Thursday, December 25, 2014

I'm walking backwards for Christmas

Saw this on a friend's Facebook and thought it was perfect for a Private Beach Christmas.  Wishing my loyal readers the compliments of the season and a democratic new year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Basic Liar

Watching the news lately has become more of an ordeal than a pleasure; with various government ministers, mainland bigwigs and pro-government toadies talking total bollocks every day, there is always something to be irritated by.  But few of the many untruths emanating from our northern neighbours recently have left me so furious as Chen Zuoer's accusation that the British were cowards who surrendered meekly to the Japanese invaders who overran Hong Kong in 1941.

It may suit the Chinese Communist Party line to peddle this lie (designed, it seems, to reinforce their other lie that the Joint Declaration is China's business alone), but the historical reality is that the hopelessly outnumbered British and Commonwealth garrison fought bravely against the invaders for 16 days before, with no prospect of success, the then Hong Kong Governor reluctantly surrendered to avoid further loss of life.  A visit to the military cemeteries at Sai Wan and Stanley would show Chen the graves of many of those courageous men he falsely labels cowards.

As it happens, the father (now deceased) of a friend was one of those who fought the Japanese here before enduring more than three years of brutality as a prisoner, initially in a local PoW camp then as a slave labourer in a factory in Japan.  But apart from Hong Kong, Chen's statement is also a gross insult to all the British, Commonwealth and American servicemen who spent several years of their lives fighting against Japan.  My own father was one of them, a signaller on a Royal Navy ship which saw action in the Far East.  Without the efforts of those millions of men, it is quite probable that China today would still be under Japanese rule.

More on this story here and here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

If at first you don't succeed, keep getting it wrong

The Pro-China Morning Post had three goes at getting the right headline for its lead story yesterday, and still failed each time.

Subtle - wrong!  Veiled - wrong!  Try "bleeding obvious".

Monday, December 08, 2014

Is you is or is you ain't?

Only a few weeks ago we were being told that the Umbrella Movement was being backed by insidious foreign forces bent on undermining China.  Now China's Ambassador to Britain tells us that external support for the protests is an "illusion".  I'm so confused...

Friday, November 28, 2014

This Has Gone On Long Enough

East Taipo Evening Post, 28 November 2014: A new opinion poll shows that 85% of Hong Kong people now want the police to pull back from the streets of Hong Kong.  After eight weeks of intense police presence, most people feel their action can never achieve its goals and has gone on for far too long.

Mrs Pinkie Pong, 32, told the Post: "In the beginning I supported the police action, and even signed one of Robert Chow's dodgy petitions.  But now, even after the media tell us Nathan Road has been reopened to traffic, thousands of police are still out on the streets in Mongkok every night, blocking roads with their vans, harassing peaceful protesters, and beating up innocent passers-by.  It's time they got off the streets, returned to their barracks, and let ordinary people go about their business normally again."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

English Lessons for Politicians part 1

No Carrie, you've got it wrong.  When two sides exchange opinions as equals, that's called dialogue.  When one side dominates the conversation, that's called monologue.  It's when you dictate the terms of the conversation that "there is no room for dialogue".  But you're not listening, are you?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Whose Police?

Just outside the market building in Taipo, a big banner exhorts those reading it to "Support Our Police".  It appears from the two-hands logo in the corner to have been erected by the objectionable Robert Chow's Alliance for Sleaze and Hypocrisy.  And there lies the problem: if they are "our" police, who are we?  Any police force that Robert Chow (still claiming to speak for the mythical Silent Majority despite opinion polls showing support for the government shrinking to well below 50%) claims proprietorial rights over is certainly not my police force.

The Hong Kong government is trying to frame a political problem as a law and order problem, which means the police are being forced into a political role - defending an unpopular, unelected and unrepresentative government - that should not be their job.  And the recent attack on TVB and RTHK journalists by the "Support Our Police" blue-ribbon mob suggests they don't have much idea what the police should really be doing - keeping the peace.  A peace that is mostly being disturbed by those claiming to support the police.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Has someone poisoned Hemlock?

Last night and this morning I tried to post comments on Hemlock's must-read "Big Lychee" blog, only to receiuve the following message each time:

What I was going to say today, after CY Leung's latest nonsensical outburst,  is "Can someone buy CY a wheelchair as a retirement gift?  He must have run out of feet to shoot himself in by now."  That seems a useful enough suggestion to me.

Either Wordpress suddenly dislikes me, or there's something funny going on.  The odd thing is that comments from others seem to be getting through OK.  Any ideas?

