Recovering after meeting people

After a couple of days of immensely hectic social activity (ie, I went somewhere), what have I missed?

Obviously under pressure from the government, RTHK is publicly intimidating one of its reporters for asking officials difficult questions. It’s amazing that the broadcaster has survived this far with editorial independence still semi-intact. Are Beijing’s enforcers or their local minions nervous about tangling with staff who are on civil-service contracts? I get the feeling that when it eventually comes, RTHK’s full rectification will be fairly sudden.

Veteran pro-dem lawmaker Claudia Mo makes a case for her camp staying on in (and arguably helping to legitimize) an unconstitutionally extended Legislative Council. A ‘not abandoning any battle line’ sort of thing. I’m sure she’s sincere – and she certainly exploits the platform for all it’s worth – but this is naive. If the CCP’s local puppets want you to stay in the Council, it should be obvious what to do. The older generation of pan-dems are so wedded to the rituals, structures and symbolism of their representative dream that they can’t let go even after the institution has been turned into an instrument for countering democracy.

Mainland authorities release some details about the 12 Hong Kong activists arrested trying to flee to Taiwan. Beijing’s instinct will be to set a harsh example with them by treating this as a national-security case. Very unfortunate for them – but good news for anyone who wants to see the CCP publicize its thuggishness to the rest of the world.

In Apple Daily – Hong Kong’s top Catholic overextends his powers by ordering his flock to obey orders and shut up about the Vatican’s kowtowing to the CCP. Also, Kevin Carrico uses my kind of international-relations-speak to explain why we should prepare for the worst over Taiwan: ‘China’s already creepy actions have escalated to truly psychotic stalker levels’.

One of the various blessings of Covid-19 has been the near-obliteration of conferences. All those drone-fests about sustainable challenges and opportunities have vanished, and of course no-one noticed. But these things are hard to kill off, and I detect a worrying sign that – like rats evolving to enjoy poison – they are adapting to what threatens them. Here is one of a series of ‘webinar’ mini-conferences (about the pandemic itself) which promise to condense all the boredom of one day into 60-minute segments that follow you around wherever you are on Zoom and YouTube… 

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21 Responses to Recovering after meeting people

  1. where's my jet plane says:

    Cardinal Tong’s missive reminded me that there is very little to choose in principle between the RC church and the CCP. Two of our four CEs are rabid left-footers. The revelation a few days ago the SS Lee and the Education chappie are also of the faith made me wonder how many more in the administration are like-minded and if it is the Catholic up-bringing that makes them acceptable to the political overlord

  2. donkey says:

    Your points on the democrats are well taken. I personally think they are morons who do not understand anything weighty about politics.

    Oh and a war is around the corner. I predict China invades Taiwan after November.

  3. YTSL says:

    Another view re whether the democrats should stay or go:-

    (Hemlock, did you miss this piece or just didn’t think it was worth linking to?)

  4. Flange-head #4 says:

    Don’t be taken in by their welcome grins (from the song “Never smile at a crocodile”). Many of the LEGCO Demos simply want their big fat pay cheques to keep on plopping into their bank accounts. The efforts of some to give the appearance of moral high-ground taking is disingenuous twaddle. I also note that Witchie Poo has been pretty quiet after a senior figure in the HKPF, Kwok Ka-chuen, challenged her to put up or shut up regarding statements she made on air in a Sky News (UK) interview related to under-cover cops supposedly vandalizing shops in Wanchai: “……such accusations were utterly false and founded on fake news”.

  5. Flange-Head #4 says:

    @Donkey: “Your points on the democrats are well taken. I personally think they are morons who do not understand anything weighty about politics.”

    To re-work a phrase of Jordan Peterson: “Ha, ha. Got you.” This statement demonstrates perfectly my views on the limitations of democracy. This is why HK does not need it.

  6. Sean O'Herlihy says:

    The democrats should do like the Irish: take the money but don’t show up.

  7. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    Traditional Catholics such as myself are disgusted by Jorge Bergoglio, aka ‘The Bouncer From BsAs’. The way that he guides the Vatican towards Beijing despite evidence of continued persecution (and cyber attacks!) is very strange.

    Perhaps I should present a webinar on the subject.

  8. Richard Cushing says:

    @ jet plane

    “Cardinal Tong’s missive reminded me that there is very little to choose in principle between the RC church and the CCP.”

