Taiwan Matters! The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan, and don't you forget it!

"Taiwan is not a province of China. The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan."

Stick that in your clipboards and paste it, you so-called "lazy journalists"!

Thanks to all those who voted for Taiwan Matters!
in the Taiwanderful Best Taiwan Blog Awards 2010!
You've got great taste in blogs!

Friday, December 28, 2007

permalink

Who's teaching whom?

An excellent op-ed piece in today's Liberty Times zeroes in precisely on what was wrong with with Ma Ying-jeou's saying he sees aborigines as people. The author Zhou Jing-wen first points out that some residents of the Xizhou Community have been living in Sindian for more than 30 years--longer than many of the mainlanders (xinzhumin) who now live there

So when Ma responded to the the aboriginal woman in the now notorious video by saying 'when you come our city, you have to play by our rules' he is ignoring the fact that the residents of the Xizhou community have been in Sindian for more than 30 years. But even worse, the op-ed piece asks, what right right does any Han Taiwanese, no matter when they came to Taiwan, have the right to start talking to aborigines about who came to whose city, who is going to educate whom, and who is going to treat whom as a person?

The piece concludes by suggesting that Ma's condescending 'Longstay' visits earlier this year can be read in light of his comments about the Xizhou Community.

Labels: ,

______________________________________________________

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

permalink

Ma Ying-jeou tells aborigines that he sees them as humans

Update: Ma has now apologized twice and a spokesman from the Xizhou community has said that Ma's comments "hurt their feelings."


The Taiwanese blogosphere and alert readers have caught Ma Ying-jeou on camera telling a community of aboriginal squatters on the Xindian River that

"I see you as humans and as citizens of this city. I'm going to educate you well and do a good job of providing you with opportunities. That's the place from which the attitude of aborigines needs to be adjusted...now that you've come here, you need to play by the rules here..." [emphasis added]


Ma's unbelievably patronizing comments were delivered on Dec. 8th when members of the community presented a petition to Ma at the appropriately named Chiang Kai-shek (Zhongzheng) Public Housing Community. You'll have to skip ahead to about 7:20 to hear Ma making these comments. Personally, I found his comments around 6:20 where he says that "it's not that their [aborigines'] genes have a problem, their opportunities have a problem" at least as offensive. Could this finally be the beginning of the end of aboriginal support for the KMT?




The Xizhou Tribe refers to small settlements of aboriginal squatters mainly from rural Hualien that have been living on both sides of the Xindian River since the 1970s. They are now facing forced relocation to public housing in Sanxia ostensibly on grounds that their settlements are threatened by flooding. Most people familiar with the situation believe that the real reason is that authorities in Taipei County and Taipei City want to turn the areas into more riverside parks sans aborigines.

In a clumsy but telling example of self-censorship, the clip linked to here ran on Taiwan Indigenous TV on December 15th but as Yufu wrote in a letter to today's Liberty Times, the station pulled the story from its site after Taiwanese blogger ma1Dog posted the clip on Dec. 22nd.

Since Roland Soong is so deeply concerned with media censorship over on ESWN, perhaps he'd like to bring this story to a wider audience to disprove doubts about his impartiality when it comes to Taiwan.

______________________________________________________

Thursday, December 20, 2007

permalink

Writer of letters threatening Chen Shui-bian and others is caught

Bluer than blue, badder than bad

Wednesday's Liberty Times (自由時報) had a headline story which their sister paper, the Taipei Times somehow missed [following translations by Tim Maddog]:
恐嚇總統、官員、立委、主播 前調查員落網

Former investigator who threatened the president, public officials, legislators, and commentators caught in dragnet

〔記者黃敦硯、邱燕玲、楊國文/台北報導〕陳水扁總統上週接獲威脅陳總統小心兩顆子彈、揚言強暴陳幸妤、綁架小安安的「恐嚇賀歲卡」,警方昨天在北縣中和市逮捕涉案的前調查員楊清海,並依筆跡鑑定與子彈批號發現,楊嫌從九十四年十一月起,即寄子彈恐嚇信給時任行政院長謝長廷,及署名「黑合會秘書長」寄恐嚇信給民代、官員與主播等,目前查出至少犯案卅起。

