A Clarifying Sign

Anti-government protesters rally in Tai Po, Hong Kong, China - 10 Aug 2019

As American companies go over, one after the other to kiss China’s dictatorial… feet, I’m finding the revolt of Hong Kong against the mainland’s attempt at imposing tyranny upon the island is a neat and clear separator of those who hate freedom and those who love it.

Forget American official involvement.  Some online blogger was yelling that America only intervened when its economic interests were engaged.  He’s not wrong. Part of our ability to ignore the middle east and start to pull our boys home is that we are no longer dependent on middle Eastern oil.  After almost a decade of Mr. Obama doing everything but shooting our fracking ability through the head, we’re producing well enough, thank you that we don’t need to be involved in the graveyard of empires.

Ultimately when it comes to nations — and something the left never understands, since they see themselves as instruments of world-wide revolution (the whole Workers of the World schtick) — they should not fight unless they absolutely need to or it serves their interests, economic as well as political and of influence, in some way.

It would inadvisable and potentially apocalyptic for the US to go to war with a nuclear-armed nation, over an island that is no part of us, no matter how much anyone in government or out sympathizes with the revolt.

On the other hand, individuals are free to express support, and keep in mind that just having the eyes of the world on them, and vocal support from the west can help. There is a reason they’ve not been crushed, yet, and it’s not China’s loving kindness.

What doesn’t help are are companies crawling over to kiss despot… feet.  Blizzard being the latest of those, of course.

What helps — us not them — is to clarify who is for freedom and who is not, who wants to encourage individuals to live in freedom and who hates the very notion.

One of the big surprises was AOC signing the pro-Hong Kong letter from congress.  Perhaps she doesn’t realize her entire program is tyrannical (no, seriously, there is a thing amid young liberal art majors, where they think that communism is the natural state of mankind and once the oppression is removed it will all be singing and sharing and … well, kindergarten. It’s all bullshit, ignorance and lack of brain, but it’s possible she believes this. Far smarter people than her do.)  Or of course it’s possible that she can’t actually read but that’s probably unlikely. It doesn’t make her program any less heinous, but let’s at least give her credit for the fact she doesn’t THINK she desires tyranny.

For others there’s no surprise at all, mostly among our business men, honestly.  It’s not even a matter of money or making money from China. They think that the mass of humanity are idiots and that everything would be so much better if they had absolute control.  Which is why they hate and despise Hong Kong, the same way they hate and despise the rights guaranteed by our constitution.  This ridiculous clique of techno-nerds are convinced they’re nobility and each of them tries to proclaim louder “L’etat c’est moi” not realizing they’d be the first against the wall “come the revolution.”

And even among common, every day people, it is a mark of perverse love of dictatorship to condemn Hong Kong. The idiot woman who was filmed screaming they should just turn themselves in because resistance was futile, or whatever?  She was saying “I’d rather live in chains, come enslave me.”

Might Hong Kong’s story end badly?  Of course it might. I expected a bad ending long ago, and am praying for them every day.

Does it make any difference if they fight and lose or preserve their lives by not fighting at all?

Of course it does.

Look, in many ways our revolution was the echo of many other, failed, revolutions.

Hong Kong is in a true impossible position.  They have to either fight or become enslaved to one of the worst regimes of the modern era. Not might. Not divided government, not things aren’t going as fast as we’d like them to. If China can extradite Hong Kongers for “thought crimes” and political crimes, Hong Kong is just like the rest of China. Period.

In such circumstances, you fight. There is nothing else you can do.

And if you lose, maybe in the future someone else will pick up the flag and run.

I stand with Hong Kong.

 

348 responses to “A Clarifying Sign

    • I suspect that if the residents of Hong Kong suddenly decided that they needed guns, then they could get them in a hurry. They might not be *good* guns, since 3D printing quality on personal devices still isn’t that good. But they’d work for at least a short while. The problem would be ammo.

      • One wonders if they will start with more… chemically… sorts of things, in order to obtain firearms, which they then use to get even more and larger defense tools, and so on.

      • Um… other bloggers who have much more knowledge about the events in Hong Kong have come right out and stated that the HKers are rather well armed, and only engaging in peaceful protest right now.

        Everything small armish all the way up to RPGs. Enough stuff to turn a military takeover into a rather bloody nasty streetfight.

        Sure, the HKers will lose, eventually, in a stand-up fight against the PLA, but when you have nothing more to lose, well, might as well go out fighting.

        • “will lose, eventually, in a stand-up fight against the PLA, but when you have nothing more to lose, well, might as well go out fighting.”

          How revolutions are started: “We’re late. We’re dead anyway. Anyone else want to make them suffer on the way out?”

  1. Not just “might”end badly, but “probably, almost certainly will.” This does not absolve us from bearing witness, however. It does not absolve us from doing everything we can to support Hong Kongers, the very LEAST of which is to not join with her oppressors.

    It’s one city, but it is a city that has the eyes of the world upon it. China cannot be allowed to sweep it under the rug, as they did with Tiananmen, as they are doing with the Uighurs and the Tibetans and everywhere else they have their insidious little fingers.

    • even though they are pro-democracy protesters, I wonder if they are getting a little support on the sly from Vietnam? it’d be very little, but the Viet really hate the Red Chinese.
      A lot.

      • And they have all those OLD rifles, ammo, etc. lying around that they have no use for.

        The US can’t become involved. If China could PROVE that the US Government was actually supplying HONG KONG with stuff, it would really hurt Hong Kong.

      • Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, all the smaller SE Asian nations most likely have been involved in arms for Hong Kong. Under the table, of course…

        • Japan getting caught would possibly cause even more problems than the US getting caught.

          • Oh dude, don’t even whisper than one. They’d go psycho. Full red-eyed psycho chicken.

            • Vietnam is the most likely source of support; they have fought border skirmishes/wars with China AFTER Vietnam became fully commie and are adamantly opposed to, and trying to fight, China’s effort to annex the entire South China Sea, etc.., The would love to see China take it on the chin.

              • Vietnam also has the distinction of kicking China out of Vietnam, in a most humiliating defeat.

                -Vietnam- found their Khmer Rouge neighbors a bit too excessive (!) and invaded them to end the madness. The Khmer Rouge were a client sate of China, so they said “Oh, no you dont!” The Vietnamese stubbornly ground down the People’s “Liberation” Army, and kicked them out. (Well, the PLA declared “victory” and “peace with honor” or something, and left. Same diff)

                Neither China nor Vietnam will forgive of forget that little fiasco. If you think the Blue/Gray stuff is exemplar persistent, you have no idea of “grudge” in that region.

                Popcorn?

                • Sometimes China needs to keep in mind, Vizzini applies to Asians themselves as well

                • The PTC is large but unblooded, and History is laden with wars won by smaller, more effective armies, from the Greeks & Persians at Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea to the French & everyone during the Napoleonic Wars.

                  The CCP must be aware of the risks of fighting a war and discovering/revealing their army hollow.

                  The US, OTOH, has experience of battle and leadership capable of combat flexibility.

              • Ho Chi Minh was not a fan of the Chinese.
                I’ve heard Nixon’s people favored better relations in part because the Chinese were not very involved in support for the Viet Cong. The reason wasn’t the Chinese. If the Soviets told the VC to pound sand, they’d probably have asked Cuba et al for any backing they could provide, or gone on alone, over getting full backing from Mao.

            • If things get bad enough, expect false flags for both.

          • I don’t think it would happen. Japan just doesn’t go for that sort of thing. But you’re right that if they even gave a word of support for the idea, China would salt the earth and it wouldn’t matter what effect it would have on the rest of the country.

            • I agree, Japan don’t swing that way. Moreover, I would be shocked, shocked if somehow some useful technology, such as a reverse-engineered version of a certain Apple app or a computer virus designed to interfere with Chinese facial recognition programs, were to somehow find its way into the hands of Chinese dissidents.

              • Facial recognition has its shortcomings. The protestors have been wearing masks lately. That’s one way to beat it.

                Naomi Wu posted another method on her YouTube channel with a hat that projected an image onto the wearer’s face. Even something with a bill as small as a baseball cap would do the trick.

        • The ROKs ain’t too fond ofor the PRC either.

        • I’d think the others would funnel through the Vietnamese if they are doing more than cyber support.

    • Obligatory WordPress ‘splainer:

      Please note: WordPress has a bug/issue where your post might not show up for a minute or five. If you aren’t told it’s in moderation, your post is in the queue, and the hamsters are working on it.

      WordPress delenda est.

      • Got it. Sorry about that, I’ll try to remember this. Some other blogs I comment on that also are hosted by WordPress don’t have this issue, though.

        • It’s mostly an issue on ATH, and I’ve noticed it seems to track times of heavier usage. I see it on one or two others, but this gets the most traffic.

        • Evidently there is sufficient complexity here (ponder: even ox can use polysyllabic verbiage…) that gremlins (and the AMC sort) are attracted. Things can get… interesting.

        • My blog is hosted by the actual site, which is not always the case with wordpress blogs. And this is a new and rather weird issue. Same as I’d (on purpose) limited comments to one link only, but recently comments with only one link are flung into spam. As are the comments of various regulars with no links at all.
          We are not amused but have had no time to look into changing host and/or chewing wordpress’s ear off.

          • I am not suggesting you shop around when you could be writing, but when the time comes that you are inclined to I am seeing positive things about Substack and the couple of sites I visit that operate on their system seem to function well.

            Not sure how interactive they are, as I tend to not comment on many sites other than this.

          • WP goes through spates of “spam” marking regulars at my place as well, then all is fine for several weeks, then another round of “Why is that person in the spam file?” again. I almost wonder if there is a glitch in their filters when they update things.

          • Wordpess is also forcing notification links to go to their Reader page instead of going where the link supposedly points to.

      • The cause of the bug, as best I can tell from the observed behavior, is that when you post, you get redirected to a page with a “URL fragment” on the end (that’s the part of the URL that looks like “#comment-12345”) that’s supposed to take you to your comment.

        Thing is, it creates the comment ID immediately, before the comment has actually been added to the page, and gives your browser the redirect URL while it’s still adding the comment. This creates what programmers call a “race condition”, where the behavior of the software changes depending on which one of two simultaneous tasks completes first. If WordPress finishes adding the comment to the page before your browser finishes processing the redirect, all well and good: you see the new page with your comment. But if the site is under heavy load and you have a fast Internet connection, it’s entirely possible that your browser will finish the page load before WordPress has actually finished adding your comment to the page! In which case you’ll get a page that might include other people’s comments, posted while you were writing yours, but that won’t include your comment.

        In other words, “the hamsters are working on it” was a fine description, but I figured I’d explain the process a little bit for anyone interested.

        • For what it’s worth, it doesn’t have to be ATH related load that causes delays. I’ve had it happen (on *very* rare occasions) on TXRed’s WordPress-hosted site. That tells me the load issues can be across several sites.

          When the delay happens, my browser goes to the top of the page, and when I refresh, eventually a) I’ll get to my comment and b) the comment count increases. It looks like WP goes into a batch update mode at times.

          • Sure. How many sites are hosted on that domain? I mean, it’s not like they each have their own reserved physical server. If WordPress.com didn’t buy enough physical hardware and bandwidth, everyone is going to be stressed. Now, who wants to bet that a site being hosted for free has way less call on capacity than a site that’s paying?

