Symphony

Symphony Finished

It has been an amazing twelve years. The first political columns started in summer 2010. In 2011, I predicted that Taiwan would be recognized—a prediction which has not yet failed, but continues to push forward. Since 2014, the Times has published articles consistently, for a few years in order to keep up with work at then China Daily Mail, now China News Stories.

Through the years, weekly columns tracked the very much foreseeable rise in conflict in the Eastern Pacific, with that foreseeable apex involving Taiwan as part of a Chinese conflict. That prediction has sadly remained accurate.

At the Times, I also predicted Trump’s election in 2016 and his re-election in 2020—but not the dubious election rigging in precincts necessary to argue Trump’s loss, evidence for which the Times obtained before it was fully wiped from the anti-Trump social media platforms on which it was released. That said, I also sustain that Joseph Robinette Biden is the rightful president because Congress has the final say in US elections.  · · · →

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 18, 2021

According to Chinese and US claims, China has a high-orbit, hypersonic missile that can hit a target within 24 miles. And, that’s why China is the new boss of the world and everyone else should hate America. The end.

But, that’s not the end in the mind of Taiwan or the US Pentagon. This week, Taiwan asked the Pentagon to speed up its delivery of 22 F-16s. They were expected around 2029, but Taiwan claims China could invade by 2025. China may not agree to wait until 2025, especially since the new Communist hypersonic missile has been tested and even written about in the Global Times. All we need is a Global Times article to announce that China is strong enough to invade Taiwan at anytime, then the People’s Liberation Army would be fully prepared to show Confucian Communist love to the whole world.

Trade & Tech

TSMC and Sony considering joint chip factory // iTnews

China

Beijing mocks America saying their new 21,000mph nuclear-capable missile is ‘a new blow to the US’ // Daily Mail

China Reports Progress on U.S. Disputes Before Biden-Xi Summit // Bloomberg

Taiwan

EU committee planning Taiwan visit: sources // Taipei Times

Taiwan asks US to speed up F-16 delivery: CNN // Taipei Times

Taiwan bookstore chain Eslite recalibrates business strategy to ‘go small’ // Taiwan News

Taiwan should reduce its trade dependency on China: ROCCOC // Focus Taiwan

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Encore of Revival: America, August 23, 2021

Afghanistan is an epic mess. ISIS is back on the scene. China and Taliban take every chance to make their own public statements while the main Biden doctrine is to valiantly run away.

More deeply disconcerting is President Biden’s response to journalists to deny claims. NATO has egg on its face, but Biden puts on a performance during his press appearance that NATO allies are exuberant about how great everything is going. He specifically says that he hasn’t heard any bad opinions from any NATO member. He had the same response that he hadn’t heard about the poll indicating lack of voter confidence.

When confronted with a dissenting opinion, Biden’s defense is that he hasn’t heard about it, even though he was just informed. We’ll see if the pattern continues.

Joe Biden knows how government functions in the mechanical sense, and he is very good at standing confident with egg on his face—acting like there isn’t any egg on his face. He’s good at that. So, America’s government will continue to function on some level. Perhaps this was the “Neo-Con” plan in looking the other way when voters complained last November. But, Biden doesn’t have the mojo to keep the engine running—and the American public sees that more and more.

Trump

Trump joins Dan Bongino on Fox News // YouTube @ Fox News

White House

Biden denies
Reporter confronts Biden on poll showing Americans don’t find him competent // YouTube @ Fox News

Live: Biden Delivers Remarks on Afghanistan // YouTube @ NBC News

Violence, Radicalism & Terrorism

US most wanted Al Qaeda terrorist Khalil Haqqani reappears in Kabul alongside Taliban with $5million bounty on head // The Sun

Monopoly & Big Greed

Scientists Say Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates-Backed Mining Venture Could Threaten Arctic Ecosystem // Daily Beast

Natural Disaster

22 dead, many missing after 17 inches of rain in Tennessee // AP

Culture & People

Italian student, 22, who tattooed Covid certificate barcode on ARM becomes TikTok star after scanning into McDonald’s // The Sun

Royal Family

Queen orders senior Palace aides to plan legal fightback after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s hurtful attacks // The Sun

NATO Focus

Afghanistan’s crisis underscores the U.S.’s shifting place in the world // Greenwich Time

ISIS terror threat forces US military to establish alternate routes to Kabul airport // CNN

After Afghanistan, the Pax Americana is over – as is Nato. About time too // Guardian

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia August 16, 2021

Taiwan continues to shine. Aide sent to Haiti after a devastating earthquake combines growing ties with Lithuania. China objects—and those are bad optics that China’s speech-control can’t control outside its borders.

