Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 5, 2020

The world is entering a realization phase: China doesn’t care what the world thinks or how the world responds. Beijing has become that annoying kid at school who has no friends, and his solution is to be more annoying. The sad part is how the West allowed us to get here. Coupon-clipping consumers buying cheap products are just as much to blame as governments who believed giving money to the Confucian Communists who control China wouldn’t feed their narcissist outlook.

But, China has been warned. And, we each hold the greater responsibility for our choices and actions.

While China makes its choices, Taiwan deals with its own demons of the past. China is not the only society in the Far East self-chained by Confucianism. Taiwan’s Confucian culture empowered them to adopt xenophobic laws, keeping foreigners limited and weak and unable to contribute to the Taiwan economy. Confucianism also indoctrinates students to hate questions in the classroom and at home, while touting parroted answers as “wisdom”. That runs contrary to innovation and the inquiring mind needed to invent new technology. As a result, Taiwan is much weaker than it could have been without Confucianism, making it appetizingly vulnerable to predatorial China. Taiwan now faces a choice of whether to correct its self-imposed, Confucian-born limits of the past.

In some sense, the China-Taiwan conflict is an internal matter, but not purely. China plans to retake Taiwan with Western money and American dollars, after all. The world cannot sit by and watch two self-crippled societies cannibalize each other. The world won’t sit by and watch, not any longer. And, that is something the Confucian Communists of China don’t understand because, at this point anyway, they are not so capable.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 5, 2020

People need to see their leader. It’s a national security issue. Is the one in charge alive and well? Rumors about Kim Jong-Un’s health often send tremors of doubt through and around North Korea. We don’t want the same doubt in America. Doctor’s, however, have a narrower and more specific perspective.

Presidents get sick. This is something that happens to almost every president sooner or later. Not if, but when it happens, gossip columns circle questions about transitions of power, mostly to capitalize on curiosity from the country.

President Trump’s diagnosis with the pneumoniavirus will lionize him in the minds of the electorate. Now, he is more involved and affected by the virus and is no longer an outsider. He is the victim of China and champion of the people. That’s the political script playing out. It can’t hurt him in the election, only boost his numbers—because of how he responds.

He learns. He stays strong. He takes precautions. He hates the unpopular masks. He defies doctors’ orders—something most Americans love doing. He quarantines himself—something most Americans identify with. He keeps working—because we’re all depending on him. Without this response, he would have hurt his own numbers. He chose to respond with “involved strength”. Everything is okay if we make it okay, and that’s what the president did.

As for the Senate, they found their excuse to step up the suspense and delay of confirming Amy Coney Barrett. Isn’t that a politically miraculous coincidence!

Equally coincidental are China and Biden. Neither can say bad things about a man who is sick in the hospital. That’d be like punching a man with glasses. China has to roll back its aggression in the South and East seas or else be seen as an even greater aggressor by the rest of the West.

It’s funny how things always seem to work out. None of this was planned, not in the least. It was all a miraculous, convenient coincidence. Nothing more.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 28, 2020

There are no new developments with China, only old squabbles. China is shouting louder and louder, and Western media publish more in-depth stories outlining the many countries China has squabbles with. China is losing over the TikTok ordeal, as well as companies that helped build artificial islands which were not supposed to be military bases anyway, but somehow became military bases anyway. Sanctions fly from the US, as well as diplomats to Taiwan.

At the UN, Russia said a few words leaning in China’s direction, but that’s quite a tall order to expect Russia to devote resources helping China win every territorial squabble with India, Taiwan, the US, and Japan. Russia will more likely condemn the West with soft tones, then offer China moral support after its inevitable humiliation.

Humiliation is a funny thing. That seems to be China’s perspective all around. China feels humiliated and thinks humiliating others will solve its humiliation problems at home. China wants to own Taiwan because China feels humiliation for various and sundry reasons often created in attempt to escape humiliation.  China may even think a Taiwan “D-Day”, or “T-Day” would lead to victory—forgetting that Normandy was about free allies reclaiming lost land from expansionists. China has no alliance, China would be the expansionists, and the free people would be defending their homes. Humiliation blinds us and drives us to do crazy things. Russia knows this and plays for any opportunity—not to help China, but to manipulate China through the paradigm of humiliation China just can’t let go of.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 28, 2020

It took one week, but we finally have a SCOTUS nominee—the long time nominee apparent, Amy Coney Barrett. The Senate will begin confirmation hearings after waiting another two weeks. Then, hope to vote another two weeks after that on October 26. That will leave the perfect amount of time for Republican voters to get nervous, Democratic voters to worry themselves out, and a few days for all voters to learn that Senate Republicans did what Republican voters wanted. Yes, the Senate dragged its feet and showed its power by delaying power. SCOTUS will be full with 5-3 Conservative justices just before the election, rather than just after. If the Senate was in a hurry, McConnell would crawl over broken glass to begin hearings immediately.

