Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 24, 2020

https://youtu.be/z_s84LZZtV0

There isn't news this week. More countries hate China. More people are sick with Wuhan nCoV. Cases rise in the Far East. Taiwan is one of the safest places to be—in terms of the virus, that is. Friends of Taiwan continue to be punished; this week regarded Czech in particular with the Senate chair planning a visit to one of the safest places to be in the Far East—in terms of the virus, that is.

The trend in Western journalism is to look down the nose toward China. Media censorship, mismanagement, discontent, and incompetence are part of the narrative. The US president has a different take.

Satellite-based data has been used to suggest that China may be burning thousands of bodies in Wuhan. The site that aggregated the data that was separately used to make this suggestion was windy.com—a Czech company. Go figure. Windy.com did not make the suggestion; it visually animates data already available to the public. There is no news here, only everyone's data and someone else's speculation. The interesting part is how quick the Western public is to jump on any excuse to think something bad about China.

Certainly, cynicism toward China is not without cited history. China remains indignant. Nothing is new, except Czech's name in the headlines. China's spite for Taiwan and friends only grows as spite for China and friends snowballs all the more. Perhaps next week will yield something new in the news. But, when so many people are so bound to make history repeat, there just might not be much to report—except for those who only read what repeats.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, February 24, 2020

At what point is a government agency no longer allowed to invent a fake crime that was not committed, investigate people known to be innocent for this known-to-be-fake crime, then imprison those people investigated for taking steps to survive that agency breaking the law?

Afghani peace progressing in the wake of home-bound American troops is carrying Trump to an even greater landslide second term. But, it's not enough to distract from the FBI's damage to its own reputation. With Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee apparent, and knowing that his base hates government corruption as much as they want to bring troops home, talk of government agency abuse will be so high in the upcoming election that avoiding fundamental changes to the FBI will be unavoidable. To say the least, Comey overreached.

The American Left, along with the closet Left in the political establishment, is loosing their grip on themselves, now that they've lost their grip on government. They want to accuse a man of something that didn't happen, then call a witness, and, if that witness denies the events of what didn't happen, accuse that witness of lying. Such a witness was about to be thrown in prison, Roger Stone, at the age of 67. People who believe that what didn't happen didn't happen intervened and stopped him from being thrown in prison for alleged lies in an investigation that shouldn't have happened.

Today on the Left, voters and elected officials alike, are angry about Roger Stone not going to prison. His true crime is not lying to the FBI, but being a friend of the president they don't like. The line that distinguishes voters who want him in prison from those who don't isn't a line that runs along boundaries of an FBI investigation, but a line between voters who believe there was Russian corruption with Trump in 2016 and those who do not.

They had their impeachment and trial. They didn't get the outcome they wanted. Now, they are pushing evermore, all the while telling themselves that they are saving the country. Little do they know or realize that it is party politics, and the idea that only an irrelevant few hold a different view, that endangers America. This was supposed to be a country of respect between people who disagree. But, now we see the truth: Christians and non-Christians were never going to be able to get along because the non-Christians wouldn't allow it. And, I'm not defining a Christian as a "Sunday morning attendee". The Bible-based value of "love for enemies" and giving fair treatment to the opposition is unique to Christians. Interestingly, so it is between the Right and Left of America. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of the coming global conflict and the even greater conflict between God's Holy Angels and the Satanic, fallen rebellion that has lasted thousands of years. continue reading

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 17, 2020

https://youtu.be/H2NBk3u1Obo

The 2019-nCoV Wuhan virus isn't doing any good for Xi Jinping's public trust. Dissidents inside China are silenced and their social media accounts scrubbed. Joshua Wong issues a call to arms from Hong Kong. Taiwan closes its border and plans to evacuate its citizens from the quarantined cruise ship, Diamond Princess. Yet, the Philippines blocks entry to Taiwanese airline passengers while in-flight because World Health Organization information reports Taiwan as part of China. And, Xi tells Trump that everything will be okay after April's hot weather kills the virus.

It looks like the world wants a fight. Why did evacuation plans for this cruise ship take so long? Why doesn't China close its border to Hong Kong as an act of good faith to at least pretend to want to earn public trust? China locked down Wuhan and Huanggang, why not Shenzhen?

The WHO praised China's efforts, claiming they bought the world time. That doesn't stack—information control started the problem, China's clampdown on information only grows, the Philippines close their border to a country run by a completely different administration on account of the WHO reporting in denial. Is the WHO controlled by China, does the WHO just want to start a war, or could it be that the WHO wants to start a war because it doesn't like being controlled by China?

