Cadence of Conflict, Asia, July 8, 2019

China has been had. It has been had by Western freedom. It has been had by its own culture’s psychopathology. It has been had by the concept of a promise—something the Chinese can’t understand, let alone keep. It has been had by Marxist propaganda. And, it is still being had by its obsession with power.

British officials are turning their eyes toward Hong Kong. This is a move of revival in the English-speaking world. The English have a conscience. It is more than political smoke-blowing. Britain fully intends to protect the people of Hong Kong. And, they can do it because China has already reneged on a treaty registered with the United Nations.

China has difficulty understanding the concept of a promise. Living fully and wholly by the psychopathology of Gorgias—that all statements are lies and only rhetoric matters—the Chinese truly believe that their promise to not interfere with Hong Kong until 2047 is irrelevant trivia. They truly believe that if the world distrusts China for breaking treaty, it would be the world just looking for ways to be mean to poor, suffering, victimized China. They truly believe that any “distrust” from the West, citing broken promises, would be pure propaganda from any and all, everywhere on Earth.

The British dealt with China for centuries. They must have at least suspected that China would break treaty. In fair honesty, by allowing a fifty year window, they showed high hopes that China would at least be capable of pretending to have a conscience for half a century. If China could lie to the world for fifty years and conceal its spite for any race lacking Han blood—if China could at least pretend to be nice for fifty years—then perhaps Hong Kong would be safe long after 2047. Britain gave China the benefit of the doubt.

But, China didn’t make it fifty years, not even half that.

Call it temptation. Call it the “Tienanmen fix”. China can’t not oppress and boss and dominate. From Beijing, Hong Kong calls, begging, “Oppress me! Oppress me!”

From Xi Jinping’s perspective is one of power. He believes that the Russian Communist downfall of 1989 happened because the Communists didn’t oppress enough. It never occurs to him that people do not overthrow governments that they trust—but to a psychopath, all statements are lies and all protests are propaganda. People would only hate an oppressive government, so they think, because someone told them to.

Hong Kong knows differently. Though they do not have complete self-rule, they do have free speech, free markets, free press, and free religion. To them, China stinks, and not only from the pollution of mismanagement.

Still, China wants to force its embrace upon the free people of Hong Kong. The legal justice system has a term for criminals who force their love on unwilling victims. In that scenario, everyone knows who everyone is.

Like an alcoholic claiming that alcohol is the medicine, China sees voluntary support as a threat—as a lack of power—and that power is the cure for power resisted. China has been had by everyone, its own vices above all else.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 8, 2019

Trump’s tanks were unimpressive—that’s what Russian pundits think, anyway. Bringing out these old, beat-up, partially-disassembled relics of past victory and sacrifice proves nothing important. Parades should tout the latest, most intimidating, most high-tech muscle the military can muster. By all those standards, Trump’s parade flopped. Instead, he celebrated America’s heart and heritage—all things unimpressive in the eyes of Russians pining for their old imperial days of glory gone bye.

The Left, on the other hand, thought it was too much. JFK and Clinton celebrating bravery with marches and fly-overs were good, until Trump did it, then they weren’t. Perhaps next year’s Independence Day could host a bilateral talk between the Left and their recently-estranged Russian comrades.

Russia and America’s Left weren’t the only ones trying to tell Trump what to do. A leak from Britain’s Daily Mail shows disdain from the ambassador of the failed administration. Some suspect an attempt to influence fast-approaching election politics in the UK by painting Trump as the villain. More likely is a rogue, self-appointed hero who doesn’t like the manners of movers and shakers, pretending that his experience as an ambassador means his personal value for fecklessness should “trump” the White House, as it were.

Newt was the most out-spoken for Trump. He thinks not invading Iran was smart and that Trump is making all the right decisions on his successful path to re-election 2020.

Some important things happened in Civil Rights. The Republicans missed two great chances on these.

California finally passed a law, more or less, seeming to clarify what kinds of haircuts are natural for Black people. Though it doesn’t fit with the conventional Right of 20 years ago—always turning away from “touchy-feely” laws—it’s about time. What is wrong with Black people wearing dreads, anyway? Dreads are the easiest way for Black people wear their hair if they don’t go to the barber every other day. Why was this political and why was the law needed? The reason is probably because most White people don’t know that Black people need an entirely different kind of clippers at the barber shop. Some sad Republican politician who didn’t know as much just might complain about Cali, then lose his seat in 2020.

