TSMC Chairman Discusses Semiconductor Chip Production & Possible China Invasion Of Taiwan

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Mark Liu, the Chairman of Taiwan Semicondictor Manufacturing Company(TSMC), the most valuable company in Asia, and tenth in the whole world, appeared on CNN’s GPS show (07/31/22) to discuss the growing global shortage of semiconductor chips, and efforts by his company to ramp up production in the United States. TSMC is building a $12 billion advanced chip manufacturing plant in Arizona, thanks in large part to subsidies from the recently passed Chips Act. As expected, the interview also delved into growing global concerns about a possible invasion of Taiwan by China, especially given what is currently happening in Ukraine.

As it currently stands, the whole world relies on TSMC for the supply of advanced semiconductor chips, and as concerns grow about a possible invasion of Taiwan by China (especially after Russia-Ukraine), many in the tech world fear that their industry could be turned upside down without a free TSMC.

Asked what would happen to the chip industry if China were to invade Taiwan, Chairman Liu said even though the production of advanced semiconductor chips is critical to the Taiwanese economy, the chip industry/economy would be their least concern because such an attack would upend the world’s rules-based order, and dramatically change the geopolitical landscape.

Asked whether China may be interested in invading Taiwan so it can have total control of TSMC, one of the world’s most valuable assets, Chairman Liu responded (video at 3:15): “Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force, or invasion, you will render a TSMC factory non-operable because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility, it depends on the real time connection with the outside world–with Europe, with Japan, with the U.S., from materials, to chemicals, to spare parts, to engineering software diagnosis, and it is everybody’s effort to make this factory operable, so if you take it over by force, you can no longer make it operable.”

Asked about the so-called “TSMC shield”–this notion that because mainland China relies heavily on TSMC for it’s high end chips, it may be hesitant to invade–Chairman Liu responded (video at 4:45): “Our[TSMC] interruption will create great economic turmoil on either side–in China because, suddenly their most advanced components supply [will have] disappeared…it is an interruption, I must say, so people will think twice on this.” It appears Chairman Liu agrees with the “TSMC shield” theory. He then added that we should draw lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war because as we can see, there are no winners. Russia is suffering, Ukraine is suffering, and the rest of the world is suffering as a result of the war. China’s invasion of Taiwan would be no different.

Asked to explain how Taiwan has managed to grow at 5% per year for five decades straight–the so-called “Taiwan miracle”, Chairman Liu said a lot of it had to do with the fact that the Taiwanese are generally, very peaceful people. He said that since 1949, when the island transformed from authoritarian rule, they have managed to live peacefully. He also added the education system as another reason for the “Taiwan miracle.” Apparently, university education in Taiwan is available to anybody who wants it. As a result, 80% of adults in Taiwan are college educated.

Bottom line folks, as host Fareed Zakaria correctly put it, Chairman Liu is probably the most important man in the world, that you don’t know about. All in all, a fascinating interview, with a fascinating business leader, from a fascinating island, which I hope, the world does everything, to shield from an invasion by China.

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What is Christian Nationalism? An Interesting CNN Segment Delved Into It

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An interesting segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources show (07/31/22) delved into the new hot political topic, and that is, Christian Nationalism. So what is Christian Nationalism? Host Brian Stelter brought in Katherine Stewart, who has studied this topic for years, to shed some light on the issue. Stewart is the author of the book “The Power Worshippers–Inside The Dangerous Rise Of Religious Nationalism”.

This intro by host Brian Stelter is important for establishing the context for the ensuing debate:“Roughly 70% of Americans identify as Christian, and this segment is not about most of them. This segment is about the rise of a White Christian Nationalist movement in the U.S. It’s emerging in the news more and more, you are probably hearing the term Christian Nationalism more and more. Here is one expert’s definition:’Christian Nationalism is the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way.’ Many observers feel that would threaten our diverse, healthy democracy in the U.S. We are seeing some Republicans in the U.S. embrace the term Christian Nationalism, for example [Reps] Marjorie Taylor Greene…Lauren Boebert…”

Here’s how Katherine Stewart defined Christian Nationalism (video at ):“Christian Nationalism is basically the idea that America was founded as a so-called Christian nation, our law should be based on the Bible, and supposedly right-thinking believers need to reclaim America’s past.”

