A Father’s Day Tale For my father, the wizard of conundrums: The Conundrum


The man sat before the gate. He had been there a long, long time, waiting for it to open. He had knocked, he had banged, he had called out, he had waved (to no one, for no one was there, as far as he could see) and he had tried to climb over (impossible, alas, as the gate was so high, the top could not be seen). The man sat down on the ground near the gate and sighed, tired and frustrated. He cursed the gate, and threw his shoe at it. There was no sound, just the continuing wind, at times whistling through the gate.

Beyond the gate, he could see trees, and lakes, birds flying gracefully, frolicking in the water, lazy clouds drifting in a perfectly azure sky, and a huge sun floating in the sky like an orange balloon. The man looked around him. The ground was rocky, the grass coarse and brown, the trees burnt and gnarled. The sky was a continual ominous gray, thunder rumbling constantly, the wind chilly and penetrating. The man turned his collar up against the elements, and banged with his shoe against the gate once more, calling loudly. “Will someone open this damn gate?!!”  No response just made his blood boil all the more. He sat again, and buried his face in his hands.

After some time, the man heard the rustling of rocks, and looking up, noticed a figure walking towards him from behind the gnarled trees, along the rocky path, picking his way carefully among the stones and harsh grass. He was obviously cold, his clothes fairly wet. As he approached the man at the gate, the stranger smiled.

“Hello. Didn’t expect to find anyone here,” the stranger said.

“Where’d you come from?” the man said.

“Over the hill. Seems like I’ve been walking for days, or months, don’t know really. Just found myself here. Nasty rain back there. I’m afraid we’re in for a real storm pretty soon. Damn cold. Goes right through you.”

“It’s not so bad over there,” the man said, pointing to the other side of the fence.

“So it is,” said the stranger, “so it is.”  He walked toward the gate and peered through the shiny, golden bars towards the other side. “Seems like it’s a different world over there, really. Damn nice gate, this is too.”

“Damn annoying gate, if you ask me,” the man said. “Can’t get it open. Nothing will. We’re stuck here, that’s what.”

“Well, I can’t believe there isn’t a way over there. There must be. Have you looked around?  Thought of anything?”

“Well, I’ve hung around this gate for it seems like eons already. Doesn’t budge, not one bit. No one around either.”

The stranger looked around. He could see the gate itself was quite high, so high he couldn’t see the top. He stood back and just looked straight up. “Fascinating isn’t it? Who could’ve built such a marvelous gate?”

“Marvelous?  I wouldn’t call it that. So marvelous no one can get in. How marvelous is that?”  The man made a rude noise at the gate.

“Well, I suppose that’s its purpose, of course – to keep people out. So, from that standpoint, it is marvelous, isn’t it?  So high and mighty, no one could even dream about climbing over or breaking in through this gate.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re so interested in praising the thing that is standing between you and what looks like a very pleasant other side!”

“Yes, well, I’m just admiring someone’s handiwork. But, I suppose someone who had the talent to build this amazing obstacle, must have designed a way for people he’d want to get in to pass through.”

“Why would you say that?  Maybe the purpose of this damn gate in the first place is to just keep everyone out, period!!”

“Well, certainly could be true. But, I still think there’s an answer here, if only we were to look for it.”

The man looked at the stranger. “Well, suit yourself. I’m not wasting my time trying to figure out how to get past that gate. I’ll just keep pounding on it with my shoe until someone answers the damn thing!”

The stranger looked at the man, and shook his head. “Well, I’m going to give it a try.” He turned and walked away, down along the fence that led away from the gate towards their right. The fence extended to the horizon, seemingly for endless miles, until it faded into the distance, merely a faint line. Soon, the stranger came to a part of the fence that appeared a little different. The fence there seemed to dip a little bit, and wasn’t as high, though it was too high to climb. But there was some artwork near the top, and some vines creeping down the fence at that point.

