Hong Kong’s fragile democracy was daggered today

If you want to get a good idea of just how viciously evil Chairman Xi is (and with what callousness he views hundreds-of-thousands of virus deaths) you need look no further than what’s been done to Hong Kong these last few months.

To Xi and the Communist Party a global catastrophe they caused is the chance to crush any remaining freedoms in Hong Kong for good.  Effective today Beijing basically just said they can rule by decree and override Hong Kong’s neutered legislature.

That’s it folks, there’s nothing left.  The executive, the business community, and certainly the police are already apparatchiks, without elected legislators who matter it’s over.  There’s nothing stopping Beijing from criminalizing anything that displeases them.

Kindly observe how the planet does not care.  America is lead by a guy who clearly doesn’t believe in universal human rights.  Britain only wants a trade deal from China.  The EU is so dysfunctional it couldn’t change the battery on a wall clock.

A lot of folks have made the case since 1989 that China was somehow a safer global power than the Soviet Union ever was because China wasn’t actively trying to export their system of governance to the world.  I disagreed then, I disagree now.

Xi and the Communist Party have a very clear idea of how they believe the entire human race should live.  Anybody who thinks they’re going to stop at Hong Kong is a fool.  If I was Taiwanese, I’d be terrified.

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Circa 2022, they’ll do the same thing to this guy, only at 1am and inside his home

CDC turns, now Tory reactionaries

Hey I get it, fighting covid must be really hard and stressful, but how does that equate to the CDC trying to turn back the clock to 1775?  This poster was on the subway this morning, it’s asinine.  This is probably the first time since the Stamp Act that a British royal crown has existed on an official US government document.

Better watch out fellow patriots, the CDC is out to slit your throats at night in order to restore QE2 to her rightful throne.  A new castle shall be built for her, on the grounds of the Washington Monument after it’s brutally razed by CDC funded bulldozers crewed by drunken EPL hooligans.

I won’t stand for it.  I shall fight!  To start my struggle, I shall ignore the poster’s instructions that I wash my hands.  Only Tory scum wash their hands.  How could this possibility go wrong for me?!

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go get some tar and feathers

competence is the only power over the virus

It would seem virus battle tactics are the new arena of politics.  In an era where everything must be political, soon your tooth brushing method will determine how you vote.

In the meantime, the debate has centered on whether to reopen the economy and risk increased death.  Or to keep the economy closed and risk financial death.  Both these options suck.

But there’s a third way that folks seem to mostly ignore which is what I find baffling.  China’s Communist Party’s talking point is only their all powerful neck stopping model can defeat the virus.  They’re lying, started this to begin with, and are downplaying their own virus infection/death statistics.

The answer lies in South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and to a lesser extent Germany.  This is the competent category.

Into the incompetent category you can shove the US, Italy, France, Spain, Britain, and of course Communist China.  The answer to this virus is simply that government should do its job.  Instead of sucking.

Sure, there are significant privacy, social, cultural, and obedience factors that likely make introducing a South Korean virus battle methodology into the US problematic, but does that mean it shouldn’t be seriously discussed?  Instead of, you know, just keeping to the same failed talking points both sides have adopted?  The virus doesn’t care who folks voted for.  South Korea never even executed a full lockdown.

I think in the coming decades this will become a more glaring aspect of our planet.  Sure, the differences between democracy and oligarchy are stark.  But what will really set apart nations is simply those that are governed competently, and those that are not.  It will be readily apparent say by 2035, and the split begins now.

Solo trashes Falcon (again)

In the third incident this year alone, dashing war hero General Han Solo crashed landed the Millennium Falcon into a bantha manure pile barn.  Witnesses say they observed a drunken Solo depart The Cantina only minutes before the increasing common aviation incident.

The episode mirrors other recent occurrences such as where Solo taxied his borrowed T-16 across an active landing pad.  Or when several years ago Solo flew the Falcon low over a transport carrying 110 civilian passengers.

