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02 September 2019


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I do like Chinese (Szechuan) food and am acquainted with several Chinese people who seem decent. Of isms and parties and governmental forms I am not enamoured.
In American democracy, I have three choices, usually: vote against one person or against the other person or do not vote. Not voting is not an option, the vote is the only weapon the citizen has. Of course since it is the citizen's weapon it will be diluted by allowing, encouraging and getting out the non-citizen vote.
Earlier in this thread you made some comments regarding the inalienable rights of man. Other than the right to dream between my own ears and behind my closed eyes, there are no other rights or privileges that cannot be taken without warning and on the whim of some functionary or bureaucrat or minion of whatever nation's government one wishes to talk about.
The right to life, let us ask Jeffrey Epstein to moderate that discussion and we can invite Whitey Bulger and his handler Robt. Mueller to contribute.
The right to liberty, subordinated to our right to be taxed.
I am old, I dislike much of what I see the USA becoming. And I keep seeing the congress and the administration inserting themselves into other peoples problems and trying to solve the world while the bridges fall down and the potholes propagate and the rivers of human pooh stream down the streets of San Francisco and Seattle.
There is absolutely nothing about Iran or Iraq or Syria or Yemen or Lebanon that requires the USA to waste lives and money there.
We are now going into year 19 in Afghanistan from which investment of lives and money we have profited in what way?
"Is it good for American citizens? If not, don't." Simplistic maybe but I like it.


More projection. You have no idea about my position on Russia and Iran. If you’ve read my posts at SST over the past decade you would know that I have advocated non-interventionism. I have advocated military withdrawal from Europe and the Middle East and rapprochement with Putin.

The totalitarian CCP is however a malign influence with territorial ambition and a world view antithetical to free people and there comes a point when one needs to stand up before it metastasizes into something even more virulent. They’ve been coddled for far too long and precisely because they believe that we will continue to ignore clear signs of their malevolent intent is why we’ve reached this point. It should be clear to even the most casual observer that the CCP will flout any agreement and no deal can be achieved with them. They need to be destroyed now before a catastrophic global war that you seem so concerned about is unleashed.

The fact that you keep projecting demonstrates the obtuseness in your arguments. The only conclusion that can be made is that the survival of the Iranian theocracy in your opinion is tied to the totalitarian CCP. Good luck! As many countries around the world are belatedly recognizing the CCP may seem to bring gifts but instead bring enslavement.

It seems Xi has blinked in HK as the world watched the good people of HK stand up against their creeping tyranny. Now is not the time to back off instead it is the time to continue to ratchet up the pressure. The time has come to break the CCP. The people of Taiwan have built a very successful, pluralistic society. You are willing to sacrifice them in the belief that the totalitarian CCP will protect the Iranian theocracy. Just like you’ve abandoned your fellow Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang. Millions of whom are facing brutal repression for practicing their faith. You clearly don’t care if they are enslaved and brutalized. Your concern about war seems like hogwash in light of this.

I believe that the US must stand with the people of Taiwan who have demonstrated that the people of Chinese ethnicity have the ability to build and sustain free and open societies, unlike Walrus’s patronizing analysis above. These are the little guys that deserve our support and there still remain many Americans who are not afraid to confront a tyrannical political force with a totalitarian ideology hell bent on expanding beyond their borders and defend people that live and seek liberty.

JP Billen

HK Chief Exec Carrie Lam says she is going to withdraw the Extradition Act. That may (or not) calm things down. Some are claiming she is running a 'bait and switch' scheme.

JP Billen

Ooops! Here is the link: https://twitter.com/SCMPNews/status/1169255042789998598


Canada is one of the 3 least violent countries on this continent; the other 2 being Costa Rica and Chile.

Her cities are clean and her citizens enjoy socialized medicine.

For decades they were supplying UN forces to keep the peace here and there.

Admittedly, they are a US protectorate and picking a fight against China is stupid for them.

blue peacock

You ain't fooling anyone. Your "analysis" is rather transparent demonstrating you're a jealous, anti-American propagandist. Hey, how come you're not living in the Chavista or CCP utopia? All hat and no cattle. The typical armchair Marxist wearing the Mao hat and sipping cappuccino. Pretentious to the core.

English Outsider

Just wonder if the Dragon's more worried about security in the vast non-Han territories than in all the drama at the front door. By the same token, Babak, may I repeat a question from some time ago and ask whether the security situation in Baluchestan is similarly causing the Iranians concern?


