Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 21, 2020

Readers still can’t get a break from bad news of China. More Chinese companies are added to the notorious “entities list”. The WHO sends a team to China, which isn’t exactly wonderful press. China is the biggest military threat. The US Navy along with the Coast Guard must reshape its strategy to protect against the Chinese. Trump even blames the Chinese for a recent cyber attack.

As China continues in headlines as the villain, Taiwan is evermore adorable. The Taiwanese plan to become their own military supplier and submarine maker, not as much dependent on the US. They hope to get so many awesome weapons of their own, other nations will want to buy weapons from the Taiwanese, who can defend themselves against the great China, after all. As if that’s not enough to irritate Beijing, Washington will start calling Taiwan’s not-embassy by “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei Economic and Cultural”.

But, how serious is Taiwan about its own defense? While Washington cozies up to Taiwan with somewhat more, semi-respectful names, America’s envoy to Taiwan is still called “American Institute in Taiwan”. And, as much as Taiwan claims to want technology and good relations with other nations, xenophobic immigration laws are still on the books. Immigrants to Taiwan vs immigrants from Taiwan have a much more difficult path and the ratios are insultingly low. Very few Westerners can contribute to Taiwan’s economy, technology, and goal of English as a second official language with these unchanged restrictions in Taiwan’s immigration policies. Nearly all changes in Taiwan and in Washington go little beyond symbolic.

Washington is mostly talk. Taiwan is too ambivalent to love actually. And, Beijing is easily insulted. The trends aren’t subtle anymore. They used to be five years ago, but they’re just not subtle anymore—quite the opposite.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 21, 2020

Trump has a realistic path to the presidency. Rules for the electoral college allow for discussion and dispute which could delay finalization of the vote past January 18. If Congress has not approved the electoral college vote by then, the electoral college fails and the election defaults to Congress. Then, the Senate chooses the vice president and the House chooses the president by state delegates—of which there are more Republican. At that point, it would be political suicide for even Romney to vote against Trump. All that has to happen is delay in the Senate—something the Senate is very good at when it wants to be. With 18 states having filed a suit with the Supreme Court, such a delay is quite likely.

Far more interesting are the public narratives. All mainstream news, including Fox News, continue to push finality—the idea that the election is over and decided, when it is in fact in dispute and when it has not yet been finalized. The Trump team responds by pushing evidence—strangely changed rules, flagrantly broken rules, and endless testimonies. As a result, Biden voters are being conditioned to believe the election is over while Trump voters are being conditioned to believe it should not be over. The only assurance is limbo.

If Trump wins, the Democratic base is preconditioned for nation-wide meltdown while the Republican base is preconditioned for the in-your-face exhilaration worthy of a Rocky movie ending. That leads to the greatest danger: an overly-trusted Republican Party. That was Trump’s danger from the onset.

The suspicious part is how well the Democrats in Washington played along to make it all possible. Sooner or later, people will figure it out. Some are already starting to.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 14, 2020

Hit pieces against China are coming out as if from an avalanche. More dangerous, they are coupled with Western plans of military expansion in China’s back yard. From Xinjiang teens to disappearing journalists to Australian wine to spies in America to colleges—to a global virus pandemic—Western readers have no rest from bad news of China.

The equation has been there and in play. America’s election appears stolen to 75% of Republican voters and 30% of Democrats. Elections require agreement on results in order to function. Lack of agreement on a trustworthy election is unusual as it is staggering. That’s a mandate for Trump to take drastic action, deny Biden’s inauguration, and take measures to remain in office that can’t avoid national inflammation.

As inevitable American conflict in January comes into closer view coupled with such bad press on China, the US strategy in the West Pacific is more and more difficult to deny. China was always the perfect distraction from the mess at home. The problem is that the American populous no longer responds as usual. A national attack may not have the uniting effect it once did—at least not uniting enough to keep any president in office in the face of an election so disputed.

Taiwan continues the role as the “China virus” poster boy. The Taiwanese handle things so well, don’t they. Strict rules on breaking quarantine—punishing a foreigner with thousands in fines for walking in the hallway outside his room for eight seconds—but Taiwanese officials forgot to lock the quarantine door because the world is supposed to believe Taiwan is so careful, right?

At some point, it should become obvious that we are playing a game of charades with who is good and bad—or at least on who is how good and how bad. As China’s role is to be the common enemy for divided Americans and a divided West to unite against, China’s big mistake—over decades and to this day—was to play that role all too gladly. A shoe was made and China chose to fit it.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 14, 2020

And so, the crud hits the fan. Elections only work with a consensus of trust. A distrusted election result can’t work; the masses won’t allow it, even if the inaugural ceremonies continue. Neither Trump nor Biden can persist as president past January except in name only. This is how nations split every few centuries. We live to see historic times.

Eighteen states, including Texas, sued the four swing states for illegally changing election rules mid season. If we count the undisputed votes and Republican legislatures of those four states which heard the evidence, that would be twenty-two states for Trump. Twenty-two Democratic states filed to object. If results favor Republicans, the nation is split right down the middle. Each side is convinced it is in the right—Democrats because they saw it on the news—Republicans because they saw it at government hearings which were specifically not on the news. That’s all the reason either side has ever needed to believe anything they believe.

