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Encore of Revival: America, August 21, 2017

Popularity collided with reality. The departure of Peter Strzok from Mueller's investigative team comes in the wake of revelations that Russianewsgategate is "nonsense". Strzok wasn't wet behind the ears; he knows counter intel. An experienced investigator doesn't leave a team for no reason. With the financial-legal load of people being investigated and the widespread opinion that Mueller had stepped way beyond scope, Mueller and his team could be looking at being investigated for investigating a "known nothing".

It takes two to fight. There are always heroes, cowards, and hate mongers on every side. Not everyone in Charlottesville, VA wanted violence. Many wanted to peacefully make their point. But, ideologies don't always lead where their supporters intend. Trump said as much and condemned everyone who contributed to violence in Charlottesville. But, that didn't fit the pre-scribed "who to condemn before seeing evidence" playscript of populism and "looking cool" tactics of business leaders. So, the big money CEO council Trump put together condemned Trump's remarks about the riot and resigned from giving the country business advice.

Their resignations, and Trump's disbanding the group likely due to their resignations, are out of place. It's a business advisory committee, not a counter-riot think tank. If IBM and General Electric know so much about riots, they should have provided a privatized solution, if nothing other than research. But, they didn't. They were simply trying to look good by throwing people under the bus at the right moment. Many companies, including NBC and Macy's tried similar tactics, which consistently backfired.

The resignation-instigated dissolution of that business advisory council carries two implications: 1. They will no-longer have voice, much like North Korea cutting off relations, which only hurts itself. 2. Business leaders aren't political experts and should stick to their purpose, no matter how tempting it is to parrot populist mantra. Both of these two reasons will come back to haunt these very companies because their comments were a departure from the mission of their businesses and the task of their council. By commenting off topic, they were the ones who lost.

Republicans in Congress, also, seem to be unwilling to publicly defend Trump, merely because the timing makes it "not cool". It is interesting that corporate leadership, political leadership, and FBI investigation leadership disbanded after their teams had gotten off task. The country is in a "mission-statement" crisis and the establishment is hammering itself in the foot over and over again with playbook grandstanding. Sooner or later, unnecessary appendixes of the establishment will do themselves in, most likely for the better.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 21, 2017

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

After President Trump warned that North Korea must never make any more threats, North Korea is making more threats than ever. Trump mentioned Hawaii and Guam in his warning, North Korea mentioned Hawaii and Guam in this week's threats. Again, another US ship in the 7th Fleet crashed into a merchant ship, the USS John S. McCain, right in China's back yard near Singapore. And, the Navy was sure to announce it to the world through Twitter—another blatant attempt to look incompetent if there ever was one. North Korea and possibly China may even believe it.

China is running into PR problems with the West. Of course, the Communist Party has their reasons, but the press wall between China and non-China makes it difficult to get the story straight.

Hong Kong Umbrella movement leader Joshua Wong was imprisoned this week, along with other leaders. China is not hiding the changes they are making in Hong Kong, even though the agreement between Britain and China was that no such changes would be made for 50 years as a condition of the handover. China has its reasons, but Britain would have no trouble convincing the public that the agreement that Hong Kong belongs to China has been invalidated.

India paid China money to collect annual rainfall data to prepare for seasonal floods. China has not fulfilled it's contract to deliver the data India already paid for. The data relates to water flowing from China into India. Central territory of interest is Tibet. India provides such downstream data to two of its neighbors at no cost. This week, Chinese troops reportedly walked into India for a few hours, resulting in a few stones being thrown. China has its reasons, but India would have no trouble convincing the public that the agreement of data exchange between China and India to avoid dangerous flash-food incidents has been invalidated.

China has its reasons, but the West also has its reasons and China faces enemies on many sides. Vietnam is getting cozy with the US. India is getting irritated. And, North Korea's status quo is past being defensible. If China were to find itself in a war, it would already be surrounded. But, rather than bolstering the home front, China is engaging in "venture wars", seeking to have its flag flown over more territory. Such was the choice of King Richard in his Crusades, which arguably cost him France. Of course, it was his by rite, just as it is China's by rite.

As things look, the Pacific conflict will likely draw China in on many sides. If China doesn't win, those many sides will be fighting over many pieces; India may claim Tibet, Britain may reclaim Hong Kong, and Taiwan may sue for normalization with China.

It would be great if it didn't come to that. But, then so would be a lot of things.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 14, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACyV1rT872s

A campaign is slowly mounting its ground swell against Philippine President Duterte concerning his past corruption. The Philippines is littered with classic "mafia-machine" style corruption, making it generally easy to find scandals on politicians. This has been building against the new Filipino president since about the same time the Philippines has needed aid from the US against ISIS, all while the Filipino president campaigns on a continued platform of moving away from the US so as not to be "dependent" on anyone, a normal sentiment in Filipino populism.

