Xi, Lam, and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam met in Beijing with People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang earlier this week.  Li said, in a press conference afterward,

The city’s government must continue to make efforts in stopping violence and ending chaos in accordance with the law, and restore order.

On this, I agree.  Lam must have her police stand down from provoking violence in the protests by Hong Kong’s citizens and then using that violence as pretext for shooting tear gas at the protesters, beating them, and shooting them with live ammunition.

Meetings and Talk

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam is in Beijing this week, her first meeting with her boss, People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, since pro-democracy parties rebuked and rejected Xi’s politicians in last month’s local Hong Kong elections.  It’s likely a Come to Jesus meeting, and Lam’s job may be on the line.

What’s truly cynical, though, is Lam’s Facebook postings.  (Use Bing Translator; it does a much better job than Facebook’s translation facility.) Deutsche Welle, at the first link above, has a sound summary of Lam’s words.

Foolishness

It seems a bunch of Army and Navy cadets flashed the “OK” sign—thumb and index finger touching in a circle with the remaining fingers extended—at last weekend’s Army-Navy football game. Now

West Point and Annapolis officials are trying to determine the motives

of those cadets.

Nonsense, and it’s…sad…to see otherwise intelligent Academy officials falling for the Left’s artificial hue and cry and wasting time looking into this. They’re just throwing their cadets under the bus by taking this idiocy seriously.

Only lately has the gesture been given

That Was The Point

The subheadline on a Sunday Wall Street Journal article says it all.

European voters have viewed the process so negatively that even EU-skeptic parties have mostly dropped talk of leaving the bloc or the euro

That was the entire motive for Brussels’ extended bad faith pseudo-negotiations with Great Britain after those uppity citizens voted to go out from the European Union. To be sure, Brit politicians, who insisted they Knew Better than their subordinate citizens, contributed to the mess with their own combination of arrogance and incompetent negotiating, but they just played into Brussels’ hands, they did not create the chaos.

Congressional Supremacy

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D, MI) was asked by Bill Hemmer on his Fox News show Friday morning after the Nadler Committee voted to send Articles of Impeachment to the House how she would vote on those Articles.

Slotkin led off by making a big deal about her CIA training (in objective analysis), then assuring us all that she would not vote based on polls, she would not be pushed one way or another, she would not vote based on newspaper articles.  No, she would vote on her gut and on what she thought was right.

Voting Rights

On the whole, convicted felons lose their right to cast votes in our elections for the rest of their lives. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) wants to restore this right to nonviolent felons.

It’s been a truism in our American jurisprudence and our American society that when a miscreant—a felon in the present case—has paid his debt to society (nominally including a measure of “make whole” his immediate victim), he should be allowed to start over, reenter society, and try to live honorably and on his own efforts rather than continuing to be dependent on society, a dependence begun with his dependence on our prison system for his existence as well as for his punishment.

“Peace” in Donbas

Russia and Ukraine say they have agreed a ceasefire, to be effective by year’s end, in eastern Ukraine, currently occupied by Russia (along with Crimea) and Russia-instigated and -backed “rebels.”  It’s an unsatisfactory ceasefire.

There is no agreement on a timetable for free elections in the occupied eastern oblasts, even assuming the dubious need at all for elections there separate from the regular national elections. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wants Russian troops out of those oblasts before the elections; Russia’s President Vladimir Putin insists merely that Ukraine should give those oblasts autonomy before the elections. Zelenskiy is right: elections have no possibility of being free with Russian troops occupying the region.  It’s an unsatisfactory ceasefire.

Short and Sweet

I watched the Nadler burlesque show that’s masquerading as the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing yesterday so you didn’t have to.  Here is the short and sweet of it.

The three Progressive-Democrat law professor witnesses each opened their opening statements by saying President Donald Trump was guilty and should be impeached even before they knew the impeachment charges being preferred.  They couldn’t know the charges because the Judiciary Committee has not written the articles of impeachment. Indeed, the committee chairman, Jerry Nadler (D, NY) has refused—and he refused repeatedly during yesterday’s show—even to say when the next hearing would be held or what witnesses would be called.

Surveillance

It turns out the People’s Republic of China government is a collection of pikers compared to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a pair of bills Monday, one of which will require all consumer electronic devices sold in the country to be pre-installed with Russian software, while the other will register individual journalists as foreign agents.

Government spyware pre-installed on Russian citizens’ devices, so Russia’s modern-day KGB successor can track where Russian citizens are, with whom they’re communicating, what they’re doing, down to the last detail.

Expanding Surveillance State

Want a new phone in the People’s Republic of China? You have to give up an image of your face to the government.

The requirement, which came into effect Sunday, is aimed at minimizing telephone fraud and preventing the reselling and illegal transfer of mobile phone cards, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a notice in September.

Right. That’s believable.  Never mind that

…facial recognition becomes more and more prevalent in [the PRC], with authorities applying artificial intelligence to sift through reams of data collected in a bid to boost the economy and centralize oversight of the population.