOT.

                With regards to Taiwan:
                Now there is a 2-China policy. Only 17 tiny countries in the world recognise Taiwan (ROC) as an country. The rest of the world accepts China (PRC) as a country and does not recognise ROC — meaning they agree Taiwan belongs to China.

                A country that only recognises PRC would be meddling if they agitates Taiwanese against China. On the other hand, a country that recognises ROC will not be considered meddling under the same circumstances.

              • Meddling is not an opinion, exactly, but as you illustrate, it has bounds of interest that define it. There is no all-seeing, all-powerful arbiter to make the final judgment as you propose to make. The US has a one-China foreign policy but sells arms to Taiwan that China objects to and Taiwan wants. Taiwan does not declare the US to be meddling. China is meddling with US commercial interests, Taiwan is meddling with China’s one China rule, and the US is deciding if it really wants a one China policy. The Republicans might think it is not meddling but preserving an important balance of power. Democrats might think it is meddling because Republicans think it is not. Whoever declares ‘meddling’ only declares their interest. For themselves. Not for other parties.

              • Put another way, it’s a lot like name-calling and you have to dig into the issue in question to sort it out properly.

              • chemrock says:

                If California wants to break away from USA and Philippines sends arms to California, of course Philippines & California will not consider it meddling, but the rest of USA will.

                It’s not a question of interest. It’s a question of interference in internal affairs.

                However, from where you stand, and which I totally am sympathetic to, is the moral view. If California was being discriminated by the other states, then foreign assistance is morally right, so it should not be considered meddling. To bring the discussion home, foreign humanitarian agencies that speak out against Duterte’s EJK — should this be considered meddling. We cannot rely on moral judgements because that’s subjective. Thus we rely on laws and there are international treaties on human rights that Philippines was a signatory.

              • Right. Meddling would not be an issue if laws are clear enough and binding, but they aren’t. So it is a world of loopholes where each nation moralizes in its own best interest and muddles the picture and meddles all the time. We also live in a world of easy judgments and name-calling where the uninformed and unaccountable opine on things they are not their responsibility, and that is all good. We learn from the dialogue. Is the US meddling in Hong Kong? If a Hong Kong protester waves the American flag to ENCOURAGE the US to get involved, it is not meddling by the US. If an American President encourages China to abide by the 2047 agreement, that is not meddling, it is speaking for one’s interests although it would probably be considered meddling in the eyes of the leaders of China who want to set that agreement aside. Is the CIA engaging with protest leaders, are US interests funding the purchase of lasers and helmets? I don’t know. That would be meddling and the US has done a lot of that, globally, over the past century. Is China meddling in Philippine elections, is Russia meddling in American elections? Should one expect the US to abide by standards that other nations don’t have to abide by, because we know China and Russia are scurrilous nations, but the US pretends to be good? That is, should we be like Filipinos who condemn Aquino because he is good and elect Duterte?

                It’s a confusing world.

              • chemrock says:

                “If California was being discriminated by the other states, then foreign assistance is morally right, so it should not be considered meddling.”

                Sorry, what I meant to say was we tend to morally support this action of assisting California and deem it not meddling.

              • Do all guys masturbate? 99% yes. That’s not the question though, it’s what they masturbate to or with that’s the question.

                If the CIA is meddling thru water bottles and gas masks, then i’m gonna be pissed off that my tax payer dollars were not used wisely; I expect them to do some cool cyber stuff or influencing boardrooms in HK. leveraging HK’ers in the US, Canada, Europe, etc. ROI, ROI, not throw my money on the streets!

                Do I expect China to do similar, heck yeah, they are buying up real estate here, investing their money here, is that to actually some how turn our economy against us or just keeping their money safe like everyone I dunno, I also expect them to steal corporate secrets and national secrets where they can w/out hurting anyone.

                Because surely, that’s what we are doing abroad. Foreign intel is foreign intel, you’re simply stealing other states secrets, period. all fair. everyone does it. now we as a nation differentiate between state and companies; China doesn’t , that’s our bad.

                Now covert actions to destabilize are different, they are essentially acts of war. Some actions are worst than others thus tolerated by the affected states, but they are of the same species. Hence, my question to chemp was the purported protest support to destabilize China??? like Venezuela (I do believe we meddled in Venezuela, and again backed the wrong horse), what’s the ROI here?

                You see what I’m getting at here, chemp? it’s the return of investment, and NH’s game theory, the CIA’s purpose me thinks is better served if HK is stable, so extending the 50 years after 1997 deal is crucial. Venezuela was more like okay we think Maduro’s done for, kinda like the 1st Gulf War when we backed the Shi’as against Saddam, when in fact Saddam still had power. just read the tea leaves wrong, is all.

              • karlgarcia says:

                LCX, why does a master with the last name bates have to be mentioned out of nowhere.

              • Thank you, Chief Tanod, I also wonder as to his obsession with such matters, which of course are generally not mentioned in civil conversations and cause the blog to be diminished with each unfortunate use.

              • it’s a metaphor to meddling, ie. everyone does it. so why debate the fact that it’s done by all, why and for what reason should be the ask here, not whether it’s done. but below Joe and chempo already hashed that out, with interests, where there’s interests, there’s meddling.

                Onan is my favourite guy in the Bible, karl. 😉

  3. Gémino H. Abad says:

    Terrific, Joe America! Welcome to Manila (with all its litter and other failings)! But NEVER say good-bye Hong Kong — NO! May all nations, all humanity, rise with the people of Hong Kong and condemn Red China, the Communist Party, all dictatorships, all would-be imperialists!

    • Ahhh, my, yes, well, I would like nothing better than China to become more embracing of laws and people’s cultural differences. But I’m not optimistic. Hong Kong is like a bug for them that the Mainland leaders have to squash. Freedom is irritating and sets a bad example for others. Like religions that are too powerful. If China moderates, I’d be happy to visit, but not these days. Hong Kong is being made a part of China. I can wish Hong Kong well, but the handwriting is on the wall, and it is graffiti by my observations.

      • kasambahay says:

        I too wish the hong kongers well in their end game, all or nothing for them now. and like joeam, not very optimistic po ako. the brutality of hong kong police looks unprecedented to me. it may well be the police are mainlanders, chinese soldiers that have crossed the border just when no one is looking, all attention focused on rioting students kasi.

        what’s the point of massing at the border if chinese army has no intention of crossing the border and enmeshing themselves in the riot? hard to pick out the mainlanders among hong kong police, they were all in full riot gears complete with face mask, armed and fully operational. and striking with such brutality, it can only be due to hatred. mainland army rarely have any love for the hong kongers.

        I noticed some police stayed back and refused to strike at rioters, must be hard to strike at fellow hong kongers, the mainlanders have no such qualms though.

        if china’s warships can enter our eez with ease and often turning off ID responders, then china’s army can also cross the border into hongkong with no problem at all.

        hong kongers are right, it’s better to live free and happy rather than live under the terror imposed by the smiling xi.

        • Yes. Agree on all points.

        • chemrock says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I am not an apologist for China. Neither am I a fan of the way the CCP governs. On the other hand, I don’t think I am more capable than Xi in running a country of 1.4 billion people.

          But why make pure speculation of mainlanders masquerading as HK police to make brutal assaults on the protesters. Does’nt add anything to trying to understand the situation. By the way, I’m sure you are aware China has a military garrison on the island. It is responsible for the islands defences.

          ‘hong kongers are right, it’s better to live free and happy rather than live under the terror imposed by the smiling xi.’
          That is the ‘terror’? The protest was all about the extradition bill, a purely legal way to manage 2 ‘country’ relationship. By the way, Philippines also has an extradition treaty with China, are you aware of that?

  4. popoy says:


    Been to Hongkong as Crown Colony in ’67-‘68
    Was back in the 80s as UN-APDAC Family Planning Trainee
    To hear about FP practices of Saipan boat people.

    To dine in a Restaurant of the film
    The World of Susie Wong courtesy of
    A Mrs. Lam mother of a Miss Universe Hongkong.

    Then lucky to be back again on a holiday
    few years start of a young millenium to Hongkong
    to join in the park the astonished oldies
    this uninvited, awkwardly do the Tai Chi.

    To this tiny democracy in the outskirt
    of a huge communist country
    for shallow and deep thoughts
    in a cauldron of boiling opinions

    allow me under TSoH moderation this link
    of comments of people who really care and speak out
    fueled by common sense ideology:


  5. Micha says:


    I do not care if the cia is involved, covert or not, in HK protests. This is one instance when I’m actually rooting for it.

    As much as I detest Trump’s domestic policies, I largely applaud his direct confrontation with an arrogant China.

    It owes its economic ascendancy and prosperity in the framework of western capitalism, not through its oriental isolated Confucian backwardness. It would be in its interest to harmonize its relationships with western countries instead of arrogantly asserting itself as a rival for world power, stealing intellectual properties and rigging economic data.

    • chemrock says:

      I am in agreement with you as far as Trump is concerned in facing China directly. But ‘arrogance’ as a description of China cuts both ways in US attitude to other countries in other situations.

      Unlike you, I do appreciate some of Trump’s domestic policies.

      China’s rigging of economic data is not our business. What they have not been fair and square with is rigging the exchange rate and not keeping a truly open market. They are living with the unholy trinity of monetary management which will blow up sooner or later.

      Stealing commercial secrets is of course foul play. How much was actually stolen, how much was due to transferred technology by the vast number of western world companies pouring into China with greed on their minds, who knows,

      How much was due to Chinese returnees to the motherland after knowledge acquisition all over the world will also never be known. This much Deng Xiao Ping foresaw decades ago, that China will ascend once their scholars start returning.

      It’s true China owes its ascendency and prosperity to western capitalism, but the same framework was open to all countries in the world, equally to Philippines. But China’s consumerism has equally added wealth to many other countries.


      • The entities/persons keeping said secrets also must bare responsibility, chemp. These are usually gov’t contractors like GE, Boeing, etc. , some like Tesla and TMobile and Google, new kids on the block that didn’t make their bones sucking off the teets of American tax payers, but now duly using their data; and had corporate secrets, but didn’t know how to keep ’em.

        You can’t cry to Daddy, because neighborhood kids took your toys. If you have valuable secrets you gotta learn how to keep it. Visit any prison here, and even folks who never graduated high school, can pass an encrypted note to another and leave prison guards dumbfounded.

        Common sense. Cuts both ways.

      • Micha says:


        Anyway you cut it, China must recognize that its well being is connected with and dependent on the rest of the world. Antagonizing the west, or, for that matter, offending its southern neighbors with its nine dash chutzpah is not going to place her in the upper ranks of admirability. The only devoted friend it can attract is a brainless thug from Davao..

        • China does not need the West (anymore), the rest of the world it can bend to its will, whether by inspiration and/or intimidation , or straight up sale (like the Philippines). it’ll buy in bulk, at discounted price. the Philippines can at least play hard to get, thus upping its price. 😉 instead of FREEbies.

          • Micha says:

            “China does not need the West (anymore)..”

            Bunk. Combined population of Europe and the US is bigger than China. That’s your market right there which consumes the stuff made by cheap labor in Chinese factory floors.

            Do you think if this trade war escalates and we have isolationist multi polar world that China can very well weather the economic storm?

            • China gets Africa and Asia (even the Middle East); Europe and the Anglo-sphere and Latin America, possibly India too, have their own party. Two separate parties.

              Totally, do-able, Micha.

              Two worlds, both capitalists, one Chinese and the other West. Command economy, vs. corporate run economy— that’s your wet dream scenario , Micha, which one is better.

              West vs. China. Like i’ve said, China’s already cut down it’s Army, considerably shifted to Outer Space operations. If China does to the moon what it’s done to the South China sea, they are half way there. H2O, turns out is abundant in the moon, that means propulsion.

              Outer Space treaty, Micha. Quit messing around with MMT, the future will be real estate!!! in Outer Space.

              • Micha says:

                More bunk.

                The consequences of what you describe is decimation and eventual wiping out of humanity as these rival powers will have to sort it out by war using, inevitably, thermonuclear weapons.

                The only way humanity can conquer outer space is by cooperation. If it’s at war with itself, the only space it can conquer is the space next door.

              • No one’s talking about war, Micha. Cool your horses! there is enough space to go around for everyone.

                Just like the Sooners situation in OK , it’s all about who gets prime real estate first, no one gets prime to good, to mediocre real estate , if all start nuking each other. Ask NH as to the game theory viability to all this,

                no need to nuke all. Space is vast. But not all of Space is created equal. 😉 Will China get the best spots, will the West, i dunno. But there are plenty of Chinese to go around, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                You’re making me laugh loud again corporal.

                No war, you say? Where you’ve been? Trump’s already upped the ante by calling on US companies to decouple from China. This trade war (also known as Cold War 2.0), if not resolved soon, could just as well turn to hot war.

                Conquering outer space requires a whole lot of technological resources and know how. Sharing and cooperation is the only way to do it. Just look at the low orbit ISS jointly manned and maintained by Russian, American, Japanese, and European space engineers.

                You think that competition for rare earth metals if individual countries should do space exploring and conquering will not led to war?

              • karlgarcia says:


                Space cooperation gone bad.

              • Micha says:

                Yeah, some Hollywood science fiction disaster movie “with criticism focused on the “uninspiring” story and “lackluster” visual effects”.

                And a box office flop to boot.

                What a freak, karl?

              • Micha, Micha… you are an Earther, and still thinking in terms of earth. still thinking in terms of geopolitical, political borders of states on earth.

                You gotta think now in terms of space, low to zero gravity (how will sperm get to the egg, what happens if you bleed in space, etc. etc.)

                Sure China vs. the West is start off the space race to outer space, but eventually more entities will form, colonies will rise, corporations will rule, new nationalities will be borne…

                If Elon Musk can do it himself, why can’t China do it??? ask yourself that, Micha. You seem stuck on the notion that China won’t be able to pull it off. they will, get past this, and then imagine how nations and corporations and people will

                group, and re-group when they start colonizing space. they’d be too busy to go to war, again too much space out there.

              • Micha says:


                You’re spewing baloney. Space might be huge, but for humans there’s really nowhere to go. Right now, we’d be lucky if we can develop the right technology to colonize Mars in 20 years – long time to wait as climate catastrophe kicks in and this planet will flood and burn before that.

                At the very most, only a handful of super wealthy will be able to afford the privilege of making that escape journey, assuming it becomes feasible – a huuge assumption because water resource, for one, is not a given.

                Your next question will be, what will the uber privileged Chinese and Americans do once they become neighbors in Mars? Will they coexist peacefully or slit each others’ throat for resource competition?

