Encore of Revival: America, August 23, 2021

Afghanistan is an epic mess. ISIS is back on the scene. China and Taliban take every chance to make their own public statements while the main Biden doctrine is to valiantly run away.

More deeply disconcerting is President Biden’s response to journalists to deny claims. NATO has egg on its face, but Biden puts on a performance during his press appearance that NATO allies are exuberant about how great everything is going. He specifically says that he hasn’t heard any bad opinions from any NATO member. He had the same response that he hadn’t heard about the poll indicating lack of voter confidence.

When confronted with a dissenting opinion, Biden’s defense is that he hasn’t heard about it, even though he was just informed. We’ll see if the pattern continues.

Joe Biden knows how government functions in the mechanical sense, and he is very good at standing confident with egg on his face—acting like there isn’t any egg on his face. He’s good at that. So, America’s government will continue to function on some level. Perhaps this was the “Neo-Con” plan in looking the other way when voters complained last November. But, Biden doesn’t have the mojo to keep the engine running—and the American public sees that more and more.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia August 16, 2021

Taiwan continues to shine. Aide sent to Haiti after a devastating earthquake combines growing ties with Lithuania. China objects—and those are bad optics that China’s speech-control can’t control outside its borders.

China has been rewriting religion for years. Hymnals already read love for government rather than love for God. Now, we see more investigations against Hong Kong demonstrators who sought to uphold China’s agreement to democracy. In essence, China is investigating itself, indicating that China is divided against itself.

As a representative office exchange between Taiwan and Lithuania moves forward for this Fall, so do Taiwan’s de facto ties with the rest of the EU. China would rather object to this than be supportive of earthquake victims in Haiti. That is the obvious news narrative to take from what happened this week.

What’s not obvious is Taiwan’s prejudice against foreigners. Taiwan is having trouble building its submarines because of a shortage of engineering talent. Taiwan’s solution is to recruit more foreign talent. However, neither the problem nor the need for recruitment would exist if Taiwan had reciprocal regulations concerning immigration: protection of foreigner’s rights, five years leads to full citizenship, and dropping Taiwan’s ban on dual citizenship. To become a Taiwanese citizen, one must renounce original citizenship. America doesn’t require that. Taiwan does, then complains about losing allies to China. Does Lithuania’s government know how Taiwan treated its immigrants even to this day?

Had Taiwan treated others how they want to be treated, they wouldn’t have the trouble they do. And, Taiwan would not look like such a delicious target for war-thirsty China. The big danger is that US failure in Afghanistan on Sunday will encourage China’s calculus that an invasion of Taiwan is feasible. Combined with Taiwan’s self-inflicted weakness from discrimination against foreigners, China’s invasion question is more of a likelihood.

But, looking at even deeper strategy, we must consider China’s accusation that the US is playing games. If that were so, then failure in Afghanistan was staged by the US to provoke China into viewing the US as weaker than it is, and the US allowing non-reciprocal treatment of its own citizens in Taiwan would be intended to weaken Taiwan for strategic purposes as well.

Regardless of China’s conspiracy theory—which Chinese strategists never imagine to such length—the peaceful path would be for China to not take the invitation for attack and for Taiwan to treat others with respect. Like Jesus wanting to die on the Cross, a power that welcomes disrespect is up to something. But, the devil is none the wiser.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 12, 2021

Trump and Conservatives are gearing up for elections less than 16 months away. CPAC is among the first venues that will rally the Conservative base. Convinced of election rule breaking in 2020, any attempt to break rules at polling stations in 2022 will be met with fierce and potentially lethal force from the gun-wielding base. They are stoked. Trump’s presence at CPAC only throws gasoline on the fire.

But, a hot election in 2022 isn’t the only disturbance Washington faces. A lawsuit involving the Saudis threatens to reveal US State secrets. Apparently CIA, NSA, and the DoD got too cozy hiring overseas. Now, a lawsuit in Canada has become a problem for Washington.

