Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 19, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X49lNjezNgE

Conveniently, Axios breaks a story from Trump's November visit to China. There was a scuffle and a tackle over the "nuclear football"—AKA the nuke code bag. At first, it seems like relations are breaking down between the US and China. At second glance, the timing of the report is outright suspicious. Stepping back and giving it a third thought, the scuffle almost seems prophetic and poetic about the American-Chinese situation. The Chinese didn't touch the "nuclear football", though there was an ignored or unreceived memo. The US entourage kept moving. The Chinese official in charge kindly apologized. And, it was all over in an instant and without incident. That seems to have a figurative application on a literary level.

China is expanding in science and other areas. Underwater drones capable of making military maps were told to be for science only. Mischief Reef's new missile-defense equipped naval-air bases were only for a fishermen's shelter. And, the first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was purchased from Russia to be nothing more than a floating museum. Those kinds of stories get drummed up by the West as reasons not to trust China.

The Philippines have effectively made peace with China on some level. China is capable of preserving peace if it wants to. But, the Western press often points to grandiose statements that rub Westerners the wrong way. President Xi referred to the belt road project as the "project of the century" and that it will "add splendor to human civilization". The West cares about taxpayer efficiency, freedom to have children, and welcome open dissent against their own government. Westerners value humility from leadership. The Chinese grandiose remarks from Xi Jinping command respect in China, but are off-putting to Westerners. Rather than seeking to reconcile the differences in rhetorical preference, press reports exploit the shock value and sell-out peaceful understanding for caustic sensationalism. The divide grows. Whether China should tone down its language is a Chinese-internal decision. So is the opinion and response by the West also a purely internal decision.

So, at the same time Axios reports a non-incident story of a conflict that didn't happen over a "football" last November. It is framed as a sign of shaky US-China relations. Others are reporting on the US, Japan, Australia, and India collaborating competition against China's infrastructure. There is also news of Trump buckling down on trade with China. Then, Quartz publishes a review of China's great threat as a rising military power, a collection of old news.

Truth or lie, propagandized or unbiased, the timing is a tell-all. The Western press is preparing the public for war.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 19, 2018

No one likes to read about school shootings. I was in high school when a student shot himself in the head, right in the hallway, Vinnie Garofalo, February 1998. I remember when a college classmate told our student body the reports from his former classmates at Columbine. "They're dead," she told him. "They're all dead." Now, the Editor needs to write about it and Americans need to read about it, yet again.

The Florida shooting is complicated, it always is. This one has a story behind the shooter that seems more personal than other times. No one claims his story is any alibi. Many heroes were made, both victim and living. One libriarian, Diana Haneski, was inspired by her friend's heroism from Sandy Hook and protected 55 students by locking them in a media room. An assistant coach, Aaron Feis, protected three girls by shielding them with his own body, he did not survive.

Tragedy strikes. We reflect and ask why. Then we second guess ourselves and wish that we would have loved each other more and sooner. We go home. We cry ourselves to sleep. Then we wake up the next day and prepare to march for action. So, let's talk action.

Emma Gonzales is right, in a sense even the minds of gun owners. To the gun owners, the NRA has been largely useless. They aren't effective at protecting gun owner rights, only at rallying people up. At Columbine and with Michael Moore, the NRA's reaction was generally useless. Rather than helping the nation navigate through the challenges, they just acted insensitive. The NRA's Twitter account hasn't posted since Valentine's Day, when the Florida shooting happened, not even sympathy to the families. This seems to have been a "silencer" for the NRA. Politicians who receive money from that over-spiced "nothing burger" organization should be ashamed.

As for action, since we act like we're ready for a candid conversation, let's take off the gloves. Before you decide to click "next", finish the following two paragraphs.

Why are we in deadlock about guns? As strong—and correct—of an argument as Emma Gonzales makes, there is another strong point that must be included in our united path forward. It's the "elephant" in the living room, the reason we can't finish the debate, which no one wants to so much as even mention. The dirty, politically incorrect, and inconclusive—mind you—little secret about why guns remain widely available on the market has three big beans: Russia, China, and ISIS. The wide-availability of guns in America is the only reason those countries—ISIS is a country—have not already invaded and killed millions of Americans—just as their governments have killed millions of their own people who aren't allowed to possess guns. That's our excuse that keeps us in deadlock over the gun debate—a deadlock that killed 17 people last Valentine's Day.