I'm not sure a colony ruled by a democracy qualifies as having a democratic tradition. The British felt no qualms about denying democracy to Hong Kong while they were in charge.


“I suggest you have real issues inside of yourself.”

It seems the real reason for you casting aspersions on my psychological state is this. Its all about the cash!! Sell out fellow Muslims. Of course they’re not my sect. Ditch your high minded pronouncements and have the courage to state why you’re CCP’s bitch. You’re owned!


...China will invest $280bn developing Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors....There will be another $120bn investment in upgrading Iran's transport and manufacturing infrastructure...Among other benefits, Chinese companies will be given the first refusal to bid on any new, stalled or uncompleted oil and gasfield developments. Chinese firms will also have first refusal on opportunities to become involved with any and all petchems projects in Iran, including the provision of technology, systems, process ingredients and personnel required to complete such projects.

"This will include up to 5,000 Chinese security personnel on the ground in Iran to protect Chinese projects,...."China will also be able to buy any and all oil, gas and petchems products at a minimum guaranteed discount of 12pc to the six-month rolling mean price of comparable benchmark products, plus another 6pc to 8pc of that metric for risk-adjusted compensation."

"Given the exchange rates involved in converting these soft currencies into hard currencies that Iran can obtain from its friendly Western banks—including Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank [in Germany], Oberbank [in Austria] and Halkbank [in Turkey]—China is looking at another 8-12pc discount [relative to the dollar price of the average benchmarks], which

different clue

I don't think that "air quotes" around the phrase climate change will work any more to suggest the climate is not changing. And since the phrase climate change was invented by Frank Luntz after some extensive focus-group researching to find a friendly fuzzier word for global warming, I don't think that putting "air quotes" around the ongoing changes' more accurately descriptive name of global warming will work any more either.

And in fact, it might be time to call the process global heating. Because enough surplus one-way heat has been building up now to melt significant volumes of ice in glaciers and non-polar ice fields and around the edges of the major polar ice caps. One can call it "evidence" in an effort to wish it away, but it won't be wished away successfully.

One could still put "air quotes" around the words "man made" in the phrase "man made" global heating . . . if one wishes. Since I am reasonably impressed with a fairly high degree of personal confidence in the fact-supported reality-basedness of the man made global warming theory, I don't put any "air quotes" around it.

But that is still a discussion which could be had, if one wishes.

different clue

Earlier, she had said "table" the act. The HK people noted that "table" is not the same as "withdraw". They called on her to "withdraw" the act. If she is now saying that she is going to withdraw the act, the HK people will watch to see if she really DOES withdraw the act.

And given the police nastiness since the original protests . . . and the HK government use of Triad enforcers to beat down protesters at a particular protest . . . the HK protesters and protest-sympathisers probably want more than just truthfully withdrawing the Extradition Act. I think they have said they want a real inquiry into police behavior, direct universal HK suffrage for an HK-based HK government, and some other things too.

If the CCP were to permit the HK people to be seen in public to win these things for real within the borders of HK in return for the HK peoples' public appearance of abject kow-towing to ultimate CCP sovereign national authority over HK; would that leave everyone involved feeling their respective survival interests have been protected?

In the meantime, while it is true that no Act of Congress can force the CCP or its HK agents on the scene in HK to change their behavior, freezing the CCP money parkers' money in place and forbidding the CCP money parkers from ever visiting ( and counting and fondling) their beautiful money will force them to eat some small fraction of the bitterness which they are feeding such heaping helpings of to the HK people.


Ran across this interesting academic paper out of Singapore published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on the cultural variation and tightness of control across China's provinces and how that impacts various factors such as innovation, acceptance of LGBQ (huh?) and such. Interesting reading. I found the academic's focal points curious.


Babak Makkinejad

Dragon is more concerned about internal stability than anything else. One whiff of chaos and millions would die.

Babak Makkinejad

The 2 million Deobandi Baluch whose sect considers the Shia to be heretics?

They are a challenge but not a crisis.

