Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, January 28, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCdSTuVq2Z8

American deadlock trudges on. Trump promised a wall and he won't back down. Democrats won't back down either. Both show solidarity with their respective platforms. The only group that seems to favor backing down is Congressional Republicans, who want Trump to get this over with any way possible. For the compromising Republicans on Capitol Hill, Trump's refusal to sign a "wallless budget" isn't a "wall" strategy as much as it is a "shut down" strategy. Trump and Congressional Democrats see it differently.

Keep watch; it just might be Jared Kushner who saves the day.

The term "free speech" has taken a new meaning. While speech has kept less and less freedom from the tech bosses, the monetary cost of speaking out has essentially become free. With speech becoming more and more "financially free", the media industry can't find a way to stay solvent.

Newspapers and local news broadcasters seek collective ways to work against the tech giants, but they only rearrange their immediate problems with no long-term solutions in sight. The dwindling news industry is attacking "free" platforms of semi-free speech: social media. That's the clue of where news & information will head in the future.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 21, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O64jVjaO7cs

The US government shutdown is stalling Beijing's action against Taiwan. With the US slightly less-able to respond and prepare, Beijing has an opportunity to bide time and grow its military. No doubt, Beijing will see advantage and seize opportunity.

At the same time, the US has zero intent of appeasing Beijing's hopes for Taiwan. Whatever signals the US sends elsewhere and otherwise, the US government shows no respect for China and China shows a slow learning curve on understanding just how little respect it has thus.

The evermore desperate fight inside Taiwan continues. Taiwanese rally around their defiant president. Taiwan's government is reaching for any friends it can find anywhere in the world, while policing dissidents and sources of pro-Chinese opinion within its borders. No doubt, Taiwan is headed for what Winston Churchill said of Great Britain, "this was their finest hour." Though history has not written the end of that hour, the time is fast approaching.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 21, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF_HXLTO2hA

Trump has transformed America's view of a "government shutdown" to a point where it could very well become a campaign promise in future elections. Not only did the shutdown become a "non-event", it's actually kind of nice to not have government messing with everything. If Congressional Democrats allow the shutdown to please Reagan Republican Americans much longer, political debates may even include strategy for how to keep the government closed for longer amounts of time.

It's difficult for Americans to sympathize with the purported "horror" of a government shutdown when the lives of hard-working Americans—who work in the private sector—continue their daily lives with little to no interruption. IRS agents being out of work won't be seen by Americans as a bad thing. If America's "tax collectors" hoped to get back to work sooner, they probably should have followed Biblical advice—to keep out of trouble by keeping their mouths shut. You'd think "IRS agents not working" should have been kept a State secret.

While those who depend on taxpayer dollars to fund their livelihood will be angry that the milk has run dry, the shutdown won't come close to affecting enough Americans to make a shutdown less popular in the future. In fact, the shutdown should prove to make America stronger on three levels: as a warning to government employees that the private sector is less likely to be destabilized by politics, that government and socialist -created "jobs" will eventually have the same problems in America as in North Korea, and that Americans will have to learn how to make due when government isn't operating in its greatest glory.

Look on the bright side. If America knows how to function without as much government, we will all get through tougher times with more colors flying.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3m_tL9xEgE

China is preparing for war. It has said so in public. It has demonstrated so with militarization of "Made in China" islands that didn't exist a decade ago. It has shown intent by showing no sense of limits in cyber-warfare, technology acquisition, and oppression of the press. Facebook and Twitter users are only a "security threat" to those easily threatened.

Unlike China, the United States does not make a habit of announcing its newest military technology to the world. Whatever warfare breaks out between the US and China in the Western Pacific, China's capabilities will have been known well in advance, but the US will likely employ weapons not yet known to the public. One needs no inside information to forecast as much, only a familiarity with the parts of history that tend to repeat.

But, we are not looking at WWIII, not yet. While the brewing conflict in the Western Pacific will likely involve many countries and islands, Russia is not yet ready for the big one. NATO's presence in Europe is still too strong and Putin has not had enough time to amass his forces as he would like. Both Russia and the US would want things to quiet down rather quickly. Every effort from the White House to back away from conflicts with Russia suggests that a deal has already been struck with the Kremlin—that an expansionist campaign from China will not receive meaningful Russian help if squashed by the United States.