  2. …the same way they hate and despise the rights granted by our constitution.

    That’s enumerated or maybe guaranteed, but not granted.* /peeve

    * But you knew that. I presume another late night or such.

    • Dagnabbit, I even double checked that html close tag!

    • Critical point being that our Bill of Rights are an enumerated shopping list of natural Ghod given rights common to all free peoples. Rights that no legitimate government should ever be allowed to infringe upon.
      The only minor exception to this in our BOR is the militia clause in our Second Amendment. It provides a justification for our government to require citizens to possess and maintain such arms, ammunition, and other equipment as might be required for a muster of the militia in time of need.

      • alway fun to watch leftoid minds boggle at that point about interpreting the Vital Militia portion they like to claim allows removal of said right. Sorta the Swiss version (military aged must have weapon and ammo on hand just in case)

        • My favorite quote from the recent Supremes was in Heller:

          “Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

          You could hear heads exploding right across the country, and then again when McDonald incorporated it to the states.

          Still waiting for a (necessary) ruling stating “We really meant it” and reversing all the lower courts pretending it applies to state laws only in months ending in W.

          Maybe when zombieRBG’s arm falls off during arguments we can gain cert on a good case – and won’t her replacement confirmation be a fun fight to distract from the fake impeachment.

          • Overturning Heller and McDonald are prime reasons the Democrats want to pack the Court; they are so determined to ban private ownership of guns they are willing to stack the Court to get Justices who will allow them to do so. They may scream about abortion but its really about getting the Court to allow them to eviscerate the Second (and First) Amendments.

            • You see progressive liberals really don’t hate guns, they just hate them in the hands of the common people.
              It is a foundation of their belief system that once the public has been disarmed and they control all means of lethal force, well then they can make the people do whatever their betters decide is in their best interest.
              When you have failed to convince a majority to do things your way all you have left is to rely on overwhelming force to make those ungrateful deplorable wretches follow your ever so superior guidance, and if they still won’t obey you can just kill them. Or herd them into internment camps just like FDR did with native born citizens in the early days of WWII.

          • her pending planar change is a very big reason they are so desperately ranting to and fro lately.

        • The royal charters of several of the colonies *required* every citizen to keep a firearm and a certain amount of lead and gunpowder, ‘for defense of the realm.’

          The Constitution, probably with the idea that the new government shouldn’t try to force citizens to bear the not-inconsiderable expense of providing military equipment for free, does not have that requirement.

          Also, rather than simply nationalizing privately-owned warships (the most powerful weapons in human history, up to that point) the new US Navy leased them from private citizens.

      • The “security of a free State” requires people to defend the freedom, not necessarily to defend the government. 2A is there for the people who live in that State, not for the politicians or institutions they inhabit.

        The Left looks at the “well regulated militia” phrase as an avenue to limit the availability of weapons, but it’s a lot easier to see that phrase as a call for citizens to arm themselves. Maybe even for the government to PROVIDE those arms.

        • Patrick Chester

          It’s hard for progs. They see the word “regulate” and presume it gives them the power to do anything.

        • Go further. Considering that, according to law, the militia is comprised of all military-aged males, there is more of a Constitutional case for making firearms ownership mandatory than health insurance.

          • More precisely, all non-ancient adult males, with the exception of various government officials. I always thought that last bit was interesting. Whether it indicates a lack of trust, or simply is an application of the “can’t serve in two offices at the same time” limitation, is not clear.
            Neil Smith some years ago made an interesting observation: “security of a free state” can be interpreted with “state” being a synonym for “condition”.

            • Define ancient. Given we already have a lower limit of the max age of 78 via the example of Captain Samuel Whittemore I’d say in the modern age 85 is probably reasonable.

              Aside, with Hollywood unable to find something new how about a biopic of the good Captain? Yes, white, male, good guy and all that, but I suspect that’s not the reason. The equally movie worthy Night Witches were female and communist and haven’t gotten a film either.

              • Well, the Fe(de)ral gub’mint declares as militia all male citizens and citizen wanna-be’s from 17 -45, and members of the National Guard (used to be only female *officers* of the NG, but they’re all in the militia now); up to age 60 if prior service. One fella in my Guard unit when I first joined was IIRC aged 74, he was forced to retire a couple of years later when the Guard got serious about physical fitness requirements.

              • There is a Russian thing on Amazon Prime about the Night Witches, called Night Sparrows. I have not watched it yet.

                • The Soviets had a bunch of expendable antique aircraft and expendable people, so they cobbled some bomb racks onto crop dusters and told them to go bomb some Nazis. Which they did, unarmed other than their payloads, flying low within range of ground fire, using improvised runways (extra thrill when landing in the dark!), no radios, no navigation other than a compass. Somehow I doubt their aircraft got the best of maintenance, either…

                  32 of 261 survived.

                  Way better than wrapping rags around their feet, marching west with the unarmed brigades, and instructed to pick up a weapon from a dead soldier when they came to one. Which was lot a lot of Soviet women wound up doing, if they didn’t freeze to death or have pieces cut off due to frostbite first.

                • Thanks for the pointer.

                  Still think there are 3-5 Hollywood movies in that story alone. Plus, it is ready made for all the Hollywood requirements: valiant socialists fighting Nazis, women allowed to fight, women forced to work twice as hard as men on multiple dimensions (old planes, night flying, lack of bombs, and women turning out to be “better” than men at war).

                  Wonder if I could sell a spec script.

          • You need to read closer. The requirement is for those who HAVE TO show up when the Militia is called up. HAVE TO.
            Not WANT TO, NOT DO, NOT CAN but HAVE TO.
            If those people don’t show up the Government can send people out to GET YOU and bring you to the muster.
            It is an important difference.
            Us old farts can still shoot and are good for fixed defenses.
            Besides we have extras and lots of ammo.

            • And patience. And probably lots and lots of practice…
              (Not in ALL cases. Ancient ox need more range time.)

              • Well, I’m an old fart, but lack the patience. However, I can throw down in hand to hand with more energy and enthusiasm than some young ones (will be doing the friendly version in two hours and fifty-nine minutes, but who’s counting, when Battle Beast hits the stage.

                • A lot of us old farts have neither the energy nor the need for extended demonstrations of how tough we are. We don’t care about your opinion of how manly we are. We’ll just kill you quickly so we can take a break before dealing with the next uppity young punk.

          • Not only that, but various court decisions since the law was passed could arguably extend militia membership to all adult able-bodied citizens, since now discrimination on the grounds of age or sex is illegal.

        • As a thought experiment, I’ve wondered if a state (Texas, say) could pass a militia law essentially saying “If you’re a member of the militia, we’ll sell you a standard military-issue rifle at cost. You’re not allowed to sell it except back to the state government, you can’t take it out of the state, and you’re exempt from federal NFA requirements since you’re acting as a militia member under the Constitution. You must maintain a 250 round ammunition supply for the rifle. We’ll sell you 500 rounds/year of whatever ammunition your rifle uses, also at cost, so you can keep the minimum 250 round reserve supply and still be able to practice. You must present the rifle once/year at your local law enforcement offices or state armory for verification that it’s still in your possession and properly maintained.”

          Between watching the liberal heads exploding, and the legitimate legal questions of whether the maintenance of a militia can override federal law that would inhibit such maintenance, popcorn futures should go through the roof!

          • It should contain a provision forbidding “buybacks” and imposing extra stiff penalty for illegal use. The problem here might be that a not insignificant number of citizens of that state would be averse to the state having any records of such sales, even were there to be a series of unfortunate boating accidents and system glitches erasing all purchase records.

            Perhaps a special Collectors’ Edition stock or emblem allowing identification of the weapon, if used criminally, to be identified as special issue? A firing pin that imprints the outline of the state when a round is shot? Some combination of identifiers?

            Nasty thought of the day hour moment: make this a giveaway, presented upon completion of a state-certified CCL course, presented along with the license.

            • As shown in the study that the CA Assembly’s pet anti-gun scientists at UC Davis did, (the study that recommended against them adopting microstamping, which they did anyway) that firing pin imprint would be completely gone at between 200 and 500 rounds depending on the pressure of the ammunition.

              • The point would be for identification of the gun fired as state-issue, not for any purpose of registration of gun control. Firing pins are too easily changed out to be reliable, so the state stamp would merely be an amusement factor. The state could even provide free (or at-cost) replacements.

                Encouraging people to be proud of living in a state which supports their Second Amendment rights would be the primary point of such firing pins.

                • oh also as a note: they didn’t even check microstamping on rifle rounds- i bet the impression would disappear a lot of the time, rifles are much higher pressure. yes i oppose microstamping being commonly used for *anything*

                • Res, the biggest problem with microstamping even when it works is that you now have plenty of stamped shell casings to scatter around your crime scene to confuse the cops.

          • Hmmmm…the local GOP committee does have its informal Saturday coffee just down the block.

          • Yes, they could. And it should be the standard weapon issued to the Mark 1 Mod 0 infantryman.

            They could also pass a law allowing militia companies to form for the purpose of buying and maintaining crew served weapons, cannon, light armored vehicles, etc., and required them to maintain proficiency. There are people who would pay to fire a cannon on a semi-regular basis who would never serve in the actual military- or wouldn’t physically qualify to do so.

            Require them to make such weapons available if needed to the state guard or state National Guard when mobilized for STATE purposes, not federal.

            • Well, see, that might work…. if you still had a government you could trust to follow the law. We don’t.

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        • Well, that’s the essential difference between those particular groups of “us” vs. “them.”

          Is the State your master, or your servant?

      • That bit is also grammatically irrelevant, along the lines of the well known “tasty venison” alternate, or my favorite: “My word, John, the sky is very blue today, indicative of clear weather, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        Of course had they written that one, bearing arms on cloudy days would obviously have to be a right found in a penumbra.

        Aside: Whenever I read anything from that period it always strikes me how we now live in a time of horrible comma shortages vs. the vast surplusage they obviously had to deal with back in the 1780s. The founding fathers must have been wading through piles of commas in the streets.

        • And yet so many today seem to be com(m)a-tose.

        • Instead of commas, we get Commies.

          Poor trade-off.

        • To me, it reads more akin to modern German than to modern English, in terms of structure and verb location. (I’m reading through the Federalist papers again, and oh lordy, Hamilton must have bought commas by the ship-load.)

          • And to me the Federalist periods formal writings feel influenced by Paul of Tarsus’ Koine Greek or Ciceros’s Latin. Of course Paul had buckets of the word kai (basically and) that he lobbed into everything mostly because no one had really come up with punctuation yet so thats how you indicated the next thought was starting.

        • Not all printed versions of the Constitution maintain the punctuation of the original handwritten document.

          Yes, the weevils stoop *that* low…

        • we now live in a time of horrible comma shortages vs. the vast surplusage they obviously had

          That is because the people of the Founders’ era wasted so many commas that they’ve become an endangered species in our present times. Their careless usage should be an example t us today, teaching us of the need to preserve our grammatical resources for future generations.

          Another factor, little discussed, is the loss of commas due to applying them to other punctuation, such as semi-colons and, most significantly, apostrophes (which are commas raised above their proper station.) The use of contractions in modern English has severely impacted the availability of commas for their proper use and thus ought be restrained, as should the use of uplifted commas to indicate clipping of such components as terminal “g”s, a practice becomin’ all too c’mon.

