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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 19, 2017

The big danger brewing in the Pacific this week was not about who was right and wrong, but about optics and perspective.

American college student Otto Warmbier came back from North Korea in a kind of coma. Almost every news story about Otto provides some background of his arrest and sentencing for taking a North Korean government poster one year ago.

North Korea mentioned “botulism” having preceded Otto’s situation. American doctors found “no sign” thereof. While doctors verify details, Otto’s situation of “nonresponsive wakefulness” has to do with levels of brain damage caused by lack of oxygen from the lungs, usually caused by traumatic injury or intoxication. In other words, it could look like Otto was beaten or poisoned, but news outlets can’t confirm this, so they won’t say it. But, that’s how bad it looks.

And, this is the big problem. There is nothing North Korea can say—even if it is true—to stop the West from being more enraged every time Otto is mentioned.

Taiwan is pursuing it’s desire for official recognition in the world and normal relations with China. This is different from the pursuits of China and the Philippines for respect; both have recognition. Taiwan has international respect, but lacks recognition as a legitimate country. Right or wrong lies in the opinion of the beholder. But, right or wrong, Taiwan isn’t going to stop pushing. The threat to China is that China consciously seeks the respect that it knows Taiwan already has.

Now, the  USS Fitzgerald was broadsided from starboard at night. Ships as sea are supposed to yield to approaching vessels on the right, as with road vehicles at a four-way stop.

Why wasn’t someone watching? Why didn’t proximity alarms wake the crew and prevent collision? Is the superior-tech US Navy ready for a confrontation with China? Most of the crew was asleep at the time. Seven are dead. The collision happened right where they were sleeping. Sailors woke up to find the ship taking on water.

Let’s just say that sailors woke up. In fact, the whole Navy woke up. The world is already waking up to everything going on.

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Encore of Revival: America, June 19, 2017

The complaints are mounting, but not sticking. When nothing sticks, the complaints just mount more and more. Eventually, there will be a mountain of nothing that sticks.

In other words, the nation is looking at the early stages of a “cleansing meltdown”.

Usually, the legitimacy of an election is called to question when the minority party in the legislature wins a speakership or presidency. If Congress were full of Democrats, that would be the biggest cause for suspicion. But, the Republican grip on Congress is actually growing.

This, combined with James Comey’s own words and the words of many others, tells us unequivocally that the alleged “Russia Gate” was only a ruse to enrage the defeated.

The people who aren’t busy working have time to complain and get all upset. They are about to make a big, huge, mountainous mess. Then, they will face the people who were too busy, but had to stop working to go deal with the people who weren’t.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 12, 2017

Most of the news this week was rehashed hype. North Korea is making progress with missiles. This is nothing new. The US presence in South Korea is controversial among South Koreans. This is nothing new. But, the reminders keep coming in and politics never misses opportunity.

South Korea’s new president, Moon, is undergoing his own freshmen shake-ups. His military people didn’t tell him the whole story. US anti-missile systems, namely THADD, put out a lot of juice, having incredibly strong radars that no ham radio operator would be allowed to own. People don’t like living near them.

Two are already in place and are going to stay there. More, reportedly four, are at a US military base in South Korea, can be deployed at any time, and they are going to stay there. Security is not diminishing in South Korea, it is just not progressing as quickly as was scheduled.

The new Korean president is listening to his voters. He wants any additional missile defense systems in places that won’t slow-cook his own people. The delay seems to agree with China’s objection to the far-reaching THADD radars snooping on its own turf. Washington would have us think that South Korea is selling-out to the Chinese. And, China surely will get a big head over this, thinking that their economic threats against South Korea for defending itself against a loose-nuke cannon—that China funds—is finally having sway.

The real story is that time is running out in the “logistics” calculation. The US Navy is waiting. South Korea is irritated and can’t and won’t deploy endless missile defense systems. A China-backed dictator needs to be taken out. China knows it. Trump knows it. And, the Trump-Xi “bromancers” wish they could get North Korea dealt with quickly so they can take off the gloves over the South Sea.

There, in the South Sea, no lie Trump may have told about former director Comey could be as big as the lie Xi told about China’s man-made islands: They won’t be militarized. If the same islands aren’t being militarized then the anti-missile defense systems in South Korea are actually gumball machines and the US Navy is only in South Korean waters to throw a pizza party, which means that China has nothing to fear.

But, the truth is different from how slow-moving takeovers get glossed-over.

