Comments for CounterVortex Resisting the Downward Spiral Tue, 04 Aug 2020 06:15:20 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Hong Kong elections postponed amid repression by Bill Weinberg Tue, 04 Aug 2020 06:15:20 +0000 Fascism with Chinese characteristics?

From a New York Times profile of scholars around one Tian Feilong who have emerged as the intellectual enablers of Xi’s crackdown in Hong Kong:

A number of these scholars, sometimes called “statists,” have worked on policy toward Hong Kong… Their proposals have fed into China’s increasingly uncompromising line, including the security law, which has swiftly curbed protests and political debate.

As well as earnestly citing Mr. Xi’s speeches, these academics draw on ancient Chinese thinkers who counseled stern rulership, along with Western critics of liberal political traditions. Traditional Marxism is rarely cited; they are proponents of order, not revolution.

Many of them make respectful nods in their papers to Carl Schmitt, the German legal theorist who supplied rightist leaders in the 1930s and the emerging Nazi regime with arguments for extreme executive power in times of crisis…

Comment on NYC: outrage over automotive terror —at last by Bill Weinberg Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:13:11 +0000 Deadly hit-and-run on Chelsea street

Detectives are looking for the van driver who struck and killed a 29-year-old woman on a Chelsea street. The incident happened at on Aug. 2 at the corner of West 23rd St. and 7th Ave. Officers from the 13th Precinct and EMS units responded to a 911 call about the collision. Upon arrival, cops found the victim unconscious and unresponsive with head and body trauma. (AMNY)

Note: “Collision” is our source’s word. We submit that the better word is “assault.”

Comment on Lawsuits as feds detain Portland protesters by CounterVotex Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:11:34 +0000 Judge denies Oregon bid to restrain feds in Portland

A federal judge denied Oregon’s legal bid to stop federal law enforcement tactics in Portland on July 24. However, Gov. Kate Brown in separate negotiations was able to secure an agreement for a phased withdrawal of federal officers from the city. Since then, protests have continued, but have largely been peaceful. (JuristWillamette WeekKATU)

Comment on Hong Kong elections postponed amid repression by Bill Weinberg Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:10:31 +0000 Macau next for Beijing’s repression?

We note with trepidation that authorities in Macau this year banned an annual photographic exhibition on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The Democratic Development Union’s open-air exhibition has taken place unhindered for two decades. However, the Municipal Affairs Bureau withdrew its authorization for the 2020 show in May, as Hong Kong Free Press reported. 

Comment on Fall of Flynn: hope or peril? by CounterVortex Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:08:51 +0000 DC federal court to reconsider Michael Flynn case

The federal appeals court for the District of Columbia has agreed to re-hear arguments over efforts to drop charges against Michael Flynn. The case will be reconsidered by the court en banc. This decision comes weeks after a smaller panel of DC Circuit judges ruled 2-1 that Flynn’s case must be dismissed in accordance with a Department of Justice order. (JuristBBC News)

Comment on Appeals court strikes down funding for border wall by CounterVortex Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:05:46 +0000 SCOTUS approves border wall construction —again

The Supreme Court on July 31 rejected a request to halt the Trump administration’s construction of the southern border wall while litigation is pending. The ACLU, Sierra Club and co-litigants, reacting to the Ninth Circuit’s June ruling against use of funds for the wall, requested that the Supreme Court lift its 2019 stay on an injunction barring construction. The high court declined to do so. (Jurist)

Comment on US companies profit from Uighur forced labor? by CounterVortex Sat, 01 Aug 2020 03:34:52 +0000 US sanctions Xinjiang paramilitary settler corps

The Trump administration slapped sanctions on China’s paramilitary settler corps in Xinjiang, an institution with roots pre-dating the Chinese Revolution and often described as a “state within a state.”

The move, announced July 31 by the Treasury Department, freezes assets of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC); Sun Jinlong, a former political commissar of the XPCC; and Peng Jiarui, the deputy party secretary and commander of the XPCC. They are accused of complicity in rights abuses against the Uighur people of Xinjiang.

The announcement sheds light on a powerful and secretive organization that controls much of the regional economy in Xinjiang. The XPCC, more commonly known as the Bingtuan (or Corps), was established in 1954 to formalize militia forces in the region that had been left adrift at the end of China’s decades-long civil war. Overwhelmingly Han, these militias were given land grants, becoming soldier-farmers with responsibility to both settle and defend the territory. The XPCC today runs its own towns, health care, and even TV stations.

The Treasury Department designations mark one of the first times that the US has sanctioned top Chinese government officials or a large state entity. The sanctions were carried out under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which grants the US government authority to sanction foreign entities and personnel complicit in human rights violations. (Foreign PolicyAFPWorld Uyghur Congress)

Comment on Bolivia: lithium interests at play in Evo’s ouster? by Bill Weinberg Sat, 01 Aug 2020 03:32:19 +0000 Elon Musk jumps on lithium conspiracy theory

So, on July 24, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that a second “government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people.” Some smart-aleck responded, “You know what wasn’t in the best interest of people? The U.S. government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.” Musk shot back: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

And of course the inevitable places like TeleSurPeople’s World and CounterPunch jump on this as if the US government really did organize the coup so Elon Musk could grab the lithium there.


Comment on UN climate talks delayed one year by COVID-19 by CounterVortex Sat, 25 Jul 2020 07:17:33 +0000 Study rules out less severe global warming scenarios

A new study by NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies and Columbia University finds that the most likely range of global warming from doubling carbon dioxide is between 4.1 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit (2.3 and 4.5 degrees Celsius), which would trigger irreversible damage to the planet. (WaPo)

Comment on Lawsuits as feds detain Portland protesters by CounterVortex Sat, 25 Jul 2020 06:54:44 +0000 Judge restrains federal agents in Portland

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Oregon on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order against federal agents in Portland to prevent them from arresting or using physical force against journalists or legal observers. (Jurist)