Huawei Criticism: Legit, or Fearmongering?

Since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO and daughter of the head of Huawei, the company has been in the news lately. Popular media has placed this story at the center of deteriorating relations between the US and China on both sides of the Pacific. In the US, the implications of Huawei acting as, essentially, an agent of the Communist Party of China have peppered the stories. In China, it’s all been another front on the trade war and effort to keep China itself down, yet again.

Which side is right?

Without a lot of context, it’s impossible to tell just what is going on. Huawei is indeed a fast rising company, and its connections to the government have definitely played a role in that. They’ve also played the free market game like any fast rising company by working incredibly long hours, poaching top talent (and their information), skirting around inconvenient laws, and slapping things together with blazing speed.

But, in the end, it’s not entirely Huawei which is the issue after all.

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Filing Away

The world is divided into two types of people: those who believe, and those who don’t. Or those who accept, and those who don’t. You’re on one side or the other. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, there’s one side with their perspective and then there is that other side. Everything which happens is seen through this lens and stands as proof of the belief.

Except, of course, reality doesn’t work that way.

Most people don’t actually fall into one group or the other, but retain a healthy dose of skepticism on any given topic. You may have a point, but you may not. While any set of true believers is likely to be vocal, given the ability to self-publish text or video or even, God help us all, snarky little memes. So what’s a person to do who doesn’t buy into this nonsense – whatever this nonsense might be?

It’s a technique I call “filing away.”

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Markets Moving

The politics of this moment have little space for something as esoteric as market forces. In much of the developed world, popular media and politicians alike seem to have run back to the safety of a warmed-over 19th century discussion. Is the way forward based on industrial nationalism or international socialism? The language has been updated, but the basic platforms have not.

It seems particularly strange given that half of our waking hours are at work, and for most people the world of work has nothing to do with either view. It is changing, yes, and may not seem to have a coherent vision of just what is happening in any way that affects politics. That disconnect is certainly the first problem.

But there are lessons to learn from the one force which does indeed shape the world of work and directly affects the daily routine of hundreds of millions of people in the developed world. These are the forces of the global market, and they are not going away.

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Brexit Finally Abandoned

We always knew that the European Union was sme kind of vast conspiracy, but it’s absolutely amazing that they were able to keep this secret for so long. At least we know why Brexit was only “delayed” for two weeks so that it could all be revealed in an orderly fashion.

The announcement today that settles the question was a bit of a shock. But Emmanuel Macron was very brave as he finally admitted the truth. Most of us knew that Henry V was right all along, and tha the UK and France are actually one nation, but finally acknowledging it just in time really does change everything.

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April Fool

This is a piece from eight years ago.   My li’l Tony is much older, but still very strong for a 16 year old wild animal.

The wake-up call came at 6:30AM, just as light was sneaking into my bedroom.  It didn’t come as a glowing ball over the Mississippi valley but as an orange blur on little cat feet.

Galumpgalumpgalumplop! A leap onto my feet and Brrrow! As a small caliber tiger licensed for home use Tony always means what he says, too.  It’s Spring.  There’s no time to spend lazily in bed.  Happy April Fools’ Day!

April means a lot to both people and cats.  The weather is turning and it’s time to shake off the glum of a drippy lingering Winter.  A few pranks and jokes are just part of the fun – and they’re part of an ancient and natural celebration  we can all get into.

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Keepin’ Bizzy

Some have asked, “With the Mueller Report and Brexit and the yield curve inversion, why are you going on about ethics and sociology stuff?”  This piece, from a year ago, explains it.  Just take the long view.

Did you see the news today? It’s hard to not simply react to the world around us. There’s too much going on, too much chaos, too much news. And that post on facebook – did you see what “they” are doing now?

There are many problems associated with this sort of life, starting with anxiety and unhappiness. Stress induced coronaries come to mind as well. But as bad as this is for a person, it’s even worse for people. Everything in our world depends on some level of planning, deliberation, and rational thought.

Good luck with that.

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National Identity

You are a citizen of many different things. You belong to a city and a neighborhood, a state or province, and a nation. The word “citizen” is something like a title in that it implies there are certain rights and privileges that are at your command, in addition to a few obligations to maintain the entity.

More important, however, is that citizenship is an identity. While the various actions required by law or custom only come up once in a while, your kinship is a constantly defining force. You might travel around the world and meet someone who shares a citizenship with you, and there is an instant bond.

But what does any of this mean to the ever increasing number of people who call themselves “global citizens”?

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