Hong Kong, Updated

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and in fact increase, the airport was shut down by them earlier this week, even as Chinese forces gather on the border. It is a dangerous time to be a Hong Konger. They fight for the same thing we fought Britain for long ago, and the same things that have underlaid almost every one of our wars. The Star-Spangled Banner and our anthem have joined with the flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong and the British Union Flag to mark the protestors. It is something we should be proud of.

I suspect most of us are, this is the sign of the world the Anglosphere has built. Not all that long ago, in 1941, if you were free, English was your native language, and yes, Hong Kong was amongst us, although they would soon be occupied by Imperial Japan. I think they learned the lesson.

But we were the first, the original revolutionaries, who continue the revolution, the keepers of the flame that illuminate the City on the Hill, and guides all who would be free. But as we have learned that doesn’t mean that the US can make everyone free, we have certainly learned that lesson to our cost in the last twenty years. It truly is as Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said back in 1821:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

But still, our sympathy and perhaps some measure of our nonmilitary power should be engaged here. These people understand the dream, from its founding. Their original cause was an extradition treaty that would have found them in front of Chinese kangaroo courts. How different from that is this:

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

or

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Or even this:

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

That is article 39 of Magna Charta, dating from 1215, part of the ultimate bedrock of individual freedom for America as it is for all Anglophone countries

So yes, we should be supporting the Hong Kongers, although I do not think we should get ourselves into a war with China over it. There are, of course, other means. And we should use them. Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel writes in Law and Liberty:

But this afternoon, things are different.  I’m joining my former student and her friends for a protest in support of liberty in Hong Kong.  When I first heard of the troubles in Hong Kong, I initially thought I’d play it safe. This was not my fight, and there wasn’t much I could do.  I would teach my classes and stay away from demonstrations.  But I was faced with a moral choice. Hong Kong has a tradition of rule of law, Hong Kong is a land of liberty, Hong Kong has become a second home.

I had reached out to my former student for our annual dinner in the Fragrant Harbor – we’ll call her V (for obvious reasons, I will not share her identity).  We made dinner plans. She also invited me to a protest.  At first, I wasn’t sure.  What if facial recognition technology led to a lost work visa for next year’s class?  What if I found myself detained during the march, and missed my class the next day?  I was embarrassed at my first reaction.  I have been teaching liberty and preaching the gospel according to Hayek for the past decade.  Yet, presented with an opportunity to support true freedom fighters, I found myself balking, and thinking of admittedly bourgeois consideration. However, these are the very same bourgeois considerations Hong Kongers want to defend:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  So what if I lose my visa for next year.  So what if I miss a class because I am briefly detained by the police.  These people are fighting – desperately – for their lost liberties.  So I decided to march, and set aside my petty worries.

When Hong Kong was handed from the UK to China in 1997, the agreement included basic legal and political guarantees.  First, Hong Kong would not be swallowed into the People’s Republic of China, but administered as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), under the policy of “one country, two systems.”  Second, the rights of the people of Hong Kong would be guaranteed under a Basic Law, which includes democracy, rule of law, and individual rights.

Keep reading, and yes, I admire him. It takes guts to put our butts where our mouth is, and more of us should be making noise about this. The Hong Kongers are right to use American and British symbols in their fight. As we have seen this has been our battle since before the days of King John.

And you know, we hear much about the evils of British and US colonialism, here is portrayed the other side, that you will not hear in the media or the schools, or from the Democrats (or Labour), this is also about how we taught the world what it is to be a free man, and many of them learned the lesson well.

God bless and keep Hong Kong free.

Is a Trade Deal a Panacea?

About this Anglo-American trade deal, which John Bolton says will be a reality. Actually, he says we can do a lot of mini ones, sector by sector, sounds good to me, as it does to a lot of Brits. A bit of a dark cloud over it comes from Stumbling and Mumbling via our friends at Notes on Liberty.  They say this:

Brute facts tell us this. As part of the EU, the UK and Germany have the same trading rules. Last year, however, Germany exported $134bn of goods to the US whereas the UK exported only $65.3bn. Per head of population, Germany’s exports to the US were therefore 60% higher than the UK’s. Much the same is true for other non-EU nations. Last year Germany exported $11.8bn to Australia whilst the UK exported just $5.9bn, a per capita difference of over 50%. German exports to Canada were $12bn whilst the UK’s were $7.3bn, a 28% per capita difference. German exports to Japan, at $24.1bn were 2.2 times as great per head as the UK’s. And German exports to China, at $109.9bn were three times as great per capita as the UK’s $27.7bn.

Now, these numbers refer only to goods where Germany has a comparative advantage over the UK. But they tell us something important. Whatever else is holding back UK exports, it is not trade rules. Germany exports far more than the UK under the same rules.