The artwork was too high up to see, but he could faintly make out words – some kind of inscription. He looked at the vines, and put his foot on one to test whether it would support his weight. It did, easily. He began to climb towards the top of the fence so he could see the writing there. As he climbed, he noticed that as high as he climbed, he came no nearer to the top. It seemed to loom high above him as far away as when he was on the ground. The vines did not go all the way up, and he saw as he went up that he could not climb over the fence here. Still, the stranger wanted to know what the writing said. As he rose high above the ground, the stranger felt close enough to the artwork to now see it more clearly. Towards the top of the fence, which bore pointed spears sharp enough to thread a needle, there was a white marble sign, carved in intricate script, the letters virtually etched into a floral design of incredible beauty. Two exquisite white unicorns held the sign aloft on either side. He stopped climbing and read it.

“To All Who May Come This Way – Curiosity and the Quest for Knowledge May Be Your Guide. While Others May Not See What Hidden Value Lies Within A Conundrum’s Supple Walls, You Need Only Inquire, and an Answer May Appear”.

The man thought to himself, what a curious message to carve into artwork truly too high up to see from the ground below. He looked down, and realized he was quite high up. He looked around to see if there was any other writing, and finding none, he quickly descended to the ground. He thought about the message, and searched his mind for what the clues hidden there might mean. Something about the sign seemed familiar to him. He turned back to the way he had come, and retraced his steps to the massive gate. When he arrived there, he found the man asleep near a pillar of the gate.

The stranger stood back and looked at the gate again, trying to see if there was any message engraved in it. The gate bore only the shiny golden finish, and some very beautiful etched carvings. He searched each bar, each cross strut, and the ground around the gate. No solution suggested itself. He began to think of other possibilities. He stood back and looked at the fence, and then at the pillars themselves, massive stone columns.

It was then he noticed for the first time that the pillars had shape to them. He stepped back a bit more, and saw that each was the massive leg of an even more massive unicorn, partly etched, partly in bas-relief across the gate, and along the fence. The stranger walked slowly towards the gate, glancing at the pillars, up and down, bringing his face close to first one, then the other. He stood considering them. Then, abruptly, his face twisted, his eye twitching into a wink, as he had a sudden realization.

He laughed to himself, and then walked to the left column, and ran his hand along the smooth surface feeling the minute indentations. His fingers traced along an intricate design, and came to rest just at the juncture of what appeared to be the etching of two small unicorns. First he stroked the etching, and when nothing happened, he pushed it.

A voice cascaded from the direction of the gate, though no one was there.

“May I help you?” the voice intoned.

“May I come through?” the stranger asked.

“Certainly,” the voice replied, and the gate swung open. The stranger strode through the gate, and it closed behind him. He smelled the freshness of the air, and felt the sunlight on his skin, which was already losing its chill. He followed a marble path towards a hillside, and found himself standing in the center of a great hallway. A tall man with a white robe stood against a unicorn statue.

“Any questions?” the tall man asked.

“Many,” the stranger replied, “and none,” he finished. The tall man smiled.

“Your favorites were Sunday Times?” the tall man asked.

“Definitely, but the London Sunday Times were the hardest” he replied, not sure why he understood so clearly. “This one was particularly interesting.”

“It is the inquiring mind which brought you through” the tall man said. “You were trained to think creatively, look for solutions, not pine about obstacles. This was just another great puzzle for you.”

The stranger paused, thinking. “Why hasn’t that poor man outside come through?” the stranger said.

“Oh, him. He’s been there for ages. Just keeps banging that damn shoe on the gate.”

The stranger shuddered. It was so simple, and yet so powerful. He looked at the azure sky, and the perfect, blue sea. Behind him, back through the gate, crawled the mist and fog, the thunder and storms. He glanced at the man curled against the column, huddled and shivering, and turned back to the birds and butterflies frolicking along the green arbor, and walked on.

The man sat before the gate. He had been there a long, long time, waiting for it to open. He had knocked, he had banged, he had called out, he had waved and he had tried to climb over. The man sat down on the ground near the gate and sighed, tired and frustrated. He cursed the gate, and threw his shoe at it. There was no sound, just the continuing wind, at times whistling through the gate.

Despising the Chinese Communist Party and supporting Taiwan independence doesn’t bar affinity for the Chinese people

An editorial in the Taipei Times (“China to blame for cross-strait divide” June 13, 2017, Page 8) discusses recent comments made by Southern Taiwan’s Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) regarding his affinity for China, though it is widely known he supports Taiwan independence.  Taiwan’s Chinese Nationalist Party’s (“KMT”) inability to understand Mayor Lai’s comments, and the responses by KMT adherents and Ma’s acolytes proves the KMT is bereft of any sense any longer about the differences between China and Taiwan, or of the relationship between the two. Former President Ma Pantu (Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)) for so long had his head inside China’s buttocks that he could no longer see Taiwan, and the KMT followed him in there, and has been rotting inside for years now. Former KMT Chairwoman Hung opened an office in there, and considers herself a KMT Chinese.

