Category Archives: Government

China’s parliament approves Hong Kong national security bill

Source

http://www.aljazeera.com

May 28, 2020

National People’s Congress votes 2,878 to 1 in favour of decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.

China's parliament approves Hong Kong national security bill
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang cast their votes on the national security legislation for Hong Kong [Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters]
 

China’s parliament has approved a decision to move forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that critics fear could undermine the city’s autonomy.

The National People’s Congress on Thursday voted 2,878 to 1 in favour of the decision to empower its standing committee to draft the legislation, with six abstentions.

The legislators gathered in the Great Hall of the People burst into sustained applause when the vote tally was projected onto screens.

China says the legislation will be aimed at tackling secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in the city but the plan, unveiled in Beijing last week, triggered the first big protests in Hong Kong for months.

The security law will alter the territory’s mini-constitution, or Basic Law, to require its government to enforce measures to be decided later by Chinese leaders. The plans have prompted widespread condemnation and strained China’s relations with the United States and Britain.

Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said the Chinese move “is taking place without any consultation, any debate with Hong Kong’s leaders or its government”.

“China is taking advantage of a legal loophole that completely bypasses Hong Kong’s legislative process.”

Details of the law are expected to be drawn up in coming weeks, and Chinese authorities and the Beijing-backed government in Hong Kong say there is no threat to the city’s autonomy and the new security law will be tightly focused.

But the US on Wednesday revoked its special status for Hong Kong, alleging the city was no longer autonomous from Beijing, paving the way for future sanctions and the removal of trading privileges in the financial hub.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, riot police were out in force as its legislators debated another piece of legislation, a bill that would criminalise disrespect of China’s national anthem.

Dozens of protesters gathered in a shopping mall to chant slogans but there was no repeat of disturbances the previous day when police made 360 arrests as thousands took to the streets in anger over the anthem bill and the national security legislation proposed by China.

Last year, the city was rocked for months by often violent pro-democracy demonstrations over an unsuccessful bid to introduce an extradition law to China.

The national security legislation is the latest issue to fuel fears in Hong Kong that Beijing is imposing its authority and eroding the high degree of autonomy the former British colony has enjoyed under a “one country, two systems” formula since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown, reporting from Hong Kong, said: “There is deep resentment towards this law in Hong Kong. And I think the protests that we saw on Wednesday are going to continue, if not intensify, even though protesters know Beijing is not going to reverse course.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer qualified for special treatment under US law, potentially dealing a crushing blow to its status as a major financial hub.

The proposed security law was “only the latest in a series of actions” undermining Hong Kong freedoms, he told Congress.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” he said.

The security law could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in the city.

Relations between the two superpowers have been tense over China’s claims in the South China Sea and trade. The coronavirus pandemic has also become an issue of acrimony.

“Already, international business is facing the pressure of increased tension between the US and China, but the enactment of China’s security law for Hong Kong could take the tension to a whole new level,” said Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

“This is show time for Hong Kong,” Joseph said in a commentary in the South China Morning Post.

US President Donald Trump has promised action over Hong Kong, with an announcement at the end of the week. More than 1,300 US companies have offices in the city, providing about 100,000 jobs.

China said it would take necessary countermeasures to any foreign interference into what it insists are its internal affairs.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Schrödinger’s President

 

Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter went on a surprisingly vitriolic anti-Trump rant the other day, calling the president a “complete blithering idiot”, an “actual retard”, and “the most disloyal human God ever created” for his treatment of Jeff Sessions and his failure to build the border wall per his campaign promise.

“Coulter is right,” comedian Tim Dillon tweeted in response. “Trump doesn’t really care about immigration or the wall, it was just the way to win. He likes winning. You don’t live your entire life being a Hollywood star who hangs with the Clintons and Jeffrey Epstein and then decide you actually like people from Ohio.”

Which is true. Trump and his handlers understood that rising anti-immigration sentiment in America was a key to winning the presidency, but he never cared about immigration and never had any intention of going out of his way to do anything about it (which is why even his deportation numbers are still below Obama’s). Just one of the many ways where the popular narrative about Trump–the story everyone’s telling about him–differs wildly from the reality.

Tim Dillon

@TimJDillon

Coulter is right. Trump doesn’t really care about immigration or the wall, it was just the way to win. He likes winning. You don’t live your entire life being a Hollywood star who hangs with the Clintons and Jeffrey Epstein and then decide you actually like people from Ohio.

604 people are talking about this

It is normal to have multiple contradictory mainstream narratives running about a president at the same time, and for none of those narratives to be accurate. Obama was simultaneously a progressive champion of sanity and a socialist Muslim from Kenya hell bent on America’s destruction, none of which was true but both of which were believed with equal fervor by either side of the illusory partisan divide.

