Hong Kong Freedoms Under Attack

Hong Kong Freedoms Under Attack

Unrest in Hong Kong has the world watching

Hong Kong Freedoms Under Attack

Continuing anti-democratic crackdowns in Hong Kong are alarming many in the west.


By Nicholas Waithaka and D. S. Mitchell

A Little History

On July 1, 1997 the UK transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong is now a Special Administrative Region of the PRC.  At the time of the transfer, Chinese officials promised to preserve as much of Hong Kong’s unique attributes as possible. In fact, a 50-year autonomous stretch was declared. During the autonomous period Hong Kong was to keep its capitalist structures and its western freedoms. The plan was to integrate Hong Kong with motherland China while preserving the political and economic systems that had developed under the British.

The 1984 Declaration

The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 outlined the territory’s “one country, two systems” future. That principle is enshrined in a document called the Basic Law – in effect, Hong Kong’s mini constitution. Although the Chinese central government does not have power over Hong Kong per say; the central government does have the authority to interpret the basic laws. According to the terms of Hong Kong’s constitution (it’s basic law), the autonomous period is to last until 2047. From recent events 50 years is apparently longer than Beijing intends to wait.

National Security Law

In recent years, Beijing has begun interfering in Hong Kong’s political governance, notably cracking down on any form of dissent; peaceful or not.  Such central government actions fueled massive protests in Hong Kong between 2019-2021. In 2020, Beijing passed a controversial national security law and arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists and lawmakers. It is becoming clear that Beijing is intent on eroding the long-held freedoms of Hong Kong citizens.

Continue reading

Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn

Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn:

Nothing But PR & Energy Politics

By Sonnet Gomes

I was so content with my current tiny investment in Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, till last night. When Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn simply throws me off the edge.

Musk’s Tweet on suspending vehicle purchase using Bitcoin not only struck a boult on me but also my itty-bitty crypto asset. No wonder I was enraged to see the price dropping, and my investment is fading away.

However, it took me a while to come to my senses (thanks to my wife for a late-night Coffee) and realize what is actually going on.

Musk’s Twitter Activity from Last Night

The entire Tweet, I am sure, will amaze almost anyone. Let’s look at a few lines of it first, and then I will dive deep into them.

  • “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel” (O Boy, O Boy! we had no clue about it until the Tweet!)
  • “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future” (So Tesla and SpaceX are not dumping all its crypto assets because they are nothing but energy-guzzler carbon-emitting machines)
  • “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin, and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy” (He actually loves Bitcoin and keeping all the digital assets for future use. Wondering what it’s that? Well, the next Bitcoin big selling)

Continue reading

Guilt By Association

Guilt By Association

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Little Bit of History Repeating

History is more of a cycle than a straight line. Those who have looked at it closely recognize trends have a tendency to repeat. Themes and progress ebb and flow in the oceans of time. Sadly, there are some areas where the water is darker than others. One such dark spot in the ocean of time is the anti-Chinese sentiment in North America.

An Ill Wind

One of the more damaging aspects of coronavirus, aside from the death toll, is the misinformation being spread about it. One being the Anti-Chinese sentiment, fostered and fueled by President Trump and his surrogates. Attempting to redirect blame from his colossal mismanagement of the pandemic response Trump continues his attacks on China. Our boneheaded and close to illiterate president regularly promotes the idea that the virus “came from China.”

Historical Reference

Did it spread through China first? Yes. Do we know for a fact that it is where the virus originated? Hell no. In fact, the Chinese point an angry finger to the United States military. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is new and poorly understood. The prevailing theory is that the original carrier was a bat. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but bats fly. Over a fair bit of distance. As a historical reminder the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic did not originate in Spain, but rather Kansas and was spread by American soldiers.  Not that it matters anyway. The country of origin not nearly as important as how to stop the spread of SARS CoV-2 and cure the disease among those who contract it.

Continue reading

OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

I read some place when you hire a clown, expect a circus..

An unidentified, but very clever person declared, “when you hire a clown, expect a circus.”

OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Question of Leadership.

