Encore of Revival: America May 29, 2017

Today is Memorial Day, when Americans remember brave men and women in uniform who do the necessary work and take the necessary risks to preserve freedoms for others—freedoms that can never be attained by entitlement. Freedom is neither free nor guaranteed. It must be earned and preserved. Today we pause to honor those who do that for us.

At the recent NATO conference, Britain’s Prime Minister May confronted President Trump about leaks from within an administration Congressional Democrats have blocked Trump from replacing. There seems to be no word so far on May’s view of Obama hiring people in the leaky administration or the Democrats for not encouraging leakers to be replaced more quickly.

Montana’s Republican Congressman finally did what many people have wanted to do to news reporters. Greg Gianforte reportedly body-slammed a reporter from the UK Guardian and broke his glasses. And, you know what they say about hitting a guy with glasses. Perhaps the reporter lacked the foresight to see it coming. Or, maybe he didn’t understand the very news he was covering, so he made the news instead. Shoving an uninvited microphone into the face of a Montanan is a bad idea—but Gianforte will have to get used it since he plans on going to Washington. This proved that the new Congressman is not part of the establishment.

It wasn’t the first time that a country-bumpkin good ole’ fashion red-blooded American opened a can on the Britts. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last time Americans feel frustration with the news media. Three newspapers pulled their “endorsement”—even though it was probably too late to matter, albeit the news doesn’t endorse candidates, it reports on them, hopefully not provoking assault in the process.

Gianforte apologized after he won the election, both to the reporter and the Fox News team on the scene for the trouble. Waiting was the right thing to do—staying his apology until it wouldn’t get him more votes. He was sincere, his supporters in the room forgave him, and it did seem to be about personal respectability and leading by example. His support will likely increase, both for being able to make such a “real-human” mistake and for being able to apologize for it. These things could make him a much needed and positive influence on Congress.

There is something symbolic to this. With Gianforte’s victory in Montana, a second “butt-kicker” will soon arrive in Washington. The news industry as a whole is taking a tumble, literally and figuratively. The scripted assault plan from the media playbook is now mounting against Hannity and everyone is responding on cue. Information leaks in Washington continue, all in ways that indicate the previous administration. An obviously predictable change is under way on many levels.

But, “obvious” isn’t obvious to everyone. Mark Zuckerberg wants a “universal basic income” and threw GDP under the bus in favor of the ethereal, non-economic feeling to “find a meaningful role”. If a minimum income can be guaranteed then there is no need to study or “try new ideas” for that matter. Zuckerberg wants a “cushion” so we can try new ideas without feeling economic fear, forgetting—or perhaps never learning—that invention’s mother is necessity. If there is no risk then there is no progress. Dostoyevski’s, and many others’, very inspiration came from not having an economic cushion. If Zuckerberg got his way, innovation would diminish, as it has in every economy every time it has ever been tried on Earth, from the Pilgrims to the Russians. But, kids who don’t study their history tend to repeat it.

Steve Jobs didn’t speak at Stanford until he had gray hair and, when he finally did, he simply told stories from his life. By contrast, the young Harvard dropout speaking at the Harvard graduation this past weekend couldn’t talk about his life story because he hadn’t lived long enough to have one. Mark can’t say that he got fired from Facebook, started a new company, found his spouse, then went back to prove that only his brains could run the company he started. He’s still green. Even though he talked about innovative-economic theory, he made his fame is from success in software, not success in macro-economic planning. It was a kid telling kids what the kids wanted to hear.

The entire generation lacks “independent critical thinking”—the ability to scrutinize one’s own ideas and dispassionately present and welcome arguments, both pro and con, to understand life most accurately. Not knowing what to make of current events, that generation is drunk on the fantasy that Trump only won the election because the Russians rigged it—a leaped-to conclusion no prosecutor has even suggested and an indication that the young voters watch James Bond more than they watch the news.

Trump is as green to politics as Zuckerberg is to economics, except Trump has a life story that includes both failure and rebound. He is a business man who reached out to Director Comey, a man he had the power to fire at any time. A good boss does that in the business world, but in politics that pre-firing courtesy easily comes across as scandal—even when it is not—especially in the eyes of those who are already on a witch hunt. If Trump did something truly wrong, it remains yet to be seen.

These supposed “scandals” in the news about Trump, so far anyway, are mere delusion for the disillusioned, begging the question of whether delusion is all there is to these reported scandals. It would be great if a non-delusion-driven investigation would actually get under way so that there would be something real to report and comment on. And, that day may yet come, even though it is not today.