(Reporters Huang Tun-yan, Chiu Yan-ling, Yang Kuo-wen [spelling of all names guessed phonetically] / Taipei) Last week, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) received threats in a "New Year greeting card" telling him to beware of two bullets, that his daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) would be raped, and that his grandson Chao Yi-an (趙翊安) would be kidnapped. Yesterday [Tuesday], police in Taipei County's Chungho City arrested former investigator Yang Ching-hai (楊清海), based upon his handwriting and the batch numbers on the bullets. Beginning in November of 2005, the suspect mailed bullets as a threat to then-premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), signing his letter at "Secretary-General of the Black Collective." He also sent threatening letters to other elected representatives, officials, commentators, and others, and so far, he is suspected of involvement in at least 30 cases.
30 cases! It's about time they caught this guy.

What comes around goes around
The words "Black Collective" (黑合會) mentioned above are a variation of the word "triad" (三合會), with the word for "three" replaced with the Mandarin word for "black," representing here the underworld of criminal gangs, the Mafia, etc. I found one article in the Taipei Times which refers to this "group" simply as the "Heiho Association." The connection there is that the writer of the threatening letters containing bullets said that the recipients would end up like Taipei County councilor Wu Shan-jeou (吳善九) of the People First Party (PFP), who was shot dead in his office on May 23, 2007. According to the aforementioned article, "Wu had also received a threatening letter containing a bullet."

According to information I've heard elsewhere, Yang is suspected of having mailed bullets to some people -- such as Talking Show (大話新聞) host Cheng Hung-yi (鄭弘儀) -- because they were "pro Taiwan independence," and of mailing bullets to people like former legislator Li Ao (李敖) because they were "too weak." Does this make him "neither blue nor green"? Perhaps he'd be better described as "bluer than blue."

A look at his past
A search of the Taipei Times for Yang's name brings up this single news item from 1999:
Playing secretly recorded tapes through loud speakers and making accusations in front of a curious crowd, a Buddhist nun who claimed to have been raped by a respected elderly monk yesterday turned what was supposed to be a solemn religious ceremony into a fiasco, with loudspeakers playing what can only be regarded as decidedly secular content.

The monk, known as Master Juhsu (如虛), had planned to preside at a ceremony at a Taipei monastery yesterday, but failed to show up to avoid "disturbances."

In the absence of the master, Miaowen (妙文) -- the nun making the accusations -- demanded that Juhsu take off his cassock and apologize to her for what she said was his alleged sexual offenses against her. Miaowen has filed charges of rape against Juhsu, who was her master 12 years ago at a Buddhist temple in Taichung, central Taiwan.

The 40-year-old nun claimed to have spoken to four other nuns who said they had been sexually assaulted by the same man.

Miaowen and dozens of her sympathizers, before hearing of his decision to stay away, had expected to confront Juhsu during the hand-over ceremony, and brought with them loud speakers and banners.

[...]

Miaowen's spokesman, Yang Ching-hai (楊清海), a former agent of the Investigation Bureau, said he had checked the authenticity of the tapes before he promised to help Miaowen, after hearing suggestions that they had been tampered with.

Yang admitted that Miaowen had planned what she wanted from the conversation, prior to the call with Juhsu, which she recorded without him knowing it.

"According to my own judgement on the basis of evidence provided by Miaowen, I think she is telling the truth," Yang said.
Very disturbing. I hope to learn much more about this Yang character in the very near future.

UPDATE: The suspect and his girlfriend have both been released on NT$100,000 bail. WTF?! Keep your eyes open for another "fled to China" story real soon.

Pieces of the puzzle: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

______________________________________________________

Monday, December 17, 2007

permalink

How many Taiwanese live in China?

AmCham's 2007 White Paper calls on the people of Taiwan to:

Keep Families And Family Businesses Closer Together

Nearly 5% of Taiwan's people live and work in China – with the majority estimated to be between the ages of 24 and 50. It's time to make it easier for these people to be only hours away from spouses, children, senior family members, and business associates by being able to fly directly across the Taiwan Strait. This year is the 20th anniversary of the opening of travel from Taiwan to China. Few in 1987 would have guessed that it would take this long to allow regular, direct-route travel. Each year these restrictions needlessly hurt more and more Taiwan families – and family businesses. With regard to direct links, AmCham urges the government to listen to the pleas of its people – Just do it!