Many American presidents have faced great obstacles. To their credit, most have risen to the occasion with some degree of grace and intelligence befitting the office. Most of the catastrophes have been military-and at times self-inflicted, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s half-cocked 1898 invasion of Spanish controlled Cuba. “Remember the Maine!” More recently, terrorism has been the challenge. After 9/11, somehow overnight, George W. Bush became a military genius. That genius led us into an unending conflict in the Middle East. Though, to his credit, he did better than most would have expected. Ulysses S. Grant, not widely known for his intelligence, statesmanship, or sobriety did attempt to rebuild the nation after the terror of the Civil War, and as expected, failed abysmally.

Guns and Ammo

Woodrow Wilson was fighting two wars, one against the Germans and one against the Spanish Flu.

Woodrow Wilson faced two enemies during WWI; the Germans and the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Sadly, Woodrow Wilson, simultaneously facing World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic resorted to lies and misinformation to tamper down public fears. God forbid anyone stop the production of guns and ammunition.  The 1918 experience of a rapidly spreading virus, and a government unprepared for the challenge, should be an eye opener. The COVID-19 outbreak has been compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic. If that proves correct we could be on the brink of total disaster. In fact, Wilson’s public response to Spanish Flu may prove sterling in comparison to Trump’s Coronavirus press briefings.

Wishful Thinking

In the case of president Trump, the lies come so fast and furious it is often hard to separate intent from stupidity. In an instance of whimsical optimism unseen outside of a Peter Pan production, Trump publicly suggested people should just “go to work”, and it will all miraculously “just go away.” Reporting indicates Trump was warned in early December 2019 that COVID-19 was as serious as it gets, and was headed like an armed missile directly at us.

Continue reading

Environmental Benefits of COVID-19

COVID-19 is the scariest health risk since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic

Environmental Benefits of COVID-19

By Sonnet Gomes

State of War

Viruses and humanity have been in a “state-of-war” from the beginning of time. A variety of  infectious diseases have been responsible for every pandemic in world history. We only need to remember our high school history books coverage of the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu.  It is estimated that the Spanish Flu was responsible for more than 50,000,000 worldwide deaths. Behind all modern-day pandemics, the primary culprits have been viruses.

Coronaviruses are Well-Known

Coronaviruses are well-known to us. In fact, you probably are a unknowing host to millions of them at this very moment. Coronaviruses cause a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to severe and often deadly respiratory infections. This new strain, COVID-19, is short for coronavirus disease-2019.  This novel coronavirus is responsible for the current global outbreak. Although coronaviruses  are well-known this new strain has no cure or prevention. This fact has jeopardized millions of human beings worldwide, particularly the elderly or immune suppressed.

Origins of Outbreak

The outbreak started in November 2019 in the City of Wuhan, China. Wuhan is a city of over 11,000,000 people. A busy center of industry. The source of this novel strain is not known for certain, but a credible source has been identified. In China, there are many open markets where wild animals including rats and bats are butchered in proximity to vegetables, domestic meats and customers. The COVID-19 is thought to have started in one of these huge open markets. Bats are the primary transmission suspect. Wild animals, including bats have been regularly butchered and sold as meat in China. Bats are known carriers of multiple strains of coronaviruses.

Non-Symptomatic but Contagious

The COVID-19 is Zoonotic, meaning it can transfer from animal to man.  Similar to SARS, it can stay in the host body undetected for up to 14 days. The difference seems to be that with COVID-19 the person may be non-symptomatic but contagious. SARS, on the other hand,  is not communicable until patient develops symptoms. Both SARS and MERS were transmitted from the civet cat and camels, respectively. Thus, it is clear, the chain of infection often starts with a animal to man transfer. All wildlife trade in China, including bat meat, was banned in January 2020. This was a direct response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Coronavirus Map Expands

As of this writing, around 81,000 people have been infected in China. Out of those patients, the death toll is more than 3,100. Yet, many thousands are recovering. Italy, Iran, and South Korea now face the grim reality of a COVID-19 outbreak. Every day, new countries are added to the coronavirus map. The United States is now part of the pandemic.  The World Health Organization has identified the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Continue reading