MCViewPoint

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Posts Tagged ‘China’

China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2019

Just make taping over phone/computer cameras illegal.

The FBI Director Puts Tape Over His Laptop Camera, Should You?

https://news.yahoo.com/china-introduces-mandatory-face-scans-phone-users-091042257.html

China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country’s information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls.

In September, China’s industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on “safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online”, which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.

The notice said telecom operators should use “artificial intelligence and other technical means” to verify people’s identities when they take a new phone number.

A China Unicom customer service representative told AFP that the December 1 “portrait matching” requirement means customers registering for a new phone number may have to record themselves turning their head and blinking.

“In next steps, our ministry will continue to…increase supervision and inspection…and strictly promote the management of real-name registration for phone users,” said the September notice.

Though the Chinese government has pushed for real-name registration for phone users since at least 2013 — meaning ID cards are linked to new phone numbers — the move to leverage AI comes as facial recognition technology gains traction across China where the tech is used for everything from supermarket checkouts to surveillance.

Online, Chinese social media users reacted with a mix of support and worry over the December 1 facial verification notice, with some voicing concerns their biometric data could be leaked or sold.

“This is a bit too much,” wrote one user on Twitter-like Weibo, commenting under an article about the new rules.

“Control, and then more control,” posted another…

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Russia And China Are Apparently Both Under The Impression That War With The United States Is Coming… – The American Dream

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2019

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/russia-and-china-are-apparently-both-under-the-impression-that-war-with-the-united-states-is-coming

Could it be possible that the U.S. is heading for a major war?  If you ask most Americans that question, they will look at you like you are crazy.  For most people in this country, war with either Russia or China is not something to even be remotely concerned about.  But the Russians and the Chinese both see things very differently.  As you will see below, Russia and China both seem to be under the impression that war with the United States is coming, and they are both rapidly preparing for such a conflict.

Let’s start with Russia.  After repeatedly slapping them with sanctions, endlessly demonizing their leaders and blaming them for just about every problem that you can imagine, our relationship with Russia is about the worst that it has ever been.

And when the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, that pushed things to a new low.  In the aftermath of that announcement, Russian official Andrei Belousov boldly declared that “Russia is preparing for war”

He said: “Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war.

Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it.

“We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people – we are preparing for such a war.”

Here in the United States, there is very little talk of a potential war with Russia in the mainstream media, but in Russia things are very different.  Russian news outlets are constantly addressing escalating tensions with the United States, and the Russian government has been adding fuel to that fire.  For example, the Russian government recently released a video of a mock nuclear strike against their “enemies”

Russian submarines have recently carried out a mock nuclear attack against their “enemies.” The Russian government has released footage of the atomic strike and it is sparking fears that the third world war is quickly approaching.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has published shocking videos that show a range of nuclear missile drills including a submarine carrying out a mock atomic strike. These videos are the latest in a series of escalating war-games ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The Express UK.

I’ll give you just one guess as to who the primary enemy in that drill was.

And what Russian President Vladimir Putin recently told the press about a potential nuclear war was extremely chilling

If any nation decides to attack Russia with nuclear weapons, it may end life on Earth; but unlike the aggressors, the Russians are sure to go to heaven, President Vladimir Putin has said.

“Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply drop dead, won’t even have time to repent,” Putin said during a session of the Valdai Club in Sochi.

Under normal circumstances, Putin would never talk like that.

But these are not normal times.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is ordering his military to focus on “preparations for fighting a war”

China’s President Xi Jinping ordered the military region responsible for monitoring the South China Sea and Taiwan to “assess the situation it is facing and boost its capabilities so it can handle any emergency” as tensions continue to mount over the future of the South China Sea and Taiwan, while diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing hit rock bottom.

The Southern Theatre Command has had to bear a “heavy military responsibility” in recent years, state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as saying during an inspection tour made on Thursday as part of his visit to Guangdong province.

“It’s necessary to strengthen the mission … and concentrate preparations for fighting a war,” Xi said. “We need to take all complex situations into consideration and make emergency plans accordingly. “We have to step up combat readiness exercises, joint exercises and confrontational exercises to enhance servicemen’s capabilities and preparation for war” the president-for-life added.