Stewart said this is dangerous because “it’s a radically anti-democratic ideology. It rejects the principles of pluralism and equality, that represent the best of the American promise. The movement, it’s not just an ideology, it’s also an organized quest for political power.. it’s a political movement. This movement has built up…a sort of a dense organizational infrastructure over decades, that includes right wing policy groups, legal advocacy groups, networking initiatives, that get the leadership on the same page…[including] Supreme Court Justices.”

Stewart went on to expound on her argument re the U.S. Supreme Court saying, all the six conservative justices on the high court are either current or former members of the Federalist Society, which she says “is an organization that plays an outsized role in shaping our courts.” Just so you know, the Federalist Society is part of the “dense organizational infrastructure” Stewart alluded to earlier.

Stewart said Trump’s presidency was key to the Christian Nationalist movement because he “threw open the doors to leaders of this movement. It’s a leadership-driven movement, it’s not defined by the attitudes of the rank and file. Those attitudes are actually shaped by the leadership of the movement. He [Trump] offered them unprecedented political access, offered them of course the justices they wanted. This is a movement that represents the minority of our country. Most American Christians reject the politics of conquest and division this movement represents.”

There’s no other way to interpret Katherine Stewart’s remarks on CNN’s Reliable Sources other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), power hungry conservatives have schemed for decades on how to use Chritianity to achieve political power, and they finally got their opening with the Trump presidency. Trump elevated the leaders of this movement, and what we’re witnessing today with Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and others, are simply efforts to make Christian Nationalism a mainstream movement in America. Remember, as Katen Stewart correctly pointed out, a majority of Christians don’t agree with this effort to essentially hijack Christianity for political gain.

The CNN segment singled out Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) and Lauren Boebert(R-CO) as illustrations of this budding Christian Nationalist movement, but if anyone out there is looking for the classic example to date, it is, in my humble opinion, none other than former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a former Pastor, who has now fully embraced Trumpism. Mike Huckabee not only got his daughter Sarah to work in Trump’s White House, but also made sure she secured Trump’s endorsement for her run for Arkansas Governor, a job she is largely expected to bag.

Huckabee has also recently authored “christian” books themed around the Trump presidency. If Mike Huckabee, and his daughter Sarah for that matter, are not the classic examples of the abuse-Christianity-for-political-power-movement, I don’t know who is.

An important piece of advice Karen Stewart gave to the mainstream media when covering this Christian Nationalism movement, is to never forget that it is a leadership-driven movement. In other words, don’t focus too much on what the rank and file go out there and do in furtherance of the movement(often viral videos on social media attacking gays, pro-choice activists, etc), but rather, on the leaders of the movement, who indoctrinate them into doing this stuff. Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, many Christians, including Yours Truly, regarded former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura (Texas pride–deal with it), as very good representations of a Christian family–despite whatever differences one might have had with their political beliefs. Interestingly, Trump, the leader of the “christian” nationalist movement, has never humbled himself to say anything good about the God-fearing Bushes. That, my friends, is all you need to know about this “christian” nationalist movement. It is anything, but Christian.

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Sen Whitehouse:”Supreme Court Is Not A Conservative Court, It’s A Captured Court”

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Senator Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI) appeared on MSNBC’s Ayman show(05/28/22), where he dropped a bombshell, telling the host Ayman Mohyeldin that the U.S. Supreme Court is not a conservative court, but “a captured court”a court captured by special interest dark money groups. Senator Whitehouse added that the situation with Roberts Supreme Court is similar to what happened in the 19th century, when the railroads captured the railroad commissions, so that the commissions would rubber stamp whatever prices the railroads wanted to charge.

Senator Whitehouse(video at 2:55):“This is not a conservative court, this is a captured court in the same way that in the 19th century, railroads took over the railroad commissions so that railroad commissions would let them charge whatever prices they want. Private interests behind the Federalist Society have controlled the last three Republican appointees to the United States Supreme Court, and they had massive influence in the selection of Roberts and Alito, so that’s really five, and that’s a majority of the court that was put in place by this special interest operation, and they are now delivering for the benefit of those big interests who put them on the court. It is not a conservative court, it is a captured court, and it is captured by special interests.”