The question will concern how many Mainland China military supply installations Russia will allow the US to strike. But, if the US intervenes with Taiwan or razes the artificial islands on Mischief Reef, don't expect China to receive backup from Russia. Moscow took Crimea with a favorable referendum and no bloodshed. The Kremlin would expect just as much success from Beijing in order to court respect and cooperation. Right now, things don't look that way. 80% of Taiwanese rejecting reunification with China is a near flip to the support Russia received from Crimeans. Backroom Moscow secretly mocks Beijing, no matter how much money the Chinese pay them. Moscow would be fools if they didn't.

In the supposed "Chinese invasion plans" for Taiwan, there are multiple phases, including opportunistic retaliation from India. But, those plans fail to anticipate retaliation from the insulted Vietnamese, who also hold a long-standing grudge against China. Then, there is the ancient ethnic spite between China and Japan. Mongolia also has border disputes. Tibet is not the only province that wants to break away. It is doubtful Sun Tzu would have advised an expansion campaign while surrounded by enemies, especially as a mere means of being respected.

It would take a miracle and a half to stay whatever makes the pluming smoke on the horizon of the last decade. But, it won't last long. No one wants this to drag on. No, like "The Great War" (WWI) set the stage for WWII, the approaching war in the Pacific will set the stage for the big one that comes after.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3m_tL9xEgE

China is preparing for war. It has said so in public. It has demonstrated so with militarization of "Made in China" islands that didn't exist a decade ago. It has shown intent by showing no sense of limits in cyber-warfare, technology acquisition, and oppression of the press. Facebook and Twitter users are only a "security threat" to those easily threatened.

Unlike China, the United States does not make a habit of announcing its newest military technology to the world. Whatever warfare breaks out between the US and China in the Western Pacific, China's capabilities will have been known well in advance, but the US will likely employ weapons not yet known to the public. One needs no inside information to forecast as much, only a familiarity with the parts of history that tend to repeat.

But, we are not looking at WWIII, not yet. While the brewing conflict in the Western Pacific will likely involve many countries and islands, Russia is not yet ready for the big one. NATO's presence in Europe is still too strong and Putin has not had enough time to amass his forces as he would like. Both Russia and the US would want things to quiet down rather quickly. Every effort from the White House to back away from conflicts with Russia suggests that a deal has already been struck with the Kremlin—that an expansionist campaign from China will not receive meaningful Russian help if squashed by the United States.

The question will concern how many Mainland China military supply installations Russia will allow the US to strike. But, if the US intervenes with Taiwan or razes the artificial islands on Mischief Reef, don't expect China to receive backup from Russia. Moscow took Crimea with a favorable referendum and no bloodshed. The Kremlin would expect just as much success from Beijing in order to court respect and cooperation. Right now, things don't look that way. 80% of Taiwanese rejecting reunification with China is a near flip to the support Russia received from Crimeans. Backroom Moscow secretly mocks Beijing, no matter how much money the Chinese pay them. Moscow would be fools if they didn't.

In the supposed "Chinese invasion plans" for Taiwan, there are multiple phases, including opportunistic retaliation from India. But, those plans fail to anticipate retaliation from the insulted Vietnamese, who also hold a long-standing grudge against China. Then, there is the ancient ethnic spite between China and Japan. Mongolia also has border disputes. Tibet is not the only province that wants to break away. It is doubtful Sun Tzu would have advised an expansion campaign while surrounded by enemies, especially as a mere means of being respected.

It would take a miracle and a half to stay whatever makes the pluming smoke on the horizon of the last decade. But, it won't last long. No one wants this to drag on. No, like "The Great War" (WWI) set the stage for WWII, the approaching war in the Pacific will set the stage for the big one that comes after.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC1Uajx0CL0

Pelosi and Schumer seem to be playing the Washington Generals, acting as if they are sincere, but not putting forward a formidable and convincing effort. Their resistance is a show and, by contrast to Trump, seems pathetic. It perfectly follows the tactic of "appearing to put up a fight". The most pathetic part is that they are probably sincere.