Fear of the virus may be overrated. Initial figures suggested that the seasonal flu may be more deadly. But, panic is panic. And, with Chinese cities going on lockdown, countries closing borders, and hundreds of people getting sick on a cruise ship after it was quarantined, nerves are on edge. Chinese State control of information has been exposed for the hoax it is; no Chinese people will trust China's government again. Even those who support the Communist Party can't expect the public to believe them anymore, no matter what they say. In the middle of the breakdown of Chinese trust and control, Xi's solution is to fly bombers around Taiwan.

Nothing re-elects a president like a war someone else started and nothing fires a president like an outbreak or a failed economy. If Xi invades Taiwan, Trump's re-election will be even more certain and Xi's own party could be doomed along with him. Nothing would weaken China's People's Liberation Army at home like the decision to boost its political image by invading one of the best responding WHO-non-members in the world, Taiwan. Xi is so addicted to failing, self-destructive decisions, invading Taiwan might be the ultimate fatal flaw of failure that he just can't refuse. While this viral outbreak isn't quite enough to push Xi to the point of desperation for distraction, it's another bail of hay on the camel's back.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 17, 2020

https://youtu.be/Bo68fqsQHh4

Democrats and Republicans are working in evil tandem. In a sense, Republicans have no choice. The attacks against Conservatives in America are so extreme and unfair that our laws might not be suited to defend us from them. Going easy on Roger Stone in his punishment for something that wasn't wrong seems like playing favorites, from more than one angle. It's okay when Democrats do it, but when Democratic Washington attacks men for less than John Brennan has done wrong it seems like those men must be unfair in order to receive justice.

We are in a spiral of decay.

Pure democracy is sheer tyranny of the masses, allowing the 51% to gang up on the 49%. But, a Democratic Republic, like the USA, doesn't—or shouldn't—allow the 99% to gang up on the 1% because every single person has rights that no one else can take away. But, in attempts to punish famous people for supporting a candidate in the "other political party", and in LGBTQ trying to change the rules of restrooms and use prison to punish people for grammar rules without classic literature, we are seeing the 1% try to gang up on the 99%. Some, not all, of the Left want an aristocracy that they steer.

But, it doesn't stop there. While a few in the Left try to gang up on the ever-less-so-silent majority, huge backlash is coming even against more moderate Liberals. The public-funding-driven Liberals, different from the social-driven Liberals, are getting a bad wrap from the Right. People are being hated for believing things they don't believe on both sides of the political spectrum. While the Right is rising up against the Far Left, another backlash is coming back against the Right in the more distant future. That will be when the nation's institutions are shaken, in the days when we all are forced to listen to each other—in the days when the nation's inner turmoil sees daylight and we find our hearts.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 10, 2020

https://youtu.be/xbkPMxfPutk

The words of US President Trump set an unsettling policy for Communist China: "We're also getting our allies, finally, to help pay their fair share." This is far-reaching.

By having multiple nations with multiple militaries operating with appropriate budgets, China faces an enclave of opponents, not just one. There is no single head to decapitate. If you're in Beijing, sitting in a room filled with Mandarin speakers who agree that they are entitled to make the world their servant, Trump's words scare you.

While Beijing fights the virus it tried to cover up, Taiwan had recorded 10 deaths from that virus. Yet, China reported 13 in Taiwan, then told the United Nations that China speaks accurately for Taiwan, still arguing that Taiwan should not enter the WHO—even taking offense, still, at any suggestion of entry. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu pointed out that the WHO has referred to Taiwan by at least three different names in reporting on China's Wuhan outbreak. This week, even the US spoke up for Taiwan's request to join the WHO; China was all the more offended.

The outbreak isn't fairing well for China's credibility in governing Hong Kong either. Supermarkets are full of empty shelves.

While China's central government will continue the playbook strategy of blaming the very local governments it dominates, the central government's solution to the failure of a centralized government will be to centralize more government. In Confucian Communism, control is the solution to every problem, especially the problems that control causes. So they themselves believe even more than they purport, the reason that China has so many challenges within its vast stretches of land is that it doesn't have even more land. The Chinese Communists believe that their number one problem is that they don't control the world.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 10, 2020

https://youtu.be/TfNq7TwobhI

Trump's acquittal did not come because of party politics or friends in Washington. It came because he stood fast—he held his ground in a party that tried to denounce him early on. He had many good friends helping, but it was Trump himself that empowered their efforts and directed the flow.

The Republican Party is not what it seems. They hated Trump when he didn't do things in their failing manner, but now they acquit him and act like they have always been BFF from the beginning. Any disagreements in Trump's early days don't matter anymore, even though that's not the tone they used at the time, though a number of those Republicans are out of office.