The press is moving against China and South Korea more and more, especially with “life inside” and other pro-democracy stories. China’s view is also about logistics. They lack food. China doesn’t have enough land to grow food for its own people. News stories from other countries put China in a worse light than is appropriate.

China’s solution is to expand. But, the Chinese don’t seem to understand the Western concept of expansion: Master what you have first; if you can’t manage your house as it stands, making it bigger will only grow the problem.

Now, China’s silk road is up against ISIS, making a third battle-front for the Chinese. And, after all that bravado against the US, the Philippines are welcoming US troops to help deal with their own ISIS problems. Don’t think that US- South Korean relations are down in the least.

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Encore of Revival: America, June 12, 2017

Donald Trump has been and always will be a business man at heart. His interactions with Comey reflect a boss gently steering one of his top employees. But, Washington doesn’t work that way. The president can fire an FBI director, but he may not steer him. Many Americans will see this as an “endearing and harmless mistake”—evidence that the nation finally has a president who doesn’t think like a lawyer. Trump is guilty of thinking like the people rather than an old stone that has sat in the beltway so long that it looks like a pile of moss.

In his testimony, Comey verified what we already knew: Russians did not meddle with cast votes or vote count. If there was voter fraud, it wasn’t from Russia.

So, there was no “Russian hack” of the electoral process. There were hacks during, after, and before the election, along with a lot of other events that didn’t make the news. So, why the big news?

The news media couldn’t not cover it. They hyped it. They had to cut into profits to pay for it because they had gotten themselves in too far not to. Pictures of Comey and a scene with the press taking pictures of the press taking pictures proves that there’s a lot of press, something the press still needs to prove these days—especially with Fox News having cannibalized itself right out of first place.

Moderate Republicans and mainstream Democrats work on the same basic ethic: effort wins. Republicans want the people to see that they are “trying”, but they won’t do anything. If the Republicans took action it would be a first.

Likewise, Democratic voters are enamored with the Comey hearing. Comey is looking Trump in the eye. He is going to go say things. That’s courage. That’s really bold, and stuff. In-yer-face, toothless, uber-rude bravado is much more important than actually winning—at least when you can’t win. To a young ultra Liberal, boldly accomplishing nothing is much better than winning anyway, that is if you’re still angry about having lost.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 5, 2017

At this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, China sent a lower-ranking delegation than in years past. Previously, China’s representative was a deputy chief from Joint Staff; this year Beijing sent a lieutenant general. India did not attend.

US Defense Secretary Mattis’ comment that China’s man-made islands undermine stability and that China has contempt for other nations’s interests and disregards international law. As expected, China took exception, calling the remarks “irresponsible”.

More interesting were the responses of the under dogs…

Small players know they are in a tug of war between the US and China over who has rights to which waters. Malaysia’s main reported talking points seemed to be on regional safety and rule of law. When Malaysia’s Defense Minister commented that a China-only “code” would not prevent all clashes, China’s lieutenant general rebutted with a question of what a “perfect code” would look like.

This is telling. It becomes more and more clear how China views itself in these talks, as a lieutenant general among ministers and rebutting Malaysia as one would a peer. China is clearly withdrawing, responding to the international community as already being an outcast. While the West and the press have tried to paint China as the villain, much more so than may be appropriate, China’s response only perpetuates that view among Western taxpayers and now smaller players in China’s back yard.

A group affiliated with Taiwan’s Association of University Professors are calling for Taiwan’s president to declare Taiwan’s sovereignty. This comes in the over-lapping contexts of regional talks and the ongoing situation of China having arrested Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲). The group called for Taiwan to boycott some upcoming talks with China to make a point to the international community.

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Encore of Revival: America, June 5, 2017

The facade of debating whether to do “good things” has run out of time. One of the best-kept secrets in American politics is that both Democrat and Republican voters support the same goals; their disagreement is about history. The Paris Agreement was as much about climate as the Affordable Care Act was about affordability or health care. They were only ever about dismantling America.

Trumpists in America did not and do not ever dissent on one, single selling point of laws that get rammed-through Congress—neither the Affordable Care Act nor the Paris Agreement, nor SOPA, PIPA, nor TPP for that matter. They objected to the foreseeable doom that snake oil being shilled by Charlatans would never deliver.

The political polarity’s axis in the United States is becoming apparent. We don’t have pro-democracy and pro-republic. We don’t have pro-labor and pro-business. We don’t have pro-growth and anti-growth. We don’t have anti-establishment and pro-establishment. We have pro-foundation and pro-facade.