A similar media war is mounting against both China and North Korea. This week, they came together in a story about "Made in China" -labeled goods actually being made in North Korea. Also, an old story was rehashed about the Chinese using "scientific underwater drones" in the South Sea, which could be used for military purposes, if nothing more than to make underwater maps for the Chinese and to spot American submarines.

It's not far-fetched or newsworthy to claim that the Chinese could use academic or scientific tools for the military. China wouldn't be the first to perform military operations in the name of "science". China's diesel-powered aircraft carrier, the Soviet-made Liaoning, was purchased from Russia to be little more than a "floating museum". Now, it has been reverse-engineered to model at least four more aircraft carriers from China. China's underwater drones first made headlines not long after the Chinese captured a similar drone from the US.

There seems to be a trend that China's tech is reverse-engineered, not invented. More interestingly is the role the US has played. Better said, how the US has played China. It wasn't fair, but it was avoidable.

China wouldn't have most of its tech or its money for these military aggressions if American tech companies weren't outsourcing jobs to China. Companies only did that because Americans were obsessed with saving a few pennies on their goods. The country learned to copy those goods and took American money doing it, then got a big wallet, then got a big head. If the US had confronted "Shame" culture in its cultural exchanges—government, business, and otherwise—and educated whatever Chinese people they met in daily dealings and insisted on using the Biblical view of "repentance unto hope", China's government wouldn't be trying to "save face" quite so much and might even be cleaning things up at home a bit more.

Then, we have foiled military operations, this week, a crash in Australia. A truly-gone-awry military operation won't be so easily plastered across headlines. The West is trying to look weak in the eyes of the Chinese while mounting a press war against China and North Korea to stir popular support for action. That action is, indeed, becoming necessary, but only after unnecessary trade money and methods made it so.

The swelling conflict in the Pacific could have all been avoided if Americans had simply insisted on paying a few more pennies to buy American. But, it's too late to turn back. Now, American taxpayers will have to pay for an expensive, otherwise unnecessary war against their manufacturer.

Everyone is accountable for their own choices, but the US knew better. Americans know the Bible's teaching "to get one's own life in order first" and to confront "Shame" by teaching the good news of "forgiveness". But, the US didn't do that with China, not in business and not even the Christians in dealing with Chinese churches in America. While it is all sad, the bigger victim is China.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 14, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2MNLlPECY0

Jared Kushner was fined $200 for being late in a financial statement filing, and it's apparently news. Investigators, including the Leftist publication, The Nation, have determined that Russianewsgategate is nonsense. And, someone wrote a think piece for inside baseball at Google and was fired shortly thereafter.

The so-dubbed "Google Manifesto" is a critical thinking piece, carefully defining terms, using many qualifications so there is no doubt that it is not stereotypical and that the author is willing to listen and evaluate his own ideas. The opening clearly states that nothing is intended to be discriminatory, no "blamer-mode" language is used. Shortly after it was released, he was fired. The CEO's response included reservations about the term "Neuroticism". When the "Google Manifesto's" author used the term, it was linked to a Wikipedia article and used in a thoughtful and academic way, not in a name-calling or "categorical" way.

Now, that "Google Manifesto" is being reported as having support from niche, idiosyncratic, "alt-right" political groups. But, agreement with the "Google Manifesto" is anything but a minority. On the other hand, as much as many would like to think the author was fired for his ideology, his primary crime was making waves in "corporate America".

Never stir discussion that the boss didn't invent. Never question rank and file conformity in "the company". Never outshine the de facto emperor best known as "the boss". Never make waves.

That was the crime of the "Google Manifesto" by corporate standards. The author's punishment is to be immediately fired so that the company doesn't have to "deal with the wave-maker" anymore. But this time, that firing backfired. Google has now been seen as a bureaucratic thug that doesn't want "necessary disrupters" propelling the company forward. This is the public beginning of the end for Google. It's coming: "Sell, sell, sell."

Corporate wave-making was his first crime, in the corporate world. Now, he's a martyr. His second crime was committed against the public: He exercised "critical thinking" use of words.

In "critical thinking" conversation, people speak objectively about problems in order to understand and solve those problems. But, people who only "blame" when they consider a problem don't know about "critical thinking" conversation. Hearing a critical thinker, they say, "How dare he mention a problem! He's only complaining because that's what I do when I talk about problems!"

How dare the writer of the "Google Manifesto" think carefully to solve a problem! How dare he even suggest that our first knee-jerk reaction isn't the best and only solution! How dare he say ideas that haven't been said already! He's just trying to sound clever to sell us into a pyramid scheme! He's really just a "big meanie face".