A DA in Philly won’t fine people in poverty beyond restitution anymore. Crime will be prosecuted, of course. Damages must be paid, of course. But, there’s no point in fining someone $1,000 who can’t pay rent and barely affords a car that’s worth less. Such a fine would effectively make the sentence an eviction. Current laws might as well say, “This crime is punishable by two weeks income if you’re middle class, an afternoon round of golf if you’re rich, and eviction if you’re poor.” Why didn’t Republicans make criminal and traffic fines proportional to income already? With the income gap gaping so wide, fines shouldn’t be measured in dollars, but in percentages. Some Republican politician probably won’t know that either.

Speaking of Republicans, Justin Amash of Grand Rapids’ district in Michigan took Independence Day to announce his independence from the RNC. His statement appeared as an Op-Ed in the Washington Post. Maybe he’ll be the one to start the People’s Party.

Whether it’s the communists in Russia and America quibbling about tanks in parades, getting Republicans to get along, being aware that Black and White people have different hair, or considering that flat fine rates aren’t fair, America has a lot to learn. We’re learning, we’ve come a long way in 243 years, we’re not there yet, but we’re inching along alright. We’re inching along.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 1, 2019

The Korean DMZ is the hottest new place to socialize! Dear Leaders charge to the border to shake hands. Presidents line up early to get a good spot. Few diplomatic maneuvers or promises on trade can compete with the political electricity and friendship found at the one border in Asia that has no military.

Trump’s visit to Kim Jong-Un on his way home paid a great honor to the leader who was not at the G20 summit. Peace in Korea means a harder sell for countries seeking something else.

Leaders at G20 smiled for the camera and acted like best friends forever, reassuring their citizens back home. But, a bridge that spans 90% of a river is neither a bridge nor a dock, it’s just an obstruction. Trade is on the table. Trump made a gesture without tread, allowing American companies to work with Huawei, as long as they don’t help Huawei in the ways Trump claims Huawei continues to threaten security. Xi smiled, but didn’t seem impressed.

Hong Kong protests have continued four weekends in a row.

If we look at the Hong Kong protests from the view of the Asian Mad Scientist Theorem, everything makes perfect sense. Experimentation with North Korea is finished and moved onto China. Now, it’s time to see what happens when attempting to impose tyranny onto an unarmed, peaceful, free-thinking, free-speaking people.

Their main reaction was to petition G20 nations the week of the G20 summit. China has declared Hong Kong to be an internal matter that will not be discussed at G20. This creates a dilemma similar to the line between an internal family matter vs the kids banging on the neighbors’ door to report domestic violence. If internal matters escalate to a certain point, then can’t not become external matters.

Grenville Cross should be investigated for unhealthy ties to Beijing. Being the director of public prosecutions starting in 1997, when Hong Kong was handed over to Beijing, and with his recent “opinion” piece, more of a political rebuke of the protestors, he is operating as Beijing’s mouthpiece and overlooked one important part of Hong Kong’s Basic Law—mainly that Beijing may never, ever, ever interfere. He should be investigated as an accomplice with a means and a now evident motive.

The Huawei FedEx package returned to Sascha Segan doesn’t seem to be a lash-out at China, but a lash-out at Trump.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 1, 2019

It’s the Art of the Deal. Trump and his work in East Asia at G20 upstaged political niggling in the US. His visit to North Korea upstaged G20. Meeting with the estranged Xi Jinping at Osaka—after rumors of Xi not showing and/or not talking, being the first sitting president to cross the Koreas’ border into the north at the DMZ, then accompanying Kim inside for talks on the other side of the border in the south—this is bigger than anything going on in the Democratic presidential debates.

Meanwhile in Washington, the focus should remain on the courts. Justices are no longer divided evenly and clearly, neither along lines of politics nor judicial philosophy. Justice Gorsuch sided with the Constitution against the should-be Conservatives.

In politics, “Conservative vs Liberal” is about social tradition and whether to guarantee due process to ones opponents. On the Court, “Conservative vs Liberal” is about whether to strictly apply law as written vs trying to rule each case as an indirect way of “creating” new law. Both sides of the recent gun crime case voted on party lines—to let criminals walk vs to punish criminals—all except Gorsuch, who sided with the Liberals only because the law was too vague. It seems that Gorsuch is the only judicial Conservative on the court, while the rest seem to be Republican or Democratic activists.