By standing side-by-side in their televised address, they appear to show unity between them, but the impression is that of weakness: it takes two legislators in order to respond to the president. More importantly, their rhetoric was weak. By mentioning that they would make a statement after his own address, the president positioned himself as the MC who facilitates discussion from all sides. For Democrats, the dual-address to the nation was a botched failure revealing no impression of the playbook sabotage it employed.

Trump is winning the government shutdown for one reason: he set a record. Senator Graham's desire to temporarily re-open the government was not a cave-in; it was proof of his desire to attempt cooperation of any kind. But, cooperation from Congressional Democrats doesn't seem likely since they are vacationing in Puerto Rico during the shutdown.

Trump's efforts to smooth relations with Russia can be interpreted from two perspectives: The first is from the one half of the masses who are suspicious of anyone who creates jobs without government. Those who don't understand how to create revenue see big and powerful people talking and—for that reason alone—presume themselves to be victims of some malevolent plot that may not even exist. The second perspective from which we may interpret the White House's policy with Russia is from the standpoint of the approaching conflict with China. The last thing the American people should want is Russia helping China takeover the Western Pacific. Thanks to Trump, that is unlikely. But, it's difficult to consider the Pacific factor for the narrow-thinking breed of voters whose primary political ambition is to vote themselves money from the Treasury.

But, they're about to learn, some of them anyway.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC1Uajx0CL0

Pelosi and Schumer seem to be playing the Washington Generals, acting as if they are sincere, but not putting forward a formidable and convincing effort. Their resistance is a show and, by contrast to Trump, seems pathetic. It perfectly follows the tactic of "appearing to put up a fight". The most pathetic part is that they are probably sincere.

By standing side-by-side in their televised address, they appear to show unity between them, but the impression is that of weakness: it takes two legislators in order to respond to the president. More importantly, their rhetoric was weak. By mentioning that they would make a statement after his own address, the president positioned himself as the MC who facilitates discussion from all sides. For Democrats, the dual-address to the nation was a botched failure revealing no impression of the playbook sabotage it employed.

Trump is winning the government shutdown for one reason: he set a record. Senator Graham's desire to temporarily re-open the government was not a cave-in; it was proof of his desire to attempt cooperation of any kind. But, cooperation from Congressional Democrats doesn't seem likely since they are vacationing in Puerto Rico during the shutdown.

Trump's efforts to smooth relations with Russia can be interpreted from two perspectives: The first is from the one half of the masses who are suspicious of anyone who creates jobs without government. Those who don't understand how to create revenue see big and powerful people talking and—for that reason alone—presume themselves to be victims of some malevolent plot that may not even exist. The second perspective from which we may interpret the White House's policy with Russia is from the standpoint of the approaching conflict with China. The last thing the American people should want is Russia helping China takeover the Western Pacific. Thanks to Trump, that is unlikely. But, it's difficult to consider the Pacific factor for the narrow-thinking breed of voters whose primary political ambition is to vote themselves money from the Treasury.

But, they're about to learn, some of them anyway.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 7, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlpe8PS5b-8

The US is working diligently to put Taiwan in the spotlight. It seems that Taiwan is being set up in the American public eye as the next Lusitania or Pearl Harbor—the punch that awakens the sleeping nation. It will be difficult, though, for an attack on foreign soil to provoke the public. That's where China seems to be playing on cue.

By wanting to sink a US Navy vessel, China would make the final push. Beijing doesn't understand American "exceptionalism"; it never has. Beijing doesn't know what freedom does to people, how much it energizes a threatened people. Americans won't respond as Chinese employees do to a boss who clears his throat; they will respond like William Wallace, just as they always do. But, when a nation isolates itself from Western free speech, that is difficult to know. We should expect China to not think that way.

Imagine China's perspective: Large US Navy carriers trouncing around the backyard, intimidating to the point that provoked China to the point we see now. To them, sinking a US Navy ship would seem like a big "shock" action because those carriers are the biggest American structure China can see. But, to American voters and soldiers, those carriers are across an ocean and are nothing compared to the size of achievements and monuments Americans see every day. So, China thinks a provocation would be an intimidation.

While it may take a US battleship to take a hit—God forbid—Taiwan will certainly be involved because that's the way the pieces are being set around the chessboard.

As for Xi Jinping and the Chinese, their resolve is absolute. Even pigs seem to be part of the attack on Taiwan.