The trouble with the KMT, since it first invaded Taiwan, raped, pillaged and occupied it, is that it never left China, and never allowed any space in its heart for Taiwan, which it considered at best a temporary parking place to be left behind when it gained back its rule over China.

Taiwanese are not Chinese citizens. The KMT, like China, believes all people of Chinese race are citizens of China, which is completely wrong. People have traveled the earth for thousands of years, and have become citizens of the places they now inhabit, not just people of Chinese descent, but of all races. Communist China is too weak to understand or accept this. Race has been diluted a thousand thousand times throughout history in many cases by having mingled for thousands of years among the peoples of the world.

In my posts the past fifteen years I have made it clear I harbor no ill feelings towards the people of China, I respect their long history, and sympathize with their downtrodden plight, even if they do not understand the depths of iniquity to which the Communist Party have dragged them, through no fault of their own. That I despise the government over which they have no control has nothing to do with them.

It is reasonable for someone who supports Taiwan independence to speak of affinity for China. We would all love to see a world where neighbors work together for a better world, not where one huge neighbor seeks to convert all who fall under its spell to its evil brand of tyranny. The KMT cannot see this, it can only see its lost seat at the head of a long gone imperial table. It is blinded by greed, avarice, racism and corruption, and it is not fit to rule (just like the CCP is not fit to rule).

This attack on Lai by the KMT is not only unbecoming, it shows the KMT’s complete disconnect between being Taiwanese and having a relationship with China. I sympathize with the KMT minions, trying to judge the weather outside while having been locked inside the buttocks of a giant troll. I’m sure most Taiwanese agree with me on this.

“Terrorism blowback” is just a convenient excuse – the causes and the solution come from within Islam only

I ran across Professor Brahma Chellaney’s article on the Strategist website entitled “How to stop terrorism in Europe” from September 2016. When I read his article published here today (Taipei Times, June 10, 2017, P. 9), I thought of the two articles together, and thought I would address Professor Chellaney’s propositions, which while detailed are simplistic.

 First, one proposition in the former article caught my attention. Professor Chellaney says: “The problem is not Islam, as many populists claim…. Today, that threat results from radical Islamism—a fundamentalist vision of society reordered according to Sharia law.” I can agree with this, for the most part.

 Going further, Professor Chellaney would seem to agree with one of the principal tenets of the Trump administration: “Beyond enduring untold suffering and violence, many of today’s refugees, from war-torn countries … have imbibed radical Islamist ideology and, specifically, calls to jihad. Some might be Islamic State fighters who have disguised themselves as asylum-seekers, in order to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe. US intelligence officials have repeatedly warned of this possibility.”

 The solution? Well, Professor Chellaney says “To many in Europe, these factors suggest that the key to keeping Europe safe is controlling the flow of refugees, including through improved vetting procedures.” But he rightfully observes that “…not even constructing a Fortress Europe would eliminate the terrorist threat. After all, some attacks, including in Brussels and Paris, have been carried out by Muslim European citizens who became radicalized in their own bedrooms.”

 And thus the simplistic answer: “The only way to address the threat of terrorism effectively is to tackle the radical Islamist ideology that underpins it.” Easier said than done, but there is something in there that Professor Chellaney overlooks that is absolutely correct. Professor Chellaney focuses on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and then suggests launching an information campaign to discredit the ideology, and then compares this to the success the West achieved against communism.

While there is something that seems correct about this (ignoring the vast distinction between Communism and deeply rooted religion), there is still one determinative thing that is missing.

Professor Chellaney rather simplistically concludes “To take down the terrorists requires delegitimizing the belief system that justifies their actions.” This is completely accurate. As if the West can do anything to discredit this extreme form of Islam (especially when the far left cannot even bring themselves to say the words “Islam” and “terrorism” in the same sentence).

