Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, October 22, 2018

Saudi leadership is deeply entrenched in an attempt to make the world a better place. Just as Trump has his enemies, so do the Saudis. The Saudi Crowned Prince did not visit Turkey and personally dismember and murder a news reporter, no matter how many anti- fake news activists might have liked him to. There are many alibis in defense of the Saudi royal family, among them that they have many enemies who want violence to continue, who are even willing to engage in violence and blame it on the royal family to stir dissent against the royal family that wants to end violence.

Trump pulled out of the INF treaty, prohibiting medium-range ground-based nukes. Gorbachev doesn't want Trump to pull out, but he hasn't seemed so outspoken about Putin violating the treaty. Trump's defense will be that the treaty has already ended, the US is merely jumping ship from the boat Russia has poked holes in for a long time. Putin's argument is that missile defense in Europe violates attack missile treaties, though that argument needs further explaining before the American public will agree. By having argued that NATO defense violated treaties restricting attack protocols, Putin is more or less acknowledging that he already has a good excuse to violate the INF treaty, but Trump does not. Either way, Russia has nothing to complain about at this point because both parties seem to think the treaty no longer applies.

When your enemy argues that violating a treaty is fair, it's stupid not to pull out of that treaty. Signed documents don't cause missiles to freeze in mid air. Tension between the US rises and lowers based on how much the superpowers want to get along—and signed documents trail after the ebb and flow of the greater tide.

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Columns

Yank the Cord

Everyone has opportunities and no opportunity lasts forever. So, everyone has a revolving door of opportunities that come and go. But, people tend to forget, which is why people tend to take opportunities for granted, thinking every opportunity will last forever.

Sometimes you are the opportunity for someone else. Accordingly, people will take you for granted and think that your time is limitless. When they do, don't stick around for them. It's always tempting to stick around while ambivalent people ponder nothing infinitely; don't.

One of the best opportunity teachers is the opportunity missed. Never miss your teachable opportunity to teach.

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Letters

What Covenant?

Abraham believed God & God made a covenant with him. (Gen. 15:6 & 18) That covenant was based on the fact that Abe believed God. Now he’s God’s friend, as well as his covenant partner.

But in Genesis 12, Abe is afraid & lies about Sara. He was afraid the king would kill him to get his hands on his hot wife, so he says, “She’s my sister, not my wife!”

Abraham is giving in to a spirit of fear, and he’s a liar. Those are bad. But God backs him up, IN THE LIE! He defends Abraham (and his marriage) from the ignorant, horny kings.

Wait, what? God defends the liar? And defends the lie? Why would he do that?

It was hundreds of years later that Moses comes down the mountain with The Law, which includes “Don’t sleep with another man’s wife,” and “Don’t tell lies” and such. Now, with coming of The Law, adultery and lying (and several other things) become a sin.

The Law is a part of Moses’ covenant with God. It’s not part of Abraham’s covenant with God, or Noah’s.

In Abraham’s day, there was no rule that said “Don’t sleep with his wife,” and no rule that said, “Do not bear false testimony.” These rules didn’t show up until late in Moses’ life. They weren’t forbidden in Abraham’s day.

Were they still stupid things to do? Of course. And Abraham paid the price for that. But they weren’t “wrong” in Abe’s day and age.

So it’s not appropriate (or even meaningful) to judge Abraham or Noah by a covenant that didn’t exist in their day. In the same way, it’s not appropriate to judge a Peruvian farmer by Norway’s laws, or to judge a Mostho factory worker based on Peruvian law.

And The Law not actually part of our New Covenant either. Therefore, it’s completely inappropriate to judge New Covenant believers by Moses’ covenant. Or Noah’s covenant. Or any other covenant.

Are you a New Covenant believer? Then it’s completely inappropriate to judge yourself by Moses’ covenant either.


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Columns

Messy Patience in Leadership

Many of us live in a world surrounded by stuff that doesn't work—square pegs ordered for round holes they won't fit, things so disorganized not a flicker of hope shines an escape from chaos, people who just won't do a good job no matter how much extra work it creates for themselves and others. Such disorder requires patient leaders.