The problem is not the Second Amendment itself, but that we only enforce half of it. We need the rest of the Second Amendment—the Militia army of civilians—a high school class with accommodation for handicapped and learning disabled, different standards for different gender, and it would be a requirement for every student in order to graduate and in order to vote in elections. The high school Militia course would teach self-discipline, readiness, hand-to-gun combat, safety in every situation, gun handling and discharge, emergency response, teamwork, and, like all military training, self-respect and self-sacrifice for others. If Nikolas Cruz had been required to graduate high school before he could buy a gun, he wouldn't have been able to. If he had been required to get the mentoring a high school Militia class would have provided, he wouldn't have wanted to.

That idea has been presented before by many people before. But, we don't hear about it from the NRA. We didn't want to have such a candid discussion about applying the whole of the Constitution—which would keep us safe from enemies, both foreign and domestic, if we would simply obey it to the full. We were too distracted with other news. So, since those other news items that we bicker about were worth the lives of 17 students, let's take a review of the news items atop headlines in the days before the Valentine's Day Massacre...

The Obama portraits, while acceptable, are intended to draw attention. The Smithsonian has more expressive art of Ford and HW Bush, more radical than the Michelle interpretation. Contrary to folk wisdom, the woman in the painting does resemble Michelle in those rare moments when she drops that goofy, fake smile for her natural "serious" face. It's not that strange, as strange as it seems. But, the hue of the leaves in Obama's piece and the street-art worthy style of Michelle evince an intent to use the presidential portraits as an opportunity to make some kind of statement. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate, but they are trying to make a statement.

As for the leaves, to claim that they are marijuana is to claim either that the artist is botanically inept or that oneself is. The leaf in the picture more resembles the Ohio State "buckeye leaf", which has been confused by the botanically inept in the past.

Michael Flynn was pursued by Obama's leftover administration as retribution for endorsing Trump. It is said one should never hire friends. Hiring Flynn was a mistake, not because Flynn wasn't up to the job of fighting in the wolf den—which he apparently wasn't—but because it promoted him from being a target to being an easy target. In the end, however, Michael Flynn will learn just as Sarah Palin did, after being tossed to the wolves. And, the hostile takeover of Flynn's life will be an alarm in itself to call out the folks to find out just what in the world was going on in the Obama administration that allowed this to happen. Flynn will come back to haunt the Democrats and bureaucrats.

George Soros has been dumping money into local DA elections that would normally elect Republicans. His candidates have been winning. Democrats and their voters who don't stand against Soros will lose all credibility when next time they complain about the Koch brothers. While many Republican voters will be alarmed—and probably roused to a wrath those DAs will not want to face—the more interesting effect will be their tendency to self-destruct. People artificially propped into power rarely last, especially when they come from different stock.

...But, there's nothing like a school shooting to put our priorities about the news in perspective.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 12, 2018

There are those who know Asia and those who don't. There are those who know political gaming and those who don't. Last week, Symphony said that China wouldn't compromise in a "Sino-Vatico" deal. This week, a retired bishop in Hong Kong said basically the same thing: That if the pope vetoes Beijing too often, Beijing will tell the world the pope is unreasonable.

The pope is no fool. The Vatican knows to listen to a Hong Kong bishop concerning China. The deal is hotly debated in the Church and by no means unanimously supported as motherhood or apple pie. If the Vatican goes through with this controversial deal with China, then it indicates that the Vatican is counting on a popularity war against China, in which China loses respect, both among Catholics in China and everyone in every economy everywhere else in the world, except of course among Russians who always like a good fight.

If war breaks out between the West and China, and if China loses to a fierce West, China ought hold the Vatican partially responsible for playing the complex popularity mind game which is this deal. This agreement was always a cloaked plan to harm China. It seems that the retired bishop in Hong Kong hasn't figured that out.