Many voters—mostly the kids—are still disappointed after the first time an election didn’t turn out how they wanted it. They are in the “denial” stage of that process of grief. If they were as right as they think themselves to be then they would have seen it coming. But, they didn’t. Based on evidence, the world today does not need Zuckerberg’s basic universal income guarantee; we need basic critical thinking.

Some people have that basic thinking, the rest wake up every day surprised and disappointed. In such times, everything is seen for what it truly is and, evidently, that trend won’t stop anytime soon.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 22, 2017

The news of news: Roger Ailes, pioneer of the number one ranked news network, died this week at 77. He had his share of scandals, considered by many to be large among his demographic, yet small by the working standards of his industry. He was held to a higher standard as did he hold his organization. He oversaw the original Rush Limbaugh TV show before making Fox News into a household name. In both success and failure, Roger Ailes proved that Conservative opinion hadn’t gone out of style, that agenda-driven news reporting had, and that no establishment is too big to fail, including his own. Those who worked with him have much more to say. He will remain among history’s more remembered.

Now, the entire news industry has it’s eyes on Donald Trump. The vultures and sharks are circling, thinking to get lucky for the first time. In former FBI director Comey’s long list of problems, even after all the opposition from the political Left, the news narrative is that Trump’s only important reason for firing the FBI chief was Trump himself.

Good luck with that.

While the birds and fish swarm around abandoned driftwood, hoping to find something to feast on, the Republicans on Capital Hill do what they always do: nothing. Talk of impeachment, then markets tumble. Lay off on the word “impeachment” and the markets rebound. So, it’s clear what the money wants and why the economy improved. Notoriety for Trump from the markets is the most this vulture cluster will accomplish, second-most being that the political class will have something to keep them distracted. Third-most is the entertainment the Russians are getting out of this. And, hiding somewhere in the back of the room, someone made money last week and someone else lost money last week. But, the money made on market dip days isn’t newsworthy, right?

Speaking of Russian entertainment, Putin may respect Trump more for this whole “investi- gate” jazz, which could lead to peace in other regions, perhaps.

America is divided, but this isn’t news. A political class was evicted. Young, entitled, socialist “Hippies” were denied: They were told to work and give to themselves rather than receive. This Sunday, angry students, who lacked the maturity to accept election results—something Obama dissidents were able to do for eight years—walked out on Pence’s speech at their own graduation ceremony at Notre Dame.

Complaints continue and will continue. The current cloud mounting against Donald Trump can’t be taken seriously because the rage behind it is old and waning. The cat who walked by himself has returned, sits outside the the back door, and cries in the rain. But, this is not a hotel. Once you’re gone, you’re gone, no matter how much of a fuss you make of it.

That’s all this is.

From this storm of headlines, not one vote will swing against Trump. If anything, his support will increase with every “surely this is the end this time” attack against him that fails.

This is a great danger to the remaining political establishment. And, Trump isn’t in political danger, he’s out-smarting the bull once again. Allowing Robert Mueller to return as special prosecutor is outright “Rooseveltian”—keep them distracted while continuing right on schedule. Mueller won’t indite Trump anymore than Snowden couldn’t not defend Comey.

Flynn’s situation is becoming suspicious, but not from digging into his ties with Trump, his problems beg questions of the Obama years. Trump fired Flynn on principle: He gave a dodgy answer to Pence’s direct question. Anything we discover bad about Flynn at this point applauds Trump’s firing principles and smears Obama. But, that won’t stop the angry bull from thinking he’s gonna’ finally kill the blanket this time!

What’s all the confusion about? What’s the real story? The real story is that Washington scrambles to discover the real story while Trump travels overseas to coordinate with Israel, the Vatican, the Saudis, NATO, and G7. There won’t be any coordinated scheme against the president while he is gone.

It seems crazy. It is. The line between brilliance and insanity is too fine for the media’s eye to see. The smokescreen of chaos in the nations’ capital, just in time for the president to travel and create new headlines, is as masterful and understandable as abstract art. It may be good, it may be evil, but it is neither unintended nor unskilled.

So, another bullfighter triumphed against another angry bull this week. So what?

Look to the seas. Venezuela has real trouble, so does North Korea. China and Russia are on the move. China’s execution of CIA spies during the Obama years is just now making headlines. Europe faces a “Muslim” reformation it invited. All the while, the US military just got a $15B injection, thoroughly-opposed by pro-military members of Congress, and is undergoing fat-trimming scrutiny so severe that the over-eaters are whining as tax vultures have found a less crowded sky to circle above the Pentagon. While Capital Hill’s buzzards circle an empty coffin, work continues.

