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Pompeo says after Lai arrest, unlikely that China will rethink HK stance


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WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slammed China for the arrest of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who he said was a “patriot,” and said the move indicated that Beijing is unlikely to change its position on the financial hub.

Pompeo told the Conservative Political Action Conference that the United States would take action to ensure that Washington treated Hong Kong as an extension of China after Beijing passed its new national security legislation in June, prompting Washington to end the territory’s special status.

“I’m not optimistic given what we saw this morning … that they’re going to change what they’re doing,” Pompeo said.

“But what we can be sure, and President Trump has said, is that to the extent the Chinese Communist Party treats Hong Kong as just another communist-run city, the United States will do the same,” he added.

Pompeo said that Lai, who on Monday became the highest-profile person arrested under a new national security law, was a “patriot” who wanted nothing more than basic freedoms for the people of Hong Kong.

Lai’s arrest comes amid Beijing’s crackdown against pro-democracy opposition in the city and further stokes concerns about media and other promised freedoms when it returned to China in 1997. China imposed the sweeping new security law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.

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The Unravelling of America

As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country.

Activist Anthropologist and Public Ruminator Wade Davis discusses the decline of the American Empire. But his former colleague at UBC Deanna Kreisel counters with her own attempted take-down of smug Canadian exceptionalism.
posted by Rumple (15 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

The Problem with the New American Exceptionalism, from all the way back in the ancient mists of 2012:

The will not to believe is the shifting sand beneath the unstable entire architecture of American Exceptionalism. Because our attachment to the idea is theological, and not empirical, we can neither look at our history nor our politics honestly. Eventually, the lies pile up, one atop the other, and you get a Willard Romney, who runs an entire campaign based on self-refutation and deceit. Eventually, the elections become electronic Kabuki. Our elections must be honest, not because we make them so, but simply because they are ours. It will all work out right in the end because this is America, fk yeah, the shining city on a hill. Faith eventually undermines reality. We start believing in spirits and incantations. And then we fall, hard.

posted by Rhaomi at 12:22 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]

Deanna Kreisel’s rebuttal rings true: Davis’s “We all shop at Safeway” is so West Van privilege it hurts.

Never trust a country that can’t even decide on a standard for screwdrivers.
posted by scruss at 12:31 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]

Eventually, the elections become electronic Kabuki.

creating the executive baka- roo.
posted by clavdivs at 12:45 PM on August 10

Tell Deanna never to visit San Francisco! Oh I forgot she moved to the egalitarian stronghold of Mississippi.
posted by Max Power at 12:46 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]
Deanna Kreisel’s rebuttal rings true: Davis’s “We all shop at Safeway” is so West Van privilege it hurts.

QFT!

Never trust a country that can’t even decide on a standard for screwdrivers.

You’d have to pry my colour-coded Robertson screwdrivers from my cold, dead hands.
posted by bcd at 12:49 PM on August 10

I’m Canadian, and I sometimes wonder what would have happened had the pandemic occurred while Stephen Harper was prime minister. Would he have kept the border with the U.S. open? He spent ten years ignoring climate change, preferring to grow Alberta’s economy; he might have ignored the pandemic as well.

I can’t help but think that one reason why Canada has dealt with the pandemic relatively well (besides good old luck) is that the Conservative party is currently changing leaders, so they have been silent throughout. They’ll have a new leader at the end of this month, and he’ll start spewing the usual nonsense that Conservative leaders spew. And since much of the Canadian press is pro-Conservative, the party will have a platform. (I freely admit to a bias here.)

Also: Canada’s case count is likely to go up when we open the schools up in September. Most provinces don’t have a particularly well thought out plan for this. I’m pretty much planning on returning to a Phase 1 lifestyle in the fall.

I feel terrible for the majority of Americans that didn’t vote for Trump and are busy doing the same sort of sensible things that most Canadians are doing (wearing a mask, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, and practicing physical distancing). It must be like being in some sort of horrible hostage situation. I have family and friends in the U.S., and I fear for them. Stay safe, everyone.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 12:54 PM on August 10 [5 favorites]

The paragraphs about Canada felt out of place in this piece.
posted by shenkerism at 12:55 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]
I wonder whom he blames for the election of Doug Ford — a buffoon’s buffoon in the true Trumpian mold — to the premiership of Ontario in 2018?

Heh. Fair point. As an Ontario resident, I blame Ontarians.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:00 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]

Canada is probably not a perfect state, but then who is?

American Exceptionalism, on the other hand, has become a disease, rather than the aspiration and dream it once was.

One of the things Trump was right about during his 2015 campaign, in a wrong way, is that the US in many ways resembles a “third world” country more than the leader of the world. I remember taking a wrong turn in Houston and arriving in something much more like the favelas of Brazil than even the poorest areas in Paris. This was during the 90’s, when Clinton was president. Trump blames the poor for their poverty (or more likely, for their skin color), but that doesn’t take away the fact that parts of the US suffer from squalor one normally wouldn’t expect in a wealthy country.