The temptation of any leader or foreseer is to push the process along and make life better. Don't be seduced by this. People's quality of life must be their own, not their leader's. Order can be taught, but not bestowed.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 15, 2018

It happened this week. The US finally said outright exactly what Cadence has been saying for years, the strategy in play. According to a Reuters article via Yahoo News, US security adviser John Bolton said, "If they're put back in the proper place they would be if they weren't allowed to steal our technology, their military capabilities would be substantially reduced. And a lot of the tensions we see caused by China would be reduced."

The US wants to put China "back in the proper place". If it weren't for one-sided trade deals over the last to decades and an accumulation of technology that China neither researched, conceptualized, nor paid for, Bolton thinks China would be as friendly as a cute, little house cat, not the bossy tiger it has grown into.

Specifically, the US would need to humble the diesel-powered aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, from which China's other aircraft carriers in the making were reverse-engineered. Taiwan held rehearsals against the Liaoning this week. In other areas, Taiwan isn't backing down, but announced 30 new international flight destinations this week.

Looking at things in this broader context, the escalating military conflict will not result from a trade war gone awry. Rather, the trade war was but a small part of a much larger scheme to provoke China into a military conflict sooner than it wanted. Tech and money has already been cut off. New weapons have been developed and prepared. Now, the US hopes to put China "back in the proper place". In Beijing culture, that means an attempt from the US to shame China on the seas.

We should be preparing for an insulted, post-defeat China and long-term strategists should being their review of the psychological atmosphere in pre-WWII Germany.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, October 15, 2018

Trump hosted several guests in the Oval Office this week, including Kanye West, Pastor Andrew Brunson, and Nikki Haley.

Haley is resigning from the United Nations. A likely successor could be Jared Kushner. If Jared is not named her successor, then he will continue to rise in respect behind the scenes elsewhere. Haley mentioned his effective negotiation work with the new NAFTA deal in her resignation.

Andrew Brunson was released from captivity in Turkey relating to imprisonment of Christians in a clash with Middle Eastern religion, law, and culture. His return home was thought to be a lost cause when Trump took office. The president mentioned that North Korea had also been a lost cause by the previous administration, with war being immanent. He pointed out that many supposed "lost causes" had turned around since he took office, Brunson's return being only one of them with many more yet to come.

Inviting Kanye West into the Oval Office gave Kanye a platform to be heard. Apparently he had many things to say that had only been distorted by the media. Being heard from across the desk of the president he supports allowed him to be heard clearly and accurately. He's not the only one with such a need.

Faith Goldy is running for mayor in Toronto. She is surrounded by opposition, including questions about advertising contracts that were not honored and possible lawsuit cases in her favor. She is up against a comfortable incumbent and an establishment comfortable with the incumbent's comfort. Being in the top three candidates she was still rejected from participating in an election debate.

From the look of things, along with the ever-swelling #WalkAway movement, it seems that an election fraud effort may be in effect and over-optimism from the Left is the attempt to persuade public opinion otherwise. Considering that Canada has similar issues, the effort against Trump seems to be part of something both greater and international.

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Columns

Killing Cockroaches

There are two ways to kill a cockroach, one way involves the same way to prevent its intrusion in the first place: starvation. If we don't have food or water sprinkled all over our floors and in the cracks of our sofas, they won't last more than a month and they probably won't move in to begin with. The second way is with poison.

Cockroaches poop and pee and make our houses stink. Outside, they keep the world clean because the rain cleans up after them. They'll only visit to clean up houses whose keepers don't clean up after themselves.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 8, 2018

China's political, socioeconomic worldview is that of a zero-sum game. It has played it's socioeconomic game that way for decades. Now, it must empty its reserve coffers to keep its zero-sum game strategy from sinking too fast. This means that it can't use those coffers if a military conflict arose. The United States knows this.

Don't be fooled. The US strategy is to provoke China into a conflict sooner than it wants. In the Western view, China has shown how it will behave by having shown how it has behaved more and more. This is enough to warrant preemptive agitation for the Western taxpayer. In China's view, the world has failed to bestow on China what China deserves; because China rightly deserves what it deserves, China can't lose.

Interpol has now gotten whatever international attention against China's favor that Hong Kong malcontents did not. With the disappearance of Interpol's president into China, whoever didn't care about so-called "Chinese aggression" does now. China's government thinks they sent a message to the world. They did, but the message received is probably not the message that was intended.

