Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 22, 2021

Huawei plans to charge royalties for some of its 5G tech, but they may lose respect when they refuse rent payment for anchoring 200 military-manned vessels the Philippines’ backyard pool. International royalties are based on international agreement, which China denies. It brings back memories of the old phrase, “Who is ‘we’, you gotta’ mouse in your pocket?”

Taiwan, on the other hand has a vice on the semiconductor industry. And, having its evil pineapple banned from China, Japanese have discovered just how especially delicious Taiwanese pineapple are. And, they are quite amazing. Their cores are even sweet. Many other pineapple need the cores cut out because the acid is too strong. In Japan, when you order dinner, you just might get a sweet Taiwanese pineapple free of charge. Perhaps China could also charge royalties on Taiwan pineapple sales, considering that their ban helped with the boom in sales.

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Encore of Revival: America, March 22, 2021

Democrats push forward as if a 50-50 Senate proves a national mandate. In some sense it does. Even with suspicion of a stolen election, Republican voters allowed that by winning arguments rather than winning friends. But, as the well-earned Democratic agenda moves forward, Roe v Wade does too.

Arkansas just passed a law directly challenging Roe v Wade and with a a 6-3 Republican-appointed Supreme Court, an overturn is not unlikely.

While courts take what they take, Democrats are setting up danger in the Senate. Removing the filibuster won’t even give Democrats two years to work before a routine mid-term flip in 2022. With the unresolved suspicions of election stealing, the “incumbent” rules won’t apply the same either. We are set for a Republican takeover in 2024, without a filibuster-curbed Senate, made possible by Democrats, who were give power by unsympathetic Republicans, and only stoppable by a third party. Whether we see that third party before or after 2024 has yet to be seen. We just don’t know how many people have woken up to the nation’s deeper problems.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 15, 2021

More pressure on China over the games and Hong Kong. According to the Chinese, treaties with China don’t obligate China. That’s how the West views it anyway. This is the war-causing confusion between the West and the Chinese…

China believes democracy and religion will destroy the Chinese. Their solution is to remove religion, free speech, and non-Chinese governments. China claims to respect these three, but thinks that they are exploited to China’s misfortune. So, China makes new laws, hoping to protect itself, then tells the West to back off.

But, the West is concerned about trusting promises. People won’t build skyscrapers on land they believe will collapse after ten years. Nor will countries and companies invest in another country if they believe the government might take over the company or arrest the officers. So, the West is concerned about “rule of law”, that laws are made, then don’t suddenly change in a way that breaks trust. As much as some old laws can be inconvenient for a government, losing trust from the world is proving much more inconvenient, as we are seeing with calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

This is where the contradiction comes into play. China believed that Huawei could ignore Western law while their CFO travels to Western countries. When the Huawei CFO was arrested in Canada, China was genuinely surprised. To the Chinese, “rule of law” is a mythical concept, like using English to tell a dolphin what it’s like to walk on land. So, the Chinese were surprised.

With everything happening, China is utterly and genuinely surprised. This is not what Beijing expected.

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Encore of Revival: America, March 15, 2021

The Court always rules in favor of the Court. When Chief Justice Roberts dissented against the other eight, he ruled against the court to preserve order in the Court. In this case, the students suing over free speech censorship probably don’t want to allow a private settlement to enable it to happen again. The concern at stake was whether the court can decide a real lawsuit after the basis is settled, but the injured party files suit for $1 anyway. Thomas thinks that $1 makes it real. Roberts doesn’t want judges giving opinions on problems that don’t exist—a judicial practice called “advisory opinion” that expired over 200 years ago. The problem is that this case is real, but it was privately resolved, thus the basis disappeared before the court had opportunity to rule.

The result is that anyone can sue anyone for $1 and SCOTUS could hear the case. That certainly favors the Court’s expanded abilities. The Court always rules in favor of the Court.

Europe isn’t happy about COVID-19 vaccines or the predicted third wave. Americans aren’t happy about how Democratic Governors Whitmer and Cuomo handled the pandemic. If nothing else, someone could sue them each for $1 and a Republican-appointed SCOTUS would get to decide their fates.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 8, 2021

Military budgets—that’s the talk of the Taiwan Strait. China wants its budget to grow so it can play with the big kids by 2035. China’s apparently not ready to play with the big kids, at least since India just ate China’s lunch. So, with China trying to bulk up even more, people are asking what the heck is going on with Taiwan.

Israel spends 5% GDP on asymmetric defense; Taiwan only spends 3%. So-called “experts” want Taiwan to spend more. The US wants Taiwan to spend more. Apparently even the newspapers want Taiwan to spend more because military budget is the talk of the week.

It was a strange week, though. So many things have gone peaceful in the East Pacific. China and India are suddenly getting along. Taiwan and China talk more about the need to talk. Threats and vibrato from Beijing haven’t stopped, of course. But, things are getting a bit quiet, and it seems somewhat eerie.

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Encore of Revival: America, March 8, 2021

The GOP is in a season of soul-searching. The party that’s all too happy to offer financial support to its candidates wants to use the name of the president some of its members voted against. It’s like the Little Red Hen, only if the rat had been fighting her the whole story. Maybe they should be called “rats” instead of “RINOs”.

Whether voters support or oppose Trump, we should all fear a party that allows its members to be so blatantly fork-tongued. Then again, purifying that party with new blood might not solve the problem. It just might make things worse.

Democrats are getting along a whole lot better than Republicans ever did, especially recently. The COVID-19 porkulous bill is sailing through Congress faster than lies from a used car salesman. Yet, the bigger topic of Capitol discussion is the sixty-vote requirement for non-budget bills. That’s part of the Senate’s current “Standing Rules” named after the late Democratic Senator Robert Byrd. So, they call it the “Byrd” rule. They made it, now they want to end it. That would look like a power grab.

You know how midterms go. Democrats ending their own “Byrd” rule might backfire. They seem bent on getting Trump elected in just four years. Obama took eight, so their efficiency is improving. If people can trust elections again, Biden may have to join Carter and HW in the great hall of one-term presidents. Maybe Biden will get lucky and have a dam named after him like Hoover, or maybe a vacuum cleaner.

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