As real, true, genuine steps begin to actually clean up the air and water and actually bring quality health care to more Americans, supporters of the old facade show their true colors—they never really wanted health care or clean air as much as the destruction of their own country.

But, people who love their country have what it takes to protect their country, which was why a facade was never really going to fool enough people. Even if James Bond stories were reality and Russia did install Trump, that would only have been possible because facade politics is failing.

The facade didn’t stop terrorism. The novices blame the current president mainly or the previous president at most. Few believe that decades of policy affect today. Everyone capitalizes and politicizes.

It’s hard to say no to anyone in times of trouble. Globalists call for globalism. Arms dealers call for arms. Lawmakers call for laws. Bankers call for investments. Builders call for infrastructure. Voters call for elections. Unpopular politicians call for elections to be suspended. A dying news industry makes more fake news.

And, there is no shortage of fake news. Terrorists blame the West and so do personalities in mass media. So far, no one has called for haters and fakers in the news to be “regulated”. The economy will do that all on its own.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia May 29, 2017

The situation in the Western Pacific grows more precarious. Muslims have taken over some territory in the Philippines. Martial law has been declared in those areas. The Philippines’ president, Duterte, has offered to resign if he can’t keep the peace.

For a long time, the Filipino people have wanted respect as a sovereign nation, hungering for that respect as much as China if not more. This has led the Philippines to diminish ties with other nations, including the US, and warm up to China. Sun Tzu might advise that any form of hunger can be exploited as a weakness, including hunger for respect. Now, an extreme sect of Muslims have interrupted the sovereign work of the Filipino government. If any forces lack respect in the Pacific and undermine rule of law, the US is not the foremost among them. The current security arrangement in the Philippines has failed to keep law and order. Duterte’s policies are being put to the test. If he can’t regain control, then both China and the US will step-up their presences.

Northern Korea is already stepping up its game, now with rumors of anti-aircraft missiles. The US has sent yet another strike force to Korean waters. China knows the US is the best hope to end the mess on the peninsula, whether in terms of finances, diplomatic affinities, or strength of arms. Importantly, the Western press is mounting a well-published case against the Kim regime comparable to the case the W. Bush administration mounted against Saddam Hussein.

In the South Sea, Trump sent his first “sail-by” through China’s man-made islands. US threats to blockade the artificial island militarized bases are not empty threats, not in the least. Nor is China’s threat to declare war if the US follows-through.

Trump is going to need to act on North Korea while still on friendly terms with China. Both China and the US know this. With these islands, China and the US can’t play “let’s be friends” forever. The problem of the artificial islets in the South Sea will compel quicker US action on the Korean Peninsula.

The majority argument, however, will go to the international view. If China’s military presence in the South Sea is benign, why didn’t China demonstrate respect and stop Muslims from disrupting the China-friendly Filipino government? That’s the question the Western taxpayers will ask, anyhow. The West will have gone to much trouble and will pin China as the perpetrator.

But, there is another part of Western Pacific strategy to consider. When the Korean peninsula is united, all those US troops in Southern Korea will be able to point their guns elsewhere. With the US being “the liberator”, the soon-to-be united Korea will not want to side with the People’s Liberation Army of China. China isn’t foolish; they’ve thought about that.

Moving on the Koreas will make moving on the South Sea more feasible, from the US military’s perspective. China knows that someone must move on the Koreas and that “someone” can only be the US. After that, islets in the South Sea can quickly be taken and turned against China. With Muslims disturbing the Philippines, Duterte—or whoever is president at the time—may suddenly turn away the Chinese for not helping enough and welcome cooperation with the US. But, if not, the Philippines would collapse if they abandon the mess at home to help China keep the South Sea.

Then, the spearhead aims at Taiwan like Saruman marching against the Shire. Two times this weekend, in both north and south of Taiwan, a train hit a person on the tracks. It’s a string of freak accidents that almost seems poetic, but with no explainable meaning as of yet.

Moreover, an outspoken DPP associate, Lee Ming-che, is still being detained in China with no statement on which law in particular he violated.

China’s situation is difficult and complex, even though the West will tend to take the easy road and villainize China. Beijing needs to retain domestic control. This is all the more evidenced by the situation in the Philippines. Lee is a disturbance, even if his cause is good. China doesn’t see the world in terms of values and ideologies, but in terms of maintaining power in order to maintain peace. Muslims are at China’s doorstep, not only in the Philippines, but also in Malaysia. This is no time for Lee to be stirring up trouble.

