Patterico's Pontifications


Democratic Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The debate is live on CNN, and streaming on and the Front-runners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders will be center-stage. And making his debut appearance is one-percenter Tom Steyer. Oh, an lest I forget, the Little Aloha Sweetie herself will also be on stage!

And if so moved, you can make your Election Confession 2020 here:

Tell us what you really think about the 2020 election. What are your thoughts on the presidential candidates? How do you feel about the race itself so far? About the state of the country? Share your anonymous confession with NBC News.

You can also read everyone else’s “confession” too!

[Ed. True confessions during a political debate?? Now that’s pretty funny!]


LeBron James: My Friends And I Had A Difficult Week Because Of Daryl Morey’s Misinformed Tweet For Freedom (UPDATES ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:17 am

[guest post by Dana]

In yet another craven display of self-interest, where financial gain takes priority over principles, LeBron James has weighed in on Daryl Morey and his since-deleted tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters that ignited a firestorm last week:

“I think that’s another situation that should stay behind closed doors. I think when we all sit back and learn from the situation that happened, understand that what you could tweet or could say… We all talk about this freedom of speech. Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, and you’re only thinking about yourself. I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say, and what we do. Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”

Oh, what bullshit! Do these clowns ever listen to the word vomit that comes out of their mouths?!! Exactly what about Morey’s tweet, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” makes James believe he was misinformed or uneducated about Hong Kong protesters and China? Because, by making that accusation, James presumes to know something that Morey doesn’t know about the situation, and I would sure like to know what that is. But of course James doesn’t know anything that Morey doesn’t, rather he’s just another yes man in the NBA parroting the company line of defense. Instead of being able to provide a persuasive argument to convince us why Morey is uninformed, James instead makes empty accusations. It’s all he’s got. And it’s utterly rich for him to say, without an ounce of self-awareness, that when you say things or do things, others might be directly impacted and things might actually change as a result. That’s exactly what the Hong Kong protesters are fighting for! Just spitballing here, but I don’t think it’s the Hong Kong protesters that James is concerned about… Anyway, I do wonder what it would take for James and his NBA pals to make a loud stand for freedom and democracy and say the hell with More Money. Frankly, I’m beginning to think that not much of anything would compel these money-grabbing whores to shout for freedom if it means taking a hit in their wallets. The question now is, which oppressed people won’t they sell out to make sure their empires remain intact? This, people, is what privilege looks like.

James, seeing that his tweet hadn’t been well-received, attempted later to clarify his comments:

Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.

My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.

Oh boo-hoo, you and your multi-millionaire teammates had a difficult week facing potential salary-cap ramifications if this issue doesn’t get resolved! You faced some hard criticism, and financial consequences from the Chinese government and now the relationship is…strained? Oh, no! And because you face the loss of a few million dollars here and there, you are going to lecture us, and act like your difficult week is right up there with the difficult week that imprisoned Muslim Uighurs and Hong Kong protesters have had? Seriously?? By chastising Morey for not waiting a week to tweet out his support for Hong Kong protesters, James tells us all we need to know about himself, and about his non-functioning moral compass.

And I’m going to suggest, King James, that Daryl Morey absolutely thought about what a tweet of support from a popular American figure would do for the protesters in Hong Kong, and that’s why he sent it in the first place. Clearly he was moved by a more noble cause than the lucrative financial dealings of the NBA. Likely he, along with Americans in every walk of life who have voiced their support for the protesters, knew that words of encouragement – especially from a public figure – might bolster morale and let the freedom fighters know that Americans stand with them because we stand for liberty. However, I doubt that the protesters are giving much thought to arrogant American basketball players worried about the flow of money from China and how this might impact their bottom line. No, I’m guessing they’re just a little bit preoccupied with overcoming fear and exhaustion as they courageously push back against the iron fist of totalitarianism:

Chinese president, Xi Jinping has said any attempt to divide China will be crushed. “Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” he said in a meeting with leaders during a visit to Nepal on Sunday, according to China’s state broadcaster, CCTV.

At a pro-democracy rally yesterday, thousands of these young protesters continue to look to the US for strength and hope and support:

“Fight for freedom, fight for Hong Kong”… [and] called for international support in their fight for democracy. One speaker called on US senators to vote for the proposed Hong Kong human rights and democracy act of 2019, saying it would be their “most powerful weapon”. Some protesters waved US flags.