Anyway, do read Hemlock's posts for the last two days.  He has a real talent for cutting through the Hong Kong government's crap and skewering their stupidity with incisive reasoning.

Monday, October 20, 2014

External Forces

CY Leung tells us that "external forces" are behind the turmoil in Hong Kong.  For once, he is absolutely right about something.  Many of the mysterious masked thugs trying to block delivery of Apple Daily and attacking the protesters in Mongkok are not even Cantonese-speakers, so they're probably not Hongkongers.
Then we had the busloads of external forces who came here to join Robert Chow's ridiculous anti-democracy march.  And there are even reports that Leung and/or his senior officials are secretly visiting Shenzhen to receive covert instructions from external forces across the border.  Why don't they all keep their noses out of Hong Kong's affairs and let us decide our own future?

CY Leung fiddles while Hong Kong burns

[Apologies to The Violin Monster for the use of his photo.]

A Message from Robert Chow

Mongkok is not, so CY Leung tells us, the most genteel part of town - or the most gentile, if you believe the ATV news subtitles.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Infinite Wisdom

Despite its generally pro-Beijing editorial stance in recent years, on the whole the South China Morning Post has done a fair job of covering the Occupy movement.  However, one sentence in today's account of the clearance of the Mongkok protest site defies the laws of physics:

Since Portland Street and Nathan Road run parallel to each other, they can only intersect at infinity!

Another thing I noticed in the Post's latest online poll - 3 of the responses here are favourable to the police, and only 2 unfavourable; there is no neutral choice on offer.  And while I don't believe most cops are bad, "Poor" is a very mild description of the stupidity, incompetence and brutality we have seen from a a few of them in the past three weeks.  "Bloody awful" should have been one of the offered choices.
I suspect the results (54% negative, 46% positive) owe more to attitudes towards the protests than directly towards the police.  There are some sociopaths on the pro-government side who would be perfectly happy for them to replicate the Tiananmen massacre on Hong Kong soil (well, tarmac).  If the police cut off Joshua Wong's and Benny Tai's heads and paraded them around Central they would consider it an excellent performance.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Simple Question

I haven't posted much here lately, partly because I'm busy and partly because many others are in a better position to comment on the Occupy situation than I am.  But I would like to know the answer to one simple question: have any of the pro-government legislators actually gone to the protest site and talked to the protesters to find out their concerns and understand why they are there, or are they solely relying on their own propaganda for information?  Sadly, I fear I know the answer already.

Hint - it's just outside the LegCo Building.  You won't need your chauffeur-driven car, just walk a few steps.  Go on, the students won't bite you.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Career Opportunity

With some sources reporting that a number of Hong Kong police officers are resigning, unhappy at what our totally discredited government is asking them to do, I thought it would be a useful public service to help update the police's recruitment poster.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Arguments from History

"If we didn't have democracy during 155 years of British rule, why do we need it now?"

Of all the specious arguments being put forward by enemies of democracy in Hong Kong to justify acceptance of China's fake political reform package, this one - which I've seen several times recently - must be the most brainless.  It is just idiotic on so many levels - not to mention ironic that the comparison with British rule is being used to bolster the arguments of those who were most opposed to it at the time.
  • Britain didn't have full universal suffrage itself for half of those years - it only achieved it in 1928 when the voting qualifications for women  (some of whom first got to vote in 1918) were made the same as those for men.
  • 155 years ago, nowhere else had true universal suffrage either.  Most places in the world didn't have sanitation or universal education, either - should all these omissions be perpetuated indefinitely?
  • What does it matter now what Britain did or didn't allow to Hong Kong people?  We should be asking what is right for them now, not taking colonial rule as a guide to the future.
  • From the 1950s onwards Britain gradually introduced local self-rule in most of its colonies, leading in most cases to full independence.  Those few which remain colonies today, such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar, freely elect their own local leadership.  However, it is generally known that the Chinese government discouraged any such moves in Hong Kong.
  • At one time Chinese people were not allowed to live on The Peak.  By the same logic, why should they be allowed to do so now?
Ho Tung Gardens, the first Chinese-owned house on The Peak, erected in 1927.  Photographed in the 1970s.
What remains of the site today, thanks to an uncaring government with no respect for Hong Kong's historical or architectural heritage.
  • And finally, by the same token, if Hong Kong wasn't under Chinese rule for 155 years, why does it need to be now?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Could CY Leung Pass the Turing Test?