But, in the eyes of the evermore compassion-driven West, by detaining Lee after speaking out on matters of Human Rights, China is only trying to silence a whistle-blower for blowing the whistle on them. As with the anti-China press war that began in Hong Kong, the Taiwan question comes into play, affecting public image as much as military strategy.

Both China and Taiwan have some hypocrisy in the Lee situation. China claims Taiwan as its own territory—though claiming Northern Korea might be more tenable, more affordable, more militarily advantageous, and result in more peace. China certainly has paid the bills in Northern Korea. Taiwan is an island already surrounded by Western allies and is about to be surrounded by even more. Militarily, China’s claim to Taiwan is not strategic, it is about something else.

By China claiming Taiwan, Taiwanese have a vested interest in Human Rights issues in China. On the other hand, the DPP, the political party of Taiwan’s freshman president, a political party which Lee is affiliated with, claims that Taiwan is independent. This should mean that the DPP thinks that Taiwan “doesn’t have a dog in that fight” where Human Rights are concerned in China. They want to be independent, yet they also worry about the goings on in China as if they are family. The DPP makes it seem as if they want to have their cake and eat it too.

So, everyone is right, and wrong—it depends on who you ask. Eventually, push will come to shove and all the houses of cards in the Western Pacific will crash. If Russia intervenes then they might as well surrender Syria to the States. So, the “Ruskies” aren’t likely to tip any balances. Besides, they would rather bide their time, let China do their bidding, and let the US grow weary. Based on both push and advantage for action in Korea just before action in the South Sea, China could find itself in a checkmate in three moves. Then, we’ll see if that “bromance” between Trump and Xi was all it was chalked up to.

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Encore of Revival: America May 29, 2017

Today is Memorial Day, when Americans remember brave men and women in uniform who do the necessary work and take the necessary risks to preserve freedoms for others—freedoms that can never be attained by entitlement. Freedom is neither free nor guaranteed. It must be earned and preserved. Today we pause to honor those who do that for us.

At the recent NATO conference, Britain’s Prime Minister May confronted President Trump about leaks from within an administration Congressional Democrats have blocked Trump from replacing. There seems to be no word so far on May’s view of Obama hiring people in the leaky administration or the Democrats for not encouraging leakers to be replaced more quickly.

Montana’s Republican Congressman finally did what many people have wanted to do to news reporters. Greg Gianforte reportedly body-slammed a reporter from the UK Guardian and broke his glasses. And, you know what they say about hitting a guy with glasses. Perhaps the reporter lacked the foresight to see it coming. Or, maybe he didn’t understand the very news he was covering, so he made the news instead. Shoving an uninvited microphone into the face of a Montanan is a bad idea—but Gianforte will have to get used it since he plans on going to Washington. This proved that the new Congressman is not part of the establishment.

It wasn’t the first time that a country-bumpkin good ole’ fashion red-blooded American opened a can on the Britts. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last time Americans feel frustration with the news media. Three newspapers pulled their “endorsement”—even though it was probably too late to matter, albeit the news doesn’t endorse candidates, it reports on them, hopefully not provoking assault in the process.

Gianforte apologized after he won the election, both to the reporter and the Fox News team on the scene for the trouble. Waiting was the right thing to do—staying his apology until it wouldn’t get him more votes. He was sincere, his supporters in the room forgave him, and it did seem to be about personal respectability and leading by example. His support will likely increase, both for being able to make such a “real-human” mistake and for being able to apologize for it. These things could make him a much needed and positive influence on Congress.

There is something symbolic to this. With Gianforte’s victory in Montana, a second “butt-kicker” will soon arrive in Washington. The news industry as a whole is taking a tumble, literally and figuratively. The scripted assault plan from the media playbook is now mounting against Hannity and everyone is responding on cue. Information leaks in Washington continue, all in ways that indicate the previous administration. An obviously predictable change is under way on many levels.

But, “obvious” isn’t obvious to everyone. Mark Zuckerberg wants a “universal basic income” and threw GDP under the bus in favor of the ethereal, non-economic feeling to “find a meaningful role”. If a minimum income can be guaranteed then there is no need to study or “try new ideas” for that matter. Zuckerberg wants a “cushion” so we can try new ideas without feeling economic fear, forgetting—or perhaps never learning—that invention’s mother is necessity. If there is no risk then there is no progress. Dostoyevski’s, and many others’, very inspiration came from not having an economic cushion. If Zuckerberg got his way, innovation would diminish, as it has in every economy every time it has ever been tried on Earth, from the Pilgrims to the Russians. But, kids who don’t study their history tend to repeat it.