The Vatican would have us believe that they haven't figured out China when they actually have things figured out all to well. That's what makes the Vatican arguably the greatest danger to China. No wonder China is so concerned, but still not concerned enough.

Equally concerning, Taiwan is seriously talking about moving their Legislative Yuan and their Executive Yuan offices with it. The new location would be Taichung, the center of Taiwan. That would put the central government seat in two locations and the frequent target of democratic demonstrations between the ideologically conflicted north and south. While this is purported to help connect the central government more closely to local governments—and to provide large, open plazas so that demonstrations don't interrupt local commerce—and to provide for an "earthquake" not disrupting the entire central government, that word "earthquake" carries symbolic meaning without mention. A change of cartography will also date any invasion rehearsals.

More than implicating an airborne "earthquake" from, say, China, promoting democracy demonstrations along with a united island of 23 million are the greater, yet more subtle, messages that may insult some offices on the other side of that Taiwan strait. Few in the West will understand how Taiwan's central government creating a "second seat" could spark the war that the Vatican is already piping the popularity to fuel.

Just as much, there are those who do and do not understand North Korea.  Every time the West is shown media coverage of North Korea, journalistic commentary doesn't know what to say. Look at them, they all clap in unison. Doesn't it look strange? They can't be happy; after all they never stop smiling. It's all fake. And, look at all of the crying at the Kim Jong Il funeral. That's either fake or it's radical support.

The press, wholly unqualified to explain events in Far East Asia, can't help but flaunt their own ignorance.

North Koreans are part of a tightly-controlled, cult-like, nannied-and-mommied play script. They are neither happy nor sad. They are caught in a culture of mass group think. They cry at a Kim funeral because that's what you do, much like taking your shoes off at the door. They cheer in choreographed unison at a sports arena because that's what you do at sports arenas and, more importantly, all cheering is choreographed anyway, right?

They aren't cheering from any obligation. They're like a bunch of Sunday Morning micro-church minions parroting their microcosm lingo because that's the only thing they have ever learned to do. A similar comparison would be to tone-lexical native language speakers—such as Cantonese and Mandarin—trying to use the free-form tone flow of Romance sentences, or asking someone who only reads sheet music to improvise for the first time ever. Singing spontaneously from the heart just isn't something they have ever known. And, all the Western press can do is gawk, but not understand.

It just shows how far we still have to go to get to know each other.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 12, 2018

The budget deal in Congress celebrates two myths, one from time travel budgeting, the other from silence. When the "experts" project a deficit based on the current spending plan, 1. none of the money has been spent yet and 2. none of the spending tax money has come in yet. They aren't only counting chickens before they hatch, they already have them buttered on the Christmas dinner table.

The spending projection assumes the previous year's tax income. If tax rates drop, so does the projected income drop, proportionately. There is some "trickle down" account for the assumption that consumers may spend more and employers hire more since they have the funds not taxed, but they don't consider synergy. They don't use AI simulations to project the slew of companies who haven't announced—but will anyway do—investment within the market. New companies will be capable of coming into being which weren't able to without the new financial ecosystem. Those aren't accounted for because they can't be predicted. The forecast we have is based not on synergistic outcomes—AKA reality—but on comparing last years results against this year's new methods—AKA time travel.

The second myth comes from silence, namely renegotiating trade agreements. Adjustments making the US market part of a two-way street will also bring new revenue sources—rather than a one-way street that screws the US economy into the ground. These are part of separate agreements already promised, already underway, but largely unfinished and unreported. Budget forecast about those factors are simply silent.

The budget forecast isn't any accurate prediction of the future, but a kind of comparison for number geeks in black-tie offices. What actually happens is never known until it happens.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 5, 2018

Writing about China is difficult. On one side there is the Western push toward the false narrative that "all things China are bad", then on the other side pulls gravity from an invisible black hole gobbling up the truth. China is a yeah-boo, more yeah and more boo than most other countries. Anyone expecting a narrative—West or East—while reading the truth about China might instinctively think that the truth supports "the other side".

