July 1 marked the 20th year since Hong Kong was returned to China, after being ruled by the British for over a century and a half. (Jan. 20 1941 was when it was ceded to Britain following the opium wars.) There are a fairly significant number of people who wish the British were still in charge with their hands–off approach to simply letting Hong Kong be Hong Kong.
Upon the return to rule by China, Hong Kong people were promised "One country two systems” whereby they could maintain a certain amount of autonomy without China's interference. They were also promised that democracy would be permitted.
In some ways, that system has worked. If you had come for a visit 20 years ago, and came again today, other then the apparent structural changes with many new high-rises, and towering commercial buildings, you would note that people live their lives similarly to the way they always have. They have freedoms of travel, religion, and work. and pursuit of happiness as they had before.
However, since the so-called Umbrella Movement in late 2014, when there were many calls for greater democratic freedom, China has been taking a much more active role in controlling Hong Kong. They have not allowed democracy to advance, and in effect our Hong Kong Chief Executive is chosen by China by virtue of the fact that there are only certain vetted candidates that are allowed to run. The CE is chosen by a 1194-member election committee. That’s only 0.16% of the population of Hong Kong according to Wikipedia. Most of the voters on the election committee have a vested interest in pleasing China because of their business ties or other issues of self-interest.
The worsening situation is also perhaps a result of the current head of China, who is placing a heavier hand on his own people. As a result Hong Kong people are much more divided than before, with some people being okay with China’s greater control, and others calling for independence. That will never happen, but many in Hong Kong still long for freedom to choose their own leaders and set their own course.
In many ways Hong Kong is just becoming another Chinese city. One of the Chinese leaders said this week that there's really no reason to continue following the Basic Law, though it is the legal framework of the one country- two systems formula. The official said it’s already outdated. So, the jury is still out whether Hong Kong will remain one country–two systems, or whether it will be one country with only one system.
Last week I had my 4-month checkup following the heart surgery of nearly a year ago. The surgery was to replace my aortic heart valve. Everything looked fairly normal in the check up, including my INR (blood thin level). However, after we come back from the States in August, the doctor would like me to wear a heart monitor again for 24 hours, because he said my heart was beating quite slowly. He did take me off of the medication that was supposed to do that very thing… slowing down the heart. Now I am down to taking Coumadin (known as Warfarin here), and one pill to protect my stomach from the blood thinner meds.
Cindy returns from the Philippines on Sunday, and just a few days later, will be leaving for the United States for holiday and to attend Yearly Meeting. I'll follow up on the 20th of July.
That's my report for this week. I hope you have a great week and happy July 4 to my fellow- countrymen. (Am I still permitted to use the word “fellow" even if refers to the ladies as well?) I really don't recognize my country anymore. Maybe I’ve been gone too long! Blessings, Dave
Funny how $20 looks so big when we take it to church and so small when we take it to the store.
Funny how big an hour serving GOD looks and how small 60 minutes are when spent playing golf, fishing, or playing bridge.
Funny how laborious it is to read a chapter in the Bible and how easy it is to read 23000 pages of a best selling novel.
Funny how we believe what newspapers say but question what the Bible says.
Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray and don't have any difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.
Funny how we need 2 or 3 weeks to fit a church event into our schedule, but can adjust it for a social event at the last minute.
Funny how much difficulty some have learning a simple gospel well enough to tell others, but how simple it is for the same people to understand and explain gossip about someone.
Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray, and don't have any difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.
Funny how we are so quick to take direction from a total stranger when we are lost, but are hesitant to take God's direction to be found.
Funny how people are so consumed with what others think about them rather than what God thinks about them.
Funny how so many churchgoers sing "Standing on the Promises" but all they do is sit on the premises.
Funny how people think that they can get more accomplished in a lifetime without God than in an hour with him.
Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven, provided they don't have to believe, or to think, or to say, or to do anything.
Funny, isn't it?
Two men went fishing. One man was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn't. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back. The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish. "Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?" he asked.
The inexperienced fisherman replied, "I only have a small frying pan."
Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throw back the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small. We laugh at that fisherman who didn't figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan; yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith?
Whether it's a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.
You can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).
Nothing is too big for God. Stop telling God you've got big problems, but instead tell your problems to a big God!
@Daily Encourager - go here http://go.netatlantic.com/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=thedailyencourager to subscribe
Two farmers were discussing politics and the first one says: "I believe in a share and share alike policy. One where we are all equal."
"Well" replied the other farmer "I'm not sure about that. What you mean is that if you have two horses you'd give me one?"
"Of course" says the first.
The second farmer continued: "and of you had two cars, you'd give me one of them too?"
"So" says the second farmer, "if you had two pigs then you'd give me one of them?"
"Ah, now hang on a minute" says the first, "you know I've got two pigs!"
@Doc's Daily Chuckles - go here firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe
When my printer's type began to grow faint, I called a local repair shop where a friendly man informed me that the printer probably needed only to be cleaned. Because the store charged $50 for such cleanings, he told me, I might be better off reading the printer's manual and trying the job myself.
Pleasantly surprised by his candor, I asked, "Does your boss know that you discourage business?"
"Actually it's my boss's idea," the employee replied sheepishly. "We usually make more money on repairs if we let people try to fix things themselves first."
"Grandpa, I'm really proud of you," said the modish young lady.
"What's to be proud of?" asked the old man.
The young lady replied, "I noticed that when you sneeze, you put your hand in front of your mouth."
"Of course," explained Grandpa. "How else can I catch my teeth?"
A couple were vacationing in Yosemite. The wife expressed her concern about camping because of bears and said she would feel more comfortable in a motel. The husband said that he'd like to camp and to calm her concerns, they'd talk to the park ranger to see what the likelihood of a bear encounter would be.
The ranger told them, "Well, we haven't seen any grizzlies in this area so far this year, or black bears, for that matter."
The wife shrieked, "There's TWO types of bears out here? How can you tell the difference? Which one is more dangerous?"
The ranger replied, "Well, that's easy, see, if the bear chases you up the tree and it comes up after you, it's a BLACK bear. If it SHAKES the tree until you fall out, it's a grizzly."
The motel room was quite nice.
@Laugh & Lift - http://www.laughandlift.com/
- What are the strongest days of the week? Saturday and Sunday, the rest are just weekdays.
- I got tasered picking my friend up from the airport today. Apparently the TSA does like it when you shout, "Hi Jack"
- I’m a social vegan... I avoid meet.
- People are usually "shocked" when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
- Why can't you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? because the "p" is silent.
- On my tombstone please write. " Not appreciating my my puns while i was alive was a grave mistake.
- Why do you tell an actor, "to break a leg"? they are already in a cast.
- A blue ship crashed with a red ship. The survivors were "marooned"
@Sent by Ed Zinn