A terminal disease specific to pigs seems to have swept Chinese pig farms. Taiwan has been going to great lengths to prevent Chinese pork from entering Taiwan for this very reason. This week, a dead pig with the disease floated ashore a Taiwanese island that sits just off China's coast. Panic is starting to set in throughout Taiwan—that a pork crisis could crash Taiwan's economy, cause the pro-US president to resign, making the perfect opportunity for China to invade. That's how the theories go, anyway.

The concern among Taiwanese is exactly the kind of response China anticipates from a "shock and awe" action against America. But, Americans are different than that, having both the "Wallace Complex" and a Congress-backed law that would compel a retaliation. Taiwanese have tasted some level of freedom, making the Taiwanese response as unpredictable as Taiwanese politics.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 7, 2019

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

Article IV Section 4 of the US Constitution states that the US government must "protect" each State from "invasion". It goes on to include protection from "domestic violence", but that requires action from the Legislature, unless the Legislature can't convene, then the Executive branch must take action.

It does not say, "The US government may protect the people if it wants to. And, if the Legislature refuses to, then the President must allow anyone and everyone to just destroy whatever they want to." It also does not say, "...unless they really, really want to come into the country, and that's why they're invading." But, that's how House Democrats would like to have it interpreted.

What's happening at the southern border is an "invasion"—people from the outside coming in by force. The Constitution does not specify that the invasion must be a sanctioned, deputized, funded military force operating at the behest of a recognized State. Any and every kind of invasion must be stopped, by Legislature or otherwise.

The Legislature is only required for situations of domestic violence. But, even then, if the Legislature can "convene"—and it can—but disobeys this Constitutional requirement, that could be cause for an action of impeachment because they would be in violation of their oaths of office, to support the Constitution. Then, the power to stop domestic violence would fall to the Executive branch, namely the president.

Trump is well within his powers to declare an emergency and take executive action, but he might be Constitutionally required to begin impeachment proceedings against Congress if the border situation is regarded as domestic, not an "invasion" from non-US citizens. So, claiming that Congress is needed to build the wall would actually be an argument to indite Congress.

As for citizenship by birth, that applies only to children of parents "subject to the jurisdiction thereof". Amendment XIV does not say, "Anyone can run from the police, sneak into the country, have a baby, then demand citizenship for that baby." But, that's how Congressional Democrats would like to have it interpreted.

The US is about to rediscover its Constitution, the document that united our nation at its founding. That could redefine the entire playing field of elections in the future.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 31, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Gv7F2e-6Y

China and the US—more specifically Xi and Trump—are talking more and more about talking more and more about trade. China has drafted legislation to propose making China a fair country to outsiders. What a great proposed Christmas gift, just before the New Year.

In light of everything, China seems to be making other concessions to US demands. But, one issue lingers in the back-of-the-room shadows: Taiwan. The US is bound by near-treaty to defend Taiwan if China were to invade. And, Taiwan just keeps taking pot shots. And, China doesn't seem to notice the conflict on the US side of the talks.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 31, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uzi47NNc4Ng

Jerome Corsi is after the FBI family for going after him and his family. Mueller wanted to delay the hearing of Corsi's lawsuit against the FBI, basically arguing that the shutdown had shutdown his investigation—except that it hasn't. Trump stayed in Washington over the holiday shutdown, missing his family in Florida, while Nanci Pelosi and Maxine Waters went on vacation in Hawaii and the Bahamas, respectively—and they say Trump doesn't understand politics. The stock market was said to be in the tank, and it was "all Trump's fault"—until it it wasn't either anymore.

The biggest news—of things that actually happened "new"—was Kevin Spacey. Apparently Underwood is back from the dead. The character assassination machine has systematically picked off anyone in the national spotlight who didn't step in line—until that didn't work against Trump—then, it simply didn't work. But, now that it's going up against one of the few actual actors in Hollywood—Spacey—along with Conservatives like Jerome Corsi and Dennis Prager, that machine itself might just blow a transformer and light up the national sky more than Con Edison lit up New York.