                For now, your outer space colony fiction is just a fiction.

              • A big part of outer space mining is not only for minerals , but for water , remember H2O is not only important for humans it is also important for space propulsion, since when separated both elements are combustible, Micha.

                By the time a Chinese and an American go to Mars they will quickly realize , maybe in 1 generation, or two (as the first Americans did), that they technically are no longer Chinese nor American but Martians, as such will first separate from Earth.

                from there the pattern will continue, say in the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, plenty of which have water and other minerals. in the asteroid belt as well.

                As to the Earth’s eventual demise, i think your 20 years isn’t quite accurate, in 5 years we’ll be back on the moon, whether its SpaceX or China first i dunno. from the moon to Mars. along the way, we’ll find more minerals and water, and who knows maybe it will maybe it will not offset climate collapse,

                but for sure there will be people in outer space before then, Micha. You are correct, the rich will be able to go to outer space, but you forget one crucial variable again, Micha, the rich always have need of the poor. so too the poor will be out there, who’ll clean up the filth, not the rich.

                whether we make it to 9 billion in 20 years, who knows, but even if only 1 billion humans survive and say 20% are out there in outer space, my bet is that humans will again Be fruitflies and mutiply, Micha. don’t underestimate the ability of the penis and the vagina to

                always dock, here or out there. 😉

              • Micha says:


                Please remember that outer space is a hostile environment for human life; we don’t try to live there if we can help it. If what you had in mind is an inter galactic spaceship perpetually floating similar to what you’ve seen in Star Wars, fugetbawtit, that’s just utter fiction.

                What the futurists are looking for are exo-planets orbiting a star in its Goldilocks zone. They might have found some possible candidates within our Milky Way but those are nonetheless several lightyears away and we don’t yet have the technology to travel that distance for an exodus, assuming it is indeed habitable.

                As Carl Sagan had it said, Earth is really the only place humanity can call home and it behooves us to take care of it. But with environmental catastrophe unfolding before us we are evidently sorely remiss on that responsibility – a sorry state of affairs considering that the Earth still has a good 5 billion years in its lifespan if we careless humans don’t fuck it up.

                One of the Koch brothers had recently died but the toxic earth killing movement they’ve spurred through denial of global warming did not die with him and is apparently irreversible given the fossil industry’s unabated appetite for carbon.

                That’s the fatal consequences of neoliberal capitalism.

              • “If what you had in mind is an inter galactic spaceship perpetually floating similar to what you’ve seen in Star Wars, fugetbawtit, that’s just utter fiction.”

                At every point where humanity has been, there were always people who kept on

                saying Never gonna happen! when the polynesians went to Hawaii first, Never gonna happen! then they went to New Zealand , too far, never gonna happen! Climb Mt. Everest, never ever gonna happen! do this, then do that, Never!!! go to the moon, nope impossible!!! and so on and so forth, thru out history.

                Our solar system, is traversable with the very technology we have now, Micha. You know why Von Braun ‘s rockets were so big, because in his mind the point was to go to Mars, moon was just trial runs. Mars was the end game, then the Space Shuttle came along and everyone was happy with just sending satellites. But…

                Now we have the appetite for Mars again.

                Exo-planets, require inter-stellar technology, Micha. More impossible now. I’m sure we’ll find a way in the future, but for now Mars is totally within our scope to achieve. Our technology is sufficient to get us there, and keep us there.

                But Americans won’t be able to absorb, stomach, the sacrifices to go to Mars. After one death, everyone’s gonna be all like, let’s not do it anymore, I can’t stomach the deaths, it’s just soooo sad to stomach. So let China absorb the sacrifices necessary to get to Mars, there are more of them, than us. Plus the whole collective vs. individuals thing…

                Plus they are hungry for it.

                We’ll help ’em go to the moon then Mars, and on and on… of course we’ll have to acknowledge that with great sacrifices, comes greater rewards. We’ll avert catastrophe here on earth, than if we play another 1950s Cold War MAD game.

                Send China off to space, with American acquiescence. How’s that for cooperation, Micha? that’s what you call sound foreign policy re China! 😉 SEND THEM TO OUTER SPACE!!!

              • no need for interstellar stuff, Micha… there are enough rocks in our solar system to explore.

              • If you wish to keep up with HK protest activities, you may wish to follow the twitter account of student leader Joshua Wong @joshuawongcf, of course recognizing that you will be added to China’s database of suspicious persons.

                I’d also suggest Chempo do this, to get a wee small twinge of terror in the making.

                The current hot topic is the police activities at Prince Edward Station last weekend. At least one person appears to have been beaten to death and is ‘missing’. Rescue workers were blocked from entry at the time. The station was closed for 48 hours. Police will not release cctv records.

              • Thanks, joe! will do.

              • chemrock says:


                You are reading me wrong here in this blog.

                I’m not blind to China’s poor human records (in which respect they are in the same bunch as Russia, Germany, US and a whole bunch of other countries. In all fairness, I’m not singling them out.)

                Historically, they being the only powerful country in the past that never exported imperialism counts for something today. The exception being the WPS but the status quo has a lot to do with an imbecile govt in Philippines and Filipino masses who has done nothing.

                That they have dropped Che Guevara style of Communist expansionism when Deng agreed to withdraw all support for Moaists in SE Asia which all but killed communism in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, counts for something.

                They have brought with them a new form of passive influence building, that of economic imperialism, which the world has to learn how to face up to it. But better this then the good old colonialism by the swords and guns.

                My comments here was simply my take that the HK riots are more economics rather than political. The bunch of youngsters at the forefront are your normal ivory tower idealists who are prepared to destroy everything to have it their ways. The rest are frustrated HK people who see no future for themselves and whose sympathies are easily aroused by any vanguard punching at a government and elites who have left them behind, reinforced by the spectre of the return to China 2047. All this goaded by a millionaire industrialist who has a big axe to grind with Beijing for forcing him to sell out his Giordano clothing empire.

                My question to Kasambahay on what are the ‘terrors’ China imposed on HK remains unanswered. Your take was the protest was against ‘what is to come’.

                For me, I find the idea of following an idealistic young Joshua, with no alternative platforms, no organisation, intent on sabotaging the economy in a fight against something which is not yet here, is taking the proverbial path towards the cliff. Any revolution with no leadership, no plans, no better alternative ways forward, will create the greatest damage on society at large and in the end, will eat itself.

                HK is at the same crossroads as Beijing at the Tiananmen Square in 1989. Student leader Wang Dan is like Joshua, young, idealistic, fired by the abstract idea of freedom. Deng won and China has 40 years of unprecedented growth and billions lifted out of poverty. China is not a homogenous country and its history has been one of factional fighting for milleniums. It is not an easy to govern, but there has been peace since the last cultural revolutions of 1966. Who is to say what China can be like had Wang Dan won. Who is say what HK will be like if Joshua wins. I for one certainly don’t think Wang Dan has the shrewdness and wisdom of Deng.

                Freedom is great, but the huge numbers of homeless in US know it does’nt put bread on the table.

              • Oh, I agree with Micha that the US does poorly on spreading its great wealth, and Trump is a perversion of democratic leadership and an arch-villain in my values book. But that is no reason to cast Hong Kong into the borg or conclude that there will be no homeless people (all will be cared for) or no squatters junks in the harbor, and home prices will come down. I also think you unfairly slander young Joshua to say he has no alternative platforms and is idealistic and not pragmatic. The platform is the four remaining demands. The idealism of self-rule is what made America . . . and Singapore . . . and other nations an inspiration to so many. The view from your chair may be the push and pull of the macro-economics (national engagements by US etc) – I agree even – but that is not why people are in the streets. They are there because they don’t want China’s control mechanisms in their micro-economic, personal lives.

              • re homeless in the US, this is more anecdotal than stats, chemp, but most of the homeless are here in California, they tend to end up in liberal states (liberal states are the economic engines of this country). California being the warmest and even clime, they come here.

                Most of the homeless aren’t from California, they are coming from other states, when Katrina hit, there were a bunch of homeless from Louisiana and deep South states, when tornadoes and storms hit, there’s a spike from where ever state is hit scurrying to California.

                Some gravitate to here, seeking greener pastures but I’ve noticed just from talking to folks who come across with the homeless regularly, is that many are actually goaded to come here by police, jailers, social workers in their respective states, Go WEST young man, thar’s welfare galore up in thar hills!!!

                I don’t know why California just takes it. During the Dust Bowl, when the California Highway Patrol was still small and powerless, it was the LAPD who guarded the boarder entrance to California, mostly Nevada but also Arizona, and turned away homeless sent them back on their ways.

                There’s none of that these days. The homeless are being sent here by the bus load; while Trump’s turning back bus loads of illegal immigrants from Central America, my California bleeding heart California is essentially inviting everyone, illegals and the homeless.

                Lately, there’s been 2 or 3 episodes now at least caught in the news where people are setting fire to homeless encampments . Two , in San Fernando Valley and the most recent in Eagle Rock (near Pasadena). The first i think was in Orange county. I’m sure this type of reaction will only spread.

                If politicians don’t do anything about the homeless, it’s like Grapes of Wrath all over again. Property owners and tax payers will strike and protect their interests.

              • chemrock says:

                ” I also think you unfairly slander young Joshua to say he has no alternative platforms and is idealistic and not pragmatic. The platform is the four remaining demands.

                They are fighting for Freedom, that’s what everybody say. So the granting of those 4 demands will give them the Freedom they seek?

                I meant what alternative ideas to they have to drive HK forward.?

              • I don’t know. I’m not a HK protest leader. My guess is they are focused on the near term. Stop the intrusion of China’s thuggish ways on HK’s rights. I think that is quite a substantial platform. It is what does not exist in the Philippines in such an organized, inspired, and inspiring way. We ought not denigrate it, I think, if we can’t even get to that level of ambition. (By ‘we’, I represent my own views as a proxy for Filipino ‘yellow’ views.)

            • re Homelessness in the U.S. if you were homeless in the US where would you go??? where they’ll have welfare and services for homeless,

          • ooooooppsss… sorry, wrong map, re homelessness and US cities, but that was a good map as well for China and US comparison of cities,

        • chemrock says:

          I won’t argue with that Micha. It’s an inter-connected world. China has lost the opportunity to show a new kind of leadership grounded on respect and mutual benefits. The bring on a new form of economic imperialism.

          • Micha says:


            That concept of inter-connectedness must apply in both the macro and micro level because it’s meaningless for nations to hash out rudimentary plans for cooperation if in the domestic front of those individual nations there’s an ongoing brutal war between economic class or groups.

  6. Pablo says:

    This piece made me smile.
    It just depictures how difficult it is to understand Chinese mentality and how impossible it is for some cultures to anticipate (and appreciate) the resulting moves.
    Like the Middle East and other old cultures, the Chinese society has managed to survive for quite a few years more than the Western one and we can learn from their approach. Democracy and all those follies are a modern approach and maybe not sustainable. The Western society might well find itself bulldozed by the Chinese eventually. A result following the lines of Darwin’s theories…. Maybe we should be a bit more humble in our assessment of the superiority of societies?

    • Be as humble as you like. I prefer a horizontal society that values respect, community agreement on fairness as codified in laws, inclusion, and human rights. But if your preference is a vertical society that values power, loyalty, and obedience to the more entitled, and views laws as flexible according to need, then you’d find China’s or Duterte’s methods attractive.

      • Pavlo says:

        It’s not a matter of preference.
        It’s a matter of survival.
        What type of society will fold and what type will survive.
        Hence Darwin.
        Forget about nature’s forgiveness
        Nature is tough.
        Nature selects the strongest
        And maybe our preferences do not qualify for survival…

        • In the Peloponnesian War ,

          Athens represented the ideals of “democracy” unchecked, while Sparta represented, I guess what Joe would call top down, vertical society. About 500 Greeks voted to have Socrates sentenced to death. Athens, like America now, wanted to share “democracy” everywhere in the Med. Sparta, more conservative values, didn’t appreciate it.

          The point, Athens lost, but in the end brought forth a dude like Alexander the Great, basically the reason why the Gospels are written in Greek, and probably aside from Aramaic why Jesus would’ve also spoken Greek.

          Horizontal and Vertical societies have both equally kicked butts thru out history, and living in one or the other isn’t really so bad, both systems tend to offer basic needs to people, and to many folks that’s enough.

        • Micha says:


          Any society’s survival is dependent on the reciprocal goodwill of its neighbors. This is not a zero-sum game anymore in light of the existential threat posed by climate change. Humanity as a whole must be forced feed with the concept of cooperation if it intends to survive.

        • In the context of survival, you make a good point.

    • kasambahay says:

      pablo’s Maybe we should be a bit more humble in our assessment of the superiority of societies? could also very well apply to superior societies. superiors gotta learn to be humble, for when they go down, they’ll meet the same bunch of humiliates, lol!

      for superior societies to stay superior longer, they must learn to be humble, else those they humiliate will forego humility, armed themselves and seize power.

  7. popoy says:

    Do I read here some misled misinterpretation of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species and the mantra “survival of the fittest”? David killed Goliath with slingshot. Do I hear: “Down on your knees to Goliath?” Samson killed an army of the Philistines using mere bus or bovinus jawbone.

    • karlgarcia says:

      jawbone of an ass.

      • popoy says:

        Sorry I didn’t know it’s the jawbone of an Equus asinus; not of a buffalo or cattle. Some trolls behave like they are Sus scrofa, or Blattella ashinai or the small Cimex lectularius when the really popular behaviour is being Canis lupus domesticus.

  8. chemrock says:


    Permit me to drop a note on Macau here. I had made a reference to Macau and contrasted its workable relationship with China as compared with HK to which Lance had asked is it because the Portuguese were better administrators.

    My reference to Macau was to throw light on my opinion that the HK unrest is economics and not politics.

    Joe placed a link to Heydarian’s opinion in which the latter received clarity from speaking to protesting youths (I counted only one that he spoke to) that what the youths were fighting for was Freedom. In which case let me quote here the opinion of a Macau resident to a friend (I came across in a blog) :

    “This is what my friend (a Macanese ) says about HK protest: HK protesters make trouble every year, so the government gives them money. But they still protest and make trouble so the government cuts off the budget. In Macau, however, we had protest before, and the government gave us money so we just shut up and get our money every year.”