This opens up a myriad of suspicions. If the election is challenged, the court will have six Republican-appointed “original intent” -minded justices, including the notorious swing vote, Chief Justice John Roberts. All six justices vote according to process and intent, usually with Republicans, but not always.

The three remaining Liberal judges, all of them appointed by Democratic presidents, always vote against Republicans and in favor of Democratic-Liberal ideals, regardless of “original intent”. They believe this is honest and ethical. But, they won’t be deciding any election disputes, the six rule-stickler justices will.

A Left-leaning professor this week observed that Trump acts much tougher than he actually is—and that Democratic voters should stop going for his bait. They might not be able to not go for the bait. But, knowing that the election won’t change the Supreme Court balance this time around, plus considering how boring Biden is, Democratic voters might not have the energy to show up to vote, not even with the October surprise about Trump’s taxes, which won’t change anyone’s mind anyway.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 21, 2020

Taiwan has become the center of China’s conflict with the world. One economy at a time, one government at a time, China has managed to insult the world. The Chinese have done such a good job of losing friends and alienating voters of foreign countries, not even Russia can afford the political cost of siding with China, not even to manipulate China behind a mask of feigned friendship. Don’t expect Moscow to take center-stage at China’s aid quite yet.

While the world hates China more and more every day, that hatred finds a way to express itself in love for Taiwan. Taiwan is now the grand alternative! Taiwan is the adorable poster puppy everyone should have sided with from the beginning. Taiwan needs military help, but most of all sympathy, compassion, and understanding, perhaps even grandstanding. Nothing sends the message that a nation is fed up with China like siding with adorable, cuddly Taiwan, especially on the most trivial things like medical masks or forcing Taiwan to call its team “Chinese [what the heck] Taipei” at the Olympics. Trivial things, after all, are what China loves to claim as some of the greatest threats to Communist-controlled national security.

It’s almost to the level of being an election tactic in Western democracies. Do or say something that couldn’t even hurt a fly, then China squeaks and bellows and throws such a fuss, voters love whichever politician China hates. Nothing is as adorable and benign as kindness toward Taiwan. So, that’s the story of how Taiwan became the world’s new favorite.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 21, 2020

Justice Ginsburg is dead at 87, God rest her soul. Her life’s work is well documented in the litany of eulogies from this past weekend. This article will not attempt to add to them.

Whenever a seat opens on the Supreme Court, the nation enters the same debate with the same platitudes. Depending on who is and is not in control of the White House and the Senate, different people argue different platitudes. In 1992, then Senator Joe Biden argued what is today called the “Biden Rule”, that supreme justices should not be appointed during an election season. Republicans didn’t agree. Then President George HW Bush appointed a justice anyway, along with many other federal judges. The Democrat-controlled Senate, and the Judiciary Committee chaired by Biden, refused to even hold hearings on HW Bush appointees. But, their refusal was not limited to the 1992 election year; Biden applied his “Biden Rule” in 1991.

Then, in 2016, Biden opposed Republicans following the “Biden Rule”. He wanted Obama to appoint a justice for the Republican Senate to approve. Suddenly, Republicans agreed with the “Biden Rule” and Biden did not.

Now, a Republican president can appoint a justice for a Republican Senate to approve; but some Republican Senators think they should follow Biden’s rule. Democrats would never follow Biden’s rule if they had the White House and the Senate; we only expect this from Republicans.

Let’s cut with the platitudes and pretentious precedents already. Politicians choose judges because they can. Just how the court always rules in favor of the court—on every case, making whichever ruling reasserts the power of the court—the Senate always votes in favor of the Senate and the White House always acts in favor of the White House.

As with HW Bush and Obama, President Trump will appoint a new justice. The Senate will drag its feet, pretend to serve the will of the people, and play other games to remind Washington that the Senate has power to approve court nominees.

While branches of government put their power on exhibition, the Far Left is resorting to chaos and lawlessness as its display of power. That will only embolden the Right to vote in more Republicans, who will be all too glad to give Trump and his successors the very power he hasn’t used, which the Left nonetheless fears he will. Having been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as the first president in 39 years not to involve America in the very new wars the Left criticizes the Right for, their case against Trump no longer holds water.

If, by some miracle, Republicans lose the election, they will approve Trump’s nominee anyway. They’ll have to. Notwithstanding that nominee vetting often takes 70 days, the Senate will likely find an excuse to wait until after the election. It’s not so much about politics and election strategy as it is about asserting power by delaying power to expand power. Expect a Republican-appointed justice by December, no matter what political smoke blows in the meanwhile. God rest her soul, Ginsburg is dead; so is Roe v Wade.

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