As for what it is that is holding back exports, there are countless candidates – the same ones that help explain the UK’s relative industrial weakness: poor management; a lack of vocational training; lack of finance or entrepreneurship; the diversion of talent from manufacturing to a bloated financial sector; the legacy of an overvalued exchange rate. And so on.

There is truth in that, but I don’t think it’s the whole truth. One, Germany is something of an outlier, it has designed itself to be dependent on exports, in a sense it is like China that way. And also like China, that makes it vulnerable to events elsewhere.

But there is something else that bothers me with the UK, yes, but even more with all of Europe. They appear to have no confidence in themselves, the EU is essentially an economic Maginot line, not designed to make the members more profitable but to prevent them from going broke.

I pay more attention to the UK, so I see it more there, but I think it pervasive. I see few innovations coming out of any of these countries. The British, like us, used to idolize their inventors and entrepreneurs, now they seem to envy them and attempt to destroy them. And above all, they appear to have become welfare babies, completely unwilling to take a risk, no matter how well-considered. This is especially prevalent in the political realm where absolutely no one will call out the politically correct nonsense that Westminster insists on. This is the primary reason for the Brexit debacle, and perhaps including a fair amount of corruption, as well. Even to the point where the British are losing essential freedoms, like speech, as the government tries to protect the useless mouths. And then there is the seditious BBC (and Channel 4), if you think CNN is fake news, you should try these!

Now mind, this is probably not a majority of Britons (or quite a few other nationalities in Europe) but it does appear to be a majority in the City of London/Westminster, in other words in the political/government/big business sphere. For Britain to truly prosper as it once did, it will somehow have to overcome the blob that is holding it back.

That is something a trade deal cannot do for the British. In truth, we’re fighting the same battle.

The Wednesday Compendium

Richard Gere visited that refugee ship that the Italians are preventing form landing its passengers (good for them, in my opinion). Weasel Zippers tells us this.

He [Gere] compared the political situation in Italy, where League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly refused requests by migrant ships to dock, to that of the U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

“We have our problems with refugees coming from Honduras, Salavador, Nicaragua, Mexico… It’s very similar to what you are going through here,” he said, accusing politicians in both Italy and the United States of demonising migrants.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini came very close to winning the internet with his response.

“Given this generous millionaire is voicing concern for the fate of the Open Arms migrants, we thank him: he can take back to Hollywood, on his private plane, all the people aboard and support them in his villas. Thank you Richard!” he said in a statement.

Well done, Minister Salvini. Sounds like something we’ve all thought, and perhaps said, more than once, doesn’t it?


National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently in London, talking to the British about Brexit and how it will affect our relationship. According to Guido, he said this:

He makes clear the US would “enthusiastically” support the UK if it left with no deal:

“If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you. Britain’s success in successfully exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule and constitutional government that is important for Britain but for the US too.”

Which is exactly what I’ve wanted ever since British Independence Day back on  23 June 2016. That it has taken over three years to finally get to this point makes it clear that Theresa May was the worst Prime Minister since at least Lord North.  As somebody said, Lord North only lost America, Theresa May did her best to lose Britain itself. Thank God for Boris Johnson, and may he steer a proper course back to independence. Somebody, back in some dangerous time, signaled, “England expects that every man will do his duty” Nothing much has changed in that regard since 23 October 1805.

This is part of the reason it is so important. From Mr. Bolton.

“The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, is make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

Bolton, like many in the Trump administration, is an ideological supporter of Brexit as well as a pragmatic one. Remainers can complain all they like but it’s not a bad thing to have in your closest ally at this moment in time…

There are a lot of Americans (including me) who think that way, and some 16.7 million Britons as well.


Over at American Thinker, Eileen F. Toplansky wants to know why blacks are relinquishing their birthright. It’s a good question. Here is some of her article.

The Democrat Party knows only one way to reach the Black population in this country. They race-bait; they lie; they foment change that never actually helps Black people. They engage in covert racism against the very people they claim to want to help.

Cities that are Democratically-controlled have an abysmal record of assisting Black citizens. Yet, when election time comes around, the Democrats swoop in with their promises only to leave when the television cameras cease running.

She then talks about The Freedmen’s Bureau established in the War Department during Reconstruction.

On April 19, 1866, former slaves Benjamin Berry Manson and Sarah Ann Benton White received an official marriage certificate from the Freedmen’s Bureau, officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

The Wilson County, Tennessee couple had lived as slave man and wife since October 28, 1843, and for the first time in more than two decades their marriage had finally received legal recognition. The Freedmen’s Bureau — established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 … provided freed people with food and clothing, medical attention, employment, support for education, help with military claims, and a host of other socially related services — including assisting ex-slave couples in formalizing marriages they had entered into during slavery.