    Macau is the enclave carved out by the Portuguese during the foreign occupation of Qing China. Were the Portuguese good at administering the place, better than the British? ABSOLUTELY NOT. There was endemic corruption and poor services. Cut a long story short, sometime in 1966, there was a dispute about building a school in a very poor district due a matter of corruption in permit issuance. A local protest broke out which evolved into a national problem as the locals had the sympathies of the Red Guards.In the end Lisbon had to back off and accept very embarassing terms. From that time 1966 Lisbon understood they cannot stand up to China in a local confrontation. In the 1970s a leftist government sat in Lisbon and started to decolonise. They had no need for colonies anymore. They wanted to return Macau but the Chinese had too much matters on their hands and did not attend to Portugal’s request. So Portugal left the running very much in the hands of the local Chinese there.

    A certain Mr Ho took community leadership and became stunningly rich running casinos in Macau. Ho had strong socialist policies in place. He worked out a way where the locals had a certain share in gaming revenues. Casino earnings were enough to provide services and make everyone happy. So Macau residents are well taken care off, plus they have worked very closely with China decades earlier than HK so they don’t have the psychological fear HK people do of China lording over them in 20 years time.

    In contrast, HK was presided over by a bunch of people who want to milk whatever they can before the 2-systems end. Who cares about public housing for the poor. Let’s build sparkling condos and malls and REIT them to rich mainlanders and foreign corporations.

    HK Freedom cry is the excuse. The reality is economics bite.

    • Makes a lot of sense now, chemp! thanks.

      So basically Macau has been Chinese, where HK still has split personality, are we West or are we Chinese? who knows.

      Well had they kept producing like 25% for the economy of China back in 1997, instead of now just 2% of the economy, they would’ve still been respected, but since economically speaking HK isn’t really pulling its weight, then yeah China gets to take it back, forget 2047. it’ll be too late.

      HK’ers are basically, Americans now, just a bunch of entitled fk’ers, waiting for handouts. this article totally changed my perspective , chemp, your s and Joe s take on it , first I was with Joe, democracy, yah yah ya!! now I’m like get a job you bums!!! hahahaha… HK is Portland Oregon, LOL!

      I’m a big Bruce Lee, and by extension Ip Man (Netflix movies), fan… so I was cheering for HK, but I think even Bruce Lee would’ve been pro-China, now I understand why Jackie Chan is pro-China too.

      this isn’t about democracy, it’s about welfare handouts, and you know how I feel about that , chemp! 😉

      • @LCX, You should not be with Joe. Or Chempo. You should discern if Hong Kong protesters are genuinely interested in preserving democracy and freedom, or if they are driven to protest out of economic frustration. Why are they sitting in the airport singing the theme song from Le Miserable, because they yearn for freedom or are angry about rents? Why are students singing it instead of the national anthem? We are not trying to figure out what I or you or Chempo want. We are trying to figure out what people of Hong Kong want. My reading is that it is democracy and self-directed lives, verses being members of an obedient borg. That’s why seniors join the youth, people volunteer to pick protesters up to give them a ride, and China is scared shitless. There is a passion to it like what the North Vietnamese had and the South Vietnamese did not. The US, for all her self-interest, could not fire those passions in Vietnam. Hong Kong passion is self-generated, not born of meddling.

        • I agree it’s self-generated. But you and I know only 3% of the population rose up against the British crown in the 1770s over here, same with Civil Rights movement, northerners had to go down south to kick-start the Civil Rights movement.

          Like you i’m getting the Pro-Democracy narrative, so chemp’s perspective is something new to me. and now seems inline with what historically happens with these civil unrest stuff. it’s economic first before ideology, Civil War with Lincoln was economic too first before it became about freedom and stuff.

          So knowing what I know about the world, HK now looks very much like Portland Oregon once a year or so, maybe there is ground swell in HK , and maybe China will indeed give them a pass here, but 2047 will still come, whether sooner or later,

          the fact that HK isn’t as big an economic powerhouse (without China meddling) does create a very real problem for HK’ers, that was where respect for HK resided in their economic power, that was their ace , without it what are they gonna be

          Human rights folks like Scandinavian countries now??? they need a hustle… casinos, banks like Singapore, etc. etc.

          • I agree economics is a huge part of the narrative. It is what drives American interests and why China signed the agreement with Great Britain to stabilize the HK economy when it was a meaningful part of China’s economy. Now it is a wee small part and China is more threatened by the freedoms exhibited in HK. HK is a bad example to the rest of the nation. Best to get them into line. Fuck the agreement. But economics is not what is driving youth to protest.

            • I know these college types who are always protesting, similar to Portland Oregon folks, you know how the Bay area is. Complaining about this and that… I’m like guys, you should visit the 3rd world and then come back here and see if you’ll still have the passion for protesting.

              Get a job, do good work and you’ll be fine. Worry about the gov’t when it stops you from speaking and stops you from owning a gun. Otherwise, enjoy. That’s my advice to them. I usually get a fuck you nod. Lol! Say la VEE.

              We’ll see what happens in HK. but i’m sure it’s no Intifada, Joe.

              • One of the first things the protesters vandalized were the smart street lights. They wanted to see what the technology was. I think they realize what is coming. China wants to stop their freedoms today. The equivalence of taking their guns away. So the time is now.

        • NHerrera says:

          @ The Society of Honor on September 6, 2019 at 12:18 am

          The use of the word passion strikes me as very appropriate. This current blog and commentaries, as well as numerous other comments in the traditional and social media, touch on what drives the protests in HK but leaves one still wondering the crucial whys. But what cannot be denied is the passion and persistence the Hongkongers display in their protests.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Macanese can’t speak Brazilian, I mean Portuguese.

  9. This CNN report brings matters up to date nicely and suggests that Carrie Lam’s withdrawal of the extradition bill is too little, too late, and she still is unwilling to do an independent panel to evaluate police actions, even though protesters don’t trust the body currently investigating them (stacked with pro-government people). The writer predicts that protests will continue because the issue is now much larger than the extradition bill.


    • Here is a superb article in the New York Times that addresses the meddling issue in all it’s lovely facets. It closes on this note:

      “It’s a fairly consistent theme from China and other authoritarian governments,” he said. “They can either accept responsibility for their own behavior, or they can blame others.”

      Definitely worth reading.

      • chemrock says:

        Joe – there is no link?

        Well there were no US meddling in Venezuela — until evidence became incontrovertible and Maduro regained popular support.

        And NY Times report 17 Mar 2019 of Cuban doctors meddling in Venezuela sure was correct, until inaccuracies, omissions and misrepresentations were pointed out.

        • What’s the point? The US meddles? So stipulated. The NY Times does bad reporting? I don’t think so. The US is meddling in Hong Kong? Is China?

          • Re. NY Times from Wikipedia:


            The Times has developed a national and international “reputation for thoroughness” over time.[288] Among journalists, the paper is held in high regard; a 1999 survey of newspaper editors conducted by the Columbia Journalism Review found that the Times was the “best” American paper, ahead of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times.[289] The Times also was ranked #1 in a 2011 “quality” ranking of U.S. newspapers by Daniel de Vise of The Washington Post; the objective ranking took into account the number of recent Pulitzer Prizes won, circulation, and perceived Web site quality.[289] A 2012 report in WNYC called the Times “the most respected newspaper in the world.”[290] Noam Chomsky, co-author of Manufacturing Consent, said that The New York Times was the first thing he looked at in the morning: “Despite all its flaws—and they’re real—it still has the broadest, the most comprehensive coverage of I think any newspaper in the world.”[291]

            Nevertheless, like many other U.S. media sources, the Times had suffered from a decline in public perceptions of credibility in the U.S. from 2004 to 2012.[292] A Pew Research Center survey in 2012 asked respondents about their views on credibility of various news organizations. Among respondents who gave a rating, 49% said that they believed “all or most” of the Times’s reporting, while 50% disagreed. A large percentage (19%) of respondents were unable to rate believability. The Times’s score was comparable to that of USA Today.[292] Media analyst Brooke Gladstone of WNYC’s On the Media, writing for The New York Times, says that the decline in U.S. public trust of the mass media can be explained (1) by the rise of the polarized Internet-driven news; (2) by a decline in trust in U.S. institutions more generally; and (3) by the fact that “Americans say they want accuracy and impartiality, but the polls suggest that, actually, most of us are seeking affirmation.”[293]

            Main article: List of awards won by the New York Times
            The New York Times has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The prize is awarded for excellence in journalism in a range of categories.[294]

            It has also, as of 2014, won three Peabody Awards and jointly received two.[295]

            • Micha says:

              Like most newspapers, NYT also struggles to adopt in the new digital age. Subscription plummets and its revenue stream suffers. A significant chunk of its stocks is now owned by Mexican billionaire monopolist Carlos Slim.

              The Bezos owned Washington Post also has credibility problems when it runs 8 anti Sanders articles in 12 hours.

              Billionaires have interests and agendas to push. Newspapers are useful and effective platforms.

              It’s up to the readers how to discern.

              Or look for alternative sources of credible stuff.

              • Everyone meddles should be point, Joe… from bloggers to nation states to billionaires— everyone wants info and everyone wants to be able to put all that info to use, ie. influence or manipulate, or by force.

                You meddle, I meddle, we all meddle…

              • Yes, that’s the path I’m on in this dialogue. And the biggest meddler on the planet, bar none, is China.

              • Joe, but historically it’s been us, in the past century, it was the British in the previous, before it was the Spaniards (and Portuguese ). so on and so forth…

                Now it’s China, with power comes great responsibility, should read with power comes more power to meddle. the less you meddle the less powerful you are, it comes with the territory, Joe.

                Canada doesn’t meddle, that’s why it’s always apologizing for stuff they didn’t even do!!! that’s the opposite of power. the Philippines can’t meddle, it gets meddled with. that’s how it works.

              • Wise words. Thanks. I do think the article I referenced here on HK was exceptionally well written.

              • karlgarcia says:

                In the words of Andres, it is middling.

          • chemrock says:

            Let’s look at it rationally.

            HK is part of China, there is nothing anyone can do about it. If they have applied political pressure, they violate good faith with the Basic Law. They won’t be the first nor the last govt to flip flop on a policy. We may not like it but they don’t rule according to what we like, ditto Putin, ditto the Pope in Vatican, ditto Trump.

            China in fact has interferred in some ways — controlled election of a Chief Executive that is not pro-democracy, prevented pro-democracy lawmakers from gaining office, influenced press freedom by using media ownership to influence coverage, and influencing publication industry to discourage political-bias against China. (This resulted in the illegal detention of a few ‘pesky’ publisher.)

            Other than these, HK residents enjoy more freedoms than mainland Chinese in any other city. Which is why I asked Kasambahay what are the ‘terrors’ China applied to HK.

            To the extent that there is a Basic Law, I will say China is wrong to encroach into the liberties of HK. However, even if China does nothing of the sort, HK residents will have to live by PRC way in 20 years time. But if HK belongs to China, how can we say a country is meddling in it’s own affairs?

            China using media ownership to influence coverage is the same thingy what liberal-owned presses in US are doing and the reason why 90% of the media are virulently anti-Trump.
            As to good reporting by NY Times, here’s something wonder if you had read about. You certainly won’t hear it from Liberal media. They ran a story with a headline that pretty much was the fact. Democrats never liked it. They reprinted with new headline, slanted to kill Trump as much as they can. And by the way, they demoted the editorial staff that approved the first headline.

            Did the US meddle? Let’s be fair. Imagine for one moment you are a socialist in China, you allow US agencies like NED to operate in HK, watch them fund and educate the intellectuals and students on the fineries of democracy, allow the exchange of ideas between your citizens and liberals from US, to the extent of congressional reps, VP and the war-monger Bolton. This are undeniable facts so let’s not argue about this. So imagine with these liberties prevailing, the unrest occurs. What is your first thought? There was no meddling?

            Of course the NED will say they are not meddling politics in HK. They are bringers of knowledge HK people needs.

            Can you imagine the CCP to operate similarly in US? Old McCarthy would rise up from his grave.

            Let’s leave it at that – agree to disagree.

            By the way, all though Chinese fear the unrest will spill over into the mainland. Far from that. The news on the ground is there has been a lot of knee jerk reaction with Chinese in the mainland to return container loads of mooncakes produced from HK. It may lead to some boycot of HK products who knows. That underlies the maninlanders’ sentiments to what’s going on in HK.

            • 1. The terrors are in China, and in the future. That’s why the extradition of HK residents to the borg is so offensive. It is a marker of things to come. Along with ID’s and facial scans and light poles tracking who and where you are.

              2. The 2047 date is the timeline investors have used. To move it forward is a violation of the contract. It is another way China is slicing the salami all over the world, seas and land. It is beyond meddling and into criminal.

              3. Liberal owned presses are balanced by Fox and Brietbart and trolls who write obnoxious things in comment threads everywhere. As Micha said, one can read with skepticism, and from a variety of sources, and get decent information, rather than being unread, for sure, or being like those who rely on Fox and Trump Tweets. The article on Hong Kong was hardly liberal US writing, but thoughtful analysis. So why diminish the source, and the entire information industry, to make a fallacious point?

              4. I’ve stipulated that the US meddles where it has interests. I’m not arguing the point. My first thought, and continuing thought, is that the HK uprising is 98% genuine local passions and 2% meddling. I’m impressed by the numbers, the dedication, the innovative and strategic thinking, and the durability in the face of an enormous and increasingly brutal opponent.

              5. The willingness of the protesters to absorb, even want, economic damage, is one of the more impressive protest strategies. Make businesses feel the pain so they start speaking out for a reasonable response from Lam. Also impressive is lawyers marching for democracy, teachers allowing protests in schools or perhaps joining them behind masks, and local residents berating the police brutality they witness. Also Cathay Pacific’s CEO resigning rather than tell his employees what to think and say. The mainlanders are getting fed propaganda, not knowledge, so knee-jerk reactions would be normal. That is testament of the coming terror. Brains erased.

              • chemrock says:

                1. “The terrors are in China, and in the future.” — The same fears apply to all countries. Same technologies are also in place in some countries.

                2. “The 2047 date is the timeline investors have used.” All investors live with country and regulator risks. ABS-CBN had to face a Duterte admin that was incredibly unfair to them.

                3. “Liberal owned presses are balanced by Fox and Brietbart”. If by fallacious point you mean my comment that 90% of liberal-owned media are anti-Trump, then I make no apologies. To support my claims, I’ll make 2 references:

                a). For more than 2 years, liberal media have chosen to lead the US public to believe a Trump-Russian collusion. So much funds have been spent into investigations, so much polarisation, so much executive time and effort, so much hatred spread. Fox was only one of a handful to try to tear into all those false claims. What do we have today? No Russian collusion, but a Russian delusion. Many of Obama’s executives including Comey are going to jail once the mess is cleared up and the dust settles.

                b). The latest on the Dems for which you won’t hear anything from the liberal media. It’s all about sweetheart progressive Ilhan Omar — her dubious marriages to 2 husbands, her affair that’s leading to 2 possible divorces, her lies in tax returns, misuse of election funds, her support of an organisation listed by UN as a terrorist organisation, her failed attempt to visit Isreal organised by the same terrorist organisation.