First of all, let's keep in mind that this is not up to the people of Taiwan, it's up to the government of China. The DPP government has wanted to negotiate with China about flights to and from China for years, but China insists that Taiwan first recognize the One China principle that Taiwan is part of China before it will discuss this issue. By disingenuously appealing to the people of Taiwan on this issue AmCham is inserting itself into Taiwanese politics on behalf of the KMT in an inappropriate and unseemly fashion.

Secondly, where does this figure of nearly five percent of Taiwanese living and working in Taiwan come from? That would be around 1.1 million Taiwanese living and working in China. But the pro-KMT and pro-direct links China Times puts this figure at 750,000, defined as Taiwanese who resided in China for more than 180 days. A difference of around 350,000 is extremely significant. What is AmCham's source for its five percent figure and how is residence defined. Inquiring minds want to know.

______________________________________________________

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

permalink

Legislative Analyses

Max Hirsch of Kyodo News has a nice article on the upcoming legislative election in January, which in many ways is the more important of the two elections. The whole thing is here:

++++++++++
As eyes turn to Taiwan's presidential race, the outcome of which will impact on key security interests for Japan and the United States, another electoral showdown with arguably more important consequences draws near.

Wednesday marks one month before Taiwan's general elections in which the island's ruling and opposition camps lock horns in races whose implications are reaching past parliament to reshape the overall political landscape.

For starters, the general elections Jan. 12 will serve as a litmus test for the presidential election on March 22, observers say. Whichever party beats its rival in parliamentary elections will pass on to its presidential candidate ''decisive momentum.'''

'A victory in general elections typically works out to be a big advantage going into the presidential election -- it enables a party to be seen as a winner, and voters like a winner,'' says Michael Boyden, director of Taiwan Asia Strategy Consulting.

That message is not lost on the opposition Nationalist Party amid speculation that a ''pendulum effect'' could turn a parliamentary win into a black mark for the presidential election.

That is, Taiwan -- which in 2000 emerged from nearly 60 years of sometimes brutal, one-party rule by the Nationalist Party (KMT) -- may not be ready to see one party dominate both the legislative and executive branches.

Hence, voters might swing back to whichever party that lost the parliamentary elections when casting their presidential ballots -- a scenario that KMT heavyweights dismiss.

''We need a victory in parliamentary elections in order to win the presidency,'' says KMT Secretary General Wu Dun-yi. ''Keeping our majority in parliament will give us the momentum we need before the presidential election.''

The KMT has enjoyed majority status in parliament since the lifting of martial law in 1987.[Nit: Actually, the pan-Blues had a majority; the largest single party was the DPP until last year when several members quit.]

In 2000, the Democratic Progressive Party pushed the KMT from the Presidential Office after the DPP's Chen Shui-bian won the presidential race that year -- a victory he repeated in 2004.
Next month, the DPP hopes to clinch parliament with at least 50 seats for itself and seven for allied parliamentarians in the unicameral, 113-seat body, says Chen, who also serves as DPP chairman.

The KMT seeks ''65 to 70 seats,'' says a KMT insider.

''Street cred'' and ''stature,'' Boyden says, will go to the presidential candidate whose party wins majority status in parliament.

Beyond implications for the presidential race, however, the general elections' outcome could radically alter Taiwan's relations with Japan and the United States, the island's chief security benefactor.

A halving of the parliament from its current 225 seats to 113 in the next session, for example, will see key legislative committees merge.

And among the committees to merge, Wu says, are the National Defense and Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs committees.

Combining those committees will put one group of parliamentarians in charge of both defense and diplomacy bills, by far the most important legislation in terms of relations with Tokyo and Washington, says Kharis Templeman of think tank Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.

Hence, how that committee is stacked as a result of the parliamentary elections will play a key role in foreign relations.

The sheer power of parliamentarians on such a committee, Templeman says, ''isn't necessarily a bad thing. Having a few powerful committee members could make it easier to negotiate across party lines. We could see quicker responses to foreign policy issues put to the legislature, like weapons systems offered by the U.S.''

Parliamentary gridlock led to Taiwan's stalling on a huge U.S. arms package, offered to the island in 2001.

The DPP blames the opposition for killing some 65 bids to consider the package in parliament, while the KMT slams the DPP for poorly budgeting the proposed weapons.

