Reason Roundup

Police, Vigilantes Battle Hong Kong Demonstrators

Iran seizes British tanker, White House and Congress approach a budget deal, Bernie Sanders cuts campaign workers' hours, and more...

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Violence broke out at the protests in Hong Kong yesterday, with police and club-wielding counterprotestors clashing with anti-government demonstrators.

Protesters filled the city's streets to oppose legislation that would allow people in Hong Kong charged with crimes by the Chinese government to be extradited to the mainland. The extradition bill had already been suspended following mass protests earlier in the month. On Sunday, somewhere between 138,000 and 430,000 demonstrators marched to demand the bill be officially killed and that police violence at earlier protests be investigated.

Several hundred of these protestors also defaced the front of the Chinese government's liaison office.

As night fell, Hong Kong police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a smaller rump of remaining protestors who they accused of throwing bricks and petrol bombs at police.

Meanwhile, white-shirted vigilantes at a subway station assaulted people returning from the marches. Seven people were hospitalized after the attack, according to the South China Morning Post.

The day before, a pro-government rally was held in the city. Organizers say 300,000 people attended, while police put the number at 103,000.

This past month's protests over the extradition bill mark the largest protests since the city, a former British colony, was handed over to the Chinese government in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" arrangement. This setup is supposed to guarantee Hong Kong autonomy over its internal affairs, with a much greater degree of civil liberties than is enjoyed by mainland citizens.

The Chinese government has tried to strengthen its control over Hong Kong over the past few years. So far, Beijing has taken a "wait and see" approach to the protests, preferring that local authorities handle the situation.

That could change if the unrest continues. One political scientist warned The Wall Street Journal that the city is becoming "ungovernable."

The protests come as China is becoming a bigger domestic issue in U.S. politics, with the Trump administration fighting a slow-burning trade war with the country.

For more on the protests, listen to Reason's interview with Hong Kong pop star and activist Denise Ho.


FREE MINDS

Tensions are rising in the Middle East after Iran's seizure of a British-flagged tanker ship. Video shows Iranian commandos capturing the ship on Friday in the Strait of Hormuz.

Britain has denounced the seizure as a "hostile act" that is "totally and utterly unacceptable." Iran has defended its actions as a "reciprocal" response to the U.K.'s own seizure of an Iranian vessel off the coast of British-controlled Gibraltar earlier in the month.

Oil prices have increased following the latest incident.

Iran's seizure of the vessel comes during an intense stand-off between the Islamic Republic and the United States, which recently reimposed harsh sanctions on the country's oil sector as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign to get Iran to give up its nuclear program.


FREE MARKETS

Congress and the White House are getting closer to a budget deal that will probably see federal spending continue to grow.

Earlier in the year, President Donald Trump proposed a budget plan that called for cutting spending by $150 billion over a decade. The administration also provided Democrats with $500 billion of possible offsets, telling Pelosi to pick whatever cuts her party could vote for.

Pelosi rejected that idea out of hand. Instead, The Washington Post reports, a new deal is approaching finalization:

Instead of the $150 billion in new spending cuts recently demanded by White House acting budget director Russell Vought, the agreement would include a significantly lower amount of reductions. And those reductions aren't expected to represent actual spending cuts, in part because most would take place in future years and likely be reversed by Congress at a later date. A precise figure could not be learned.

Trump's final approval is still pending. If history is any guide, the president will acquiesce. The White House has consistently put forward budget plans that would cut domestic spending only to eventually sign off on agreements that increase federal outlays.


QUICK HITS

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) will cut his presidential campaign staffers' hours in order to pay them all an effective $15 minimum wage.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to reform states' occupational licensing laws.

  • California is cracking down on illegal pot shops, seizing $30 million worth of black market weed.
  • Trump has weighed in on the side of rapper A$AP Rocky, who has been jailed in Sweden in connection to a street fight. The president spoke with the Swedish prime minister in an attempt to secure the artist's release.
  • Israeli work crews are demolishing Palestinian homes near East Jeruselum.
  • Members of Britain's Conservative Party have until this evening to turn in their ballot in the election for the party's next leader. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson is favored to beat Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

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  1. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) will cut his presidential campaign staffers’ hours in order to pay them all an effective $15 minimum wage.

    Good thing Bernie’s margins aren’t that thin.