But, Symphony doesn't take that stance. China is just China. It makes wise moves, it makes foolish moves, just like every other nation on Earth.

This week was a week of economics. China is cracking down on cryptocurrency—just as it cracks down on anything it can't control with externally-applied force. The cryptocurrency market in China is fleeing from the crackdown. Yet, China is reaching out to Europe and Britain.

While the economy in Europe is big on China's list, so is the Vatican. Now, the Vatican wants an unholy marriage with China similar to the one with Medieval Europe: Beijing and the Vatican choose Chinese bishops and the underground Church gets pulled out from underground. In other words, both Western and Eastern powers crush the little guy. This will actually cause the underground Church in China to grow even more.

Just how control is driving away cryptocurrency, so will Sino-Vatico control drive the underground farther underground. Like jell-o in the hand, tightening the grip makes them slip through the fingers. A better solution would have been, more or less, status quo: Let China keep doing whatever they want and let the Vatican excommunicate whomever they want. But, the Vatican knows that would be the better solution. Does China know that the Vatican knows?

Any kind of agreement between the Vatican and China is pointless since China doesn't plan to ever compromise anyway, especially on the Vatican's human rights agenda as well as Taiwan. In the end, Catholics worldwide will hate China more. China should avoid all talks with the Vatican because any Westerner can foresee that it will only reap ill will in the West. Perhaps that is the Vatican's deeper agenda in "making a deal with the dragon", as it were. If China is the tiger then the Vatican is the monkey; the tiger has been warned.

China making infrastructure and economic inroads to Europe, is a good thing, but not on most levels people consider. Firstly, it is an indication that China feels a squeeze from the US and is looking for new trading partners. Secondly, it will cause the Westernization of China more quickly. Europe and Britain don't like dishonesty. Many of the dishonest practices Chinese businessmen are notorious for—which the Communists are cracking down on for the record—won't be tolerated. In terms of "ethics", China will have to Westernize in order to do business with the West. Perhaps that is why Beijing is pushing it—to help with the crackdown.

The second matter is more militarily strategic. To governments, all infrastructure is military infrastructure. If China has a roadway into Europe, that is a roadway that can be used by an army—in either direction. So, finances between China and Europe carry two approaching stigmas: 1. China's power is morphing into economics and 2. China is laying-in wartime infrastructure.

Changing to an economic power will weaken China's ability to use military force. Taiwan is making economic power moves of its own by positioning itself to become an AI development hub for the world—which China's customers could likely be dependent on if they aren't already. No one wants to drop bombs on customers, yet China is busily making both.

These economic relations will "tame the dragon", as it were, which may not be what China wants. Secondly, Europe is inviting China to become a stronger military power in their own back yard. China is no traitor, but nor are the Chinese loyal to anyone but the Chinese. Russia should try to halt China's relations with Europe for Russia's own good. Believe it or not, China may hold Russia in check before this is all over. Making inroads for China might be Europe's salvation in decades to come.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 5, 2018

Machines are trying to take over. They aren't winning. And, they aren't mechanical machines made of steel and iron alloys—or in GM's case also aluminum. These are machines of "big money". Some of them are political, some of them are from the entertainment industry, others are in the business world.

Ultimately, the machines run round and round by creating problems, then solving them.

Nestle has been taking water from Springhill in Osceola County, Michigan for nearly two decades. Locals have battled with the water-relocating giant almost as long; the State often comes to Nestle's defense. We'll see how much longer that lasts. The current battle seems to include no third-party scientific research, only claims by locals that water levels are lowering vs claims by Nestle that Nestle isn't hurting anything and that local water costs would rise without Nestle—which is at the same time accused of causing the water shortage in the first place. It's almost a self-inditing argument in Nestle's defense. Now, Nestle wants to take more water.