The parliament finally passed a reduced package earlier this year, allotting funds to buy a defensive missile system and antisubmarine warfare aircraft from Washington.

But Taipei's dawdling seriously damaged ties with Washington amid concerns there and in Tokyo that Taipei does not take its defense seriously.

China, which vows to unify Taiwan with the mainland, threatens to attack the island if it formalizes its de facto statehood.

Those threats concern Tokyo because any conflict in the Taiwan Strait could result in U.S. military intervention, which in turn could drag Japan's Self-Defense forces into the fight via a joint defense pact.

With both the DPP and KMT vowing to pass future arms bills, however, a streamlined parliament boasting more powerful incumbents promises to ease gridlock.

Thus, while the presidential race looms large in gauging Taiwan's future ties with key partners, it is the island's next parliament, and the impact of general elections on the presidential race, that pack the most political wallop, both at home and abroad.

+++++++++++++

A-gu has been putting together a wonderful tool for assessing the election, an interactive map on the Google Map platform. It's right on his blog; have a look.

Labels: , , ,

______________________________________________________

Monday, December 10, 2007

permalink

How AFP tailored a report to mislead readers

The hot news in Taiwan these two days is the violent resistance to the government's removal of the final symbol of authoritarian regime -- the "dazhong zhizheng"『大中至正』 plaque referring to dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) at the gateway to Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. A bloody crime was committed by a pro-China supporter during the confrontation.

As the foreign media often report biased news of Taiwan following the propaganda put forward by the local pro-KMT media, I am curious for how they are gonna cover this.

It won't take much time before one is spotted. AFP, Agence Frence-Press, claimed to be "the world's oldest established news agency", can't wait to lead the world on manipulating news to serve the particular political agenda of some particular party.

Go see Michael's AFP Again *Sigh* for details on how AFP uses carefully chosen words in their recent report "Taiwan leader defends move to downplay Chiang legacy" to make the story one-sided. What I am going to point out here is how AFP uses selected photos and legends to further achieve that goal.

AFP displayed 3 photos on the same page of that article Michael mentioned.

The first photo shows Chiang Kai-shek supporters sitting on the ground, holding a big photo of Chiang's. The legend says:

"Dozens of pro-opposition Kuomintang supporters display a picture of late president Chiang Kai-shek"

Note what this photo and the legend tramsmit:

  1. Peaceful demonstration of the pro-Chiang supporters, which is not the whole story;

  2. No mention of the fact that Chiang is considered a dictator in the eyes of many Taiwanese;

  3. No mention that there are many people showed up to support the removal of the『大中至正』 plaque, creating a wrong impression that Taiwanese are against this removal.

(Screen shot of photo and legend #1)


By itself this photo probably won't cause too much misleading. But AFP didn't stop here. The second photo is an arrest of a truck driver by police, with legend:

"The driver(C) of a truck is detained by police during a demonstration in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall"

(Screen shot of photo and legend #2)
Without informing the readers the cause of arrest, this photo and legend might give the readers a wrong impression that Taiwan police arrest demonstrators for no reason.

The fact is, the truck driver, Peng Sheng-lu (彭盛露), drove his truck at high speed into a group of people, dragging a journalist underneath the truck, and kept going for 10 meters despite that surrounding people shouting that a guy was under the truck.

His violent behavior resulted in serious injuries of several journalists. The one who was dragged underneath, ETTV cameraman Wang Jui-chang (王瑞璋), had to be taken care in an intensive unit of a hospital overnight before it was confirmed that the injury was not life threatening.

Peng denied being intentional, but many witness and police said otherwise, judging from the fact that Peng stopped and charged several times before he was finally stopped:

彭盛露否認故意撞人,供稱為閃避民眾圍毆開車逃離,誤踩油門才撞上媒體記者。不過,警方以他駕車連續三度衝撞媒體記者,有殺人故意;另查出他是某立委參選人的助選員,涉及選舉暴力,訊後將他依殺人未遂、傷害及違反選罷法、妨害公務、毀損等五罪嫌送辦。

Peng committed total of 5 crimes, including one felony of attempted murder. That's why he got arrested. The news was all over local media, yet AFP reporter skillfully hides the crucial criminal fact from her readers but revealed only that a demonstrator was arrested.