    The above comment reminds me that there is very little value in reading its author’s bigoted idiotic rubbish.

  9. Steve Mc Garret says:

    Seems a fair comparison to me having a wife being a devout Catholic. Having attended a few masses it is notable that there is an emphasis on the proles being obedient and on ritual, some of which is relevant and some of which is used to support the obedience thing. Both also have a supreme leader who is supposed to be infallible.

  10. where's my jet plane says:

    @ Richard Cushing
    Did you read Cardinal Tong’s missive? Apart from references to god, it is straight language from the CCP playbook.
    And since you use the word “bigoted”, I assume in reference to me, I would remind you of the definition of the word;

    obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, and intolerant towards other people’s beliefs and practices.

    How does that not apply either to the CCP ot the Roman church?

  11. Stephen says:


    I predict the CCP will never invade Taiwan because the whole region will blow up and will likely end their hold on power. The CCP cannot even release their casualty figures, after the recent “unarmed” confrontation with India, for fear of public reaction. Sure reaction will go nationalistic at first but then ..?

  12. Low Profile says:

    China could, of course, successfully invade Taiwan, but at what cost? Taiwan only needs to make that cost too high for China to stomach, not to defeat the PLA totally. It is one thing for Chinese people to cheer nationalist sentiment, but when they see a million of their sons come home in a box, they may feel rather differently.

  13. steve says:

    For the last half of my academic career, I chose which conferences to attend based on where they were held and what else might be available to do at that location. When I was still working in the US, I went to my discipline’s primary annual to-do in Denver and spent most of the weekend at Colorado Rockies games, buying great seats outside the gates from non-scalping scalpers. Sunshine (Coors Field is a lovely stadium), cool weather, a beer and a hot dog, and baseball.

    That said, this was an outlier in my conference attending/touristing ratio. I did learn useful things and encounter interesting people at conferences over the years, especially after I focused on a subsidiary conference with a much more open and friendly atmosphere. And that’s what’s missing in online conferences, which we’re going to be stuck with up to some still unseen temporal horizon (especially in the US, because, well, you know). At best, in-person conference experiences get beyond schmoozing to real networking and even new friendships.

  14. Mary Melville says:

    Friends received a cartoon version of the Run Hide Report with their WATER BILL!!!!
    Saved it but my teck skills are not up to including a link here for the gist.
    And we thought that the Water Dept was busy removing lead from pipes and tracking down worms that are crawling out of the loos at new PH units.

  15. Richard Cushing says:

    @ jet plane

    The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world. It has around 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals, 65 percent of them located in developing countries.

    The Catholic Church operates the world’s largest non-governmental school system. In 2016, the church supported 43,800 secondary schools, and 95,200 primary schools.

    Catholic Relief Services, the international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, provides assistance to 130 million people in more than 90 countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

    In what universe do those facts leave “very little to choose in principle between the RC church and the CCP”? And to whom does the Church provide these services? To all races and creeds.

    On yer bike, mate.

    We know who the intolerant bigot is in this picture, and it’s not the Church.

    Feel free to continue the argument with St. Peter when you meet him.

  16. Red Dragon says:

    Quite honestly, l couldn’t give two hoots for the Roman Catholic church.

    The Reformation was the best thing ever.

  17. Big Al says:

    And how many young boys to they bugger? More than the CCP I’d wager …

  18. Din Dan Che says:

    Well said, Mr Cushing… you can take my confession any day.

  19. where's my jet plane says:

    @ Cushing
    Quite a list but irrelevant. The discussion is about the governance of the two organisations.
    What part of …lay people are to obey and duly respect their pastors who, by reason of their sacred offices, represent the person of Christ differs from the required obedience to the CCP and its functionaries?

    And on the question of bigotry, when did the Vatican ever accept the validity of the “sacred offices” of any other Christian sect?

  20. Mark L says:

    @Richard Cushing

    Yay. An organization whose primary function isn’t to help people, helps some people. A true miracle, placing said organization above any and all reproach.

    On a similar note, given their incredibly welfare toward the public, it should be an offense to criticize the Hong Kong Jockey Club in any way. In fact, gambling is now a virtue!

    /If you think St. Peter is going to meet you at any gates, you must have smoked some ganja back in the day and saw the proverbial light. Adult fairy tails to soothe the fearful…

  21. Richard Cushing says:

    God bless you, my sons.

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