Then, there's Uma. Perhaps "Kill Bill" should have been renamed to include something about a guy named "Harvey", at least if the title reflected the emotions of "what the movie advertisements called a 'roaring rampage of revenge'" from what happened on set and behind the scenes. To this point, Symphony has not focused on Weinstein stories because, so far, they didn't seem to include news. Uma's story in the New York Times, however, introduces the video of her injury during a stunt she was intimidated into doing. After 15 years, she finally got her hands on the video. Uma just might mark the beginning of Vol. 2 in brining down scandal-filled Hollywood.

Then, there's the machine that's after Trump. According to the president, it's a disgrace, people should be ashamed, and Congress will do what Congress will do, which is fine. Bias against Trump is "yuge". In one man-on-the-street video by Campus Reform, people react negatively to State of the Union comments—until they realize they were made by Obama. Democrats and the mainstream media can't halt the assault against Trump as long as that widespread bias against Trump exists in such a large segment of the voting population. But, that bias is driving the anti-Trump machine to uncover more and more dirt—not on Trump, but dirt—on Democrats.

While Nestle seems to solve problems it causes, the Left caused the problems it's solving. As for Hollywood, the movies describe it best.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 29, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRGOS3khFbc

It was a week of protests in both Hong Kong and South Korea. Neither side of any controversy rose above the fray. For the powers that be, it was PR gone bad. For the masses, it was spitting in the wind. When the governed don't want the ambitions of the controlling few, the solution is not Delphi method, but re-evaluation at the fundamental level. When the disgruntled masses reject the powers that be, peaceful boycott can make more lasting changes than any message sent by heated protest.

No one forced students to attend Baptist University in Hong Kong. If 90% of the student body objects to the mandatory Mandarin classes then 90% of the student body would do better to simply find another school. If the leadership at the university believes Mandarin classes can help students, then one would think the students would volunteer for them. A better way would be to make the classes both optional and tuition free for students and alumni of up to four years. If leadership is correct that the most widely-spoken language in the world, right in Hong Kong's back yard, would be useful for Hong Kongers—and classes with university credit were free for students and alumni—the university would see an influx of enrollment.

No one is forcing South Koreans to attend the Olympic Games. If South Koreans don't want the Kim Dynasty to participate in the games, they can save themselves the expense and either save the time of going or replace that time with a public stand-in, carrying educational signs during the Olympics, whether on-sight or off. If the democratic South Korean government wants to promote a unified stance with North Korean athletes, they can use the abundance of Internet technology to poll the public on what would make the people happy to that end. Since South Korea's new president is so popular, he should not have lacked feedback when asking his many supporters what they want to do.

Taiwan made it's own—and likely most aggressive—move. By entering the world of AI development, Taiwan is entering the ring with other big players, such as China. Few will see it as the bold move that it is. The miracle of Taiwan's AI venture was that the move did not insight protests.

The only positive communication seemed to be between China and Japan. They are communicating about communicating. That's always a good thing.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 29, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb0EulG0wSQ

The biggest problem with analyzing Trump's next move is speculation. Talk is talk, nothing more. America seems to be obsessed with talk far before action can confirm, acquit, deny, indite, prove, or disprove. We don't know what Trump will sign into law on Immigration until he signs it. But, he seems to be wise to America's priorities where talk and action are concerned. Once again, he plays the rhetoric-obsessed section of society like a harp. He makes an offer, he sends a Tweet, he proposes a bill, and everyone gets up and sings in concert.

Take the removal of Taiwan's "ROC" flag from the US government website as an expanded example. By not having any flag there, the flag can't be wrong. The original ROC flag has the symbol of the KMT-Nationalist party in the upper corner—the same party that lost both the presidency and the legislature for the first time in history during the last general election. Many have called for the flag to change. So, removing the flag from the website could mean that the US no longer supports the KMT-Nationalists. If Taiwan were to declare independence from the mainland, the US government wouldn't have the "wrong" flag on the website, nor if China were to attempt an invasion. While China may be thrilled and Taiwan may be angry, much more was involved by replacing the flag with pure white. Maybe "surrender" was the message, though it remains unclear to whom the word would be directed, even if that was the direction. What does remain clear is that the US government website is more important than anything else.