For the Mansons — who had lived intermittently on separate farms — the marriage certificate issued by the Freedmen’s Bureau was more than a document ‘legally’ sealing the sacred bonds of holy matrimony. Listing the names and ages of 9 of their 16 children, it was for them a symbol of freedom and the long-held hope that they and their children would one day live free as a family in the same household.

Benjamin and Sarah Manson were not alone in their quest to put their slave marriage on a legal footing. When freedom came, tens of thousands of former slave men and women — some seeking to marry for the first time and others attempting to solemnize long-standing relationships — sought help from Union Army clergy, provost marshals, northern missionaries, and the Freedmen’s Bureau.

We don’t talk enough about how we tried to help the former slaves and accomplished quite a lot.

Regarding education, how is it that so many black students are not excelling in school?  Frederick Douglass innately understood that slavery and education are incompatible because ignorance is one way slave-owners kept their slaves manageable.  Why aren’t black students demanding that they be taught the basics and not a slew of left-wing indoctrination meant to divide people and keep them down?

While no one is in actual iron chains, the Democratic Party keeps black people manageable because they have been denied the tools to succeed in reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  If you can barely read, you are ripe for the indoctrination and emotional angst the Democrats whip up.  If you are praised when you speak street talk in an effort to avoid appearing educated, what kind of gift is that?  If Democrats — now diehard leftists — use “white privilege” arguments in order to lure in naïve black students, these students have become useful tools to the left-wing Democratic Party.

As Thomas Sowell has written, “[d]uring the half century following the Civil War, an estimated $57 million was contributed from the North to educate black students in the South and blacks themselves contributed an additional $24 million.  But the Southern states dragged their feet on creating schools — and especially high schools — for black children.”

In fact, it was the Southern Democrats who were determined not to let black children realize their full potential.

Read it all. She is completely, thoroughly, and unequivocally correct. It’s a shame that Johnson and his heirs have so suborned the blacks that they actually do believe that their oppressors are their friends. I suspect than when the scales drop from their eyes, there will be hell to pay. I hope it comes soon because the longer it takes, the worse it will be, both for them now and for us all later.

Not for nothing did President Kennedy say:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

And that applies to all three stories we have here today.

Winning, so far, Anyway

This is interesting and actually some good news, for a change. I don’t know about you, but I could use some.

As all the world knows, the US and China are having, if not a full-scale trade war, some pretty serious trade skirmishes. So how is it going?

Pretty well actually, according to Chriss Street witing for American Thinker. Read it all. a lot of what I say here was derived from it.

Mexico and Canada were America’s top two trade partners in the first six months of 2019 as the escalating China-U.S. Trade War booted China to third place.

With China falling behind Mexico and Canada, President Trumps’ Trade War has succeeded in making North America’s revised trading bloc larger in population and GDP than the 28-nation European Union, according to Geopolitical Futures.

“I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN”

Six months later, U.S. importers paid $6 billion in tariffs in June, a 74 percent spike compared to a year ago, despite a slight decline in import values. About $3.4 billion of those tariffs were imposed by President Trump, according to a study titled ‘Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’ by The Trade Partnership, a globalist Washington D.C. consulting firm.

The report claims Trump’s tariffs are highly inflationary by forcing consumers to pay an extra $4.4 billion for apparel, $2.5 billion for footwear, $3.7 billion for toys and $1.6 billion for household appliances.” But U.S. inflation in the first half of 2019 averaged just 1.7 percent, down from 2.4 percent last year, according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator.

The biggest key to holding back inflation has been the rapid global redeployment of manufacturing supply chains from China to Mexico, Canada, and even the United States. The repositioning speed demonstrates that analysts in the New York City to Washington D.C. corridor that predicted an inflationary spike had no clue regarding multinational businesses always having “disaster recovery” plans for alternative suppliers.

Every business, including the kid that mows your lawn, knows that lesson. Who knows what may happen to the gas station that you buy your mower fuel from. But it’s apparently over the head of The Trade Partnership. Not much of a surprise there, when ideology matters more than reality, stupid things happen.

In any case, one point the author makes is that while we often think of Mexico as a third world country, it actually is not. Depending on how you figure, it is nearly as large as Australia. One of the strengths of the USMCA as a trade bloc is that there is no attempt to align standards such as causes a lot of trouble in the EU.

That includes free trade agreements that steer jobs to low wage areas, and that very thing has cost the UK a lot of good jobs and is in fact, one of the things that are pushing Brexit.

By the way, the USMCA’s GDP (a somewhat flawed measurement, but it will serve) is $22.1 trillion compared with the EU’s $17.3 trillion.

