Trump’s Problem With China

Without turning my comments into a history lesson, it is absolutely true that some nations harbor great resentment that colors their present. Because we share a common culture, Britain has sort of forgiven their previous Colony, but countries like China, Mexico, and the Central American group…well, they don’t like us.

China actually hates all foreigners, the British most of all because of the Opium Wars, which were actually the Tea Wars, but since we share a British culture, well….Westerners all look alike.

You see, back in the early to mid 1800s, Britain was in serious financial straights because it had a tea craving that put it in massive trade deficit with China. China traded tea for silver, and the British treasury had none. 10% of the average British household money bought tea, and China grew ALL the tea. (It is still the second most drunk beverage, worldwide, behind only water!)

The Hounerable (Yes, that is the correct spelling) East India Company sent Robert Fortune to steal tea seeds for India, but it would take years for the plants to mature, so Britain forced the highly addictive and India-grown Opium into China in huge amounts, by the force of the British Navy (The Opium Wars), thereby refilling the British treasury. The British, in effect, traded opium for tea, by force in what has always been taught in China as the “Unequal Treaties”…they think the current unequal treaties by the US as compensation for what they call, the “100 years of Humiliation.”

(Robert Fortune stole both Green Tea seeds, then Black Tea seeds, both from high in the China mountains where foreigners were forbidden. It was successful industrial espionage)

China remembers. Trump probably doesn’t even know. What Trump thought would be an easy tariff war, isn’t. Trump had better hope for a win both with Mexico on the Border (they remember General Scott dictating terms in Mexico City), and with the China on the tariff front if he is to win re-election.

It won’t be easy. Perhaps not even possible. Now back to my iced tea…a Black Tea from China. (It’s called “China Mist” and it’s wonderful!)

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Historic Win

Many people will swear to their children that they saw the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies, 16-12 last night, but I actually did!

Let me admit, I forgot to put it on my iPad, simply forgot until the 9th inning with the Padres behind 11-5, at which time I opened a window for it and pretty much half listened. Then the noise caused me to expand the window, and the Padres came back with a home run and several extra base hits, and suddenly the Padres tied the Rockies. Then in the 12th, Tatis stretched a double into a triple, and we were ahead. Eventually the Padres scored five runs to settle the affair. Renfroe had three home runs, Machado had one, Tatis was the spark plug…heck it was simply big. Really big!

Justice, But Not For Everyone Involved

There is so little good news coming from Courts, that one must rejoice when it is found.

Oberlin College, in Ohio, has been found to be guilty of aiding and abetting college students in the harm done to a local bakery in town, which bakery had been in business for five generations.

The problem arose when a Black student attempted to shoplift a bottle of wine, and got caught. Two fellow Black students, girls, raised a ruckus to get him released by store employees, and failing, organized a series of protests before the family owned store, and pressured the College to end a long time cafeteria contract with the bakery.

The shoplifter pleaded guilty in court.

The family and by extension its employees lost money over several years from the student and College boycott, and sued the College. Meanwhile, the offending students have graduated and fled on their way, unmolested.

A jury awarded the bakery $11 million in actual damages, and subsequently this past week added $33 million in punitive damages, although the punitive damages exceeds the law and may be reduced. The total certainly sends a message to the College, and it means that the jury ignored pleas by the College that such awards will harm the students.

Hopefully, a message has been sent, although the students who caused this suffered none of the consequences they caused the College. I wish someone would interview them!

Mexico is Not Our Friend

Mexico could have stopped the Caravans, and could now without the threats. They don’t because they don’t like us…partly a history between, partly it’s envy, partly a safety valve, partly corruption, partly just pure laziness.

The 5% Tariff caused Mexico to focus on a problem that suddenly became more acute than the hundreds of problems that plague a nation first founded by Europeans at the same time as the US, with better weather and more natural resources.

You can place your own reasons for the Mexican failure…I can think of a few. It was founded by the Spanish, who were not interested in land, but gold. They found plenty of that, but were never interested in land. The Spanish were Catholic, to the point that the Pope was called upon to settle a Spanish/Portuguese land dispute, and the Pope knew so little about the geography that when he drew a line, all of Central and South America was awarded to Spain except Brazil.