It's typical. The Republicans held their noses while Reagan gave them success. They passed Democratic-oriented, anti-Conservative laws during the W. Bush years viz the Patriot Act. They objected to Conservative voices in media during the 2005 "Build a Fence" movement viz Senator Lott. Thanks to Trump's inability to be railroaded, they are being gifted more success and clout than they ever didn't earn before.

Senator McConnell stayed true to the colors he flew, which is more than can be said for the late Senator McCain or Senator Romney, who took his unofficial place as "Republican Senate maverick". Senator Romney's departure from the fold could make him a one-term Senator—and not from lack of RNC backing. Senator Graham and many others took their stand for law, order, facts, evidence, process, and truth. The Republican Party stood behind their president, this time. Had former House Republicans not been card-carrying members of the metaphorical "never Trumper" movement, Republicans might still hold the House and none of this ugly impeachment would have happened.

Justice came from Republicans this time; don't get used to it. While Democrats are the party of hate and failed "we wanna' help you" platitudes, the Republicans are the party of treachery. Democrats stand together while Republicans usually don't. It was a strange week in Washington. Things will be fine through the Trump years because they will depend on him. But after that, buckle up.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 3, 2020

https://youtu.be/Q3gk8j6_ksY

The world is fed up with China's Communist Party, including people in China. The Wuhan virus is a blame-blaming scandal of a magnitude greater than Chairman Mao. It could crack the foundation of Xi Jinping's rule and party confidence along with it.

Top down leadership ties the hands of first responders. So does propaganda-driven speech censorship. Of course an outbreak will breakout where people aren't allowed to respond or warn without permission from the central bureaucracy. For China, it was only a matter of time.

And, the world is fed up. Now Hong Kong, severely underprepared for an outbreak, faces a strike of 6k medical workers and growing—if CEO Carrie Lam doesn't completely close the Hong Kong border to China. Simply not having the resources to handle an outbreak should be enough for Hong Kong to to close its border. Not doing what simply should be done begs more questions of whether Beijing's top down leadership is preventing Hong Kong from responding to the Wuhan outbreak, which would be yet another violation of the Basic Law and a breach of China's treaty with Britain that allowed Hong Kong to return.

Shameless in the face of its mismanagement in Wuhan then Hong Kong, China then asked the EU for emergency medical supplies. The EU would be wise to respond that giving medical supplies would require proper oversight, including an end to the bureaucratic methods of centralized control that delayed containment in Wuhan and keeps Hong Kong in danger. Also, the EU should require China to stop politicizing Taiwan's need to join the World Health Organization.

Argument could be made that Taiwan and the West are capitalizing on the Wuhan crisis to get more international recognition for Taiwan. But, then it could also be argued that China created that need to capitalize on a crisis to do something that should have been done long ago. In light of the Wuhan outbreak, Canada, Japan, and the EU now sponsor Taiwan's request to join the World Health Organization as an active participant, not a mere observer. A viral White House petition snowballed past the threshold over the weekend, effectively making the same request of President Trump. Now that Trump has a massive petition to respond to, China won't be able to claim "interference" when he responds. But, China may try to anyway because, in Confucian Communist thinking, petitions of the people should be ignored.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 27, 2020

Trying to be polite or indirect while not taking no for an answer does not give anyone a right to make trouble. When someone gives a decisive, "No," decent people accept that answer, then move on somehow. But, China doesn't seem able to do that. In Beijing's thought, relentlessly pushing forward, no matter how many more thousands hate them by the day, China is being polite to Hong Kong. They are being indirect. By not giving up, the Chinese Communists believe they have very politely told Hong Kongers how things will be, thereby justifying whatever manslaughter China chooses to invoke.

It's not as if China has a lot of time to worry about telling other people what to do. Hong Kong was designed in its Basic Law to be largely autonomous. That means that Hong Kong can take care of itself, should China need to put energies into other matters—such as stopping the African swing flu or the Wuhan coronavirus.

China's choices led to a landslide re-election for the de facto independence president of Taiwan. She says there is no independence to declare because Taiwan can't possibly be any more independent than it already is. Some in Beijing might think that means Taiwan has reached its limit; but anyone in the West knows that means Taiwan already has the fullest measure of independence as defined. Yes, many in Beijing might not know that.

Vietnam reached a similar vague point in gearing up for military strength in ASEAN. Buying boats from India is also on Vietnam's agenda—yes, India is another country China has managed to aggravate.

