A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘politics

[MUSIC] Janet Jackson, “Nasty”

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Janet Jackson’s 1986 song “Nasty”, saw, according to Engadget, its plays on Spotify surge substantially as a result of Donald Trump’s misogynistic comment last night that Hillary Clinton was a “nasty woman”.

This song’s surge in recognition in the past day is kind of amazing. That this is a good song, and a meaningful song on its own terms and in the context of the week’s events, makes it all the better. I own quite a few of Janet Jackson’s albums, starting chronologically with the album Control that this song comes from, an album that marks the beginning of her modern artistic and commercial prime and has quite a few songs that, like “Nasty”, combine musical verve with a thoughtful mind.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Beyond the Beyond notes that electronic newspapers just don’t work.
  • blogTO notes that the Eaton Centre’s HMV is closing.
  • Crooked Timber notes that it will be shifting to moderated commenting.
  • D-Brief notes a new sharp image of Eta Carinae.
  • Dead Things notes that some monkeys are apparently making stone tools.
  • Joe. My. God. shares Le Tigre’s new pro-Clinton song, “I’m With Her”.
  • The LRB Blog is critical of Britain’s hostility towards refugee children.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a new historical atlas of Tibet.
  • The NYRB Daily examines Assange’s reasons for using Wikileaks to help Trump.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that New Horizons target 2007 OR10 has a moon.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the reasons for Ecuador’s clamping down on Assange.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO reports that Honest Ed’s will have its final sign sale this weekend.
  • D-Brief looks at the New Horizons probe’s next target after Pluto, and reports that Venus is tectonically active.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on the mechanics of the antimatter sail.
  • Dangerous Minds features a video of France Gall singing about computer dating in 1968.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers biological fluorescence as a marker for life on red dwarf exoplanets.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on a wall of taco trucks set to face Donald Trump in Las Vegas.
  • The LRB Blog notes the flailings of the Nigerian president.
  • The NYRB Blog reports on how Brexit will wreck a British economy dependent on single market access.
  • Transit Toronto notes that preliminary work has begun on the Scarborough subway.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Orin Kerr links to an editorial of his arguing that it should be made easier for Americans to migrate.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia is losing a third world war over brainpower and looks at the problems of sleeping districts in Moscow, a legacy of Soviet misplanning.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes a photo series celebrating the corner stores of Toronto and reports on massive condo towers planned for Yonge and College.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the antimatter sail as a potential future propulsion technology.
  • D-Brief notes the beginning of a search for an Earth-like planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A or B.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that it is Ecuador that disrupted Assange’s Internet connection.
  • Language Hat looks at distinctions between fiction and non-fiction in different literatures.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how Republicans are concerned for the future of the US Supreme Court and links to Matt Taibbi’s article suggesting that Trump might reinforce the existing American system.
  • Maximos62 links to his new audiobook of tales from Asia and the Pacific.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the relationship between rapidly rotating regular satellite and their tides.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that language shift among the Kalmyks to Russia has not weakened their ethnic identity, and shares arguments that Tatarstan and Bashkortostan must be brought back into line in with Russia’s national government.

[URBAN NOTE] “First signs appear of a rising tide of young Hong Kong emigrants”

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Another South China Morning Postarticle by Peter Guy looks at the risk of large-scale emigration by young Hong Kongers.

According to a Chinese University of Hong Kong survey featured this month in the SCMP, about 40 per cent of Hongkongers want to move away from the city. One in 10 prospective emigrants is making actual plans to do so. Respondents cited dissatisfaction with the government, crowded living conditions and major and political and social disputes as the main reasons for their plan.

The survey showed that younger people had a stronger desire to move abroad than their older counterparts. About 57 per cent of those between 18 and 30 said they had emigration plans compared with just 26 per cent of those aged 51 and above. Taiwan was also the most preferred destination with 16.3 per cent of respondents picking the island. Australia and Canada came in second and third place.

SSNo foreigner would ever relocate here for a senior position unless they received a housing allowance. That’s why there are so many listings for flats renting for HK$70,000 and more

Many of those looking to leave Hong Kong said factors such as larger living areas, higher democracy and freedom levels influenced their choices.

The city’s affordability problem will persist because it is unlikely that real incomes will rise high and fast enough for average citizens to be able to afford liveable flats. It is even more ludicrous to expect prices to fall by half. It won’t be long before 188 square foot flats become 150 then 100- a twisted, dystopic scene that local developers cruelly photoshop into their luxury websites.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 17, 2016 at 2:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Death of Hong Kong tycoon ushers in difficult and uncertain future”

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The South China Morning Post‘s Peter Guy fears for the future of Hong Kong, dominated by an oligarchy of the rich.

As one power descends another ascends. The passing of Cheng Yu-tung (1925-2016), property tycoon and founder of New World Development, marks the closing of a Hong Kong era. It also ushers in a difficult and uncertain future.

Hong Kong’s business scene in the twentieth century was and still is dominated by five big tycoons: Cheng Yu-tung (aged 91) of New World, Li Ka-shing (88) of Cheung Kong and Hutchison Groups; Lee Shau-kee (88) of Henderson Land, Stanley Ho Hung-sun (94) of Shun Tak, and the Kwok family (32 to 67) of Sung Hung Kai.

All of them flourished in pre-1997 Hong Kong from the 70s to the 90s where minimum regulation, political ignorance and a rapidly growing economy allowed them to exploit every possible opportunity. Nothing wrong with being an opportunist, especially during a period of abundant opportunities in Hong Kong for everyone from voracious property developers to the growing middle class who could afford rising prices for their own flats. And in their era, making as much money as possible without having to account to the rest of society was a Hong Kong right that made the city special.

Their success is not unlike the pharaohs of Egypt – a vast accumulation of monarchy-like family wealth by forcing the rest of the population to toil and pay for flats that supported their pyramids. The only problem is that the entire Hong Kong economy and social progress will be entombed along with them in their sarcophagus.

Their families have become the largest holders of private wealth in Hong Kong. So it is no surprise that despite a slowing economy, the rents and prices of residential flats and office space remain high and unaffordable.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • Joe. My. God. notes that Peter Thiel gave $US 1.25 million to the Donald Trump campaign.
  • Language Log reports on one parents issues with traditional Chinese characters.
  • Marginal Revolution reflects on the interaction between pain medication and labour force participation.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money shares the right’s criticisms of Hillary Clinton for her politics and Miley Cyrus for her sexuality.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on one Syrian’s despair at the fighting in his country.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on history wars in Tatarstan over Ivan the Terrible and looks at Belarus’ opening to the European Union.