Google Makki Mosque in Zahedan


"Give me liberty or give me death"
Quite prescient of you, sir. That is exactly what the Hong Kong protest leaders were saying, according to Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, related by Schlapp this morning to WMAL's show "Mornings On the Mall."
At 4:23 https://omny.fm/shows/mornings-on-the-mall/wmal-interview-matt-schlapp-09-04-19

Thank you for the info on this bill. Many of us have been wondering how best to support the Hong Kong protest kids. This may help.
These kids are quoting our founders as well as carrying our flag and singing our national anthem. smh Amazing the influence our founders have, so many many years later. Would that our people felt that way again.

Babak Makkinejad

Look, you guys are living on an island surrounded by a sea of tyranny. You best try to preserve your own freedoms rather than picking fights with others. You cannot prevail and you will destroy your own freedoms in the process.

Barbara Ann

One Belt to rule them all, One Road to find them,
One Bank to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.


Would that it were so today:

"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: but she would be no longer the ruler of her own soul…"

J. Q. Adams Sec of State, 1821 response to the Greeks wanting the USA to intervene in their fight against the Ottomans.

Barbara Ann

I am very late to this discussion, but overall this sentiment most closely echos my own. Yes the CCP is a totalitarian monstrosity, but the best way to fight its abuses and that of numerous other tyrannies is not thru selective, unilateral action. Rather the US and other nations of free people should use the UN and other international bodies to deter/curb potential excesses - an obvious one being a potential crack down on legitimate protest in HK.

A far more clear and preset danger is the continued erosion of US moral leadership in the world. Reigning in the neocons and addressing domestic corruption should be this administration's priorities. It is also sadly ironic that the bill refers to "systems of mass surveillance and predictive policing" when systems like Peter Thiel's Palantir are already in use in LA and the ACLU is telling us that "William Barr Helped Build America’s Surveillance State".

I wish the people of HK luck in fighting for their rights. If the people of mainland China are happy to live in their gilded cage we should respect their right to do so. My primary interest in is stopping this cage forming around me.


I have met chinese people from hk and the mainland.done business with them.There is a difference.A subtle class difference and way of thinking.Mainland chinese could learn a thing or two from there brothers in hk,something no amount of new money can buy.


To be frank, I would remove Sweden and Switzerland and probably add indonesia. Pakistan as well, maybe even Ehtiopia/South Africa.

Germany is not sovereign. Which is not a fact I am fond off, and which also has reasons (mostly because millions of people have entirely legitimate beefs with German sovereignity based on German conduct the last time it was sovereign) that are understandable.
The question of how much vasallization penalty box time we earned based on our conduct is pretty interesting, and not evenly awnsered.

If you think that Israel has a powerfull hold on US politics, the US lobby in Germany is arguably stronger. There are also legal requirements from the 50s that are still in place, and which give the US right which are pretty equivalent what an imperial sovereign has over a vasall.

The US has essentially vasallized its allies (which took more or less long, France maintained independence longer then Britain), which btw. is also a reason for their limited military competence compared to prio to vasallization (Vasalls always fight worse then independents).

I mean, not that I blame the US for that, I would argue that most Empires would have done the same in the position, and that quite a few would have been far less polite about it (most notably the main competing Empire during the process of vasallisation).

In some ways, I believe that the "politeness" will come to bite the US in the back. Tribute to the USA is not paid formally, but is essentially done by selling real existing goods for US Dollars (created out of thin air by the fed and just somewhat backed by other peoples oil). Its nicer for the vasall then actually paying tribute directly, because he can use the dollars to purchase things not just from the US, or other US vasalls, but even from states outside of the US tributary sphere.
In a way, this means that US industries have to compete with free stuff, which they unsurprisingly arent very good at (who would?). It also inflates the Dollars value and makes US products less competetive, especially outside of its tributary sphere.

There is a second tributary aspect, which once more is perhaps too much politeness on the parts of the USA. In order to buy US protection, states frequently buy US weaponry. This massively inflates the prices of such weaponry (you dont buy F35 to actually use them in battle, you buy F35 to have more American planes crewed by Americans in battle on your side, a number of states are far more interesting in paying billions for the second thing). This is essentially resulting in many US weapon systems not being competetive with Russian, European (to a lesser extent because they suffer from second order defense price inflation as well) or Chinese systems from a "bang for the buck" perspective.

By pretending to not have a tribute system, the US essentially distorts and weakens its own economy.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.

So, roughly speaking, and taking cognizance of your comments, we have 10 sovereign states that could then convener a conferece and decide on the contours of a new peace to replace that of Yalta. The other 170 "independent" countries do not count.

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