China has been rewriting religion for years. Hymnals already read love for government rather than love for God. Now, we see more investigations against Hong Kong demonstrators who sought to uphold China’s agreement to democracy. In essence, China is investigating itself, indicating that China is divided against itself.

As a representative office exchange between Taiwan and Lithuania moves forward for this Fall, so do Taiwan’s de facto ties with the rest of the EU. China would rather object to this than be supportive of earthquake victims in Haiti. That is the obvious news narrative to take from what happened this week.

What’s not obvious is Taiwan’s prejudice against foreigners. Taiwan is having trouble building its submarines because of a shortage of engineering talent. Taiwan’s solution is to recruit more foreign talent. However, neither the problem nor the need for recruitment would exist if Taiwan had reciprocal regulations concerning immigration: protection of foreigner’s rights, five years leads to full citizenship, and dropping Taiwan’s ban on dual citizenship. To become a Taiwanese citizen, one must renounce original citizenship. America doesn’t require that. Taiwan does, then complains about losing allies to China. Does Lithuania’s government know how Taiwan treated its immigrants even to this day?

Had Taiwan treated others how they want to be treated, they wouldn’t have the trouble they do. And, Taiwan would not look like such a delicious target for war-thirsty China. The big danger is that US failure in Afghanistan on Sunday will encourage China’s calculus that an invasion of Taiwan is feasible. Combined with Taiwan’s self-inflicted weakness from discrimination against foreigners, China’s invasion question is more of a likelihood.

But, looking at even deeper strategy, we must consider China’s accusation that the US is playing games. If that were so, then failure in Afghanistan was staged by the US to provoke China into viewing the US as weaker than it is, and the US allowing non-reciprocal treatment of its own citizens in Taiwan would be intended to weaken Taiwan for strategic purposes as well.

Regardless of China’s conspiracy theory—which Chinese strategists never imagine to such length—the peaceful path would be for China to not take the invitation for attack and for Taiwan to treat others with respect. Like Jesus wanting to die on the Cross, a power that welcomes disrespect is up to something. But, the devil is none the wiser.

China

CCP using laws to suppress religious freedom: MAC // Taipei Times

China signals crackdown on society to go on // Taipei Times

Taiwan

Talent shortage hampers military projects: official // Taipei Times

Taiwan to donate US$500,000 to quake-hit Haiti // Taipei Times

Ministry thanks US for Lithuania boost // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

Hong Kong police investigating protest group behind massive democracy rallies // Taipei Times

Military Faceoff

The Army’s first laser weapon is almost ready for a fight // Task & Purpose

Chinese See U.S. Littoral Combat Ship as ‘Powerful Tool’ in Future Distributed Conflicts // USNI News

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Encore of Revival: America, July 12, 2021

Trump and Conservatives are gearing up for elections less than 16 months away. CPAC is among the first venues that will rally the Conservative base. Convinced of election rule breaking in 2020, any attempt to break rules at polling stations in 2022 will be met with fierce and potentially lethal force from the gun-wielding base. They are stoked. Trump’s presence at CPAC only throws gasoline on the fire.

But, a hot election in 2022 isn’t the only disturbance Washington faces. A lawsuit involving the Saudis threatens to reveal US State secrets. Apparently CIA, NSA, and the DoD got too cozy hiring overseas. Now, a lawsuit in Canada has become a problem for Washington.

Social media is also on the defense. Few respect YouTube and Facebook. Conservatives are censored and professional YouTubers are burned out from the algorithms that affect their rankings and views. With Trump filing a class-action lawsuit, Conservatives may be joined by disenfranchised Liberals, who face a choice: let big tech continue to squash them or file suit alongside the former president with whom they didn’t see eye to eye.