We are looking at a third term for President Trump, along with a sixth Republican-appointed justice on the Supreme Court.

Happy Independence Week!

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 5, 2019

If one were to guess what was going on between Trump and Kim, internal politics of North Korea would explain it all. Korea is no exception to East Asia’s history of ongoing domination quarreling. Kim is not universally loved within his own government. The military is constantly at his back door and he must squash mutinies constantly. Pomp and acting like he’s the “military man” makes it hard for his enemies within to rally ill will against him.

Also, Trump has commented that many things are going on with North Korea behind the scenes—things which remain beyond the paparazzi watch of the Western presses. When Trump indicates no objection to the non-nuclear missile launches in North Korea, it almost seems as if Trump knows Kim is doing something the rest of the West doesn’t know about. For all we know, the number and frequency of non-nuclear missile tests could be a kind of Morse code only known to Trump and Kim. Given what has been publicly told, that would not be impossible. This only leads us to conclude that we can’t conclude anything about what’s happening in North Korea so far; there have just been too many jokers added to the deck.

Then, there’s China, China, and also China.

When it comes to raising public support for Western action against China, China is its own worst PR enemy.

China keeps doing the same thing. Beijing’s solution to rejection is to incite more rejection. Beijing’s solution to resistance is to give excuse for more resistance. It’s in a self-destructing insanity tailspin—paranoid of invisible enemies, justifying interfering in Hong Kong under the auspices that Hong Kong was already interfered in by the West.

That’s what this is all about, by the way. The whole reason Beijing accuses Taiwan and the US of causing the Hong Kong riots is to build the case that “Hong Kong was already interfered with”, and therefore sending in China’s military to stop the protests would not violate the Basic Law. The problem is that the Basic Law does not grant China permission to use military force against unarmed Hong Kong citizens on the basis of “Western interference”. But, the Chinese don’t understand the concept of “lawfulness” anyway. They just come up with whatever excuse sounds sophisticated enough to seem smarter than everyone else and thereby hypnotize the public into compliance.

China wants to blame the US and Trump won’t give China one single excuse to be twisted into so-called proof. Trump treads cautiously, but he is neither callous nor oblivious. His silence should be a warning to China that he is no fool. Sadly, China will take his silence to mean that he has caved into Beijing’s aggression and the Chinese military will only grow more overconfident than it already is. But, choices of the past four decades suggest that may have been the plan all along.

The tipping point is upon us. If China’s warship crashed into a Taiwan freighter on accident, then there would be no reason to fear or respect China’s Navy because their crew can’t steer. The alternative is to interpret it as an act of war. China doesn’t consider either because an angry bully in blamer-mode doesn’t consider others, not even how others can or will respond.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 5, 2019

Tariffs and trade headlines aren’t about trade or tariffs; they are about Trump. The trade war with China isn’t about China having taken US jobs since before the 1980s, it’s “Trump’s trade war”. The poor American farmers who planted crops to suit the Chinese are all beside themselves. A bad environment—whether in weather or economics—is the new normal and farmers are being told the same thing as American companies that depend on China: get used to it and look elsewhere.

America’s economy can’t be dependent on China because China is not dependable. Look at the self-contradiction of someone who says otherwise. Trump’s former economic adviser, Gary Cohn, says in one sentence that China was going to take down its own economy anyway, then in another sentence says that US trade policy is backfiring. Which is it? Was China going to do all this anyway or did the US initiate something that backfired? Both can’t be true at the same time.

Either the US affected China’s economic policy or it didn’t—for better or worse. Claiming that we didn’t make a difference while also claiming that we made a difference that backfired doesn’t indicate a well-considered economic framework; it indicates someone shooting in the dark, trying to find any argument that will convince people to dislike Trump. After all, America’s economy was wonderful while it made China rich, but once the US economy stopped serving China, it wasn’t a “US trade war”, it was “Trump’s trade war”.

Many Trump critics believe Trump supporters are stupid, but they still try to use reason to persuade Trump supporters. This is another self-contradiction, adding to the self-contradicting reasoning. Even if self-contradiction could persuade Trump supporters to abandon him, there would be no place to turn. Democratic infighting is at an all-time high.  It’s almost as if the Democrats want to lose the 2020 election, pretending to fight valiantly while they do. But, that wouldn’t be anything new. They have been doing that with human rights and civil rights for decades.

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