Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 16, 2017

It’s not quite there yet. Korea’s conflict escalates, but there’s still more mount to climb. Trump is increasing weapons sales to South Korea and Japan, based on a September 5 Tweet; North Korea called him a “strangler of peace” and a “war merchant”. Mattis told the Army to “Stand ready”. Hawaii is rehearsing for attacks.

Most of the talk is to get everyone psyched-up plenty of time in advance—soldiers, nations, and peoples. The timing, however, will come at a convergence of defenses being in place and opportunity being open. Then, the US will either strike with “just cause” or “strik-taliate” as it did with Pearl Harbor and the Lusitania.

In the meanwhile, expect the escalation to continue. Expect more Navy strike groups to be directed. Expect the USS Ford to replace the decommissioned USS Enterprise and the USS Reagan to replace the USS Vinson, somewhere in East Asia. Three aircraft carriers, two on their way in and one their way out is certainly a military peak. But, also keep an eye out for a shift in types of Korea-related headlines followed by a quiet from central command. Once the press release statements resemble a ship casting off, that’s what you call a clue. And, we haven’t been clued in quite yet.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 16, 2017

The NFL was a distraction. Some might say it still is. Trump is dismantling the Obama administration’s work piece by piece, but most of the Anti-Trump TV time is focused on the NFL. Many Americans who never cared about politics before spent their Sunday afternoons and Monday nights absorbed in the NFL. It was a “bread and circuses” entertainment model that centered around shoving its head in the sand where politics were concerned. When the NFL allowed their rules and their players to get political, the business violated its DNA and it was only ever going downhill from there.

Since, Americans have gotten more involved. Some have gone more Left, some more Right, but more good people are getting involved. The problem now is anger.

The nation is run by demagoguery and populist fads. Few understand critical thinking. Every idea is presumed to be part of an agenda, even at the coffee shop. Anti-Trumpists are feeling what Trumpists have felt for a long time: They aren’t getting what they want. After a few years, they might realize how much they have in common with the “other guy”. Many do already.

In the short run, America will see more and more hissy fits. But, eventually, they will talk to each other, see the results of policy and the consequences of election, and get their facts sorted out.

Strange as it sounds, American politics owe a great deal of gratitude to the NFL after all.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 9, 2017

Taiwan publicized reports that China was pushing for its dream of reunification through many venues and in many nations. The fact that China works so diligently through aggressive diplomacy further indicates that the “military option” being less than preferable with North Korea carries some continuity with China’s policy concerning Taiwan. That’s not to say it is beyond Beijing to decide to strike Taiwan, only that it would demonstrate that China had exhausted other methods it preferred in its determination.

Military deescalation is not out of character with China. Chinese troops were friendly with the defense minister from India in her recent visit to the disputed area. Late August, China halted building the road that India objected to in a way that saved face for China, but also appeased India for the time. This doesn’t indicate any change of heart nor indicate that China is not relentless, but the Asian culture of “preferring smoothness” in disputes seems to be holding true with non-volatile land on which China hopes to fly its flag.

Trump’s resolve and openness, however, are a contrast to China’s. In his “only one thing will work” comment this week, the US president is not afraid to use a military option to bring peace to a region if that region is arming up and dangerous. If the US wins in a conflict with North Korea, the US flag would not fly as the authority on that soil.

China is preparing for a routine leadership review. Much of the top brass under Xi Jinping will rotate out, but he himself is not set to retire anytime soon. While there may be some changes in temperature, there will be no change in the speed or direction China has been taking.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 2, 2017

Eagles are attacking drones in Australia. Maybe they don’t like “terrible horrible no good very bad drones” in Australia. So far, North American eagles don’t seem interested… so far.

Several ratings are up: presidential polls, the Dow Jones, Hannity at 9 P.M., and an opposition senator in Alabama. NFL ratings, however, seem to be in severe decline. According to recent stats, the league’s popularity fell by about half in the general public, but by more than half among Trump supporters.

The “kneeling players” don’t seem to understand what they have gotten themselves into. They are not “bad” people. NFL dissidents do not generally begrudge the kneeling players as much as they begrudge the league. The nation is lucky that the US does not have a current formal declaration of war, lest protesting the US on foreign soil, namely Britain, be a “treasonous” offense. The players probably do not know that they are protesting the entire nation by not standing during a national anthem, nor about the legal meaning of protesting a nation’s flag while in another nation.

Walter Williams says that the problem goes back to education. While he focuses on Blacks having been, more or less, “nannied” too much, education around the country has declined. Racism should be discussed. Most Whites agree. Whether this person or that person said, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” is a technical question of fact, not any view of the importance of the ongoing problem of racism. But, the American public has not been educated to know the difference. For more and more Americans, to deny “hands up don’t shoot” in a specific situation means to deny that there is any issue of racism at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But, many people just don’t know the difference. That is a failure in public education.

The NFL players should be educated about the meaning of their actions. They are genuinely asking for something good. Doing it in the wrong way was not their intent, but it was the wrong way. The responsibility belongs to the NFL. But, the league has allowed itself to get too involved in politics and not done enough to prevent controversy driven by confusion, the kneeling players being only the latest in a long slew of grievances with their viewer base.

There is opportunity for deep change in America, especially with the NFL. The league could get back to football and stop playing “politics”. The players could be given a microphone and offered an alternate way to express their legitimate concerns. The country could clarify the truth about progress and “adaptive infections” where racism is concerned. Maybe the crisis in the NFL will initiate much needed conversation in America about many things, including thankfulness for a nation where those discussions can be held honestly. Whether the league chooses to save itself, however, is another question altogether.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 25, 2017

“Welcome to New York.” President Donald Trump greeted diplomats and heads of state at the United Nations. Many of those diplomats have some kind of grudge or complaint against the only place on Earth safe enough for them to meet. Among them, North Korea’s envoy, who used disrespectful “name-calling” rhetoric similarly to the American Left and now American sports.

Kneeling during your nation’s national anthem, when standing is the respectful thing to do, does not make any move toward lowering conflict. Many nations would not allow such disrespect, but ingrates only disrespect the nations where they have such freedoms to take for granted.

Problems with “bad apple” police do not stem from lack of disrespect. Politicizing sports hasn’t made the country safer, it has hurt sports ratings on TV. People watch sports to get away from politics, to rest their minds and hearts, and to share common ground with friends. Taking away that common ground will take away common ground.

There are many problems in America. One of the biggest problems is that many powerful people don’t know how to solve problems, only spread them. For example, 20% of college students want to set a precedent that free speech should be shut down with violence.

So, while Congress is lowering taxes for the middle class and world leaders, once again, found America to be the safest place to exchange insults, top news this week was about the president vs sports.

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