So who are the Chinese concerned that they may be fighting against?

Needless to say, the United States is at the top of the list

The president instructed the military to ramp-up opposition to ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises being undertaken by the US, Australia, France, the UK, Japan and others through the waterway through which arterial shipping lanes have grown since the end of World War II.

Tensions over the South China Sea have been increasing for several years, and starting a trade war with China in 2018 has certainly not helped things.

At this point, even many U.S. analysts can see the writing on the wall.  For instance, just consider what Harvard Professor Graham Allison recently told Steve LeVine

He said, if history holds, the U.S. and China appeared headed toward war.

Over the weekend, I asked him for an update — specifically whether the danger of the two going to war seems to have risen.

“Yes,” he responded. The chance of war is still less than 50%, but “is real — and much more likely than is generally recognized.”

Of course we didn’t get to this point overnight.  Tensions with Russia and China have been simmering for quite a while, and both of those nations have been rapidly modernizing their military forces.  For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled “Russia And China Are Developing Impressive New Weapons Systems As They Prepare For War Against The United States”.

Sadly, the vast majority of the U.S. population is utterly clueless about these things.

But those that are serving in the military have a much better understanding, and one recent survey found that about half of them expect the U.S. to be “drawn into a new war within the next year”…

We should hope for peace, but throughout human history peace has never lasted for long. Major global powers continue to edge closer and closer to conflict, and that is a very dangerous game to be playing.

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MoA – Why The Hong Kong Riots Are Coming To An End

Posted by M. C. on November 25, 2019

The plan failed because China was too smart to give the U.S. what it wanted. Now it is Trump who is under pressure. He needs the trade deal with China because the current trade war is doing harm to the U.S. economy and endangers his reelection.

Which is probably the real reason why the protests have died down.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/why-the-hong-kong-riots-are-coming-to-an-end.html

Moon of Alabama

The U.S. sponsored riots in Hong Kong are mostly over. They were sustained much longer than we had expected.

The “marginal violence” campaign of the “pro-democratic” students has failed to win more support for them. Regular Hongkongers are increasingly willing to take a stand against further provocations:

Demonstrators gathered at about 12.30pm on a bridge outside Exchange Square, which houses Hong Kong’s stock exchange in the city’s financial heartland, in another round of lunchtime protests that have been staged most days over the past two weeks.Scuffles broke out after a pro-police group of about 50 people showed up about an hour later, but police arrived soon after to clear the area.

During at least two altercations between some members of each group, an anti-government contingent yelled “go back to China” at their adversaries, and one of their number kicked a woman walking towards the smaller group.

Ten days ago the core of the black clad rioters began to paralyze Hong Kong’s traffic during regular workdays. They ransacked nearly every metro stations and barricaded large thoroughfares and tunnels. Schools were closed, businesses and workers were severely harmed.

One 70 year old street cleaner was killed when he was hit by a stone thrown by the rioters against civilians who tried to remove a barricade. A 57 year old man was drenched with gasoline and set alight after he verbally disagreed with the rioter’s ransacking of a metro station. A policeman was shot with an arrow.

The rioters occupied the Chinese University and the Polytechnic University (PolyU) which are next to large streets and the important Cross-Harbor-Tunnel. Using the universities as logistic bases and fortifications they managed to keep many roads closed throughout day and night. After some negotiations with the president of the Chinese University the rioters evacuated from there while leaving some 8,000 petrol bombs behind. They concentrated in the PolyU next to the Cross-Harbor-Tunnel.

That was a mistake.

Last Sunday the police surrounded the PolyU and let no one leave. Those who wanted out were either arrested or, when under 18, identified and handed to their parents. There were several violent battles when the rioters attempted to break through the police cordon but only a few escaped.


biggerAfter a few days most of those inside PolyU surrendered to the police.

Today there are still some 30 rioter holed up in a PolyU building. The police are waiting them out. They said that they had made more than a thousand arrests. The university is ransacked and there was significant battle damage. The rioters again left thousands of Molotov cocktails and other weapons behind.