      • More nitpickly, they’re a list of rights the government is forbidden to infringe upon.

    • Read the first string of responses to this:

    • By granted read “guaranteed” and you see what my fingers did.

  3. As much as possible, we’re trying to buy American, and in the case of companies that have been part of the grovel-fest, we’ve got a little list. I have a spare pair of Nike shoes in the closet, and I’ll wear them, but I’m not planning on getting any more Nike products.

    (My Redwing steel toed shoes have a “Made in China” tag, but the website now says the shoes are made in Cambodia. OTOH, my steel-toed boots are American.)

    • Samsung recently announce a full withdraw from China.
      iirc they had one factory left there, and they are moving it’s production to Indonesia, or Thailand.

      • That trend started before HK. Between IP theft, restrictions on moving money, costs (yes, costs), and, I suspect, quality issues, manufacturing was starting to leave.

        Oh, and automation. In the end, automation gets everyone and the IP theft issue really impacts taking automation to China.

        • unofficial costs can run high, and knowledge your confidential info is going to be stolen soonest makes me wonder why folks even consider it.

        • Chinese contract manufacturer production overruns that build a pile product in addition to what was contracted to be built, which is then grey-marketed in direct competition to the company that owns the design, is a humongous problem. Often that overrun is built with crap components and the inevitable failures in those counterfeit boxes clog up warranty channels and harm the reputation of the real boxes.

          A lot of manufacturers are concluding the the up front savings are not worth the many, many later downsides of manufacturing in China.

          • Chinese contract manufacturer production overruns that build a pile product in addition to what was contracted to be built, which is then grey-marketed in direct competition to the company that owns the design, is a humongous problem.

            Tell me about it. The market in “how the hell can they be that cheap” chips on eBay/AliExpress/etc. is huge.

            • Grey market over runs is a real concern when manufacturing in China. Nearly anything electronic and expensive will have some hardware encryption capabilities built in to allow it to encrypt firmware so it is device specific, lest the chinese manufacturer make 2x the number specified and then sell the excess grey market usually in places Outside the U.S and E.U.

    • Ditto. Been avoiding China sourced products forever. I can’t dish Nike, even tho I don’t wear their shoes. I have 3 of 6 nieces who work for them, and suspect, once one of the others ends her internship, she’ll be working there too (possible for her internship to morph into a job there too, possible, but rare).

      • Anyone see Nike and, despite the shoes for so long, think of a really damnfast missile?

        • Yes.

          Have you ever considered that you can buy a nice Savage or Ruger bolt-action rifle for less than the price of some designer sneakers?

        • Chicago had a few batteries of Nike antiaircraft missiles (Nike Ajax and/or Nike Hercules) along the shore of Lake Michigan. They were visible from Lake Shore Drive, and were deployed through the 1960s. There were a few along the lake, though Wikipedia says as many as 22 batteries covered the Chicago Defense Area.

          Now, one wonders just what needs defense from what, with respect to Chicago.

          • The south side??

            • I worked for a steel company on the west side in the early ’70s. Nasty then, and doubt it got any better.

              The obvious Nike batteries were north of downtown, along the lake shore. They might have protected the Gold Coast places from the ghettos…

        • You mean like Nike Zeus and Nike Hercules?
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike_Zeus
          I only included the zeus as WordPress seems to take offense at multiple http references in a post.

      • I avoided it since I was a kid, out of some sort of vague “they’re not very nice/don’t make good stuff” idea, hard core avoided anything where switching an ingredient would kill you (food related things) after one of the cultural expert guys in the Navy explained the whole “their contracts have a ton of stupid requirements to show how important you are, and the only ones that MATTER are the ones you actually check– and American companies often don’t check” thing.

        About the only thing to keep in mind is that some of the “made in China” stuff is made in Taiwan and there’s stupid legal games I haven’t kept up with related to it.

        • At least since the mid 1990s, something that was made in Taiwan has said “Taiwan”. Earlier, some stuff was labeled “ROC” or “Republic of China”. I’d guess things changed when Taiwan got ejected from the UN General Ass.

          • Nope, can’t find a GOOD source that doesn’t paywall it, but as recently as ’06 some things actually made in Taiwan are labled as made in China, so long as they passed through at any point. (Which I don’t know why anybody making stuff in Taiwan would WANT to do that, but we’ve already established I don’t think like business.)

            • My guess is that the Taiwan manufacturer was trying to ship some of the stuff to the PRC. A bit of a search has shown that China (PRC) has ordered the destruction of Taiwan-labeled products at one time or another. This could be a way to try to evade that.

              IMHO, at least for lowish cost machinery, Taiwan material is usually a lot better than stuff from the PRC.

        • At least 600 people outside of China have died because Chinese companies use polyethylene glycol as a cheap substitute for food-grade glycerin.

          Polyethylene glycol is actually safe to consume, but because those Chinese companies are extra cheap, theirs is contaminated with diethylene glycol (mildly toxic) and monoethylene glycol (AKA antifreeze — a cup-full will kill ya).

          China produces about 80% of the world’s heparin, much of it contaminated due to careless processing, or deliberately adulterated with cheap chemicals to make it pass some of the simpler quality tests. It’s not worth your life to save a few bucks by using Chinese heparin.

          I always said that Chinese product safety testing consists of, “Somebody used the product and didn’t die. Pass!”
          ———————————
          Communism is nothing but feudalism with indoor plumbing.

          • There was also the melamine adulteration scandal, where that crap was used to make food appear to have a higher protein content than in reality.

            As I recall, it first showed up in dog food, then was put into baby formula. There’s a place in hell for the perpetrators.

            • I recall news reports about (IIRC) Indonesian complaints over Chinese produced products that failed to meet local safety standards earning the response, “You guys need to get over your safety fetish.”*

              Of course, China has thought, long before the present government, that the West’s reverence for human life was weird.

              *loosely translated

            • For a while a cap was put on sales of baby formula in Australia and Southeast Asia, because Chinese were buying out stores of it and shipping it home. They won’t drink milk from China if they can afford imports, because of quality problems (watering down is probably the least harmful, and that’s even with knowing what gets dumped into the water…)

            • There was a Chinese student in one of my online classes years back who simply could not grasp that there was no such thing as a government-certified brand on shelves in the U.S. “Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s supposed to be safe!”

              …The idea that you weren’t supposed to sell food that was not safe just did not compute.

              • You say, “It’s ALL government certified.”

              • It is more accurate to say that ALL the brands are government certified safe, rather than simply the one which government has verified as acceptable for the families of government employees to purchase.

          • And yet the leftist loons marching to protest Trump’s appearance in Minneapolis yesterday were waiving Soviet flags while they spat on and used objects to attack other people merely because those people support someone they don’t like. Powerline has a very good summary of what happened:
            https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/10/last-night-we-saw-fascism-in-the-streets.php

            • It is only a matter of time before some of the intended victims of the BlackheadSS switch over from “must be endured” to “Ambush is High Art of Infantry”.

              Ahem.

              Only a matter of time, folks. Sanity had better prevail among the RedAbteilung, or things will get noisily messy. Prosecutions of this outlaw band need to be enthusiastic and painfully punitive, or they will assume they are driving, and run us all over the cliff of the Red “anarchy” they claim to advocate. It wont turn out as they hope.

              Not at all as they hope.

            • “Police horses were also assaulted by protesters striking them with sticks.”

              I’m thinkin’ a return to old-fashioned warhorses might be in order. The kind that are taught to kick heads square if they’re attacked.

              Seriously, surprised no one got themselves killed that way.

          • Communism is nothing but feudalism with indoor plumbing.

            Is that your own? Or, rather, do you mind if I.. appropriate it?

            • It’s wrong. The indoor plumbing usually doesn’t last long.

            • It is, as far as I am aware, an original composition; though I can’t guarantee that no one has ever thought of it before.

              In the same sense, I invented the full-wave bridge rectifier when I was twelve. I was at the time unaware that others had thought of the same thing decades ago. I simply reasoned that if I connected two pairs of diodes so and so, I could gain the use of both polarities of the AC input power. It worked, briefly — but I should have used diodes with much higher current ratings. Two of them burned out within seconds.

              Such is our ongoing uncertainty; with so many billions of words written over the past few millennia, we can never be sure that we’re not just repeating someone else without being aware of it. See ‘Melancholy Elephants’ by Spider Robinson.
              ———————————
              They say I can’t be a nonconformist because I’m not like the other nonconformists.

          • this is also where the ‘deaths from vaping’ are coming from

            • Not counting the ones where they hacked the things to be hotter and scalded their lungs.

              • No matter how hard they try, the government can never protect people from their own stupidity.

                But the ‘progressives’ will try, and treat everybody like idiots in the process.
                ———————————
                There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the perfect world. Trouble is, they always start out by fucking up this one.

          • The Commies have indoor plumbing???
            I know, I know, they have it BUT does it WORK????

    • Apple is in a bit of a pickle given their long investments in production vendors in China. Lots of stories out here about how even mid level Apple employees have to have full time bodyguards during factory visits given the regular practice of kidnapping foreign devils for ransom.

      So much for a police state being safe.

      • Of course. Totalitarianism is simply organized anarchy.

        • Not sure I truly agree, but damn that is a clever way to put it. I might have to stea… appropria…. er, liberate that line.

        • I don’t frequent the NY Times editorial pages (any more than I tour sewage treatment plants) so I am wondering whether anyone knows if Thomas “I Long To Be China For A Day” Friedman has offered any … insights, yes, that is what we shall call those), insights into the Hong Kong situation?

        • Or “Organized Criminality”. A lot of a police state apparatus is used for shakedowns and kickbacks by the Party hierarchy.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            And Soviet intel was apparently closely tied to the Russian mafia.

            Fun thing I just learned today. India today has the Research and Analysis Wing for its foreign intel service. Until 1968, that had been the purview of the Intelligence Bureau, which is still the intelligence agency for internal security. IB had been trained by the KGB from the 1950s to the end of the Cold War.

            Explains some things.

            Wikipedia paints an interesting picture of India’s internal security situation, their strategic thinking vis a vis China, and some details that change my thinking on India as a future adversary.

            Also, India’s security situation and organizations make interesting inspiration for space polities. It was negligent of me not to even think to study the matter.

            • India does not need nukes to keep Pakistan from getting too frisky, nor does it need more than a handful to deter a Pakistani nuclear attack.

              India has a large and growing nuclear arsenal. Now I wonder what large, populous nation might be a concern to them?

              That deterrent lesson is not lost on other folks in the region with similar views of the neighbors.

              I am assuming that several of those nations are already clandestine nuclear powers. Japan, for example, could be armed with a significant fleet of nuclear ICBMs and bombers six months from the decision to Go. The Republic of Korea would take a bit longer.

              And I suspect that both of them already have made that decision, and quite some time ago.

              • I recall reading some time back that India and China were engaged in constant low-level skirmishes in the border regions of NE India, around Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, and in Doklam (near the trijunction of the borders of India, China and Bhutan.)


                A quick {SEARCH] for the key words [india china fighting in ne india border] turns up multiple youtube and news items datelined 2015 – 2017.

