Monday, November 3, 2014 - Volume 5, Number 9

© Copyright 2014, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

China to Hong Kong: Two Systems, One Master

The Western Luxury No Citizen of China Can Afford


·         Ultrapolis Forecasts Grow on Twitter

·         Latest UForecasts Posted on Twitter

·         UWFR Reader Panel Comments on UForecasts

·         Readers’ Comments: We Need a Woman, Democrat on Texas’ Top Post

·         Cartoon:  The Wave to Fear, by Nate Beeler





Hong Kong Delusions of Liberty

Moral Indignation Is Not Enough


Incongruent Past


When the British surrendered Hong Kong back to China in 1997, after the expiration of the 99-year ‘lease’ that had placed a time limit on the British Empire’s control over this small part of the weak, decrepit, and disintegrating Chinese Empire, this quasi-city-state’s already unusual historical course was set on an even more politically incongruent path.


By the time the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed in 1984 formalizing the agreement and timetable to return the city-state to communist China, Hong Kong was already an emerging metropolis of world stature.  Nothing more than a collection of backward fishing villages in a steamy jungle when the British first took possession in 1841, by 1997 the area was home to the world’s tallest and most dazzling skyscrapers outside of New York City and Chicago, and to a population that had grown almost 1,000-fold since 1841, to nearly six million people.  (By the mid-20th century, before the population explosion in Third World cities, Hong Kong was among the world’s twenty largest urban centers). 


In 1997, China was still a very poor, if rapidly developing nation, while Hong Kong was an island of capitalist prosperity with a per capita income ten times that of mainland communist China.  To understand the scope of what it meant for city-state like Hong Kong to be handed over to a nation like China, one might liken it to having New York City transferred to control by a Mexico ten times its current size and under a communist a dictatorship.  Of course, the analogy is not perfect, but most Americans do not understand how different was the cultural and political memory of the people of Hong Kong, and their economic system and prosperity, from those of the vast country that reclaimed them.


The Context of Delusion


The protesters have valiantly, and rather dutifully, employed the proper peaceful, if disruptive, protest and demonstration strategies and tactics that are a tradition in Western democracies.    One can see that the people of this great world city are well informed on the outside world, as they are aware of how citizens in other countries expect their developed democratic governments to behave in the face of open dissent.  They have seen how successful public pressure has been in changing government policies, occasionally even toppling governments that fail to respond to their people.  Unfortunately for them, while the Hong Kong protesters are under the same misunderstanding that afflicts most Western liberal progressives regarding the source of political rights, they do not inhabit a political order that allows them to indulge that misunderstanding.


Indignant speech and vocal demands are not the foundation of political freedom; it is power.  Whether it be the power of numbers or of military force, unless one lives in a society where liberal democratic values are already well established in public institutions and firmly ingrained in the cultural psyche of the people, only power can make a ruling dictatorship yield.


Western Progressive Luxury


In the Western and Westernized democracies, protesters in the minority often succeed in securing change because in the societies in which they are fortunate to live they are not subject to political imprisonment, censorship, torture, or ‘disappearances’, on any mass or systemic scale - the claims of the more extreme leftists notwithstanding.  Not having lived in a real dictatorship, not having experienced real oppression in any meaningful way, they do not comprehend the true cost of free expression, nor the horrific risk any Chinese citizen takes when he or she attempts to exercise it.


One can see an extreme (but spreading) version of this Western liberal-progressive failure to appreciate this awful reality in just about any commentary by readers of web publications, or in social media, and even in pronouncements by prominent individuals in positions to influence public policy.  Peruse the posts by readers of the Huffington Post or Media Matters and one easily finds insistent claims where declining to take someone’s gay wedding pictures is likened to being taken to concentration camps.  Listen to National Public Radio or the CBS Morning News, and you will hear how uttering harsh words is equated with violence and murder (as was recently done by Michelle Bernard, President and CEO of the Bernard Center For Women, Politics & Public Policy, when she appeared on the Diane Rehms show on NPR on September 24). 


Those that live in the Western liberal democracies have the luxury of such obvious stupidity.  The people of Hong Kong, no differently than those of Beijing a generation before in Tiananmen Square, do not.


