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chocolat steve

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Everything posted by chocolat steve

  1. chocolat steve

    China Thread

    The mainland and HK are totally different culturally (as well as dialect except for the immediate area closest to HK which also speaks a fair amount of Cantonese). If the mainland allowed unfettered travel to HK would be swamped. That said, Chinese government is in a conundrum. Crush it harshly and they may very well hurt themselves internationally in how they are seen and may find major countries denouncing them and even taking some measures. Let the protest go on and it could be uncontrollable and tantamount to putting toothpaste back in the tube. I don't think HK will be able to sustain, the might is with the mainland. The mainland may do what America has always done (and others before it) and use their economic power as a threat to countries who give verbal support to the protesters.
  2. chocolat steve

    Strife in Hong Kong

    I don't think you will see a western style revolution in China. Has there ever been? The USSR ended under the weight of its own fragile economy. There are countries and cultures where democracy simply doesn't work. Never has lasted and I think never will happen on an ongoing basis. The Chinese as well as the Russian peoples seem to prefer a strong, autocratic leader instead of shouldering their collective selves with governing via electing someone. Both cultures seem to admire strong, people who take leadership. Both countries were ruled by Emperors/Monarchies who had supreme power and communism was supposed to be governance by the people and both ended in strong, autocratic, totalitarian leaders (Mao and Stalin) who basically had similar powers to the monarchies they had historically. And still do. Russia has elections but its a joke. The people see in Putin a leader who will restore Russia's pride and they seem to accept that he has supreme power. Hong Kong, while under British rule technically were given a lot of autonomy and the people felt as if HK was their own loosely governed 1000s of kilometers away via a Brit governor. The HK Chinese had a fair amount of freedom under British rule and built a few generations of people who only knew semi autonomy and that isn't easy to give up.
  3. chocolat steve

    Strife in Hong Kong

    Protests won't get HK independence. China will take more control eventually. Same with Taiwan but the people there will always have a rebellious spirit. They wont win over "hearts and minds" but they will control it. Similar in other places. Catalans and Basque in Spain, Scotland in the UK, one of several places in Russia, parts of India. Not saying all of them are equal in animus and independence mindset but all consider themselves "different" than the government and have or want a certain degree of autonomy.
  4. chocolat steve

    China Thread

    Valiant efforts from HKers but in the end China will end. Its a matter of when not if. That's just the reality of things. China can do what Greece did when it had a meltdown and simply limit the amount of ATMs.
  5. chocolat steve

    China Thread

    I have a theory as well regarding China. I think eventually they may take on America's fight against Islamic extremism. Why? They are oppressing the moslem minority in their own country and although they have a hands off foreign policy towards Islamic extremists, it may run smack into their economic agenda overseas. China pretty much owns sub-saharan Africa economically and if the growing Islamic extremist attacks and encroachment grows into the countries just south of the Sahara, China will bring its military to the continent to protect its economic interests. They may also extend political and if need be military opposition to the funding and source money of those extremists in Iran or Saudi Arabia. For now, their huge thirst for oil will nullify that but eventually they may do some of the things America has done such as patrol the gulf and insert themselves militarily and politically into the region.
  6. chocolat steve

    China Thread

    Don't forget The Clintons as well, they had a two decade run. The examples you named had children or a spouse who carried on the dynasty. None of Trump's children can and according to a new book out, Melania is dumb as bricks. Also, the preceding examples had their royalty within the party. The Kennedy's after JFK were more or less given a wide berth by Republicans because of the memory of JFK seared into the minds of Americans via history books and the media. The Bushes were never liked by the Dems and The Clintons were hated by the right, openly. Trump is feared and disliked by the establishment Republicans. The Bushes were liked and supported by the establishment GOP. Same with the Clintons by the Democratic establishment to the point, they cheated Sanders out of the nomination. Trump is zealously supported by the alt right, extreme right wingers and the Fundamentalists. What may end his run is the same thing that ended the Bushes: a financial crash and if that crash happens before the election he's done or if it happens after his possible re-election, he will spend 4 very tough and grueling years. Which may open him up to impeachment because he will have been abandoned by a large percentage of his own party. And those Republicans who despise him secretly will have political cover to openly attack him.
  7. chocolat steve

