Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 6, 2017

While America faces its own falling “houses of cards”, Asian empires face their own truth. With three aircraft carriers, and a fourth soon on the way, the US military presence in Asia is the highest it has been in a long while. Trump is currently making the longest presidential visit to Asia since 1992. It’s a bold move, something the hermit kingdom wouldn’t dare.

The bold visit to the region is part of a greater strategy, make no mistake. On the one hand, Trump gains respect if he only launches an attack in a region he has already visited. On the other hand, the enormous military presence makes it clear who can’t win, no matter the losses. Arguably, the military buildup wasn’t so much preparation for an invasion as it was to make the way for a visit from the president. A presidential visit to the region shows solidarity on Trump’s part: North Korea’s days are numbered. That level of confidence outshines both Kim John Un and Xi Jinping.

Make no mistake, Trump’s visit serves not only to understand leaders, not only to court favor with his voter base, but also to gain respect from the people living in Asia—both in the countries he visits and the countries he does not.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 6, 2017

Given the new revelations, Kevin Spacey needs to plead guilty, lead the charge against perversion in the entertainment industry, personally apologize to the case of House of Cards, and finish Season 6 without pay in which Underwood “finds Jesus” while Anthony Rapp makes an appearance to say what needs to be said. Anything short of that would squander the duty, the ability, and the obligation that sits on Netflix’s shoulders. If Spacey and the filmmakers don’t use the limelight they are in to make things right, they also will suffer. After all, Netflix is in the business of films from the same “bad crowd”.

Dark reports are flooding America, including reported perversions of Martin Luther King, Jr. Russianewsgategate is in an outright tailspin, shooting itself in the foot with an investigation of a known-to-be fake crime many Democrats even said should not be pursued.

The nation’s president was away this week on a trip to Asia. A pastor was away when his local church in Texas was brutally attacked by a lone shooter. He massacred the congregation unchecked.

It is a season of recompense in America. Things aren’t going to get better for some time. As our idols fail us, we’re all searching our souls and contemplating eternity. Whether we choose redemption or lynching is an across-board choice that affects not only the people we might forgive, but also ourselves.
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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 30, 2017

In the daily governance of Hong Kong, China has proven itself as a competent overseer. Hong Kong’s “Basic Law”, a kind of mini-constitution imposed not by referendum, keeps the SAR autonomous. Hong Kongers have only two reasons for complaint, having not chosen the Basic Law for themselves and the gentrification of Chinese money re-defining native Hong Kongers as a new lower class living among some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

Crud hit the fan, however, when Beijing decided to “vet” Hong Kong politicians in advance. The Basic Law makes no direct provision for advanced-vetting, a statutory or policy decision heavily subject to interpretation. Youth are often quick to complain. In the minds of Hong Kong youth, Beijing’s advanced-vetting policy is a violation of the Basic Law. Accordingly, Hong Kong youth have no interest in learning about the Basic Law from Beijing.

Now, Beijing has planned a Hong Kong -wide broadcast from a Mainlander—a Chinese speaking from Beijing’s view—to educate Hong Kong students about the Basic Law. Schools are under no obligation to participate in Beijing’s offer, so the public is led to understand. But, when your higher authority vets your politicians without a word-for-word clause to justify it, then invites your school to optionally learn how to follow the law, it is difficult not to feel some kind of pressure to “volunteer”.

The best thing for China to earn good will is to rescind the advanced-vetting policy in favor of Hong Kong’s local interpretation of the Basic Law and to allow only three schools to listen to the Basic Law address, applying with good reason. That’s “basic law” of supply-and-demand economics. But, those ideas may be difficult for the Communist regime to quickly grasp.

So, it looks like China’s path ahead will see plenty of conflict and strife. The student objections to the Basic Law seminar will by no means be the last, nor will it be Beijing’s last attempt to educate Hong Kong’s population.

The US has its own approach to PR. Notice how Korea made fewer Western headlines this week, though the situation is far from finished. Trump’s planned visit, purportedly to include the Korean DMZ, is certainly a bold move to demonstrate courage from a leader and to eclipse North soldiers’ respect for Kim Jong Un who wouldn’t dare to get close. Don’t be surprised if Trump walks right up to the border and speaks through a megaphone and says, “Where is Kim Jong Un? He can talk to me. Your leader is a coward. Don’t trust him.” Don’t be surprised. Such a move befits Trump and would begin a cascade of implosion from within the Kim Dynastic ranks.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 30, 2017

Many establishments are imploding—Europe, big entertainment, the political establishment. Many people press forward for love, truth, and life without animosity. Old establishments resist and impugn themselves.

Suspected Russian money dubiously making its way to Trump’s campaign advisor, Manafort, neither indites nor acquits Trump or Russian collusion, but suggests that someone was attempting to interfere, both through secret operatives and smear campaigns. Mueller is getting into deeper hot water, now including CNN. Russianewsgategate, continues to expose corruption, but not where originally purported by the “exposers”.

Reconciliation and loyalty are powerful. As of press time, the best bet for Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp would be to repair damage and cooperate against the immoral addictions that plagued their industry long before either of them became actors. Neither attacks the other, but they only speak in humility. They have a perfect recipe for lemonade. If NetFlix drops Spacey, their own “house of cards” will fail, just as “acquiesce-management” style backfired on the NFL, Limbaugh’s sponsors’ response over Sandra Fluke, General Motors’ surrender to union demands, politicians’ white flag addition, and others. If Spacey stays on, House of Cards ratings will rise and Hollywood corruption will fall. Anthony Rapp needs a soapbox role in Season 6.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 23, 2017

Now, North Korea may have biological weapons. Every week, the news is worse and worse. Eventually, a conflict with North Korea will feel more like a relief to the public than an outrage, just from fatigue of bad news overdose. That level of fatigue is—or at least should be—part of military logistics calculation. However, that doesn’t indicate whether the US plans a strike, only that increasing public support for action is yet another metaphoric “cannon” aimed at the Korean Peninsula. While the Kim Dynasty may not wise up to the mounting forces at its doorstep, Russia and China know that public support from the US shouldn’t be ignored.

China, however is strengthening its long-term ambitions. The incumbent president, Xi Jinping, has been named and received honorary titles that place him above past presidents. There is talk of him becoming a “Chairman”, thus equating him to Mao. Don’t underestimate the power of a “mere title” in Chinese culture. Even with no written authority behind a title, Chinese culture is and always will be stronger than any law it writes to keep the “legalists” satisfied. Such a long-time leader retaining power compares him to the seemingly lifetime leader in Russia, Putin.

North Korea is a strategic linchpin for the China-Russia powers. Militarily, they cannot allow a united Korea. But, logistically, they may not be able to stop it either. Just as war games often do, propping up a Communist Dynasty may have backfired. That’s a lesson to everyone, the US included. The US might not heed warnings when the balance temporarily tips in its favor. Meddling is always a bad idea, whether you win or lose, this time.

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