Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 28, 2021

Spite for China is turning toward panic. Australian university campuses feel the pressure of CCP censorship, including death threats against students and pressure on family members back in China. If the CCP wanted to demonstrate its purported benevolence to the world, every week betrays a bigger fail.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth marches through Russian-concerned waters on its rout to Hong Kong. Moscow knows that the Brits have no interest in quibbling over Crimea. The bombs dropped in the aircraft carrier’s path were meant to deter the British from arriving at the Southeast Asian shipping lanes that Russia so conveniently controls through the world’s biggest puppet-in-denial: China.

Taiwan magnificently navigates its own mini COVID crisis, which doesn’t help build kind thoughts among Taiwanese toward the CCP. The American “not Embassy” director is on his way out and was honored by Taiwan’s president with a big, pretty, purple ribbon. Nothing makes the CCP angry like a purple ribbon.

Read More

Encore of Revival: America, March 29, 2021

America faces big changes, but not the changes our conventional political grid might assume. Public trust in cloud platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter failed with the massive censorship surrounding the 2020 election. This week, a new cloud provider, Digital Ocean, went public. The Times has used Digital Ocean for nearly seven years.

Digital commerce shifts while the global supply chain faces more disruptions. Not only do we still lack supplies that were made in factories that are closed. Not only is the cruise ship industry floundering. The Suez Canal is blocked.

What is Democrat-controlled Washington doing?—Business as usual. Binden wants to focus on infrastructure—a digression from the Obama years. Republicans have always been good at spending money while appearing not to, while Democrats appear to spend money when they tighten the purse strings. Marketing is one of the best-kept secret ingredients in American politics.

The one thing unusual about this Democratic Washington is its dedication to a strong military. Russia surfaced three subs in the Arctic this week and, now all of a sudden, Democrats want to do military the same way Trump did. Just how the Bush-Obama years held a contiguous policy progression, the Trump-Biden years seem to reflect the competence, military, and infrastructure of FDR. In many ways, it is as if Trump is still in office. We did get Trump’s $2,000 checks, after all.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 28, 2020

There are no new developments with China, only old squabbles. China is shouting louder and louder, and Western media publish more in-depth stories outlining the many countries China has squabbles with. China is losing over the TikTok ordeal, as well as companies that helped build artificial islands which were not supposed to be military bases anyway, but somehow became military bases anyway. Sanctions fly from the US, as well as diplomats to Taiwan.

At the UN, Russia said a few words leaning in China’s direction, but that’s quite a tall order to expect Russia to devote resources helping China win every territorial squabble with India, Taiwan, the US, and Japan. Russia will more likely condemn the West with soft tones, then offer China moral support after its inevitable humiliation.

Humiliation is a funny thing. That seems to be China’s perspective all around. China feels humiliated and thinks humiliating others will solve its humiliation problems at home. China wants to own Taiwan because China feels humiliation for various and sundry reasons often created in attempt to escape humiliation.  China may even think a Taiwan “D-Day”, or “T-Day” would lead to victory—forgetting that Normandy was about free allies reclaiming lost land from expansionists. China has no alliance, China would be the expansionists, and the free people would be defending their homes. Humiliation blinds us and drives us to do crazy things. Russia knows this and plays for any opportunity—not to help China, but to manipulate China through the paradigm of humiliation China just can’t let go of.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 21, 2020

Taiwan has become the center of China’s conflict with the world. One economy at a time, one government at a time, China has managed to insult the world. The Chinese have done such a good job of losing friends and alienating voters of foreign countries, not even Russia can afford the political cost of siding with China, not even to manipulate China behind a mask of feigned friendship. Don’t expect Moscow to take center-stage at China’s aid quite yet.

While the world hates China more and more every day, that hatred finds a way to express itself in love for Taiwan. Taiwan is now the grand alternative! Taiwan is the adorable poster puppy everyone should have sided with from the beginning. Taiwan needs military help, but most of all sympathy, compassion, and understanding, perhaps even grandstanding. Nothing sends the message that a nation is fed up with China like siding with adorable, cuddly Taiwan, especially on the most trivial things like medical masks or forcing Taiwan to call its team “Chinese [what the heck] Taipei” at the Olympics. Trivial things, after all, are what China loves to claim as some of the greatest threats to Communist-controlled national security.

It’s almost to the level of being an election tactic in Western democracies. Do or say something that couldn’t even hurt a fly, then China squeaks and bellows and throws such a fuss, voters love whichever politician China hates. Nothing is as adorable and benign as kindness toward Taiwan. So, that’s the story of how Taiwan became the world’s new favorite.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 20, 2020

China is engaging in “rapid expansionism”; this is different from the slower-moving modes of Russia and, until Trump, the United States. During Obama, Russia took back Crimea—after that fling Nikita Khrushchev had in giving Crimea to Ukraine when it wasn’t his to give. Russia has also been crawling its influence in Syria, softly with Iran, and shrewdly using China as an effective puppet.

America, though not an empire seeking to claim more within its political borders, propelled power through military bases around the world. Once the Chinese got over their phobia of technology—a disease it long had, which even led up to the Opium Wars—they looked beyond their bubble and saw America’s non-border expansion. But, they still haven’t seen Russia’s soft-handed expansion for what it is. 180 military bases in China’s backyard didn’t bode well with China’s neediness for receiving endless heinie kisses.

Thankfully, Trump is slowly recalling propelled American power—consider Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, and now Iraq. He is not the archetypal “neocon” expansionist. But, other than Trump, America did have its own soft form of expansionism.

China, different from either of the two soft expansions of America and Russia, is engaging in a more rapid, rude, speedy expansion. The Chinese don’t care how they come across to others because they have been knocked off their emotional rockers, having seen that the world doesn’t regard them to be a fraction of what they think themselves to be. This speed has alarmed the nations of the world like a body’s immune system responding to a spreading virus or cancer. Even India is on alert.

Russia played its card well—or maybe we should say Russia played its China well: expansion backed by Russia, which upsets the global balance, and Russia doesn’t get blamed for it. China doesn’t know what its speedy expansion, mainly against Taiwan and India, will do because China hasn’t been paying attention to the rest of the world for most of human history.

Read More

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.

Read More