    China Thread

    Long term I don't see Hong Kong's resistance lasting. It's valiant but it's not going to last. Why? The mainland has the money, military and patience. Secondly, there isn't any nation of importance that is willing to defend Hong Kong. Right now, China is a bit worried about how it would look if it crushed it physically. Tiananmen Square anyone? Eventually, they will do what America has often done, as well as the British before them, the Spanish before them all the way back to the Romans and prior. They will use might and damn who likes it because they will have the economic, military and political clout to last. My guess is they will start with imprisoning a few, some may mysteriously die, there will bought off if possible, but eventually by hook or crook, Hong Kong will 'bend the knee' if I may quote The Game Of Thrones. They will always have that democratic, self governing spirit that was instilled from distant, hands off British rule for a century but it won't materialize into anything of consequence. Taiwan to follow. It will be long term and a tougher nut to crack but America, it's biggest ally and supporter has already abandoned them.
  8. chocolat steve

    What Film (Movie) Have You Just Watched?

    Amazon Prime "The Boys" loved the first season, can't wait for the next.
  9. chocolat steve

    China Thread

    It's China's century. There will be bumps but so far and I see no reason to think otherwise, its their century and America will take a back seat. America does not have the collective will, an enough of a consensus to fight it off. There were always certain large scale goals in America that was bigger than partisan politics that helped it grow....exploring the rest of the continent under Lewis and Clark, the transcontinental railroad linking both oceans, the interstate highway system, fighting communism, putting a man on the moon. A Democrat initiated it (JFK) and a Republican welcomed them back (Nixon) and neither party took credit for it. Same as the aforementioned. It was bigger than both and it was kept out of party/partisan politics, these things were constant no matter who controlled Congress or the White House. The last two vestiges were in foreign policy, pro Israel, anti Cuba was a mainstay. Can anyone tell me any project of national importance that is supported by both parties and is kept above party politics? Exactly. Xi has near dictatorial powers and with that they have a long term plan. That plan may or may not work, it may have to be tweaked or changed if circumstances change but they have a plan and America doesn't. America has a 2 year cycle for any plan, the plan last until the next electoral process every 2 years.
  10. Gold prices have shot up over the last couple months. It was selling for roughly $1,275 not too long ago and is now around $1,500 an ounce more or less. Seems some people are expecting the economy to go bad fairly soon. Traditional hedge against a bad economy.
  11. I read that as well. On one of the financial podcasts I listen to the host didn't think it was a good move. But who knows?
  12. chocolat steve