As the Pacific conflict escalates, the US-Taiwan aggravation strategy moves into more military cooperation. "Unprecedented" was the word of the week. And, everyone knows what it means just as much as everyone knows why.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, October 8, 2018

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh opens a new problem for Conservatives: supermajority. Any unchecked party is dangerous. Breyer and Ginsberg are aging. If one of them resigns or passes within the foreseeable election future, the Supreme Court would be packed with Conservative, Republican judges. Justice Kennedy had been a swing vote, a kind of wild card on the court. That time is gone. We live in a new era of a truly Republican court.

The path leading the country to this Republican control, however, was too bumpy to make Republican voters lazy. Had Democrats played friendly and kind, the coming wrath of the Republican voter wouldn't have become so big as we will see in November. With polls being reported as hopeful for Democrats, we could see even more Republicans provoked to vote in 2018 than in 2016. It almost seems as if Democrats and the media are in some kind of secret cooperation to push Republican voters.

With the economy clipping along and so many kept promises from Trump, who has a 50% job approval rating, Republican progress looks likely. There are many states reportedly in play, but that amounts to 44 Senate seats secure for Democrats and 48 secure for Republicans. The reported tossup is a steeper climb for Republicans than Democrats and, with the Kavanaugh turbulence, Republican voters won't be staying home.

In the minds of Democrat voters, a strong Republican court makes them paranoid that Republican police could come to their homes any minute now and burn them alive for flying rainbow flags. This kind of hysteria has been cultivated by Democratic propaganda, though never stated directly, being intended to get Democratic votes, though its effects will be dangerous when those votes aren't enough to win elections.

Republican strategy went correctly. By confirming Kavanaugh, Republicans acted like Republicans, which always brings out the Republican vote. Loss has always brought out Democratic demonstration. While we may be looking at an unusual mid-term victory for the president's party next month, we could also be looking at riots soon after. And, in America just as we see in the swelling #WalkAway movement, the aftermath of riots lead to one thing: repentance.

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Columns

God’s Perfect Time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB-vB_OjXf0

God seems to like to wait until the last minute before solving our problems, but, He doesn't actually. He doesn't wait until the last minute anymore than He waits for the first minute; He waits for the perfect minute.

Baking a cake requires the perfect cooking time, neither too long nor too short. Our self-worry, wanting to fly while keeping both feet on the ground, causes us to perceive that God often waits until the last minute to come through. He doesn't. He does everything at just the perfect time.

It takes getting used to—acting at the perfect time.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 1, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ769JqU3xs

When China cancelled a meeting in Washington, the Chinese thought they were sending a message; Washington thought they wouldn't be sending any more messages at all. The Chinese government wants mutual respect, trade that results in equal numbers, and that countries not be bullied into taking sides in a China-US disagreement. Though China lobbed this new policy in a complaint against the US, there have yet to be steps or specific commitments on how China will hold up its side of this new policy. It will be difficult to get clarification without communication.

US tariffs are unfair. It's so obvious that it doesn't need to be proven. China has a right, after all—and everyone should agree—to develop itself as a nation. China's right to have any and all resources given to it from everywhere in the world, to whatever extent is needed for development, is an entitlement China has by birth and is already universally accepted around the world. Those in the US who oppose this obvious consensus are a rogue fringe not deserving of academic mention.

But, Taiwan is being a big bully—a meanie-face. By not rebuking the US for considering a third of a billion dollar arms sale to Taiwan, the Taiwanese are spitting in Beijing's face once again. As if that bullying wasn't enough, Taiwan is also planning a new place to park its helicopters. Of all the audacity!

Hong Kong, however, stands no chance against the great and mighty China. By banning a pro-independence party, the Hong Kong government sure showed them! There's no possible hope for any kind of backlash or rise in sympathy, once the rightful leaders have made their all-powerful will known in the fully self-governed special administrative region of Hong Kong.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, October 1, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2JO17jPDyc

In the words of Tyrion Lannister, "Making honest feelings do dishonest work is one of her many gifts." Something is very wrong about the testimony against SCOTUS nominee Judge Kavanaugh. But, that doesn't matter. The odd smiles and giggles from both the witness and her attorney, the "crying" voice without shedding one single tear, many frequent flights from someone afraid to fly when it came time to testify in a matter she wanted investigated, refusing to be interviewed in her home state while demanding an investigation, heavy use of "attorney-client privilege" from an accuser who could prove her case better by not exercising that privilege on key questions whose answers could support her case, a lie detector test administered between flights after a funeral paid for by no one knows who—none of that matters.

