Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 31, 2021

China is in many crosshairs and Taiwan won’t have water trouble tomorrow. A long drought was going to put limits on TSMC’s chip maker in Taiwan. But, some heavy rain over the weekend and into Monday saved the day. While water rationing has yet to be implemented or delayed at press time, things are looking up, including water levels in Taiwan reservoirs.

Water wasn’t Taiwan’s only problem. A small COVID outbreak has put the nation on partial lockdown. Numbers have slowly been creeping down, but Taipei Mayor Ko is practicing for a level-up in security steps if it became necessary. But, then there is the issue of masks and vaccines.

While Taiwanese face their own trouble, they still donate masks to other countries in need. And, while Taiwan’s government seeks the Pfizer vaccine, the president says China is meddling, making access difficult. Reportedly, China signed some regional distribution rights contract with Pfizer, but unless the vaccine is ordered from Pfizer directly, the vaccine comes with no warranty. Given many recent events, including the undetermined origins of the COVID pneumoniavirus, Taiwan is unlikely to place non-warranted orders for the vaccine through China.

As for verifying any Chinese connection to COVID, China has opposed investigations that would stand to vindicate China. Australia called for an inquiry; China responded with sanctions. Them seem like fightin’ words. Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand met over the weekend to discuss this very matter.

China is in many crosshairs, and it took a lot of work to get there. The Chinese probably won’t want to leave any crosshairs anytime soon. But, Western consumers bought from China. So, it was a team effort.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 24, 2021

The establishment gloats over Trump’s defeat—more his defeat on Twitter than his defeat in Congress, which goes to show which defeat meant more to them. All the while, Gates is caught in real scandals. Not only is he hated for a buggy operating system, broken promises that cost many startups dearly, funding controversial vaccines, and losing his wife—one of his big population control partners—now the hated company he started must defend him while he’s no longer there. Their defense?—they run things differently now.

Which billionaire is the worse between Gates and Trump? They won’t be too different in the near future, with Trump seeking to create his own news and social media platforms. Trump supporters are sick of masks. COVID cases fall. Space travel booms, as does a volcano in the Congo. Life returns to its despicable normal.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 17, 2021

Asia produced two shining lamps on two hills this week. One is Ming Yang, CFO of the Daqo solar manufacturer in Xinjiang. The other is Taiwan.

Yang, who has a Taiwanese heritage, leads a company in China that is completely controlled by foreign investment. He insists that the company does not employ any Uighurs, thus arguing that using Uighurs as forced labor wouldn’t be possible. He also insists on full transparency with outside groups that would seek to confirm the situation in his company—he wants the truth to convince them through transparency. He also insists that he is not aware of Uighur abuse in Xinjiang, but that if it were true, it would be a very bad thing.

Taiwan shines its light of hope from the season of darkness it now enters. An outbreak of COVID in the greater Taipei area has put the entire island on near lockdown. Customers must list name, phone number, and time when entering many stores. Many avoid public places, wear masks among friends, and carry spray bottles of sanitizer. The calm solidarity in Taiwan is almost unnerving, but it is very encouraging. And, we need encouragement in these times.

Both shining lights cast a pleasant light upon the Taiwanese people. While many will be encouraged throughout the world, there will always be someone who finds a way to be jealous.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 17, 2021

The establishment is all out against Trump. They’d have you believe that Republicans were Liberals from the beginning—that Republicans actually thought like Democrats from the beginning—that the Republican Party is the party of getting along with people who will never accept friendship, but only your defeat—that original, true Republicans stand only for getting along at the expense of competence and survival. Somewhere along the line, the Republican Party was commandeered. Now, this minority acts as if they represent everyone; and their marketing seems very convincing.

In truth, we can get along. We should find peace within disagreement. We can keep quality and competence while also being respectful and gaining respect. But, these are not the main drive of this self-appointed group of uninvited spokesmen for the Republican establishment. They tout these universal values as their pass to develop a party that is Republican in-name-only while promoting closet Democratic Party values.

Now that their grand enemy, Trump, seems to be fading in the establishment’s narrative, the COVID virus also seems to be less and less relevant. The only thing that remains constant is the power of the Court, now headed toward a showdown with abortion.

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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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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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