Encore of Revival: America, February 19, 2018

No one likes to read about school shootings. I was in high school when a student shot himself in the head, right in the hallway, Vinnie Garofalo, February 1998. I remember when a college classmate told our student body the reports from his former classmates at Columbine. “They’re dead,” she told him. “They’re all dead.” Now, the Editor needs to write about it and Americans need to read about it, yet again.

The Florida shooting is complicated, it always is. This one has a story behind the shooter that seems more personal than other times. No one claims his story is any alibi. Many heroes were made, both victim and living. One libriarian, Diana Haneski, was inspired by her friend’s heroism from Sandy Hook and protected 55 students by locking them in a media room. An assistant coach, Aaron Feis, protected three girls by shielding them with his own body, he did not survive.

Tragedy strikes. We reflect and ask why. Then we second guess ourselves and wish that we would have loved each other more and sooner. We go home. We cry ourselves to sleep. Then we wake up the next day and prepare to march for action. So, let’s talk action.

Emma Gonzales is right, in a sense even the minds of gun owners. To the gun owners, the NRA has been largely useless. They aren’t effective at protecting gun owner rights, only at rallying people up. At Columbine and with Michael Moore, the NRA’s reaction was generally useless. Rather than helping the nation navigate through the challenges, they just acted insensitive. The NRA’s Twitter account hasn’t posted since Valentine’s Day, when the Florida shooting happened, not even sympathy to the families. This seems to have been a “silencer” for the NRA. Politicians who receive money from that over-spiced “nothing burger” organization should be ashamed.

As for action, since we act like we’re ready for a candid conversation, let’s take off the gloves. Before you decide to click “next”, finish the next two paragraphs.

Why are we in deadlock about guns? As strong—and correct—of an argument as Emma Gonzales makes, there is another strong point that must be included in our united path forward. It’s the “elephant” in the living room, the reason we can’t finish the debate, which no one wants to so much as even mention. The dirty, politically incorrect, and inconclusive—mind you—little secret about why guns remain widely available on the market has three big beans: Russia, China, and ISIS. The wide-availability of guns in America is the only reason those countries—ISIS is a country—have not already invaded and killed millions of Americans—just as their governments have killed millions of their own people who aren’t allowed to possess guns. That’s our excuse that keeps us in deadlock over the gun debate—a deadlock that killed 17 people last Valentine’s Day.

The problem is not the Second Amendment itself, but that we only enforce half of it. We need the rest of the Second Amendment—the Militia army of civilians—a high school class with accommodation for handicapped and learning disabled, different standards for different gender, and it would be a requirement for every student in order to graduate and in order to vote in elections. The high school Militia course would teach self-discipline, readiness, hand-to-gun combat, safety in every situation, gun handling and discharge, emergency response, teamwork, and, like all military training, self-respect and self-sacrifice for others. If Nikolas Cruz had been required to graduate high school before he could buy a gun, he wouldn’t have been able to. If he had been required to get the mentoring a high school Militia class would have provided, he wouldn’t have wanted to.

That idea has been presented before by many people before. But, we don’t hear about it from the NRA. We didn’t want to have such a candid discussion about applying the whole of the Constitution—which would keep us safe from enemies, both foreign and domestic, if we would simply obey it to the full. We were too distracted with other news. So, since those other news items that we bicker about were worth the lives of 17 students, let’s take a review of the news items atop headlines in the days before the Valentine’s Day Massacre…

The Obama portraits, while acceptable, are intended to draw attention. The Smithsonian has more expressive art of Ford and HW Bush, more radical than the Michelle interpretation. Contrary to folk wisdom, the woman in the painting does resemble Michelle in those rare moments when she drops that goofy, fake smile for her natural “serious” face. It’s not that strange, as strange as it seems. But, the hue of the leaves in Obama’s piece and the street-art worthy style of Michelle evince an intent to use the presidential portraits as an opportunity to make some kind of statement. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate, but they are trying to make a statement.

As for the leaves, to claim that they are marijuana is to claim either that the artist is botanically inept or that oneself is. The leaf in the picture more resembles the Ohio State “buckeye leaf”, which has been confused by the botanically inept in the past.

Michael Flynn was pursued by Obama’s leftover administration as retribution for endorsing Trump. It is said one should never hire friends. Hiring Flynn was a mistake, not because Flynn wasn’t up to the job of fighting in the wolf den—which he apparently wasn’t—but because it promoted him from being a target to being an easy target. In the end, however, Michael Flynn will learn just as Sarah Palin did, after being tossed to the wolves. And, the hostile takeover of Flynn’s life will be an alarm in itself to call out the folks to find out just what in the world was going on in the Obama administration that allowed this to happen. Flynn will come back to haunt the Democrats and bureaucrats.

George Soros has been dumping money into local DA elections that would normally elect Republicans. His candidates have been winning. Democrats and their voters who don’t stand against Soros will lose all credibility when next time they complain about the Koch brothers. While many Republican voters will be alarmed—and probably roused to a wrath those DAs will not want to face—the more interesting effect will be their tendency to self-destruct. People artificially propped into power rarely last, especially when they come from different stock.

