Encore of Revival: America, November 27, 2017 – Thanksgiving

This past week America celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday in memory of a few brave Pilgrims who had determined to escape Europe’s oppressive Feudalism. For the most part this week, American news reflected that we haven’t finished the challenging road that those Pilgrims began almost four centuries ago.

Thanksgiving celebrates God’s provision for a Bible-reading people who sought new lands where parents could teach their own children to read and write and think critically so they could grow up and understand the Bible for themselves. Everything good in America today came from that wise ambition.

Their economy was based on the first known Communist experiment, almost three centuries before an eastern nation tried the a more official version of the same principle: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. When the Pilgrims abandoned that experiment, instead, for individual stewardship and self-reward, their shortages abandoned them, the colony prospered, and their Feudalistic investors got their money back, all while respecting the crown that granted them passage. The colony in the north became financially free, and thus the rest of the colonies almost free at last.

While, at the time, Britain had only colonized what is today the southern area of the United States, a well-veiled blessing brought bad weather and forced the Pilgrims to land in the north and found colonies that would eventually become the Norther States that would preserve the Union and give Lincoln’s “new birth of freedom” more than two centuries later.

No doubt wicked Men try relentlessly to commandeer the prosperity and growth pioneered by the Pilgrims. No doubt many among the masses who don’t know any better blame the Pilgrims and the nation that came after them for the evil deeds of those wicked Men. Still, Americans who carry the heart of the Pilgrims today press on, even in the face opponents who wield false accusation.

One important lesson from the Pilgrims we see especially on display this Thanksgiving: Respect is the best road to freedom. It might be the only road.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 20, 2017

Trump visited China in friendship and peace. His granddaughter sang in Mandarin. Her video was played at a high profile state banquet. Everyone seemed happy.

In South Korea, President Moon, likely to go down in history as a failed diplomat-wannabe, rehashed South Korean hard feelings against the Japanese. His country— threatened by his enemy to the north, backed by its ally, China—is cozying-up with China.

Trump was en route to visit the DMZ in Korea, but heavy fog forced Marine One to turn around. The US president returned home and China sought to strengthen relations with North Korea.

Regardless of whatever happens in and between the US, Japan, China, and North Korea, South Korean President Moon will go down in history as a capitulator who let a century-old vendetta guide him into the friend of his enemy. While the Western press narrative is to paint China as the bad guy, Moon is the real bad guy because he is the only leader in Asia who shows weakness.

China would do well to learn from Moon’s errors. Every bit of progress China makes with Korea comes from pressing forward and abandoning revenge campaigns of the past. Everything South Korea stands to lose comes from reviving revenge campaigns of the past.

Korea, both North and South, has become an arena. With North Korea’s dependency on China and Moon’s capitulation, Koreans are no longer players in the game. Either the US or China will be the one to bring peace on the peninsula and the region. The winner will be whoever looks to the future and forgives the past.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 20, 2017

When Trump came home, the bleacher coaches had a thousand and one opinions. The press expected victory overnight. But, the success of a diplomacy trip is not found in what happens during the trip, but what comes in the weeks and months—and years—after.

Too many loud voices don’t know how to think long-term.

Artificial Intelligence has become a religion. Many might have guessed that with how many tech users and leaders idolize their own technology. But, it is becoming official. The attempt to create a computer smarter than humans—that seeks to obtain more civil liberties than humans—should be immediately regarded as an enemy of the state and the people.

While AI could be engineered to smartly serve the people, certain ventures seek to personify machines and revere them as sentient—a dark hope to make AI-oppressors of the sci fi movies become a dark reality. No one in right and wise mind would not call for an immediate dismantling of those projects that overtly seek to make humans lesser than the machines humans create.

Technological advances have not brought peace in America. No, America needs Jesus.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 13, 2017

At the APEC summit in Vietnam, Putin told Trump that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election. Putin was sincere. At the same time, Taiwan is beefing-up cybersecurity, ostensibly to counter “daily” and “Russian style” attacks originating in China. If everyone’s rhetoric holds true, that means that there aren’t any threats at all.

Trump offered to help settle disputes in the South Sea. The Philippines’ finance minister complemented Trump on knowing “the art of the deal”. The Filipino president does not want any problems in the South Sea. China would rather settle disputes one-to-one. Will everyone get what they want? We’ll have to see. This is a chance for China also to earn compliments about negotiation skill from Filipino leadership.

Trump was very friendly in China. He underscored the importance of cooperation between the US and China. It was one of the kindest things he ever said. He publicly conducted himself in some of the kindest ways he ever has since running for office. China received him with respect and his public appearances went smoothly. If there ever was a good chance for peace, now is the best chance there has been for a long while and is probably the best chance there will yet be for a long while.

Will things go peacefully? We’ll see.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 13, 2017

The vote swing in this week’s “off-year” election is not a referendum on Trump, but a referendum on a divided Republican party. The victories came largely from a state that twice elected Obama. The party will succeed in elections as much as it succeeds in unity. Disowning Trump has now proven that it only helps Democrats, which makes all the sense in the world.

Trump has every reason to continue to allow Mueller’s investigation. There doesn’t seem to be any dirt on Trump to find, Mueller keeps losing credibility, and Anti-Trumpists are well-distracted by the distant hope that Mueller might find something to warrant impeachment. While the Mueller drama continues, Trump can get legislation through Congress, many Anti-Trumpists are too tired to notice, and the press doesn’t have any ink left to report on it. That’s not to mention that the stronger the fruitless scrutiny, the stronger it makes Trump look, not to mention a 25% boom in stocks since Hillary conceded. If Mueller is part of a conspiracy, it almost seems that his “conspiracy” would be to help Trump. That’s what he is accomplishing, anyway.

Christians are getting even more guns. They are doing it legally and they are arming to the teeth. The Texas Church Massacre has opened many eyes to the vulnerability of certain traditions. “Conceal carry” seems to be a favored answer. Everyone is hardening their stance, the country is polarizing, and, thanks to social media, everyone’s political opinion is on record. This year, the country is getting some of the strongest—and most helpful—looks in the mirror we’ve gotten for a long while.

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