In the latest event Solo was said to have been upset after he and General Leia ended their tumultuous but galaxy wide famed relationship for the fourth time in five years.  “I really don’t know why he tied one on like that,” said ace pilot and obsessive skirt chaser Wedge, “They’re just gonna get back together again in a few months.”

The Falcon is said to be down for several weeks of repairs.  But perhaps the more significant concern were the injuries sustained by famed Rebel warrior Chewbacca whose ultra long right leg suffered fractures in five places.  As a warlike race, when told he would require several surgeries and months of hoverchair time the wookie was said to have moaned, “Kill me.  Please, kill me,” repeatedly to a largely disinterested medical droid.

Critics, likely Imperial sympathizers, have suggested that were Solo anybody but General Solo he would have lost his pilot’s license years ago.  “Are you kidding me,” said Constable Red Shirt, “If I took his license the Rebel underground would have my throat slashed that very night.”

Others have wondered if a breathing device could be affixed to the Falcon’s cockpit to verify Solo was sober before powering up the engines but others are skeptical of the plan.  Said Wedge, “He’d just shoot it first.”

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Civil War – 22 April 1862 – a visit from Uncle

The Battle of Shiloh was fought 06-07 April 1862 and was the first truly massive battle in the Western Theater and up to that point the largest of the war.  Its ferocity must have shocked the civilian population on both sides who even though the war was almost a year old probably still assumed somehow that massive bloodshed could have been avoided.

Instead, the stakes of the war and how strongly the individual soldier believed in their view of it shone through.  Entire units would fight nearly to the last man rather than retreat.  Men who were exhausted from the worst day of their lives yesterday, would show up today and do it all over again.  It wouldn’t be for the last time.

Two weeks later the Union Army remained encamped on their victorious battlefield at Shiloh.  Private Lucius Barber, then 22, was in Company D of the 15th Illinois Volunteer Infantry:

I was agreeably surprised one morning when I awoke to find Uncle Washington in my tent.  My friends had sent him down to see if anything was needed.  Although his services were not required, his company was very acceptable.  He stayed a couple of weeks with us and then returned home.  The roads were in an awful condition at the time and it was impossible for the army to move…

You’re in the bloodiest war in American history (though nobody knew that yet) and your Uncle shows up just to check on you.  Note a few things from this short passage:

– A walk (or he could have rode) from Illinois to Shiloh and a multi-week stay is not a minor amount of time, one wonders what, if any, employment Uncle Washington had

– Note that his friends, undoubtedly shocked by what they had read of the battle, sent Barber’s Uncle to check on him

– His friends were still at home, not yet enlisted in the Army, over the years this would have changed as the war turned into mass mobilization for both sides

– The roads were impossible for movement by armies, but apparently not by one Uncle checking in on his family

In wouldn’t be the last the war would hear from Private Barber.

work is an intrusion to home

Every human needs a sanctuary, a place where they can unplug and not be accountable to anybody but themselves or their immediate family.

For the white collar worker this evil virus has eviscerated that line.  Yes, it’s been dulled for years as high fliers or big shots checked their work e-mail at 12:31 in the morning just to keep themselves in the game, but now it’s in overdrive.

For blue collar workers who are either out of a job or have to expose themselves to the virus every day on the jobsite this is a good problem to have though.

I’m now on week two of online conferences and courses for work at home and it’s extremely jarring.  I don’t want to hear big shot #43 run his mouth about how awesome he is while I hear my washing machine go.  It’s an intrusion on my castle.  It feels odd.  It feels wrong.  Honestly, I’d just rather be at work.

A few publications that aren’t busy (still) playing politics have begun to ask very important questions about where society will be after the first global pandemic in a century.  My worry at this particular moment is the work world and the your world will be essentially blended from now on.  You did it for months, so why can’t your boss ask you do to work at home whenever the hell they want?  At whatever time they want?

This isn’t normal and it isn’t human.  But whether we like it or not, maybe it will become the new normal?