Encore of Revival: America, July 31, 2017

Revelations this week about the Russians’ involvement indited Putin more than anyone. This occurred along side more sanctions against Russia and Putin seriously diminishing Moscow-DC ties. If Putin wanted Trump, he isn’t acting like it. But, what Putin did want can only be conjecture for anything beyond expansion of Russia and chaos in the West to get it. That’s what they got.

This hopeless-from-the-beginning investigation into Russian collusion was mere grandstanding from a defeated political party—the Democrats. Their foreseen-fruitless pursuit has now resulted in revelations that have escalated the very conflict they campaign on preventing. But, since when have keeping campaign platform promises ever mattered in reelection for either main political party?

Bill Browder’s testimony to the Senate was blocked by Democrats. When he finally testified, many Democrats didn’t show up, nor their media entourage. The information he brings to the table is vast. So far, his testimony and understanding into Russia’s meddling in the US is the most extensive. Russia wasn’t just trying to get one politician elected, but to create chaos in America altogether, to lobby for certain laws, and to distract Americans with things that never actually happened. No one has cooperated with that effort as well as the media—wittingly or otherwise.

To date, reports include that the document James Comey had as evidence against Trump—the infamous Trump dossier—was a known fake. The FBI knew it was made by a former MI6 member and has zero evidence to back it. If the MI6 member could find evidence, the FBI was ready to pay $50k. The FBI did get a FISA warrant with the very dossier that they knew was so phony that they wouldn’t pay the $50k for. This was the same dossier Comey took to Trump as evidence against him. Trump knew Comey was using fake evidence.

Now, the question arises: Why did Comey and the media push so hard for an investigation into something completely made up with Russian money? If there was Russian meddling and US cooperation, the most likely suspects to investigate are leaders in the US media and Comey himself, though Comey would never get a fair trial.

Comey has helped these Russian efforts greatly, whether he intended to or not. If an FBI director’s help of Russian meddling turned out to be intentional, the US government would never let that be made known to the public. But, the swamp is being drained.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 24, 2017

Conflict in China has become a tech problem. In the Koreas, it’s become an ideological time bomb.

They are all connected—technology, economy, communication, and ideology. These become a vicious cycle with no happy ending, at least none in sight.

Tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook take turns bossing around governments in the West. China wants nothing to do with that. Who can blame them? They simply ban them—along with the ability to do tech research with them.

Governments require sovereignty. Sovereignty requires resources. Resources require economics. Economics require research. Research requires communication. Communication requires, well, communication. Innovation is a state of mind that affects all of a person’s ideas, both in terms of technology and political values. If Chinese researchers want to improve their own technology, they will have to read papers written by pro-democracy experts from the West.

China’s ban on communication isn’t just about controlling political ideas among the masses; it’s about not letting Google boss around a country with 1.3 Billion people like it does with Europe. Sure, the challenges in China accompany the normal list of symptoms associated with any Communist State.

North Korea is a well-documents flash back to the 1950s.  A returned defector hungers for the handouts she had in poverty rather than needing to and being able to work for her own living. The same happened when the iron curtain fell in Russia. Slaves love their chains.

Communist governments supply all their people’s needs, including food. Necessity is the mother of invention. People who grow up without need grow up without invention. That affects the economy. If government gives people food then they won’t have new ideas to fuel the economy.

Vietnam, though more and more free, doesn’t even think of an email address as a normal item on a business card. Communist countries close their doors and don’t progress. People learn to lie to survive. Soon, laws get ignored, including safety laws. Industrial accidents rise. People stop sharing information about anything, especially themselves. Governments don’t know which laws to make for the people because they don’t know what real people do because the people are punished for saying what they do.

The other option—Google takes over. Where is anyone to go?

Linkedin has a potential way forward while other social companies have failed. But, therein lies an inherant problem. Consider the word roots—”social” media is an affront to “Socialism” by etymological definition. Of course Communist China would never let Facebook in—never. The day Facebook enters China the Communist party falls. Apple is trying to enter the market that makes their phones, but Apple faces bigger problems than the closed doors of Communism; Apple is being defeated by both the Western economy and Linux.

Only Linkedin remains with a way forward because their service passes personal information publicly, through “profiles”. Making personal information public is not the kind of crackdown Communists tend to make. But, the problem there is social: People learn to conceal their true selves in a Communist State. Moreover, in a dynastic culture with thousands of years of “emperors”, publicly stating who your friends are indicates guilt. Who does that, anyway? In the milieu of laws shooting in the dark at problems they don’t understand, everyone is a criminal of some blue law, so declaring your friends is self-inditing through guilt by association. Making truth about oneself available to the public is near suicide in any closed country.

Linkedin’s path forward requires social change. They could do it. China shouldn’t object to running ads encouraging people to divulge information about themselves. But, the people will quickly start to feel entitled to free speech in order to do that. And, they will expect to not be indited for saying that they had noodles at a shop frequented by a mafia boss. Culture clash is coming if Linkedin even tries, but that never stopped the parent company Microsoft before.