                From comments on video:

                Brig Mohan Lal
                2 years ago
                “This area lies in Upper Subansiri district of Arunanchal and falls under my brigade. One of my officers told me about this video and I am glad to see people of my area standing in solidarity with their Army. The locals here are really beautiful people. They are always willing to walk an extra mile to accommodate our troops in the region and our convoys passing through these areas always stop to help the local villagers with any difficulty that they might be facing. If you ever travel from Daporijo to Limeking, it’s very easy to see an Army truck parked near a village and soldiers mending the tin shed roofs of the villagers’ bamboo huts, which were probably blown away in storms the night before.

                “BRO which is also managed by Army employs most of the villagers in road construction in these areas. Also a fact that many people would find surprising is that there are more female workers than male workers in these areas. I was fairly surprised when a beautiful young lady turned up to mend the leaking pipes in my quarters when I requested for a plumber to be sent.

                “The last village in this region is the Taksing village which shares a part of the border with China. Since the border runs through difficult terrains, it’s not feasible for Army and ITBP to man each post individually and hence often the PLA troops trespass into Taksing village and try to instigate our villagers against India. Whenever, this happens, the villagers immediately dispatch a messenger to the nearest Army/ITBP detachment to inform about the intrusion and in the meantime take out their swords, Daws, hunting guns and bamboo sticks to beat the PLA soldiers and chase them away across the border. By the time Army reaches the village, the people would have already chased the PLA soldiers across the border.

                “The people in these villages are tribals and lead a very simple and basic lifestyle, the infrastructure development in the region is minimal and yet there are no complains. The majority of people here belong to the Tagin tribes which is a very aggressive and ferocious tribe. Many of these tribals volunteer to join the Arunachal Scouts or the Assam Regiment of the Indian Army and are highly disciplined and aggressive soldiers. We even allow locals to board military vehicles passing through these regions as there are hardly any public transport services.

                “Whenever I take out my flag car to visit my forward posts, I am overwhelmed with the sight of hundreds of children on the way saluting my vehicle and shouting “Jai Hind” in their cute little voices. I am always mindful to return every single salute and have instructed all my officers to carry a bag of toffees whenever travelling on these roads and distribute them to children from all villages. It’s really an honor to serve in this region.

                “I request Indians from the plains to visit these places and know more about these very simple people. They need our help, they are being neglected by our country. They are forced to stay in bamboo huts without modern life amenities and only the support and awareness of the rest of India about these people can make a direct change in their living standards. I am proud of my Brigade, my soldiers and all the locals who take pride in accommodating our soldiers in these hills.”

                • Another video turned up by that search:


                  While there are arguments at the borders there are also cooperative exercises between the nations’ militaries, indicating a situation rather more complex than usually depicted (when depicted at all) in the American news.

  4. “sweep it under the rug, as they did with Tianmen”

    I think that ship has already sailed. I’m even hoping that the reason they’ve failed to crush the protests so far is that they remember Tianmen and are desperately hoping to avoid the international obloquy that would follow the sight of tanks rolling over protesters.

    Or maybe they’re disinclined to engage in urban warfare.

    None of which, of course, means this will end well. My optimism does not extend that far.

    • The deal now is Hong Kong is too open, so there is no way everything is not going to get out. That is what makes some of the corporate b.s. so heinous. They are collaborating with the Reds to make Hong Kong into Beijing, so a Tienanmen would be easier to pull off for the PLA.

      • From what I’ve read, TPTB are afraid that if Hong Kong gets away with it (Ie, being able to keep the PRC to the promises it made when England abandoned HK), other cities and areas on the mainland are going to say “what about us?”.

        Of course, if they had actually held to their promises, this wouldn’t be a matter of discussion, but that ship was christened, sailed, and sunk long ago.

        • As much as an economic war with China would hurt us, it would hurt the Chicoms far more, and with Trump, the Chinese actually fear we would pursue one if they go to far. The Chinese are simply trying to keep a lid on things until they can see whether Trump is gone in 2020 or not. The Chinese have always been very good at playing the long game.

        • Red Chinese? Keep promises?! parish the thought

    • I’d say it comes down the problem that there are only two ways to win against an insurgency:
      A) Placate enough insurgents by conceding enough of what they want that you can mop up the ones who’ve lost community support with police action.
      B) Be so brutal that no one dares challenge you.

      Beijing can’t do A. The whole point of cracking down on Hong Kong is to get rid of their special privileges, not enshrine them, and there’s nothing short of giving into all the demands that is going demobilize the populace. Big Brother Xi has roused the sleeping bear, and he’s fresh out of lullabies.

      But Beijing can’t really do B, either. What makes Hong Kong worth having is its well-educated, productive workforce, and that workforce is the insurgency. Moreover, as it is a well-educated, technologically savvy insurgency, what’s happening is going out in real time with no control. Sure, the military could in theory just start mowing down anyone on the streets with automatic fire, but that would immediately go out to the rest of the world. Given the broad support for the insurgency among the populace, even if Beijing could clear the streets with enough brutality, the insurgents would likely go from protests to more guerilla tactics, like attacking soldiers and destroying equipment. It will still likely end very badly for HongKongers, but they have the means, and more importantly the guts, to take an awful lot of Beijing down with them.

      And the longer this goes on, the longer the rest of China sees Beijing’s weakness. Coupled with the soaring pork prices — the primary source of Chinese protein — and the economic slump, the Communist Party may well appear to have lost the Mandate of Heaven. I may be a foolish optimist, but frankly, I can see an ending to this mess that isn’t Hong Kong in ruins and an eternal boot on the Chinese’ necks. There will be death, destruction, and flames — but maybe also a phoenix. (I fully concede that whatever arises may be even worse. But it won’t be the People’s Republic of China as we know it.)

      • The first indication that China is lowering the boom is that the internet out f Hong Kong will go dark. China will have taken the ability for Hong Kong to get to the Net OUT. So nothing can be reported. The Propaganda will be that the rioters took out the internet and China is trying to get it back up but the rioters keep taking it down.

        There will be only one side reporting and that is China.

        • Hong Kong is still a major financial and trading center.

          If it goes dark, it’s going to cost the PLA a *lot*, right up front. And then every organization that’s not bankrupted is going to move somewhere else rather than wonder when their operations are going to be disrupted again.

        • And when the commercial transactions internet doesn’t go down (they can’t afford that), everyone will know it’s a lie.

      • (I fully concede that whatever arises may be even worse. But it won’t be the People’s Republic of China as we know it.)

        From your fingers to God’s ears, please Lord!

        Should we be so insanely lucky, I suspect SOME areas will be worse… but a lot more will be better. It’ll be nuts.

        Might fix the Nork problem, though– via the creation of one of those even-worse areas at the escape point.

      • This is probably a not insignificant factor in China’s agreeing to a trade deal with Trump today. Obviously they do not think they can wait for President Biden.

        It is probably impossible to know what influence Western companies doing business in China may have had, making their voices heard in the highest halls … but I think we can safely assume it will have been far less than those companies will claim. Possibly on a par with those voices in Hollywood condemning Harvey Weinstein in the years before #MeToo started moving.

        • If you are expecting an immediate change, then you won’t see it.
          But, a causal eroding of the cultural norms which make tyranny possible, yes, it’s there.
          Think about the Red efforts to undermine the USA, and you can see how it works.

  5. Activision Blizzard proved it’s run by evil Orcs.

    • #XiThePooh #NotMyWarchief

    • I dunno how much has changed in WoW, but back in the day, the Orcs there were somewhat honorable and decent. Blizzard’s acting more like the Dread Lords – selfish, opportunistic, and subservient to aggressive invaders.

      * * *

      There’s something amiss in this whole deal. About a month or so ago, the CCP did send troops close to Hong Kong (hiding them from plain sight in things like stadiums and the like). They didn’t act then, possibly thinking the whole thing would blow over eventually. Now, from what I’ve seen, unlike the old USSR or modern Russia, the CCP is a lot more self-conscious about not “appearing” as a despotic autocracy. Hence the “one China” spiel they spin about Tibet, for instance. They don’t want to be seen playing hardball, and there’s virtually no chance of a media blackout nowadays, especially as mainstream editions already scramble for whatever credibility they can maintain. Could it be they might actually lose this one?

      If they do, though, I suspect they’ll still try and save face somehow. I reckon either Winnie the Pooh will find a scapegoat on the lower party echelons, or vice versa – the party will sacrifice him instead, letting him take the fall to save its own… feet.

      Of course, that’s still an optimistic outcome. It’s just as likely that various non-military forms of suppression are employed, all while the mainstream media turn to, say, yet another school shooting or hysteric climate alarmist. There should really be a bingo game about these kinds of deflection tools.

      • I dunno how much has changed in WoW, but back in the day, the Orcs there were somewhat honorable and decent.

        The #NotMyWarchief hashtag took off when Sylvanas was made Warchief of the Horde, and I would suggest that the Forsaken (sentient zombies, for non-Warcraft people) mentality is a good model for the SJWs. Perpetually aggrieved and determined to destroy all creativity and life in order to convert everyone into their death-worshipping religion.

      • I dunno how much has changed in WoW, but back in the day, the Orcs there were somewhat honorable and decent.

        Idiot ball + insanity.

        Honestly, the characters would make MORE sense if you found out that one of the Old Gods was mind-raping half of the leaders for the Horde and the Alliance.

    • Ticking off gamers isn’t a winning or wise proposition, either. I’ve seen that some folks have been reviewing Epstein’s “little black [pedophile client] book” and found the name of the Activision/Blizzard CEO in there. (Apparently, this information has been around, but more and angrier people have noticed it now.)

      I doubt it will end well for Hong Kong, and I *really* doubt it will go well for American companies who have collaborated with the PRC on Hong Kong.

      At least popcorn is American grown.

  6. “there is a thing amid young liberal art majors, where they think that communism is the natural state of mankind and once the oppression is removed it will all be singing and sharing and … well, kindergarten”

    That they desire this tells me that they have much nicer memories of kindergarten than I do.

  7. “The idiot woman who was filmed screaming they should just turn themselves in because resistance was futile, or whatever? She was saying “I’d rather live in chains, come enslave me.””

    That’s what amazes me. There are people who would want to live as The Borg.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      They imagine that they’d be the Borg Queen/King. 😡

      • Not even that. They would much rather have someone else tell them what to do, because they think this someone else would take responsibility for their welfare. They haven’t learned from history that the baron doesn’t care about the peasants. I’ll grant that there have been some feudal lords who actually took seriously the duties of the lord to the peasants. But the neo-feudalists? Not at all. The ones clamoring for the boot on their neck are going to be dismayed when they realize that being “taken care of” means living in a huge concrete apartment with 1,000 other people, where the stairs always smell of urine and the elevator often doesn’t work, and your requests for building maintenance take 4-5 months to get fulfilled. All because they didn’t learn the basic lesson that nobody else cares as much about your needs as you do.

        (Well, except for God, of course. But I meant no other human being.)

        • And the worst thing about that concrete apartment complex is that the concrete will be crumbling BEFORE THE BUILDING IS FINISHED, because that’s how Communist quality control works.

          • And if someone should add some sugar to the mix during the manufacture, it’ll never set right (supposedly a result of CIA investigation regarding the Berlin Wall – doesn’t do any good [harm] after it sets, though).

          • You’re forgetting the unremediated lead paint on the walls, the non-functioning furnaces in winter, the on-functional security cameras and locks, the lack of police presence, … oops! My mistake: I though we were talking about Bill de Blasio’s New York Public Housing Association.