                4. “I’m impressed by the numbers, the dedication, the innovative and strategic thinking, and the durability in the face of an enormous and increasingly brutal opponent.”
                YES I do agree with the passion and the guts. But the moment they switched from protest to rioting, I left the room.

                5. “The willingness of the protesters to absorb, even want, economic damage, is one of the more impressive protest strategies. Make businesses feel the pain so they start speaking out for a reasonable response from Lam”.
                Not too sure about this. I saw the poor hawkers cussing at the youngsters, the small little roadside restaurants, the tax drivers who could’nt make his living, the tiny hole-in-wall shopkeepers who had shutters down.

                Make business feel the pain — how about stop using Apple phones, boycott some products, protest outside Li Ka Shing’s house our business premises…

              • 1. To say other countries are like China is a grossly bad understanding of China’s amoral ways versus the moral rules of most nations (that is, respect for laws and other races).

                2. True, but if people break contracts, they get sued. If there is no court to sue in, they meddle to protect their interests. Legitimately. China began the meddling by acting in bad faith on the agreement.

                3. Irrelevant to the issue at hand. Fallacy. Media in the US provide a wealth of good information. Perhaps the broadest and best in the world. How do you get your information? You’ve cited no sources.

                4. The rioting was in response to police brutality. You stayed in the room for that?

                5. Yes, it is troublesome for many. Blame Lam, not the protesters, and I’d see that you know where accountability for the mess rests.

              • This article in the South China Morning Post illustrates both the economic and human forces in play between Hong Kong and China. It puts them in a historical context.


              • chemrock says:

                1. China is not the first nor will it be the last to trample on laws. I’m not making a moral stand. All I’m saying is a blanket aspersion on one country is not fair comment. It has been a bad CCP in many issues, but it has also been fair in many other areas you don’t get to read about.

                Take this — the communists took over lots of property from the land-owning class. They have since returned all that they can. A friend of mine, now a Singapore citizen, had hectares of land confiscated. His relations in China had their land returned. He lost his because he is no longer residing there.

                2. None of the corporations went into China with their eyes closed. They know the political risks and the lack of law. They went in eyes wide open with ears on the ka-ching.

                3. Yes I agree US media provide a wealth of info. It is the political articles I take issue with. Bi-partisanship has made it difficult to know what’s the truth nowadays. I have no preferred source. What I do is when there is an issue I’m interested, I’ll look out from several sources, from left and right points of view. I’ll also look at some independent commentators contributions. I read using my own sense of what seems right or wrong. Where I perceive something questionable I’ll spend a bit more time and try to fact check other sources. Nowadays, I actually have more confidence on RT.com when it comes to US events.

                Long ago I used to hate Foxnews, but overtime, I saw a pattern emerging. I saw liberal-owned media operating in echo chambers. It became so ridiculous now in their attacks on Trump. Just look at a very recent incident on Trump’s quote “I’m the choosen one”. How the liberals bombasted him on this. When I saw the video footage of the manner Trump said that, what little respect I had for those liberal journalists vaporised.

                4/5. Chicken and egg situation – Rioter or police started the violence. Depends on which video footage you view first. People are bound to get hurt in such situations – both protesters and police.

              • 1. Thanks for the information. China would have such an easy time if she treated the international community with such respect. But she plays the thug.

                2. Right. It is open-eyed, but that does not mean they should roll over like Duterte and get fucked. They should speak and act for their own interests, as China did in saying the agreement has no force.

                3. We have the same reading habits. I think “liberal journalism” needs to be specified. Who? When? Is it a publication bias and agenda, or is it one analyst or one story that grated wrongly. CNN is liberal. Fox is conservative. Both have their moments of grandeur and moments of error or failing. I don’t think it is accurate or constructive to slander an industry as having a dangerous liberal bias because the culture is centered on human rights, and that is what the press focus on.

                4. The government put the extradition bill on the agenda, were seen congratulating the white shirts, control the police and riot squads. There is no chicken and egg. Government controls the agenda and is the only institution with the power to end the confrontation. Unless you think HK people should just fade to silence like Filipinos do.

              • chemrock says:

                !,2 — I agree.
                3. — I disagree, The media today, as far as political coverage is concerned, is no longer quite like the days of old. Journalist, reports, cable presenters — they are all projecting their own views and truth is of little importance it seems. Editors are constrained by media ownership dictates.
                4.Protesters made demands on Lam — all a meaningless show of defiance. Can Lam grant them the Freedom they seek?

              • 4. She can stop China from taking their freedoms away.

            • NHerrera says:

              My reading of the comments immediately above: Hurray for “passion.” Passionate words from both chempo and TSH. 🙂

    • “2. The 2047 date is the timeline investors have used. To move it forward is a violation of the contract. It is another way China is slicing the salami all over the world, seas and land. It is beyond meddling and into criminal.”

      This one is I think, the most crucial variable here, Joe.

      I don’t know the exact wording of the contract, but I’d assume going from 25% of the Chinese economy to just 2% now, is implicit to it. ie. if you guys stop making us money, the contract’s off the table. and we’ll renegotiate.

      Why keep said contract if the other party isn’t pulling its own weight???

      Here i agree with chempo, that’s an internal arrangement. I’m sure there are mainlander Chinese, who are probably pushing Xi to open up HK sooner than later, before it becomes a failed state.

      Micha, might be able to add here, but how did it get from 25% to 2%, that’s some serious mismanagement right there. i’ve never worked for a corporation, but i’d assume it’b be like the Marine Corps becoming the Army reserves— like a stud becoming a paraplegic.

      What are you gonna do?

      This aspect of the story needs to be explored more, me thinks.

      • Rapid growth of the mainland economy relegated HK to negligible. It was superior management of the mainland economy, not mismanagement of HK.

        • Joe,

          when these protests started which was a bunch of HK’ers with umbrellas, now i look at the news and they look more like Anachists over here (Antifas now), I don’t know the details to how it evolved (or devolved ), but it is now more recognizable as similar to stuff here.

          re HK mismanagement, i’d like to see this whole dole-outs narrative explored farther. Are Macau and HK really welfare states??? chemp, can you link this blog?

      • chemrock says:

        HK lost a lot of its mojo once China started opening up. It no longer serves as a bridgehead for international parties wanting to deal with China. Most HK manufacturing industries also moved into China.

        China tried to make Shanghai a financial centre but it has failed. Had it succeeded, HK would have been dead. China has allowed HK to retain much of its freedom due to its importance to the mainland as a funds centre. It is also the place where politburo members stash unexplained wealth and their mistresses.

        They started a new initiative called ‘Greater Bay Area Initiative’ which is basically to make some southern cities including Shenzen, HK, Macau and others int a business hub. There has been talk by mainlanders to forget HK and replace it with Shenzen.

        It is unlikely Shenzen can take off due to serious lack of some basic resources so MNCs are not pouring in. As for money matters, the financial markets are’nt on their side due to various reasons — distrust of the system – legislation and fairness, Renmenbi is not easily convertible, there is still some form of capital controls, etc.

        HK continues to offer some distinct advantage in that US tariffs on China do not apply to HK.

        HK protestors may not get the freedoms they want, and this protests may be an economic suicide. It shakes investor confidence to the core. One shining position HK has is its importance as a base for regional HQ of multinationals, but even this is fast disisipating Singapore is gaining the advantage very quickly because HK infra has been left far behind. It has not led in smart city initiatives.

        • It seems like they are pissing in the wind too, chemp… knowing full well that 2047 will come. And with their actions it’ll just come sooner.

          The US under Trump will not do anything. Under Hillary maybe, she was nuts!

    • That’s it, I’m gonna visit Macau now, chemp. I hope everyone avoids HK, goes instead to Macau. when you have kids destroying private & public property, do you wanna encourage it??? no. I hope Macau tries to go after foreign HK tourism siphon to them, then again too much of the West is probably not what Macau-nese want.

      What i do like in Vegas are the Cirque du Soleil shows, of which there are i think 8 now. I’ve already seen one, wanna see ’em all. But taking a page from Nietzsche, it’s about cultural programs that inspire, gets the herd then to perspire and find what truly inspires them, their own. like a positive loop for everyone, chemp.

  10. Lots of topics.. I will comment on one by one..

    • 1. vertical vs. horizontal and survival.

      a. Vertical and hierarchic societies have advantages when it comes to expanding/war.

      Bismarck’s Reich built its train lines through the centers of cities, and along the Rhine villages were simply cut in half without any citizen’s initiatives, TROs or ecologists in the way. Bismarck still believed in self-limitation of power to avoid war (a bit like Deng Xiaoping) while under Kaiser Wilhelm II, Admiral Tirpitz built up the German Navy so fast that it became worrisome for the British. Democratic Germany of today had several years delay on ONE modern frigate of the new F125 class. Building the speed train line Munich/Berlin (just 4 hours now) was delayed at least a decade due to lawsuits.

      b. Horizontal and democratic societies can self-correct more easily.

      Communism in Europe broke down because every level in the hierarchy lied a little to the higher levels, so the “top management” had skewed information about reality and was blindsided by popular discontent brewing. Possibly, modern information systems will compensate for that weakness towards democratic societies. Still, I believe that the “evolutionary” mechanisms of liberal democracy and market economy – competition between different ideas as long as they hold themselves to tolerate one another, and competition between different business as long as monopolies and Mafias are kept from controlling thing – breed stronger societies, more adaptable ones at that.

      (So I tend to agree more with Francis than with Pablo, but of course history will tell us the truth, we will probably all not be here to deliver the final judgement)

      • 2. Sovereignty vs. self-determination

        2a. The Westphalian (1648) and later absolutist (also French, Spanish) idea of sovereignty is that a nation-state is the highest power on earth and no one may interfere in its workings. The Westphalian lesson from 1618-1648 was about how external powers interfered in a Holy Roman Empire or Germany that was already decaying from within, destroying it much like Syria today, so the decision was made that nobody was to have that right anymore.

        2b. The romantic (19th century) and later Wilsonian (1919) idea of self-determination, meaning that groups of people have the right to their own, self-determined destiny.

        Self-determination was essential for anti-colonialism, among other things. But a lot of countries that were self-determined versus their colonial powers were hegemonial towards their neighbors. See Indonesia and East Timor.

        Germany and France had a major spat when the former was quick in recognizing Slovenia and Croatia as independent nations. France might have been thinking of Corsica, maybe. Countries which are more on sovereignty in their thinking will have more unitary states and will be skeptical about federalism and autonomy – see France and recently Spain/Catalonia. Countries with self-determination in their mindset are often federalistic like Germany today, which also recognizes ethnic minorities like Danes in the North and Sorbs in the East.

        (finally, there is always a bit of tension between sovereignty and self-determination. Even centralistic Philippines has finally given Moroland its partial self-determination. Interestingly, the deal that was considered rotten when offered by PNoy was accepted coming from Duts).

        • 3. Interference vs. sovereignty

          3a. Medieval Europe had no idea of sovereignty. The Pope often meddled in kings affairs. Western Christendom had replaced the Western Roman Empire which it had destroyed.

          3b. Protestantism rebelled against the Pope and indirectly brought about sovereignty because it was involved in the 30 years war. But not only that, the second wave of colonial powers – Dutch and British as opposed to Spain and Portugal – were Protestant and independent, while Spain and Portugal actually had the Pope define which parts of the world belonged to which power. Brazil goes deeper into the American continent than it should but the Portuguese did follow the demarcation line, more or less, along the coast while leaving the rest of the continent (except for the British and French areas in the north) to Spain. Spain followed the line too, theoretically, as it sailed to the Philippines by going westwards! But the new powers did not care for the Pope’s line and went everywhere they could. The Dutch overran what became Indonesia very quickly where the Portuguese only had a few ports while the British later controlled Malaysia, not just Malacca like the Portuguese – and India, not just Goa like the Portuguese.

          The new “Pope” nowadays is an entity Duterte loves to curse also: the United Nations.

          The forerunner of the UN was the Woodrow Wilson inspired League of Nations. Wilson brought about self-determination while the foundation of the UN brought about the Declaration of Human Rights, just as momentous a moment in international law as the idea of sovereign states dating back to 1648. Human rights and self-determination of course somewhat undermines the right of sovereign states to hurt minorities or their own people.

          (I should be writing a bit of a book about this stuff, with comics to illustrate it.)

          • 4. West vs. Asia (c) chempo and Kipling (“the twain shall never meet”)

            4a. What is Asia? Asia from the point of view of the Greeks, originally more like pirates who were invading richer and older cities like Troy, started in what is Turkey today, Asia minor. Asya is the Asian side of what used to be Constantinople, now called Instanbul, in Turkey.

            4b. What is West? The West is certainly where the Greeks were, compared to the older part of the world, the more civilized part. Greeks had democracy, just like Caribbean pirates had a system of sharing loot and choosing their commanders. Vikings were also raiders and had no real kings for a long time. “Liberty is a virtue of the vicious”, said Oscar Wilde. Certainly the historical newcomers seemed unkempt and unruly to rulers of the more established places from Asya in Istanbul all the way to the Far East, but the upstarts came up faster.

            Like democracy and free-market economy have their strengths, so does some degree of creative destruction which was practiced by the West, as it generated new ideas and ways. The Far East was blindsided by the West just like Troy was surprised by Greek pirates. Painful even now for the oldest living civilzation on earth – China, to be defeated that way, but certainly a lesson of history. Maybe things will turn around towards to old ways, again.

            What is also Western is the Judeo-Christian worldview. Pasyon means Christ’s suffering. Compassion for underdogs developed starting with a people that fled from slavery under the OLDEST (but no longer living) civilization on Earth – Egypt, and developed further with compassion for a man who suffered and was crucified, whether one believes he rose again or not, that belief became popular among slaves in Rome first before the nobles adopted it. Yes, the oldest living civilization on earth may be more like Egypt where slaves were slaves and authority was not to be questioned. Maybe all the nonsense that happened on the other side of Eurasia – Jews fleeing Pharaohs and Greeks destroying Troy, should not have been. Then probably we would be worshipping Imhotep XXVII in Europe and Xi Jinping in Asia?