That was the crime of the "Google Manifesto" by  blamer-mode group-think standards. The problem is that problems don't go away without critical thinking. So, this author of the "Google Manifesto" will actually be able to solve his problems. But, people who find fault with "critical thinking" conversation won't solve their problems, including no-brain, all-bureaucracy "corporate America".

And, to think that people are worried Google will be able to create "artificial intelligence"! Actually, AI will more likely be invented by misunderstood people like the author of the "Google Manifesto". It takes critical thinking to develop software that can think critically.

For a while, "critical-thinking", backbone Americans executed that "quick to listen, slow to judge" ethic they learned from the Bible. They were fair with people they disagreed with. They heard-out their political opposites more than enough, then continued listening. But, being heard only emboldened the talking blamers. They thought being heard meant they didn't need to listen themselves. They talked more and more and more. And now, they have over-talked.

Racism and slavery in America grew in the South, where the first British colonies began. The Pilgrims landed in the North on Plymouth Rock, the part of the country that fought to end slavery. They taught their children to read so they could read the Bible. They taught their children to think on their own so they could think about the Bible without dogma. Consequentially, the first constitution attempted to ban slavery, but the England empire-influenced South wouldn't have it. The North had to pry the South away from British imperial values a century later in a Civil War, while those evil values continued yet another century in segregationist laws. Pilgrim-valued America has fought against that same "British supremacy" culture since its founding, yet the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock have been blamed for it.

America can no more be blamed for bigotry than an Ebola victim can be blamed for having Ebola. The true, Bible-believing, Pilgrim-founded, northern-value heart of America is no longer only in the north; it is fighting the problem throughout the nation, not causing it. It was the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock who taught "critical thinking" in America and it was the "critical thinkers", both in the North and the underground in the South, who defeated slavery.

America's problem is neither Black people nor White people, but anyone who doesn't love his neighbor as himself. There are demographic ratios to be seen in anything, but when searching for the cause, demographics only fix stereotypes; demographics don't fix problems.

Constant and misplaced blaming isn't helping. To the blamers, nothing is good enough; apologizing and changing is evidence of further guilt, not something to be welcomed. A compliment is an insult only in the minds of people who hate themselves, hate others, and only give compliments to serve their own dubious, selfish goals.

"How dare you say I look good!" is the motto of insecurity. Such people would have us bloat our language with politically correct disclaimers at every line of every paragraph so that no one needs to learn to not feel offended. They expect the rest of the world to change so that victims don't need to heal. Such are people who fix nothing except blame.

There are two Americas: Those who thoughtfully listen and those who thoughtlessly blame. The blamers aren't entirely wrong, no one is, but their blaming has over-reached and it is becoming clear that they never wanted a conversation. The stress is snapping.

The listeners of America are taking the long, deep breath, just as they did with Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941 and New York on 9/11/2001. They are looking at the the manner of firings, scandals, investigations, and reporting in business and government. They see that "political correctness" is an attack against themselves in their own situations across the nation.

We are witnessing the culmination of a century of propaganda efforts coming to a head and it's about to change history. The listeners are about to tune out the blamers entirely. When they do, they will work and they won't stop. They will create infrastructure without limits and justice without borders. They will take on both the corporate-bureaucrat giants and the blamer-mode masses and they will succeed for the sole reason that they have "critical thinking".

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 7, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Oe2jS-iOds

If North Korea heeds China's urges to back down on its nuclear program, it would be a welcome first. China requested the US back down its military activity in South Korea. Russia does not want North Korea's economy to become worse. Much has been claimed about the purported, will-be effectiveness of new UN sanctions against North Korea, but history provides little to no basis that North Korea heeds any warnings or follows any step toward deescalation.

Though historically bleak, this effort from the international community is the best well-mounted push for peace ever seen for the Korean situation. Even Taiwan is urging North Korea to back off. While this may set the stage for some kind of "breakthrough" in negotiations, the bigger and less-acknowledged stage being set is war. With the best-made good-will effort having been made to stop North Korea's nuke program, one missile launch would prove all the yea-sayers wrong. That threat could wake up North Korea to climb down out of the tree—the hidden threat of war that every peaceful stance veils.

Any peace offering indeed doubles as a hidden war threat by definition. But, fools don't believe in what they can't see. So, we'll see.

Remember, though, how fools surrender: in childlike tears.

If North Korea fires even one more missile, buckle up and grab the popcorn for an immanent Trump "it didn't work, so now we will" speech. If that happens, not only will North Korea's position be untenable, but so will it be for everyone who claimed that negotiations would stop the missile launches.