Steve Jobs didn’t speak at Stanford until he had gray hair and, when he finally did, he simply told stories from his life. By contrast, the young Harvard dropout speaking at the Harvard graduation this past weekend couldn’t talk about his life story because he hadn’t lived long enough to have one. Mark can’t say that he got fired from Facebook, started a new company, found his spouse, then went back to prove that only his brains could run the company he started. He’s still green. Even though he talked about innovative-economic theory, he made his fame is from success in software, not success in macro-economic planning. It was a kid telling kids what the kids wanted to hear.

The entire generation lacks “independent critical thinking”—the ability to scrutinize one’s own ideas and dispassionately present and welcome arguments, both pro and con, to understand life most accurately. Not knowing what to make of current events, that generation is drunk on the fantasy that Trump only won the election because the Russians rigged it—a leaped-to conclusion no prosecutor has even suggested and an indication that the young voters watch James Bond more than they watch the news.

Trump is as green to politics as Zuckerberg is to economics, except Trump has a life story that includes both failure and rebound. He is a business man who reached out to Director Comey, a man he had the power to fire at any time. A good boss does that in the business world, but in politics that pre-firing courtesy easily comes across as scandal—even when it is not—especially in the eyes of those who are already on a witch hunt. If Trump did something truly wrong, it remains yet to be seen.

These supposed “scandals” in the news about Trump, so far anyway, are mere delusion for the disillusioned, begging the question of whether delusion is all there is to these reported scandals. It would be great if a non-delusion-driven investigation would actually get under way so that there would be something real to report and comment on. And, that day may yet come, even though it is not today.

Many voters—mostly the kids—are still disappointed after the first time an election didn’t turn out how they wanted it. They are in the “denial” stage of that process of grief. If they were as right as they think themselves to be then they would have seen it coming. But, they didn’t. Based on evidence, the world today does not need Zuckerberg’s basic universal income guarantee; we need basic critical thinking.

Some people have that basic thinking, the rest wake up every day surprised and disappointed. In such times, everything is seen for what it truly is and, evidently, that trend won’t stop anytime soon.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 22, 2017

The big question surrounding the time of North Korea’s end will be logistics. It won’t be about tactics or the “most diplomatic-surgical way” to end the volatile regime. While the scene is that of the super villain who has strapped himself into a chair, booby-trapped with trip wires and armed with explosives, even more important things are going on. Large-scale powers don’t think about micro-tactics, they think about logistics. And, logistics are shaping-up.

Social energy is one important logistic. The people of nations involved must see a viable path to support certain action. Navies in the region are burning up tax dollars, something that can’t continue forever. Taiwan is itching for recognition in the world and the world itches for Taiwan to be recognized—and Taiwan is making much more progress than in years past. Then, there is trust.

From a PR perspective, China is failing. But, from a spying perspective, China has turf to defend. China’s isolationist policies may seem anti-free speech to the West, but China sees spies to catch and leaks to plug. Trump doesn’t like leaks either. Spies are dangerous. China is willing to kill them while Americans publicly oppose executions while secretly wishing the deaths of their daily enemies. China’s execution and imprisonment of CIA spies caught during the Obama years is very understandable. But, the American public won’t see it that way.

This week, a huge ramp went up to alert the public to “news” that is anything but. China caught and executed CIA spies long ago. It didn’t matter until now, when social support is an important calculation with logistics of war. That explains the Pentagon statements and the newspaper trends in America as well as Europe and Australia. The Western public is being rallied against China. That is significant.

Then, there is China’s image with the Koreas. China won’t be too hard on North Korea. China is banning South Korean travel because it doesn’t like the US presence in South Korea. That’s understandable, but not to the pop star fans in South Korea or the United States. When South Korean pop stars tour the US, more young people in the US will become aware of the issues. China could have stopped it, but Beijing still struggles to understand the Western mind. The Korean pop star fans in China might start struggling to understand Beijing’s mind, at least more than in the past. When you turn people away, they don’t just go home, the go elsewhere. That’s not easy to comprehend when you’ve always gotten what you want and always been told what to want to hear. Whatever China’s problems are or are not, the travel bans make China look worse than it deserves.