        • These are the same people who will INSIST that slavery was the defining moment of Americna history, at the same time as they wish to reduce people back to slavery again. Perhaps not personally owned, or tradeable, slaves, but slaves nonetheless. And they further believe they will have recourse when the new slaveowners decide that they want a new crop of girls, Epstein style, for entertainment, at the same time as they wish to restrict firearm ownership.

          Harriet Tubman is rolling in her grave.

          • There is a world of difference between being property of tyrannical individuals and being property of a tyrannical state.

            In the Antebellum South slaveholders who mistreated their property were subject to social and legal sanctions.

            • Sanctioned for mistreating their property?

              I cannot let that one pass by.

              The entire institution of Slavery is mistreatment. Disobedient slaves could be, and were, flayed with whips, or oughtright killed. Sold to more brutal environments. Sent to “breakers” who were expected to render disobedient men into docile livestock. Were some treated humanely? Only if one accepts the premise that there is such a thing as “humane slavery”.

              I reject that, utterly.

              The social sanction was for failing to conform their property’s behavior and their own behavior in a manner pleasing to society.

              The modern parallel of Marxism and its handmaiden/thugs is instructive. Same diff. There is never an acceptable form of slavery. It is anti-human at its root.

              • SheSellsSeashells

                Of course it is. I believe the point being made above was that slaves in the power of individual slavers have a scrap more hope than do slaves in the power of an entire faceless government.

                • Stephen W. Houghton

                  Without wanting to say anything infavor of any kind of slavery, the reason state slavery is usually worse is that a state slave is no ones property and his death therefore no ones lose.

                • And everyone should remember that Slaves were NOT Cheap.
                  Owners did not let their Slaves be used to build levees, too dangerous, use the Irish for that. The Irish ARE Cheap.
                  Also please remember most Slave Owners only owned 1 or 2 Slaves and ended up working beside them. The Plantation did exist but not in the numbers most people think.
                  Above is correct “There is never an acceptable form of slavery.”
                  BUT That doesn’t change the fact that Slavery is very different in different areas”

                  Please list the Slave rebellions in the South and Nat Turner doesn’t count and neither does John Browns attempt to start one.
                  Can’t find any can you?

                  • 1735: Stono Rebellion

                    1800: Gabriel Prosser

                    1805: Chatham Manor

                    1811: German Coast Uprising

                    1816: George Boxley

                    1822: Denmark Vesey

                    Next question?

                  • Indeed. In Texas – and I have a volume by Frederick Law Olmsted to back that up (in addition to other sources) – most families who owned slaves lived and worked side by side with their slaves, in much the same condition. In the 1860 consensus (IIRC) the man who owned the most slaves in Texas owned 300, but the number 2 and 3 ranked owned considerably fewer. Graphic exhibit in the historical museum in Richmond, Texas, which maps all this out: three or five slaves, usually a family, owned by another family.
                    Curiously (which I discovered when researching for the Adelsverein Trilogy) quite a few slaves in Texas were hired out to work for wages at skilled trades for other people. It was considered very mean and miserly for the owner of a slave working for wages to confiscate the wages. Peter Burnett, who was the very first President of Texas (during the war for independence), did this, and was thought to be very mean, miserly and cheeseparing for doing so.
                    *le deep sigh*
                    The peculiar institution had some very interesting and even peculiar aspects, for those of us who choose to look at it all honestly.

              • Yes, sanctioned. Same as people were sanctioned for abusing their horses. The fact that sanctions were not uniformly applied does not mean they did not exist, even as contemporary sanctions on political influence peddling mean that politicians (and family members) do not peddle influence

                That is not a defense of slavery, merely an observation that it was extremely complicated and had a sizable body of law regulating it (for example, addressing the question of culpability for a slave stealing, recognizing a distinction between a slave being ordered to steal and one stealing free-lance.) Individual slave-holders were expected to adequately feed and clothe their property, just as they were expected to not let their cattle roam freely into other people’s fields.

                A slave in the antebellum South could at least hope to endear him(her)self to master/mistress and earn greater consideration; this is rarely the case in a slave-nation, such as N. Korea. There are deeper rings of Hell and the fact one is in hell should not obscure that fact.

          • “And they further believe they will have recourse when the new slaveowners decide that they want a new crop of girls, Epstein style, for entertainment, at the same time as they wish to restrict firearm ownership.”

            Let’s be real here. These people are under the impression, somehow, that in the magical utopia where the government has the power to give them everything they want that said government will be entirely staffed by benevolent geniuses. As a result, there will be no need for recourse, and, since they would rather not run their own lives, they are content to hand the running of their lives over to said benevolent geniuses. Yes, these people are stupid. We know this already.

            Of course, there’s also the contingent who intends to be among the slaveowners, but they’re a minority, and mostly in the leadership.

      • Another possibility is that they are so narcissistic and self centered that they just can’t believe that the world doesn’t revolve around them, personally and everything is about them.
        So, of course a Socialist Government would cater to their every need and whim because they are the most important person in the universe.
        Of course the meanie reactionaries are holding it back because they hate them personally.

        • Up to the exact minute they feel the bullet as it hits. Or their feet drop because the stool was pushed out from under them, but they don’t drop to the ground … or … Other words, as their ghost is headed to purgatory, for judging, it is stuttering “but, but, but, … I helped!”

          • Not that I am anywhere close to Pratchett, but I imagine a scene thus…

            “…but, but, but, … I helped!”
            “YES. YOU DID.”
            “So why.. why.. why this?”
            “THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH.”

          • A lot of seriously committed Bolsheviks were thinking “this has to be some sort of mistake!” during their final seconds in the Lubyanka basement.
            It wasn’t.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Then there were the ones who cried “If only Stalin knew of this” not knowing that Stalin was secretly watching their so-called trials. 👿

  8. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Off Topic (to a degree) but apparently one candidate for President doesn’t believe in Religious Freedom. 😡

    https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/10/10/beto-orourke-religious-institutions-will-lose-tax-exemption-if-they-oppose-same-sex-marriage/

    • Really starting to wonder how long it’ll be before he has a mysterious “suicide.” The man couldn’t do more to get Trump reelected if he was actually trying.

      • Well, he’s not (so far as I can tell, at least) posing a serious threat to Her Most Glorious Majesty Queen Hillary I, so I’d say the odds of that happening are rather low.

        But I’ve been wrong before, so…

        • He is posing a problem for Democrats in general, though. “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15!”

        • He’s also available to act as a whacko baseline for the more palatable to run against, should the Dem campaigns ever get to the part where they stop trying to out Left Kook each other and run for the normal vote.
          This usually happens sometime after New Hampshire, when the realization hits that they need to start appealing to people other than their base, and start walking back all the radical stuff they said beforehand.
          This worked because neither the MSM nor the GOPe squishes running were willing to bring up all the Left Kook stuff said. But, Hillary changed the game by never leaving the Left Kook behind, nor is Trump willing to ignore it.

    • That idiot is a great AR-15 salesman. I hadn’t thought much about getting one until he said people shouldn’t have them. Now I really desire one (or two, or 17..). Seems they’re very good…. Beto blockers.

      • Thing I like about the M-16 is that it is pretty damn simple to operate and provide user-level maintenance. While I’m not crazy about full auto, the 3 shot selector is nice for cases where you might need to walk a group of three up a target. Unfortunately, those options aren’t available for the AR-15 version; yo just need a fast trigger finger, especially since you aren’t allowed bump stocks any more.

    • That story makes me want to see some reporter ask the ninny, “Hey, Beto, do you have any polIcies that ARN’T flagrant civil rights violations?”

    • No, no – you’re quite mistaken! He is a form believer in Religious Freedom: all Religions have the Freedom to believe what he thinks they should.

      Except Muslims. he doesn’t know what they believe, he doesn’t want to know what they believe, and he’s certain that any criticism of what they believe is Islamophobic.

    • No, he’s just not smart enough to hide it. All of em would jump at chance to not only jack up taxes, but to impoverish the more traditional congregations. It’s pretty much written into laws they’ve already passed.

      But that’s not discrimination or bigotry. It’s just just desserts against people who do not “consider them human” because they won’t bend the knee to their liking.

    • Why should any religious institution be tax-exempt?

      Right there in the First Amendment it says ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…’ and what is preferentially granting tax exemptions to some religions if not ‘establishment’? The government is placed in the position of deciding that Religion A is a ‘real’ religion, but Religion B is ‘just a cult’ and doesn’t get those tax breaks. That is not the government’s job.

      Scientology should definitely not be tax-exempt. L. Ron’s little joke has gotten waaaaaaay out of hand.

      Okay, I want a property tax exemption on the grounds that my house is the Church Of The Gray Cat! Unlike most religions, I can prove that there actually is a Gray Cat, and he certainly thinks he’s God. Hey, that has to count for something, right?

      Like any other business, religions can take tax deductions for their charitable works, but a blanket tax exemption for some religions, but not all, is unconstitutional.
      ———————————
      At my house, the ‘things that go bump in the night’ are cats.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        First And Foremost, most tax exemptions revolve around non-profit organizations which include religious organizations.

        The IRS isn’t in the business of asking “is this a real religion”, it’s in the business of asking “is this an actual non-profit organization”.

        Of course, things like property taxes are local matters not federal government matters so it depends on how the local government view the organization that owns the property in question.

        Of course, if a religious organization owns a “for profit” business, then that business generally speaking pays the appropriate taxes including “income taxes”.

        Still, a non-profit organization is exempt from certain taxes, then the government has no business telling it that since it is “politically incorrect” then it is no longer exempt.

        Beyond that, I have a very low tolerance for anti-religious rhetoric so I’ll stop here.

        • That same First Amendment also includes the “free exercise” clause as to religion, i.e. it prohibits government from infringing on the free exercise of religion as well. The power to tax is the power to destroy. Thus the power to tax the exercise of religion is the power to destroy it.

          • it prohibits government from infringing on the free exercise of religion

            Under the Beto Administration we will still be permitted to do push-ups, jumping-jacks and even yoga in our churches and temples (mosques will remain a separate category).

            In fact, it may be mandatory.

        • “Non-profit” in tax-goomer-ese doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in plain English.

          The IRS defines its own terms, grants its exemptions, and then expects organizations to dance to their tune to maintain those exemptions. It’s a variation of the “golden handcuffs.”

          If you’re an honest charity or religious organization, better to pay the tax and then do what you want with your money.

          Because once you take the shilling, you’re not a free agent any more, even if it was your own damned shilling in the first place.

          • The primary benefit of Not For Profit status is that it allows donors to reduce their taxes by making that donation. It is more important as a shield against taxes for the ones donating than for the recipients — whose legitimate activities ought produce a net tax loss at any rate.

            In the minds of many Americans it is also a certification that the receiving institute is a “Good Guy” even though that means nothing of the kind; it doesn’t mean the funds are efficiently used nor that the recipient does valuable charitable* work.

            *or rather, opinions may differ as to what constitutes “charitable” — as ought be clear by the fact that Planned Parenthood and Crisis Pregnancy both hold NFP status.

      • Why should any religious institution be tax-exempt?

        Because carving out an exception for charity and/or education due of the philosophical motivation for providing that charity and/or education would be a really obvious targeting of religion.

      • ” . . . what is preferentially granting tax exemptions to some religions if not ‘establishment’?”

        Uh, ‘establishment’ as decried by The Founders is, “This is the religion of the country, we will be supporting it directly with taxes, and officials will be termed something like, ‘Defender(s) of the Faith’.”

