Amped up trouble with China, North Korea, Hong Kong and the Middle East, compete for President Trump’s attention even as he’s besieged daily with the impeachment inquiry that divides his friends and excites his enemies.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, rejects dirty political ad money. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wants it all, and refuses to filter out the false claims. Is this just a beautiful flowering of the free market, or is Twitter a censor, and Facebook a libelous publisher? Will President Elizabeth Warren still break up both of them?
Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam, China’s compliant puppet, gets jeered from the legislature when she tries to give her annual speech. She later gives the speech by video, saying the independence movement won’t be tolerated, and blames the protest on income inequality.
Esports gamer Chung Ng Wai, who goes by Blitzchung, wears a gas mask and goggles and ends an interview saying “Liberate Hong Kong: Revolution of our times.” Hearthstone tournament sponsor Blizzard Entertainment bans him for a year and strips him of $10,000 in 2019 winnings.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a reputation for allowing players to speak out on issues of justice and discrimination. Some call it ‘the woke league’. However, when Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey tweeted support for the Hong Kong democracy movement, his owner, some players, and his league, rebuked him and rejected his statement.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam agrees to withdraw the extradition bill that drove massive crowds to the streets for the past three months, but the protesters almost immediately say she concedes too little, too late. They have four more demands and a commitment to hang in there until they get them.
Despite President Trump’s punitive tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S., American businesses seem bullish on China, with profits up, and few interested in moving manufacturing out of the People’s Republic. But Bill Whittle sees trouble down the road for China’s long-running economic surge.
China expands its system of tracking a citizen’s behavior with a social credit score, and limiting his freedoms if it goes negative. Your neighbor reports you smoking a cigarette at your house, and when you try to fly to Hong Kong the flight attendant says, your score is too low, get off the plane. Is this just a dystopian nightmare spawned by communism, or could measures taken by American companies to nudge consumer behavior lead to such a scenario in the land of the free?
How long can the Communist Chinese government stand against the relentless onslaught of a people who’ve tasted freedom, and want more. Hundreds of thousands daily form the Hong Kong throng, waving the American flag and singing the U.S. national anthem. After more than four months it seems even tear gas can’t choke the voice of liberty rising.
Has the United States, in the era of Trump, lost its global moral leadership? President Donald Trump levies tariffs on China and talks tough about a new trade deal, but says little about the very public crackdown on protestors in Hong Kong. While he’s been bold on trade, this week he caved on his threat to invoke higher tariffs in September. Critics say the timing makes him look meek on human rights.