For the attorney blocking a question about whether Dr. Ford was informed that she could be questioned per her request, in her own state, he should be subpoenaed or Dr. Ford, her attorney, and her allegations should be dismissed—since Democrats think unusually high standards are so vital. Even Republican Senator Lindsey "Gramnesty", who voted for Obama's justices, adamantly defends Kavanaugh, arguing that, as a former judge himself, not so much as a warrant could be issued with such little information Dr. Ford provided at this suspiciously and conveniently late hour.

When Kavanaugh admitted to drinking in high school, he lowered his odds of Republican favor more than any accusation could. If that doesn't take his name out, nothing will. Democrats don't oppose him because they have a shred of belief in the witness against him, but because they know he would vote as a supreme court justice in agreement with the Declaration of Independence—that life is an unalienable human right—because they don't want any judge who upholds the nation's founding documents. If Democrats wanted credibility for their emotional appeal in grandstanding, they would vow before the nation to approve the next pro-Life judge appointed before the November election. But, that is just what they hope to prevent.

Even if true, these accusations shouldn't matter. The "boys will be boys" defense is false and no one credible is making that argument, though Democrats rebut the wind. Kavanaugh has become a better person and done good and honest things since high school, so it seems anyway. He knows how to grow up. Bill Clinton doesn't. That's what matters. But, none of what matters seems to matter to Democrats. Where was Senator Feinstein during the Clinton years?

There could be some shred of truth to the allegations, but the manner and circumstances in which it has been presented has many predictable and craftable conveniences that just so happen to line up with Democrat party politics. If one single Democratic senator cared about these harassment charges, that senator would have voted to impeach Clinton. By Democrat standards—politician and voter alike—Kavanaugh almost qualifies as enough of a "bad boy" for the presidency.

Regardless of the senate committee's decision, Republican voters will be furious. This could trigger a cascade turnout in November that tips the Republican favor even more than speculated thus far.

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Columns

‘Thrive’ Coaching vs ‘Life’ Coaching

Anyone can refine and narrow-down a preferred recreation. Anyone can sit in a chair and ponder one's own life and what useless hobbies we each enjoy the most. But, profitability—the ability to make the money needed to do what you really want to do in your heart—that can't come from a psychologist or conversationalist.

Discovering your own profitability requires someone who has discovered his own. We need feedback from friends and family. These are useful. But even more, we also need information, facts, challenges, and someone to teach by example on how to quickly get to the point.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 24, 2018

Google has gone off the deep end. The level of insanity matches The Bridge over the River Kwai. Actually helping China spy—Are Google execs loopy? From a Chinese company inside China that would make sense. But, Google is American. As if helping a non-ally spy isn't enough, social media giants are already in trouble over censorship in the US. Google could be in bigger trouble with the White House than Wall Street is.

Taiwan hasn't wasted any time irritating China. Now, a temple that was bought seven years ago by a Taiwanese business man, which was then converted into a "shrine to Chinese communism", is having the lights and water turned off as the local government prepares to demolish the whole place. That won't wash over well for anyone hoping to court friendship with China.

China seems to be taking the hint and finally getting offended. Beijing cancelled a trip to talk trade with Washington after figuring out that tariffs were set by imbalance and retaliation rather than rhetoric. As for the two steering factors—imbalance and retaliation—China shows no indication of making concessions. But, it's not the tariffs or trade talks that deserve the headlines as much as the insults mounting against China.

The US is going after Russia for selling weapons to China. That's even more irritation. And, China is even more angry. If we were to analyze the events of the past few months, even years more subtly, it could seem that angering China was an accident. But, the recent past makes more sense, just as events are more easily anticipated, if we consider that the US is irritating China on purpose. Expect more insults from the US, along with Taiwan.

And, Korea. Yes, the two nations are getting along. That won't work well for any nation or pundit hoping to argue that Trump doesn't know how to make a difference in the region.

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