The blockage of the city traffic and the increasing damage caused by rioter vandalism has alienated even those who earlier supported them. As the police now have most of the core rioters under arrest there is little chance that such violent protests will continue.

On Sunday there will be citywide district council elections in Hong Kong. China had pushed for the elections to go forward under all circumstances. Riot police will guard all polling stations.

Weeks ago the “pro-dem” candidates, who supported the rioters, were still poised to win more seats than they had held before the protests. But they now fear that the general public will punish them for the mayhem they have caused and will choose establishment candidates:

Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said while the turnout could set another record, the overall situation was more unpredictable than before.“The pan-democrats could have won a landslide victory if the elections had been held in the summer, when the protests erupted,” Choy said. “But after the recent clashes at two universities, undecided voters may be worried about public order and be discouraged from voting.

He was referring to fiery battles protesters fought with police outside Chinese University on November 12, followed by more confrontations outside Polytechnic University last week.

“It will be difficult for the camp to win more than half of the seats, as some originally envisaged,” Choy said.

The Hong Kong government has conceded none of the protesters’ “five demands”. The only thing that the protesters have won is the passing of legislation by the U.S. Congress:

The House of Representatives on Wednesday followed the lead of the Senate in overwhelmingly approving two pieces of legislation: The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which requires the president to annually review the favourable trading status that the US gives to Hong Kong, threatening to revoke it and impose penalties against officials if freedoms are determined to have been quashed; and the Protect Hong Kong Act, which will block the sale of tear gas and other policing items.The former, although largely symbolic, could alter Washington’s relationship with Hong Kong and Beijing.

US President Donald Trump has a straightforward choice on legislation passed on to him by the United States Congress supporting the protests that have engulfed Hong Kong – approve or veto. Coming amid tough bargaining on his trade war with China, he may be tempted to make his decision part of the negotiations.

But Beijing sees such measures as striking at the heart of Chinese sovereignty. Radical protesters could be spurred to greater violence. Unspecified countermeasures are promised should Trump give his approval.

But the trade war, violence and legislation have damaged business sentiment in Hong Kong. Approval or not, pessimism and uncertainty have already been deepened. There can be no winners.

Trump wants the trade deal with China and will therefore likely veto the bill:

Speaking on the “Fox & Friends” morning program, the president said that he was balancing competing priorities in the U.S.-China relationship.“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi [Jinping], he’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy, but we have to stand … I’d like to see them work it out, okay?” the president said. “I stand with freedom, I stand with all of the things that I want to do, but we are also in the process of making one of the largest trade deals in history. And if we could do that, it would be great.”

A veto would only have a temporary impact as the law has passed the House and Senate by veto proof majorities.

The idea behind the protests and the rioters In Hong Kong was all along to provoke another Tian An Men incident. This has been quite obvious since the start of the protest. It now gets publicly acknowledged:

BBC Newsnight @BBCNewsnight – 11:00 UTC · Nov 19, 2019“Some of the protesters seem to have an objective to provoke a military confrontation with China. They seem to want a Tiananmen Square outcome as success.”

Fmr Foreign Sec @Jeremy_Hunt says he is “concerned with the tactics” with some of #HongKong’s protesters

Had China moved troops to Hong Kong, or allowed more force to be used against the protesters, the U.S. would have used that to press its allies to put strong sanctions on China. The protesters’ violence was designed to achieve that outcome. The plan was part of the larger U.S. strategy of decoupling from China.

The plan failed because China was too smart to give the U.S. what it wanted. Now it is Trump who is under pressure. He needs the trade deal with China because the current trade war is doing harm to the U.S. economy and endangers his reelection.

Which is probably the real reason why the protests have died down.

 

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Globalist-Endorsed War on Cash May Be China’s Next Terrifying Weapon | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 18, 2019

…the purpose of a War on Cash is not simply to strengthen a government’s grasp on the wealth of its citizens — but the move becomes a highly effective means of tracking any who find themselves in the crosshairs of the state.

https://mises.org/wire/globalist-endorsed-war-cash-may-be-chinas-next-terrifying-weapon?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=f2b07b5612-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-f2b07b5612-228343965

…The next arm weapon the CCP may plan to wield against its citizens is a War on Cash.

