Signs in Seattle

Here:

I agree with what Matthew Continetti says in this piece, which the above photo adorns, that this is froth. History as farce, Tom Wolf style. This “Seattle Soviet” is going nowhere. It’s “signs and notices”, to quote one of my more frequent categories here, rather than revolutionary architecture of any substance. That being why the above photo is the most informative one I have seen concerning these dramas.

As Kurt Schlichter (who his now being seriously noticed by his enemies) says, the important thing about this Seattle drama is the impact it has on the forthcoming Presidential election in November. Will Trump get the blame for it? Or will the local Democrat politicians? And by extension, the Democrats nationally? Schlichter says the Democrats will get the blame for this Seattle farce, this being why Trump is leaving the local Democrats to not deal with it, until America landslides in his favour. “Silent majority” and all that.

Schlichter combines partisan rhetoric way beyond the point of self-parody with very shrewd observations and analysis. I read him regularly. He is like one of those crazy American lawyers, who seems insane, yet who is taken very seriously, and for good reasons, by his enemies. And as I understand him, which is only a bit, this is because Schlichter is one of those crazy American lawyers, who seems insane, yet who is taken very seriously, and for good reasons, by his enemies.

Shelby Steele talks to Peter Robinson

I just watched this video of Shelby Steele being interviewed by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute. If, like me, you’ve not been paying attention to this man, this interview would be a good way to correct that. If you have been paying attention, well, well done you. But for me, even seeing this man talk was a first. Better late than never.

The idea, which Steele talks about a lot, of freedom being a “shock” makes a lot of sense to me. I recall having this shock explained to me by an east European lady who had spent her adult life being unfree, under Soviet Communist domination. Suddenly she was in a Western style supermarket, facing choices she didn’t know how to make. And that was just the toothpaste.

Towards the end of the interview, Robinson asks if there are any more “Uncle Tom” Black people, now talking about Black Americans getting to grips with the freedom they now have rather than continuing to complain ever more implausibly about the lack of it, and Robinson mentions: Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, and, er, that’s it. Well, how about, and this is just for starters, Candace Owens?

Candace Owens – alarm clock for black America

My thanks to Scott Adams for telling me about this video speech to camera by Candace Owens. (When I watched this video at the Scott Adams twitter feed, the top of her head was sliced off, sometimes even including her eyes. Not recommended.)

The heart of what Candace Owens says about the dramas now unfolding in America is that black Americans are the only ethnic group in American who make martyrs and heroes out of their worst people, i.e. petty and not-so-petty criminals who come to bad ends. George Floyd is now all over T-shirts, but he was actually, first, a petty criminal, and then a not-so-petty criminal, as Owens explains. By martyrising and glorifying wickedness and failure, you set yourself up for a life of wickedness and failure. And mostly: just failure.

What Candace Owens says seems to me, and to Scott Adams, very persuasive. I hope it will prove persuasive to those whom it is most particularly aimed at, which is black Americans. But what Owens says is partly aimed at old non-black guys like me and Scott Adams, because what she says is also universally appealing wisdom. Wise people don’t do this! Owens has certainly done nothing to stop me hearing this speech of hers.

A twitter commenter says that Owens will become America’s first female black President. But Owens is surely in the meantime attempting something smaller and more immediate than that, and in the longer run potentially bigger and better than that.

The “alarm clock” reference comes towards the end of the video.

Hong Kong Demo – London – January 19th 2020

The Chinese government has been taking advantage lately of the fact that there is now only one media story, and is now crunching down on Hong Kong. Because now, this isn’t much of a story, compared to the big story.

As soon as the current round of dramas in Hong Kong began, I was pessimistic about the outcome in the short run, and I am even more pessimistic now. The only hope for the HongKongers, I think, is to get back at their tormentors by turning China itself, in the fullness of time, into something far different and far better, which won’t be so CCP friendly. And in the meantime torment their tormentors by making them scared, and angry that they are liable not to be written up very kindly by History. In short, the HongKongers must now settle down to try to win in the long run, along with everyone else in the world who would like China to be less horribly governed and generally a better place and less of a plague, so to speak, on the world.

But, to do my little bit for keeping Hong Kong as a story now, here are some photos I took of a pro Hong Kong demo in London on January 19th of this year, but never got around to showing anywhere, until now. These next few photos concentrate on the messages the demo-ers were proclaiming:

One weird thing though, the demo seemed to be outside this place:

What have the HongKongers got against the Royal Institute of British Architects?

This slice of google mappery explains:

The RIBA is across the road from the Chinese Embassy, and the demonstrators were shoved across the road. I have various guesses as to who made this happen and why, but I basically do not know.