Neither side even tried to persuade the other in a way that could be heard. The news-Democrat side simply asserted a result, marginalizing questions as “atypical”, ignoring the fact that eighteen states can’t be atypical by definition and cannot become atypical by mere assertion. Conservatives and Republican voters argued “evidence” and “rules” after sewing distrust of rules through a century of refusing justice to Democratic voter needs.

Neither side was ever going to concede. The Supreme Court stayed out of it, arguing “lack of standing”. Democratic-run states answered with blanket denial one would expect from China—and it seemed to work on the Supreme Court, though it never works when China does it. With the Senate sending a blistering 83 votes against Trump’s veto promise on a military bill, Republican voters feel betrayed. Surely, the gun-owning Republicans are mulling over multiple militarized responses. Democrats would riot before conceding. If Trump ever does concede, it would indicate he has plans to eventually win by means more formidable than a militarized option. Concession from either side would be fake, indicating hidden danger to come.

Those eighteen states may boycott the electoral college, denying the two-thirds quorum; if they don’t then their lawsuit was only for show. If the Electoral College names Biden, he can rightly be called the “President-Elect” for the first time, even if in question. And, if he gets that title while in question, America will see Conservative rage—and Liberal riots in response—like never before. Liberals aren’t fond of following rules when they lose because the rules are unfair against them all too often. Lawless Liberals are somewhat common; lawless Conservatives are a bigger league altogether. God forbid that Liberals break enough rules to convince Conservatives to stop following their own rules. That is a wrath none could prepare for. There is no peaceful resolution, but at least Americans all agree on the depth of our long-neglected problems.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 7, 2020

A date which will live in infamy, 79 years ago. The Chinese warned the Japanese not to attack America for fear of waking a sleeping giant. Now, the Chinese are speeding against their own advice. The move will likely be against Taiwan as a remote and indirect attack on the US. But, the fight between China and Taiwan could have been avoided. The wise can learn from foreseeable history, even when that history has not yet happened.

Taiwan and China are both run by governments with histories of cruelty, corruption, and incompetence. Taiwan is an emerging and aspiring democracy; China resists democracy. Taiwan is cleaning up its cruelty of the past; China increases cruelty today. Chinese Communist tanks killed thousands of unarmed protestors at Tienanmen Square in 1989; that party remains in power through today. Chiang Kai-shek led an even larger massacre in Taiwan in 1947; his party remained in power throughout Western trade and still exists today, though without total control. Now, these two face war. Would either have the money to bloody the other had the West simply demanded justice and order within their borders proportionate to any agreements of trade?

American Congress continues to push a bipartisan and unanimous agenda for Taiwan. The US wants Taiwan to import meat from livestock fed with ractopamine, something Taiwanese want no part of. The US sells weapons to Taiwan to defend against China—which builds its weapons with money made from exports to the US. Has the US been friend or enemy?

If we look at US and Western policy toward China and Taiwan over the last 70 years, we see pursuit of money, with a blind eye toward massacre of their own citizens, xenophobia toward their foreigners, all trailed by escalation toward war. That has improved, but only in the last 4 years and too little, too late.

From 1947 through 1989, Taiwan should have had limited trade, China none. Had that been Western policy, today both might be much more progressed in technology, just, orderly, wealthy, and most of all peaceful.

Taiwanese continue to grow and mature as a democracy. China continues to pursue control and alienate its neighbors. They each have their lessons to learn. But, not all help is helpful. It might not have come to war if the West had sooner insisted that nations learn a few lessons before bestowing wealth which Taiwan and China could have gained on their own with simple justice and order 70 years ago. Instead, we’re nearing the end of a path that started with greed and finishes in war.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 7, 2020

Testimony against the Democratic Party -controlled polling stations is, in a word: damning. Trump makes no noise of concession. In his recent Georgia rally, he even took a pot shot at the Republican governor, of whom Sidney Powell was “clarified” off the team after her own shot across his bow. It does look like the Pacific Daily Times theory that Trump holds a royal flush wasn’t far off the mark. Republicans—voters and elected officials alike—support Trump in not conceding. State legislatures hold hearings on evidence and testimony of election fraud. They wouldn’t do that if they had already decided to uphold a Biden victory.

While fraud appears to be at the hands of Democrats, the smoking gun sits in the hands of the news establishment. Fringe and startup news groups don’t appear to be in on the scandal. But, Chris Wallace insisting that Biden be called “president-elect” prior to the electoral college shows how far things have gone. Mass media, including news and social media, are censoring public opinion and ramming impossible narratives at a level that goes beyond shameless. Google, Twitter, Facebook, and possibly even Amazon and Microsoft are on a fast track to be regulated as public utilities. It has been long coming, but this disputed election will be the last straw to make it happen.

It doesn’t take clairvoyance to see where this election dispute is going. Whomever swing states choose, the loser will appeal to the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court, Trump will win either through a court ruling or an armed revolt. Republican voters won’t have a Biden victory. They are the judge and jury in this. Legislatures and courts can only follow the lead of the people. Right now, legislatures and courts are learning that the Republican base is more fear-worthy than the Democratic base for a two-fold reason.

Evidence of fraud indicates that actual Republican support across the nation isn’t merely large; it is vast and intimidating. And, as legislatures hear testimony, outbreaks of applause show that this intimidatingly vast voter base is adamant and energized. Such popular energy scares lawmakers and judges. While they act calm and even-mannered in their hearings, and while they have no intention of going against this overwhelming will of the people, the lawmakers and judges are still shaking in their boots. America’s government fears its people once again. That’s the way a republic oughta be.

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