In these tense times, China is making no new friends. Old border disputes with India are rehashing and ramping up. The VPN crackdown makes sense since no government should be circumvented, the most-ignored question is whether there should be a need in the first place. There are numerous reports of Chinese students being denied travel documents to study at universities in Taiwan. Of particular interest is National Cheng Kung University in Tainan. Tainan's Mayor, William Lai is the most popular of any and in the same semi-pro-independence party, DPP, as Taiwan's president. And, Tainan's small airport was used by the US in the Vietnam war. Other than that, there's little to explain why the third-top school seems to be a top target for denied travel from China.

With stronger rhetoric about military and not letting any China-claimed land go, with action concerning Taiwan, and militarized border crossings with India, it is clear that China intends to take a lead role in conflict on multiple fronts. All depending on how things develop in the Korea situation, China could face a clear third front.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 7, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DZSR0RJ1uQ

Smoke is clearing and the lines are being drawn. First Sessions is in, then he's out, then back in again. Democrats quickly supported Trump's nominee, FBI Director Christopher Wray. Yet, Trump is always about to be "finished this time", oops, wait, not this time, but "next time for sure". The DOJ is going after the press to crackdown on leakers, or well, not quite exactly. Greenspan finally figured out how to have an opinion on the economy, or maybe not; it was just "irrational exuberance", again. Would he be surprised if the market cracked? No. Would he be surprised if the market didn't crack for a while? No. The stories change, or not, all depending on the day of the week.

Sheriff Joe could be in trouble for profiling illegals before he caught them, but expect a pardon from Trump if Joe Arpaio only detained illegal immigrants. A pardon for Sheriff Joe could even lead to renewed popular support for mild profiling as a way of "softening" security screening in many venues, not just with immigration, but also with airport security and others. If Joe Arpaio hit his mark, there is no way the Trump administration would turn a blind eye.

The feds and the States are clashing over procedures. Democratic-controlled States are learning to assert "States rights", a position usually reserved for Conservatives. Still sanctuary cities aren't as easy to pull off as they once were.

New Chief of Staff Kelly is laying down the law, implementing procedures that should be expected in any White House. Reince Priebus not having implemented such rules restricting Oval Office access begs questions about Republican Party infighting, that as RNC Chairman he may have caught a contagious "smile and ignore the chaos" bug.

The economy is up, for now. Bible studies are starting at the White House. Hannity is making a "Christian" movie. MSNBC is pounding Fox News in ratings. Apple gave in to China's demands to remove VPN support apps; some think this will have "capitulation" backlash and hurt Apple's business in its second-largest market to the US. Maryland is thinking about letting non-citizens vote in local elections, but not national or State. Then, there's the transgender issue...

Trump never said the US military would not protect transgenders; he said, mostly, that they were too burdensome to do the protecting. People oppose Trump's decision, arguing it is a violation of their "rights". Usually people who serve their countries in uniform seek to lay down their rights to preserve the rights of others. Transgenders will still be protected by the US Armed Services, along with everyone else on the shores of America. The US situation is certainly better than in Thailand, where all transgenders are expected to appear for military draft physical exams. Perhaps transgenders could start the "trans-corps", as minorities overlooked for military service in the past have. But, putting anything high-maintenance in the military isn't an option for lean-steam Trump. If transgenders force the issue, they could alienate themselves further and lose ground.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 31, 2017

Xi Jingping told his military the same thing China has been telling its people for decades: The world needs us, our military, our might, and our expansion, otherwise there can be no peace. This proves a static ethic. From this perspective, China wants the US to remain calm and not take action in North Korea.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s president wants the US to wait while he negotiates with the North for safety in the US. South Korean people want much the same thing Filipinos want: non-dependence. South Korea’s president, South Korea’s people, and China all want the US to “get out”. Interestingly, they share this sentiment with North Korea.

The world is full of political ideologies that claim half of one thing and do half of another. The best chance at victory is to simply stay home and do good work there. In that, the South Korean people stand the greatest chance of victory. Yet, the United States stands the greatest chance of taking action for two reasons: the US is being threatened more than any other and the US is willing to take action more than any other. If the US takes out the North, they can leave and the South Koreans will get what they want. But, things rarely happen as they should.

Only two things are foreseeable: conflict and Korean unification. All the rest is conjecture.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 31, 2017

Revelations this week about the Russians’ involvement indited Putin more than anyone. This occurred along side more sanctions against Russia and Putin seriously diminishing Moscow-DC ties. If Putin wanted Trump, he isn’t acting like it. But, what Putin did want can only be conjecture for anything beyond expansion of Russia and chaos in the West to get it. That’s what they got.

This hopeless-from-the-beginning investigation into Russian collusion was mere grandstanding from a defeated political party—the Democrats. Their foreseen-fruitless pursuit has now resulted in revelations that have escalated the very conflict they campaign on preventing. But, since when have keeping campaign platform promises ever mattered in reelection for either main political party?