Once again, this time in the international sphere, the Trump administration won the war of words, this time without using any. What will happen, however, always remains yet to be seen until it happens.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 22, 2018

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

Outcry against China over the Marriott crime of using the survey words "country" and "like" in reference to Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong is over-rated. China has been shutting down propaganda channels and imprisoning people over such crimes for decades. But now, all of a sudden, China's routine becomes newsworthy? Something is amiss.

The press is stirring dissent against China in anticipation of a US-China conflict once the Korean situation is resolved. Without the Kim Dynasty, people won't be as panicked. Nothing will sell newspapers like a US-China war. Nothing helps a president get re-elected like a war supported by the public. To that end, everyone is playing their role perfectly.

The US-China conflict might be made possible merely because of Marriott's cleverly-worded survey. Marriott knew what they were getting into when they entered China's market. Marriott has lawyers and newspapers. Marriott should have known better. Management is lucky they are not being charged with attempting to appear as a public-stirring victim—like a Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Rosa Parks, or Trayvon Martin. The fact that China isn't pursuing Marriott for committing the crime on purpose begs the question: Does China understand the subtlety of Western mind games? Maybe they don't.

When the press remains free, authorities have to learn how to play more clever games, like Jackson, FDR, Reagan, Clinton, W. Bush, Obama, and Trump. When the press isn't free, authorities never develop those skills at playing games with the press. Those governments just print what they want without having to manipulate the press into thinking it was their own idea. If Marriott wanted to start a war, they got the press in both China and the US to print exactly what they wanted as masterfully as Donald Trump does. Does China recognize that or not?

It almost seems as if China wants to pay the West the courtesy of a warning shot across the bow: Exit now. That's the Western takeaway, anyhow. Everyone has their cultural DNA. Individual and societal culture can change, but slowly. When a person's individual culture easily and greatly offends a certain group of people, that person will avoid those people rather than change. If that person does change his culture to appease an easily-offended group, he will probably lose his friends. Either way, offense builds walls more than bridges. China is known for all three.

In the West, being easily offended is a sign of weakness, not strength. China's response will seem like an over-reaction in the US, thereby not only enraging Americans to support action against China, but emboldening them with the notion that the US would likely win—all on the grounds that Americans believe that easily-offended parties are weak. The strong don't care enough to be offended at all, right?

China's response, however, will embolden people within China. Any aggressive "power" assertion is seen by Chinese culture as a sign of strength and makes the masses gladly get in line. So, both the people of the US and China will be emboldened against each other—except of course for dissidents in both countries. US dissidents will hate the US, just as Chinese dissidents will hate China. That's what dissidents do.

The big lesson this week: Conflict is coming and everyone knows it. That's the only thing newsworthy. Reporting on the Chinese and Americans acting like Chinese and Americans is "news" so old, it's timing is mere propaganda.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 22, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6dcQDqde38

The Russianewsgategate scandal is turning out even better for Republicans than was first anticipated. GOP members pretend to not be as excited and more surprised than they actually are—and they are also pretending to be quite angry, aghast, and indignant. In truth, Republicans finally found a way to go after some long-neglected corruption since they now have the socio-political wherewithal without starting a cycle of post-election political persecution.

Corruption is abundant. Even Amazon faces backlash after a suspicious settlement while contractors pass the buck. The biggest scandal of all: the lie that government shuts-down during a so-called "government shutdown". Some entitlements may be interrupted, but that's about all. A true shutdown of the government only exists in the most radical Conservatives' wildest dreams.

The tradition of panic over a rumored government shutdown dates back to the Clinton era when Bill vetoed the budget. Before then, no one dared touch a spending bill as it made way through the murky aisleways of Washington. It has since remained a threat politicians dangle over each other's heads in attempt to hold the American people captive to their petty partisan playbook. That myth, also, is being exposed.

Then there is immigration. Sanctuary cities are making themselves unpopular with flyover country. Administrative action to merely enforce existing law should soon be heard by the Supreme Court where Justice Kennedy will once again rule in favor of Justice Kennedy being the deciding swing vote who takes orders from no political party. Remember, Supreme Court justices always vote for the supremacy of the Supreme Court. The best guess is that his ruling will be half-and-half, mixed with a few doses of seemingly off-topic "surprise".