The real crime was the Shakespearian “fatal flaw”: China didn’t understand the West well enough. In a world of growing alliances between sovereign nations, that is an unforgivable sin as far as gravity is concerned. And, with gravity, mercy is too lacking and pain always greater than it should be.

But, all is fair in love and in war.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 22, 2017

The big question surrounding the time of North Korea’s end will be logistics. It won’t be about tactics or the “most diplomatic-surgical way” to end the volatile regime. While the scene is that of the super villain who has strapped himself into a chair, booby-trapped with trip wires and armed with explosives, even more important things are going on. Large-scale powers don’t think about micro-tactics, they think about logistics. And, logistics are shaping-up.

Social energy is one important logistic. The people of nations involved must see a viable path to support certain action. Navies in the region are burning up tax dollars, something that can’t continue forever. Taiwan is itching for recognition in the world and the world itches for Taiwan to be recognized—and Taiwan is making much more progress than in years past. Then, there is trust.

From a PR perspective, China is failing. But, from a spying perspective, China has turf to defend. China’s isolationist policies may seem anti-free speech to the West, but China sees spies to catch and leaks to plug. Trump doesn’t like leaks either. Spies are dangerous. China is willing to kill them while Americans publicly oppose executions while secretly wishing the deaths of their daily enemies. China’s execution and imprisonment of CIA spies caught during the Obama years is very understandable. But, the American public won’t see it that way.

This week, a huge ramp went up to alert the public to “news” that is anything but. China caught and executed CIA spies long ago. It didn’t matter until now, when social support is an important calculation with logistics of war. That explains the Pentagon statements and the newspaper trends in America as well as Europe and Australia. The Western public is being rallied against China. That is significant.

Then, there is China’s image with the Koreas. China won’t be too hard on North Korea. China is banning South Korean travel because it doesn’t like the US presence in South Korea. That’s understandable, but not to the pop star fans in South Korea or the United States. When South Korean pop stars tour the US, more young people in the US will become aware of the issues. China could have stopped it, but Beijing still struggles to understand the Western mind. The Korean pop star fans in China might start struggling to understand Beijing’s mind, at least more than in the past. When you turn people away, they don’t just go home, the go elsewhere. That’s not easy to comprehend when you’ve always gotten what you want and always been told what to want to hear. Whatever China’s problems are or are not, the travel bans make China look worse than it deserves.

The real crime was the Shakespearian “fatal flaw”: China didn’t understand the West well enough. In a world of growing alliances between sovereign nations, that is an unforgivable sin as far as gravity is concerned. And, with gravity, mercy is too lacking and pain always greater than it should be.

But, all is fair in love and in war.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 22, 2017

The news of news: Roger Ailes, pioneer of the number one ranked news network, died this week at 77. He had his share of scandals, considered by many to be large among his demographic, yet small by the working standards of his industry. He was held to a higher standard as did he hold his organization. He oversaw the original Rush Limbaugh TV show before making Fox News into a household name. In both success and failure, Roger Ailes proved that Conservative opinion hadn’t gone out of style, that agenda-driven news reporting had, and that no establishment is too big to fail, including his own. Those who worked with him have much more to say. He will remain among history’s more remembered.

Now, the entire news industry has it’s eyes on Donald Trump. The vultures and sharks are circling, thinking to get lucky for the first time. In former FBI director Comey’s long list of problems, even after all the opposition from the political Left, the news narrative is that Trump’s only important reason for firing the FBI chief was Trump himself.

Good luck with that.

While the birds and fish swarm around abandoned driftwood, hoping to find something to feast on, the Republicans on Capital Hill do what they always do: nothing. Talk of impeachment, then markets tumble. Lay off on the word “impeachment” and the markets rebound. So, it’s clear what the money wants and why the economy improved. Notoriety for Trump from the markets is the most this vulture cluster will accomplish, second-most being that the political class will have something to keep them distracted. Third-most is the entertainment the Russians are getting out of this. And, hiding somewhere in the back of the room, someone made money last week and someone else lost money last week. But, the money made on market dip days isn’t newsworthy, right?

Speaking of Russian entertainment, Putin may respect Trump more for this whole “investi- gate” jazz, which could lead to peace in other regions, perhaps.

America is divided, but this isn’t news. A political class was evicted. Young, entitled, socialist “Hippies” were denied: They were told to work and give to themselves rather than receive. This Sunday, angry students, who lacked the maturity to accept election results—something Obama dissidents were able to do for eight years—walked out on Pence’s speech at their own graduation ceremony at Notre Dame.