As Joseph Salerno, among others, has noted for years now, a successful War on Cash would represent a new escalation in government’s long history of weaponizing currency against the population. Moving far beyond the clipping of coins as a means of stealth tax collection, the purpose of a War on Cash is not simply to strengthen a government’s grasp on the wealth of its citizens — but the move becomes a highly effective means of tracking any who find themselves in the crosshairs of the state.

These features make a cashless society attractive for any government — which explains why it has become an increasingly popular goal for politicians, bureaucrats, and central bankers in the West. This is precisely why we’ve seen the cause promoted from such influential economists as Kenneth Rogoff, former chief economist of the IMF, Marvin Goodfriend, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon who was once nominated to the Fed by Donald Trump, as well as various economic ministers. The governments of Australia and Sweden have made a cashless society an explicit policy goal within their countries, while some central banks — such as the ECB — have begun phasing out higher denomination bills as an opening move in their own cashless campaigns.

Of course, the international perspective of the Swedish government is quite different than that of China’s — and understandably so. For all of Sweden’s issues, there are no comparisons to the CCP’s brutal child policies or its treatment of religious minorities. What should be understood, however, is that a successful move to a cashless society would give the Swedish government similar tools over its population as those the Communist Party seeks over its dominion. While the former may ground their policy aims in “combating drug trafficking” and “convenience,” the end result in both cases is a new terrifying weapon in the hands of the state.

Luckily, it’s easier for the government to desire a cashless society than it is to create it, and we’ve seen countries like Sweden rethink their approach. There is reason to think that China may be less apprehensive. Not only is the government more powerful, but it is also more desperate…

While much has been made of Chinese media giving Bitcoin a front-page treatment, the tight control the CCP has over its financial system makes actual use of private crypto extremely difficult. Instead, the stage is being set for moving the yuan to the blockchain. While some have sold this as some novel challenge against the dollar — even suggesting that the Bank of China could try to peg it to gold — this is, as Daniel Lacalle explained, a delusion.

This is not a trump card to be used against Uncle Sam, but a new tool of CCP oppression against is own people. As noted by Jason Burack, a market analyst that has been closely following Chinese economic news, “throughout history, governments have always hijacked technology and used it for nefarious purposes.”

At this point, the CCP successfully waging a War on Cash is mere speculation — though a recent move to allow tourists access to digital payment systems such as AliPay might help pave the way for that transition. It would be a policy change very much in character with the authoritarian regime in Beijing — and one that has long been sold as “benign” by the more “liberal” globalist elite.

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America’s Military Is Misdirected, Not Underfunded – Defense One

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2019

The real problem with current U.S. security strategy is that it is aimed at the wrong targets and employs the wrong tools to deal with the most urgent challenges we face.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/11/americas-military-misdirected-not-underfunded/161025/

U.S. strategy should be more focused on preventing conflict with nuclear-armed China than on spinning out elaborate war-fighting scenarios.

The Heritage Foundation released its 500-page index of military strength this week. Unfortunately, what it achieves in length is undermined by its stale and unpersuasive assumptions.

As usual, Heritage gives all of the military services low marks. While there’s always room for improvement, the Heritage methodology seems arbitrary at best, and misleading at worst. The biggest complaint in the index is that America’s military is a “one-war force” that could not win simultaneous wars against Russia and China. But the two-war standard is a convenient myth that has historically had more to do with justifying high Pentagon budgets than it has with any rational assessment of the primary security challenges facing the United States and its allies.

The Center for International Policy’s Sustainable Defense Task Force – a group of ex-White House and Congressional budget experts, ex-military and Pentagon officials, and representatives of think tanks from across the political spectrum – takes a different view of the issue of great power rivalry.

Our European allies spend three times as much on their military forces as Russia does. Given better coordination and a more coherent strategy, they are more than capable of taking the lead in addressing any conceivable military challenge posed by Russia, with a reduced level of direct U.S. support. In any case, the greatest threats posed by the Putin regime – hybrid warfare, nuclear weapons, support for divisive nationalist parties, and cyber-attacks – cannot be dealt with by traditional military means.

