2012 - 1rd Quarter Writings

What World Do These People Live in: Logic Please, Part I

Friday March 30

Every now and then a politician utters a statement that causes bewilderment and wonder; the statement for this week goes to none other but our favorite Taiwan's president, Ma Ying-jeou. Ma is criticized for his questionable position on how he sees the ROC on Taiwan as representing the fantasy one China that he sees in his mind. But we are not here to talk about that rather his recent defense of why he continues to push Taiwan into China's world orbit. ...

Will Taiwan Waste Another Four Years as a Rudderless Ship Under Ma Ying-jeou

Tuesday March 27

Taiwan's recent US beef/ractopamine scandal with its intimations of a quid pro quo backroom deal adds to the mounting realization that the nation, under the presidency of Ma Ying-jeou, has been a rudderless ship. It is not that the ship of state does not move; rather it finds itself continually blown this way and that, forward and backwards by the conflicting directions, hot air currents, and excuses that emanate from the presidential office. Ma took office in May 2008, yet never has so little been done by a president who entered with so many advantages. Instead of hoped for progress, Taiwan's ship of state has tossed to and fro as it tried to respond to multiple changing winds. Those winds include misinterpreted and misapplied mandates, leadership by platitudes, inept plans from inexperienced staff, the belief that the essence of responsibility is finding someone to blame, word games, and finally insulting hood wink strategies dictating that the best way to escape unfulfilled promises is to make newer more grandiose ones. This has been Taiwan's past four years under the winds of Ma-speak. ...

Ma's KMT Government Again Tries to Pass the Buck

Wednesday March 21

As the beef with ractopamine issue rages, we once again find Ma Ying-jeou's government looking for someone to pass the buck. Now they are trying to say the fault is that of the DPP from 2007 and not for what they did but what they supposedly intended to do. Say what? ...

Deconstructing Taiwan and China Terminology and Nomenclature, Deconstruction Part II

Friday March 09

Misuses, misrepresentations and manipulations of language are well documented. Hitler promoted "big lie" usage in "Mein Kampf." E-Prime (English-Prime) theory was developed to try to minimize dogmatic statements by eliminating forms of "to be" from discourse. Politically correct language was introduced to weed out stereotypes and labels but with little success. Feminists saw early on that language often unwittingly carries and conveys messages that the average mind is unaware of. For example, by constantly using patriarchal terms like chairman, policeman, fireman etc. society reinforced the outdated idea that these positions were male prerogatives. The antidote was a conscious insistence on using words like chairperson, police officer etc. It is in this vein then that Taiwanese and those who support this island nation need to regularly examine, deconstruct and stop using expressions that create erroneous ideas on the status of Taiwan and its relationship with China. Observe the following examples. ...

Taiwan's Double Standard of Justice Remains from the KMT One-party State days

Tuesday March 06

Once again Taiwanese were reminded of the double standard of justice or perhaps lack of justice in the country despite the mouthings of the current president that he has brought justice. In 1997, an air force serviceman Chiang Kuo-ching was wrongly tried and wrongly executed for the rape and murder of a 5 year old girl. ...

Ma Ying-jeou, the Phony Pony President of Taiwan, Caves Again!

Friday March 02

Did I call it, or did I call it? Scroll back down on the listings to February 3rd when I predicted that the Ma government would waffle on the US beef issue. Even now, before the perfunctory excuses and "proper examination" of the appropriate health departments have even started, US beef is already coming into the country. One wonders how anyone can believe anything that comes out of the Ma government. ...

Taiwan's Past Still Not Reconciled or Honestly Dealt with by Some KMT

Saturday February 25

Recent remarks by Hau Pei-tsun, a former premier of Taiwan and retired KMT military revealed the problems and divisions that still exist in Taiwan as Hau attempted to pooh-pooh the idea that some 10,000 Taiwanese were killed in the 2-28 Incident; and that another 20,000 more were killed in the 40 year White Terror period that followed as the KMT would rule Taiwan as a one-party state under Martial Law. The KMT came to Taiwan from 1945--1949, and allegedly in the name of democracy kept the island under Martial Law until 1987. ...

Deconstructing the Middle Kingdom on Taiwan's Border: Part I

Monday February 20

Taiwan is an island nation that after a long struggle with a variety of colonial masters has achieved and enjoys democracy. Unfortunately, across the Taiwan Strait is a different nation, China, which covets Taiwan's territory and sovereignty. Since the average Westerner may not always be aware of Taiwan's complex history and/or struggle for democracy, some understanding is in order. This is especially so if such said Westerner may hear, accept and/or believe erroneous memes like Taiwan has always been a part of China or Taiwan has been a part of China since time immemorial etc. So where does one start to deconstruct such falsehoods? Begin ironically with Taiwan's bigger neighbor across the Strait. How does China's ruling Politburo seek to legitimize its current rule and questionable all-encompassing identity while at the same time seeking to extend China's borders? ...

How Far Does the Apple Fall from the Tree? Ask Confucius

Friday February 17

Currently Apple Inc. and even the deceased Steve Jobs have come under criticism and fire because of the fact that several of Apple's products are being made at one of Foxconn's many factories in China; the factory in question is one that has grown notorious for a recent spate of suicides among its workers. Many are thus wondering and critiquing Apple's business practices. "Apple should be boycotted," shout some critics. "Apple needs to clean up its act," say others. They question how can such a modern company like Apple so callously profit from this seeming exploitation of workers. Yet while this questioning is going on, we also hear a completely different voice. Economic gurus continue to chant the mantra, "Run to China." Supposedly that is the prime place where the money can be made; factories there can churn out products at a faster rate; their workers are more pliant in meeting extreme deadlines, and China makes it easy to come and set up shop. Does no one see the contradictory cross-purposes developing here?