 No, the point missing is this. Discrediting radical Islamist ideology is the only solution, and that must come from inside Islam itself, not from the West. Until Muslim leaders around the world stand up against radical Islam, there can be no solution. Until there are speeches and fatwahs by these leaders against terrorism, there can be no solutions that do not involve war and fighting and many innocent deaths. Until the ideology underpinning the ISIS rise is demonized from within Islam itself there will continue to be a long line of those willing to kill brutally in its name.

There are valuable insights in Professor Chellaney’s earlier article, but only half a solution, somewhat timidly presented, avoiding the real issue, can Islam learn to police itself and rid itself of this extremism? We have no business bringing down this hateful violent ideology from the outside. Islam must cleanse itself of this cancer.

 The article today “The age of blowback terror from Western interventionism” is just another Project Syndicate anti-America anti-West piece (from deep within George Soros’ viewpoint, I suppose). I bridle at the notion that liberal thinkers love to blame liberal Western democracies for the ills in the Middle-east, ignoring the fact that those conflicts actually predate the United States by at least 500 years. The Iraq war did not cause terrorism, it resulted from terrorism. Saddam, Ghadaffy, these men were brutal dictators who murdered hundreds of thousands of their own people.  To weep on one hand when we do not give aid to the Castros’ Cuba, which also has murdered many of its people, but decry helping the people of Iraq and Libya throw off the shackles of madmen is hypocritical, at best.

 It is true however that Iraq spawned ISIS, when President Obama ran away. Had he not, it is doubtful ISIS would have sprung from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or at least there would have been a greater chance to contain it.

 “Blame America” is Project Syndicate’s favorite mantra. However, I am perplexed by Professor Chellaney’s final thought: “As the US and its allies continue to face terrorist blowback, it is hoped that Trump comes to his senses, and helps to turn the seemingly interminable War on Terror that Bush launched in 2001 into a battle that can actually be won.”

 Is he referring to the ideological battle to kill the underpinnings of radical Islam, or something on the battlefield, or both? As I said before, the ideological battle must take place within the confines of Islam itself. The Muslim world must decide for itself whether it wants war or peace. Trump went directly to Saudi Arabia and began the dialogue to face this threat to peace. What follows remains to be seen.

 Golda Meir said it best so very long ago (60 years ago?), that “we won’t have peace until the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”  It still seems true today.

Don’t believe everything you read in Project Syndicate articles, particularly those regarding China.  I do thank Professor Chellaney for his two articles which provided the very thoughtful and detailed discussion which invited my comments here today. I can always appreciate an erudite argument from which to form an opinion.

It was a dark moment in our history…

I want to tell a story. Many of you may know what I am talking about. There was a time in this country when people were persecuted because of ideology. For their belief in certain ideals and certain principles, they were excoriated, treated as dirt, accused of treason against the principles of the United States, vilified and shamed.

They lost their livelihoods, they were prevented from undertaking their professions, they were blacklisted, blackmailed, and forced to hide their beliefs. In fact, those who were accused, had to publicly reject those beliefs and swear allegiance to the vocal majority. Anyone associated with this ideology was scrutinized, humiliated in the press, on TV and in all forms of communication. Even members of Congress conducted witch hunts to find people who might share these beliefs, as they believed and charged those beliefs were dangerous to our American way of life.

The effect was felt most deeply in the entertainment world, where any entertainer who was associated with this ideology, or even simply agreed to perform for a group of people who were accused of having this ideology were blacklisted, essentially barred from performing again in the industry. People were cowed, and afraid to even associate with anyone remotely affiliated with this ideology.

I think you know what I am talking about. It was a dark time in our history. Thinking about this unfortunate, unfair, reactionary, ruthless attack on an ideology made many people sick, to believe this could happen in America.

But I’m not talking about McCarthy or McCarthyism, about his witch hunts and blacklists.

In fact, I am talking about hypocrisy. I am talking about the liberal progressive people out there who pretend to cling to left wing “progressive and liberal” politics and social awareness and freedoms and free speech…and yet, when it was time to prepare for the inauguration of the new President of the United States, the entertainment industry reacted with…blacklists? Is it possible to repeat what happened with McCarthy? Did Hollywood and the music and entertainment industry really make it known that anyone who had anything to do with the inauguration would be blacklisted, they would be ostracized, humiliated, cast out? Just for having anything to do with….an ideology they despised? Is it possible?