Hong Kong’s Fate


The people of Hong Kong will eventually have to come to terms with the reality of their situation: They do not live in a liberal democracy. And, the country they live in (or under) is far too large and powerful to have its political system influenced by outside forces in any serious way, especially when the for-profit motives in the Western democracies do their amoral cost/benefit analysis to their bottom lines.  The Chinese government will attempt to handle the Hong Kong ‘problem’ as quietly as it can.   Most likely, it will simply wait it out.  But one way or the other, only one outcome will be tolerated by that government.


Unless the people of Hong Kong find a way to infect the rest of China with the freedom bug, it will eventually be eradicated in their own land.


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Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review

Ultrapolis Project – ultrapolisproject.com



Editor: Marco Antonio Roberts

Copy Editor: Michael Alberts

Contributing Editors:

Mark Eastman

Mark Steele









Ultrapolis on Twitter

Update on Expansion,

New Twitter Focus


While the Ultrapolis Project established its Twitter feed almost four years ago, only in the last year have we actively promoted it via sponsored ‘impressions’ (as Twitter calls it) to expand our readership. Twitter Impressions don’t guarantee new Twitter ‘followers’, merely the opportunity to have one’s postings seen by other Twitter users who can then decide if they want to ‘follow’.  Via this program, our Twitter followership has begun to grow quickly with each subsequent post, growing past 1,000 followers in September (currently fluctuating around 1,400).


However, to keep followers, content must flow more regularly. 


Twitter also provides Ultrapolis with the medium to post brief forecasts quickly, without having to wait for a new UWFR to be published.


The Facebook group page has not been as successful, probably because Ultrapolis content is not as inflammatory, and is likely too serious for that medium.   Since we don’t have the bandwidth to cover all our mediums at all times, the Twitter feed will be our future real-time priority medium.  Recent reviews indicate Twitter is more “issues” oriented medium, versus Facebook which is more social.


For these reasons we will be using this system more frequently, posting many forecasts first on Twitter, to then include them in the following UWFR.


We realize that most of our current readers are not on Twitter [in the U.S., 19% of Internets users have a Twitter account, compared to 71% for Facebook (Pew Foundation); and we estimate that within our readership, a more mature audience than the general population, only 12% have Twitter accounts].  However, we cannot ignore where lies the potential for future growth.


The latest Ultrapolis Project and UWFR updates will be on Twitter.  Announcement emails will continue for each new UWFR Alert, as well as full issues, but links to these will also be put on Twitter posts.  Thus, our Twitter feed will have links to all new content.  The same links will be added to the Facebook group page as time allows.


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Latest UForecasts on Twitter


Ultrapolis Project @ultrapolis  ·  Oct 16 #UForecast Chart update: Hong Kong protesters doomed to fail. China will wait out if possible, crush if need be.


Ultrapolis Project @ultrapolis  ·  Oct 27 #UForecast: US Congressman @RepPaulRyan (WI) will be one of two leading candidates for the Republican nomination for US president in 2016.


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UWFR Readers’ Panel Casts Votes, Comment,

on Forecasts


Generally Agree, Except on Future Prospects for Elizabeth Warren


At the request of our readers, we have added a one-stop, simple chart to allow readers to look up past forecasts from all the different mediums (UWFR, other website pages, and social media) employed by the Ultrapolis Project, and track their ultimate resolution.


In addition, we have assembled a three-member panel of UWFR readers, identified only by their preferred political leanings, to vote on whether they concur on a forecast or not.  Their votes will be solicited after a forecast is made, and posted on this same new chart after they are cast.  If they include comments, they will be included in the next full UWFR issue.  For a few past forecasts made prior to the creation of this tracking chart, that have not yet expired, we asked the panel members to vote, as well as on the most recent forecasts.  We now publish their first comments below.


To be clear, the votes and comments from the readers’ panel are not our forecast, they are a reaction to our past forecasts with which they may or may not agree.


To see the summary of the official Ultrapolis Uforecasts, as well as the panel’s votes, please see the new chart, UForecast Tracking Chart, but view their comments below.