    Been Seeing This Niche in Porn

    I don't watch porn as much as I used to but a buddy of mine was telling me about some hot new porn actress (actress...haha...that term still makes me laugh). It was on Pornhub (this is not a paid endorsement plug ) and I noticed while looking at the pages, there are a LOT OF porn themes centered around incest. Sometimes its 'step sister' and 'step daughter' but a lot of are brother sister, step mom, cousin, etc. What the fuck is this? Porn mirrors society to some extent. What the fuck is going in America where that is the preferred theme?
  13. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    We can discuss adhering, strengthening or enforcing current and new gun laws till we are blue in the face. it won't happen. Nothing can happen of any consequence unless you either get the NRA's blessing or severely limit their influence. That's the crux of the matter when it comes to any real discussion of gun laws in America. I also don't think its in the increase in various drugs psychotic drugs or the like in students. They are medicating kids in the inner city as well. If you are an hyperactive kid, medicate, if you are struggling in school, medicate, my friends back in Philly say the first thing the school does is offer meds these days. So, if medicating were the case we'd see it across the spectrum of America. Inner city kids as well as suburban kids, all manner of kids are given drugs these days. Why aren't we seeing shootings by youth of all social, ethnic racial and class strata? Same with the adult shooters. I can change the gun laws pretty much overnight. Have black, latino and moslems in every state that has open or concealed carry, start gun clubs. And in the open carry ones, they open carry. Not joking. Not being flippant. Just being real. Have it organized, have these clubs work with the local police in terms of registering who they are and that they "pose no threat' Just embracing their 2nd amendment rights. You'll be able to pass statewide and federal gun laws pretty easily after this. Again, not being flippant or sarcastic, I'm serious. Finally, with regards to mass shootings and the like, there is no real solution from a legislative perspective as far as I can see. We didn't have mass shootings to this degree and manner before 15 or 20 years ago but we have had many, many instances of mass violence. We have had riots of all sorts, race, labor, etc, that has seen tens if not hundreds killed. For whatever reason and this is hard for Americans to accept about ourselves, there is just something in the American "pscyhe" about violence. Its this strange dichotomy. America has some very peace loving, idyllic, towns and even in neighborhoods in many cities, where the crime rate is low, there are many, many places that haven't had a murder in decades. And transpose that with a history at the same time of brutal violence led by mobs, organized at times, etc. Violence the rest of the industrialized nations have not. There are at least 2,000 active serial killers in America. https://www.livescience.com/62431-how-many-serial-killers-free.html . We are the 3rd largest nation in the world, about 350 million people but serial killers are a breed unto their own. We make them (or have them) like no other. Does India and China with 3 times our population have the same issue? Or other industrialized nations have a similar number per capita? Again, there is just some thing about America that breeds this. Something we don't like to admit. Again, this unique dichotomy of dual societies of greatness along side inhumanity. Its in our cultural DNA.
  14. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Just saw the news on the Dayton, Ohio shooting. Pretty much numb to it all. Shootings are pretty much an accepted part of American society now.
  15. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Garlic festival in California.
  16. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Well, a second mass shooting in 2 weeks time. From what we know about this specific shooting. He is 21 year old white male, from Allen, Texas (near Dallas I think), drove to El Paso for the express purpose to kill Latinos. He has a manifesto and although the major news outlets have tried to suppress it, we know from what we can gleam from his social media, he supports the Christchurch shooter, and he identifies with right wing talking heads, ideologically he supports Trump, and he used the term "you shall not replace us' , the same term used by Charlottesville marchers. Thoughts?
  17. There isn't a respected financier or economist or analyst of a major institution who doesn't think something negative is going to happen. The only variance is the term they use: "downturn", "recession" "crash" "collapse", etc. and those terms carry with it an inherent difference in the size and scope of a negative economic event. The only difference of opinion is if its going to be inflationary or deflationary. Either way, some things won't depart from history in such an event. Housing prices will become depressed, precious metal prices will go up, unemployment will rise. The new entry into the equation are how will cryptocurrencies react? The market is in the hundreds of billions globally and some think it will be included as gold as a storage of value. Its had a big run in 2019 so far, going from about $3,800 per bitcoin to presently hovering around $,10,000 each. About half off its historical high in December 2017. A lot of money will be made for those in a position to buy property, stocks, etc.
  18. Hello Radioman, One of the first things they taught us in business school is that no government or person or persons can stop economic cycles. Economies go up and down and when they are destined to go up, they go up and when they are destined to go down, they go down. A leader or government can enact policies that can shorten or lengthen a boom or bust and its always easier to end a boom than a bust. Basically, if the economic climate is destined to go down there is nothing anyone can do. They can soften it to some extent but they can't stop it. Banks, hedge funds, and the many other financial institutions are exposed. A combination of greed as well as a 'can't lose' environment, at least in the U.S. because they know they will be bailed out. I still maintain, the next impending crash will be comparable to the Great Depression. Why do I say that? Because the 2008 crash almost became a depression. America teetered on the edge of financial insolvency were it not for the Treasury Department and the Fed propping up the banks and the stock market with trillions of dollars of infusion buying shares, and supporting banks balance sheets. I don't see it happening again. The people were not happy with the ones that caused the problem being bailed out and the masses that suffered left broke.
