WA Delegate: None.
Founder: The Bamboo Palace of Kuan Yin
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Embassies: Genesis Defense Project, Taoism, Buddhism, Angkor Wat, San Francisco, The Sea Of Love, Buddhist Region of Jambudvipan, Sufism, The Himalayas, Psychedelic, Sufi, The Woods, Space Jesus, The Zoo, Weed, Tibet, and 24 others.Zen Buddhism, Libcom, Ego, Buddha, Lhasa, Chiapas, Eswatini, Revolution, Kashmir, Akumal, Tel Aviv, Capitalism, Animal Liberation Front, Antifa Luxemburgist Communist Collective, China, Singapore, Hundred Acre Wood, Allah, Kingdom of Cambodia, Wantai, Save Our Planet, phoenix partners, Refugia, and Buddhist Communism.
Today's World Census Report
The Largest Arms Manufacturing Sector in Taiwan
World Census special forces intercepted crates of smuggled weapons to determine which nations have the largest arms industry.
As a region, Taiwan is ranked 18,879th in the world for Largest Arms Manufacturing Sector.
|1.||The 36th Chamber of Shaolin of San Te||Left-wing Utopia||“Light the lantern of mind. Keep it bright every day.”|
|2.||The Sea Shrine of Serpents||Left-wing Utopia||“Attempts to enslave may result in severe burns”|
|3.||The Matriarchy of Xiao Meimei||Mother Knows Best State||“Lao pung yo, nee can chi lai hun yo jing shen.”|
|4.||The Most Serene Republic of Keep Your Eyes Open||Iron Fist Socialists||“Fkd up, got ambushed, zipped in”|
|5.||The Republic of Frimon||Liberal Democratic Socialists||“Peace and Justice”|
|6.||The Wu Wei Brigade of Taoist Extremists||Left-wing Utopia||“No one rules if no one obeys”|
|7.||The Principality of Houtong||Corrupt Dictatorship||“Here be Cats.”|
|8.||The Republic of Tai-oan||Left-wing Utopia||“None”|
|9.||The Wrath of Hayagriva||Left-wing Utopia||“Om Benzra Krodha Haya Griwa”|
|10.||The Bamboo Palace of Kuan Yin||Left-wing Utopia||“Namo Gwan Shi Yin Pu Sa”|
- : The Federal Republic of Guangyang departed this region for The East Pacific.
- : The Federal Republic of Guangyang arrived from The East Pacific.
- : The 36th Chamber of Shaolin of San Te banned The Intramarine Realm of Pygania from the region.
- : The 36th Chamber of Shaolin of San Te banned The Revolutionary Martyrs Spirit of Guomindang from the region.
- : The Intramarine Realm of Pygania of the region Pecan Sandies proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Kingdom of Shilla-Goguryeo of the region East Asia proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Revolutionary Martyrs Spirit of Guomindang of the region Kuomintang proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Tungusopalmvania of Tungusic Republic of the region Gru proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Democratic Republic of The Ecologist Order of the region The Greens proposed constructing embassies.
- : Embassy established between Buddhist Communism and Taiwan.
Taiwan Regional Message Board
Fire and Fury Like the World Has Never Seen (2020 Version)
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
by TOM ENGELHARDT
It was August 2017 and Donald Trump had not yet warmed up to Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s portly dictator. In fact, in typical Trumpian fashion, he was pissed at the Korean leader and, no less typically, he lashed out verbally, threatening that country with a literal hell on Earth. As he put it, “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” And then, just to make his point more personally, he complained about Kim himself, “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state.”
Only a year and a half later, our asteroidal president would, of course, say of that same man, “We fell in love.” Still, that threat by an American leader to — it was obvious — launch a nuclear strike for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nearly obliterated in August 1945 was memorable. The phrase would, in fact, become the title of a 2018 bestselling book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by journalist Michael Wolff. Two years later, amid so many other threatening phrases from this president, “fire and fury” has, however, been left in history’s dustbin, largely forgotten by the world.