Sen Whitehouse said the Disclose Act currently languishing in the U.S. Senate, would rein in dark money’s corrupting influence on the Supreme Court, but like other important pieces of legislation,it has fallen victim to the filibuster road block, with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin(WV) and Kyrsten Sinema(AZ) refusing to budge on any exceptions to the filibuster rules(60 vote threshold to pass laws).

Bottom line folks, there is no question that dark money interests have taken over the U.S. Supreme Court, and we desperately need the Disclose Act to rein in the said dark money interests. Dems should not ease the pressure on Sens Sinema and Manchin re exceptions to the filibuster rules, however doomed such efforts might appear. Keep applying pressure on the Biden saboteurs all the way to the Fall elections!!

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Ingraham-Ted Cruz SCOTUS Ultimatum: Strike Down Roe v Wade Or Face Limited Jurisdiction

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Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show (12/1/21) to discuss the Mississippi abortion law currently playing out at the United States Supreme Court. Conservatives consider this Mississippi law their best shot at dealing a fatal blow to the 1973 Roe v Wade decision which legalized abortion, given the fact that they now enjoy a 6-3 advantage on the high court. What caught Yours Truly’s attention from the interview however, was the very direct way(not subtle any more) both Senator Cruz and host Laura Ingraham, a very influential Republican in her own right, expect, even demand that the conservative Supreme Court justices toe the conservative ideological line. As a matter of fact, Ingraham and Senator Cruz went as far as laying an ultimatum to the six conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court: Strike down Roe v Wade or suffer the consequences of a limited jurisdiction court.

During the interview, as Senator Cruz was going on and on about why he thought the conservative Supreme Court would uphold the Mississippi abortion law, host Laura Ingraham interjected: “Senator if we have six Republican appointees on this court, after all the money that’s been raised, the Federalist Society, all these big fat cat dinners, I’m sorry, I’m pissed about this. If this court, with six justices cannot do the right thing here, the constitutional thing, then I think it’s time to do what Robert Bork said we should do, which is to circumscribe the jurisdiction of this court, and they want to blow it up, then that’s the way to change things finally because this can’t stand. This is insane.”

A concurring Senator Cruz responded: “I would do that in a heartbeat. As you know, the constitution gives Congress the authority to restrict the jurisdiction of the court, I think we should do that…”

There’s no other way any reasonable person would interpret Senator Cruz’s interaction with Fox News host Laura Ingraham other than Republicans have for decades, organized and raised large sums of money through the Federalist Society and others, to put like-minded justices on the United States Supreme Court, for the express purpose of overturning Roe v Wade, and for the high court to generally act as a rubber stamp for other Republican Party/conservative ideals. What Senator Cruz and Ingraham are expressly conveying to the six conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court is pretty clear, and that is, they better toe the Republican Party line by striking down Roe v Wade, or else suffer the consequences of a limited jurisdiction Supreme Court–have their powers reduced.

This direct threat Senator Cruz and Ingraham leveled at the conservative justices of the U.S. Supreme Court confirms what liberals have argued all along, and that is, the U.S. Supreme Court as is currently constituted, six conservatives and three liberals, is for all intents and purposes, a political court. This is especially so when one considers the egregious conduct of then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), who robbed President Obama of an opportunity to fill the late Justice Scalia’s seat using the bogus “election year” rationale. Sen McConnell then turned around and abandoned his “election year” rationale in late 2020, to rush through the confirmation of Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ginsburg. Simply put, the conservative Roberts Supreme Court has become a political body, whether or not the justices want to acknowledge that fact.

Bottom line folks, this ultimatum by Senator Cruz and Ingraham should put to rest this myth that the 6-3 Roberts Supreme Court is some apolitical body, only interested in deciding cases on their legal merits. Republicans have fought for decades, and have succeeded in installing justices they are sure, will tow the GOP line. Now they expect/are demanding results, beginning with Roe v Wade. The only question remaining should be how we free the U.S. Supreme Court from it’s GOP captors, and revert it back to it’s proper realm, as the premier legal institution in America. One possible solution would be to expand the court.

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