It looks like Kevin Spacy is about to "Underwood" Hollywood, and that will only be the beginning.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 24, 2018

China detains two Canadians with remark and in the wake of a single Huawei executive's arrest. Given the surfacing connections the executive's family had to Mao, China likely views the value of arrested people as equally balanced; the West merely views China as having committed three criminal acts.

Huawei has gotten into more and more trouble the more it has been in the spotlight. Now, Europe even has its doubts. China's sources of money and influences are drying up more and more.

But, an opinion article from Bloomberg invariably proves that some car makers managed to keep their technology out of the hands of China—mainly by keeping it out of China until it was out of date. Moreover, China has made proposals within its government to allow foreign companies to keep their technology secret. So, that should end any and every doubt about what a wonderful place China is for any and all manufacturing.

On the military side, China is announcing that it is finally pursuing the same quiet submarine technologies that the US, Russia, and India are also pursuing. So, that's it. The West should give up because, after all, China is going to win.

The US, however, is in a different position. If China were to initiate a conflict with the US, say by attempting to assert control over Taiwan "by force if necessary", China might not get as much help from its rumored spy partner, Russia. Taiwan is unlike Crimea, which held a referendum with overwhelming favor to return to Russia. And, with the US out of Russian-interested territories, like Syria and Afghanistan, there is little Russia would have to object to in the US following its own law to defend Taiwan, already on the books. A recessed Congress is certainly willing.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 24, 2018

The government shutdown is good for Trump and good for the wall. He said what he meant and he meant he wasn't bluffing. Good, old fashion follow-through is one of DC's lost virtues. If the current budget isn't passed by the start of the new 116th Congress on January 3, then it will die. It already has approval of the White House and has passed the House. The quickest way to end the government shutdown is for the Senate to pass the bill.

Ultimately this is a game of "chicken". Either way, we should expect whining everyday.  The key to Congress surviving a government shutdown is the theater of talking everyday as if "today's the day" that the government will reopen. It's somewhat akin to the act that Democrats and drive-by news anchors put on about how "today's the day" when they will find the "silver bullet" to stop Trump.

There is no such silver bullet, not even today.

The main actors rising above the dust are the Kushners. Jared and Ivanka are drafting deals and growing coalitions, no matter their father's opponents. Their progress should be bigger news.

So, over Christmas, the worms of Capitol Hill take pot shots at each other and the president is referred to as a child for sticking to his promises, just as Clinton did when he vetoed the budget. One of the best kept secrets about government shutdowns is that the government doesn't actually shut down. To some, that's a disappointment. Even Mueller's investigation continues, but the Supreme Court might stuff coal in his stocking. The holiday season has many more surprises yet to come.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 17, 2018

While China would attempt to send the US out of its backyard by shocking the US with an invasion of Taiwan, that motive in itself would not be enough to push China to war. Beijing believes that controlling more territory is the solution to current problems with its own territory. In urban terms, it would be like believing the reason you have problems in your home is because you don't own the home nextdoor—you deserve to own it, after all; so take it, "by force if necessary." That part of Chinese culture—needing to occupy more surroundings in order to solve problems at home, rather than after solving problems at home—is the part of the Beijing mindset that will actually push China to invade. The time of the invasion will come when Beijing believes that solving its problems at home—specifically with Western press and free speech—can wait no longer. Then, China will invade Taiwan while genuinely believing that all of China's problems within its current borders will thus vanish over night.

But, the US doesn't think the way Beijing thinks the US thinks. While many Americans will be surprised by China's invasion of Taiwan, Beijing will be surprised even more by the American electorate's response to support recompense against China.

In Chinese media, a Chinese Air Force colonel's recommendation that PLA Navy ships ram US Navy ships is not an actual recommendation for strategy as much as it is an attempt at repulsive rhetoric. Chinese culture presumes that a public suggestion is an indirect warning with no intention of follow-through, and because it has no intention of follow-through, it is therefore a "powerful-polite" way of attempting to tell the US to leave. That is how cultural, indirect communication with the Chinese works. Though it is possible that the Chinese might become enraged enough to follow this action by ramming US ships at sea, it would take less rage for China to decide to invade Taiwan. From Beijing's view, unlike retaking the well-deserved Taiwan, ramming a US ship would be an actual assault. If the Chinese-American war begins with a rammed ship, that would indicate a very angry China.

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