Still, it will take time, probably too long for short-attention-spanned shareholders. Linkedin is too big to be patient long enough for any progress, but they might pave a way to a new business model for someone to come after them. While ideologies and technologies come and go, people as a whole push forward and overcome.

The West should thank China for being closed. They seem to be the only ones really sticking it to Google and Facebook. Apple also owes China a big thank you: when your irreplaceable mastermind dies, “blaming it on the Communists” always works in a quarterly review. While the Communist debate always remains, the Fascist debate can always rebound. Thanks to Communism holding big-money Fascism at bay, the need for new technology has been granted on a silver platter. Thanks to China’s unintended consequences, something new is on the way and it’s bigger than all of us.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 24, 2017

Obama’s legacy will not be destroyed by repealing his health care plan.

Of course, it must be repealed and/or replaced since he himself would not allow it to be enforced.

Repeal and Replace voters shout, “Give us something that works!” while Obama supporters shout, “Don’t you care about children?” It’s that whole “talking about two different things, pretending we’re talking about the same thing”, deal. One side argues the label while the other side disputes the label’s accuracy; everyone wants good health care.

…And, that’s what Obama gave us.

Before “Obamacare”, Americans would not agree on whether the nation needed to nationalize health care. Democratic voters hailed the system as broken—which it was. Republican voters hailed their old song—everything government gives it first takes, then never does as good of a job.

But, with Obamacare being passed—even though it was so terrible that Obama himself suspended its enforcement—the nation finally agreed on one thing: We need to nationalize health care.

So, Democratic and Republican voters agree and they don’t even know it. Republican and Democratic politicians agree and the people never noticed. Shouldn’t that make Democratic voters panic?—that Republican politicians are advocating for Democrats. Why don’t Republican voters remember their own concerns two decades ago, during the “Hillarycare” debates, that “Hitler first nationalized health care.”

The nation’s health care system is broken. Frivolous lawsuits are among the largest culprits—and most ignored. Everything needs some form of regulation, which was an argument in the Declaration of Independence in the first place—”laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”

But, there remains the argument from history. Taiwan nationalized health care over a decade ago. It was well researched, but now is in trouble. Nazi Germany did happen to do the same thing.

For some reason, historically, nationalizing health care seals the doom of a nation. Maybe it’s “bread and circuses” in disguise. This is a warning to the United States: Obama succeeded, the nation will finally accept nationalized health care.

Democrats and Republicans will work together, while the voters still think they are fighting. No one advocating “Trumpcare” explains why this will be the first nationalized health care program in history not to destroy a nation.

As good as fixing a broken system is, something is not right about the health care debate. Great and wonderful as it is, nationalized health care could also be the herald prophesying the end of the United States if for no other reason than that we needed it.

How will the nation solve health care? Republicans in Washington don’t know what to do, yet. Google and Amazon argue for first chance to tell governments that they are irrelevant. Governments don’t know what to do, yet. Foreign monkeys attack in Florida where officials don’t know what to do, yet. A man in Alabama shoots an 820lb foreign wild boar in his front yard and officials think he did the right thing.

Well, at least with wild pigs in the front yard, Alabama knows what to do.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 17, 2017

South Korea proposed to talk to North Korea this week. Much of the timing relates to anniversaries and upcoming holidays. Pyongyang is still angry about twelve waitresses who moved South and wants them back first. Seoul says the waitresses moved to the South of their own will. The US’ answer is a siege, including efforts to persuade Myanmar to curb their support for the North through arms purchases, as well as planned sanctions against Chinese banks that deal with the North.

Sanctions are a known form of pressure, but an invitation to talk is also a form of pressure because a rejection is bad press and raises public support for action from opposing countries. Pressure is mounting and North Korea will either deescalate quickly or else one wrong move will be the only excuse the US needs to yank the lynch pin.

China faces it’s own pressure, military, optics, and time, which is running out. Taiwan’s Navy is increasing cooperation with the US in a move included in the US military budget for 2018. Southern Taiwan is also beefing-up its naval base to handle both more traffic and more capacity. The upgrade should finish around 2025.

As for optics, Human Rights activists are managing to rally loads of bad international press against China. One activist died of a liver disease he acquired while serving an eleven-year term in China. Another was released after finishing a four-year prison sentence in China. A bookstore from Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay that was shut down will reopen in Taipei. The bookstore closed after its owners were arrested relating to activism about Human Rights and China.

While most international press paints China as the culprit, the more important matter is the surprise this is for the Chinese. In the West, bad press is countered with photo ops. In China, bad press is countered with imprisonment. A bookstore in Hong Kong was a way to spread ideas to Chinese nationals visiting Hong Kong from the mainland. China views itself as trying to help the people; criticism can’t be “constructive” by definition and must therefore be silenced. But, that method only works in one’s own territory.