Related: The National Defense Strategy Is No Strategy

Related: What’s Great Power Competition? No One Really Knows

Related: Is the Pentagon Truly Committed to the National Defense Strategy?

As for China, its biggest long-term challenge is economic, not military. Beijing’s aggressive global infrastructure initiatives are garnering priority access to key resources, and its steady economic growth could allow it to catch up with the U.S. military within the next two decades. But there is much that can be done to head off that eventuality, and the primary tool for doing so should not be bulking up the U.S. naval presence in the Pacific.

U.S. strategy should be more focused on preventing conflict with China – a war between two nuclear powers that would be a disaster for all concerned – than on spinning out elaborate war-fighting scenarios…

U.S. policy towards Russia and China should seek areas of potential cooperating rather than assuming unending confrontation. Climate change and nuclear arms control are two promising avenues for joint effort. As happened during the Cold War, nuclear arms control can be pursued even during periods of tension between Washington and Moscow. Reversing the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle the carefully crafted hard-won system of global nuclear arms control – from abandoning the multilateral deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program to walking away from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty – needs to be reversed, and the sooner the better. And there will be no progress on climate change without substantial cooperation between the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases.

The truth is, a policy that takes a more realistic view of great power rivalry; abandons planning for large-scale counterinsurgency and nation building initiatives like those that have been pursued in Iraq and Afghanistan; adopts a deterrence-only nuclear strategy along the lines outlined by the organization Global Zero; and cuts excess bureaucracy could allow for at least a 10 percent reduction in the size of the U.S. military and save $1.2 trillion from current Pentagon plans over the next decade.

In short, when it comes to U.S. military spending and capabilities, the sky is not falling, whatever the new Heritage analysis may allege. In fact, the United States is projected to spend over $1 trillion more during the decade covered by the Budget Control Act than in the prior decade, when the U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan were at peak levels…

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Peak Wokeness – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2019

“No, I had a sense of [how] what I said felt for me,” James said after the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice. “And like I said yesterday, when I speak upon things, I speak from a very logical standpoint on things that hit home for me. Yesterday, obviously, I gave thoughts on what I felt and how I saw things that transpired from that week that we were [in China].”

The narcissism is cute, isn’t it?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/bionic-mosquito/peak-wokeness/

By

This is really a gift that just keeps on giving….

As a reminder, Daryl Morey – general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets – tweeted a few days ago: “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.”

All hell broke loose: the NBA makes a lot of money in China, NBA teams were playing in China, the Chinese government cancelled various promotional events and tore down banners.  It may be the most expensive tweet in history.

Then we had the most outspoken woke leaders of the NBA either silent or wishy-washy: Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, and the many over-sized personalities to be found amongst the ranks of the players.  None of them ever shy to criticize something of America or Trump – but never the important stuff like war, empire, or all spying all the time (in fact, these same people are found praising one or more of these).

No one from the contingent of the woke said anything of substance…until now.  Following is from an interview with Lebron James; his team – the Los Angeles Lakers – was one of the teams in China when all hell broke loose.

LeBron said Morey was ‘misinformed’ about the ramifications of his tweet, and not ‘educated’ about the situation.

He then said ‘so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, and spiritually.’

If that wasn’t enough, he went to twitter to clarify things:

My team and this league just went through a difficult week.  I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others.  And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen.  Could have waited a week to send it.

It is interesting that counsel for considering what a tweet or statement can do is offered only when Lebron’s personal safety or wealth are at stake.

Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet.  I’m not discussing the substance.  Others can talk About that.

Consequences and ramifications…rarely stopped the woke thought leaders before.  And when has Lebron not discussed the substance on any social issue?  I guess only when his personal safety or wealth are at stake.

Regarding his comments, the hypocrisy is overwhelming.  As was the reaction.  You really should go to the link to read the many powerful reactions – from some pretty well-known people.  A few samples:

Isaac Stone Fish: This is just stunning. The Lakers LeBron James, one of the most influential people in basketball and an outspoken voice in support of rights issues in the United States — sides with the Chinese Communist Party and criticizes the Houston Rockets GM.

Derek Hunter: There was no confusion, LeBron. You care more about making more millions than you do human rights. You are also happy to attack the country that enabled you to make millions, but not the one paying your league billions. You have your priorities and freedom isn’t one of them.