Bill Browder’s testimony to the Senate was blocked by Democrats. When he finally testified, many Democrats didn’t show up, nor their media entourage. The information he brings to the table is vast. So far, his testimony and understanding into Russia’s meddling in the US is the most extensive. Russia wasn’t just trying to get one politician elected, but to create chaos in America altogether, to lobby for certain laws, and to distract Americans with things that never actually happened. No one has cooperated with that effort as well as the media—wittingly or otherwise.

To date, reports include that the document James Comey had as evidence against Trump—the infamous Trump dossier—was a known fake. The FBI knew it was made by a former MI6 member and has zero evidence to back it. If the MI6 member could find evidence, the FBI was ready to pay $50k. The FBI did get a FISA warrant with the very dossier that they knew was so phony that they wouldn’t pay the $50k for. This was the same dossier Comey took to Trump as evidence against him. Trump knew Comey was using fake evidence.

Now, the question arises: Why did Comey and the media push so hard for an investigation into something completely made up with Russian money? If there was Russian meddling and US cooperation, the most likely suspects to investigate are leaders in the US media and Comey himself, though Comey would never get a fair trial.

Comey has helped these Russian efforts greatly, whether he intended to or not. If an FBI director’s help of Russian meddling turned out to be intentional, the US government would never let that be made known to the public. But, the swamp is being drained.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 24, 2017

Conflict in China has become a tech problem. In the Koreas, it’s become an ideological time bomb.

They are all connected—technology, economy, communication, and ideology. These become a vicious cycle with no happy ending, at least none in sight.

Tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook take turns bossing around governments in the West. China wants nothing to do with that. Who can blame them? They simply ban them—along with the ability to do tech research with them.

Governments require sovereignty. Sovereignty requires resources. Resources require economics. Economics require research. Research requires communication. Communication requires, well, communication. Innovation is a state of mind that affects all of a person’s ideas, both in terms of technology and political values. If Chinese researchers want to improve their own technology, they will have to read papers written by pro-democracy experts from the West.

China’s ban on communication isn’t just about controlling political ideas among the masses; it’s about not letting Google boss around a country with 1.3 Billion people like it does with Europe. Sure, the challenges in China accompany the normal list of symptoms associated with any Communist State.

North Korea is a well-documents flash back to the 1950s.  A returned defector hungers for the handouts she had in poverty rather than needing to and being able to work for her own living. The same happened when the iron curtain fell in Russia. Slaves love their chains.

Communist governments supply all their people’s needs, including food. Necessity is the mother of invention. People who grow up without need grow up without invention. That affects the economy. If government gives people food then they won’t have new ideas to fuel the economy.

Vietnam, though more and more free, doesn’t even think of an email address as a normal item on a business card. Communist countries close their doors and don’t progress. People learn to lie to survive. Soon, laws get ignored, including safety laws. Industrial accidents rise. People stop sharing information about anything, especially themselves. Governments don’t know which laws to make for the people because they don’t know what real people do because the people are punished for saying what they do.

The other option—Google takes over. Where is anyone to go?

Linkedin has a potential way forward while other social companies have failed. But, therein lies an inherant problem. Consider the word roots—”social” media is an affront to “Socialism” by etymological definition. Of course Communist China would never let Facebook in—never. The day Facebook enters China the Communist party falls. Apple is trying to enter the market that makes their phones, but Apple faces bigger problems than the closed doors of Communism; Apple is being defeated by both the Western economy and Linux.

Only Linkedin remains with a way forward because their service passes personal information publicly, through “profiles”. Making personal information public is not the kind of crackdown Communists tend to make. But, the problem there is social: People learn to conceal their true selves in a Communist State. Moreover, in a dynastic culture with thousands of years of “emperors”, publicly stating who your friends are indicates guilt. Who does that, anyway? In the milieu of laws shooting in the dark at problems they don’t understand, everyone is a criminal of some blue law, so declaring your friends is self-inditing through guilt by association. Making truth about oneself available to the public is near suicide in any closed country.

Linkedin’s path forward requires social change. They could do it. China shouldn’t object to running ads encouraging people to divulge information about themselves. But, the people will quickly start to feel entitled to free speech in order to do that. And, they will expect to not be indited for saying that they had noodles at a shop frequented by a mafia boss. Culture clash is coming if Linkedin even tries, but that never stopped the parent company Microsoft before.

Still, it will take time, probably too long for short-attention-spanned shareholders. Linkedin is too big to be patient long enough for any progress, but they might pave a way to a new business model for someone to come after them. While ideologies and technologies come and go, people as a whole always push forward and overcome.