Why do things unfold this way in China's back yard? It's not that China is so much evil as it is immature. But, we tend to stay immature when we age, if we won't open up to the outside world. Rather than helping China learn, the West just dumped money and emboldened a brat, all so we could save a few pennies on our stuff. Who is really being the most unfair to who? Friends know when to accept a no because friends know when to say, "No."

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Encore of Revival: America, January 27, 2020

The concept of an ongoing impeachment process against every sitting president isn't that bad of an idea. In some governments, it's the fourth branch of government called the "Control". Perhaps Obama, Bush, and Clinton—all the way to FDR and Wilson—would have served the people better if they had an ongoing impeachment proceeding. It's tempting, but, for now anyway, it looks like a big waste of time.

The president's defense seems incredibly boring, but that won't matter. The Democratic prosecution omits key evidence, but that won't matter either. Every vote in the Senate has already been decided. These proceedings contain the platform for the other side to be added where there was only one side of what should be fair. Life isn't fair, but drama stops at the Senate floor. As with Clinton, there is neither basis to remove Trump from Office. Impeachment is a big deal, but usually falls to the popular opinion; voting citizens are the jury. Both times, all the energy from the House was spent on the Senate, which just let the House wear itself tired.

While one proceeding moves forward for show toward a pre-agreed verdict, another investigation continues against the faction that wanted this impeachment in the first place. A network of unhappy people from the opposite side of the political spectrum, largely in cahoots with the FBI and beyond, tried to prevent a president from being elected, then tried to remove him from office for something that didn't happen. In their view, justice is an illusion; they only do what suits them with whatever power they have. For them, might is morally right. Fortunately, democracies have systems in place to prevent power-defined morality touted by Leftist activists in America's legal justice system—whether judges or FBI.

The strongest evidence in this impeachment trial is the phone call read-out between Trump and Zelensky. It only seems inditing when heard in small snippets by people who hate Trump anyway. To everyone else, it is acquitting. Calling witnesses would stretch on and on and, for Republicans, would only serve the purpose of exposing the swamp that the FBI was a small part of. Democrats gamble that the Senate won't call witnesses, so House managers taunt the Senate about not calling witnesses. But, just how the president released the contents of the phone conversation by surprise, the Senate could decide to start the boring process of asking pre-written questions through the Chief Justice. The main purpose for Republicans would be to put accomplices on the stand. If that happens, expect at the top of the list the center of the phone call's discussion: Joe Biden.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 20, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQrpM6sveIQ

China is engaging in "rapid expansionism"; this is different from the slower-moving modes of Russia and, until Trump, the United States. During Obama, Russia took back Crimea—after that fling Nikita Khrushchev had in giving Crimea to Ukraine when it wasn't his to give. Russia has also been crawling its influence in Syria, softly with Iran, and shrewdly using China as an effective puppet.

America, though not an empire seeking to claim more within its political borders, propelled power through military bases around the world. Once the Chinese got over their phobia of technology—a disease it long had, which even led up to the Opium Wars—they looked beyond their bubble and saw America's non-border expansion. But, they still haven't seen Russia's soft-handed expansion for what it is. 180 military bases in China's backyard didn't bode well with China's neediness for receiving endless heinie kisses.

Thankfully, Trump is slowly recalling propelled American power—consider Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, and now Iraq. He is not the archetypal "neocon" expansionist. But, other than Trump, America did have its own soft form of expansionism.

China, different from either of the two soft expansions of America and Russia, is engaging in a more rapid, rude, speedy expansion. The Chinese don't care how they come across to others because they have been knocked off their emotional rockers, having seen that the world doesn't regard them to be a fraction of what they think themselves to be. This speed has alarmed the nations of the world like a body's immune system responding to a spreading virus or cancer. Even India is on alert.

Russia played its card well—or maybe we should say Russia played its China well: expansion backed by Russia, which upsets the global balance, and Russia doesn't get blamed for it. China doesn't know what its speedy expansion, mainly against Taiwan and India, will do because China hasn't been paying attention to the rest of the world for most of human history.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 20, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACP35fSqbrs

Current events are forcing everyone into a deep state of soul-searching. Some Iranians were angry after Trump's drone strike, mourning the death of a leader they somehow admired. They didn't blame Americans, except that they did. Once the Iranian government admitted to shooting down the passenger jet from Ukraine, Iranians en masse took to the streets, protesting the current government.

As Symphony explained last week, some leaders have yet to "grow up" more than others. Those with more growing up to go tend to invite resentment from those they lead. Iran was no exception. Authoritarianism led to the mistake with the passenger jet, but it also allowed certain leaders to rise in the first place, one whom was killed by a drone strike approved by President Trump.

