Monthly Archives: September 2014

CY Leung: A wolf in wolf’s clothing

Hans Mahncke

No.

As events continue to unfold in Hong Kong, I cannot help but think of the time before CY Leung got himself appointed as Chief Executive. I had experienced this man’s nasty, near pathological tendencies first hand for some years. As a university council chairman, he displayed all the same traits that he has shown as Chief Executive. Nasty, vindictive, obdurate and, above all, incompetent. It was this first-hand knowledge that persuaded me to join the 2011 Election Committee campaign, not because the other two candidates were any good, but simply because I wanted to let as many people as possible know what a disaster this man would be for Hong Kong.

Whether that was naive, who knows, but, in any case, CY had Beijing’s backing and so he was anointed to the position of Chief Executive. As soon as it was clear that that would happen, I was warned that I should lie low as he would be coming to settle accounts. In truth, I already knew exactly what was coming. And so it did come.

There are many stories to tell but that is not important right now. All I know is that he is very predictable in his ways and so I have no doubt whatsoever that just as he vindictively micromanaged matters as university council chairman, he is doing so now. One day, we will learn that it was he who ordered the teargassing of unarmed students. Hopefully, by that time, Hong Kong will have been ridded of this loathsome man, forever.

Media coverage of the situation in HK

Hans Mahncke

Hong Kong. Photo: Hans Mahncke

Good to see so many international media organisations covering the current situation in Hong Kong. Virtually every day this past week, the BBC World Service headlined issues such as the student strike, or the visit of sycophantic tycoons shoe-shining the rulers in Beijing. They have also featured interviews with people such as Anson Chan, who so eloquently explained why demands for things such as transparent and accountable government are not “Western” issues or ideals, but things that ordinary people the world over strive for.

This is a good summary of the overall situation in Hong Kong from the BBC.

Money quote:

On the same day Hong Kong students were telling me they had to stand up and be counted, the leader of the party which came to power in 1949 promising justice for the workers and peasants was having his photo taken in Beijing with Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, and other Hong Kong tycoons, all of them insisting that stability and prosperity must come first.

Too true.

Global warming deficiencies

I have always wondered about the veracity of things being said in the wild world of ‘Global Warming’.

Being old enough to have experienced chemistry and biology classes at school before the Global Warming debate kicked off, I recall teachers describing how the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has varied quite considerably over thousands and even hundreds of thousands of years, and that this did not seem to affect living beings. What caught my interest at the time was nothing to do with what effect CO2 has on the planet, but much rather how the teachers could possibly know what the atmosphere was like thousands of years ago. In a way, the mechanics, i.e. drilling for ice samples, were much more interesting at the time than the actual amounts or what they signified.

Skip a few years ahead, and all of a sudden I was hearing that the CO2 level was rising and that this was a very bad thing. So recalling what the teachers said, I did not quite follow. And this remains the case.

Hans Mahncke

Global Warming?

I am not a scientist but everything I have read on the topic suggests that there are simply too many variables to make accurate predictions. One particular debate I have been following is that, assuming the earth is getting warmer, what effect would that have on the weather, and wouldn’t that, for instance in the form of more clouds, then have follow-on effects on the warming and the climate overall. I do not know the answers but I am fairly certain no one else does either. And even if we knew the answers, and if earth really was getting warmer, wouldn’t we also then need to ask whether that is a good or a bad thing, before we start thinking of remedies?

Thus, it is always good to come across very down-to-earth analyses of the current state of affairs. One of these featured in the WSJ a few days ago.

Here are some quotes:

The models differ in their descriptions of the past century’s global average surface temperature by more than three times the entire warming recorded during that time. Such mismatches are also present in many other basic climate factors, including rainfall, which is fundamental to the atmosphere’s energy balance. As a result, the models give widely varying descriptions of the climate’s inner workings. Since they disagree so markedly, no more than one of them can be right.

“These and many other open questions are in fact described in the IPCC research reports, although a detailed and knowledgeable reading is sometimes required to discern them. They are not “minor” issues to be “cleaned up” by further research. Rather, they are deficiencies that erode confidence in the computer projections.”

Sadly, with the able help of the media, who are looking for stories, and academics, who are looking for research grants, politicians keep milking this issue as a means of elevating their own importance.

On that note: Who wrote this piece? None other than Barack Obama’s former undersecretary for science in the Energy Department, Dr Steven Koonin.

How is it Hong Kong Customs’ business to enforce China’s trade policies?

According to this news report, Customs officers have caught a truck driver trying to “smuggle” iPhones to China.

As a free port, anyone can bring in and take out of Hong Kong pretty much whatever they like. In fact, that is one of reasons Mainland Chinese find it such an attractive place to come and buy stuff. So why is this truck driver arrested for taking iPhones out of the territory when pretty much everyone else does the exact same thing all the time. You just need to look at all the Mainland travelers on the MTR or at the airport with bags full of Apple products. Is this an effort to help the Chinese side better enforce their customs regime? Why should that be any of Hong Kong’s business? Why do Hong Kong taxpayers have to pay for such enforcement?

Contrasts

What a day it was. What a juxtaposition. On the one hand, a bunch of sycophantic tycoons heading off to Beijing to shoe-shine Xi “Eleven” Jinping. On the other hand, 13,000 students persevering in the heat to protest against Beijing’s decree to pre-screen candidates for Chief Executive.

Unlike the staff members talked about in yesterday’s post, students are not nearly as susceptible to white terror as staff are. In fact, I can attest that, not unlike the example of Grace Mugabe, some students even manage to get their shoes shone by the powers that be (more on that another time).

WIll it come to anything? Probably not, but then again, life is full of surprises. If all this results in that deplorable liar CY Leung being removed, and replaced by someone like Tsang Yok-sing, it would have been more than worth it.