Most of my readers have probably heard of the Turing Test.  It was devised by Alan Turing, a British computing pioneer who helped Britain win World War II by breaking Germany's secret codes.  In less enlightened times, he was rewarded by his grateful country by being punished and driven to suicide for his sexual orientation.

Turing put forward what has become the standard test for artificial intelligence.  A person sits at a keyboard and conducts a conversation online, not knowing whether the entity at the other end is a real person or a computer.  Artificial intelligence will have come of age when the tester is unable to determine from the responses that a computer is in fact a machine, not a human being.

What I wonder is, given his tendency to substitute pre-programmed responses for genuine dialogue, whether Chief Executive CY Leung would be judged by the tester to be human or some form of artificial intelligence?  Perhaps a requirement to prove oneself human should be added to the requirements for nomination as a CE candidate?

Silence of the Damned

Most of the usual pro-government loudmouths are keeping unusually quiet at the moment about the current events in Hong Kong, but not Robert Chow, self-appointed (and self-inflated) spokesman of those with nothing to say.  Chow popped up on television yesterday asking the Occupy Central protesters to end their occupation of the streets soon so "ordinary citizens" could go about their business.  What does he think the thousands of protesters (and hundreds of thousands likely to join them over the holiday tomorrow) are - little green aliens from the planet Twinkletoes?  They are ordinary citizens of Hong Kong - unlike the busloads of mainlanders Chow imported to boost the numbers on his anti-Occupy march last month.

To claim, as Chow does, to speak for the "silent majority" relies on two assumptions, both false: 1) that those who do not speak out all agree with you; and 2) that they want you to speak on their behalf.  It takes a remarkably big ego and small brain to believe both of these.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Reader, Not a Leader

CY Leung's TV address to the Hong Kong people yesterday:

Look briefly at camera.
Blah Blah Blah.
Look down at Beijing-provided script.
Blah Blah Blah.
Blah Blah Blah.
Blah Blah Blah.
Look briefly at camera.
Blah Blah Blah.
Look down at Beijing-provided script.
Blah Blah Blah.
Blah Blah Blah.
Blah Blah Blah.
Look briefly at camera.
Blah Blah Blah.
Look down at Beijing-provided script.
Blah Blah Blah.
Blah Blah Blah.
Blah Blah Blah.

...and so on.  All delivered in that infuriating flat robotic monotone which he probably thinks indicates calm assurance but which actually signifies a lack of passion and emotional engagement.  The man has no personal warmth whatsoever.  And at a time of crisis, people want a leader who talks to them directly from the heart, not just a zombie reading a prepared statement which he has clearly not even looked at in advance.

As for the content of both his public appearances yesterday, it was just more reading from the same tired script.  "Beijing won't change its mind".  "Occupy Central is illegal" (we know that - what part of "civil disobedience" doesn't he understand?)  "Government won't tolerate illegal activities".  "Strictly in accordance with the Basic Law" (untrue, but that's for another post).  And Blah Blah Blah.

Clearly Leung - like his two predecessors - totally lacks imagination.  He looks increasingly like an actor who has learned his lines thoroughly but then finds himself on stage with someone like Spike Milligan or Robin Williams, doggedly trying to stick to the script while they improvise entire new plotlines all around him.

At this point, there are only two useful things that Leung could say to the Hong Kong public.  The first is "I misrepresented Hong Kong's views to the NPCSC and helped create this mess we're in.  I'm sorry."  I doubt he will do this, but there are still one or two of his government ministers who have a little integrity left - I'm hoping they will break ranks, admit they got it wrong, and say they don't want to be part of this sorry show any more.

The second is "I resign".

Video - I couldn't find a video of his second speech yesterday, which was in Chinese, but here's the earlier one in English where he's also obviously reading woodenly from his script.  It's hard to see why he needs one when he's repeated all these lies and half-truths so many times before.  Perhaps his handlers at the Liaison Office are scared he may stray off-message if they don't put the exact words into his mouth.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

They've got the guns, but we've got the numbers

Whoever is in charge of the police operation at Admiralty today appears to be a complete idiot (or taking orders from a complete idiot, probably Police Commissioner Andy Tsang, or even his boss CY Leung) .  Not content with already using pepper spray and tear gas to escalate a mild protest into a riot, they have now threatened to open fire on the crowd with live bullets.  I can think of nothing more certain to provoke the Hong Kong people into a mass eruption of anger against the government which would make the Article 23 demonstrations look like a church picnic by comparison.  I also suspect many of the police would feel very uneasy at being part of it.
Either the government has no idea of the level of resentment it has built up in Hong Kong, or they are already determined to replicate the Tiananmen Massacre on Hong Kong soil.  Either way the future doesn't look good.  This is not the Hong Kong any of us wants.