…But, there’s nothing like a school shooting to put our priorities about the news in perspective.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 12, 2018

There are those who know Asia and those who don’t. There are those who know political gaming and those who don’t. Last week, Symphony said that China wouldn’t compromise in a “Sino-Vatico” deal. This week, a retired bishop in Hong Kong said basically the same thing: That if the pope vetoes Beijing too often, Beijing will tell the world the pope is unreasonable.

The pope is no fool. The Vatican knows to listen to a Hong Kong bishop concerning China. The deal is hotly debated in the Church and by no means unanimously supported as motherhood or apple pie. If the Vatican goes through with this controversial deal with China, then it indicates that the Vatican is counting on a popularity war against China, in which China loses respect, both among Catholics in China and everyone in every economy everywhere else in the world, except of course among Russians who always like a good fight.

If war breaks out between the West and China, and if China loses to a fierce West, China ought hold the Vatican partially responsible for playing the complex popularity mind game which is this deal. This agreement was always a cloaked plan to harm China. It seems that the retired bishop in Hong Kong hasn’t figured that out.

The Vatican would have us believe that they haven’t figured out China when they actually have things figured out all to well. That’s what makes the Vatican arguably the greatest danger to China. No wonder China is so concerned, but still not concerned enough.

Equally concerning, Taiwan is seriously talking about moving their Legislative Yuan and their Executive Yuan offices with it. The new location would be Taichung, the center of Taiwan. That would put the central government seat in two locations and the frequent target of democratic demonstrations between the ideologically conflicted north and south. While this is purported to help connect the central government more closely to local governments—and to provide large, open plazas so that demonstrations don’t interrupt local commerce—and to provide for an “earthquake” not disrupting the entire central government, that word “earthquake” carries symbolic meaning without mention. A change of cartography will also date any invasion rehearsals.

More than implicating an airborne “earthquake” from, say, China, promoting democracy demonstrations along with a united island of 23 million are the greater, yet more subtle, messages that may insult some offices on the other side of that Taiwan strait. Few in the West will understand how Taiwan’s central government creating a “second seat” could spark the war that the Vatican is already piping the popularity to fuel.

Just as much, there are those who do and do not understand North Korea.  Every time the West is shown media coverage of North Korea, journalistic commentary doesn’t know what to say. Look at them, they all clap in unison. Doesn’t it look strange? They can’t be happy; after all they never stop smiling. It’s all fake. And, look at all of the crying at the Kim Jong Il funeral. That’s either fake or it’s radical support.

The press, wholly unqualified to explain events in Far East Asia, can’t help but flaunt their own ignorance.

North Koreans are part of a tightly-controlled, cult-like, nannied-and-mommied play script. They are neither happy nor sad. They are caught in a culture of mass group think. They cry at a Kim funeral because that’s what you do, much like taking your shoes off at the door. They cheer in choreographed unison at a sports arena because that’s what you do at sports arenas and, more importantly, all cheering is choreographed anyway, right?

They aren’t cheering from any obligation. They’re like a bunch of Sunday Morning micro-church minions parroting their microcosm lingo because that’s the only thing they have ever learned to do. A similar comparison would be to tone-lexical native language speakers—such as Cantonese and Mandarin—trying to use the free-form tone flow of Romance sentences, or asking someone who only reads sheet music to improvise for the first time ever. Singing spontaneously from the heart just isn’t something they have ever known. And, all the Western press can do is gawk, but not understand.

It just shows how far we still have to go to get to know each other.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 12, 2018

The budget deal in Congress declares two myths, one from time travel budgeting, the other from silence. When the “experts” project a deficit based on the current spending plan, 1. none of the money has been spent yet and 2. none of the spending tax money has come in yet. They aren’t only counting chickens before they hatch, they already have them buttered on the Christmas dinner table.

The spending projection assumes the previous year’s tax income. If tax rates drop, so does the projected income drop, proportionately. There is some “trickle down” account for the assumption that consumers may spend more and employers hire more since they have the funds not taxed, but they don’t consider synergy. They don’t use AI simulations to project the slew of companies who haven’t announced—but will anyway do—investment within the market. New companies will be capable of coming into being which weren’t able to without the new financial ecosystem. Those aren’t accounted for because they can’t be predicted. The forecast we have is based not on synergistic outcomes—AKA reality—but on comparing last years results against this year’s new methods—AKA time travel.

The second myth comes from silence, namely renegotiating trade agreements. Adjustments making the US market part of a two-way street will also bring new revenue sources—rather than a one-way street that screws the US economy into the ground. These are part of separate agreements already promised, already underway, but largely unfinished and unreported. Budget forecast about those factors are simply silent.

The budget forecast isn’t any accurate prediction of the future, but a kind of comparison for number geeks in black-tie offices. What actually happens is never known until it happens.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 5, 2018

Writing about China is difficult. On one side there is the Western push toward the false narrative that “all things China are bad”, then on the other side pulls gravity from an invisible black hole gobbling up the truth. China is a yeah-boo, more yeah and more boo than most other countries. Anyone expecting a narrative—West or East—while reading the truth about China might instinctively think that the truth supports “the other side”.