            (again I tend to believe that creative tension is better, as long as it restabilizes after a while)

            • 5. Chempo: “Eastern societies, under the influences of Hinduism, Islam, Confucianism & Buddhism never had the exposure that Western societies had for over 500 years to the cauldron of Enlightenment philosophies of anarchism, naturalism, Darwinism, social liberalism, libertarianism. Easterners are far backwards in progressivism compared to western counterparts.”

              5a. Sure, the West defined itself from the beginning as separate. From the Greeks that attacked Troy to the “Persians” as the idea of the East. But is it such a dichotomy.

              Islam is monotheistic, different from Jewish and Christian religion but with much in common. The idea of one God and common morals is better than that of a Pharaoh or God-Emperor. Why did Romans kill Christians, or why attacks on Islam in Xinjiang – rulers feel threatened!

              Hinduism is probably most like the old religions that predated monotheism all over the Middle East and Europe, a world in itself that I don’t even pretend to understand at all.

              Buddhism is at least in its ideas compassionate, the Eastern answer to Christianity.

              5b. Modern China can debatably be seen as also being a product of the Enlightenment.

              There were more liberal and more authoritarian thinkers in the European Enlightenment.

              China has imported Enlightenment rationality and institutions without the Liberalism.

              Its modern society is highly Darwinistic, a way more brutal version of neoliberalism.

              The Islamic parts of Asia imported an idea from the Middle East, a far away place.

              Buddhism found its way to places like Thailand and Japan, coming eastwards from India.


              Things might not be that simple. But LCPL_X might be right with this prediction: “China gets Africa and Asia (even the Middle East); Europe and the Anglo-sphere and Latin America, possibly India too, have their own party. Two separate parties.”

              We don’t know though. The world is round like a soccer ball or a basketball. German soccer fans say “Der Ball is rund” while Filipino basketball fans say something similar in Filipino I think but I can’t remember it just now.

            • I think China, as the beast of the east, is a hideous form of humanity and government in any unfettered vision based on today’s motives and lack of moral grounding. People are tools, not people. Brutality rules. It is such a dark existence.

              • Yes, it could be like Egypt was for Moses, Aaron and their people who fled.

                The West (both the Graeco-Roman and the Judeo-Christian aspects) brought forth the idea of the individual as being important, not just the collective.

            • karl, this last comic strip is a lot more consistent with the Judah & Tamar story,

              • chemrock says:

                The comic strips are fun. But on mobile, there is a problem. Impossible to read the prints. To enlarge we need to click and go to imgure. Troublesome lah.

              • I think if I post them not as replies, they’ll retain their size. I’m just screwing around with it, for my own fun, chemp. Will try to put some thought in the next ones. I think I can size up the text too, make bigger, let me tinker.

              • Don’t work too hard on it. This is a discussion blog, not a comic book. They are acceptable as accents to discussions, not as mainstream content. It is this apparent inability of yours to grasp and support the fundamental editorial objective of the blog that keeps you in moderation. Your good humor not withstanding . . .

              • No worries, Joe, I’ll take no offense if you don’t publish the cartoons, but these posted now are just me experimenting with said medium. I will use it to color of course and I promise it’ll add to the discussion not distract, Joe.

                In fact , you should try it out, yourself, you have three square panels, beginning, middle and end, and you have to create something memorable. I’m not logging in their website, i’m simply creating the comic then screen shot to save the photo, then upload it to imgur dot com. if you’re already having fun coming up w/ aphorisms for Twitter, i gotta feeling you’ll do more with this medium than i could ever do, Joe.

                Try it. Everyone try it. Next blog, everyone does a three panel comic about the state of things in the Philippines.

              • I’ll delete them all. This is an old style blog where people keep their cell phones in their purses and pockets and sit at the table, look each other in the face, and talk. There are no waiters singing or girls in short skirts serving and distracting attention. It is a place of words not drawings, although an exhibit or two does not hurt. You want comics, do that at your own blog. Indeed, that’s an idea. Start a political cartoon blog. Kids will love it.

          • I look forward to the comic book.

        • I think it was mainly Bong Bong Marcos who thought the Aquino Moro solution was wrong, because of Mamasapano, a case of a politician of no known intellectual capacity mixing an apple with an orange and coming out with tomato juice. I like the idea of tension. It is what democracy does well or badly, depending on if you are winning or losing. Sovereignty and self-determination to me don’t seem at odds though. Sovereignty is self-determined territorial integrity.

          • BBM was shaped by his father’s centralistic, control-freak ideas of sovereignty. Just like Du30s group have a certain idea of control of the countryside which dates back to the early US colonial period which created the Philippine Constabulary under Rafael Crame.

            And of course Rafael Crame as a former soldier of Spain brought in former Guardia Civil who acted like the old guard, as they were. Sometimes one has to overcome old ways. Sometimes they come back though – isn’t Trump’s USA trying to roll back MLK and JFK?

        • karl,

          here’s the story of Onan from the Old Testament,

    • chemrock says:

      Thanks Irineo.

      Your sweeping views are most interesting. I particularly like your historical juxtaposition to contextualise.

      I did some research on Kaiser Wilhelm II and Bismarch for an upcoming blog here. Interesting you likened Bismarch to Deng because I too had that thought. Deng was the top honcho so China moved to his dictates. Too bad Bismarch was only Chancellor and not monarch or else WWI may not have occurred. Was that why Hitler combined monarch and Chancellor into a Fuhrer.

      I like the thought “creative tension is better, as long as it restabilizes after a while”.

      • Frederick II, the Enlightened Monarch (who corresponded with Voltaire among others) said something like this: “anyone can discuss with me and even convince me, as long as he obeys afterwards”, though I vaguely recall that Kant said something similar first.

        This is in fact how German democracy works: a lot is discussed but whatever has been decided collectively is obeyed until a new rule is collectively decided. The Filipino misconception is that you either OBEY(+keep quiet) or DISCUSS(+disobey).

        Someone I worked with business wise said German bosses do welcome suggestions or even contradictions as long as they are logical, and even more if they improve business, the German way is discuss and then execute (the work, not the employees).

        • P.S. Bismarck was also like Deng when it came to business. There was a flowering of German industry in the “Gründerzeit” or “founder’s period” shortly after 1871 which was the Unification of Germany after the war against Napoleon III – which was quickly won.

          Re-reading about Wilhelm II BTW may remind one of Donald Trump in his vanity and pettiness. That Kaiser, unlike his grandfather Wilhelm I, could not stand Bismarck and made him leave. “Dropping the Pilot” was the caricature of that time, March 1890.

          • I’ve always wanted to read the letters sent to Bismarck by Nietzsche , when he was going crazy…

            but prior to that, Nietzsche (i dunno know if he wrote directly of Bismarck) was reacting to stuff that had to do with Bismarck and his policies,

            the consolidation process, etc. and why Nietzsche was really proud that he had no country.

            in many ways he forecasted Nazi Germany… that’s why aside from posing with statues, Hitler really couldn’t do much with Nietzsche’s works,

            Hitler was in fact a big fan of this magazine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_International_Jew funded by Henry Ford, both he and Edison were avid Jew haters.


            “Experts also point to Ford’s close friend, Thomas Edison, an anti-Semite who approved of the Independent’s campaign, and Ford’s close relationship with Ernest Liebold, whose anti-Semitic views were well known. Historian Douglas Brinkley wrote that Ford’s “increasingly vicious anti-Semitism appears to have grown out of his antipathy toward powerful bankers.”

            Ford’s criticism of Jews and hatred of Wall Street were “the foibles of the Michigan farm boy who had been liberally exposed to Populist notions,” wrote historian Richard Hofstadter.

            “Ford disliked Jews who he believed exercised disproportionate control over the institutions that were vital to the rural-mercantile economy he wanted to build,” wrote Victoria Saker Woeste. “

    • Things might not be that simple. But LCPL_X might be right with this prediction: “China gets Africa and Asia (even the Middle East); Europe and the Anglo-sphere and Latin America, possibly India too, have their own party. Two separate parties.”


      I’m not saying that’s the only scenario to unfold in the future, but is it possible, sure. is it probable, again yeah.

      And this is mine and Micha above discussion. and why I think China can totally do it alone. they’ll have the power, they’ll have the money, and they’ll have resources,

      once they get to the moon, they’ll want to expand out there, and not here.

      If I were running the show for US foreign policy re China, i’d give China all the means to get to the moon, they’ll be our canaries , we’ll even send ’em Bezos and Elon Musk to help out.

      the only peaceful dragon, is a dragon in outer space. Encourage china’s space program.

      • And to Micha’s point above, it’s not an either-or scenario… ie., Either we save planet Earth, or we go to Mars. We can do both. If we can’t, that’s fine too, I don’t envision all of humanity dying in one swoop, we’ll dwindle, go from 8 billion to less, how less i dunno.

        But we’ll have to continue with Mars and the outer planet moons , separate from the politics of climate collapse (ie. we can do both , technologies not yet here will be borne precisely because we , or rather China 😉 lol! is going to Mars… we’ll just steal China’s technology, hehehe… ).

        Man-made disaster is not the only possible disaster in our horizon, the whole planet could explode, like the Yellowstone caldera super big volcano, blanketing the world with soot; or an asteroid can take us out, blanketing the world with soot, There is no

        need to blame the Koch brothers, there are plenty of other ways to become extinct. Whatever the possibilities of extinction, the Moon is still there, and Mars too, and we have the technology to go now, with or without Global Warming. SO…

        Let’s go!!! we should be rioting to go!!! Lol!!! 😉

    • Not much as far as i can find were direct writings towards Bismarck , i’ll have to borrow some library books to make the connection.

      But Bismarck and Clausewitz is as interesting, Ireneo… as you know Americans are big fans of not only German engineering, but also of German military thought and practices, “On War” is still read and re-read in military colleges, but not really understood well, nor applied as intended.

      But much of its wisdom comes from Germany’s (then Prussia) clash with Napoleon (the first “I” then his nephew “III” in the 60s, i guess that’s the actual application of “On War”)

      here’s a good read on this connection:

      Not surprisingly, Clausewitz’s intellectual and cultural heirs, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, translated his principles into successful strategy. Their judicious application of theoretical principles to real-world strategy provides perhaps the most convincing fulfillment of Gray’s demands of military theory–that it enable decision-makers to act rationally, thereby move the course of history in the direction of their own interests. Yet their success owes much to a favorable confluence of theory, culture, and context.[4]

      Clausewitz argues that war is not a departure from politics but “the continuation of policy by other means,” and that therefore, “wars must vary with the nature of their motives and of the situations which give rise to them.”[5] War cannot be separated from political purpose and constraints. As products of the very Prussian military education system and state that Clausewitz helped create in the first few decades of the 1800s, Bismarck and von Moltke shared a deep textual and cultural understanding of On War. They employed his theory in the Wars of German Unification (1864 to 1871), judiciously applying violent means to achieve political and territorial ends, with lasting strategic impact. Praising Bismarck in overtly Clausewitzian terms, Sir Halford Mackinder asserts, “No statesman ever adjusted war to policy with a nicer judgment than Bismarck.”[6] Mackinder, an original authority on geopolitics, points out that each of Bismarck’s three short wars concluded with treaties favorable to Prussia, leading directly to a unified Germany. In accordance with Clausewitz’s theory, Bismarck managed von Moltke’s military victories (means) to pursue the greater political strategy of unification (ends).[7]

      Bismarck and von Moltke owe much of their success to their understanding of another Clausewitzian principle: that harmony of purpose must exist between statesman and general. Clausewitz says that “the first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish…the kind of war on which they are embarking, neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.”[8] Bismarck and von Moltke harmonized their efforts while limiting the scope of each war so as not to exhaust Prussia’s resources or ignite greater conflicts. In accordance with this fundamental principle of On War, both Bismarck, the strategist-statesman, and von Moltke, the strategist-commander, effectively calibrated the purpose and scope of their wars to the state’s political climate and available resources. Von Moltke and Bismarck applied Clausewitz’s theory with intellectual understanding and seasoned judgment, significantly advancing Prussia’s power and interests. Later Germans read Clausewitz narrowly or misinterpreted him, forging less successful strategies as a result.


      Total opposite of Nietzsche’s :

      Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states. A state? What is that? Well! Open now your ears to me, for now will I say to you my word concerning the death of peoples. State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lies it also; and this lie creeps from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

      It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life. Destroyers, are they who lay traps for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them. Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs. This sign I give to you: every people speaks its language of good and evil: this its neighbor understands not. Its language has it devised for itself in laws and customs.

      But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen. False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it bites, the biting one. False are even its bowels. Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give to you as the sign of the state. Truly, the will to death, indicates this sign! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death! Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised! See just how it entices them to it, the many-too-many! How it swallows and chews and re-chews them! “On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God.” — thus roars the monster.

      Orwellian even before Orwell… 😉

      Thus undermining Hitler even before Hitler. LOL!

  11. Joe, I’m watching “Our Boys” on HBO , 4 episodes in, there’s 10 episodes total, it’s about the Jewish division of Shin Bet (Shabak, like FBI/Special Forces combined, Mossad is external, Shin Bet is internal). The Jewish division keeps tabs and prosecutes Jewish terrorists in Israel, of which now there is a rise (coming from Hasidims).

    Joe, read this book in conjunction…

  12. Hong Kong this afternoon as marchers go to the US embassy to request that the US meddle in their affairs.

    • Recent photo montage of HK protests from Rolling Stone. Woodstock of a different generation, I suppose.


      • Meddling is not the issue here, the next question is are they worth meddling over. That should be the calculus, Joe.

        I don’t agree with chempo that the US is necessarily meddling, okay i’ll concede Pence and water bottles and gas masks (this IMHO is quite a stretch already since it ‘s a bit expensive to gas mask everyone). But in light of what chempo is saying, I’m sure the State Dept. folks and everyone else inside that US embassy, will also have the same reading as chempo. Thus, hands off is the wisest move here.

        Joe, this is what happened in Egypt and Libya, and the US did indeed meddle on their behest, they were also requested to by the people protesting. Hillary took the bait, and look what happened to Egypt, luckily its military saved it from itself; Libya not so lucky, now a failed state just off Europe. in Syria, they didn’t initially ask for US to meddle, but we made our opinions heard, which after what we did in Egypt and Libya was enough to tip the balance luckily Assad had some Russian help, 80% of Syria was saved.

        Freedom and stability has to be balanced, Joe. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

        I hope the US embassy in HK doesn't do what the US embassies did in Egypt and Libya over there. In fact, I hope they say, folks WE WILL NOT MEDDLE, SO DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP (keep they passion though 😉 ). blame President Trump if they have too, our President thinks you guys are just another immigrant caravan waiting to happen.