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Nod.

          The “established religion” was (at that time) a specific branch of Christianity.

          In many countries of Europe, the “established religion” was the only branch of Christianity allowed in that country.

          To many people don’t know (or care to know) history.

          • The Founders, who were well read on History, had very recent examples of the problems attendant on having an Official State Church, such as the C of E, and the various established state religions did not want a federal government ruining their cheery nests.

            The travails of Cromwell, Charles, James and “the Glorious Revolution” were then still recent events.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              I’ll have to look it up, but IIRC current day Europe allows “non-establishment” churches along side the established church.

              Usually, their members are vastly outnumbered by members of the established church but they are legally allowed.

        • States that had Established religions were allowed to keep them, and did. The last one was disestablished in 1830, if I remember correctly. But that was state, not national.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Correct. The Ban on “Establishment of Religion” was a restriction on the Federal Government.

            • Precisely BECAUSE of the different colonies/states having different established religions, in fact. Puritan Massachusetts didn’t want the Catholic refugee colony of Maryland establishing a national religion. And vice versa.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Established churches have at least one of a) church activities funded by government taxation b) clergy are government officials, appointed by the government c) laws restricting rival faiths.

        Tax exemptions for not for profit activity does not establishment make, unless it is picking and choosing. Forex, Beto’s “no opponents of same sex marriage” would be remotely possibly be so choosing. If one considers left wing not for profits also religious organizations.

        Now, I think it is more fun to ask why we exempt taxes for not for profits. We should either tax not for profits, or stop taxing corporations.

        • We should either tax not for profits, or stop taxing corporations.

          Obviously, we ought not tax corporate income because those are, eventually, distributed to owners (shareholders) and taxed at that point. Thus the government is engaging in double taxation.

          As for why it is done, the answer to that was given (albeit in different context) by Willie Sutton.

          • Flip side, a corporation is a legal “person”, so why should it *not* be taxed just like everyone else? That’s not just “not paying tax”, that’s creating a de facto exempt and privileged class of “person.”

            You might not want to go there…

            There are other types of business organization than corporate, that aren’t “persons”.

            • Yet one more* reason income taxes are evil and we ought switch to a consumption tax. Not that we ever will.

              The argument of a corporation being a legal “person” is problematic and prone to excessive simplification, and not a topic I am interested in burning blog space over. It is primarily a legal liability matter and does not have the meaning generally attributed to “personhood.” To give one f’rinstance, it is not allowed to vote and thus denied full “personhood” under the law.

              The tax issue is premised on the corporation’s role as a mere conduit for money, asserting that the problem is that money is being taxed twice without any “value added” economic activity — once as corporate income and again as (for example) shareholder dividends. That is mere distribution and any taxing of such activity is friction in the system, raising the cost of (and thereby discouraging) investment.

              Again, not really a topic I have any interest in pursuing other than to note its basic premise.

              *among many

              • Yet one more* reason income taxes are evil and we ought switch to a consumption tax. Not that we ever will.

                *shudder* Thank goodness.

                They’re bad enough with income tax– why on earth would we hand the gov’t not just the ability, but the responsibility to know absolutely every single purchase we make?

                • Are you not already paying sales taxes? That is what consumption taxes would be. Collection is in the aggregate and the purchaser irrelevant, although I suppose a determined state could design a reporting system to track on a personal basis, especially as we move ever further from a cash basis of transactions.

                  One reason I eschew phone based purchasing apps — or would if I deigned to own a phone capable of that.

                  • I’ve got a little familiarity with the mess that happens with the relatively small taxes in sales tax right now– my mom had hard-core headaches with her tiny craft business in California because she did ONE Christmas sale in Oregon, and that was back in the ’80s. They wanted the sales tax on those sales…

                    There’s also that they would either be empowering big businesses while hurting the poor* via making it so that, say, Walmart only has to pay sales tax on an item once because it owns its supply chain, or you have to track all parts of an item so that you can show tax was already paid on it, and then if you actually MAKE things you need to figure out how much of the stuff in it was already taxed…..

                    That last one is already the case in some places, although again I don’t know the details well enough to give much useful help– has to do with tax relief for ranching operations.

                    * Kind of like how sales tax does right now, judging by how many of the wealthy folks I sort-of know will drive for hours to hit a lower tax area. I do realize no system is perfect!

                  • “Are you not already paying sales taxes?”

                    Uhh. Don’t know about Foxer, but RCPete and I don’t pay sales tax. We don’t pay it when we go to Washington State either (except restaurants, not sure of why that exception, or maybe we weren’t smart enough to insist.) We also don’t pump our own gas; in general.

                    🙂

                    FWIW that was my standard joke when we had new clients come on board and something came up about sales tax — “What’s that?” Did legitimately have to ask about “Use Tax”, when I first started … hey programmer here, not accountant. Both because new clients rarely thought about where we were based.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Another aspect IMO of the “personhood” of a corporation is its longevity.

                Legally, a sole proprietorship and a partnership dies when a owner dies thus any contracts that the business made dies as well.

                The death of a major stockholder of a corporation doesn’t negate any contracts that the business made. Note, a company selling any sort of insurance legally has to be a corporation in order that long-term insurance contracts will be valid in spite of the death of any of the owners.

                Oh, how do I know this? Some of my college education included bits of business law (even if my degrees had nothing to do specifically about Law).

                • An aspect which has had unanticipated consequences in such realms as copyright and trademark law, as observers of the Mouse Empire have recognized. (There is a fascinating realm of study suggested by the Mouse Empire, including the areas of private property represented by their amusement parks, hotels and employee villages which, being private property, effectively grant company guards police power; theoretically an entire state could be held as a single corporations private fiefdom … although some cynics would point to the state of Dupont Delaware as an example of it having been previously accomplished.)

                  Unanticipated Consequences??? Who could have ever foreseen such things!

    • I have no proof but I think my faith has been expecting and preparing for that for years now.

    • Only one? That seems like an improvement.

  9. One of the big surprises was AOC signing the pro-Hong Kong letter from congress. Perhaps she doesn’t realize her entire program is tyrannical.

    It somewhat reminds me of all the Boulder commies who go around with “Free Tibet” bumper stickers. I do wonder if any of them have any idea who it is that Tibet needs to be freed FROM.

    Similarly, I’ve noticed a lot of the comment threads on these Chinese capitulations include some self-righteous Leftist going on about, “See? This is why capitalism is bad. Look at the bad behavior of all of these corporations!” Apparently the was to get companies to stop supporting brutal communist dictatorships is more communism…

    On the subject of Blizzard, I’m not sure what to think. The claim is that the action they took was part of a general “No politics” rule, which if so, they might have a point. Keeping politics out of video gaming tournaments is probably a good policy, and that doesn’t change because I strongly agree with the message. However, I’m somewhat skeptical of the claim. Does anyone know if Blizzard actually follows the general policy?

    • There’s a solid argument that the natural progression of any modern authoritarian centrally controlled economy is towards a Corporate State – basically the ruling party elite make deals and set up captive corporations to run things, and eventually the leadership of the corporations and the state become no longer distinguishable.

      This theory observes that in National Socialist Germany they basically made this jump right when they took power, and the reason the Soviet Union fell is because they fumbled this step and their economic base fell apart before Gorby could successfully backfill market reforms.

      China’s embrace of corporatism, as long as the corporations toe the Communist party line, with the potential market of their vast population as the incentive, are the applied “lessons learned” by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee.

      Since getting corporations to toe the party line is exactly what they have been doing for the past 30 years, it’s not surprising that corporations are doing so now. What would be surprising would be if any did not.

      • My problem with the ‘China is embracing Corporatism’ narrative is that the people peddling it are A) CEOs of corporations currently doing business with China, B) Lefty economists who have abandoned economics as a discipline for Leftism as a religion, and C) the Chinese.

        I suspect that 99% of the ‘information’ coming out of China is twaddle. I don’t think anyonw, even the Chinese government, has much idea what is going on in China.

        • Big Brother not knowing what’s really going on is typical.
          If your choice is to make your production quotas or gulag, you are going to post record quotas every time.
          It was reported that the KGB had to use spy satellites to try to get an accurate idea of the Soviet wheat harvest.

        • China’s “embrace” of corporations is no different than Mussolini’s. China is in essence trying to achieve communist goals using fascist methods; by allowing private enterprise to exist and conduct business, provide that it does so wholly within the auspices of the state and serves as an instrument of the state; i.e. “All within the state, nothing without the state”.

          • I’ve been describing China as fascist rather than Communist for a good while. Given the Han nationalism that is also very prevalent in the country, it becomes very worrying indeed.

            • Communist vs Fascist is a distinction without a difference. Oh, in theory there are differences, but in practice it’s always one bunch of smug thugs failing to make things work and scapegoating others, whom they murder in job lots.

              A Progressive is a Socialist is a Communist is a Fascist is a Nazi. There may be slight differences in flavoring, but they are all poison.

              • It makes a BIG difference whether the boot stomping your face is worn on the Right foot or the Left. Ask anyone.

                The boot on the Left foot was made by tireless dedicated workers of democratic peoples’ republics while the boot on the Right foot was made by exploited wage slaves of materialistic societies. Only a fascist would be blind to that distinction.

              • Both are totalitarian philosophies/governments. They are opposed to each other because they are competing for dominance, not because their beliefs are different.

        • Er, Corporatism is something else — groups of people being represented as groups, such as workers, business owners, etc.

          It was a Fascist thing.

    • “With six you get free eggroll Tibet!” seems to be the what-passes-for thinking.

      • yeah, dont expect the idiot with the ‘free tibet’ and the ‘coexist’ bumper sticker to understand what would have to be done to free tibet (at the very least, saber-rattling)

    • Sib-in-Law used to have a small bumper-sticker that read in large print “Free Tibet*” and in smaller print “with any purchase of small arms.”

      • Summation of the idiocy of the Young Left;

        Wears a Che t-shirt, carries a backpack with a ‘free Tibet’ sticker on it, and buys mass produced items with the ‘Anarchy’ A-in-a-circle on them.

        • Cognitive dissonance would require they at least understand each of those components. Complete ignorance eliminates the problem.

        • Also, protests democratic Israel where Muslims have more rights than they do in Muslim nations because Israel exercises its right of self defense against those who have vowed to destroy it and murder Jews worldwide, while staying silent about or endorsing China which has over a million Muslim Urghurs being held in concentration camps.

        • you forgot the ‘coexist’ bumper sticker.

  10. Some online blogger was yelling that America only intervened when its economic interests were engaged.

    Well, duh. Especially if you broaden “economic interests” to include national security. That has been American policy ever since the Founders looked at the French Revolution and said, “Wish you luck, ami, but you’ll need to sort this out yourselves.”

    What that online blogger ignores is that America has generally grasped that Liberty and Self Governance are not the sort of thing which can be given a nation by a third party. Nor is America the world’s cop — hell, we don’t even like our own cops all that much, and our military, great as t us, is not a Leatherman multi-tool able to fix all problems.

    We don’t even always get involved when our economic interests are at stake, but there’s no point arguing facts with somebody who probably thinks we should only involve ourselves when we have no economic interest in the outcome.

    • We could have our cake and eat it too: we could *export* cops to the rest of the world!