And, whoever bought all that discount stock that sold off on Wednesday stood to make a lot of money selling it back on the Thursday and Friday rebound, just as they will at the next opportunity, and the one after that… especially the dip days that are reported as market “panic”, rather than the “opportunities” they often prove to be.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 15, 2017

Of course Snowden objects to his persecutor being fired. James Comey was likely dismissed for incompetence—not only in failing to prosecute “crooked Hillary” after publicly building the case against her at election time, not only because of his “see no evil” attitude toward all Islamic factions, which arguably allowed the shooting in San Bernardino, nor for ignoring Apple’s instructions on how to not lock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, not only for talking about software security on national TV as if he doesn’t know how to use a mouse, not only for dragging the FBI’s feet while investigating the Orlando night club shooter for 10 months while he killed another 102 people, and not only for working for the previous president under whose “Iraqexit” ISIS became a household name. Trump is also growing tired of leaks to the media—something he won’t tolerate. Counterintelligence and leak-finding are games of trial and permutation, much like Clue—games which Comey is not exempted from. If leaks to the media decrease since his firing, there will be no doubt about Trump’s motives.

But, then there is his career effectiveness. Was Comey a kind of “fifth horseman” working as a media spy in the FBI? Comey, in all of his investigations in Russia, still failed to retrieve Snowden. Yet, were it not for Comey and his valiant-yet-failing efforts, not as many people would read Snowden’s Tweets. Personally sympathetic or otherwise, Snowden can’t not oppose Comey’s firing. But, it’s unclear what Russia thinks about Snowden’s support for the man investigating them.

Remember, Snowden became famous as a 29 year old tech geek for having information that dropped from the bumblings of Baby Boomers who ran the NSA, but apparently learned to use a mouse late in life. Snowden did not become famous for his political commentary.

On the other end of the Peanut Gallery, Julian “Espionage” Assange can’t not comment on who is more effective at finding the truth about a government. Perhaps Comey might have not locked the San Bernardino bomber’s iPhone if he had hired Assange or Snowden. Now, “Espionage” Assange offers “Unemployed” Comey a job while “Wanted” Snowden comes to “Unemployed” Comey’s defense. It’s almost worth a comedy story.

Other opinionated young bloods have their conflicting opinions—mostly Bernie Sanders supporters who didn’t foresee that he had no political chance. They favored Obama having his way with any and every department. They weren’t paying attention during their childhoods in the Bush years. They weren’t alive to see the Clinton years. But, now, all of a sudden, they are conscientious about “abuse of power”. This Hippies’ change of heart is yet another example of how Trump is good for the country.

But, the Hippies still don’t get the picture.

Heads of departments in the Federal Government work at the pleasure of the president. It is customary to dismiss old department heads when new presidents take office. Comey lasted longer than he had any right to expect.

The same would be true if a Democrat had just taken the White House and an FBI director who had served under a Republican were being fired—well, except for the Bush dynasty who wouldn’t oppose a burglar holding a knife to their own family.

The kids complaining about Comey didn’t discover politics until they saw a viral video of street musicians singing about Sanders. Then, they acted like the vicious cycles of history are happening for the first time, even though history isn’t cycling for the first time—not even in their lifetimes. This time, when a new president fired an old department head, they happened to be finally be paying attention. Once today’s Hippies finish growing their chest hair and the now junior high schoolers take up the “Hippie torch” when Trump leaves office, the same “concerns” will recapitulate like a recurring theme in a bad movie score.

The real question is about the gray heads running the news industry: This isn’t the first time a new president fired and old department head. This isn’t the first time political classroom goof-offs acted like “normal” was a surprise. Nothing new or newsworthy happened this week. Headlines should have read, “New President fires Old FBI Chief: Proof the World Still Spins”.

The news industry failed to report what really happened this week: History simply repeated. That’s why news is a dying industry.

