Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 14, 2017

A campaign is slowly mounting its ground swell against Philippine President Duterte concerning his past corruption. The Philippines is littered with classic “mafia-machine” style corruption, making it generally easy to find scandals on politicians. This has been building against the new Filipino president since about the same time the Philippines has needed aid from the US against ISIS, all while the Filipino president campaigns on a continued platform of moving away from the US so as not to be “dependent” on anyone, a normal sentiment in Filipino populism.

A similar media war is mounting against both China and North Korea. This week, they came together in a story about “Made in China” -labeled goods actually being made in North Korea. Also, an old story was rehashed about the Chinese using “scientific underwater drones” in the South Sea, which could be used for military purposes, if nothing more than to make underwater maps for the Chinese and to spot American submarines.

It’s not far-fetched or newsworthy to claim that the Chinese could use academic or scientific tools for the military. China wouldn’t be the first to perform military operations in the name of “science”. China’s diesel-powered aircraft carrier, the Soviet-made Liaoning, was purchased from Russia to be little more than a “floating museum”. Now, it has been reverse-engineered to model at least four more aircraft carriers from China. China’s underwater drones first made headlines not long after the Chinese captured a similar drone from the US.

There seems to be a trend that China’s tech is reverse-engineered, not invented. More interestingly is the role the US has played. Better said, how the US has played China. It wasn’t fair, but it was avoidable.

China wouldn’t have most of its tech or its money for these military aggressions if American tech companies weren’t outsourcing jobs to China. Companies only did that because Americans were obsessed with saving a few pennies on their goods. The country learned to copy those goods and took American money doing it, then got a big wallet, then got a big head. If the US had confronted “Shame” culture in its cultural exchanges—government, business, and otherwise—and educated whatever Chinese people they met in daily dealings and insisted on using the Biblical view of “repentance unto hope”, China’s government wouldn’t be trying to “save face” quite so much and might even be cleaning things up at home a bit more.

Then, we have foiled military operations, this week, a crash in Australia. A truly-gone-awry military operation won’t be so easily plastered across headlines. The West is trying to look weak in the eyes of the Chinese while mounting a press war against China and North Korea to stir popular support for action. That action is, indeed, becoming necessary, but only after unnecessary trade money and methods made it so.

The swelling conflict in the Pacific could have all been avoided if Americans had simply insisted on paying a few more pennies to buy American. But, it’s too late to turn back. Now, American taxpayers will have to pay for an expensive, otherwise unnecessary war against their manufacturer.

Everyone is accountable for their own choices, but the US knew better. Americans know the Bible’s teaching “to get one’s own life in order first” and to confront “Shame” by teaching the good news of “forgiveness”. But, the US didn’t do that with China, not in business and not even the Christians in dealing with Chinese churches in America. While it is all sad, the bigger victim is China.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 14, 2017

Jared Kushner was fined $200 for being late in a financial statement filing, and it’s apparently news. Investigators, including the Leftist publication, The Nation, have determined that Russianewsgategate is nonsense. And, someone wrote a think piece for inside baseball at Google and was fired shortly thereafter.

The so-dubbed “Google Manifesto” is a critical thinking piece, carefully defining terms, using many qualifications so there is no doubt that it is not stereotypical and that the author is willing to listen and evaluate his own ideas. The opening clearly states that nothing is intended to be discriminatory, no “blamer-mode” language is used. Shortly after it was released, he was fired. The CEO’s response included reservations about the term “Neuroticism”. When the “Google Manifesto’s” author used the term, it was linked to a Wikipedia article and used in a thoughtful and academic way, not in a name-calling or “categorical” way.

Now, that “Google Manifesto” is being reported as having support from niche, idiosyncratic, “alt-right” political groups. But, agreement with the “Google Manifesto” is anything but a minority. On the other hand, as much as many would like to think the author was fired for his ideology, his primary crime was making waves in “corporate America”.

Never stir discussion that the boss didn’t invent. Never question rank and file conformity in “the company”. Never outshine the de facto emperor best known as “the boss”. Never make waves.

That was the crime of the “Google Manifesto” by corporate standards. The author’s punishment is to be immediately fired so that the company doesn’t have to “deal with the wave-maker” anymore. But this time, that firing backfired. Google has now been seen as a bureaucratic thug that doesn’t want “necessary disrupters” propelling the company forward. This is the public beginning of the end for Google. It’s coming: “Sell, sell, sell.”

Corporate wave-making was his first crime, in the corporate world. Now, he’s a martyr. His second crime was committed against the public: He exercised “critical thinking” use of words.