During this time, despite my Democratic Party upbringing, and my lifelong liberal views, I found myself disgusted in ways I could not describe. To think my uncle had been accused of an “ideology” by the McCarthy board on fake grounds, and cleared, and then 65 years later the same thing would be done to any entertainer who would even consider playing the Inauguration an honor, to attempt to make sure anyone who supported the new President knew that anyone supporting his political view would be essentially ostracized from the industry turned my stomach.

I never thought I would see the day “Democratic Party” was spelled “h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y”. Never.

Just imagine the hue and cry, and the arrests and prosecution were someone to hold up a prop representing the bloody severed head of President Obama, or put on a play of Julius Caesar with an Obama lookalike as the Emperor, and have him stabbed 97 times. Hypocrisy. At its absolute worst.

I don’t agree with much of what is going on in the White House. But our system of government is based on this electoral process, and our pendulum swings every four or eight years, and through those shifts in policy and ideology our ship of state runs mostly in the middle, which is why it has survived so well for 241 years thus far. It is a time of trouble, and the last eight years left us and the world more divided than it has been in many many years. I am not sure this is the time to heal the division, but it is certain time for soul-searching and self-examination, on both sides. Both sides. The notion that the Left’s excrement somehow resembles roses is nauseating every time I hear it. We are better than this, all of us.

This is especially for Peter Beinart*, who apparently used hypocrisy in his article in the Atlantic, but does not understand the enormous irony in having done so, as the Democratic Party has descended into McCarthyism itself, and has apparently lost all judgment on what democracy and freedom of speech means in the United States.

* https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/enough-with-the-charges-of-democratic-hypocrisy/526290/

Same-sex marriage – the Constitution supersedes majority rule

The Constitution supersedes majority rule. This might sound strange in a democracy but it is true. A constitution is intended to enshrine fundamental rights which are natural and expected among the people governed by it. In Taiwan, Article 173 of the Constitution provides that the Judicial Yuan interprets the Constitution.
Those who oppose same-sex marriage argue the Constitution should be amended to forbid it. I feel they do not understand the sanctity of the Constitution, or why it is sacrosanct.
Most constitutions cannot be amended lightly, and not amended except by a super majority, and in the case of the US, by 3/4 of the state legislatures voting on an amendment proposed by 2/3 of the U.S. House and Senate. In Taiwan, the requirements for amendment are similar, requiring more than a simple majority in the Assembly to approve a resolution (by the Assembly itself requiring one fifth of the members to recommend a resolution, and then three fourths of the members present approving with a quorum of at least two thirds voting) or by referendum proposed by one fourth of the Assembly and approved by resolution of three fourths of the Members present and voting at a meeting with three fourths present. Article 174 of the Constitution).
Why is a simple majority insufficient? Isn’t democracy ordinarily a system based on majority votes? Yes, but the Constitution enshrines principles that in fact among other things are rights of the people protected against the majority, preventing those fundamental principles from being amended lightly, simply by virtue of a majority of popular opinion (in which case that basic fabric of life under that Constitution would sway with the political winds each time an administration changes). These principles, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, due process, equal protection are so ingrained in a democratic society they all transcend majority rule, and are intended to withstand political turmoil.
In the article entitled “Same-sex Marriage: Same-sex marriage decision sparks fury” on P. 3 of the May 25, 2017 paper, anger against the Grand Justices’ ruling holding legalization of same-sex marriage was required by the Constitution was typified by the following: “The interpretation represents “the elite of the nation’s judiciary system bullying the majority opinion of the public,” alliance convener Yu Hsin-yi (游信義) said, adding that it is wrong for the “lawmaking body to interfere with justice.””
First, the Judicial Yuan is not a lawmaking body, it is among other things the Constitutional Court in Taiwan and the sole body charged with interpreting the Constitution. Its interpretation is not interfering with justice but rather defining justice. In China, justice is defined as whatever the Chinese Communist Party says it is. Taiwan is far more enlightened.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the decision on same-sex marriage, people on the street must understand the sacred and higher nature of the Constitution, something that is intended to be eternal and transcendent, and the interpretation of Constitutional principles (in this case equal protection under the law under Article 7) outweighs the majority’s view, absent the overwhelming super-majority needed to change those fundamental principles.
It is true that interpretations of the Constitution (by the Grand Council of Justices in Taiwan and the US Supreme Court in the US) may change with the changes in the composition of the Court over time, though hopefully not altering the nature of those fundamental principles, but continuing to interpret them in light of the evolution of society. Whether or not the Constitution is an immutable document that is not susceptible to changing interpretation is a question plaguing many on both sides of the political spectrum.
The issue of same-sex rights is not something contemplated by Constitutions written more than one or two hundred  years ago, and so interpreters of the Constitutions are faced with assessing how those fundamental rights come into play with these changes in society. There is no better example of the wide range of judicial “tolerance” or “intolerance” of same-sex issues as have occurred in the news the past few days, where on one hand enlightened Taiwan has said its Constitution is tolerant and same sex couples should be allowed to get married, and in Indonesia, where a gay couple is not only not allowed to marry, but is not even allowed to exist, two individuals publicly beaten with canes more than eighty lashes for having engaged in “criminal” homosexual activity. On which side of the spectrum should Taiwan stand?
The Council of Grand Justices has decided that issue. It is not surprising considering the origins of Taiwan’s Constitution (related to some extent to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (and the words “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth”), and the fact the United States Supreme Court in 2015 came to the same conclusion, also  with great controversy, regarding same-sex marriage.
Whichever side of the case one stands on, the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution are broader than a single issue, are not subject to political whim, and are intended to endure.