Together with the impression presented from the first photo, that the demonstration is peaceful, this photo of "arrest for no reason" misled readers into believing, or at least suspecting, that Taiwan police arrest peaceful pro-Chiang demonstrators for no reason.

It is for obvious reasons that this AFP reporter, whose name is not shown, doesn't want his/her readers to know that the arrested criminal, Peng, is a registered campaign assitant of a pro-China legislative candidate Mei Feng (梅峰), who claims on his website to be a "China Legislative Candidate." (in Taiwan?)



AFP continues her news distorting trick onto the 3rd photo, which gets even dirtier. It shows that one guy is smashing the windshield of a truck, with legend:

"Angry pro-government demonstrators smash the windshield of a truck in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall"

Note what I highlight above. What AFP hid from the readers in this single photo are:

  1. The crime committed by the driver of this truck prior to this windshield smashing act (在眾人驚慌尖叫下,員警、媒體記者和民眾合力擋住小貨車,員警火速拔掉車鑰匙並將彭盛露拉下車。一名台建聯盟成員拿出棍棒猛砸車頭和擋風玻璃 [see here]);

  2. The truck was the crime tool of a violent act;

  3. The pro-government demonstrators were angry because of that criminal act committed by an anti-government demonstrator;

  4. The direct 'cause-and-response' relationship between the crime act in photo#2 and the behavior in photo#3.

(Screen shot of photo and legend #3)
Note that in photo#2, not only the attempted murder charge was hidden from the readers, but also the identity of the criminal, including name and which side he serves for, was not mentioned. But in photo#3, AFP didn't forget to remind readers that the angry windshield-smashing guy is a "pro-government" supporter.

It seems to me that not only the photos and legends are carefully selected, but the order of how those photos are presented is carefully arranged in such a way that readers will be led to have an impression that:

1. Pro-Chiang demonstrators are peaceful;
2. Taiwan police arrested peaceful demonstrators for no reason;
3. Pro-government demonstrators are violent.

Unfortunately none of these covers entirely what really happened there.

When a journalist is accused of being biased, we could think of that he or she is eitehr ignorant or having own agenda. In this case, the AFP reporter saw a confrontation between DPP government and anti-government pro-KMT supporters, but by using carefully selected words and skillfully arranged photos and legends in their report, they hid the negative part of pro-KMT side to make pro-KMT look good, and at the same time hid all the background and historical information to make DPP government and DPP supporters look bad. With AFP's professional effort, this entire event has been painted into a shape that's far away from the truth. This kind of truth distortion can't be explained away by simply being ignorant.

In their own website, AFP claims (highlight by me):

"Today, the agency continues to expand its operations worldwide,... All share the same goal: to guarantee top quality international service tailored to the specific needs of clients in each region."

AFP certainly leads the global media on the "service tailored" part.

------------

Update: I am attaching some other sources to let you see how much AFP has left behind. Comparing them, you would wonder if the writer of AFP is either drunk in some lala land, or is paid to write a propaganda note.

1. BBC Chinese "大中至正"牌匾完成拆除
(with my translation)
支持拆匾的民眾高喊"打倒威權",並且開紅酒慶祝,反對拆匾的民眾則咒罵陳水扁及民進黨政府,...
The people supporting the removal of the plague shouted "Down the authoritarity" and celebrated with red wine. Those who are against it blamed Chen Shui-Bian and DPP government, ...
在昨天的流血事件中,一名駕駛貨車的立委助選員,意圖沖撞主張拆匾的台獨人士,他在遭阻攔及記者包圍採訪後,駕車沖撞記者造成一名記者被撞倒拖行而身受重傷。
In that bloody incident yesterday, an assitant of a legislator candidate drove a truck, intended to ram those plague-removal supporting TIers (Taiwan Independent supporters). After he was blocked and was surrounded by a group of journalists, he drove his truck into journalists, causing serious injuries onto a journalist who was dragged underneath the truck.

該名主張兩岸統一的立委參選人未獲政黨提名而獨立參選...
The pro-unification legislator candidate was not nominated by his party so he joined the campaign of legislative election without nomination.
該名遭起訴的貨車駕駛雖辯稱是意外事件,但據許多在場記者表示其多次猛加油門,是蓄意沖撞。
The indicted truck driver claimed that the whole thing was an accident, but according to the journalists at the scene, the driver pushed hard on gas paddle several times, indicating that the ramming was intentional.