Clay Travis: Ultimately @KingJames, the woke media’s star athlete, is a hypocritical sell out. If you pay him enough money, he won’t just shut up and dribble, he’ll also kneel before his Chinese masters

You get the idea.  Meanwhile, in Hong Kong:

Protestors in Hong Kong cheered when a ball dropped into the basket after smashing into a photo of LeBron James’ face that was placed above the hoop.

They also trampled on jerseys bearing his name and gathered in a semicircle to watch one burn.

And now today:

…James was asked whether he had a sense of how his own comments would be felt in Hong Kong among protesters.

“No, I had a sense of [how] what I said felt for me,” James said after the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice. “And like I said yesterday, when I speak upon things, I speak from a very logical standpoint on things that hit home for me. Yesterday, obviously, I gave thoughts on what I felt and how I saw things that transpired from that week that we were [in China].”

The narcissism is cute, isn’t it?  Kind of makes you feel all warm and cuddly inside.  Daryl Morey should care about how his statements impact other people, but not Lebron James.  “It’s all about me and how I feel.”

If we haven’t yet reached peak wokeness, we aren’t far off.  I suspect every time James or any of the woke NBA players and executives speak out on some woke social justice cause from now on, they will get this episode shoved back in their faces.

Wokeness will consume itself, as it must.  This is a very obvious example, but it is true from top to bottom.  Taking individualism to an extreme, intersectionality is an ongoing and never-ending process.  Women vs. men; minorities vs. whites; gays vs. straight.

Then what? Minority women vs. minority men; minority women vs. white women; minority lesbians vs. minority straight women.  But what about the white lesbian vs. the minority straight woman?  Who wins?

Now, start adding five or six of the newly privileged labels and then figure out the priority order of social power.  The list is endless, what with Facebook offering 71 (and growing) gender options, multiplied by a long list of nationalities / races, raised to the power of body shape and body shaming.

It will be a war of all woke-ees against all woke-ees.  They will consume themselves, while normal human beings stand back and watch.  Meanwhile, the search for meaning by many young people points to some hope for sanity in the coming years.

Conclusion

We have reached peak wokeness; this episode marks the event.  I don’t know if Daryl Morey made his now-controversial statement with this end in mind, but this is where we are.

All I can say is thank you, Daryl.

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Expert: Hunter Biden Likely Still Has Millions in China-Backed Investment Fund

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2019

If nothing else the current plethora of revelations shows that Trump is a relative newborn in the Swamp.

Russiagate is his to lose.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/13/expert-hunter-biden-likely-still-has-millions-in-china-backed-investment-fund/

by Charlie Spiering

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden announced Sunday that he was stepping down from his board position at BHR Equity Investment Fund Management, but he likely still has millions of dollars of value in the company.

Hunter Biden has a 10 percent stake in BHR, which he acquired through a company he created named Skaneateles LLC in 2017.

Although Hunter Biden’s lawyer has said that his client’s stake in the company is only valued at $420,000, a FactCheck.org analysis estimates it’s value to be millions.

“It is difficult to imagine, if not incomprehensible, that a 10% stake in those economics is worth only $420K,” Steven Kaplan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business told FactCheck.org. “The distinction they appear to be making is they capitalized the management company with $4.2 M even if the fund manages $2 B. The value of that management company is likely far in excess of $4.2 M if they are managing $2 B.”

FactCheck.org cited Kaplan estimating that Hunter Biden’s share in the investment company could be valued at around $20 million and up to “hundreds of millions of dollars” over the investment lifetime.

Hunter Biden’s lawyer said that if Joe Biden won the race for president, he would agree “not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies,” but did not mention his current foreign investments in BHR.

President Donald Trump continues to target Hunter Biden’s foreign investments as corrupt, questioning Vice President Joe Biden’s knowledge of his son capitalizing on his father’s specific diplomacy with China and Ukraine on behalf of former President Barack Obama’s administration.

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It’s Always Funny Until Someone Gets Hurt – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2019

Wokeness is funny when you are poking those who cannot fight back (hint: straight white Christian males).