But, why feed the Hippies? Why is the news industry quickening its own death on the altar of demagoguery? The best explanation so far is that the news industry is like the Pied Piper—hoping to rally an unwitting populist army of children into a war that they would know they would lose if they were 20 years older. But, the best kept secret about Bernie Sanders, Clinton, Obama, the dying news establishment, and the rest of the political Left is that their goal isn’t to win. Their goal is to lose while making as big of a mess as possible. Once the kids figure that out, it will all backfire and the Left won’t have even one leg to stand on.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 1, 2017

The news would have us think that China’s reverse-engineered copy of a Soviet-made diesel aircraft carrier is nuclear-powered and in full commission. It’s not. It’s simply being towed from one construction site to another. But, it is another milestone step in progress and the West needs to pay close attention. With all the excitement over Korean nukes, China obtaining its own aircraft carriers is a bigger step and a bigger threat to China’s neighbors. Heads are turning in Japan and India.

Trump’s “bromance” with China’s President Xi isn’t without precedent. The two are smart. Trump is less-controlled by the big political class. No matter how much Xi may want to resolve peace, any deal he makes with Trump must be pleasing to the Communist Party of China. Perhaps some success with Trump on the Kim dynasty in Korea will help Xi persuade the old boys club in China. But, that would be a first. Old school Chinese don’t like to learn new tricks.

Eventually, Korea will make major steps toward becoming one nation. Then, the US and China will change colors in the South Sea. Both sides will have gotten what they wanted: a stable Korean Peninsula. But, when the conflict in the West Pacific erupts, all bets will be off. It won’t be America who betrays first, the Chinese will make their move after they have their excuse. The ongoing US relationship with Taiwan may be that excuse. And, in the minds of the Chinese, the US will have been wrong.

Xi and Trump will become like old generals who know each other from battle field just as well as from the tea time table. No matter how much conflict they have, they will always be grateful for their cooperation in Korea. That’s what mature generals do. And, that is the current leadership at both ends of the Pacific.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 10, 2017

Xi Jinping’s poker face waned. He’s not happy, though the reasons elude most Western readers. Though not democratic, Xi is a politician. He must balance wisdom with pleasing the veiled powers that overshadow the goings on of China. Those powers won’t hesitate to give the ax to any leader who fails to deliver on their expansionist ambitions. Xi has fought corruption and sought infrastructure. Xi was gaining momentum. Now, the US and Russia are rumbling in both of China’s back yards weeks after Xi announced that, where military tech is concerned, China needs to play “catch-up” or become “ketchup”. This can’t be good for Xi’s inside politics with Chinese elections approaching.

Trump certainly isn’t pulling any punches. Striking Syria while dining with China’s Chairman wasn’t unintentional. Remember, Trump has dealt with the Chinese on many occasion. Xi is difficult to read, except to say his rehearsed Asian smile is waning. A micron might as well be a mile in an Asian smile. In the weeks ahead, remember that Xi is half himself and half the hidden hand that controls all that goes on in China. That’s true of every Chinese president. In all this, Xi met with Trump and all went well. No matter when or how Xi’s career closes, no matter what his true ambitions were, China will go on and history will remember Chinese President Xi as the builder of bridges, inroads, aircraft carriers, and islands.

Xi wanted to remind the US of its Capitalist values: Don’t blame others for your problems. Yet, China clearly doesn’t share those values. Neither does North Korea, the stray dog that has adopted the doorstep at China’s northern back yard.

From China’s vantage point, North Korea is a nuisance and an excuse for an unwelcome US presence. Kim Dynasty narcissism has over-played and pushed the envelope with Beijing. Watch for Chinese heads of State to bark, then look the other way, much how the US does when Israel responds to Palestine.

So, why is the media announcing and discussing the possibilities of dealing with North Korea? True military tactics never make it on television—unless the reporter finds himself accused of a frivolous-like sexual crime and holes-up in an Ecuadoran Embassy to avoid extradition for espionage. It’s discussion on US military options like we saw over North Korea this week that makes it difficult for a US prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian “Espionage” Assange to seem believable from any angle. “Assassination, nuke-up, or surgical strike” are only media talking points to make the greater point: Knock it off or else.

Assassinations are illegal for the US according to the US’ own law, viz Executive Order 12333. It is doubtful, even in Trump’s stock-up on signing pens, that he plans to wipe out that order for North Korea alone—if he does, Assad is his next target and Kim was just an excuse. The US hopes to finish this situation in Korea before a nuclear buildup has time to grow moss. So does China. A “nuke-up” wouldn’t be grand strategy. An internal strike inside North Korea would illicit an avalanche. Anti-Iraq II Donald J. Trump won’t want to create another “vacuum”. A surgical strike would be an assist to something else. What’s really going on? Don’t think for one second that the media does know or that CIA doesn’t.

There’s joker in the North Korean deck and it is stacked to favor the West. We’ll just have to keep watching.

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