Trump

CPAC & opinion in news:
Donald Trump’s false election claims persist at conservative gathering in Texas // CNN

Trump says he made up his mind about running in 2024 during ‘Hannity’ exclusive // YouTube @ Fox News

Donald Trump: ‘This can’t go until 2022’ // YouTube @ Fox News

Scandal, Graft & White Collar Crime

US alarmed as Saudi lawsuits threaten to expose secrets // France 24

Soc Media, Cybersecurity & Tech

Trump files suit against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube // AP

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Encore of Revival: America, July 5, 2021

Tucker Carlson makes claims and claims are made about Tucker Carlson. We haven’t seen this much media attention-gathering brilliance since Trump. Did Tucker gossip with journalists on the other side? Can anyone prove FBI involvement in the January 6 revolt? Did the NSA really spy on Tucker? More than evidence, history has the public convinced it’s all plausible.

The NSA’s denial that Tucker was a target would be more believable with two circumstances: 1. if it came from the White House which would have something to lose if the denial was proven false and 2. if the feds hadn’t given credence to Snowden by martyring him. But, lacking these, many find it all too believable.

Just as believable is the notion of Tucker being in a gossip circle. Scandals are everywhere, after all.

But, the bigger problem with Tucker isn’t a theory, it’s a result. He is divisive. He points out problems in the other side, but without any path to restoration or friendship. Listening to him stirs hatred and fear—for whichever opinion is different from that of the listener. Democratic and Republican voters could tend to hate and fear each other more after listening to Tucker. That’s Tucker’s type.

Bickering and unrest are stirring up all over the country. Some is warranted, much is not, but all of it is what we asked for when we decided to win arguments and fights instead of supporters and friends.

Grimly yet hopefully, I wish you a Happy Independence Day.

Trump

Trump tells Florida rally that New York prosecutors are behaving like third world dictators // Daily Mail

News Media, Journalism & Free speech

NSA denies spying on Fox News host Tucker Carlson // NBC News

Tucker Carlson Says The NSA Wants Him Off The Air. Fox News Isn’t Following His Lead // NPR

Stelter: Why isn’t Fox News fact-checking Carlson’s January 6 claim // CNN

Tucker Carlson: NSA hits back at allegations it spied on Fox News host // BBC News

The Questions Raised By Tucker Carlson’s Reported Leaks To His Media ‘Friends’ // Forbes

Have Tucker Carlson and Ron DeSantis filled the ‘Trump void’ for the left? | TheHill // The Hill

Fox News Really Wants You to Think Its Ratings Aren’t Down // Yahoo News

Mark Levin, the Fox News host who won’t stop criticizing other Fox News personalities // MSN News

Security & Public Safety

11 people in custody after hourslong armed standoff on I-95 // AP

Wakefield Standoff Suspects Claim To Be Part Of Group Called ‘Rise Of The Moors’ // CBS Boston

Massachusetts cops issue urgent ‘shelter-in-place’ warning with eight heavily armed men on the run // Daily Mail

Pandemic

WHO warns that coronavirus variants are spreading faster than vaccines can stop them // Yahoo News

Face Masks to Become ‘Personal Choice’ as UK Lifts Covid-19 Lockdown // MSN News

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 21, 2021

China is facing massive resentment against its own Communist Party from inside its own borders. Members of ordinary society stab Communist Party members and are regarded heroes. The party of self-importance on the world stage isn’t only hated by the rest of the world, but also by the people it oppresses at home. CCP does not have the support it claims. That’s just another lie.

Taiwan is having to pull staff from its Hong Kong office. The Hong Kong government wouldn’t give work visas to the Taiwan government without them agreeing to the “One China” policy—which apparently was not part of an agreement from 2011. Hong Kong didn’t agree with Taiwan before adding the new requirement. Not having work visas on this account, Hong Kong told the Taiwan office workers to leave for not having work visas. The puppets in Hong Kong’s government never had the gonads to say that they kicked out Taiwan for not agreeing to CCP’s desire to redraw the world map against the will of the world. Those Taiwanese are heroes.