      For only a moderately ruinous sum, they could have the services of trained officers from Berkeley, Portland, Charlottesville, St. Louis, Houston, Chicago, and Boston…

    • The idiots who make that claim, or denounce ‘blood for oil’, have never considered that what they WANT us to do is expend the blood of people pther than their wonderful selves on giving THEM warm fuzzies.

      *spit*

  11. “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed;
    if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
    come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” Winston Churchill.

    I fear Hong Kong may be in the worse case.

    • We’re already at stage 3: “fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. ”

      You will find that all too many here in America are not going to engage until stage 4.

  12. Someone – I tjink over at Ace’s blog – mentioned a secondary problem for the PRC. Shanghai and Shenzhen are China’s two rising mainland economic hubs. But Shenzhen is apparently joined at the hip with Hong Kong. So if Hong Kong gets crushed, then Shenzen will likely suffer a heavy economic blow.

  13. There is the problem (for Beijing) that even if “successful”.. do they REALLY want to deal with, effectively, an insurrection of pissed-off geniuses? That could be very, very nasty for them.

  14. Love Michael Yon’s coverage, I am so glad he is there spreading a true picutre of what is actually happening. I stand with Hong Kong also.

  15. Apparently, Blizzard’s customers have been cancelling accounts over this, and when “bugs” made account deletion impossible, a number have intentionally done things to get themselves permabanned.

    The businesses may be for China, but the customers aren’t.

  16. Btw, you notice that Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenzhen all speak Cantonese and associated dialects, plus English.

    Beijing wants everybody to speak Mandarin, and a weird Party Mandarin at that; and they want to get rid of all other Chinese languages. (As well as stamping out cultures, religions, traditional martial arts, several hundred forms of Chinese opera and theater, etc.)

    The Chinese government keeps torquing people off. Not to mention the bit where they claimed every Chinese now lives in a modern electrified house, by destroying people’s homes and throwing them into the street, while grabbing the funds for building houses and using them for graft.

    • Shenzen residents often use Cantonese because that’s the local “dialect”. It’s pretty much right next door to Hong King, so that’s not a surprise.

      Shanghai uses Mandarin. It used to have its own regional dialect. But I think I read a while back that it was almost extinct (which was a problem since that meant classical vocal artworks from that region were in danger of being lost).

      Taiwan uses Mandarin, as well.

      Mandarin is also the primary language in Singapore, which has a very large Chinese population.

      • To clarify – EVERY part of China used to have its own regional dialect. And they were distinct enough that they were essentially different spoken languages (they shared the same writing, though). Grammar was the same, but the words all sounded different.

        I’m guessing that Mandarin was the language generally used by the Imperial court (and its Nationalist and Communist replacements), which is why it “won out” over the other dialects.

  17. Might Hong Kong’s story end badly? Of course it might. I expected a bad ending long ago, and am praying for them every day.

    Ditto.

  18. “As American companies go over, one after the other to kiss China’s dictatorial… feet, I’m finding the revolt of Hong Kong against the mainland’s attempt at imposing tyranny upon the island is a neat and clear separator of those who hate freedom and those who love it.”

    Recalling our conversation of the other day about marking targets, I hope everyone is writing down names of companies and CEOs etc. for future reference.

    For example, Apple is knuckling under to the Chicoms while Samsung is pulling ALL their factories out of China right now. Your next cell phone purchase or PC purchase should be decided as of now. Tim Cook made that decision for you.

    Same with Activision/Blizzard, same with Nike, the NBA, and so forth. Movie stars and companies coming out in support of Communist China are picking sides with the tyrants and against us citizens of North America. It is incumbent upon every peace-loving American, Canadian Brit etc. to see to it that the lot of them end up out on the street selling pencils.

    • For example, Apple is knuckling under to the Chicoms while Samsung is pulling ALL their factories out of China right now. Your next cell phone purchase or PC purchase should be decided as of now. Tim Cook made that decision for you.

      An intelligent and over-due move, but it’s the RIGHT move at a good time so I ain’t complainin!

      • Now, your comment sets me halfway wondering if Samsung had been eyeing the move and prepared for there to be a last straw.

        • They do a lot of development stuff, and China kinda…totally ignores IP laws…so possible.

        • Samsung is a Korean company. Given how China’s been throwing its weight around for a while now, I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung’s been planning to move their facilities for a while now.

          Of course, the drawback to using a Samsung phone (as I am right now) is that they use Google’s operating system.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            There’s apparently something going on between South Korea and Japan now.

            Given the Youtube is for some reason putting its thumb on the scale by showing me a picture of the South Korean president, I suspect the PRC is trying to take an active role.

            • There’s always something going on between South Korea and Japan. It’s left-overs of World War 2, when Korea was a part of Japan. How much is going on between the two countries largely depends on South Korea’s current leadership. How much those left-overs amount to is speculation best left to historians, as I’ve heard that the South Koreans played up some elements of it after the War ended.

              IIRC, the current president of South Korea is not a fan of Japan.

              • Excuse me. It is leftovers from BEFORE WWII, when Japan invaded and colonized Korea. It is one reason why you find so many Korean Christians–converting was an anti-colonial act of rebellion.

                The animosity is real, and it complicates defense strategies and exercises something fierce.

                • Invaded? Not really. There was no military struggle between Japan and Joseon (Korea). Japan didn’t land an army that fought its way inland until they conquered the capitol. No, instead gunboat diplomacy was used to get Joseon to open up to the outside world via an (unequal) treaty between Japan and Joseon. Japan then came to exert more and more influence over the country in the subsequent decades. Joseon was declared a protectorate via treaty in 1905, and finally annexed entirely in 1910.

                  The Korean series Mr. Sunshine (which is available on Netflix) purports to show the state of affairs in Korea both before and after the 1905 treaty. The portrayal of the Japanese is, to put it bluntly, not at all flattering. However, at least some of the attitudes shown by the Japanese appear to be anachronistic, showing elements of culture that I believe didn’t show up for another couple of decades (i.e. things that were quite literally influenced by what happened to the Japanese in the war with Russia, which has not yet taken place when the series starts). So I strongly suspect that there’s significant patriotic pro-Korean anti-Japan propagandizing going on there. Having said that, I enjoyed the series.

                  • I’d call the events under Toyotomi Hideyoshi an invasion, but that might be too far back to count (unless you mean the ongoing fight over the Hill of Ears.) (1592-93, and 1597-98)

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    First Sino-Japanese War. 1895.

                    And from the internal censorship and other institutions showing up early in Meiji, I have a vague, poorly educated suspicion that the road to WWII was pretty heavily selected then.

                    • My info is that Russia-Japan caused some consternation. Japan won the war, but Japanese troops had been taken as POWs by the Russians during the war. According to what I’ve read, this (which would have been unremarkable elsewhere in the industrialized world) caused some consternation among the Japanese military leadership (Japanese troops shouldn’t be surrendering if they’re winning!), which prompted the military leaders to look for a fix. The one that they apparently settled on was screwed up bushido.

                    • I have read arguments asserting that particular road was paved by Nobel Laureate Teddy Roosevelt brokering the peace with an implicit guarantee that the Japanese would be permitted (expected to take responsibility for) a sphere of influence along the Eastern Pacific rim, shouldering the burden of bringing their yellow brothers into enlightened civilization just as Europeans were taking on the chore of uplifting Africa. This is part of the reason they were so put out over Western sanctions of their “bringing civilization to” China in the Thirties.

                      Not generally a topic “responsible” historians tend to discuss … not, at least, if they want to be published.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      That may be what happened at the level of the military organization.

                      I think the way they implemented the national school system and other things set the civil society up for failure in that way.

                      Childhood is the foundation on which you build a soldier or a warrior. Meiji was caused by the breakdown of the system that the Shogunate had been using to maintain civil peace, so they set up a centrally controlled system to replace the old ways.

                      The internal propaganda system that would have had the Japanese almost literally fighting to the last toothless grandma and suckling babe did not spring forth from Hirohito’s head fully grown in, say, 1935

                      There were cultural factors and institutions that predated Meiji and exacerbated things. And the late 19th century was a bad time to be dragged kicking and screaming from agrarian feudalism into an industrial society.

                    • Bob –

                      Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the screwed up Bushido was the *only* cause of Japan’s issues in the ’30s and ’40s. It was just one element of the toxic mix. My point was that particular element in question was on display in the Korean series Mr. Sunshine, even though my understanding is it wouldn’t become common for another decade or two.

                      RES –

                      My understanding is that there was a conversational exchange between a member of one of the early Twentieth-Century American administrations and a member of the then-current Japanese officialdom. This exchange is often represented by some individuals as a “you get Korea, we get the Philippines” statement between the US and Japan. But I’ve also heard a counter-argument that the exchange was much less “granting the Japanese control” than it was a mere statement of the current spheres of influence (since Korea was next door to Japan, making it easy for Japan to contest any other nation’s attempts to exert influence there), and that the people who assert that the exchange “granted” colonial control overlook most of the exchange to focus in on just one part of it.

                • James Bradley’s The Imperial Cruise covers the period. Fascinating stuff.

        • “Why should we pay Chinese rates when we can do it cheaper in North Korea?”

          Well, maybe not quite yet, but if reunification happens, there’ll be a huge pool of cheap local labor…

    • I really don’t know why anyone buys Apple over Android to begin with. Android is cheaper and works just as well, and Samsung doesn’t get up to nearly as many shenanigans as Apple does.

      • I’d say it works better, if only due to fewer single-routes-to-fail-in situations.

      • In recent years, Apple has made noises about being more privacy-friendly than Google.

        • Oh yeah, THAT’S a high standard!

          • I confess, my first reaction was to start constructing parallels …

            Al Gore was the most ethical member of the Clinton Administration.

            Teddy Kennedy was the Democrat senate’s greatest champion of women’s rights.

            The Teamsters brought in Jimmy Hoffa Jr. to combat their reputation for corruption.

          • Yeah, and since Google’s so blatant about it, that’s a reason why someone might prefer to go with Apple. Apple at least acknowledges that there are privacy concerns, and has at times taken open steps to maintain customer confidentiality (even if I wish one of those steps hadn’t involved the phone belonging to the San Gabriel shooter a few years ago).

    • Apple is knuckling under to the Chicoms

      This is somewhat astounding, as there is NOTHING in Apple’s past corporate practices that would lead me to believe they would tolerate cooperation with an intrusive state hostile to citizens’ property rights!

      (Sent from my i-phone.)

    • South Park had a recent episode that absolutely skewered the people kowtowing to the Chicoms. And they skewered the NBA BEFORE the NBA had the tweet-apology incident.

    • Some here may be aware of new conservative dissident site The Dispatch, home to Weekly Standard and National Review refugees as Stephen Hayes, Jonah Goldberg and David French. In their Morning Dispatch mailer today was this reported news sighting:

      The New York Times reported early Friday morning that the government was moving to tamp down protests of the NBA they’d previously been whipping up for days: “Editors at state news outlets have told reporters to avoid emphasizing the N.B.A. issue for fear that it might become overheated, according to interviews with three journalists on Thursday.”