CY Leung Reacts to Occupy Central

There is much that could be said about Occupy Central and the events of the past few days.  All I will say here for now is that I want to live in a Hong Kong where the police force protects ordinary citizens from criminals, not one where gas-mask-wearing shield-carrying riot police protect a clueless and unelected government from the people.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Great Pretender

Former Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung, now Deputy Director of the Basic Law Committee, said a couple of days ago that "People wish to have universal suffrage in 2017, and they should not be deprived of their chance".

No argument with that, but then she turned stupid: "When you label it as true or false universal suffrage I think it's meaningless.  I mean you can't say that just because it's not the same as what I want and [sic] therefore it's not true universal suffrage".

I don't believe for one moment that Elsie Leung is too simple-minded to understand the difference between an election allowing voters to select from a range of candidates representing a wide spectrum of political viewpoints, and one where the choice is between 2 or 3 identikit candidates all effectively handpicked by the Chinese Communist Party.  In other words, she is pretending not to understand the difference with the intention of reducing a serious divergence on political principle to a mere question of personal preference, like the choice between Pepsi and Coke.

Leung is playing the fool for political advantage, and she wants you to be fooled too.  Don't be.

A Child's Guide to Hong Kong CE Elections

Saturday, September 13, 2014

News of the Century

Two New Telephones Go On Sale Today!

One of those eagerly awaiting the new devices, Mr Ned Ludd, said: "I have been waiting for this even longer than Hong Kong has been waiting for real democracy".

Special Feature Pages 1-93.

Today's other news:
  • Bubonic plague infects everyone in Manhattan
  • Entire North Polar icecap melts overnight - tsunamis kill millions
  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride through Tin Shui Wai
-- all on Page 94.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Naughty Phone Calls

Under the pretence of "protecting the young", the repellent Alliance for Sleaze and Hypocrisy has set up a hotline which mean-spirited individuals can call to grass on students who join the coming class boycott in support of genuine universal suffrage.

Of course\, it would also be possible for concerned individuals to call the number anonymously and tell the unlovely Alliance exactly what they think of them compiling (probably illegally) lists of young people engaged in a lawful protest.  After all, the Alliance's stated aim is to object to illegal means of pursuing democracy, and there is nothing illegal about the proposed action.  But you wouldn't do anything so naughty, now would you?
Courtesy of Hong Wrong, which has more on this.

It has only just occurred to me that Alliance head Robert Chow may have ambitions to become the next Chief Executive.  No one could suck up to Beijing so assiduously without hoping for something in return.  From positioning his previous organisation, the dishonestly-titled Silent Majority, as some sort of independent voice of the people, he has gone to acting like a Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution in a matter of weeks.  Creepy.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Outburst of the Day

Much as I would like to come up with long analytical pieces every morning demonstrating my deep insight into Hong Kong's precarious political situation, I don't often have the time - or the deep insight, come to that.  (How does Hemlock manage it?)  And I don't want this blog to become simply a Twitter-like stream of short splutters of outrage.  However, I will say that I find watching the news these days a painful experience - the main entertainment it offers is totting up the number of lies being paraded by the government and its allies:
  • There is still time to achieve consensus on political reform - LIE!  Unless you define "consensus" Beijing-style as shutting up and doing what you're told.  The door has been firmly slammed on any other option.
  • The 2017 vote will be "real democracy" - LIE!  Does anyone believe there will be any real choice between the candidates on offer?  Or that any of them will stand up for Hong Kong's interests when they conflict with those of Beijing?
  • We must not miss this golden opportunity to progress further towards democracy - LIE!  Can anyone explain to me how being able to vote freely for a candidate you don't want is any improvement on being unable to vote for one you do want?  There is no progress when the net effect is the same - no chance of being able to choose even a half-decent leader.  Better to retain the current system, so at least the least objectionable of Beijing's preferred 2 or 3 yes-men will not have the chance to falsely claim any sort of public mandate.
OK, that's today's splutter.  Thank you for your attention to this matter, as Hong Kong people like to write.

Monday, September 01, 2014

One Way Traffic

Before 1997, there was a slew of books predicting that the advent of Chinese rule would inevitably mean the death of Hong Kong.  For several years, I believed that they were wrong.  I would tell friends overseas who asked how life here had changed that the Chinese government had interfered far less than we all feared, and that by and large Hong Kong life went on much as before.