“This Is Not an Act of God”
Too bad, since it seems so much more relevant now that California, Oregon, and Washington, not to speak of a Southwest already officially in a “megadrought,” have experienced the sort of apocalyptic fire and fury (and heat and smoke) that has turned daytime skies an eerie nighttime orange (or yellow or even purple, claims a friend of mine living in the San Francisco Bay Area). We’re talking about a fire and fury that’s forced cars to put on their headlights at noon; destroyed towns (leaving only armed right-wing militants behind amid the flames to await imagined Antifa looters); burned millions of acres of land, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans under evacuation orders; turned startling numbers of citizens into refugees under pandemic conditions; and crept toward suburbs and cities, imperiling the world as we’ve known it.
In the wake of the hottest summer on record in the Northern Hemisphere, we are, in other words, talking about the sort of apocalyptic conditions that the president undoubtedly had in mind for North Korea back in 2017, but not even faintly for the U. S. of A; we’re talking, that is, about a burning season the likes of which no one in the West has ever seen before, a torching linked to the overheating of this planet thanks to the release of fossil-fuel-produced greenhouse gasses in ever greater quantities. In fact, as Washington Governor Jay Inslee pointed out recently, we shouldn’t even be talking about “wildfires” anymore, but about “climate fires” whose intensity has already outpaced by years the predictions of most climate scientists. (Or, as Inslee put it, “This is not an act of God. This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways.”)
Significant hunks of the American West have now been transformed into the natural equivalent of furnaces, with fires even reaching the suburban edges of Portland, Oregon (which, for days, had the worst air quality of any major urban area on the planet), and promising a future in which cities will undoubtedly be swept up in such conflagrations, too. Admittedly, Donald Trump didn’t threaten to launch “fire and fury like the world has never seen” against Portland (though he did send federal agents there to snatch peaceful protesters off its streets and continues to insult and threaten that city’s mayor). If anything, as the fires scorched those states to a crisp, he did his best to avoid the subject of the burning West, as in these years more generally he’s largely treated climate change (that “hoax”) like… well, a pandemic that should be ignored while America stayed “open.”
And it’s not a subject he’s been grilled on much either, not until recently when Western governors began laying into him over his stance on climate change. To offer just one example, as far as I can tell, Bob Woodward, the Washington Post editor and court chroniclerof presidents who, for months, had unparalleled access to Trump and grilled him on so many subjects, never bothered to ask him about the most important, most dystopian, most apocalyptic future Americans face. And mainstream Democrats didn’t do much better on the subject while those fires were building to a crescendo until Joe Biden finally called the president a “climate arsonist.” He added, aptly enough, “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?”
There’s no question that, at the beck and call of the fossil-fuel industry, Donald Trump and his demonic crew have worked without qualms or remorse to ensure that this would be a fiery and furious America. Freeing that industry of restrictions of every sort, withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, openingup yet more areas for oil drilling, wiping out environmental safeguards, and even (at the very moment when the West was burning) appointing a climate-science denier to a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the president and his crew proved themselves to be pyromaniacs of the first order.
Of course, the heating of this planet has been intensifying for decades now. (Don’t forget, for instance, that Barack Obama presided over a U.S. fracking boom that left people referring to us as “Saudi America.”) Still, this president and his top officials have put remarkable energy (so to speak) into releasing yet more carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. And here’s the strange thing: they made it deep into the present apocalyptic moment in the West without — Greta Thunberg and climate change protesters aside — being held faintly accountable for their urge to fuel the greatest danger humanity faces other than nuclear weapons. In fact, as is increasingly obvious from the torching of the West, what we’re beginning to experience is a slow-motion version of the nuclear apocalypse that Trump once threatened to loose on North Korea.
In an all-too-literal fashion, The Donald is indeed proving to be history’s “fire and fury” president.