    1. Hello.

      On Sanders.

      /face palm.

      Please tell me his fanbois are this illiterate.

      PLEASE.

    2. To be fair, his staffers are mostly salaried and don’t get overtime, so the hours being cut are the overtime hours they were working for no additional pay. Regardless, his labor costs are about to go way up, or his productivity is about to go way down.

    3. It’s the kind of thing a millionaire would do.

    4. Yet he still believes this would be a good thing for the country’s low-income workers.

      1. It would be awesome for hourly workers because they would be getting 20 hours of time and a half.

    5. Isn’t it a shame he can’t go out of business?

    6. Living up to your principles is hard when you are required to balance the books

      1. Especially when your ‘principles’ mean you’re an econ-ignoramus.

    7. Ha! Now Bernie’s campaign is evidence that the $15 minimum wage will result in cutting hours.

      1. If his workers only work a 40 hour week they’ll actually make $17/hour.

    8. This why socialism is more efficient than capitalism: you get more free time for the same pay.

  2. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to reform states’ occupational licensing laws.

    That and a grand in my pocket means he gets my vote!

    1. A grand? You’re top shelf, aren’t you?

      1. IT’S LITERALLY FREE MONEY.

      2. Fist did not haggle much over his price.

    2. I find it amusing that two acts which are legal as long as you don’t get paid for them are having sex with anonymous strangers and voting.

  3. California is cracking down on illegal pot shops, seizing $30 million worth of black market weed.

    California just can’t understand why a black market still exists when they put all that effort into a huge framework for legal weed.

    1. They were promised tax revenue and by god* they will get their tax revenue.

      *their massive police state

    2. I unknowingly went to one of these places. They advertised in San Diego, they had a security window in the front room, the place looked and operated like a normal dispensary. I should have known something was different, however, when I checked out and the clerk gave me a free blunt, and then let me have a gram of bud from any of their jars. The legal places would never give away a free joint or gummy bear.

    3. Yay! Weed is illegal in California for totally different reasons than why it used to be illegal!

    4. It shows their priority is money, not justice reform.

  4. The president spoke with the Swedish prime minister in an attempt to secure the artist’s release.

    Global criminal justice reform.

  5. Israeli work crews are demolishing Palestinian homes near East Jeruselum.

    On HGTV’s new show Promised Landscape Rehab: Flip or Flop.

    1. They already have a show that takes place in Detroit. What would the difference be?

      1. People actually want to live there?

  6. There are a bunch of videos online showing that the white-clad “masked assailants” in Hong Kong were at best ignored by the police and government, at worst paid and supported by the same. Videos showed police officers walking out of the station as the assailants formed. Videos showed police stations shuttered as citizens tried to make complaints. Many citizens complained that the emergency number (999) either hung up on them or ignored them when they called for help. Also a pro-China politician was videoed shaking hands with one of the leaders of the “masked assailants”. This should all be investigated because it stinks of classic authoritarian tactics.

    1. Right, apparently “vigilantes” is how we spell “Red Guard” now.

    2. Ah, the Portland model of policing.

      1. Some of the residents claimed that the cops told them to just go home and stay there if they didn’t feel safe on the street. So, yeah. It sounds exactly like an antifa “rally”.

    3. Investigated by who?

  7. The White House has consistently put forward budget plans that would cut domestic spending only to eventually sign off on agreements that increase federal outlays.

    No one wants grandma eating cat food.

    1. Purina does.

    2. Someone should tell reason writers what veto proof votes are.

  8. Oil prices have increased following the latest incident.

    Remember when the Limeys ruled the seas?

    1. The UK wouldn’t have stood for these kinds of shenanigans when Neville Chamberlain was running things.

    2. It’s been all down hill since Maggie stepped down.

      1. Brezhnev took Afghanistan.
        Begin took Beirut.
        Galtieri took the Union Jack.
        And Maggie, over lunch one day,
        Took a cruiser with all hands.
        Apparently, to make him give it back.

        Get You Filthy Hands Off My Desert

        1. So you’re the person who bought the other copy of “The Final Cut”. I’d always wondered.

          1. It really did split Pink Floyd’s fans. You either love it or hate it.

            1. I actually think the break-up worked out for them. I liked Waters’ solo stuff where he got to be full-on morbidly depressed and Pink Floyd became a touch more upbeat.