In America, the doomed impeachment articles from the House were so evidently unpopular that their true purpose went on parade: a parade. Yes, it was only ever for show. So, when House Democrats were forced to give the Republican Senate what they did not want, they continued the show for their supporters' own entertainment.

But, the show isn't done yet. Irritation and aggravation will only rise higher and higher as the nation sees what's really going on. That could be said for both Iranians and Americans.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 13, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11f_GgbJiJ8

The overwhelming, earth-shattering, landslide re-election victory of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen sends a shocking message to Beijing: If you plan to take Taiwan, prepare for greater opposition than you got from Hong Kong. But, like the house cat who doesn't know it's not God, let alone that it's not any tiger, they won't ever decrypt the message. Beijing will be emotionally hurt, insulted, and will thus froth with rage.

Choosing former Premier William Lai as her Vice running mate was wise. Not only is he loved for—perhaps only for—his intractable stance against corruption, he also views Taiwan as having an already de facto independent status. While President Tsai prefers status quo—a peacefully unresolved dispute with China—Vice President Elect Lai views any Taiwanese declaration of independence from China as no more than a formality for how things already are anyway.

This choice of William Lai strengthens her position. If she were to step down, a president would take her place with an even stronger stance against Chinese expansionism. So, even her political opponents would want her to remain in office.

Taiwan's position is stronger, not only in US relations, but also within Taiwan. Expect actions from China that result in Taiwan responding with moves toward even greater independence than status quo already boasts.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 13, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1mYwT8NUFk

The Iranian government's alibi—or "explanation", rather—of how it shot down a passenger jet from Ukraine is entirely believable. Barring some grandiose conspiracy, there would be no imaginable motive for any government—friend or foe, even a terrorist sponsor like Iran—to use government assets to kill civilians.

The Iranian military's story is believable to any Westerner who has spend more than three years in a first-world or second-world country. Sadly, poorer parts of America have similar cultures, poorer White communities as well as minorities. Any autocratic, bossy, domineering culture can easily make severe miscalculations. They do it in Sunday morning congregations all the time.

According to CNN, according to Iran, their government was on high alert, then misidentified a plane from Ukraine as it turned toward a Revolutionary Guard base. In sum, that led to a snap judgment, what Iran calls "human error". The Iranian government wants to put systems in place to avoid such miscalculations in the future. In the West, we call that "growing up"—learning how to not make rush judgements.

While Iran's story is believable to any Western expat with experience in a developing country, most Americans don't know the degree to which immature people run many governments of the world. Part of being a first-world nation means that people in the government need to be mature.

Iran learning from its mistake could be the most significant turning point where Iran's government learns the "confident humility" needed to govern with maturity. If that happens, Sec. Mike Pompeo's goal of Iran behaving "like a normal country" will come true. Iran claimed that their military was on high alert in the first place because of tensions surrounding the strike in Iraq. In short, killing Qassem Soleimani helped Iran.

Now, the task is for Americans to understand other people enough to understand why being immature cost the lives of 176 people. Whether at home, the office, or in government, immaturity is the source of much injustice—a lesson which Americans will learn, eventually.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 6, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzXIlvmys-U

The West has been at odds with the Far East for centuries. It began before the Opium Wars, laws and treaties were made and broken, but the issues remain the same old same old. Chinese stare down their noses at the rest of the world, regardless of the imbalance it causes for their end of the teeter-totter we all stand on. They believe China getting richer and expanding its borders is fair for them, and whatever may or may not be unfair for the rest of the world doesn’t matter because justice is only a matter of importance in whether Chinese receive justice. Everyone else can either become Chinese or die—which would do their miserable existence a favor. That is the ancient worldview driving the Far East to do what it has always done—what it continues to do today.

But, one thing is different now: Not all Chinese speakers go along with Chinese supremacism. Previously, dissidents who had been crushed by Chinese supremacism were either Uncle Toms in their own rite or too scared to object, but not anymore. Hong Kong is standing up to old generation arrogance, so is Taiwan. People within Hong Kong and Taiwan are standing up to that arrogance even within their cultures, families, social circles, and societies at large. That old supremacism is collapsing at the hands of free-thinking, self-motivated, self-initiated Chinese-speakers themselves, Cantonese speakers of the same historic culture notwithstanding the least. The “Revolution of Our Times” is much deeper that Hong Kong political identity; it’s cultural, regional, and even global. Consider Chinatowns and Chinese churches across America—which won’t be any kind of exception.

Soon, Trump will have something to hang over everyone's head—Democrats and Chinese Communists alike. It's a power stronger than any missile. Next week, China is sending a delegation to sign the infamously famous "Phase 1". Woohoo!

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