And don’t for a moment think that there was no warning about the over-the-top burning now underway in this country. After all, in 2019, parts of Australia were singed to a crisp in a way never before seen, killing at least 25 humans and possibly more than a billion animals. And that country, too, was headed by a climate-change denier, a man who once brought a piece of coal to parliament and handed it around while soothingly telling other legislators, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared.” In addition, in recent years, the Arctic (of all places) has been smoking and burning in an unprecedented fashion, heating its permafrost and releasingstaggering amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Oh, and this June, the temperature in a small town in Siberia crossed the 100-degree mark for the first time.
By the way, Russia, too, is run by a leader who until recently was a climate denier. I mean, what is it about the urge of so many of us in such a crisis to support those dedicated to quite literally destroying this planet as a livable place for… well, us? (Hey there, Jair Bolsonaro!)
Our Very Own Firenado
An almost unimaginable near-half-century ago on a different planet, I lived in San Francisco. I can still remember the fog rolling in daily, even during summer in one of the coolest, breeziest cities around. Not this year, though. On September 6th, for instance, the temperature there broke 100 degrees, “crushing” the previous record for that day. In Berkeley, across the Bay, where I also once lived long, long ago, it hit 110. As a heat wave swept the state (and the West), temperatures near Los Angeles soared to a record-breaking 121 degrees (almost challenging overheated Baghdad, Iraq, this year), while reaching 130 degrees in the aptly named Death Valley — and that’s just to start down a list of soaring temperatures across the West from the Canadian to the Mexican borders.
As those fires filled the skies with smoke and ash, turning day into the eeriest of nights, a smoke cloud the likes of which had never before been seen appeared over the coastal West. Meanwhile, firenadoes were spotted and the ash-filled air threatened terrible things for health. As has been true for the last 46 years, I’m thousands of miles away from my old Bay Area haunts. Still, I regularly check in with friends on that coast, some aged like me and locked in their homes lest the smoke and ash, the air from hell, do them in. Meanwhile, their cars are packed to go, their evacuation checklists ready.
My heart goes out to them and, really, to all of us (and, above all, to those to whom we oldsters will be leaving such a blazing, tumultuous world).
Sadly, among the endless scandals and horrors of the Trump era, the greatest one by far scandalized all too few for all too long among those who officially matter on this beleaguered planet of ours. Even in 2016, it should have been obvious enough that a vote for Donald Trump was a vote for the apocalypse. Give him credit, though. He made no secret of that fact or that his presidency would be a fossil-fueled nightmare. It was obvious even then that he, not climate change, was the “hoax” and that this planet would suffer in unique ways from his (ad)ministrations.
And in every way imaginable, Donald Trump delivered as promised. He’s been uniquely fiery and furious. In his own fashion, he’s also been a man of his word. He’s already brought “fire and fury” to this country in so many ways and, if he has anything to say about it, he’s just gotten started.
Don’t doubt for a second that, should he be losing on November 3rd (or beyond, given the mail-in vote to come), he’ll declare electoral fraud and balk at leaving the White House. Don’t doubt for a second that he’d be happy to torch that very building and whatever, at this point, is left of the American system with it before he saw himself “lose.”
Since he is, in his own fashion, a parody of everything: a politician, a Republican, an autocrat, even a human being, he sums up in some extreme (if eerily satiric) fashion human efforts to destroy our way of life in these years. In truth, fiery and furiously fueled, he’s a historic cloud of smoke and ash over us all.
By his very nature, to use those 2017 nuclear words of his, he is “threatening beyond a normal state.” Think of him as the president from hell and here I mean a literal hell. Four more years of him, his crew, and the fossil-fuelized criminals running the major oil, gas, and coal companies who are riding his coattails into profit heaven and planetary misery are the cast of a play, both comedy and tragedy, that none of us should have to sit through. He’s our very own firenado and — it’s not complicated — four more years of him will consign us to a hell on Earth of a sort still only faintly imaginable today.