              1. I like the direction PF went after the breakup, but wasn’t as much a fan of Waters solo work.

                When I saw PF during their “Momentary Lapse” tour at JFK Stadium in Philly, Waters was playing across the street at the Spectrum Center (Radio Kaos had just come out).

                1. >>>at JFK Stadium in Philly

                  I had just left 08055 for L.A. so missed that one … all my friends went … I had to wait until November for Floyd to get to L.A.

                  1. Great concert, but the sky was overcast, so you couldn’t see the giant pig floating over the stadium.

                    That and 30,000 people doing the hammer sign during Run Like Hell, totally missing the point.

    3. “Remember when the Limeys ruled the seas?”

      Oh, sure. Wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? Hear it go.

      Hail Britannia, Britannia waves the rules, I mean, rules the waves.

      1. Alright, it’s waives. I’d like to thank all you grammar nazis and judgmental assholes for making this correction a consideration.

  9. As night fell, Hong Kong police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a smaller rump of remaining protestors…

    You other brothers can’t deny
    When rebels march in with an itty-bitty waist
    And a round thing in your face you get sprung

      1. More taxes needed.

      2. So, we’re supposed to vote for her because she’s hallucinating a future economic crisis for which she just happens (luckily) to have a solution? Well, that seems perfectly legit…

        1. She’s a democrat, so if we get her elected people will quit talking about children in cages at the border.

  10. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/nbc-news-poll-south-voters-support-trump-grows-residents-see-n1031851

    NBC News poll of the South: Voters’ support for Trump grows, residents see race relations improving

    But the narrative, what about the narrative!!!

    1. THOSE IDIOT BITTER CLINGERS!

      1. It is just false consciousness.

    2. Isn’t the Trump narrative don’t believe the polls?

      1. Yes, because they are skewed towards Democrats and whatever the dominant narrative. That makes any poll that goes against the narrative all that more remarkable.

      2. Polls are to be believed? I saw one in the Sunday paper that claimed 3% of Americans had read the Mueller report. Yeah, right, 10 million Americans read the 448 page report. I doubt 3% of congressmen have read it.

        1. It’s the same 3% that have read war and peace.

          1. I am the 3%!! Everyone should read War and Peace. It is an incredible engrossing book.

        2. I saw a poll that said Michelle Obama IS THE MOST ADMIRED WOMAN IN THE WORLD” . Then when you find the numbers it 8.8% probably with a 3% margin of error. They use to pull this stuff with Rodham Clinton all the time.

      3. Isn’t the Trump narrative don’t believe the polls?

        Not exactly.

        The ‘Trump’ narrative is that the polls lie, that they’re used as weapons to discourage.

        So, when an article about a poll comes out that goes against the leftist narrative, most figure it was done because the effect was too massive to hide.

        So it gets downplayed instead.

    3. Carry on integrating and developing healthy and respectful interracial ties built on a common national identity, clingers.

      1. Carry on living normal lives instead of being a politics obsessed broken freak, clingers.

    4. Reads like a dog whistle. NBC ” News poll of the South White Supremacist and racist: Voters’ support for Trump grows

  11. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/cory-booker-donald-trump-is-worse-than-a-racist/ar-AAEEhQT

    Booker says Trump is “worse than a racist”. So he is what? A triple double dog racist?

    1. Good question. Is a fascist worse than a racist? What is *the worst*?

      1. Since the race card is maxed out and revoked, the Democrats need to find something else to call Republicans. Something worse than “racist!!”.

        1. How about “hypocrite”?

          1. Members of the Left do tend to project their own failings onto others, so that would be appropriate.

      2. Nicole was the worst. Now its telescammers.

        1. Tammy from Card Member Services . . .

    2. Booker runs into a burning building and sees a person of color, and a transgendered person cowering in the corner. Which does he save first? I want this as a debate question.

      1. I want it posed to every Democratic candidate.

      2. Excellent. “I assumed the ‘POC’ was in blackface due to the smoke, so I saved the oth-I mean, the transgendered broth-I mean, the transgendered person.”

      3. “If you’re running for President of Mexico, what are you doing at a US Presidential debate?”

      4. He’d save the transgendered person, to show Rosario Dawson, the love of his life, that he was totally straight and not using her as a beard.