        • chemrock says:

          “Freedom and stability has to be balanced”

          I didn’t expect this from you, but I agree to that. I think you ditch stability and go for all out fight for freedom at the certain point in time, as in WW1 and WWII. When is that point is a difficult question. Are the HK youths right that point has been reached?

          There is a big difference with Philippines. In EdsaI hundreds of thousands took to the streets and no property was damaged.

          • chemp, I’m on record here since way before during the Arab Spring debacles (outcomes) saying the US screwed up, Obama screwed up, but it was Hillary’s doing in the end, Obama just sided with her. And why I’ve been anti-Hillary.

            Mubarak offered stability; Qaddafi too; Assad. And they offered a semblance of freedom. We swooped in offering more freedom, and look what happened. For most in the world stability is good enough, IMHO, chemp.

            Now Joe’s saying HK’ers are asking the US to intervene, de ja vu! We’ve been here before.

            • I don’t actually think the US will intervene, other than what they’ve done, encourage China to respect democratic rights. Other world leaders have done the same.

              • Joe,

                chemp is correct above re FOX News being a counter balancing of liberal media. FOX News is usually seen as hawkish, and I think the folks behind the scenes for the company are, but Trump has been able to play the liberal media as well as FOX News et al masterfully.

                Not withstanding Trump’s rhetoric and his other policies, my only gauge of how good he is for the country is simple… whether or not he gets us into another friggin’ WAR!!! <<<<

                it's 2019 now and no wars in sight.

                So far so good. My vote's reaping benefits as far as I'm concerned, Joe. Climate change, universal health care, infrastructure, prisons, environment, etc. etc. I'll focus with local politicians, all politics is local after all. So long as Trump doesn't give us another war, we're good.

                Trade war, IMHO, is a much needed realignment with China– i don't know if it's being done correctly, but at least its being done. I would love for Trump to say boycott Walmart and Amazon if they sell you cheap Chinese goods! Thus, my stance on China is let them do their own capitalism; we'll do ours, may the best system win.

                re HK protest and what you said about "respect democratic rights", the way I see it the US can't say crap about respecting democratic rights abroad, we've screwed up things more than not, the Shah, Saddam, in Africa, in Latin America, Marcos, the list goes on and on and on, Joe.

                Let China do them, and we'll do us, ie. you do you. So long as no one's going to war, we'll be fine. Like chemp said, if it comes to another WWII situation, we’ll deal with it then. Which relegates the footage of HK protesters only as something akin to the now trending ASMR videos.

                To HK protesters , NO ONES GOING TO HELP YOU. Sorry. 😦

  13. caliphman says:

    I went over chemmy’s long discussion with Joe on their individual take of the protests in Hongkong. On balance I do agree with chemmy that viewed in isolation, China has acted with self restraint against a gathering movement to gain more sovereignity for HK than what has been formally and informally agreed upon. But it would be a mistake to assess the HK situation in isolation and pass over the fact that China will do what Beijing decides it must do to maintain control over its territorial claims regardless of international laws and agreements in place including those it has previously ratified. Obviously its restraint is driven by political, economic, and military calculation, both internal and external, but at the end of the day it will act primarily in its self interest, which these days include flexing its muscle and its status of a leading regional if not world power.

    • caliphman,

      No media over here is actually dissecting the woes of Hong Kong and why these HK’ers are protesting. All we get is that they want Freedom and China’s not giving them Freedom.

      so chemp’s perspective is very welcome indeed. Especially the compare and contrast of HK and Macau. i’ve always wondered by no issues over in Macau. now I know.

      that initiative should alleviate tensions in HK. keeping an eye on this. Very excited.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Gambling is outlawed on China, but not in Macau, no wonder they do not like online gambling ir anyy gambling elsewhere, less revenues from their cashcow.

        • caliphman says:

          My interest in the HK situation is its relevance on our relationship with Beijing. That chemmy lays out a case that contrary to popular belief, Beijing has followed its agreements and used restraint in controlling what is legally its territory and subjects is very noteworthy. Particularly in view of its lawless land and oceangrab in the SCS. We are not yet a province nor an illegal gambling haven for mainland China, so how HK and Macau thrive or not and are administered differently maybe interesting but in my opinion of minor importance.

          • I agree, HK and South China sea are apples and potatoes (fruit vs. root);

            HK and Taiwan however although apples and oranges (fruit vs. fruit), is very important comparatively speaking as it relates to China’s overall handling of things.

            HK and Macau is apples and apples, thus even more instructive.

            China and SpaceX is IMHO the bigger picture everyone should look towards. mainly, that China has no plans to go invade any countries (having half’ed its ground Army), but it does plan to invade space.

            • In a video released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on April 24, China offered its vision of a lunar outpost to be manned by Space Based Solar Power (SBSP). CNSA reflected on the video that “We believe that the Chinese nation’s dream of residing in a ‘lunar palace’ will soon become a reality.” Ye Peijian, head of China’s Lunar Mission, stated that:

              “The universe is an ocean, the moon is the Diaoyu Islands, Mars is Huangyan Island. If we don’t go there now even though we’re capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by our descendants. If others go there, then they will take over, and you won’t be able to go even if you want to. This is reason enough.”


              He shoulda added, “the asteroid belt is like the Philippines”. Lol! 😮

              And “Jupiter is Taiwan.”

              but, “Uranus is ours to do however we chose.” 😉 ouch!!!

          • Minor importance. I believe the tension between democracy and totalitarianism is at its peak right now and Hong Kong is the sharp edge of that tension. I don’t consider it unimportant, especially when millions of real people like you and me are in the streets expressing their will, powerless though it may be against guns, batons, thugs, and streams of blue dye. There are heroes in Hong Kong. I don’t see any in the Philippines. That raises the important question. Why. To answer it, you have to understand the people well. Not unimportant, in that sense.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks CMan.

    • chemrock says:

      I think Lance and I have rather similar views on the HK social unrest, I would say a less emotional and more practical one.

      Joe sees it more from the humanitarian angle and deplores the apathy amongst Filipinos accepting the push back against democracy by Duterte admin compared to HK people who rise up against the govt pushing Beijing encroachment of their rights.

      @ Lance — “No media over here is actually dissecting the woes of Hong Kong and why these HK’ers are protesting. All we get is that they want Freedom and China’s not giving them Freedom. ”
      Perhaps this is in line with what I said — HK has no geopolitical significance to the world.

      The chapter is not closed yet. There are hawks in the CCP who would like to come in and squash HK. I think Beijing will not take a direct tough involvement, but will allow local admin to sort the matter out, of course in close consultation with CCP. I can think of 3 reasons. The HK problem is not an existential threat. HK still plays a very important role to China as an international financial centre, why do anything to weaken it. Taiwan is watching closely – a crackdown on HK will only strengthen Taiwanese resolve to harden their stand, not that China fears Taiwan militarily, but it makes an eventual peaceful reconciliation utterly remote.

  14. chemrock says:

    Many have written on the reasons for the HK unrest.
    This one is from Nury Vittachi who works in one of the universities in HK and has spent considerable time in the country.

    This is by far the best I have come across. For those who think that ‘Freedom’ is the issue at its core, this writer has a few questions on ‘Freedom’ that protestors cannot answer.

    • chemrock says:

      Ehhh link and embeded codes did not work. Trying here again.

      • Reminds me of #BlackLivesMatter here around 2014-2015, and how quickly it went away, as soon as liberal media found a new toy to play with, namely Donald Trump.

        I do believe the media’s complicit there, chemp, same as over here. They also realized after the whole fb Russia probes that the folks staging the venues virtually anonymously online for #BlackLivesMatter (and other types of protests) which if you recall was everywhere back then, was in part also connected to Russians opening fake fb social media accounts, simply to stir the pot and/or add salt to wound,

        so the question also is are Russians f’ing around with China as over here? if it’s America doing it, then the irony is sweet, no different from Russians.

    • chemrock says:

      Someone pls respond.
      Do you see my links on your laptop?
      I can’t see it on mine, but I can see the links on my mobile.
      No idea what the heck is going on.

      • No postings except this one. Nothing in spam folder.

        • chemrock says:

          Sorry for the tech hitch.
          I was using Firefox on my laptop. Posted a comment with 2 links (to same article – one http linl, one embeded link). The comment went through but not links.
          I see the links on my iPhone.
          Now I’m using browser microsoft Edge and I see the links.

          I thinks it’s some techy thingy with Firefox.
          By the way, I switched to Firefox for some months now. It’s less intrusive than Google and Explorer and Edge. It is also better at protecting user privacy. It lets you know the site you click on has security issues before you continue. It also gives a report on sites your emails add or profile may have been compromised

        • chemrock says:

          let me put the link here again via browser Edge.
          Sorry for the mess, but I think this is a worthy good read to share.

        • chemrock says:

          Final try

          ( https://www.facebook.com/nury.vittachi/posts/10157518063016214 – this is the link, just in case the hyperlink below does not work)

          • Micha says:

            Let me guess chempo. How about freedom from the authoritarian schizophrenic one country two system rule from the mainland?

            • chemrock says:

              Ideals vs reality.
              Freedom freedom freedom — but but but …. freedom indexes of The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation and Fraser Institute all lit Hongkong as the freeiest country in the world!!!.
              Like I said, if there are specific issues with compliance under the Basic Law, than it is legit ground against China.

              Other than demanding the China should grant Freedom and behave the way we want them to because we are the sole arbiters of rights and wrongs is’nt addressing the situation and what is the way out.

              How about a response like :

              My opinion on the HK debacle :
              (1) It started with the proposed extradition bill. Honkies afraid that criminal suspects may be extradited to mainland China to face trial there where for most of the crimes it’s the death penalty whereas in HK only jail sentences. The dear of political activists being extradited there is also a very likely possibility. And this is the part where freedom of expression, etc, is all about. Such action would curtail and put fear into political expressions in public and is the “freedom” that would be lost which that foreign writer did not have the insight.
              (2) I believe some unseen hand is behind these protests and no prize for guessing who. Maybe it was to put political pressure on China’s backyard as a way of destabilising it’s politicising imperialism in South China Sea. Just look at the scenerio. Thousands of Hongkies protest day and night and every which way. You have to ask yourself where is the finance coming from? Don’t these people have to go to work? I just can’t believe for such a prolonged period (2 months) these protestors are out of job and unemployed or on long leave?
              (3) How China is going to handle this problem is going to be the legacy of Xi Jin Ping’s leadership. At the moment he is doing great as China is keeping quiet. It is still an internal HK problem for the local govt to solve. And I think Carrie Lam has fumbled big time. Instead of maintaining the status quo she tried to curry favour with the mainland authorities and did not expect the level of backlash. She brought an elephant into the backyard and now the occupants of the house are up in arms. I think the only way out is for her to resign and a new CEO (governor) be appointed. That would be a start for a peace to return. China is treading carefully because how they deal with HK would affect their unification efforts with Taiwan.

              Sure beats freedom freedom freedom kinda talk does it not?

              • (1) Right

                (2) is completely speculative. There is no evidence of massive funding. A few hundred hard hats, some cheap lasers, a few dozen gas masks, a lot of surgical masks and black shirts. Lots of ingenuity and being like water. A lot of umbrellas. The protests are largely on weekends when work does not interfere, or school. You seem totally aghast that people are dedicated to freedom and democracy. I’m aghast that you are aghast. You are from Singapore, for lordy sakes, where self determination is a source of great pride.

                (3) Agree.

              • chemrock says:

                (2) I believe there are no absolutes in the idea of freedom.

                There is a big divide in the western ideals of absolute individual freedom, and the nuanced eastern values of balanced-freedom, of weighing overall communal well-being to individual freedom.

                That balancing act is a damn difficult job which can flip one way or the other. A tough but fair leadership tips the scale. Singapore was lucky to have someone like Lee Kuan Yew. But we too are increasingly having problems with a statist govt punching its weight into private spaces — but its a challenge for us to find our own unique ways for a resolution. I don’t see a chaotic destruction of our infrastructures is the way to go unless certain red lines are crossed, like turning into a police state. Does that make us less patriotic, less brave, less freedom loving?

                If the balancing act for Singapore is though, it is a million times multiplies when it comes to China. Those without a strong understanding of Chinese history and people will never understand. There is a joke that says the 2 problems of Democracy are Hillary and Trump. US has a population of 200 or so millions and the energy that unchecked personal freedoms are tearing the nation at the seams. It is fair comment the US blend of democracy can withstand a population of 1.4 billion people.

                I don’t condone the bad stuff that China does, which many other countries do too. But it is not the Fu Man Chu it is made out to be. There are good stuff and there are bad stuff. How many wars has China been involved compared to US and European nations? Sure, grabbing WPS is wrong and we can ramp up the disgust all we can. But this discussion here is about HK. So again I ask, what are the ‘terrors’ that China has unleashed on HK to justify the ‘all or nothing’ chaos? The ‘terrors’ Kasambahay alluded to?

              • Okay, we are going in circles, and I’m not inclined to do that. The terrors are across the border and in the future. The thuggery demonstrated in HK in terms of Lam’s stubbornness, the white shirts, the police, the staging of troops near the border, the incessant warnings are clear enough. That you don’t feel the fear just means you are not a young person in HK, I’d imagine.

              • Also, point (2) refers to outside initiatives and funding. That is what is speculative, and what I was responding to. There is no evidence of it, yet citing it diminishes the validity of the protests. It’s the kind of fallacious argument we see so much of these days.

              • chemrock says:

                “It is fair comment the US blend of democracy can withstand a population of 1.4 billion people.”
                I mean ‘can not withstand…..’

              • NHerrera says:

                CONTINUING TO ENJOY

                I continue to enjoy the “hot” exchange of comments on HK and China as it relates to HK.

                To provide another perspective I provide the link to Geopolitical Strategist Dr. George Friedman’s “China’s President Is in Trouble” published online September 10, 2019.


                Heres is the text with some details taken out to shorten the text:

                When Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power in China, he was seen as a decisive leader who could dominate Chinese institutions and guide China to a position of greatness. …
                The imposition of a dictatorship in China was a sign of concern and insecurity within the Communist Party’s Central Committee. Dictators do not usually arise to preside over success. They emerge in times of trouble … China may not have been broken yet, but it was in danger of breaking, and Xi’s appointment was a sign of weakness rather than strength.

                China’s Economic Problems

                A range of significant, if not yet existential, problems have emerged since Xi took office. The most important are economic. Since 2008, the Chinese economy has been struggling, and Xi’s first task was to try to stabilize it. There were many dimensions to China’s economic problems, but the core was that China was heavily dependent on exports. Many exporting countries may appear for a time to be powerful, surging into the global system with products priced to sell. The problem, however, is that they are utterly dependent on their customers and competitors to survive. In 2008, the appetite of China’s customers for exports dramatically contracted, and competitors arose who could undersell the Chinese.