2. A-gu's Characters down!

A reporter friend called me live from the scene about 10-15 minutes ago to say all the characters are finally down at the gate and on the memorial building itself.

I heard the crowd, which was cheering and very happy.

He said that as the construction workers were removing each nail on the final character at the gate, they would turn around and held it up to show the crowd, which cheered. As they finished and were coming down from their raised platform, they also waved at the crowd which again cheered them.

3. Thanks to Tim Maddog for providing the following links of video clips. Watch what really happened in the scene, and ask yourself: what kind of news agency would pretend that it didn't happen?

-- CNN news clip. From the content, this clip shows what happened right after the ramming started. Police were trying to drag the driver out of the truck, but the truck kept going. You can hear the screaming and crying of bystanders, and frantic "Someone underneath the truck!!" shouting. (Link to the original clip):


-- News clip based on ftv.com.tw (Link to the clip on YouTube)



------------

4. A historical moment of the end of authoritarian regime. Video clip from Taipei Congressman Chuang Rui-Hsiung (莊瑞雄, Nickname Taiwan Bear)'s website. Click to see how Taiwanese cheered and celebrated the removal of Chiang's plague. You can see how far AFP misled the readers. (original link)




5. Tim Maddog sent me this: Taipei Times regrets citing information from AFP because AFP reported distorted news:

In yesterday's issue, an item in the "Quick Take" section said former president Lee Teng-hui urged voters not to support the Democratic Progressive Party in upcoming elections ("Lee Teng-hui turns on Chen," page 3). Lee only urged his audience to make good use of the party ticket vote in the legislative elections. The material was sourced from Agence France-Presse, and the Taipei Times regrets the error.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

______________________________________________________

Friday, December 07, 2007

permalink

Cries of "Wolf!" heard all over Taiwan

Doin' my bes' to round up the mess

I have had neither the time nor the energy to write a post with as many links as I'd like, so bear with me as I round up some recent events that are on my mind and add comments before they get drowned out by newer events. I hope to add more links as I find them.

Who "raised the specter" of "martial law"?
On November 22, 2007, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), spouting nonsense in her usual style, said that Taiwan's democratically-elected president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) would use the 18 pan-blue-led counties' refusal to follow the Central Election Commission's single-step ballot distribution procedure as an excuse to "declare martial law." Talking Show (大話新聞) subsequently discussed whether Chen would use it or not. Days later, Chen said that people had made several suggestions about how to deal with the situation and that he would examine all possibilities.

Then came the veritable torrent of BS.

All of the "news" media in Taiwan, including the Taipei Times, twisted Chen's words to make it look like Chen had threatened to impose martial law when he had done no such thing. The English-language China Post had it on their front page -- surprisingly with a less sensational headline than the Taipei Times.

Subsequent to the fallacious reports, President Chen reassured the public that he would not declare martial law (WMV files; see the beginning of Part 5), but by that time, the distortion machine had done the dastardly deed, and far too many felt that they were obligated to admonish Chen -- all for something he hadn't done.

Rule Number 1: Remember the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," and if the allegation looks as implausible as this one did, go with your instincts, and don't repeat the accusation until you see the evidence with your own eyes, hear it with your own ears, and feel it with your own fingers. And even then, you might want to think twice.

Don't put one iota of trust in the KMT
The KMT recently aired a mostly black-and-white commercial featuring several people who expressed extreme disgust with the DPP government. The people in the commercial were portrayed as being "poor average citizens," but if you remember Rule Number 1 above, you would have had the same suspicions as I did: that none of these people was "an average Chou." The ad ends with the incredibly ironic warning: "Don't trust the DPP."

It didn't take long for my suspicions to be verified. As of November 5, 2007, it has been discovered that at least five of the people appearing in the 30-second commercial are, in fact, KMT workers. While some of them do indeed do the jobs they claim in the commercial to do, at least one who portrayed himself as a low-salaried employee (侯先生, or Mr. Hou) was discovered to be the boss. Breakfast-store owner Fang Hua-hsiung (方華雄 ) claimed he would "go broke and die," yet his business was bustling. Another of the commercial's crybabies who worried about "not being able to survive" is still driving his Benz seven years into a DPP presidency. The humanity!

