Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The 2007 plea deal Epstein made with prosecutors in Florida was written in such a way that precluded authorities from charging four women identified as possible co-conspirators. But the Southern District of New York, which indicted Epstein on sex-trafficking in July, has previously said it is not bound by Florida’s plea-deal terms, including the agreement not to prosecute possible co-conspirators.
While taking them to court might be an uphill battle, experts ultimately predict the government would be successful.
Monsters, men and magic: why feminists turned to witchcraft to oppose Trump | Life and style | The Guardian
At the dawn of the Trump administration, witches were suddenly everywhere in the US. Neo-pagans used blogs and social media to circulate popular rituals for hexing Brock Turner (who served less than three months in jail after he was convicted of sexual assualt), the supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh (accused of sexual assault, which he denies), and Donald Trump himself. The Trump curse was enacted by thousands of people, including the singer Lana Del Rey. “I’m a witch and I’m hunting you,” declared Lindy West in the New York Times; Jess Zimmerman and Jaya Saxena wrote a self-help book, Basic Witches, in which they explained: “If you speak when you’re told to be quiet, take pride when you’re told to feel shame, love what and who you love whether or not others approve, you’re practising witchcraft.” Half the women I know called their group chats “covens”. Trump developed a penchant for tweeting the phrase “WITCH HUNT” in caps whenever he felt persecuted, which the conservative political cartoonist AF Branco dramatised exactly the wrong way around, with the Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi depicted as gun-toting witches on the hunt for a helpless mortal man.
Since the protests in Hong Kong started two months ago, I have been struck by the coolness of the American response. I am referring not just to President Donald Trump, who has reiterated that the dispute is an internal Chinese matter. Both the social media I sample and the people I know have been fairly quiescent. I haven’t seen that much cheering and rooting for the protesters, nor have the major Democratic presidential candidates made a show of stressing their dissent from Trump on this issue.
Hong Kong seem to be heading to a 'Tianenmen-like' situation with thousands of protesters thronging the streets. Chinese media had already warned of potential terrorism rising in the country and even accused the US of supporting the riots. A video posted on twitter shows pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong waving the American flag adding to the fury of the Beijing-backed government.
I guess they didn't get the memo about the stars and stripes being a symbol of racism and oppression.
Court issues injunction order to remove protesters from Hong Kong airport terminal after they clash with riot police | South China Morning Post
Defiant anti-government protesters brought unprecedented violence to Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday night, clashing with riot police after severely disrupting flights, even as officials secured an injunction order against those occupying the terminal building.
A source confirmed that the Airport Authority, represented by senior counsel Benjamin Yu, was granted the injunction by a judge late on Tuesday night.
At least a dozen members of Customs and Border Protection and the FBI landed on Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous Little St. James — nicknamed “Pedophile Island” — in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Monday, two days after the accused child sex trafficker was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell in an apparent suicide.
Why did this take so long?
Meanwhile, the city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, told the news media on Tuesday that “lawbreaking activities in the name of freedom” were damaging the rule of law and that the Asian financial hub’s recovery from anti-government protests could take a long time.
It's going to be ugly. The American MSM won't cover the half of it, except perhaps Fox. Will the Democrats notice and comment on the destruction of the Chinese HK-ers groping for freedom? Will Trump? I predict no, and no, but we'll see. By "comment," BTW, I mean more than to say "Oh, that's too bad." I mean, express genuine heart-felt outrage. But we'll see.
The other structural problem is that for all Williamson thinks the individual, that ‘smallest minority’, should have supreme status, you emerge with little sense of what an individualist society would look like and why it would be so productive and sophisticated. Say what you like about ‘neoreactionary’ thinker Mencius Moldbug, but when he took his stand against democracy he came with his own powerful if eccentric alternative. Williamson just grouses about the demos. We can agree, of course, that you should not idealize ‘the people’ when it contains so many embittered iconoclasts, paranoid pattern-seekers and tedious midwits. But we also have to accept that it was not the masses who came up with harebrained schemes like the Iraq war. It is not the masses who got rich off other people’s crippling opioid addictions. It is not the masses who enabled Jeffrey Epstein. Mocking the hoi polloi has its charms, but if you are going to be an elitist then a far more difficult endeavor would be making a case for a better elite.
KDW is often funny but I'm not tempted to look up to him. He sometimes seems to confuse the ability to come up with a really zingy put down with the ability to disassemble the other guy's arguments, or what the other guy's arguments should have been.
But as important as these developments are, there is a greater concern. This is the intellectual framework that China is creating under the guise of ‘a community with a shared future for mankind,’ most recently expressed in the July 2019 defense white paper. Precisely what the Chinese Communist party (CCP) means by this concept is deliberately vague and nebulous. But it is clear enough from the more tangible comments defining peace, stability, and prosperity in China with the collective good of the world, as is the equation of a strong Chinese military as a force for world peace, stability and the building of a shared future for mankind.
This shared future is certain to be dystopian. Any community that the CCP creates will be totalitarian and oppressive by its nature. Any shared future that it seeks to create will be one in which the rest of the world adapts to serve the interests of Beijing. The future will be shared only because China’s power is great enough to trap states into it either by seduction or coercion. It will be like Foxconn on a global scale. Beijing’s conception of global governance is a firm hierarchy with it on top. This shared future will be less free, less diverse, and far more oppressive than the present one.
It is at least this bad.
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Well before she was a United States senator, or the attorney general of California, Harris was already in with the in-crowd here. From 1994, when she was introduced splashily in the region’s most popular newspaper column as the paramour of one of the state’s most powerful politicians, to 2003, when she was elected district attorney, the Oakland- and Berkeley-bred Harris charted the beginnings of her ascent in the more fashionable crucible of San Francisco. In Pacific Heights parlors and bastions of status and wealth, in trendy hot spots, and in the juicy, dishy missives of the variety of gossip columns that chronicled the city’s elite, Kamala Harris was a boldface name.