Taiwan, a Small Victory in the 'Anti-Corruption' Campaign

Thursday February 16

Just recently in Huatan Township in Changhua County, Taiwan, Lee Cheng-chi of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the mayoral by-election. For those wondering what by-elections are; they are held when an incumbent vacates the office for a variety of reasons--one of the most common being that he was convicted of corruption. ...

Taiwan in the News, Why is Ma Ying-jeou Reluctant?

Monday February 13

You would think that a president such as Ma Ying-jeou who had entered office with the most ideal conditions a president could ask for--i.e. his party controlling some 75 per cent of the seats in the Legislative Yuan (LY), the law making body, would be glad to make a State of the Union address after his first term. Not so for Ma, perhaps that is why he is still referred to as Ma Ying-joke. ...

Another Credibility Question for the KMT post Elections

Saturday February 11

Sean Chen, Taiwan's Premier designate recently announced his upcoming cabinet; in it it was found that about one third of the 47 positions had been reshuffled. That seemed fairly normal; no drastic changes, yet some changes to give some new blood a chance etc. However, one question did come up. Chen announced that all of the Cabinet members had been chosen because of their skills and how they matched their respective positions. Again all well and good, but . . . ...

Taiwan, Let the Waffling by Ma Begin

Friday February 03

Now that Ma has won re-election, be prepared for him to waffle on the beef issue. Before the election, he would not touch it. Now however, he has passed the ball to one of the Ministry's, you will never find him taking personal responsibility in case anything hits the fan. ...

Taiwan: No Honeymoon For Ma Ying-jeou this time

Tuesday January 31

The dust of the January 2012 elections has barely settled and Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou has already found himself in trouble. The nagging issue of US beef is back on the burner. When the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt spoke in Taiwan in 2011, he pooh-poohed the idea that the beef issue was a major problem between the USA and the Ma administration's failure to deliver on its promises. After all he explained, the amount of money involved was negligible in view of the total amount of money involved in all the transactions between the two countries. Further the USA would certainly be happy with Ma's re-election. Other pundits tried to join the chorus. But if it was all so negligible, why then right after the election, is Burghardt all of a sudden back on Ma's doorstep saying it is time to settle our bill?

The Ma Mandate That Never Was, Taiwan's Holding Pattern

Friday January 20

Most are familiar with the adage "businessmen have no country," so it came with no surprise that immediately after Ma Ying-jeou's victory (51.6 per cent of the vote) in Taiwan's 2012 presidential elections, numerous pro-China business pundits jumped up to become cheerleaders. One after another they declared that Ma's win was a clear mandate for his cross-strait policies. Let all go full steam ahead in investing and deepening business ties with China; profit allegedly waits for all. Some even went as far as to suggest establishing political ties with China as well as a means to cement these alleged profit gains. Was this the really of what Taiwan's vote said? Not by a long shot. If anything, instead of being a mandate, the vote was a call for caution; the populace was at best deciding to leave things in a holding pattern. The devil is in the details. ...

Taiwan: Some Post 2012 Election Observations

Tuesday January 17

1) For one, the DPP is back in the game; (almost at the position it had 2004) and Ma with all his advantages of 2008 failed in bringing the Taiwanese to heel. ...

Taiwan Elections: Chiu Yi Bites the Dust But His Braying Is Not Gone

Tuesday January 17

Probably one of the most satisfying results of Taiwan's January 14 elections was the defeat of Chiu Yi as he ran for the legislature. Chiu Yi is best known by many as the KMT's attack dog and scavenger jackal who used the immunity of his previous Legislative Yuan position to spread all sorts of accusations, lies (?) and innuendos under the guise of being concerned about?? Aside from loving the limelight, just what has Chiu Yi been concerned about? ...

Taiwan Elections End, Ma Wins but the DPP is Back in the Game

Sunday January 15

In 2008, Ma Ying-jeou won with 58.45 per cent of the vote; in 2012, Ma won with 51.6 per cent of the vote. Anyone who sees such a drop in his support as still a mandate for his programs is for lack of a better word, "a fool." ...

Taiwan Goes to the Polls; Who Will Rule for the Next Four Years

Friday January 13

Tomorrow, January 14, the Taiwanese go to the polls to elect their President and members of the Legislative Yuan. Whoever wins will rule for the next four years, and rallies are being held all over the island. Lee Teng-hui suffering from illness and in need of a probable upcoming operation braved the cold weather to come out and tell the voters that the future depended on them. Speaking at a Tsai Ing-wen rally, he encouraged all to vote for her. ...

Taiwan, Sifting Through the Past and Present for the Truth

Saturday January 07

How does one know a lie is a lie? Byron's Don Juan indicates that lies too often masquerade as truths. Thus, if Taiwanese are really interested in the truth of why their democratic struggle has never been on a level playing field and why one party still controls so many stolen state assets while the other parties have none, they must sort through the many lies that masquerade as truths from the past. Part of that even entails sorting through and overcoming the brainwashing by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and seeing the true history of Taiwan's past century from Taiwanese and not Chinese eyes. ...

Taiwan's Elections Draw Near

Tuesday January 03

Taiwan's presidential and Legislative Yuan elections are drawing near. The ballot sheet listings have been sent around and for those that doubted it, James Soong is in and committed. His party, the People's First Party is certainly hoping big; they have at least 15 candidates available for their legislator-at-large positions. It will be interesting to see what percentage of the vote that their party receives. I am not predicting that one, but I do believe that they will have no trouble getting past the required 5 per cent this time now that they are free of the KMT. ...