                Xi was bought in — [with the Politburo providing him with enormous power, solidified with the removal of presidential term limits — ] to deal with these problems, and he developed two strategies.

                – The first was to increase domestic consumption. Much of China, however, is too poor to substitute for American and European demand, and attempts to finance domestic consumption led to a serious financial crisis.

                – The second strategy was to shift from low-priced goods to high-tech items. Competing with Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea and other well-established high-tech economies proved difficult. The weakness of China’s strategy caused the country to try to appear more powerful than it was. It launched the Belt and Road Initiative, which offered money to a host of countries for various infrastructure projects in an effort to assert itself as a global power. It has become far less significant than it was. Suspicion arose of China’s intentions, further hampering attempts to compete on high-tech projects, as the Huawei affair exemplifies.

                – More important, Xi was responsible for managing China’s relationship with its single-largest export customer, the United States. Under past U.S. administrations, the United States demanded that China open its economy to American goods and end currency manipulation, but previous Chinese presidents have managed to deflect such demands. The fact was, China couldn’t afford to open its economy, since its domestic market couldn’t support both Chinese production and foreign competition. And the need to maintain exports at high levels meant that China had to manage its currency in some way. Meetings with the United States were held, dinners consumed, toasts made and the Americans went home empty-handed.

                Xi visited U.S. President Donald Trump soon after Trump took office and seemed to have left with the impression that prior strategies to manage the United States were sufficient. His assumption was wrong. …

                Xi’s Failure

                The management of U.S. trade relations was Xi’s responsibility. His failure in this regard was rooted in his strategy of portraying the Chinese military as a significant threat to the United States, in order to compensate for Chinese weakness in other areas. Chinese military strength isn’t insignificant, but the Chinese vastly overstated it. They believed this would compel the U.S. to back off, but such strategies have the reverse effect on the United States. … The result is that the U.S. tends to overestimate its opponents and, rather than seek accommodation, moves to dramatically increase its military power over enemies that are already no match. In space, at sea and elsewhere, the U.S. military overstated the Chinese threat. China found itself in an arms race its economy could not support, struggling to launch two aircraft carriers and hype them as a change in the balance of power.

                The United States responded on multiple levels. It sailed aggressively in the South China Sea to demonstrate Chinese weakness. It developed deeper cooperation with Australia and Japan and even India and Vietnam to counter Chinese influence. It engaged in intense counterintelligence operations against Chinese nationals operating in the United States and raised hurdles to Chinese tech companies selling goods worldwide.

                This was undoubtedly not what Xi expected. His goal was to position China as a massive Eurasian power, and yet, he found countries like Kazakhstan rejecting Chinese investment. He lost some of the control that China had previously enjoyed and left the Chinese economy weaker than it previously had been.

                Then, the Hong Kong protests erupted. … But Xi has decided to let the demonstrations burn out. This was another miscalculation. The unrest has lasted far longer than many expected, and its main focus has shifted from an extradition bill to Hong Kong autonomy in general.

                Now, there are severe questions about Xi’s competence. Certainly, many of the things that are going wrong on his watch could not be controlled or start far before he took office. But he was brought in as a virtual dictator to manage the country’s problems. Now, trade relations with the U.S. are in shambles, military initiatives have generated significant counters, showcase programs like BRI have evaporated, and Hong Kong is in revolt. …


                A note on GPF (Geopolitial Furtures, founded and chaired by Dr. George Friedman). It says of itself: “We are a Texas-based company with an international staff working from many countries. We have no office and invest in people and minds, not buildings. We are totally supported by subscriptions and are bound by no one but our readers.”

                Occasional articles like the one cited here is provided free.

            • Micha says:


              After decades of British administration where Hongkong residents have tasted the apple of liberal democracy under a capitalist system they are appalled at the idea of being completely under the rule of authoritarian apparatchiks from Beijing come 2047 when the one country two system ends.

              In other words, while the protesters themselves are not stating it explicitly, the freedom they demand can be equated to greater or full autonomy no different from the autonomous aspirations of people from the Basque region in Spain or the separatist movement of Muslim Mindanao.

              Don’t forget that Hongkong has its own currency (HK dollar), a provisional constitution and, of late, the protesters have composed their own national anthem.

              So don’t treat their freedom demands as merely demands for civic freedoms, they want the whole hog.

              How this drama ends is still up in the air although the currents of autonomy will, for sure, not die down whatever the mainland autocrats do.

              • chemrock says:

                I agree with everything you say here.

                We tend to say things like ALL the HK people want is this and that…

                Don’t forget, not all HK people were out on the streets. Majority disagrees with those on the streets.

                So it’s a tough call. Who gives what? We need balance is what I’m saying.

              • Micha says:


                “Majority disagrees with those on the streets.”

                You have factual basis for that claim?

              • Micha,

                It’s pretty safe to presume that old folks (just like old folks everywhere) don’t have the appetite for stuff like this, this is the stuff of youngsters, so just figure out the demographics of age in Hong Kong,



                Looking at said pyramid chart, I can instantly surmise that there will be plenty of cougars in HK. 😉 thus chempo is correct, most in HK which is a lot of old folks will not agree to these protests.

                But the question should be do these youngsters have the wherewithal to last? can they convert their street/cyber energy into political energy??? <<<<<<<

                the name of the game is COMMITMENT & MOMENTUM, Micha.

              • Thanks. There have been numerous anecdotal cases where olds have come out to defend or join protesters.

              • Micha says:


                Older folks belong to a generation when the British administered the island and have seen relative prosperity so it’s also safe to assume that many of them actually have sympathies for what their grandkids or sons and daughters are fighting for today.

              • chemrock says:

                @ Micha
                I know the Hokkien minority disagreed with the protests. And there are at least 2 million of these minority.

                As for others, well this may meany something –

              • Micha says:


                Hong Kong has a population of 7.3 million and you’re providing a link to a propaganda article from 2016.

              • I don’t disagree with your assessment , Micha. I too think most HK’ers have Western sensibilities more compared to mainland Chinese, but Westerners they are not— they are still very much Chinese, meaning they prefer order usually via old people reverence.

                That said, and I think chemp would agree too, I’m speaking mostly of these chaotic and destructive protests. There are sit-ins, vigils, the bringing out of signs typa protests, and there’s protests that involve public and private property destruction.

                Two different expressions, one is more preferred by old folks. Here, there and everywhere.

                Now I know a bit about these protest situations, usually during the day whatever plans of protests transpires, there’s a lot of speeches and songs, and clapping and chanting going on. Then the sun goes down, and the orderly protesters go home, and then the disorderly protesters increase in numbers, that or they simply get tired of all the chanting, songs, and speeches…

                same pattern in Palestine, usually Friday prayers then a whole weekend (some weeks, other months) of protests to riots.

                then destruction. I’ve also seen these disorderly protesters coopt the orderly ones during the day. some are successful , some are not, Where the disorderlies are not is instructive, usually it’s because the orderlies are more organized and they have forceful folks to keep the disorderlies in-check.

                So support in the form of moral support can be for orderlies and disorderlies, Micha. but this is where knowledge of culture and nuance comes in…

                Now I know a bit about the Chinese (i’m no expert here, hence I always listen to chempo when he’s deliberating Chinese thinking for us non-Chinese), Chinese there as in here like order, Micha— ie., Grandpa I’m going out to the streets and protests tonite!!! STAY HOME, MULAN, AND STUDY!!!.

                in conclusion, I’m sure they agree in spirit (like karl’s article) even in person. But they’ll not agree to destruction, violence and riots. therein lies your majority vs. minority, Micha.

              • Middle-aged man to riot police at Tin Shui Wai: ‘I paid my taxes to you. I can’t believe the government ruined Hong Kong like this. Where is your conscience? My heart is here, shoot me! My head is here, shoot my head!’


                The thread of comments is worth spinning through.

              • I’m sure the cops are thinking,

                ‘Dude, we’re just doing our jobs here. I don’t wanna be here, i’d rather be hanging out at some donuts shop drinking coffee and maybe a bite of a donut. Give us a break, man. We’re just doing our job.’

                Joe, seriously, what’s he expect the cops to do, drop all their gear and walk off??? I’m sure the cops are getting paid overtime too. Don’t they also pay taxes from said salary???

              • Point is, it is not a youth rebellion. It is a free-will rebellion.

              • Micha says:


                Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom to petition the government are major pillars of democracy. You stifle those freedoms and you stifle democracy. French revolutionaries did not get to dismantle feudalism by staying home watching TV.

                If Hong Kong residents want to dismantle the yoke of repressive mainland autocrats, you are in no position to discourage them doing so.

              • I’m in no position to do anything, Micha. But riots are not included in said freedoms.

              • Riots are a tool of the disadvantaged to oppose rubber bullets, batons, tear gas, water cannons, and other tools of the oppressors. Like rat cages in nam. They are not rioting to protect a freedom to riot, for sure.

              • Micha says:


                I’ve heard reports that trouble makers in those otherwise peaceful rallies are actually government planted thugs or undercover police agents meant to discredit those mass movements.

                Those kinds of tactics were used by Macron’s security forces in the Yellow Vest movement in Paris recently.

          • Micha says:

            When Britain and China agreed on the handover and formulated the “Basic Law” as the constitutional document that defined China’s ‘one country, two systems’ rule after 1997, people in Hong Kong and elsewhere believed that it was China that would change and become more democratic in the course of its industrialization, urbanization, and integration into the world-economy. Instead, China has not moved into that direction but has not only tightened its authoritarian repressive rule but also amplified its economic and political interventions in Hong Kong.

            • An article today (Reuters?) said China is encouraging mainland firms to relocate to Hong Kong. Essentially, they will start in-fill to replace departing “Western” companies. The borg is plugging in all over the globe. The Philippines already has that one-eyed mask over it’s head, the one that pumps Chinese values into the brain, the most important of which is to be obedient.

              • kasambahay says:

                oh no, not again! duterte did the same and ‘invited’ chinese businessmen to do business in pinas; almost visa free and now, chinese criminals are flourishing like wild mushrooms right in out midst, lol!

                methink, those western companies that fled, left behind skeleton staff mostly hongkongers, and when the going gets good again, they’ll come back.

              • Ever the optimist, eh? I hope so.

          • I stopped reading about half-way through, getting the feeling that this was a skillful troll piece. Or maybe not, but I have so many questions, where to start.

            How about this one. He writes “Vukovich warns against the “the arrogance or presumptuousness” of assuming the existence of “supposedly universal norms and political forms” as a caution against western thought (liberal, neo-liberal, whatever). Yes, there are many cultures. But how about truth. Is it to be respected as a principle of fair dealing and productivity? Western states are having trouble because of so many non-truth-tellers intruding (US, UK, PH). Are we to accept the Chinese values that everything goes is legitimate because Western ideals are not the only ideals? The argument is nonsense, it seems to me. Or horseshit, in a harsher vernacular that the author suggests is completely acceptable because it is different.

            The HK situation started with an objection to a bill calling for extradition of certain criminals to China. It was offensive to HK sense of self determination and ‘freedom’. Then the white shirts and police began to beat on the protestors, raising the freedom to not have one’s head beat in for complaining about an extradition bill. Peacefully. Then Lam dug her heels in for 13 weeks, presumably under instruction from China. Anyone who does not see the risks to freedom is not looking hard enough, I think. Or is being disengenuous.

            But I go back to what I said at the beginning. Take it up with the Hong Kong people. There are millions who see their plea as righteous.

            • chemrock says:

              So all those countries with extradition treaties with each other are not democratic? That’s what I dont understand with the logic.

              • Perhaps you are not relating to the absolute abhorrence many HK people, who believe in and practice human rights, object to the totalitarian ways of the Mainland. It would be like Singapore extraditing its citizens to the Philippines for trial, in terms of clash of values.

              • The attached article discusses the impacts of the protests on businesses – which are significant – and Singapore stands to gain. Singapore Gov has maintained a neutral position on the conflict.


              • Taiwan has issued a travel warning, advising its citizens not to travel to Hong Kong or China. Do you also not understand that logic, I’m curious to know.


              • chemrock says:

                It’s a no-brainer not to visit HK. Not because of the ‘loss of freedoms’ or ‘fear of China’. But the lack of services due to the chaos and the physical danger of crowds on the streets.

                As we are typing, the crowds are dwindling.

                At the end of day, freedom can’t put bread on the table.

                And HK still retains top spot in international ranking for free-iest city in the world.

              • Yes, and the tragedy is that next year’s survey will likely not report the same thing. At the end of the day, China’s propaganda, threats, and pressure will win out. That does not mean the ideals for which the protesters stand are wrong, or unimportant.

              • Which i think is the whole point to Les Miserables novel & musical, post-Napoleon I , protests every where, but protest for the sake of protests??? everyone’s already lived thru times of war,

                so also account for war or violence weariness. America has this now, appetite for violence has decreased, thus MAGA, Trump is the expression of WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF SAVING THE FRIGGIN’ WORLD!. so wholly democratic, IMHO.

                For HK protesters the best counter-factual to all of Joe’ and Micha’s points is Macau, why aren’t they protesting??? sure gambling industry and finance industry are different, but still about moving money around on the sly me thinks. same-same.

                You wanna talk about freedoms, the Palestinians when they protest (usually for “Freedom”, but more practically for water/electricity/groceries/illegal arrests ) they are protesting as a means of self-expression, but also because they have nothing else to do.

                not future terrors, but terrors fulfilled for them. now I don’t side with Palestinians because they’ve been shooting themselves in the foot at every turn, but as comparison of grievances,

                and to chemp’s article on What Freedoms exactly are they fighting for??? then compare HK protesters to Palestinians too.

                Macau and Palestine.

                In conclusion, if HK still practices democracy, then at some point you translate your unrest to political gains, so the question is

                how are these millennials participating in HK democracy now??? they want help from America, that’s the best place to get help, IMHO. Like i said Trump is our expression of war weariness, stop letting us police you, but we’ll help espousing democratic ideals, not protests!!! <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

              • We’ll see if they actually take to the streets, karl. So far, none.

              • Micha says:


                “… we’ll help espousing democratic ideals, not protests!!!”

                Protests are active elucidation of democratic ideals.

  15. it’s like this, Joe…

    • Replace your sarcasm with genuine emotions and you nailed it.

    • Joe, in times of riots the gov’t is responsible for stopping it. No matter how righteous the reasons for said riots. Public safety trumps freedom of expression.

