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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:27 am 
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Incredibly, the government compromised. The extradition bill will be withdrawn, not just suspended. I don't know what happened but the timing was right after a recording leaked in which Carrie Lam told a bunch of business leaders that she wanted to offer the concession but her hands were tied. Somehow this of all things was the last straw. I have no idea why.

But the protesters are too angry at the police to let it go. They will not declare victory and go home, not after all the tear gassings and the intimidation and the mass arrests and the indiscriminate beatings and the suspicious gangland attacks. Not after the cops shot a woman in the eye with a rubber bullet. People demand a reckoning.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:30 pm 
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That's going to be grim...that they're looking to Trump is not a good sign.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:35 am 
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that they're looking to Trump is not a good sign.

It's more theatre than serious. People don't really expect Trump to swoop in and save us. But saying it helps to keep international attention on Hong Kong, and has the bonus of making Beijing apoplectic.

Meanwhile, the garbage people whom we have no choice but to be ruled by are variously proposing to: hold a series of "town hall meetings" to talk out grievances with "all sectors of society" (they'll be about as representative as a Fox News studio audience), give out a bunch of tax breaks (sure that'll make everyone go home and be quiet), issue off-duty cops with retractable batons to subdue protesters with (what we really need is more sticks), and ban the wearing of masks in public (right, masks are the real problem).

Meanwhile the usual government cronies are spreading conspiracy theories about paid protesters (the usual, CIA brainwashing, blah blah blah) and more outlandishly, claim the protesters are engaging in sex trafficking. Because they can't just be unpatriotic hoodlums, they must also be perverts.

I know that democratic elections do not guarantee good government, but at least if we elected such useless numpties we'd have no-one to blame but ourselves.

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:25 am 
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Kea wrote:
Incredibly, the government compromised. The extradition bill will be withdrawn, not just suspended.


It sounds that someone has had a remarkable attack of good sense...

Kea wrote:
But the protesters are too angry at the police to let it go.


...maybe just a little too late.

Still, the idea that someone with actual power is looking quite seriously at de-escalation is a bit hopeful, in a way. Maybe the situation will stop deteriorating. At least for a short while.

Kea wrote:
Meanwhile, the garbage people whom we have no choice but to be ruled by are variously proposing to: hold a series of "town hall meetings" to talk out grievances with "all sectors of society" (they'll be about as representative as a Fox News studio audience), give out a bunch of tax breaks (sure that'll make everyone go home and be quiet), issue off-duty cops with retractable batons to subdue protesters with (what we really need is more sticks), and ban the wearing of masks in public (right, masks are the real problem).


Sounds like what they're really trying to do is spend a month or so doing nothing much and hoping that, in the absence of the original instigating extradition bill or other instigating incidents, people's tempers will gradually cool down.

They might offer something a bit more serious once everyone's calmed down a little, or they might simply wait until said calming has happened and then slowly start increasing their power creep over Hong Kong again, in more subtle and less blatant ways.

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:48 pm 
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Of course nobody really knows what's going on in Beijing but leaks suggest that the reason the response to the protests has been so halting and ham-fisted is that the top leaders are divided. Plus nobody dares tell Xi Jinping anything he doesn't want to hear. So they do nothing while our local leaders suck their thumbs and await orders because they are too scared to make any decisions of their own. And the police are given free reign to hit people.

This entire episode has also illustrated a catastrophic failure of Beijing's intelligence gathering. They did not realize how strong the opposition was to this bill because their own informants told them it would be fine.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:58 am 
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Yeah, this sounds like what happens when you punish your informants for bringing you news you don't want to hear no matter how accurate it is; you get the news you want to hear, no matter how inaccurate that is.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:09 pm 
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They've built themselves an echo chamber not entirely unlike the one Fox News operates (except with real teeth). Hence they cannot believe that the protesters are mad about the things they say they are mad about. They must be explained away.

So they tell themselves that the real reason people are mad is because the house prices are too high. Or that the protesters are like spoiled and ungrateful children. Or because they haven't been educated to be patriotic enough. Or that they are just a tiny minority of malcontents who can be safely ignored. Or that they have been orchestrated by foreign forces.

Any explanation besides "The vast majority of our population thinks your legal system is garbage and the cops are acting like a bunch of fascists, just leave us alone already".

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:47 am 
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Remember when I said Hong Kong protests are exceedingly polite? No longer true. It was true when people believed they had a chance to convince Beijing to accept their demands if they showed that they were moderate and responsible, but now that it is absolutely clear that the opponent can not be reasoned with, there is no reason to be polite anymore. A contingent of protesters have decided it's time to smash windows and burn things. If the government is going to tear gas and send thugs after them, then they absolutely will beat the crap out of cops and goons if they ever get them cornered.

Terry Pratchett has always said that individual people are smart but mobs are stupid. Hong Kong may have invented the intelligent mob. They aren't randomly destroying things, they are specifically targeting pro-Beijing businesses. There is a method to their madness.

Now that two people have been shot (thankfully both survived), they are going to cause even more mayhem. And the government's best idea so far has been to ban masks, which just made everything worse.

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