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Daily Tech News 28 November 2022 | Main | Mid-Morning Art Thread
November 28, 2022

The Morning Report — 11/28/22

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Good morning, kids. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. The volume of links is still thin but there are some things happening that potentially could be huge as we head towards the end of 2022. The internal unrest in Iran and China continues to percolate. As I touched upon last week, it's rather ironic that two of the world's most oppressive regimes might, or at least have the potential, to spark a geopolitical earthquake that, like most of these sort of things, was unanticipated and seemingly out of the blue.

I'll stop right here and state for the record that in no way am I predicting either or both of these are going to be overthrown and their leaders given the Ceacescu-Mussolini lamppost treatment, let alone Jeffersonian democracy established. The odds are long indeed. But the elements in both those accursed nations are certainly there, which make those odds, long as they are, still higher than zero.

Let's focus in on China, where repression is now at a level, thanks to high tech either stolen from, or worse eagerly developed by and given to the regime by Microsoft, Google et al that makes surveillance of a billion souls at Stasi levels of effectiveness. The nation's economy is on a bubble that could crash at any moment, their one-child policy has put even them on the path towards depopulation within less than 100 years, and at least a generation have come of age with at least a taste of the forbidden fruit of western culture, now threatened by the megalomaniacal dreams of Xi Jinping who fancies himself as the second coming of Mao.

The Chinese character is such that its respect for authority is deeply ingrained. And yet, with these lockdowns that are literally locking people down as physical prisoners in their own homes across much of the nation, this sense of deference to authority, one that has no qualms about crushing any and all dissent, is not in evidence.

Protests intensified over the weekend in major cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan. According to media reports, a demonstration in Shanghai eventually devolved into chaos, with police clashing with protesters and deploying pepper spray. The protests emerged as a response to the “zero COVID” policies imposed by the Chinese Communist Party government since the beginning of the pandemic.

Protests intensified over the weekend in major cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan. According to media reports, a demonstration in Shanghai eventually devolved into chaos, with police clashing with protesters and deploying pepper spray. The protests emerged as a response to the “zero COVID” policies imposed by the Chinese Communist Party government since the beginning of the pandemic.

The protests reportedly began on Thursday after ten people were killed in a fire at a residential high-rise building in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang autonomous region. Videos of the incident posted on social media spawned accusations that lockdowns contributed to the deaths, the New York Times and Reuters reported. Residents of the city have been locked down and prevented from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days at a time, Reuters added. . .

. . . In several cases, protesters reportedly took aim directly at Xi. “Down with the Chinese Communist Party, down with Xi Jinping,” protesters reportedly shouted at the Saturday demonstration in Shanghai, per Reuters.

“We want freedom,” others chanted, according to the New York Times.

“Xi Jinping!” “Step down!” another group chanted back and forth, NYT reported.

It's evident now that the protests have gone beyond merely just the draconian lockdowns. They are anti-government in general in tone and focus. A friend sent me a link where one protester actually quoted Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death."

“There is only one disease in the world, that is, being unfree and poor, and now we have both,” a man in Chongqing, in southwest China, declared in a video that spread widely in the country in recent days despite censorship.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” shouted the man, whose identity is unknown but who quickly acquired the nickname “Super Brother” online.

Aside from the bitterly ironic fact that an alarming percentage of American children have no idea who Patrick Henry even was nor the quote itself and its context, the interesting thing to note in terms of the Chinese citizen who said it is, coupled with all the other protests, it indicates to me that there is a definite anti-regime if not pro-freedom sentiment in China. How large it is and how organized it is is anyone's guess. Yet, given what we know of that regime's internal security apparatus, that it is able to exist at all even at the most minimum level has got to come as a shock to Xi and his ilk.

So, to Psaki-psircle back, does this mean the Chi-Com regime is in imminent danger of collapse? I don't think so. What it does indicate to me though, and gives me a measure of hope is that, while things like Democracy projects and all the rest of that crap are just that, crap, it does mean that at a minimum, people do not enjoy being abused by those in positions of power. They may as the Chinese, have deference to authority figures part of their cultural DNA, but shit like what they are going through now is intolerable.

A scenario that is easy to imagine is Xi going too far and perhaps a clique in the military removing him and his comrades. Sadly, they'll still be replaced by Communists, and the Red Chinese goal of global domination will still be their prime objective. But at least the citizenry will be somewhat mollified. Or will they?

You could make the pessimistic case that after that anonymous and insanely brave man stopped a column of T-62s in Tiananmen Square 33 years, the movement died with him and perhaps tens of thousands of others who were rounded up and killed out of view from the TV cameras. And yet, a generation later and the candle of freedom still burns in the pitch darkness.

In certain ways, it might be more difficult to restore Jeffersonian democracy right here at home where it was born. But things like this give me hope. If for no other reason than to just flip the bird at the evil bastards no matter the consequences.

Better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Let's hope it doesn't come to that but the way things are going over here, be prepared.


NOTE: The opinions expressed in the links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

ALSO: The Morning Report is cross-posted at CutJibNewsletter.com if you want to continue the conversation all day.

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posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:40 AM

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