This essay first appeared on TomDispatch. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176751/
Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
China and the US: the 21st Century’s “Great Game”
AUGUST 21, 2020
by CONN HALLINAN
AUGUST 21, 2020
From 1830 to 1895, the British and Russian empires schemed and plotted over control of Central and South Asia. At the heart of the “Great Game” was England’s certainty that the Russians had designs on India. So wars were fought, borders drawn, and generations of young met death in desolate passes and lonely outposts.
In the end, it was all illusion. Russia never planned to challenge British rule in India and the bloody wars settled nothing, although the arbitrary borders and ethnic tensions stoked by colonialism’s strategy of divide and conquer live on today. Thus China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal battle over lines drawn in London, while Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul vie for tiny uninhabited islands, remnants of Imperial Japan.
That history is important to keep in mind when one begins to unpack the rationales behind the increasingly dangerous standoff between China and the United States in the South China Sea.
To the Americans, China is a fast rising competitor that doesn’t play by the rules and threatens one of the most important trade routes on the globe in a region long dominated by Washington. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has essentially called for regime change.
According to Ryan Hass, former China director on the National Security Council, the Trump administration is trying to “reorient the U.S.-China relationship toward an all-encompassing systemic rivalry that cannot be reversed” by administrations that follow. In short, a cold war not unlike that between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
To the Chinese, the last 200 years—China does tend to think in centuries, not decades—has been an anomaly in their long history. Once the richest country on the globe that introduced the world to everything from silk to gunpowder, 19th Century China became a dumping ground for British opium, incapable of even controlling its own coastlines.
China has never forgotten those years of humiliation or the damage colonialism helped inflict on its people. Those memories are an ingredient in the current crisis.
But China is not the only country with memories.
The U.S. has dominated the Pacific Ocean—sometimes called an “American lake”—since the end of World War II. Suddenly Americans have a competitor, although it is a rivalry that routinely gets overblown.
An example is conservative New York Times columnist, Bret Stephens, who recently warned that China’s Navy has more ships than the US Navy, ignoring the fact that most of China’s ships are small Coast Guard frigates and corvettes. China’s major strategic concern is the defense of its coasts, where several invasions in the 19th and 20th centuries have come.
The Chinese strategy is “area denial”: keeping American aircraft carriers at arm’s length. To this end, Beijing has illegally seized numerous small islands and reefs in the South China Sea to create a barrier to the US Navy.
But China major thrust is economic through its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), not military, and is currently targeting South Asia as an area for development.
South Asia is enormously complex, comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Tibet, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Its 1.6 billion people constitute almost a quarter of the world’s population, but it only accounts for 2 percent of the global GDP and 1.3 percent of world trade.
Those figures translate into a poverty level of 44 percent, just 2 percent higher than the world’s most impoverished region, sub-Saharan Africa. Close to 85 percent of South Asia’s population makes less than $2 a day.
Much of this is a result of colonialism, which derailed local economies, suppressed manufacturing, and forced countries to adopt monocrop cultures focused on export. The globalization of capital in the 1980s accelerated the economic inequality that colonialism had bequeathed the region.
Development in South Asia has been beholden to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which require borrowers to open their markets to western capital and reduce debts through severe austerity measures, throttling everything from health care to transportation.
This economic strategy—sometimes called the “Washington Consensus” –generates “debt traps”: countries cut back on public spending, which depresses their economies and increases debt, which leads to yet more rounds of borrowing and austerity.
The World Bank and the IMF have been particularly stingy about lending for infrastructure development, an essential part of building a modern economy. It is “the inadequacy and rigidness of the various western monetary institutions that have driven South Asia into the arms of China,” says economist Anthony Howell in the South Asia Journal.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) takes a different tack. Through a combination of infrastructure development, trade and financial aid, countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe are linked into what is essentially a new “Silk Road.” Some 138 countries have signed up.
Using a variety of institutions—the China Development Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the Export-Import Bank of China, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank–Beijing has been building roads, rail systems and ports throughout South Asia.