Taiwan’s pandemic is calming down. After Pfizer’s fling with the mildly popular CCP became the excuse to deny Taiwan its vaccines—and after 49 people died after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, the US boosted its donation of Moderna vaccines from 700k to 2.5M. Rest assured, the CCP will show the world more of its loving attitude in response.

China

Revenge Attacks! China’s Mass Stabbing Crisis! // youtube.com

Now NATO
Beijing tells Nato to stop hyping up China threat // BBC News

Taiwan

US envoy to Taiwan posts vaccine-love photo
美國在台協會 AIT – 🇺🇸美國在台協會期待明天即將抵台的250萬劑莫德納疫苗,此批疫苗由美國政府捐助,數量包含了6… // Facebook

U.S. to deliver 2.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine to Taiwan Sunday // Focus Taiwan

COVID-19: US sending 2.5 million Moderna shots // Taipei Times

Seven officials recalled from TECO Hong Kong // Taipei Times

The world relies on one chip maker in Taiwan, leaving everyone vulnerable // Mint

President of Taiwanese pro-China group dies from COVID // Taiwan News

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 7, 2021

It’s that time of year again. While Americans celebrate independence on July 4, Chinese mourn one month before on June 4, to remember the 1989 Tienanmen massacre. Chinese aren’t allowed to gather. People in Communist China are tightly controlled by programmed groupthink. Like robots, they parrot negativity about Westerners whom they have rarely met and never heard out. Hong Kongers and Taiwanese are a different story. They know. And, they remember.

As if China doesn’t have enough regional enemies, Malaysia says China entered its airspace “flying in tactical formation”. Sixteen Chinese jets were intercepted by Malaysia. China’s Global Times called it a training exercise that did not breech Malaysia’s airspace, then said people only object because of “Western hype”. It’s too bad so many people from so many countries interpret China’s actions as hostile. Regional sentiment against China only grows.

Of course, China showed its level of dedication to its 1984 treaty with Britain through the ban on any Tienanmen vigils. The treaty allows Hong Kong to be under China at all. Britain, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia consider that treaty “permanently shredded“, which means they don’t consider Hong Kong under China and only need a military scuffle to enforce that decision. That is the military action they are actively looking for, the military action which China is helping them to find.

Worst of all for China is yet another increase in support from the global public. Because Microsoft Bing censored the famous photo of “tank man” from its search results—not only in China, but around the world. By playing to China’s apparent tune, Microsoft got to chalk up the blame to “human error” and the world saw China for the history re-writing addict it is. Microsoft would have done China a favor by not censoring “tank man”, even if instructed by China. But, with the Chinese appetite for respect, they’ll never figure out that Microsoft probably meant to do them dirty by going along. This was a test from the West on how far China would overreach unto its own undoing.

China

Hundreds gather near Hong Kong park despite vigil ban // AP

Tiananmen Anniversary: Microsoft Bing blocks ‘tank man’ // Taipei Times

Malaysia

West hypes air force ‘intrusion’ to sow discords in S.China Sea // Global Times (China Govt)

PLA aircraft training in S.China Sea abide by intl law without entering others’ airspace // Global Times (China Govt)

China’s incursions over Malaysia add to South China Sea disputes // Nikkei Asian Review

Military Faceoff

NASA is getting serious about UFOs // CNN

Pentagon UFO report ‘may be cover for hypersonic weapon Cold War’ between US and China // Daily Star

Italian Destroyer joins British Carrier Strike Group // UK Defense Journal

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 15, 2021

The WHO probe into China over the pneumoniavirus pandemic doesn’t help ties. The team requested raw data; they were given a summary. China blames America. Joe Biden takes on China over Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Uighurs of  Xinjiang. Now, he is joined by Boris Johnson in criticizing China over the WHO.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has gone two days without a single new case—poster boy of the Pacific! When Japan had a 7.3 magnitude earthquake off Fukushima, Taiwan interrupted its holiday season to voice support.

Now, the New York Post revisits old news about the lady who found an SOS message in a box of Halloween decorations made in Xinjiang. Factory co-workers told the messenger that he was the cause of their trouble by sending a message. If people of a factory are so beaten down, and if the WHO can’t even get raw data on the pandemic that rocked the world, Western voters will wonder what else is going on in China. News reports and recent events spell bad luck for China. Worst of all is China’s reaction that only spells guilt in the Western mind.