One of my friends was infected by the corona virus, and has quite severe late effects. She is a school teacher, and her employer has accepted that she will be on half time indefinitely. To compensate for the rest of the time she will have sick benefits. Her treatment is free, obviously. Since she is a low-income worker, her taxes are low, we tax the rich to provide for the poor.
We also have decent roads in every corner of our country, and great hospitals that are sought out by billionaires from less fortunate places.
Still, some people are very rich in this country and have huge estates and private planes.

Right now, we have a Social Democratic government and I can be as smug as ever. But if our former corrupt government had been in charge, we’d probably been like the UK. Still better than the US, but not at all safe.
posted by mumimor at 1:03 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]

I’ll give Kreisel this: it’s not easy to find someone who hates living in Vancouver, and less easy yet to find someone happier living in Mississippi. To be fair, she had to escape all that Canadian gun violence, crime, prejudice and poverty.
posted by Italian Radio at 1:04 PM on August 10
I wonder whom he blames for the election of Doug Ford — a buffoon’s buffoon in the true Trumpian mold — to the premiership of Ontario in 2018?

I certainly blame Ontarians, but Ford was unexpectedly lucky – he became leader of the Progressive Conservatives (under questionable circumstances) just before the election.

For better or worse, the voters of Ontario were fed up with the Liberals, who had been in power for eons. The situation was so dire for them that virtually anybody could have won the election as leader of the PC party.

Ford was an unknown quantity in most of Ontario, and many parts of the province tend to vote PC reflexively by default. We in Toronto tried our best to jump up and down, yell and scream, and warn everybody as loudly as we could, but to no avail.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 1:06 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]

Kriesel’s takedown is pretty thorough and cogent, Max, and deserves better than to be simply brushed off based on the author’s residence: the sadism of modern capitalism has me stuck in fucking Texas, which I would rate slightly below Cocytus in terms of places I want to live (even moreso, now). For reasons of family or employer (clearly the latter in Kriesel’s case, and my own) we don’t all get to pick where we live, and based on her expressed political views if she left Vancouver for Mississippi then it probably wasn’t because she considered it an upgrade either in real terms or her political proximity to the median voter.

Italian Radio: she’s pretty clear that she loves Vancouver but thinks it’s overpriced and not statistically better than most major US metros, and she provides a lot of solid documentation to that effect. The claim that she prefers Mississippi is wholly your invention, not something borne out anywhere in the text.

I get it: we all hate what America has become, or what we have become aware of it always having been, but Davis’ piece was both intellectually lazy and shockingly disingenuous, and piling on someone for rightly calling it out as such and providing copious statistics to prove her point doesn’t demonstrate our virtue, it demonstrates our own intellectual sloth. We can do better than this.
posted by Ryvar at 1:19 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]

This is a very white vs. white conversation, but I’ll scooch my Latino ass in here for this: the only issue I’d take with Kreisel’s rebuttal is the underlying implication that anti-Americanism is misplaced and mistaken, rather than richly earned by the USA itself.

My parents fled two different Latin American countries that were perennially experiencing CIA/School of the Americas-style “regime change” and US-supported dictatorships. They fled to Canada, while other branches of the family fled to the US, and some stayed behind. All of us suffered and struggled and survived in different but comparable ways.

From our not-fully-post-colonial perspective, it is entirely possible that both of these statements are true:
a) Canadian smugness is The Literal Worst
b) ‘anti-Americanism’ deserves as much sympathy as ‘reverse racism’
posted by LMGM at 1:19 PM on August 10

I kinda nodded along when the original article came out, but I’m going to give this one to Kreisel.

There are salient differences between the US and Canada and Davis does a poor job of surfacing them and drawing causality with current issues.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 1:19 PM on August 10

c) …and both built their empires on stolen land.
posted by LMGM at 1:23 PM on August 10

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Miracle at the Vistula

100 years ago this week, the Battle of Warsaw raged. Two years after the War to End All Wars, the just-established Soviet Union was invading Poland, hoping to stir revolution in central Europe. Polish forces were falling back and defeat looked likely, until a surprise attack yielded a stunning victory. posted by doctornemo (0 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

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China imposes sanctions on Republican U.S. lawmakers over Hong Kong


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Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated sharply in recent months over issues ranging from trade, to Hong Kong and China’s handling of the novel coronavirus. Trump has made tough talk against China a feature of his campaign for re-election.

China’s sanctions are the latest in a tit-for-tat round of measures between Beijing and Washington over accusations of rights abuses and interference.

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the city’s current and former police chiefs.

The U.S. lawmakers targeted by China on Monday have been among vocal critics of a new national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in late June.

Members of Congress typically take sanctions from U.S. adversaries as compliments, not problems. Hawley’s office issued a statement that he would not “back down” and that he would “continue defending America’s interests.”

It was the second time recently China has announced sanctions against Republicans. Last month, Beijing targeted Cruz, Rubio and Smith after Washington penalized Chinese officials over the treatment of Uighur Muslims.

