Is there a difference between a conspiracy to collude and just being a total tool?
That’s one question before the American public and Congress now that the Mueller report is out in the open. The long and short of it is that there is a difference, and it’s clear that America has been under a sustained attack for years. There may not be an initial crime committed by the Trump team, as the operation was entirely led by Russian operatives.
There was, however, plenty of effort spent trying to hide it all. There still is. This is much more likely a crime, but more importantly it makes the case for impeachment even stronger. It’s much less about a crime than about getting out the truth about the threats that our nation, and every open democratic society, currently face.
ON the second day of Holy Week, just after the triumph of Palm Sunday, we all watched in horror as Notre Dame de Paris burned. The loss has turned out to be almost entirely repairable, but the gut feeling of it will remain. What a terrible loss.
Yet through it, we find our selves facing the greatest and most beatifying aspect of Christianity – sacrifice. Through sacrifice we rise again, the world rises again, and is renewed by the eternal spirit. As surely as Christianity has defined nearly everything we might all “Western Civilization” today, it is worth reflecting on as the week draws to a close.
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.
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.
On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Air flight 409 crashed shortly after takeoff from Beirut. Radar and cockpit communications showed that the pilots struggled to keep the plane flying from the moment it rotated off the runway, eventually just falling out of the sky in a stall.
It was eerily similar to the rash of Lion Air 610 out of Jakarta on 29 October, 2018. Both crashes were of a kind that simply should not happen to a modern aircraft.
Since both incidents involved the relatively new Boeing 737 Max airplane, attention immediately centered on how safe the plane was. It seems like a simple decision – is this plane safe? But if you read a lot of the coverage of it, you might think this was entirely a political issue. Has everything, even safety, become a matter for politics and the questions at hand involving money and who looks bad?
It is a busy week in the UK House of Commons. At this writing, Meaningful Brexit Vote 2.0 (We Really Mean It This Time) has failed by 149 votes. This deals an apparent death blow to PM May’s attempts to negotiate an orderly retreat from the EU. The likely result will be a lot of hand wringing and a vote to delay the process.
The entire exercise appears to be based on what Winston Churchill once accused Americans of doing, namely “Once we have exhausted all the other possibilities we do the right thing.” Ignoring the will of the people after a referendum requires a period of slow torture and likely another popular vote (We Really, Really Mean It, We Promise).
All of this is quite impossible for one simple reason: Brexit isn’t really about Brexit. Like most political issues in developed nations today, the cause of all this noise and nonsense isn’t really the issue at hand. It’s not about whether the UK should be in the EU or not – in an ideal situation it’s rather obvious that it should be. The problem is that we are so far from ideal that no one can make any sense of anything. And that’s where this American politely, humbly, offers his opinion on this situation.
The US trade deficit in goods jumped a solid $80 billion per year in 2018 to $878 billion, a net increase of 10% over 2017. This rather abstract figure is naturally spun to reflect either a rebuke of Trump and his policies or as a sign that the economy is particularly strong, depending on your perspective. From the point of view of China, it’s a sign that they might well be “winning” a trade war.
Is that what any of it means? The long answer is no, of course, but it begs the question as to what any of it actually does mean. It’s important to put the trade deficit into context and reach a deeper understanding of the flow of money around the world. The resulting analysis does show that there is a problem in the world, a fundamental imbalance, but does not tell us how much we should be worried about it.