And this, Lebron James, is what these protesters, with steel in their spines and courage in their hearts, believe with every fiber of their being: that to “say things or do things, if you are doing it and you know the people that can be affected by it and the families and individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed as well“. This is their sacred prayer.

“We are exhausted and scared, many of us have been detained and tortured … We believe international help will come one day,” said the main speaker, who gave his name as Isaac.

Just don’t look to the NBA for that help, Isaac. They’re too busy counting their money.

Oh, funny this:


UPDATE: Apparently LeBron James lecture to American and Hong Kong supporters of freedom hasn’t gone over well with the Hong Kong protesters:

The demonstrators chanted support for Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, something of a hero among protesters in Hong Kong for having tweeted in support of their struggle — infuriating authorities in China.

“People are angry,” said James Lo, a web designer who runs a Hong Kong basketball fan page on Facebook.

He said he’s already received a video from a protester that showed him burning a No. 23 jersey bearing the hoops great’s name.

“Students, they come out like every weekend. They’ve got tear-gassed and then they got gun-shot, like every weekend,” he added. “Police beating students and then innocent people, like every day. And then he (James) just comes up with something (like) that. We just can’t accept that.

Protesters said his comments smacked of a double standard, because he’s used his clout as a sports superstar to press for social causes in the US.

“Please remember, all NBA players, what you said before: ‘Black lives matter.’ Hong Kong lives also matter!” one of the protesters, William Mok, 36, told a crowd of hundreds.

Others said James’ comments made it seem like he’s more worried about money than people.

“James was trying, you know, to take a side, on the China side, which is like ridiculous,” said Aaron Lee, 36, a marketing director. “He was being honest, financially. Financial is money. Simple as that. LeBron James stands for money. Period.”

In a display of contempt for the player on Tuesday, many hurled basketballs at a photo of his face sitting atop a hoop.

LeBron and his pals’ hard week just got a whole lot worse… Shame on the lot of them.

UPDATE #2: Lebron James reportedly argued that Daryl Morey should have been punished for his tweet:

NBA star LeBron James reportedly pressured the NBA to punish the Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey after he tweeted support for Hong Kong.

James argued that if something a NBA player had tweeted had cost the league money they would have been punished, and questioned why the same wasn’t happening to Morey, according to Dave McMenamin on ESPN.

“Nearly a week ago today, in a Shanghai hotel room, or Shanghai hotel ballroom, Adam Silver got up and addressed the players, and LeBron James is one of the players who got up and spoke and said, ‘Hey, what are we doing here? Daryl Morey made these statements,’” McMenamin recalled on air Tuesday. “You know damn well if a player made the same statements and caused such poor ramifications for the league, there would be some sort of league recourse.”

“There would be repercussions the player has to pay. You know, potentially this tweet could cost the NBA hundreds of millions of dollars. That could come out of the players’ pockets, and so that’s the double standard that was being addressed in that meeting,” he continued.

The comments by James were made during a players meeting on Oct. 9 before the Lakers vs. Nets game in Shanghai, according to a report published by The Athletic.

Well, at least we have solid confirmation that the only concern LeBron and his pals had in this whole sordid mess was how hard this was going to hit their bank accounts.


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Russia Takes Over Abandoned U.S. Army Base as Russian Trolls America

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am

Business Insider:

A video shows the inside of a US military camp overtaken by Russian mercenaries working with Syrian forces, shortly after American troops abandoned it.

US forces left the Manbij camp in northern Syria early Tuesday following an October 6 directive from President Donald Trump to leave a coalition with the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIS. A spokesman for the US operation confirmed the departure on Tuesday.

The US’ decision to pull out gave Turkish forces the green light to invade Syria and drive out the SDF, which contains Kurdish fighters. Turkey considers the Kurds terrorists and has long vowed to destroy them. Over the weekend the SDF joined a pact with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s government to fight the Turkish offensive.

Here is video of a Russian speaker supposedly entering the camp:

The Yankee ballcap is a nice touch.

I have not independently verified the translation or where this guy is, so take it with that grain of salt. The fact that Russians are taking over one of our bases, however, seems solid.

It’s good that you did that, Anthony Donald. It’s a Very Good Thing that you did.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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