Social media is also on the defense. Few respect YouTube and Facebook. Conservatives are censored and professional YouTubers are burned out from the algorithms that affect their rankings and views. With Trump filing a class-action lawsuit, Conservatives may be joined by disenfranchised Liberals, who face a choice: let big tech continue to squash them or file suit alongside the former president with whom they didn’t see eye to eye.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 5, 2021

Tucker Carlson makes claims and claims are made about Tucker Carlson. We haven’t seen this much media attention-gathering brilliance since Trump. Did Tucker gossip with journalists on the other side? Can anyone prove FBI involvement in the January 6 revolt? Did the NSA really spy on Tucker? More than evidence, history has the public convinced it’s all plausible.

The NSA’s denial that Tucker was a target would be more believable with two circumstances: 1. if it came from the White House which would have something to lose if the denial was proven false and 2. if the feds hadn’t given credence to Snowden by martyring him. But, lacking these, many find it all too believable.

Just as believable is the notion of Tucker being in a gossip circle. Scandals are everywhere, after all.

But, the bigger problem with Tucker isn’t a theory, it’s a result. He is divisive. He points out problems in the other side, but without any path to restoration or friendship. Listening to him stirs hatred and fear—for whichever opinion is different from that of the listener. Democratic and Republican voters could tend to hate and fear each other more after listening to Tucker. That’s Tucker’s type.

Bickering and unrest are stirring up all over the country. Some is warranted, much is not, but all of it is what we asked for when we decided to win arguments and fights instead of supporters and friends.

Grimly yet hopefully, I wish you a Happy Independence Day.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 21, 2021

China is facing massive resentment against its own Communist Party from inside its own borders. Members of ordinary society stab Communist Party members and are regarded heroes. The party of self-importance on the world stage isn’t only hated by the rest of the world, but also by the people it oppresses at home. CCP does not have the support it claims. That’s just another lie.

Taiwan is having to pull staff from its Hong Kong office. The Hong Kong government wouldn’t give work visas to the Taiwan government without them agreeing to the “One China” policy—which apparently was not part of an agreement from 2011. Hong Kong didn’t agree with Taiwan before adding the new requirement. Not having work visas on this account, Hong Kong told the Taiwan office workers to leave for not having work visas. The puppets in Hong Kong’s government never had the gonads to say that they kicked out Taiwan for not agreeing to CCP’s desire to redraw the world map against the will of the world. Those Taiwanese are heroes.

Taiwan’s pandemic is calming down. After Pfizer’s fling with the mildly popular CCP became the excuse to deny Taiwan its vaccines—and after 49 people died after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, the US boosted its donation of Moderna vaccines from 700k to 2.5M. Rest assured, the CCP will show the world more of its loving attitude in response.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 7, 2021

It’s that time of year again. While Americans celebrate independence on July 4, Chinese mourn one month before on June 4, to remember the 1989 Tienanmen massacre. Chinese aren’t allowed to gather. People in Communist China are tightly controlled by programmed groupthink. Like robots, they parrot negativity about Westerners whom they have rarely met and never heard out. Hong Kongers and Taiwanese are a different story. They know. And, they remember.

As if China doesn’t have enough regional enemies, Malaysia says China entered its airspace “flying in tactical formation”. Sixteen Chinese jets were intercepted by Malaysia. China’s Global Times called it a training exercise that did not breech Malaysia’s airspace, then said people only object because of “Western hype”. It’s too bad so many people from so many countries interpret China’s actions as hostile. Regional sentiment against China only grows.

Of course, China showed its level of dedication to its 1984 treaty with Britain through the ban on any Tienanmen vigils. The treaty allows Hong Kong to be under China at all. Britain, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia consider that treaty “permanently shredded“, which means they don’t consider Hong Kong under China and only need a military scuffle to enforce that decision. That is the military action they are actively looking for, the military action which China is helping them to find.

Worst of all for China is yet another increase in support from the global public. Because Microsoft Bing censored the famous photo of “tank man” from its search results—not only in China, but around the world. By playing to China’s apparent tune, Microsoft got to chalk up the blame to “human error” and the world saw China for the history re-writing addict it is. Microsoft would have done China a favor by not censoring “tank man”, even if instructed by China. But, with the Chinese appetite for respect, they’ll never figure out that Microsoft probably meant to do them dirty by going along. This was a test from the West on how far China would overreach unto its own undoing.

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