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/bionic-mosquito/its-always-funny-until-someone-gets-hurt/

Bionic Mosquito

Daryl Morey sent, then deleted what is likely the most expensive tweet in history:

Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong

Why so expensive?  Morey is general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.  The NBA is big business in China.  Several NBA stars make big money in China.  Several NBA teams are currently in China playing exhibition games.

Suffice it to say, the government of China is not happy. Sponsorships are being pulled, events are being cancelled, billboards are being taken down. This could cost the league billions…unless the NBA bows low to the wishes of the communist government.

The poor NBA. They have gone further than any other pro sports league in the US in allowing all employees – players and management – to speak out on social issues, politics, etc.

It seems “wokeness” is not something China wants to import from the United States. The NBA has no good way out of this. Maybe one: put a lid on players and management from commenting on social issues anywhere. The players might go along, given how many hundreds of millions of dollars accrue to them via relationships in China. That would really be funny.

It’s always funny until someone gets hurt. Wokeness is funny when you are poking those who cannot fight back (hint: straight white Christian males).

But watching this self-inflicted circus from hell really is hilarious.

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Business will be the unifier for NBA and China

 

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China TV drops NBA exhibition games, escalating pressure amid tweet uproar

Posted by M. C. on October 8, 2019

Normally I wouldn’t care but I have to ask: is this NBA owner really this stupid? What did he expect?

Maybe NBA owners have a concussion problem.

I know Beijing has a problem-messing up the best thing they have going.

http://news.trust.org/item/20191008082619-6v5xu
by Reuters

* CCTV says it won’t air NBA exhibition games in China this week

* NBA under pressure after GM tweet supporting Hong Kong protests (Updates with comment from Silver, Chinese ministry)

By Chris Gallagher and Se Young Lee

BEIJING/TOKYO, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Chinese state television said on Tuesday it would not air NBA exhibition games played in the country this week, heaping pressure on the U.S. basketball league after a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive backing protests in Hong Kong.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey apologised on Monday for any hurt caused by the tweet, which he quickly deleted over the weekend.

But China’s government, fans and the team’s partners have not been assuaged, resulting in loss of sponsors and broadcasts in the world’s second-largest economy and an important National Basketball Association (NBA) market.

“We strongly oppose Silver’s support of Morey on the basis of freedom of speech and we think any comments that challenge a country’s sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” CCTV said Tuesday in a statement in Chinese, adding that it would review its relationship with the NBA.

The NBA issued a statement saying it regretted Morey’s remarks, drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers.

But commissioner Adam Silver said it was not up to the NBA to regulate what players, employees and team owners said.

“It is inevitable that people around the world – including from America and China – will have different viewpoints over different issues,” Silver said in a statement. “It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.”…

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Concussion | Compel Visuals

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Trapped, alone and ‘desperate to come home.’ American siblings barred from leaving China

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2019

“We don’t have firm numbers in terms of exactly how many people, on either the Chinese side or the international side, have been subjected to exit bans … but we know that the number is quite large,”
“We don’t know’ but that doesn’t keep us from telling you the “facts”.
The fact is coercion is universal and works both ways.

WASHINGTON – Two young Americans, Victor and Cynthia Liu, are “trapped” in China, increasingly desperate and despondent because Chinese authorities have blocked them from leaving for more than a year.

“They are trapped. They are alone. They are desperate to come home,” David Pressman, the siblings’ New York-based attorney, told USA TODAY. “They are literally breaking down.”

The Lius are subject to a so-called “exit ban,” and they’re not they only ones.

Another American citizen, Huang Wan, says Chinese officials are using a “fake” legal case to prevent her from returning to the United States. An Australian resident, Yuan Xiaoliang, has been barred from leaving China for more than eight months, and her husband, an Australian citizen, has been arrested on suspicion of spying, according to Australia’s foreign minister.

The State Department has warned Americans about China’s growing use of exit bans – stating in a Jan. 3 travel advisory that Chinese authorities have sometimes used exit bans to keep Americans in China for years.

“China uses exit bans coercively,” the State Department cautioned, “to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.”…

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Collaboration, Cooperation and Coercion

 

 

 

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