Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 17, 2020

The 2019-nCoV Wuhan virus isn’t doing any good for Xi Jinping’s public trust. Dissidents inside China are silenced and their social media accounts scrubbed. Joshua Wong issues a call to arms from Hong Kong. Taiwan closes its border and plans to evacuate its citizens from the quarantined cruise ship, Diamond Princess. Yet, the Philippines blocks entry to Taiwanese airline passengers while in-flight because World Health Organization information reports Taiwan as part of China. And, Xi tells Trump that everything will be okay after April’s hot weather kills the virus.

It looks like the world wants a fight. Why did evacuation plans for this cruise ship take so long? Why doesn’t China close its border to Hong Kong as an act of good faith to at least pretend to want to earn public trust? China locked down Wuhan and Huanggang, why not Shenzhen?

The WHO praised China’s efforts, claiming they bought the world time. That doesn’t stack—information control started the problem, China’s clampdown on information only grows, the Philippines close their border to a country run by a completely different administration on account of the WHO reporting in denial. Is the WHO controlled by China, does the WHO just want to start a war, or could it be that the WHO wants to start a war because it doesn’t like being controlled by China?

Fear of the virus may be overrated. Initial figures suggested that the seasonal flu may be more deadly. But, panic is panic. And, with Chinese cities going on lockdown, countries closing borders, and hundreds of people getting sick on a cruise ship after it was quarantined, nerves are on edge. Chinese State control of information has been exposed for the hoax it is; no Chinese people will trust China’s government again. Even those who support the Communist Party can’t expect the public to believe them anymore, no matter what they say. In the middle of the breakdown of Chinese trust and control, Xi’s solution is to fly bombers around Taiwan.

Nothing re-elects a president like a war someone else started and nothing fires a president like an outbreak or a failed economy. If Xi invades Taiwan, Trump’s re-election will be even more certain and Xi’s own party could be doomed along with him. Nothing would weaken China’s People’s Liberation Army at home like the decision to boost its political image by invading one of the best responding WHO-non-members in the world, Taiwan. Xi is so addicted to failing, self-destructive decisions, invading Taiwan might be the ultimate fatal flaw of failure that he just can’t refuse. While this viral outbreak isn’t quite enough to push Xi to the point of desperation for distraction, it’s another bail of hay on the camel’s back.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 17, 2020

Democrats and Republicans are working in evil tandem. In a sense, Republicans have no choice. The attacks against Conservatives in America are so extreme and unfair that our laws might not be suited to defend us from them. Going easy on Roger Stone in his punishment for something that wasn’t wrong seems like playing favorites, from more than one angle. It’s okay when Democrats do it, but when Democratic Washington attacks men for less than John Brennan has done wrong it seems like those men must be unfair in order to receive justice.

We are in a spiral of decay.

Pure democracy is sheer tyranny of the masses, allowing the 51% to gang up on the 49%. But, a Democratic Republic, like the USA, doesn’t—or shouldn’t—allow the 99% to gang up on the 1% because every single person has rights that no one else can take away. But, in attempts to punish famous people for supporting a candidate in the “other political party”, and in LGBTQ trying to change the rules of restrooms and use prison to punish people for grammar rules without classic literature, we are seeing the 1% try to gang up on the 99%. Some, not all, of the Left want an aristocracy that they steer.

But, it doesn’t stop there. While a few in the Left try to gang up on the ever-less-so-silent majority, huge backlash is coming even against more moderate Liberals. The public-funding-driven Liberals, different from the social-driven Liberals, are getting a bad wrap from the Right. People are being hated for believing things they don’t believe on both sides of the political spectrum. While the Right is rising up against the Far Left, another backlash is coming back against the Right in the more distant future. That will be when the nation’s institutions are shaken, in the days when we all are forced to listen to each other—in the days when the nation’s inner turmoil sees daylight and we find our hearts.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 10, 2020

The words of US President Trump set an unsettling policy for Communist China: “We’re also getting our allies, finally, to help pay their fair share.” This is far-reaching.

By having multiple nations with multiple militaries operating with appropriate budgets, China faces an enclave of opponents, not just one. There is no single head to decapitate. If you’re in Beijing, sitting in a room filled with Mandarin speakers who agree that they are entitled to make the world their servant, Trump’s words scare you.

While Beijing fights the virus it tried to cover up, Taiwan had recorded 10 deaths from that virus. Yet, China reported 13 in Taiwan, then told the United Nations that China speaks accurately for Taiwan, still arguing that Taiwan should not enter the WHO—even taking offense, still, at any suggestion of entry. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu pointed out that the WHO has referred to Taiwan by at least three different names in reporting on China’s Wuhan outbreak. This week, even the US spoke up for Taiwan’s request to join the WHO; China was all the more offended.

The outbreak isn’t fairing well for China’s credibility in governing Hong Kong either. Supermarkets are full of empty shelves.

While China’s central government will continue the playbook strategy of blaming the very local governments it dominates, the central government’s solution to the failure of a centralized government will be to centralize more government. In Confucian Communism, control is the solution to every problem, especially the problems that control causes. So they themselves believe even more than they purport, the reason that China has so many challenges within its vast stretches of land is that it doesn’t have even more land. The Chinese Communists believe that their number one problem is that they don’t control the world.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 10, 2020

Trump’s acquittal did not come because of party politics or friends in Washington. It came because he stood fast—he held his ground in a party that tried to denounce him early on. He had many good friends helping, but it was Trump himself that empowered their efforts and directed the flow.

The Republican Party is not what it seems. They hated Trump when he didn’t do things in their failing manner, but now they acquit him and act like they have always been BFF from the beginning. Any disagreements in Trump’s early days don’t matter anymore, even though that’s not the tone they used at the time, though a number of those Republicans are out of office.