It is now apparent that these perceptions arose from a false sense of security.  In reality, Hong Kong has been in the position of a woman forced into an unwanted arranged marriage whose new husband chooses not to consummate it immediately - but eventually she is bound to get well and truly screwed.  And now we are.

Among the many betrayers of Hong Kong who have contributed to the dire situation we are in, one name stands out.  Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai CBE - prominent among the sudden patriots I wrote about yesterday - is Hong Kong's only member (one can hardly call her a representative, as she only represents herself) of the NPC Standing Committee that laid down the disastrous fake democracy blueprint delivered yesterday.  As such, she bears a special responsibility for its decision.

The Independent newspaper once asked "What is it about Rita Fan that makes Hong Kong hate her so?"  Well, one obvious reason is that she likes to lecture Hong Kong people on why they are all wrong about Beijing, and boast of her own unique insight into the Central Government's thinking.  A few days ago she warned Hong Kong people not to pressurise Beijing (as if a mouse could apply much pressure to an elephant!), and after yesterday's announcement she reinforced the message:
"If we want something done we have to persuade them in a manner that they can understand.  We should never persuade people in a manner that they feel unhappy about, that they feel they are being pressurised."
OK, so let us assume for a moment that Fan is right.  Since she claims to know how to persuade Beijing in a manner that it can understand, how has she used this knowledge to make them realise that the pseudo-democracy it proposes for Hong Kong can only exacerbate unrest, deepen division, and ultimately destroy the very "stability and prosperity of Hong Kong" to which the Beijing leadership so often claims to be committed?  And has she advised Beijing not to let Hong Kong people feel that they are being pressurised?

Well, nothing at all, and no, respectively.  Fan did not achieve the power and influence she so clearly enjoys by speaking uncomfortable truths to the powerful.  She will tell Beijing nothing about Hong Kong that it does not wish to hear.  And the narrative - or myth - Beijing prefers, and may even fool itself into believing, is of a contented and united populace loyally devoted to the motherland and grateful to the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party for the gifts it so munificently bestows on them, spoiled only by a negligible handful of dissident troublemakers stirring up disagreement.

Fan is not of course the only politician peddling this one-way traffic - passing down Beijing's imperious edicts to Hong Kong, while failing to help the Central Government understand the SAR's needs and concerns.  With a few honourable exceptions, most government ministers and the DAB's leaders are all guilty of the same thing.  But as Hong Kong's only member of the NPC Standing Committee, Fan was in a uniquely privileged position last week to make a real difference to Hong Kong's future.  By going along with a decision that will ensure future CEs continue to speak for the Central Government rather than representing the people of Hong Kong, she has sadly abused that privilege.

As the winter of our discontent deepens, what adds insult to injury is that not only has Fan welcomed the approaching iceberg, but she and fellow Beijing toady Lau Siu-kai, former head of the Central Policy Unit, have even blamed us - the Hong Kong people - for steering the ship into it.  According to them Beijing has taken a hard line against the democrats in Hong Kong, as Lau puts it, "simply because of the the pressure they apply on Beijing".  Yeah, sure - and without that we would surely be living in paradise...

PS - it's hard to believe when you look at her now, but Rita Fan was quite a beauty when she was young.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lest We Forget

A Basic Law Committee member and one of the most prominent of those I call the sudden patriots - those opportunistic old crones who did very well out of sucking up to the British for many years  before 1997, when they suddenly discovered a deep, abiding, and previously entirely unsuspected love for the motherland and became part of the new Hong Kong establishment that wins Beijing's trust by telling it exactly what it wants to hear.  ("Not the facts, ma'am, just not the facts.")  Rita Fan (also a CBE) is another leading member of this unsavoury crew.

As Hong Kong sinks deeper into the political mire with the release of Beijing's electoral proposals today, let us remember those who are helping the city to drown.

And incidentally someone seems to have done a spot of ethnic cleansing on Maria Tam's Wikipedia entry, which at the time of writing mentions her Hong Kong honours (GBM, GBS) but conveniently forgets her no-longer-PC British one.  Of course, anyone can edit Wikipedia...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why didn't someone tell me about this before?