The American people are being played once again, from confronting corruption to budgets and bills. Washington could do much more, it's just waiting for the people to get all excited first. But, the Democrats may have overplayed their hand this time.

The premise behind Republican support for amnesty and programs like DACA was to gain votes by gaining new voters. The memo leaked from the Center for American Progress rallies the call that DACA is ‘critical’ to Democrats’ ‘future electoral success’. That basically suggests that Americans don't support Democrats—that Democrats don't serve their current voters.

Republicans spoke the same way during the Bush years; Jeb has piped in just to make sure the world knows that the Bush family still thinks that way. But, today's Republicans are starting to step away from all that rotgut and even push back on the "shutdown" threats.

Democrat politicians are now known to believe that a permanent class of voters dependent on government handouts is necessary to their future. DACA held a flickering hope of offering that. But, by shutting down the government to save DACA, the Democrats have alienated current voters dependent on those handouts. Their chances in 2018 look to be turning downward. It almost seems as if the Democratic party is self-destructing on purpose. And, that raises deeper questions.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 15, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCG14hyDWu8

Jeffery Lewis at the Daily Beast has finally found a solution to the problem with North Korea: Kim Jong Un's port-a-potty. By bombing the dynastic successor's port-a-potty, the US would demonstrate both precision and presence. This would be the proverbial "arrow" from Robin Hood, conveniently shooting its way into the Sheriff's chamber.

Though the "papers" have not been "supplied" to top "brass" at press time, the premise has merit: showing that the US means business by "denying entry" for Kim to do his. While the "move" would surely cause an "emergency", their could be new security concerns about "individual privacy". The strategic proposal does not clarify whether or not to strike the "facility" while it is "occupied" by Kim "forces".

As for other port-a-potties in the region, China and Taiwan are deep in their own "potty" match. China is unilaterally opening new flight routs, reportedly in violation of agreements under the International Civil Aviation Organization. New flight routs are "required" to be coordinated first, but these were not. China simply "activated" them. The routs are very close to Taiwan airspace and Taiwan has made quite the buzz about it.

The US further complicated matters with a unanimously-passed bill from the House: the Taiwan Travel Act, which allows for high-level diplomatic visits between the US and Taiwan "under respectful conditions". The bill serves to support a shared "commitment to democracy". The House also passed HR 3320, which directs the Secretary of State to strategize for Taiwan to regain "observer status" at the World Health Assembly, which Taiwan failed to obtain in years past.

China made its own moves, particularly with doubts on the continued purchase of US Treasury bonds. That sent tremors through the markets in multiple directions.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 15, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSL7TIAeph0

This was the week of rouses and houses. Trump called a bipartisan meeting from Congress at the White House and, to the surprise of many, much of the meeting showed on video. Everyone seemed to get along. Viewers could see real, actual video of leaders in real, normal conversation. It was somewhat unusual and not the least bit jarring.

Then began the rouse and purported fake news. The Wall Street Journal is accused of reporting that Trump claims a good relationship with Kim Jong Un rather than that he would have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un. This was one of the more obvious misreports. Another included Trump speaking vulgarly about unfortunate nations in his bipartisan meeting at the White House.

While there is no recording of his comments to members of Congress, there is a recording of what Trump said to the Wall Street Journal, which so far has refused to change the disputed quote.

Whether Trump actually spoke the dirty word as reported is left up to a whosaidhesaidit argument on Capital Hill. The big change: Republicans actually spoke in Trump's defense, that he didn't use such words. That should be notoriety enough, when someone receives support from his own enemies.

Then, there was the rouse in Hawaii with a false invasion alarm. Don't worry, Hawaii will think through what any Product Manager worth half of his salt would have drawn-up for a product roadmap well in advance. They will make it harder to press the "panic" button and equip their system with a "cancel" button to turn off the panic. Of course, it was all an accident and a big misunderstanding, nothing anyone needs to lose a job over.

