American Consequences - September 2020

Re: Covering the 1997 Hong Kong ‘Handover’ I’m amazed that P.J. O’Rourke was in Hong Kong in 1997 and still can’t get the basic facts straight. The British didn’t “give away” Hong Kong. It wasn’t theirs to give. They had only leased it, and the lease was up. – John B. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Actually, John, just the “New Territories” on the mainland were leased from China. The rest of Hong Kong was British territory, just as Puerto Rico is U.S. territory. The rights and wrongs of such colonialism can be argued endlessly. But the British giving Hong Kong – with its liberties, rule of law, and well-developed civil society – to China was equivalent to the U.S. giving Puerto Rico to Cuba. Great Britain was not in a position to militarily defend or even logistically provide for Hong Kong. So the handover was inevitable. But what Great Britain could have done was provide British citizenship to the people of Hong Kong. Britain would have gained over 6 million well-educated, entrepreneurial, hard-working, highly motivated (and in some cases very rich) immigrants. Today, Great Britain might be the economic powerhouse of the world – with fabulous take-out food.

We need to return to the days of yore, when people who did not agree politically could still associate, and maybe even love each other. – Donald G. Trish Regan comment: Donald, you and I are on the same page. It’s a shame that the world has become so polarized. I hope there’s an opportunity to get back to a civil world where we appreciate each other as people and remain willing to hear different points of view. Re: Why Uranium Is the Future Really enjoyed the article on uranium. I’ve been reading you for a few years now and this humor piece is certainly the one I’ve enjoyed most. Keep the funny stuff coming! – Jim G. Kim Iskyan comment: Jim, many thanks for the kind words. If I can write about investing and finance and uranium – topics in which there is little inherent humor – and make it funny, I feel like I’m doing something right. (I had a bit of inspiration from a guy named Bill Minkler, who for years wrote a back-of-the- magazine humor column for Nuclear News magazine. I know – humor in a nuclear power magazine? But it worked, and I still remember some of his writing.) I have two words that make my eyes glaze over: ‘nuclear’ and ‘aluminum’... – Shaun C. Kim Iskyan comment : I know what you mean, Shaun... I have to reach for the coffee when I hear the words “differential calculus” or “game of cricket.” And I don’t intend to invest in those anytime soon!



American Consequences


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