Living in Interesting Times: Political Ponderings

there has been a lot of news in America these last so many hours and few days about Donald Trump’s call to the President of Taiwan. I usually call Mr. Trump President-Elect but really the title is not entirely his until the Electoral College casts its official votes on December 19.  One of the mostly important and interesting things about Taiwan is its relationship with the United Nations and China.  I have an abiding interest in China and right now am working in the nebulous beginnings of a long process related to a United Nations World Heritage Site for the Cajun cultural landscape in Acadiana.  Taiwan is a complicated place which CURRENTLY sees itself as an independent nation while the People’s Republic of China sees it as the Province of Chinese Taipei. America withdrew its embassy from Taiwan in 1979 to improve Chinese American relations. Improvement in those relations has had many enormously positive effects on the world economy and on China as well as many good effects on the United States. However, there have been bad effects as well. But the United Nations issue is more complicated than Taiwan simply not having a UN seat as a sovereign nation. The government in Taiwan once held the permanent UN  Security Council Seat reserved for China and which China shares as its spoils of war with the other big winners of World War II (the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and France). The Soviet Union no longer exists and the Russian Federation holds the seat earned by Stalin’s hosts in the bloodiest conflict in recorded history. France, the good old USA and the UK of Great Britain’s realms and Norther Ireland remain more or less the same. But China experienced the  Second World War in the context of ongoing wars with Japan which sort of blend into each other as well as in a Civil War between the Communist Party of China and its followers and the Nationalists (KuoMinTang or KMT) and its followers. For a long time the KMT had the upper hand and were recognized as China. But in the end they retreated to the island of Formosa (or Taipei), fortified it and declared it and their own blend of the local Taiwanese and there exile government to be the legitimate government of China. The United States supported the claims of this government in exile for quite a while   and today still has a strong military support for Taiwan. Taiwan and China or in fact still in a Civil War. So are North and South Korea but these are Cold Wars — not the hot kind where people die every day in battle. In China back in 2004 and 2005 when I lived there there were bureaucracies devoted to Cross-Strait Relations which is what the relationship between China and Taiwan is called there (or was in English at that time anyway). Taiwan,South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan are among the biggest investors in the PRC and were when I was there and each have complicated legal relationships with China proper that our media does little to explain. It is into this world that Trump’s call must be placed for context. I believe the relationship of the United States with Taiwan is an important one. Although I have never visited Taiwan I did take as active an interest as I could in that relationship when I was in China. For me they and Hong Kong and South Korea and the Philippines had the best promise of helping friends of mine in China achieve some social and political goals for the rest of the Chinese people and themselves. But there is nothing simple about all of this. What Trump’s presidency will achieve is truly unknown to me.

This post is intended to be mostly about China. About Sino-American Relations and about President-Elect Trump’s phone call with the President of Taiwan. That is a suitable supply of material for many posts but it is not the only subject of this post. This post like many (but by no means all) the posts on this blog is tied up with my personal life and the material already contained in this blog as well. Of course in par that is because China has already featured in this blog in many post such as here, here and here.  but really it is more remarkable how little I have discussed China here rather than how much I have. Asian American relations have also been discussed a good bit as here and here. But again, probably less than is representative of how much I think about this subject.  Asia has bee enormously significant in my life and is enormously significant in my thoughts. My time in China, though relatively brief in itself, was followed up by years of sustained interest and communications and preceded by years of effort in getting there. My years in the Philippines and my family’s years there with and without me were very formative. My only close relative killed in combat was killed in Afghanistan which is Asia. My family members have spent a lot of time in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India. I however have not. But my blog here deals with the years I have been blogging most of all and those (now many) years have been years when I seldom have left the United States. That in itself is a remarkable turn of events in my life.

 

Living out in the public eye here in my own country in the way that only a personal blog does is not an experience to which earlier generations were vulnerable nor to which they were privileged nor was it really available during the years when I was in the newspapers much more than I have been lately. So I have blogged mostly about the United States of America. Donald Trump also offers me many things to comment on within discussion of the United States of America — not only his cabinet posts and possible domestic policy but in unique aspects of his transition as well. On the seventh I hope to attend a meeting very far from United Nations headquarters that relates to the UN World Heritage Site process which will allow recognition for the American homeland of a people with whom the following people have been to some degree associated (no declaration of the degree of that claim or its legitimacy is asserted here:
Barry Jean Ancelet, Scott Angelle,Robert H. Barrow, Lee Benoit, Al Berard, Calvin Borel,Bubby Brister,  Firmin Breaux, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco,Reid Brignac, John Breaux, Crystal,Carl A. Brasseaux, James Lee Burke,Mary Katherine Campbell,James Carville, Paul N. Cyr, Trishelle Cannatella, Lacey Chabert,Claire Lee Chennault, Amie Comeaux,Roy Corcoran, Lance Cormier, Eddie Delahoussaye, Jake Delhomme, Kent Desormeaux, Jefferson J. DeBlanc, Ellen DeGeneres, Joe Doucet,Reggie Dupre, Val Dufour, Edwin Duhon, Jesse Duplantis ,Edwin Edwards,   Joe Falcon, Cléoma Falcon,Brett Favre, John Folse, James Fontenot, Mary Alice Fontenot,Mike Fontenot, Eric Guerin,Ron Guidry,Mary Gauthier,Bob Hamm, Hunter Hayes,Bobby Hebert, F. Edward Hebert, Leigh Hennessy, Lash LaRue, Doug Kershaw, Sammy Kershaw, Angela Kinsey, Ali Landry, Lisa Landry, Dudley Leblanc, Robert Leblanc, Severin Leblanc, Shia LaBeouf, John A. Lejeune,Tom Landry, Stefan LeFors, John LeRoux, Jared Leto, Shannon Leto, Camille Martin, Huey P. Meaux,Gil Meche, Charlie Melancon, Elemore Morgan, Alexander Mouton, Alfred Mouton, Oliver Naquin, Jr.,Xavier Paul,Andy Pettitte, Bob Pettit,  Paul Prudhomme, Matthew Randazzo V, Tyran Richard, Zachary Richard, George Rodrigue,Eugene Roe, ‘Tit Jo’ Savoie, Amanda Shaw, Ian Somerhalder, Floyd Sonnier,Stephanie Swift,Billy Tauzin, Ryan Theriot, Fabian Thibodeaux, Henry Schuyler Thibodeaux, Clifford Trahan, Wayne Toups, Shane West, and Justin Wilson.