Readers’ Panel Reactions to UForecasts


Hillary Clinton Will Run for President in 2016 (3-3-13)



Vote: Yes. No doubt. At this point (Sept 2014) she is laying low and being careful not to say or do anything stupid. She occasionally tests the waters with a comment or two. She will run for president. Her behavior tells us this.


Very Conservative

Vote Yes.  No comment.


Vote Yes.  No Comment.


Continued column 3 >


< From column 2


Hillary Clinton Not a Surefire Winner for 2016 (3-3-13)



Vote Yes. As flawed a candidate as Ms. Clinton is, large numbers of people are willing to vote for her based on her being a woman. Large numbers will vote for her just because she is a Democrat. Large numbers will vote for her due to name recognition. Still others will vote for her based on her having been first lady, a US senator, and Secretary of State.  People, for the most part, are uninformed and vote for reasons that don't make sense as opposed to voting based on character, track record, political philosophy and ideology, behavior etc.


Very Conservative

Vote Yes.  No comment.


Vote Yes.  No Comment.


Elizabeth Warren vs. Hillary Clinton in 2016 (2-10-14)



Vote: No.  I do expect Warren to be included in presidential forums and I don't expect her to be necessarily supportive of Clinton.  I do think she will be honest but careful and somewhat diplomatic when it comes to criticism of Clinton, though.  Warren will do this for her own good politically so that she doesn't alienate Clinton's supporters.



Vote No.  Not only is Ms. Warren not known to most people, but Ms. Clinton is possibly one of the most famous women in the U.S. Also Ms. Warren in some ways is a "mini-me" to President Obama as far as political philosophy is concerned.  Even many die hard supporters of the president have lost their interest in him.  Ms. Warren will be a "bleep on the screen."


Very Conservative

Vote: Yes.  No Comment.


Obama to Resist ISIS Policy Escalation (9-11-14)



Vote: Yes.  The President will resist. I certainly don't have the solution to ISIS (since I don't have the necessary information) and I am not saying that the president is wrong. He might be completely correct (I don't know) in doing what he does. I am saying that based on past performance/behavior and based on his way of seeing things (or philosophy, or political philosophy if you wish), he will resist a real fight with ISIS. Also based on well over a decade of war, the nation is tired of war. And the president being the political animal that he is (more so than most presidents), he has a tendency to make decisions based on politics (more so than most presidents).


Very Conservative

Vote Yes.  No comment.


Vote Yes.  No Comment.


China Will Be Firm with Hong Kong (9-30-14)



Vote: Yes.  China will eventually crush them.  Why break with tradition?



Vote: Yes.  China does not easily yield power. It does not have our democratic tradition (going back, some may argue, even some 200 years before the Magna Carta under the rule of monarchs) and it is very conservative in its approach to governing. Change comes slowly for that government.  The protestors might get some token demands met, but true success will not be in the cards for the protestors.


Very Conservative

Vote Yes.  No comment.


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Readers’ Comments


Readers React to UWFR review on Texas Gubernatorial Debates & New Forecast Chart


We Need a Woman and a Democrat in Top Spot


‘Bout [sic] time we voted in an aggressive woman to the top post in the State. We have been too calm and too Republican for too long. Yes, Texas has prospered, but not because the Republicans were in control. We prospered because the main industries in the state are oil, gas, and medical. Regardless of which party runs the state, this would have been good. Although the Republicans are waving their prosperous flags. In this day and time, we need a divided state government. We cannot stay a one-party state forever. It is healthy to have a second view, divided debate. As per this election, it is unlikely that the legislation would become more equal between the parties, so I believe it is a good time for a Democrat governor. Especially one that is not afraid to raise her voice and question authority.

Bruce Coy

Houston, TX


New Forecast Chart is Tops


[RE: new forecast chart] Wow, that’s great, especially for those like me who don’t research political topics or candidates enough to always make an informed decision.

Rayford Joseph

Denver, CO


I like this forecast tracker. Thank you.


Ken Council

Houston, TX


About time for this new chart.  Often I have wanted to look back at what you said, and could not find it. 

Monica Wells

Plano, TX


Our forecast record cannot be beat.  One can follow the herd chasing the latest hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend on Facebook and Twitter, or one can be wisely and judiciously in front of it with UWFR. 


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