New York Times Seems to Prefer China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way to the US ~ Has the Old Gray Lady Gone Mad?

The NY Times published an article out of Beijing by Jane Perlez and Keith Bradsher (also carried in the Taipei Times on May 18, 2017, p. 9 “Xi positions China at center of a new economic order”) which seems to speak of China President Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road as an alternative to the “inward-looking” United States under President Trump. As I discuss below, when I read the opening I felt so much disappointment with the Old Grey Lady, which in its recent articles offering somewhat glowing reviews of Xi’s plan symbolizes the hypocrisy of leaning so far left that the extreme right seems only seconds away and fascism looks promising. How can the Times not recognize Xi’s true nature? Is it because he smiles as he threads the hook? Because he speaks lovingly of the poor and the disadvantaged as he weaves a web of deceit and oppression and has his security troops beat those poor and disadvantaged who complain at home into the ground?

Prattling on about the details of Xi’s plan, the article nowhere discusses the true nature of the plan, and does not mention the doublespeak and innuendos in the plan (see my earlier post One Belt One Road One Noose One Way). I understand writing from Beijing one is limited in what one can say negatively about China. For this reason, the Times should stop publishing puff pieces and innocuous analysis from Beijing of a plan which has as its central tenet garnering world influence, destroying democracy, and effecting China’s dream of changing the world so that its dictatorship is the norm, not the exception.

I feel betrayed by the New York Times, but that is nothing new apparently. The article contains so many holes, it is difficult to address them all. Suffice it to say that the article hardly addresses the insidious strategy of China’s so called One Belt One Road program (which in reality is China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way) to construct Trojan horses which can be inserted into any number of the participants in its ‘new economic order’ (a ridiculous way of describing Xi’s plan to corrupt as much of the world as possible) to bring about a situation where China holds all the cards, and countries participating must kneel to China or else risk ruin.

The “economic” plan is not economic at all except to the extent the Kommunist Kash involved while masked as generous loans for infrastructure, is used for blackmail and extracting political concessions to Beijing’s One China rule, its hegemony and its intention to impose its Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (which means “follow Beijing or else”) throughout the new One Road, which is basically merely One Noose.

I have written several times about this and about Project Syndicate’s articles promoting China as an alternative to the US recently in posts here and at the Taipei Times. If international news organizations keep leaving out the animus behind China’s proposal, we will have to keep calling them out on these incomplete analyses and provide our own more direct and clear analysis. China is not saving the world. It is planning to pound the world into China’s own shape.

I heard a song recently called “I’m Not Clay” by a young American singer (Grace VanderWaal). I thought of this song recently because it is a ballad to staying true to yourself.

There are countries along the proposed new silk road where China intends to implant its tentacles, squeezing until eventually they must all obey China’s “core interests”, allow China to continue to spread the influence of its tyranny, and to obligingly intone its mantras, fearful to say anything untoward about the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship, until they are remade into fawning followers of Beijing.