Trade & Tech

Huawei files lawsuit to be removed from the FCC’s ‘national threat’ list // Business Insider

China

COVID-19: Boris Johnson joins Joe Biden in putting pressure on China over World Health Organization investigation // Sky News

U.S. ‘gravely damaged’ coronavirus cooperation, China says as row erupts over WHO probe // NBC News

US mom found SOS in decorations—and exposed China’s camps // NY Post

The Xinjiang camps on Clubhouse // SupChina

South China Sea: Unified approach necessary to deter China from using new Coast Guard Law in South China Sea // Economic Times

Admiral: No Abnormal Responses from China After Dual-Carrier Drills // USNI News

Pentagon sends two carrier groups into South China Sea amid tensions with Beijing // The Hill

In a year, China will host the first genocide Olympics // HKFP

China Warns Countries Not to Boycott Beijing 2022 Olympics // YouTube @ China Uncensored

Biden’s in no rush to engage China. Guess who’s trying to take advantage. // Politico

Two US Navy aircraft carriers conduct South China Sea drills // CNN

Taiwan

Taiwan always willing to help Japan, president says // Taipei Times

No domestic or imported infection for second day // Taipei Times

Japan

Australia

Australia ‘overreacting’ to Chinese development plans on northern border // Guardian

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 8, 2021

Biden doesn’t only continue the stance on China from the previous administration, he seems to be clamping down.

The US sails through the Taiwan Strait, again.

China strong arms Guyana out of an office for Taiwan; the US defends Taiwan.

An Australian reporter was detained by China back in August; we’re just now finding out why—and the abbreviated reasons don’t add up in the minds of her family.

The UK government argues that there is a “very credible case” China is committing the non-killing parts in an act of genocide against the Uighurs of Xinjiang. The British blame Xi Jinping specifically. Responses from China’s government and state-run media are viewed by the British as evidence that the top of China’s government knows what is going on. British Parliament has support from across the political spectrum to take action, even with new legislation empowering the British High Court. The US responds by turning up pressure on China over the Uighurs and on Hong Kong and even Tibet. US Congress, much like the UK, has bipartisan support to stand against China—and the State Department isn’t quiet about it.

Things appear to be entering the later stages of a long campaign to sway public opinion to support Western military action against China. That is necessary, whether justified or unjustified, because Western governments know that they can’t take action without popular support of their people. Such support for action against China is one of the few remaining popular opinions that unite Americans, which puts China at even greater risk should the White House fall out of favor with the people.

China

Uighurs: ‘Credible case’ China carrying out genocide // BBC News

US presses China on Uighurs, HK // Taipei Times

Mass Internment Camps, Forced Population Swap: Is Tibet the Next Xinjiang? // News 18 (India)

China Stockpiles Chips, Chip-Making Machines to Resist U.S. // Bloomberg

Taiwan

US encourages Guyana to build Taiwanese ties // Taipei Times

Guyana pulls out of office deal: MOFA // Taipei Times

U.S. Navy warship sails through Taiwan Strait for first time under Biden’s rule // NBC News

Australia

China confirms detained Australian Cheng Lei is accused of leaking state secrets, as her family break their silence // ABC News Australia

Australian journalist Cheng Lei formally arrested in China, says Foreign Minister Marise Payne // ABC News Australia

Military Faceoff

US Navy plans to ‘recycle’ USS Nimitz, one of the first supercarriers // Business Insider

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 1, 2020

It’s happening. Biden is battening down on China. The Chinese still think they can push their diktat in the South Sea and the East Sea and the Taiwan Strait and the Indian Ocean. Rumors spread in America of China helping Biden steal the election. That won’t help China get the support of the American public. Quite opposite, as Americans turn on Biden, accusing him of his own diktat, he will feel the push to prove that he’s not afraid to hit China where it counts. So you see, China may have helped install the very president most likely to create the most trouble for China.

Evidence points that he’s already going there. While weapons deals halted toward the Saudis and the UAE, they are right on schedule for cute, adorable, cuddly, lovable Taiwan.