Only a few of these names will be known to the majority of readers and all have made their mark. Each has a legacy already whether they are living or dead. In addition there are complex issues of leadership which matter quite a bit and issues of identity associated with leadership. The Cajuns must interact with the United Nations even as they sort out their own (or we sort out our own) relationships with one another. I have too few resources in countless ways even to hold own my small part in the relatively small puzzle here. The United Nations puzzle in East Asia has been vastly more complex. The challenges into which President-Elect Trump has inserted himself are indeed challenges which stand large upon the world stage.  The UN proposal meeting is not the only thing on my agenda. this week –surviving the weather in my low car is one priority. And also a religious holiday in the Church in my Cajun hometown — founded on land sold to a French Missionary priest by my Leblanc ancestors.

On the eighth is the Roman Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception. That has to do with the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception which refers not to  semen as soiling — most people think it refers to the Virgin Birth of Jesus without a human father. That is called the Virgin Birth. Rather it refers to the miracle by which Mary was conceived without the universal heritage of Original Sin so that through her parents natural act of sexual intercourse she became a unique example of the human species suitable for bearing the Only Begotten Son of God. It is under Mary’s title as Mary of The Immaculate Conception that she is venerated by Roman Catholics as the Patroness of the United States. I have volunteered to serve as a Eucharistic minister on that day and on the seventh I have a meeting with the possible central Committee for the Cajun Nation World Heritage Site. These very American events are also very much on my mind. So Asia and politics go together as major parts of my day and week and so forth but not exclusively. Politics for me goes for beyond simply following elections and voting. I am very politically engaged — but not at all a major player.

 

 

 

So what is there to say at this junction of political change and the prospects of our evolving relationships in East Asia. After returning from teaching in China I hoped to return there and when that did not happen long hoped to return overseas to teaching. I posted this note to my international group of friends on Facebook some years ago.

I am hoping to go abroad and teach English at a University, college, business or travel acedemy. I expect hard work and low pay but also some allowances for travel and learning local culture. I will not be an excited young newcomer, but a do appreciate other people’ s lives and work as well as other countries. I will go on any visa but with a view to permanent relocation. I hope to stay in touch with the USA online, send gifts and cards and a place safe enough to visit would be ideal but I am planning to live as an ex-pat for the rest of my life. I find my own native cultural experience as one living in and part of Ameica as it and I know are to be unendurable and am willing to take in social comfort and acceptance tems the position a fugitive or refugee must often take and which throughout history such have sometimes persons taken. As did many that built this country in the past and do today. Despite saying that I have usually made many good friends or acquaintances abroad and  believe that might happen again. My skills are considerable although perhaps my personal charms are limited.  Thanks for any help you can give in locating such a position. My desire to leave as soon as possible is occasioned by my Grandmother’s recent death and not by any legal or financial misdeeds on my part. She was simply the last adult American who had at some extended time a history of supporting  any complete vision of myself which I could tolerate on a long term basis.  I will carefully consider any offers but cannot guarantee their acceptance. I know that at forty-eight I may not receive any offers and that is also a possiblity I will deal with when it happens if necessary.  Because of that I will also accept private well made suggestions which do not come from those with power to hire. All help will be answered with gratitude.  My mailing address is:

PO Box 22

Perry, Louisiana 70575

USA

Please confirm all mailings with e-mail and do not assume I have received anything without e-mail confirmation from me.

 

Here is a link to my Linked-In Profile which is not accesssible without a membership but I will welcome any Facebook friend who wishes to join: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=57268633&trk=tab_pro

 

The truth is that I have not blogged as much about the playing the game at hand in regards to China as it much as I could have. I am going to be a proponent for larger change for as long as I can. There is a lot that must be done besides responding to the most urgent needs of the day. If I ever get popular enough on this blog to be noticed by a President Trump he may zing what I have to say. But for now I am merely setting a context for what he is doing — I am not yet criticizing it. I am deeply critical of many aspects of our national situation. he and I are bound to disagree often. But for now I am setting out the feeling landscape in which I dwell as well as the most important facts about the context of a single phone call for a single American — myself.

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