The West should thank China for being closed. They seem to be the only ones really sticking it to Google and Facebook. Apple also owes China a big thank you: when your irreplaceable mastermind dies, “blaming it on the Communists” always works in a quarterly review. While the Communist debate always remains, the Fascist debate can always rebound. Thanks to Communism holding big-money Fascism at bay, the need for new technology has been granted on a silver platter. Thanks to China’s unintended consequences, something new is on the way and it’s bigger than all of us.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 24, 2017

Obama’s legacy will not be destroyed by repealing his health care plan.

Of course, it must be repealed and/or replaced since he himself would not allow it to be enforced.

Repeal and Replace voters shout, “Give us something that works!” while Obama supporters shout, “Don’t you care about children?” It’s that whole “talking about two different things, pretending we’re talking about the same thing”, deal. One side argues the label while the other side disputes the label’s accuracy; everyone wants good health care.

…And, that’s what Obama gave us.

Before “Obamacare”, Americans would not agree on whether the nation needed to nationalize health care. Democratic voters hailed the system as broken—which it was. Republican voters hailed their old song—everything government gives it first takes, then never does as good of a job.

But, with Obamacare being passed—even though it was so terrible that Obama himself suspended its enforcement—the nation finally agreed on one thing: We need to nationalize health care.

So, Democratic and Republican voters agree and they don’t even know it. Republican and Democratic politicians agree and the people never noticed. Shouldn’t that make Democratic voters panic?—that Republican politicians are advocating for Democrats. Why don’t Republican voters remember their own concerns two decades ago, during the “Hillarycare” debates, that “Hitler first nationalized health care.”

The nation’s health care system is broken. Frivolous lawsuits are among the largest culprits—and most ignored. Everything needs some form of regulation, which was an argument in the Declaration of Independence in the first place—”laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”

But, there remains the argument from history. Taiwan nationalized health care over a decade ago. It was well researched, but now is in trouble. Nazi Germany did happen to do the same thing.

For some reason, historically, nationalizing health care seals the doom of a nation. Maybe it’s “bread and circuses” in disguise. This is a warning to the United States: Obama succeeded, the nation will finally accept nationalized health care.

Democrats and Republicans will work together, while the voters still think they are fighting. No one advocating “Trumpcare” explains why this will be the first nationalized health care program in history not to destroy a nation.

As good as fixing a broken system is, something is not right about the health care debate. Great and wonderful as it is, nationalized health care could also be the herald prophesying the end of the United States if for no other reason than that we needed it.

How will the nation solve health care? Republicans in Washington don’t know what to do, yet. Google and Amazon argue for first chance to tell governments that they are irrelevant. Governments don’t know what to do, yet. Foreign monkeys attack in Florida where officials don’t know what to do, yet. A man in Alabama shoots an 820lb foreign wild boar in his front yard and officials think he did the right thing.

Well, at least with wild pigs in the front yard, Alabama knows what to do.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 17, 2017

South Korea proposed to talk to North Korea this week. Much of the timing relates to anniversaries and upcoming holidays. Pyongyang is still angry about twelve waitresses who moved South and wants them back first. Seoul says the waitresses moved to the South of their own will. The US’ answer is a siege, including efforts to persuade Myanmar to curb their support for the North through arms purchases, as well as planned sanctions against Chinese banks that deal with the North.

Sanctions are a known form of pressure, but an invitation to talk is also a form of pressure because a rejection is bad press and raises public support for action from opposing countries. Pressure is mounting and North Korea will either deescalate quickly or else one wrong move will be the only excuse the US needs to yank the lynch pin.

China faces it’s own pressure, military, optics, and time, which is running out. Taiwan’s Navy is increasing cooperation with the US in a move included in the US military budget for 2018. Southern Taiwan is also beefing-up its naval base to handle both more traffic and more capacity. The upgrade should finish around 2025.

As for optics, Human Rights activists are managing to rally loads of bad international press against China. One activist died of a liver disease he acquired while serving an eleven-year term in China. Another was released after finishing a four-year prison sentence in China. A bookstore from Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay that was shut down will reopen in Taipei. The bookstore closed after its owners were arrested relating to activism about Human Rights and China.

While most international press paints China as the culprit, the more important matter is the surprise this is for the Chinese. In the West, bad press is countered with photo ops. In China, bad press is countered with imprisonment. A bookstore in Hong Kong was a way to spread ideas to Chinese nationals visiting Hong Kong from the mainland. China views itself as trying to help the people; criticism can’t be “constructive” by definition and must therefore be silenced. But, that method only works in one’s own territory.