For decades, western lenders have either ignored South Asia—with the exception of India—or put so many restrictions on development funds that the region has stagnated economically. The Chinese Initiative has the potential to reverse this, al;arming the West and India, the only nation in the region not to join the BRI.
The European Union has also been resistant to the Initiative, although Italy has signed on. A number of Middle East countries have also joined the BRI and the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have signed on to China’s Digital Silk Road, a network of navigation satellites that compete with America’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and European Union’s Galileo. China also recently signed a $400 billon, 25-year trade and military partnership with Iran.
Needless to say, Washington is hardly happy about China elbowing its way into a US-dominated region that contains a significant portion of the world’s energy supplies.
I a worldwide competition for markets and influence, China is demonstrating considerable strengths. That, of course, creates friction. The US, and to a certain extent the EU, have launched a campaign to freeze China out of markets and restrict its access to advanced technology. The White House successfully lobbied Great Britain and Australia to bar the Chinese company, Huawei, from installing a 5G digital network, and is pressuring Israel and Brazil to do the same.
Not all of the current tensions are economic. The Trump administration needs a diversion from its massive failure to control the pandemic, and the Republican Party has made China bashing a centerpiece of its election strategy. There is even the possibility that the White House might pull off an “October surprise” and initiate some kind of military clash with China.
It is unlikely that Trump wants a full-scale war, but an incident in the South China Sea might rally Americans behind the White House. The danger is real, especially since polls in China and the United States show there is growing hostility between both groups of people.
But the tensions go beyond President Trump’s desperate need to be re-elected. China is re-asserting itself as a regional power and a force to be reckoned with worldwide. That the US and its allies view that with enmity is hardly a surprise. Britain did its best to block the rise of Germany before World War I, and the US did much the same with Japan in the lead up to the Pacific War.
Germany and Japan were great military powers with a willingness to use violence to get their way. China is not a great military power and is more interested in creating profits than empires. In any case, a war between nuclear-armed powers is almost unimaginable (which is not to say it can’t happen).
China recently softened its language toward the US, stressing peaceful co-existence. “We should not let nationalism and hotheadness somehow kidnap our foreign policy,” says Xu Quinduo of the state-run China Radio. “Tough rhetoric should not replace rational diplomacy.”
The new tone suggests that China has no enthusiasm for competing with the US military, but would rather take the long view and let initiatives like the Belt and Road work for it. Unlike the Russians, the Chinese don’t want to see Trump re-elected and they clearly have decided not to give him any excuse to ratchet up the tensions as an election year ploy.
China’s recent clash with India, and its bullying of countries in the South China Sea, including Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei, have isolated Beijing, and the Chinese leadership may be waking to the fact that they need allies, not adversaries.
Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com
China and the Decline of US Power
AUGUST 26, 2020
by CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
US imposed sanctions against Russia since 2014 following Crimea’s restoration to Russia contributed to this. The US also imposed “tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Chinese goods “ which forced China to de-dollarise.” Moscow and Beijing reinforced their financial relationship in June 2019 through a deal “ to replace the dollar with national currencies for international settlements between them.” Russia has also been accumulating yuan reserves at the expense of the dollar.
The US also perpetuates its global dominance through an extensive propaganda network which projects the US as the greatest nation on earth. It is a portrayal which has lost its lustre in the last couple of decades. The US led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 which was unjust as it was immoral tarnished the US’s image in the eyes of the world. Increasingly, it has come to be perceived as a rapacious nation which has no scruples about slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent people in pursuit of its hegemonic agenda.
What’s Driving the Simmering Conflict Between India and China
AUGUST 7, 2020
by CONN HALLINAN
Chinese and Indian forces have pulled back from their confrontation in the Himalayas, but the tensions that set off the deadly encounter this past June—the first on the China/India border since 1975—are not going away. Indeed, a combination of local disputes, regional antagonisms and colonial history have brewed up a poisonous elixir that could pose a serious danger to peace in South Asia.