  19. The surprise to me is that the economy hasn't crashed yet (China/America trade war, huge deficits, multiple bubbles, etc,) . I think it is due in no small part to a fairly decent level of confidence by conservatives in America (despite what the underlying stats are saying) and perhaps in segments of other markets in other countries. The media plays a big role, they are part of the problem. Yes, there are articles like we see in this thread about financial problems in the economy but by and large the media doesn't want to scare the general public and maintain a feeling that things aren't that bad. The media companies themselves are publicly traded so its self serving for them. A crash would send their values plummeting. The consensus prognosis is a late 2020 recession but economists have never been able to accurately predict when a recession or crash will happen, only that one is looming and is near.
  20. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I thought I was making it clear I was just echoing what both generations are doing. I invest and try and provide for myself no matter what the environment as best I can. If it seemed like I was agreeing with the baby boomer generation that wasn't my intention. The most recent 3 generations (Gen x, y and millennial) have not done as well as the generation previously and that's a first for America.
  21. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    More like Israel is encouraging America to fight a proxy war for them against Iran. Bolton and Kushner are pushing for that. Iran is the last major enemy they have. I don't think they can pull it off though. 18 years in Afghanistan and about another 16 or so years we still have a presence in Iraq. Even Republicans are wary of another war and Iran is much, much harder than either of the aforementioned wars. It will be a clusterfuck. The Democratic party as a collective are incompetent at politics. Partially due to the establishment of the party closely aligned with Wall Street and big business, making them not much different than the Republicans. Trump is slated to win re-election...slightly. I think he can take Florida again but Wisconsin will be very difficult and I'd say that will go blue. Same with Michigan, Pennsylvania and even Ohio. Depends on who wins the primaries for the Dems. The economy is Trump's biggest barrier to re-election. Most economists and financiers are saying a full blown recession will come in the second half of 2020. If it happens before the election, he'll lose. If he wins and it happens, he'll spend a very tough last 4 years where the Senate will probably flip blue. And the House will become a possibly veto proof body for him. People aren't doing well. And to be balanced, they weren't doing well under Obama either despite the numbers both administration are putting out. The books have been cooked for some time. Its a matter of 'are you going to believe us or your lying bank balance'. A Federal Reserve report says 40% of Americans can't muster more than $400 for an emergency. The unemployment rate has been artificial for a couple decades. Those who can't find a job after 18 months aren't listed as unemployed. A large segment of the population are under employed and taking second jobs which makes the numbers look good. The plus for Trump is what a recent report said. His most loyal supporters value identity politics and what the symbolism of his presidency over their financial state. How long that will last we will have to see. There is a breaking point if there is a crash. Just like in 2008. The GOP as a collective lost races state, local and national because they were in charge. Eventually though, the country is headed towards a European style, Democratic Socialistic state. Why? The younger generation believes in it. Gen X, Gen Y, Milennials, in their minds, have not seen the value of the present capitalism model in America. For most of their lives they have seen the dot com crash in late 90s, 9/11, 2 long wars that they believe were based on lies, a 2008 crash, no meaningful jobs for their degrees, crippling student debt. Those of us older can say whatever, they are lazy, they are soft, whatever, but they have stopped listening and they are going to vote according to how they view the present system which in their minds is broken. Doesn't matter what you tell them. The young people I know are firmly socialistic. That's the future voters. Its a matter of when not if. As the baby boom generation dies off, the younger generation will become more active. I know several children of friends who are volunteering for Sanders and a few others. The writing is on the wall. We can say Democratic Socialism wont' work if that's your view, till your blue in the face. The younger generation are going to try it no matter what. It may not work but they country will definitely go that way.
  22. chocolat steve

    New HIV Strain In Oz

    Maybe news to some. I didn't see an Oz thread also, anyway, this strain seems scary (not to say that any HIV isn't scary) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/07/health/htlv-1-virus-australia-explainer/index.html?no-st=1558285886
  23. chocolat steve

    New HIV Strain In Oz

    STDs per se aren't my worry, its those pesky antibiotic resistant strains of it that has me keeping a healthy supply of condoms.
  24. His actions and character doesn't bother nearly as much as the question of whether or not he did something wrong with the leaks. Did he?
  25. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    'Empire' the tv show Smollett stars films in two locations. Los Angeles and guess where? Chicago. It's a very popular show and part of the various reasons he's getting off lightly I think is because of the money it generates for the city. The mayor may not want to admit it but I'm sure that fact also plays a part. What I am happy about it is it was not true. Of course I don't like the fact he was stupid enough to stage it, but had it been true, that would have been worse.
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