      • I’m wondering, what if some people attended an NBA game and held up a banner with a picture of Eric Garner and the legend, “I Can’t Breathe.” … and then a while later flipped it to display the same legend on the reverse side but a picture of Hong Kong protesters …

  19. EXTREMELY OFF TOPIC BUT: as many here are customers of Audible recorded books, watch your email and spam filter for a notice of Settlement of a Class Action lawsuit (McKee vs Audible) against Audible/Amazon:

    Notice of Final Approval of Class Action Settlement
    This notice relates to a final class action settlement. Please read this notice carefully. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

    A class action settlement was approved by the court on August 8, 2019 in the following lawsuits: Grant McKee et al. v. Audible, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-01941 (C.D. Cal.), and Eric Weber et al. v. Amazon.com, Inc., and Amazon Services LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-08868 (C.D. Cal.). The purpose of this notice is to inform settlement class members about the final settlement and steps to take to participate in the benefits of the settlement.

    What was the lawsuit about? These two lawsuits challenged the sufficiency of information provided to Audible customers about how membership credits work, claiming that customers may not understand that unredeemed credits are lost upon cancellation of a membership plan or upon reaching rollover limits and, for gift memberships, that credits expire following the end of the gift membership term. The lawsuits also challenged the adequacy of information provided to Audible customers related to Audible’s practice of charging other credit or debit cards on file with a customer’s Amazon account if a customer’s primary card is declined. Audible and its parent company, Amazon, dispute the claims in each of the lawsuits and believe that their business practices, and the information provided about them, are clear and understandable to customers and comply with all applicable laws.

    Why was there a settlement? No court decided in favor of either side in any of the lawsuits. Plaintiffs and their lawyers believe that the settlement is fair and in the best interest of the class because it provides appropriate recovery for class members now, while avoiding the risk, expense, uncertainty, and delay of continuing to pursue the lawsuits. Audible and Amazon do not believe that the claims against them had merit, but they agreed to settle because they believe that it is in the best interests of both the Audible business and Audible’s customers to enter into the settlement.

    Who is in the settlement class? You are a member of the class affected by the settlement if you fit within one or more of these definitions and did not submit a valid opt out:

    0 ~ Regular Member Class: “all individual consumers of Audible in the United States who, between March 10, 2013 and August 17, 2018, lost any unredeemed Paid Membership Credits.”

    0 ~ Gift Member Class: “all individual consumers of Audible in the United States who, between August 11, 2011 and August 17, 2018, purchased or redeemed an Audible Gift Membership that resulted in one or more unredeemed Audible gift membership credits being lost.”

    0 ~ Payment Card Class: “all individual consumers of Audible in the United States who, between March 10, 2013 and August 17, 2018, incurred charges from Audible to a credit or debit card other than the card originally designated as the primary payment card for the customer’s Audible membership.”

    What benefits are available to class members?

    1. Audiobook Selections: Regular Class Members and Gift Class Members (as defined above) are eligible to receive between one and four audiobooks from a settlement catalog, according to the following:

    0 ~ Credit(s) Lost from Rollover Limit. Every Regular Class Member who lost one or more Paid Membership Credit(s) from March 10, 2013 through August 17, 2018 due to rollover limits will be eligible to select one audiobook from the settlement catalog.

    0 ~ Credit(s) Lost from Cancellation. Every Regular Class Member who lost one or more Paid Membership Credit(s) from March 10, 2013 through August 17, 2018 due to cancellation of the member’s Audible membership will be eligible to select one audiobook from the settlement catalog.

    0 ~ Lost Gift Membership Credit(s). Every Gift Class Member who lost one or more Audible gift membership credit(s) from August 11, 2011 through August 17, 2018 will be eligible to select one audiobook from the settlement catalog.

    In addition, any class member who lost five or more credits in the aggregate under any of the circumstances identified above will be eligible to select one additional audiobook, for a total of up to four audiobooks.

    The settlement catalog will have at least 200,000 audiobook titles, will consist of titles that have the same general list pricing as Audible’s overall library, and will include certain celebrity narrations, exclusive content, award winners, and best sellers. The settlement catalog will be available for at least one year from when Audible first makes the Settlement Catalog available.

    How to find out if you are eligible for one or more free audiobooks:
    Audible will send a separate email to all class members who are eligible to receive one or more audiobooks from the Settlement Catalog, which will contain one or more links to the Settlement Catalog, where the eligible class members can select the audiobook(s) they are eligible to select, with instructions on how to complete their audiobook selections.

    Audible will also send a reminder email regarding audiobook selections between 15 and 30 days before the one-year period ends to all class members who have remaining audiobook selections.

    2. Reimbursement of Qualified Payment Card Expenses: Payment Card Class Members may be eligible to receive reimbursement for any Qualified Payment Card Expense that they submit to Audible along with proper documentation within 60 days of this notice of final approval of settlement. A “Qualified Payment Card Expense” means an overdraft fee or similar fee for exceeding an available balance incurred by a Payment Card Class Member between March 10, 2013 and August 17, 2018 as a direct result of Audible having charged a backup payment card instead of the Payment Card Class Member’s primary payment card. To be eligible for reimbursement, a Payment Card Class Member must submit documentation sufficient to confirm that the expenses submitted for reimbursement are Qualified Payment Card Expenses. Detailed instructions on how to submit a reimbursement claim can be found here: https: // adbl . co/overdraft. [Remove inserted spaces to activate link]

    3. Improved Disclosures: The settlement will result in additional disclosures from Audible regarding how credits work and its payment processes.

    Additional information and documents related to the Settlement are available at http://www.mckeesettlement.com.

  20. A friend of mine that studied this way too much told me a few year ago about China-
    1)Corruption is endemic. It is rarely blatant, which is when they start to “crack down”, but if you can cheat your way to a win-still a win.

    The new Bay Bridge here in San Francisco had to get all the steel parts from China because there wasn’t a foundry or mill in the US that could make them (thanks, EPA!). The bolts they used…about half of them suffered massively increased (i.e. “almost before your eyes”) rusting when exposed to salt air. Like in a major bay…which cost the State of California several million dollars to pull and replace all the defective bolts.

    My friend told me stories of items that failed QC testing (back in the day when they hired external QC people to check, because you couldn’t trust the locals) and were supposed to be destroyed, he could find in the local market, not more than a half hour’s walk away. Which is why he very carefully avoided any “made in China” products where he could.

    2)With corruption, you have deception and treachery. My friend had stories of being offered nearly a million dollars-in cash, in the classic Halliburton briefcase-to give a favorable report to his bosses. He has good sources that say that even larger bribes are common for big contracts. The Chinese government requires you to work with a local company (which is has ties to the local, regional, or national power brokers), the land taxes are carefully “tailored” so that you have to play along or you get hit by a huge tax bill, and you almost never win a court case if you discover that somebody is stealing your IP and they have ties to the Party or the Army.

    Look up “Ghost Cities” and you’ll see that there are whole cities that nobody lives in…but people “own,” because “owning property” is a sign of success. And, that rabbit hole goes even deeper.

    From there? Same friend told me of at least two passes at honey traps with some very pretty and young girls at the hotel bar he was at. He didn’t get caught, but he knows guys and girls that did get caught. Or getting caught with worse crimes and a “friend” bailing them out, for a little favor…

    3)China, as a regional area, is one bad Spring away from famine. Always has been, always will be. Shitty rivers, poor water tables, lack of really good arable land for non-mechanized farming, and this is a historic issue. There isn’t enough of the factors to really lift the area up into “first world” territory.

    Pork, for example, is a major protein staple and luxury good, and it’s one of the biggest imports from the US. Trump even suggesting the flow could be cut off did more to bring the Chinese to the bargaining table than you might think…

    4)Chinese history follows a pretty consistent cycle of revolution, reform, stagnation, corruption, then collapse from external invasion or internal revolution, roughly about 70-150 years or so (i.e. about three generations). He thinks a combination of “the world’s largest untapped market” and the Chinese Communists learning from the Russian example (i.e. get market reforms in FAST, so the locals have something better than borscht and vodka!) is keeping the “corruption to collapse” cycle from happening.

    5)This is another battle between Shanghai and Hong Kong for the economic center of China. They can’t think in terms of “winning a little”-it’s win everything or you’ve lost. Shanghai is in the good graces of the Party, but Hong Kong makes more money and has a better rep than Shanghai. So, if you can’t win on your own merits, make the other guy lose-and you still win, because you’ve still got something.

    6)The Internet hasn’t quite gotten to the point of being a good totalitarian tool yet. Hong Kong, for example, if it happened 20-25 years ago, probably would have been a lot of hang-wringing on CNN and maybe that would be it. Now, they’ve created something that the more blatant threats and “nice industry you got here, shame if something happened to it” comments are not going to put in the bag yet. And, it might cause enough of a backlash in the United States that companies will pull out or reduce their China footprint because no matter how good the theoretical Chinese market is, they’ll lose money now if they stay there. And that money is what is keeping the “corruption to collapse” cycle from happening.

    7)China, especially it’s politicians, have been playing up “we make Communism work!” to the West for decades. Which is why your local Leftist isn’t going to come down too hard on them for Hong Kong, the Ungars, Tibet, etc, etc… (Omelet, eggs, cracking, all those things.) Hell, they think that they’re a good model and that if they’re good little Leftists, they’ll get in on the ground floor when things change.

    Look, Regan showed that dictatorships like this are tough but fragile-you know where to hit them, they fall down. I suspect that this might hit them where it hurts…

    • I think it’s starting to catch on that the Chinese market isn’t worth the IP theft and officially sanctioned counterfeiting.

      Likewise, their much touted “Belt & Road” initiates in the 3rd world is actually doing their reputation far more harm than good. While the kleptocrats may like the kickbacks and payoffs, a lot of resentment is being built up among the grassroots people. They’re the ones getting squeezed out of retail by the PLA owned stores selling shoddy merch that breaks after a month or two. They’re the ones seeing their countrymen abused, harassed, and berated by Chinese expat workers. They are the ones having to deal with pollution from Chinese mining concerns that give nothing back to the places they spoil, or deal with illegal hardwood harvesting.

  21. The idiot woman who was filmed screaming they should just turn themselves in because resistance was futile, or whatever? She was saying “I’d rather live in chains, come enslave me.”

    She may be saying that, but she doesn’t believe that, although she might feel she’s “oppressed”, you know, living in Trump’s Amerikkka. Long ago, I came to the conclusion that people like her are so wrapped up in their personal grievances that they’re completely indifferent to real oppression in the rest of the world. Feminists who can’t be bothered to give a hearing to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example.

    • Feminism started out with a heavy dose of “Waaa! I live in the first world in the 20th century! I’m sooo oppressed!” And it rapidly took over what little value the movement may have had.

      And, BTW, Betty ‘Pinko’ Friedan did NOT start ‘second wave’ feminism. She started feminism, period. The women’s suffrage, temperance, and education movement dealt with real world issues, and if some of its proponents were notably whacko (*cough* Carry Nation *cough*) many were not. It was something completely different from the bunch of sniveling, privileged twunts who call themselves ‘feminists’.

      • Feminism suffers the same problem that any movement encounters: the people willing to show up for the organizational meetings tend to be the most emotionally disturbed. Before long the sane participants are either driven insane (“activated” in movement-speak) or wander off to more productive uses for their time. Before long the remaining activists start employing purity tests (to be a feminist you must be at least this tall denounce the patriarchy) further refining the nuttiness.

        Which is one reason Eric Hoffer’s observation holds true: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

  22. Far smarter people than her do.)

    Yea, but nearly all of humanity still leaves…. most of humanity.

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