Reliance on the church was stifling, and Mexico finally threw it off…too late. Cartels filled vacuum left by the church, as an alternative to the political machine. The money from the cartels corrupted what was left of the government, and no force in Mexico is able to overcome the cartels “Gold or lead” omnipresence.

Of course the largely untaxed remittances sent home by illegal aliens is a huge incentive for Mexico to send, and keep a massive presence in the US. The private welfare provided to Mexicans at home from illegals working here amounts to more, $25 billion in 2015, than Mexican oil exports from Pemex.

Mexico’s inherent dislike of the US is too strong to permit it to ask for as much help from us as it needs, hence the need for us to apply judicious pressure. Often.

Our national defense, the defense of our Southern Border, demands it.

New Sheriff in Town

Of course Trump won concessions from Mexico, first because Mexico has been wrong, wrong, wrong in aiding and abetting this Southern Invasion for years, and secondly because Trump was willing to be a bully.

Make no mistake, the bullying was fully justified, even overdue, but the US has been unwilling to use its power for fear of being called a bully for decades. Other nations have been willing to throw stones at us, never fearing retaliation, but there is a new Sheriff in town.

New rules of conduct are slowly being enforced. Effete Democrats do not like our new and more testosterone driven stance, but it appears our Nancy boy attitude of the past may be over, at least temporarily.

We may need to announce a new “Zone of Safety” around our planes and ships as well. “Anything approaching our ships and planes within 4,000 yards in an aggressive manner, is subject to defensive lethal and kinetic action on our part.”

The Russians and Iranians, and to a lesser extent the Chinese are threatening our ships on the high seas. A game of chicken is too dangerous between light hull ships with hundreds of men below decks. The Russian Navy is too weak by far to challenge our Navy, but like so many other nations they have benefitted from our reluctance to retaliate.

That should end. Soon.

Saint Jean

I am so smug…Jean Baker married me 62 years ago, today, and we have loved and laughed throughout those years without an unkind word passing between us. Her friends call her “Saint Jean,” for putting up with me.

Jean has had Alzheimer’s for five years now, but she is still the sweet, loving wife I married. It was love at first sight for me on my blind date to Hood College For Girls, as the Naval Academy (all male) Chapel Choir rehearsed Handel’s Messiah with Hood’s (all female) Choir.

Back to the Academy that night on the Academy bus, I told my roommate, Paul Hathaway, “I have found the girl I am going to marry.”

We dated, illegally, all Plebe Year, and were married the day after I barely graduated. For decades I have started each day, like today, begging her not to leave me today. It has been magical. Absolutely magical.

A very public, “Thank you, Jean.”

Love/Hate Relationship

Word from two sources, one each from the two corners in the Mexican Tariff negotiations, indicates the Mexican offer is to send 6,000 Mexican troops to the Guatemala Border, and to assist in the return of illegals to their country of origin. This would enforce International Law, which requires Asylum Seekers to first apply for assistance in an Embassy in their own country, and if they must flee to seek asylum in the first country they flee to.

That would be Guatemala for most Central Americans, and Mexico for Guatemalans.

These are interesting Mexican proposals, but it raises the question of why didn’t Mexico do these things, yesterday, last month, last year…?

The answer is that, as I have noted, Mexico is NOT our friend. It has never been our friend, but applying a bit of pressure to their national private parts is beneficial.

The problem is, as a former president of Mexico has noted, to make whatever concessions without appearing “to bend a knee” to the hated Gringos of the North.

Mexicans are particularly sensitive (read, “extremely sensitive”) about their apparently subservient position to the US. The old Mexican saying that translates to, “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States” is germane. The Mexicans believe one of my family, President James K. Polk, stole their land in the Mexican War, and the subsequent Treaty of Hidalgo, and that argument has at least a modicum of truth. That was in the days of American Expansionism, and the entire world operated on the theory of “If you can’t hold it, you can’t have it.”

Mexico couldn’t hold it. The Mexican War was particularly galling, with an American Army occupying Mexico City, and there is a Love/Hate relationship going on that is common between unequal partners.