    3. dog racist

      Schnauzers are fucking scum. And don’t get me started on pugs.

  12. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) will cut his presidential campaign staffers’ hours in order to pay them all an effective $15 minimum wage.

    But he’s hiring more staffers to increase the total person-hours, right? RIGHT?!

    1. But will it people who already have a job?

  13. “Meanwhile, white-shirted vigilantes at a subway station assaulted people returning from the marches.”

    In Nicaragua they’re called pro-government paramilitaries. Also death squads. I wonder how many of these bastards were grassroot and how many are just plains clothes police that China had bussed in

    1. Put a leftist in the White House in the US, and that will be Antifa doing that to anyone who attends an anti-government march.

  14. To my eye, this is the most interesting story today about Hong Kong:

    “BEIJING—China allowed images of Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests to spread on social media, a change in tack that appears aimed at fanning public anger against the demonstrations, as Beijing signaled support for a stronger crackdown by authorities in the city.

    After Hong Kong protesters defaced a Chinese central government office in the city, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said local authorities should use “all necessary measures to…safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and punish criminals”—without saying specifically what that response might entail.

    “China Allows Hong Kong Protest Images to Circulate, Fanning Public Anger”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-lets-hong-kong-protest-images-circulate-to-whip-up-public-anger-11563793760?

    The Tienanmen Square Massacre happened after about 45 days of protests. The thing about Tienanmen Square, too, was that protests had spread all over China by the time of the massacre. If Emperor Xi is trying to inflame public opinion against the protesters ahead of a crackdown in Hong Kong, he’s going about it in a really smart way. The Ferguson riots even had plenty of libertarians, here, wanting to see the national guard come in and put down the unrest. Letting the social media hoards loose on the rioters is both a way to justify violence against the protesters and a way to maybe discourage the protest from spreading elsewhere in the country.

    At this point, I suspect the odds are fairly good that we’ll soon see an ugly demonstration of why we still need the Second Amendment. God bless people everywhere who stand up for their rights against authority.

  15. That is some awfully soft coverage of the communist government-paid gangsters beating protesters. “Vigilantes”? Seriously?

    1. At least they weren’t “superheros”.

  16. We should make it easier to move by reimbursing work-related moving expenses and easing licensing by state.

    That all sounds nice, but it’s missing the big fucking picture. What’s the point of moving from a low-cost of living area to a high cost of living one, if you end up going from living in a decent house to living in a shoebox? Or worse yet, decide that it’s cheaper to live in an RV on the side of the damn road than try and find a place to rent.

    1. You moved to a place with legal weed from one where weed is illegal?

      1. But enough about the Bum Brigade.

  17. I’m watching the Chinese government manipulate people with social media, and I’m reminded, again, that this book should be part of the libertarian canon:

    “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom”

    https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1610391063/reasonfoundation-20/

    It isn’t by a libertarian, per se, but then neither is Nineteen Eighty-Four

    Back when the Arab Spring was being credited to social media like Facebook and Twitter, this book, written by a political dissident from Belarus, was scoffing at the idea that internet freedom would turn into real freedom. C.S. Lewis pointed out that technology, as a tool, can be characterized as at least as oppressive as it is liberating. Radio was still new in Lewis’ time. It let people become more informed in real time than they ever were before, but it also gave Hitler a means to propagandize his people like he never could before. During the Arab Spring, social media let people organize protests like they never could before, but it also gave dictators the ability to identify dissidents, as well as their friends and family members, like they never could before. Now we’re seeing China, essentially, use social media as a means of propaganda against protest? How . . . predictable.

    Bitcoin will allow the government to track our transactions like they never could before. People are already removed or excluded from management positions for things they’ve said on social media. We still haven’t seen the government fully leverage the potential of these technologies to fight bigotry or other enemies of society. Once it becomes possible for the government to exclude people from various jobs based on what they’ve said in the past, why shouldn’t they? Why should homophobes, racists, or sexists be allowed to work for the government–or have supervisory positions anywhere else? People during the Red Scare weren’t subject to the tools our government has available today. The government won’t protect us from the government, certainly not forever, and we’re the only ones watching the watchers. There’s no excuse for not learning to protect ourselves, and there’s no substitute for people who demand respect for our rights.