In response to press reports of people being paid to join the Alliance for Sleaze and Disharmony's march on Sunday, organiser Robert Chow reverted to the feeble "everybody's doing it" defence and claimed that people are also being paid (or at least bribed with free meals) to join pro-democracy rallies.  All I can say is that I wish I'd known about this earlier.  Like hundreds of thousands of other Hongkongers, I have turned out year after year in sweltering heat or pouring rain to speak out for Hong Kong's rights and freedoms, and never received a cent or a sandwich for my trouble - not even my bus fare.

So, where do I collect my arrears?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Egg on their Faces

Yesterday's protest march by the Alliance for Peace and Hypocrisy attracted a claimed 110,000 plus participants - although if you deduct those who were paid to attend (some of whom, when interviewed on TV, clearly had no idea what the event was all about), coerced by their employers, bused in from the mainland, or more interested in protecting their mainland business interests than in the welfare of Hong Kong, the real figure was probably only a few hundred.  Even hardcore Beijing loyalists like Maria Tam, who showed her face at a precursor event earlier in the day, reportedly couldn't be bothered to actually get off their arses and march - while many of those who did, having registered their attendance at the starting point, apparently dropped out soon after leaving Victoria Park.

The most interesting thing that happened was one of the protesters throwing eggs at some People Power hecklers staging a counter-protest.  Their aim being as imprecise as the aims of the Alliance for Peace and Dishonesty itself, they hit a young policewoman instead.  Strangely, the police - usually so aggrieved at any perceived attack on themselves - somehow never got round to arresting the perpetrator.

Why is this interesting?  Because for a month the Alliance has had booths all over town inviting people to sign its petition against - not really Occupy Central, but a demonised distortion of Occupy Central that doesn't exist in reality - in other words, a fantasy enemy.  And all during this time, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no physical attack on any of these booths or on those staffing them by the supposedly dangerous Occupy Central camp, whom we are invited to fear as a violent threat to the peace of Hong Kong.  Yet when there is a march against this so-called violent organisation, we see an attack coming from those who are supposedly promoting peace and opposing violence - and a planned one too; no one just happens to be carrying a tray of 24 eggs with them (as shown in the SCMP's photos) when they go on a protest march.

Yes, there is a violent threat to the Hong Kong we care about - but it doesn't come from Occupy Central.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Uncle Beach's Etiquette Advice - Part 1 of a new series

Dear Uncle Beach,
I would like to know how best to respond to the strange hand signals I see being used by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy.  I do not want to cause any offence to the Hong Kong people by giving an inappropriate response.
Signed Puzzled of Pokfulam

Uncle Beach replies:
Dear Puzzled,
No need to worry - for the true Hong Konger there is only one appropriate response to anything the so-called Alliance for Peace and Democracy does:
Signed Uncle Beach

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Occupy Central - the Chief Executive Speaks Out

In strict legal terms, CY Leung's warning against Occupy Central may be accurate.  But as in so many other aspects of his "leadership", it betrays an alarming unfamiliarity with the real world.  The fact is, we all break the law regularly.  Just about everyone in Hong Kong is at some time guilty of, for example: jaywalking, speeding, illegal parking, bringing home a little more than the duty-free allowance when returning from overseas, eating on public transport, smoking in a no-smoking area, or (like Leung himself), making unauthorised alterations to our homes.  These are offences of the type classified in American law as misdemeanours - they may be against the law, but no one really thinks of themself as a criminal for doing them.  They form the middle ground that Leung tells us does not exist.

Yes, Occupy Central would be illegal - but what type of illegal?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who's Blocking Whom?

So let me see if I've got this straight: a group of minibus drivers take over the street to protest against people planning to take over the streets.  Hmm.  Another story for the "You couldn't make this stuff up" file.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Torah 2.0

The Book of Exodus
The Book of Benjamin

...and rising, based on the latest reported death toll of 1,000 Palestinians  (mostly civilians) and 42 Israelis (mostly soldiers).

The continuing slaughter gave rise to what must be one of the most meaningless utterances ever by a prominent politician, when US Secretary of State John Kerry said
"They may have rejected some language or proposal within a framework of some kind of suggestion at some point in time, but there was no formal proposal submitted from me on which there should have been a vote or which a vote was ripe."

If this means anything at all, I think it means something like "I am embarrassed to be standing up here making excuses for our Israeli allies continuing to shoot at schools and hospitals despite the various ceasefire proposals being put forward, but I suppose I have to say something that doesn't sound too negative, so"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rotten Luck

By a rather unfortunate coincidence, the South China Morning Post had this:

on its website today in close proximity to this:
I think we can safely rule out one contender for best burger in town!