American deadlock trudges on. Trump promised a wall and he won’t back down. Democrats won’t back down either. Both show solidarity with their respective platforms. The only group that seems to favor backing down is Congressional Republicans, who want Trump to get this over with any way possible. For the compromising Republicans on Capitol Hill, Trump’s refusal to sign a “wallless budget” isn’t a “wall” strategy as much as it is a “shut down” strategy. Trump and Congressional Democrats see it differently.
Keep watch; it just might be Jared Kushner who saves the day.
The term “free speech” has taken a new meaning. While speech has kept less and less freedom from the tech bosses, the monetary cost of speaking out has essentially become free. With speech becoming more and more “financially free”, the media industry can’t find a way to stay solvent.
Newspapers and local news broadcasters seek collective ways to work against the tech giants, but they only rearrange their immediate problems with no long-term solutions in sight. The dwindling news industry is attacking “free” platforms of semi-free speech: social media. That’s the clue of where news & information will head in the future.
Facebook has been censoring many good things. Their procedures or automatic algorithms or whatever mechanism was designed to snag speech that just so happened to be from the Declaration of Independence was no isolated incident. Especially when a long train of abuses and usurpations evince a design, it’s not coincidence, it’s telling.
Facebook has had its hand caught in the cookie jar many times as of late. The social media giant doesn’t seem interested in cultivating good will, but keeps working for excuses to drive away people who want to freely submit facts to a candid world via any platform but their own. Putting the post from The Vindicator newspaper back up won’t prove to be enough. With trends and polls being what they are, the only way to prevent Facebook from taking a nosedive is for Zuckerberg to apologize for not endorsing Trump and write bots to flag posts praising Obama. That won’t be fair, but it would be the only way to court favor lost among the bulk of its home-market customers who are subtly shopping elsewhere.
But, the biggest wire tripped by Facebook censoring the Declaration of Independence wasn’t the people’s irritation with Facebook, but the resulting alertness about the Declaration of Independence. Facebook unwittingly helped make that document famous again. It seemed that America had forgotten all about it. Now, everyone is going to search and read what words created the safest nation in the world to hold such hot debates as the last two years, without fear of execution. For reclaiming attention to American history, Facebook has earned the first annual Pacific Daily Times Liberty of the Year award.
Thank you, Facebook, for reminding us of our heritage of freedom well fought for.
North Korea inches further and further toward talks with the US. China fears this. If Kim Jong-Un get in the same room as the man who wrote The Art of the Deal, North Korea could become a stronger ally to the US than even South Korea overnight. That would likely lead to a quick reunification of the Korean Peninsula, as well as other shifts in power, even before any alliance might be formalized. But, Trump’s deal-making reputation should bring no shocks to what is about to transpire in the Singapore Summit.
Then, there’s China, about to be left behind. The hardline crackdown on free speech throughout China won’t be without consequence. Symphony has been saying so for years; Albert Ho effectively said the same, quoted in a Bloomberg article dated June 4. Party power is getting brittle. But, the consequences of brutal brittality are rarely explored. So, here goes.
Hong Kong won’t shut up anytime soon. The whining, whimpering bratty students of Hong Kong may be wrong to demand rights when freedom was largely handed to them by the British. But, those bratty students sure are drawing a press load of attention to China. That alone should be a heavy factor in logistics calculation. Hong Kong is a megaphone for any anti-China sentiment because the world reads about Hong Kong every day. After all, Hong Kong is “Asia’s World City”.
But, then there’s the problem of cracking down within “China proper”, the Mainland governed directly by Beijing, not a SAR like Hong Kong or Macau. If China considers friendly sarcasm to be a threat within China—that means tech companies and hardware manufacturers won’t have candid conversations about quality control and competitive design. Once free speech becomes a minefield, people will divert mental resources away from fee and open brainstorming toward making sure that they don’t say anything offensive. The key to good brainstorm sessions and innovation is that nothing is off the table and no one is allowed to take offense at anything whatsoever. That’s can’t happen in China anymore. Bye-bye Western manufacturing paradise. It’s only a matter of time before Western outsourcing brands figure it out. One little story, like an innovator being locked up for a tech suggestion because it was interpreted as “opposing to the Party”, might plunge Chinese factory stocks into the void below.
“Single-Party Rule” is the key topic now, at least according to Western papers. That’s the protest mantra in Hong Kong. It’s the talking point of headlines and marches. It is the so-called “problem” as is being presented to the world. The Western press is on a path for reporting a narrative that stirs sentiment for two-party rule in China. Whether it’s a typhoon, an earthquake, a solar flare, or some other “act of God”, if China suddenly adopts a two-party system, Western newspaper readers will have already been prepped to think it is a good thing.
Then, there’s Vietnam, exploring foreign investment “zones”. Deserved or unfair, distrust is stirring against China as a place of investment. This will have a double-edged effect in Vietnam. Firstly, Western manufacturing will flock to Vietnam as a way of fleeing the newspaper villain, China. But, with a Communist Party having total rule in Vietnam, Western investors will demand certain assurances before dumping too much money into yet another single-party market. Sooner or later, we could be looking at Vietnam adopting a friendly two-party system as a stronger strategy of competing with China. That will only add to the momentum of change in East Asia.