Protests in Hong Kong gain attention from international press China does not control. By shutting down a bookstore in Hong Kong, that bookstore moved to a location farther from Beijing’s reach and where it can gain more international press, sacrificing its ability to spread propaganda into China. This is backfiring against China internationally, but not at home. Most international news analysis won’t include that China doesn’t expect it to happen that way. The Chinese genuinely believe that Xi Jinping’s “protestless” visit to Hong Kong is good press and the only press that matters.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 17, 2017

Donald Trump, Jr. was asked by the Russians to look at information that could indite the Clintons. He agreed, contacted some peers, met and listened, then decided it was a dead end. The New York Times made the first disclosure about this information, but not their source of the information.

There is no crime here so far, at least not among Trump parties. Listening once is always good. Yet, opposition claims that Trump received “contributions” AKA “money”, that Trump initiated in reaching out to the Russians, that Trump covered-up this meeting, and that “listening once” surmounts to “collusion”.

Many people in America do seem to think that hearing someone out is “collusion”, which is part of why so few Americans listen to each other.

Many political candidates do receive money illegally, questions come up in surplus regarding the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign contributions.

Many politicians have tried to cover up their meetings, memos, and communiqués in the past, even deleting them when those communiqués and memos are under a subpoena.

It’s all normal behavior—for some people’s value system, but not everyone’s.

Many questions arise about how the New York Times obtained information that hadn’t been released concerning a family under FBI surveillance. Perhaps, since the FBI was watching, they might know who told the New York Times, but maybe not if they can’t get their iPhones to work.

More questions come up about the Russian lawyer and why she was allowed in by the DOJ during Obama years after she was flatly turned-down for a visa. Involvement in the bickering between Obama and Putin come up, her lobbying for Russian objectives in Congress. It smells of Obama-style “organizing”—creating chaos that interrupts his goals while he asks for more power to achieve those goals he interrupts, which failed in the end for Obamacare—or did it? Regardless, at the end of the Russianewsgategate scandal remains the question of ties to Russia, but not Trump’s as much as Obama’s.

According to legal opinions, the specific accusations against Trump about the meeting with Russians so far look false. The concerned activities are not illegal. And, both the concerned activities and the thus-far-false accusations have happened with other political figures who were not pursued as Trump is.

Why is there such imbalance of attention?

While the very suffix “-gate” and many other statements have compared this scandal to Nixon’s Watergate cover-up, one fundamental difference remains: Nixon’s wrongdoing happened under his great power as sitting president as he sought dirt to fight political opponents during an election. Though this happened during an election, and it concerned attempts to uncover dirt between political opponents, Trump wasn’t the sitting president with the greater power, someone else was and that someone else’s use of that greater power is also being called into question. Another difference from Nixon’s Watergate is that it is too late for that someone else to resign and thereby receive a full pardon from his successor.

Perhaps that is why such unbalanced attention focuses on Trump instead of the more fitting Nixonian counterpart. But, we don’t know why this is happening. Wagons are circling. And, whenever the wagons circle, it’s not a good sign of the times.

There is no point in pursuing a dead end. The Trump dissent from the far Left, therefore, does not think it’s a dead end. They seem to hold that some sort of information exchanged happened between Trump and the Russians that was not disclosed. That’s the most sense to make of it all. But, that further illustrates how the Right and Left of America think differently. The Left doesn’t understand the Right’s value system: Listen to everyone once, be fair to enemies, don’t do anything dishonest in the process. In the mind of the far Left, dishonesty and power go together by definition and listening before having an opinion isn’t even a consideration. The far Right doesn’t understand how the far Left doesn’t understand that. Each side of America looks down and shakes its head over the actions the other.

There may be no conspiracy against Trump. This may be happening because a few powerful people in mass media and politics normally drop a few words, hit at a few ideas, and a candidate fails as if on cue. Those methods failed on Trump and those powerful few don’t know how to handle their first-time failure. Young Democratic voters latch on to these fruitless efforts because they also don’t know how to deal with their first-time election defeat.

This situation is dangerous for the nation, not because Trump has done anything wrong, but because shining the spotlight on fruitless pursuits is distracting the nation from the long-lasting laws Trump already has progress with.

Obama had the House and Senate, but lost them. His signature health care law was as such that he himself suspended enforcing it, the opposing party won six elections on a campaign to “repeal and replace”, and that “repeal and replace” is under way. He issued many executive orders which were thrown to the wind the day he left office. And, most importantly, he failed on the primary pro-government argument of the American Left: building roads and bridges. Obama didn’t build and maintain the roads and bridges; Trump is building and maintaining them instead. In fact, Trump is doing everything Obama didn’t.

But, the nation isn’t watching what Trump does. Trump has zero accountability from the press or the public on his work as president. Instead, all of Trump’s opposition are chasing imaginary ghosts in the closet, monsters under the bed, and using convincing fake rhetoric to talk about it. God forbid Trump, as president, actually do anything that’s genuinely wrong—no one would notice.