But, America is not Taiwan’s only friend. Nor, is Taiwan the only territory that doesn’t like China’s diktat. Vietnam, the Philippines, India, and Japan won’t ignore any Chinese aggression in their back yards. And, with the British all ready with their HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier group, they could sweep into a Chinese sea contest after everyone else is bloodied and give their own diktat.

Trade & Tech

Judge refuses to remove Meng Wanzhou’s security guards, who are tasked with preventing her escape // SCMP

China trade war is one thing Joe Biden won’t be rushing to fix // CNN

China

WHO team investigating pandemic visits wet market, receives flu data // CNN

US criticizes Chinese flights over South China Sea, but says they posed no threat // Taipei Times

Chinese Submariners Patrolling South China Sea Suffer ‘Serious’ Psych Problems, Study Finds // Military.com

US-China tensions: Military flashpoints in Taiwan, Japan and South China Sea that could shape Biden’s entire China strategy // CNN

China is rehearsing for when it overtakes America // CNN

Xi’s speech shows how Biden faces a very different China // CNBC

Taiwan

Sullivan hits at China over Taiwan // Taipei Times

US has not halted arms sales: MOFA // Taipei Times

China warns Taiwan independence ‘means war’ as US pledges support // BBC News

China tells Taiwan that independence ‘means war’: report // Fox News

Taiwanese man fined $47K for violating home quarantine 7 times // CNN

Taiwan air force flexes muscles after latest Chinese incursion // Aljazeera

The World Is Dangerously Dependent on Taiwan for Semiconductors // Bloomberg

Taiwan reports large incursion by Chinese warplanes for second day // Yahoo News

Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Sends A Warning to Hong Kong SAR // LoyaltyLobby

India

India, China soldiers brawl again along disputed frontier // AP

Military Faceoff

Report on U.S.-China Competition in East, South China Sea // USNI News

Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth becomes Royal Navy’s fleet flagship // Naval Today

The U.S. Navy Needs To Admit It Can’t Outbuild China // Real Clear Defense

Australia invests in advanced maritime weapons, minehunters // Defense News

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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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Encore of Revival: America, February 6, 2017

Trump is going head on against judges. So far, the judges are keeping their power, which is a good precedent. It’s too bad that Senator Feinstein didn’t object to overuse of executive power a few years ago, but her reversal is both welcome and typical of a politician. The resistance will give more power to Trump’s base and he will gain sympathy for his cause. The “see I told you so” speeches and headlines are coming.

Californians are getting serious about seceding from the Union. If California left it would not be abandoning the US, but its sister State, New York. Without Los Angeles and Manhattan, Trump would have had the popular vote as well, even with Hillary keeping her estimated 800k illegal voters. Keeping some things separate has always been a goal of the United States since its founding. Californians should, however, be thankful that they are asking to leave the United States rather than asking to leave Mexico.

Senate Republicans have claimed that they can’t repeal Obamacare because the employee they can fire at any time, the Parliamentarian, says that Obamacare can’t be repealed the same way it was passed. VP Mike Pence can overrule the Parliamentarian without firing him. These are the same Republicans who said that they couldn’t change Obamacare without the presidency and that their fellow Republican, Trump, would never win the presidency. Now that they have what they said they needed that they said they couldn’t get, they say they can’t do what they said they would do if they got it. Whenever Republicans whine about what they can’t do, they always get more power. The best interpretation is that Republicans are hoping to inch toward a 60 vote Supermajority in 2019. Again, the trend is for slowness to stir sympathy to the cause. May Heaven help the United States if any political party ever gets a Supermajority in the Senate while having control of the White House.

The term “unemployment” has as honest of a definition as the lawyer-defined word “natural” on a box of cookies. The media has finally discovered that there are six ways to track “unemployment”, specifically U1-U6. U3 has been used recently and most famously during the Obama years when the claim was that “unemployment was low”, without emphasizing the qualification “U3”. The U3 figure only considers people who were looking for jobs while U6 considers all Americans without a job—a definition more likely associated with “national unemployment”. Congratulations to those in the media who have finally discovered the six degrees of unemployment figures.

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