In fact, the slew of rouses that trailed after the video of the president getting along with leaders in Washington was all a complete and coincidental "aligning of the planets", such a celestial event that does happen in nature, such as blue moons and Halley's Comet, except that the unusual string of rouses itself doesn't seem to be worth covering in the press—at least not elsewhere.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 8, 2018

The talks between South and North Korea are not at all what they are cracked up to be. While the world would love to believe that this is some grand exercise in "can't we all just get along" diplomacy that always-only ever failed under Obama in any and every hemisphere, North-South talks are not what they seem. They are a distraction, a false pretense, an ostensible cover story, a smoke screen for something much, much deeper.

In all likelihood, the talks will include a very subtle Asian-style, excessively subtle (since it's among Koreans) offer. Even bachelor's degree students of business management study the science of talking to an employee in such a way that he doesn't figure out he's being fired until he gets home and takes his first bide of dinner. Leonardo explained the idea well in his movie Inception.

The meeting, capitalizing on participation in the Olympic games so strategically timed and placed, is more akin to the close of the series The Sopranos. A lieutenant of a rival family meets with the head of another family to plot the "offing" of his own boss in order to stop an ugly war that no one wanted, which started when that new boss came to power. The rival family "does in" their own boss at the gas station, the main character makes his hospitality rounds, and the story ends.

That's what this seems like. The Trump administration is allowing it, taking partial credit in a preemptive expectation of due accolades, also reminding the Asian world that communication is a good thing. Symphony said the same two days before Trump sent his January 4 Tweet to the same effect: without pressure from the US there would be no talks.

If Kim Jong Un eventually disappears in the months ahead, remember that it all came from this meeting, purportedly about the Olympics. There wouldn't be any moves in northern Korea without already having "certain assurances".

But, don't let that distract you. Taiwan is definitely playing its role in provocative and irksome "spitting matches" with China. As with the min-boss in The Godfather Part III, Taiwan wouldn't do that without "backing".

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, January 8, 2018

American news has a culture of rhetoric. People in that culture rehearse the "I'm really serious about this" tone, mannerisms, and gestures. They genuinely believe that "serious" delivery and well-distributed reports are the primary cause of public opinion. They think Trump was elected by mere propaganda and so they fight back with mere propaganda as if mere propaganda was the problem and its own solution. Now, it's more apparent than ever.

Since Trump announced, about 18 months ago, members of the "opinion class" have lived in a dream world that could not foretell the approaching train and cannot acknowledge the cause of the wreckage left when they wouldn't get off the tracks. And now, it seems that they think maintaining that dream will cast some magical, mind-control spell on the public.

Disassemble Wolff's comment, just as an example: "The economy is booming possibly because you’ll have someone who’s not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation..." Since when did anyone in mainstream media believe that reducing government would help the economy? Then again, for people who think that rhetoric "trumps" results and that propaganda pulls rank over proof, such statements don't seem like a contradiction.

Take Jake Tapper's comment as he interrupted his guest, Stephen Miller: "I get it. There's one viewer that you care about right now and you're being obsequious... in order to please him." That video has been reposted and shared across the Internet, being viewed thousands of times just in the last day. No way was Miller speaking to only one audience member. Some may remember the incident for using big words many in the audience don't know, salacious and obsequious. But, few will notice that Tapper set a much more powerful precedent. By saying, "him," Jake Tapper is on well-viewed and -documented record as believing that it is not insulting to use the masculine pronoun when referring to an individual who could be of any gender. That also is a reversal from the mainstream mass media.

Then, low ratings in the NFL are being blamed on having too many games for fans to watch, even though the NBA has more games than people can watch and it's ratings are up through the roof. Since, as Wolff reports, the 25th Amendment is in discussion in so many places, perhaps it's time to speculate the hypothetical that the NFL protests could have been part of some conspiracy to raise NBA ratings. Merely discussing hypotheticals is all that matters for something to be worthy of reporting, right?

While the Left takes their turn objecting in their own way to the opposing agenda pushing through the White House, the Right are more interested in the mass media meltdown. At least that's how some people view it, but not everyone.

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