A selection of 2019 newspaper headlines

I find that newspaper headlines, photoed in such places as shops from which I purchase other goods but not newspapers, can make pleasingly evocative souvenirs, as time goes by. Things that loomed large once upon a time, but which are now forgotten, can instead be remembered. Ah yes, that! Whatever happened to that ruckus? Good lord, him. Good grief, her.

So, here is a gallery of such photos, celebrating the amazing diversity of dramas that London’s various newspapers splashed all over themselves during 2019:

January 17, February 14, March 14, March 29, April 21;
May 28, June 28, July 29, August 9, August 21;
August 21, August 27, August 27, September 13, October 2;
October 2, October 2, November 12, December 6, December 13.

Just kidding. Variety, not.

Most pundits seem to agree that this argument has now been won and lost, following the recent General Election result (also noted in the final photo above). I’ll believe that when I see it. I now expect that there will be plenty of Leaving still to be done, after January the whenever it now is. Much depends, I think, on whether any substantial number of Remainers decide to become Rejoiners; or whether, to use a favourite phrase of such persons when they were winning this argument, the Remainers, aside from an insignificant rump, will now “move on”.

Misery me

I don’t have many engagements, but I had a couple lined up for tomorrow, and I just cancelled both.

Flu, I think. Worse, that particular sort of flu that means that when I cough, the whole of my head and half my neck hurts horribly, in a great self-induced surge. Normally my head only hurts a bit. So there’s that, my head hurting a bit, and in addition to that, I mustn’t cough, even though I really want to, all the time. (“Healthcare” is the nearest category I can find in my list to: being ill, and just waiting for it to stop. Which fellow sufferers tell me it eventually will, in about a fortnight.)

I am also inclined to cancel this engagement, the one that says I have to blog here today. I couldn’t go that far, but the above is why I am confining today’s blogging to this perfunctory piece of self-pity. However, at various times for the next few days, things might go silent here. You have been warned. (Although, they may not. I promise nothing.)

Tomorrow, I do want to vote, beacause things in my constituency could get close, and because I am very clear in my mind which of the two potential winners I detest a bit less than the other. It isn’t far to go, thank goodness.

Wish me well.

Shy Labour?

Dan Hannan:

Will this be the first election to see a “shy Labour” factor? How many voters are embarrassed to admit that their hostility to Brexit, or their tribal anti-Toryism, trumps their concern for their Jewish fellow citizens?

Scary times, for every political obsessive in Britain. Because every political obsessive, me included, is terrified that their preferred tribe will lose.

Another podcast I just listened to that was good

Here.

It’s Bryan Caplan (the guy who gave this lecture that I recently attended), talking to Darren Grimes of the IEA. Caplan disagrees with most voters, but in an ingratiating way. As he himself says towards the end of the conversation, if you have disagreeable things to say, say them agreeably and people will be more likely to listen.

LATER: Now, I’m listening to another interview. Scott Adams autobiographising. Terrific.

The Hong Kong news is good (for now)

Hong Kong just had two big reasons to celebrate. First, there was the result of their recent elections, which Hong Kong won and the Chinese Communists lost. And second, the USA just passed a law supporting the HongKongers, with wide support across the political spectrum. American politicians can agree about very little just now, but they do agree about what the Chinese Communists are doing to Hong Kong. They’re against it. Pretty much all of them.

Here’s the photo at the top of a piece about how Hong Kong is now celebrating this law:

And, since this is my blog, let me mention also that I too have today expressed my displeasure at the behaviour in Hong Kong of the Chinese Communist government of China, by posting a posting at Samizdata entitled How to defeat the Chinese Communists.

That’ll show them.

I have a meeting about Hong Kong at my home, tomorrow night. Judging by the RSVPs so far, the room will be comfortably full, and maybe even uncomfortably full.

Photos of Denise Ho at the ASI

Earlier this evening I attended an event at which Denise Ho answered questions put to her by an ASI guy, about the unfolding situation in Hong Kong. I photoed her:

Very impressive.

Short summary. The protests continue, and the way for her side to win is to universalise the struggle, turning it from a merely local battle, which China is bound to win, into a global argument, which China is a lot less likely to win. Hence her presence in London (and many other spots around the world) to tell people about what’s happening in Hong Kong.

I heard another talk about Hong Kong on Monday that covered a lot of the same ground. My question then (which I thought rather than actually asked) was: What can we do to help? Answer, from Denise Ho this evening: a lot. Because “we” means everyone else in the world who wants to help.