What’s unusual about Trump is that there are multiple contradictory narratives running about him at the same time, within the same political factions. His own base is able to hold the belief that Trump is a brilliant strategic mastermind who is commanding a covert counter-coup to overthrow the Deep State, for example, while simultaneously excusing all the many, many establishment capitulations that he makes as being beyond his control. Much like Schrödinger’s proverbial pet Trump exists for them in two mutually contradictory states at once: a skillful hero who is taking down the Deep State, and a hapless victim who can’t control what happens in his own administration because it’s all being controlled by the Deep State.

On the other side of the imaginary partisan divide, Democrats spent years advancing the mutually contradictory narratives that Trump is at once (A) idiotic, (B) mentally ill, and (C) running a covert operation to sabotage America in the interests of Russia–but cleverly evading detection under intense scrutiny. They also hold him as simultaneously presenting an unprecedented threat to American democracy and also perfectly safe to keep voting in support of continuing and expanding his military and surveillance powers.

None of these narratives have anything to do with reality, yet they consume an immense amount of oxygen in US political discourse while Trump continues and expands the many depraved agendas of his predecessors.

Consortium News@Consortiumnews

Biden Can’t Return US to Normal, Because Trump is a Normal President https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/22/biden-cant-return-us-to-normal-because-trump-is-a-normal-president/ 

Biden Can’t Return US to Normal, Because Trump is a Normal President

Wanting America to go back to how it was before Trump is like rewinding the same horror movie, writes Caitlin Johnstone. By Caitlin Johnstone CaitlinJohnstone.com “I am with Joe Biden all the way-…

consortiumnews.com

53 people are talking about this

Trump is not a populist champion of the little guy, nor a closet Nazi working to establish a white ethnostate, nor a Kremlin asset, but is in fact nothing other a miserable rich man from a miserable rich family who did what it takes to get elected to the presidency of a racist, corrupt, bloodthirsty empire and remain there for a full term. Everything else is narrative which is wholly divorced from reality.

The reason we can have wildly popular narratives dominating mainstream political discourse for years on end without their containing a shred of actual reality is because human experience is dictated by mental stories far more than most people realize. Establishment power structures, who have their hands in both parties of America’s two-handed political sock puppet show, stand everything to gain and nothing to lose by using narrative control to keep the public debating fake nonsense instead of the actual horrible things this administration is doing like imprisoning Julian Assange for journalism, vetoing attempts to save Yemen, inflicting starvation sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and initiating cold war escalations against two nuclear-armed nations.

If people truly understood the extent to which mental narrative dominates their experience of life, propaganda, advertising and all other forms of psychological manipulation would be regarded by our society similarly to physical assault or property theft. For anyone who is interested in the pernicious ways narrative manipulation is used to keep people confused and conflicted while powerful people roll out toxic agendas, Trump is a very interesting case study indeed.

If humanity is to survive, people are going to have to evolve beyond the sticky relationship with mental narrative which enables establishment spinmeisters to keep an entire nation transfixed by fake stories about a very conventionally evil president instead of pushing for the real changes we’ll need to make if we’re to overcome the existential hurdles looming on our horizon. Learning to distinguish reality from narrative will send the whole prison crashing down.

________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics onTwitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Hot mic in White House press room reveals: “Everybody here has been vaccinated anyway”… “it was a hoax?”

Hot mic in White House press room reveals: “Everybody here has been vaccinated anyway”… “it was a hoax?”

INTELLIHUB

With permission from

By Shepard Ambellas

Evidence your government has lied to you about the coronavirus. So why the lockdowns and full-scale military deployment? What’s coming?

— An open hot mic at Monday’s White House press briefing reveals that Coronavirus mortality rate is 0.1 to 0.3 and that everyone in the White House has been vaccinated.

Reporter #1: You can take off your mask–the case mortality rate is point one to point three.”

Reporter #2: Is it really? That’s reassuring. Everybody here has been vaccinated anyway.

Reporter #1: USC and L.A. County Public Health came out with a study—they found that there are seven thousand cases in California but they really believe that there are anywhere from two hundred and twenty-one thousand to four hundred and forty-two thousand people who’ve been infected.

Reporter #2: Really? So that makes it zero point one to zero point three?

Reporter #1: Yeah.

Reporter #2: So that’s a study they came out with or?

Reporter #1: Yeah it just came out today. So it suggests the case mortality rate is about a tenth of what it seems to be.

Reporter #2: Woah. So it’s a hoax?

Reporter #1: No I don’t think it’s a hoax.

Reporter #1: (Laughter)

Ladies and gentlemen, you have been lied to. The question is: what is the reason for the full-scale military deployment worldwide?