      Micha, I can see anti-protesters coopting the crowd. Vigilante pro-gov’t types have been known to do this before thru out history. But the anti-gov’t crowd can easily take photos of said thugs and what they’ve done (what exactly have they done? destruction of property or attacking police?).

      Now undercover police is also commonly done, but not to incite (if they’re caught destroying property, they’d have to pay OR if they are caught harming fellow cops, no bueno). So it makes more sense that their purpose inside the crowd is intel and to affect arrest (either themselves or usually they contact their uniformed colleagues).

      Which leaves us with these thugs. Whose purpose is to incite, makes sense for a crowd that’s peaceful. But for a crowd that’s already done property destruction, what exactly are these pro-gov’t “thugs” doing that the protesters aren’t already??? see my point, Micha?

      Hence, it’s important to elaborate what these pro-gov’t thugs are doing (or allegedly said to be doing), then we can further deliberate said scenario. This i have personal knowledge of, no need for chemp’s Chinese nuance or cultural familiarity. Crowd control I know, same-same everywhere. 😉

      • Oh, absolutely, within regulations on use of force. Crime is crime. But you implied protesters think they are legal. No, they are a tool. The vandals are angry, or exercising strategy, I don’t know. Economic punishment, perhaps. And I’m not advocating riots. I think singing “Glory to Hong Kong” at the mall is much more effective than busting up the mall. Even though its lyrics can be construed as illegal. But that’s a matter for courts, not police, to decide.

        • I agree too re Mall singing. You posted that orchestra video a couple of days ago, now it’s being played in local news over here. So there’s more mileage to be had in singing, and in peaceful protests, MLK jr. , Cesar Chavez, Gandhi knew what they were doing. Quit the anarchist crap. Go with non-violence, and have leaders , group of leaders start doing the news circuit, instead of these anonymous stuff.

  16. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/09/strange-waves-rattled-entire-state-scientists-know-why/

    Joe, they still haven’t solved the Havana sound phenomena , but the follow-up is that those State dept. employees are now suffering cognitive issues,


    I can tell you that there are also sounds in California humming to thumping sounds in the high deserts here. Which also worries the gov’t because of military sites around. Walker Lake too, in Nevada, again military depot there.

    The sounds nothing military. So its either extra-terrestrial or terrestrial, just because of the shear power and scale of it. It’s a weird sound, Joe— i’m not sure if it’s the same in Oklahoma, but from Walker Lake to 29 Palms to Edwards AFB i’ve heard it.


      • the best part of that Vanityfair article was this,

        “the C.I.A. has tortured suspected terrorists with round-the-clock broadcasts of the Meow Mix theme or, for the most intractable, the Bee Gees. But increasingly, people all over the world report being sickened by persistent humming sounds. The Taos Hum, heard by thousands, has long plagued areas of New Mexico. In the late 1990s, the Kokomo Hum caused more than 100 people in Indiana to suffer headaches, light-headedness, muscle and joint pain, insomnia, fatigue, nosebleeds, and diarrhea. (A firm hired to investigate the mystery left the cause, as with so many cases of psychological contagion, as a mystery.) Canadians in Ontario now worry about the Windsor Hum. A Web site called the World Hum Map has identified some 7,000 locations around the world, searchable in the “World Hum Sufferers Database.”

        Psychological contagion typically occurs in places where people are thrown together under pressure, and where escape is difficult—hence monasteries in the Middle Ages, or modern-day schools, factories, and military bases. In terms of locations under pressure, embassies are strong candidates, especially when a considerable number of the staff are undercover spies. One C.I.A. agent told me that these low-grade panics happen a lot. Writing in The New Yorker in 2008, the novelist and former British spy, John le Carré, made the case that spies are susceptible to a unique form of hysteria. One of his first missions, he recounted, was to accompany a superior on a late-night rendezvous with a mysterious source. But the source never arrived. Only later did le Carré realize that his boss was a bit touched, and there had probably been no source in the first place. “The superbug of espionage madness is not confined to individual cases,” he warned, in a prescient nod to the embassy in Havana. “It flourishes in its collective form. It is a homegrown product of the industry as a whole.”

        Bartholomew suggests that le Carré’s “espionage madness” is a harbinger of things to come. In 2011, an epidemic broke out among a dozen kids at a school in Le Roy, New York. The children were suddenly overtaken by speech impediments, Tourette’s, and muscular twitches. Health officials quickly suspected the symptoms were the result of psychological contagion, but the local Fox News channel stoked the outbreak by amplifying one doctor’s diagnosis that the kids were suffering from a “PANDAS-like” strep infection. Outraged parents formed an advocacy group, and Erin Brockovich showed up demanding an investigation that would discover the “real” cause. Fake news fueled a real illness, and scientific evidence was rejected in favor of pre-determined beliefs. Eventually the Fox rage subsided, and the symptoms went away.

        The Le Roy outbreak was intensified by texts and tweets, fanning the fear and ramping up the number of kids who reported symptoms. Social media has a toxic way of creating tight, sealed-off, le Carré spy dens everywhere. Since 2000, Bartholomew says, there have been more events of mass psychogenic illness than there were in the entire previous century.”

        but I assure you it’s real, no mass psychosis as far as I can tell, and why I (and others of the same interest) hang out around the Hwy. 395 corridor of California. But it’s an interesting component of the phenomena, one which that reporter has made the whole point of his article.

      • kasambahay says:

        I heard that animals can predict earthquakes and other natural phenomena, that their behavior change or that they behave weirdly just before the big shebang. so if the military have k9 on the premise, them k9s should be behaving weirdly now like walking backwards, taking shelter and hiding, whimpering behind their handlers, etc. man’s best friends restless and on full alert.

  17. Micha says:

    The myth of China’s Great State,


    an important perspective to understand China’s arrogance and neo-colonialism.

    • Joe, usually you can gauge riot situation vis a vis police use of force in how many deaths by police are on the streets— for example, serious bodily injuries/deaths are pretty common when Israelis and Palestinians clash.

      As for detentions, you can gauge if the state entities are out of whack if deaths/serious bodily injuries occur. Rape is also a good indicator that the gov’t has lost control.

      Kudos for Amnesty Int’l for compiling said data, but it’s really not that bad considering the situation, I’m surprise. Individually speaking, cops are not robots they feel too, I’d also wanna know how many cops have been injured.

      This seems reasonable,

      “As the man was pinned to the ground, a police officer then used his fingers to force open the man’s eye and shine a laser pen into it, asking, “Don’t you like to point this at people?” The man was later hospitalized for several days with a bone fracture and internal bleeding.

      Amnesty International interviewed a different man who was arrested on another day in August in in Sham Shui Po. The arresting officer requested repeatedly that the man unlock his phone for inspection; angry at the refusals, the officer threatened to electrocute the man’s genitals. The man told Amnesty International he was “scared” the officer might follow through, “as the times are so crazy, I suppose anything is possible.”

      Detained in a police station common room, the same man witnessed police officers force a boy to shine a laser pen into his own eye for about 20 seconds. “It seems he used the laser pen to shine at the police station,” the man recalled. “They said, ‘If you like to point the pen at us so much, why don’t you do it to yourself?’”

      • It’s not reasonable to me. They could blind the guy for life. The question about cop injuries is legitimate.

        • the point about the laser is, that’s serious stuff… lasers get pointed at helicopter pilots here all the time and the pilots are grounded, have to get an eye exam immediately. After all it’s been said that,

        • The common police motto “to protect and to serve” basically is a statement that police are not in an offensive, strike-out role as military troops would be. There are rules of reasonable use of force to prevent the easy switch to human tendencies to brutality. They are on the side of the people, not the state as a military force. That’s why there have been many articles written in the US that express concern about the militarizing of the police. The distinction is the difference between democracy and totalitarian might, the latter where police ARE an adjunct of the State. The police in Hong Kong have been operating as units of China, and not representatives of the people of Hong Kong. Therein lies the peoples’ complaint, and why Lam needs to address the police brutality issue constructively, not in defense of State brutality.

          • Again, it’s a riot situation, Joe, not routine everyday policing. As such, the police essentially become military.

            During the Rodney King riot here, the Marines were called to assist ; squads, platoons were assigned to police units. There was shooting from an apartment window. LAPD cops instructed Marines to “cover” them, as they go in.

            Cover in the military means suppressive fire, so the whole apartment building (or the floor) was annihilated. LAPD officers looked back in awe & disbelief, and said, I hope we don’t have to write up that report. Cover in policing is simply to keep an eye out.

            So yes, military and police are different.

            But it all goes back to the fact that military and police in the end are only humans, as such imbued with the same short comings as the general public. Especially during very trying times. So you have to account for that, that’s my point, Joe.

            Ideal vs. reality. That’s why i’m saying considering everything, that Amnesty Int’l report is actually not bad.

            • It did not start as a riot situation. That is one of the five demands, that the right of the people to gather in protest is suppressed when it is termed a riot. So I record you on the side of Lam and me on the side of the protesters.

              • Joe this isn’t about Lam & HK, i’m drilling down at how people understand military/police , the ideals, and the reality of things on the ground.

                It’s a simple question about Joe jr. , what would you, you do? You can say, i’d turn the other cheek (talk it out/hug it out), or nothing, i’d do nothing is a legit answer, or I’d get Old Testament biblical on them. Only three answers really. Understand that there is

                Natural truth to all this. understand that, and you can get a wider perspective of this, not just the freedom and rule of law stuff. then only after then you can add the rule of law and freedom layer, but understand the basic natural truths first. That’s all i’m arguing for , Joe.

                I’m not pro-Lam, or anti-China. I’m just adding color to on the ground truths.

              • Our comments crossed. You are setting up a fallacious argument by engaging Joe Jr and not presenting the situation in Hong Kong. If I were a cop, I’d follow the rules on use of force.

              • And if you are calling protests a riot, you are speaking the same line as Lam.

              • riot noun
                ri·​ot | \ ˈrī-ət \

                Definition of riot


                a: a violent public disorder
                specifically : a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent

                b: public violence, tumult, or disorder


                a random or disorderly profusion
                the woods were a riot of color

                3: one that is wildly amusing
                the new comedy is a riot

                4 archaic

                a: profligate behavior : DEBAUCHERY
                b: unrestrained revelry
                c: noise, uproar, or disturbance made by revelers


                I’m not talking about protests, Joe. when people point lasers at cops/soldiers, that’s not covered by freedom of expression, that’s meant to harm. it happens during a riot, not during peaceful protests.

                As such, it becomes people vs. people, not institutions vs. people. Now you’re right that these cops belong to an institution, one that’s there to safeguard peace and order, and serve the public good. I’m simply saying

                in riots situations, as in battles, one has to account for raw human behaviour. That’s all i’m saying , Joe. reality vs. ideal. adjust for what happens on the ground.

                I’m not talking about protests, people singing inside the mall should not be beatened up, but kids throwing bottles, lighting lasers , engaging in violent behaviour , you’re opening up to people vs. people scenario.

              • Laws apply to both, the rioter and the policeman. The protests at the outset were protests and then deteriorated. There is absolutely no excuse, in my mind, for a policeman to shine a laser in the eyes of a rioter in custody. None. Zero. Zippo. The cop should be punished.

  18. @Chempo,@LCX, you had views about the Hong Kong protest, suspicions about how they are funded, seeing it as a youth movement, believing it was really just economics. I’d encourage you to read the Wall Street Journal (a respected ‘economic’ publication) article on the protest to see the full rich dynamic of the protest:


  19. Hong Kong is still intense with protests and stand-offs. Here is a New York Times article about how undercover police joined the protesters then arrested and beat them. Fortunately, Hong Kong is still free and the protesters are able to tell the tale.


    • Thanks, Joe.

      It looks like HK protests news coverage has died down here now.

      chemp, here’s more example of liberal media falling all over itself like crazy over Trump,

      1). Ukrainian conversation transcript about Joe Biden’s son. IMHO, Trump obviously leaked this. Whether the whistleblower is witting or unwitting remains to be seen. But Biden’s now having to explain his part in his son’s investigation in Ukraine. Well played by Trump again, Trump playing liberal media like a broken down old fiddle. Win.

      2). Iran and Saudi attacks oil refineries. Iran IMHO is obviously trying to goad Trump to war. Hillary and Obama would’ve taken the bait a long time ago, so too would W. and his gang of clowns, Trump doesn’t appear to be biting. Liberal media ‘s trying to goad Trump too to respond. No wars, no talks of American “resolve”, I’m happy. Win.

      3). Though, admitted, Thunberg wins here, Trump loses. Loss.

      • House to open formal impeachment complaint. Well played, Mr. President, well played.

        Whistleblower to meet with House committee this week. Win!!

        • They did also say that they were gonna git him for Russian collusion, Joe. 😉

          • “They” is some, not all. Pelosi is the barometer of “they” the democrats and she did not think they could get him for Russia.

            • I agree, Joe, but this also has to pass thru the Senate essentially they get finally say on this. And unless the whistleblower has something really juicy… Trump will slide again, thus cementing his ability to be Teflon, if Russian collusion didn’t stick; now Ukrainian deal makings won’t stick, that’ll only make Trump look hard for 2020.

              Bernie Sanders is the only one that has the chance to defeat Trump. and the Dems won’t even give him the time of day (again). Like 2016. Warren’s not gotta take down Trump. Nor Biden.

      • chemrock says:

        Don’t understand the Dems. They don’t even know the details of whistleblower complaint, don’t know who he is, don’t know if he is reliable, and they want to kill a president.

        Seems whistleblower is not national security detail so certain rules about disclosure to Congress don’t apply. Some said he was not privy to the conversation so its all heresay.

        Trump said it was basically a congratulatory call. His staffer said the call transcript is “underwhelming “. Ukraine foreign ministry said the call was nothing out of the ordinary.

        Trump said yes he asked for aid to be withheld. At the UN then we know why. He said why is it only always US footing the aid money. He wants EU to cough up. I can’t see why this is against the interest of US.

        Put it this way, he withheld aid to Ukraine until something is done in return (presumably re-opening investigation on Hunter Biden appointment to Burisma when oil & gas was at the centre of Ukraine-Rissia conflict) so if the democrats bring this up for impeachment they have to concurrently also bring up this matter to ascertain the facts. In other words Trump is adopting a “to kill a mockingbird” strategy. All that if what was said by, as usual, unnamed whistleblower source. However, if nothing of such request was conveyed but only a congratulatory courtesy call then the democrats are damned with their impeachment call. Either way it’s a win win for Trump and a sucker punch for his adversaries.

        However it turns out Biden is gone. But then, Trump has never seen Biden as a political threat.

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