Rule Number 2: When somebody with a Benz cries about "not being able to survive," what they mean is that even if everybody in Taiwan could have a free mid-price-range vehicle, he'd still cry about it for as long as there was a DPP president.

Proposed 228 law
A bill seeking justice for the infamous "228 Massacre" of 1947 that was brought up by the DPP several months ago and subsequently squashed by the opposition was suddenly front-page news a few days ago. The headlines practically screeched that the DPP sought to hold even distant relatives of those accused of crimes related to 228 to be held accountable for the crimes if the accused was deceased (or perhaps even if not). Again, even the Taipei Times did the wrong thing with this one.

Refer to Rule Number 1 again. What those front-page headlines said was the exact opposite of the truth.

The bill was written with a spirit of reconciliation in mind (something the KMT seems to know nothing about), and gave these relatives the right to defend the names of their relatives. I'm not sure if it requested their assistance in bringing facts to light, but it most certainly did not seek to punish them.

He's not a cop, but he played one on TV
Just two days ago (Dec. 5), a young man wearing a fake police uniform wa grabbed by authentic police during protests outside of the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall by people opposed to the removal of the 大中至正 inscription at the entrance to the plaza. As he was being moved by the police, the faker screeched in a manner similar to the actors in the 這個不是肯得雞 ("This isn't KFC!") commercials [KFC1, KFC2, KFC3] that he "didn't know" (something). A reporter who was befuddled by the overreaction asked if he was drunk, and he replied with something that was bleeped when aired on the news. However, the reporting -- even by FTV -- highlighted one police officer who was seen briefly pulling the suspect's hair as that officer and several of his colleagues attempted to remove the suspect from the scene. That was certainly not good behavior on the cop's part, but the crying seemed rather disproportionate.

And, as usual, there's more to the story than meets the eye at first glance.

Tests showed that the suspect was indeed drunk. Oh, and his father, Lee Yung-ran (李永然) (variously written as Lee Yung-jan and Y.R. Lee), is a lawyer employed by the KMT.

(I hope it's only "attempted-")
Murder or manslaughter
On Thursday, Peng Sheng-lu (彭盛露), the driver of a mid-sized blue truck (Taiwan-style pickup) rammed his vehicle into several media workers shooting video near a campaign truck belonging to the pan-green Taiwan Independence Party (TIP, 建國黨). The truck ran completely over an ETTV cameraman (UPDATE: His name is Wang Jui-chang [王瑞璋]), leaving a messy trail of blood and injuring the man very seriously. Police quickly extracted the driver, and people at the scene used their bare hands to turn the vehicle on its side and get the victim out.

What do you think the driver said when the cameras were focused on him and the police had him firmly in their grip? "I didn't mean it!" Reviewing video footage of the event, it appears that he did it on purpose. Oh, and he turns out to have been an employee of Mei Feng (梅峰), who styles himself a candidate for the "China legislature" in the upcoming election. And ETTV anchor Lu Hsiu-fang (盧秀芳) (sister of KMT legislator Lu Hsiu-yan [盧秀燕] and daughter-in-law of former vice-premier Hsu Li-teh [徐立德]) editorialized in her newscast that it was all the DPP's fault. SET reported late Thursday night that it looked like the suspect would be charged with attempted murder. For the sake of the cameraman, let's hope that charge doesn't become something even worse, but if it does (hell, even if it doesn't), let's hope they prosecute aggressively but not excessively.

The KMT school of violent crybabies
There is actually a school that teaches the following typical pan-blue behaviors: 1) Make shit up and/or do something violent; 2) If caught red-handed, squeal loudly like a stuck pig and say you didn't know/you didn't mean it/you're being abused/that it's martial law all over again/that the DPP is fomenting ethnic hatred; 3) Sit back, and let the pan-blue media do the rest; 4) If things go really badly, and you somehow end up being sentenced to hard time, somebody will arrange for you to escape and flee to China, where your red-handed deeds will be considered heroic.

I've seen this school with my own eyes, and so can you. All you have to do is turn on your TV and watch just about any channel at just about any time. Or pick up just about any of the newspapers you see outside of Taiwan's many convenience stores. Just be careful not to slip and fall into their ubiquitous traps.

Whatever you do, "Question everything -- especially this!"

Several species of small, furry animals, gathered together in an island nation and grooving with their tricks: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

______________________________________________________