Complaints continue and will continue. The current cloud mounting against Donald Trump can’t be taken seriously because the rage behind it is old and waning. The cat who walked by himself has returned, sits outside the the back door, and cries in rain. But, this is not a hotel. Once you’re gone, you’re gone, no matter how much of a fuss you make about it.

That’s all this is.

From this storm of headlines, not one vote will swing against Trump. If anything, his support will increase with every “surely this is the end this time” attack against him that fails.

This is a great danger to the remaining political establishment. And, Trump isn’t in political danger, he’s out-smarting the bull once again. Allowing Robert Mueller to return as special prosecutor is outright “Rooseveltian”—keep them distracted while continuing right on schedule. Mueller won’t indite Trump anymore than Snowden couldn’t not defend Comey.

Flynn’s situation is becoming suspicious, but not from digging into his ties with Trump, his problems beg questions of the Obama years. Trump fired Flynn on principle: He gave a dodgy answer to Pence’s direct question. Anything we discover bad about Flynn at this point applauds Trump’s firing principles and smears Obama. But, that won’t stop the angry bull from thinking he’s gonna’ finally kill the blanket this time!

What’s all the confusion about? What’s the real story? The real story is that Washington scrambles to discover the real story while Trump travels overseas to coordinate with Israel, the Vatican, the Saudis, NATO, and G7. There won’t be any coordinated scheme against the president while he is gone.

It seems crazy. It is. The line between brilliance and insanity is too fine for the media’s eye to see. The smokescreen of chaos in the nations’ capital, just in time for the president to travel and create new headlines, is as masterful and understandable as abstract art. It may be good, it may be evil, but it is neither unintended nor unskilled.

So, another bullfighter triumphed against another angry bull this week. So what?

Look to the seas. Venezuela has real trouble, so does North Korea. China and Russia are on the move. China’s execution of CIA spies during the Obama years is just now making headlines. Europe faces a “Muslim” reformation it invited. All the while, the US military just got a $15B injection, thoroughly-opposed by pro-military members of Congress, and is undergoing fat-trimming scrutiny so severe that the over-eaters are whining as tax vultures have found a less crowded sky to circle above the Pentagon. While Capital Hill’s buzzards circle an empty coffin, work continues.

And, whoever bought all that discount stock that sold off on Wednesday stood to make a lot of money selling it back on the Thursday and Friday rebound, just as they will at the next opportunity, and the one after that… especially the dip days that are reported as market “panic”, rather than the “opportunities” they often prove to be.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 15, 2017

Make no mistake; when the Chinese advocate “globalism”, they don’t envision a world with multiple governments nor do they envision a world government run by the West. They don’t talk about their end game, nor does anyone else. When China talks regional alliances, they envision choreographed unison along the path. Regional alliances would be a great end game and it is unlikely that any nation would be able to push past regional alliances any more than any nation could live without them.

Whether a nation’s goal is protectionism or a one-world government, regional alliances between individual sovereign nations are the only future that awaits us—at least before Christ descends from a wormhole in the clouds.

China has roads and bridges to build. Russia has a nation to rebuild. Militaries have hackers to train and break in. Anonymous hackers have kudos to earn, coup to count, and chests to thump. And, nations have computers to defend, even island nations across China’s east coast. Alliances are certainly in season—and for good reason.

But, right now all those plans halt at an impasse over a bridge with a brittle keystone. The Kim Dynasty can see it’s own defeat on the horizon; we all can. Japan will rise to action. The US will rally the world. China will endorse. Russia will sit quietly. Then, China will seize its opportunity for the shift in the balance as Russia finds its excuse for “retaliation”. Once Korea snaps, the first shot gets fired and no battle plan will survive.

And then, we’ll see.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 15, 2017

Of course Snowden objects to his persecutor being fired. James Comey was likely dismissed for incompetence—not only in failing to prosecute “crooked Hillary” after publicly building the case against her at election time, not only because of his “see no evil” attitude toward all Islamic factions, which arguably allowed the shooting in San Bernardino, nor for ignoring Apple’s instructions on how to not lock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, not only for talking about software security on national TV as if he doesn’t know how to use a mouse, not only for dragging the FBI’s feet while investigating the Orlando night club shooter for 10 months while he killed another 102 people, and not only for working for the previous president under whose “Iraqexit” ISIS became a household name. Trump is also growing tired of leaks to the media—something he won’t tolerate. Counterintelligence and leak-finding are games of trial and permutation, much like Clue—games which Comey is not exempted from. If leaks to the media decrease since his firing, there will be no doubt about Trump’s motives.

