Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 2, 2018

China claims no part in the Hong Kong and Taiwan -related ships recently stopped by South Korean officials for illegally supplying oil to North Korea. China's claim might be believable, but during the holiday week, China blocked a UN attempted to blacklist those very vessels caught in the act. By blocking the block of the "smoking gun" ships, as it were, China has defined itself as an accomplice. It's a mere matter of fact and definition. There is no defense for China in regard to having some part to play with these two seized vessels.

Russia's role, however, seems more dominant and should be more disconcerting. But, where does the attention from the press turn to blame but China. The press loves to make China the global scapegoat, but China's responses don't help its own disposition any.

Beijing made it clear that military exercises all around Taiwanese airspace are the "new normal" and Taiwan will just have to get used to it. Taiwan is re-focusing strategy for asymmetric warfare—politically correct military language for "fighting a bigger enemy". Several Taiwanese companies are "rethinking" the presence of their factories in China after an entire zone was targeted for zone-wide shutdown. The catch to the zone shutdown story is that the entire zone is said to be targeted for a few blackout days because only some factories in the zone are polluting the environment too much. Factories that are within environmental regulations also have to shut down, argued to include Taiwanese-owned factories. Many factories in that zone are Taiwanese-owned. If China isn't sending a message that Taiwanese aren't welcome then Beijing could do a better job of not making it look that way.

Again, China's actions indicate more and more that China is hostile toward democracies in the East Pacific, namely South Korea and Taiwan. From the perspective of Americans reading Western headlines, it is more difficult every day to come to China's defense. That perspective among the masses is what the Pentagon is waiting for.

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Symphony

June 10, 2015

TPA attempts to turn US Congress into a puppet. TPA is very unpopular. TTIP in EU faces UK Labour Party wrath. Russia v EU conflict escalates. Rumsfeld: Democracy was wrong for Iraq. New Obama voters hit a learning curve. Obama covered up Iran violations? Video: McKinney police resignation. The stories are finally here: Software v Employment. Loyal: Guide dog throws itself in front of oncoming school bus to save blind owner  · · · →

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Faux Report

Drum Circles in Hong Kong Reach Critical Levels

HONG KONG — As the democracy protests in Hong Kong enter their second week, sources say the number of drum circles in the city has reached critical levels.

Drawn to the freewheeling, Occupy-style protests, thousands of itinerant drummers have set up shop among the protesters in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay.

Initially, the tabla-toting newcomers were welcomed by protesters but their incessant thumping quickly alienated both organizers and participants. Some feared that the never-ending percussion would spark a backlash among local residents and prompt police retaliation.

Sources say the cacophony in Wan Chai has reached 1.6 zuccottis and continues to build.

Indeed, Hong Kong Police Commissioner Andy Tsang told reporters Thursday, “We tolerated the establishment of a lending library, but if this arrhythmic banging continues we will forcibly clear the affected areas.”

“It’s disturbing the day traders,” Tsang added.

But the freestyle jam sessions show no sign of abating. Sources on the ground say the cacophony in Wan Chai has reached 1.6 zuccottis and continues to build.

On the same day as Tsang’s press conference, state-owned newspaper People’s Daily published an editorial that denounced the unrest and pointed to the drum circles as clear evidence of a Western conspiracy.

“The Chinese do not percuss,” the author wrote. “These can-banging insurgents want to destroy China and turn it into one giant Burning Man.”

At press time, protest leaders attempted to use the people’s microphone to debate the necessity of drum circles, but their arguments could not be heard over the din.

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Faux Report

World Leaders Applaud China for Not Killing Anyone Yet

BEIJING — This week, leaders from around the world applauded Chinese President Xi Jinping for showing “extraordinary restraint” in dealing with the ongoing chaos spurred by democracy protests in Hong Kong.

U.S. President Barack Obama was one of the first to praise the Chinese leader, thanking him for “responding with tear gas and pepper spray instead of, you know….”

The American president trailed off before adding, “Just don’t go all Ferguson on them.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin marveled at Xi’s “grace under fire” and said that Russian paramilitary forces would be happy to help put down protesters “should [Xi] change his mind.”

“Not that you need any help with that,” he added.

“Just don’t go all Ferguson on them.”

The leaders of Egypt and Turkey, along with Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III, expressed pleasant surprise that Beijing had not yet ordered police to use live ammunition or called in the People’s Liberation Army to forcefully crush the protests.

“Hurry up and call in the tanks,” joked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “You’re making the rest of us look bad.”

For his part, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi asked Xi “what [he was] waiting for.”

When Xi expressed reluctance to use military force, Sisi assured the Chinese president that “it’s easier the second time around.”

Putin, Erdogan and Sisi, along with Knowles, told Xi that they would stand with him in solidarity when the time eventually came to violently remove the protesters.

“There’s no shame in using disproportionate force to maintain stability,” Sisi reported said to Xi. “We’ve all done it.”

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