Beijing’s latest measure includes sanctions against the heads of five U.S.-based, non-government organizations. All five groups had been subjected to sanctions in December in connection with their positions on Hong Kong. (Reporting by Yew Lun Tian and Cate Cadell, additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Robert Birsel and Alistair Bell)

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Rivera: Releasing Guice in Washington’s best interest


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Washington selected Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of LSU. He missed his entire rookie season after suffering a torn ACL in camp, played the season opener in 2019, then missed two more months after undergoing surgery in September for a torn meniscus.

Guice played in five games last season, rushing for 245 yards on 42 carries with a pair of touchdowns. He also caught seven balls for 79 yards and a score.

Rivera also addressed the team’s decision on Sunday to activate Reuben Foster off the physically unable to perform list.

Washington claimed Foster off of waivers when the San Francisco 49ers parted with the troubled linebacker in November 2018. The 49ers let Foster go in the wake of a domestic violence accusation stemming from an alleged incident during a team road trip to Tampa, Fla.

Foster, 26, spent the remainder of the 2018 season on the commissioner’s exempt list.

“Reuben and I have talked about some things, some specific stuff, I’m not going to get into details,” Rivera said. “But the one thing Reuben has shown since I’ve been here is that he is doing things the right way. He is doing things the way we need him to do and he has been excellent. He really has. He’s done great things in terms of his rehab. He’s done a great job in terms of working with our coaches. I’m excited for the young man’s opportunity.

“You know, here’s a guy who needed a change of scenery. I think that may be one of the things that has truly benefited him. Who knows, that’s what might be needed in Derrius’ case, an opportunity for a change of scenery.”

Foster has played in 16 of a possible 48 games in his career since being selected with the 31st overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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Pompeo deeply troubled by Hong Kong tycoon arrest


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WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he was “deeply troubled” by reports of the arrest of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai “under Hong Kong’s draconian National Security Law.”

Lai became the highest-profile person arrested under a new national security law on Monday, detained over suspected collusion with foreign forces as around 200 police searched the offices of his Apple Daily newspaper. “Further proof that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has eviscerated Hong Kong’s freedoms and eroded the rights of its people,” Pompeo said in a Twitter post. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Franklin Paul)

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‘Clear work to do:’ Lawyer named new head of embattled human rights museum


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“Khan’s demonstrated commitment and dedication to human rights make her highly qualified for the position of director of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights — the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights,” Guilbeault said in news release.

Pauline Rafferty, the museum’s board chair and interim CEO, said Khan’s appointment is a crucial step towards rebuilding trust. Rafferty said in the news release that Khan has the experience to lead the institution “through the difficult process of self-reflection and positive change that has already begun.”

Rafferty apologized last week after an independent report found employees experienced systemic racism and other mistreatment at the museum. The report included 44 recommendations.

After the museum posted images of a Justice for Black Lives rally in June, stories from employees were posted online by a group called CMHR Stop Lying. Current and former employees said it was hypocritical of the museum to bring up the rally because of racism staff faced at work.

Some employees alleged they had to censor displays about LGBTQ history at the request of some school groups that visited the museum.

The stories led to the resignation of CEO John Young, who had already planned to step down when his term finished at the end August.

“Clearly with things that have gone on recently and the recent report, I have some clear work to do and have been tasked with that as a priority,” Khan said. “I’m just really eager to get started.”

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Trump says Pelosi, Schumer want to meet on U.S. coronavirus relief


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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday said U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, want to meet with him to make a deal on coronavirus-related economic relief, after talks between Democrats and members of Republican Trump’s administration broke down last week.

“So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it,” Trump wrote on Twitter. (Reporting by Lisa Lambert Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Surprising nuggets from r/classicalmusic

Realistic render of Frédéric Chopin by Hadi Karimi. (Also, Chopin’s cartooning on his manuscript) “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of my violin.” Shostakovich Posing with a cat and a kitten. Also, a pig. Shostakovich working on Symphony 8 Saint-Saens in his amazing pajamas. Early 1900s Colorized Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff. Also, Listz 4 months before he died. Extra, My great great Grandfather chilling with Rachmaninoff Alfred Schnittke’s gravestone. (And Stockhausen’s) posted by growabrain (0 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

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German Social Democrats pick finance minister Scholz as chancellor candidate


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Scholz is Germany’s third most popular politician behind Merkel and one of her possible successors as CDU leader, Health Minister Jens Spahn.

The Social Democrats will be hoping that Scholz’s transformation, during the coroanvirus pandemic, from austere custodian of the public purse to free-spending paymaster in charge of a massive economic stimulus program, will bolster their support in next year’s election.

“Olaf Scholz’s nomination is a good decision at the right time,” Gerhard Schroeder, Germany’s last SPD chancellor, told the Handelsblatt newspaper. Schroeder left office in 2005 and has been a harsh critic of recent SPD leaders.

Scholz was nominated as chancellor candidate by the SPD co-leaders, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans.

In what some saw as a recognition of the steep challenge ahead for the SPD, Walter-Borjans on Sunday conceded what had once been inconceivable – that alongside the Greens, the party would be open to govern in coalition with the Left party, heirs to the Communist Party of the former East Germany. (Reporting by Thomas Seythal and Thomas Escritt Editing by Michelle Martin and Gareth Jones)

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