In “critical thinking” conversation, people speak objectively about problems in order to understand and solve those problems. But, people who only “blame” when they consider a problem don’t know about “critical thinking” conversation. Hearing a critical thinker, they say, “How dare he mention a problem! He’s only complaining because that’s what I do when I talk about problems!”

How dare the writer of the “Google Manifesto” think carefully to solve a problem! How dare he even suggest that our first knee-jerk reaction isn’t the best and only solution! How dare he say ideas that haven’t been said already! He’s just trying to sound clever to sell us into a pyramid scheme! He’s really just a “big meanie face”.

That was the crime of the “Google Manifesto” by  blamer-mode group-think standards. The problem is that problems don’t go away without critical thinking. So, this author of the “Google Manifesto” will actually be able to solve his problems. But, people who find fault with “critical thinking” conversation won’t solve their problems, including no-brain, all-bureaucracy “corporate America”.

And, to think that people are worried Google will be able to create “artificial intelligence”! Actually, AI will more likely be invented by misunderstood people like the author of the “Google Manifesto”. It takes critical thinking to develop software that can think critically.

For a while, “critical-thinking”, backbone Americans executed that “quick to listen, slow to judge” ethic they learned from the Bible. They were fair with people they disagreed with. They heard-out their political opposites more than enough, then continued listening. But, being heard only emboldened the talking blamers. They thought being heard meant they didn’t need to listen themselves. They talked more and more and more. And now, they have over-talked.

Racism and slavery in America grew in the South, where the first British colonies began. The Pilgrims landed in the North on Plymouth Rock, the part of the country that fought to end slavery. They taught their children to read so they could read the Bible. They taught their children to think on their own so they could think about the Bible without dogma. Consequentially, the first constitution attempted to ban slavery, but the England empire-influenced South wouldn’t have it. The North had to pry the South away from British imperial values a century later in a Civil War, while those evil values continued yet another century in segregationist laws. Pilgrim-valued America has fought against that same “British supremacy” culture since its founding, yet the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock have been blamed for it.

America can no more be blamed for bigotry than an Ebola victim can be blamed for having Ebola. The true, Bible-believing, Pilgrim-founded, northern-value heart of America is no longer only in the north; it is fighting the problem throughout the nation, not causing it. It was the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock who taught “critical thinking” in America and it was the “critical thinkers”, both in the North and the underground in the South, who defeated slavery.

America’s problem is neither Black people nor White people, but anyone who doesn’t love his neighbor as himself. There are demographic ratios to be seen in anything, but when searching for the cause, demographics only fix stereotypes; demographics don’t fix problems.

Constant and misplaced blaming isn’t helping. To the blamers, nothing is good enough; apologizing and changing is evidence of further guilt, not something to be welcomed. A compliment is an insult only in the minds of people who hate themselves, hate others, and only give compliments to serve their own dubious, selfish goals.

“How dare you say I look good!” is the motto of insecurity. Such people would have us bloat our language with politically correct disclaimers at every line of every paragraph so that no one needs to learn to not feel offended. They expect the rest of the world to change so that victims don’t need to heal. Such are people who fix nothing except blame.

There are two Americas: Those who thoughtfully listen and those who thoughtlessly blame. The blamers aren’t entirely wrong, no one is, but their blaming has over-reached and it is becoming clear that they never wanted a conversation. The stress is snapping.

The listeners of America are taking the long, deep breath, just as they did with Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941 and New York on 9/11/2001. They are looking at the the manner of firings, scandals, investigations, and reporting in business and government. They see that “political correctness” is an attack against themselves in their own situations across the nation.

We are witnessing the culmination of a century of propaganda efforts coming to a head and it’s about to change history. The listeners are about to tune out the blamers entirely. When they do, they will work and they won’t stop. They will create infrastructure without limits and justice without borders. They will take on both the corporate-bureaucrat giants and the blamer-mode masses and they will succeed for the sole reason that they have “critical thinking”.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 7, 2017

If North Korea heeds China’s urges to back down on its nuclear program, it would be a welcome first. China requested the US back down its military activity in South Korea. Russia does not want North Korea’s economy to become worse. Much has been claimed about the purported, will-be effectiveness of new UN sanctions against North Korea, but history provides little to no basis that North Korea heeds any warnings or follows any step toward deescalation.

Though historically bleak, this effort from the international community is the best well-mounted push for peace ever seen for the Korean situation. Even Taiwan is urging North Korea to back off. While this may set the stage for some kind of “breakthrough” in negotiations, the bigger and less-acknowledged stage being set is war. With the best-made good-will effort having been made to stop North Korea’s nuke program, one missile launch would prove all the yea-sayers wrong. That threat could wake up North Korea to climb down out of the tree—the hidden threat of war that every peaceful stance veils.