    1. Reason is too busy defending social manipulation because they are fully private entities. Ignore the millions in grants governments give them. Ignore the excess legal protections government gives then. Ignore their CEOs asking governments which ads they should allow. Once you ignore all these things, hey private company.

    2. Why should homophobes, racists, or sexists be allowed to work for the government–or have supervisory positions anywhere else?

      And while we’re at it, let’s ruthlessly expand the definition of homophobe, racist and sexist. And add a few other ‘phobes’ to the list as well.

      1. If you were ever against gay marriage, doesn’t that make you a homophobe?

        If you’re against immigration, aren’t you a racist?

        Do you now or have you ever believed that women are different and should be treated differently?

        Do you now or have you ever believed in, “freedom of association”?

        Google may already know more than enough about us to determine whether we’re bigots–certainly by the standards social justice warriors require for proof. Why wouldn’t they use this technology to rid the world of bigots? It certainly isn’t because they care about freedom and individual rights.

      2. I think there is a whole generation that needs to be reminded that guilt by association is a logical fallacy.

    3. C.S. Lewis pointed out that technology, as a tool, can be characterized as at least as oppressive as it is liberating. Radio was still new in Lewis’ time. It let people become more informed in real time than they ever were before, but it also gave Hitler a means to propagandize his people like he never could before. During the Arab Spring, social media let people organize protests like they never could before, but it also gave dictators the ability to identify dissidents, as well as their friends and family members, like they never could before.

      Sort of like how people didn’t realize companies can turn off your product and make it unusable long after purchasing it.

    4. Bitcoin will allow the government to track our transactions like they never could before

      I’m not sure about this. Yeah, the (Bitcoin) blockchain is completely traceable, which gives government information. But given the KYC/AML stuff that already exists, is it really any greater than now? In fact, at least with BTC you can send coins to new addresses at will, use addresses only once, etc.

      This isn’t to say that the non-fungibility of bitcoins isn’t a problem, but I’m not sure this aspect is as dire as some believe.

      1. Isn’t the open ledger a big part of bitcoin?

  18. What, nothing about the pissing match between the pregnant Dem Georgia state rep and the male Cuban-American Trump hater over the express checkout lane?

    “This white man comes up to me and says, ‘You lazy son of b**ch. You need to go back where you came from. And I said, ‘Sir, you don’t even know me. I’m not lazy. I’m nine months pregnant. He says, ‘You’re ignorant,'” Thomas explained.

    According to Sparkes, the two exchanged words, at which point he said, “You’re a selfish little b**ch.” He said after he made the comment he walked out of the grocery store.

    “Her words stating on Twitter and her Facebook video saying I told she needs to go back to where she came from are untrue,” he said. “I’m Cuban. I’m not white.”

    1. She now says she doesn’t remember what he said, but knows he said it.

      1. The most shocking part of all this is that the guy called her “little.”

      2. He says the argument started over her using the express lane while having too many items.

        Go back to where you came from… lane 2!

    2. “I’m Cuban. I’m not white.”
      LOL! Anyone see this guy? He’s whiter than the North Pole. Asisb “Puerto Ricans are POCs , Cubans are white. “

      1. He’s definitely whiter that “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman.

  19. Lame take on Sanders employee wages.

    They make an annual salary, not an hourly wage, so the “cut” in hours is to “limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour.”

    They’re not losing work or pay. They’re just going home on time.

    1. Sanders is losing productivity and that might not allow him to stay competitive.

    2. Hey look a rando Bernie nut hugger.

      Stop posting kiddie porn Screech.

  20. I have an idea
    America will welcome all the people who live in Hong Kong, and in return the People’s Republic of China will get all the progressives in return.
    Its a win-win situation.
    Everybody gets what they want.
    The citizens of Hong Kong get freedom, and the proggies get the socialist repression they covet so much.

    1. Tell the Americans China will give them a +6 on their social score just for migrating.

  21. Protesters filled the city’s streets to oppose legislation that would allow people in Hong Kong charged with crimes by the Chinese government to be extradited to the mainland.

    Fucking pro-borders bigots.

    1. Hmm, extradition. I wonder what open-borders types think about that? Should Putin be able to throw me in a gulag if I post that he’s a medieval sheep-fornicator?

  22. You know what would make things all better? More payouts to the ChiComs. Solves literally every problem.

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