Protests in Hong Kong gain attention from international press China does not control. By shutting down a bookstore in Hong Kong, that bookstore moved to a location farther from Beijing’s reach and where it can gain more international press, sacrificing its ability to spread propaganda into China. This is backfiring against China internationally, but not at home. Most international news analysis won’t include that China doesn’t expect it to happen that way. The Chinese genuinely believe that Xi Jinping’s “protestless” visit to Hong Kong is good press and the only press that matters.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 17, 2017

Donald Trump, Jr. was asked by the Russians to look at information that could indite the Clintons. He agreed, contacted some peers, met and listened, then decided it was a dead end. The New York Times made the first disclosure about this information, but not their source of the information.

There is no crime here so far, at least not among Trump parties. Listening once is always good. Yet, opposition claims that Trump received “contributions” AKA “money”, that Trump initiated in reaching out to the Russians, that Trump covered-up this meeting, and that “listening once” surmounts to “collusion”.

Many people in America do seem to think that hearing someone out is “collusion”, which is part of why so few Americans listen to each other.

Many political candidates do receive money illegally, questions come up in surplus regarding the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign contributions.

Many politicians have tried to cover up their meetings, memos, and communiqués in the past, even deleting them when those communiqués and memos are under a subpoena.

It’s all normal behavior—for some people’s value system, but not everyone’s.

Many questions arise about how the New York Times obtained information that hadn’t been released concerning a family under FBI surveillance. Perhaps, since the FBI was watching, they might know who told the New York Times, but maybe not if they can’t get their iPhones to work.

More questions come up about the Russian lawyer and why she was allowed in by the DOJ during Obama years after she was flatly turned-down for a visa. Involvement in the bickering between Obama and Putin come up, her lobbying for Russian objectives in Congress. It smells of Obama-style “organizing”—creating chaos that interrupts his goals while he asks for more power to achieve those goals he interrupts, which failed in the end for Obamacare—or did it? Regardless, at the end of the Russianewsgategate scandal remains the question of ties to Russia, but not Trump’s as much as Obama’s.

According to legal opinions, the specific accusations against Trump about the meeting with Russians so far look false. The concerned activities are not illegal. And, both the concerned activities and the thus-far-false accusations have happened with other political figures who were not pursued as Trump is.

Why is there such imbalance of attention?

While the very suffix “-gate” and many other statements have compared this scandal to Nixon’s Watergate cover-up, one fundamental difference remains: Nixon’s wrongdoing happened under his great power as sitting president as he sought dirt to fight political opponents during an election. Though this happened during an election, and it concerned attempts to uncover dirt between political opponents, Trump wasn’t the sitting president with the greater power, someone else was and that someone else’s use of that greater power is also being called into question. Another difference from Nixon’s Watergate is that it is too late for that someone else to resign and thereby receive a full pardon from his successor.

Perhaps that is why such unbalanced attention focuses on Trump instead of the more fitting Nixonian counterpart. But, we don’t know why this is happening. Wagons are circling. And, whenever the wagons circle, it’s not a good sign of the times.

There is no point in pursuing a dead end. The Trump dissent from the far Left, therefore, does not think it’s a dead end. They seem to hold that some sort of information exchanged happened between Trump and the Russians that was not disclosed. That’s the most sense to make of it all. But, that further illustrates how the Right and Left of America think differently. The Left doesn’t understand the Right’s value system: Listen to everyone once, be fair to enemies, don’t do anything dishonest in the process. In the mind of the far Left, dishonesty and power go together by definition and listening before having an opinion isn’t even a consideration. The far Right doesn’t understand how the far Left doesn’t understand that. Each side of America looks down and shakes its head over the actions the other.

There may be no conspiracy against Trump. This may be happening because a few powerful people in mass media and politics normally drop a few words, hit at a few ideas, and a candidate fails as if on cue. Those methods failed on Trump and those powerful few don’t know how to handle their first-time failure. Young Democratic voters latch on to these fruitless efforts because they also don’t know how to deal with their first-time election defeat.

This situation is dangerous for the nation, not because Trump has done anything wrong, but because shining the spotlight on fruitless pursuits is distracting the nation from the long-lasting laws Trump already has progress with.

Obama had the House and Senate, but lost them. His signature health care law was as such that he himself suspended enforcing it, the opposing party won six elections on a campaign to “repeal and replace”, and that “repeal and replace” is under way. He issued many executive orders which were thrown to the wind the day he left office. And, most importantly, he failed on the primary pro-government argument of the American Left: building roads and bridges. Obama didn’t build and maintain the roads and bridges; Trump is building and maintaining them instead. In fact, Trump is doing everything Obama didn’t.

But, the nation isn’t watching what Trump does. Trump has zero accountability from the press or the public on his work as president. Instead, all of Trump’s opposition are chasing imaginary ghosts in the closet, monsters under the bed, and using convincing fake rhetoric to talk about it. God forbid Trump, as president, actually do anything that’s genuinely wrong—no one would notice.

Democratic Senators Feinstein, Franken, and others plan to vote for Trump’s nominee for FBI Director. Their reasons included that he will follow the Constitution, not serve the will of the President, and follow due process. Feinstein did not mention when she changed her position since the last time she voted on nominees. But, that change is finally coming.

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