Any peace offering indeed doubles as a hidden war threat by definition. But, fools don’t believe in what they can’t see. So, we’ll see.

Remember, though, how fools surrender: in childlike tears.

If North Korea fires even one more missile, buckle up and grab the popcorn for an immanent Trump “it didn’t work, so now we will” speech. If that happens, not only will North Korea’s position be untenable, but so will it be for everyone who claimed that negotiations would stop the missile launches.

In these tense times, China is making no new friends. Old border disputes with India are rehashing and ramping up. The VPN crackdown makes sense since no government should be circumvented, the most-ignored question is whether there should be a need in the first place. There are numerous reports of Chinese students being denied travel documents to study at universities in Taiwan. Of particular interest is National Cheng Kung University in Tainan. Tainan’s Mayor, William Lai is the most popular of any and in the same semi-pro-independence party, DPP, as Taiwan’s president. And, Tainan’s small airport was used by the US in the Vietnam war. Other than that, there’s little to explain why the third-top school seems to be a top target for denied travel from China.

With stronger rhetoric about military and not letting any China-claimed land go, with action concerning Taiwan, and militarized border crossings with India, it is clear that China intends to take a lead role in conflict on multiple fronts. All depending on how things develop in the Korea situation, China could face a clear third front.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 7, 2017

Smoke is clearing and the lines are being drawn. First Sessions is in, then he’s out, then back in again. Democrats quickly supported Trump’s nominee, FBI Director Christopher Wray. Yet, Trump is always about to be “finished this time”, oops, wait, not this time, but “next time for sure”. The DOJ is going after the press to crackdown on leakers, or well, not quite exactly. Greenspan finally figured out how to have an opinion on the economy, or maybe not; it was just “irrational exuberance”, again. Would he be surprised if the market cracked? No. Would he be surprised if the market didn’t crack for a while? No. The stories change, or not, all depending on the day of the week.

Sheriff Joe could be in trouble for profiling illegals before he caught them, but expect a pardon from Trump if Joe Arpaio only detained illegal immigrants. A pardon for Sheriff Joe could even lead to renewed popular support for mild profiling as a way of “softening” security screening in many venues, not just with immigration, but also with airport security and others. If Joe Arpaio hit his mark, there is no way the Trump administration would turn a blind eye.

The feds and the States are clashing over procedures. Democratic-controlled States are learning to assert “States rights”, a position usually reserved for Conservatives. Still sanctuary cities aren’t as easy to pull off as they once were.

New Chief of Staff Kelly is laying down the law, implementing procedures that should be expected in any White House. Reince Priebus not having implemented such rules restricting Oval Office access begs questions about Republican Party infighting, that as RNC Chairman he may have caught a contagious “smile and ignore the chaos” bug.

The economy is up, for now. Bible studies are starting at the White House. Hannity is making a “Christian” movie. MSNBC is pounding Fox News in ratings. Apple gave in to China’s demands to remove VPN support apps; some think this will have “capitulation” backlash and hurt Apple’s business in its second-largest market to the US. Maryland is thinking about letting non-citizens vote in local elections, but not national or State. Then, there’s the transgender issue…

Trump never said the US military would not protect transgenders; he said, mostly, that they were too burdensome to do the protecting. People oppose Trump’s decision, arguing it is a violation of their “rights”. Usually people who serve their countries in uniform seek to lay down their rights to preserve the rights of others. Transgenders will still be protected by the US Armed Services, along with everyone else on the shores of America. The US situation is certainly better than in Thailand, where all transgenders are expected to appear for military draft physical exams. Perhaps transgenders could start the “trans-corps”, as minorities overlooked for military service in the past have. But, putting anything high-maintenance in the military isn’t an option for lean-steam Trump. If transgenders force the issue, they could alienate themselves further and lose ground.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 31, 2017

Xi Jingping told his military the same thing China has been telling its people for decades: The world needs us, our military, our might, and our expansion, otherwise there can be no peace. This proves a static ethic. From this perspective, China wants the US to remain calm and not take action in North Korea.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s president wants the US to wait while he negotiates with the North for safety in the US. South Korean people want much the same thing Filipinos want: non-dependence. South Korea’s president, South Korea’s people, and China all want the US to “get out”. Interestingly, they share this sentiment with North Korea.

The world is full of political ideologies that claim half of one thing and do half of another. The best chance at victory is to simply stay home and do good work there. In that, the South Korean people stand the greatest chance of victory. Yet, the United States stands the greatest chance of taking action for two reasons: the US is being threatened more than any other and the US is willing to take action more than any other. If the US takes out the North, they can leave and the South Koreans will get what they want. But, things rarely happen as they should.

Only two things are foreseeable: conflict and Korean unification. All the rest is conjecture.

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