Democratic Senators Feinstein, Franken, and others plan to vote for Trump’s nominee for FBI Director. Their reasons included that he will follow the Constitution, not serve the will of the President, and follow due process. Feinstein did not mention when she changed her position since the last time she voted on nominees. But, that change is finally coming.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 10, 2017

The world has been put on notice. That was the message from the US this week to the UN Security Council. North Korea’s situation is unacceptable to many countries. The Kim Dynasty has named the US as a nuclear missile target, more so than their brethren in the South. South Korea, both the people and their new president, want a “diplomatic solution”. But, it’s easy to say that diplomacy is the solution to someone else’s problem. Unfortunately, unjustly, and unfairly, North Korea’s dispute is not with the South, it’s with the US, but the South gets to bear the brunt.

Claiming “diplomacy” and “rhetoric” as the way out of a dead end is the thinking of the ungifted CEO who inherited someone else’s company. It’s the thinking of a “Great Successor”. He doesn’t know how to blaze trails, to make the “necessary disruptions” that propel a business forward, so he starts to think that “getting along” is the only way. North Korea uses “rhetoric” as the solution because their side is the more difficult, and it’s about to backfire. South Korea, being more comfortable than the North, wants the “diplomatic” solution because, sadly, their own fight doesn’t involve them as much as it involves others. With their “get along” answer to the situation, the South is actually agreeing that it’s not their own conflict, thus inviting intervention from the US.

Pyongyang’s threat is increasing against the US, but South Korea’s president doesn’t want to deploy more THADD defense missiles, making the Northern threat even greater. By wanting less military cooperation, the South is asking the US to act unilaterally. Maybe that’s best, so the US and Pyongyang can finish their conflict and Korea can get back to being Korea.

There’s also a “good cop bad cop” factor; if the US takes action while the South wants “diplomacy”, peace between the Koreas seems both desirable and tenable.

But then, there’s Washington’s view of Korea within the greater region. This is an opportunity for the Pentagon to make North Korea a spectacle in front of China. While the Chinese and North Koreans show off their militaries with parades, the US will show its strength by ending the Korean War in a flash—though they’ll make sure it’s a long and delayed flash, just so Beijing doesn’t blink and miss the message. It’s an opportunity the US wouldn’t miss—to end the Kim Dynasty with such power and efficiency that Beijing either has second doubts about pursuing its map-meddling activities or else to turn off the voices of reason and dive into the waters blind and tied.

Korea is reaching D-Day; it’s a simple logistic calculation. The American people are most likely to support action. The US has less and less time to wait, and South Korea is a cooperative dead-end—and rightly so. The forewarning to the powers of East Asia is clear: stay strong at home, stop expanding, diplomacy won’t solve other people’s old problems. Whatever transpires in Korea over the coming weeks will be a foreshadowing of outcomes from any other confrontations that may ensue should that wisdom be ignored.

That’s right. The world has been put on notice.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 10, 2017

Donald Trump Tweeting himself is important. It’s more important that Jame’s Comey writing classified information in his personal memos, more important than cutting the environmental red tape holding back pollution, more important than DeVos re-making 1965 education law, more important than Dodd-Frank regulations being scrapped, even more important than Obamacare about to bite the dust!

In fact, Trump’s Tweet about himself is more important than a young man’s privacy, than his dignity—it’s even more important than CNN’s own credibility with the public.

America’s new president is anything but a fool. He knows exactly where to throw a scrap of meat to the dogs, how big it should be, exactly how long it will take for them to scramble for it. He is the master of the spotlight, whether his own spotlight or shining a spotlight on someone else to blind them from what he is doing.

And, he is doing a lot.

He has made massive rollbacks in Obama-era rules. This is arguably one of Obama’s biggest failings—that Obama left everything he worked for so easy to undo. He made rules with the stroke of a pen, Trump undid them with the stroke of a pen. But under Trump, Betsy DeVos is exploring fundamental legislative changes to education—and that’s just the beginning.

The Trump administration is pushing legislation that rarely gets mentioned in light of top titles—military, tax… Obamacare… While Republicans are fighting amongst each other over the optics of disagreeing with Obamacare, other laws are getting passed without any scrutiny from the media. And, it’s all thanks to pop culture’s obsession with everything that doesn’t matter. Pop culture got Trump elected and pop culture will get his policies passed.

Obama’s legacy is being undone because he didn’t work. He didn’t work with Congress to get laws that would outlast a Republican majority. He spent too much time golfing. He gave too many long-winded speeches and didn’t produce enough hard-earned, well-manufactured product. Compared to Trump, Obama was lazy. That’s why Trump is getting his way: work.

No attack can harm a man who works. No media smear can hurt him. It’s not that all press is good press all the time. Rather, all press is good press for those who work.

Right and wrong, for both better and worse, we are entering an era dominated by people who work.

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