But, Symphony doesn’t take that stance. China is just China. It makes wise moves, it makes foolish moves, just like every other nation on Earth.

This week was a week of economics. China is cracking down on cryptocurrency—just as it cracks down on anything it can’t control with externally-applied force. The cryptocurrency market in China is fleeing from the crackdown. Yet, China is reaching out to Europe and Britain.

While the economy in Europe is big on China’s list, so is the Vatican. Now, the Vatican wants an unholy marriage with China similar to the one with Medieval Europe: Beijing and the Vatican choose Chinese bishops and the underground Church gets pulled out from underground. In other words, both Western and Eastern powers crush the little guy. This will actually cause the underground Church in China to grow even more.

Just how control is driving away cryptocurrency, so will Sino-Vatico control drive the underground farther underground. Like jell-o in the hand, tightening the grip makes them slip through the fingers. A better solution would have been, more or less, status quo: Let China keep doing whatever they want and let the Vatican excommunicate whomever they want. But, the Vatican knows that would be the better solution. Does China know that the Vatican knows?

Any kind of agreement between the Vatican and China is pointless since China doesn’t plan to ever compromise anyway, especially on the Vatican’s human rights agenda as well as Taiwan. In the end, Catholics worldwide will hate China more. China should avoid all talks with the Vatican because any Westerner can foresee that it will only reap ill will in the West. Perhaps that is the Vatican’s deeper agenda in “making a deal with the dragon”, as it were. If China is the tiger then the Vatican is the monkey; the tiger has been warned.

China making infrastructure and economic inroads to Europe, is a good thing, but not on most levels people consider. Firstly, it is an indication that China feels a squeeze from the US and is looking for new trading partners. Secondly, it will cause the Westernization of China more quickly. Europe and Britain don’t like dishonesty. Many of the dishonest practices Chinese businessmen are notorious for—which the Communists are cracking down on for the record—won’t be tolerated. In terms of “ethics”, China will have to Westernize in order to do business with the West. Perhaps that is why Beijing is pushing it—to help with the crackdown.

The second matter is more militarily strategic. To governments, all infrastructure is military infrastructure. If China has a roadway into Europe, that is a roadway that can be used by an army—in either direction. So, finances between China and Europe carry two approaching stigmas: 1. China’s power is morphing into economics and 2. China is laying-in wartime infrastructure.

Changing to an economic power will weaken China’s ability to use military force. Taiwan is making economic power moves of its own by positioning itself to become an AI development hub for the world—which China’s customers could likely be dependent on if they aren’t already. No one wants to drop bombs on customers, yet China is busily making both.

These economic relations will “tame the dragon”, as it were, which may not be what China wants. Secondly, Europe is inviting China to become a stronger military power in their own back yard. China is no traitor, but nor are the Chinese loyal to anyone but the Chinese. Russia should try to halt China’s relations with Europe for Russia’s own good. Believe it or not, China may hold Russia in check before this is all over. Making inroads for China might be Europe’s salvation in decades to come.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 5, 2018

Machines are trying to take over. They aren’t winning. And, they aren’t mechanical machines made of steel and iron alloys—or in GM’s case also aluminum. These are machines of “big money”. Some of them are political, some of them are from the entertainment industry, others are in the business world.

Ultimately, the machines run round and round by creating problems, then solving them.

Nestle has been taking water from Springhill in Osceola County, Michigan for nearly two decades. Locals have battled with the water-relocating giant almost as long; the State often comes to Nestle’s defense. We’ll see how much longer that lasts. The current battle seems to include no third-party scientific research, only claims by locals that water levels are lowering vs claims by Nestle that Nestle isn’t hurting anything and that local water costs would rise without Nestle—which is at the same time accused of causing the water shortage in the first place. It’s almost a self-inditing argument in Nestle’s defense. Now, Nestle wants to take more water.

Then, there’s Uma. Perhaps “Kill Bill” should have been renamed to include something about a guy named “Harvey”, at least if the title reflected the emotions of “what the movie advertisements called a ‘roaring rampage of revenge'” from what happened on set and behind the scenes. To this point, Symphony has not focused on Weinstein stories because, so far, they didn’t seem to include news. Uma’s story in the New York Times, however, introduces the video of her injury during a stunt she was intimidated into doing. After 15 years, she finally got her hands on the video. Uma just might mark the beginning of Vol. 2 in brining down scandal-filled Hollywood.

Then, there’s the machine that’s after Trump. According to the president, it’s a disgrace, people should be ashamed, and Congress will do what Congress will do, which is fine. Bias against Trump is “yuge”. In one man-on-the-street video by Campus Reform, people react negatively to State of the Union comments—until they realize they were made by Obama. Democrats and the mainstream media can’t halt the assault against Trump as long as that widespread bias against Trump exists in such a large segment of the voting population. But, that bias is driving the anti-Trump machine to uncover more and more dirt—not on Trump, but dirt—on Democrats.

While Nestle seems to solve problems it causes, the Left caused the problems it’s solving. As for Hollywood, the movies describe it best.

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