In part, the problem is Britain’s colonial legacy. The “border” in dispute is an arbitrary line drawn across terrain that doesn’t lend itself to clear boundaries. The architect, Henry McMahon, drew it to maximize British control of a region that was in play during the 19th Century “Great Game” between England and Russia for control of Central Asia. Local concerns were irrelevant.
The treaty was signed between Tibet and Britain in 1914. While India accepts the 550-mile McMahon Line as the border between Indian and China, the Chinese have never recognized the boundary.
Sir Mortimer Durand, Britain’s lead colonial officer in India, drew a similar “border” in 1893 between Pakistan (then India’s “Northern Territories”) and Afghanistan that Kabul has never accepted, and which is still the source of friction between the two countries. Colonialism may be gone, but its effects still linger.
While the target for the McMahon Line was Russia, it has always been a sore spot for China, not only because Beijing’s protests were ignored, but also because the Chinese saw it as a potential security risk for its western provinces.
If England, which had already humiliated China in the two Opium Wars, as well as by seizing Shanghai and Hong Kong, could lop off Tibet—which China sees as part of its empire—so might another country: Like India.
Indeed, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and absorbed Kashmir and Jammu in 2019, the Chinese saw the grab as a threat to the security of Tibet and its restive western province of Xinjiang. The area in which the recent fighting took place, the Galwan Valley, is close to a road linking Tibet with Xinjiang.
Trump’s Destruction of America Started With Reagan
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
by THOM HARTMANN
Donald Trump and his billionaire buddies are letting America die.
The billionaires who make their money from fossil fuels have bought off Trump and Republicans so that they’re denying climate change while a dozen states in the West burn and the Gulf Coast is repeatedly ravaged by hurricanes. Firefighters are using dogs to identify the remains of homes where people died by the smell of burnt human flesh.
The billionaires who make their money screwing American students with almost $2 trillion in student loans bribed politicians in 2005 to make it illegal to declare bankruptcy on those loans. Across America, students are experiencing depression, despair, and suicide.
The billionaires who own millions of rental properties across the country are actively ignoring both legal requirements and morality-based requests, depending on the state, to prevent evictions and are today throwing people out of their homes in the middle of a pandemic.
The billionaires who own Fox News and some of our largest radio networks are facilitating lies about climate change and the coronavirus, both of which are killing people, while these billionaires live in their protected bubbles. They are also stoking racial violence by repeatedly portraying protesters calling for Black equality under the law as terrorists.
Massive tax cuts by Republican presidents (Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump) have transferred fully $50 trillion from the homes and pockets of working people into the money bins and foreign bank accounts of the billionaire class since 1975. As a result, fewer than half of all Americans are still in the middle class, and fear and rage increasingly dominate the American political landscape.
Using that despair and anger people are feeling as they watch their lives be wiped out, their homes destroyed, and their jobs vanish, Trump and the Republican Party are fomenting violence and political instability by trying to scapegoat Black and Brown people. The growing QAnon movement, a rebranding of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion that the Nazis weaponized for political purposes in the 1930s, further asserts that “international Jewish bankers” like George Soros are behind it all, stoking anti-Semitism along with their garden-variety racism.
This all began in the 1980s with the so-called Reagan Revolution, when Reagan dropped the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent and began a vicious, scorched-earth campaign to destroy unions across the country while he and George H.W. Bush authored NAFTA and other free trade agreements.
Reagan even championed the destruction of our public schools and the modern-day Republican rejection of science on everything from the origin of the Earth to climate change. He empowered people like “Christian” billionaire Pat Robertson who argued, at the peak of the AIDS crisis that Reagan refused to acknowledge, that the biggest crisis facing America was homosexuality.
Fall down seven times, get up eight.
Their region has diplomatic relations with those whom in turn we’re not cool with as an anti-fascist region.
Nope. I'm not well-versed with the NationStates political spectrum here. :)