The NY Times article does not discuss the most important point about One Belt One Road One Noose One Way. China cannot remake democracy into dictatorship nor turn free people into supporters of its tyranny, no matter how widely Xi smiles and how hard China tries. Frankly, we are not clay.

China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) weekend forum for his One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way] project just ended. As with anything orchestrated by Communist China, there are dangers and intrigue inherent in the plans and the strategy, because it is China’s ambition to purchase influence and fealty around the globe, a kind of immunization against any discussion of its totalitarian system of oppression, hegemony and its plan to remake the world with Chinese Characteristics. Xi, as always, spoke “sincerely” of “mutual respect of one another’s sovereignty, territory and “core interests.” This is one of the key dogmas in China’s initiative of One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way].

A thorough article for Reuters/Beijing (‘Silk Road’ plan stirs unease over China’s strategic goals, Taipei Times, Mar. 6, 2017, p. 9) sets out some of the practical concerns the international community may have about the plan. The article mentions that “Xi’s speech also drew implicit contrast between Chinese-style development objectives and those of the West, saying the initiative will not resort to ‘outdated geopolitical maneuvering’.”

Together, these two points mean that China’s strategy is to hide the evil inherent in the Chinese Communist Party’s one-party dictatorship rule over China in plain view by “suggesting” for the millionth time that countries must respect sovereignty, territory (in other words China will claim whatever territory it deems part of China, including Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, parts of the Moon and possibly Mars if it can get there first) and “core interests”, which means don’t even think of messing around with the CCP’s suppression of all freedoms in Communist China or trying to introduce democracy, human rights or justice there anytime soon, or fail to intone the One China Policy.

Xi’s project will throw tens of billions of dollars at needy or greedy countries willing to do business with the devil, kneel to the devil, and, unbeknownst to them, invite the devil to dinner and get on the Silk Road which is a one-way ticket to Hell. China’s currency has always been propaganda and blackmail. If you want Kommunist Kash, you have to pretend One China is true, even though the world knows Taiwan is not part of Communist China, and that China is not the world’s worst offender of human rights in the universe. For the right amount of Kash, or pretend effort to reign in North Korea, it seems to be no problem for Europe and even for Trump.

“The Chinese government has never wished to control any other country’s government,” according to Ou Xiaoli (歐曉理), a Chinese Cabinet official. Except controlling Taiwan. And Tibet. And Hong Kong. And the South China Sea. And all references to the one-party system in China. And talking about the Great Firewall of China. And Falun Gong. And the Chinese Catholic Church. And the Dalai Lama – and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the kidnapped real Panchen Lama and the Chinese Communist Party replacement fake Panchen Lama. And North Korea. And Japan. And Democracy. And Human Rights, whatever those are. And Censorship. And Freedom of Speech. And freedom of religion. And due process, whatever that is. And speaking ill of the Chinese Communist Party revolution.

The article notes that “China often is the only entity willing to finance big projects in poor countries. That gives Beijing leverage to require use of Chinese builders and technology.” This is good old-fashioned Colonization with Chinese Characteristics. China will go into a poor country, give the corrupt leadership Kommunist Kash with no strings attached (other than those mentioned in the previous paragraph), but no requirements that the government of the new “colony” be democratic or practice human rights, whatever those are, or benefit the people of the country, rape the natural resources China needs to take, bring in multitudes of Chinese workers under CCP control to do the work, and add another “ally” to the list of who will vote blindly for anything China wishes. Perhaps ultimately we will see a United Chinese Union which will be comprised of all these “colonies” that China has acquired using Kommunist Kash, which will become a bloc of anti-western democratic principles and human rights, whatever those are, and pro-Chinese socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which means an alternate world of dictatorship and tyranny, a silent and impotent United Nations (sort of like today) controlled by China and its allies, the Diktator’s Klub.

One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way] is an insidious very long-term strategy to infect many nations around the globe with China’s own brand of governing and civil society from within, a creeping, silent and devastating darkness designed to cripple democracy and dissent, destroy justice and freedom, and strangle human rights. Xi simply wishes to create a world just like China in each and every country. We simply must not allow it.