But, then there is his career effectiveness. Was Comey a kind of “fifth horseman” working as a media spy in the FBI? Comey, in all of his investigations in Russia, still failed to retrieve Snowden. Yet, were it not for Comey and his valiant-yet-failing efforts, not as many people would read Snowden’s Tweets. Personally sympathetic or otherwise, Snowden can’t not oppose Comey’s firing. But, it’s unclear what Russia thinks about Snowden’s support for the man investigating them.

Remember, Snowden became famous as a 29 year old tech geek for having information that dropped from the bumblings of Baby Boomers who ran the NSA, but apparently learned to use a mouse late in life. Snowden did not become famous for his political commentary.

On the other end of the Peanut Gallery, Julian “Espionage” Assange can’t not comment on who is more effective at finding the truth about a government. Perhaps Comey might have not locked the San Bernardino bomber’s iPhone if he had hired Assange or Snowden. Now, “Espionage” Assange offers “Unemployed” Comey a job while “Wanted” Snowden comes to “Unemployed” Comey’s defense. It’s almost worth a comedy story.

Other opinionated young bloods have their conflicting opinions—mostly Bernie Sanders supporters who didn’t foresee that he had no political chance. They favored Obama having his way with any and every department. They weren’t paying attention during their childhoods in the Bush years. They weren’t alive to see the Clinton years. But, now, all of a sudden, they are conscientious about “abuse of power”. This Hippies’ change of heart is yet another example of how Trump is good for the country.

But, the Hippies still don’t get the picture.

Heads of departments in the Federal Government work at the pleasure of the president. It is customary to dismiss old department heads when new presidents take office. Comey lasted longer than he had any right to expect.

The same would be true if a Democrat had just taken the White House and an FBI director who had served under a Republican were being fired—well, except for the Bush dynasty who wouldn’t oppose a burglar holding a knife to their own family.

The kids complaining about Comey didn’t discover politics until they saw a viral video of street musicians singing about Sanders. Then, they acted like the vicious cycles of history are happening for the first time, even though history isn’t cycling for the first time—not even in their lifetimes. This time, when a new president fired an old department head, they happened to be finally be paying attention. Once today’s Hippies finish growing their chest hair and the now junior high schoolers take up the “Hippie torch” when Trump leaves office, the same “concerns” will recapitulate like a recurring theme in a bad movie score.

The real question is about the gray heads running the news industry: This isn’t the first time a new president fired and old department head. This isn’t the first time political classroom goof-offs acted like “normal” was a surprise. Nothing new or newsworthy happened this week. Headlines should have read, “New President fires Old FBI Chief: Proof the World Still Spins”.

The news industry failed to report what really happened this week: History simply repeated. That’s why news is a dying industry.

But, why feed the Hippies? Why is the news industry quickening its own death on the altar of demagoguery? The best explanation so far is that the news industry is like the Pied Piper—hoping to rally an unwitting populist army of children into a war that they would know they would lose if they were 20 years older. But, the best kept secret about Bernie Sanders, Clinton, Obama, the dying news establishment, and the rest of the political Left is that their goal isn’t to win. Their goal is to lose while making as big of a mess as possible. Once the kids figure that out, it will all backfire and the Left won’t have even one leg to stand on.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 8, 2017

The US media is pulling out a trump card that has been hiding in the deck since 2016. Otto, a traveling student, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by the Kim dynasty for touching a government propaganda poster. Now, his parents are near tears on national television as released film of the large assembly sitting in approval of his sentencing replay in homes across America and the world.

Otto is only one person. His parents know this. Americans know this. But, Otto is one person whom Americans can identify with to understand all the others. Americans can understand why China is preparing for Korean refugees.

The story is beyond bad press. Skinny people seen collecting grass in parks, skinny soldiers working on farms to get enough food to eat, people pushing their own buses when they run out of gasoline, and no reports of what is happening in Korean hard labor camps—and now pretty-handsome college boy is put in a labor camp for touching a poster? What’s next, hating pink ponies, baby kittens, and Santa Clause?

There’s no defense for keeping North Korea. Not even Russia can object if the US peppers Pyongyang with BLU-82 “Daisy Cutters”.

On Friday China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie left an annual conference in Japan for an “emergency domestic meeting” in China. No one knows why, not even Forbes or their friends in Hong Kong.

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