It’s typical. The Republicans held their noses while Reagan gave them success. They passed Democratic-oriented, anti-Conservative laws during the W. Bush years viz the Patriot Act. They objected to Conservative voices in media during the 2005 “Build a Fence” movement viz Senator Lott. Thanks to Trump’s inability to be railroaded, they are being gifted more success and clout than they ever didn’t earn before.

Senator McConnell stayed true to the colors he flew, which is more than can be said for the late Senator McCain or Senator Romney, who took his unofficial place as “Republican Senate maverick”. Senator Romney’s departure from the fold could make him a one-term Senator—and not from lack of RNC backing. Senator Graham and many others took their stand for law, order, facts, evidence, process, and truth. The Republican Party stood behind their president, this time. Had former House Republicans not been card-carrying members of the metaphorical “never Trumper” movement, Republicans might still hold the House and none of this ugly impeachment would have happened.

Justice came from Republicans this time; don’t get used to it. While Democrats are the party of hate and failed “we wanna’ help you” platitudes, the Republicans are the party of treachery. Democrats stand together while Republicans usually don’t. It was a strange week in Washington. Things will be fine through the Trump years because they will depend on him. But after that, buckle up.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 3, 2020

The world is fed up with China’s Communist Party, including people in China. The Wuhan virus is a blame-blaming scandal of a magnitude greater than Chairman Mao. It could crack the foundation of Xi Jinping’s rule and party confidence along with it.

Top down leadership ties the hands of first responders. So does propaganda-driven speech censorship. Of course an outbreak will breakout where people aren’t allowed to respond or warn without permission from the central bureaucracy. For China, it was only a matter of time.

And, the world is fed up. Now Hong Kong, severely underprepared for an outbreak, faces a strike of 6k medical workers and growing—if CEO Carrie Lam doesn’t completely close the Hong Kong border to China. Simply not having the resources to handle an outbreak should be enough for Hong Kong to to close its border. Not doing what simply should be done begs more questions of whether Beijing’s top down leadership is preventing Hong Kong from responding to the Wuhan outbreak, which would be yet another violation of the Basic Law and a breach of China’s treaty with Britain that allowed Hong Kong to return.

Shameless in the face of its mismanagement in Wuhan then Hong Kong, China then asked the EU for emergency medical supplies. The EU would be wise to respond that giving medical supplies would require proper oversight, including an end to the bureaucratic methods of centralized control that delayed containment in Wuhan and keeps Hong Kong in danger. Also, the EU should require China to stop politicizing Taiwan’s need to join the World Health Organization.

Argument could be made that Taiwan and the West are capitalizing on the Wuhan crisis to get more international recognition for Taiwan. But, then it could also be argued that China created that need to capitalize on a crisis to do something that should have been done long ago. In light of the Wuhan outbreak, Canada, Japan, and the EU now sponsor Taiwan’s request to join the World Health Organization as an active participant, not a mere observer. A viral White House petition snowballed past the threshold over the weekend, effectively making the same request of President Trump. Now that Trump has a massive petition to respond to, China won’t be able to claim “interference” when he responds. But, China may try to anyway because, in Confucian Communist thinking, petitions of the people should be ignored.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 3, 2020

After hearing from the house managers and then the Trump defense team, it sounds more like the one who may have committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” would be Joe Biden. Maxim Waters claimed that impeachment is not governed by law, only whatever whim Congress decides—a statement that simply isn’t true.

This level of lawlessness expected of the government suggests a nation doomed. A growing portion of the electorate actually believe that government should take whatever drastic action it wants—because they feel comfortable with the current action proposed. But, they so quickly forget that the tables were only recently reversed, and being lawful in the very way they hold in contempt now was the only thing protecting them from the government doing likewise to them just a few years ago.

The biggest danger Trump always posed was that he would do too good of a job, that he would be too successful, and that the Republicans would thus earn great power that they neither deserved nor understood. These past few months, Republicans have announced that they would back a president they abhorred just a few years ago. They do this because they enjoy the success they didn’t expect him to create because they had failed to create that success at anytime in their careers. Hateful yesterday, grateful today, what will tomorrow hold for Republicans?

Last week, as expected, Republicans turned down Democrats’ call for more witnesses—after House Democrats could have called the same witnesses, but didn’t. Though having Biden on record would have played well in Republican politics, the disgruntled, disenfranchised, dejected, and shamed former National Security Advisor John Bolton was never going to be given a soapbox. He is a war monger and a neo-Conservative, still angry that Trump pulled out of Syria and Afghanistan. Democrats wanted him as a witness, but Republicans knew he would only yield opinion and tainted facts at best, understandably contrary to the president who fired him. That was never going to happen and Democrats knew it; that’s why Democrats asked for it. Getting rejected often rallies the voter base.

As Democrats push their case for impeachment because of “feelings rather than law”, Republican voters are rallying around their president. Trump will likely win by an even greater margin in 2020 than he did in 2016, all thanks to the support for impeachment. This is not only because of Democrats on Capitol Hill. In coffee shops, offices, and homes, Republican voters are listening to Democrat voters give their reasons to support impeachment and that scares them just as much, if not more, than what Democrats in Washington say. Thus, in 2020, the Senate stands to gain even more seats, inching ever closer to a supermajority in the Senate. Once that happens, our liberties will be at the greatest risk since the founding because nothing is as dangerous as a party not held in check. Republicans in Washington pose a supermajority danger to all voters, and it was Democratic voters who helped it all happen—because their parents never taught them why government must not be lawless.

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