What it seems that the President is offering the UK when it leaves the EU is some sort of association with the USMCA, which would add the UK’s $2.6 trillion (the fifth largest in the world) to the USMCA while removing it from the EU. Using current numbers that would make the USMCA’s GDP $24.7 trillion,

The EU continues its slide into mediocrity and uselessness.

About that trade war – we’re winning.

The Special Relationship

Michael Curtis over at American Thinker was musing on the state of the Special Relationship last week. It’s pretty good.

The term “Special Relationship” (SR) between the U.S. and UK was devised by the half-American Winston Churchill. Always conscious of the link between his two countries when he said on February 6, 1944 that it was his “deepest conviction that unless Britain and the United States are joined in a special relationship …another destructive war will come to pass.” In November 1945 he stated, “We should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb.”

After World War II, Churchill uttered the phrase a third time when, in his majestic “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946, he asserted that the U.S. stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. Churchill declared that “Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples… a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.”

Churchill was optimistic about the growing friendship between “our two vast but kindred systems of society.” Included in this were intimate contacts with military advisors, possession of similar weapons, interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges, continuation of present facilities for mutual security.

That is how it officially came to be but there is something else. In that war, almost two million Americans were either stationed in or passed through Great Britain. The East Anglians (where most of the 8th AAF was) sometimes refer to it as “The Friendly Invasion”. They are correct, our peoples found that for the most part, we liked each other. I simply can’t imagine the old joke from that time applying anyplace but Britain. You know the one, about Americans being “overpaid, oversexed, and over here” with the rejoinder that the Brits were “underpaid, undersexed, and under Ike”. Mostly good-natured, except maybe at closing time at the pub. In any case:

The UK, like the Trump administration, wants to avoid military action against Iran, but both uphold the principle of freedom of navigation, and keeping the Strait of Hormuz open to all shipping. The extent of collaboration between the two countries on this and other issues has to be revaluated in view of the Conservative politician Boris Johnson, elected on July 23, 2019 to be leader of the Conservative party, by two to one majority, and in a few days to become prime minister.

By curious coincidence Boris, like Winston Churchill, is half American, since he was born in Manhattan in 1964, until he renounced his American citizenship in 2017, largely over capital gains taxation. Johnson had the comfortable family background, elite educational training — Eton, Balliol College Oxford — and after some years as a journalist, held political positions including M.P., mayor of London, 2008-2016, foreign minister 2016-2018, and is a supporter of Brexit.

In some characteristics he resembles Trump — a brash, entertaining, theatrical manner, somewhat unfocused, unconventional, unpredictable, problems with extra-marital affairs. Like Trump’s aversion from the media, Johnson terms the BBC the “Brexit Bashing Corporation.” Johnson is the life and soul of the party, but you would not want to drive him home. Charismatic, he is, as one friend said, the stardust of British politics.

Well, time will tell, but unless Britain succumbs after a millennium to Europe, I think it goes on. Britain needs, I think, to damned well Brexit already, and fix their relationships with the Commonwealth. That’s who really got screwed when they went into the EEC, and I suspect they are still a bit miffed. Probably why some, like Australia, have moved closer to the US in recent years

But in the main, Britain, like the US, is Oceania. We are both worldwide maritime nations. In truth, Britain was the first superpower, able to exert great power anywhere in the world. In the full definition of the world, there are perhaps three, if one counts Imperial Rome, the US is the third. Because there is a lot more to being a superpower than being able to destroy the world. Both Britain and following her, the US have measurably improved the life of the world.

And, if we are honest, the US would have developed much differently if Nelson had not won at Trafalgar. In many ways, the British held the ring, allowing the New World to develop as its people chose, without interference from the Old.

And for us both, one of the keystones of the whole thing is freedom of the seas. I’ve spoken of this many times, perhaps most cogently here. After the 8 years of the Obama misrule, we are short of lots of military stuff, although it is improving. Britain too has had a succession of governments that have starved the military, in addition to persecuting their warriors, as opposed to the malignant neglect much of our elite have shown ours. Remember what Sir Walter Raleigh wrote so long ago:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.

Since that day back in 1588 when Sir Francis saw off the Armada, that has been first: England, then Great Britain, and then the United States. The world we live in is the result of that.

And that is what really keeps the special relationship (indeed the entire Anglosphere community) together. It’s in our common interest. For countries, as for us, common interests make for better friendships. But with leaders on both sides who admire Winnie greatly, we should start to get along better, although like all families, the Anglos Saxon tribe will always have our spats.

Sunday Funnies: As Mueller Time Ends

Finally, we seem to have run the clock out on Mueller, and I see signs that Trump is a bit angry. I don’t think the Dems are going to like angry Trump, but we’ll see. Meanwhile.

 

My Favorite Headline of the week.

Not sure of the point – but I approve

And the Brits take some more joy out of life – The new James Bond

Here’s someone no one ever ruined/

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